Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/100

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resisting your love that I have for rejecting that of the margrave."

"I am afraid that they are the same."

"Perhaps, but, where you are concerned, a woman's resistance just fades away."

"Swear it to me," said Dourlach, throwing himself on his knees at Adelaide's feet.

"Do you expect me to take it upon myself to make oaths for the woman you love?"

"I would be so much happier to have you love me than the other."

"And suppose I loved you more than the other?"

"In that case, you may be sure that I would be unfaithful to her."

"If you are untrue to me in that way, I will forgive you."

"Ah, Milady," cried Dourlach, "you make me the happiest of men."

"And what did I promise?"

"Please don't be so severe, after such a sweet moment of surrender. Please accept, Milady, the purest homage of my heart."

"But where will all this take us? Are we not both chained, you by your devotion and duty and I by brute force?"

"All these bonds can be broken by our love. I can admire the margrave without passing my life near him, and with my help, you can leave at any time."

"But how can you continue to serve the margrave and yet take away from him the one he loves?"

"The measure of a man's love is what he would give up for his beloved. For you, my life, even my very soul, I would willingly sacrifice, and count all well lost."

"But first of all be careful. I do not reject your sentiments completely, but many things have to happen before I can share them. Let's break off for today a conversation which if kept up much longer might hurt both of us. Let's keep all this enveloped in the shadows of mystery and postpone until a happier time the continuation of this conversation."