I sought a soul that might resemble mine, and I could not find it. I scanned all the crannies of the earth: my perseverance was useless. Yet I could not remain alone. There had to be someone who would approve of my character; there had to be someone with the same ideas as myself. It was morning. The sun in all his magnificence rose on the horizon, and behold, there also appeared before my eyes a young man whose presence made flowers grow as he passed. He approached me and held out his hand: "I have come to you, you who seek me. Let us give thanks for this happy day." But I replied: "Go! I did not summon you. I do not need your friendship. . ."

It was evening. Night -was beginning to spread the blackness of her veil over nature... A beautiful woman whom I could scarcely discern also exerted her bewitching sway upon me and looked at me with compassion. She did not, however, dare speak to me. I said: "Come closer that I may discern your features clearly, for at this distance the starlight is not strong enough to illumine them." I said as soon as I saw her: "I perceive that goodness and justice have dwelt In your heart: we could not live together. Not that I shall be unfaithful to you, but get this into your head and never forget it: wolves and lambs look not on one another with gentle eyes." What then did I need, I who rejected with such disgust what was most beautiful in humanity !

I sat on a rock near the sea. A ship had just put out from shore at full sail: an imperceptible dot had appeared on the horizon and was gradually approaching, growing rapidly, pushed on by the squall. The storm was going to begin its onslaughts and already the sky was darkening, turning into a blackness almost as hideous as man's heart. Claps of thunder crashed amid the lightning but could not outdo the sound of wailing to be heard from the foundationless house - a floating sepulchre. The lurching masses of water had not managed to break the anchor chains, but had dashed open a way into the ship's sides: an enormous breach, for the pumps were quite unable to expel the vast quantities of salt water which smashed foaming over the deck like mountains. Finally from within the ship a universal shriek of sheer woe bursts forth, while the sea redoubles its redoubtable attacks. Human strength giving way was the cause of that cry. 0 heaven! how can one live after tasting so many delights! It has just been my lot to witness the death-throes of several of my fellow men.

From the shore I apostrophised them, hurling imprecations and threats at them. It seemed to me that they must have heard me! It seemed to me that my hatred and my words, covering the distance, destroyed the laws of acoustics and, distinctly, reached those ears deafened by the wrathful ocean's roar! It seemed to me that they must have thought of me and vented their vengeance in impotent rage! During the fiercest part of the storm I saw a forceful head, its hair on end, cleaving the waters with desperate exertions. What courage! What indomitable spirit! Today when the years hang heavy on me, I sincerely state for a supreme and solemn truth: I was not as cruel as men later related; but sometimes their wickedness wreaks its enduring ravages for years on end. So my fury knew no limit; I was seized with an access of cruelty and struck awe in anyone (of my own race) who might happen to meet my haggard eyes. Were it a horse or dog, I would let it by: did you hear what I just said?

Unfortunately on the night of the storm I was seized by one of my fits of wrath, my reason had flown (for as a rule I would be cruel but more discreet), and everything falling Into my hands at that time had to perish, I do not intend to justify my misdeeds. What is this army of marine monsters swiftly slicing through the waves? Blood mingles with the waters and the waters with blood. Their savage eyes sufficiently illumine the scene of carnage. , . . But what is this new turmoil in the water, yonder on the horizon? An enormous female shark Is coming to partake of the duck liver pate, to eat the cold boiled beef. She is raging, ravening. A battle ensues between her and the others to contest the few palpitating limbs that here and there bob silently on the surface of the crimson cream. To left and right her jaws slash, dealing mortal wounds. His mouth full of bile, the man throws himself off the rock's summit into the sea and swims towards the pleasantly tinted carpet. Swimmer and female shark confront each other. They swim, circling, neither losing sight of the other. Each thinking: "Till now I was wrong - here is someone wickeder than I!"

Then of one accord, in mutual admiration, they slid toward each other - the female parting the water with her fins, Maldoror smiting the surge with his arms - and held their breaths in deepest reverence, both longing to look for the first time on their living image. Effortlessly, abruptly, they fell upon each other like magnets, and embraced with dignity and recognition, in a hug as tender as a brother's or sister's. Carnal desires soon followed this demonstration of affection. The foamy wave their nuptial couch - borne on an undertow as in a cradle - they rolled over and over towards the unknown depths of the briny abyss - and came together in a long, chaste, hideous coupling! , , . At last I had found someone - who resembled me! . . . From now on I was no longer alone in life! . . . She had the same ideas as I! . . . I was facing my first love!