LET. VIII. To Monsieur DE-BONAIR.
THE Honourable mention that you were pleas'd to make of me in your booke, is a most singular favour, and I cannot behold my selfe in so faire a seat without some temptation of vaine glory. J know not as yet, whether my testimonie be to be admitted or rejected; and whether J be an Apo∣cryphall or Canonicall Author; but since you have cited me, it is not lawfull for me to doubt any more of the good successe of my wri∣tings; and after this, J dare claime a place in the noblest Libraries. It is true, I dare not owne that Title you bestow on me, of the Genius of Elo∣quence.Page 34 Besides, that this would be a wrong to Mercury & Pytho, who have for many ages possest the Chaire, and sweyed the Art of Elo∣cution; it were necessary also that J had the suffrages of all the Preachers and Advocats of the Realme; and you know Sir, that there is none of them so meane, that doth not perswade himselfe that he is the God of Perswasion, and would very hardly confesse a supe∣riour. J must not therefore enter∣taine an Elogie which would bee challenged from me by two so great Nations, equally terrible and potent, and J am content to be lesse Prized by you, since J am sure of the same affection; you shall pre∣serve that for me, if you please, since J am willing to give it its true esti∣mation, Page 35 and to be really
Balzac: 20 Dec. 1635.