Writer-to-be Marcel Proust approached his grand-père with a strange request. Apparently his father had sent him to a brothel with with 10 francs in his pocket in order to “cure” his indecent masturbation habit. But the 16-year old Marcel squandered the money and was forced to go to his grandfather. Here is a translation of the letter he wrote:
My dear little grandfather,More here
I appeal to your kindness for the sum of 13 francs that I wished to ask Mr. Nathan for, but which Mama prefers I request from you. Here is why. I so need to see if a woman could stop my awful masturbation habit that Papa gave me 10 francs to go to a brothel. But first, in my agitation, I broke a chamber pot: 3 francs; then, still agitated, I was unable to screw.
So here I am, back to square one, waiting more and more as hours pass for 10 francs to relieve myself, plus 3 francs for the pot. But I dare not ask Papa for more money so soon and so I hoped you could come to my aid in a circumstance which, as you know, is not merely exceptional but also unique. It cannot happen twice in one lifetime that a person is too flustered to screw.
I kiss you thousand times and dare to thank you in advance.
I will be home tomorrow morning at 11 am. If you are moved by my situation and can answer my prayers, I hope I will see you with the money needed. Regardless, thank you for your decision which I know that derives from a warm, friendly place.