Dangerous Liaisons —164—


I HAVE THIS MOMENT received your letter, my dear Bertrand, and learn from it the fearful event of which my nephew has been the unhappy victim. Yes, I shall doubtless have orders to give you, and it is only on account of them that I can occupy myself with anything else than my mortal affliction.

The letter of M. Danceny, which you have sent me, is a very convincing proof that it was he who provoked the duel, and it is my intention that you should immediately lodge a complaint, and in my name. My nephew may have satisfied his natural generosity in pardoning his enemy and murderer; but it is my duty to avenge, at the same time, his death, humanity and religion. One cannot be too eager to invoke the severity of the law against this remnant of barbarism, which still stains our manners;jt and I do not believe that this is a case in which we are required to pardon injuries. I expect you, then, to pursue this matter with all the zeal and activity of which I know you to be capable, and which you owe to my nephew’s memory.

You will be sure, before all, to see M. le President de — on my behalf, and confer with him on the subject. I have not written to him, eager as I am to be left quite alone with my sorrow. You will convey him my excuses, and communicate this letter to him.

Adieu, my dear Bertrand; I praise and thank you for your kind sentiments, and am, for life, entirely yours.