Ninon de l’Enclos to
Your letter filled with
useless yearnings of which I thought myself incapable. “The
days are passing,” as said the good man of Yveteaux, “in ignorance
and sloth; these days destroy us and take from us the things to
which we are attached.” You are cruelly made to prove this.
You told me long ago that
I should die of reflections. I try not to make any more, and
to forget on the morrow the things I live through today. Everybody
tells me that I have less to complain of at one time than at another.
Be that as it may, had I been proposed such a life, I should have
hanged myself. We hold on to an ugly body, however, as something
agreeable; we love to feel comfort and ease. Appetite is something
I still enjoy. Would to Heaven I could try my stomach with
yours, and talk of the old friends we have known, the memory of
whom gives me more pleasure than the presence of many people I now
meet. There is something good in all that, but to tell you
the truth, there is no comparison.
M. de Clérambault often
asks me if he resembles his father in mental attainments.
“No,” I always answer him, but I hope from his presumption that
he believes this “no” to be of advantage to him, and perhaps there
are some who would have so considered it. What a comparison
between the present epoch and that through which we have passed!
You are going to write
Madame Sandwich, but I believe she has gone to the country.
She knows all about your sentiment for her. She will tell
you more news about this country than I, having gauged and comprehended
everything. She knows all my haunts and has found means of
making herself perfectly at home.