Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Possibly the world's most popular inclination, the impulse to export your suffering to another seems to be near-universal. Not confined to any race, sex, or age category, the impulse to cause pain appears to well up from deep inside human beings. This is mysterious, because no one seems to enjoy pain when it is inflicted on them. Go figure.

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:23 am

The Black Mass

The height of religious sexual mysticism was reached in the cult of the so-called "Satan’s Church." Satan here became the "Personification of the Physical Mysterium of Copulation" as a protest against the exclusive mastery of the "Metaphysical Mysticism of Idolization." The history of this remarkable sect has been written for all time by Stanislaw Przybyszewski in his The Cult of Satan's Church. Satan-Satyr, Satan-Pan, and Satan-Phallus was the ancient "God of instincts and corporeal passions, equally honored by the highest and lowest in spirit, the inexhaustible source of joy in life, enthusiasm and intoxication.

"He taught women the art of seduction, men to satisfy their feelings in their double sexual desires, he ran rim in color, discovered the flute and set the muscles in rhythmical movement, until the divine mania embraced the heart and the divine Phallus with its opulence sowed the fruitful womb."

That was the age of the pagan mysteries of motherhood. Then came the Judeo-Grecan Christianity and preached the supernatural, ascetic mysticism of fatherhood. The church tore man forcefully from nature. "She destroyed the unconscious selection of nature, which expressed itself externally in beauty, power and splendor; she protected everything that nature would uproot: din, ugliness, sickness, cripples and eunuchs." But nature did not allow itself to be rejected. And so the church had to give in and amalgamate the pagan creed with its own. "The bacchanalias at the feasts of Ceres Libera were celebrated with greater freedom than ever before on Lady-day, and until the thirteenth century the people celebrated in common with the priests, lascivious and orgiastic festivals, the feast of the Ass, the feast of the Idiots.

While they were voraciously dispatching everything in sight they started to deliberate about our punishment and their revenge. As usual in such an unruly crowd there was lively disagreement. One wanted the girl to be burned alive, another said she should be thrown to the beasts, a third thought she should be crucified, and a fourth was all for torturing her to death; the one point on which they were unanimous was that die she must. Then, when the hubbub had died down, one quietly took up the running. 'It is repugnant,' he said, 'both to our principles as professionals and our humanity as individuals, not to mention my own ideas of moderation, to allow you to punish this crime more savagely than it merits. Rather than invoking the beasts or the cross or fire or torture, or even giving her a quick death, if you will be guided by me you will grant the girl her life -- but in the form that she deserves. You won't, I'm sure, have forgotten what you've already decided to do with that bone-idle ass that does nothing but eat; deceitful too, shamming lame and aiding and abetting the girl's escape. My proposal therefore is that tomorrow we slaughter him, remove his insides, and sew the girl up in his belly naked -- since he prefers her company to ours -- with just her head showing and the rest of her hugged tight in his bestial embrace. Then we'll leave this dainty dish of stuffed donkey on some rocky crag to cook in the heat of the sun. In that way both of them will undergo all the punishments to which you have so justly sentenced them. The ass will die as he richly deserves; the girl will be torn by beasts when the worms gnaw her, she will be roasted when the blazing sun scorches the ass's belly, and she will be gibbeted when the dogs and vultures drag out her entrails. And think of all her other sufferings and torments: to dwell alive in the belly of a dead animal, to suffocate in an intolerable stench, to waste away and die of prolonged fasting, and not even to have her hands free to compass her own death.'


In the hall of my house I shall dedicate a picture of this flight of ours. People will come to see it, and the artless story of 'The Princess who escaped from Captivity on the back of an Ass' will be told around the world and immortalized in the pages of the learned. You too will join the catalogue of the Wonders of Old, and your true example will lead us to believe that Phrixus really did make his crossing on the ram, that Arion rode the dolphin, and that Europa perched on the bull.

-- The Golden Ass, or Metamorphoses, by Apuleius, translated by E.J. Kinney

The remainder of the Phallus cult stole away to the church; the columns and pillars swarmed with obscene figures, a favorite theme for the reliefs in the church was Noah sleeping with his daughters." But the real cult of "Satan’s Church" was founded by the Manichees in southern France. "From here began the monstrous triumphal procession of Satan through all Europe." The secret societies of "Perfect Beings" formed everywhere, serving exclusively the most obscene sexual vices. "They insulted and stoned the priests, violated the holy objects with their obscene purposes and parodied the Catholic services in their rites." In spite of the persecution of the church the sect and its motto persevered: Nemo potest peccare ab umbilico et inferius [Google translate: No one can not sin, from the navel and the lower]; it found command support from "unsatisfied" priests. Sins slay sins! That was the great principle of their sexual orgies. The priest sanctifies all women who sin with him. The nuns are "consecrated," i.e. they become the mistresses of the priests. The black death in the fourteenth century, flagellation, dance-mania, famine, all heightened immeasurably the sexual hysteria. Now the sect of devil worshippers enjoyed their triumphs. Since then, in spite of persecution, they remained in the self-same position and further celebrate their public masses. Even in modern times they have appeared in various forms. The "Adamites" or "Nicolites," "Picards," who congregate nude and enjoy wives in common, were founded by John Ziska on an island in the Luschnitz River. They appeared again in 1848 in five villages as "Moroccanes." The name was chosen due to their expectation of the extirpation of all Catholics by an enemy coming from Morocco. Similarly the name "Oneida" or the older name of "Perfecti," later "Perfectionists" in New York State (since 1831). Even today the Satan cult is carried on in Paris, as is described by J. K. Huysmans, in Là Bas:

The sacrifice ceased. The priest descended the steps backward, knelt on the last one, and in a sharp, tripidant voice cried:

"Master of Slanders, Dispenser of the benefits of crime, Administrator of sumptuous sins and great vices, Satan, thee we adore, reasonable God, just God!

"Superadmirable legate of false trances, thou receivest our beseeching tears; thou savest the honor of families by aborting wombs impregnated in the forgetfulness of the good orgasm; thou dost suggest to the mother the hastening of untimely birth, and thine obstetrics spares the still-born children the anguish of maturity, the contamination of original sin.

"Mainstay of the despairing Poor, Cordial of the Vanquished, it is thou who endowst them with hypocrisy, ingratitude, and stiff-neckedness, that they may defend themselves against the children of God, the Rich.

"Suzerain of Resentment, Accountant of Humiliations, Treasurer of old Hatreds, thou alone dost fertilize the brain of man whom injustice has crashed; thou breathest into him the idea of meditated vengeance, sure misdeeds; thou incitest him to murder; thou givest him the abundant joy of accomplished reprisals and permittest him to taste the intoxicating draught of the tears of which he is the cause.

"Hope of Virility, Anguish of the Empty Womb, thou dost not demand the bootless offering of chaste lions, thou dost not sing the praises of Lenten follies; thou alone receivest the carnal supplications and petitions of poor and avaricious families. Thou determinest the mother to sell her daughter, to give her son; thou aidest sterile and reprobate loves; Guardian of strident Neuroses, Leaden Tower of Hysteria, bloody Vase of Rape!

"Master, thy faithful servants, on their knees, implore thee and supplicate thee to satisfy them when they wish the torture of all those who love them and aid them; they supplicate thee, to assure them the joy of delectable misdeeds unknown to justice, spells whose unknown origin baffles the reason of man; they ask, finally, glory, riches, power, of thee, King of the Disinherited, Son who art to overthrow the inexorable Father!"

Then Docre rose, and erect, with arms outstretched, vociferated in a ringing voice of hate:

"And thou, thou whom, in my quality of priest, I force, whether thou wilt or no, to descend into this host, to incarnate thyself in this bread, Jesus, Artisan of Hoaxes, Bandit of Homage, Robber of Affection, hear! Since the day when thou didst issue from the complaisant bowels of a Virgin, thou hast failed all thine engagements, belied all thy promises. Centuries have wept, awaiting thee, fugitive God, mute God! Thou wast to redeem man and thou hast not, thou wast to appear in thy glory, and thou sleepest. Go, lie, say to the wretch who appeals to thee, 'Hope, be patient, suffer; the hospital of souls will receive thee; the angels will assist thee; Heaven opens to thee.' Imposter! thou knowest well that the angels, disgusted at thine inertness, abandon thee! Thou wast to be the Interpreter of our plaints, the Chamberlain of our tears; thou wast to convey them to the Father and thou hast not done so, for this intercession would disturb thine eternal sleep of happy satiety.

“Thou hast forgotten the poverty thou didst preach, enamoured vassal of Banks! Thou hast seen the weak crushed beneath the press of profit; thou hast heard the death rattle of the timid, paralyzed by famine, of women disembowelled for a bit of bread, and thou hast caused the Chancery of thy Simoniacs, thy commercial representatives, thy Popes, to answer by dilatory excuses and evasive promises, sacristy Shyster, huckster God!

"Master, whose inconceivable ferocity engenders life and inflicts it on the innocent whom thou darest damn—in the name of what original sin?—whom thou darest punish—by the virtue of what covenants?—we would have thee confess thine impudent cheats, thine inexpiable crimes! We would drive deeper the nails into thy hands, press down the crown of thorns upon thy brow, bring blood and water from the dry wounds of thy sides.

"And that we can and will do by violating the quietude of thy body, Profaner of ample vices, Abstractor of stupid purities, cursed Nazarene, do-nothing King, coward God!"

"Amen!" trilled the soprano voices of the choir boys.

Durtal listened in amazement to this torrent of blasphemies and insults. The foulness of the priest stupefied him. A silence succeeded the litany. The chapel was foggy with the smoke of the censers. The women, hitherto taciturn, flustered now, as, remounting the altar, the canon turned toward them and blessed them with his left hand in a sweeping gesture. And suddenly the choir boys tinkled the prayer bells.

It was a signal. The women fell to the carpet and writhed. One of them seemed to be worked by a spring. She threw herself prone and waved her legs in the air. Another, suddenly struck by a hideous strabism, clucked, then becoming tongue-tied stood with her mouth open, the tongue turned back, the tip cleaving to the palate. Another, inflated, livid, her pupils dilated, lolled her head back over her shoulders, then jerked it brusquely erect and belabored herself, tearing her breast with her nails. Another, sprawling on her back, undid her skirts, drew forth a rag, enormous, meteorized; then her face twisted into a horrible grimace, and her tongue, which she could not control, stuck out, bitten at the edges, harrowed by red teeth, from a bloody mouth.

Suddenly Durtal rose, and now he heard and saw Docre distinctly.

Docre contemplated the Christ surmounting the tabernacle, and with arms spread wide apart he spewed forth frightful insults, and, at the end of his forces, muttered the billingsgate of a drunken cabman. One of the choir boys knelt before him with his back toward the altar. A shudder ran around the priest's spine. In a solemn but jerky voice he said, "Hoc est enim corpus meum," [Google translate: This is my body] then, instead of kneeling, after the consecration, before the precious Body, he faced the congregation, and appeared tumefied, haggard, dripping with sweat. He staggered between the two choir boys, who, raising the chasuble, displayed his naked belly. Docre made a few passes and the host sailed, tainted and wiled, over the steps.

Durtal felt himself shudder. A whirlwind of hysteria shook the room.

While the choir boys sprinkled holy water on the pontiff's nakedness, women rushed upon the Eucharist and, groveling in front of the altar, clawed from the bread humid particles and drank and ate divine ordure.

Another woman, curled up over a crucifix, emitted a rending laugh, then cried to Docre, "Father, father!" A crone tore her hair, leapt, whirled around and around as on a pivot and fell over beside a young girl who, huddled to the wall, was writhing in convulsions, frothing at the mouth, weeping, and spitting out frightful blasphemies. And Durtal, terrified, saw through the fog the red horns of Docre, who seated now, frothing with rage, was chewing up sacramental wafers, taking them out of his mouth, wiping himself with them, and distributing them to the women, who ground them underfoot, howling, or fell over each other struggling to get hold of them and violate them.

The place was simply a madhouse, a monstrous pandemonium of prostitutes and maniacs. Now, while the choir boys gave themselves to the men, and while the woman who owned the chapel, mounted the altar, caught hold of the phallus of the Christ with one hand and with the other held a chalice between "His" naked legs, a little girl, who hitherto had not budged, suddenly bent over forward and howled, howled like a dog. Overcome with disgust, nearly asphyxiated, Durtal wanted to flee. He looked for Hyacinthe. She was no longer at his side. He finally caught sight of her close to the canon, and, stepping over the writhing bodies on the floor, he went to her. With quivering nostrils she was inhaling the effluvia of the perfumes and of the couples.

"The sabbatic odor!" she said to him between clenched teeth, in a strangled voice.

The Marquis de Sade gave evidence in his novels of being a fanatic Satanist. Many black masses appeared in Justine and Juliette. A mass in a monastery was fully described in Justine (II, 239). A Maiden, as the Holy Virgin, with arms raised to heaven, was bound in a niche in the church. Later she was laid naked on a great table, candles were lit, a crucifix decorated her buttocks, and "they celebrated on her buttocks the most absurd mysteries of Christianity." Then a mass was read on the same place. As soon as there was a Host of God, she seized the monk Ambrose and held fast to his member, whereby the believers in the Host were derided with the maddest expressions.

Two black masses were read in the privates of two tribades, (Juliette III, 147), then the Host was placed in the dung, after which the main altar became the place of the wildest orgies.

Pope Pius VI, himself, read a black mass in St. Peter's church, the Host being placed in the anus of a young girl.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:23 am


So many comments have already been made on the life of nuns in the eighteenth century that we can be content with a short description. The Panthémont Convent in Paris described by de Sade (Juliette I, 1 if.) actually existed! "The great convent of the eighteenth century, after the convent at Fontevrault, is Panthémont, the royal convent where the princesses were educated and where the greatest nobles sent their daughters." Panthémont was the most expensive of all convents.

In the eighteenth century the convents were becoming more and more secularized. "The motto of the convent of the Nouvelles Catholiques, vincit mundum fides nostra, had for a long time been a dead letter. The world had stepped into the convent." Of course, the secular students lived separately from the nuns. But nevertheless intercourse between them easily sprung up and the nuns were informed as to the events of the outside world by the lay-sisters. Gossip and scandal were never far from the convent; then, too, the intercourse with the father confessors and the intimate companionship of so many young and old women did not allow the sexual aberrations of the previous centuries to cease in the convents. The brothers de Goncourt wonder how a book like Mademoiselle d'Albert's Escapades of a Jolly Girl could have ever been written at the Panthémont convent. We rather wonder how the de Goncourts in their expressed preference for the eighteenth century, for "the good old times," failed to recognize the immorality in the spiritual convents. It is true we haven't many reliable reports on the French convents. We can find, for example, only a few scandalous stories about the Panthémont convent. But what does that show? The entire spiritual corruption was open as day. From the beginning of the century till the French Revolution clear-seeing minds condemned it with grave reproaches. One reads, for example, the account of this situation, derived from reliable reports, in Buckle's History Of Civilization in England. Or the other citations, the dissolution of the Jesuit order, the historically confirmed intercourse of the confessors with the nuns. Tocqueville says: "The clergy preach of morals but they are compromising by their actions." Buckle calls special attention to this state of affairs in his authoritative work.

What the de Goncourts have further overlooked is the decisive proof: the affairs in the convents became objects of public ridicule in contemporary drama, represented in Lanjon's Nunnery, Papers Johanna, The Dragoon, The Convent Girls, etc. That is shown further by the enormous spread of tribadism in France in the eighteenth century, which we shall later investigate, and which found its favorite center in convents. It is proven finally by the famous novel of Diderot, The Nun, and the many pictures of the corruption in the convents, as well as the erotic writings of the eighteenth century.

So we can well believe de Sade when he said (Juliette, I, 1): "The prettiest and most immoral girls in Paris are those that come from the Panthémont convent" and also when he had the tribade, Zanetti, say (Juliette VI, 156); "The churches serve as bordellos," and when he described an instrument of pleasure, much used by women, as the "jewel of the 'sisters' ".

At any rate, immorality in the convents of neighboring Italy had reached a very high degree. Gorani, whose reliability is well known, reported wild orgies in the Neapolitan convents. The discovery of sexual debaucheries of the nuns at Prato (near Florence) brought to light one of the most noted spiritual scandals of the eighteenth century. Reumont related: In Prato as well as in Pistoia there were firmly entrenched in the Dominican convents disorders of the worst kind, a mixture of pietism and physical aberrations that bordered madness, and which had been no secret to the spiritual leaders for a long time. Some sort of order was established in Pistoia, but in Prato, where most of the compromised nuns were sent, there was an outbreak at Easter in 1781. The Grand Duke led an investigation by the police commissioner, the two principal culprits were locked up at Prato, then sent to Florence for trial. The Dominicans were forced to break all connections with the convent and were threatened with expulsion in case of disobedience. The entire affair made a grand sensation because of the vice and the fact that the nuns who were incriminated came of highly respected parents. A detailed description may be found in the biography of the Bishop of Prato, Scipione de' Ricci, by Potter.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:26 am


The eighteenth century is, at least in France, the century of women. Georg Brandes rightly believes that the de Goncourts, those refined worshippers of women, felt drawn to the history of the eighteenth century, since "the influence of women was highest at that time." Woman in the Eighteenth Century by the de Goncourts is one of the most pleasant historical works, dealing with the highlights instead of the sidelights of its subject.

There is an unequalled description of the powerful influence of women in the chapter The Mastery and Intelligence of Women of the above work. "The soul of this age, the center of this world, the point from which everything radiates, the mount from which everything descends, the pattern that forms everything else, is the Woman." From the beginning to the end of the century woman ruled: Mesdames de Prie, de Mailly, de Châteauroux, de Pompadour, du Barry, de Polignac. Woman ruled in state, politics, and in society; her influence was felt in every field of life. War and peace were decided by the caprice of a woman, and not by the welfare of France. And in the famous salons of Do Deffand, Necker, Lespinasse, Geoffrin, Grandval, women set the fashion in the discussions of questions of the day and scientific affairs. Here was formed the modern "cultured society."

The age also showed that where the influence of women became predominant, the family broke up, love took on immoral forms, and was accompanied by a contempt for the feminine sex. Love in this age was thoroughly sensual. It had become debauchery. Passion was recruited from the curious; the husband taught his wife all the tricks of love of a mistress. Philosophy aided in justifying debauchery and in apologizing for its shame. "At a supper in the house of a famous actress, at the table of a Quinault, among the obscene talk of a Duclos and Saint-Lambert, one heard women in all stages of sweet drunkenness speak of modesty: Pretty virtue! It should be fastened with pins." Convenient sophisms confused all moral conceptions of the woman. The purely physical love, which was proclaimed as the ideal by naturalism and materialism, finally appeared in woman "in all its brutality."

The sexual relations followed wholly sensual purposes, and those which tried to beautify love were confined to making more pleasant and lasting the coarsest curiosities by light hindrances and by a mixture of such embellishments, which had more appeal to the mind than to the heart. The word "gallantry" received an entirely new meaning. It signified immoral manners and conduct which only differed from the wantonness of common whores by such forms as would increase the pleasure and serve as preservation of the appearance of esteem before the public. Bernhard's famous imitation of Ovid's Art of Love preached conventional behavior in the greatest lewdness. Not much better were the "platonic loves," the "liaisons of society," the "private affairs" of that time. The Abbé Baliani says; "The women did not then love with the heart but with the head." Love was "complete freedom in the making." One realized in it the dirtiest dreams of a decadent artist, the temptations of spiritual corruption, the strangest fancies of an insatiable lechery. Love became an exciting play in which all the refinements of spiritual prostitution were essayed in order to increase the pleasure.

They prepared themselves for these pleasures by indulging in the most obscene conversations. Repeatedly de Sade mentioned in his novels how the pleasures of love were increased by conversations employing the dirtiest words and topics. This experience was taken directly from reality. Mercier tells that the great number of public whores had incited the youths to a very free speech which they used in addressing the most honorable women. The conversation with the most respected women was seldom delicate but reveled in dirty jokes, puns and scandals.

Therefrom resulted an unheard of immodesty in women. At thirty, woman lost the last particle of feeling of shame. There remained but "elegancy in vice," grace in debauchery. The woman took all the counterparts of a male libertine; her great pleasure was "to enjoy fully the shame of her calling." So also the women in de Sade's novels rejoiced and exulted that they were prostitutes, that they belonged to the whole world and could bear the honored name of "whore." Even so pious a soul and so tender a heart as Madame Roland knew no feeling of modesty and reserve. She described herself and her body in all details in her Autobiography; she told of her breasts, hips, legs, etc., so cold-bloodedly that it would avail for a criticism of a statue. Shall we wonder then that de Sade had Juliette describe her own charms with a boundless cynicism (Juliette IV, 103)?

Gated women carried their immodesty so far as to rent petites maisons, just like male roués. Indeed even women from the aristocracy went so far as to seek their pleasure in bordellos. Rétif de la Bretonne recognized Princess d’Egmont as a prostitute in a bordello. Conversely, it was no rarity for a prostitute to marry into polite society. In his Contemporaries, de Ia Bretonne says further: "I have indeed seen something far worse than this: a daughter of a hunchback, after she had passed through the hands of the madames, had a child, lived in the St. Honoré as a public prostitute, etc., etc.; she then married a rich man, had children by him and moved in polite society." Yet another example: Do Barry! Daughter of a low tax-collector, first a model in Paris, then a prostitute in the house of Madame Gourdan, of whom we shall speak more later. Here in the bordello he met Count Jean du Barry, to whose brother she was later married on her advancement to the position of the mistress of Louis XV. No wonder that the aristocracy eagerly copied such an example and inaugurated a true hunt of the beautés populaires. Thence arose a new fashion-word s'encanailler.

Thus the nearer one approaches the time of the Revolution the more moral corruption lay hold of the women of the country. It was prepared and nourished by the famous "convulsions," that remarkable, hysterical epidemic of convulsions lasting from 1727 to 1762 and attacking mainly the lower classes. Its center was the courtyard of the St. Medardus church. "From all quarters of the city the crowds turned to St. Medardus in order to participate in the trances, fits, amps, convulsions and similar ecstasies. The entire courtyard and even the neighboring streets were packed tight with girls, women, invalids of all ages, etc., who strove to outdo one another in convulsions." Women, lying stretched out, begged the spectators to beat their bellies and were not satisfied until the weight of ten or twelve men were piled high on them with full force. Passionate dances, like the famous "saut de carpe" of Abbé Bécherand, soon gave an erotic color to these "convulsions." Dulaure told what final rôle lust played in this notable form of hysteria and how these convulsions assisted in spreading sexual licentiousness. One can recognize the erotism in these convulsions in that the young maidens in their "fits" "never called to women for aid, but always to men, and to young, strong men at that." Hence they dressed very indecently, always showed an inclination for adamite nudeness, assumed lascivious postures, threw longing looks at the young men running to help them. Indeed, some cried out loudly: Da liberos, alioquin moriar! Thus vice and debauchery did not wait in abeyance; when the women in their orgasms invited the men "to use as a promenade their belly, bosom, thighs, etc., to fight with them," there was, of course, the natural result from the absolvement of morals by the convulsions.

Hysteria (Vapeurs) was prevalent with the French women throughout the century. Sauvages rightly holds that the origin of this hysteria was the crass egoism (amour excessif de soi-même), the weak, vicious life of the women of that time. The hysteria libidinosa then also brought to a head notable eccentricities.

Woman in the eighteenth century created what a later age designated as "sadism," and which we shall later define in a significantly broader meaning. The méchanceté, the evil, and the noirceurs, the malicious tricks, became fashionable in love; the sinful sentiment (scélératesse) became a necessary ingredient of sexual pleasure. "Debauchery became an art of cruelty, perfidy, treachery and tyranny. Machiavelli was the master of love." Shortly before the Revolution, after the petits maîtres of love there appeared the grands maîtres of perversity, the heartless advocates of theoretical and practical immorality. With some women debauchery even reached satanism. They tormented respectable women, whose virtue was offensive to them; they also dastardly and with evil joy had the objects of their hate and also their love removed. They embodied the lustful pleasure in evil, the "libertinage des passions méchantes."

Real people gave the stamp to this society; their existence was confirmed by numerous personalities. The de Goncourts named the Duke of Choiseul, the Marquis de Louvois, Count de Frise, etc., as such lustful devils. And a respectable Dame of Grenoble, the Marquise L.T.D.P.M. was the feminine counterpart of these heroes, perhaps the pattern for de Sade’s Juliette. The age of terror for love had broken out long before the reign of terror of the great Revolution, even before de Sade, intoxicated by the flowing blood from the guillotine, depicted in the most notable literary documents: The Terror of Love! And as in the age of terror under Chaumette’s leadership the "theosophical orgies of lust" were celebrated, as the "goddesses of reason” were honored by a Maillard, a Moncore, an Aubry, in their bestial fashion, there suddenly appeared the "tricoteuses de Robespierre," the "flagelleuses" and the horrible "furies de guillotine."

The four greatest thinkers of France in the eighteenth century: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire and Diderot all taught contempt for women. One has only to think of Voltaire's bitterly sarcastic expressions on his true friend Madame Du Chatelet. Woman, according to Rousseau, was created only for man's enjoyment. For Montesquieu man has power and reason, woman only gracefulness. Diderot saw in woman only an object of passion. "So a woman to Diderot is a courtesan, to Montesquieu a graceful child, to Rousseau an object of pleasure, to Voltaire—naught." In the Revolution Condorcet and Sieyès appeared for the family and political emancipation, but their protests were quickly stifled by the “mighty voices of the three great continuers (continuateurs) of the eighteenth century, through Mirabeau, Danton and Robespierre." The reason for this contempt is clear. Marriage, as Westermarck has shown in his classical work, is that institution to which humanity owes its moral perfecting; it is the absolute moral institution. In marriage the woman is of equal rank with the man, since she completes him. Outside of the marriage the woman cannot compensate him and consequently appears inferior.

We close with an almost unbelievable example of the contempt of women. The reference will be found in Buckle's History of Civilization in England, Pact I, Chapter XII: "In the middle of the eighteenth century, there was an actress on the French stage by the name of Chantilly. She, though beloved by Maurice de Saxe, preferred a more honorable attachment, and married Favert, the well-known writer of songs and of comic operas. Maurice, amazed at her boldness, applied for aid to the French crown. That he should have made such an application is sufficiently strange; but the result of it is hardly to be paralleled except in some eastern despotism. The government of France, on hearing the circumstance, had the inconceivable baseness to issue an order directing Favert to abandon his wife, and entrust her to the charge of Maurice, to whose embraces she was compelled to submit (Grimm, Corresp. Lit., Vol. viii, pp. 231-233)."
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:27 am

The Erotic Literature

The French literature of the eighteenth century is brand-marked pornography! At no other time in the history of the world, even under the Caesars, had literature been made a tool of vice in such a systematic fashion as in the ancien régime. Of course, the representation of sexual passion was an old story in French literature, and was even present in the numerous fabliaux of the middle ages; but it was not until the eighteenth century that the healthily coarse naturalism and naiveness of these older forms of erotic stories were replaced with pictures of sensuality, whose studied premeditation served as a malignant stimulus to an enervated society. The eighteenth century produced the greater part of the pornographic literature existing today; and in the number of individual erotic works more than all the other centuries combined. The lion's share in the production of pornography falls in the period from 1770 to 1800 when only eroticism could move the public. These books made the worship of flesh their main theme. They recognized nothing but lascivious experiences and all the forms of sexual pleasure. The bordello was a paradise, the prostitute far nobler than the most faithful wife. "What age has so dirtied itself with obscene books as this great century?" asked Janin, "that even men like Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Montesquieu and Mirabeau fashioned their works accenting to the taste of the time." Shortly before and during the Revolution machlosophy appears to have suppressed all nobler motives. The bookstores were literally pornographic libraries. Mercier declared in 1796: "Only obscene books are displayed, especially those whose title-page and frontispiece mock and jeer at modesty and good taste. Everywhere these monstrosities are sold in baskets and pushcarts near the bridges, the doors of the theatres and the open streets. The poison is not expensive: ten sous a book." The principal market was the notorious Palais Royal, of which we shall later speak. This center of all vice was also the principal market for the obscene writings that flooded Paris. One found these works even in the toilette rooms of Parisian ladies. Bernard has an interesting tale about this which also serves to show the enormous spread of the writings of Marquis de Sade: "A respectable lady both in age and position had written out a list of books she intended to take to the country for herself and children and asked me to procure them for her. On the list was Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue, which she thought was a pedagogical work!" That such writings were plentiful in bordellos was not strange and, indeed, such is the case today. Napoleon I ordered all such books found in the possession of prostitutes to be seized and destroyed; only one example of each to be saved for the National Library where they were still preserved in a special corner of the building.

De Sade forever talked of obscene books. Juliette and Clairwil ransacked the dwelling of a Carmelite monk, Claude, and found a select library of pornography. Juliette said: "You have no idea what obscene books and pictures we found there!" First they note the Porter of Chartreux, "more a comic than a dirty book, which the author, nevertheless, is supposed to have written on his death bed." Second, the Academy of Ladies, well conceived but poorly carried out. Third, the Education of Laura, a wretched work which had too little vice, murders and gouts crûels for Juliette. Finally, The Philosopher Therese, the enchanting book of Marquis d'Argens with pictures by Caylus, the only one of the four books that combined vice and atheism. And the monk had, of course, a number of the "wretched brochures that we found in all the cafés and bordellos."

The Marquis de Sade, indeed, intended his works to serve as models for all later obscene works.

We present as an orientation a short survey of the most important French erotica of the eighteenth century. For a complete list the student is referred to Gay's Bibliography of Erotica (six volumes).

The Ovid of the Eighteenth Century was Pierre Joseph Bernard (1708-1775). In 1761 appeared his l'Art d’aimer, a verse imitation of Ovid's Art at Love. Nevertheless it caused great excitement and was present in the toilette table of every respectable lady. The verses were bound together with rose-bands and were appropriately about billing and cooing. But these latter were very passionate and the plainness of speech compared with Ovid. Bernard enfolded in his poem a whole course of refined sexual life, in which he recommended strongly the reading of piquant works.

The younger Crébillon (Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, 1707-1777) can be called the real creator of lascivious writings in the eighteenth century. His writings were characterized by an "elegant cynicism and graceful vice." The most famous was The Sofa, a Moral Tale, whose title indicates the content of the work. Of a similar kind were The Loves of Zeo Kinizal, King of Cofirons (1746), which described the love adventures of Louis XV; The Night and The Moment (1755), Oh! What a Story! (1751), The Sins of the Heart and the Spirit (1796), etc. In Crébillon's novels the tendency is apparent: to prettify and justify the commonest sensuality with a philosophic cover.

Jean François Marmontel (1723-1799) created the type of anti-clerical novel in The Incas, and had unmistakable influence on the representation of the clergy in later erotic novels.

Sidelights on the History of M. Dirrag and Mlle. Eràdicée, in addition to the case of Girard (Dirrag) and Cadière (Eràdicée), portrayed the sexual debaucheries of the Jesuits. De Sade, as we have seen, ascribed this work to Marquis d'Argens and the pictures to Count Caylus.

André Robert Andréa de Nerciat (1739-1800) was for two years librarian in Cassel and was later confidant of Queen Charlotte at Naples. He wrote the notorious Félicia and a sequel Monrose or a Libertine by Fate.

That pornography at that time was fashionable and in good taste was shown most strikingly by the circumstance that the greatest figures of the age did not disdain the earning of this cheap fame. We have already mentioned that savant of the classical times, Caylus. But such men as Mirabeau and Diderot did not shrink from sullying their literary work by the production of obscene stories. Mirabeau especially was often quoted by de Sade and there is no doubt that Mirabeau’s Education of Laura served as the model for Philosophy in the Boudoir. In My Conversion Mirabeau described the experiences of a male prostitute, who had respectable ladies, nuns, etc., pay for his services. A third obscene book of Mirabeau’s was Erotica Biblion (1783).

In Denis Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist were presented obscene stories that put him below Crébillon's class. His famous The Sister which, "when first published, was thought to have been written by a nun, dealt with the torture to which a nun was put by the perverse lubricity of her abbess, for whom, it was said, Diderot found a model in the Abbess of Chelles, a daughter of the Regent, and thus a member of a family which for several generations showed a marked tendency to inversion." (Havelock Ellis in Sexual Inversion.) His Indiscreet Joys was also erotic and contained a number of paradoxical assertions and paronomasias in the sexual field; this feature probably gave occasion to de Sade's preference for Diderot.

Choderlos de Laclos was the Petronius of "a less literary and more degenerate epoch than that of the real Petronius." His much quoted Dangerous Liaisons described the corruption of the aristocracy, of which the author, the friend of the notorious Philippe Egalité, has first-hand knowledge.

Less cynical in his description of the debaucheries of the nobility was J. B. Louvet de Couvray who drew the type of the "chevalier" in his Loves of Chevalier de Faublas. In Faublas' rich love-adventures the hero (borrowed from the artificial effeminization of the real Chevalier d’Eon) played a rôle also found at the end of Juliette where Noirceuil, dressed as a woman, married a man.

Next to the Marquis de Sade the most famous erotic writer of the Revolutionary period was the productive Restif (Rétif) de la Bretonne. We shall later evaluate Rétif de la Bretonne as one of the first critics of de Sade. We are at present interested in him only as a contemporary of de Sade and in his influence upon him. It was plainly Rétif, whom de Sade referred to unfavorably in his novels: "R… floods the public and needs a printing press next to his bed. By good fortune they groan alone under his frightful products; a dull decrepit style, nauseous adventures in the worst society; no other merit but a great verbosity for which only the store-keepers will be thankful." May not professional jealousy have played a part in his judgment? We will later see that Rétif did not think much better of de Sade. It may also be that the highborn Marquis thought himself far removed from the lowborn Rétif.

Indeed Rétif de la Bretonne (1734-1806) mainly occupied himself with the representation of the moral corruption in the lower classes, thus supplementing the work of Marquis de Sade, with whom he had otherwise much in common. Eulenburg declares: "An infinitely closer figure to de Sade than Rousseau is that Rousseau du ruisseau Rétif de la Bretonne. He was lashed by a powerful sensuality and driven into a kind of exhibitionism by the idolatry of the ego. Therefore he was unequalled in understanding how to analyze the origin, essence and power of sexual life and to devote the ego to a greatly refined worship." There we have the germs of a literary de Sade but far weaker, more passive and less passionate. Were Rétif more active and impulsive, of a less contemplative nature, and were the means and milieu of the célébré Marquis given to the poor peasant's son from youth onward, then perhaps a second de Sade would have resulted, who would have been literally equal in power and in sensitiveness of description. Not aimlessly does Rétif praise above all this unusual sensitiveness, this "sensibility, sometimes delicate, sometimes horrible, cruel and wicked." We add to the characteristics of this remarkable writer that he was a passionate connoisseur of women and, unsatisfied with his very numerous mistresses, would run after every pretty girl he met on the street, and would not rest until he had made her acquaintance. He was personally of the greatest uncleanliness. He writes in the Contemporaries: "Since 1773 till today, December 6, 1796, I have brought no new clothes. I have no underwear. An old blue coat is my daily garment." Rétif hence loved cleanliness—in women. He continually spoke thereof, gave detailed information in this connection in his Pornography, and approved the spread of this virtue among the Parisian prostitutes.

Despite his own patient observations he did not hesitate to avail himself of the adventures of others. Count Alexander of Tilly told in his Memoirs that Rétif de la Bretonne came to him with the request that he tell him his erotic adventures so that he could put them in a book. Very important was the relation of Rétif to Mathieu François Pidanzat de Mairobert (1727- 1797), the famous author of The English Spy and the editor of Secret Memoirs of Bachaumont. The latter not only had his works printed at the secret press of Rétif but also collaborated with him in many works. One valuable treatise that appeared from there was Rétif's Pornography on the sixteen classes of prostitutes and panders. Also the Contemporaries, the Owl and the Paternal Malediction were enriched by Pidanzat de Mairobert.

The greatest work of Rétif was undoubtedly Nights of Paris, an inexhaustible thesaurus for the moral life in the Revolutionary period, the only representation of its kind of the moral physiognomy of Paris at the end of the eighteenth century, the true Nocturnal Tableaux of Paris, whose content rendered necessary a twenty years' work. "Every morning," said Rétif, "I wrote down what I had seen in the night." The result was eight voluminous volumes from which unfortunately space does not permit us to quote.

In Monsieur Nicolas (Paris, 1794-1797, 16 vols.) Rétif de la Bretonne told the story of his life more truthfully than the authors of such similar works as Faublas, Clarissa and Heloise. Of especial interest is the thirteenth volume, My Calendar, in which Rétif, day by day, wrote down all the women, whose acquaintance he had made and whom he had seduced and made pregnant.

His Contemporaries is a collection of tales that are founded on actual experiences. The heroes of these adventures were supposed to have authorized the author to use their real names. They are essentially tales of the moral life of the people.

The Farmer and the Perverted Farmer's Wife or the Dangers of the City are the liaisons dangereuses of the lower classes, which preach the sad truth that virtue through constant intercourse with vice necessarily is destroyed.

Fanchette's Feet is the story of a young modist from the Rue Saint-Denis, whose small foot enchanted Rétif, for he was an outspoken foot-fetichist. He had a fanatic passion for pretty women's feet and shoes. Franchette's feet are indeed the heroes of the story.

"Her foot, her small foot, that turns so many heads was shod with a pink pump, so beautifully made and as worthy of enclosing such a beautiful foot that my eyes once fixed on that charming foot could not turn themselves away. Beautiful foot! I said very softly, you don't walk on Persian or Turkish carpets, a beautiful carriage does not guarantee you the fatigue of carrying that superb body, that masterpiece of the graces, but you have an eternal throne in my heart."

He really did see "Franchette" one day in the Rue Saint-Denis, and her feet, "her wonderfully small feet," inspired him to write the story.

The work of Rétif that sounded most like those of the Marquis de Sade was Innocent Saxancour or the Divorced Woman, supposedly the story of his unhappily married daughter, Agnes. Rétif in this work "crossed the boundaries of the boldest cynicism" and the author himself said that one will find in the work "all things that are called atrocities.” The unfortunate wife after the marriage had to submit to all the moods of a degenerate roué from her husband; she suffered the most unbelievable infamies and horrors of her passionate tyrant.

We will refer to some other works of his in a later, more pertinent section. In conclusion to our short survey, which stresses only the characteristic works, we wish to remark on two very well known obscene poems of the eighteenth century. The first is Fourtromania, a Lascivious Poem far Connoisseurs. It contained six stanzas, each of 600 verses. The "foutroamania" is the good luck of the gods, that drives away the boredom. But it also makes men happy. The author led the dance of these fortunates with Mlle. Dubois, an actress of the Comédie Française. Then follow the ladies Aroux and Clarion. At the end of the first stanza appear the duchesses and ladies of the court, who satisfy themselves with their lackies. Finally the inexhaustible libido of old Polignac de Paulien is described.

The second stanza starts with the description of the charms of a young girl, who succumbs to the passions of a young roué. Inserted is a poem Father Chrysostome against sexual debaucheries in the convents. Later a man suffering from satyriasis breaks into the convent. Then follows an attack on tribadism and pederasty. The old Due d'Elboeuf was one of the first who introduced the sect of pederasts to France. The conclusion is an excursion on syphilis.

The third stanza is almost entirely devoted to the rôle of syphilis in love. First the high perfection in the healing of this grave ailment is praised; then the "syphilitic heroes of love" are extolled. Archbishop of Lyons, Sire de Montazet, etc., are named together with the Duchesse de Mazarin. After highly indecent expressions on the Duke of Orleans and Madame de Montesson the liaison between the Duchess of Orleans and de I'Aigle as well as de MeIfort is disclosed, the last two receiving syphilis from the duchess. Finally, high praise for Aretino, the discoverer of the “plastic positions."

The fourth stanza is devoted to the praise of the bordellos. The famous procuresses and madames are presented: Paris, Cardier, Rockingston, Montigny, d’Hericourt and Gourdan. Description of the orgies in these infamous resorts. "Bed and Board" must then follow, hence German women are more susceptible to "foutromania." The author curses Italy where he lost health and wealth.

In the fifth stanza the syphilophobias are encouraged. Not all women have syphilis. Montesquieu had been in the fire as had been Rousseau and Marmontel. Great praise for Dorat, the poète foutromane. The Hollanders who love only money. Description of the immoral cardinals. Spinola sleeps at Palestrina's, Albani at Altieri's, Bernis at Saint-Croix, Borghese is… It's too bad that the "Dames de France," the aunts of Louis XVI, live in celibacy.

Agyroni, the author of a popular work on the therapy of syphilis, is the hero of the sixth stanza. This charlatan had indeed cured the author of his complaint. Numerous medical details as in Robé’s poem on syphilis. For a conclusion, “foutromania” is again praised as the soul of the universe.

The second poem, Parapilla, is a translation of the Italian original Il Cazzo (Phallus), the favorite word of Pope Benedict XIV. When a courtier pointed to the obscenity of the word, he replied: "Cazzo, cazzo! I will repeat it until it no longer sounds dirty." The French poem consists of five stanzas whose content, in short, is: Rodric receives from Heaven a certain instrument that makes all women happy. Firstly in Florence, the famous Donna Capponi. Then it thrives in a nunnery in the hands of Lucrezia, the daughter of Alexander VI. The debaucheries of this pope in Rome are then described and the poem closes with an obscene conversation between him and his daughter.

We could only touch on the most important erotic works of the French literature of the eighteenth century. Their influence on morals was tremendous and the Marquis de Sade was sensible of this influence. In his Ideas on the Novel he showed that he had recognized the significance of pornography. He said: "The epicureanism of Ninon de Lenclos, Marion de Lorme, Marquise de Sévigné and de Lafare, Chaulieu, St. Evremond, this entire society, tired of mere cytheric love, turned to Buffon, held that only bodily passions were worthwhile in love, and soon changed the style in novels. The writers found it simpler to amuse and corrupt these women than to serve and glorify them. They created incidents, descriptions and conversations more in the spirit of the time and developed its cynicism and immorality in a pleasant, easy and at times philosophic style."
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:27 am


The French art of the eighteenth century was also a true mirror of the time. Architecture, painting, theatre and dance all served in excitation of the senses. The famous "rococo" was nothing less than a picture of harmony. Rococoism followed the inspirations of the artistically excited senses in the preference for detailed ornamentation, in intricate interlaced lines, in the representation of passionate scenes and delicately conceived "nudités." A splendid description of the graphic arts and especially of architecture was given by Georg Brandes: "What was sought after in architecture under Louis XIV was the impressive. Heavily interlaced and cumbersome details were the general style. The petites maisons of the time were a prerequisite of the man of the world. Every part of the room was designed to excite the mind. Indeed all the rooms smelled of passionate perfume…”

The eighteenth century was expressed even more clearly in its painting than in its architecture. The desire for something new "to delight the blasé appetites" gave the artists a cunning talent for inventiveness. Fragonard, Lancret, the painter of fêtes galantes, disdained the simple naive nudity of the goddesses of Lebrun and Nicholas Mignard. Their baigneuses and bergères are no longer mythological figures but Parisian prostitutes who are displayed in voluptuous positions in bath or bed. These pleasant naiads and coquettish shepherdesses with bare breasts and more or less revealing dress were women of the time, ladies, "very much in vogue at the little parties at Trianon and Lucrinnes."

If books worked so much for the glorification of sexual passions, then their graphic representation must have been a thousand times more effective. "The realism of the painter shows itself in actions and in words, in books and in songs; it is bound to exert a bold influence on the youth by overexciting the sexual senses." And the Marquis de Sade, who told in his novels all the possible means of increasing sexual pleasure, had Saint Fond cry out after a wild orgy: "Oh! A painter should be here now so that he might hand down to posterity this passionate and divine picture!"

Hence it could not fail but happen that after the piquant Nudités of Fragonard and Lancret all sorts of obscene pictures would spread enormously. It was not unusual for mistresses to have painted for their lovers pictures or casts of themselves in the nude. Well known is the story of O'Morphi, mistress of Louis XV, inmate of the Deer Park, and for whom Louis XV had to thank the famous adventurer Casanova in this wise. Casanova, in one of his many love-adventures in Paris, had made the acquaintance of a Flemish actress, O'Morphi, who had a young sister of surpassing beauty, whose charms Casanova enthusiastically described. He had a painting made of this splendid body in the "divine manner" for six louisdors. The posture in which she was painted was "entrancing." "She lay on her belly, resting her arm and bosom on a cushion and held her head turned about as if lying three-fourths on her back. The artist has painted her bottom part with such great talent and truth that it is impossible to imagine anything more beautiful." A friend of Casanova was very eager to procure a copy of this painting. The painter exhibited in Versailles this copy which Saint-Quentin found so beautiful that be rushed off with it to the king. "His most Christian majesty, a great connoisseur in this field, wanted to convince himself with his own eyes whether the painter had made a true copy, and whether the original was as beautiful as the copy." Thus Casanova lost his mistress to Louis XV, who, after a payment of one thousand louisdors to her sister, had her brought to his Deer Park, where after a year she came down with child. The infant was immediately spirited away lest the queen be disturbed.

Casanova later showed this famous picture to a French nun in Aix, with whom he had an affair. The nun, too, had herself painted for Casanova, in the same obscene posture.

Especially before the Revolution the most immoral pictures were distributed in and about the bordellos without hindrance from the police. From 1790 to 1793 the most shameful caricatures of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, etc., were distributed to the customers in the bordellos. One can truly say that these places contributed greatly to the political breakdown of France. In the Reign of Terror such pictures were to be found not alone in the bordellos but in public shops and galleries where the boldest pictures imaginable of the most strange and obscene pictures hung in open display.

That erotica were richly illustrated with obscene pictures is understood. The novels of Marquis de Sade were no exception to the rule. We shall return later to this subject.

La Chronique Scandaleuse reported a remarkable hiding place for obscene pictures, "a new kind of obscenity, an epoch-making discovery." This was the vestes de petits-soupers. According to the fashion of that time coats or jackets were buttoned to the neck; hence the vests or waistcoats could not be seen. But during the orgies the gay young bloods would unbutton their jackets and show their vests decorated with paintings and stickers, which showed with true fidelity the very orgies themselves!

There was still another kind of obscene pictures we must discuss. For de Sade defecation was also an object of pleasure and passion. The faeces were delicious and were swallowed by men and women as a great delicacy. One can hardly believe it! Even the act of defecation was presented before the eyes of the Parisians. Reichart tells that poems, essays and pictures, all describing, praising and extolling this act were offered on every corner to passersby. Even respectable persons bought these pamphlets and treated the whole matter as a rich joke.

Sculpture also tried to extol the purely sensual in its limited fashion. Virgin nudity was profaned by the expression of sensual love. The women were almost always represented as petites filles, lascivious courtesans, wanton shop-girls, etc.

André Grétry, the chief representative of French music of the eighteenth century, who loved "filles et fillettes" all the time, showed in his musical works no noble passion but only lust.

That Marquis de Sade was a true product of the age was shown by the fact that he also was bitten by the mania of the age; "thespian madness, mimomania." He not only wrote many plays but also directed some amateur productions. The passion for the theater, the "mimomania," ruled in France during the entire century with a force scarcely comprehensible to us today. Throughout the entire country amateur societies sprung up.

There was a theatre in every castle, in every noble house. "It is an unbelievable mania," said Bachaumont, "even every pimp wants to have a stage and troupe in his home!" Theatrical madness also ran in the circle of the clergy. Louis XV, of course, by Pompadour's influence, had the plays presented in the Court.

The drama, especially in the last decade before the Revolution, had taken on an ever freer character. We have already mentioned Lanyon's convent plays. Shortly before and during the Revolution there came a real flood of obscene comedies against the king and church. The number of these so-called Pièces révolutionnaires is very great. The most extreme are by Guigoud Pigale (The Triumph of Public Reason), Léonard Bourdon (The Grave of Imposters of the Temple of the Revolutionary Truth, dedicated to the Pope), Sylvain Maréchal (The Last Judgments of the King), Desbarreaux (The Potentates Crushed by the Mountain and the Reason or the Deportation of the Kings of Europe). In the last-named play the princes of Europe quarrel about a piece of land. The Empress Catherine says to the Pope; "Have you swallowed your piece, Holy Father?" He answers: "Don't worry, you'll have the first try." Thereupon he boxes the ears of the King of Prussia who retaliates by stepping on his corns, and so the merry conversation proceeds with familiarities and obscenities.

The Marquis de Sade had a further model in the notorious Théâre gaillard for his obscene comedies which he had his fellow-prisoners play in Bicêtre and in Charenton. The obscenity went further than mere words. In April, 1791, there existed in the Palais Royal a public theatre where a so-called savage and his mate, both nude, before the eyes of a crowded audience of both sexes, went through the act of coition. Coitus as a play! That must have pleased the numerous voyeurs of the city, who appear in de Sade's novels. La Mettrie had already said: "The pleasure that other people's pleasure afford us" in his Art of Joy. The magistrate finally had both actors summoned before him. It was discovered that the Savage was a rascal from the suburb St. Antoine and that the female was a common whore who earned her money in this wise from the curious spectators.

The actresses, opera singers, chorus and ballet girls formed a very desirable number of the prostitutes, whom we shall treat of later. The foyers of the theatres were the "favorite hunting grounds for paramour, pander and prostitute."
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:28 am


Clothing! That can make women seem more desirable by showing just slight hints of charms and arousing the passions of both sexes. That is the rôle which Marquis de Sade had Minister Saint Fond impart to fashion. Saint Fond also recommended to Juliette that she should show herself half naked in the streets to the public if she wanted to remove her last vestige of modesty.

Here, too, de Sade let reality speak. The advice of Saint Fond was actually followed. "On a quiet day of the year V of the Revolution two women paraded up and down the Champs-Elysées, completely nude and covered only with a thin gauze. Many women also showed themselves with wholly base bosoms. The sight was not unusual."

The blaséness was shown in remarkable conceits. Young men and women tried to better nature and borrowed the white hair of age. The de Goncourts excellently describe the incessant changes in fashion in their bizarre fancies, their delicate concealment and unveilment, the gigantic friseurs of the women, their "make-up," beauty spots and patches, etc. Fashion paid homage to the age.

The nearer one comes to the time of the Revolution the more does nudity appear in fashion. The style of gauze, the preference for gossamer becomes more apparent. The clothing of the "Goddesses of Reason" becomes ever more transparent. Clothing retreated to the center to show its opposite semicircles, bosom and legs. Ankle bracelets and golden rings on the toes were the fashion. Terpsichore, in the Greek fashion, reigned in the public gardens. A journalist who attended the opening of the Parisian Tivoli, declared that the goddesses appeared in such light and transparent dress that nothing was left to the imagination. "The women in the audience are dressed as outrageously as possible. The indecency of their behavior is impossible to describe. In the last great ball in the opera house Madame Tallien appeared garbed only with jewels in the necessary place." These costumes, whose wearers were called merveilleuses, had been introduced in Paris by Therese Cabarries, the mistress of Tallien, after she thus publicly showed herself in the Reign of Terror in Bordeaux. The male merveilleuses were called incroyables and clothed themselves according to the ideal of offensiveness. For during the Revolution the highest ideal was not beauty but power and strength of muscles. Don Juan was changed to Hercules.

The perverse sexual impulses also found expression in fashion. The wide spread paedicatio, also practiced between man and woman, brought the notable fashion of the so-called "Cul de Paris." It spread to such an extent that even the prostitutes delighted in this form of passion, since it was the "style." Under Louis XVI the seat in women's dress was so extended that they resembled "Venus Hottentote."

On the other hand, tribadism was a cause of rather strange costumes. The tribades with male inclinations had remarkably increased during the Reign of Terror. The virago on the streets was a daily incident. Her costume differed little from the man's. Since her hair was cut close and her voice was strident, it took a good look to make sure of the sex.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:29 am

Bordellos and Secret Pornologic Clubs

Marquis de Sade had made his studies for his two notorious novels Justine and Juliette in Paris. Here he, himself, experienced and conceived the greater part of the contents. Parisian incidents and experiences had permanently fructified his phantasy. And the models for the descriptions of individuals in his works are easy to discover. This will be shown in surprising fashion in the discussions of prostitution and sexual life in Paris. Even today Paris justifies the remark of Montesquieu in his Persian Letters: "It is the most sensual city in the world where the fanciest pleasures are invented." De Sade's description of the great bordello with its ingenious contrivances and settings refers almost entirely to Parisian bordellos. Most of his heroines are Parisian prostitutes. It is therefore fitting that we should cost consider these conditions.

In Juliette, (I, 87) the Marquis de Sade describes the bordello of Duvergier in a suburb of Paris. This madame had a bordello for both men and women. In a private house, surrounded by a pretty garden, Madame Duvergier had her own cook, delicious wine and charming maidens who received ten lounsdors for a tête-à-tête. The house had the requisite back entrance for safeguarding of propriety. The furniture was of the best; the boudoirs most fitting for their purposes. Duvergier, protected by the police, could celebrate more atrocities than her fellow-madames. The bordello supplied princes, nobles, and rich citizens with its wares.

When Juliette organized a house in Paris, six pimpesses (maquerelles) were sufficient to provide for girls from Paris and the provinces. Clairwil introduced Juliette, into the house of the "Society of the Friends of Crime," which lay in the heart of Paris but was discreetly concealed. It had splendid drawing-rooms, boudoirs, cabinets d’aisance and harems or, as de Sade called them, seraglios in which both sexes disported themselves in wild orgies. The girls were, for the most part, torn from their parents, under the protection of the police. Here the respectable world was assisted by hangmen, jailers, floggers and flagellants (Juliette III, 33 ff.).

Alcide Bonneau believes that the Deer Park served de Sade as a pattern for his descriptions of bordellos. Nonetheless de Sade had made a thorough study of Parisian bordellos and had found many incidents to his liking. He wrote (Juliette I, 333) that in many bordellos in Paris turkey-cocks were much esteemed for lustful purposes in zoophilia. At any rate it cannot be denied that de Sade took his descriptions of Parisian bordellos from actual experiences. Authentic reports will conclusively confirm this. The most notorious bordellos of Paris, the secret pornologic clubs and the affairs of the prostitutes will be described in later sections.

The most famous, most sought after, most mentioned Parisian bordello in the Eighteenth Century was the House of Madame Gourdan on Rue des Deux Portes; under the reign of Louis XV and Louis XVI it served the court and nobility. This bordello was distinguished by the genteel attempt to satisfy every desire of male and female visitors. A short description of the place is appended.

1. The "Seraglio." This was a great salon with "plastrons de corps-de-garde," i.e., twelve prostitutes who had always to be in a position such as to satisfy any whim of the visitor. There the price and details of their pleasure were agreed upon. Even the minute details were stipulated. Pidanzat de Mairobert at this description in The English Spy cries out: "Just imagine the horrors and infamies that took place in such a house!"

There is no doubt that de Sade expressed such a great preference for the word "seraglio" from this salon of Madame Gourdan. De Sade also discussed the understandings on the price of love in his novels and was particularly concerned with the analysis of the details for preparing an orgy.

2. The "Piscine." This was the bathroom of the bordello, where the girls, fresh from the provinces, were sent to the madame. There they were bathed, powdered and perfumed. Among the many essences and toilet waters was the famous Eau de Pucelle. This was a strong astringent with which Madame Gourdan renewed "lost beauties" and restored that "which can be lost only once." Marquis de Sade often mentioned this remarkable miracle which will be discussed later under the section:

Cosmetics and Aphrodisiacs. Also in the piscine was the Essence a l’usage des monstres, which made impotent persons potent again by its strong odor and excited them to passionate cruelty. The specific of Doctor Guilbert de Préval (we shall later say more of this charlatan) was truly a magic charm. For it served at one blow as a prevention, diagnosis and cure of syphilis! Truly a sexual panacea!

3. The "Cabinet de Toilette." Here the students of the Venus-seminar received their second lessons.

4. The "Salle de Bal." From this classroom a secret passageway led into the home of a merchant on Rue Saint Sauveur. Through his house the prelates and preachers (gens à simarre) as well as respectable ladies could enter the bordello. In this secret room were clothing of all kinds as well as "objects of delicacy." Here the clergy could turn into laymen, officials into soldiers, ladies into cooks. Here the respectable ladies permitted unflinchingly the powerful embraces of a coarse peasant, whom her trusty madame had chosen to satisfy her indomitable temperament. On the other hand the peasant believed her to be one of his own kind and was little embarrassed in expression and action.

5. The "Infermerie." This was the room for the impotent. The attendants tried to incite and arouse drooping spirits by all possible means. The light fell from above; on the walls were passionate pictures; in the corners stood similar statues; on the table lay obscene books. In the alcove was a bed of black silk; its top and sides consisted of plate-glass so that it mirrored and reflected all the objects and actions of this pretty boudoir. Perfumed thorny switches served for flagellation. Dragées- pastilles in all colors were offered for food; "only one was needed to make one feel like a new man." They were called Pastilles à la Richelieu because he had often given them to women as aphrodisiacs. Women were also taken care of in this Infermerie. There were present so-called pommes d'amour, little balls of stone, to satisfy them. Mairobert could not discover if "the chemists had analyzed this stone which had a decided chemical reaction and was often made use of by the Chinese." The consolateur was an ingenious instrument "found in convents" as a substitute for a man. Madame Gourdan did a wholesale business with this artificial phallus. In her possession were numberless letters from abbesses and simple nuns asking her to send them a consoler. Great, black rings, so-called aides, served the men as artificial irritations in women. Many of these rings were covered with hard studs for increasing the pleasure. Finally there was a whole arsenal of redingotes d’Angleterre, which are today called condoms, and which, as Mairobert has it, "protect from the virus of love but dull the pleasure." Madame de Sevigné called it "protector of pain and despoiler of pleasure" in one of her letters.

6. The "Chambre de la Question." This was a private room in which one could see through a secret peephole all that took place. A contrivance for voyeurs.

7. The "Salon des Vulcan." In it was a fauteuil of a strange form. The moment one sat in it, one was snuck a heavy blow. The person sank backwards with outstretched legs, which were fastened to the sides. This chair was a discovery of Sire de Fronsac, son of the Duke of Richelieu, and served him as a faithful aid to seduction. The Salon des Vulcan was so situated that the crying and wailing could not be heard outside the room. This mechanization of vice will also be found in de Sade's writings.

Gourdan was the leading madame for the respectable world. She could satisfy all desires and was extremely wealthy. In Villiers le Bel she had a private country house in the forest to which she seldom went but often sent her sick and pregnant girls. The villa also served as a useful hiding place for especially delicate debaucheries. It was ironically called by the peasants the convent.

There were two kinds of madames in Paris; first, the seducers of virgins, second, purveyors of already deflowered maidens. Only the first were punished by being forced to ride backwards on an ass. Gourdan belonged to the second class and took care that her novices were officially prostituted by one of her assistants. But the head-madames had also to make regular reports of the physical health of their girls. We shall later give such a report.

In the House of Gourdan the mistresses were educated for the respectable world. The later Countess Du Barry had to thank her resplendent career to her early stay at the bordello of Madame Gourdan. Many aristocrats also sought new pleasures here. A respectable lady, Madame d'Oppy, was discovered in 1776 by the police at Gourdan's where she was officiating as a prostitute.

On November 14, 1773, Madame Gourdan delivered a funeral oration on her deceased colleague, Justine Paris, which was printed in The English Spy and is so full of sadism that we append a short summary of it. The idea for this funeral oration was conceived by Prince Conti, one of the most notorious adventurers of the ancien régime. It was read at an orgy in Conti's home. The "Funeral Oration of the very proud and very powerful Lady, Madame Justine Paris, Grand Priestess of Cytherea, Paphos, Amathonte, etc., given November 14, 1773, by Madame Gourdan, fellow Priestess, in presence of all the nymphs of Paris" has the characteristic motto:

Syphilis, O my God!
Has put me under the sod!

On their dying-bed Justine's parents preach to her that immorality is the only redemption for the future. "Don't count the days you haven't consecrated to pleasure!" Justine immediately transposed this advice into action, which one finds on almost every page in the novels of Marquis de Sade, and dedicated herself to the advice of her parents. She then entered a Parisian bordello, where she made great advances in the service of Venus and became famous through an affair with the Turkish ambassador. Trips to England, Spain and Germany taught her to be phlegmatic with the Englishmen, serious with the Spaniards, and ardent (emportée) with the Germans. She finally came to Italy and in Rome was the "Queen of the World and the centre of Paillardise." She traveled through all Italy, honored and coveted by nobles and clergy. Unfortunately she was attacked from time to time by her hereditary syphilis but that did not prevent her at her return to Paris from celebrating new orgies, winning success and great honor as the proprietor of a bordello. She ended in a hospital.

Could this funeral oration have been unknown to Marquis de Sade? It is hardly probable; it is almost certain that Madame Paris was the prototype for Juliette who was celebrated throughout all Italy, in Florence, Rome and Naples as the queen of the world and as the ideal prostitute.

Casanova, the famous confidant, whose historic trustworthiness is attested by Barthold, told in his Confessions of a visit in 1750 to the bordello of Paris, the so-called HôteI du Roule, and presented a living picture of the life and action in a Parisian bordello of the eighteenth century, which may here serve as an addition to the more systematic description of the house of Gourdan.

"The HôteI du Roule was famous in Paris, but was as yet unknown to me. The proprietress has furnished it elegantly and has from twelve to fourteen splendid girls. One finds there all the desirable comforts: good table, good beds, cleanliness; her cook was excellent, her wine splendid.

"She is called Madame Paris, undoubtedly a pseudonym that pleases all.

"Protected by the police, she was far enough from Paris to be certain that the visitors to her place were persons well above the middle-class.

"The inside was well policed by servants, and all pleasures had a fixed tariff.

"One paid six francs for breakfast with a nymph, twelve for a dinner and double that for a night."

Here we pause for a moment and declare that the above description of Casanova tallies almost word for word with the description of Duvergier's in de Sade's Juliette. The house of Duvergier was just like that of Justine Paris.

Casanova died in 1798; his memoirs reaching only to 1773 remained in manuscript form long after his death and were not made public until 1822. Juliette appeared early in 1797. The only conclusion to be drawn is that both men have described independently the same bordello. To return to the description of Casanova.

"We enter a fiacre and Zatu says to the driver: 'To Chaillot.'

"After half an hour journey he stops before a gate on which is a sign, HôteI du Roule.

"The gate was closed. A Swiss with a great beard stepped out from a side-door and seriously sized us up with his eyes. He found us respectable, opened the gate and we walked in.

"A one-eyed woman of about fifty years, but still showing traces of former beauty, greeted us and asked if we would like to dine.

"Upon my assent she led us into a very pretty salon, in which we saw fourteen young maidens who were all pretty and dressed in muslin.

"At our entrance they arose and made a charming bow.

"All were about the same age, some blonde and some brunette.

"Every taste could be satisfied here.

"We spoke a word to all and made our choice.

"The two chosen let loose a joyous cry, embraced us with a passion that was virginal, and we went to the garden expecting that we would be called to dinner.

"This garden was extensive and so arranged that it could serve the joys of love.

"Madame Paris said: 'Go, sirs, and enjoy the fresh air and reassure yourselves; my house is a temple of peace and of health.'

"During the sweetest occupation we were called to eat.

"We were very well served; the meal had aroused new longing in us, but with the clock in her hand the one-eyed attendant entered to inform us that our party was ended.

"Pleasure was here measured by the hour."

Finally Casanova and his friend were induced to spend the night in the bordello.

This home was mainly visited by the clergy. Madame Richard had started her career with the systematic seduction of young father confessors. This specialty gave her the idea of opening a bordello exclusively for the clergy. It flourished. Madame Richard became the purveyor of young girls for a "missionary home, for prelates and other clergymen." We have previously described an erotic scene in this house.

A roué in Venice always brought with him two Negresses in the bordello of Juliette because the contrast between white and black girls afforded him special satisfaction (Juliette VI, 152). Negroes also played a rôle in the anthropophagic dinner in Venice (Juliette VI, 204). In the castle of Cardoville at Grenoble, where Justine was led as a sacrifice to the passions of this roué, two Negroes are active accomplices at this orgy (Justine IV, 331). In the third volume of Aline and Valcourt there is an obscene picture on page 200 showing three naked women and four Negresses swinging heavy clubs at one another.

The Negroes are no invention of de Sade. Long before 1790 there existed a Negro bordello in Paris. This was in the house of a Mlle. Isabeau, first on Rue Neuve de Montmorency, later on Rue Xaintonge. In this bordello Negresses, mestizos, and mulattos were at hand. There were no set prices; the inmates were sold "like slaves in a caravan."

Fraxi believes that the taste for black women belongs exclusively to the French. At any rate one finds today in many bordellos in Paris and the provinces permanent examples of these black beauties. Hagen in his Sexual Osphresiology makes many references to this preference for Negresses by the French; he ascribes it to the charm of their odor.

For descriptions of the other great bordellos of Paris we must refer to the famous work of Rétif de la Bretonne, Pornography and to the Bordellos of Paris. Yet we would like to mention the house in Faubourg Saint-Antoine, where, according to Retif, the Duke of Orleans, Prince d'Artois, enjoyed the wildest debaucheries and atrocities, where those bestialities were encountered which the Marquis de Sade described in his exécrable romance, Justine.

Manifestly even this great number of bordellos could not satisfy the desires of the ancien régime. Passion must be made private. Hence the respectable gentlemen and rich roués of that time had in the so-called petites maisons, their own private bordello in miniature. Every one had his little house with some mistresses. That was the high tone in young and old. Casanova became acquainted in Paris with the eighty year old Chevalier d'Arzigny, the oldest of the petits maîtres, who powdered and perfumed himself, scented his heavy wig, penciled his eyebrows, etc. Even this old worldling was devoted to his mistress, who managed his little house, in which he always ate at evening in the society of her friends, who were all young and lovable and gave up every company for his.

The Marquis de Sade also had his petite maison in Saint-Roch in 1772.

What Marquis de Sade described in the "Society of the Friends of Crime," and what we shall later delineate as the mysterium of vice in the novels of this author, actually existed. There were in Paris secret clubs whose members united for the practical study of debauchery. They had their temple with a statue of Priapus, of Sappho and other symbols of sexual passion; they had also their own special speech and symbols.

The Island of Happiness or The Order of Happiness or The Society of Hermaphrodites was the notorious love-club. This secret society borrowed all descriptions, ceremonies and other forms of seafaring life, addressing their songs and prayers to holy Nicolaus. Maître, Patron, Chef d'escadre, Viceadmiral were the names for the individual grades of cavalier, and cavalieresses, who bore an anchor on their heart and had to swear eternal fidelity and silence if they wished to be borne to the island of fortune. In their more than gallant meetings the most obscene conversations were held. A very zealous member of this obscene club was Moët, the author of the Code of Cytherea and translator of the English work Lucina sine Concubitu. He wrote for his club the famous Anthropophily or the Secrets and Mysteries of the Order Devoted to the Pleasure of Mankind. It contained the rules and statutes of the organization, its vocabulary and poems. I chose a few expressions from the dictionary: "chaloupe, petite fille; flute, grosse femme; frégate, femme; gabari, fille on femme bien faite; goudron, fard; hisser une frégate, enlever une femme; mât, les corps; mer, amour; sondes, les doigts." The purpose of the club is given in the following verse:

Let us sail to the Island of Happiness
In our good ship of hermaphrodites.
We are sure to find complete success
In our search for strange and new delights.

Very mysterious was the Society of Aphrodites who by a holy oath, and by frequent change of their meeting place, sought to hide their secret. The men were given names from the animal kingdom; the women from the flower kingdom.
On the other hand in another club we have the manuscript of the statutes, signs of recognition, and index of members with the noms de plaisir. This was the Société du Moment. This manuscript affords a profound insight into the atmosphere in which this society of cynicism reveled.

A fourth secret pornologic society was the Secte Anandryne, the club for tribades, who celebrated their orgies in the Temple of Vesta. We will give later a detailed description of this club and its meetings.

The origin of this secret society is explained by Delbène (Juliette I, 25): "Vice need not be suppressed for that is the only fortune of our life. One must only surround it with such a mystery that will never be revealed." De Sade’s description of the Society of the Friends of Crime was plainly designed from the above plans. This society had its own printing plant with twelve copyists and four readers. In the club building were many cabinets d'aisance which were served by young girls and boys who were forced to gratify all the desires of the visitors of this place. One found seringues, bidets, lieux à I'anglaise, linges très-fins, odeurs. But one could be cleaned by the tongues of boys and girls.

In both seraglios of the house were boys, girls, men, women and animals for the satisfaction of every kind of vice. Murder cost 100 Thaler. The novice entered nude into the assembly room with a crucifix at the end of which was a Bible. Before her admittance Juliette was asked if she wished to undergo the kinds of immorality and crime that are tolled off. After she assented she received The Instructions for Women entering the Society of Joy. The orgies taking place in this secret club will be described later in the analysis of Juliette.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:29 am

The Prostitutes

It is apparent from the foregoing representation that the eighteenth century with its animal passion was the century of the prostitute. The prostitute was idolized and idealized. The more vice and pleasure she knew the higher she stood over the honorable woman. In Philosophy in the Boudoir the novice Eugenie asked her teacher in love, Madame de St. Ange, what a putain was, a word she heard for the first time. The teacher replied: "So are called these public sacrifices to male debauchery who are always prepared to sacrifice their temperament and their interests. It is a fortunate and noble profession but is dishonored by the general meaning since it crowns joy. They are more useful to the state than all the prudes and virtue for they have the courage to serve it. They are indeed the women truly worthy of love, the only wise women in the world. Since I was 12 years old I have striven to be worthy of the name and feel most happy when in the middle of pleasure I hear myself called this, for then I fly into the heights of passion." This was what the de Goncourts called “enjoyment of the damage of a good calling" and stood as a universal monument of the women of the eighteenth century.

Rétif de la Bretonne rose to the following swansong of prostitution in his Monsieur Nicolas: "If you (the prostitutes) cannot marry do not therefore despair. You are still useful. By the pleasures which you can afford, by the joys of your profession you can bring the basest of men into the bounds of pure nature and prevent them from giving themselves to sick women and suffering loss of health. Never be defiant and irritable, always remember that maidens of your profession are the true joys of men, true priests of passion. Guard yourselves!"

This glorification of the prostitute often took on strange forms. The Chevalier de Forges often uttered the wish to the in the arms of a prostitute. In his lifetime he had sought his pleasure and fortune with prostitutes. He also wanted to find death there. This wish was granted him. He died in the middle of his pleasure in the arms of a prostitute.

This elevated opinion of prostitutes was mirrored most brilliantly in their relations with the police. We saw that de Sade had the bordello of Duvergier protected by the police. This was actually true at the time of the origin of Juliette, during the Reign of Terror and the Directory. Yet under the regency stray prostitutes were punished, individuals were even sent to New Orleans. Manon Lescaut, the famous tale of Abbé Privost, need only be recalled to show the glorification of the prostitute in French literature. Sick prostitutes were sent to Bicêtre. Inspector Marais, as we have said, had to send regular reports on the prostitutes of Paris to King Louis XV. But a serious inspection was lacking. Parent Duchatelet has gone through the archives of the police prefect of Paris from 1724 to 1788 and made the following observations:

"That the toleration of the police in regards to prostitutes and bordellos was unlimited; that they entered only in very severe cases. That they never searched the houses unless upon repeated complaints by neighbors.

"That in many houses murder was committed, in some, maidens and men were thrown from the windows, the uproar was mainly from the soldiers; the neighbors ran the greatest danger in getting home and often were unable to pass.

"That in all arrests the greatest arbitrariness prevailed, everything depended on the mood of the police commissioner and his aides."

The Revolution was the golden age of prostitution. Those events which de Sade described in his works were actualities. According to Parent Duchatelet all rules and regulations were done away with in 1791. The profession of prostitution was no longer an especial object for legal statutes. It was recognized as a business which everyone was privileged to practice and held that any restrictions thereupon would be an affront to personal liberty.

So these maidens were to all intent free and were allowed to do as they pleased. They saw themselves emancipated, a state of affairs which they had at no other time and in no other land enjoyed.

An unbridled boldness, an unexampled scandal was the result. The Reign of Terror and Directory delineate the highest summit of freedom and undiscipline which prostitution had ever reached. We recall that Marquis de Sade spent the entire period of 1790 to 1801 in complete freedom in Paris.

The prostitute became the Goddess of Reason whom all must worship, and every woman became a prostitute. In July, 1793, a new play was presented at the Theatre of the Republic, entitled, The Freedom of Women. But in reality it described the boldness of vice. The chief character, a husband, dissolute by inclination, inconstant in character and enemy of propriety, declared: "The charms of my wife should be shared by more than one fortunate being!"

Public prostitutes multiplied on all the streets, especially in the Palais Royal, Maison Egalité and Champs Elysées; in the loges of the theatre, in the public houses and in the great restaurants one saw the most outrageous behavior. Paris became the cloaca of the whole Republic and drew to it all the dissolute characters of the provinces. Pleasure soon became brutality. In the summer of 1796 the Boulevard du Temple was the scene of unrestrained vice. In a great company of men and women, including girls of 12 and 13 years of age, there was carried on a truly animal relation. The animal passions took hold of them all and they gave way to the most shocking fornication. But in spite of all the indignation, even to attacking the police, there took place in the wide expanses of the Palais Royal and the Champs Elysées almost daily "scenes of the most horrible and most shameful immorality."

Here the ideal that Marquis de Sade had in his novels was actualized: mass-vice! The immoral conduct was accomplished by costumes à la grecque that led moral people into the maelstrom of vice. This infection of morals by the poison of vice has been excellently described by Rétif de la Bretonne in his account of the activity of a prostitute on the streets.

"The girls walk up and down the streets; some make themselves known by the elegancy of their clothing, but most by the unashamed revealment of their charms. Young men permit themselves the greatest of freedoms in public. Our children lap up the poison of their charms. The daughter of a worker sees a well-dressed woman walking down the street eagerly followed by some young men; they stop her, talk to her and embrace her. The innocent girls feel a longing to be like that well-dressed woman and to be the object of admiration of young men. Another easy convert to prostitution! Easy enough for the young boys and girls to find opportunity to sin. To step on the streets was to step into sin."

According to police reports in October, 1793, the galleries of the theatres were packed full of children from 7 to 15 years of age; both stage and gallery were scenes of unbridled lust. "Many of the children were stark naked and made lascivious gestures to the spectators." It is no accident that these monstrosities took place in the autumn of 1793 after that fateful September day when the blood flowed freely down the streets. It is no accident that the pinnacle of vice was reached in the days of terrorism. De Sade who in the December of this year had again been placed in prison had during this time viciously waded in blood and lust. It was the time when even the secret pornologic clubs became public and there were celebrated in the opera house "nude balls," the face alone being masked. The number of daily balls for prostitutes entered into the hundreds. "The Nudities of Greeks and Romans" was a daily sight in the theatres.

The number of prostitutes in Paris in 1770 is estimated by Parent Duchatelet to have been 20,000 in a population of 600,000. At the time of the Revolution it grew to 30,000.

If but a glance at the different kinds of prostitutes is vouchsafed it is apparent that the mistresses of the ancien régime were mainly recruited from the theatre-world. Actresses, singers and dancers were special favorites.

Mercier tells that the filles d’Opéra had decided favor with the men. La Mettrie emphatically declares: "Where can voluptuousness be shown off to its best limits than on the stage?" and praises the charms of the famous dancer Camargo. D’Alembert cynically believed that the good fortune and richness of the dancers and singers was "a necessary result of the law of movement."

Vivid light is cast upon these affairs by two anecdotes told by Casanova. His friend Patu introduced him to a famous opera singer, Mademoiselle Le Fel, favorite of Paris and member of the Imperial Academy of Music. "She had three lovable little children who ran all around the house. 'I adore them,' she said. 'They deserve it for their beauty,' I (Casanova) answered, 'although each has a different facial appearance.' 'I can well believe it! The oldest is the son of the Duke of Annecy, the second of Prince Egmont, and the youngest is due to Maisonrouge who has just married Romainville.' 'Oh, pardon me, I thought you were the mother of the three children.' 'But of course I am!' As she said this she looked at Patu and broke out into loud laughter with him. I was a novice and unaccustomed to seeing women usurp the privileges of men.

"But Le Fel was no bold creature and belonged to good society. Had I been better acquainted with the times I would have known that it was nothing unusual. The great gentlemen who strew about their posterity left their children in the arms of their mothers, paying them heavy pensions. As a result the more fecund these ladies were, the better they lived."

The second anecdote is yet more characteristic. One day Casanova saw at Lani's, the ballet master at the opera, five or six young girls from 13 to 14 years old, accompanied by their mothers. He began flattering them, while they listened with modestly closed eyes. One of them complained of headaches. While Casanova offered her his smelling-bottle, one of the girls said to her: "You must have slept very badly last night." "No, that’s not it," answered the innocent Agnes, "I think I'm with child." At this so unexpected answer from the young girl whom from her age and appearance he had taken for a virgin, Casanova said: "I did not think that Madame was married." She looked at him for a moment surprised. Then she turned to her companion and they both laughed aloud.

The ballet dancers and the chorus girls received no salary so that "many men had to make up for the deficiency of an honorarium." With few exceptions this caste took "pride in being disdainful." At that time there were many ballet dancers and singers who were more vicious than tolerable, had no talent and yet lived comfortably. For it was self-understood that such a girl must destroy every virtue in order to escape starvation.

A dialogue in The English Spy showed that the same was typical throughout the theatrical world.

The Duke of Bouillon spent 800,000 Livres in three months on the opera singer La Guerre. The prostitute La Prairie belonged to those women who are in the nude at the petite maison of Marshal Soubise. "It's the custom of my friend, Abbé Terrai!" This moral priest had a precious bed in his house on Rue Notre Dame. When the dear visitor entered she found a covered painting which when uncovered revealed the pretty body of a nude woman. "Madame, it's the Costume," the abbé cold-bloodedly remarked, showing her with these words that he would also like to have her in this costume.

The famous Mademoiselle Du Thé was originally "Rosalie" in chorus and as such initiated the young duke of Chartres into the practices of Venus. When she was discarded by this prince she went to London, ruined many lords there, returned to Paris, where she opened a gambling hall that brought her much money and allowed only the rich to enter. This Messalina was thoroughly greedy and selfish. She later became the mistress of Prince d'Artois. But Du Thé did not always swim in gold. In a report of Police Inspector Marais of December 12, 1766 we find: "Yesterday Du Thé did not have a sou! She had to borrow a thaler and six livres in order to go to the Italian opera."

The actress Dubois made a catalog of her lovers reckoning on a twenty-year-activity 16,527, i.e. about three a day. "Her greed for gold was equal to her greed for pleasure." This well known history influenced Marquis de Sade. In the Philosophy in the Boudoir Madame St. Ange estimated that she had given herself to 12,000 men in 12 years.

La Chanterie, originally a chorus girl, was of a rare beauty. The artists often used her as a model. She was also painted as a madonna for the chief altar in a church. After an Englishman had seen her in the theatre, but not without a bitter after-taste, he came to the church, saw the head of the madonna and cried out in surprise: "Oh, it's the virgin who gave me a dose!”

Next to the theatrical profession the shop-girls were most in demand. The jeunes ouvrières appear in de Sade more than once. Rétif de In Bretonne described this class of prostitutes with especial preference in his works. He held for a long time a secret correspondence with the modists of a large establishment in rue le Grenelle Saint Honoré. The proprietor of this shop was a Madame Devilliers, who worked for Countess Du Bury. The latter had also been a modist before she entered the bordello of Gourdan. The life and activity of these modists, were described by Rétif in his Le Quadragénaire. According to Parent Duchatelet professional prostitutes gladly entered the shops during the Revolution. It almost seemed as if the shops had become adjuncts to the regular houses. Prostitutes were of course always present at the restaurants, cafés and bars. Casanova when in search for beauty would first visit a café. The Paris police-order fining the host 100 francs if caught having immoral girls was never enforced.

Pimping reached a high stage of development in the eighteenth century. Marquis de Sade described many types, for example, Dorval who through the work of his prostitutes owned thirty houses. Peuchet in 1789 spoke of pimps in his Encyclopedia and Rétif de la Bretonne discussed them in his Pornography (1770). The police lieutenant received an anonymous letter from a prostitute: "We girls cannot exist without protectors. Usually our choice falls on the wickedest scoundrel in the neighborhood so that he can protect us for better or worse. Once we have made our choice we must stick to it. We must tolerate his laziness, drunkenness, gamblings, beatings and vices. The only way to get rid of him is to find a worse scoundrel who can beat the old one up and is for that reason a worse tyrant and despot."

All kinds of pimps and pimpesses, that necessary correlative to prostitution, are found in de Sade’s works. On the last page of the Pornography there is an index of these mamans publiques. Such women had many names. Those companions who could no longer practice their trade were called pieds-levés. The actual pimps and pimpesses were variously named maquerelles, baillives, abbesses, supérieures, mamans. The name maîtresse or dame de maison did not appear before 1796.

In Justine and Juliette all bordellos are richly provided with children, especially little girls, who served the purposes of vice and were given over to the brutal passions of the crowd. All this led to a great expansion in the traffic for boys and girls. We have already seen the extensiveness of the supply for the Deer Park. Similar places existed for the needs of private individuals. Rétif de la Bretonne gave detailed information on the modus operandi in Vol. 16 of his Nights of Paris. Under the arcades of the Palais Royal one saw children of both sexes being led by pimpesses. The death rate must have been fearfully high. "One pays the children," says Rétif, "as one pays for an animal. Parent and pimps come to an agreement on the price." Rétif remarks that this trade existed under the ancien régime and that it formed one of the chief sources of income to the Inspector of Prostitution, who no doubt had to share his profit with the police lieutenants. Needless to say the trade was never in danger of interruption from the police.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:30 am

The Palais Royal and Other Public Places for Prostitution

The Palais Royal was a city within a city. It was the city of prostitutes of Paris and the centre of Parisian life in the eighteenth century. It formed a pretty little world all of its own with its gambling-dens, royal and jacobin conspirators, prostitutes and bandits, respectable yet degenerate customs, its luxury and poverty. The Palais Royal, not far from the Louvre, was built for Cardinal Richelieu in the years 1629 to 1634 by Lemercier in the spot of the former Hôtel de Mercoeur; it was inhabited for a time by Louis XIV who had it rebuilt and then presented it to his uncle, Duke of Chartres, and thus it was passed on to the Orleans family. The regent, Phillip of Orleans, inaugurated it as the chief city of pleasure and debauchery for respectable society. His great-grandchild, Duke Louis Philipp Joseph of Orleans, the notorious Philippe-Egalité, had the palace entirely reconstructed in the years 1781 to 1786 until it received its present form, consisting of a great number of palaces, gardens, arcades, market-halls, theatres, cafés, gambling-dens and other resorts for pleasure. The chief galleries of the Palais Royal were in the east, the Galerie de Valois, in the west, the Galerie de Montpensier on whose northern end the Palais Royal theatre lay, in the north, the Galerie de Beaujolais. The splendid garden of the Palais Royal was in the form of a parallelogram and was surrounded by 186 arcades. In the immediate proximity stood the theatre of the Comedic Française.

Before and during the Revolution the Palais Royal developed into that gay and colorful centre that has found so many excellent descriptions by travelers from all countries. Casanova described how it looked before its reconstruction in 1750: "Curious as I was about this so famous place, I looked closely at everything. I saw a very pretty garden, walks surrounded by great trees, reservoirs, tall houses, throngs of men and women walking about, stalls here and there selling books, perfumes, toothpicks and other small articles. I saw great number of straw-chairs that were rented for a sou, men and women eating alone or in company, waiters hastening to and from the foilage concealing steps." An abbé named for Casanova all the prostitutes who were walking around.

In the year 1772 Marquis de Carraccioli remarked that the Palais Royal was the place for elegancy, the Luxembourg for dreamers, and the Tuileries for "all the world." But after the burning of the Opera (1781) and the consequent reconstruction of the Palais Royal all the night life of Paris gathered in this latter place. Here took place during the Revolution and Directory all those horrible scenes which we have partly already described. The Palais Royal became the Hall of Prostitution and the Sewer of Paris as Mercier in his The New Paris and Rétif de la Bretonne in his great work on the Palais Royal have described. Rétif investigated the night life in the Palais Royal as a doctor would the "anatomy of a corpse." He wrote in Monsieur Nicolas in 1796: "It is well-known that the Palais Royal is the general rendezvous for all the passions and enterprises of vice, prostitution, gambling, swindling, crime, etc., and hence has become the center of all observation. This famous bazaar enticed me not by its sights but by the pleasures I found there."

Mercier gayly desired that Lavater, the famous physiognomist, might be present at the Palais Royal on a Friday evening so that he could read in the faces of those present everything that is usually kept in the deepest recesses of the heart. There were to be found prostitutes, courtesans, duchesses, and respectable housewives: they did not delude themselves there. But perhaps with all his science this great doctor might have been deluded. For there were distinctions and very fine nuances which must be very carefully studied. "I assert that Dr. Lavater would have great difficulty in distinguishing an ordinary prostitute from a respectable woman and that a shop-girl can without his great knowledge point out the fine points of differentiation." Such unconstraint, unceremoniousness, and free and easy ways has never existed in the world except in Paris and there only in the Palais Royal. All were familiarly addressed, words were bandied to and fro, remarks were made about the woman's lover in the presence of her husband, and vice versa, couples were caught up in a mad whirl, laughter and frank talk resounded everywhere. Lavater should by all means have made his physiognomical studies in the Palais Royal.

'"The weather may have been fair or rainy but every evening at five I would walk along the Palais Royal. I am usually alone around the Bank d'Argenson. I converse with myself on politics, love, gastronomy or philosophy and give myself up to the complete freedom of the Palais Royal. One sees the young rakes in the Allée de la Foi follow the footsteps of a courtesan who walks along unashamedly with laughing gestures and joyous eyes. But immediately they leave her for another, banter her in common and attach themselves to none. My thoughts are my prostitutes." So wrote Diderot in the beginning of Rameau's Nephew.

These nightly promenades in the Palais Royal were famous throughout the whole world and was the first sight that tourists flocked to see in Paris. Here piquant adventure was sought—and found. It often happened that men looking for pleasure in the nightly promenade at the Palais Royal surprised their own wives with the same purposes. The women in the Palais Royal were all whores whether they belonged to the profession of prostitution or not. Whoever made nightly visits there was stamped with that name.

The famous Street of Sighs (Allée des Soupirs) was the promenade for the prettiest and most enticing girls and women recruited from all classes of life. Respectable ladies, the theatrical world, the higher demimondes and the better-class prostitutes were the goal of the rakes seeking for plunder. But also in the other streets, in the Allée de la Foi, the Allée de Club, under the colonnades and arcades there gathered untold numbers of dispensers of lust followed in close numbers by young and old roués from all parts of the world. This was the El Dorado of prostitution. Here were hidden corners, secret nooks, and lurking places in the form of numerous shops, beer dens, gambling halls and theatres. Here Rétif de la Bretonne learned from his friend, the notorious charlatan Guilbert de Préval, who was well versed in the secrets and kinds of passion in the Palais Royal, "how best to amuse women and how women can best satisfy the desires of men." Rétif could recite from memory the names of the prostitutes of the Street of Sighs; he also knew well the huris, the exsunamites, the berceuses, the chanteuses, the converseuses, as well as many other sexopathologic types. Rétif in his work on the Palais Royal wrote: "We will write a moral book about immoral affairs which has to do with foals, asses and other animals. The beauties of the Palais Royal are very pretty, especially the young ones. What happens to the old ones is the same all over the world: an old animal is never pretty. We will tell of remarkable and unbelievable morals. But first we would like to give an idea of the features, the age, the general appearance, the morals and talents of these beauties under the name they have assumed, noms de guerre." Here Rétif described thirty-two prostitutes of the Allée des Soupirs. He then told the history of each of these girls, throwing many interesting side-lights on the state of morals during the Revolution. The second volume of his work treated of the famous "circus" of the Palais Royal.

"The majesty of this ball, the charm of the orchestra, the proud movements of the dancers, the beauty, the elegance of the spectators, all contributed in giving a magical appearance to this subterranean retreat. Later attention was excited by the drinks, the gambling and the private rooms serving all kinds of tastes for love. We noticed that after nine o'clock, the hour when respectable women go out to eat, only prostitutes remained. We observed them very curiously in our capacity as an investigator." One of the girls served as cicernone for him and pointed out the others, the so-called "sunamites."

The sunamites received their name from the concubines of King David who was kept alive in his old age by the heat of their bodies which aflamed anew his powers. There were many in the Palais Royal who kept a number of girls just for this purpose. Six girls were furnished to act as a cure for a single man. The first time the matron herself was present to superintend his wants. He was given an aromatic bath and a thorough cleansing of his body. Then a heavy muzzle was placed on him and he was placed in bed with a sunamite close to each side. Two girls could save him in this manner for only eight days, then they were replaced by a fresh pair. The first pair then rested for fourteen days so that in all there were three alternate pairs. The patient had to pay the girls three louisdors all told. Each girl received six francs, the matron twelve. Careful protection was given that the virgin modesty of these sunamites went untasted. Otherwise the cure would have been harmful rather than useful. Indeed if the patient wrought a miracle, proved again that the Lord is all-powerful, he would have to pay heavy damages to the girl; as a precaution the sum was placed on deposit with the matron before the cure. A girl lasted in this business three years, counting from the time she reached womanhood. A girl who was used every day could last at the utmost one year. The period of sunamite service amounted practically to the novitiate in the order of prostitutes. When the first was finished the girl automatically entered the higher rank.

Marquis de Sade also had Justine do this nightly heating service to a hoary old monk (Justine II, 228).

The third volume of Rétif's Palais Royal treated of the "Colonnades" and introduced the converseuses or exsunamites, 43 in number, whose work it was to entertain respectable ladies in diverse ways.

Mercier tells of another specialty of the Palais Royal. During the evening meal in a restaurant, which also served as a bordello, at a given signal from the proprietor there stepped down from a balcony, to the accompaniment of soft music, a nude nymph, who pirouetted about the tables presumably to aid the digestion of the diners.

At the hours from eleven to twelve one could see along the galleries of the Palais Royal the four and forty famous figurae Veneris, lascivious positions classified by a contemporary French author and very popular at the time.

In the Reign of Terror the Palais Royal became the scene of the maddest orgies and a favorite meetingplace for the dregs of prostitution and for the soldier-girls. The gardens, the galleries and other public places of the Palais Royal "were the most notorious gathering places for prostitutes and soldiers. They boldly transacted the most lewd practices in the streets and blocked all respectable people from passing. Obscene pictures of men and women, scribblings as well as paintings were drawn all over the streets and walls. In the nooks hidden by trees and fountains the freest practices were indulged in by the soldiers and prostitutes." Almost all the soldiers in the guard were pimps. Indeed many of them had only enlisted so that they could live on the proceeds of their staff.

We will close our description of the Palais Royal with the words of one of the best connoisseurs of Parisian corruption in the eighteenth century. Mairobert cried out in The English Spy: "All the bulwarks of vice and depravity, all the passionate and voluptuous orgies, wild abandonment and free and easy familiarity, all are to be found on the nightly promenades in the Palais Royal!"

All other amusement places paled before the Palais Royal yet there were a great number nearby. As fast as one died out another took its place. A similar condition, though far milder, exists in the present nightclubs. Of the others the Vauxhall d’été and d'hiver and the Colisée were the most popular. Admission cost from one to three livres but ensured the entrant pleasures of every imaginable kind.

An Italian artist Torré opened the Vauxhall d’été in the year 1764 in the Boulevard Saint Martin. Fireworks, lantern-shows and elaborate plays were held. From 1768 on dances and balls were added. The Vauxhall d'hiver was in the western part of the city district of Saint Germain, near rue Guisard. It was built in 1769 and opened on April 3, 1770. Ballets with very pretty dancers were mainly given.

The Colisée was a building with gardens for dancing, song, play, festival, fireworks, etc. It lay in the western part of the Champs Elysées, near the Avenue Neuilly and was opened at the marriage of the Dauphin, later Louis XVI.

According to Dulaure the public purpose of these establishments was to amuse the Parisians. But the secret purpose was "to corrupt and plunder them." The managements winked at the number of Prostitutes in their places and entered into arrangements with them and the police.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Marquis De Sade: His Life and Work, by Dr. Iwan Bloch

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:31 am


We proceed from the description of prostitution and amusement places to an investigation of the chief aberrations of the sexual life and begin with the most common, onanism.

The branler, as it is technically called by de Sade, occurs almost on every page. In the very beginning of Justine as she was sorrowing for her parents, Juliette showed her how to satisfy herself by manustupration, a practice she had learned in the convents. This passionate excitation, which can be done every moment without the aid of another, was the best consolation for sorrow, for onanism caused all pain to disappear with safety (Justine 1, 5). Delbène, the superior in the convent, to whom Juliette was entrusted, was a very passionate woman and had from the age of nine "used her finger to satisfy the wishes of her mind." (Juliette I, 3). In the "Society of Friends of Crime" there even existed a Room for Masturbation (Juliette III, 65). The Duke of Chablais also praised the French method of onanism as the best (Juliette III, 292). Madame de St. Ange, who in the beginning of Philosophy in the Boudoir imputed to Eugenie an entire course in the arts and technical expression of love, does not forget to acquaint her with this comfortable kind of self-pleasure (Philosophy in the Boudoir I, 43). Havelock Ellis has also noted the use of masturbation for driving away pain.

Mairobert had Madame Richard express herself in characteristic fashion on the enormous spread of onanism in France. This so very refined art which she learned from a member of the French Academy became more and more the fashion in this century of passion and—philosophy. In the famous bordellos of Paris, Gourdan, Florence, and Brisson these arts were practiced. "Many also practiced simple and mutual onanism to escape children and the danger of syphilis" (The English Spy).

The number of poems and brochures on the "voluptuous fingers of the libertines" were very numerous at this time. Many prostitutes indeed even preferred onanism and practiced it with their clients.
Site Admin
Posts: 28056
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Sadism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest