Page images
PDF
EPUB

guinon de Vassy, and his brother-in-law, who went by the name of Chemet. Seven or eight of them were protestants. The four first are in the hospital. I divert myself after my morning and evening acts of piety and devotion, either with algebra or geometry. I have been told, that there is in this city, a man who pretends to understand algebra; if so, we may teach each other something; but he is gone five or six weeks since to Paris. Let not any person, whatsover, see this letter, bea cause of the trifles that are in it, with which I was obliged to satisfy you." . .

· It was the sentiment of Mr. Marolles, from the civility of the bishop of Marseilles, that nothing more grievous, would be inflicted. But about six weeks after his conferences with that bishop, he was taken out of the galleys, and shut up in a kind of dungeon, made on purpose for him in the cim tadel of Marseilles. It is highly probable, that these orders came down from the court, upon the report of the ecclesiastic, of Paris, of whom he makes mention above. For it must be observed, that all the different persecutions, augmentations, and additions, to the pains of our martyr, were made by express orders from the court. He had, by his sufferings and behaviour under them, made such a noise in the world, that they endeavoured, aç Versailles, to triumph over his patience,

The public will doubtless wish to know, what were the labours of this holy man in the last theatre

of of his sufferings; in the dungeon, where he maintained a grievous conflict for six years, against nakedness,' hunger, cold, and darkness. Of this we have considerable information. In a letter he wrote to his wife, under the name of a third person, as a stranger, he says, “ You desire, madam, to hear from your husband. This is what we learn from the report of the city. The twelfth of last February, he was taken out of the gaHey, and put into the citadel. He is thrust into a little room, which served for a soldier's lodge; but they have made such an alteration in it, that most of "the light comes in by the chimney. The king allows him five sols a day for his subsistence; he lives upon that. He is committed to the custody of the major, who, the better to secure him, places a sentinel day and night at the gate of his chamber, and another, at the top of his chimney. They say, that he is not grieved at it, but very patiently suffers his affliction. This is what we learn from the report of the city. Be not afflicted at his condition; he is endued with constancy enough to put him above all. We are all more apt to complain than he; and have great reason to say with David,

O Lord, how long-
How long, O God of hosts!

Farewell, madam, I recommend both yourself and family, to the grace and mercy of the Lord. Be pleased to pardon me, if I do not tell you my name; I am no less your servant.”

We

- We have no letter from Mr. Marolles, for the three following years; but we learn from those which he wrote in 1691 and 1692, into what an abyss of misery his persecutors had cast him, and how great was the strength of his faith and hope. He comforted his companions in affliction, and assured them of the fidelity which he was resolved to keep to his Lord and Saviour. A note was found without date, written with the trembling hand of our martyr. It is an answer to another confessor, who had written to him ; in this note, he says, " I know not how to express to you, my most hom. nored and dear friend, how agreeable were the things which you have communicated, and which you still communicate to me. You have fully satisfied my desires. I praise God that he has heard the prayers which I offered up to him for your re-establishment. I beseech him, with all the powers of my soul, that he would carefully preserve you, both for your own sake, and for the sake of those to whom you afford great consolation. It was not without a great sense of grief and sorPÓW, that I heard of all that you suffer, and of all that our brethren suffer with you. Let us comfort ourselves with the cause of our sufferings. Let us always fix our eyes upon the recompenses which God reserves for us. Let us assure ourselves, that what we suffer is a certain sign that our names are written in the book of life. Let us count it our happiness, that God does not think us unworthy to suffer for his name. I have not time to say more now; therefore wait patiently.

I'am sorry they have given themselves the trouble to procure a pension for me. Write to them that they trouble themselves no more about it: I am contented to live on bread and water."

It seems, that some of his friends had endeavoured to procure him some relief under the weight of his long continued afflictions; but by the following letter, written in August, 1691, it appears they were unsuccessful. In this letter, he says, “I confess, with you, that Mr. le Fevre is an excellent man. He writes like a complete divine; but what he is most to be esteemed for, is, that he practices what he says. May the Lord bless, preserve, and strengthen, both yourself and him; for this will afford me great and singular consolation. I thank you both for the encouragements that you have given me; the Lord will give me grace to profit thereby. Do not turn your eyes upon me, but regard yourselves and the rest of our brethren; by so doing, you will find occasion to bless the Lord. Assure them all, that I pour out my soul before God, several times a day, to procure for them the succour and assistance of which they stand in so much need. To come to the question, which you so earnestly put to me, concerning my nourishment; I acquiesce and content myself with every thing. I had not opposed your endeavours to assist me, had I not known, I have to do with a major who gets me my food, who will pocket the money given to him, and will always treat me very ill. If I should have

my

[ocr errors]

my diet from the ordinary, it would be the same thing. I have already passed through their hands. May the Lord preserve, and fill with his favours and blessings, all those holy souls, who interest themselves in my behalf! If ever I have opportunity to answer you again, it shall be in a more ample manner. My lamp gives but little light; my eyes fail

me, and I make use of spectacles. All this is not ; proper to dispatch business.”—It is said, our

martyr would not accept any great sum of money from his friends, lest it should be thought his design was to corrupt his guards by their assistance.

In a letter written to his wife, December 1691, whom he chides for impairing her health, by grieving excessively on his account, he says, “It is not above two hours ago, my dear heart, that I received a letter, which gives me more sorrow than joy. I received it in the midst of my offering up my evening sacrifice to God, on the sabbath day. Thou believest that I hide the condition and place in which I am from thee; but I have much more reason to believe, that thou dost conceal thine from mę; and I know my judgment iş but too true, by what you have confessed. That which grieves me, is, that you make me an occasion of your indisposition. If I have put a sword to your heart, then do I very innocently stab myself. My spirit, my heart, is too deeply engaged to thee, not to be sensibly affected with the evil which thou şufferest. Be not disturbed at this new cross, which God lays upon me by thy means. Do not

fear

« PreviousContinue »