Donatien Alphonse François de Sade (June 2, 1740 – December 2, 1814), better known as the Marquis de Sade, was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words sadism and sadist are derived from his name. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
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.
Death is hence no more than a change of form, an imperceptible passage from one existence into another.
Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Do not breed. Nothing gives less pleasure than childbearing. Pregnancies are damaging to health, spoil the figure, wither the charms, and it's the cloud of uncertainty forever hanging over these events that darkens a husband's mood.
Nature has not got two voices, you know, one of them condemning all day what the other commands.
Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of the laws of her general equilibrium, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues, inspires now this impulse, now that one, in accordance with what she requires.
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.
Nothing we can do outrages Nature directly. Our acts of destruction give her new vigor and feed her energy, but none of our wreckings can weaken her power.
One must feel sorry for those who have strange tastes, but never insult them. Their wrong is Nature's too; they are no more responsible for having come into the world with tendencies unlike ours than are we for being born bandy-legged or well-proportioned.
One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.
Prejudice is the sole author of infamies: how many acts are so qualified by an opinion forged out of nought but prejudice!
Religions are the cradles of despotism.
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.
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.
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?
The law which attempts a man's life (capital punishment) is impractical, unjust, inadmissible. It has never repressed crime—for a second crime is every day committed at the foot of the scaffold.
The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success.
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...
There is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certain and dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign and almost never experience.
They declaim against the passions without bothering to think that it is from their flame philosophy lights its torch.
Those laws, being forged for universal application, are in perpetual conflict with personal interest, just as personal interest is always in contradiction with the general interest. Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof it is composed; for, if they one time protect the individual, they hinder, trouble, fetter him for three quarters of his life.
To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.
Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.
Why do you complain of your fate when you could so easily change it?
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.
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.