Letter 143

The Presidente de Tourvel to Madame de Rosemonde

The veil is rent, Madam, on which was painted my illusory happiness⁠—The fatal truth is cleared, that leaves me no prospect but an assured and speedy death; and my road is traced between shame and remorse. I will follow it⁠—I will cherish my torments if they will shorten my existence⁠—I send you the letter I received yesterday; it needs no reflections; it contains them all⁠—This is not a time for lamentation⁠—nothing remains but sufferings⁠—I want not pity, I want strength.

Receive, Madame, the only adieu I shall make, and grant my last request: leave me to my fate⁠—forget me totally⁠—do not reckon me among the living. There is a limit in misery, when even friendship augments our sufferings and cannot cure them⁠—When wounds are mortal, all relief is cruel. Every sentiment but despair is foreign to my soul⁠—nothing can now suit me, but the darkness where I am going to bury my shame⁠—There will I weep crimes, if I yet can weep; for since yesterday I have not shed a tear⁠—my withered heart no longer furnishes any.

Adieu, Madame! Do not reply to this⁠—I have taken a solemn oath on this letter never to receive another.