Page images

as soon as he knew of his confinement at Strasbourg; and, in the visit which he made him at Chalons, told him, that if he could, he would conceal him under his robe.

During the first four weeks that our martyr continued at Chalons, he had more liberty than might have been expected. The ecclesiastics, who believed themselves able to cope with him, were at first, eager to signalize themselves in disputations; but when they found his constancy to be invincible, they locked him up in a dungeon, without suffering him to see any person for the space of fifteen days. Soon after this rigorous treatment, he was brought to judgment, and sentence was pronounced against him by torch light. Here follows a copy of his sentence.

“ We adjudge that the said de Marolles, is declared, proved, and convicted, of having been apprehended in endeavouring to go out of the kingdom with his family, contrary to his majesty's edicts and declarations; for reparation whereof, we have condemned, and do condemn, the said de Marolles, prisoner, to serve the king, as a slave, on board the gallies, and his personal goods and chattles, forfeited to the king, by this our sentence, judgment, and decree. --Done, in the council chamber, or open court, the ninth of March, 1686. Signed at the bottom, Sebille, C. Jourdain, J. Jourdain Baugier, le Vautrel, deu du Vieux Dampierre, Ramburg; all of them counsellors


to the king, in the bailiwick, and presidial court of Chalons, in the year and day abovementioned.-Signed Dompmartin.-Signified and delivered the present copy to the said Lewis de Marolles, prisoner in the royal jail at Chalons, nominated in the sentence above transcribed, speaking to himself that he may not plead ignorance.”

The Monday following, they took him out of the dungeon, and conveyed him, in a waggon, to Paris, attended by three archers from Chalons. The youngest of his sons, (the eldest being gone from that city) accompanied his father to Paris. The archers suffered him to ride in the waggon with his father, and treated him with as much civility as could be expected from those sort of persons. They had a certain respect for him, which virtue begets in the hearts of the most barbarous. They told him, they did not fear he would make his escape out of their hands, and did not intend to guard him with that severity and exactness, which they generally used towards galley slaves.

He arrived at the conciergery, at Paris, (a jail belonging to the parliament,) the 14th of March, 1686. His son went with him into the chamber, where they immediately put the prisoners that were brought from all parts of France, till the parliament had informed themselves of the nature of their condemnation. The night approaching, his son asked if he might return the

next day to see his father. They said he might; but coming there the next morning, he was informed he must see him no more !

In this situation, Mr. Marolles wrote the following note to a friend. “ I was put into a dark dungeon, where I have been these two months, without seeing any body. On Saturday, the eleventh of May, ,1686, I was brought before my judges, at the court where criminal causes are tried; but contrary to what is usual, my judgment was deferred till Tuesday the fourteenth of the same month, when my condemnation at Chalons was confirmed. They then put irons on my hands, and took me in a coach to la Tournelle; where I entered, making the twenty-sixth galerian.”- La Tournelle was a palace in Henry the second's time; but in 1686, it was a prison, where persons condemned to the galleys were sent, until the departure of the chain; that is, until the galley slaves, who were chained together, should be transported to their place of destination.

Thus, our martyr entered upon one of the first theatres in the world, where he maintained the profession of his faith, in opposition to the threats and promises of his persecutors, with courage and mildness, to the edification of all good christians.

As soon as he arrived at la Tournelles, and was loaded with chains, having some spare moments to write to his family and friends, he employed those moments to their comfort, by giving them an account of the state of his soul, and the tranquillity of his heart; making it manifest, that he still continued to trust in God, and, that he counted himself happy, in that he suffered for the glory of his name and truth


In one of his letters, dated from la Tournelle, May the sixth, 1686, he says, “ I was put into a dark dungen in the conciergery, where I have been buried for these six months. On the morning of my arrival, I was twice brought before the procurator general, in a chamber of the conciergery; and I returned such answers to his questions, as Jesus Christ inspired me with, according to his promise. He made me another visit, and gave me this testimony, that it was admirable to see me do that for error, which none of them, perhaps, would do for the truth. A little while after, the chief president, had me brought out of the dungeon, with the greatest honor in the world. When I was come to the chamber, where he waited for me, he caused all his attendants, consisting of six or seven persons of merit, to go out, and honored me with a private conference for the space of two hours. He expressed towards me much goodness, and desired to serve me; and, as soon as he was gone out, and joined his former attendants, one of my friends, who was present, informed me, that he said, I come from discoursing with a good man. These are but words; yet they afford me some comfort. I received also, several marks of favour


and goodness from the president of the court of justice where I was condemned. He talked with me at the door of the dungeon; and, after some discourse, told me, it was with great grief and sorrow, that he saw me there; that he wished I might be seized with some light sickness, to have an occasion to take me out, and put me into the infirmary; that whenever I desired to speak with him, I need only to tell the jailer, who would acquaint him with it, and that he himself, would not fail to come and see me. All these gentle methods had their end in view; but they were, I thank God, unsuccessful; God having put it into my heart to continue faithful to him, 'even unto death, if need required.

In another letter from la Tournelle, he informs us of a combat, in which he had yielded up something, against his own heart and mind. He confesses, that being in the prison at Chalons, the tears of a wife and family, which were dear to him, and which were not able to move him at Strasbourg, joined to those of two brothers in-law, who came to see him at Chalons, induced him to accept certain proposals, made to him by two of the most eminent and considerable persons of that province. It is said, those proposals were, that he should request to obtain his liberty, in order to instruct himself more fully, in the controversies · which had occasioned our separation from the

church of Rome. “But a few days after, God having given me,” says Mr. Marolles, “ to under

· stand


« PreviousContinue »