Veronica Franco: I will confess, Your Grace. I confess that as a young girl, I loved a man who would not marry me for want of a dowery. I confess I had a mother who taught me a different way of life, one I resisted at first, but learned to embrace. I confess I became a courtesan. Traded yearning for power, welcomed many rather than be owned by one. I confess I embraced a whore's freedom over a wife's obedience... Your Grace, what am I to do? I need to confess my evil as the church instructs, these are my sins... I confess I find more ecstasy in passion than in prayer. Such passion IS prayer. I confess... I confess I pray still to feel the touch of my lover's lips, his hands upon me, his arms enfolding me. Such surrender has been mine. I confess I hunger still to be filled and enflamed, to melt into the dream of us, beyond this troubled place, to where we are not even ourselves, to know that always, always this is mine. If this had not been mine, if I had lived another way, a child to a husband's whim, my soul hardened from lack of touch and lack of love, I confess such endless days and nights would be punishment far greater than any you could meter out. You, all of you, you who hunger so for what I give, but cannot bear to see such power in a woman. You call God's greatest gift- ourselves, our yearning, our need for love- you call it filth, and sin, and heresy. I repent there was no other way open to me. I do not repent my life.