I was born with a loving heart – ardent – a soul full of enthusiasm, but I was brought into the world by a monstrous unnatural mother – Among 5 children I was the only girl – This mother had made 9 without loving any one of them … We children growing up like poor dogs – the ‘marâtre’ giving more blows and curses than bread – She picked on me unceasingly above all because I was the weakest and a girl – consequently according to her without a brilliant future which would flatter the parents’ vanity.
Children, oh, those children, their upbringing and education are hardly a priority – Calves – piglets, cottage cheese making, these are productive activities, worthy of a superior mind, this makes money but children – they only consume it.
– How much money did you, father, provide for my education? I can’t recall a single penny – I have the right to be treated the same as my brothers – they get an education – secure a future for themselves – whereas I’m stuck here in the countryside like a dog on a chain, mending their
trousers
– Complain to God for not making you a boy
– It’s not just men who work to earn their daily bread.
Hell – hell – hell! – tortures – scandals – Ugoryński has been losing calamitous trials which, for a few years, have been threatening his complete ruin – … – The approaching bankruptcy made it clear to her that she would have to make her living abroad – What could she do? Only one solution – to teach children – however much she hated it! – it was the only thing
– Marry Plecicki – he’s got a position – he’ll take you to ballrooms
– Thank you – I’d rather hang myself on a dry branch or drown
– Ha! We don’t have money, you know that perfectly well
The ‘marâtre’, without waiting for me to obtain some kind of support … chased me from the house by means of the grossest words – ‘I don’t care where you go – go and work in a shop – it’s all the same to me – Get out’
In silence she got to a small town – narrow, dirty – whose main characteristics are mud and Jews in their stained robes – or shirts washed only round Easter time – and a smell of herrings with a strong admixture of ammonia
She couldn’t fall asleep that evening – strange and chaotic thoughts – haunting her mind – All sorts of solutions passing through her head – Whispers of madness – frenzy – passion – they all tempted her and harassed her – She tried her best to restrain her pride and defiance but they were erupting from the depths of her soul that had been imprisoned against her will – She thought: why shouldn’t I accept this old man? – I know more or less what he is planning – what his intentions are – Maybe this will be the path to liberation – I will grow stupid if I carry on working as a nanny – governess – He could help me swim back up to the surface of intelligent life – It’s impossible to lead this despicable life any longer
If today I am a cripple and the poorest creature of all the poor – a homeless vagabond – a rebellious destroyer – it’s all thanks to you … – You have done nothing to secure my future – to prevent me from falling – from poverty –
As you can see, for a month I have been trying to face death – Don’t think that I regret ending my life or that I am afraid of doing so – no – I am still thinking, considering whether I could still do something in my life, achieve anything – I lack the confidence and strength to face new difficulties awaiting me – and as I never had anyone in the past I also don’t have anyone now who could give
me courage, comfort me
This poor dreamy child had taken me by storm by the most tender fibres of the heart – Spontaneously I said to him: ‘I am too old to be your lover – but I could be your mother if you want?’ –‘With great joy – I have always wanted to know you’ – ‘Why?’ –‘Because you please me – You are beautiful’ – ‘No don’t say that – No one has ever said that to me’
She doesn’t take the son away from his parents but she protects him from the claws of the crowd, from the brutes who would like to bend his soul … – She took on the role of a mother and she decided that the aim of her ruined life would be to sacrifice her painfully gathered experience for this unusually talented man so that he doesn’t have to struggle to survive as she did – in this way
she can repay her debt to the world
We moved every 3-4 months always getting worse – And also I had to do the washing – cleaning – the cooking – the work I was not used to – This messed me up – annoyed me – made me irritable – When my ‘gars’ wanted to help me – it always ended in disputes – in rows – for he wanted to do whatever first came into his head
Despite misfortunes their feelings remain strong – the more they recognize each other’s outstanding gifts – the more their love and compassion grows …] – The ‘son’ sees his unhappy mother persecuted by fate and other people and he wants to relieve her pain through love and tenderness –‘Mother’ now being convinced of his good will and pure feelings – stops accusing him of being
irresponsible – and she shares her last penny with him
She knows that they still have to overcome numerous disagreements – especially given that both of them are short-tempered – very nervous and agitated – it’s lucky she is so much older – she knows life and adjusted her approach after enduring suffering – as a mother she will keep things on an even keel
I wrote you a letter full of reproach, a violent letter, asking you to find some means to get me out of this country since it was for you that I had come … I moan I repent I hate myself – the mere thought of my brutality brings the blood to my temples. Perhaps my letter unnerved you … – perhaps it even Ah, I cannot bear to think of it
... Petit Gars – beloved – despite the months passing – my grief doesn't shrink – doesn't diminish at all. I see you continuously immobile – Your beautiful eyes closed forever –Your body palpitating with exuberance annihilated by a brutal force – a bullet
No love could be more perfect than that which fills me now, but it is all too late: I feel that all this will end by me going mad. Is that the worst? No, the worst is already here and if madness will make me forget – then I desire it now

The state of my orphaned soul

Writing soothes my nerves

This is the preface to Hysterical Women and my final words A warning for lunatics and those who are likely to be influenced by the calamitous moon – Dithering – … – Have I received what I wanted? Never – Nothing apart from delusion – from feeding my calamitous imagination – which only just saved me from suicide – the Christian God tortured me ferociously… – the Moon made me shed blood for false promises and illusions – I have been healed from pernicious and superstitious beliefs – good for dimwits and swindlers – Ethics – that is my God – the voice of my heart and my conscience – If I fulfil my aim – if I finish this book – or rather a trilogy – I will prove that giving in to the influence of the Moon is calamitous – it’s a straight path to the madhouse

Finis


Quotes come from various Sophie's writings: her novel 'Hysterical Woman' (written in Polish), her autobiography 'Matka' (written in French and English), her short stories 'Christmas Eve Abroad', 'Ana in London' (Polish) and her diary 'To your dearest memory' which she wrote in French after Henri's death. 

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