"All the whores in Rome came to hear that man preach. When he spotted the crowd, he tried to convert all of us. But that was really too hard. He would have had to talk for a hundred years to convince me. Nevertheless, he succeeded in convincing Gambiera to become a nun. . . . I might have been tempted to join the others, but each time it passed my mind that I could not do 'that thing' any more, I decided against it. In any case, I confessed and then gave the priest two ducats of solid gold. How sorry I am now!"
Beatrice of Ferrara, courtesan,
to her patron Lorenzo de Medici
Letter dated 23 April 1517
Quoted in Lives of the Courtesans by Lynne Lawner (1987), p. 42