Folio 218

With great Civilitie and Compliment as though nothing had happened at my Arrivall

An other visite I made alone to Sr Thomas Cru. he was pleased to amongst other discourse to entertaine me upon the loves of Henry the Great of France.  He recited those two passages in French out of his letters to his Mistriss the Faire Gabrielle [1]  his [[xxxxxx]] [2] Mes belles Amours (it is the beginning of the letter) Deux heures apres l’arivée de ce porteur vous verrez un Cavalier qui vous ayme fort que l’on appelle le Roy de France et de Navarre; Titre certainement honorable, mais bien penible, celuy de v[ot]re sujet et bien plus délicieux: tous trois ensemble sont bons en quelque saulce  qu’on les puisse mettre, et n’ay resolu de les ceder a personne

Editor’s Translation: My beautiful love, Two hours after the arrival of this messenger you will see a knight who loves you warmly, whom they call the king of France and Navarre – a title indisputably honourable, but decidedly painful; that of your subject is far more delightful: All three together are as good for some purposes, for which we use to use them, and [I] have resolved to yield them to no one.[3]

Folio 218 verso.

The other was. vous me mandez (in an other Letter) que vous m’aymez mille fois plus, que moy vous: (he answers) vous en avez menty et vous le soutiendray avec les armes que vous avez choisies.  you assure me … that you love me a thousand times more than I you (he answers) you have lied and you will defend it with the weapons you have chosen[4]

His Fashion of comending them to me did well asseure me, that Sr Thomas had a singuler good relish of witty things and that his choise therin was [[xxxxx]] very good.

I like the passage in an other Letter come Roy et Gascon je ne sçauvois endurer [5] when his \other/ Mistrisse Marquise de Vernueil[6] would be peevish and out of humeur with him.

Madame Gabrielles Letter to the King pleaseth me especially.


[1] Gabrielle de’Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort and Verneuil, Marchioness of Monceaux (1573-1599).  A royal mistress, she often accompanied Henri during his campaigns, and he legitimized three of their children.  When the two were apart, Henri wrote her letters when on his sojourns at military camps.

[2] The ink is smudged at this point.

[3]   Henri IV wrote this letter to Gabrielle de’Estrées on 12 September 1598 from Fontainebleau.   See Lettres intimes de Henri IV (Paris: J. Baudry; Versailles: Cerf et Fils. 1876), 287.

[4]  Henri IV wrote this letter to Gabrielle de’Estrées on 8 May 1598 from Fontenay. See Lettres intimes de Henri IV, p. 282.

[5]  ‘As a King or a Gascon I cannot endure it’.

[6]  Catherine Henriette de Balzac d’Entragues, Marquise de Verneuil (1579-1633), the favorite mistress of Henry IV after the decease of Gabrielle d’Estreés.

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