From Paris 22/7/1783
Will you pardon me for neglecting to visit you when I passed through Compiègne again last year? It is unforgiveable of me, although the fault may be to some degree forgiven if you know how much I reproach myself…. Luckily I had no need to gaze upon you in order to recall your image: I had had it constantly before my eyes throughout the holiday and it has followed me to Paris where, every day, it received my faithful homage; The greater part of the verses I have written this year are created for you; it is you who inspired me with them. Sometimes, seeing me return from a public promenade, where all the capital’s beauties meet, he asked me if I was happy; without meaning to pay you a compliment my reply was almost always: it has to be admitted however that I saw no one like Babet [sic]; mademoiselle, allow me to call you by this name; if I knew a gentler one I would call you by it, but since I know it is yours there is no other which inspires more tenderness.
the letter is unsigned and is the earliest letter we know of so far and is accompanied by a few lines of verse.