Dangerous Liaisons —154—


THE BULLETINS WILL INFORM you better than I can do, my dear friend, of the grievous state of our patient. Utterly absorbed, as I am, in my care of her, I only snatch from it the time to write to you, when there are any incidents to relate, other than those of the malady. Here is one, for which I was certainly unprepared. It is a letter which I have received from M. de Valmont, who has been pleased to choose me as his confidant, or rather as his mediator with Madame de Tourvel, for whom he has also enclosed a letter in mine. I have sent back the one, and replied to the other. The latter I forward to you, and I think you will judge, like myself, that I could not and ought not to have complied with his request. Even had I been willing, our unfortunate friend would not have been in a condition to understand me. Her delirium is continuous. But what do you think of this despair of M. de Valmont? First, is one to believe in it, or does he but wish to deceive everybody, to the very end?jl If, for once, he is sincere, he may well say that he has been himself the cause of his own misfortune. I expect he will be hardly pleased with my answer; but I confess that all I see of this unhappy adventure excites me more and more against its author.

Adieu, my dear friend; I am going to resume my sad task, which becomes even more so from the scant hope I feel of seeing it succeed. You know my sentiments toward you.