Dangerous Liaisons —49—


WITHOUT BEING EITHER FALSE or frivolous, Monsieur, it is enough for me to be enlightened as to my conduct, to feel the necessity of altering it; I have promised this sacrifice to God, until such a time when I can offer Him also that of my sentiments toward you, which are rendered even more criminal by the religious character of your estate. I feel certain that it will only bring me sorrow, and I will not even hide from you that, since the day before yesterday, I have wept every time I have thought of you. But I hope that God will do me the grace of giving me the needful strength to forget you, as I ask of Him morning and evening. I expect also of your friendship and of your honor that you will not seek to shake me in the good resolution which has been inspired in me, and in which I strive to maintain myself. In consequence, I beg you to have the kindness to write no more to me, the more so as I warn you that I should no longer reply to you, and that you would compel me to acquaint Mamma with all that has passed; and that would deprive me entirely of the pleasure of seeing you.

I shall, nonetheless, retain for you all the attachment which one may have without there being harm in it; and it is indeed with all my soul that I wish you every kind of happiness. I quite feel that you will no longer love me as much as you did, and that, perhaps, you will soon love another better than me. But that will be one penance the more for the fault which I have committed in giving you my heart, which I ought to give only to God and my husband when I have one. I hope that the Divine mercy will take pity on my weakness, and that it will give me no more sorrow than I am able to support.

Adieu, Monsieur; I can truly assure you that, if I were permitted to love anybody, I should never love anybody but you. But that is all I may say to you; and perhaps even that is more than I ought to say.