Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal
by Sarah J Richardson
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Once more I entered the depot, and mingled with the crowd around the ticket office. But no pen can describe my terror when I found myself the object of particular attention. I heard people remark about my strange and unnatural appearance, and I feared I might be taken up for a crazy person, if not for a nun. Thinking that I saw an enemy in every face, and a pursuer in every one who came near me, I hastened to take refuge in the cars. There I waited with the greatest impatience for the starting of the train. Slowly the cars were filled; very leisurely the passengers sought their seats, while I sat trembling in every limb, and the cold perspiration starting from every pore. How carefully I scanned every face! how eagerly I watched for some indication of the priest or the spy! So intense was my anxiety, those few moments seemed to me an age of agony. At length the shrill whistle announced that all was ready, and like sweetest music the sound fell upon my ears. The train dashed off at lightning speed, but to me it seemed like the movement of a snail.

Once under way, I ventured to breathe freely, and hope again revived. Perchance I might yet escape. But even as the thought passed my mind, a man entered the cars and seated himself directly, before me. I thought he regarded me with too much interest, and thinking to shun him, I quietly left my seat and retired to the other end of the car. He soon followed, and again my fears revived. He at first tried to converse with me, but finding I would not reply, he began to question me in the most direct and impertinent manner. Again I changed my seat, and again he followed. I then sought the conductor, and revealed to him enough of my history to enlist his sympathy and ensure his protection. To his honor be it spoken, I did not appeal to him in vain. He severely reproved the man for his impertinence; and for the rest of the journey I was shielded from insult or injury.

Nothing further of interest transpired until I reached Worcester, when the first face that met my eye as I was about to leave the cars was that of a Romish priest. I could not be mistaken, for I had often seen him at Montreal. He might not have been looking for me, but he watched every passenger as they left the cars in a way that convinced me he had some special reason for doing it. As I, too, had special reasons for avoiding him just at that time, I stepped back out of sight until the passengers were all out of the cars and the priest had turned away. I then sprang out upon the opposite side, and, turning my back upon the depot, hastened away amid the wilderness of houses, not knowing whither I went. For a long time I wandered around, until at length, being faint and weary, I began to look for some place where I could obtain refreshment. But when I found a restaurant I did not dare to enter. A number of Irishmen were standing around who were in all probability Catholics. I would not venture among them; but as I turned aside I remembered that Mr. Williams had directed me to seek employment a little out of the city. I then inquired the way to Main street, and having found it, I turned to the north and walked on till I found myself out of the thickly settled part of the city. Then I began to seek for employment, and after several fruitless applications I chanced to call upon a man whose name was Handy. He received me in the kindest manner, and when I asked for work, he said his wife did not need to hire me, but I was welcome to stop with them and work for my board until I found employment elsewhere. This offer I joyfully accepted; and, as I became acquainted in the place, many kind hands were extended to aid me in my efforts to obtain an honest living. In this neighborhood I still reside, truly thankful for past deliverance, grateful for present mercies, and confidently trusting God for the future.



Here closes the history of Sarah J. Richardson, as related by herself. The remaining particulars have been obtained from her employers in Worcester.

She arrived in this city August, 1854, and, as she has already stated, at once commenced seeking for employment. She called at many houses before she found any one who wished for help; and her first question at each place was, "Are you a Catholic?" If the answer was in the affirmative, she passed on, but if the family were Protestants, she inquired for some kind of employment. She did not care what it was; she would cook, wash, sew, or do chamber-work—anything to earn her bread. A Mr. Handy was the first person who took her in, and gave her a home. In his family she worked for her board a few weeks, going out to wash occasionally as she had opportunity. She then went to Holden Mass., but for some reason remained only one week, and again returned to Worcester.

Mr. Ezra Goddard then took her into his own family, and found her capable, industrious, and trustworthy. Had anything been wanting to prove her truthfulness and sincerity, the deep gratitude of her fervent "I thank you," when told that she had found a permanent home, would have done it effectually. But though her whole appearance indicated contentment and earnestness of purpose, though her various duties were faithfully and zealously performed, yet the deep sadness of her countenance, and the evident anxiety of her mind at first awakened a suspicion of mental derangement. She seemed restless, suspicious, and morbidly apprehensive of approaching danger. The appearance of a stranger, or a sudden ringing of the bell, would cause her to start, tremble, and exhibit the greatest perturbation of spirit. In fact, she seemed so constantly on the qui vive, the lady of the house one day said to her, "Sarah, what is the matter with you? what do you fear?" "The Roman Catholic priests," she replied. "I have been a nun. I ran away from the Grey Nunnery at Montreal, and twice I have been caught, carried back, and punished in the most cruel manner. O, if you knew what I have suffered, you would not wonder that I live in constant fear lest they again seek out my retreat; and I will die before I go back again."

Further questioning drew from her the foregoing narrative, which she repeated once and again to various persons, and at different times, without the least alteration or contradiction. She resided in the family of Mr. Goddard some weeks, when she was taken into the employ of Mr. Amos L. Black.

This gentleman informs us that he found her a faithful, industrious, honest servant, and he has not the least doubt of the truthfulness of her statements respecting her former life in the Convent.

A few weeks after this, she was married to Frederick S. Richardson with whom she became acquainted soon after her arrival in the city of Worcester. The marriage ceremony was performed by Charles Chaffin, Esq., of Holden, Mass. After their marriage, her husband hired a room in the house occupied by Mr. Handy with whom she had formerly resided. After a few weeks, however, they removed to a place called the Drury farm. It is owned by the heirs, but left in the care of Mr. Ezra Goddard.

Previous to her marriage, Mrs. Richardson had often been advised to allow her history to be placed before the public. But she always replied, "For my life I would not do it. Not because I do not wish the world to know it, for I would gladly proclaim it wherever a Romanist is known, but it would be impossible for me to escape their hands should I make myself so public. They would most assuredly take my life." After her marriage, however, her principal objection was removed. She thought they would not wish to take her back into the nunnery, and her husband would protect her from violence. She therefore related the story of her life while in the convent, which, in accordance with her own request, was written down from her lips as she related it. This was done by Mrs. Lucy Ann Hood, wife of Edward P. Hood, and daughter of Ezra Goddard. It is now given to the public without addition or alteration, and with but a slight abridgment. A strange and startling story it certainly is. Perhaps the reader will cast it aside at once as a worthless fiction,—the idle vagary of an excited brain. The compiler, of course, cannot vouch for its truth, but would respectfully invite the attention of the reader to the following testimonials presented by those who have known the narrator. The first is from Edward P. Hood, with whom Mrs. Richardson resided when her narrative was written.


To all whom it may concern. I hereby certify that I was personally acquainted with Sarah J. Richards, now Sarah J. Richardson, at the time she resided in Worcester, Mass. I first saw her at the house of Mr. Ezra Goddard, where she came seeking employment. She appeared anxious to get some kind of work, was willing to do anything to earn an honest living. She had the appearance of a person who had seen much suffering and hardship. She worked for Mr. Goddard a short time, when she obtained another place. She then left, but called very often; and during her stay in Worcester, she worked there several times. So far as I was able to judge of her character, I do not hesitate to say that she was a woman of truth and honesty. I heard her relate the account of her life and sufferings in the Grey Nunnery, and her final escape. I knew when the story was written, and can testify to its being done according to her own dictation. I have examined the manuscript, and can say that it a written out truly and faithfully as related by the nun herself.


Worcester, May 5, 1856.


I first became acquainted with Sarah J. Richardson in August 1854. She came to my house to work for my wife. She was at my house a great many times after that until March 1855, when she left Worcester. At one time she was there four or five weeks in succession. She was industrious, willing to do anything to get an honest living. She was kind in her disposition, and honest in her dealings. I have no hesitation in saying that I think her statements can be relied upon.


Worcester, Jan. 21, 1856.


I am acquainted with the above named Sarah J. Richardson, and can fully testify to the truth of the above statements as to her kindness and industrious habits, honesty and truthfulness.


Worcester, Jan. 21, 1856.


To whom it may concern: This is to testify that I am acquainted with Sarah J. Richardson, formerly Sarah J. Richards. I became acquainted with her in the fall of 1854. She worked at my father's at the time. I heard her tell her story, and from what I saw of her while she was in Worcester, I have no hesitation in saying that she was a woman of truth and honesty.


Worcester, March 1, 1856.


I became acquainted with Sarah J. Richardson last winter, at the house of Mr. Ezra Goddard; saw her a number of times after that, at the place where I boarded. She did some work for my wife, and I heard her speak of being at the Grey Nunnery. I also heard her story, from Mr. Goddard's family. I have no doubt of her being honest and truthful, and I believe she is so considered by all who became acquainted with her.


Worcester, Feb., 1856.


Worcester, ss.—Holden, Nov. 11, 1854.

This certifies that I this day united in marriage, Frederick S. Richardson and Sarah J. Richards, both of Worcester.

CHARLES CHAFFIN, Justice of the Peace.


I, Sarah J. Richardson, wife of Frederick S. Richardson, of the city of Worcester, County of Worcester, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, formerly Sarah J. Richards before marriage, do solemnly swear, declare and say, that the foregoing pages contain a true and faithful history of my life before my marriage to the said Frederick S. Richardson, and that every statement made herein by me is true. In witness whereof, I do hereunto set my hand and seal, this 13th day of March, A.D. 1855.


In presence of WM. GREENLEAF.

Sworn to before me, the 13th day of March, AD. 1855.

WM. GREENLEAF, Justice of the Peace.


When it was known that the Narrative of Sarah J. Richardson was about to be published, Mr. Z. K. Pangborn, at that time editor of the Worcester Daily Transcript, voluntarily offered the following testimony which we copy from one of his editorials.

"We have no doubt that the nun here spoken of as one who escaped from the Grey Nunnery at Montreal, is the same person who spent some weeks in our family in the fall of 1853, after her first escape from the Nunnery. She came in search of employment to our house in St. Albans, Vt., stating that she had traveled on foot from Montreal, and her appearance indicated that she was poor, and had seen hardship. She obtained work at sewing, her health not being sufficient for more arduous task. She appeared to be suffering under some severe mental trial, and though industrious and lady-like in her deportment, still appeared absent minded, and occasionally singular in her manner. After awhile she revealed the fact to the lady of the house, that she had escaped from the Grey Nunnery at Montreal, but begged her not to inform any one of the fact, as she feared, if it should be known, that she would be retaken, and carried back. A few days after making this disclosure, she suddenly disappeared. Having gone out one evening, and failing to return, much inquiry was made, but no trace of her was obtained for some months. Last spring a gentleman from Worcester, Mass. called on us to make inquiries in regard to this same person and gave us the following account of her as given by herself. She states that on the evening when she so mysteriously disappeared from our house, she called upon an Irish family whose acquaintance she had formed, and when she was coming away, was suddenly seized, gagged, and thrust into a close carriage, or box, as she thought, and on the evening of the next day found herself once more consigned to the tender mercies of the Grey Nunnery in Montreal. Her capture was effected by a priest who tracked her to St. Albans, and watched his opportunity to seize her. She was subjected to the most rigorous and cruel treatment, to punish her for running away, and kept in close confinement till she feigned penitence and submission, when she was treated less cruelly, and allowed more liberty.

"But the difficulties in the way of an escape, only stimulated her the more to make the attempt, and she finally succeeded a second time in getting out of that place which she described as a den of cruelty and misery. She was successful also in eluding her pursuers, and in reaching this city, (Worcester,) where she remained some time, seeking to avoid notoriety, as she feared she might be again betrayed and captured. She is now, however, in a position where she does not fear the priests, and proposes to give to the world a history of her life in the Nunnery. The disclosures she makes are of the most startling character, but of her veracity and good character we have the most satisfactory evidence."

This statement was confirmed by Mrs. Pangborn, a sister of the late Mrs Branard, the lady with whom Sarah J. Richardson stopped in St. Albans, and by whom she was employed as a seamstress. Being an inmate of the family at the time, Mrs Pangborn states that she had every opportunity to become acquainted with the girl and learn her true character. The family, she says, were all interested in her, although they knew nothing of her secret, until a few days before she left. She speaks of her as being "quiet and thoughtful, diligent, faithful and anxious to please, but manifesting an eager desire for learning, that she might be able to acquaint herself more perfectly with the Holy Scriptures. She could, at that time, read a little, and her mind was well stored with select passages from the sacred volume, which she seemed to take great delight in repeating. She was able to converse intelligently upon almost any subject, and never seemed at a loss for language to express her thoughts. No one could doubt that nature had given her a mind capable of a high degree of religious and intellectual culture, and that, with the opportunity for improvement, she would become a useful member of society. Of book knowledge she was certainly quite ignorant, but she had evidently studied human nature to some good purpose." Mrs Pangborn also corroborates many of the statements in her narrative. She often visited the Grey Nunnery, and says that the description given of the building, the Academy, the Orphan's Home, and young ladies school, are all correct. The young Smalley mentioned in the narrative was well known to her, and also his sister "little Sissy Smalley," as they used to call her. Inquiries have been made of those acquainted with the route along which the fugitive passed in her hasty flight, and we are told that the description is in general correct; that even the mistakes serve to prove the truthfulness of the narrator, being such as a person would be likely to make when describing from memory scenes and places they had seen but once; whereas, if they were getting up a fiction which they designed to represent as truth, such mistakes would be carefully avoided.



It may perchance be thought by some persons that the foregoing narrative contains many things too absurd and childish for belief. "What rational man," it may be said, "would ever think of dressing up a figure to represent the devil, for the purpose of frightening young girls into obedience? And those absurd threats! Surely no sane man, and certainly no Christian teacher, would ever stoop to such senseless mummery!"

Incredible it may seem—foolish, false, inconsistent with reason, or the plain dictates of common sense, it certainly is—but we have before us well-authenticated accounts of transactions in which the Romish priests claimed powers quite as extraordinary, and palmed off upon a credulous, superstitious people stories quite as silly and ridiculous as anything recorded in these pages. Indeed, so barefaced and shameless were their pretensions in some instances, that even their better-informed brethren were ashamed of their folly, and their own archbishop publicly rebuked their dishonesty, cupidity and chicanery. In proof of this we place before our readers the following facts which we find in a letter from Professor Similien, of the college of Angers, addressed to the Union de l'Ouest:

"Some years ago a pretended miracle was reported as having occurred upon a mountain called La Salette, in the southeastern part of France, where the Virgin Mary appeared in a very miraculous manner to two young shepherds. The story, however, was soon proved to be a despicable trick of the priest, and as such was publicly exposed. But the Bishop of Lucon, within whose diocese the sacred mountain stands, appears to have been unwilling to relinquish the advantage which he expected to result from a wide-spread belief in this infamous fable. Accordingly, in July, 1852, it was again reported that no less than three miracles were wrought there by the Holy Virgin. The details were as follows:

"A young pupil at the religious establishment of the visitation of Valence, who had been for three months completely blind from an attack of gutta-serena, arrived at La Salette on the first of July, in company with some sisters of the community. The extreme fatigue which she had undergone in order to reach the summit of the mountain, at the place of the apparition, caused some anxiety to be felt that she could not remain fasting until the conclusion of the mass, which had not yet commenced, and the Abbe Sibilla, one of the missionaries of La Salette, was requested to administer the sacrament to her before the service began. She had scarcely received the sacred wafer, when, impelled by a sudden inspiration, she raised her head and exclaimed, 'ma bonne mere, je vous vois.' She had, in fact, her eyes fixed on the statue of the Virgin, which she saw as clearly as any one present For more than an hour she remained plunged in an ecstasy of gratitude and love, and afterward retired from the place without requiring the assistance of those who accompanied her. At the same moment a woman from Gap, nearly sixty years of age, who for the last nineteen years had not had the use of her right arm, in consequence of a dislocation, suddenly felt it restored to its original state, and swinging round the once paralyzed limb, she exclaimed, in a transport of joy and gratitude, 'And I also am cured!' A third cure, although not instantaneous, is not the less striking. Another woman, known in the country for years as being paralytic, could not ascend the mountain but with the greatest difficulty, and with the aid of crutches. On the first day of the neuvane, that of her arrival, she felt a sensation as if life was coming into her legs, which had been for so long tune dead. This feeling went on increasing, and the last day of the neuvane, after having received the communion, she went, without any assistance, to the cross of the assumption, where she hung up her crutches. She also was cured.

"Bishop Lucon must have known that this was mere imposition; yet, so far from exposing a fraud so base, he not only permits his people to believe it, but he lends his whole influence to support and circulate the falsehood. And why? Ah! a church was to be erected; and it was necessary to get up a little enthusiasm among the people in order to induce them to fill his exhausted coffers, and build the church. In proof of this, we have only to quote a few extracts from the 'Pastoral' which he issued on this occasion.

"'And now," he says, "Mary has deigned to appear on the summit of a lofty mountain to two young shepherds, revealing to them the secrets of heaven. But who attests the truth of the narrative of these Alpine pastors? No other than the men themselves, and they are believed. They declare what they have seen, they repeat what they have heard, they retain what they have received commandment to keep secret.

"A few words of the incomparable Mother of God have transformed them into new men. Incapable of concerting aught between themselves, or of imagining anything similar to what they relate, each is the witness to a vision which has not found him unbelieving; each is its historian. These two shepherds, dull as they were, have at once understood and received the lesson which was vouchsafed to them, and it is ineffaceably engraven on their hearts. They add nothing to it, they take nothing from it, they modify it in nowise, they deliver the oracle of Heaven just as they have received it.

"An admirable constancy enabled them to guard the secret, a singular sagacity made them discern all the snares laid for them, a rare prudence suggested to them a thousand responses, not one of which betrayed their secret; and when at length the time came when it was their duty to make it known to the common Father of the Faithful, they wrote correctly, as if reading a book placed under their eyes. Their recital drew to this blessed mountain thousands of pilgrims.

"They proclaimed that 'on Saturday, the 19th of September, 1846, Mary manifested herself to them; and the anniversary of this glorious day is henceforth and forever dear to Christian piety. Will not every pilgrim who repairs to this holy mountain add his testimony to the truthfulness of these young shepherds? Mary halted near a fountain; she communicated to it a celestial virtue, a divine efficacy. From being intermittent, this spring, today so celebrated, became perennial.

"'Every where is recounted the prodigies which she works. When the afflicted are in despair, the infirm without remedy, they resort to the waters of La Salette, and cures are wrought by this remedy, whose power makes itself felt against every evil. Our diocess, so devoted to Mary, has been no stranger to the bounty of this tender Mother. We are about to celebrate shortly the sixth anniversary of this miraculous apparition. NOW THAT A SANCTUARY IS TO BE RAISED on this holy mountain to the glory of God, we have thought it right to inform you thereof.

"'We cannot doubt that many of you have been heard by our Lady of La Salette; you desire to witness your gratitude to this mother of compassion; you would gladly BRING YOUR STONE to the beautiful edifice that is to be constructed. WE DESIRE TO FURTHER YOUR FILIAL TENDERNESS WITH THE MEANS OF TRANSMITTING THE ALMS OF FAITH AND PIETY. For these reasons, invoking the holy name of God, we have ordained and do ordain as follows, viz.:

"'First, we permit the appearance of our Lady of La Salette to be preached throughout our diocess; secondly, on Sunday, the 19th of September next ensuing, the litanies of the Holy Virgin shall be chanted in all the chapels and churches of the diocess, and be followed by the benediction of the Holy Sacrament. Thirdly, THE FAITHFUL WHO MAY DESIRE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ERECTION OF THE NEW SANCTUARY, MAY DEPOSIT THEIR OFFERINGS IN THE HANDS OF THE CURE, WHO WILL TRANSMIT THEM TO US FOR THE BISHOP OF GRENOBLE.

"'Our present pastoral letter shall be read and published after mass in every parish on the Sunday after its reception.

"'Given at Lucon, in our Episcopal palace, under our sign-manual and the seal of our arms, and the official counter-signature of our secretary, the 30th of June, of the year of Grace, 1852.

"'X Jac-Mar Jos, "'Bishop of Lucon.'"

"It is not a little remarkable," says the editor of the American Christian Union, "that whilst the Bishop of Lucon was engaged in extolling the miracles of La Salette, the Cardinal Archbishop of Lyons, Dr. Bonald, 'Primate of all the Gauls,' addressed a circular to all the priests in his diocese, in which he cautions them against apocryphal miracles! There is indubitable evidence that his grace refers to the scandalous delusions of La Salette. His language is severe, very severe. He attributes the miracles in question to pecuniary speculation, which now-a-days, he says, mingles with everything, seizes upon imaginary facts, and profits by it at the expense of the credulous! He charges the authors of these things with being GREEDY MEN, who aim at procuring for themselves DISHONEST GAINS by this traffic in superstitious objects! And he forbids the publishing from the pulpit, without leave, of any account of a miracle, even though its authenticity should be attested by another Bishop! This is good. His grace deserves credit for setting his face against this miserable business, of palming off false miracles upon the people."

[Footnote: Since the above was written, we have met with the following explanation of this modern miracle:

"A few years ago there was a great stir among 'the simple faithful' in France, occasioned by a well-credited apparition of the Holy Virgin at La Salette. She required the erection of a chapel in her honor at that place, and made such promises of special indulgences to all who paid their devotions there, that it became 'all the rage' as a place of pilgrimage. The consequence was, that other shops for the same sort of wares in that region lost most of their customers, and the good priests who tended the tills were sorely impoverished. In self-defence, they, WELL KNOWING HOW SUCH THINGS WERE GOT UP, exposed the trick. A prelate publicly denounced the imposture, and an Abbe Deleon, priest in the diocess of Grenoble, printed a work called 'La Salette a Valley of Lies.' In this publication it was maintained, with proofs, that the hoax was gotten up by a Mademoiselle de Lamerliere, a sort of half-crazy nun, who impersonated the character of the Virgin. For the injury done to her character by this book she sued the priest for damages to the tone of twenty thousand francs, demanding also the infliction of the utmost penalty of the law. The court, after a long and careful investigation, for two days, as we learn by the Catholic Herald, disposed of the case by declaring the miracle-working damsel non-suited, and condemning her to pay the expenses of the prosecution."—American and Foreign Christian Union.]

Another of Rome's marvellous stories we copy from the New York Daily Times of July 3d, 1854. It is from the pen of a correspondent at Rome, who, after giving an account of the ceremony performed in the church of St. Peters at the canonization of a NEW SAINT, under the name of Germana, relates the following particulars of her history. He says, "I take the facts as they are related in a pamphlet account of her 'life, virtues, and miracles,' published by authority at Rome:

"Germana Consin was born near the village of Pibrac, in the diocess of Toulouse, in France. Maimed in one hand, and of a scrofulous constitution, she excited the hatred of her step-mother, in whose power her father's second marriage placed her while yet a child. This cruel woman gave the little Germana no other bed than some vine twigs, lying under a flight of stairs, which galled her limbs, wearied with the day's labor. She also persuaded her husband to send the little girl to tend sheep in the plains, exposed to all extremes of weather. Injuries and abuse were her only welcome when she returned from her day's task to her home. To these injuries she submitted with Christian meekness and patience, and she derived her happiness and consolation from religious faith. She went every day to church to hear mass, disregarding the distance, the difficulty of the journey, and the danger in which she left her flock. The neighboring forest was full of wolves, who devoured great numbers from other flocks, but never touched a sheep in that of Germana. To go to the church she was obliged to cross a little river, which was often flooded, but she passed with dry feet; the waters flowing away from her on either side: howbeit no one else dared to attempt the passage. Whenever the signal sounded for the Ave Marie, wherever she might be in conducting her sheep, even if in a ditch, or in mud or mire, she kneeled down and offered her devotions to the Queen of Heaven, nor were her garments wet or soiled. The little children whom she met in the fields she instructed in the truths of religion. For the poor she felt the tenderest charity, and robbed herself of her scanty pittance of bread to feed them. One day her step-mother, suspecting that she was carrying away from the house morsels of bread to be thus distributed, incited her husband to look in her apron; he did so, BUT FOUND IT FULL OF FLOWERS, BEAUTIFUL BUT OUT OF SEASON, INSTEAD OF BREAD. This miraculous conversion of bread into flowers formed the subject of one of the paintings exhibited in St. Peter's at the Beatification. Industrious, charitable, patient and forgiving, Germana lived a memorable example of piety till she passed from earth in the twenty second year of her age. The night of her death two holy monks were passing, on a journey, in the neighborhood of her house. Late at night they saw two celestial virgins robed in white on the road that led to her habitation; a few minutes afterwards they returned leading between them another virgin clad in pure white, and with a crown of flowers on her head.

"Wonders did not cease with her death. Forty years after this event her body was uncovered, in digging a grave for another person, and found entirely uncorrupted—nay, the blood flowed from a wound accidentally made in her face. Great crowds assembled to see the body so miraculously preserved, and it was carefully re-interred within the church. There it lay in place until the French Revolution, when it was pulled up and cast into a ditch and covered with quick lime and water. But even this failed to injure the body of the blessed saint. It was found two years afterward entirely unhurt, and even the grave clothes which surrounded it were entire, as on the day of sepulture, two hundred years before.

"And now in the middle of the nineteenth century, these facts are published for the edification of believers, and his Holiness has set his seal to their authenticity. Four miracles performed by this saint after her death are attested by the bull of beatification, and also by Latin inscriptions in great letters displayed at St. Peter's on the day of this great celebration. The monks of the monastery at Bourges, in France, prayed her to intercede on one occasion, that their store of bread might be multiplied; on another their store of meal; on both occasions THEIR PRAYER WAS GRANTED. The other two miracles were cures of desperate maladies, the diseased persons having been brought to pray over her tomb.

"On the splendid scarlet hangings, bearing the arms of Pius IX. and suspended at the corners of the nave and transept, were two Latin inscriptions, of similar purport, of one of which I give a translation: 'O Germana, raised to-day to celestial honors by Pius IX. Pontifex Maximus, since thou knowest that Pius has wept over thy nation wandering from God, and has exultingly rejoiced at its reconciling itself with God little by little, he prays thee intimately united with God, do thou, for thou canst do it, make known his wishes to God, and strengthen them, for thou art able, with the virtue of thy prayers.'

"I have been thus minute in my account of this Beatification, deeming the facts I state of no little importance and interest, as casting light upon the character of the Catholicism of the present day, and showing with what matters the Spiritual and Temporal ruler of Rome is busying himself in this year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty-four."

Many other examples similar to the above might be given from the history of Catholicism as it exists at the present time in the old world. But let us turn to our own country. We need not look to France or Rome for examples of priestly intrigue of the basest kind; and absurdities that almost surpass belief. The following account which we copy from The American and Foreign Christian Union of August, 1852, will serve to show that the priests in these United States are quite as willing to impose upon the ignorant and credulous as, their brethren in other countries. The article is from the pen of an Irish Missionary in the employ of The American and Foreign Christian Union and is entitled,


"It would seem almost incredible," says the editor of this valuable Magazine, "that any men could be found in this country who are capable of practising such wretched deceptions. But the account given in the subjoined statement is too well authenticated to permit us to reject the story as untrue, however improbable it may, at first sight, seem to be. Here it is:—?

"Mr. Editor,—I give you, herein, some information respecting a lying wonder wrought in Troy, New York, last winter, and respecting the female who was the 'MEDIUM' of it. I have come to the conclusion that this female is a Jesuit, after as good an examination as I have been able to give the matter. I have been fed with these lying wonders in early life, and in Ireland as well as in this country there are many who, for want of knowing any better, will feed upon them in their hearts by faith and thanksgiving. About the time this lying wonder of which I am about to write happened, I had been talking of it in the office of Mr. Luther, of Albany, (coal merchant), where were a number of Irish waiting for a job. One of these men declared, with many curses on his soul if what he told was not true, that he had seen a devil cast out of a woman in his own parish, in Ireland, by the priest. I told him it would be better for his character's sake for him to say he heard of it, than to say he SAW it.

Mr. J. W. Lockwood, a respectable merchant in Troy, New York, and son of the late mayor, kept two or three young women as 'helps' for his lady, last winter. The name of one is Eliza Mead, and the name of another is Catharine Dillon, a native of the county of Limerick, Ireland. Eliza was an upper servant, who took care of her mistress and her children. Catharine was and is now the cook. Eliza appeared to her mistress to be a very well educated, and a very intellectual woman of 35, though she would try to make believe she could not write, and that she was subject to fits of insanity. There was then presumptive evidence that she wrote a good deal, and there is now positive evidence that she could write. She used often, in the presence of Mrs. L., to take the Bible and other books and read them, and would often say she thought the Protestants had a better religion than the Catholics, and were a better people. Afterwards she told Mrs. L. that she had doubts about the Catholic religion, and was inclined toward the Protestant: but now she is sure, quite sure, that the Catholic alone is the right one, FOR IT WAS REVEALED TO HER.

On the evening of the 23d of December, 1851, Eliza and Catharine were missing;—but I will give you Catharine's affidavit about their business from home.

"City of Troy, S. W.

"I, Catharine Dillon, say, that on Tuesday, 23d December inst, about five o'clock in the afternoon, I went with Eliza Mead to see the priest, Mr. McDonnel, who was at home. Eliza remained there till about six o'clock P. M. At that time I returned home, leaving her at the priest's. At half past eight o'clock the same evening I returned to the priest's house for Eliza, and waited there for her till about ten o'clock of the same evening, expecting that Eliza's conference with the priest would be ended, and that she would come home with me.

"During the evening there had been another besides Mr. McDonnel there. About ten o'clock this other priest retired, as I understood. Soon after this Mr. McDonnel called me, with others, into the room where Eliza was, when he said that she (Eliza) was POSSESSED OF THE DEVIL Mr. McDonnel then commenced interrogating the devil, asking the devil if he possessed her. The answer was, "Yes." The priest then asked, "How long?" and the answer was, "Six months and nine days." The priest then asked, "Who sent you into her?" The answer was, "Mr. Lockwood." The next question was, "When?" "When she was asleep," was the answer. He then asked the devil if Mr. Lockwood had ever tempted Catharine, meaning me, and the reply was, "Yes." Then the question was, "How many times?" And the answer was, "Three times, by offering her drink when she was asleep?"

"I came home about five o'clock in the morning, greatly shocked at what I had seen and heard, and impressed with the belief that Eliza was possessed with the devil. I went again to the priest's on Wednesday to find Eliza, when the priest told me that he, Mr. McDonnel, exorcised the devil at high mass that morning in the church, and drove the devil out of Eliza. That he, the devil, came out of Eliza, and spat at the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ, and departed. He then told me that, as Eliza got the devil from Mr. Lockwood, in the house where I lived, I must leave the house immediately, and made me promise him that I would. During the appalling scenes of Tuesday night, Mr. McDonnel went to the other priest and called him up, but the other priest did not come to his assistance. These answers to the priest when he was asking questions of the devil, were given in a very loud voice and sometimes with a loud scream."


"Subscribed and sworn to, this 31st day of December, 1851, before me, JOB S. OLIN, Recorder of Troy, New York." [A copy.]

At the interview between Mr. J. W. Lockwood and the Rev. Mr. McDonnel, officiating priest at St. Peter's church, there were present Hon. James M. Warren, T. W. Blatchford, M. D., and C. N. Lockwood, on the part of Mr. Lockwood, and Father Kenny and Mr. Davis on the part of the Rev. Mr. McDonnel, on the evening of the 31st December, 1851.

Mr. McDonnel at first declined answering any questions, questioning Mr. Lockwood's right to ask them: He would only say that Eliza Mead came to his house possessed, as she thought, with an evil spirit; that at first he declined having anything to do with her, first, because he believed her to be crazy; second, because he was at that moment otherwise engaged; and thirdly, because she was not in his parish; but, by her urgent appeals in the name of God to pray over her, he was at last induced to admit her. He became satisfied that she was possessed of the devil, or an evil spirit, by saying the appointed prayers of the church over her; for the spirit manifested uneasiness when this was done; and furthermore, as she was entering the church the following morning, she was thrown into convulsions by Father Kenny's making the sign of the cross behind her back. At high mass in the morning he exorcised the devil, and he left her, spitting at the cross of Christ before taking his final departure.

As to Mr. McDonnel's repeatedly telling Catharine that she must leave Mr. L's house immediately, for if she remained there Mr. L. would put the devil in her, Mr. McDonnel denied saying or doing anything whatever that was detrimental to the character of Mr. L. or any of his family. Mr. McDonnel repeatedly refused to answer the questions put to him by Mr. L. He considered it insulting that Mr. L. should visit his house on such business, as no power on earth but that of the POPE had authority to question him on such matters. But being reminded that slanderous reports had emanated from that very house against Mr. L. he, Mr. McDonnel, said it was all to see what kind of a man he was that brought Mr. L. there, and if reports were exaggerated, it was nothing to him.

Mr. McDonnel said that he cleared the church before casting out the devil, and there was but one person besides himself there. That, every word spoken in the church was in Latin, and nobody in the church understood a word of it. That he had heard threats made by Mr. L., also that Mr. L. had said the pretended answers of the devil ware made through the medium of ventriloquism. Father Kenny, in the progress of the interview, made two or three attempts to speak, but was prevented by Mr. McDonnel.

Thus ends the report written down by Mr. L.'s brother, who was present, immediately after the interview. It was all Latin in the church, we see; but the low Irish will not believe that the devil could understand Latin. However, it was not all Latin at the priest's house, where Catharine Dillon heard what she declared on oath. How slow the priest was to admit her (Eliza Mead) in the beginning, and to believe that she had his sable majesty in her, until it manifested uneasiness under the cannonade of church prayers!

"But you will ask, how could an educated priest, or an intelligent woman, condescend to such diabolical impositions? I think it is something after the way that a man gets to be a drunkard; he may not like the taste thereof at first, but afterwards he will smack his lips and say, 'there is nothing like whiskey,' and as their food becomes part of their bodily substance, so are these 'lying wonders' converted into their spiritual substance. So I think; I am, however, but a very humble philosopher, and therefore I will use the diction of the Holy Spirit on the matter: 'For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie,' EVEN OF THEIR OWN MAKING, OR WHAT MAY EASILY BE SEEN TO BE LIES OF OTHER'S GETTING, "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.'"


ALBANY, June 2nd, 1852.

It was said by one "that the first temptation on reading such monstrosities as the above, is to utter a laugh of derision." But it is with no such feeling that we place them before our readers. Rather would we exclaim with the inspired penman, "O that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night" for the deluded followers of these willfully blind leaders! Surely, no pleasure can be found in reading or recording scenes which a pure mind can regard only with pity and disgust. Yet we desire to prove to our readers that the absurd threats and foolish attempts to impose upon the weak and ignorant recorded by Sarah J. Richardson are perfectly consistent with the general character and conduct of the Romish priests. Read for instance, the following ridiculous story translated from Le Semeur Canadien for October 12th, 1855.


In the district of Montreal lived a Canadian widow of French extraction who had become a Protestant. Madam V—, such was the name of this lady, lived with her daughter, the sole fruit of a union too soon dissolved by unsparing death. Their life, full of good works, dispelled prejudices that the inhabitants of the vicinity—all intolerant Catholics—had always entertained against evangelical Christians; they gained their respect, moreover, by presenting them the example of every virtue. Two of the neighbors of the Protestant widow—who had often heard at her house the word of God read and commented upon by one of those ministers who visit the scattered members of their communion—talked lately of embracing the reformed religion. In the mean while, Miss V— died. The young Christian rested her hope upon the promises of the Saviour who has said, "Believe in Christ and thou shall be saved."

Her spirit flew to its Creator with the confidence of an infant who throws himself into the arms of his father. Her last moments were not tormented by the fear of purgatory, where every Catholic believes he will suffer for a longer or shorter time. This death strengthened the neighbors in the resolution they had taken to leave the Catholic church. The widow buried the remains of her daughter upon her own land, a short distance from her house: the nearest Protestant cemetery was so far off that she was forced to give up burying it there.

Some Catholic fanatics of the vicinity assembled secretly the day after the funeral of Miss V— to discuss the best means for arresting the progress that the reformed religion was making in the parish. After long deliberation they resolved to hire a poor man to go every evening for a whole week and groan near the grave of Miss V—-. Their object was to make the widow and neighbors believe that the young girl was damned; and that God permitted her to show her great unhappiness by lamentations, so that they might avoid her fate by remaining faithful to the belief of their fathers. In any other country than Lower Canada, those who might have employed such means would not perhaps have had an opportunity of seeing their enterprise crowned with success; but in our country districts, where the people believe in ghosts and bugbears, it would almost certainly produce the desired effect. This expedient, instead of being ridiculous, was atrocious. The employment of it could not fail to cause Mrs V— to suffer the most painful agonies, and her neighbors the torments of doubt.

The credulity of the French-Canadian is the work of the clergy; they invent and relate, in order to excite their piety, the most marvellous things. For example: the priests say that souls in purgatory desiring alleviation come and ask masses of their relatives, either by appearing in the same form they had in life, or by displacing the furniture and making a noise, as long as they have not terminated the expiation of their sins. The Catholic clergy, by supporting these fabulous doctrines and pious lies, lead their flock into the baleful habit of believing things the most absurd and destitute of proof.

The day after Miss V—'s funeral, everybody in the parish was talking of the woeful cries which had been heard the night before near her grave. The inhabitants of the place, imbued with fantastic ideas that their rector had kept alive, were dupes of the artifice employed by some of their own number. They became convinced that there is no safety outside of the church, of which they formed a part. Seized with horror they determined never to pass a night near the grave of the cursed one, as they already called the young Protestant. Mrs. V— by the instinctive effect of prejudices inculcated when she was a Catholic, was at first a prey to deadly anxiety; but recalling the holy life of her daughter, she no longer doubted of her being among the number of the elect. She guessed at the cause of the noise which was heard near the grave of her child. In order to assure herself of the justness of her suspicions, she besought the two neighbors of whom I have already spoken, to conceal themselves there the following night. These persons were glad of an occasion to test the accuracy of what a curate of their acquaintance had told them; who had asserted that a spirit free from the body could yet manifest itself substantially to the living, as speaking without tongue, touching without hands.

They discovered the man who was paid to play the ghost; they seized him, and in order to punish him, tied him to a tree, at the foot of which Miss V— was buried. The poor creature the next morning no longer acted the soul in torment, but shouted like a person who very much wanted his breakfast. At noon one of his friends passed by who, hearing him implore assistance, approached and set him free. Overwhelmed with questions and derision, the false ghost confessed he had acted thus only to obtain the reward which had been promised him. You may easily guess that the ridicule and reprobation turned upon those who had made him their instrument.

I will not finish this narrative without telling the reader that the curate of the place appeared much incensed at what his parishioners had done. I am glad to be able to suppose that he condemns rather than encourages such conduct. A Protestant friend of mine who does not entertain the same respect for the Roman clergy that I do, advances the opinion that the displeasure of the curate was not on account of the culpable attempt of some of his flock but on account of its failure. However, I must add, on my reputation as a faithful narrator, that nothing has yet happened to confirm his assertion.


MONTREAL, September 1855.



To show that the Romish priests have in all ages, and do still, inflict upon their victims cruelties quite as severe as anything described in the foregoing pages, and that such cruelties are sanctioned by their code of laws, we have only to turn to the authentic history of the past and present transactions of the high functionaries of Rome.

About the year 1356, Nicholas Eymeric, inquisitor-general of Arragon, collected from the civil and canon laws all that related to the punishment of heretics, and formed the "Directory of Inquisitors," the first and indeed the fundamental code, which has been followed ever since, without any essential variation. "It exhibits the practice and theory of the Inquisition at the time of its sanction by the approbation of Gregory 13th, in 1587, which theory, under some necessary variations of practice, still remains unchanged."

From this "Directory," transcribed by the Rev. Wm. Rule of London, in 1852, we extract a few sentences in relation to torture.

"Torture is inflicted on one who confesses the principal fact, but varies as to circumstances. Also on one who is reputed to be a heretic, but against whom there is only one witness of the fact. In this case common rumor is one indication of guilt, and the direct evidence is another, making altogether but semi-plenar proof. The torture may bring out fall proof. Also, when there is no witness, but vehement suspicion. Also when there is no common report of heresy, but only one witness who has heard or seen something in him contrary to the faith. Any two indications of heresy will justify the use of torture. If you sentence to torture, give him a written notice in the form prescribed; but other means be tried first. Nor is this an infallible means for bringing out the truth. Weak-hearted men, impatient at the first pain, will confess crimes they never committed, and criminate others at the same time. Bold and strong ones will bear the most severe torments. Those who have been on the rack before bear it with more courage, for they know how to adapt their limbs to it, and they resist powerfully. Others, by enchantments, seem to be insensible, and would rather die than confess. These wretches user for incantations, certain passages from the Psalms of David, or other parts of Scripture, which they write on virgin parchment in an extravagant way, mixing them with names of unknown angels, with circles and strange letters, which they wear upon their person. 'I know not,' says Pena, 'how this witchcraft can be remedied, but it will be well to strip the criminals naked, and search them narrowly, before laying them upon the rack.' While the tormentor is getting ready, let the inquisitor and other grave men make fresh attempts to obtain a confession of the truth. Let the tormentors TERRIFY HIM BY ALL MEANS, TO FRIGHTEN HIM INTO CONFESSION. And after he is stripped, let the inquisitor take him aside, and make a last effort. When this has failed, let him be put to the question by torture, beginning with interrogation on lesser points, and advancing to greater. If he stands out, let them show him other instruments of torture, and threaten that he shall suffer them also. If he will not confess; the torture may be continued on the second or third day; but as it is not to be repeated, those successive applications must be called CONTINUATION. And if, after all, he does not confess, he may be set at liberty."

Rules are laid down for the punishment of those who do confess. Innocent IV. commanded the secular judges to put heretics to torture; but that gave occasion to scandalous publicity, and now inquisitors are empowered to do it, and, in case of irregularity (THAT IS, IF THE PERSON DIES IN THEIR HANDS), TO ABSOLVE EACH OTHER. And although nobles were exempt from torture, and in some kingdoms, as Arragon, it was not used in civil tribunals, the inquisitors were nevertheless authorized to torture, without restriction, persons of all classes.

And here we digress from Eymeric and Pena, in order to describe, from additional authority, of what this torture consisted, and probably, still consists, in Italy. Limborch collects this information from Juan de Rojas, inquisitor at Valencia.

"There were five degrees of torment as some counted (Eymeric included), or according to others, three. First, there was terror, including the threatenings of the inquisitor, leading to the place of torture, stripping, and binding; the stripping of their clothing, both men and women, with the substitution of a single tight garment, to cover part of the person—being an outrage of every feeling of decency—and the binding, often as distressing as the torture itself. Secondly came the stretching on the rack, and questions attendant. Thirdly a more severe shock, by the tension and sodden relaxation of the cord, which is sometimes given once, but often twice, thrice, or yet more frequently."

"Isaac Orobio, a Jewish physician, related to Limborch the manner in which he had himself been tortured, when thrown into the inquisition at Seville, on the delation of a Moorish servant, whom he had punished for theft, and of another person similarly offended.

"After having been in the prison of the inquisition for full three years, examined a few times, but constantly refusing to confess the things laid to his charge, he was at length brought out of the cell, and led through tortuous passages to the place of torment. It was near evening. He found himself in a subterranean chamber, rather spacious, arched over, and hung with black cloth. The whole conclave was lighted by candles in sconces on the walls. At one end there was a separate chamber, wherein were an inquisitor and his notary seated at a table. The place, gloomy, intent, and everywhere terrible, seemed to be the very home of death. Hither he was brought, and the inquisitor again exhorted him to tell the truth before the torture should begin. On his answering that he had already told the truth, the inquisitor gravely protested that he was bringing himself to the torture by his own obstinacy; and that if he should suffer loss of blood, or even expire, during the question, the holy office would be blameless. Having thus spoken, the inquisitor left him in the hands of the tormentors, who stripped him, and compressed his body so tightly in a pair of linen drawers, that he could no longer draw breath, and must have died, had they not suddenly relaxed the pressure; but with recovered breathing came pain unutterably exquisite. The anguish being past, they repeated a monition to confess the truth, before the torture, as they said, should begin; and the same was afterwards repeated at each interval.

"As Orobio persisted in denial, they bound his thumbs so tightly with small cords that the blood burst from under the nails, and they were swelled excessively. Then they made him stand against the wall on a small stool, passed cords around various parts of his body, but principally around the arms and legs, and carried them over iron pulleys in the ceiling. The tormentor then pulled the cords with all his strength, applying his feet to the wall, and giving the weight of his body to increase the purchase. With these ligatures his arms and legs, fingers and toes, were so wrung and swollen that he felt as if fire were devouring them. In the midst of this torment the man kicked down the stool which had supported his feet, so that he hung upon the cords with his whole weight, which suddenly increased their tension, and gave indescribable aggravation to his pain. Next followed a new kind of torment. An instrument resembling a small ladder, consisting of two parallel pieces of wood, and five transverse pieces, with the anterior edges sharpened, was placed before him, so that when the tormentor struck it heavily, he received the stroke five times multiplied on each shin bone, producing pain that was absolutely intolerable, and under which he fainted. Bat no sooner was be revived than they inflicted a new torture. The tormentor tied other cords around his wrists, and having his own shoulders covered with leather, that they might not be chafed, passed round them the rope which was to draw the cords, set his feet against the wall, threw himself back with all his force, and the cords cut through to the bones. This he did thrice, each time changing the position of the cords, leaving a small distance between the successive wounds; but it happened that in pulling the second time they slipped into the first wounds, and caused such a gush of blood that Orobio seemed to be bleeding to death.

"A physician and surgeon, who were in waiting as usual, to give their opinion as to the safety or danger of continuing those operations, that the inquisitors might not commit an irregularity by murdering the patient, were called in. Being friends of the sufferer, they gave their opinion that he had strength enough remaining to bear more. By this means they saved him from a SUSPENSION of the torture, which would have been followed by a repetition, on his recovery, under the pretext of CONTINUATION. The cords were therefore pulled a third time, and this ended the torture. He was dressed in his own clothes, carried back to prison, and, after about seventy days, when the wounds were healed, condemned as one SUSPECTED of Judaism. They could not say CONVICTED, because he had not confessed; but they sentenced him to wear the sambenito [Footnote: This sambenito (Suco bendito or blessed sack,) is a garment (or kind of scapulary according to some writers,) worn by penitents of the least criminal class in the procession of an Auto de Fe, (a solemn ceremony held by the Inquisition for the punishment of heretics,) but sometimes worn as a punishment at other times, that the condemned one might be marked by his neighbors, and ever bear a signal that would affright and scare by the greatness of the punishment and disgrace; a plan, salutary it may be, but very grievous to the offender. It was made of yellow cloth, with a St. Andrew's cross upon it, of red. A rope was sometimes put around the neck as an additional mark of infamy.

Those who were condemned to be burnt were distinguished by a habit of the same form, called Zamarra, but instead of the red cross were painted flames and devils, and sometimes an ugly portrait of the heretic himself,—a head, with flames under it. Those who had been sentenced to the stake, but indulged with commutation of the penalty, had inverted flames painted on the livery, and this was called fuego revuelto, "inverted fire."

Upon the head of the condemned was also placed a conical paper cap, about three feet high, slightly resembling a mitre, called corona or crown. This was painted with flames and devils in like manner with the dress.] or penitential habit for two years, and then be banished for life from Seville."



"M. Dellon a French traveller, spending some time at Damaun, on the north-western coast of Hindostan, incurred the jealousy of the governor and a black priest, in regard to a lady, as he is pleased to call her, whom they both admired. He had expressed himself rather freely concerning some of the grosser superstitions of Romanism, and thus afforded the priest, who was also secretary of the Inquisition, an occasion of proceeding against him as a heretic. The priest and the governor united in a representation to the chief inquisitor at Goa, which procured an order for his arrest. Like all other persons whom it pleased the inquisitors or their servants to arrest, in any part of the Portuguese dominions beyond the Cape of Good Hope, he was thrown into prison with a promiscuous crowd of delinquents, the place and treatment being of the worst kind, even according to the colonial barbarism of the seventeenth century. To describe his sufferings there, is not to our purpose, inasmuch as all prisoners fared alike, many of them perishing from starvation and disease. Many offenders against the Inquisition were there at the same time,—some accused of Judaism, others, of Paganism—in which sorcery and witchcraft were included—and others of immorality. In a field so wide and so fruitful, the "scrutators" of the faith could not fail to gather abundantly. After an incarceration of at least four months, he and his fellow-sufferers were shipped off for the ecclesiastical metropolis of India, all of them being in irons. The vessel put into Bacaim, and the prisoners were transferred, for some days, to the prison of that town, where a large number of persons were kept in custody, under charge of the commissary of the holy office, until a vessel should arrive to carry them to Goa.

"In due time they were again at sea, and a fair wind wafted their fleet into that port after a voyage of seven days. Until they could be deposited in the cells of the Inquisition with the accustomed formalities, the Archbishop of Goa threw open HIS prison for their reception, which prison, being ecclesiastical, may be deemed worthy of description.

"The most filthy," says Dellon, "the most dark, and the most horrible that I ever saw; and I doubt whether a more shocking and horrible prison can be found anywhere. It is a kind of cave wherein there is no day seen but by a very little hole; the most subtle rays of the sun cannot enter into it, and there is never any true light in it. The stench is extreme. * * *

"On the 16th of January 1674, at eight o'clock in the morning, an officer came with orders to take the prisoners to "the holy house." With considerable difficulty M. Dellon dragged his iron-loaded limbs thither. They helped him to ascend the stairs at the great entrance, and in the hall, smiths were waiting to take off the irons from all the prisoners. One by one, they were summoned to audience. Dellon, who was called the first, crossed the hall, passed through an ante-chamber, and entered a room, called by the Portuguese "board of the holy office," where the grand inquisitor of the Indies sat at one end of a very large table, on an elevated floor in the middle of the chamber. He was a secular priest about forty years of age, in full vigor—a man who could do his work with energy. At one end of the room was a large crucifix, reaching from the floor almost to the ceiling, and near it, sat a notary on a folding stool. At the opposite end, and near the inquisitor, Dellon was placed, and, hoping to soften his judge, fell on his knees before him. But the inquisitor commanded him to rise, asked whether he knew the reason of his arrest, and advised him to declare it at large, as that was the only way to obtain a speedy release. Dellon caught at the hope of release, began to tell his tale, mixed with tears and protestations, again fell at the feet of Don Francisco Delgado Ematos, the inquisitor, and implored his favorable attention. Don Francisco told him, very coolly, that he had other business on hand, and, nothing moved, rang a silver bell. The alcayde entered, led the prisoner out into a gallery, opened, and searched his trunk, stripped him of every valuable, wrote an inventory, assured him that all should be safely kept, and then led him to a cell about ten feet square, and left him there, shut up in utter solitude. In the evening they brought him his first meal, which he ate heartily, and slept a little during the night following. Next morning he learnt that he could have no part of his property, not even a breviary was, in that place, allowed to a priest, for they had no form of religion there, and for that reason he could not have a book. His hair was cropped close; and therefore "he did not need a comb."

"Thus began his acquaintance with the holy house, which he describes as "great and magnificent," on one side of the great space before the church of St Catharine. There were three gates in front; and, it was by the central, or largest, that the prisoners entered, and mounted a stately flight of steps, leading into the great hall. The side gates provided entrance to spacious ranges of apartments, belonging to the inquisitors. Behind the principal building, was another, very spacious, two stories high, and consisting of double rows of cells, opening into galleries that ran from end to end. The cells on the ground-floor were very small, without any aperture from without for light or air. Those of the upper story were vaulted, white-washed, had a small strongly grated window, without glass, and higher than the tallest man could reach. Towards the gallery every cell was shut with two doors, one on the inside, the other one outside of the wall. The inner door folded, was grated at the bottom, opened towards the top for the admission of food and was made fast with very strong bolts. The outer door was not so thick, had no window, but was left open from six o'clock every morning until eleven—a necessary arrangement in that climate, unless it were intended to destroy life by suffocation.

"To each prisoner was given as earthen pot with water wherewith to wash, another full of water to drink, with a cup; a broom, a mat whereon to lie, and a large basin with a cover, changed every fourth day. The prisoners had three meals a day; and their health so far as food could contribute to it in such a place, was cared for in the provision of a wholesome, but spare diet. Physicians were at hand to render all necessary assistance to the sick, as were confessors, ready to wait upon the dying; but they gave no viaticum, performed no unction, said no mass. The place was under an impenetrable interdict. If any died, and that many did die is beyond question, his death was unknown to all without; he was buried within the walls without any sacred ceremony; and if, after death, he was found to have died in heresy, his bones were taken up at the next Auto, to be burned. Unless there happened to be an unusual number of prisoners, each one was alone in his own cell. He might not speak, nor groan, nor sob aloud, nor sigh. [Footnote: Limborch relates that on one occasion, a poor prisoner was heard to cough; the jailer of the Inquisition instantly repaired to him, and warned him to forbear, as the slightest noise was not tolerated in that house. The poor man replied that it was not in his power to forbear; a second time they admonished him to desist; and when again, unable to do otherwise, he repeated the offence, they stripped him naked, and cruelly beat him. This increased his cough, for which they beat him so often, that at last he died through pain and anguish of the stripes he had received.] His breathing might be audible when the guard listened at the grating, but nothing more. Four guards were stationed in each long gallery, open, indeed, at each end, but awfully silent, as if it were the passage of a catacomb. If, however, he wanted anything, he might tap at the inner door, when a jailer would come to hear the request, and would report to the alcayde, but was not permitted to answer. If one of the victims, in despair, or pain, or delirium, attempted to pronounce a prayer, even to God, or dared to utter a cry, the jailers would run to the cell, rush in, and beat him cruelly, for terror to the rest. Once in two months the inquisitor, with a secretary and an interpreter, visited the prisons, and asked each prisoner if he wanted anything, if his meat was regularly brought, and if he had any complaint against the jailers. His want after all lay at the mercy of the merciless. His complaint, if uttered, would bring down vengeance, rather than gain redress. But in this visitation the holy office professed mercy with much formality, and the inquisitorial secretary collected notes which aided in the crimination, or in the murder of their victims.

"The officers of Goa were;—the inquisidor mor or grand inquisitor, who was always a secular priest; the second inquisitor, Dominican friar; several deputies, who came, when called for, to assist the inquisitors at trials, but never entered without such a summons; qualifiers, as usual, to examine books and writings, but never to witness an examination of the living, or be present at any act of the kind; a fiscal; a procurator; advocates, so called, for the accused; notaries and familiars. The authority of this tribunal was absolute in Goa. There does not appear to have been anything peculiar in the manner of examining and torturing at Goa where the practice coincided with that of Portugal and Spain.

"The personal narrative of Dellon affords a distinct exemplification of the sufferings of the prisoners. He had been told that, when he desired an audience, he had only to call a jailer, and ask it, when it would be allowed him. But, notwithstanding many tears and entreaties, he could not obtain one until fifteen days had passed away. Then came the alcayde and one of his guards. This alcayde walked first out of the cell; Dellon uncovered and shorn, and with legs and feet bare, followed him; the guard walked behind. The alcayde just entered the place of audience, made a profound reverence, stepped back and allowed his charge to enter. The door closed, and Dellon remained alone with the inquisitor and secretary. He knelt; but Don Fernando sternly bade him to sit on a bench, placed there for the use of the culprits. Near him, on a table, lay a missal, on which they made him lay his hand, and swear to keep secrecy, and tell them the truth. They asked if he knew the cause of his imprisonment, and whether he was resolved to confess it. He told them all he could recollect of unguarded sayings at Damaun, either in argument or conversation, without ever, that he knew, contradicting, directly or indirectly, any article of faith. He had, at some time dropped an offensive word concerning the Inquisition, but so light a word, that it did not occur to his remembrance. Don Fernando told him he had done well in ACCUSING HIMSELF so willingly, and exhorted him in the name of Jesus Christ, to complete his self accusation fully, to the end that he might experience the goodness and mercy which were used in that tribunal towards those who showed true repentance by a sincere and UNFORCED confession. The secretary read aloud the confession and exhortation, Dellon signed it, Don Fernando rang a silver bell, the alcayde walked in, and, in a few moments, the disappointed victim was again in his dungeon.

"At the end of another fortnight, and without having asked for it, he was again taken to audience. After a repetition of the former questions, he was asked his name, surname, baptism, confirmation, place of abode, in what parish? in what diocess? under what bishop? They made him kneel, and make the sign of the cross, repeat the Pater Noster, Hail Mary, creed, commandments of God, commandments of the church, and Salve Begins. He did it all very cleverly, and even to their satisfaction; but the grand inquisitor exhorted him, by the tender mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ, to confess without delay, and sent him to the cell again. His heart sickened. They required him to do what was impossible—to confess more, after he had acknowledged ALL. In despair, he tried to starve himself to death; 'but they compelled him to take food.' Day and night he wept, and at length betook himself to prayer, imploring pity of the 'blessed Virgin,' whom he imagined to be, of all beings, the most merciful, and the most ready to give him help.

"At the end of a month, he succeeded in obtaining another audience, and added to his former confessions what he had remembered, for the first time, touching the Inquisition. But they told him that that was not what they wanted, and sent him back again. This was intolerable. In a frenzy of despair he determined to commit suicide, if possible. Feigning sickness, be obtained a physician who treated him for a fever, and ordered him to be bled. Never calmed by any treatment of the physician, blood-letting was repeated often, and each time he untied the bandage, when left alone, hoping to die from loss of blood, but death fled from him. A humane Franciscan came to confess him, and, hearing his tale of misery, gave him kind words, asked permission to divulge his attempt at self-destruction to the inquisitor, procured him a mitigation of solitude by the presence of a fellow-prisoner, a negro, accused of magic; but, after five months, the negro was removed, and his mind, broken with suffering, could no longer bear up under the aggravated load. By an effort of desperate ingenuity he almost succeeded in committing suicide, and a jailer found him weltering in his blood and insensible. Having restored him by cordials, and bound up his wounds, they carried him into the presence of the inquisitor once more; where he lay on the floor, being unable to sit, heard bitter reproaches, had his limbs confined in irons, and was thus carried back to a punishment that seemed more terrible than death. In fetters he became so furious, that they found it necessary to take them off, and, from that time, his examinations assumed another character, as he defended his positions with citations from the Council of Trent, and with some passages of scripture, which he explained in the most Romish sense, discovering a depth of ignorance in Don Fernando that was truly surprising. That 'grand Inquisitor,' had never heard the passage which Dellon quoted to prove the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' Neither did he know anything of that famous passage in the twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent, which declares that images are only to be reverenced on account of the persons whom they represent. He called for a Bible, and for the acts of the council, and was evidently surprised when he found them where Dellon told him they might be seen.

"The time for a general auto drew near. During the months of November and December, 1675, he heard every morning the cries of persons under torture, and afterwards saw many of them, both men and women, lame and distorted by the rack. On Sunday January 11th, 1676, he was surprised by the jailer refusing to receive his linen to be washed—Sunday being washing-day in the 'holy house.' While perplexing himself to think what that could mean, the cathedral bells rang for vespers, and then, contrary to custom, rang again for matins. He could only account for that second novelty by supposing that an auto would be celebrated the next day. They brought him supper, which he refused, and, contrary to their wont at all other times, they did not insist on his taking it, but carried it away. Assured that those were all portents of the horrible catastrophe, and reflecting on often-repeated threats in the audience chamber that he should be burnt, he gave himself up to death, and overwhelmed with sorrow, fell asleep a little before midnight.

"Scarcely had he fallen asleep when the alcayde and guards entered the cell, with great noise, bringing a lamp, for the first time since his imprisonment that they had allowed a lamp to shine there. The alcayde, laying down a suit of clothes, bade him put them on, and be ready to go out when he came again. At two o'clock in the morning they returned, and he issued from the cell, clad in a black vest and trowsers, striped with white, and his feet bare. About two hundred prisoners, of whom he was one, were made to sit on the floor, along the sides of a spacious gallery, all in the same black livery, and just visible by the gleaming of a few lamps. A large company of women were also ranged in a neighboring gallery in like manner. But they were all motionless, and no one knew his doom. Every eye was fixed, and each one seemed benumbed with misery.

"A third company Dellon perceived in a room not far distant, but they were walking about, and some appeared to have long habits. Those were persons condemned to be delivered to the secular arm, and the long habits distinguished confessors busily collecting confessions in order to commute that penalty for some other scarcely less dreadful. At four o'clock, servants of the house came, with guards, and gave bread and figs to those who would accept the refreshment. One of the guards gave Dellon some hope of life by advising him to take what was offered, which he had refused to do. 'Take your bread,' said the man, 'and if you cannot eat it now, put it in your pocket; you will be certainly hungry before you return.' This gave hope, that he should not end the day at the stake, but come back to undergo penance.

"A little before sunrise, the great bell of the cathedral tolled, and its sound soon aroused the city of Goa. The people ran into the streets, lining the chief thoroughfares, and crowding every place whence a view could be had of the procession. Day broke, and Dellon saw the faces of his fellow-prisoners, most of whom were Indians. He could only distinguish, by their complexion, about twelve Europeans. Every countenance exhibited shame, fear, grief, or an appalling blackness of apathy, AS IF DIRE SUFFERING IN THE LIGHTLESS DUNGEONS UNDERNEATH HAD BEREFT THEM OF INTELLECT. The company soon began to move, but slowly, as one by one the alcayde led them towards the door of the great hall, where the grand inquisitor sat, and his secretary called the name of each as he came, and the name of a sponsor, who also presented himself from among a crowd of the bettermost inhabitants of Goa, assembled there for that service. 'The general of the Portuguese ships in the Indies' had the honor of placing himself beside our Frenchman. As soon as the procession was formed, it marched off in the usual order.

"First, the Dominicans, honored with everlasting precedence on all such occasions, led the way. Singing-boys also preceded, chanting a litany. The banner of the Inquisition was intrusted to their hands. After the banner walked the penitents—a penitent and a sponsor, two and two. A cross bearer brought up the train, carrying a crucifix aloft, turned towards them, in token of pity; and, on looking along the line, you might have seen another priest going before the penitents with a crucifix turned backwards, inviting their devotions. They to whom the Inquisition no longer afforded mercy, walked behind the penitents, and could only see an averted crucifix. These were condemned to be burnt alive at the stake! On this occasion there were but two of this class, but sometimes a large number were sentenced to this horrible death, and presented to the spectator a most pitiable spectacle. Many of them bore upon their persons the marks of starvation, torture, terror, and heart-rending grief. Some faces were bathed in tears, while others came forth with a smile of conquest on the countenance and words of triumphant faith bursting from the lips. These, however, were known as dogmatizers, and were generally gagged, the month being filled with a piece of wood kept in by a strong leather band fastened behind the head, and the arms tied together behind the back. Two armed familiars walked or rode beside each of these, and two ecclesiastics, or some other clerks or regulars, also attended. After these, the images of heretics who had escaped were carried aloft, to be thrown into the flames; and porters came last, tagging under the weight of boxes containing the disinterred bodies on which the execution of the church had fallen, and which were also to be burnt.

"Poor Dellon went barefoot, like the rest, through the streets of Goa, rough with little flint stones scattered about, and sorely were his feet wounded during an hour's march up and down the principal streets. Weary, covered with shame and confusion, the long train of culprits entered the church of St. Francis, where preparation was made for the auto, the climate of India not permitting a celebration of that solemnity under the burning sky. They sat with their sponsors, in the galleries prepared, sambenitos, grey zamarras with painted flames and devils, corozas, tapers, and all the other paraphernalia of an auto, made up a woeful spectacle. The inquisitor and other personages having taken their seats of state, the provincial of the Augustinians mounted the pulpit and delivered the sermon. Dellon preserved but one note of it. The preacher compared the Inquisition to Noah's ark, which received all sorts of beasts WILD, but sent them out TAME. The appearance of hundreds who had been inmates of that ark certainly justified the figure.

"After the sermon, two readers went up, one after the other, into the same pulpit, and, between them, they read the processes and pronounced the sentences, the person standing before them, with the alcayde, and holding a lighted taper in his hand. Dellon, in turn, heard the cause of his long-suffering. He had maintained the invalidity of baptismus flaminis, or desire to be baptised, when there is no one to administer the rite of baptism by water. He had said that images ought not to be adored, and that an ivory crucifix was a piece of ivory. He had spoken contemptuously of the Inquisition. And, above all, he had an ill intention. His punishment was to be confiscation of his property, banishment from India, and five years' service in the galleys in Portugal, with penance, as the inquisitors might enjoin. As all the prisoners were excommunicate, the inquisitor, after the sentence had been pronounced, put on his alb and stole, walked into the middle of the church, and absolved them all at once. Dellon's sponsor, who would not even answer him before, when he spoke, now embraced him, called him brother, and gave him a pinch of snuff, in token of reconciliation.

"But there were two persons, a man and a woman, for whom the church had no more that they could do; and these, with four dead bodies, and the effigies of the dead, were taken to be burnt on the Campo Santo Lazaro, on the river side, the place appointed for that purpose, that the viceroy might see justice done on the heretics, as he surveyed the execution from his palace-windows."

The remainder of Dellon's history adds nothing to what we have already heard of the Inquisition. He was taken to Lisbon, and, after working in a gang of convicts for some time, was released on the intercession of some friends in France with the Portuguese government. With regard to his despair, and attempts to commit suicide, when in the holy house, we may observe that, as he states, suicide was very frequent there. The contrast of his disconsolate impatience with the resignation and constancy of Christian confessors in similar circumstances, is obvious. As a striking illustration of the difference between those who suffer without a consciousness of divine favor, and those who rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, we would refer the reader to that noble band of martyrs who suffered death at the stake, at the Auto held in Seville, on Sunday, September 24, 1559. At that time twenty-one were burnt, followed by one effigy, and eighteen penitents, who were released.

"One of the former was Don Juan Gonzales, Presbyter of Seville, an eminent preacher. With admirable constancy he refused to make any declaration, in spite of the severe torture, saying that he had not followed any erroneous opinions, but that he had drawn his faith from the holy Scriptures; and for this faith he pleaded to his tormentors in the words of inspiration. He maintained that he was not a heretic, but a Christian, and absolutely refused to divulge anything that would bring his brethren into trouble. Two sisters of his were also brought out to this Auto, and displayed equal faith. They would confess Christ, they said, and suffer with their brother, whom they revered as a wise and holy man. They were all tied to stakes on the quemadero, a piece of pavement, without the walls of the city, devoted to the single use of burning human victims. Sometimes this quemadero [Footnote: Llorente, the historian of the Spanish Inquisition, says, "So many persons were to be put to death by fire, the governor of Seville caused a permanent raised platform of masonry to be constructed outside the city, which has lasted to our time (until the French revolution) retaining its name of Quemadero, or burning-place, and at the four corners four large hollow stalutes of limestone, within which they used to place the impenitent alive, that they might die by slow fires."] was a raised platform of stone, adorned with pillows or surrounded with statues, to distinguish and beautify the spot. Just as the fire was lit, the gag, which had hitherto silenced Don Juan, was removed, and as the flames burst from the fagots, he said to his sisters, 'Let us sing, Deus laudem meam ne tacueris.' And they sang together, while burning, 'Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.' Thus they died in the faith of Christ, and of his holy gospel."



The Inquisition of Goa continued its Autos for a century after the affair of Dellon. In the summer of 1808, Dr. Claudius Buchanan visited that city, and had been unexpectedly invited by Joseph a Doloribus, second and most active inquisitor, to lodge with him during his visit. Not without some surprise, Dr. Buchanan found himself, heretic, schismatic, and rebel as he was, politely entertained by so dread a personage. Regarding his English visitor merely as a literary man, or professing to do so, Friar Joseph, himself well educated, seemed to enjoy his company, and was unreservedly communicative on every subject not pertaining to his own vocation. When that subject was first introduced by an apparently incidental question, he did not hesitate to return the desired information, telling Dr. Buchanan that the establishment was nearly as extensive as in former times. In the library of the chief inquisitor he saw a register containing the names of all the officers, who still were numerous.

On the second evening after his arrival, the doctor was surprised to see his host come from his apartment, clothed in black robes from head to foot, instead of white, the usual color of his order (Augustinian). He said that he was going to sit on the tribunal of the holy office, and it transpired that, so far from his "august office" not occupying much of his time, he had to sit there three or four days every week. After his return, in the evening, the doctor put Dellon's book into his hand, asking him if he had ever seen it. He had never seen it before, and, after reading aloud and slowly, "Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa," began to peruse it with eagerness.

While Dr. Buchanan employed himself in writing, Friar Joseph devoured page after page; but as the narrative proceeded, betrayed evident symptoms of uneasiness. He then turned to the middle, looked at the end, skimmed over the table of contents, fixed on its principal passages, and at one place exclaimed, in his broad Italian accent, "Mendacium! mendacium.'" The doctor requested him to mark the passages that were untrue, proposed to discuss them afterwards, and said he had other books on the subject. The mention of other books startled him; he looked up anxiously at some books on the table, and then gave himself up to the perusal of Dellon's "Relation," until bedtime. Even then, he asked permission to take it to his chamber.

The doctor had fallen asleep under the roof of the inquisitor's convent, confident, under God, in the protection at that time guaranteed to a British subject, his servants sleeping in the gallery outside the chamber-door. About midnight, he was waked by loud shrieks and expressions of terror from some one in the gallery. In the first moment of surprise, he concluded it must be the alguazils of the holy office seizing his servants to carry them to the Inquisition. But, on going out, he saw the servants standing at the door, and the person who had caused the alarm, a boy of about fourteen, at a little distance, surrounded by some of the priests, who had come out of their cells on hearing the noise. The boy said he had seen a spectre; and it was a considerable time before the agitations of his body and voice subsided. Next morning at breakfast, the inquisitor apologized for the disturbance, and said the boy's alarm proceeded from a phantasma animi,—phantom of the imagination.

It might have been so. Phantoms might well haunt such a place. As to Dellon's book, the inquisitor acknowledged that the descriptions were just; but complained that he had misjudged the motives of the inquisitors, and written uncharitably of Holy Church. Their conversation grew earnest, and the inquisitor was anxious to impress his visitor with the idea that the Inquisition had undergone a change in some respects, and that its terrors were mitigated. At length Dr. Buchanan plainly requested to see the Inquisition, that he might judge for himself as to the humanity shown to the inmates,—according to the inquisitor,—and gave, as a reason why he should be satisfied, his interest in the affairs of India, on which he had written, and his purpose to write on them again, in which case he could scarcely be silent concerning the Inquisition. The countenance of his host fell; but, after some further observations, he reluctantly promised to comply. Next morning, after breakfast, Joseph a Doloribus went to dress for the holy office, and soon returned in his black robes. He said he would go half an hour before the usual time, for the purpose of showing him the Inquisition. The doctor fancied he looked more severe than usual, and that his attendants were not as civil as before. But the truth was, that the midnight scene still haunted him. They had proceeded in their palanquins to the holy house, distant about a quarter of a mile from the convent, and the inquisitor said as they were ascending the steps of the great entrance, that he hoped the doctor would be satisfied with a transient view of the Inquisition, and would retire when he should desire him to do so. The doctor followed with tolerable confidence, towards the great hall aforementioned, where they were met by several well-dressed persons, familiars, as it afterwards appeared, who bowed very low to the inquisitor, and looked with surprise at the stranger. Dr. Buchanan paced the hall slowly, and in thoughtful silence; the inquisitor thoughtful too, silent and embarrassed. A multitude of victims seemed to haunt the place, and the doctor could not refrain from breaking silence. "Would not the Holy Church wish, in her mercy, to have those souls back again, that she might allow them a little further probation?" The inquisitor answered nothing, but beckoned him to go with him to a door at one end of the hall. By that door he conducted him to some small rooms, and thence, to the spacious apartments of the chief inquisitor. Having surveyed those, he brought him back again to the great hall, and seemed anxious that the troublesome visitor should depart; but only the very words of Dr. B. can adequately describe the close of this extraordinary interview."

"Now, father," said I, "lead me to the dungeons below: I want to see the captives." "No," said he, "that cannot be." I now began to suspect that it had been in the mind of the inquisitor, from the beginning, to show me only a certain part of the Inquisition, in the hope of satisfying my inquiries in a general way. I urged him with earnestness; but he steadily resisted, and seemed offended, or, rather, agitated, by my importunity. I intimated to him plainly, that the only way to do justice to his own assertion and arguments regarding the present state of the Inquisition, was to show me the prisons and the captives. I should then describe only what I saw; but now the subject was left in awful obscurity. "Lead me down," said I, "to the inner building, and let me pass through the two hundred dungeons, ten feet square, described by your former captives. Let me count the number of your present captives, and converse with them. I WANT, TO SEE IF THERE BE ANY SUBJECTS OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, TO WHOM WE OWE PROTECTION. I want to ask how long they have been there, how long it is since they have seen the light of the sun, and whether they ever expect to see it again. Show me the chamber of torture, and declare what modes of execution or punishment are now practiced inside the walls of the Inquisition, in lieu of the public Auto de Fe. If, after all that has passed, father, you resist this reasonable request, I should be justified in believing that you are afraid of exposing the real state of the Inquisition in India."

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