Free PDF, epub, site ebook. Justine (or The Misfortunes of Virtue) is set just before the French Revolution in France and tells the story of a young woman. Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue - Free download as PDF File .pdf) or read Memoirs of a Voluptuary, Or the Secret Life of an English Boarding School, Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue is a novel by Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, A censored English translation of Justine was issued in the US by the Risus Press in the . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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Justine by Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade. An early work by the Marquis de Sade "Justine, Or, The Misfortunes of Virtue" The Days of Sodom & Other Writings ebook by Marquis de Sade, . ISBN: ; Language: English; Download options: EPUB 2 (Adobe DRM). Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue (Oxford World's Classics series) by The Marquis de Sade. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format.
Juliette had just turned 20 when a certain Count de Lorsange, a nobleman from the province of Anjou aged about 40, became so smitten with her that he resolved upon making her his wife since he had not fortune enough to keep her as his mistress. He made over an income of 12, livres to her, and arranged that the remainder of his fortune, a further 8,ooo, would be hers should he die before she did; he gave her a house, servants, and a retinue and conferred on her a degree of respectability in society which ensured that within two or three years her beginnings were forgotten.
She conceived her plan and, regrettably, executed it with such stealth that she was able both to elude the arm of the law and to bury all traces of her abominable crime along with her hindrance of a husband.
Once more in possession of her freedom and now a Countess, Madame de Lorsange took up her old habits, but thinking that she cut some figure in the world, she put a measure of decency into her proceedings. She was no longer a kept woman but a rich widow who gave gay supper- parties to which the ornaments of town and court were only too happy to be admitted—yet she could be bedded for louis and bought for a month.
To these horrors, Madame de Lorsange added two or three infanticides: considerations of all kinds—fear of spoiling her pretty figure or a need to safeguard twin amours running in tandem—led her to resort on several occasions to abortion. These crimes, like the others, went undetected and did nothing to prevent this scheming and ambitious woman from finding new dupes daily and swelling her fortune at every turn as her crimes accumulated.
It is regrettably only too true that prosperity may accompany crime and that even in the most freely embraced state of depravity and corruption the thread of life may be gilded by what men call happiness. But let not this cruel and unavoidable reality be a cause for dismay. Let not the truth of which we shall presently furnish an example that it is on the contrary vice which everywhere pursues and attacks virtue, trouble the hearts of honest, decent persons.
The prosperity of crime is more apparent than real. Independently of Providence which of necessity punishes his ostensible success, a guilty man harbours in the recesses of his heart a worm which gnaws at him unceasingly, makes it impossible for him to bask in the felicity which bathes his existence, and leaves him instead with only the grievous memory of the crimes by which he came by it.
The affairs of Madame de Lorsange had reached this pitch when Monsieur de Corville who, at 50, enjoyed the credit which we have already mentioned, resolved to devote himself entirely to her and to keep her for himself alone. What with thoughtfulness or attentions on his part and discretion on hers, he had succeeded and had been living with her for four years together on exactly the same footing as if she were his legally married wife, when a superb estate which he had just bought for her near Montargis prompted in both the desire to spend a few months of the summer there.
One June evening, the fine weather tempted them to push on by foot as far as the town and, feeling too weary to return in the manner in which they had come, they entered the inn which serves as a staging-post for the Lyons coach, thinking to send a rider thence to fetch them a carriage from their chateau. They were resting in a cool, low-ceilinged room which looked out on to the courtyard when the coach we have mentioned drove in.
Observing travellers is a natural pastime; anyone with an idle moment to spare will gladly occupy it in this way when the occasion arises.
Madame de Lorsange stood up, her lover did likewise, and both watched as the passengers entered the inn. At a cry of horror and astonishment which escaped from Madame de Lorsange, the young woman turned, revealing features so sweet and delicate and so fine and shapely a figure that Monsieur de Corville and his mistress could not restrain a desire to intervene on behalf of so wretched a creature.
Monsieur de Corville approached and asked one of the constables what the unhappy creature had done. Where were the crimes committed? She was tried at Lyons and is on her way to Paris for confirmation of sentence.
Monsieur de Corville, sharing her wish, spoke of it to her escort and made himself known.
They raised no objection. Madame de Lorsange and Monsieur de Corville now resolved to spend the night at Montargis and asked to be given a suitable apartment with an adjacent room for the constables. Monsieur de Corville took full responsibility for the prisoner. Her hands were untied and she was shown into the room of Madame de Lorsange and Monsieur de Corville.
Her guards dined and went to bed in the adjoining chamber. To tell it would be to accuse Providence and complain of its workings. It would be a sin of a kind and I cannot bring myself to Tears then streamed from the eyes of the unfortunate young woman, but after letting them flow freely for a moment, she began her story in these terms. With your leave, I shall withhold my name. I come of a family which, though undistinguished, Madame, was respectable, and I was not born to the mortifications which have been the source of the larger part of my misfortunes.
I lost both my parents when very young. With the modest means they left at my disposal, I had thought to obtain an honest situation, but constantly rejecting offers which were far from honest, I exhausted my small inheritance more quickly than I realized. The poorer I grew, the more reviled I was.
The more I stood in need of help, the smaller grew my hopes of finding it or the more frequently was it held out to me in unworthy and shameful forms. Of all the hardships which I endured in my distressed condition, of all the horrid propositions that were made to me, I shall mention only what befell me in the house of Monsieur Dubourg, one of the richest merchants in the capital.
I had been directed to him as the kind of man whose wealth and credit were most suited and best able to alleviate my fate.
After waiting two hours in his antechamber, I was shown into his presence. Monsieur Dubourg, who was about 45 years of age, had just risen from his bed and was wearing a loose-fitting robe which barely covered his state of undress.
Being about to have his peruke arranged upon his head, he dismissed his valet and asked me what I wanted. After listening to me most attentively, Monsieur Dubourg asked me if I had always been a good girl. But I ask only to be of service. You are neither old enough nor sufficiently presentable for me to find you a position as you ask. But if you were to adopt a less ludicrously strict attitude, you might aspire to a modest future in any libertine circle. And it is in that direction that you had now best move.
The virtue of which you make so much serves no useful purpose in the real world. Those of us who actually dole out charity, which is something we do as little as possible and then only with the greatest reluctance, want to be compensated for the money which is taken out of our pockets. Now, what can a little girl like you do to repay the help she receives, if not to agree to whatever is asked of her? The mania for obliging others without asking anything in return is now a thing of the past.
But since there is nothing so illusory and so quickly dispelled as pleasure, people have begun demanding more palpable gratifications. They felt that in the case of a girl like yourself, for example, it was far more worth while to take a return on the moneys advanced in the form of the pleasures afforded by libertinage than to take pride in having acted charitably.
The reputation of a liberal, charitable, generous man is, to my way of thinking, as nothing compared to the smallest hint of the pleasure you could give me. In consideration of which—and here my views are those of almost everyone of my tastes and age—you will understand, child, that any help I give you will be proportionate to your agreeing to do whatever it pleases me to ask of you.
Do you imagine that Heaven will not punish you for your callousness? Whether what we do on earth pleases Heaven or not is the last thing which gives us pause. Being only too aware of how little power Heaven has over men, we defy it daily without a qualm. France has more subjects than it needs.
The Government sees everything in broad terms and is not overly concerned with individuals provided that the machinery runs smoothly overall. But enough of politics which you cannot possibly understand. Why do you complain of your fate when you could so easily change it? But let us leave aside this question too and simply keep to what concerns us both at this juncture. The duties which I should expect of you, and for which you will be reasonably, but not excessively paid, will be of a quite different order.
You will answer to her and each morning, in my presence, either this woman or my valet will subject you to. I was too humiliated to take it in as it was being made, and my head spun, so to speak, as the words were said. Being too ashamed to repeat them now, I beg you to be good enough to imagine the rest. The cruel man spoke the names of high-ranking churchmen and I was to be their victim.
You are now At 16 you will be free to seek your fortune elsewhere. Until then, you will be clothed and fed and will receive one louis each month.
It is a very fair offer: I have not been giving as much to the girl you will replace. Think it over carefully, pay special attention to the poverty from which I should save you, and reflect that in this unjust society of which you are part, those who do not have enough to live on must suffer if they are to earn enough to get by. Like them you will suffer too, I grant, but you will earn far more than the vast majority of them. He seized me by the collar of my dress and told me that on this first occasion he himself would show me what was involved.
You are not worthy of the wealth which you abuse so vilely, nor even of the air you breathe in a world made foul by your brutal ways.
I was returning dejectedly to my lodging plunged into the black, depressing thoughts to which the cruelty and corruption of men inevitably give rise, when my eye seemed for a moment to catch a glimpse of fair weather.
The woman with whom I lodged was acquainted with my distress. She now came up to me and said that she had at last discovered a house where I would be gladly received, provided my behaviour was beyond reproach. I accept most gladly! He lived in a first-floor apartment in the rue Quincampoix with an aged mistress he called his wife who was as least as spiteful as he.
If ever even the tenth part of a denier should find its way into your pocket, I shall have you hanged, do you hear Sophie?
If my wife and I enjoy a few comforts in our old age, they are the fruit of our unending labours and extreme abstemiousness. Do you eat a great deal, my child? Good God! Soup is something we hardly ever make, just once, on Sundays, and we have been working like Turks these forty years. We do not require much in the way of attendance and there is no servant but you. Not only was there infinitely more work than my age and strength allowed me to undertake, but would I be able to live on what I had been offered?
I took care, however, to avoid making difficulties and moved in that same evening. But a calamity so terrible in its consequences for me stood waiting at the finish of my second year there that it is with no little difficulty, when I think back, that I now bring myself to relate a few humorous details before telling you of the setback I mentioned. So let me say, Madame, that no lights were ever lit in that house.
Fortunately, the apartment of my master and mistress looked on to the street lamp outside and this freed them of the need to have any other glim: no lamp of any other kind served to light them to bed. They made no use of linen. No wine was served, water being, as Madame Du Harpin held, the natural drink of the first men on earth and the only drink prescribed by Nature.
Whenever bread was cut, a basket was placed beneath to catch the crumbs that fell, and to them anything left over from meals was carefully added, the whole being fried together on Sundays with a little rancid butter, this constituting festive fare for the day of rest.
Clothes and upholstery were not to be beaten, for fear of wearing them out, but were to be lightly switched with a feather duster. The shoes worn by my master and mistress were bottomed with iron, and both husband and wife still clung reverently to the footwear which had served them on their wedding-day.
But there was one practice, odder still by far, which I was required to follow regularly once a week.
But would to God that these shameful practices were the only ones to which these dreadful people subscribed. Living on the floor above was a gentleman with a decent competency, being possessed of rather fine jewels.
Now perhaps because he lived so near or perhaps because his effects had already passed through his hands, the extent of his wealth was well known to my master. I often heard him and his wife say how much they regretted a particular gold casket worth 30 or 40 louis which would certainly have remained in his possession had the attorney he employed known his business better; to make up the loss of the returned casket, the honest Monsieur Du Harpin now proposed to steal it and I was charged with the business.
What is there to prevent me from turning against you the same weapons which you place in my hand, for what reasonable objection could you make were I to rob you according to your own principles? I settled for this reply but from that time forward I was aware both of the misfortunes which hung over my head as a result of such a proposition and of my error in answering him so categorically.
But there was no middle path: I had either to commit the crime he spoke of or to reject what he proposed out of hand. Had I then had a little more experience of the world, I should have quitted the house at once. But it was already written in the book of my destiny that each honest prompting of my nature would be repaid by misfortune.
I was therefore forced to submit to fate, it being impossible that I should ever escape it. Monsieur Du Harpin allowed close upon a month to pass, that is until about the time of my completing a second year in his household, without mentioning or giving the slightest sign of ill will towards me for having refused his bidding, when one evening, withdrawing to my chamber after my work was done, there to enjoy a few hours of calm, I suddenly heard my door broken down and not without fright observed Monsieur Du Harpin leading a police officer and four men of the watch to my bedside.
You will find it in her room or about her person. Against evidence so incontrovertible there was no reply. I was immediately seized, bound, and led to the Palace prison, during which time I could not gain the smallest hearing for anything I might have said in my defence.
The trial of any hapless person who lacks credit or protection is a quickly expedited business in France where virtue is thought incompatible with poverty and the ill fortune of the accused is proof sufficient of guilt in the eyes of magistrates. An unjust assumption persuades courts that whoever was most likely to have perpetrated the crime is in fact the person who committed it; sentiments are gauged by the state in which the accused appears and the moment he is seen to have neither title nor wealth to prove that he is honest, it becomes self-evident that he is not.
In vain did I try to defend myself and provide the court advocate I was briefly allowed to have with the best arguments: my master accused me, the diamond had been found in my chamber, and it was obvious that I had stolen it. I was told that for forty years Monsieur Du Harpin had been known for an honest man and was quite incapable of such villainy, and I believed that I was about to pay with my life for my refusal to take part in a crime, when an unexpected turn of events intervened and I was freed only to be thrust once more into the new calamities which still awaited me in this vale of tears.
A woman of 40 years called Dubois, notorious for abominable actions of every kind, was also on the point of having sentence of death carried out on her, her sentence at least being better deserved than mine since the case against her was fully attested, whereas it was impossible to find any crime that could be laid at my door.
I had aroused the interest of this woman. One evening, only a few days before we were both to forfeit our lives, she told me that I should not go to bed but, doing nothing to attract attention, should stay by her side and keep as close to the gates of the prison as could be managed.
It will be my handiwork. It is possible that someone may well be burned to death, but no matter, for what is uppermost is that you and I shall escape. Three men, who are my accomplices and friends, will meet us and I shall answer for your freedom.
The flames caught, the conflagration was horrible to see, ten people were burned to death, but we made off safely. That same day we reached a cottage in the forest of Bondy belonging to a poacher, a different kind of criminal from the others but a close associate of our gang. But a word of counsel: give up your virtuous ways which as you can see have never helped you prosper.
Misplaced delicacy brought you to the foot of the gallows while a gruesome crime enabled me to escape the rope: ask yourself what purpose goodness serves in the world and consider whether there is any profit to be gained by sacrificing yourself for it.
You are young and pretty. I shall answer for making your fortune in Brussels, if you wish. I am bound there now, for I was born in that city. Within two years, I shall raise you to untold heights, but I warn you now that it is not along the narrow paths of virtue that I shall lead you to fortune.
Anyone of your age who wants to get on quickly in life must be prepared to undertake more than one trade and be adept at managing more than one intrigue at a time. Do you hear me, Sophie, do you catch my drift? Make up your mind quickly.
We must leave this place, for we shall be safe here for a few hours only. But I am also appalled that I should owe my life to a crime and you may be assured that if I had been given any choice in the matter, I would sooner have perished than set my hand to it.
I am only too sensible of the dangers I have run by committing myself to those feelings of decency which will ever grow in my heart. But whatever the thorns of virtue, I shall always prefer them to the false beams that shine on prosperity, for these are dangerous marks of favour and the fleeting accompaniment of crime.
I carry within me notions of religion which, thanks be to God, will never desert me. If Providence makes my course in life arduous, it is only so that I shall be the more amply rewarded in a better world. This hope is my consolation: it is balm to my sorrows and quiets my murmuring soul, it gives me strength in adversity and helps me to face whatever ills it is pleased to set in my path.
It is a joy which would be soon extinguished in my heart were I to desecrate it with criminal actions and, being then filled with the fear of tribulations yet to come in this world, more terrible by far, I should also have in view the dreadful prospect of the punishments which heavenly justice reserves in the next for those who offend against it.
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- Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue
Elizabeth Gaskell. A Woman of the Pharisees. The High Place. James Branch Cabell. Analytical Studies. Turbulent Tales. Raphael Sabatini. The Lost King.
Pot Luck Pot-Bouille. Alexandre Dumas. The Three Cities Trilogy: Paris, Vol. Guy de Maupassant. The Seven Wives Of Bluebeard. Anatole France. The Purse. A Modern Chronicle, Volume 7. The Memoirs of Two Young Wives. Madeleine Ferat by Emile Zola Illustrated.
Margaret Irwin. Manon Lescaut. Abbe Prevost.
La Grenadiere. A Child of the Revolution. Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The Days of Sodom Rediscovered Books. Philosophy in the Boudoir. Juliette of Sade. Florville and Courval. The Crimes of Love: Heroic and tragic Tales, Preceeded by an Essay on Novels. Crimes of Love. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information.
You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for download. Please review your cart.I lost both my parents when very young. Tiamat's Wrath James S. All-seeing Themis has pronounced the slut guilty. But I did not know the heart of the man I tried to disarm: None of this is explained in the novel but it is implied.
It was as if the villain, the most libertine of the four, though seemingly the least removed from the views of Nature, was prepared to tread her path and put a smaller degree of nonconformity into his order of worship, only by compensating for a semblance of lesser depravity by inflicting the highest degree of outrage upon my person. I was immediately seized, bound, and led to the Palace prison, during which time I could not gain the smallest hearing for anything I might have said in my defence.
I hated realism and the Australian literary establishment at that time.
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