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Dangerous Liaisons

Pierre Ambroise Laclos

Part Two, Exchange Eight: Letters 76–87

Part Two, Exchange Seven: Letters 64–75

Part Two, Exchange Eight: Letters 76–87, page 2

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Summary

Valmont spends most of Letter Seventy-six complaining about Prévan's hold over the Marquise de Merteuil and the rest of the women in the social circles of Paris. He also relates his recent arrival to the estate of Madame de Rosemonde, how the Présidente de Tourvel had to hide her excitement, and how he has already started aiding Cécile and Danceny with their romance.

Valmont next writes to Tourvel (Letter Seventy-seven), as usual demanding the reasons for her continuing cruel treatment of him, especially since she has just pledged her friendship to him. Does she want him to deceive her, he asks. If he were to stop writing to her of his love it would only be a lie.

Tourvel replies to Valmont (Letter Seventy-eight) to beg him to accept her professed indifference toward him as what it is: indifference.

In letter seventy-nine Valmont has an important story to tell the Marquise de Merteuil. Prévan's reputation in society was made by a triple seduction he performed on three inseparable female friends. This affair culminated in the ruin of all three of their reputations. Valmont intends this as a serious warning to the Marquise, if she intends to continue her own relationship with Prévan.

Letter Eighty is a new expression of the Chevalier Danceny's grief at being separated so long from Cécile.

Letter Eighty-one is a remarkable account by the Marquise de Merteuil of how she became the woman she is. She claims to have created herself. This comes in response to Valmont's worries or assumptions that she would not be able to take care of herself when it came to Prévan.

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