At last, Marquis, you are listened to dispassionately when you protest your love, and swear by everything lovers hold sacred that you will always love. Will you believe my predictions another time? However, you would be better treated if you were more reasonable, so you are told, and limit your sentiments to simple friendship. The name of lover assumed by you is revolting to the Countess. You should never quarrel over quality, when it is the same under any name, and follow the advice Madame de la Sablière gives you in the following madrigal:
Bélise ne veut point
Bélise for a lover sighed
But you are grieved by
the injurious doubts cast upon your sincerity and constancy.
You are disbelieved because all men are false and perjured, and
because they are inconstant, love is withheld. How fortunate
you are! How little the Countess knows her own heart, if she
expects to persuade you of her indifference in that fashion!
Do you wish me to place a true value on the talk she is giving you?
She is very much affected by the passion you exhibit for her, but
the warnings and sorrows of her friends have convinced her that
the protestations of men are generally false. I do not conceive
any injustice in this, for I, who do not flatter men willingly,
am persuaded that they are usually sincere on such occasions.
They become amorous of a woman; that is they experience the desire
of possession. The enchanting image of that possession bewitches
them; they calculate that the delights connected with it will never
end; they do not imagine that the fire, which consumes them, can
ever weaken or die out; such a thing seems impossible to them.
Hence they swear with the best faith in the world to love us always;
and to cast a doubt upon their sincerity would be inflicting a mortal
“I can imagine all the delights of love. The idea I have formed of it is, quite seductive. Do you think that deep in my heart I desire to enjoy its charms less than you? But the more its image is ravishing to my imagination, the more I fear it is not real, and I refuse to yield to it lest my happiness be too soon destroyed. Ah, if I could only hope that my happiness might endure, how feeble would be my resistance? But will you not abuse my credulity? Will you not some day punish me for having had too much confidence in you? At least is that day very far off? Ah, if I could hope to gather perpetually the fruits of the sacrifice I am making of my repose for your sake, I confess it frankly, we would soon be in accord.”