Something very humorous indeed had occurred the night before: absolutely drunk, the Duc, instead of gaining his bedchamber, had installed himself in young Sophie's bed, and despite all the child could say, for she knew perfectly well what he was doing violated the rules, he would not be budged, and continued with great heat to maintain he was damned well where he belonged, namely, in his bed with Aline, who was listed as his wife for the night. But as he was allowed certain privileges with Aline which were still forbidden with the little girls, when he sought to put Sophie in the posture that favored the amusements of his choice, and when the poor child, to whom no one had as yet ever done such a thing, felt the massive head of the Duc's prick hammer at her young behind's narrow gate and contrive to batter a thoroughfare, the poor little creature fell to uttering dreadful screeches, and, leaping up, fled naked about the room. The Duc followed hard on her heels, swearing like a demon, still mistaking her for Aline. "Buggress!" he roared, "dost think it the first time?" And fancying he has overtaken her and has her at last, he falls upon Zelmire's bed, thinking it his own, and embraces that little girl, supposing Aline has decided to behave reasonably. The same proceedings with Zelmire as a moment ago with Sophie, because the Duc most decidedly wishes to attain his objective; but immediately Zelmire perceives what he is about, she imitates her companion and duplicates her resistance, pronounces a terrible scream, and leaps away.
However, Sophie, the first to take to flight, collects her wits and, seeing full well that there is but one way to put an end to this quid pro quo, sets off in search of light and some cool-headed individual capable of restoring order, and consequently she thinks to look for Duclos. But Duclos had behaved like a pig at the orgies and got herself blind drunk, Sophie comes upon her stretched out unconscious in the middle of the Duc's bed, and fails absolutely to bring her to her senses. Desperate, knowing not to whom under such circumstances she may apply, hearing all her comrades calling for help, she gathers up courage and enters Durcet's apartment; the financier is lying with his daughter, Constance, and Sophie blurts out what has been happening. Constance at any rate did rise from the bed, despite the efforts the drunken Durcet made to restrain her by saying he wanted to discharge; she took a candle and accompanied Sophie to the girls' chamber: she discovered the poor little dears, all in their nightgowns, clustered in the center of the room, and the Duc pursuing now one of them, now another, still persuaded he was dealing with no one but Aline, whom he swore was become a witch that night and had many shapes. Constance finally showed him his error, and entreating him to allow her to guide him back to his room, where, she assured him, he would find a very submissive Aline only too eager to do all he chose to demand of her, the Duc who, thoroughly besotted and acting as always in the very best of faith, really had no other design than to plant his staff in Aline's ass, let himself be taken to her; that lovely girl was there to greet him, and he went to bed; Constance withdrew from the room, and calm was restored generally.
They laughed very heartily all the next day over that nocturnal adventure, and the Duc declared that if, by great misfortune, he were in such a case to happen all accidentally to obliterate a maidenhead, he would not, so it seemed to him, be liable or justly subject to a fine because, intoxicated, he could not be held accountable for his actions; but, oh no, the others assured him, he was mistaken in that, he would indeed have to pay.
They breakfasted amidst their sultanas as usual, and all the little girls avowed they'd been furiously afraid. Not one, however, was found at fault despite the night's alarms; similarly, everything was in order in the boys' quarters, and coffee, like dinner, offering nothing extraordinary, they passed into the auditorium where Duclos, entirely set to rights after the previous evening's riot, amused the company with the following five episodes:
It was once again I, Messieurs, who went on the stage in the play I am about to describe to you. The other person in the drama was a medical man; the doctor's first act was to examine my buttocks, and as he came to the conclusion they were superb, he spent more than an hour doing nothing but kissing them. He at last confessed his little foibles: they were all connected with shit and shitting, as I had surmised, and knowing what was expected of me, I adopted the appropriate posture. I filled the white porcelain pot I used to employ for this sort of enterprise. Immediately he is the master of my turd, he raises it to his mouth and begins tucking it away; he has no sooner taken a bite than I pick up a bull's pizzle - that was the instrument wherewith I was to caress his bum - I shout threats and imprecations at him, then strike, scold him for the dreadful things he is wont to do, the infamous things, and without heeding me, the libertine swallows the last mouthful, discharges, and is off with the speed of light, having tossed a louis onto the table.
Shortly afterward another came to the house, and I entrusted him to Lucile, who had truly to struggle to make him discharge. He had first of all to be sure the turd that was to be served up to him originated with an old beggar woman, and to convince him, I had to have the old crone operate before his own eyes. I gave him a venerable dame of seventy, covered with ulcers and wens and other signs of erysipelas, and whose last tooth had fallen from her gums fifteen years before. "Good, that's excellent," said he, "precisely the sort I need." Then, enclosing himself with Lucile and the turd, that equally skillful, complacent, and determined girl had to excite him to the point at which he would eat that very mature lump. He sniffed it, stared at it, even touched it, but that was all, he could not seem to make himself go further. Whereupon Lucile, having to resort to something more persuasive than rhetoric, thrust the fire tongs into the fire and, drawing them out red-hot, announced she proposed to burn his buttocks if he did not obey her on the spot and eat his luncheon. Our man trembles, has another try: the same disgust, he recoils. As good as her word, Lucile lowers his breeches and, bringing to light an ass of very evil aspect and scarred all over, discolored and withered by operations in this same kind, she deftly singes his cheeks. The lecher swears, Lucile applies her iron again, now scorches and finally produces a very definite and sufficiently profound burn in the middle of his ass; pain screws him up to resolution at last, he bites off a mouthful, additional burnings excite him further, and little by little the work is completed. The downing of the last nibble of shit coincided with his discharge, and I have seen exceedingly few as violent; he emitted loud cries and screams, howled like a wolf and rolled on the floor; I thought he had been seized by a frenzy or an attack of epilepsy. Delighted with the patient understanding he had encountered in our house, the libertine promised to be my regular customer, provided I would give him the same girl but a different old woman each time.
"The more repulsive the source," said he, "the better you'll be paid for the yield. You have simply no idea," he added, "to what lengths my depravity carries me; I hardly dare acknowledge it to myself."
Upon his recommendation, one of his friends visited us the next day, and this individual's depravity carried him, in my opinion, a great deal further, for instead of a relatively mild branding, he had to be soundly beaten with red-hot tongs, and the author of the turd offered him had to be the oldest, filthiest, most disgusting thief we could find. A degenerate old valet of eighty, whom we had had in the house for ages, pleased him wonderfully well for his operation, and, rolling his eyes, smacking his lips, he gobbled up the old devil's turd while it was still warm and while the good Justine, using tongs heated to such a temperature they could hardly be held, thrashed his bum. And she was furthermore obliged to snatch up great bits of his flesh with the instrument, and all but roast them.
Another had his buttocks, belly, balls, and prick stabbed with a heavy cobbler's awl, and all this with more or less the same circumstances, that is to say, until he would eat a turd I presented to him in a chamber pot. He was not, however, curious about the turd's origins.
Messieurs, it is not easy to imagine to what lengths men are driven in the delirium of their inflamed imaginations. Have I not beheld one who, acting according to the same principles, required me to shower bone-breaking blows of a cane upon him as he ate a turd which, before his own eyes, he had us fish up out of the depths of the house's privy? and his perfidious discharge did not flow into my mouth until he had devoured the last spoonful of that foul muck.
"Well, you know, everything's imaginable and even possible," said Curval as he pensively fondled Desgranges' buttocks. "I am convinced one can go still further than that."
"Further?" said the Duc who at that moment was mauling the bare behind of Adelaide, his wife for the day. "And what the devil would you have one do?"
"Worse!" replied Curval, something of a hiss in his voice. "It seems to me one never sufficiently exploits the possible."
"I entirely agree with the Président," spoke up Durcet, then in the act of embuggering Antinoüs, "and I have the feeling my mind is capable of further improvements upon all those piggish stunts."
"I think I know what Durcet means," said the Bishop who, for the time being, was idle, or who rather had not yet begun to operate.
"Well, what the devil does he mean?" the Duc demanded to know.
Whereupon the Bishop stood up and went to Durcet's alcove; the two men whispered together, the Bishop then moved on to where Curval was, and the latter said, "That's it, exactly!" And then the Bishop spoke in the Duc's ear.
"By fuck!" His Highness exclaimed, "I'd never have thought of that one."
As these gentlemen said no more that might shed light on the thing, we have no way of knowing just what Durcet did mean or what the Duc declared he would never have thought of. And even were it that we knew, I believe we would be well advised to keep knowledge of the thing strictly to ourselves, at least in the interest of modesty, for there are an infinite number of things one ought merely to indicate, prudent circumspection requires that one keep a bridle on one's tongue; there are such things, are there not, as chaste ears? one may now and again encounter them, and I am absolutely convinced the reader has already had occasion to be grateful for the discretion we have employed in his regard; the further he reads on more secure shall be our claim to his sincerest praise upon this head, why, yes, we feel we may almost assure him of it even at this early stage. Well, whatever one may say, each one has his own soul to save, and of what punishment, both in this world and in the next, is he not deserving who all immoderately were to be pleased to divulge all the caprices, all the whims and tastes, all the clandestine horrors whereunto men are subject when their fancy is free and afire? 'twould be to reveal secrets which ought to be sunk in obscurity for humanity's sake, 'twould be to undertake the general corruption of manners and to precipitate his brethren in Jesus Christ into all the extravagances such tableaux might feature in very lively color and profusion; and God, Who seeth even unto the depths of our hearts, this puissant God Who hath made heaven and earth and Who must one day judge us, God alone knoweth whether we have any desire to hear ourselves reproached by Him for such crimes.
Messieurs put the finishing touches on several horrors they had begun; Curval, to cite one example, had Desgranges shit, the others occupied themselves with either that same distraction, or with some others not much more improving, and their Lordships then went to supper. At the orgies, Duclos having overheard the friends discussing the new diet we alluded to earlier, whose purpose was to render shit more abundant and more delicate, at the orgies, I say, Duclos noted that she was truly astonished to find connoisseurs like themselves unaware of the true secret whereby turds are made both very abundant and very tasty. Questioned about the measures which ought to be adopted, she said that there was but one: the subject should be given a mild indigestion; there was no need to make him eat what he did not like or what was unwholesome, but, by obliging him to eat hurriedly and between meals, the desired results could be obtained at once. The experiment was performed that same evening: Fanny was waked - no one had paid any attention to her, and she had gone to bed after supper - she was immediately required to eat four large plain cakes, and the next morning she furnished one of the biggest and most beautiful turds they had been able to procure from her up until that time. Duclos' suggested system was therefore approved, although they upheld their decision to do away with bread; Duclos said they were well advised to be rid of it; the fruits produced by her method, said she, would only be better. From that time on not a day passed but they'd gently upset those pretty youngsters' digestions in one way or another, and the results were simply beyond anything you could imagine. I mention this in passing so that, should any amateur be disposed to make use of the formula, he may be firmly persuaded there is none superior.
The remainder of the evening having brought nothing extraordinary, everyone retired in order to be freshly rested for the following day's wedding: the brilliant match to be made was destined to unite Colombe and Zélamir, and this ceremony was to be the basis for celebrating the third week's festival.