Excerpts from the letters between Francesco Algarotti (1712-1764) & lord John Hervey (1696-1743) [1737]

Transcription by Rictor Norton

17: Pippo confessò, pentito, di avere sodomizzato un ebreo cane, ma il confessore non volle assolverlo. Il peccato rimane?

Excerpts from the letters between Francesco Algarotti (1712-1764) & lord John Hervey (1696-1743) [1737]

From: Robert Halsband, Lord Hervey: Eighteenth-Century Courtier, Clarendon Press, Oxford: 1973.

Hervey to Algarotti (in French):
(Halsband p. 199)

In any case, if you stay or if you go, do not forget me, my dear, for I will never forget you all my life ... you are too clear-sighted to have any need of instruction in things less obvious than the affection I feel for you, & I will not say more than you know, but much less than I feel, when I assure you simply that at present the thing in the world that I wish most for is to be able to keep you in England for the rest of your life, with the same advantage & pleasure to you that I would find here myself.

Hervey to Algarotti(in English)
(Halsband p. 200)

"I cannot say anything, however, on this Subject [i.e. Algarotti's departure from London, editor's note] but what you already know, that is to say that I love you with all my Heart, & I beg you never to forget the affection I have for you, nor to let the affection you have expressed for me grow weaker.

Lady Mary to Algarotti (in English):
(Halsband p. 200)

I am a thousand times more to be pitied than the sad Dido, and I have a thousand more reasons to kill myself. ... instead of crying perjurer and villain when my little Aeneas shows that he wants to leave me, I consent to it through a feeling of Generosity that Virgil did not think women capable of. ... I haven't the vanity to dare hope I please you; I have no purpose except to satisfy myself by telling you that I love you ... My reason makes me see all its absurdity, and my Heart makes me feel all its importance. Feeble Reason! which battles with my passion and does not destroy it and which vainly makes me see all the folly of loving to the degree that I love without hope of return.

Hervey to Algarotti (in English)
(Halsband p 201)

Adieu. Preserve me in your esteem. I love you too much, my dear, not to strive all my life to deserve it ... I wish you were here every day & almost every moment.

Hervey to Algarotti (in English)
(Halsband p. 202)

You cannot imagine how often I think of you, how often I take Occasion to speak of you, with how much regret I think of your Absence, & with how steady an affection & perpetual admiration I remember every mark of Partiality you express'd towards me. ... If a Place in my Heart is what you think worth preserving, you need be in no Pain about losing it.

Hervey to Algarotti, July 1737:
(Halsband p. 223)

I can never forget one of the most agreable Incidents of my Life ... I really think of you very often, & in a manner I think of few People. ... I enquire often of Lady Mary what she knows of You. Sometimes she says she hears from you, sometimes that she does not; which is true I know not, & wish it was less true that I can not help continuing to desire what I have so little Reason to expect, which is a Resurrection in your Remembrance & a Restoration to the little tenement I once flatter'd my-self I possess'd in your Heart.

Two months later:
(Halsband p 223)

the best Companion I ever met with. ... Adio Carissimo.


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