Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/13

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which he gave several women some drugged candy. He also beat the women and had them beat him. Other perversions made the party even more lively.

The marquis and his valet were condemned to death and had to flee to Italy. The marquis persuaded his sister-in-law to go along with them.

After a few months, Sade brought her back to France and went to Savoy. Madame de Montreuil was furious at the way the marquis had treated her two daughters, and she used her influence to have him imprisoned in Savoy. After about five months, a daring escape was planned and executed by Madame de Sade, and the two of them fled to Italy.

In spite of the sentence hanging over his head, the marquis soon returned to his chateau where he was to lead a hunted existence for several years. On several occasions armed posses penetrated into the confines of the chateau at night to try to arrest him, but he was either out of town, or had been warned of their coming.

In the year 1774-1775, Sade, tiring of this continual state of worry, decided to have a little entertainment at the chateau. Madame de Sade was in Paris and the marquis engaged young women to be his servants. In the resulting orgies, several of the girls were badly injured by his sadistic attacks and had to be sent off to relatives and hospitals for treatment. This time, Madame de Montreuil was able to keep the matter quiet by the use of large sums of money.

Madame de Montreuil, by now, had become convinced that her son-in-law must be put behind bars for his own good. Finally, in 1777, she was successful and at the same time arranged for a retrial of the Marseilles scandal. This took place in the summer of 1778, and the marquis was declared innocent. However, instead of being freed, he was sent back to prison. It was decided that it was better to keep him out of circulation.

The Marquis de Sade was to stay in prison until 1790. During these years he spent most of his time studying and writing, and it is probably due to this imprisonment that he started a career which has provided the literary world with some of the most amazing books ever written.

It was during this period that he wrote a book called