While reading a volume of The Story of Civilization by Durant, I’ve spent the last week reading about the life of Voltaire. I came across a lovely poem he wrote to his best friend Lefèvre de Genonville, and Voltaire’s mistress Suzanne de Livry, who fell into each other’s arms shortly after Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille. As you can see, he was quite willing to forgive.
He remembers you, and the lovely Egeria (Suzanne),
In the fair days of our life,
When we loved one another, all three.
Reason, folly, love, the enchantment of tender errors,
All bound our three hearts in one.
How happy we were then!
Even poverty, that sad companion of happy days,
Could not poison the stream of our joy.
Young, gay, content, without care,
Without a thought for the future,
Limiting all our desires to our present delights—
What need had we of useless abundance?
We had something far greater; we had happiness.