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Le Marquis de Sade
Philosophy in the Boudoir

Squashed down to read in about 45 minutes
"Cruelty is a virtue, not a vice."

Wikipedia - Full Text - Print Edition: ISBN 0143039016

INTRODUCTION TO Philosophy in the Boudoir

Should the aristocrat of pornographers, the roué who gave us the word 'sadism', really be included among the greats of philosophy? Yes, he damn well should, because, while the philosophers go on about freedom, Sade is about what actually happens if complete personal freedom were actually to exist.

Then there is his proto-psychology; In her 1951 essay, Faut-il Bruler Sade?; (Must We Burn Sade) Simone de Beauvoir identified him as a precursor of Freud; "Not only does Sade ... anticipate what has been called the 'pansexuality' of Freud, but also he makes eroticism the mainspring of human behaviour. In addition, he asserts that sexuality is charged with a significance that goes beyond it. Libido is everywhere, and it is always far more than itself." Then, in his remarkable politics, a sort of semi-anarchy where worship of nature, red in tooth, claw, (and several other body parts), utterly replaces religion and supplies the basis of indomitable laws, he takes the principles of Voltaire (a friend of Sade's father) to its unnatural conclusion.

And there's one more thing; unlike most of the philosophers, Sade did actually practice what he preached, which was why he spent so much of his life in prison.

Sade was born to an aristocratic family in Paris, and educated in, amongst other things, sodomy and corporal punishment at a Jesuit prep school. He was sent into the army, and, returning from the Seven Years' War, married, and began a scandalously libertine existence in which he, sometimes with his wife, abused prostitutes and employees of both sexes. He was first arrested after an incident involving a prostitute, a whip and some communion wafers stuck in a most unusual place. Sentenced to death in 1772, but reprieved, he was imprisoned again in 1777 in the dungeon of Vincennes, and in 1784, after attempting to escape, in the Bastille.


This squashed version reduces the original 67,000 words to about one-tenth. Difficult though it may be to believe, much of the erotic content has been 'toned down' for internet consumption - the original is not for the faint-hearted. Some of Sade's footnotes have been incorporated into the body text.

The picture is a detail from "The Imaginary Portrait of the Marquis de Sade" by Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), alongside an illustration from one of his books.


Le Marquis de Sade, 1795
Philosophy in the Boudoir

"Cruelty is a virtue, not a vice."

Libertines! of every sex, to you I offer this work, it favours your passions, which are naught but the means Nature employs to bring man to the ends she prescribes.
(Assorted scenes of bizarre fuckery involving Madame De Saint-Ange, her brother, Le Chevalier De Mirvel, the young Eugene, various servants, friends etc, interspersed with discussion...)
Is not virtue opposed to whoredom?
Virtue is but a chimera. Can Nature recommend what offends her?
But what of pity?
What can that be for one with no religion?
You mean that God is an illusion?
Fruit of the terror and of frailty! God and Nature are one? Absurd! Might the watch be the watchmaker? What does Christianity offer? A Lord who begat by fucking.
But surely there must be some actions known as evil?
There are none, not even theft, nor incest, nor murder. 'Tis the filthiest and the most forbidden which best rouses the intellect.
Is not incest a crime?
How did the human species perpetuate itself, if not through incest? As for cruelties, when we wish to be aroused, we wish to be bettered. Cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all. In libertinage, nothing is frightful, because everything is inspired by nature, even the most extraordinary, the most bizarre. Without destruction, nothing could be born., so destruction, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates. Are we not come into the world all enemies, all in a state of perpetual and reciprocal warfare?
But are not some manners necessary in a governed society?
I have a little pamphlet, which ought surely to answer your question.

Rome disappeared immediately Christianity was preached there, and France is doomed if she continues to revere it. Let philosophers proclaim instead the wonderful sublimities of Nature. Were it among Nature's intentions that man be modest, she would not have caused him to be born naked. As to sodomy, we wonder that savagery could ever reach the point where you condemn to death an unhappy person for the crime of not sharing your tastes. The greatest of men lean toward sodomy. From Nature's point of view, is murder a crime? Murder is often a necessary horror, never criminal. Let us create few laws, but let them be good; rather than multiplying hindrances. Leave the thrones of Europe to crumble.

Oh, my friend, fuck us, but let us have no sermons!

The Squashed Philosophers Edition of...

Philosophy in the Boudoir
Le Marquis de Sade
Squashed version edited by Glyn Hughes © 2011

Voluptuaries of all ages, of every sex, to you I offer this work. Nourish yourselves upon its principles. They favour your passions, which are naught but the means Nature employs to bring man to the ends she prescribes. For it is only by sacrificing everything to the senses' pleasure that this poor creature called Man may be able to sow a few roses by the thorny path of life.


MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: You know, my dear brother, I begin to have misgivings about the obscene plans for today. At twenty-six, and resolved to take pleasure only with my own sex, I ought to be better behaved, but my imagination is pricked the more. Tell me about your friend Dolmancé, before he arrives.
LE CHEVALIER: A little over thirty and six, tall, handsome, with a hint of the villain, and most philosophic.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: And his fancies?
LE CHEVALIER: I think you know. He cares only for men.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh, my dear! Has he had you?
LE CHEVALIER: We've had our pleasures, but there's no need to belittle those with strange tastes, they are still as Nature meant.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh please, a few details!
LE CHEVALIER: They were naught beside the pleasures you offer, my dear.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Ah, what chivalry! Anyway, I intend to bring a virgin to the feast. Eugénie, a little thing of fifteen I met last autumn at the convent, a few lessons will do her good.
LE CHEVALIER: But her parents?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: No fear! I have seduced her father. I own him! (She kisses her brother and strokes at his prick. The young man retires.)


MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Welcome, my pet!
EUGENIE: Ah, my darling, I thought I should never embrace you, mother was quite against my coming.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Come into my boudoir, there is much to discuss.

In an Elegant Boudoir

EUGENIE: (surprised to see M. Dolmancé arrived) God! We are betrayed!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Be at ease, my lovely Eugénie, this is Dolmancé, a most amiable man. Let us not be prudish! (She kisses him indecently.) Imitate me.
EUGENIE: Oh, Most willingly! (they tongue Dolmancé, and each other)
DOLMANCE: Ladies! It seems extraordinarily warm here (They undress, Dolmancé begins to inspect Eugenié's arse)
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: No, Dolmancé! Not yet! Our lessons first!
DOLMANCE: Very well, Madame, I will recline on this couch, and you may begin instructing our student.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: This sceptre - the member - Eugénie, is the agent of love's pleasure. It may settle here (She strokes Eugénie's cunt.), or pursue a more mysterious sanctuary here (she indicates the arsehole.) Upon some agitation it may vent a viscous liquor, plunging the man into the sweetest pleasure of life.
EUGENIE: I wish to see this liquor flow!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: I may liberate it with my hand. Such movements are called frigging.
EUGENIE: And the balls?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: The testicles, they contain semen which produces the human species within the woman's womb. But a girl ought to concern herself only with fucking. Onto the couch, my sweet.
EUGENIE: Dear God! And all these mirrors, how ingenious!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Examine my own cunt, the temple of Venus. The mound above gains hair at the age when a girl begins her periods. Here, above, is the little tongue-shaped clitoris, and all a woman's sensation. To tickle me there would make me swoon with delight. Try so. Ah, pretty bitch, how well you do it! Now, Eugénie, I will teach you how to drown in joy. Spread your thighs. Dolmancé, suck her arsehole while my tongue licks her cunt. Let's make her swoon. What downy flesh! How you squirm!
EUGENIE: Oh, I'm dying! (She discharges)
EUGENIE: I am exhausted. But pray explain about the womb.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: 'Tis a vessel which encompasses the member, to receive the man's liquor, which alone makes for boys and girls.
EUGENIE: Well I know the meaning of that, for I love my father, but hate my mother with a passion.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: No mother than yours deserves it! Superstitious, pious, scold.
EUGENIE: I begin to love whoredom, but is not virtue opposed to such misconduct?
DOLMANCE: Ah, Eugénie, have done with virtues! Virtue is but a chimera whose worship consists exclusively in rebellion against the temperament. Can Nature recommend what offends her?
EUGENIE: But what of pity as a virtue?
DOLMANCE: What can that be for one with no religion? Come, let us use reason. If man owes his existence only to Nature's irresistible schemes; if this God is simply the ne plus ultra of human reason; this God would be the most detestable of creatures, since it would be God who permits the evils his omnipotence could prevent.
EUGENIE: You mean that God is an illusion?
DOLMANCE: Fruit of the terror and of frailty, Eugénie! God and Nature are one? Absurd! Might the watch be the watchmaker? What does Christianity offer? A Lord who begat by fucking, who perhaps didst detach his member to be carried down by angels to a Jewish whore in a pigsty? For what sublime mission? An obscure childhood, doubtless some very libertine services to the priests of Jerusalem, then fifteen years' wandering, and he says he's the son of God. He writes nothing, for he is ignorant, says little, for he is stupid, and, finally, exhausting the patience of magistrates, the charlatan has himself fixed to a cross while promising rogues that, should they invoke him, he will descend to get himself eaten. The altars of Venus and Mars are changed to those of Jesus and Mary, his drivellings become the basis of a morality, and as this tale is preached to the poor, charity becomes its greatest virtue. Such, Eugénie, is the fable of God and religion.
EUGENIE: But, Dolmancé, what of charity and benevolence?
DOLMANCE: Be not deceived! Benevolence is naught but the vice of pride in the ostentatious almsgiver. Nor imagine, Eugénie, that his action has any excellent consequences- it accustoms the poor to doles which draw down their energy; when he expects charity, he ceases to work and becomes, when they fail, a thief or assassin. Would you have flies in your bed chamber? Then don't spread about sugar to attract them. You wish to have no poor in France? Then destroy, with entire unpity, raze to the ground, those detestable houses where you billet their progeny, wherefrom spews forth into society a swarm of supernumerary beings, like parasitical branches living only at the trunk's expense. Nature has endowed us with a capacity for kindly feelings- let us not squander them on others. Be in no doubt, Eugénie, there is no deed which is really criminal, none which may be really called virtuous.
EUGENIE: But surely there must be some actions so evil that they are known across al the earth as criminal.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: There are none, my love, not even theft, nor incest, nor murder.
EUGENIE: Such opinions may wait, first tell me of libertinage in young girls, and married women.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Eugénie, is there anything more ridiculous than to see a maiden of fifteen or sixteen consumed by tormenting desires until it pleases her parents? Better she be left her own mistress, and if she fall into vice? What of it? Woman's destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her. It must be an outrage to Nature to fetter women with the absurd ties of a solitary marriage. Fuck, Eugénie, fuck, my angel- your body is yours alone. Take pleasure in the golden years, that delicious memories may console and amuse your old age.
EUGENIE: What, then, of your own husband.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: On our wedding night he told me of his fancies, and assured me that never would he interfere with mine. Since then we have lived in the most delicious independence. His whim is to have himself sucked, and as I bend over him, to shit in his mouth while he swallows it down!
EUGENIE: Extraordinary!
DOLMANCE: Not at all! Nature made men with as many varieties of taste just as she made different their countenances.
EUGENIE: Let us continue. Tell me how a girl may preserve herself from pregnancy.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: In the stead of her cunt, let her offer her hand, her mouth, her breasts, or her ass. If one pumps at one's friend's member, after a little agitation, the sperm is emitted, while the man kisses, caresses you, and with this liquid wets that part of your body of which he is fondest. He may place the virile member between the tits, so that he might discharge most agreeably for both, towards your face. The pleasure of the mouth is quite delightful, and if you will lie contrawise to your fucker he may place his prick into your mouth and, his head being between your thighs, repay in kind by introducing his tongue into your cunt and over your clitoris. The partners should finger each other's assholes, a measure always necessary to complete voluptuousness. Spirited lovers then swallow the fuck which squirts into their mouths.
DOLMANCE: Eugénie, 'tis a delicious method.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Some women insert sponges into the vagina, others oblige their fuckers to make use of little sacks of Venetian skin, called condoms. But of all the possibilities, that presented by the ass is without any doubt the most delicious. Dolmancé, is an expert!
DOLMANCE: I worship it, but I'll confess a young lad's ass gives me more pleasure than a girl's. For 'tis with men Nature wishes men to practice this singularity. The rake should moisten with his mouth the pretty little hole he is about to perforate, and wet his engine with saliva, or with pomade. Occasionally, the woman suffers, if she is new, or young; but, totally heedless of the pangs which are soon to change into pleasures, the fucker must drive his engine ahead 'till his device's hairs rub the rim of the embuggered party. If 'tis a boy, let him frig his prick, or play upon her clitoris, if 'tis a girl. The titillations will cause a prodigious contraction of the patient's arsehole, to double the delight of the agent. Ah! And 'tis essential the object in use have the most imperious desire to shit, so that the end of the fucker's prick, reaching the turd, may drive deep into it.
EUGENIE: How adorable!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: 'Tis the filthiest and the most forbidden which best rouses the intellect. My brother and I often amused each other during our childhood years.
EUGENIE: Is not incest a crime?
DOLMANCE: Eugénie, a moment of reason- how did the human species perpetuate itself, if not through incest? By what other means could Adam's family and Noah's have been preserved? As love is born of resemblance, can it be more perfect than between brother and sister, father and daughter? One of my friends, not a week ago, deflowered a boy of thirteen, fruit of his commerce with a girl he had by his own mother.
EUGENIE: Oh! My divine teachers, I see full well that there are very few crimes in the world. But grant, you must, that murder is still a crime?
DOLMANCE: Oh, Eugénie, 'tis our pride that elevates murder into a crime. Be frank, Eugénie, have you never wished the death of anyone?
EUGENIE: Oh, I would glad see my mother dead, but alas, I lack the means.
DOLMANCE: It will be shown you, Eugénie, I promise. But, come, my rascal, I can hold off no longer! I am going to insert my prick in your child's ass. Begin by frigging me. (She does so.)
EUGENIE: Oh! You're tearing me!
DOLMANCE: Courage, Eugénie, courage! Only yesterday this prick deflowered a little lad of seven! Do frig her, Madame Saint-Ange, she'll feel the pain less. Ah! I'm in up to the hilt.
EUGENIE: God, I've never known such agony! Yet I feel the pain grows into pleasure. Thrust, Dolmancé!
DOLMANCE: God's holy fuck! Thrice bloody fuck of God!
EUGENIE: I'm coming! Dolmancé!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: How the wench has taken to it!
DOLMANCE: 'Tis only the first encounter that taxes, no sooner has a woman tried the dish than she'll eat no other sauce! Oh heavens! I'm spent!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Now is the time to return to our discussion- upon men's libertine caprices.
DOLMANCE: Of sodomy, assuredly the passive man who has himself buggered takes the greater pleasure, since he enjoys the sensations both before and behind. To play whore and mistress to a manly paramour is voluptuousness indeed!
Take care always to have your clitoris frigged while you are being buggered- no two things harmonize so sweetly. Also, avoid acids before sodomite amusements- they do aggravate haemorrhoids- and wash out the fuck of one man before taking another.
EUGENIE: But if they were in my cunt, should not such purging be a crime?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Sweet fool! Propagation is not the objective of Nature; she merely tolerates it. If, however, some misfortune might occur, notify me within the first eight weeks, and I'll have it neatly remedied. Dread not infanticide- we are mistress of our womb, and we do no more harm in evacuating unwanted matter there than in evacuating another, by medicines, when we so need.
EUGENIE: But if the child is near the hour of its birth?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Were it in the world, we should still have the right to destroy it. In all the world there is no prerogative more secure than that of mothers over their children- 'tis founded in reason, consecrated in principle.
DOLMANCE: As to sacrilege against relics, images of saints, the host or the crucifix, it is to the philosopher no more than defaming any pagan statue. Try it, Eugénie, but most of all, labour to speak impiously, especially among those who yet vegetate in superstition's twilight, parade your debauchery, announce your libertinage, get yourself to frig and to be frigged.
As for cruelties, when we wish to be aroused, we wish so by the better of means, and there is no doubt that we are much more keenly affected by pain than by pleasure. But, one may ask, is it charitable to do others ill for the sake of delighting oneself? I answer, my dear Eugénie, cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all. The infant breaks his toy, bites his nurse's breast, strangles his canary long before he is able to reason. Cruelty is stamped in animals. Cruelty is natural. Education may modify it, but education is as deforming to holy Nature as topiary is to trees.
Nero, Tiberius, Heliogabolus, Charolais, Condé, all slaughtered children to gain an erection. Maréchal de Retz said that his greatest delight was the torture inflicted by his chaplain and himself upon infants of either sex. Seven or eight hundred sacrificed children were found in one of his châteaux. Yet female cruelty is always more active than male by reason of the excessive sensitivity of women's organs. Queen Zingua of Angola killed her lovers when she was done with them. In China, Zoé, the emperor's wife, fucked while watching slaves destroyed. Theodora, Justinian's wife, amused herself seeing eunuchs made. Mesdames Voisin and la Branvilliers poisoned for the simple pleasure of committing crime.
EUGENIE: (frigging herself) Oh Christ! You drive me wild!
DOLMANCE: To the rescue, Madame! Are we going to allow this lovely child to discharge without our aid? Ladies, you might be able to suck me.
EUGENIE: My dear, I take the honour of sucking this noble prick.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh, she must swallow! All down! If, through her childishness...
DOLMANCE: ...she were to fail? Then I swear she'd be whipped till her blood flowed. Ah, damn the both of you, I discharge. My fuck's coming! Swallow, Eugénie, loose not one drop!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: She is covered! But, hark! Someone knocks? My imprudent brother!


DOLMANCE: Chevalier, would you assist us in educating this pretty girl?
LE CHEVALIER: How can I refuse? (removing his clothing)
EUGENIE: Oh, what a monstrous member! I can scarce get my hand around it!
DOLMANCE: Such engines are alarming for a youngster. But a child should be deflowered only by the vastest engine. Once tasting such, she may be loth to accept one more meagre, but she may always use lesser sorts in her ass.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Or let her employ several at once- pricks in her mouth, under her armpits some in her hair, she might have thirty around her.
EUGENIE: (being frigged by Madame) Oh, my sweet! I could give myself to an army of men!
LE CHEVALIER: Such divine breasts! What soft thighs! Christ!
DOLMANCE: Fuck your sister, friend! Give me you arse to fuck the while, and Eugénie, armed with this India rubber dildo, will bugger me.
EUGENIE: Libertinage is now my god!
DOLMANCE: In truth, she buggers like a man! Christ, I perish! What a matchless girl!
EUGENIE: Such pleasure!
LE CHEVALIER: Indeed! But I really love only the altar Nature has intended.
DOLMANCE: And that, to be sure, is the ass! Had nature not intended that we fuck assholes, would she have made this aperture circular, like this instrument? How might anyone imagine that an oval hole could have been created for cylindrical pricks! Now, what of that handsome young gardener of yours?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: That is Augustin, whose member measures fourteen inches in length.
DOLMANCE: Great heaven!


MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: (presenting Augustin) Would you believe it, I have been trying to civilise this ignorant pig!
DOLMANCE: (Exhibiting Eugénie.) Augustin, here's a bed of flowers, would you like to dig it over?
AUGUSTIN: Oh, jeez! (Showing his rising prick.)
EUGENIE: (Frigging it) How it enlarges!
DOLMANCE: (measuring) Quite fourteen inches! And you, Madame, you employ it?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Whenever I am in the country, and in the ass more often than in the cunt.
DOLMANCE: Look sharp, Eugénie, take action! Let your fingers dig his arsehole.
AUGUSTIN: More, and harder, Miss! Ah, God almighty!
DOLMANCE: Vigour, Eugénie! By God's fuck! He shot ten feet, the room's awash!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Let's have her witness the effects of such a prick in the ass.
DOLMANCE: Eugénie- in libertinage, nothing is frightful, because everything is inspired by nature, even the most extraordinary, the most bizarre. Without destruction, nothing could be born, so destruction, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates. It cannot be that nature intends the spermatic fluid only for reproduction, else she would not permit its spillage. Why, taken all together, thus has a woman no more than seven years capable of conceiving? In any case, what would it matter to Nature if the race of man were extinguished? Nothing! Do you fancy races have not already become extinct? The entire species might be wiped out and the air would still be as pure, the stars just so brilliant and the unfolding of the universe be just as exact.
There is no corner of the earth where sodomy has not had shrines. The Greeks praised it, the Roman eagle spread it across the earth, it led art in Italy. Cook cast anchor in a new world and found sodomy reigning. Had our balloons reached the moon, it would be found there too. O my friends, can a man be a monster because he prefers asshole to cunt? Men blessed with this predilection are fairer, softer, subtler. Dear Eugénie, 'tis the delight of philosophers and heroes!
EUGENIE: (much moved) Oh, let me be buggered!
DOLMANCE: Forgive me, beautiful Eugénie, not by me, you are a woman, and we buggers have very strict principles. But, first, you must allow me to flog you, to gain the proper humour. (He beats her.)
EUGENIE: My God, how you're hurting me! You monster!
DOLMANCE: Indeed I am. Chevalier, sodomize her.
LE CHEVALIER: Hold her down!
EUGENIE: Oh heavens! Yours is thicker than Dolmancé's. Chevalier, you are tearing me apart! Go softly, I beg!
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: How the tramp quivers and wriggles!
EUGENIE: Is it my fault? I am dying from pleasure!
LE CHEVALIER: My fuck runs into lovely Eugénie's ass. Oh sacred name of the fucking Almighty! What pleasure!
DOLMANCE: Well, little angel, have you given over believing sodomy a crime?
EUGENIE: Have you not shown the meaninglessness of crime?
DOLMANCE: Quite so, to show that causing harm is a crime one must demonstrate that the injured party is more precious to Nature than the person who performs the injury. As all individuals are equal before her, Nature is quite indifferent.
EUGENIE: But surely a great harm which brought little pleasure would still be a frightful thing?
DOLMANCE: No! There is no possible comparison between what others experience and what we sense, so agony in others must be nothing to us. The source of all our moral error lies in the ridiculous concept of brotherhood the Christians invented in the time of their ill-fortune. Constrained to beg pity from others, 'twas not unclever to claim that all men are brothers, but its rational acceptance is impossible- are we not all born solitary, isolated? Are we not come into the world all enemies, all in a state of perpetual and reciprocal warfare?
EUGENIE: Yet, you will at least grant ties of love, of friendship, of gratitude.
DOLMANCE: Consider, such affinities grow from the terror of parents who fear to be abandoned in old age. But we owe our parents nothing, they have laboured only for themselves. Let us rid ourselves of them if we wish, or keep such tenderness as they deserve only in the degree to which we love our other friends.
As to ties of love, may you never know them! What are they founded on? desire. What are the consequences? madness. O voluptuous young women, fuck, divert yourselves, but oppose yourselves resolutely to enslavement by any one single person. Women are not made for one single man; 'tis for men at large Nature created them. Listening only to this sacred voice, let them surrender themselves, indifferently, to all who want them- always whores, never mistresses, eschewing love and worshipping pleasure it will be roses only.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Well Dolmancé describes the impulses of my heart, and that of every woman.
EUGENIE: You thrill me! But if all the errors you speak of are in Nature, why do our laws oppose them?
DOLMANCE: Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof it is composed; for, if they one time protect the individual, they hinder, trouble, fetter him for three quarters of his life; and so the wise man, the man full of contempt for them, will be wary of them, as he is of reptiles and vipers which, although they wound or kill, are nevertheless sometimes useful to medicine. Should the fancy to execute a few crimes, inflame your spirit, Eugénie, be very certain you may commit them peacefully in the company of your friend and me.
EUGENIE: Ah, the fancy is already in my heart! I want a victim of my own sex.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: And what would you do with her?
EUGENIE: Everything! everything! And afterward will I have what I request?
DOLMANCE: Yes, mad creature! yes, we assure you, you shall!
EUGENIE: But are not some manners necessary in a governed society?
DOLMANCE: Why, by God, I have something here with me. I bought, outside the Palace of Equality, a little pamphlet, which ought surely to answer your question.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Chevalier, you possess a fine organ, read it to us.


I am about to put forward some major ideas; they will be heard and pondered. If not all of them please, surely a few will; in some sort, then, I shall have contributed to the progress of our age, and shall be content.
Rome disappeared immediately Christianity was preached there, and France is doomed if she continues to revere it. Since we believe a cult necessary, let us imitate the Romans- actions, passions, heroes- those were the objects of their respect. Minerva's devotee coveted wisdom. Courage found its abode in Mars.
What do we find in Christianity's futile gods? Does the grubby Nazarene fraud inspire any great thoughts? Does his repellent mother, the shameless Mary, excite any virtues? Do you discover in the saints any example of greatness, of heroism or virtue?
Lycurgus, Numa, Moses, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, all these great rogues, all these great thought-tyrants, knew how to fabricate divinities to serve their own interests. Let philosophers proclaim instead the wonderful sublimities of Nature, whose these laws are as wise as they are simple, and which are written in the hearts of all men.
Let there be no doubt of it- at all times, in every century religions have been cradles of despotism. Massacres and expulsions, however, have no place in the enlightened mind. Let us condemn the charlatans to be jeered at. Let the most insulting blasphemy, the most atheistic works, be openly authorised, and, in six months, your infamous god will be as naught.
Frenchmen, you are too intelligent not to see that new government requires new manners. In every age, the duties of man have been considered under the following three categories-
Those his conscience and his credulity impose upon him, with regards a supreme being;
Those he is obliged to fulfil toward his brethren;
Finally, those that relate only to himself.
I cannot repeat it to you too often, Frenchmen, no more gods, lest their fatal influence plunge you back into despotism.
As to the second class of man's duties, those which bind him to his fellows, the absurd Christian morality tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves- in defiance of all the laws of Nature. Since hers is the sole voice which must direct all our actions, it is only a question of loving others as brothers, as friends given us by Nature, and with whom we should be able to live much better in a republican State.
We cannot devise as many laws as there are men; but the laws can be lenient, and so few in number, that all men, of whatever character, can easily observe them. Especially we must get rid of the atrocity of capital punishment, because the law which attempts a man's life is impractical, unjust, inadmissible. It has never repressed crime- for a second crime is every day committed at the foot of the scaffold.
The injuries we can work against our brothers may be reduced to four types- calumny [defamation], theft, crimes which may disagreeably affect others, and murder. Here I address myself only to people capable of hearing me out; they will read me without any danger.
If calumny attaches to a truly evil man, it makes little difference. If a virtuous man is calumniated, it is merely a test of purity whence his virtue emerges more resplendent than ever.
As to theft, it is certain that stealing nourishes courage, strength, skill, tact, in a word, all the virtues useful to a republican system. Lay partiality aside, and answer me- is theft, whose effect is to distribute wealth more evenly- to be branded as a wrong under our government which aims at equality? There was once a people who punished not the thief but him who allowed himself to be robbed, in order to teach him to care for his property.
A republic threated by despots outside can by no means preserve itself other than by war. Nothing is less moral than war, so how we ask, may the individual be required to be moral?
We may now consider modesty, that fainthearted negative impulse of contradiction to impure affections. Were it among Nature's intentions that man be modest, assuredly she would not have caused him to be born naked. Lycurgus and Solon obliged girls to exhibit themselves naked at the theatre. We are persuaded that lust is not to be stifled or legislated against, but that it is, rather, a matter of arranging the means whereby passion may be satisfied in peace.
We must thus introduce order into this sphere of affairs. Various stations, cheerful, sanitary, spacious, properly furnished and safe, will be erected in each city; in them, all sexes, all ages, all creatures possible will be offered to the caprices of the libertines who shall come to divert themselves.
Whenever you withhold from man the means to exhales the dose of despotism Nature instilled in the depths of his heart, he will seek other outlets for it.
It is certain, in a state of Nature, that women are born vulguivaguous, that is to say, are born like other female animals- belonging, without exception, to all the males
There remains but to fix the woman's age. Now, I maintain it cannot be fixed without restricting the freedom of men. He who has the right to eat the fruit of a tree may assuredly pluck it ripe or green, according to his taste.
There will then also be government houses intended for women's libertinage, and the more constantly they frequent them the higher they will be esteemed. Must the diviner half of humankind be laden with irons by the other? Ah, break those irons- Nature wills it.
Amongst the Tartars, the profligate woman was honoured with jewels. In Peru, families rent their wives and daughters to visitors, like horses, or carriages! Every philosopher knows full well it is solely to the Christian impostors we are indebted for having puffed lewdness up into crime. The priests had excellent cause to forbid lechery- their power of absolution for private sins, gave them an incredible ascendancy over women. We know only too well how they took advantage of it.
Is incest more dangerous? Hardly. It loosens family ties so that the citizen has that much more love to lavish on his country; the primary laws of Nature dictate it to us, our feelings vouch for the fact; and nothing is so enjoyable as an object we have coveted over the years. If we traverse the world we will find incest everywhere established. The blacks of the Ivory Coast and Gabon prostitute their wives to their own children; in Judah, the eldest son must marry his father's wife; the people of Chile lie indifferently with their sisters and their daughters. I would venture, in a word, that incest ought to be every government's law- every government whose basis is fraternity.
It is certain, however, that rape, an act so very rare and so very difficult to prove, wrongs one's neighbour less than theft, since the latter is destructive to property, the former merely damaging to it. Beyond that, what objections have you to the ravisher?
As to sodomy, we wonder that savagery could ever reach the point where you condemn to death an unhappy person for the crime of not sharing your tastes. The greatest of men lean toward sodomy. Plutarch speaks with enthusiasm of the battalion of lovers who alone defended Greece's freedom. At the time it was discovered, the whole of America was found inhabited by people of this taste. In their letters, Martial, Catullus, Tibullus, Horace, and Virgil wrote to men as though to their mistresses; and we read in Plutarch that women must in no way figure in men's love.
Amongst the Greeks, the female perversion was also supported by policy- so that women resorted to each other, and thus had less communication with men so that their detrimental influence in the republic's affairs was held to a minimum. In fine, these are perfectly inoffensive manias. Even if women were to go so far as caressing monsters and animals, no ill could possibly result therefrom
Of all the offences man may commit against his fellows, murder is without question the cruellest, since its loss is irreparable. But, from Nature's point of view, is murder a crime? If Nature denies eternity to beings, it follows that their destruction is one of her laws. Little animals are formed immediately a large animal expires, and these little animals' lives are simply one of the necessary effects determined by the large animal's temporary sleep.
Is it a political crime? Are wars, the unique fruit of political barbarism, anything but the means whereby a nation is nourished, strengthened, and buttressed? Is it not a strange blindness in man, who publicly teaches the art of killing, who rewards the most accomplished killer, and who punishes him who, with reason, does away with his enemy!
Is murder then a crime against society? What difference does it make to society, whether it have one member more, or less? Will its laws, its manners, its customs be vitiated? No, alas.
What, then, must the attitude of a warlike and republican state be toward murder? Republican mettle calls for a touch of ferocity- if he grows soft, if his energy slackens in him, the republican will be subjugated in a trice.
In Sparta, in Lacedaemon, they hunted Helots, just as we in France go on partridge shoots. In Mindanao, a man who wishes to commit a murder is raised to the rank of warrior brave and decorated with a turban. The inhabitants of Borneo believe all those they put to death will serve them when they themselves depart life. Devout Spaniards vow to St.James of Galicia to kill a dozen Americans every day. Was there ever a people better disposed to murder than the Jews? One sees it upon every page of their history.
What people were at once greater and more bloodthirsty than the Romans, and what nation longer preserved its splendour and freedom? In the republics of Greece all the children who came into the world were carefully examined, and if they were found not to conform to the requirements determined by the republic's defence, they were sacrificed on the spot. In those days it was not deemed essential to build richly endowed houses for the preservation of mankind's scum. In China, one finds every morning an incredible number of children abandoned in the streets; a dung cart picks them up at dawn, and they are tossed into a moat.
Do you not prune the tree when it has overmany branches? And do not too many shoots weaken the trunk?
To sum up: must murder be repressed by murder? Surely not. Let us never impose any other penalty upon the murderer than the one he may risk from the vengeance of the friends or family of him he has killed. Murder is a horror, but an often necessary horror, never criminal, which it is essential to tolerate in a republican State.
We have now but to speak of man's duties toward himself. The only offence of this order man can commit is suicide. I will not bother demonstrating here the imbecility of the people who make of this act a crime, they may read Rousseau's famous letter. In Greece, one killed oneself in public, and one made of one's death a spectacle of magnificence.
Let us create few laws, but let them be good; rather than multiplying hindrances, it is purely a question of giving an indestructible quality to the law we employ, of seeing to it that the laws we promulgate have, as ends, nothing but the citizen's tranquillity, his happiness, and the glory of the republic.
But, Frenchmen, I should not like your zeal to broadcast your principles to lead you further afield. Remember the unsuccess of the crusades. Revive your trade, restore energy and markets to your manufacturing; cause your arts to flourish again, encourage agriculture. Leave the thrones of Europe to crumble.

MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh, my friend, fuck us, but let us have no sermons
EUGENIE: Tell me Dolmancé how you view the object that serves your pleasures?
DOLMANCE: Provided I am happy, the rest is absolutely all the same to me.
EUGENIE: Why, it is even preferable to have the object experience pain, is it not?
DOLMANCE: To be sure. There is not a living man who does not wish to play the despot when he is stiff. Goddamn! I've an erection! Get Augustin to come back here! (he reappears.) Now, mesdames, I am ask your permission to spend a few moments in a nearby room with this young man, there are certain things which require to be veiled.
EUGENIE: Ah, by God, tell us what you'd be about!
DOLMANCE: You wish to know? (He whispers to the two women.)
EUGENIE: (with a look of revulsion) 'Tis hideous. Do you want me to accompany you? I might frig you while you amuse yourself.
DOLMANCE: No, no, a woman would only disturb us. (He goes out with Augustin)


MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: I hear a knock. Go see what it is, Chevalier, if you will be so kind.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Ah ha! 'Tis your father, Eugénie! (She reads.) 'My unbearable wife is leaving immediately, to bring Eugénie home. I request you to punish her impertinence with exceeding rigour; do not, I beg of you, return Eugénie to me until she is instructed.'
EUGENIE: The slut! Ha! since Papa gives us a free hand, we must, by God, receive the creature in the manner she deserves.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Eugénie, my heart, you desired a victim, and behold!


MADAME DE MISTIVAL: Eugénie! Follow me.
EUGENIE: I beg your pardon, Madame, I cannot.
MADAME DE MISTIVAL: What! My daughter resists me, what of my rights!
DOLMANCE: And what, if you please, are these rights, Madame? Eugénie owes you nothing. You have told her that it is sinful to fuck, whereas to fuck is life's most delicious act; you have wished to give her good manners, as if a young girl's happiness were not inseparable from debauchery and immorality.
EUGENIE, (still half-naked) Here you are, dear Mamma, I bring you my buttocks. kiss them, my sweet, suck them, 'tis all Eugenie can do for you.
MADAME DE MISTIVAL, Monster! I disown you!
DOLMANCE: Softly, Madame, softly; have the kindness to undress yourself.
MADAME DE MISTIVAL: Undress myself!
DOLMANCE: Augustin, act as this lady's maid-in-waiting. (Augustin goes brutally to work)
DOLMANCE: By God, I don't believe I've ever seen a body more mistreated than this. Yet I believe I espy a very fine ass here. (He kisses and fondles it.)
MADAME DE MISTIVAL: Leave me alone, else I'll cry for help!
DOLMANCE: (beginning the embuggery of the mother) Mesdames, you, Saint-Ange, and you, Eugénie, have the goodness to arm yourselves with artificial pricks in order to deal this respectable lady in the cunt, and in the ass. Augustin, dear boy, console me by buggering me.
EUGENIE: Come, dear lovely Mamma, come, let me serve you as a husband. (She squeezes, twists, wrenches her mother's breasts.) Ah, fuck, Dolmancé. (As she discharges, Eugénie showers jarring blows upon her mother's body.)
MADAME DE MISTIVAL: (losing consciousness) Have pity upon me!
LE CHEVALIER: Indeed, Dolmancé, this outrages the sacred laws of humanity.
DOLMANCE: I've told you a thousand times that humaneness is nothing but weakness born of fear and egoism. I have, waiting outside, a valet, furnished with a splendid member; however, it distills disease, for 'tis eaten by one of the most impressive cases of syphilis I have anywhere encountered; he'll inject his poison into each of the two natural conduits that ornament this amiable lady, (Everyone applauds; the valet is called in) Lapierre, fuck this woman. (Lapierre fucks Madame de Mistival's cunt and ass) Capital! Here are five louis.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Now we must provide against the escape of the poison. Eugénie must sew your cunt and ass so that the virulent humour will more promptly cinder your bones.
EUGENIE: Excellent idea! Quickly, quickly, fetch me needle and thread! Spread your thighs, Mamma! (Madame de Saint-Ange gives Eugénie a large needle; Eugénie sews.)
LE CHEVALIER: The little whore wants to bleed her to death!
DOLMANCE: (causing himself to be frigged by Madame de Saint-Ange, as he witnesses the operation) Ah, by God! how this extravagance stiffens me!
EUGENIE: Chevalier, frig me while I work. Look, see how my needle wanders to her thighs, her tits. Oh, fuck! What pleasure!
MADAME DE MISTIVAL: You are tearing me to pieces, vile creature! Oh, how I blush that it was I who gave you life!
EUGENIE: Quiet mother dear! It is finished.
DOLMANCE: Whore! Clothe yourself and leave. It was your own husband who authorised all this. Take note that your daughter is old enough to do as she pleases, and what she likes is to fuck.
Now, good friends, let us to dinner, and to sleep. I never dine so heartily, nor sleep so soundly as after a good day spent upon what fools call crimes.

Le Marquis de Sade
Sade asked to be buried in an unmarked grave, so that "my memory will disappear from the minds of men."
His skull was later removed- a cast of it is in the Musée de l'homme in Paris

ISBN 9781326806781
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