You are a great prophetess, my dear Valentino. Your predictions are verified. Thanks to my peculiar disposition, I am already in the most deplorably false position that a reasonable mind and romantic heart could ever have contrived. With you, naturally and instinctively, I have always been sincere; indeed it would be difficult to deceive one whom I have so often seen by a single glance read the startled conscience, and lead it from the ways of insolence and shame back into the paths of rectitude. It is to you I would confide all my troubles; your counsel may save me ere it be too late. You must not think me absurd in ascribing all my unhappiness to what is popularly regarded as "a piece of good luck." Governed by my weakness, or rather by my fatal judgment, I have plighted my troth!... Good Heavens! is it really true that I am engaged to Prince de Monbert? If you knew the prince you would laugh at my sadness, and at the melancholy tone in which I announce this intelligence. Monsieur de Monbert is the most witty and agreeable man in Paris; he is noble-hearted, generous and ...in fact fascinating!... and I love him! He alone pleases me; in his absence I weary of everything; in his presence I am satisfied and happy—the hours glide away uncounted; I have perfect faith in his good heart and sound judgment, and proudly recognise his incontestable superiority—yes, I admire, respect, and, I repeat it, love him!...Yet, the promise I have made to dedicate my life to him, frightens me, and for a month I have had but one thought—to postpone this marriage I wished for—to fly from this man whom I have chosen!...I question my heart, my experience, my imagination, for an answer to this inexplicable contradiction; and to interpret so many fears, find nothing but school-girl philosophy and poetic fancies, which you will excuse because you love me, and I know my imaginary sufferings will at least awaken pity in your sympathetic breast. Yes, my dear Valentine, I am more to be pitied now, than I was in the days of my distress and desolation. I, who so courageously braved the blows of adversity, feel weak and trembling under the weight of a too brilliant fortune. This happy destiny for which I alone am responsible, alarms me more than did the bitter lot that was forced upon me one year ago. The actual trials of poverty exhaust the field of thought and prevent us from nursing imaginary cares, for when we have undergone the torture of our own forebodings, struggled with the impetuosity and agony of a nature surrendered to itself, we are disposed to look almost with relief on tangible troubles, and to end by appreciating the cares of poverty as salutary distractions from the sickly anxieties of an unemployed mind.