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Regard me no more, I entreat you, as a founder He or any great personage; your praises ill agree with would give her my many weaknesses. I am a miserable sinner, to God prostrate before my Judge, and with my face pressed to the earth I mix my tears with the earth. Can you see me in this posture and solicit me to love you? Come, if you think fit, and in your holy habit thrust yourself between my God and me, and be a wall of separation. Come and force from me those sighs and thoughts and vows I owe to Him alone. Assist the evil spirits and be the instrument of their malice. What cannot you induce a heart to do whose weakness perfectly know? Nay, withdraw yourself and contribute to my salvation. Suffer me to avoid destruction, I entreat you by our former tender affection and by our now common misfortune. will always be the highest love to show none; I here release you from all your oaths and engagements. Be God's wholly, to whom you are appropriated; I will never oppose so pious a design. How happy shall I be if I thus lose you! Then shall I indeed be a religious and you a perfect example of an abbess.

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Make yourself amends by so glorious a choice ; make your virtue a spectacle worthy of men and angels. Be humble among your children, assiduous in your choir, exact in your discipline, diligent in your reading; make even your recreations useful. Have you purchased your vocation at so light a rate that you should not turn it to the best advantage? Since you have permitted yourself to be abused by false doctrine and criminal instruction, resist not those good counsels which

The grace and religion inspire me with. I will confess chalice of to you I have thought myself hitherto an abler saints master to instil vice than to teach virtue. My

false eloquence has only set off false good. My
heart, drunk with voluptuousness, could only sug-
gest terms proper and moving to recommend that.
The cup of sinners overflows with so enchanting a
sweetness, and we are naturally so much inclined
to taste it, that it needs only to be offered to us.
On the other hand the chalice of saints is filled
with a bitter draught and nature starts from it.
And yet you reproach me with cowardice for
giving it to you first. I willingly submit to these
accusations. I cannot enough admire the readi-
ness you showed to accept the religious habit; bear
therefore with courage the Cross you so resolutely
took up.
Drink of the chalice of saints, even to
the bottom, without turning your eyes with uncer-
tainty upon me; let me remove far from you and
obey the Apostle who hath said Fly !'.

You entreat me to return under a pretence of
devotion. Your earnestness in this point creates a
suspicion in me and makes me doubtful how to
answer you.
Should I commit an error here my
words would blush, if I may say so, after the
history of our misfortunes. The Church is jealous
of its honour, and commands that her children
should be induced to the practice of virtue by
virtuous means. When we approach God in
á blameless manner then we may with boldness
invite others to Him. But to forget Heloise, to
see her no more, is what Heaven demands of
Abelard; and to expect nothing from Abelard, to
forget him even as an idea, is what Heaven enjoins

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on Heloise. To forget, in the case of love, is the His most necessary penance, and the most difficult. It former is easy to recount our faults; how many, through jealousy

indiscretion, have made themselves a second

pleasure of this instead of confessing them with humility. The only way to return to God is by neglecting the creature we have adored, and adoring the God whom we have neglected. This may appear harsh, but it must be done if we would be saved.

To make it more easy consider why I pressed you to your vow before I took mine; and pardon my sincerity and the design I have of meriting your neglect and hatred if I conceal nothing from you.

When I saw myself oppressed by my misfortune I was furiously jealous, and regarded all men as my rivals. Love has more of distrust than assurance. I was apprehensive of many things because of my many defects, and being tormented with fear because of my own example I imagined your heart so accustomed to love that it could not be long without entering on a new engagement. Jealousy can easily believe the most terrible things. I was desirous to make it impossible for me to doubt you. I was very urgent to persuade you that propriety demanded your withdrawal from the eyes of the world; that modesty and our friendship required it; and that your own safety obliged it. After such a revenge taken on me you could expect to be secure nowhere but in a convent.

I will do you justice, you were very easily persuaded. My jealousy secretly rejoiced in your innocent compliance; and yet, triumphant as I was, I yielded you up to God with an unwilling heart.


His I still kept my gift as much as was possible, and selfish only parted with it in order to keep it out of the power of other men. I did not persuade you to religion out of any regard to your happiness, but condemned you to it like an enemy who destroys what he cannot carry off. And yet you heard my discourses with kindness, you sometimes interrupted me with tears, and pressed me to acquaint you with those convents I held in the highest esteem. What a comfort I felt in seeing you shut up. I was now at ease and took a satisfaction in considering that you continued no longer in the world after my disgrace, and that you would return to it no more.

But still I was doubtful. I imagined women were incapable of steadfast resolutions unless they were forced by the necessity of vows. I wanted those vows, and Heaven itself for your security, that I might no longer distrust you. Ye holy mansions and impenetrable retreats! from what innumerable apprehensions have ye freed me? Religion and piety keep a strict guard round your grates and walls. What a haven of rest this is to a jealous mind! And with what impatience did I endeavour after it! I went every day trembling to exhort you to this sacrifice; I admired, without daring to mention it then, a brightness in your beauty which I had never observed before. Whether it was the bloom of a rising virtue, or an anticipation of the great loss I was to suffer, I was not curious in examining the cause, but only hastened your being professed. I engaged your prioress in my guilt by a criminal bribe with which I purchased the right of burying you. The pro

fessed of the house were alike bribed and concealed Her from you, at my directions, all their scruples and sacrifice disgusts. I omitted nothing, either little or great; and if you had escaped my snares I myself would not have retired; I was resolved to follow you everywhere. The shadow of myself would always have pursued your steps and continually have occasioned either your confusion or your fear, which would have been a sensible gratification

to me.


But, thanks to Heaven, you resolved to take the I accompanied you to the foot of the altar, and while you stretched out your hand to touch the sacred cloth I heard you distinctly pronounce those fatal words that for ever separated you from man. Till then I thought your youth and beauty would foil my design and force your return to the world. Might not a small temptation have changed you? Is it possible to renounce oneself entirely at the age of two-and-twenty? At an age which claims the utmost liberty could you think the world no longer worth your regard? How much did I wrong you, and what weakness did I impute to you? You were in my imagination both light and inconstant. Would not a woman at the noise of the flames and the fall of Sodom involuntarily look back in pity on some person? I watched your eyes, your every movement, your air; I trembled at everything. You may call such self-interested conduct treachery, perfidy, murder. A love so like to hatred should provoke the utmost contempt and anger.

It is fit you should know that the very moment when I was convinced of your being entirely

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