Letter 31

Chevalier Danceny to Cecilia Volanges

Yes, certainly, we shall be very happy. My happiness is secure, since I am beloved by you. Yours will never end, if it lasts as long as my love. And do you love me, and no longer dread telling me so? The oftener you tell me so, the more happy you feel. After having read the enchanting I love you, wrote with your hand, I heard your lovely mouth repeat the avowal. I figured to me those charming eyes, rendered still more so by the expression of tenderness fixed on me. I have received your vows to live for me alone. Oh receive mine, to devote my life to your happiness, and be assured I never will deceive you!

What a happy day was yesterday! Why has not Madame de Merteuil always secrets to impart to your Mamma? Why must the idea of the restraint that attends us, be mixed with the delicious remembrance that fills my soul? Why can’t I forever squeeze that lovely hand, that wrote I love you, imprint it with my kisses, and be thus revenged for your refusal of a greater favour?

Tell me, then, my Cecilia, when your Mamma came back, when, by her presence, we were constrained to behave with indifference to each other, when you could no longer console me by assurances of love, for the refusal of proof, did not you feel some sorrow? did not you say to yourself, one kiss would have made him completely happy, and refused it? Promise me, my lovely charmer, that you’ll be not so rigorous the first opportunity. Such a promise will enable me to bear up against the disappointments that I foresee are preparing for us, and the crosses I shall meet, will at least be softened by the certainty that you share them.

Adieu, my adorable Cecilia! The hour is come that I am to be with you. It would be impossible for me to leave off, if it was not to go to you. Adieu, once more, my dearest love!