LET. XLVI. To Monsieur de Savignac.
EIther I have not well interpre∣ted my selfe or Monsieur de — hath not well understood me. I doe ever value the merits of Madame d' Anguitar, and if it must be, that I must (by a second act) cō∣firme Page 187that testimonie which I have given of Her, I am ready to declare my selfe a new, and to commende once more a Lady that is so praise-worthy. It is true, that for the in∣terest of her Honour, it will be some thing materiall, to understand the cause that made my intentions to be mis-construed, and that I leade you to the very source of this jea∣lousie; Whereas, it seem'd to certaine Cavaliers, my friends, that I did too much approve of her singular humour, and frequent reti∣rings, one of the most eloquent of them took a fancy to publish his dislike in this point; and to write a reproachfull Letter unto me in the name (as he saith) of the whole Corporation of Honest men. Wherein he proclaimes open warre against me in their name, as though I had Page 188 conspir'd against faire Society; and calls me the Common enemy; the uni∣versally jealous mā, the Tyrant to both sexes. He doth imagine that it is my intent to shut up in Prison all faire and delectable things, for to punish curious eyes. He cryes out, that I would faine abrogate the sweetest lawes of this Realme, and bring in the cruelty of that custome in Spaine, where honest women are mewd up in cages, and honest men adore but doores and windowes. From Madrid, he passeth to Constan∣tinople, and tells me in a great rage, that I am good nothing but to be a Counseller of the great Turk, for to advise him to raise the walls of the Seraglio higher, & to double the Guard of the Sultana; Then he doth accuse me for a thousand mischiefs and takes me for Him that invented Page 189 the iron grates, the locks, the vailes & maskes: & for the Author of all those things that oppose his intrusi∣on & saucy curiosity. Insomuch that he imagines that I must render him a reason of the secrets and difficul∣ties of all riddles, of the darknesse of all ancient Oracles; of the Allegories of Poets; and of the Mysteries of all Religions. To make answer to farre lesse then this, it behooved me to study a long Apologie; & (as ill luck was) when I received his Letter, I was not in the humour of making Books. Wherefore Sir, I professe to you truly, I chose rather to yeeld thē defend my selfe; and abandon my Maxims to the verbosity of my good friend, rather then maintaine them with the expence of so many words as he did plye them with: But if I be not deceaved, there is a good Page 190 deale of difference betweene my Maximes & the praises of Madame d' Anguitar; and he must take heed of confounding in the designe that I have, that which I distinguish'd in the * Letter which I wrote unto Her. To say that She is one of the Perfections of the world, is an im∣moveable truth, for which I would fight all my life time: But to say that such Perfections must be se∣questred from the eyes of men, is (I suppose) a problematicall opinion, which I may revoke without pre∣judice to my own constancy, or to the worth of these Perfections. But on the contrary, most will bee apt to believe, that this will be suffici∣ent amends, and just satisfaction for the injury I did them, in condem∣ning them to Solitude and Retired∣nesse; & will call it their revoking Page 191 from exile, and releasing out of bon∣dage. Thus Sir, I preserve still my first Designe; and my commendati∣ons remaine whole and intire a∣mong the ruines of my Maximes. Nay out of their demolitions, Tro∣phies might be erected to the ho∣nour of Madame d' Anguitar, and a Theater built, where Shee might be gazed upon, by those that can but divine and guesse at Her; and that the Desart might no longer have such advantage over the Citty. This is not then to rebell against her Ver∣tues, but to wish Her a more spaci∣ous Empire, and a greater number of Subjects then She hath had; nor to goe about to eclipse her light, but to adjudge, that Shee should issue forth out of the cloudes, for the be∣nefit and comfort of the Ʋniverse. I pitty those Criticks that take it o∣therwise; Page 192 and am sorry that Mon∣sieur — is fallen upō a thought so far distant from mine. He might have understood me well enough, without putting me to the paines of interpreting my selfe; and might have seen (moreover) that though in this occasion I would not at all consider the interests of another, yet I should have considered my owne at least. Doth he imagine that I could have been perswaded to spoile at one dash, one of the dearest Issues of my Braine? and to bereave my selfe of the acknowledgements of one of the greatest Personages of the world, who thinks Herselfe in some measure beholding unto me? I am no such Enemy to my selfe, or so prodigall of the good that I have acquir'd. I doe not mean to throwe dirt upon that piece, where I have Page 193 bestowed so many and so rich Co∣lours; and believe not you, that I would have razed out (being there∣unto intreated by none) those words that did no way dislike me; you that know how Heliodorus de∣nied to doe the like, though ear∣nestly sollicited thereunto, by a whole Councell. If you doe me the honour as to make a journey to morrow to Balzac, I will tell you more; though negociating with an understanding so serene as yours, I think I have spoken enough alrea∣dy concerning it. This is
Balzac 26. March 1637.