Dangerous Liaisons —94—


I CAN GATHER NOTHING from your letter, except the pain it causes me. What has M. de Valmont written to you, then, and what can have led you to believe that I no longer loved you? That would be, perhaps, far happier for me, for I should certainly be less tormented; and it is very hard, when I love you as I do, to find that you always believe that I am wrong, and that, instead of consoling me, it is from you always that I receive the hurts which give me most pain. You believe I am deceiving you, and am telling you what is not the truth; it is a pretty notion you have of me! But, if I were to be as deceitful as you reproach me with being, what interest should I have? Assuredly, if I loved you no longer, I should only have to say so, and everybody would praise me; but unhappily it is stronger than I; and it must needs be for some one who feels no obligation to me for it at all!

What have I done, pray, to make you so vexed? I did not dare to take a key, because I was afraid that Mamma would perceive it, and that it would cause me more trouble, and you too on my account, and again because it seems to me a bad action. But it was only M. de Valmont who had spoken to me of it; I could not know whether you wished it or no, since you knew nothing about it. Now I know that you desire it, do I refuse to take this key? I will take it tomorrow; and then we shall see what more you will have to say.

It is very well for M. de Valmont to be your friend; I think I love you at least as well as he can: and yet it is always he who is right, and I am always wrong. I assure you I am very angry. That is quite the same to you, because you know that I am quickly appeased: but, now that I shall have the key, I shall be able to see you when I want to; and I assure you that I shall not want to, when you act like this. I would rather have the grief that comes from myself, than that it came from you: you see what you are ready to cause.

If you liked, how we would love each other! And, at least, we should only know the troubles that are caused us by others! I assure you that, if I were mistress, you would never have any complaint to make against me: but if you do not believe me, we shall always be very unhappy, and it will not be my fault. I hope we shall soon be able to meet, and that then we shall have no further occasion to fret as at present.

If I had been able to foresee this, I would have taken the key at once; but, truly, I thought I was doing right. Do not be angry with me then, I beg you. Do not be sad any more, and love me always as well as I love you; then I shall be quite happy. Adieu, my dear love.