Letter 154

Madame de Volanges to Madame de Rosemonde

The journal will inform you much better than I can, my dear friend, the melancholy state of our patient. Totally employed in my attendance on her, I have scarce time to write to you, as there are other matters to be attended to as well as her disorder. Here is a specimen of one which most certainly I did not in the least expect. I have received a letter from M. de Valmont, who has been pleased to choose me for a confidant, and even his mediatrix with Madame de Tourvel, to whom he wrote under my cover. I returned the one when I answered the other. I transmit you my answer; and I believe you will be of my opinion, that I neither could or ought to have anything to do with what he requests. Had I been even inclined to it, our unhappy friend was unable to understand me. Her frenzy is incessant. But what do you think of M. de Valmont’s distraction? Is it real, or does he mean to deceive the world to the last?33

If he is sincere this time, he may well say, he has made himself happy. I believe he will not be well pleased with my answer: but, I own, everything that fixes my attention on this unhappy adventure, raises my resentment more and more against the author of it.

Adieu, my dear friend! I must return to my melancholy employment, which becomes more so, by the small prospect there is of success. I need not repeat my sentiments for you.