List Of Contents | Contents of Urbain Grandier, by Dumas, Pere
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by hatred of Grandier, but by love of the truth, and by his desire
for the triumph of the Catholic faith; and he insisted that the
bailiff should give him a certificate of his declaration, and served
notice of the same on Grandier that very day.


Since October 13th, the day on which the demons had been expelled,
life at the convent seemed to have returned to its usual quiet; but
Grandier did not let himself be lulled to sleep by the calm: he knew
those with whom he was contending too well to imagine for an instant
that he would hear no more of them; and when the bailiff expressed
pleasure at this interval of repose, Grandier said that it would not
last long, as the nuns were only conning new parts, in order to carry
on the drama in a more effective manner than ever.  And in fact, on
November 22nd, Rene Mannouri, surgeon to the convent, was sent to one
of his colleagues, named Gaspard Joubert, to beg him to come,
bringing some of the physicians of the town with him, to visit the
two sisters, who were again tormented by evil spirits.  Mannouri,
however, had gone to the wrong man, for Joubert had a frank and loyal
character, and hated everything that was underhand.  Being determined
to take no part in the business, except in a public and judicial
manner, he applied at once to the bailiff to know if it was by his
orders that he was called in.  The bailiff said it was not, and
summoned Mannouri before him to ask him by whose authority he had
sent for Joubert.  Mannouri declared that the 'touriere' had run in a
fright to his house, saying that the nuns had never been worse
possessed than now, and that the director, Mignon, begged him to come
at once to the convent, bringing with him all the doctors he could

The bailiff, seeing that fresh plots against Grandier were being
formed, sent for him and warned him that Barre had come over from
Chinon the day before, and had resumed his exorcisms at the convent,
adding that it was currently reported in the town that the mother
superior and Sister Claire were again tormented by devils.  The news
neither astonished nor discouraged Grandier, who replied, with his
usual smile of disdain, that it was evident his enemies were hatching
new plots against him, and that as he had instituted proceedings
against them for the former ones, he would take the same course with
regard to these.  At the same time, knowing how impartial the bailiff
was, he begged him to accompany the doctors and officials to the
convent, and to be present at the exorcisms, and should any sign of
real possession manifest itself, to sequester the afflicted nuns at
once, and cause them to be examined by other persons than Mignon and
Barre, whom he had such good cause to distrust.

The bailiff wrote to the king's attorney, who, notwithstanding his
bias against Grandier, was forced to see that the conclusions arrived
at were correct, and having certified this in writing, he at once
sent his clerk to the convent to inquire if the superior were still
possessed.  In case of an affirmative reply being given, the clerk
had instructions to warn Mignon and Barre that they were not to
undertake exorcisms unless in presence of the bailiff and of such
officials and doctors as he might choose to bring with him, and that
they would disobey at their peril; he was also to tell them that
Grandier's demands to have the nuns sequestered and other exorcists
called in were granted.

Mignon and Barre listened while the clerk read his instructions, and
then said they refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the bailiff
in this case; that they had been summoned by the mother superior and
Sister Claire when their strange illness returned, an illness which
they were convinced was nothing else than possession by evil spirits;
that they had hitherto carried out their exorcisms under the
authority of a commission given them by the Bishop of Poitiers; and
as the time for which they had permission had not yet expired; they
would continue to exorcise as often as might be necessary.  They had,
however, given notice to the worthy prelate of what was going on, in
order that he might either come himself or send other exorcists as
best suited him, so that a valid opinion as to the reality, of the
possession might be procured, for up to the present the worldly and
unbelieving had taken upon themselves to declare in an off-hand
manner that the whole affair was a mixture of fraud and delusion, in
contempt of the glory of God and the Catholic religion.  As to the
rest of the message, they would not, in any way prevent the bailiff
and the other officials, with as many medical men as they chose to
bring, from seeing the nuns, at least until they heard from the
bishop, from whom they expected a letter next day.  But it was for
the nuns themselves to say whether it was convenient for them to
receive visitors; as far as concerned themselves, they desired to
renew their protest, and declared they could not accept the bailiff
as their judge, and did not think that it could be legal for them to
refuse to obey a command from their ecclesiastical superiors, whether
with relation to exorcism or any other thing of which the
ecclesiastical courts properly took cognisance.  The clerk brought
this answer to the bailiff, and he, thinking it was better to wait
for the arrival of the bishop or of fresh orders from him, put off
his visit to the convent until the next day.  But the next day came
without anything being heard of the prelate himself or of a messenger
from him.

Early in the morning the bailiff went to the convent, but was not
admitted; he then waited patiently until noon, and seeing that no
news had arrived from Dissay, and that the convent gates were still
closed against him, he granted a second petition of Grandier's, to
the effect that Byre and Mignon should be prohibited from questioning
the superior and the other nuns in a manner tending to blacken the
character of the petitioner or any other person.  Notice of this
prohibition was served the same day on Barre and on one nun chosen to
represent the community.  Barre did not pay the slightest attention
to this notice, but kept on asserting that the bailiff had no right
to prevent his obeying the commands of his bishop, and declaring that
henceforward he would perform all exorcisms solely under
ecclesiastical sanction, without any reference to lay persons, whose
unbelief and impatience impaired the solemnity with which such rites
should be conducted.

The best part of the day having gone over without any sign of either
bishop or messenger, Grandier presented a new petition to the
bailiff.  The bailiff at once summoned all the officers of the
bailiwick and the attorneys of the king, in order to lay it before
them; but the king's attorneys refused to consider the matter,
declaring upon their honour that although they did not accuse
Grandier of being the cause, yet they believed that the nuns were
veritably possessed, being convinced by the testimony of the devout
ecclesiastics in whose presence the evil spirits had come out.  This
was only the ostensible reason for their refusal, the real one being
that the advocate was a relation of Mignon's, and the attorney a son-
in-law of Trinquant's, to whose office he had succeeded.  Thus
Grandier, against whom were all the ecclesiastical judges, began to
feel as if he were condemned beforehand by the judges of the royal
courts, for he knew how very short was the interval between the
recognition of the possession as a fact and the recognition of
himself as its author.

Nevertheless, in spite of the formal declarations of the king's
advocate and attorney, the bailiff ordered the superior and the lay
sister to be removed to houses in town, each to be accompanied by a
nun as companion.  During their absence from the convent they were to
be looked after by exorcists, by women of high character and
position, as well as by physicians and attendants, all of whom he
himself would appoint, all others being forbidden access to the nuns
without his permission.

The clerk was again sent to the convent with a copy of this decision,
but the superior having listened to the reading of the document,
answered that in her own name and that of the sisterhood she refused
to recognise the jurisdiction of the bailiff; that she had already
received directions from the Bishop of Poitiers, dated 18th November,
explaining the measures which were to be taken in the matter, and she
would gladly send a copy of these directions to the bailiff, to
prevent his pleading ignorance of them; furthermore, she demurred to
the order for her removal, having vowed to live always secluded in a
convent, and that no one could dispense her from this vow but the
bishop.  This protest having been made in the presence of Madame de
Charnisay, aunt of two of the nuns, and Surgeon Mannouri, who was
related to another, they both united in drawing up a protest against
violence, in case the bailiff should insist on having his orders
carried out, declaring that, should he make the attempt, they would
resist him, as if he were a mere private individual.  This document
being duly signed and witnessed was immediately sent to the bailiff
by the hand of his own clerk, whereupon the bailiff ordered that
preparations should be made with regard to the sequestration, and
announced that the next day, the 24th November, he would repair to
the convent and be present at the exorcisms.

The next day accordingly, at the appointed hour, the bailiff summoned
Daniel Roger, Vincent de Faux, Gaspard Joubert, and Matthieu Fanson,
all four physicians, to his presence, and acquainting them with his
reasons for having called them, asked them to accompany him to the
convent to examine, with the most scrupulous impartiality, two nuns
whom he would point out, in order to discover if their illness were
feigned, or arose from natural or supernatural causes.  Having thus
instructed them as to his wishes, they all set out for the convent.

They were shown into the chapel and placed close to the altar, being

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