Urbain Grandier HTML version
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 find.
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,