Dangerous Liaisons —142—


UPON MY WORD, MY lovely friend, I know not whether I have misread or misunderstood your letter, and the story you told me, and the model little epistle which it contained. All I can tell you is that this last seemed to me original and calculated to produce an effect: so that I simply copied it, and, quite simply again, sent it to the celestial Présidente. I did not lose a moment, for the tender missive was dispatched yesterday evening. I preferred it thus, because, first, I had promised to write to her yesterday; and again, because I thought a whole night would not be too long for her to reflect and meditate upon this grand event, even though you should reproach me a second time with the expression.

I hoped to be able to send you my beloved’s reply this morning; but it is nearly noon, and I have as yet received nothing. I shall wait until five o‘clock; and, if then I have no news of her, I shall go and enquire myself; for in matters of form, above all, ’tis only the first step that is difficult.

At present, as you may well believe, I am most anxious to hear the end of the story of this man of your acquaintance, so vehemently suspected of not knowing at need how to sacrifice a woman. Did he not amend? And did not his generous friend give him her pardon?

I am no less anxious to receive your ultimatum, as you so politically say! I am curious, above all, to know if you will find love again in this last proceeding. Ah, no doubt, there is, and much of it! But for whom? Still, I make no pretensions, and I expect everything from your charity.

Adieu, my charming friend; I shall not seal this letter until two o’clock, in the hope of being able to enclose the expected reply.

At two o’clock in the afternoon.

Still nothing; I am in a mighty hurry; I have not time to add a word: but this time, will you still refuse the tenderest kisses of love?