LET. XLIX. To the same—
HItherto I have beheld (with∣out disturbance) all the assaults of my enemies; and they have but scratcht some lines of my Books, & at most have call'd to questiō some things of small consequence. But now that they wounde me in the tenderest part of my heart, I professe to you, J begin to have some resent∣ment▪ I cannot forgive them the in∣jury they have done me, to raise jea∣lousies and make a breach betweene vs Two. And I have conceived such indignation against this imposture, that it is impossible I should write unto you soberly and moderately. If J doe not exercise vindicative justice,Page 201 there is no reason J should desire it. That which doth most of all trou∣ble me is, that I doe runne after a Fantasme, and that I knowe not whom to lay hold upon. And truly, if there were any meanes to disco∣ver this honest Secretary that was bestowed on me without my knowledge, I think it were very just to pay him his wages. How e∣ver, here is a man that would gaine a name by such an occasion; & doth pronounce against him that terri∣ble Arrest. Ligno pereat qui fumum vendidit. These men should be made an example; and whereof a civill Society ought to be quickly purg'd. They are the most dange∣rous Theeves of all, that rob us of our friends: which be goods, that should remaine ours, after the losse of all other. J confesse, that J have Page 202 many infirmities, and am subject to erre a thousand waies, but J am not capable of an offence of that high nature that J am charg'd with; and the goodly Letter, which you sent me a coppy of, carries neither my stile nor my Genius; neverthe∣lesse, your faith hath betrayed a weaknesse, and you have staggerd a litle upon the opening of this false packet. Assure your selfe Sir, if J have forfeited your good Opinion and favour, that J would not out∣live so smart an Affliction; and you may believe, that J doe not rashly hazard a thing so precious as that. J make not onely Sincerity and Zeale the companions of my Friendship▪ but Discretion also and Respect. The Persons whom J love, are to me al∣most in the same degree of venerati∣on, as those things which J adore: Page 203 I approach them not but with awe, which accompanies Religion; and it is certaine, that I am so fearfull to offend them, that (least J should distast them with my sullennesse) J doe force and faine smiles when I am most sad. You shall know more of this in the progresse of my life; and avouch, that I know how to practise those maxims, which J hold, and approve my selfe, with courage and constancy
Balzac. 1. March 1632.