Urbain Grandier eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Urbain Grandier.

Fourneau having saluted Grandier, proceeded to carry out his orders, whereupon a judge said it was not sufficient to shave the body of the prisoner, but that his nails must also be torn out, lest the devil should hide beneath them.  Grandier looked at the speaker with an expression of unutterable pity, and held out his hands to Fourneau; but Forneau put them gently aside, and said he would do nothing of the kind, even were the order given by the cardinal-duke himself, and at the same time begged Grandier’s pardon for shaving him.  At, these words Grandier, who had for so long met with nothing but barbarous treatment from those with whom he came in contact, turned towards the surgeon with tears in his eyes, saying—­

“So you are the only one who has any pity for me.”

“Ah, sir,” replied Fourneau, “you don’t see everybody.”

Grandier was then shaved, but only two marks found on him, one as we have said on the shoulder blade, and the other on the thigh.  Both marks were very sensitive, the wounds which Mannouri had made not having yet healed.  This point having been certified by Fourneau, Grandier was handed, not his own clothes, but some wretched garments which had probably belonged to some other condemned man.

Then, although his sentence had been pronounced at the Carmelite convent, he was taken by the grand provost’s officer, with two of his archers, accompanied by the provosts of Loudun and Chinon, to the town hall, where several ladies of quality, among them Madame de Laubardemont, led by curiosity, were sitting beside the judges, waiting to hear the sentence read.  M. de Laubardemont was in the seat usually occupied by the clerk, and the clerk was standing before him.  All the approaches were lined with soldiers.

Before the accused was brought in, Pere Lactance and another Franciscan who had come with him exorcised him to oblige the devils to leave him; then entering the judgment hall, they exorcised the earth, the air, “and the other elements.”  Not till that was done was Grandier led in.

At first he was kept at the far end of the hall, to allow time for the exorcisms to have their full effect, then he was brought forward to the bar and ordered to kneel down.  Grandier obeyed, but could remove neither his hat nor his skull-cap, as his hands were bound behind his back, whereupon the clerk seized on the one and the provost’s officer on the other, and flung them at de Laubardemont’s feet.  Seeing that the accused fixed his eyes on the commissioner as if waiting to see what he was about to do, the clerk said: 

“Turn your head, unhappy man, and adore the crucifix above the bench.”

Grandier obeyed without a murmur and with great humility, and remained sunk in silent prayer for about ten minutes; he then resumed his former attitude.

The clerk then began to read the sentence in a trembling voice, while Grandier listened with unshaken firmness and wonderful tranquillity, although it was the most terrible sentence that could be passed, condemning the accused to be burnt alive the same day, after the infliction of ordinary and extraordinary torture.  When the clerk had ended, Grandier said, with a voice unmoved from its usual calm—­

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Urbain Grandier from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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