Philosophy in The Boudoir
by le Marquis Alphonse Donatien de Sade, 1795
Voluptuaries of all ages, of every sex, to you I offer this work. Nourish yourselves upon its principles. They favour your passions, which are naught but the means Nature employs to bring man to the ends she prescribes. For it is only by sacrificing everything to the senses' pleasure that this poor creature called Man may be able to sow a few roses by the thorny path of life.
DIALOGUE THE FIRST
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE, LE CHEVALIER DE MIRVEL
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: You know, my dear brother, I begin to have misgivings about the obscene plans for today. At twenty-six, and resolved to take pleasure only with my own sex, I ought to be better behaved, but my imagination is pricked the more. Tell me about your friend Dolmancé, before he arrives.
LE CHEVALIER: A little over thirty and six, tall, handsome, with a hint of the villain, and most philosophic.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: And his fancies?
LE CHEVALIER: I think you know. He cares only for men.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh, my dear! Has he had you?
LE CHEVALIER: We've had our pleasures, but there's no need to belittle those with strange tastes, they are still as Nature meant.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Oh please, a few details!
LE CHEVALIER: They were naught beside the pleasures you offer, my dear.
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: Ah, what chivalry! Anyway, I intend to bring a virgin to the feast. Eugénie, a little thing of fifteen I met last autumn at the convent, a few lessons will do her good.
LE CHEVALIER: But her parents?
MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE: No fear! I have seduced her father. I own him! (She kisses her brother and strokes at his prick. The young man retires.)