In Letter Eighty-two, Cécile worries that because it has become so painful for Danceny to be in love with her, he will stop loving her.

Valmont continues to try to corner Merteuil in Letter Eighty-three.

Valmont also writes to Cécile (Letter Eighty-four) to apologize for the difficulty he has had recently getting Danceny's correspondence to her. He explains that it will be easier for him to bring her the Chevalier's mail if she gets him the key to her room.

Merteuil has conquered her Prévan. She informs Valmont (Letter Eighty- five) that by convincing Prévan that he had defeated her, she was able to convince him to come to her bedroom. Once he was there with his pants down, she cried rape and summoned all the servants. Prévan was ruined. To her own letter she attaches a note from the Maréchale de __ expressing her shock at what Prévan did.

The Marquise also relates the incident to Madame Volanges (Letter Eighty-seven), but in terms more appropriate for company.


At long last Valmont (Letter Seventy-six) lets the reader gauge how much love, in his society, is really a game. Valmont's descriptions of affairs are in terms of triumphs, defeats, and episodes of love, as if this were some kind of soap opera. Prévan's genius, and, therefore, his danger, lies in his ability to convince women to admit their defeat in love to him in public. Perhaps in describing this talent of Prévan's, the Vicomte brings to light a little more information about his society than seems to be fashionable—this is to say, usually these kinds of things go without saying. Prévan has found a way to make women say what normally they would refuse to, meaning that he has found a way of overcoming, not only feminine wiles, but normal social conventions. Anyone who can flout the laws of society is a force to be reckoned with, "a menace to society."