Saw Barriere who told us this striking anecdote. On the Place de Greve he had seen a condemned man whose hair had visibly stood on end when he turned to face the scaffold. Yet this was the man who, when Dr. Pariset had asked hm what he wanted before he died, had answered: 'A leg of mutton and a woman.'
Spent the evening at Flaubert's. Bouilhet was there, a fellow with the physique of a good-looking workman. We heard some wonderful stories about provincial avarice and the masters at Rouen College. Then we talked about Sade, to whom Flaubert, as if fascinated, constantly reverts. 'He is the last word in Catholicism', he said. 'Let me explain: he is the spirit of the Inquisition, the spirit of torture, the spirit of the medieval Church, the horror of Nature. There isn't a single tree in Sade, or a single animal.' We talked about Romanticism. At school he slept with a dagger under his pillow, and once stopped his tilbury outside Casimir Delavigne's country house, stood up on the seat and shouted 'guttersnipe abuse' at the man.
- Edmund de Goncourt