LET. XXXIX. To the same: —
IT is not your Will that I sollicite, but your Memory. For amidst the presse of businesse of the whole Province, which you doe willingly take the charge of, mine happily may slip out of your memory with∣out your fault. The importance is, to commence it with an opinion that it is feasible, and with a resolu∣tion to carry it; for if reason be ur∣ged timorously, and if a man doe Page 161 not descend streight from generali∣ties to particulars, a thousand jour∣neies unto the — will not bee worth one; and we should but take much paines to litle purpose. Mon∣sieur de — shall pardon me, if J doe not find my selfe either hardy, or strong enough to undertake the worke which he hath done mee the honour to designe me for; and for such a taske, a more peaceable and happy retreate, and a more practis'd and expert quill then mine, are re∣quisite. J have used my hand and minde to write but toyes, & things un-necessary. For the future, I pur∣pose not to write any workes of su∣pererogation, but what the Church prescribes, and God doth reckon as meritorious. I am extremely troubled at my Cousins mischance, and the burning of his Study. Hee cannot Page 162 choose but be very sensible of this losse▪ since it was the chiefest part of his wealth, and thereby saw the Issues of his brain perish before his face, without being able to redresse it. This must be his comfort, that he is young and laborious, & that For∣tune cannot ravish from him those true goods which he is Master of. The losse of a vessell is not valued, if the Pilot be saved; and Captaines have been seene to triumph after the losse of many Armies. Miser & nudus Imperator invenit exercitum▪ Our Advocate is more cruell then the Warre, & more severe then Iu∣stice: He hath slaine in his Letters my Lord the Marshall of — & my Lord the Duke of —, who are yet alive to pardon him. Tell him (if you please) that he doe not trafficke any more in such newes, Page 163 for he will be reckoned among the fabulous Authors else, and men will taxe mee for bad intelligence. I know well that he is not surety for the newes that flyes abroad, but he is answerable for the asseveration wherewith he doth recommende them unto me; and hee must talke of something that is not knowne, or at leastwise with the cautious forme of the Poets, when they say, ut fama est, ut perhibent, si credere dignum est. I bid you good even, and remaine perfectly
Balzac. 4. Feb. 1634.