“In 1826, the Marquise takes up residence in the palace, which was a venue for big parties and dances with the presence of her beloved, the Emperor Dom Pedro I, now a widower from his first marriage.”
Things are not exactly like that. The relationship between Dom Pedro and Domitilla (the Marquise) was already public for years. As Domitila moved to the “Yellow House” (the current Museum of the First Empire) before the death of Empress Leopoldina, we can assume that the two ladies were neighbors for a few months.
Does it matter? Well, I don´t think so. The infidelity of Dom Pedro did not stop him from proclaim the independence, win a civil war in Portugal and even get some time to write musics. So why fix his supposed “moral failure” justifying it with an “already a widower”?
It is curious the power of adultery when comparing it to other sins. After the scandal with his intern, Bill Clinton had to speak publicly about the case and to hope the forgiveness of voters. For another hand, his successor, did not need to apologize for insubordination, falsification of evidence, or war crimes. Which one is worse, after all?
Based on the scale of moral values, the likely conspiracy against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was simple and efficient. Why waste time creating political or financial scandals when ten minutes with a chambermaid at the Sofitel are more efficient? Because corruption is a boring subject of boring newspapers. But the infidelities of the IMF’s director changed the history of France and they almost reelect Sarkozy.
Society sometimes looks like those puritan women from the stories of Nelson Rodrigues, looking for some distraction from the tedium by policing the fidelity of the neighbors, but still in bathrobes and gates parted, waiting eagerly to live, even just a little, of intense sins.