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LETTER LVIII

To the Duchess of Lorraine

I thank God for your pious goodwill which I know that you have towards Him and His servants. For whenever the tiniest little spark of heavenly love is kindled in a worldly heart ennobled with earthly honours, that, without doubt, is God’s gift, not man’s 236virtue. For our part we are very glad to avail ourselves of the kind offers made to us of your bounty in your letter. But having heard of the sudden and serious stress of business, which, of course, must be delaying you at this time, we think it meet to await your opportunity as it shall please you. For, as far as in me lies, I would riot be a burden to any one, particularly in things pertaining to God, where we ought to seek not so much the profit of the gift as advantage abounding to the giver. And so, if you please, name a day and place in your answer by this messenger, when, by God’s help, having brought to an end the business which now occupies, you will be able to approach these regions, where our brother Wido8989    I think this is Wido [or Guy?], Abbot of Trois Fontaines, who frequently went to Lorraine. Cf. 63, 69. will meet you, so that if he finds anything in your country profitable for our Order you may fulfil your promise with greater ease and speed. For God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. ix. 7). Otherwise, if perchance the delay please you not, let me know this also: for in this matter I am ready, as reason allows, to obey your wishes. I salute the Duke, your husband, through your mouth, and I venture to urge him and you both, if you know that the castle for which you are going to war does not belong to your rightful domain, for the love of God to let it alone. For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (S. Matt. xvi. 26).


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