LET. XXXVII. To Monsieur de —
TAke pitty on a man that hath not the leasure to live, that is alwaies busy and alwaies sickly, whom a thousand griefes seize upon in his chamber, and a thousand persecutions throng up∣on, from without. Monsieur de — knowes it well that I am no dis∣sembler, and will testify unto you Page 154 (I assure my selfe) that in the state that I am in, I can but admire those letters, to the which I should frame an answere. I avow unto you Sir, that it cost me some paines to deci∣pher them: But yet I doe not com∣plaine of my travell, which found most happy successe. J have disco∣vered infinite rarities under the rid∣dles of your Scribe, and I did not mistake the Graces, though He had begrimed them all over. I send them back to you, since it is your request▪ and yet notwithstanding I cease not to deteine them; my me∣mory is not so unfaithfull, but it preserves the better part of your faire compositions, as well as of your excellent conversation. It is cer∣taine that this gave me some gusts and appetites, which I never had, before you came hither. I am not Page 155 good, Sir, but by your goodnesse, & if I have any degree of holy heate in me, it is neither proper nor naturall unto me, J have it from your com∣munication. You are at this day one of those Authors whom I cite still with a grace and an Emphasis: I doe arme my selfe with your reasons against the enimies of Truth, & you are all my French Divinity. What a harvest might be reapt (think you) of devout meditations, and Spiritu∣all Treatises from lesse seed thē are your Discourses and Letters? A man might extract from them more sapp and juice then from many Quadragesimall Sermons of Spanish Postillers; and were they but a litle amplified, they might serve for compleat Apologies of Christian do∣ctrine, and solid refutations of un∣sound Philosophie. Your acquain∣tance Page 156 then, is no small purchase, & J owe you more thē vulgar thanks for it. But since you desire none o∣ther but my edification: insteed of minting fastidious complements for you, J will labour to put your wholsome counsailes in practise. J will become a good man if J can, that you may be celebrated in my works, being not contented with words. The curing of a disease doth sufficiently proclaime the so∣veraignty of the remedy; and it is a farre better way to magnifie your stile by performing actions of ver∣tue, which it doth propose as its end, then to cry out Euge at every period. There is no hopes to goe beyond this. Remember me if you please in your Sacrifices, that is, love me effectually, after your way, since Page 157 J am after mine, and that very sin∣cerely
Balzac. 30. Decemb. 1636.