Thursday, 11 April 2019 04:38

From Émilie to the Duc de Richelieu, September 1735

You’ll tell me I’m very difficult to deal with: I’m not happy with your letter. It’s not that it isn’t charming—it’s just too short; you don’t say anything about yourself. It’s true that you speak to me in a way that would make me even happier than I am, if that were possible. You must know how much I love you, since while I’m here in the midst of a felicity that fills both my heart and my soul, I still want to know what interests you, and share whatever happens to you. Your absence makes me feel I yet have something more to ask of the gods, and to be perfectly happy I should be able live between you and your friend: my heart is bold enough to desire it, and feels no shame over a sentiment that the tender friendship I feel for you will preserve within me, all my life.

You don’t tell me when you’ll come to see me, nor when you expect the campaign to be over, nor how tiresome it must be for you [Richelieu was brigadier-general in the Rhineland]. I’m quite happy to live cut off from the world, but I won’t be cut off from your friendship. Consider: if, in the boredom and inaction of this campaign you write such little letters to me, what will you do when you’re in Paris? You’ll forget me for six months! But at least I can be sure that you won’t fail to think of me with friendship and sensitivity.