Document: Letter 3
Date: after 381
Addressee: Cornelius, Bishop of Comum
English Translation: FC 26.102
Summary of Contents: Friendly letter to Cornelius

The truffles you sent me are of extraordinary size, so large as to cause amazement. I had no desire to hide them, as they say, in the fold of my toga, but I preferred showing them also to others. As a result, I shared some with friends, some 1 kept for myself.

Your gift is most agreeable, but it is not weighty enough to still in me the complaints rightly caused by the fact that you never come to see me, although I have loved you so long. Take care lest later you find the growth of my distress no trifle. Growth has a double meaning: things grown may be pleasing as gifts, but growths in the body and in the affections are signs of trouble. See to it that I am not troubled by your absence. I am upset by a deep longing for you. Try, if you can, to be less pleasing to me.

I have explained my statement; I have proved my case. I have to hurl at you a well-aimed weapon, no ordinary statement. Certainly you must be alarmed, but notice that, disturbed as I am, I can jest. Hereafter, don’t make excuses, although your present excuse is a profitable one to me. Still, it looks bad for you, and it shows me in a bad light, too, when you think I have to be bribed to overlook your absence or bribed in being won back to you.

Farewell, and love us, who love you.

Translation from FC 26.102, adapted by SMT

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Last updated: 2-17-2011

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