A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 eBook

Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.

Soon after the expiration of the seven years Count Vifroy, the father of the murdered Princess, was hunting on the mountain of Montserrat, and passing near Guerin’s cave, the dogs entered, and the servant seeing a hideous figure concluded they had found the wild beast they were in pursuit of:  they informed the Count of what they had seen, who gave directions to secure the beast alive, which was accordingly done; for he was so over-grown with hair, and so deformed in shape, that they had no idea of the creature being human.  He was therefore kept in the Count’s stable at Barcelona, and shewn to his visitors as a wonderful and singular wild beast.  During this time, while a company were examining this extraordinary animal, a nurse with a young child in her arms looked upon it, and the child after fixing his eyes stedfastly for a few minutes on Guerin, said, “Guerin, rise, thy sins are forgiven thee!”—­Guerin instantly rose, threw himself at the Count’s feet, confessed the crimes he had been guilty of, and desired to receive the punishment due to them, from the hands of him whom he had so highly injured; but the Count, perceiving that God had forgiven him, forgave him also.

I will not trouble you with all the particulars which attended this miracle; it will be sufficient to say, that the Count and Guerin went to take up the body of the murdered Princess, for burial with her ancestors; but, to their great astonishment found her there alive, possessing the same youth and beauty she had been left with, and no alteration of any kind, but a purple streak about her neck where the cord had been twisted, and wherewith Guerin had strangled her.  The father desired her to return to Barcelona; but she was enjoined by the Holy Virgin, she said, to spend her days on that miraculous spot; and accordingly a church and convent was built there, the latter inhabited by Nuns, of which the Princess (who had risen from the dead) was the Abbess.  It was called the Abbey des Pucelles, of the order of St. Benoit, and was founded in the year 801.  But such a vast concourse of people, of both sexes, resorted to it, from all parts of the world, that at length it was thought prudent to remove the women to a convent at Barcelona, and place a body of Benedictine monks in their place.

Strange as this story is, it is to be seen in the archives of this holy house; and in the street called Condal, at Barcelona, may be seen in the wall of the old palace of the Count’s, an ancient figure, cut in stone, which represents the nurse with the child in her arms, and a strange figure, on his knees, at her feet, and that is Friar Guerin.

Now, whether you will believe all this story, or not, I cannot take upon me to say; but I will assure you, that when you visit this spot, it will be necessary to say you do; or you would appear in their eyes a much greater wonder than any thing which I have related, of the Devil, the Friar, the Virgin, and the Count.

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A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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