BALZAC Jean-Louis GUEZ, sieur de (1597-1654)

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BALZAC Jean-Louis GUEZ, sieur de (1597-1654)
literary scholar and letter writer; founding member of the French Academy, he was the first donor to create the prize of eloquence. L.A.S. from three farms, [ca. 1620], to Monseigneur [le cardinal de LA VALLETTE]; 6 pages small in-4, address (3 farms) with small red wax seals on pink silk lakes (portrait engraved by J. Lubin enclosed). Beautiful historical-political fantasy, from Antiquity to the Court of Spain, wishing the cardinal to succeed Pope Paul V. "Having communication only with the dead, I can only talk to you about news from the other world. Is it not true that it was very hot in Rome at the time of Sylla's persecution, and that M. de La Hiliere with all his expeditions had been very much prevented from putting Cesar and Pompey in agreement? How good the past time was and how happy the old Gauls were before they heard about the State and the crime of leze-majesté. They were ignorant, but they had no cognition of vice; they were not so kind as we are, but they made love without danger of taking the glass, and the artillery was not in use because there was still nobody who was ingenious to the ruin of men"... Then leaving the Antiquity, he speaks pleasantly about the Courts : "It is said that the duke of Ussede [Cristobal de Sandoval, duke of UCEDA] has an absolute power on all the wills of the King of Spain [PHILIPPE III]. The best part of the earth is his, and the Marquis of Spinola and the Count of Bukoy would not dare to do anything without having received his commands. I would be surprised at this [...] if I did not know that Caligula gave his horse the first charge of the Empire, that Neron repudiated his wife to marry a man. And that one of the beautiful princesses of the world was passionately in love with a More"... He pays homage to CHARLESQUINT who "is not blasé of fault of courage to be despaired of his Estas on the end of his days, and to have sought in the solitude the rest which they had not been able to find in the Court"... While we, the unfortunate ones, "death finds us always busy with some purpose, and there is no one who completes his business in this world. [...] our ambition has no limits, and we are so hostile to our own good that when the laws give us rest, we cannot obtain it from ourselves"... There is no need to dwell further: "I am wasting my time since the Duke of Lerme [LERMA] hopes to return to favor, and M. de BOUILLON does not want to die before he has crossed the Loire River with an army. Now, Monseigneur, I beg you to tell me why the pope [PAUL V] lives so long, and is no more talked about than if he were dead? Without lying, he should re-sign his office to you, and the affairs of the Church would be well served. At least tell him that the Count Palatine will not be made King of Bohemia without difficulty, and that the Catholic religion will be maintained by force as it has been established by patience. Zeal carries me away, Monseigneur. I fear that the interest of Christianity does not face me to make some heresy"... Provenance : Alfred SENSIER collection (February 11-13, 1878, n° 481) : "Epistle of beautiful spirit, kind of race to the bell tower in the modern times and retrospective voyage in the antiquity".
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