Letter 94

Cecilia Volanges to the Chevalier Danceny

I cannot conceive a word of your letter,⁠—⁠it gives me much uneasiness. What, then, has M. de Valmont wrote to you? Can you think I no longer love you? Perhaps it would be much better for me if it was otherwise, for I should not be so tormented as I am; it is really hard, that, loving as I do, you should always think me wrong; and instead of receiving consolation in my afflictions, the cause of all my troubles should proceed from you. You imagine I deceive and misrepresent matters to you. Upon my word you have a good opinion of me: But even suppose it the case, what would it avail me? Certainly, if I ceased loving you, all my friends would be glad of it; but it is my misfortune I cannot, and must love a man who is not in the least obliged to me.

What have I done, then, to put you so much out of temper? I was afraid to take a key, lest my mama should discover it, and bring more trouble on you and me; moreover, I did not think it right. How did I know whether I was acting right or wrong, as you knew nothing of the matter, and it was Mr. Valmont only that mentioned it? Now that I know you would wish me to do it, I will take it tomorrow; then, I suppose, you will be satisfied⁠—Mr. de Valmont may be your friend, for ought I know, but I think I love you as well as he does, at least; and yet he is always right, and I am wrong.⁠—I assure you, I am very angry; however, that gives you no great uneasiness, as you know I am soon pacified: when I have the key, I can see you whenever I please: if you behave in this manner, though, I will not wish for it; I can better bear my own troubles than those you bring on me.

We might be happy still, only for the little disagreeable occurrences thrown in our way; if I was my own mistress, you would have no reason to complain: But, if you will not believe me, we shall always be very miserable; yet it shall not be my fault. I hope we shall soon see each other, and then shall have no reason to be so tormented as we are now.

Could I have foreseen all this, the key should have been in my possession; but, indeed, I thought I was doing right. Do not be angry with me, I beg of you. Don’t afflict yourself any more, and love me as much as I love you; then I shall be happy. Adieu, my dear friend.