LET. XXXV. To the same —
I Have received your incompa∣rable Book: in the which (after a long and tedious perusall) my Grammer could finde no constru∣ction, Page 146 nor my Logick common sence. This is not the first time that that poore Wit hath strayed so. He hath been, this long time ridiculous without being facetious, and hath been a laughing-stock to the vul∣gar, and an object of pitty to the wise. The late Monsieur — did use to call him the greatest enimy that ever Reason had, betweene Cales and Bayonne; and said, he was a foole in two sciences, and in foure languages. Neverthelesse if our friend shall think him wor∣thy of some traces of his pen, let us indulge him that exercise, with this proviso, that he be not violent, and that he put not himselfe to a heat; that (if it please him) he doe not deal seriously with him, or arme him∣selfe at all points, against an Adver∣sary that deserves not any encoun∣ter Page 147 but with pinnes. As for the — you wrong your selfe, for to mi∣strust the moderation of my spirit. Jn the estate that J have ordered and setled it in, I have lesse passion then the King of the Stoicks; and J must be excited for eight daies to∣gither, to the cruelty of hateing any man whatsoever, for one halfe an houre. It is not my intention to write against Monsieur — but to discourse with him; and I have not so litle wit, but that J can distin∣guish his person from his cause. He hath obliged me with so good grade, and spoken of me in such high language & sumptuous termes, that I cannot doubt of his respect, or his affection towards me. And he shall likewise see my resent∣ment of it, through the whole file of my Discourse; wherein I am re∣solved Page 148 to temper my selfe so dis∣creetly, that if I perswade him not to my opinion, I shall not make my proceedings odious; and if I doe not rest satisfied with what he saith, I shall contradict him but obliquely, and with a kind of Bi∣asse, which shall not be distastfull unto him. This will be (perhaps) the first example of modesty, that hath been heard of among the Dis∣putants of this age; and we will de∣monstrate to those of that side, who talke outragiously in Problems of small importance; that the alter∣cations of honest men are without choler, and that generous enemies live better togither then malicious Burghers. For the rest Sir, I desire you to continue the paines that you have begun, & to send me where∣with J may fortify all the Approa∣chesPage 149 that are liable to assault and battery. I shall feare nothing being strengthned with so powerfull suc∣cors; and you will justify my cause if it be good, or give it a colour of justice, if it be not so. See what an enterprise it was in you to love me: You could never have conceived a more pernicious designe for your selfe. It will repent you more then once, and you will renounce at any time (I am sure) the sorry purchase which you have made in the ac∣quaintance of a troublesome man. Neverthelesse he is one that is most affectionately
Balzac. 20. March. 1634.