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very finished description; to this he cree from the Bishop, requiring his rewas indebted for his good fortune in turn, to answer the charges within three the church, and the reputation he gained days, on pain of imprisonment. As it in consequence among the female part was impossible for him to comply, he of his auditory, seems to have been the was on his return imprisoned, and reorigin of those exaggerated evil re- mained in confinement for two months. ports under which he fell. His tem- At the end of which time, in spite of per was fiery and haughty, probably the machinations of his enemies, they the consequence of his superior talents
, could not substantiate the principal and he was more prone to revenge than points of their charges, but they sucto forgive an injury. He had a suit ceeded in obtaining a sentence against with the Canons of the Church of the him, by which he was interdicted a Holy Cross, in which he succeeded, divinis in the diocese for five years, and but his triumph created him implacable in Loudun for ever. enemies in several of the Chapter. Grandier appealed against this senAt nearly the same time M. Trinquant, tence, and on its being examined bethe King's Procureur, had reason tó fore the Parliament of Paris, it appearsuspect that Grandier had bebauched ed that the depositions of some of the his daughter, and he made a public ex- witnesses had been falsified, and that posure of his suspicions by examining others had been solicted by Trinquant
. certain persons; the result was not The result was, that he was totally accalculated to remove them, although no quitted and absolved, his accusers conpart of his accusations against Gran- demned to pay all his charges, and his dier could be established. Grandier benefices restored him. He was now conducted himself with so little discre- counselled to exchange his living, but tion on his enemy's defeat, that Trin- resentment blinded him ; he returned quant, with others, confederated to ruin to Loudun in triumph, with a laurel him, or at least to compel him to quit branch in his hand, and pursued his Loudun. The willingness with which suit against Duthibaut with so much people believe calumnious reports, ad- success, that he was sentenced to a pubded to Grandier's own deportment, in- lic censure and apology, with full costs. duced many to take part against him ; The rage of his foes was now inand most of the suspicious fathers and creased to such a point, that they were jealous husbands of Loudun, either resolved at all events to compass his openly or secretly lent their assistance ruin, and the means by which they purto the plot. An accusation was lodged sued and finally accomplished their obagainst him, in which he was charged ject, were as horrid and as atrocious, with lewdness, profaneness, and impie- as their intention was nefarious. In ty; the ostensible promoters were two the town of Loudun, there was a Conwretches from the lowest order of the vent of Urselines, who were so ex. people. While this was pending, a tremely poor, that they were obliged person of some fortune and credit, to take boarders to encrease their scanty named Duthibaut, having spoken of revenue. Mignon, Grandier's first enGrandier in very disadvantageous terms, emy, was the director of this Convent, the latter remonstrated with some se- and having invented a plot, he found verity, and Duthibaut, taking offence these Nuns fit instruments to put it in at it, struck him with his cane, al- practice. He proposed to them to though Grandier was at this moment in feign that they were possessed by devils, his robes, and about to enter the church and to accuse Grandier of having sent where he was to officiate. Enraged at the demons into their bodies. He repthis insult, and being convinced that resented to them that by these means it would be to little purpose to prefer the importance of the Convent would his complaint to the local authorities, be encreased, and the donations of the he went to Paris to commence his pro- charitable and curious would bring cess. During his absence, his enemies plenty to their house, instead of the made such use of the opportunity it af- penury which they were cursed with forded them, that they procured a de- at that time. The Abbess and some
of the Nuns immediately embraced the After this answer, the Superior offer, and Mignon, having tutored them seemed to recover herself. The magproperly, gave out as soon as he thought istrates then retired to the window, they were fit to play the parts he had when Mignon approaching them, reassigned to them, that they were pos- minded them that these circumstances sessed with demons, and that it was very closely resembled those of father necessary to exorcise them. He took Gaufrédi, who had been executed upon to his assistance one Pierre Barre, a a similar charge. One of the magisfanatic, whose credulity rendered him trates wished him to ask the cause of as fit for the imposition, as his malice the animosity of which the Superior and ferocity qualified him for the final had spoken ; but he excused himself, object of the mummery in which he by saying he was not permitted to prowas to be concerned. After several pose questions of idle curiosity. rehearsals, at which no persons but The mere circumstance of this affair Barre and Mignon were present, a public being brought forward by Grandier's exorcism was resolved on, at which two acknowledged enemies, was enough to magistrates were invited to be present; discredit it, to say nothing of its ridicthe most wonderful part of the affair ulous nature. The victim of it treated was stated to be, that the possessed an- it with contempt, until finding it enswered in Latin to the questions pro- grossed the attention of the inhabitants, posed to them, although they had no he complained to the Bishop, but here previous knowledge of the language. his adversaries'influence was too strong, On the day appointed, the magistrates and the exorcisms continued. The repaired to the Convent, where they fame of these doings spread daily, and were shewn the Superior in one bed the examinations were conducted in and Sister Laie in another. At the the presence of various civil officers and magistrate's approach, the Prioress was priests, as well as strangers. The peoseized with violent convulsions; she ple have at all times been too ready to uttered strange cries, and hid herself in believe what they do not understand, her bed. Mignon then began his ex- and Grandier did not discover his imorcism which was in Latin, and ad- minent peril until it was out of his dressed to the demon.
power to allay the storm. The deQ. For what reason have you en mons answered, but always to his distered the body of this virgin ?
advantage ; sometimes they spoke A. On account of the animosity I false Latin, and at others the imposture bear her.
was clumsily conducted, that none but Q. By what symbol did you enter ? persons willing to be deceived could A. By flowers.
have been gulled by such artifices. The Q. What flowers ?
object of Mignon and his confederates A. Roses.
seemed to be nearly accomplished, Q. Who sent them ?
when the sudden arrival of the Bishop A. Urbain.
of Bourdeaux put an end to the scheme. The exorcised pronounced this name He sent his physician to examine the with much hesitation, and as if it was possessed ; such a report was made to done by constraint.
him, as induced him to forbid any furQ. What is his surname?
ther exorcisms, and Barre and Mignon A. Grandier.
found themselves entirely defeated. This answer was also given with
It might have been supposed that so
many rebuffs would at least have tired great difficulty.
these savage assassins, if they had not Q. What is his quality ?
worked upon their better feelings; but A. He is a Priest.
not so, this defeat only put them upon Q. Of what Church ?
new and more formidable attacks A. St. Peter's.
against their victim. Q. What manner of person brought Just about this time one Laubardehe flowers.
mont, a creature of the Cardinal de A. A diabolical person.
Richelieu, came upon some of his af
fairs to Loudun : Mignon and the rest witness in the former ineffectual proseof his party having formed an acquaint- cution. Here he was subjected to the ance with him, contrived to interest surreillance of persons who furnished him in their resentments against Gran- the possessed Nuns with exact informadier, and his sanguinary temper in- tion of his motions and habits, by which duced him to promise his assistance. they were enabled more accurately to A satirical work had been published · identify him with their wicked fabricaagainst the ministers a short time pre- tions. His house was ransacked, and viously, and the Cardinal had been the his papers taken away, among which chief object of the attack; the conspi- were the sentences in those suits where rators resolved to attribute this libel to bis enemies had been defeated, and he the unfortunate Grandier, which would had triumphed. Nothing was found be the surest method to accomplish his among them which could be made to ruin, for the Cardinal's vengeance once prejudice him, but a manuscript trea. roused, nothing but the blood of his tise against the Celibacy of Priests. victim, they knew, would allay it. His mother and his brother made every There was
one circumstance which attempt to shield him from the malice gave a sort of colour to the charge : of his blood-thirsty pursuers; but the when the Cardinal was only the Prior chicanery of Laubardemont managed of Coussai, he had had some disagree to thwart them, or his influence with ment with Grandier on a point of pre- the Cardinal enabled him to evade cedence, the latter insisting that he was their objections, by procuring an extensuperior to the Prior, and neither sion of his powers. The proceedings owed nor would pay him any defer- of these conspirators had been so speence; but there is not the slightest cious, that nearly the whole of Granreason to believe that he was the au- dier's friends had deserted him, and he thor of the book, or that he bore the had no hope of assistance but from his the Cardinal any ill will. The con- mother, and his brother, who was Counspirators, however, made such use sellor to the Borough of Loudun. The of this circumstance, that Laubarde- exertions of the former, from her age mont procured a commission, author- and sex, were not very important, and izing him to examine again into the the latter, who had gone to Paris for affair of the possessed Nuns. The some purpose connected with his broproceedings again commenced. The ther's defence, was arrested through the party had made so good use of their intrigues of Duthibaut and locked up in time in the interval, that they came to a prison, from which he could not prothe combat stronger than ever; the cure his release until some time after possession was not now confined to the his brother's death. These circumSuperior and one of the Sisters, but stances present a dreadful picture of the there were seven devils brought into administration of justice in France at action. Unjust as the former examina- this time ;-there have been periods tions had been, they were perfectly when arbitrary power prevailed in Engo equitable compared with these; no per- land to an unwholesome extent, but in sons were present but those whose our worst days we never groaned unknown animosity against Grandier der such perverse tyranny as these men would lead them to assist in any schemes exercised. for his ruin. The same mummery con The obstacles being removed, and tinued, the devils made the same accu- the infernal machinery of the plot in sations, to which were now added oth- proper order, the agents of it proceeded ers, equally horrible and ridiculous. to their final object. Grandier bad The depositions soon presented suffi- been in prison some months; his concient to induce Laubardemont to order finement had been mild, and he had Grandier's imprisonment ; this done, a forborne from any violent expressions, main point was gained. He was con- trusting rather to some opportunity fined in a house belonging to Mignon, which might be afforded him to maniand
occupied by a man in the employ fest his innocence of the absurd crime, of Trinquant, who had been an early and seeking consolation in religious offi
ces and studies. He was now visited produced a censure from the King upby surgeons, who had Laubardemont's on himself for his interference. authority to examine his body, to dis The conspirators then proceeded to cover those infallible proofs of a Satan- the consummation of their designs. ic compact, certain marks upon his body, They procured a commission from the which should be invulnerable, or rather King, and the proofs similar to those insensible. They commenced this cer- before adduced having been again gone emony by blinding his eyes, and then through, he was declared to have been the surgeon, having found small moles convicted of the crime of magic, in in various parts of his body, turned the causing the possession of certain Nuns blunt end of his knife to them, which of Loudun by Devils, and condemned the patient of course endured without to make the amende honourable barewincing ; but on the other parts of his headed, with a rope about his neck, body the merciless ruffian plunged his and a torch in his hand, before the knife so deeply, as to make him cry door of his own church, begging the loudly with the agony.
pardon of God and the King ;—thence Grandier demanded to be confronted he was to be conducted to the marketa with the possessed, which, after much place, and there burnt alive, his goods hesitation, was granted him. He be- confiscated, and that nothing might be gan, with the permission of the Bishop wanting to his punishment, the torof the diocese, to exorcise one of them, ture to be previously applied. and he proposed to do it in Greek; This sentence was passed on the 18th but here the ingenuity of the Nun was of August, 1634; and no time was lost more than a match for him; for at the in carrying it into execution. He was first question he proposed, she answer- immediately put to the question; the ed, the devil speaking by her, “ You custom of performing which ceremony know full well that the first condition at Loudun was by fastening two thick of the compact between us is, that I pieces of wood round the victim's legs; am not to answer you in Greek.” This these were fastened by cords, within was considered by the auditory as a wedges were inserted, and driven by a conclusive proof against him. The mallets ; the consequence being, that Non afterwards offered to answer his the sufferer's legs were most frequently questions in any language, but before broken. They put two more wedges he could speak, all the others set up than ordinary to Grandier; and the the most frightful howling and scream- Capuchins who were present, thinking ing, so that he could not be heard. He that the executioner might be too merremained firm and unmoved in the ciful, drove them in themselves. The midst of this cruel impiety, which was wretched man fainted during the opeto cost him his life, protesting his inno- ration, but they continued their cruelty cence, and imploring the protection of until he recovered. During his sufferGod. Addressing the Bishop and Lau- ing torture, he gave such astonishing bardemont in their respective offices, proofs of firmness and constancy, as as the representatives of the Ecclesias- could scarcely have been expected tical and Royal power, he besought from his previous character; he never them to command the demons to break once complained or inveighed against his neck, or to make some visible mark his enemies, but continued to pray ferupon his forehead, which if done he vently, and to assert bis innocence of would receive as a proof of his guilt; the crimes charged against him ; but they declined doing so. Grandier though he confessed himself guilty of again made the most solemn protesta- certain sins, for which he had done tations of his innocence, but without penance, and he hoped obtained pareffect, his doom was already sealed. don. At four o'clock in the evening, The Baili of Loudun, addressed a me- he was carried by the executioners morial to the King, complaining of from the place of torture in a sort of Laubardemont's partiality; which only broad ladder. He bore in his hand a
22 ATHENEUM VOL. 10.
the kiss of peace.
torch, and besought as he went along the Monks, however, prevented both the prayers of the bystanders for his those mercies: when he was about to soul
. His sentence being read to him, speak, they threw their holy water in he was put into a sort of carriage, and his face; and finding he was still encarried to St. Peter's church, where deavouring to address the by-standers, Laubardemont made him alight and one of them pretended to give him the kneel while his sentence was again kiss of peace. “ This is the kiss of read to him; the torture had deprived a Judas," said the dying man. This him of the use of his legs, and when he roused their choler so much, that unattempted to kneel he fell prostrate. At der the shew of presenting him a crucithis moment Father Grillard accosted fix which was made of iron, they bim; and embracing him, he said, struck him with it violently over the weeping, “ Remember, Sir, that our mouth. Finding his attempts were Lord Jesus Christ ascended to God useless, he pronounced a Salce Regina his Father through the Cross and tor- and an Ave Maria, concluding with ments Preserve your fortitude: I recommending his soul to the mercy of bring you the benediction of your mo- Ileaven. The Monks, in order to prether: we both pray for Gods mercy vent his being strangled, had with their upon you, and ihat he may receive you own hands knotted the cord, so that into Paradise.” Grandier's soul, which the executioner could not draw it. the cruelties of his enemies could not Grandier seeing this, cried out. “Is shake, was sofiened at this kindness; this what was promised me?" and he conjured Grillard to be a son to his lifting up the cord, he adjusted it himmother, and to pray for him, assuring self. Father Lactance then belding a him that he died innocent. When he lighted torch in his face, said, “ Wretch, arrived at the place of execution, turn- will you not confess, and renounce the ing to the Priests, he begged of them devil; you have not a moment to live.">
The Provost's _“I abhor the devil," said Grandier; Lieutenant asked his pardon. “ You “I renounce him and all his works, have not offended me," he said; “ you and I implore the mercy of God. have done only your duty.” The ex- This savage Monk then, without waitec'itioner then put an iron girdle round ing for the orders of the officers of jushim. placing him with his back to the tice, applied his torch to the pile. “ Is church. The place was filled with this charity, Father Lactance? said people, and the efforts of the archers to Grandier, is this the promise which remove them were useless: a tlock of was made to me? There is a God in pigeons were seen bovering over the Heaven, thy Judge and mine, and I place, which neither the shouts of the summon thee to appear within a people nor the firing of the archers month!” and lifting up his eyes, he could drive away; some persons said said, “ Deus meus ad te vigilo, miseit was a light of devils waiting for the rere mei Deus !” The Capuchins then soul of the magician; others said, these threw the remainder of their holy water innocent doves were a testimony of the in his face, that the people might not innocence of the prisoner. The Priests hear his last words. "The contrivances exorcised the air and the faggots, and of the Monks had prevented the execuagain asked the patient if he would tioner from making use of the cord; confess. He answered, that he had and as the fire mounted, the wretched nothing to confess, and that he hoped victim fell into the flames, where he that day to be with his God.— The was burnt alive: and thus ended the Grefier then asked him if he persisted most sanguinary persecution which in his innocence: he answered that since the days of the martyrs has been he did, that he had said nothing but known. the truth, and he had no more to say. Lactance died within the time menHereupon one of the Monks told the tioned by Grandier; and Laubarde Grefier, that he suffered him to talk mont, and all the other principal actoo much The Provost had promised tors perished by violent or accidental him that he should be strangled before means. the tire was kindled. The ferocity of