Marquis de Sade Quotes

There is a sum of evil equal to the sum of good, the continuing equilibrium of the world requires that there be as many good people as wicked people...
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
Cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all. The infant breaks his toy, bites his nurse's breast, strangles his canary long before he is able to reason; cruelty is stamped in animals, in whom, as I think I have said, Nature's laws are more emphatically to be read than in ourselves; cruelty exists amongst savages, so much nearer to Nature than civilized men are; absurd then to maintain cruelty is a consequence of depravity.... Cruelty is simply the energy in a man civilization has not yet altogether corrupted: therefore it is a virtue, not a vice.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
How delightful are the pleasures of the imagination! In those delectable moments, the whole world is ours; not a single creature resists us, we devastate the world, we repopulate it with new objects which, in turn, we immolate. The means to every crime is ours, and we employ them all, we multiply the horror a hundredfold.
Marquis de Sade
The law which attempts a man's life is impractical, unjust, inadmissible. It has never repressed crime -- for a second crime is every day committed at the foot of the scaffold.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Nothing we can do outrages Nature directly. Our acts of destruction give her new vigour and feed her energy, but none of our wreckings can weaken her power.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
I've already told you: the only way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.
Marquis de Sade
The mechanism that directs government cannot be virtuous, because it is impossible to thwart every crime, to protect oneself from every criminal without being criminal too; that which directs corrupt mankind must be corrupt itself; and it will never be by means of virtue, virtue being inert and passive, that you will maintain control over vice, which is ever active: the governor must be more energetic than the governed.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
"Sex" is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
The ultimate triumph of philosophy would be to cast light upon the mysterious ways in which Providence moves to achieve the designs it has for man.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
Nature has not got two voices, you know, one of them condemning all day what the other commands.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
The heart deceives, because it is never anything but the expression of the mind's miscalculations ... I don't know what the heart is, not I: I only use the word to denote the mind's frailties.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Marquis de Sade
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.
Marquis de Sade
So long as the laws remain such as they are today, employ some discretion: loud opinion forces us to do so; but in privacy and silence let us compensate ourselves for that cruel chastity we are obliged to display in public.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.
Marquis de Sade (The 120 Days of Sodom, 1785)
Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Every principle is a judgment, every judgment the outcome of experience, and experience is only acquired by the exercise of the senses; whence it follows that religious principles bear upon nothing whatever and are not in the slightest innate.... Ignorance and fear, you will repeat to them, ignorance and fear—those are the twin bases of every religion.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
For mortal men there is but one hell, and that is the folly and wickedness and spite of his fellows; but once his life is over, there's an end to it: his annihilation is final and entire, of him nothing survives.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Let there be no doubt of it: religions are the cradles of despotism.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
The imagination is the spur of delights ... all depends upon it, it is the mainspring of everything; now, is it not by means of the imagination one knows joy? Is it not of the imagination that the sharpest pleasures arise?
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
Why do you complain of your fate when you could so easily change it?
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush.
Marquis de Sade
Man's natural character is to imitate; that of the sensitive man is to resemble as closely as possible the person whom he loves. It is only by imitating the vices of others that I have earned my misfortunes.
Marquis de Sade (Letter to his wife from Vincennes prison, 1781)
Never may an act of possession be exercised upon a free being; the exclusive possession of a woman is no less unjust than the possession of slaves; all men are born free, all have equal rights: never should we lose sight of those principles; according to which never may there be granted to one sex the legitimate right to lay monopolizing hands upon the other, and never may one of the sexes, or classes, arbitrarily possess the other.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
Never lose sight of the fact that all human felicity lies in man's imagination, and that he cannot think to attain it unless he heeds all his caprices. The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
Wolves which batten upon lambs, lambs consumed by wolves, the strong who immolate the weak, the weak victims of the strong: there you have Nature, there you have her intentions, there you have her scheme: a perpetual action and reaction, a host of vices, a host of virtues, in one word, a perfect equilibrium resulting from the equality of good and evil on earth.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
Miserable creatures, thrown for a moment on the surface of this little pile of mud, is it decreed that one half of the flock should be the persecutor of the other? Is it for you, mankind, to pronounce on what is good and what is evil?
Marquis de Sade (Letter from Vincennes prison, 1782)
What is more immoral than war?
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
The horrors of wedlock, the most appalling, the most loathsome of all the bonds humankind has devised for its own discomfort and degradation.
Marquis de Sade (Juliette, 1797)
It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.
Marquis de Sade
I think that if there were a God, there would be less evil on this earth. I believe that if evil exists here below, then either it was willed by God or it was beyond His powers to prevent it. Now I cannot bring myself to fear a God who is either spiteful or weak. I defy Him without fear and care not a fig for his thunderbolts.
Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791)
It is only by enlarging the scope of one's tastes and one's fantasies, by sacrificing everything to pleasure, that that unfortunate individual called man, thrown despite himself into this sad world, can succeed in gathering a few roses among life's thorns.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)
If Nature denies eternity to beings, it follows that their destruction is one of her laws. Now, once we observe that destruction is so useful to her that she absolutely cannot dispense with it ... from this moment onward the idea of annihilation which we attach to death ceases to be real ... what we call the end of the living animal is no longer a true finis, but a simple transformation, a transmutation of matter. According to these irrefutable principles, death is hence no more than a change of form, an imperceptible passage from one existence into another.
Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795)

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Marquis de Sade Biography

Born: June 2, 1740
Died: December 2, 1814

Donatien Alphonse François or better known as
Marquis de Sade was a French philosopher and revolutionary politician. He is best known erotic works and for his various novels, essays and political tracts.

Notable Works

The 120 Days of Sodom (1785)
Justine
(1791)
Philosophy in the Bedroom
(1795)
Juliette (1797)