To Ermengarde, Formerly Countess of Brittany
He gently, and tenderly assures her that he has for her all the sentiments of pure and religious affection.
To his beloved daughter in Christ, Ermengarde, once the most noble Countess, now the humble handmaid of Christ, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, offers the pious affection of holy love.
Would that, as I now open this page before me, so I could open my mind to you! Oh! that you could read in my heart what God has deigned to write there with His own finger concerning my affection for you! Then, indeed, you might. understand, how no tongue or pen can suffice to express, what the spirit of God hath been able to impress on my inmost heart! And even now I am, present: with you in the spirit, though absent in the body. It is neither in your power nor mine to be in the presence of the other. Yet you have with you the means whereby you may not yet know, but at any rate guess what I mean. Within your own heart. behold mine; and ascribe to me as great affection toward you as you know to be in yourself towards me. Yet do not think that you have more for me than I for you; nor have a better opinion of your own heart than of mine, in respect of affection. Besides, you are too humble and modest not to believe that He who has brought you so to love me and to follow my counsel for your salvation has inspired me also with feelings of affectionate concern for you. So you are thinking how you may keep me with you; and I; to confess the truth, am nowhere without you or away from you. I was anxious to write this short note to you about my journey while on the way, hoping to send you a longer one when I have more leisure, if God will.