Marquise De Merteuil: You'll find the shame is like the pain, you only feel it once.
Vicomte de Valmont: And it's not that I want to have you. All I want is to deserve you.
Marquise De Merteuil: Adopt a less marital tone.
Vicomte de Valmont: You see, I have no plans to break down her morals. I WANT her to believe in love and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the pleasure of watching her betray everything that is important to her.
Marquise De Merteuil: When I came out into society I was 15. I already knew then that the role I was condemned to, namely to keep quiet and do what I was told, gave me the perfect opportunity to listen and observe. Not to what people told me, which naturally was of no interest to me, but to whatever it was they were trying to hide. I practiced detachment. I learn how to look cheerful while under the table I stuck a fork onto the back of my hand. I became a virtuoso of deceit. I consulted the strictest moralists to learn how to appear, philosophers to find out what to think, and novelists to see what I could get away with, and in the end it all came down to one wonderfully simple principle: win or die.
Vicomte De Valmont: I promised her my eternal love, and I actually thought that for a couple of hours.
Marquise De Merteuil: Like most intellectuals, he's intensely stupid.
Vicomte De Valmont: Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?
Madame De Rosemonde: I'm sorry to say this but those who are most worthy of love are never made happy by it. Do you still think men love the way we do? No... men enjoy the happiness they feel. We can only enjoy the happiness we give. They are not capable of devoting themselves exclusively to one person. So to hope to be made happy by love is a certain cause of grief.
Vicomte De Valmont: You see, I have no intentions of breaking down her prejudices. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the pleasure of watching her betray everything that is most important to her. Surely you can understand that. I thought betrayal was your favorite word.
Marquise de Merteuil: When one woman strikes at the heart of another she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.
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