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The fear words so full of kindness? Beware, Heloise, of of hell refusing a Husband who demands you, and who

is more to be feared than any earthly lover.
Provoked at your contempt and ingratitude, He
will turn His love into anger and make you feel
His vengeance.
How will you sustain His
presence when you shall stand before His tribunal ?
He will reproach you for having despised His
grace, He will represent to you His sufferings for
What answer can you make? He will then
be implacable: He will say to you, 'Go, proud
creature, and dwell in everlasting flames. I separ-
ated you from the world to purify you in solitude and
you did not second my design. I endeavoured to
save you and you wilfully destroyed yourself; go,
wretch, and take the portion of the reprobates.'


Oh, Heloise, prevent these terrible words, and avoid, by a holy life, the punishment prepared for sinners. I dare not give you a description of those dreadful torments which are the consequences of a career of guilt. I am filled with horror when they offer themselves to my imagination. And yet, Heloise, I can conceive nothing which can reach the tortures of the damned; the fire which we see upon this earth is but the shadow of that which burns them; and without enumerating their endless pains, the loss of God which they feel increases all their torments. Can anyone sin who is persuaded of this? My God! can we dare to offend Thee? Though the riches of Thy mercy could not engage us to love Thee, the dread of being thrown into such an abyss of misery should restrain us from doing anything which might displease Thee.

I question not, Heloise, but you will hereafter The hope apply yourself in good earnest to the business of of heaven your salvation; this ought to be your whole concern. Banish me, therefore, for ever from your heart-it is the best advice I can give you, for the remembrance of a person we have loved guiltily cannot but be hurtful, whatever advances we may have made in the way of virtue. When you have extirpated your unhappy inclination towards me, the practice of every virtue will become easy; and when at last your life is conformable to that of Christ, death will be desirable Your soul will joyfully leave this body, and direct its flight to heaven. Then you will appear with confidence before your Saviour; you will not read your reprobation written in the judgment book, but you will hear your Saviour say, Come, partake of My glory, and enjoy the eternal reward I have appointed for those virtues you have practised.

to you.

Farewell, Heloise, this is the last advice of your dear Abelard; for the last time let me persuade you to follow the rules of the Gospel. Heaven grant that your heart, once so sensible of my love, may now yield to be directed by my zeal. May the idea of your loving Abelard, always present to your mind, be now changed into the image of Abelard truly penitent; and may you shed as many tears for your salvation as you have done for our misfortunes.


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[This Epistle' was published by Alexander Pope in 1717, and is given here because through it alone has the tragedy of the unfortunate lovers been so far known to the mass of the English public. The Epistle' is marvellously exact in its rendering of many of the phrases of Heloise, and is an apt example of how rhyming couplets can turn into trite commonplaces the most marvellous expressions of human passion that literature contains.]



In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing melancholy reigns;

What means this tumult in a Vestal's veins?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love!-From Abelard it came,
And Eloïsa yet must kiss the name.

Dear fatal name! rest ever unrevealed,
Nor pass these lips in holy silence sealed:
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where mix'd with God's, his lov'd Idea lies:
O write it not my hand-the name appears
Already written-wash it out, my tears!
In vain lost Eloïsa weeps and prays.
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls! whose darksome round con-

Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains;

Ye rugged rock! which holy knees have worn; Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn! Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep,

And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep!

Tho' cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not Heav'n's while Abelard has part,
Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
O name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in sighs, still usher'd with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Some dire misfortune follows close behind.
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Led thro' a sad variety of woe:

Now warm in love, now with'ring in my bloom,
Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!

There stern Religion quench'd th' unwilling flame,

There died the best of passions, Love and Fame.
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away;
And is my Abelard less kind than they?
Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare,
Love but demands what else were shed in pray'r;
No happier task these faded eyes pursue:
To read and weep is all they now can do.

Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief.
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid;
They live, they speak, they breathe what love

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