Diary Of A Madman PDF Free Download

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He was dead--the head of a high tribunal, the upright magistratewhose irreproachable life was a proverb in all the courts of France.Advocates, young counsellors, judges had greeted him at sight of hislarge, thin, pale face lighted up by two sparkling deep-set eyes, bowinglow in token of respect.

He had passed his life in pursuing crime and in protecting the weak.Swindlers and murderers had no more redoubtable enemy, for he seemed toread the most secret thoughts of their minds.

He was dead, now, at the age of eighty-two, honored by the homage andfollowed by the regrets of a whole people. Soldiers in red trousers hadescorted him to the tomb and men in white cravats had spoken words andshed tears that seemed to be sincere beside his grave.

But here is the strange paper found by the dismayed notary in the deskwhere he had kept the records of great criminals! It was entitled:WHY?

20th June, 1851. I have just left court. I have condemned Blondel todeath! Now, why did this man kill his five children? Frequently one meetswith people to whom the destruction of life is a pleasure. Yes, yes, itshould be a pleasure, the greatest of all, perhaps, for is not killingthe next thing to creating? To make and to destroy! These two wordscontain the history of the universe, all the history of worlds, all thatis, all! Why is it not intoxicating to kill?

25th June. To think that a being is there who lives, who walks, who runs.A being? What is a being? That animated thing, that bears in it theprinciple of motion and a will ruling that motion. It is attached tonothing, this thing. Its feet do not belong to the ground. It is a grainof life that moves on the earth, and this grain of life, coming I knownot whence, one can destroy at one's will. Then nothing--nothingmore. It perishes, it is finished.

26th June. Why then is it a crime to kill? Yes, why? On the contrary, itis the law of nature. The mission of every being is to kill; he kills tolive, and he kills to kill. The beast kills without ceasing, all day,every instant of his existence. Man kills without ceasing, to nourishhimself; but since he needs, besides, to kill for pleasure, he hasinvented hunting! The child kills the insects he finds, the little birds,all the little animals that come in his way. But this does not sufficefor the irresistible need to massacre that is in us. It is not enough tokill beasts; we must kill man too. Long ago this need was satisfied byhuman sacrifices. Now the requirements of social life have made murder acrime. We condemn and punish the assassin! But as we cannot live withoutyielding to this natural and imperious instinct of death, we relieveourselves, from time to time, by wars. Then a whole nation slaughtersanother nation. It is a feast of blood, a feast that maddens armies andthat intoxicates civilians, women and children, who read, by lamplight atnight, the feverish story of massacre.

One might suppose that those destined to accomplish these butcheries ofmen would be despised! No, they are loaded with honors. They are clad ingold and in resplendent garments; they wear plumes on their heads andornaments on their breasts, and they are given crosses, rewards, titlesof every kind. They are proud, respected, loved by women, cheered by thecrowd, solely because their mission is to shed human blood; They dragthrough the streets their instruments of death, that the passer-by, cladin black, looks on with envy. For to kill is the great law set by naturein the heart of existence! There is nothing more beautiful and honorablethan killing!

30th June. To kill is the law, because nature loves eternal youth. Sheseems to cry in all her unconscious acts: 'Quick! quick! quick!' The moreshe destroys, the more she renews herself.

2d July. A human being--what is a human being? Through thought it isa reflection of all that is; through memory and science it is an abridgededition of the universe whose history it represents, a mirror of thingsand of nations, each human being becomes a microcosm in the macrocosm.

3d July. It must be a pleasure, unique and full of zest, to kill; to havethere before one the living, thinking being; to make therein a littlehole, nothing but a little hole, to see that red thing flow which is theblood, which makes life; and to have before one only a heap of limpflesh, cold, inert, void of thought!

5th August. I, who have passed my life in judging, condemning, killing bythe spoken word, killing by the guillotine those who had killed by theknife, I, I, if I should do as all the assassins have done whom I havesmitten, I--I--who would know it?

10th August. Who would ever know? Who would ever suspect me, me, me,especially if I should choose a being I had no interest in doing awaywith?

15th August. The temptation has come to me. It pervades my whole being;my hands tremble with the desire to kill.

22d August. I could resist no longer. I killed a little creature as anexperiment, for a beginning. Jean, my servant, had a goldfinch in a cagehung in the office window. I sent him on an errand, and I took the littlebird in my hand, in my hand where I felt its heart beat. It was warm. Iwent up to my room. From time to time I squeezed it tighter; its heartbeat faster; this was atrocious and delicious. I was near choking it. ButI could not see the blood.

Then I took scissors, short-nail scissors, and I cut its throat withthree slits, quite gently. It opened its bill, it struggled to escape me,but I held it, oh! I held it--I could have held a mad dog--andI saw the blood trickle.

And then I did as assassins do--real ones. I washed the scissors, Iwashed my hands. I sprinkled water and took the body, the corpse, to thegarden to hide it. I buried it under a strawberry-plant. It will never befound. Every day I shall eat a strawberry from that plant. How one canenjoy life when one knows how!

My servant cried; he thought his bird flown. How could he suspect me? Ah!ah!

25th August. I must kill a man! I must--

30th August. It is done. But what a little thing! I had gone for a walkin the forest of Vernes. I was thinking of nothing, literally nothing. Achild was in the road, a little child eating a slice of bread and butter.

He stops to see me pass and says, 'Good-day, Mr. President.'

Diary Of A Madman Pdf Free Download Pdf

And the thought enters my head, 'Shall I kill him?'

I answer: 'You are alone, my boy?'

'Yes, sir.'

'All alone in the wood?'

'Yes, sir.'

The wish to kill him intoxicated me like wine. I approached him quitesoftly, persuaded that he was going to run away. And, suddenly, I seizedhim by the throat. He looked at me with terror in his eyes--sucheyes! He held my wrists in his little hands and his body writhed like afeather over the fire. Then he moved no more. I threw the body in theditch, and some weeds on top of it. I returned home, and dined well. Whata little thing it was! In the evening I was very gay, light, rejuvenated;I passed the evening at the Prefect's. They found me witty. But I havenot seen blood! I am tranquil.

31st August. The body has been discovered. They are hunting for theassassin. Ah! ah!

A Madman's Diary Analysis

1st September. Two tramps have been arrested. Proofs are lacking.

2d September. The parents have been to see me. They wept! Ah! ah!

6th October. Nothing has been discovered. Some strolling vagabond musthave done the deed. Ah! ah! If I had seen the blood flow, it seems to meI should be tranquil now! The desire to kill is in my blood; it is likethe passion of youth at twenty.

20th October. Yet another. I was walking by the river, after breakfast.And I saw, under a willow, a fisherman asleep. It was noon. A spade wasstanding in a potato-field near by, as if expressly, for me.

I took it. I returned; I raised it like a club, and with one blow of theedge I cleft the fisherman's head. Oh! he bled, this one! Rose-coloredblood. It flowed into the water, quite gently. And I went away with agrave step. If I had been seen! Ah! ah! I should have made an excellentassassin.

25th October. The affair of the fisherman makes a great stir. His nephew,who fished with him, is charged with the murder.

26th October. The examining magistrate affirms that the nephew is guilty.Everybody in town believes it. Ah! ah!

27th October. The nephew makes a very poor witness. He had gone to thevillage to buy bread and cheese, he declared. He swore that his uncle hadbeen killed in his absence! Who would believe him?

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28th October. The nephew has all but confessed, they have badgered himso. Ah! ah! justice!

15th November. There are overwhelming proofs against the nephew, who washis uncle's heir. I shall preside at the sessions.

25th January. To death! to death! to death! I have had him condemned todeath! Ah! ah! The advocate-general spoke like an angel! Ah! ah! Yetanother! I shall go to see him executed!

10th March. It is done. They guillotined him this morning. He died verywell! very well! That gave me pleasure! How fine it is to see a man'shead cut off!

Now, I shall wait, I can wait. It would take such a little thing to letmyself be caught.

The manuscript contained yet other pages, but without relating any newcrime.

Alienist physicians to whom the awful story has been submitted declarethat there are in the world many undiscovered madmen as adroit and asmuch to be feared as this monstrous lunatic.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Retrieved from 'https://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=The_Diary_of_a_Madman_(Maupassant)&oldid=6114165'
Author
Guy de Maupassant
Pages:
8
Reading time:
20 minutes
Original language
French

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He was dead — the head of a high tribunal, the upright magistrate whose irreproachable life was a proverb in all the courts of France. Advocates, young counsellors, judges had greeted him at sight of his large, thin, pale face lighted up by two sparkling deep-set eyes, bowing low in token of respect.
He had passed his life in pursuing crime and in protecting the weak. Swindlers and murderers had no more redoubtable enemy, for he seemed to read the most secret thoughts of their minds.
He was dead, now, at the age of eighty-two, honored by the homage and followed by the regrets of a whole people. Soldiers in red trousers had escorted him to the tomb and men in white cravats had spoken words and shed tears that seemed to be sincere beside his grave.
But here is the strange paper found by the dismayed notary in the desk where he had kept the records of great criminals! It was entitled: WHY?
20th June, 1851. I have just left court. I have condemned Blondel to death! Now, why did this man kill his five children? Frequently one meets with people to whom the destruction of life is a pleasure. Yes, yes, it should be a pleasure, the greatest of all, perhaps, for is not killing the next thing to creating? To make and to destroy! These two words contain the history of the universe, all the history of worlds, all that is, all! Why is it not intoxicating to kill?

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