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devil grew sulky, or could muster no more Latin, and the lady prioress coming to herself, repeated her Benedicite, and partook of a slight collation, to recruit her strength after so great an exertion.
It now came to the turn of sister Clara's devil to be interrogated, but he turned out to be a demon of inferior accomplishments, and could speak no Latin. When greatly pressed, he merely replied in French,“ To the other! to the other!” Upon this the magistrates appear to have begun to understand the matter, but without making any remark on the subject, they retired. Mignon, however, was not to be wearied by disappointment. He procured the favour of a second meeting, and the prioress, who was resolved to maintain the character of her devils for energy and activity, now foamed at the mouth, lolled out her tongue like a mad dog, and made the most frightful grimaces. The ceremony of exorcising had already commenced when the magistrates arrived; but it was now no longer the abbé Mignon who performed the conjuror. It was the curé of a neighbouring parish, a fierce, sombre, bigoted priest, In the midst of the operations a sudden terror was struck through the whole assembly. A cat, an animal in the form of which the devil often appears, dropped down the chimney in the midst of the exorcism, and after throwing the whole assembly into an agony of horror, sprang upon the top of the priestess's bed. Here then was Satan, in bodily reality, in the midst of them. Every man crossed himself, and the exorcising curé, firmly persuaded they had got the devil among them at last, lifted up the cross, and with trembling hand flung up a flood of holy water at the cat. Instead of vanishing in a cloud of smoke, the feline devil recovered a little from his fright, and altogether misunderstanding the affair, began to fawn and purr at his pursuers ; and at length the lady prioress discovered that the devil on the top of the bed was no other than her own tom cat.
The affair of the tom cat amazed the exorcisers for some time, but they soon returned to their old humour, and longed for a more exciting spectacle. On one particular occasion a Scotchman, who happened to be present at the ceremony, and was somewhat sceptical, requested the conjuror to put a question or two to the devil in Gaelic. The curé observing that if it pleased God, Satan could speak Gaelic, as well as any other language, consented, and the Scotchman put a few short questions to his Satanic majesty, in the language of the Highlands. Satan, however, in all his travels, had never thought of visiting that part of the world, and could make nothing of this new jargon; he therefore replied pertly, “ Deus, non volo,” (God, I will not,) which was merely a cunning way of saving his credit..
Having been defeated in his design of passing for a great linguist, Satan got out of humour, began to give a tragical turn to the affair, and húrried on, as fast as possible, the condemnation of poor Grandier. The events which succeeded were no less indecent than horrible. Several of the nuns, however, seeing the fearful termination the affair was likely to have, now became alarmed, and confessed aloud that they had been playing the hypocrite, and accusing an innocent person. This only hastened the punishment of Grandier, who was brought before a mock tribunal, tried, and condemned. The poor man, after enduring all the tremendous pains which could be inflicted by torture, was at length carried forth to execution : between four and five o'clock in the afternoon he was taken from the prison by the executioners, who conveyed him to the place of punishment upon a kind of rope litter. On the way the unfortunate man conjured those whom he met to pray to God for him. He was then placed in a small car, and brought out before the Church of St. Peter, to make the “ amende honourable;' but he could not keep himself upon his knees, his legs having been broken to pieces by the torture he had endured, and falling flat upon his face, he lay in that posture until the executioners came and lifted him up. He then repeated his entreaties to the byestanders to pray for him. At this moment a Cordelier, whom he had vainly requested to see for the purpose of confession, came up to him, and embraced him, saying, “ remember the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are a man of intellect, do not forget yourself. I bring you the blessing of your mother, who joins me in praying God to have mercy on you.”
This, however, was by no means agreeable to the enemies of Grandier, and therefore the good and pious monk was beaten, and driven away with brutal violence by the archers, at the command of their superiors. It was not thought prudent that the people should understand what pious sentiments the unhappy Grandier entertained. The Provost's lieutenant, regretting the part he was compelled to perform, begged the accused to forgive him : “You have not offended me,” replied Grandier, “ you have performed your duty with humanity.”
A curé also, but whether one of those who had been leagued against him is not mentioned, came to ask his forgiveness, and to conjure him to pardon the injuries which had been heaped upon him. “ I forgive every one,” Grandier replied, “ as I hope God will forgive me.”
The funeral pile, as it may justly be termed, was now ready, the executioner seized upon his victim, and fastened him with an iron collar to a post, which had been fixed in the earth. The multitude, which consisted of persons froin all parts of France, who had come purposely to see the show, was immense. Scarcely could the judges who had condemned him, and who were coming to witness the effect of their righteous sentence, make their way through the crowd. Hovering over the pile a flock of pigeons were seen, which would not by any means he frightened away. “They are, said one party, the devils, who are waiting for his soul. They are innocent doves, exclaimed others, come hither to bear testimony to the innocence of Grandier.”
A large Ay also came buzzing about his head ; and one of the Capuchin friars, who had heard that the word Beelzebub signifies “ Prince of Flies,” exclaimed, “ It is Beelzebub!” This same friar, with another brother of the same order, stood near the pile, book in band, sprinkling about holy water, and exorcising the wood and the air. A promise had been made to Grandier, that, previous to bis execution, he should be permitted to speak to the people; but even this miserable consolation was denied him ; for when he would have spoken, the two bearded monsters threw so large a quantity of holy water in his face that he could not speak. A moment or two afterwards he made a second attempt to speak, but one of the friars stopped his mouth with a kiss. “There,” said Grandier,“ is a true Judas's kiss," which put the monk in so great a fury that he struck the victim several tiines in the face with the crucifix, under pretence of making him kiss it. According to some relations the crucifix had been made warm, in order, we presume, to burn his lips.
The last favour which his prosecutors promised the unfortunate victim was, that, before the flames reached him, he should be strangled ; but the two Capuchin friars contrived to intertwist the cord in such a manner that it was impossible it should compress the neck of the sufferer. Then one of them took a lighted torch in his hand, and holding it several times to his face, said, “ Wilt thou not, unhappy wretch, acknowledge thy crimes, and renounce the devil ?” “I have no knowledge of the devil,” replied Grandier, “ I renounce him and all his pomps, and I entreat God to have mercy upon me.” Then father Lactantius, a re-collect friar, fearing lest the executioner should come and adjust the rope about his neck, and strangle him, set fire to the pile with his own hands. The flames quickly reached their victim: the executioner was unable to approach him; and Grandier cried out, “ Ah! where is the charity of father Lactantius ? This is not what was promised me; but there is a God in heaven, who will hereafter judge thee and me; I foretel that thou wilt shortly appear before him.” Then, addressing himself to God, he said, with a loud voice, “ Deus meus, ad te vigilo, miserere mei.” The flames then enveloped him, and he was burned alive.
The remaining articles in the volume are various in character and merit. The one which is devoted to the abbé de la Mennais, though it have upon the whole more of a French than of a general interest, is curious, as the picture of a man of great talents so far besotted by his prejudices, as to desire the resuscitation of the opinions and feelings of the sixteenth century. This man, whom the author appears to regard as a kind of Avatar of Thomas à Becket, has a notion that mankind can never be happy until both kings and people are thoroughly subjected to the authority of the Pope. Disgracing the Gallican church, of which he is a member, and which has always distinguished itself as the advocate of national independence in religious matters, he appears desirous of enslaving the consciences of mankind, as his own conscience has been enslaved by his imagination. His notions form an edifying contrast with those of his brethren in general, whom the spirit of the times has touched and chastened, and who are secretly undergoing a reform which can no longer be deferred.
There is one article in the volume, which shows in the most forcible manner how easy it is to declaim against the prejudices of others, while we cherish and preserve our own. It is that on the Duke of Wellington. Whether his character has ever been properly drawn or understood, either in Eugland or France, we shall not now pause to inquire: but in raising his moral qualities at the expense of his military reputation, M. Salgues evinces a degree of sagacity which we have never seen 'equalled. He is not, according to this oracle, a great general, but he is a very amiable man; he did not win certain battles by dint of talent, courage, and foresight; but we must allow that he has brought about Catlıolic Emancipation. In one word, he has the misfortune not to be a French man. Reverting to the foolish and worn out notions of past times, this enemy of prejudices amuses himself with describing the English as the natural enemies' of his countrymen; and labours heart and hand throughout the article, to awaken those bitter feelings which time has now blunted, and which humanity and good sense would eradicate for ever. He very justly blames England for bestowing such enormous sums of money upon the Duke; but when he compliments his own country for adopting a different line of conduct, he seems to forget that it is no praise not to lavish when one has nothing to give. His pedantic jargon about ancient Greece, the spirit of whose institutions he knows no more of than a child ; about Paulus Emilius, Scipio, Pompey, and “ hoc genus omne,” is sickening and offensive in the extreme. Let him keep to his line. Greece and Rome are beyond his comprehension. England, also, and her poetry, are in ihe same predicament. He is at home only on those topics which are hackneyed about in Paris and its coteries ; and on these he gossips agreeably, and sometimes with a considerable degree of vigour.
It is singular enough that a writer of this stamp should not be a little more fertile than he is in anecdote. There are comparatively very few scattered through his work. He need not, however, abstain from this species of agreeable trifling from any notion of dignity, as it is perfectly within his province, Notwithstanding the numerous writings of this author, his name is very little known in England, where his new translation of “Paradise Lost,” is scarcely ever heard of. He no doubt borrowed the idea of his work on Errors and Prejudices, from Sir Thonias Brown's famous book on Vulgar Errors, which may even still be considered as the most complete of the existing catalogues of the weaknesses and
follies of man. But all works of this kind require to be handled with masculine power, in order to ensure them a lasting reputation, It is not enough to be piquant, lively, amusing. There must be absolutely something of the stuff of the author's mind. Something new, striking, original. Something to excite thought, and project it into new channels. This is not the case with the writings of M. Salgues, which will please for a moment, and then pass away for ever. For one trait in his character he deserves great praise: he has adhered steadily to one set of principles, though he moved among the fearful scenes of the Revolution, witnessed the birth and extinction of numerous parties, and had apparently many motives for adopting a different course. He is now an old man, and has performed all that his character and talents enabled him to cope with ; and it is some praise to say that there is no symptom of old age, or decayed powers, in his writings. If there is no trait of genius, there is vivacity and spirit; if there is little depth, there is rapidity; if there is no earnest of duration, there is pleasure for the moment. In short, his work is a book for the indolent and the curious, not for the student or the literary
praise : he ever. Toch will
Art. XIII.- The German Pulpit : being a Selection of Sermons by the most eminent modern Divines of Germany. Translated by the Rev, Richard Baker, A. M., of Merton College, Oxford, and Chaplain to the
British Residents at Hamburgh. London: Rivington. 1829. We are greatly pleased at the appearance of this volume, as it enables the English reader to form his judgment on one of the most interesting questions connected with the present state of religion on the continent. German Theology, embracing as it does the extremes of mysticism and rationalism, is regarded as any thing but adapted to the every day wants of the christian commonalty, but till the appearance of this interesting and valuable voluonc, the general reader had no means of determining whether tbis opinion be correct or otherwise.
In every country where religion has a real and positive existence; where it possesses the hearts or minds of the people; where its preachers are truly expounders of the law, or interpreters of its mysteries; there the character of the discourses publicly pronounced from the parish pulpits, is the true character both of the theoretical and practical theology of the nation. It will, however, sometimes happen, that divinity is studied as a science, without reference to the immediate object of its application, and this is generally the case, though the assertion may seem a startling one, when there exist many Universities in a country, and many of its most learned men are consequently employed in teaching its elements as a science, and without reference to its practical and moral