Sade, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de, French writer (1740-1814). Autograph letter.

Saumane, 20 Aug. [1797].

Large 8vo. 1 p. on bifolium. With autograph address and traces of seal.


Urgent letter to François Ripert, the caretaker of de Sade's property in Saumane, sent via Ripert's mother, with bitter complaints about outstanding financial statements. De Sade claims that he has been waiting for six weeks and doubts Ripert's honesty. In closing, the Marquis announces that he will leave for Paris within three weeks, threatening that the process might take years if he leaves the country without verifying the financial statements: "Je ne sais comment et de quelle Manière il faut que je m'y prenne pour faire comprendre à Monsieur Ripert que je ne puis faire ses comptes sans les avoir eu quelques temps auparavant en ma disposition pour les examiner. Voilà 6 semaines que je les demande sans pouvoir les obtenir. Les gens francs et clairs qui n'ont pas de prétentions louches et ridicules à mettre en avant marchent plus à découvert que cela. Je préviens Mr Ripert que sous trois semaines je pars pour Paris et que si je quitte ce païs-ci et sans vérifier ses comptes, il pourra bien s'écouler bon nombre d'années avant que cette opération-là ne s'entreprenne [...]".

Despite de Sade's bitter complaints and insinuations, he held Ripert in high esteem as a faithful employee and ally in countless conflicts within his own family. Ripert even hid de Sade during his flight to Italy, following the 1772 condemnation in the so-called "Affaire de Marseille", which ultimately led to his 12-year incarceration in Paris. In 1796/97, the Marquis was on the verge of bankruptcy and was thus forced to sell large swathes of his remaining property, against the will of his wife and children. De Sade's short conflict with his caretaker arose in the context of these extreme financial difficulties.

Traces of folds. With some stains to the address-side. Dated to 1797 by contemporary hand.

Stock Code: BN#57623 Tags: ,