Letter 59

Viscount de Valmont to the Marchioness de Merteuil

Pray inform me, if you can, what is all this nonsense of Danceny. What has happened, and what has he lost? His fair one, perhaps, is angry at his constant respect; and really one would be vexed at a smaller matter. What shall I say to him tonight at the rendezvous he requested, and which I have given him at all events. I shall most certainly lose my time to attend his doleful ditty, if it does not lead us to something. Passionate complaints are supportable only in a recitative obligato, or in grand airs. Give me your directions then about this business, and what I am to do; otherwise I shall desert, to avoid the dullness I foresee. Could I have a little chat with you this morning? If you are busy, at least give me a line, and the catchword for the part I am to act.

Where was you yesterday? I can never now have the pleasure of seeing you. At this rate, it was not worth while to keep me in Paris in the month of September. Take some resolution, however; for I have just received a most pressing invitation from the Countess de B⁠⸺, to go see her in the country; and she writes very humorously, “that her husband has the finest wood in the world, which he preserves carefully for the amusement of his friends;” and you know I have some kind of right to that wood. I will go see it again, if you have no employment for me. Adieu! Remember Danceny is to be with me at four o’clock.