Dangerous Beauty (Beatrice Venier)

When my daughter is old enough, I want you to make her a courtesan. The life you live, the freedom that you have. Would you deny my daughter the same chance? Do you know what my daughter’s nurse told her this morning? That in a girl’s voice lies temptation. A known fact: eloquence in a woman means promiscuity. Promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body. She doesn’t believe her yet, but she will. She’ll grow up just like her mother. She’ll marry. Bear children and honor her family. Spend her youth at needlepoint and rue the day she was born a girl. And when she dies, she’ll wonder why she obeyed all the rules of God and country, because no Biblical hell could ever be worse than this state of perpetual inconsequence.