Letter 164

Madame de Rosemonde to M. Bertrand

I this instant received your letter, my dear Bertrand, informing me of the shocking event, to which my nephew is become the unhappy victim⁠—yes, undoubtedly, I shall have orders to give you; and it is they only can take off my thoughts a while from this afflicting intelligence.

M. Danceny’s challenge, which you sent me, is a convincing proof he was the aggressor; my intention therefore is, you should commence a prosecution in my name: for although my nephew, in compliance with his natural generosity, may have pardoned his enemy, his murderer, I ought to avenge at once his death, religion, and humanity. One cannot excite too much the severity of the laws against those remains of barbarism which still infect our morals; and I do not believe, in such cases, the forgiveness of injuries can be commanded us; therefore I expect you will prosecute this business with all that zeal and activity of which I know you so capable, and which you owe to my nephew’s memory.

But first, take care to confer with M. the President ⸻ from me. I do not write to him, as I am so overwhelmed with grief. You will, therefore, apologise for me, and communicate this to him.

Adieu, my dear Bertrand! I am well pleased with your conduct, and thank you for your good inclinations, and am your sincere friend.