Dangerous Liaisons —75—


[N.B. In this letter, Cécile Volanges relates with the utmost detail all

that concerns her in the events which the Reader already knows from

the conclusion of the fifty-ninth and following letters. It seemed as

well to suppress this repetition. She finally speaks of the Vicomte de

Valmont, and expresses herself thus:]

… I ASSURE YOU THAT he is a most remarkable man. Mamma speaks mighty ill of him, but the Chevalier Danceny says much in his favor, and I think that he is right. I have never seen a man so clever. When he gave me Danceny’s letter, it was in the midst of all the company, and nobody saw anything of it: it is true I was terribly frightened, because I had not expected anything; but now I shall be prepared. I have already quite understood what he wants me to do when I give him my answer. It is very easy to understand him, because he has a look which says anything he wants. I don’t know how he does it: he told me in his note that he would appear not to take any notice of me before Mamma; indeed, one would say, all the time, that he never thinks of me, and yet, every time I seek his eyes, I am sure to meet them at once.

There is a great friend of Mamma’s here, whom I did not know, who also has the air of not loving M. de Valmont too well, although he is full of attentions for her. I am afraid that he will bore himself soon with the life one leads here, and go back to Paris; that would be very vexing. He must indeed have a good heart to have come on purpose to do a service to his friend and me. I should much like to show my gratitude to him, but I do not know how to get speech with him; and when I find the occasion, I should be so ashamed that, perhaps, I should not know what to say to him.

It is only to Madame de Merteuil that I talk freely, when I speak of my love. Perhaps, even with you, to whom I tell everything, I should feel embarrassed if we were talking. With Danceny himself, I have often felt, as though in spite of myself, a certain alarm which prevented me from telling him all that I thought. I reproach myself greatly for this now, and I would give everything in the world to find a moment to tell him once, only once, how much I love him. M. de Valmont promised him that, if I would be guided by him, he would contrive an opportunity for us to see one another again. I will certainly do everything he wants; but I cannot conceive how it is possible. Adieu, my dear friend; I have no more room left.dz