Urbain Grandier HTML version

Chapter 9
For four months Grandier languished in prison, and, according to the report of Michelon,
commandant of Angers, and of Pierre Bacher, his confessor, he was, during the whole
period, a model of patience and firmness, passing his days in reading good books or in
writing prayers and meditations, which were afterwards produced at his trial. Meanwhile,
in spite of the urgent appeals of Jeanne Esteye, mother of the accused, who, although
seventy years of age, seemed to recover her youthful strength and activity in the desire to
save her son, Laubardemont continued the examination, which was finished on April 4th.
Urbain was then brought back from Angers to Loudun.
An extraordinary cell had been prepared for him in a house belonging to Mignon, and
which had formerly been occupied by a sergeant named Bontems, once clerk to
Trinquant, who had been a witness for the prosecution in the first trial. It was on the
topmost story; the windows had been walled up, leaving only one small slit open, and
even this opening was secured by enormous iron bars; and by an exaggeration of caution
the mouth of the fireplace was furnished with a grating, lest the devils should arrive
through the chimney to free the sorcerer from his chains. Furthermore, two holes in the
corners of the room, so formed that they were unnoticeable from within, allowed a
constant watch to be kept over Grandier's movements by Bontem's wife, a precaution by
which they hoped to learn something that would help them in the coming exorcisms. In
this room, lying on a little straw, and almost without light, Grandier wrote the following
letter to his mother:
"MY MOTHER,--I received your letter and everything you sent me except the woollen
stockings. I endure any affliction with patience, and feel more pity for you than for
myself. I am very much inconvenienced for want of a bed; try and have mine brought to
me, for my mind will give way if my body has no rest: if you can, send me a breviary, a
Bible, and a St. Thomas for my consolation; and above all, do not grieve for me. I trust
that, God will bring my innocence to light. Commend me to my brother and sister, and all
our good friends.--I am, mother, your dutiful son and servant,
While Grandier had been in prison at Angers the cases of possession at the convent had
miraculously multiplied, for it was no longer only the superior and Sister Claire who had
fallen a prey to the evil spirits, but also several other sisters, who were divided into three
groups as follows, and separated:--
The superior, with Sisters Louise des Anges and Anne de Sainte-Agnes, were sent to the
house of Sieur Delaville, advocate, legal adviser to the sisterhood; Sisters Claire and
Catherine de la Presentation were placed in the house of Canon Maurat; Sisters Elisabeth
de la Croix, Monique de Sainte-Marthe, Jeanne du Sainte-Esprit, and Seraphique Archer
were in a third house.