Dangerous Liaisons —62—


AFTER HAVING ABUSED, MONSIEUR, a mother’s confidence and the innocence of a child, you will doubtless not be surprised if you are no longer received in a house where you have responded to the marks of a most sincere friendship, by a forgetfulness of all that is fitting. I prefer to beg you not to call upon me again, than to give orders at the door, which would compromise all alike, by the remarks which the lackeys would not fail to make. I have a right to hope that you will not force me to have recourse to such a means. I warn you also that if you make in future the least attempt to support my daughter in the folly into which you have beguiled her, an austere and eternal retreat shall shelter her from your pursuit. It is for you to decide, Monsieur, whether you will shrink as little from being the cause of her misery, as you have from attempting her dishonor. As for me, my choice is made, and I have acquainted her with it.

You will find enclosed the packet containing your letters. I reckon upon you to send me in return all those of my daughter, and to do your utmost to leave no trace of an incident the memory of which I could not retain without indignation, she without shame, and you without remorse.

I have the honor to be, etc.