Urbain Grandier HTML version

Chapter 2
Urbain Granadier was not satisfied with the arrogant demonstration by which he
signalised his return, which even his friends had felt to be ill advised; instead of allowing
the hate he had aroused to die away or at least to fall asleep by letting the past be past, he
continued with more zeal than ever his proceedings against Duthibaut, and succeeded in
obtaining a decree from the Parliament of La Tournelle, by which Duthibaut was
summoned before it, and obliged to listen bareheaded to a reprimand, to offer apologies,
and to pay damages and costs.
Having thus got the better of one enemy, Urbain turned on the others, and showed
himself more indefatigable in the pursuit of justice than they had been in the pursuit of
vengeance. The decision of the archbishop had given him a right to a sum of money for
compensation, and interest thereon, as well as to the restitution of the revenues of his
livings, and there being some demur made, he announced publicly that he intended to
exact this reparation to the uttermost farthing, and set about collecting all the evidence
which was necessary for the success of a new lawsuit for libel and forgery which he
intended to begin. It was in vain that his friends assured him that the vindication of his
innocence had been complete and brilliant, it was in vain that they tried to convince him
of the danger of driving the vanquished to despair, Urbain replied that he was ready to
endure all the persecutions which his enemies might succeed in inflicting on him, but as
long as he felt that he had right upon his side he was incapable of drawing back.
Grandier's adversaries soon became conscious of the storm which was gathering above
their heads, and feeling that the struggle between themselves and this man would be one
of life or death, Mignon, Barot, Meunier, Duthibaut, and Menuau met Trinquant at the
village of Pindadane, in a house belonging to the latter, in order to consult about the
dangers which threatened them. Mignon had, however, already begun to weave the
threads of a new intrigue, which he explained in full to the others; they lent a favourable
ear, and his plan was adopted. We shall see it unfold itself by degrees, for it is the basis of
our narrative.
We have already said that Mignon was the director of the convent of Ursulines at
Loudun: Now the Ursuline order was quite modern, for the historic controversies to
which the slightest mention of the martyrdom of St. Ursula and her eleven thousand
virgins gave rise, had long hindered the foundation of an order in the saint's honour.
However, in 1560 Madame Angele de Bresse established such an order in Italy, with the
same rules as the Augustinian order. This gained the approbation of Pope Gregory XIII in
1572. In 1614, Madeleine Lhuillier, with the approval of Pope Paul V, introduced this
order into France, by founding a convent at Paris, whence it rapidly spread over the
whole kingdom, so-that in 1626, only six years before the time when the events just
related took place, a sisterhood was founded in the little town of Loudun.
Although this community at first consisted entirely of ladies of good family, daughters of
nobles, officers, judges, and the better class of citizens, and numbered amongst its