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The Marquis de Sade
A Life

The definitive biography by Neil Schaeffer

Home : The Prison Letters : Archive : November 1, 1779
Because of his poor health, Sade had asked for a transfer to a better prison. But his mother-in-law rejected this idea. This is Sade's response.  -NS

Sade to his wife.
November 1, [1779]

So, your execrable mother did not even wish to have pity on my condition, and, although she is perfectly aware of it, she found it necessary, at the instigation of her rage and of her contemptible advisers, to stab me yet again, sick as I am. Ah! the detestable beast! Could she only be convinced of all my hatred!

I have received, Madame, I have received the complete proof of your abominable treachery and of the baseness of the horrible torturers from Hell by whom you have the stupidity to allow yourself to be governed. The consequence of it has been immediate. The blood vessel that had burst in my chest has reopened and I have again been coughing up blood worse than before. How must your horrible witch of a mother be in her glory! I think that they are going to bleed me, I am suffering terribly. If only I could be freed the shortest way from all my sorrows! But if anything in the world could make me regret dying, God is my witness that it would only be the disappointment of not seeing this witch sink into the grave before me. The thought of seeing her dead and of imagining that her despicable crimes will bring down upon her head all the tortures of Hell would allow me to die with less regret. So I must abandon hope of a transfer! Ah, I believe it! the odious beast would not find everywhere the petty, base, hired butchers that she found here. Finally, would you believe that, suffering everything that I have suffered, they would even refuse me the trifling favor of not coming, except at my request, at four in the morning to find out if I escaped! Like Polyphemus, this monster must count his sheep every day. What rapacious, greedy villains they are!

I beg you to sent me what I requested of winter clothes, which I need immediately, considering my condition. And, moreover, three ordinary crystal carafes, neither gilt nor fancy, each containing a pint of Paris. I need it for my milk and my herb tea, considering the dreadful filthiness of all the vessels they serve you with here.

I need carafes with stoppers. Living only on milk, I do not need anything else from you for the 15th. You will send me only the first four volumes of [Les Empereurs by] Crevier. I assure you that I am totally sick of this place in every way. In the name of God, get me transferred! Another loaf of marsh-mallow paste, I beg of you.

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