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The Letter to Jean Morel

Translation by E.Leoni


This Saturday, the 29th of November, 1561, I received your letters sent from Paris the 12th of October of this year. I seem to note that your letters are full of the offense, quarrel and indignation that you have against me for I know not what reason.

You complain that when I was in Paris and went off to pay reverence to Her Majesty the Queen, you lent me two rose nobles and twelve crowns, which is just, fair and true, and with that you state what was so and remains perpetually so, that I did not know you nor you me, other than by reputation.

I would have you understand. Sir, that immediately after I had arrived at the court and had spoken for a short time to Her Majesty the Queen, I especially mentioned to her the nobility and more than imperial liberality with which you had made me the loan. And this was not the only time that I spoke to her about this matter; I assure you that it was mentioned again on four later occasions. I am grieved that you hold such a poor opinion of me as to think I am so ignorant as not to know that benefits unwisely conferred are considered misdeeds.

But from your letter I recognize that you are speaking in anger and indignation and, so it seems to me, without knowing much about me.

Now with regard to what you say you have sent me through a certain captain from Aix. Rest assured. Sir, that I have never received any letter from you other than this one, that I firmly believed that as a result of what I had said to Her Majesty the Queen you had been satisfied. But with trifles, etc.

But to come to the point. It is just and very reasonable that you be satisfied. You must understand that in this matter and in all others I stand as a man of good character not only towards you but also towards all others. As indeed you showed yourself to be truly noble and heroic.

I thought my going to the court was by command. But there were also counterorders from others not to go there at all, and this was not without asking you and satisfying you fully.

Recently, there was with Monsieur ie Baron de la Garde a young gentleman page who professed to be your stepson, so that I often spoke to him and asked him for news of you, in order to be fully satisfied about everything.

But of this matter he never spoke to me, although very often I mentioned it to him.

With regard to what you wrote, that I left Paris snubbing my friend, rest assured that, though you may be pleased thus to write, I did not think in that fashion, that it is not in my nature, that I do not know how to insult, nor of insult, and that such imperfections are not mine and do not belong to me but are quite alien to my nature, quality and condition.

As a matter of fact, as a fine reward for having gone to court, I became sick, whereupon His Majesty the King sent me one hundred crowns. The Queen sent me thirty. There you have a fine sum for having come two hundred leagues: having spent a hundred crowns, I made thirty crowns out of it.

But that's beside the point. After I had returned to Paris from Saint-Germain, a very striking great lady, whose identity I do not know, but who by her appearance seemed to be a very virtuous and honorable lady, came to see me the night I returned and spoke to me for some time, I couldn't say of what, and took leave quite late.

The next morning she came to see me again. After Her Ladyship had conversed with me about her affairs with more intimacy than before, she finally told me that the Gentlemen from the Justice of Paris intended to find me in order to question me about the science of which I made use and how I predicted what I did. I told her by way of reply that they need not take the trouble to come on such a mission, that I would save them the trouble and that I had planned to leave the next morning for return to Provence, which indeed I did.

That this would disappoint you did not occur to me at the time at all. But although you can have as poor an opinion of me as you please, I am certain you will know it soon. And I am very sorry that you did not write to me sooner so that you might have been given satisfaction sooner. And I tell you that though I see you only by letter and do not cultivate your acquaintance, yet when I shut my eyes I recall your physical appearance, your singular honesty, goodness, faith, probity, learning and erudition.

But you will consider that all these words that I write you I consider sufficient to satisfy you. Not so. I send you herewith two little notes. If it will please you to make use of them, I feel sure that as soon as you will have delivered them your money will be delivered to you promptly. One is to Mademoiselle de Saint-Remy and the other to Monsieur de Fizes. And I beg that you will not hesitate to deliver them. For I will expect word from both of having received them, so that there will be no mistake. And there are several others in Paris and at the court who would not refuse me a much greater sum.

If ill any way in the world I can be of service to you, I beseech you very emphatically that you will be pleased to make use of me, whether it be for yourself or for any of your friends. You may rest assured that you can rely on me as much as on any man in this world.

And were it not for the tumults which take place daily because of religion, I would be on the road, and this would not take place without my inquiring of you fully.

I await your letters most anxiously, being certain your reply will tell me you are satisfied. I hope to go to court both to set my son Caesar Nostradamus at his studies and to satisfy several personages who beg me to come there, which I will do.

However, I beg you to write me your news as soon as possible. And I will not fail to employ in your favor all the services of which I am capable and demonstrate more fully by deed how affectionately I recommend myself, Monsieur de Morel, to your good grace.

Begging God that he give you health, long life, increase of honor and the fruition of your noble and heroic virtue, From Salon de Craux in Provence this last day of October [sic!], 1561, Your humble and obedient servant, ready

to obey you, M. Nostradamus

P. S. Sir, I send you the two [notes], although I am sure that, upon your first demand with the first one, you will not fail to be appropriately satisfied.

Write to me as fully as it may please you. Your humble and obedient servant

ready to obey you M. Nostradamus

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