London, South Kensington
7 June 2010
SADE, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de (1740-1814). Autograph letter signed ('Sade') to [his lawyer Gaspar-François-Xavier] Gaufridy, n.p. [Paris], 'ce vingt pluviose' [20 February 1796], drawing of a barrel of oil on the second page, 3½ pages 4to, bifolium.
ON SADE'S EFFORTS TO HELP GAUFRIDY'S SON, HIS TASTE IN JAM AND HIS NEED FOR MONEY. Sade has been confined to his room for six weeks 'pour une terrible ébulition de sang et un accès de goute' and this has prevented him doing anything personally in the case of Gaufridy's son (François, who is threatened with conscription), but even if he had been active, it was best to leave it to the infinitely superior skills of his 'emissaire feminin' [his mistress, Marie-Constance Quesnet]: 'mais l'eusse je pu je ne l'aurais pas fait connaisant la maniere infiniment plus adroite et plus chaude dont les emissaires feminins, et surtout le mien se conduisent en pareil cas'. She has passed on a memorandm on the case to the relevant minister and his 'chef des bureaux'; there is hope that although 'la loi [est] contre le jeune homme' it may be possible to procure an exemption, but Gaufridy must respond quickly with the necessary documents, especially Sade he has 'une autre corde a mon arc, que je vais employer pendant ce temps la'. He goes on to acknowledge the arrival of three boxes containing 'huit pots de confitures de differentes sortes ... neuf livres de bougies, deux boites de confitures seches et deux barils d'huile', sketching a curious phenomenon involving one of the barrels of oil which has solidified, and complaining about the jam -- 'les confitures sont excellentes mais pourquoi point de chinois que j'aime a la folie, et pourquoi tant d'acide et de confitures rouge qui me sont positivement defendues par mon medecin' -- as well as about the absence of a pot of anchovies (a recurrent obsession in his letters at this time); he ends by noting six points to be dealt with in order to retrieve his financial situation, including the sale of the chateau of Mazan and of the 'debris' [of the chateau of La Coste]; he has an urgent need of 600 livres to pay the forced loan.
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