Letter 160

Madame de Volanges to Madame de Rosemonde

I write this from the chamber of your unhappy friend, whose state is pretty much the same: there is to be a consultation held this afternoon, of four physicians⁠—I need not tell you this resource is oftener a proof of the danger than the means of relief.

However, it seems her head is something better since last night⁠—her waiting maid told me this morning, her mistress ordered her to be called about twelve: she desired they should be left alone, and dictated a pretty long letter⁠—Julie adds, while she was folding it, Madame Tourvel was attacked with her delirium, so that the girl did not know who to direct it to. I was at first surprised the letter itself was not sufficient to inform her; but telling me she was afraid of committing a mistake, and that her mistress had ordered her to send it away immediately, I took it upon me to open it.

There I found the enclosed writing, which is certainly not addressed to anybody, being addressed to too many⁠—Yet, I believe, our unhappy friend at first intended it for M. de Valmont, but gave way imperceptibly, to her disordered ideas. However, I thought it ought not to be sent to anyone⁠—I send it you, as you will see better than I can tell you, the thoughts that engage the head of our patient. Whilst she continues so intensely affected, I shall have very little hopes⁠—the body seldom recovers when the mind is so agitated.

Adieu, my dear and worthy friend! I am happy you are far from the dismal spectacle I have incessantly before my eyes.