Dangerous Liaisons —156—


How is IT, MY dear friend, that I see you no longer, when I never cease to desire it? Do you no longer care so much about it as I do? Ah, nowadays I am very sad indeed! Sadder even than when we were entirely separated. The pain I once had through others comes now from you, and that hurts far more.

You know quite well that it is some days since Mamma has been away from home, and I hoped you would try and profit by this time of freedom: but you do not even think of me; I am very unhappy! You told me so often that my love was less than yours! I knew the contrary, and here is the proof. If you had come to see me, you would have seen me indeed: for I am not like you; I only think of what will reunite us. If you had your deserts, I would not say anything of all I have done for that, and of the trouble it has given me: but I love you too well, and I wish so much to see you that I cannot refrain from telling you. And then, I shall soon see afterward if you really love me!

I have managed so well, that the porter is in our interests, and has promised me that, whenever you came, he would let you in, as though he did not see you; and we can depend upon him, for he is a very obliging man. It is only a question, then, of keeping out of sight in the house; and that is very easy, if you come at night, when there is nothing at all to fear. For instance, since Mamma has been going out every day, she goes to bed every night at eleven o’clock; so that we should have plenty of time.

The porter told me that, if you should come like that, instead of knocking on the gate, you would only have to knock at his window, and he would open at once to you; and then, you will easily find the back staircase; and, as you will not be able to have a light, I will leave the door of my room ajar, which will always give you a little light. You must take great care not to make any noise, especially in passing Mamma’s back door. As for my maid’s, that is no matter, as she has promised me not to awake; she is a very good girl, too! And to leave, it will be just the same. Now we shall see if you will come.

Ah God, why does my heart beat so fast while I write to you? Is some misfortune going to come to me, or is it the hope of seeing you which troubles me like this? What I feel most is that I have never loved you so much, and have never longed so much to tell you so. Come then, my friend, my dear friend, that I may be able to repeat to you a hundred times that I love you, that I adore you, that I shall never love anyone but you.

I have found the means of informing M. de Valmont that I had something to say to him; and, as he is a very good friend, he is sure to come tomorrow, and I will beg him to give you this letter immediately. So that I shall expect you tomorrow night, and you will come without fail, if you would not make your Cécile very unhappy.

Adieu, my dear friend; I embrace you with all my heart.