By Marquis de Sade, 1791
Form flecked his lips as he spoke these words interspersed with revolting oaths and blasphemies. The hand, which had been prying open the shrine he seemed to want to attack, now strayed over all the adjacent parts; he scratched them, he did as much to my breast, he clawed me so badly I was not to get over the pain for a forthnight. Next, he placed me on the edge of the couch, rubbed alcohol upon that mossy tonsure with which Nature ornaments the altar wherein our species finds regeneration; he set it afire and burned it. His fingers closed upon the fleshy protuberance which surmounts this same altar, he snatched at it and scraped roughly, then he inserted his fingers within and his nails ripped the membrane which lines it. Losing all control over himself, he told me that, since he had me in his lair, I might just as well not leave it, for that would spare him the nuisance of bringing me back down again; I fell to my knees and dared remind him again of what I had done in his behalf…. I observed I but further excited him by harping again upon the rights to his pity I fancies were mine; he told me to be silent, bringing up his knee and giving me a tremendous blow in the pit of the stomach which sent me sprawling on the flagstones. He seize a handful of my hair and jerked me erect. “Very well!” he said, “come now! prepare yourself; it is a certainty, I am going to kill you….”
“No, no, you've got to die; I do not want to hear you reproach me with your good little deeds; I don't like owing anything to anybody, others have got to rely upon me for everything…. You're going to perish, I tell you, get into that coffin, let's see if it fits.”
He lifts me, thrusts me into it and shuts it, then quits the cavern and gives me the impression I have been left there. Never had I thought myself so near to death; alas! it was nonetheless to be presented to me under a yet more real aspect. Roland returns, he fetches me out of the coffin. “You'll be well off in there,” says he, “one would say 'twas made for you; but to let you finish peacefully in that box would be a death too sweet; I'm going to expose you to one of a different variety which, all the same, will have its agreeable qualities; so implore your God, whore, pray to him to come posthaste and avenge you if he really has it in him….”
I cast myself down upon the prie-dieu, and while aloud I open my heart to the Eternal, Roland in a still crueler manner intensifies, upon the hindquarters I expose to him, his vexations and his torments; with all his strength he flogs those parts with a steel tipped martinet, each blow draws a gush of blood which springs to the walls.
“Why,” he continued with a curse, “he doesn't much aid you, your God, does he? and thus he allows unhappy virtue to suffer, he abandons it to villainy's hands; ah! what a bloody fine God you've got there, Therese, what a superb God he is! Come,” he says, “come here, whore, your prayer should be done,” and at the same time he places me upon the divan at the back of that cell; “I told you Therese, you have got to die!”
He seizes my arms, binds them to my side, then he slips a black silken noose about my neck; he holds both ends of the cord and, by tightening, he can strangle and dispatch me to the other world either quickly or slowly, depending upon his pleasure.
“This torture is sweeter than you may imagine, Therese,” say Roland; “you will only approach death by way of unspeakably pleasurable sensations; the pressure this noose will bring to bear upon your nervous system will set fire to the organs of voluptuousness; the effect is certain; were all the people who are condemned to this torture to know in what an intoxication of joy it makes one die, less terrified by this retribution for their crimes, they would commit them more often and with much greater self-assurance; this delicious operation, Therese, by causing, as well, the contraction of the locale in which I am going to fit myself,” he added as he presented himself to a criminal avenue so worthy of such a villain, “is also going to double my pleasure.”
The above is a excerpt of Marquis de Sade's 〈Justine〉 (1791). amazon It's the birth of the word “sadism”.