Letters of Two Brides/Chapter XIV

Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac


MY DEAR BROTHER,—You did not make me Duc de Soria in order that my actions should belie the name. How could I tolerate my happiness if I knew you to be a wanderer, deprived of the comforts which wealth everywhere commands? Neither Marie nor I will consent to marry till we hear that you have accepted the money which Urraca will hand over to you. These two millions are the fruit of your own savings and Marie's.

We have both prayed, kneeling before the same altar—and with what earnestness, God knows!—for your happiness. My dear brother, it cannot be that these prayers will remain unanswered. Heaven will send you the love which you seek, to be the consolation of your exile. Marie read your letter with tears, and is full of admiration for you. As for me, I consent, not for my own sake, but for that of the family. The King justified your expectations. Oh! that I might avenge you by letting him see himself, dwarfed before the scorn with which you flung him his toy, as you might toss a tiger its food.

The only thing I have taken for myself, dear brother, is my happiness. I have taken Marie. For this I shall always be beholden to you, as the creature to the Creator. There will be in my life and in Marie's one day not less glorious than our wedding day—it will be the day when we hear that your heart has found its mate, that a woman loves you as you ought to be, and would be, loved. Do not forget that if you live for us, we also live for you.

You can write to us with perfect confidence under cover to the Nuncio, sending your letters via Rome. The French ambassador at Rome will, no doubt, undertake to forward them to Monsignore Bemboni, at the State Secretary's office, whom our legate will have advised. No other way would be safe. Farewell, dear exile, dear despoiled one. Be proud at least of the happiness which you have brought to us, if you cannot be happy in it. God will doubtless hear our prayers, which are full of your name.