Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. Justine (or The Misfortunes of Virtue) is set just before the French Revolution in France and tells the story of a young woman. Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue - Free download as PDF File .pdf) or read online Download as PDF or read online from Scribd By the Marquis de Sade. Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue is a novel by Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade. . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
|Language:||English, Spanish, German|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue (Oxford World's Classics series) by The Marquis de Sade. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Les crimes de l'amour by marquis de Sade. No cover available. Read “Justine”, by The Marquis de Sade online on Bookmate – The Wordsworth Erotica Collection includes some of the finest Victorian and Edwardian.
Will it not be felt that Virtue, however beautiful, becomes the worst of all attitudes when it is found too feeble to contend with Vice, and that, in an entirely corrupted age, the safest course is to follow along after the others? Will they not add, that it makes no difference to the general plan whether such-and-such a one is by preference good or bad, that if misery persecutes virtue and prosperity accompanies crime, those things being as one in Nature's view, far better to join company with the wicked who flourish, than to be counted amongst the virtuous who founder?
Hence, it is important to anticipate those dangerous sophistries of a false philosophy; it is essential to show that through examples of afflicted virtue presented to a depraved spirit in which, however, there remain a few good principles, it is essential, I say,- to show that spirit quite as surely restored to righteousness by these means as by portraying this virtuous career ornate with the most glittering honors and the most flattering rewards.
Doubtless it is cruel to have to describe, on the one hand, a host of ills overwhelming a sweet-tempered and sensitive woman who, as best she is able, respects virtue, and, on the other, the affluence of prosperity of those who crush and mortify this same woman. But were there nevertheless some good engendered of the demonstration, would one have to repent of making it? Ought one be sorry for having established a fact whence there resulted, for the wise man who reads to some purpose, so useful a lesson of submission to providential decrees and the fateful warning that it is often to recall us to our duties that Heaven strikes down beside us the person who seems to us best to have fulfilled his own?
Such are the sentiments which are going to direct our labors, and it is in consideration of these intentions that we ask the reader's indulgence for the erroneous doctrines which are to be placed in the mouths of our characters, and for the sometimes rather painful situations which, out of love for truth, we have been obliged to dress before his eyes. While it lasted, Bressac said the following words two or three times in rapid succession, seasoning them with appalling curses: I intend her to die by my hand here and now?
It was then that I saw my blood on the grass and realized the state I must be in. The Marquis was alone. His aides had disappeared. The unfeeling blackguard, still not sated by the horrors by which he had been transported and cruelly excited by the spectacle of my suffering, trampled me beneath his feet, pressing me into the earth as though he would choke me.
Since there was blood everywhere, I dazedly gathered handfuls of grass and cleaned myself so that my clothes, which were the only ones I had, would not be stained with it. Meanwhile, he paced up and down, paying me no attention, concerned more with his thoughts than with me. My swollen flesh, the still flowing blood, the pain I was suffering—all made the business of dressing virtually impossible.
But not once did the brutal man with whom I had to deal, the monster who had reduced me to this pitiful state and for whom, only days before, I should gladly have given my life, not once was he moved by the slightest feeling of commiseration to extend a helping hand.
When I was ready, he came up to me. I shall not take it from you. But have a care never to come anywhere near me again, either in Paris or here in the country.
I warn you, word will go out that you murdered my mother. If she is not dead yet, I shall tell her it was you who did for her so that she may carry the thought with her to the grave. The entire household will be told. I shall inform the authorities to that effect. As a result, you will find Paris even more uninhabitable than before, for you should bear in mind that the previous case against you was never officially closed but, take note, simply adjourned.
You were told that the matter had been dropped, but you were misled. Your sentence has neither been served nor cancelled and it was decided to let you carry on in this footing to see how you would behave.
So now you face not one charge but two, and have as your adversary not a common money-lender but a rich and powerful man determined to follow you to hell if, by making slanderous com- plaints, you should abuse the life which I have been generous enough to let you keep.
Goodbye, sir. May your crimes make you as happy as your cruelties have caused me pain. Whatever fate Heaven has in store for you, then as long as that same Heaven chooses to prolong my deplorable life, so long shall I use it solely to pray for you.
Seeing me bathed in tears and scarce able to stand, the heartless man, fearing no doubt to give way to his feelings, walked away and did not look back once in my direction. As soon as he had gone, I sank to the ground and there, surrendering to my distress, rent the air with my groans and watered the earth with my tears: It was by Thy will that innocence has fallen prey to the guilty once more. Do with me, 0 Lord, as it pleaseth Thee, for the pain I have suffered is as nothing beside the pain Thou once didst bear for us!
I was in no fit state to venture any further, indeed I was barely able to stand. I recollected the thicket where I had spent that night four years before, my situation being rather less wretched then than now, and dragged myself into it as best I could.
Lodged in that same place, enduring agonies from my wounds which still bled, stricken by the grief of my thoughts and the sorrows of my heart, I spent the cruellest night that can be imagined. The resilience of my youth and my constitution both gave me a little strength as the new day dawned and, filled with dread by the proximity of that cruel chateau, I made off promptly, left the forest and, resolving to strike out at random for the first dwellings which I should meet with, entered the little town of Claye, some six leagues distant from Paris.
He tended me, on the condition that I should swear out an affidavit to the Clerk of Justice in the village. I agreed. It seems that the matter was looked into though I never heard what came of it. The surgeon, agreeing to keep me in his house until such time as I should be well again, set about his business with such skill that within a month I was completely recovered.
As soon as my condition allowed me to take the air, my first thought was to find some village girl sufficiently shrewd and intelligent to be sent to the Chateau de Bressac to discover what had transpired since my departure. Curiosity was not my only motive in taking this step.
Indeed, curiosity might have been dangerous and was certainly out of place. I did not imagine that the Marquis would be so cruel as to refuse me what was mine by right and was convinced that once his first anger had passed, he would not inflict a second injustice upon me.
I wrote the most affecting letter I could. Alas, it was perhaps too affecting, for in it, despite my better judgement, my sorrowing heart spoke out in favour of that false-hearted man. I carefully hid the place of my confinement from him and entreated him to send me my effects and the small sum of my money which was in my chamber.
A peasant girl aged between 20 and 25, brisk-mannered and with all her wits about her, promised to carry my letter and to make such discreet enquiries as would satisfy me on her return as to the various matters on which I informed her she would be questioned. I enjoined her expressly to withhold the name of the place whence she came, on no account to speak of me, but to say that she had got the letter from a man who had brought it from another town more than fifteen leagues distant.
Jeannette set off such was the name of my messenger and four and twenty hours later brought me my answer. It is indispensable, Madame, for me to relate to you now what had happened in the residence of the Marquis de Bressac before I allow you to see the letter which I received from him.
No one had arrived at the chateau from Paris and the Marquis, plunged into the deepest affliction the hypocrite! A search was instituted for this maid, the intention being that if found she should be sent to the gallows.
It was said that, sorely afflicted though he was, he had great difficulty in hiding his jubilation. The relatives who had been summoned for the post-mortem examination he had insisted on had duly lamented the fate of the unhappy Countess and sworn to avenge her if the maid who had committed so heinous a crime should ever fall into their hands. Then they left the young man in complete, undisturbed possession of the fruit of his villainy.
Monsieur de Bressac himself had spoken to Jeannette and had asked her divers questions which the girl had answered with such firmness and candour that he had resolved to write a reply for her without pressing her further.
There are times when my heart has need of it and I shall keep it until my dying breath. Read it, if you can do so without revulsion. She does well to conceal her whereabouts, for she may rest assured that if discovered she will be seriously incommoded. But what does she ask? Why does she speak of money and effects? Is not what she left behind the equivalent of what she stole during both her sojourn and her committing of her late crime?
She is well advised never to send here again as she now does, for she should know that her messenger would be detained until the secret of her hiding-place was known to the authorities. To be rolling in wealth and to withhold from an unfortunate girl who refused to abet a crime the little money which she honestly came by, is an act of unprecedented infamy!
I am guilty, then, I cried, I am denounced to the law of men for having too earnestly respected Justice. So be it! But I do not repent of my conduct. Whatever befalls me, I shall always remain beyond the reach of spiritual torment and remorse as long as my heart remains pure and my wrongs run to nothing more than my having too well heeded those sentiments of even-handedness and virtue which will never desert me. They seemed most unlikely for there would have been such danger to him of his bringing me before the Justices that I reasoned that he must secretly have been more frightened at the prospect of coming face to face with me, if he were ever to discover my hiding-place, than I was of his threats.
This reflection determined my resolve to stay in the place where I then was and, if possible, to find employment there until my funds swelled sufficiently to enable me to leave. Monsieur Rodin this was the name of the surgeon with whom I was lodged himself suggested that I should enter his service.
He was a man of 35 years of age, of a callous, abrupt, and brutal character, but nevertheless enjoying an excellent reputation throughout the whole of the surrounding country. He was totally wedded to his doctoring and as he employed no woman in his service, was only too pleased, on his returning home each day, to find one there to attend to the needs of his house and his person. He offered me francs annually and a small share of the revenue from his practice, and I accepted what he proposed.
Monsieur Rodin had too exact a knowledge of my person to be ignorant of the fact that I had never known a man. As a result, our mutually agreeable arrangement was quickly settled. But I did not tell my new master everything and he never knew who I was.
I had been two years in his house, and though I did not fail to have a great deal of hard labour to do in it, yet the kind of peace of mind I enjoyed there had almost driven my sorrows from my mind, when Heaven, resolved never to allow one single virtue to go forth from my heart without immediately burdening me with misfortune, intervened once more to wrench me from the cheerless felicity I fleetingly tasted and plunge me into new calamities.
One day, finding myself alone in the house and passing through various parts of it as and where my duties beckoned, I thought I heard groans coming from the depths of a cellar.
I approached, the sounds grew clearer, and I made out the cries of a girl. But a securely locked door separated her from me and I was quite unable to open up the place where she was held. Countless thoughts crowded into my mind. What was the poor creature doing there?
Monsieur Rodin was childless and to my knowledge had neither sisters nor nieces in whom he might profess an interest. The perfect regularity of the life I had observed him lead ruled out the possibility that the young woman was intended for his debauches.
For what reason, then, had he locked her away? Exceeding curious to resolve these difficulties, I dared question the child, asking her what she did there and who she was.
I am but The gentleman who lives here, aided by a friend, carried me off yesterday at a moment when my father was absent. Together they bound me, threw me into a bag of sawdust which prevented my crying out, put me over the back of a horse, and smuggled me into this house late last night, bringing me directly to this cellar.
I do not know what they want of me but on reaching this place they stripped me naked, inspected my person, asked my age, and then the gentleman who seemed to be master of the house told the other that the operation would have to be postponed until the evening of the day after next on account of my being afraid; that the experiment would pass off all the better for my being a little calmer; and that otherwise I answered fully to the conditions required in a subject.
I persuaded her to calm herself and promised to help. I found it exceeding difficult to understand what Monsieur Rodin and his friend, also a surgeon, were intending to do with this hapless girl. However, the word subject, which I had heard them use on other occasions, immediately prompted the suspicion that it was more than likely that they were planning to perform some ghastly anatomical dissection on the wretched child.
But before fixing myself in this cruel opinion, I resolved to make further enquiries. Rodin returned with his friend and they supped together and dismissed me.
With a show of obedience, I hid myself, and their conversation convinced me only too well that they were indeed hatching a horrible plan. It is odious that considerations of a piddling sort should impede the progress of science the way they do. She would be one subject sacrificed to save millions: Is the murder which is sanctioned by law of a different nature to the kind which we are about to commit in our operation?
Is not the whole point of the wise laws which permit capital punishment that one life should be sacrificed to save a thousand others? So let no such reservations stand in our way. I should have done it long ago if I had dared to do it alone. It ran solely upon medical matters and I took in little of it. But from that moment I set the whole of my mind, whatever the cost might be, to the task of rescuing this wretched victim from an art which, though precious no doubt from every point of view, bought its progress at too high a price when that price was the immolation of innocence.
The two friends parted and Rodin went to bed without speaking a word to me. The following day, which was the day appointed for the sacrifice, he left the house in the usual way, saying that he would not return till supper which he would, as on the previous evening, take with his friend.
He was hardly out of the house when I began busying myself with my own scheme. Heaven gave its blessing, but whether this was to succour innocence sacrificed or with a view to punish wretched Sophie for her act of compassion, I dare not say.
I shall relate the matter as it happened, and you will be the judge, Madame, for I am brought so low by the hand of impenetrable Providence that I cannot ever fathom what it has in store for me. Endeavouring always to promote its designs, I have been barbarously punished for doing so and can say no more than that. I went down to the cellar and again questioned the girl who repeated the same talk and the same fears.
I asked her if she knew where her captors left the key when they closed her prison door on her. I bent down. It was the key! I opened the door. The poor little creature threw herself at my feet and watered my hands with the tears of her gratitude. Without pausing to wonder what risk I ran, without reflecting on the fate which must await me, I thought of nothing but of ways of helping the child to escape. I succeeded in getting her out of the village without our meeting anyone and set her down on the forest path, kissed her, and rejoiced as much as she both in her present happiness and in the good cheer she would bring to her father when she reappeared before him.
Then I promptly returned to the house. Our two surgeons returned at the hour appointed in eager anticipation of executing their odious plans. They supped with as much good humour as haste and went down into the cellar the moment they had finished. The only precaution I had taken to conceal what I had done was to break the lock and return the key to the place where I had found it, so as to suggest that the girl had escaped unaided.
But the men I hoped thus to deceive were not the kind to let themselves be so easily duped. Rodin came back up fuming, leaped upon me and, in a welter of blows, demanded to know what I had done with the girl he had locked up.
I began by denying all knowledge of it, but my wretched honesty led me in the end to admit everything. There is nothing that can match the callous, wild rantings which these two blackguards then uttered.
One proposed that I should take the place of the child I had saved, the other that I should be subjected to tortures even more appalling. All these proposals and ravings were interspersed with blows which sent me reeling from the one to the other and soon I was so dazed that I fell to the ground unconscious. Their fury was then quieted. Rodin brought me round and as soon as I had recovered my wits, they ordered me to strip.
I obeyed tremblingly. When I was as they wanted, one of them held me while the other operated: I intend to send her away otherwise marked. It was night. They took me to the edge of the forest and callously left me there, but not without a reminder of how dangerous it would be for me in my present disreputable state to lodge any kind of complaint against them.
Anyone else but I would have paid little heed to this threat: But my weakness, my ingrained lack of guile, the alarms which arose out of my unfortunate adventures in Paris and at the Chateau de Bressac, all these things numbed my wits and made me fearful and I had now only one thought, which was to flee from that dreadful place as soon as my sufferings had eased a little.
Since they had carefully bound the hurts they had inflicted on me, the pain had subsided by the next morning and, after spending one of the most dreadful nights of my life under a tree, I set off at first light. The injuries to my feet prevented my walking very quickly but, anxious to be well clear of the forest which was so full of danger for me, I nevertheless made four leagues that first day and as many again the next and the day following.
But having no directions and not daring to enquire my way, I simply went in circles around Paris, and by the evening of the fourth day of my perambulation, I found I had got no further than Lieusaint. Knowing that this road would carry me to the cities of southern France, I resolved to follow it and make my way as best I could to those distant places, believing that the peace and safe haven which were so cruelly denied me in my native land stood waiting for me perhaps at the other end of the globe.
O fatal error!
O, how numerous the trials I had yet to endure! My funds, swelling more modestly in my service with Rodin than during the time I had spent with the Marquis de Bressac, were not so large that I had needed to set a proportion aside for safe-keeping, and fortunately I had the entire sum with me, which is to say about 10 louis, this sum being made up of what I had salvaged from my Bressac service and what I had earned in the house of the surgeon.
Although excessively weighed down by my sorrows, I could yet rejoice that this money had not been taken from me and I flattered myself that it would at least last me until I was able to find a situation. As the infamies which had been inflicted upon me did not show outside my clothes, I fancied I should always be able to hide them and their stigma would not be a bar to my earning a living.
I was 22 and enjoyed rude good health in spite of my being slight in build and slenderly made; I was possessed of a face which, to my cost, others praised too well, and a handful of virtues which, though they had never borne me but misfortune, nevertheless afforded me inward consolations and allowed me to hope that in the end Providence would grant them if not some measure of reward then at least some suspension of the ills which they had brought upon my head.
Taking heart and full of hope, I continued on my way as far as Sens. But my badly healed feet caused me considerable pain and I resolved to rest up there for a few days. Not daring to expose the cause of my sufferings to any person and recalling the drugs which I had seen Rodin employ in similar cases, I bought quantities of the same and treated myself.
I might perhaps have found myself employment at Sens, but only too sensible of the need to get away I did not even think to ask. I had heard a great deal about this part of France during my childhood and fancied happiness was to be had there.
We shall see if I succeeded in finding it. Whatever the circumstances of my life, the feeling for religion had never deserted me. Forced on occasions by my misfortunes to neglect the duties of religion, I made good my deficiencies whenever I could. I had just left Auxerre on 7 June—I shall never forget that time—and had proceeded for about two leagues. The heat was beginning to tell on me and I resolved to climb a low hill topped by a spinney to my left which was somewhat out of my way, with a notion of finding a little coolness and of sleeping a couple of hours there, which I could do at a cheaper cost than at an inn and in greater safety than on the high road.
I made my way up and settled at the foot of an oak where, after partaking of a frugal meal of a crust of bread and water, I surrendered to the charms of Morpheus. I slumbered peace- fully for above two hours. On waking, I feasted my eyes on the landscape spread out before me, still to the left of the road. In the middle of a forest which stretched away endlessly, I could make out, more than three leagues off, a small steeple rising modestly into the air.
Here must be the retreat of solitary nuns or saintly men, with thoughts only for their duties, wholly devoted to religion, far removed from pernicious society where crime, ceaselessly doing battle with innocence, invariably gains the upper hand. I feel sure that all the virtues reside behind those walls. I enquired of her what the buildings were and she said that what I could see was a house of Recollet Friars which was occupied by four solitary Brethren whose religion, abstinence, and sobriety were without equal.
She said that she could not, that her mother was waiting even then for her at home, but that the way was easy. She pointed it out to me, adding that the Father Superior, who was the most respectable and holy of men, would not only receive me warmly but extend a helping hand should I be in need of one.
He is happy in this solitary place and has several times refused excellent offers of advancement from the Pope to whom he is related. He is a man of high family, mild-mannered, obliging, full of zeal and piety, aged about 50, and considered by everyone hereabouts to be a saint. Although I myself stood in need of alms, I gave the girl of my charity and without more ado was embarked upon the road to Sainte-Marie-des-Bois this was the name of the monastery towards which I was headed.
Down on the plain once more, I lost sight of the steeple and my only guide was now the forest itself. I had not asked my informant how many leagues it was from the place where I had encountered her to the monastery, and soon I discovered that the distance was in fact much greater than the idea I had formed of it. But I was in no whit discouraged. I reached the edge of the forest and, observing that there was ample daylight left, I decided to press on into it, being virtually assured of getting to the monastery before nightfall.
However, my eyes met with no sign of human activity, not a house even, and the only way forward was a little-used path which I followed as best I could. I had come at least five leagues from the hill where I had thought that three at most would see me to my destination, and could still make out nothing of it. The sun was about to desert me when at last I heard the sound of a bell less than a league from where I was. Nothing could be more rural than this deserted spot. There were no other buildings close by, the nearest being more than six leagues off, and in every direction the forest extended for at least three leagues.
The monastery being in a hollow, I had been obliged to make a considerable descent to get to it: The hut occupied by one of the Brothers who tended the garden was built against the wall of the inner refuge, and it was here that the traveller applied before gaining entry. I asked the saintly hermit if it was allowed to speak to the Father Superior. He asked me what I wanted of him. I gave him to understand that a matter of religious observance, a vow, had drawn me to this pious retreat and that I should be thoroughly consoled for all the trouble I had taken to reach the place if I could, just for a moment, prostrate myself before the Virgin and kneel at the feet of the holy director of the house where her miraculous statue resided.
After showing me where I could rest, the Brother disappeared into the monastery and, since it was already night and the friars were, said he, at supper, it was some time before he returned. Finally, he reappeared accompanied by a friar: His eyes were wild and dark, his voice rough and hard, and his manner made me tremble far more than it consoled.
An involuntary shudder seized me and, powerless to prevent it, the recollection of all my past misfortunes swam up into my memory. You have the look of an adventuress about you. I ask to be confessed if that is possible, and when the secrets of my heart are known to you, you will see whether or not I am worthy to prostrate myself at the feet of the miraculous Virgin which you care for in your saintly house. We have nowhere to accommodate you. Morning was the time to come.
He invited me to go with him into the temple. Father Raphael, of whom I should give you some idea before proceeding further, was as old as I had been given to believe but looked a man of not above 40 years. He was slim, quite tall, and his face was intelligent and kindly.
He spoke French extremely well though with a slight Italian accent, and was as outwardly genteel and considerate as he was inwardly saturnine and fierce, of which I shall presently have only too much occasion to persuade you. In the presence of so kindly-seeming a man, I felt perfectly recovered from the fears which Father Clement had started in me.
I confessed all my faults and confided all my misfortunes ever to him: Father Raphael listened with the closest attention, and even asked me to repeat a number of details which he heard with an air of compassion and concern.
His chief questions at various times concerned the following points:. Was it quite true that I was an orphan and hailed from Paris? Was it really the case that I had no family or friends or protectors or anyone with whom I corresponded?
Had I told anyone other than the shepherdess of my design to come to the monastery, and had I arranged to meet her on my return?
Was it a fact that I was a virgin and that I was but 22 years of age? Was it absolutely certain that I had not been followed and that no one had observed my entering the monastery?
When I had given him full satisfaction on these matters and answered each question in the most candid fashion, the Superior rose to his feet and, taking me by the hand, said: The hour is too late for you to kneel to the Virgin this evening.
But I shall see to it that tomorrow you will have the sweet comfort of hearing mass at the foot of her statue. But first let us think of how we shall arrange for you to sup and sleep tonight. Are you afraid to spend the night with four men of God? Oh, you will discover, my angel, that we are not really as sanctimonious as we appear and that we know how to take our pleasure with a pretty girl. Will the desire which I felt to draw near to what is most respectable in religion meet with the same punishment as a crime?
The Superior indicated that I should precede him and, observing that I was somewhat reluctant to do so, turned to me: Two of the girls were completely naked and the third was in the process of being undressed.
The friars were more or less in the same condition. Allow me to present to you a genuine phenomenon. Given the obligation on me to paint a picture for you of the people in whose midst I now found myself, I shall interrupt my tale here—but shall leave you in suspense with regard to my situation for the shortest time possible.
You are already sufficiently acquainted with Raphael and Clement for me to come directly to the others. Antonin, the third of the friars in the monastery, was a small man of 40, spare, slight, with a temperament of fire and the face of a satyr, hairy as a bear, a man of unbridled lechery, mettlesome and nasty beyond example. Father Jerome, the senior man, was an old libertine of 60, as hard and as brutal as Clement but the greater drunkard of the two.
Being indifferent to ordinary pleasures, he was obliged, if he was to feel any glimmer of sensuality, to have recourse to tastes as depraved as they were revolting. Florette was the youngest of the women. She was a native of Dijon, aged about 14, the daughter of a prosperous merchant of that town. She had been abducted by agents of Raphael who, wealthy and enjoying great credit in his Order, was prepared to spare no pains in the pursuit of his pleasures.
She was dark, had very pretty eyes and an exceedingly alluring and provocative face. She had beautiful hair, dazzling skin, and the finest of figures; she was from Auxerre, the daughter of a wine-merchant, and had been seduced by Raphael himself who had covertly lured her into his snares. Omphale was a woman of 30, very tall, with a very sweet and pleasing face, an extremely full figure, superb hair, the most handsome bosom conceivable, and the tenderest eyes you could ever hope to see.
She was the daughter of a well-to-do vine-grower from Joigny and had been on the point of marrying a man who would have made her fortune when Jerome detached her from her family at the age of 16 by decoying her with the most extraordinary enticements. Such was the company in which I was to live, such the sink of foulness and filth, whereas I had fancied I would find virtues there frilly consonant with all that may be assumed of a respectable place of retreat.
The moment I joined this fearsome group, I was given to understand that I should be well advised to imitate the submissiveness of my companions. You say you have endured many misfortunes and, judging by your tale, that is quite true. Yet you will note that the greatest mishap of all for a virtuous maid is still missing from the catalogue of your misfortunes.
Is it natural for a girl to be a virgin at your age? And is not being so a kind of miracle which could not be prolonged indefinitely? Like you, your companions were extremely put out when they realized they had no choice but to serve our desires and, as you will wisely do, they submitted at the last when they saw that failure to do so would lead only to harsh treatment. In your present circumstances, Sophie, how can you possibly hope to defend yourself? Give a thought to how alone you are in the world.
On your own admission you have neither relatives nor friends remaining. Think of your situation here in this sequestered place far from help, forgotten by the outside world, in the clutches of four libertines who certainly have no wish to spare you. Will it be to the God whose help you implored with such fervour only moments since, who takes advantage of your zeal to push you a little more firmly into the trap? You must see that there is no power human or divine capable of plucking you from our grasp, nothing in the realm of physical possibilities or in the class of miracles, nothing in short which can succeed in further preserving the virtue of which you are so proud, nothing which will prevent your becoming in every sense and in all conceivable ways the prey of the foul excesses which all four of us are about to indulge in at your expense.
So remove your clothes, Sophie, and may your most total resignation earn our leniency which, however, if you do not submit, will be instantly replaced by the harshest treatment which will, in turn, serve only to inflame us further without shielding you from our intemperance and brutal appetites. But would I not have been indeed guilty not to resort to the shift which my heart now prompted me to take and which Nature still left open to me?
The bitterest of salty drops bedewed his knees and everything my heart could furnish by way of pathos I dared try upon him as I wept—but having yet to learn that tears are but an added attraction in the eyes of crime and debauchery, I did not know that everything I did in my efforts to move the hearts of these monsters would simply have the effect of inflaming them further.
Raphael got to his feet in a fury: You are all aware, my friends, of our customary procedures with new acquisitions. She must undergo them all, without exception, and meanwhile let these three other women remain at hand to attend to or stimulate our needs. There, for above two hours, I was inspected, scrutinized, probed by all four libertines, the object in turn of their praise and censure.
Farewell, My Queen. Moishe Black. The Duchesse de Langeais. Frank J. Another Study of a Woman. The Mysteries of Paris. Eugene Sue. Like Death. Guy De Maupassant. League of Spies. Robert Merle. Burning Secret. Stefan Zweig. A Love Episode.
The Illustrious Gaudissart. An Episode Under the Terror. A Second Home. Honore De Balzac. When I Was Dead. Vincent O'Sullivan. Albert Savarus. The Poor Clare. Elizabeth Gaskell.
A Woman of the Pharisees. The High Place. James Branch Cabell. Analytical Studies. Turbulent Tales.
Raphael Sabatini. The Lost King. Piping Hot! Alexandre Dumas. The Three Cities Trilogy: Paris, Vol.
Giacomo Casanova. Guy de Maupassant. The Joy of Life. The Seven Wives of Bluebeard. Anatole France. The Purse.
A Modern Chronicle, Volume 7. Winston Churchill. The Memoirs of Two Young Wives.