LET. XLIV. To the same —
I Am (ever this Month) confin'd to my bed, where I received your Letter directed from Roan. To read there the continuation of your sicknesse, could not (you must think) be any assuagement of mine. J bestow a thousand curses upon the waters of Fórges, for impairing your health. Propertius hath not been more liberall, or bestowed Page 179 more upon the Baiae that kill'd Au∣gustus his Nephew. But a maine difference is, that this man was a Poet, and did but act griefe: but I am truly afflicted; and true friend∣ship doth really suffer more, then flattery can personate. J am very sorry that — hath not demean'd himselfe towards you so well as he should have done; and if you have resolv'd upon his ruine, I doe not mean to step in between him and it, and undertake his protecti∣on. I doe ever side with all your passions without premeditation; and that man that doth not please you, hath no allurements so power∣full, as can render him pleasing to me: neverthelesse if this mans of∣fence were veniall, and your justice could be satisfied; J would adven∣ture to beg his pardon, and would Page 180 become his surety, that he should willingly undergoe all the punish∣ments that you would inflict upon him, to regaine your favour. There are some businesses betweene us, that force me to dissemble a litle, and doe not permit an apparent rupture, if there come not from you an expresse order to the contrary. But being once freed out of this tur∣moile, if he be so unlucky as to of∣fend you againe, I declare unto you that I doe even now renounce him; and J had rather forget my obliga∣tions to him, then to carry affecti∣ons repugnant to yours. Your Cou∣sen is too generous to oblige (so no∣bly) a man whom he never knew; and J had rather beleeve, that his e∣steeme of me, is but the conse∣quence of your love, then to ima∣gine it to be an apprehension of any Page 181 merit in mee. J doe purpose a voy∣age beyond the seas the next year; If J take ship at Diepe, as J hope to doe, J shall not faile to goe and kisse His hands at Röan; & to make him see that the Monster, that Fa∣ther Goulu speaks of, is a tame Beast, (at least) and capable of know∣ledge. If J did exceedingly rejoyce at the newes, when a Canonship was bestowed upon you, J forgot how farre this Dignity was below your deserts. It sufficeth me, that I give you some testimony that I am not sorry for it; and that J consider it (as in the croude) among other Benefices that shall fall upon you; knowing that some few mens lives (that be not yet dead) are the onely obstacles to your Virtues. J expect by the first Post, some bet∣ter Page 182 newes concerning your health, and ever remaine with all my soule
Balzac. 10. May 1634.