483. To this I will add something worthy of mention from the spiritual world:* I have heard that some married men have the lust of committing whoredom, some with undeflowered women or virgins, some with deflowered women or harlots, some with married women or wives, some with women of noble stock, and some with women not of noble stock. That such is the case has been confirmed for me by many instances from various kingdoms of the world. When meditating on the variety of such lusts, I inquired whether there are men who find all their delight with the wives of others, and none with unmarried women. That I might know that there are such men, there were brought to me a number of men from a certain kingdom who were constrained to speak in accordance with their libidinous nature. They said that their sole pleasure and delight was and also is to commit adultery with the wives of others, and that they look out for beautiful wives and hire them at a great price according to their wealth, usually bargaining about the price with the woman alone. To my question why they did not hire unmarried women, they said that to them this was a vulgar thing which in itself was cheap and had in it nothing of delight. I asked also whether those wives afterwards return to their husbands and live with them. They answered that they either do not, or they do it coldly because they have become harlots. I then asked them, seriously, whether they had ever thought or whether they now think that this is double adultery because committed while they themselves have wives, and that such adultery despoils man of every spiritual good; but at this many of those present laughed and said, "What is spiritual good?" Persisting, I said, "What is more detestable than to commingle your soul with the soul of a husband in his wife? Do you not know that in man's seed is his soul?" At this they turned away and muttered, "What harm does it do there?" Finally I said, "Even though you do not fear Divine laws, do you not fear civil laws?" They answered, "No, only certain men of the ecclesiastical order; but in their presence we conceal it, and if we cannot, we keep on good terms with them." I later saw them separated into groups and some of these groups cast into hell.
* In the original, what follows in this paragraph is enclosed in inverted commas. See SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES, no. 6103.