Letter 53

Viscount de Valmont to the Marchioness de Merteuil

I saw Danceny, and only obtained a half-confidence from him; he is tenacious in concealing the name of the little Volanges, and spoke of her as of a very discreet person, and something inclined to devotion. As to the rest, he related his adventure with tolerable propriety, especially the last event. I heated his imagination as much as I could, and ridiculed his scrupulous delicacy; but he is still the same, and I cannot depend upon him: I shall be able to tell you more of him after tomorrow. We go tomorrow to Versailles, and shall endeavour to dive into him by the way.

The interview that was to take place today gives me some hopes: perhaps everything succeeded to our wishes; and perhaps nothing now remains but to extract the confession, and gather the proofs. This business will be easier for you to perform than me, for the little thing is more open, or, which is the same thing, more silly then her discreet lover; notwithstanding, I’ll do my best.

Adieu, my lovely friend! I have a great deal of employment on my hands. I will neither see you this night nor tomorrow: but if you come to the knowledge of anything, let me have a line at my return. I shall certainly sleep in Paris.