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Epistle XLIX.

To Leander, Bishop.

Gregory to Leander, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville).

With what ardour I am athirst to see thee thou readest in the tables of thine own heart, since thou lovest me exceedingly.  But since I cannot see thee, separated as thou art from me by long tracts of country, I have done what charity towards thee dictated, namely to transmit to thy Holiness, on the arrival here of our common son Probinus the presbyter, the book of Pastoral Rule, which I wrote at the commencement of my episcopate, and the books which thou knewest I had already composed on the exposition of the blessed Job.  Some sheets indeed of the third and fourth parts of that work I have not sent to thy Charity, having already given those sheets only of the said parts to monasteries.  These, then, which I send let thy Holiness earnestly peruse, and more earnestly deplore my sins, lest it be to my more serious blame that I am seen as it were to know what I omit to do.  But with how great tumults of business I am oppressed in this Church the very brevity of my epistle will signify to thy Charity, seeing that I say so little to him whom more than all I love.

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