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The Marquis de Sade
A Life

The definitive biography by Neil Schaeffer

Home : The Prison Letters : Archive : October 4, 1779
The following letter to La Jeunesse, Sade's valet and copyist, here also nicknamed Martin Quiros, displays Sade's extravagant and giddily humorous style. -NS

Sade to La Jeunesse.
October 4, 1779

Martin Quiros . . . you are becoming insolent, m'boy. If I were there, I would give you a good thrashing. I would snatch off your f[ucking] fake poof of hair, which you annually refurbish with the nether hairs that fall from the nags you hire on the road from Courthézon to Paris . . . and then, the next morning, with a dab of powerful glue you'd attach them to your old scabby head in such a way that it wouldn't be any more noticeable than a crab-louse on a w[hore]'s "honey-pot." Isn't that a fact, m'boy? Do try . . . try and keep your trap shut, I beg of you, because I am weary of being insulted for so long by the rabble. It is true that I act like a bulldog, and when I see all that pack of curs and bitches yelping around me, I just lift a leg and I piss on their noses. . . . You recall my song, "Fortunately I don't give a s[hit]." Well, I sing it here six times a day, and I whistle it four.

Why you old monkey-fucker! Weed-face bedaubed with berry juice. You old prop-pole from Noah's vineyard, fish bone from the back of Jonah's whale. You filthy old flint matchstick, old rancid candle at 24 the pound, stinking harness off my wife's mule. . . . Ah! you old pumpkin, pickled in bug-juice, third horn on the Devil's brow, face of a codfish with oysters for ears, you old worn-out shoe off a bawd, you reeking piece of Milli Printemps' bloody linen. If I get my hands on you, how I would rub your face in it, your filthy ugly puss of a baked apple as brown as burnt chestnuts. Just to teach you to not to lie like that. . . .

So you tell me just like that, m'boy Martin, that I do not write according to your taste. Listen, for a second, to my thoughts on this matter. I write only for my wife, who very easily reads my writing, however bad it may be. But those who, without any authority, and without any right, try to stick their nose into my letters which so little please you, if they are not satisfied with them, they can go stick them up their ass. Do you now want some special instruction about that? Very well, m'boy, here you have it: the male and the female who take that authority and that right upon themselves, far from being offended at the place where I tell them to shove them, would reply if they would candidly confess their taste, what the regent said to the woman who complained to him that Cardinal Dubois sent her where I send them: Madame, the cardinal is coarse. But he is sometimes a good counsellor. Adieu Quiros. Regards to Gautruche when you see him. Tell him that I am truly delighted with his resurrection, and above all I beg you to remember me to Milli PRINTEMPS.

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