Eugene’s letter to Fr. Jeancard continues on the question of his not being happy to have been assigned to Aix.
Apart from all these supernatural considerations, which yet have their weight, one should know humanly speaking how to behave oneself and make virtue out of necessity. That is what all people of good sense do.
Then with a touch of humor he writes:
I have seen soldiers who would not be keen on going to Algeria but they went as calmly as the others. A stay at Aix is not as torrid as in Africa and one is not exposed to cannon shot.
He then encourages Jeancard to make the best of the situation by using all his many talents for the mission entrusted to him.
Seriously one cannot commiserate easily with the fate of him who is wherever duty keeps him.
So, dear friend, seeing that I cannot do other than leave you there, be intent on busying yourself with tasks that are in conformity with your vocation. Do not waste time gazing at the moon [ed. “à bailler aux corneilles”]. Work, you have too much talent not to be gravely responsible for any inaction which nothing can justify in my eyes. Now that you are sufficiently refreshed by the little outing you have just had, get to work as if short of time, as indeed we are in this fleeting life, in the short span of which we have to fulfil our mission
Letter to Jacques Jeancard, 4 June 1830, EO VII n 346