not distinguish you from my mother and my sisters."
He also wrote to Monsieur de Vesian, begging him not to interfere with
the free inclinations of his daughter, and to remember that "in order
to be happy there must be no repugnance to conquer. I have, however,"
he added, "an affair to terminate which does not permit me to dispose
of myself entirely. My mother will tell you the details. I hope to be
free in six weeks or two months. My happiness will then be
inexpressible if I obtain your consent and that of Madame de Vesian,
with the certainty of not having opposed the wishes of Mademoiselle,
"I hope to be free" - did he "hope"? That was his polite way of putting
the matter. Or he may have believed that he had conquered his love for
Eleonore Broudou, and that she, as a French girl who understood his
obligations to his family, would - perhaps after making a few
handkerchiefs damp with her tears - acquiesce.
So the negotiations went on, and at length, in May, 1783, the de Vesian
family accepted Laperouse as the fiance of their daughter. "My project
is to live with my family and yours," he wrote. "I hope that my wife
will love my mother and my sisters, as I feel that I shall love you and