Dangerous Liaisons —29—


I TOLD YOU, SOPHIE, that there were cases in which one might write; and I assure you that I reproach myself greatly with having followed your advice, which has brought so much grief to the Chevalier Danceny and to myself. The proof that I was right is that Madame de Merteuil, who is a woman who surely knows, thinks as I do. I confessed everything to her. She talked to me at first as you did: but when I had explained all to her, she agreed that it was very different; she only asks me to show her all my letters and all those of the Chevalier Danceny, in order to make sure that I say nothing but what I should; thus, at present, I am tranquil. Heavens, how I love Madame de Merteuil! She is so good! and she is a woman very much respected. Thus, there is nothing more to be said.

How I am going to write to M. Danceny, and how pleased he will be! He will be even more so than he thinks, for hitherto I have only spoken of my friendship, and he always wanted me to tell him of my love. I think it was much the same thing; but anyhow, I did not dare, and he longed for that. I told this to Madame de Merteuil; she told me that I was right, and that one ought not to confess that one feels love, until one can no longer restrain oneself: now I am sure that I could not restrain myself any longer; after all, it is the same thing, and it will give him greater pleasure.

Madame de Merteuil told me also that she would lend me books which spoke of all that, and which would teach me to behave myself properly, and to write better than I know now: for, you see, she tells me of all my faults, which is a proof how much she likes me; she has only recommended me to say nothing to Mamma of these books, because that would seem to suggest that she has neglected my education, and that might vex her. Oh, I shall say nothing about it to her!

It is very extraordinary, however, that a woman who is scarcely related to me should take more care of me than my mother! It is very lucky for me to have known her!

She has also asked Mamma to bring me the day after tomorrow to the Opera, in her box; she has told me that we shall be quite alone there, and we are to talk all the time, without fear of being overheard: I like that much better than the opera. We shall speak also of my marriage: for she has told me that it was quite true that I was to be married ; but we have not been able to say more about it. By the way, is it not astonishing that Mamma has said nothing about it at all?

Adieu, my Sophie, I am going to write to the Chevalier Danceny. Oh! I am very happy.