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He con- cunning as before I had done over his learning. quers My lectures were always crowded, and my beginChamnings so fortunate, that I entirely obscured the renown of my famous master. Flushed with these happy conquests, I removed to Corbeil to attack the masters there, and so establish my character of the ablest logician. The rush of travelling threw me into a dangerous distemper, and not being able to recover my health, my physicians, who perhaps were in league with Champeaux, advised me to remove to my native air. Thus I voluntarily banished myself for some years. I leave you to imagine whether my absence was not regretted by the better sort. At length I recovered my health, when I received news that my greatest adversary had taken the habit of a monk; you may think it was an act of penitence for having persecuted me; quite the contrary, 'twas ambition; he resolved to raise himself to some church dignity, therefore fell into the beaten track and took on him the garb of feigned austerity; for this is the easiest and shortest way to the highest ecclesiastical dignities. His wishes were successful and he obtained a bishopric; yet did he not quit Paris and the care of his schools: he went to his diocese to gather in his revenues, but returned and passed the rest of his time in reading lectures to those few pupils which followed him. After this I often engaged with him, and may reply to you as Ajax did to the Greeks:
'If you demand the fortune of that day
When stak'd on this right hand your honours lay,
Yet did I never basely quit the field.'
About this time my father, Beranger, who to He the age of sixty had lived very agreeably, retired studies from the world and shut himself in a cloister, divinity where he offered up to Heaven the languid remains of a life he could make no further use of. My mother, who was yet young, took the same resolution. She turned a Religious, but did not entirely abandon the satisfactions of life; her friends were continually at the grate, and the monastery, when one has an inclination to make it so, is exceedingly charming and pleasant. I was present when my mother was professed. At my return I resolved to study divinity, and inquired for a director in that study. I was recommended to one Anselm, the very oracle of his time, but, to give you my own opinion, one more venerable for his age and his wrinkles than for his genius or learning. If you consulted him upon any difficulty, the sure consequence was to be much more uncertain in the point. They who only saw him admired him, but those who reasoned with him were extremely dissatisfied. He was a great master of words and talked much, but meant nothing. His discourse was a fire, which, instead of enlightening, obscured everything with its smoke; a tree beautified with variety of leaves and branches, but barren of fruit. I came to him with a desire to learn, but found him like the fig tree in the Gospel, or the old oak to which Lucan compares Pompey. I continued not long underneath his shadow. I took for my guides the primitive Fathers and boldly launched into the ocean of the Holy Scriptures. In a short time I had made such progress that others
Lovecon- chose me for their director. The number of my quers him scholars was incredible, and the gratuities I received from them were proportionate to the great reputation I had acquired. Now I found myself safe in the harbour, the storms were passed, and the rage of my enemies had spent itself without effect. Happy had I known to make a right use of this calm! But when the mind is most easy 'tis most exposed to love, and even security is here the most dangerous state.
And now, my friend, I am going to expose to you all my weaknesses. All men, I believe, are under a necessity of paying tribute at some time or other to Love, and it is vain to strive to avoid it. I was a philosopher, yet this tyrant of the mind triumphed over all my wisdom; his darts were of greater force than all my reasonings, and with a sweet constraint he led me wherever he pleased. Heaven, amidst an abundance of blessings with which I was intoxicated, threw in a heavy affliction. I became a most signal example of its vengeance, and the more unhappy because, having deprived me of the means of accomplishing satisfaction, it left me to the fury of my criminal desires. I will tell you, my dear friend, the particulars of my story, and leave you to judge whether I deserved so severe a correction.
I had always an aversion for those light women whom 'tis a reproach to pursue; I was ambitious in my choice, and wished to find some obstacles, that I might surmount them with the greater glory and pleasure.
There was in Paris a young creature (ah, Philintus!) formed in a prodigality of nature to show
mankind a finished composition; dear Heloise, He meets the reputed niece of one Fulbert, a canon. Her Heloise wit and her beauty would have stirred the dullest
and most insensible heart, and her education was equally admirable.
Heloise was the mistress of the most polite arts. You may easily imagine that this did not a little help to captivate me ; I saw her, I loved her, I resolved to make her love me. The thirst of glory cooled immediately in my heart, and all my passions were lost in this new one. I thought of nothing but Heloise; everything brought her image to my mind. I was pensive and restless, and my passion was so violent as to admit of no restraint. I was always vain and presumptive; I flattered myself already with the most bewitching hopes. My reputation had spread itself everywhere, and could a virtuous lady resist a man who had confounded all the learned of the age? I was young-could she show an insensibility to those vows which my heart never formed for any but herself? My person was advantageous enough, and by my dress no one would have suspected me for a doctor; and dress, you know, is not a little engaging with women. Besides, I had wit enough to write a billet-doux, and hoped, if ever she permitted my absent self to entertain her, she would read with pleasure those breathings of my heart.
Filled with these notions I thought of nothing but the means to speak to her. Lovers either find or make all things easy. By the offices of common friends I gained the acquaintance of Fulbert; and can you believe it, Philintus, he allowed me the privilege of his table, and an apartment in his house?
He I paid him, indeed, a considerable sum, for persons teaches of his character do nothing without her philwhat would I not have given! You, my friend, know what love is; imagine then what a pleasure it must have been to a heart so inflamed as mine to be always so near the dear object of desire! I would not have exchanged my happy condition for that of the greatest monarch upon earth. I saw Heloise, I spoke to her-each action, each confused look told her the trouble of my soul. And she, on the other side, gave me ground to hope for everything from her generosity. Fulbert desired me to instruct her in philosophy; by this means I found opportunities of being in private with her, and yet I was surely of all men the most timorous in declaring my passion.
As I was with her one day alone, Charming Heloise,' said I, blushing, if you know yourself you will not be surprised with the passion you have inspired me with. Uncommon as it is, I can express it but with the common terms-I love you, adorable Heloise! Till now I thought philosophy made us masters of all our passions, and that it was a refuge from the storms in which weak mortals are tossed and shipwrecked; but you have destroyed my security and broken this philosophic courage. I have despised riches; honour and its pageantries could never wake a weak thought in me, beauty alone has stirred my soul; happy if she who raised this passion kindly receives this declaration; but if it is an offence?—'
'No,' replied Heloise, she must be very ignorant of your merit who can be offended at your passion. But for my own repose I wish either that