At last I have more of Voltaire's letters! This one comes while Émilie is tearing her hair out at Cirey, terrified that Voltaire will never return to France. Meanwhile he is writing from Holland to his friends. Does the last paragraph of this passage bode well for Émilie?
It’s true, my dear friend, that I’ve been very ill, but the liveliness of my temperament makes up for my lack of strength; my delicate nervous energy may send me to the grave, but it speedily snatches me out of it. I’ve come to Leyden to consult Doctor Boërhaave about my health, and s’Gravesande about the philosophy of Newton.
Prince Frederick of Prussia showers me every day with admiration and gratitude; he deigns to write to me as to a friend; he’s sent French verses to me that are the equal of those written at Versailles in the days of good taste and fine pleasures. It’s a pity that a prince like him has no rival.
I never forget to slip a few words about you into all my letters. If my tender friendship for you can be of any use, won’t I be all the happier? I live only for friendship: that is what kept me at Cirey for so long; that is what will take me back there, if I return to France.