Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse François de Sade

Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse
François de Sade

French Aristocrat, Revolutionary Politician, Philosopher and Writer famous for his Libertine Sexuality and Lifestyle

Author Quotes

Oh, there are plenty of people, the Duc used to observe, who never misbehave save when passion spurs them to ill; later, the fire gone out of them, their now calm spirit peacefully returns to the path of virtue and, thus passing their life going from strife to error and from error to remorse, they end their days in such a way there is no telling just what roles they have enacted on earth. Such persons, he would continue, must surely be miserable: forever drifting, continually undecided, their entire life is spent detesting in the morning what they did the evening before. Certain to repent of the pleasures they taste, they take their delight in quaking, in such sort they become at once virtuous in crime and criminal in virtue.

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| Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.

They declaim against the passions without bothering to think that it is from their flame philosophy lights its torch.

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.

One has always had too much when one has had enough

The impossibility of outraging nature is the greatest anguish man can know.

This is what happens to the plans of humans, it is when they make them in the midst of their pleasures that death cuts the thread of their days without pity, and in the midst of life, without ever concerning themselves with this fatal moment, living as though they were to exist for ever, they disappear into the obscure cloud of immortality, uncertain of the fate which lies in store for them.

Woman's destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her.

One must do violence to the object of one's desire when it surrenders, the pleasure is greater.

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.

'Til the infallibility of human judgments shall have been proved to me, I shall demand the abolition of the penalty of death.

You say that my way of thinking cannot be tolerated? What of it? The man who alters his way of thinking to suit others is a fool. My way of thinking is the result of my reflections. It is part of my inner being, the way I am made. I do not contradict them, and would not even if I wished to. For my system, which you disapprove of, is also my greatest comfort in life, the source of all my happiness --- it means more to me than my life itself.

One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.

The majority of pop stars are complete idiots in every respect.

To enlighten mankind and improve its morals is the only lesson which we offer in this story. In reading it, may the world discover how great is the peril which follows the footsteps of those who will stop at nothing to satisfy their desires.

Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.

Our four libertines, half-drunk but nonetheless resolved to abide their laws, contended themselves with kisses, fingerings, but their libertine intelligence knew how to season these mild activities with all the refinements of debauch and lubricity.

The man who alters his way of thinking to suit others is a fool.

To kill a man in a paroxysm of passion is understandable, but to have him killed by someone else after calm and serious meditation and on the pretext of duty honorably discharged is incomprehensible.

Your service will be arduous, it will be painful and rigorous, and the slightest delinquencies will be requited immediately with corporal and afflicting punishments; hence, I must recommend to you prompt exactness, submissiveness, and total self-abnegation that you be enabled to heed naught but our desires; let them be your laws, fly to do their bidding, anticipate them, cause them to be born...

Sensual excess drives out pity in man.

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.

True happiness lies in the senses, and virtue gratifies none of them.

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.

The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success.

Author Picture
First Name
Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse
Last Name
François de Sade
Birth Date
Death Date

French Aristocrat, Revolutionary Politician, Philosopher and Writer famous for his Libertine Sexuality and Lifestyle