List Of Contents | Contents of Urbain Grandier, by Dumas, Pere
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Laubardemont continued the examination, which was finished on April
4th.  Urbain was then brought back from Angers to Loudun.

An extraordinary cell had been prepared for him in a house belonging
to Mignon, and which had formerly been occupied by a sergeant named
Bontems, once clerk to Trinquant, who had been a witness for the
prosecution in the first trial.  It was on the topmost story; the
windows had been walled up, leaving only one small slit open, and
even this opening was secured by enormous iron bars; and by an
exaggeration of caution the mouth of the fireplace was furnished with
a grating, lest the devils should arrive through the chimney to free
the sorcerer from his chains.  Furthermore, two holes in the corners
of the room, so formed that they were unnoticeable from within,
allowed a constant watch to be kept over Grandier's movements by
Bontem's wife, a precaution by which they hoped to learn something
that would help them in the coming exorcisms.  In this room, lying on
a little straw, and almost without light, Grandier wrote the
following letter to his mother:

"MY MOTHER,--I received your letter and everything you sent me except
the woollen stockings.  I endure any affliction with patience, and
feel more pity for you than for myself.  I am very much
inconvenienced for want of a bed; try and have mine brought to me,
for my mind will give way if my body has no rest: if you can, send me
a breviary, a Bible, and a St. Thomas for my consolation; and above
all, do not grieve for me.  I trust that, God will bring my innocence
to light.  Commend me to my brother and sister, and all our good
friends.--I am, mother, your dutiful son and servant,


While Grandier had been in prison at Angers the cases of possession
at the convent had miraculously multiplied, for it was no longer only
the superior and Sister Claire who had fallen a prey to the evil
spirits, but also several other sisters, who were divided into three
groups as follows, and separated:--

The superior, with Sisters Louise des Anges and Anne de Sainte-Agnes,
were sent to the house of Sieur Delaville, advocate, legal adviser to
the sisterhood; Sisters Claire and Catherine de la Presentation were
placed in the house of Canon Maurat; Sisters Elisabeth de la Croix,
Monique de Sainte-Marthe, Jeanne du Sainte-Esprit, and Seraphique
Archer were in a third house.

A general supervision was undertaken by Memin's sister, the wife of
Moussant, who was thus closely connected with two of the greatest
enemies of the accused, and to her Bontems' wife told all that the
superior needed to know about Grandier.  Such was the manner of the

The choice of physicians was no less extraordinary.  Instead of
calling in the most skilled practitioners of Angers, Tours, Poitiers,
or Saumur, all of them, except Daniel Roger of Loudun, came from the
surrounding villages, and were men of no education: one of them,
indeed, had failed to obtain either degree or licence, and had been
obliged to leave Saumur in consequence; another had been employed in
a small shop to take goods home, a position he had exchanged for the
more lucrative one of quack.

There was just as little sense of fairness and propriety shown in the
choice of the apothecary and surgeon.  The apothecary, whose name was
Adam, was Mignon's first cousin, and had been one of the witnesses
for the prosecution at Grandier's first trial; and as on that
occasion--he had libelled a young girl of Loudun, he had been
sentenced by a decree of Parliament to make a public apology.  And
yet, though his hatred of Grandier in consequence of this humiliation
was so well known,--perhaps for that very reason, it was to him the
duty of dispensing and administering the prescriptions was entrusted,
no one supervising the work even so far as to see that the proper
doses were given, or taking note whether for sedatives he did not
sometimes substitute stimulating and exciting drugs, capable of
producing real convulsions.  The surgeon Mannouri was still more
unsuitable, for he was a nephew of Memin de Silly, and brother of the
nun who had offered the most determined opposition to Grandier's
demand for sequestration of the possessed sisters, during the second
series of exorcisms.  In vain did the mother and brother of the
accused present petitions setting forth the incapacity of the doctors
and the hatred of Grandier professed by the apothecary; they could
not, even at their own expense, obtain certified copies of any of
these petitions, although they had witnesses ready to prove that Adam
had once in his ignorance dispensed crocus metallorum for crocus
mantis--a mistake which had caused the death of the patient for whom
the prescription was made up.  In short, so determined were the
conspirators that this time Grandier should be done to death, that
they had not even the decency to conceal the infamous methods by
which they had arranged to attain this result.

The examination was carried on with vigour.  As one of the first
formalities would be the identification of the accused, Grandier
published a memorial in which he recalled the case of Saint-
Anastasius at the Council of Tyre, who had been accused of immorality
by a fallen woman whom he had never seen before.  When this woman
entered the hall of justice in order to swear to her deposition, a
priest named Timothy went up to her and began to talk to her as if he
were Anastasius; falling into the trap, she answered as if she
recognised him, and thus the innocence of the saint was shown forth.
Grandier therefore demanded that two or three persons of his own
height and complexion should be dressed exactly like himself, and
with him should be allowed to confront the nuns.  As he had never
seen any of them, and was almost certain they had never seen him,
they would not be able, he felt sure, to point him out with
certainty, in spite of the allegations of undue intimacy with
themselves they brought against him.  This demand showed such
conscious innocence that it was embarrassing to answer, so no notice
was taken of it.

Meanwhile the Bishop of Poitiers, who felt much elated at getting the
better of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, who of course was powerless
against an order issued by the cardinal-duke, took exception to Pere
l'Escaye and Pere Gaut, the exorcists appointed by his superior, and
named instead his own chaplain, who had been judge at Grandier's
first trial, and had passed sentence on him, and Pere Lactance, a
Franciscan monk.  These two, making no secret of the side with which
they sympathised, put up on their arrival at Nicolas Moussant's, one
of Grandier's most bitter enemies; on the following day they went to
the superior's apartments and began their exorcisms.  The first time
the superior opened her lips to reply, Pere Lactance perceived that
she knew almost no Latin, and consequently would not shine during the
exorcism, so he ordered her to answer in French, although he still
continued to exorcise her in Latin; and when someone was bold enough
to object, saying that the devil, according to the ritual, knew all
languages living and dead, and ought to reply in the same language in
which he was addressed, the father declared that the incongruity was
caused by the pact, and that moreover some devils were more ignorant
than peasants.

Following these exorcists, and two Carmelite monks, named Pierre de
Saint-Thomas and Pierre de Saint-Mathurin, who had, from the very
beginning, pushed their way in when anything was going on, came four
Capuchins sent by Pere Joseph, head of the Franciscans, "His grey
Eminence," as he was called, and whose names were Peres Luc,
Tranquille, Potais, and Elisee; so that a much more rapid advance
could be made than hitherto by carrying on the exorcisms in four
different places at once--viz., in the convent, and in the churches
of Sainte-Croix, Saint-Pierre du Martroy, and Notre-Dame du Chateau.
Very little of importance took place, however, on the first two
occasions, the 15th and 16th of April; for the declarations of the
doctors were most vague and indefinite, merely saying that the things
they had seen were supernatural, surpassing their knowledge and the
rules of medicine.

The ceremony of the 23rd April presented, however, some points of
interest.  The superior, in reply to the interrogations of Pere
Lactance, stated that the demon had entered her body under the forms
of a cat, a dog, a stag, and a buck-goat.

"Quoties?" (How often?), inquired the exorcist.

"I didn't notice the day," replied the superior, mistaking the word
quoties for quando (when).

It was probably to revenge herself for this error that the superior
declared the same day that Grandier had on his body five marks made
by the devil, and that though his body was else insensible to pain,
he was vulnerable at those spots.  Mannouri, the surgeon, was
therefore ordered to verify this assertion, and the day appointed for
the verification was the 26th.

In virtue of this mandate Mannouri presented himself early on that
day at Grandier's prison, caused him to be stripped naked and cleanly
shaven, then ordered him to be laid on a table and his eyes bandaged.
But the devil was wrong again: Grandier had only two marks, instead
of five--one on the shoulder-blade, and the other on the thigh.

Then took place one of the most abominable performances that can be
imagined.  Mannouri held in his hand a probe, with a hollow handle,
into which the needle slipped when a spring was touched: when
Mannouri applied the probe to those parts of Grandier's body which,
according to the superior, were insensible, he touched the spring,
and the needle, while seeming to bury itself in the flesh, really
retreated into the handle, thus causing no pain; but when he touched
one of the marks said to be vulnerable, he left the needle fixed, and
drove it in to the depth of several inches.  The first time he did
this it drew from poor Grandier, who was taken unprepared, such a
piercing cry that it was heard in the street by the crowd which had
gathered round the door.  From the mark on the shoulder-blade with

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