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The Marquis de Sade
A Life

The definitive biography by Neil Schaeffer

Home : The Prison Letters : Archive : February, 1781
Here is another patient letter from Mme de Sade. It also contains a sarcastic comment that her husband added between the lines.

Mme de Sade to her husband.

February 15, 1781

I have visited, my dear love, a number of crockery shops without finding the terrine that you asked for. They all have very high lids and no flat ones. They are not made in this shape. However, I have found one whose cover is not as high as the others, but it is still in the form of a dome with a large knob for removing the lid. If this one suits you, let me know. I will immediately go and get it and I will have them put it in a box. I still have the one you returned to me.

I am sending you: a pot of beef marrow; two pounds of powder; a pot of ordinary pomade; a fine sponge; a soap from Montpellier; a box of marrons glacés; a pot of apricot marmalade; a pot of apple jelly; a pot of quince jelly; a half bottle of marsh-mallow syrup; cake of marsh-mallow paste; a bottle of ink; a stick of sealing wax; a paté of boneless capon; a pair of Roman serge britches.

You ought to have received les Fausses infidélités. [Sade's note: "Lefèvre," that is, Mme de Sade's servant in Paris, of whom he was growing absurdly jealous.] Also return now the two volumes of Cook, because Mérigot will not give the concluding volumes until he receives the first ones.

In the package that I sent of candles, as you did not at all specify which sort you needed, I put in big ones and little ones.

When you want, my dear love, your letters to pass [the censor], you must abstain from putting inappropriate phrases in them. In every way, these offenses are not good for anything and incense, rather than predispose in your favor. There are some people whom you think badly of because you do not know them, and when you will know them, you will fall into agreement with me that they do not deserve and that they did nothing to suffer your ill-placed sarcasms.

I have sent you the list of books that Mérigot wants back.

Send me something kind for the prior who teaches your children, and something for them if you do not wish to answer them directly. I embrace you.

Next week:
a long letter in which Sade defends his innocence in great detail!

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