Dangerous Liaisons —59—


TELL ME, IF YOU know, what is the meaning of this effusion of Danceny? What has happened to him, and what has he lost? Has his fair one, perchance, grown vexed with his eternal respect? One must be just; we should be vexed for less. What am I to say to him this evening at the rendezvous which he asks of me, and which I have given him at all costs? Assuredly, I will not waste my time in listening to his complaints, if that is to lead us nowhither. Amorous complaints are not good to hear, save in a recitato obbligato or arietta. 5 Let me know then what it is, and what I have to do, or really I shall desert, to avoid the tedium which I foresee. Shall I be able to have a talk with you this morning? If you are engaged, at least send me a word, and give me the cues to my part.

Where were you yesterday, pray? I never succeed in seeing you now. Truly, it was not worth the trouble of keeping me in Paris in the month of September. Make up your mind, however, as I have just received a very pressing invitation from the Comtesse de B— to go and see her in the country; and, as she tells me, humorously enough, “her husband has the finest woodsdc in the world, which he carefully preserves for the pleasure of his friends.” Now you know I have certainly some rights over the woods in question; and I shall go and revisit them if I am of no use to you. Adieu; remember Danceny will be with me about four o’clock.