by Honore de Balzac


A number of persons of the noble country of Touraine, considerably
edified by the warm search which the author is making into the
antiquities, adventures, good jokes, and pretty tales of that blessed
land, and believing for certain that he should know everything, have
asked him (after drinking with him of course understood), if he had
discovered the etymological reason, concerning which all the ladies of
the town are so curious, and from which a certain street in Tours is
called the Rue Chaude. By him it was replied, that he was much
astonished to see that the ancient inhabitants had forgotten the great
number of convents situated in this street, where the severe
continence of the monks and nuns might have caused the walls to be
made so hot that some woman of position should increase in size from
walking too slowly along them to vespers. A troublesome fellow,
wishing to appear learned, declared that formerly all the
scandalmongers of the neighbourhood were wont to meet in this place.
Another entangled himself in the minute suffrages of science, and
poured forth golden words without being understood, qualifying words,
harmonising the melodies of the ancient and modern, congregating
customs, distilling verbs, alchemising all languages since the Deluge,
of the Hebrew, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks, Latins, and of Turnus,
the ancient founder of Tours; and the good man finished by declaring
that chaude or chaulde with the exception of the H and the L, came
from Cauda, and that there was a tail in the affair, but the ladies
only understood the end of it. An old man observed that in this same
place was formerly a source of thermal water, of which his great great
grandfather had drunk. In short, in less time than it takes a fly to
embrace its sweetheart, there had been a pocketful of etymologies, in
which the truth of the matter had been less easily found than a louse
in the filthy beard of a Capuchin friar. But a man well learned and
well informed, through having left his footprint in many monasteries,
consumed much midnight oil, and manured his brain with many a volume--
himself more encumbered with pieces, dyptic fragments, boxes,
charters, and registers concerning the history of Touraine than is a
gleaner with stalks of straw in the month of August--this man, old,
infirm, and gouty, who had been drinking in his corner without saying
a word, smiled the smile of a wise man and knitted his brows, the said
smile finally resolving itself into a pish! well articulated, which
the Author heard and understood it to be big with an adventure
historically good, the delights of which he would be able to unfold in
this sweet collection.

To be brief, on the morrow this gouty old fellow said to him, "By your
poem, which is called 'The Venial Sin,' you have forever gained my
esteem, because everything therein is true from head to foot--which I
believe to be a precious superabundance in such matters. But doubtless
you do not know what became of the Moor placed in religion by the said
knight, Bruyn de la Roche-Corbon. I know very well. Now if this
etymology of the street harass you, and also the Egyptian nun, I will
lend you a curious and antique parchment, found by me in the Olim of
the episcopal palace, of which the libraries were a little knocked
about at a period when none of us knew if he would have the pleasure
of his head's society on the morrow. Now will not this yield you a
perfect contentment?"

"Good!" said the author.

Then this worthy collector of truths gave certain rare and dusty
parchments to the author, the which he has, not without great labour,
translated into French, and which were fragments of a most ancient
ecclesiastical process. He has believed that nothing would be more
amusing than the actual resurrection of this antique affair, wherein
shines forth the illiterate simplicity of the good old times. Now,
then, give ear. This is the order in which were the manuscripts, of
which the author has made use in his own fashion, because the language
was devilishly difficult.


/In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen./

In the year of our Lord, one thousand two hundred and seventy-one,
before me, Hierome Cornille, grand inquisitor and ecclesiastical judge
(thereto commissioned by the members of the chapter of Saint Maurice,
the cathedral of Tours, having of this deliberated in the presence of
our Lord Jean de Montsoreau, archbishop--namely, the grievances and
complaints of the inhabitants of the said town, whose request is here
subjoined), have appeared certain noblemen, citizens, and inhabitants
of the diocese, who have stated the following facts concerning a demon
suspected of having taken the features of a woman, who has much
afflicted the minds of the diocese, and is at present a prisoner in
the jail of the chapter; and in order to arrive at the truth of the
said charge we have opened the present court, this Monday, the
eleventh day of December, after mass, to communicate the evidence of
each witness to the said demon, to interrogate her upon the said
crimes to her imputed, and to judge her according to the laws enforced
/contra demonios/.

In this inquiry has assisted me to write the evidence therein given,
Guillaume Tournebouche, rubrican of the chapter, a learned man.

Firstly has come before us one Jehan, surnamed Tortebras, a citizen of
Tours, keeping by licence the hostelry of La Cigoyne, situated on the
Place du Pont, and who has sworn by the salvation of his soul, his
hand upon the holy Evangelists, to state no other thing than that
which by himself hath been seen and heard.

He hath stated as here followeth:--

"I declare that about two years before the feast of St. Jehan, upon
which are the grand illuminations, a gentleman, at first unknown to
me, but belonging without doubt to our lord the King, and at that time
returned to our country from the Holy Land, came to me with the
proposition that I should let to him at rental a certain country-house
by me built, in the quit rent of the chapter over against the place
called of St. Etienne, and the which I let to him for nine years, for
the consideration of three besans of fine gold. In the said house was
placed by the said knight a fair wench having the appearance of a
woman, dressed in the strange fashion of the Saracens Mohammedans,
whom he would allow by none to be seen or to be approached within a
bow-shot, but whom I have seen with mine own eyes, weird feathers upon
her head, and eyes so flaming that I cannot adequately describe them,
and from which gleamed forth a fire of hell. The defunct knight having
threatened with death whoever should appear to spy about the said
house, I have by reason of great fear left the said house, and I have
until this day secretly kept to my mind certain presumptions and
doubts concerning the bad appearance of the said foreigner, who was
more strange than any woman, her equal not having as yet by me been

"Many persons of all conditions having at the time believed the said
knight to be dead, but kept upon his feet by virtue of the said
charms, philters, spells, and diabolical sorceries of this seeming
woman, who wished to settle in our country, I declare that I have
always seen the said knight so ghastly pale that I can only compare
his face to the wax of a Paschal candle, and to the knowledge of all
the people of the hostelry of La Cigoyne, this knight was interred
nine days after his first coming. According to the statement of his
groom, the defunct had been chalorously coupled with the said Moorish
woman during seven whole days shut up in my house, without coming out
from her, the which I heard him horribly avow upon his deathbed.
Certain persons at the present time have accused this she-devil of
holding the said gentleman in her clutches by her long hair, the which
was furnished with certain warm properties by means of which are
communicated to Christians the flames of hell in the form of love,
which work in them until their souls are by this means drawn from
their bodies and possessed by Satan. But I declare that I have seen
nothing of this excepting the said dead knight, bowelless, emaciated,
wishing, in spite of his confessor, still to go to this wench; and
then he has been recognised as the lord de Bueil, who was a crusader,
and who was, according to certain persons of the town, under the spell
of a demon whom he had met in the Asiatic country of Damascus or

"Afterwards I have let my house to the said unknown lady, according to
the clauses of the deed of lease. The said lord of Bueil, being
defunct, I had nevertheless been into my house in order to learn from
the said foreign woman if she wished to remain in my dwelling, and
after great trouble was led before her by a strange, half-naked black
man, whose eyes were white.

"Then I have seen the said Moorish woman in a little room, shining
with gold and jewels, lighted with strange lights, upon an Asiatic
carpet, where she was seated, lightly attired, with another gentleman,
who was there imperiling his soul; and I had not the heart bold enough
to look upon her, seeing that her eyes would have incited me
immediately to yield myself up to her, for already her voice thrilled
into my very belly, filled my brain, and debauched my mind. Finding
this, from the fear of God, and also of hell, I have departed with
swift feet, leaving my house to her as long as she liked to retain it,
so dangerous was it to behold that Moorish complexion from which
radiated diabolical heats, besides a foot smaller than it was lawful
in a real woman to possess; and to hear her voice, which pierced into
one's heart! And from that day I have lacked the courage to enter my
house from great fear of falling into hell. I have said my say."

To the said Tortebras we have then shown an Abyssinian, Nubian or
Ethiopian, who, black from head to foot, had been found wanting in
certain virile properties with which all good Christians are usually
furnished, who, having persevered in his silence, after having been
tormented and tortured many times, not without much moaning, has
persisted in being unable to speak the language of our country. And
the said Tortebras has recognised the said Abyss heretic as having
been in his house in company with the said demoniacal spirit, and is
suspected of having lent his aid to her sorcery.

And the said Tortebras has confessed his great faith in the Catholic
religion, and declared no other things to be within his knowledge save
certain rumours which were known to every one, of which he had been in
no way a witness except in the hearing of them.

In obedience to the citations served upon him, has appeared then,
Matthew, surname Cognefestu, a day-labourer of St. Etienne, whom,
after having sworn by the holy Evangelists to speak the truth, has
confessed to us always to have seen a bright light in the dwelling of
the said foreign woman, and heard much wild and diabolical laughter on
the days and nights of feasts and fasts, notably during the days of
the holy and Christmas weeks, as if a great number of people were in
the house. And he has sworn to have seen by the windows of the said
dwellings, green buds of all kinds in the winter, growing as if by
magic, especially roses in a time of frost, and other things for which
there was a need of a great heat; but of this he was in no way
astonished, seeing that the said foreigner threw out so much heat that
when she walked in the evening by the side of his wall he found on the
morrow his salad grown; and on certain occasions she had by the
touching of her petticoats, caused the trees to put forth leaves and
hasten the buds. Finally, the said, Cognefestu has declared to us to
know no more, because he worked from early morning, and went to bed at
the same hour as the fowls.

Afterwards the wife of the aforesaid Cognefestu has by us been
required to state also upon oath the things come to her cognisance in
this process, and has avowed naught save praises of the said
foreigner, because since her coming her man had treated her better in
consequence of the neighbourhood of this good lady, who filled the air
with love, as the sun did light, and other incongruous nonsense, which
we have not committed to writing.

To the said Cognefestu and to his wife we have shown the said unknown
African, who has been seen by them in the gardens of the house, and is
stated by them for certain to belong to the said demon. In the third
place, has advanced Harduin V., lord of Maille, who being by us
reverentially begged to enlighten the religion of the church, has
expressed his willingness so to do, and has, moreover, engaged his
word, as a gallant knight, to say no other thing than that which he
has seen. Then he has testified to have known in the army of the
Crusades the demon in question, and in the town of Damascus to have
seen the knight of Bueil, since defunct, fight at close quarters to be
her sole possessor. The above-mentioned wench, or demon, belonged at
that time to the knight Geoffroy IV., Lord of Roche-Pozay, by whom she
was said to have been brought from Touraine, although she was a
Saracen; concerning which the knights of France marvelled much, as
well as at her beauty, which made a great noise and a thousand
scandalous ravages in the camp. During the voyage this wench was the
cause of many deaths, seeing that Roche-Pozay had already discomfited
certain Crusaders, who wished to keep her to themselves, because she
shed, according to certain knights petted by her in secret, joys
around her comparable to none others. But in the end the knight of
Bueil, having killed Geoffroy de la Roche-Pozay, became lord and
master of this young murderess, and placed her in a convent, or harem,
according to the Saracen custom. About this time one used to see her
and hear her chattering as entertainment many foreign dialects, such
as the Greek or the Latin empire, Moorish, and, above all, French
better than any of those who knew the language of France best in the
Christian host, from which sprang the belief that she was demoniacal.

The said knight Harduin has confessed to us not to have tilted for her
in the Holy Land, not from fear, coldness or other cause, so much as
that he believed the time had arrived for him to bear away a portion
of the true cross, and also he had belonging to him a noble lady of
the Greek country, who saved him from this danger in denuding him of
love, morning and night, seeing that she took all of it substantially
from him, leaving him none in his heart or elsewhere for others.

And the said knight has assured us that the woman living in the
country house of Tortebras, was really the said Saracen woman, come
into the country from Syria, because he had been invited to a midnight
feast at her house by the young Lord of Croixmare, who expired the
seventh day afterwards, according to the statement of the Dame de
Croixmare, his mother, ruined all points by the said wench, whose
commerce with him had consumed his vital spirit, and whose strange
phantasies had squandered his fortune.

Afterwards questioned in his quality of a man full of prudence, wisdom
and authority in this country, upon the ideas entertained concerning
the said woman, and summoned by us to open his conscience, seeing that
it was a question of a most abominable case of Christian faith and
divine justice, answer has been made by the said knight:--

That by certain of the host of Crusaders it has been stated to him
that always this she-devil was a maid to him who embraced her, and
that Mammon was for certain occupied in her, making for her a new
virtue for each of her lovers, and a thousand other foolish sayings of
drunken men, which were not of a nature to form a fifth gospel. But
for a fact, he, an old knight on that turn of life, and knowing
nothing more of the aforesaid, felt himself again a young man in that
last supper with which he had been regaled by the lord of Croixmare;
then the voice of this demon went straight to his heart before flowing
into his ears, and had awakened so great a love in his body that his
life was ebbing from the place whence it should flow, and that
eventually, but for the assistance of Cyprus wine, which he had drunk
to blind his sight, and his getting under the table in order no longer
to gaze upon the fiery eyes of his diabolical hostess, and not to rend
his heart from her, without doubt he would have fought the young
Croixmare, in order to enjoy for a single moment this supernatural
woman. Since then he had had absolution from his confessor for the
wicked thought. Then, by advice from on high, he had carried back to
his house his portion of the true Cross, and had remained in his own
manor, where, in spite of his Christian precautions, the said voice
still at certain times tickled his brain, and in the morning often had
he in remembrance this demon, warm as brimstone; and because the look
of this wench was so warm that it made him burn like a young man, be
half dead, and because it cost him then many transshipments of the
vital spirit, the said knight has requested us not to confront him
with the empress of love to whom, if it were not the devil, God the
Father had granted strange liberties with the minds of men.
Afterwards, he retired, after reading over his statement, not without
having first recognised the above-mentioned African to be the servant
and page of the lady.

In the fourth place, upon the faith pledged in us in the name of the
Chapter and of our Lord Archbishop, that he should not be tormented,
tortured, nor harassed in any manner, nor further cited after his
statement, in consequence of his commercial journeys, and upon the
assurance that he should retire in perfect freedom, has come before us
a Jew, Salomon al Rastchid, who, in spite of the infamy of his person
and his Judaism, has been heard by us to this one end, to know
everything concerning the conduct of the aforesaid demon. Thus he has
not been required to take any oath this Salomon, seeing that he is
beyond the pale of the Church, separated from us by the blood of our
saviour (trucidatus Salvatore inter nos). Interrogated by us as to why
he appeared without the green cap upon his head, and the yellow wheel
in the apparent locality of the heart in his garment, according to the
ecclesiastical and royal ordinances, the said de Rastchid has
exhibited to us letters patent of the seneschal of Touraine and
Poitou. Then the said Jew has declared to us to have done a large
business for the lady dwelling in the house of the innkeeper
Tortebras, to have sold to her golden chandeliers, with many branches,
minutely engraved, plates of red silver, cups enriched with stones,
emeralds and rubies; to have brought for her from the Levant a number
of rare stuffs, Persian carpets, silks, and fine linen; in fact,
things so magnificent that no queen in Christendom could say she was
so well furnished with jewels and household goods; and that he had for
his part received from her three hundred thousand pounds for the
rarity of the purchases in which he had been employed, such as Indian
flowers, poppingjays, birds' feathers, spices, Greek wines, and
diamonds. Requested by us, the judge, to say if he had furnished
certain ingredients of magical conjuration, the blood of new-born
children, conjuring books, and things generally and whatsoever made
use of by sorcerers, giving him licence to state his case without that
thereupon he should be the subject to any further inquest or inquiry,
the said al Rastchid has sworn by his Hebrew faith never to have had
any such commerce; and has stated that he was involved in too high
interests to give himself to such miseries, seeing that he was the
agent of certain most powerful lords, such as the Marquis de
Montferrat, the King of England, the King of Cyprus and Jerusalem, the
Court of Provence, lords of Venice, and many German gentleman; to have
belonging to him merchant galleys of all kinds, going into Egypt with
the permission of the Sultan, and he trafficking in precious articles
of silver and of gold, which took him often into the exchange of
Tours. Moreover, he has declared that he considered the said lady, the
subject of inquiry, to be a right royal and natural woman, with the
sweetest limbs, and the smallest he has ever seen. That in consequence
of her renown for a diabolical spirit, pushed by a wild imagination,
and also because that he was smitten with her, he had heard once that
she was husbandless, proposed to her to be her gallant, to which
proposition she willingly acceded. Now, although from that night he
felt his bones disjointed and his bowels crushed, he had not yet
experienced, as certain persons say, that who once yielded was free no
more; he went to his fate as lead into the crucible of the alchemist.
Then the said Salomon, to whom we have granted his liberty according
to the safe conduct, in spite of the statement, which proves
abundantly his commerce with the devil, because he had been saved
there where all Christians have succumbed, has admitted to us an
agreement concerning the said demon. To make known that he had made an
offer to the chapter of the cathedral to give for the said semblance
of a woman such a ransom, if she were condemned to be burned alive,
that the highest of the towers of the Church of St. Maurice, at
present in course of construction, could therewith be finished.

The which we have noted to be deliberated upon at an opportune time by
the assembled chapter. And the said Salomon has taken his departure
without being willing to indicate his residence, and has told us that
he can be informed of the deliberation of the chapter by a Jew of the
synagogue of Tours, a name Tobias Nathaneus. The said Jew has before
his departure been shown the African, and has recognised him as the
page of the demon, and has stated the Saracens to have the custom of
mutilating their slaves thus, to commit to them the task of guarding
their women by an ancient usage, as it appears in the profane
histories of Narsez, general of Constantinople, and others.

On the morrow after mass has appeared before us the most noble and
illustrious lady of Croixmare. The same has worn her faith in the holy
Evangelists, and has related to us with tears how she had placed her
eldest son beneath the earth, dead by reason of his extravagant amours
with this female demon. The which noble gentleman was three-and-twenty
years of age; of good complexion, very manly and well bearded like his
defunct sire. Notwithstanding his great vigour, in ninety days he had
little by little withered, ruined by his commerce with the succubus of
the Rue Chaude, according to the statement of the common people; and
her maternal authority over the son had been powerless. Finally in his
latter days he appeared like a poor dried up worm, such as
housekeepers meet with in a corner when they clean out the dwelling-
rooms. And always, so long as he had the strength to go, he went to
shorten his life with this cursed woman; where, also, he emptied his
cash-box. When he was in his bed, and knew his last hour had come, he
swore at, cursed, and threatened and heaped upon all--his sister, his
brother, and upon her his mother--a thousand insults, rebelled in the
face of the chaplain; denied God, and wished to die in damnation; at
which were much afflicted the retainers of the family, who, to save
his soul and pluck it from hell, have founded two annual masses in the
cathedral. And in order to have him buried in consecrated ground, the
house of Croixmare has undertaken to give to the chapter, during one
hundred years, the wax candles for the chapels and the church, upon
the day of the Paschal feast. And, in conclusion, saving the wicked
words heard by the reverend person, Dom Loys Pot, a nun of
Marmoustiers, who came to assist in his last hours the said Baron de
Croixmaire affirms never to have heard any words offered by the
defunct, touching the demon who had undone him.

And therewith has retired the noble and illustrious lady in deep

In the sixth place has appeared before us, after adjournment,
Jacquette, called Vieux-Oing, a kitchen scullion, going to houses to
wash dishes, residing at present in the Fishmarket, who, after having
placed her word to say nothing she did not hold to be true, has
declared as here follows:--Namely, that one day she, being come into
the kitchen of the said demon, of whom she had no fear, because she
was wont to regale herself only upon males, she had the opportunity of
seeing in the garden this female demon, superbly attired, walking in
company with a knight, with whom she was laughing, like a natural
woman. Then she had recognised in this demon that true likeness of the
Moorish woman placed as a nun in the convent of Notre Dame de
l'Egrignolles by the defunct seneschal of Touraine and Poitou, Messire
Bruyn, Count of Roche-Corbon, the which Moorish woman had been left in
the situation and place of the image of our Lady the Virgin, the
mother of our Blessed Saviour, stolen by the Egyptians about eighteen
years since. Of this time, in consequence of the troubles come about
in Touraine, no record has been kept. This girl, aged about twelve
years, was saved from the stake at which she would have been burned by
being baptised; and the said defunct and his wife had then been
godfather and godmother to this child of hell. Being at that time
laundress at the convent, she who bears witness has remembrance of the
flight which the said Egyptian took twenty months after her entry into
the convent, so subtilely that it has never been known how or by what
means she escaped. At that time it was thought by all, that with the
devil's aid she had flown away in the air, seeing that not
withstanding much search, no trace of her flight was found in the
convent, where everything remained in its accustomed order.

The African having been shown to the said scullion, she has declared
not to have seen him before, although she was curious to do so, as he
was commissioned to guard the place in which the Moorish woman
combated with those whom she drained through the spigot.

In the seventh place has been brought before us Hugues de Fou, son of
the Sieur de Bridore, who, aged twenty years, has been placed in the
hands of his father, under caution of his estates, and by him is
represented in this process, whom it concerns if should be duly
attained and convicted of having, assisted by several unknown and bad
young men, laid siege to the jail of the archbishop and of the
chapter, and of having lent himself to disturb the force of
ecclesiastical justice, by causing the escape of the demon now under
consideration. In spite of the evil disposition we have commanded the
said Hugues de Fou to testify truly, touching the things he should
know concerning the said demon, with whom he is vehemently reputed to
have had commerce, pointing out to him that it was a question of his
salvation and of the life of the said demon. He, after having taken
the oath, he said:--

"I swear by my eternal salvation, and by the holy Evangelists here
present under my hand, to hold the woman suspected of being a demon to
be an angel, a perfect woman, and even more so in mind than in body,
living in all honesty, full of the migniard charms and delights of
love, in no way wicked, but most generous, assisting greatly the poor
and suffering. I declare that I have seen her weeping veritable tears
for the death of my friend, the knight of Croixmare. And because on
that day she had made a vow to our Lady the Virgin no more to receive
the love of young noblemen too weak in her service; she has to me
constantly and with great courage denied the enjoyment of her body,
and has only granted to me love, and the possession of her heart, of
which she has made sovereign. Since this gracious gift, in spite of my
increasing flame I have remained alone in her dwelling, where I have
spent the greater part of my days, happy in seeing and in hearing her.
Oh! I would eat near her, partake of the air which entered into her
lungs, of the light which shone in her sweet eyes, and found in this
occupation more joy than have the lords of paradise. Elected by me to
be forever my lady, chosen to be one day my dove, my wife, and only
sweetheart, I, poor fool, have received from her no advances on the
joys of the future, but, on the contrary, a thousand virtuous
admonitions; such as that I should acquire renown as a good knight,
become a strong man and a fine one, fear nothing except God; honour
the ladies, serve but one and love them in memory of that one; that
when I should be strengthened by the work of war, if her heart still
pleased mine, at that time only would she be mine, because she would
be able to wait for me, loving me so much."

So saying the young Sire Hugues wept, and weeping, added:--

"That thinking of this graceful and feeble woman, whose arms seemed
scarcely large enough to sustain the light weight of her golden
chains, he did not know how to contain himself while fancying the
irons which would wound her, and the miseries with which she would
traitorously be loaded, and from this cause came his rebellion. And
that he had licence to express his sorrow before justice, because his
life was so bound up with that of his delicious mistress and
sweetheart that on the day when evil came to her he would surely die."

And the same young man has vociferated a thousand other praises of the
said demon, which bear witness to the vehement sorcery practised upon
him, and prove, moreover, the abominable, unalterable, and incurable
life and the fraudulent witcheries to which he is at present subject,
concerning which our lord the archbishop will judge, in order to save
by exorcisms and penitences this young soul from the snares of hell,
if the devil has not gained too strong a hold of it.

Then we have handed back the said young nobleman into the custody of
the noble lord his father, after that by the said Hugues, the African
has been recognised as the servant of the accused.

In the eighth place, before us, have the footguards of our lord the
archbishop led in great state the MOST HIGH AND REVEREND LADY
under the invocation of Mount Carmel, to whose control has been
submitted by the late seneschal of Touraine, father of Monseigneur the
Count of Roche-Corbon, present advocate of the said convent, the
Egyptian, named at the baptismal font Blanche Bruyn.

To the said abbess we have shortly stated the present cause, in which
is involved the holy church, the glory of God, and the eternal future
of the people of the diocese afflicted with a demon, and also the life
of a creature who it was possible might be quite innocent. Then the
cause elaborated, we have requested the said noble abbess to testify
that which was within her knowledge concerning the magical
disappearance of her daughter in God, Blanche Bruyn, espoused by our
Saviour under the name of Sister Clare.

Then has stated the very high, very noble, and very illustrious lady
abbess as follows:--

"The Sister Clare, of origin to her unknown, but suspected to be of an
heretic father and mother, people inimical to God, has truly been
placed in religion in the convent of which the government had
canonically come to her in spite of her unworthiness; that the said
sister had properly concluded her noviciate, and made her vows
according to the holy rule of the order. That the vows taken, she had
fallen into great sadness, and had much drooped. Interrogated by her,
the abbess, concerning her melancholy malady, the said sister had
replied with tears that she herself did not know the cause. That one
thousand and one tears engendered themselves in her at feeling no more
her splendid hair upon her head; that besides this she thirsted for
air, and could not resist her desire to jump up into the trees, to
climb and tumble about according to her wont during her open air life;
that she passed her nights in tears, dreaming of the forests under the
leaves of which in other days she slept; and in remembrance of this
she abhorred the quality of the air of the cloisters, which troubled
her respiration; that in her inside she was troubled with evil
vapours; that at times she was inwardly diverted in church by thoughts
which made her lose countenance. Then I have repeated over and over
again to the poor creature the holy directions of the church, have
reminded her of the eternal happiness which women without seeing enjoy
in paradise, and how transitory was life here below, and certain the
goodness of God, who for first certain bitter pleasures lost, kept for
us a love without end. Is spite of this wise maternal advice the evil
spirit has persisted in the said sister; and always would she gaze
upon the leaves of the trees and grass of the meadows through the
windows of the church during the offices and times of prayer; and
persisted in becoming as white as linen in order that she might stay
in her bed, and at certain times she would run about the cloisters
like a goat broken loose from its fastening. Finally, she had grown
thin, lost much of the great beauty, and shrunk away to nothing. While
in this condition by us, the abbess her mother, was she placed in the
sick-room, we daily expecting her to die. One winter's morning the
said sister had fled, without leaving any trace of her steps, without
breaking the door, forcing of locks, or opening of windows, nor any
sign whatever of the manner of her passage; a frightful adventure
which was believed to have taken place by the aid of the demon which
has annoyed and tormented her. For the rest it was settled by the
authorities of the metropolitan church that the mission of this
daughter of hell was to divert the nuns from their holy ways, and
blinded by their perfect lives, she had returned through the air on
the wings of the sorcerer, who had left her for mockery of our holy
religion in the place of our Virgin Mary."

The which having said, the lady abbess was, with great honour and
according to the command of our lord the archbishop, accompanied as
far as the convent of Carmel.

In the ninth place, before us has come, agreeably to the citation
served upon him, Joseph, called Leschalopier, a money-changer, living
on the bridge at the sign of the Besant d'Or, who, after having
pledged his Catholic faith to say no other thing than the truth, and
that known to him, touching the process before the ecclesiastical
tribunal, has testified as follows:--"I am a poor father, much
afflicted by the sacred will of God. Before the coming of the Succubus
of the Rue Chaude, I had, for all good, a son as handsome as a noble,
learned as a clerk, and having made more than a dozen voyages into
foreign lands; for the rest a good Catholic; keeping himself on guard
against the needles of love, because he avoided marriage, knowing
himself to be the support of my old days, the love for my eyes, and
the constant delight of my heart. He was a son of whom the King of
France might have been proud--a good and courageous man, the light on
my commerce, the joy of my roof, and, above all, an inestimable
blessing, seeing that I am alone in the world, having had the
misfortune to lose my wife, and being too old to take another. Now,
monseigneur, this treasure without equal has been taken from me, and
cast into hell by the demon. Yes, my lord judge, directly he beheld
this mischievous jade, this she-devil, in whom it is a whole workshop
of perdition, a conjunction of pleasure and delectation, and whom
nothing can satiate, my poor child stuck himself fast into the gluepot
of love, and afterwards lived only between the columns of Venus, and
there did not live long, because in that place like so great a heat
that nothing can satisfy the thirst of this gulf, not even should you
plunge therein the germs of the entire world. Alas! then, my poor boy
--his fortune, his generative hopes, his eternal future, his entire
self, more than himself, have been engulfed in this sewer, like a
grain of corn in the jaws of a bull. By this means become an old
orphan I, who speak, shall have no greater joy than to see burning,
this demon, nourished with blood and gold. This Arachne who has drawn
out and sucked more marriages, more families in the seed, more hearts,
more Christians then there are lepers in all the lazar houses or
Christendom. Burn, torment this fiend--this vampire who feeds on
souls, this tigerish nature that drinks blood, this amorous lamp in
which burns the venom of all the vipers. Close this abyss, the bottom
of which no man can find.... I offer my deniers to the chapter for the
stake, and my arm to light the fire. Watch well, my lord judge, to
surely guard this devil, seeing that she has a fire more flaming than
all other terrestrial fires; she has all the fire of hell in her, the
strength of Samson in her hair, and the sound of celestial music in
her voice. She charms to kill the body and the soul at one stroke; she
smiles to bite, she kisses to devour; in short, she would wheedle an
angel, and make him deny his God. My son! my son! where is he at this
hour? The flower of my life--a flower cut by this feminine needlecase
as with scissors. Ha, lord! why have I been called? Who will give me
back my son, whose soul has been absorbed by a womb which gives death
to all, and life to none? The devil alone copulates, and engenders
not. This is my evidence, which I pray Master Tournebouche to write
without omitting one iota, and to grant me a schedule, that I may tell
it to God every evening in my prayer, to this end to make the blood of
the innocent cry aloud into His ears, and to obtain from His infinite
mercy the pardon for my son."

Here followed twenty and seven other statements, of which the
transcription in their true objectivity, in all their quality of space
would be over-fastidious, would draw to a great length, and divert the
thread of this curious process--a narrative which, according to
ancient precepts, should go straight to the fact, like a bull to his
principal office. Therefore, here is, in a few words, the substance of
these testimonies.

A great number of good Christians, townsmen and townswomen,
inhabitants of the noble town of Tours, testified the demon to have
held every day wedding feasts and royal festivities, never to have
been seen in any church, to have cursed God, to have mocked the
priests, never to have crossed herself in any place; to have spoken
all the languages of the earth--a gift which has only been granted by
God to the blessed Apostles; to have been many times met in the
fields, mounted upon an unknown animal who went before the clouds; not
to grow old, and to have always a youthful face; to have received the
father and the son on the same day, saying that her door sinned not;
to have visible malign influences which flowed from her, for that a
pastrycook, seated on a bench at her door, having perceived her one
evening, received such a gust of warm love that, going in and getting
to bed, he had with great passion embraced his wife, and was found
dead on the morrow, that the old men of the town went to spend the
remainder of their days and of their money with her, to taste the joys
of the sins of their youth, and that they died like fleas on their
bellies, and that certain of them, while dying, became as black as
Moors; that this demon never allowed herself to be seen neither at
dinner, nor at breakfast, nor at supper, but ate alone, because she
lived upon human brains; that several had seen her during the night go
to the cemeteries, and there embrace the young dead men, because she
was not able to assuage otherwise the devil who worked in her
entrails, and there raged like a tempest, and from that came the
astringent biting, nitrous shooting, precipitant, and diabolical
movements, squeezings, and writhings of love and voluptuousness, from
which several men had emerged bruised, torn, bitten, pinched and
crushed; and that since the coming of our Saviour, who had imprisoned
the master devil in the bellies of the swine, no malignant beast had
ever been seen in any portion of the earth so mischievous, venomous
and so clutching; so much so that if one threw the town of Tours into
this field of Venus, she would there transmute it into the grain of
cities, and this demon would swallow it like a strawberry.

And a thousand other statements, sayings, and depositions, from which
was evident in perfect clearness the infernal generation of this
woman, daughter, sister, niece, spouse, or brother of the devil,
beside abundant proofs of her evil doing, and of the calamity spread
by her in all families. And if it were possible to put them here
conformably with the catalogue preserved by the good man to whom he
accused the discovery, it would seem like a sample of the horrible
cries which the Egyptians gave forth on the day of the seventh plague.
Also this examination has covered with great honour Messire Guillaume
Tournebouche, by whom are quoted all the memoranda. In the tenth
vacation was thus closed this inquest, arriving at a maturity of
proof, furnished with authentic testimony and sufficiently engrossed
with the particulars, plaints, interdicts, contradictions, charges,
assignments, withdrawals, confessions public and private, oaths,
adjournments, appearances and controversies, to which the said demon
must reply. And the townspeople say everywhere if there were really a
she-devil, and furnished with internal horns planted in her nature,
with which she drank the men, and broke them, this woman might swim a
long time in this sea of writing before being landed safe and sound in


/In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen./

In the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and seventy-one,
before us, Hierome Cornille, grand penitentiary and ecclesiastical
judge to this, canonically appointed, have appeared--

The Sire Philippe d'Idre, bailiff of the town and city of Tours and
province of Touraine, living in his hotel in the Rue de la Rotisserie,
in Chateauneuf; Master Jehan Ribou, provost of the brotherhood and
company of drapers, residing on the Quay de Bretaingne, at the image
of St. Pierre-es-liens; Messire Antoine Jehan, alderman and chief of
the Brotherhood of Changers, residing in the Place du Pont, at the
image of St. Mark-counting-tournoise-pounds; Master Martin
Beaupertuys, captain of the archers of the town residing at the
castle; Jehan Rabelais, a ships' painter and boat maker residing at
the port at the isle of St. Jacques, treasurer of the brotherhood of
the mariners of the Loire; Mark Hierome, called Maschefer, hosier, at
the sign of Saint-Sebastian, president of the trades council; and
Jacques, called de Villedomer, master tavern-keeper and vine dresser,
residing in the High Street, at the Pomme de Pin; to the said Sire
d'Idre, and to the said citizens, we have read the following petition
by them, written, signed, and deliberated upon, to be brought under
the notice of the ecclesiastical tribunal:--


We, the undersigned, all citizens of Tours, are come into the hotel of
his worship the Sire d'Idre, bailiff of Touraine, in the absence of
our mayor, and have requested him to hear our plaints and statements
concerning the following facts, which we intend to bring before the
tribunal of the archbishop, the judge of ecclesiastical crimes, to
whom should be deferred the conduct of the cause which we here

A long time ago there came into this town a wicked demon in the form
of a woman, who lives in the parish of Saint-Etienne, in the house of
the innkeeper Tortebras, situated in the quit-rent of the chapter, and
under the temporal jurisdiction of the archiepiscopal domain. The
which foreigner carries on the business of a gay woman in a prodigal
and abusive manner, and with such increase of infamy that she
threatens to ruin the Catholic faith in this town, because those who
go to her come back again with their souls lost in every way, and
refuse the assistance of the Church with a thousand scandalous

Now considering that a great number of those who yielded to her are
dead, and that arrived in our town with no other wealth than her
beauty, she has, according to public clamour, infinite riches and
right royal treasure, the acquisition of which is vehemently
attributed to sorcery, or at least to robberies committed by the aid
of magical attractions and her supernaturally amorous person.

Considering that it is a question of the honour and security of our
families, and that never before has been seen in this country a woman
wild of body or a daughter of pleasure, carrying on with such mischief
of vocation of light o' love, and menacing so openly and bitterly the
life, the savings, the morals, chastity, religion, and the everything
of the inhabitants of this town;

Considering that there is need of a inquiry into her person, her
wealth and her deportment, in order to verify if these effects of love
are legitimate, and to not proceed, as would seem indicated by her
manners, from a bewitchment of Satan, who often visits Christianity
under the form of a female, as appears in the holy books, in which it
is stated that our blessed Saviour was carried away into a mountain,
from which Lucifer or Astaroth showed him the fertile plains of Judea
and that in many places have been seen succubi or demons, having the
faces of women, who, not wishing to return to hell, and having with
them an insatiable fire, attempt to refresh and sustain themselves by
sucking in souls;

Considering that in the case of the said woman a thousand proofs of
diablerie are met with, of which certain inhabitants speak openly, and
that it is necessary for the repose of the said woman that the matter
be sifted, in order that she shall not be attacked by certain people,
ruined by the result of her wickedness;

For these causes we pray that it will please you to submit to our
spiritual lord, father of this diocese, the most noble and blessed
archbishop Jehan de Monsoreau, the troubles of his afflicted flock, to
the end that he may advise upon them.

By doing so you will fulfil the duties of your office, as we do those
of preservers of the security of this town, each one according to the
things of which he has charge in his locality.

And we have signed the present, in the year of our Lord one thousand
two hundred and seventy-one, of All Saints' Day, after mass.

Master Tournebouche having finished the reading of this petition, by
us, Hierome Cornille, has it been said to the petitioners--

"Gentlemen, do you, at the present time, persist in these statements?
have you proofs other than those come within your own knowledge, and
do you undertake to maintain the truth of this before God, before man,
and before the accused?"

All, with the exception of Master Jehan Rabelais, have persisted in
their belief, and the aforesaid Rabelais has withdrawn from the
process, saying that he considered the said Moorish woman to be a
natural woman and a good wench who had no other fault than that of
keeping up a very high temperature of love.

Then we, the judge appointed, have, after mature deliberation, found
matter upon which to proceed in the petition of the aforesaid
citizens, and have commanded that the woman at present in the jail of
the chapter shall be proceeded against by all legal methods, as
written in the canons and ordinances, /contra demonios/. The said
ordinance, embodied in a writ, shall be published by the town-crier in
all parts, and with the sound of the trumpet, in order to make it
known to all, and that each witness may, according to his knowledge,
be confronted with the said demon, and finally the said accused to be
provided with a defender, according to custom, and the interrogations,
and the process to be congruously conducted.


And, lower-down.


In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

In the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and seventy-one, the
10th day of February, after mass, by command of us, Hierome Cornille,
ecclesiastical judge, has been brought from the jail of the chapter
and led before us the woman taken in the house of the innkeeper
Tortebras, situated in the domains of the chapter and the cathedral of
St. Maurice, and are subject to the temporal and seigneurial justice
of the Archbishop of Tours; besides which, in consequence of the
nature of the crimes imputed to her, she is liable to the tribunal and
council of ecclesiastical justice, the which we have made known to
her, to the end that she should not ignore it.

And after a serious reading, entirely at will understood by her, in
the first place of the petition of the town, then of the statements,
plaints, accusations, and proceedings which written in twenty-four
quires by Master Tournebouche, and are above related, we have, with
the invocation and assistance of God and the Church, resolved to
ascertain the truth, first by interrogatories made to the said

In the first interrogation we have requested the aforesaid to inform
us in what land or town she had been born. By her who speaks was it
answered: "In Mauritania."

We have then inquired: "If she had a father or mother, or any
relations?" By her who speaks has it been replied: "That she had never
known them." By us requested to declare her name. By her who speaks
has been replied: "Zulma," in Arabian tongue.

By us has it been demanded: "Why she spoke our language?" By her who
speaks has it been said: "Because she had come into this country." By
us has it been asked: "At what time?" By her who speaks has it been
replied: "About twelve years."

By us has it been asked: "What age she then was?" By her who speaks
has it been answered: "Fifteen years or thereabout."

By us has it been said: "Then you acknowledge yourself to be twenty-
seven years of age?" By her who speaks has it been replied: "Yes."

By us has it been said to her: "That she was then the Moorish child
found in the niche of Madame the Virgin, baptised by the Archbishop,
held at the font by the late Lord of Roche-Corbon and the Lady of
Azay, his wife, afterwards by them placed in religion at the convent
of Mount Carmel, where by her had been made vows of chastity, poverty,
silence, and the love of God, under the divine assistance of St.
Clare?" By her who speaks has been said: "That is true."

By us has it been asked her: "If, then, she allowed to be true the
declarations of the very noble and illustrious lady the abbess of
Mount Carmel, also the statements of Jacquette, called Vieux-Oing,
being kitchen scullion?" By the accused has been answered: "These
words are true in great measure."

Then by us has it been said to her: "Then you are a Christian?" And by
her who speaks has been answered: "Yes, my father."

Then by us has she been requested to make the sign of the cross, and
to take holy water from the brush placed by Master Tournebouche in her
hand; the which having been done, and by us having been witnessed, it
has been admitted as an indisputable fact, that Zulma, the Moorish
woman, called in our country Blanche Bruyn, a nun of the convent under
the invocation of Mount Carmel, there named Sister Clare, and
suspected to be the false appearance of a woman under which is
concealed a demon, has in our presence made act of religion and thus
recognised the justice of the ecclesiastical tribunal.

Then by us have these words been said to her: "My daughter, you are
vehemently suspected to have had recourse to the devil from the manner
in which you left the convent, which was supernatural in every way."
By her who speaks has it been stated, that she at that time gained
naturally the fields by the street door after vespers, enveloped in
the robes of Jehan de Marsilis, visitor of the convent, who had hidden
her, the person speaking, in a little hovel belonging to him, situated
in the Cupidon Lane, near a tower in the town. That there this said
priest had to her then speaking, at great length, and most thoroughly
taught the depths of love, of which she then speaking was before in
all points ignorant, for which delights she had a great taste, finding
them of great use. That the Sire d'Amboise having perceived her then
speaking at the window of this retreat, had been smitten with a great
love for her. That she loved him more heartily than the monk, and fled
from the hovel where she was detained for profit of his pleasure by
Don Marsilis. And then she had gone in great haste to Amboise, the
castle of the said lord, where she had had a thousand pastimes,
hunting, and dancing, and beautiful dresses fit for a queen. One day
the Sire de la Roche-Pozay having been invited by the Sire d'Amboise
to come and feast and enjoy himself, the Baron d'Amboise had allowed
him to see her then speaking, as she came out naked from her bath.
That at this sight the said Sire de la Roche-Pozay having fallen
violently in love with her, had on the morrow discomfited in single
combat the Sire d'Amboise, and by great violence, had, is spite of her
tears, taken her to the Holy Land, where she who was speaking had
lived the life of a woman well beloved, and had been held in great
respect on account of her great beauty. That after numerous
adventures, she who was speaking had returned into this country in
spite of the apprehensions of misfortune, because such was the will of
her lord and master, the Baron de Bueil, who was dying of grief in
Asiatic lands, and desired to return to his patrimonial manor. Now he
had promised her who was speaking to preserve her from peril. Now she
who was speaking had faith and belief in him, the more so as she loved
him very much; but on his arrival in this country, the Sire de Bueil
was seized with an illness, and died deplorably, without taking any
remedies, this spite of the fervent requests which she who was
speaking had addressed to him, but without success, because he hated
physicians, master surgeons, and apothecaries; and that this was the
whole truth.

Then by us has it been said to the accused that she then held to be
true the statements of the good Sire Harduin and of the innkeeper
Tortebras. By her who speaks has it been replied, that she recognised
as evidence the greater part, and also as malicious, calumnious, and
imbecile certain portions.

Then by us has the accused been required to declare if she had had
pleasure and carnal commerce with all the men, nobles, citizens, and
others as set forth in the plaints and declarations of the
inhabitants. To which her who speaks has it been answered with great
effrontery: "Pleasure, yes! Commerce, I do not know."

By us has it been said to her, that all had died by her acts. By her
who speaks has it been said that their deaths could not be the result
of her acts, because she had always refused herself to them, and the
more she fled from them the more they came and embraced her with
infinite passion, and that when she who was speaking was taken by them
she gave herself up to them with all her strength, by the grace of
God, because she had in that more joy than in anything, and has
stated, she who speaks, that she avows her secret sentiments solely
because she had been requested by us to state the whole truth, and
that she the speaker stood in great fear of the torments of the

Then by us has she been requested to answer, under pain of torture, in
what state of mind she was when a young nobleman died in consequence
of his commerce with her. Then by her speaking has it been replied,
that she remained quite melancholy and wished to destroy herself; and
prayed God, the Virgin, and the saints to receive her into Paradise,
because never had she met with any but lovely and good hearts in which
was no guile, and beholding them die she fell into a great sadness,
fancying herself to be an evil creature or subject to an evil fate,
which she communicated like the plague.

Then by us has she been requested to state where she paid her orisons.

By her speaking has it been said that she played in her oratory on her
knees before God, who according to the Evangelists, sees and hears all
things and resides in all places.

Then by us has it been demanded why she never frequented the churches,
the offices, nor the feasts. To this by her speaking has it been
answered, that those who came to love her had elected the feast days
for that purpose, and that she speaking did all things to their

By us has it been remonstrated that, by so doing, she was submissive
to man rather than to the commandments of God.

Then by her speaking has it been stated, that for those who loved her
well she speaking would have thrown herself into a flaming pile, never
having followed in her love any course but that of nature, and that
for the weight of the world in gold she would not have lent her body
or her love to a king who did not love her with his heart, feet, hair,
forehead, and all over. In short and moreover the speaker had never
made an act of harlotry in selling one single grain of love to a man
whom she had not chosen to be hers, and that he who held her in his
arms one hour or kissed her on the mouth a little, possessed her for
the remainder of her days.

Then by us has she been requested to state whence preceded the jewels,
gold plate, silver, precious stones, regal furniture, carpets, et
cetera, worth 200,000 doubloons, according to the inventory found in
her residence and placed in the custody of the treasurer of the
chapter. By the speaker answer has been made, that in us she placed
all her hopes, even as much as in God, but that she dare not reply to
this, because it involved the sweetest things of love upon which she
had always lived. And interpellated anew, the speaker has said that if
the judge knew with what fervour she held him she loved, with what
obedience she followed him in good or evil ways, with what study she
submitted to him, with what happiness she listened to his desires, and
inhaled the sacred words with which his mouth gratified her, in what
adoration she held his person, even we, an old judge, would believe
with her well-beloved, that no sum could pay for this great affection
which all the men ran after. After the speaker has declared never from
any man loved by her, to have solicited any present or gift, and that
she rested perfectly contented to live in their hearts, that she would
there curl herself up with indestructible and ineffable pleasure,
finding herself richer with this heart than with anything, and
thinking of no other thing than to give them more pleasure and
happiness than she received from them. But in spite of the iterated
refusals of the speaker her lovers persisted in graciously rewarding
her. At times one came to her with a necklace of pearls, saying, "This
is to show my darling that the satin of her skin did not falsely
appear to me whiter than pearls" and would put it on the speaker's
neck, kissing her lovingly. The speaker would be angry at these
follies, but could not refuse to keep a jewel that gave them pleasure
to see it there where they placed it. Each one had a different fancy.
At times another liked to tear the precious garments which the speaker
wore to gratify him; another to deck out the speaker with sapphires on
her arms, on her legs, on her neck, and in her hair; another to seat
her on the carpet, clad in silk or black velvet, and to remain for
days together in ecstasy at the perfections of the speaker the whom
the things desired by her lovers gave infinite pleasure, because these
things rendered them quite happy. And the speaker has said, that as we
love nothing so much as our pleasure, and wish that everything should
shine in beauty and harmonise, outside as well as inside the heart, so
they all wished to see the place inhabited by the speaker adorned with
handsome objects, and from this idea all her lovers were pleased as
much as she was in spreading thereabout gold, silks and flowers. Now
seeing that these lovely things spoil nothing, the speaker had no
force or commandment by which to prevent a knight, or even a rich
citizen beloved by her, having his will, and thus found herself
constrained to receive rare perfumes and other satisfaction with which
the speaker was loaded, and that such was the source of the gold,
plate, carpets, and jewels seized at her house by the officers of
justice. This terminates the first interrogation made to the said
Sister Clare, suspected to be a demon, because we the judge and
Guillaume Tournebouche, are greatly fatigued with having the voice of
the aforesaid, in our ears, and finding our understanding in every way

By us the judge has the second interrogatory been appointed, three
days from to-day, in order that the proofs of the possession and
presence of the demon in the body of the aforesaid may be sought, and
the accused, according to the order of the judge, has been taken back
to the jail under the conduct of Master Guillaume Tournebouche.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

On the thirteenth day following of the said month of the February
before us, Hierome Cornille, et cetera, has been produced the Sister
Clare above-mentioned, in order to be interrogated upon the facts and
deeds to her imputed, and of them to be convicted.

By us, the judge, has it been said to the accused that, looking at the
divers responses by her given to the proceeding interrogatories, it
was certain that it never had been in the power of a simple woman,
even if she were authorised, if such licence were allowed to lead the
life of a loose woman, to give pleasure to all, to cause so many
deaths, and to accomplish sorceries so perfect, without the assistance
of a special demon lodged in her body, and to whom her soul had been
sold by an especial compact. That it had been clearly demonstrated
that under her outward appearance lies and moves a demon, the author
of these evils, and that she was now called upon to declare at what
age she had received the demon, to vow the agreement existing between
herself and him, and to tell the truth concerning their common evil
doings. By the speaker was it replied that she would answer us, man,
as to God, who would be judge of all of us. Then has the speaker
pretended never to have seen the demon, neither to have spoken with
him, nor in any way to desire to see him; never to have led the life
of a courtesan, because she, the speaker, had never practised the
various delights that love invents, other than those furnished by the
pleasure which the Sovereign Creator has put in the thing, and to have
always been incited more from the desire of being sweet and good to
the dear lord loved by her, then by an incessantly raging desire. But
if such had been her inclination, the speaker begged us to bear in
mind that she was a poor African girl, in whom God had placed very hot
blood, and in her brain so easy an understanding of the delights of
love, that if a man only looked at her she felt greatly moved in her
heart. That if from desire of acquaintance an amorous gentleman
touched the speaker her on any portion of the body, there passing his
hand, she was, in spite of everything, under his power, because her
heart failed her instantly. By this touch, the apprehension and
remembrance of all the sweet joys of love woke again in her breast,
and there caused an intense heat, which mounted up, flamed in her
veins, and made her love and joy from head to foot. And since the day
when Don Marsilis had first awakened the understanding of the speaker
concerning these things, she had never had any other thought, and
thenceforth recognised love to be a thing so perfectly concordant with
her nature, that it had since been proved to the speaker that in
default of love and natural relief she would have died, withered at
the said convent. As evidence of which, the speaker affirms as a
certainty, that after her flight from the said convent she had not
passed a single day or one particle of time in melancholy and sadness,
but always was she joyous, and thus followed the sacred will of God,
which she believed to have been diverted during the time lost by her
in the convent.

To this was it objected by us, Hierome Cornille, to the said demon,
that in this response she had openly blasphemed against God, because
we had all been made to his greater glory, and placed in the world to
honour and to serve Him, to have before our eyes His blessed
commandments, and to live in sanctity, in order to gain eternal life,
and not to be always in bed, doing that which even the beasts only do
at a certain time. Then by the said sister, has answer been made, that
she honoured God greatly, that in all countries she had taken care of
the poor and suffering, giving them both money and raiment, and that
at the last judgement-day she hoped to have around her a goodly
company of holy works pleasant to God, which would intercede for her.
That but for her humility, a fear of being reproached and of
displeasing the gentlemen of the chapter, she would with joy have
spent her wealth in finishing the cathedral of St. Maurice, and there
have established foundations for the welfare of her soul--would have
spared therein neither her pleasure nor her person, and that with this
idea she would have taken double pleasure in her nights, because each
one of her amours would have added a stone to the building of this
basilic. Also the more this purpose, and for the eternal welfare of
the speaker, would they have right heartily given their wealth.

Then by us has it been said to this demon that she could not justify
the fact of her sterility, because in spite of so much commerce, no
child had been born of her, the which proved the presence of a demon
in her. Moreover, Astaroth alone, or an apostle, could speak all
languages, and she spoke after the manner of all countries, the which
proved the presence of the devil in her. Thereupon the speaker has
asked: "In what consisted the said diversity of language?"--that of
Greek she knew nothing but a Kyrie eleison, of which she made great
use; of Latin, nothing, save Amen, which she said to God, wishing
therewith to obtain her liberty. That for the rest the speaker had
felt great sorrow, being without children, and if the good wives had
them, she believed it was because they took so little pleasure in the
business, and she, the speaker, a little too much. But that such was
doubtless the will of God, who thought that from too great happiness,
the world would be in danger of perishing. Taking this into
consideration, and a thousand other reasons, which sufficiently
establish the presence of the devil in the body of the sister, because
the peculiar property of Lucifer is to always find arguments having
the semblance of truth, we have ordered that in our presence the
torture be applied to the said accused, and that she be well tormented
in order to reduce the said demon by suffering to submit to the
authority of the Church, and have requested to render us assistance
one Francois de Hangest, master surgeon and doctor to the chapter,
charging him by a codicil hereunder written to investigate the
qualities of the feminine nature (virtutes vulvae) of the above-
mentioned woman, to enlighten our religion on the methods employed by
this demon to lay hold of souls in that way, and see if any article
was there apparent.

Then the said Moorish women had wept bitterly, tortured in advance,
and in spite of her irons, has knelt down imploring with cries and
clamour the revocation of this order, objecting that her limbs were in
such a feeble state, and her bones so tender, that they would break
like glass; and finally, has offered to purchase her freedom from this
by the gift all her goods to the chapter, and to quit incontinently
the country.

Upon this, by us has she been required to voluntarily declare herself
to be, and to have always been, demon of the nature of the Succubus,
which is a female devil whose business it is to corrupt Christians by
the blandishments and flagitious delights of love. To this the speaker
has replied that the affirmation would be an abominable falsehood,
seeing that she had always felt herself to be a most natural woman.

Then her irons being struck off by the torturer, the aforesaid has
removed her dress, and has maliciously and with evil design bewildered
and attacked our understandings with the sight of her body, the which,
for a fact, exercises upon a man supernatural coercion.

Master Guillaume Tournebouche has, by reason of nature, quitted the
pen at this period, and retired, objecting that he was unable, without
incredible temptations, which worked in his brain, to be a witness of
this torture, because he felt the devil violently gaining his person.

This finishes the second interrogatory; and as the apparitor and
janitor of the chapter have stated Master Francois de Hangest to be in
the country, the torture and interrogations are appointed for
to-morrow at the hour of noon after mass.

This has been written verbally by me, Hierome, in the absence of
Master Guillaume Tournebouche, on whose behalf it is signed.

Grand Penitentiary.


Today, the fourteenth day of the month of February, in the presence of
me, Hierome Cornille, have appeared the said Masters Jehan Ribou,
Antoine Jehan, Martin Beaupertuys, Hierome Maschefer, Jacques de Ville
d'Omer, and the Sire d'Idre, in place of the mayor of the city of
Tours, for the time absent. All plaintiffs designated in the act of
process made at the Town Hall, to whom we have, at the request of
Blanche Bruyn (now confessing herself a nun of the convent of Mount
Carmel, under the name of Sister Clare), declared the appeal made to
the Judgment of God by the said person accused of demonical
possession, and her offer to pass through the ordeal of fire and
water, in presence of the Chapter and of the town of Tours, in order
to prove her reality as a woman and her innocence.

To this request have agreed for their parts, the said accusers, who,
on condition that the town is security for it, have engaged to prepare
a suitable place and a pile, to be approved by the godparents of the

Then by us, the judge, has the first day of the new year been
appointed for the day of the ordeal--which will be next Paschal Day--
and we have indicated the hour of noon, after mass, each of the
parties having acknowledged this delay to be sufficient.

And the present proclamation shall be cited, at the suit of each of
them, in all the towns, boroughs, and castles of Touraine and the land
of France, at their request and at their cost and suit.



This the act of extreme confession made the first day of the month of
March, in the year one thousand two hundred and seventy-one, after the
coming of our blessed Saviour, by Hierome Cornille, priest, canon of
the chapter of the cathedral of St. Maurice, grand penitentiary, of
all acknowledging himself unworthy, who, finding his last hour to be
come, and contrite of his sins, evil doings, forfeits, bad deeds, and
wickednesses, has desired his avowal to be published to serve the
preconisation of the truth, the glory of God, the justice of the
tribunal, and to be an alleviation to him of his punishment, in the
other world. The said Hierome Cornille being on his deathbed, there
had been convoked to hear his declarations, Jehan de la Haye (de
Hago), vicar of the church of St. Maurice; Pietro Guyard, treasurer of
the chapter, appointed by our Lord Jean de Monsoreau, Archbishop, to
write his words; and Dom Louis Pot, a monk of maius MONASTERIUM
(Marmoustier), chosen by him for a spiritual father and confessor; all
three assisted by the great and illustrious Dr Guillaume de Censoris,
Roman Archdeacon, at present sent into the diocese (LEGATUS), by our
Holy Father the Pope; and, finally, in the presence of a great number
of Christians come to be witnesses of the death of the said Hierome
Cornille, upon his known wish to make act of public repentance, seeing
that he was fast sinking, and that his words might open the eyes of
Christians about to fall into hell.

And before him, Hierome, who, by reason of his great weakness could
not speak, has Dom Louis Pot read the following confession to the
great agitation of the said company:--

"My brethren, until the seventy-first year of my age, which is the one
in which I now am, with the exception of the little sins through
which, all holy though he be, a Christian renders himself culpable
before God, but which it is allowed to us to repurchase by penitence,
I believe I led a Christian life, and merited the praise and renown
bestowed upon me in this diocese, where I was raised to the high
office of grand penitentiary, of which I am unworthy. Now, struck with
the knowledge of the infinite glory of God, horrified at the agonies
which await the wicked and prevaricators in hell, I have thought to
lessen the enormity of my sins by the greatest penitence I can show in
the extreme hour at which I am. Thus I have prayed of the Church, whom
I have deceived and betrayed, whose rights and judicial renown I have
sold, to grant me the opportunity of accusing myself publicly in the
manner of ancient Christians. I hoped, in order to show my great
repentance, to have still enough life in me to be reviled at the door
of the cathedral by all my brethren, to remain there an entire day on
my knees, holding a candle, a cord around my neck, and my feet naked,
seeing that I had followed the way of hell with regard to the sacred
instincts of the Church. But in this great shipwreck of my fragile
virtue, which will be to you as a warning to fly from vice and the
snares of the demon, and to take refuge in the Church, where all help
is, I have been so bewitched by Lucifer that our Saviour Jesus Christ
will take, by the intercession of all you whose help and prayers I
request, pity on me, a poor abused Christian, whose eyes now stream
with tears. So would I have another life to spend in works of
penitence. Now then listen and tremble with great fear! Elected by the
assembled Chapter to carry it out, instruct, and complete the process
commenced against a demon, who had appeared in a feminine shape, in
the person of a relapse nun--an abominable person, denying God, and
bearing the name of Zulma in the infidel country whence she comes; the
which devil is known in the diocese under that of Clare, of the
convent of Mount Carmel, and has much afflicted the town by putting
herself under an infinite number of men to gain their souls to Mammon,
Astaroth, and Satan--princes of hell, by making them leave this world
in a state of mortal sin, and causing their death where life has its
source, I have, I the judge, fallen in my latter days into this snare,
and have lost my senses, while acquitting myself traitorously of the
functions committed with great confidence by the Chapter to my cold
senility. Hear how subtle the demon is, and stand firm against her
artifices. While listening to the first response of the aforesaid
Succubus, I saw with horror that the irons placed upon her feet and
hands left no mark there, and was astonished at her hidden strength
and at her apparent weakness. Then my mind was troubled suddenly at
the sight of the natural perfections with which the devil was endowed.
I listened to the music of her voice, which warmed me from head to
foot, and made me desire to be young, to give myself up to this demon,
thinking that for an hour passed in her company my eternal salvation
was but poor payment for the pleasure of love tasted in those slender
arms. Then I lost that firmness with which all judges should be
furnished. This demon by me questioned, reasoned with me in such a
manner that at the second interrogatory I was firmly persuaded I
should be committing a crime in fining and torturing a poor little
creature who cried like an innocent child. Then warned by a voice from
on high to do my duty, and that these golden words, the music of
celestial appearance, were diabolical mummeries, that this body, so
pretty, so infatuating, would transmute itself into a bristly beast
with sharp claws, those eyes so soft into flames of hell, her behind
into a scaly tail, the pretty rosebud mouth and gentle lips into the
jaws of a crocodile, I came back to my intention of having the said
Succubus tortured until she avowed her permission, as this practice
had already been followed in Christianity. Now when this demon showed
herself stripped to me, to be put to the torture, I was suddenly
placed in her power by magical conjurations. I felt my old bones
crack, my brain received a warm light, my heart transhipped young and
boiling blood. I was light in myself, and by virtue of the magic
philter thrown into my eyes the snows on my forehead melted away. I
lost all conscience of my Christian life and found myself a schoolboy,
running about the country, escaped from class and stealing apples. I
had not the power to make the sign of the cross, neither did I
remember the Church, God the Father, nor the sweet Saviour of men. A
prey to this design, I went about the streets thinking over the
delights of that voice, the abominable, pretty body of this demon, and
saying a thousand wicked things to myself. Then pierced and drawn by a
blow of the devil's fork, who had planted himself already in my head
as a serpent in an oak, I was conducted by this sharp prong towards
the jail, in spite of my guardian angel, who from time to time pulled
me by the arm and defended me against these temptations, but in spite
of his holy advice and his assistance I was dragged by a million claws
stuck into my heart, and soon found myself in the jail. As soon as the
door was opened to me I saw no longer any appearance of a prison,
because the Succubus had there, with the assistance of evil genii or
fays, constructed a pavilion of purple and silk, full of perfumes and
flowers, where she was seated, superbly attired with neither irons on
her neck nor chains on her feet. I allowed myself to be stripped of my
ecclesiastical vestments, and was put into a scent bath. Then the
demon covered me with a Saracen robe, entertained me with a repast of
rare viands contained in precious vases, gold cups, Asiatic wines,
songs and marvellous music, and a thousand sweet sounds that tickled
my soul by means of my ears. At my side kept always the said Succubus,
and her sweet, delectable embrace distilled new ardour into my
members. My guardian angel quitted me. Then I lived only by the
terrible light of the Moorish woman's eyes, coveted the warm embraces
of the delicate body, wished always to feel her red lips, that I
believed natural, and had no fear of the bite of those teeth which
drew me to the bottom of hell, I delighted to feel the unequalled
softness of her hands without thinking that they were unnatural claws.
In short, I acted like husband desiring to go to his affianced without
thinking that that spouse was everlasting death. I had no thought for
the things of this world nor the interests of God, dreaming only of
love, of the sweet breasts of this woman, who made me burn, and of the
gate of hell in which I wished to cast myself. Alas! my brethren,
during three days and three nights was I thus constrained to toil
without being able to stop the stream which flowed from my reins, in
which were plunged, like two pikes, the hands of the Succubus, which
communicated to my poor old age and to my dried up bones, I know not
what sweat of love. At first this demon, to draw me to her, caused to
flow in my inside the softness of milk, then came poignant joys which
pricked like a hundred needles my bones, my marrow, my brain, and my
nerves. Then all this gone, all things became inflamed, my head, my
blood, my nerves, my flesh, my bones, and then I burned with the real
fire of hell, which caused me torments in my joints, and an
incredible, intolerable, tearing voluptuousness which loosened the
bonds of my life. The tresses of this demon, which enveloped my poor
body, poured upon me a stream of flame, and I felt each lock like a
bar of red iron. During this mortal delectation I saw the ardent face
of the said Succubus, who laughed and addressed to me a thousand
exciting words; such as that I was her knight, her lord, her lance,
her day, her joy, her hero, her life, her good, her rider, and that
she would like to clasp me even closer, wishing to be in my skin or
have me in hers. Hearing which, under the prick of this tongue which
sucked out my soul, I plunged and precipitated myself finally into
hell without finding the bottom. And then when I had no more a drop of
blood in my veins, when my heart no longer beat in my body, and I was
ruined at all points, the demon, still fresh, white, rubicund,
glowing, and laughing, said to me--

"'Poor fool, to think me a demon! Had I asked thee to sell thy soul
for a kiss, wouldst thou not give it to me with all thy heart?'

"'Yes,' said I.

"'And if always to act thus it were necessary for thee to nourish
thyself with the blood of new-born children in order always to have
new life to spend in my arms, would you not imbibe it willingly?'

"'Yes,' said I.

"'And to be always my gallant horseman, gay as a man in his prime,
feeling life, drinking pleasure, plunging to the depths of joy as a
swimmer into the Loire, wouldst thou not deny God, wouldst thou not
spit in the face of Jesus?'

"'Yes,' said I.

"Then I felt a hundred sharp claws which tore my diaphragm as if the
beaks of a thousand birds there took their bellyfuls, shrieking. Then
I was lifted suddenly above the earth upon the said Succubus, who had
spread her wings, and cried to me--

"'Ride, ride, my gallant rider! Hold yourself firmly on the back of
thy mule, by her mane, by her neck; and ride, ride, my gallant rider--
everything rides!' And then I saw, as a thick fog, the cities of the
earth, where by a special gift I perceived each one coupled with a
female demon, and tossing about, and engendering in great
concupiscence, all shrieking a thousand words of love and exclamations
of all kinds, and all toiling away with ecstasy. Then my horse with
the Moorish head pointed out to me, still flying and galloping beyond
the clouds, the earth coupled with the sun in a conjunction, from
which proceeded a germ of stars, and there each female world was
embracing a male world; but in place of the words used by creatures,
the worlds were giving forth the howls of tempests, throwing up
lightnings and crying thunders. Then still rising, I saw overhead the
female nature of all things in love with the Prince of Movement. Now,
by way of mockery, the Succubus placed me in the centre of this
horrible and perpetual conflict, where I was lost as a grain of sand
in the sea. Then still cried my white mare to me, 'Ride, ride my
gallant rider--all things ride!' Now, thinking how little was a priest
in this torment of the seed of worlds, nature always clasped together,
and metals, stones, waters, airs, thunders, fish, plants, animals,
men, spirits, worlds and planets, all embracing with rage, I denied
the Catholic faith. Then the Succubus, pointing out to me the great
patch of stars seen in heavens, said to me, 'That way is a drop of
celestial seed escaped from great flow of the worlds in conjunction.'
Thereupon I instantly clasped the Succubus with passion by the light
of a thousand million of stars, and I wished in clasping her to feel
the nature of those thousand million creatures. Then by this great
effort of love I fell impotent in every way, and heard a great
infernal laugh. Then I found myself in my bed, surrounded by my
servitors, who had had the courage to struggle with the demon,
throwing into the bed where I was stretched a basin full of holy
water, and saying fervent prayers to God. Then had I to sustain, in
spite of this assistance, a horrible combat with the said Succubus,
whose claws still clutched my heart, causing me infinite pains; still,
while reanimated by the voice of my servitors, relations, and friends,
I tried to make the sacred sign of the cross; the Succubus perched on
my bed, on the bolster, at the foot, everywhere, occupying herself in
distracting my nerves, laughing, grimacing, putting before my eyes a
thousand obscene images, and causing me a thousand wicked desires.
Nevertheless, taking pity on me, my lord the Archbishop caused the
relics of St. Gatien to be brought, and the moment the shrine had
touched my bed the said Succubus was obliged to depart, leaving an
odour of sulphur and of hell, which made the throats of my servants,
friends, and others sore for a whole day. Then the celestial light of
God having enlightened my soul, I knew I was, through my sins and my
combat with the evil spirit, in great danger of dying. Then did I
implore the especial mercy, to live just a little time to render glory
to God and his Church, objecting the infinite merits of Jesus dead
upon the cross for the salvation of the Christians. By this prayer I
obtained the favour of recovering sufficient strength to accuse myself
of my sins, and to beg of the members of the Church of St.Maurice
their aid and assistance to deliver me from purgatory, where I am
about to atone for my faults by infinite agonies. Finally, I declare
that my proclamation, wherein the said demon appeals the judgment of
God by the ordeals of holy water and a fire, is a subterfuge due to an
evil design suggested by the said demon, who would thus have had the
power to escape the justice of the tribunal of the Archbishop and of
the Chapter, seeing that she secretly confessed to me, to be able to
make another demon accustomed to the ordeal appear in her place. And,
in conclusion, I give and bequeath to the Chapter of the Church of St.
Maurice my property of all kinds, to found a chapter in the said
church, to build it and adorn it and put it under the invocation of
St. Hierome and St. Gatien, of whom one is my patron and the other the
saviour of my soul."

This, heard by all the company, has been brought to the notice of the
ecclesiastical tribunal by Jehan to la Haye (Johannes de Haga).

We, Jehan de la Haye (Johannes de Haga), elected grand penitentiary of
St.Maurice by the general assembly of the Chapter, according to the
usage and custom of that church, and appointed to pursue afresh the
trial of the demon Succubus, at present in the jail of the Chapter,
have ordered a new inquest, at which will be heard all those of this
diocese having cognisance of the facts relative thereto. We declared
void the other proceedings, interrogations, and decrees, and annul
them in the name of the members of the Church in general, and
sovereign Chapter assembled, and declare that the appeal to God,
traitorously made by the demon, shall not take place, in consequence
of the notorious treachery of the devil in this affair. And the said
judgment shall be cried by sound of trumpet in all parts of the
diocese in which have been published the false edicts of the preceding
month, all notoriously due to the instigation of the demon, according
to the confession of the late Hierome Cornille.

Let all good Christians be of assistance to our Holy Church, and to
her commandments.



This was written in the month of May, of the year 1360, after the
manner of a testament.

"My very dear and well-beloved son, when it shall be lawful for thee
to read this I shall be, I thy father, reposing in the tomb, imploring
thy prayers, and supplicating thee to conduct thyself in life as it
will be commanded thee in this rescript, bequeathed for the good
government of thy family, thy future, and safety; for I have done this
at a period when I had my senses and understanding, still recently
affected by the sovereign injustice of men. In my virile age I had a
great ambition to raise myself in the Church, and therein to obtain
the highest dignities, because no life appeared to me more splendid.
Now with this earnest idea, I learned to read and write, and with
great trouble became in a fit condition to enter the clergy. But
because I had no protection, or good advice to superintend my training
I had an idea of becoming the writer, tabellion, and rubrican of the
Chapter of St. Maurice, in which were the highest and richest
personages of Christendom, since the King of France is only therein a
simple canon. Now there I should be able better than anywhere else to
find services to render to certain lords, and thus to find a master or
gain patronage, and by this assistance enter into religion, and be
mitred and esconced in an archiepiscopal chair, somewhere or other.
But this first vision was over credulous, and a little too ambitious,
the which God caused me clearly to perceive by the sequel. In fact,
Messire Jepan de Villedomer, who afterwards became cardinal, was given
this appointment, and I was rejected, discomfited. Now in this unhappy
hour I received an alleviation of my troubles, by the advice of the
good old Hierome Cornille, of whom I have often spoken to you. This
dear man induced me, by his kindness, to become penman to the Chapter
of St. Maurice and the Archbishop of Tours, the which offer I accepted
with joy, since I was reputed a scrivener. At the time I was about to
enter into the presbytery commenced the famous process against the
devil of the Rue Chaude, of which the old folk still talk, and which
in its time, has been recounted in every home in France. Now,
believing that it would be of great advantage to my ambition, and that
for this assistance the Chapter would raise me to some dignity, my
good master had me appointed for the purpose of writing all of that
should be in this grave cause, subject to writing. At the very outset
Monseigneur Hierome Cornille, a man approaching eighty years, of great
sense, justice, and sound understanding, suspected some spitefulness
in this cause, although he was not partial to immodest girls, and had
never been involved with a woman in his life, and was holy and
venerable, with a sanctity which had caused him to be selected as a
judge, all this not withstanding. As soon as the depositions were
completed, and the poor wench heard, it remained clear that although
this merry doxy had broken her religious vows, she was innocent of all
devilry, and that her great wealth was coveted by her enemies, and
other persons, whom I must not name to thee for reasons of prudence.
At this time every one believed her to be so well furnished with
silver and gold that she could have bought the whole county of
Touraine, if so it had pleased her. A thousand falsehoods and
calumnious words concerning the girl, envied by all the honest women,
were circulated and believed in as gospel. At this period Master
Hierome Cornille, having ascertained that no demon other than that of
love was in the girl, made her consent to remain in a convent for the
remainder of her days. And having ascertained certain noble knights
brave in war and rich in domains, that they would do everything to
save her, he invited her secretly to demand of her accusers the
judgment of God, at the same time giving her goods to the chapter, in
order to silence mischievous tongues. By this means would be saved
from the stake the most delicate flower that ever heaven has allowed
to fall upon our earth; the which flower yielded only from excessive
tenderness and amiability to the malady of love, cast by her eyes into
the hearts of all her pursuers. But the real devil, under the form of
a monk, mixed himself up in this affair; in this wise: great enemy of
the virtue, wisdom, and sanctity of Monsignor Hierome Cornille, named
Jehan de la Haye, having learned that in the jail, the poor girl was
treated like a queen, wickedly accused the grand penitentiary of
connivance with her and of being her servitor, because, said this
wicked priest, she makes him young, amorous, and happy, from which the
poor old man died of grief in one day, knowing by this that Jehan de
la Haye had worn his ruin and coveted his dignities. In fact, our lord
the archbishop visited the jail, and found the Moorish woman in a
pleasant place, reposing comfortably, and without irons, because,
having placed a diamond in a place when none could have believed she
could have held it, she had purchased the clemency of her jailer. At
the time certain persons said that this jailer was smitten with her,
and that from love, or perhaps in great fear of the young barons,
lovers of this woman, he had planned her escape. The good man Cornille
being at the point of death, through the treachery of Jehan de la
Haye, the Chapter thinking it necessary to make null and void the
proceedings taken by the penitentiary, and also his decrees, the said
Jehan de la Haye, at that time a simple vicar of the cathedral,
pointed out that to do this it would be sufficient to obtain a public
confession from the good man on his death-bed. Then was the moribund
tortured and tormented by the gentleman of the Chapter, those of Saint
Martin, those of Marmoustiers, by the archbishop and also by the
Pope's legate, in order that he might recant to the advantage of the
Church, to which the good man would not consent. But after a thousand
ills, the public confession was prepared, at which the most noteworthy
people of the town assisted, and the which spread more horror and
consternation than I can describe. The churches of the diocese held
public prayers for this calamity, and every one expected to see the
devil tumble into his house by the chimney. But the truth of it is
that the good Master Hierome had a fever, and saw cows in his room,
and then was this recantation obtained of him. The access passed, the
poor saint wept copiously on learning this trick from me. In fact, he
died in my arms, assisted by his physicians, heartbroken at this
mummery, telling us that he was going to the feet of God to pray to
prevent the consummation of this deplorable iniquity. The poor Moorish
woman had touched him much by her tears and repentance, seing that
before making her demand for the judgment of God he had minutely
confessed her, and by that means had disentangled the soul divine
which was in the body, and of which he spoke as of a diamond worthy of
adorning the holy crown of God, when she should have departed this
life, after repenting her sins. Then, my dear son, knowing by the
statements made in the town, and by the naive responses of this
unhappy wretch, all the trickery of this affair, I determined by the
advice of Master Francois de Hangest, physician of the chapter, to
feign an illness and quit the service of the Church of St. Maurice and
of the archbishopric, in order not to dip my hands in the innocent
blood, which still cries and will continue to cry aloud unto God until
the day of the last judgment. Then was the jailer dismissed, and in
his place was put the second son of the torturer, who threw the
Moorish woman into a dungeon, and inhumanly put upon her hands and
feet chains weighing fifty pounds, besides a wooden waistband; and the
jail were watched by the crossbowmen of the town and the people of the
archbishop. The wench was tormented and tortured, and her bones were
broken; conquered by sorrow, she made an avowal according to the
wishes of Jehan de la Haye, and was instantly condemned to be burned
in the enclosure of St. Etienne, having been previously placed in the
portals of the church, attired in a chemise of sulphur, and her goods
given over to the Chapter, et cetera. This order was the cause of
great disturbances and fighting in the town, because three young
knights of Touraine swore to die in the service of the poor girl, and
to deliver her in all possible ways. Then they came into the town,
accompanied by thousands of sufferers, labouring people, old soldiers,
warriors, courtesans, and others, whom the said girls had succoured,
saved from misfortune, from hunger and misery, and searched all the
poor dwellings of the town where lay those to whom she had done good.
Thus all were stirred up and called together to the plain of Mount-
Louis under the protection of the soldiers of the said lords; they had
for companions all the scape-graces of the said twenty leagues around,
and came one morning to lay siege to the prison of the archbishop,
demanding that the Moorish woman should be given up to them as though
they would put her to death, but in fact to set her free, and to place
her secretly upon a swift horse, that she might gain the open country,
seeing that she rode like a groom. Then in this frightful tempest of
men have we seen between the battlements of the archiepiscopal palace
and the bridges, more than ten thousand men swarming, besides those
who were perched upon the roofs of the houses and climbing on all the
balconies to see the sedition; in short it was easy to hear the
horrible cries of the Christians, who were terribly in earnest, and of
those who surrounded the jail with the intention of setting the poor
girl free, across the Loire, the other side of Saint Symphorien. The
suffocation and squeezing of bodies was so great in this immense
crowd, bloodthirsty for the poor creature at whose knees they would
have fallen had they had the opportunity of seeing her, that seven
children, eleven women, and eight citizens were crushed and smashed
beyond all recognition, since they were like splodges of mud; in
short, so wide open was the great mouth of this popular leviathan,
this horrible monster, that the clamour was heard at Montils-les-
Tours. All cried 'Death to the Succubus! Throw out the demon! Ha! I'd
like a quarter! I'll have her skin! The foot for me, the mane for
thee! The head for me! The something for me! Is it red? Shall we see?
Will it be grilled? Death to her! death!' Each one had his say. But
the cry, 'Largesse to God! Death to the Succubus!' was yelled at the
same time by the crowd so hoarsely and so cruelly that one's ears and
heart bled therefrom; and the other cries were scarcely heard in the
houses. The archbishop decided, in order to calm this storm which
threatened to overthrow everything, to come out with great pomp from
the church, bearing the host, which would deliver the Chapter from
ruin, since the wicked young men and the lords had sworn to destroy
and burn the cloisters and all the canons. Now by this stratagem the
crowd was obliged to break up, and from lack of provisions return to
their houses. Then the monks of Touraine, the lords, and the citizens,
in great apprehension of pillage on the morrow, held a nocturnal
council, and accepted the advice of the Chapter. By their efforts the
men-at-arms, archers, knights, and citizens, in a large number, kept
watch, and killed a party of shepherds, road menders, and vagrants,
who, knowing the disturbed state of Tours, came to swell the ranks of
the malcontents. The Sire Harduin de Maille, an old nobleman, reasoned
with the young knights, who were the champions of the Moorish woman,
and argued sagely with them, asking them if for so small a woman they
wished to put Touraine to fire and sword; that even if they were
victorious they would be masters of the bad characters brought
together by them; that these said freebooters, after having sacked the
castles of their enemies, would turn to those of their chiefs. That
the rebellion commenced had had no success in the first attack,
because up to that time the place was untouched, could they have any
over the church, which would invoke the aid of the king? And a
thousand other arguments. To these reasons the young knights replied,
that it was easy for the Chapter to aid the girl's escape in the
night, and that thus the cause of the sedition would be removed. To
this humane and wise requests replied Monseigneur de Censoris, the
Pope's legate, that it was necessary that strength should remain with
the religion of the Church. And thereupon the poor wench payed for
all, since it was agreed that no inquiry should be made concerning
this sedition.

"Then the Chapter had full licence to proceed to the penance of the
girl, to which act and ecclesiastical ceremony the people came from
twelve leagues around. So that on the day when, after divine
satisfaction, the Succubus was to be delivered up to secular justice,
in order to be publicly burnt at a stake, not for a gold pound would a
lord or even an abbott have been found lodging in the town of Tours.
The night before many camped outside the town in tents, or slept upon
straw. Provisions were lacking, and many who came with their bellies
full, returned with their bellies empty, having seen nothing but the
reflection of the fire in the distance. And the bad characters did
good strokes of business by the way.

"The poor courtesan was half dead; her hair had whitened. She was, to
tell the truth, nothing but a skeleton, scarcely covered with flesh,
and her chains weighed more than she did. If she had had joy in her
life, she paid dearly for it at this moment. Those who saw her pass
say that she wept and shrieked in a way that should have earned the
pity of her hardest pursuers; and in the church there were compelled
to put a piece of wood in her mouth, which she bit as a lizard bites a
stick. Then the executioner tied her to a stake to sustain her, since
she let herself roll at times and fell for want of strength. Then she
suddenly recovered a vigorous handful, because, this notwithstanding,
she was able, it is said to break her cords and escape into the
church, where in remembrance of her old vocation, she climbed quickly
into galleries above, flying like a bird along the little columns and
small friezes. She was about to escape on to the roof when a soldier
perceived her, and thrust his spear in the sole of her foot. In spite
of her foot half cut through, the poor girl still ran along the church
without noticing it, going along with her bones broken and her blood
gushing out, so great fear had she of the flames of the stake. At last
she was taken and bound, thrown into a tumbrel and led to the stake,
without being afterwards heard to utter a cry. The account of her
flight in the church assisted in making the common people believe that
she was the devil, and some of them said that she had flown in the
air. As soon as the executioner of the town threw her into the flames,
she made two or three horrible leaps and fell down into the bottom of
the pile, which burned day and night. On the following evening I went
to see if anything remained of this gentle girl, so sweet, so loving,
but I found nothing but a fragment of the 'os stomachal,' in which, is
spite of this, there still remained some moisture, and which some say
still trembled like a woman does in the same place. It is impossible
to tell, my dear son, the sadnesses, without number and without equal,
which for about ten years weighed upon me; always was I thinking of
this angel burnt by wicked men, and always I beheld her with her eyes
full of love. In short the supernatural gifts of this artless child
were shining day and night before me, and I prayed for her in the
church, where she had been martyred. At length I had neither the
strength nor the courage to look without trembling upon the grand
penitentiary Jehan de la Haye, who died eaten up by lice. Leprosy was
his punishment. Fire burned his house and his wife; and all those who
had a hand in the burning had their own hands singed.

"This, my well-beloved son, was the cause of a thousand ideas, which I
have here put into writing to be forever the rule of conduct in our

"I quitted the service of the church, and espoused your mother, from
whom I received infinite blessings, and with whom I shared my life, my
goods, my soul, and all. And she agreed with me in following precepts
--Firstly, that to live happily, it is necessary to keep far away from
church people, to honour them much without giving them leave to enter
your house, any more than to those who by right, just or unjust, are
supposed to be superior to us. Secondly, to take a modest condition,
and to keep oneself in it without wishing to appear in any way rich.
To have a care to excite no envy, nor strike any onesoever in any
manner, because it is needful to be as strong as an oak, which kills
the plants at its feet, to crush envious heads, and even then would
one succumb, since human oaks are especially rare and that no
Tournebouche should flatter himself that he is one, granting that he
be a Tournebouche. Thirdly, never to spend more than one quarter of
one's income, conceal one's wealth, hide one's goods and chattels, to
undertake no office, to go to church like other people, and always
keep one's thoughts to oneself, seeing that they belong to you and not
to others, who twist them about, turn them after their own fashion,
and make calumnies therefrom. Fourthly, always to remain in the
condition of the Tournebouches, who are now and forever drapers. To
marry your daughters to good drapers, send your sons to be drapers in
other towns of France furnished with these wise precepts, and to bring
them up to the honour of drapery, and without leaving any dream of
ambition in their minds. A draper like a Tournebouche should be their
glory, their arms, their name, their motto, their life. Thus by being
always drapers, they will be always Tournebouches, and rub on like the
good little insects, who, once lodged in the beam, made their dens,
and go on with security to the end of their ball of thread. Fifthly
never to speak any other language than that of drapery, and never to
dispute concerning religion or government. And even though the
government of the state, the province, religion, and God turn about,
or have a fancy to go to the right or to the left, always in your
quality of Tournebouche, stick to your cloth. Thus unnoticed by the
others of the town, the Tournebouches will live in peace with their
little Tournebouches--paying the tithes and taxes, and all that they
are required by force to give, be it to God, or to the king, to the
town of to the parish, with all of whom it is unwise to struggle. Also
it is necessary to keep the patrimonial treasure, to have peace and to
buy peace, never to owe anything, to have corn in the house, and enjoy
yourselves with the doors and windows shut.

"By this means none will take from the Tournebouches, neither the
state, nor the Church, nor the Lords, to whom should the case be that
force is employed, you will lend a few crowns without cherishing the
idea of ever seeing him again--I mean the crowns.

"Thus, in all seasons people will love the Tournebouches, will mock
the Tournebouches as poor people--as the slow Tournebouches, as
Tournebouches of no understanding. Let the know-nothings say on. The
Tournebouches will neither be burned nor hanged, to the advantage of
King or Church, or other people; and the wise Tournebouches will have
secretly money in their pockets, and joy in their houses, hidden from

"Now, my dear son, follow this the counsel of a modest and middle-
class life. Maintain this in thy family as a county charter; and when
you die, let your successor maintain it as the sacred gospel of the
Tournebouches, until God wills it that there be no longer
Tournebouches in this world."

This letter has been found at the time of the inventory made in the
house of Francois Tournebouche, lord of Veretz, chancellor to
Monseigneur the Dauphin, and condemned at the time of the rebellion of
the said lord against the King to lose his head, and have all his
goods confiscated by order of the Parliament of Paris. The said letter
has been handed to the Governor of Touraine as an historical
curiosity, and joined to the pieces of the process in the
archbishopric of Tours, by me, Pierre Gaultier, Sheriff, President of
the Trades Council.

The author having finished the transcription and deciphering of these
parchments, translating them from their strange language into French,
the donor of them declared that the Rue Chaude at Tours was so called,
according to certain people, because the sun remained there longer
than in all other parts. But in spite of this version, people of lofty
understanding will find, in the warm way of the said Succubus, the
real origin of the said name. In which acquiesces the author. This
teaches us not to abuse our body, but use it wisely in view of our

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