HOMAGE DUE TO THE SAINTS.
FIRST COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other
VII. - HOMAGE DUE TO THE SAINTS.
243. Relics of St. Babylas. -
The very presence of the relics of a saint is enough, dear friends, to deprive the devil of all his power; hence it is that some are always placed under the altar stone where Mass is said. One day, the Emperor Julian the Apostate, who had embraced the worship of idols, offered sacrifice to Apollo, near the fountain of Castalia, in the Daphne suburb, at Antioch. Unable to obtain an answer to what he desired, he asked the pagan priests what was the reason of this silence. The demons replied that it was occasioned by the proximity of the tomb of the martyr Babylas. That holy bishop of Antioch had died in 251. Gallus, the associate of Constantius in the empire, and the brother of Julian, had caused a church to be built near the Temple of Apollo, to
purify the Daphne suburb from the superstitions and crimes of the pagans, and had translated thither the bodies of St. Babylas, and the martyrs, his companions. Then Julian sent for the Galileans, as he called the Christians, and ordered them to remove these relics. The Christians, having assembled in that place, carried off with great joy the coffin of those holy martyrs, chanting as they marched, in the very ears of Julian, that verse of the 96th Psalm, which they repeated by way of chorus: Let them be all confounded that adore graven things, and that glory in their idols. The relics had no sooner been transferred to the city of Antioch, than fire from heaven fell on the Temple of Apollo, the roof of which it burned, and reduced its very idol to ashes, by a visible punishment from the Lord. Here we see a temple built to the true God in the third century, in which to deposit the relics of saints; we also see the presence of those relics imposing silence on the demons. All that is an evident proof of the high antiquity of the veneration which the Church loves to render to the precious remains of saints and martyrs.
- SOZOMENES, (who recorded these events around 400 A.D.) Ecclesiastical History, Book V., Chapter 19.
244. The Remains of a Robber. -
The Church is very prudent and very wise in her veneration of the relics of Saints; she never admits them without good proof: Thus there was near the monastery of Marmoutier, in the neighbourhood of the city of Tours, a place consecrated by the erroneous opinion of the people to the memory of a supposed martyr. St. Martin, who never
gave credence lightly to uncertain things, gave, in this matter, a proof of consummate prudence. He commenced by inquiring of the oldest of the clergy, as to the name of this pretended martyr and the time at which he suffered. As he could learn nothing certain, he abstained for some time from going to this holy place, fearing to do anything hurtful to religion, in the uncertainty in which he was placed, and in order not to authorize superstition by his example. At length, he went to the place, where the bishops his predecessors are believed to have erected an altar ; he took with him some of his monks, knelt on the very tomb of the pretended martyr, and prayed that God would make known to him who it was that was buried there. Then he perceived, on his left, a hideous phantom, horrible to behold. He commanded him to tell his name and state. The spectre obeyed, told his name, confessed that he had been a robber, executed for his crimes, and that the people honoured him by mistake. "I am condemned to hell," he added, " and I have nothing in common with the martyrs, who are in glory." All present heard the miraculous voice, but it was only St. Martin that saw the spectre.
He published then what he had seen, and caused the altar which had been erected on the spot to be destroyed. Having done all that true Christian prudence and pastoral zeal suggested, he delivered his people from the superstition into which they had fallen through a mistake of other times.
- SULPCIUS SEVERUS, (who was a near contemporary), Life of St. Martin.
245. A Pagan who Invokes the Saints. -
Strange to say, my young friends, it has sometimes happened that the Saints have heard the prayers even of pagans who confidently addressed them. I have read somewhere that Chosroes, a famous king of Persia, who flourished in the sixth century, experienced this himself: He was at war with one of his generals who had revolted against him. A little before the commencement of the battle, he learned that the celebrated martyr St. Sergius obtained from God whatever he asked. He conceived the happy idea of having recourse to him, and besought him to obtain the victory for him. He was heard, and his enemy was completely routed, although his enemy's forces far out-numbered those of Chosroes. The latter, full of gratitude to the holy martyr, gave to his church a gold cross enriched with precious stones. He, moreover, restored to that church another very valuable cross which his grandfather had unjustly taken from it. Finally, he added several privileges to those already enjoyed by the basilica of St. Sergius. All this, doubtless, proves his gratitude, but it also proves how great is the power of the Saints with God, and how certain it is that they will hear the prayers of those who confidently invoke their aid. If an idolatrous prince who invokes a Saint obtains what he asks for, how much more shall we, dear friends, who are Catholics and the brethren of the Saints, obtain what we ask through their intercession in faith and trust?
- SCHMID and BELET, Cat. Hist., II., p 92.
246. - The Emperor's Coin. -
When we honour the image of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, or any of the Saints, it is them we honour, and not the material, more or less rude, of which that image is made. This is admirably explained by St. Stephen, abbot of a monastery near Nicomedia, in Asia Minor. In the eighth century, the Emperor Constantine Copronymus, who was of the sect of Iconoclasts, that is to say, image-breakers, would fain have gained St. Stephen over to his party, hoping that his example might draw the laity after him. He had him brought, therefore, to Constantinople, and employed, in turn, threats, persuasions, and arguments to seduce him. But all was in vain. At length, losing patience, that impious prince had him brought before him for the last time and spoke to him angrily: - "What impudence! what audacity! a wretched little monk dares to resist the Emperor!" The Saint did not allow himself to be intimidated by these taunts, and remained modestly silent. "Well! have you nothing to say, you stupid man? you do not deign to answer me?" - "If you wish, sire, to put me to death, I am ready; but if you would graciously take my case into consideration, there is no necessity for being angry." - "You treat us as heretics; have we, then, ever despised the doctrine of the Holy Fathers of the Church?" - "Yes, Prince, you trample under foot the sacred images which they venerated; you have not been ashamed to say that a crucifix, or a statue of the Blessed Virgin are idols, like the images of Apollo or Diana." - "But, blockhead, when we
trample on an image of wood or stone, do we trample on Jesus Christ, or the Saints?"
Instead of answering this impertinence, St. Stephen took a coin from his pocket and showed it to Constantine, asking him whose image was stamped upon it. "It is mine - the Emperor's." - "Well," said the holy man, turning to the officers present, "and what would be done to him who should throw that coin on the ground, spit upon it, and trample it under foot?" - "He would be put in prison, and punished severely." - "Alas!" sighed St. Stephen, "people honour the image of an Emperor, and they would have me trample under foot the image of my God. Is this reasonable or just?" Constantine well understood the drift of this reasoning, but he was too much enraged and too obstinate in his power to be influenced by it. He caused the holy abbot to be beheaded.
- REYRE, Anec. Chret., 61.
247. The Miracle of the Ardentes. -
What God sometimes refuses to the prayers of the faithful, He often grants to the prayers of the Saints and the mere presence of their relics. A cruel malady called the Plague of the Ardentes ravaged the capital of France in 1129, in the reign of Louis, surnamed the Fat. An inward fire consumed the intestines of the poor victims of this destructive malady; the art of the physicians was entirely at fault, and could do nothing to stop its ravages. Stephen, bishop of Paris, a prelate of eminent sanctity, ordered fasts and prayers throughout his whole diocese; but they appeared
useless, and God was still, it would seem, inexorable. At last the pious prelate conceived the idea of having a solemn procession, in which the shrine of St. Genevieve was to be borne from her church to the cathedral. O prodigy! at the very moment when it crossed the threshold of its sanctuary, all the sick were restored to health, with the exception of three, who perhaps, wanted faith, or that God in His merciful designs would sanctify them by a longer trial. Pope Innocent II. consecrated the memory of this event by a festival, which the church of Paris still celebrates every year, on the 26th of November, under the title of Saint Genevieve des Ardents.
- Life of St., Genevieve.
248. Little Xavier Restored to Life. -
We each have the happiness, my dear children, of bearing the name of one, and sometimes even of several saints. These are our patrons, that is to say, our protectors with God, and we should never forget to address them by that title. A pagan woman, of the kingdom of Tanjaour, in India, being converted with all her family, cherished ever after a special devotion to St. Francis Xavier. She had a child whom she tenderly loved; when he was baptized, she would have him called Xavier, hoping that the great Apostle of the Indies would save his life and preserve him in innocence.
Some time after his baptism, this child, who was ten or twelve years old, was tending sheep with two other little boys of his own age. They were all three struck dead by lightning. Their mothers, hearing
of the terrible accident, ran, of course, to take away their bodies. Two of them, who were idolaters, seeing no remedy for their misfortune, had their children buried or cremated. But the Christian woman took the motionless and lifeless body of her little Xavier, and carried it to the church. There, addressing her holy patron: - "Great Saint," said she, "are you not the protector of my family? Have I not told my relations a hundred times that I had nothing to fear after placing my confidence in you? Yet my son is no more. Shall there be no difference between those idolatrous mothers who know not the true God, and me who make profession of serving Him and of being particularly devoted to you? Comfort an afflicted mother; you have raised many from the dead, can you not also raise my son?" She was still speaking when some Christian women, who were present, thought they perceived a slight motion in little Xavier's body. In fact, two or three minutes after, he opened his eyes ; his mother threw herself on him and embraced him with transport. He was full of life, and showed not even the slightest trace of the lightning that had struck him dead.
- GUILLOIS, Mois de Marie de tout le monde, 173.
249. Pilgrimage to St. Ann of Auray. -
Of all places of pilgrimage in Brittany, St. Ann of Auray is one of the most celebrated. People go there from far and near. On the festival of that holy mother of Mary, the concourse of strangers is immense; Mass can only be said, on that great solemnity, on a very high altar
in the open air. That altar is reached by a double staircase, which the pilgrims so often ascend barefoot or on their knees, that their piety and devotion have al ready worn some of the steps; and yet this pilgrimage of St. Ann of Auray is only a couple of hundred years old, since it dates but from 1625. Its origin is thus accounted for: A good peasant in the neighbourhood was driving his plough; on reaching a certain part of the field his oxen stopped; he tried all he could to make them go on, but all in vain. The next day, and the following days, the peasant returned to his field, but his oxen still refused to pass the spot where they stopped the day before. Amazed, and even frightened at what he could not by any means understand, he got a Mass said, and the following night, being unable to sleep, he walked out in the fields saying his beads with all the fervour of a true Breton. Suddenly he perceived a great light in the field he had been unable to plough. In the midst of a luminous aureola he distinguished a woman clothed in white, and pointing with her finger to a certain part of the field; it was the very spot where his oxen had stopped. Next day, the good peasant and his family dug down at the spot indicated, and found in the ground an image of the Blessed Virgin's mother. A small oratory was raised on the spot, but it soon became too small for the ardent piety of the pilgrims. The present church was then built. In former times, kings princes, and other great persons enriched it with gifts and ornaments. In the nineteenth century
Madame the Dauphiness and her illustrious sister went there to pray. A silver lamp was presented to that venerated shrine by the ill-fated Mary Carolina of Sicily, Duchess de Berry; it bears the date of her pilgrimage, 24th June, 1828. But pilgrims no less illustrious went within a few years to pray at St. Ann's of Auray; yes, my young friends, Emperor Napoleon III. and the Empress Eugenie piously knelt and heard Mass in that venerable sanctuary on the 15th of August, 1858.
- GUILLOIS, Nouvelle Explic. du Catachisme, 174.
- G. S. G.
250. A Fine Picture of the Scourging at the Pillar. -
When we honour sacred images, it is not the stone, the canvas, or the wood that receives our homage, but the persons whom they represent. A Protestant, named Schubart, relates that entering one day the garden of a convent in Italy, he saw there a Franciscan monk kneeling before a magnificent picture of Our Lord, painted in fresco. It represented the Scourging in Pilate's Hall, and the blood actually seemed dropping from the sacred image. The monk arose, on seeing the stranger, but his face was still radiant with the ardour of his devotion. "You have a superb picture there," said the Protestant, addressing him. "The original is far superior," said the monk, smiling. "And why do you not rather address the original in your prayers, father?" This question gave the monk to understand that it was a Protestant who spoke, and he made him this reply. "You seem to be a Protestant, and not very favourable
to the veneration of sacred images; I must, therefore, call your attention to the fact that this picture only assists my imagination, so that I may the more easily represent to myself my Saviour's Passion. My mind does not fix itself on that Christ painted in colours on the wall, but to the real Christ who died for me. Can you pray without having some image before your mind, that is to say, without representing to yourself, at least in imagination, the object of your devotion? Is it not better that an artist, a master in the art of painting, should represent the saints to us, than leave it to our imagination?" This reasoning was so clear, so conclusive, that Schubart could only answer: "You say true, father, I never thought of it in that way." And he withdrew in some confusion at the thought of having been so far instructed by a poor monk, whom he probably little expected to find skilled in theology.
- SCHMID et BELET, Cat. Hist., II. 129.
251. The Cross and the Vendean Catholic. -
There happened, at the time of the Revolution, a heroic instance of respect for sacred images. A Vendean (that is, a Frenchman from the region known as The Vendee), named Ripoche, a soldier in the royal and Catholic army, having been taken prisoner by the Republicans, was taken to a cross and told: "You have been taken with arms in your hands, so your death warrant is signed. There is the cottage in which you were born, your father lives there still, and so may you, if you will only be obedient to what you are told." The Vendean looked at his humble home, and the tears
came into his eyes. "What must I do in order to save my life?" - "Take this axe, and cut down that cross." Ripoche took the axe; his companions in misfortune, who had been captured with him, shuddering turned away: they thought the Vendean was going to abjure his God. Ripoche, brandishing the axe which had been placed in his hands, darted on the pedestal of the cross, and, raising his arm, he cried in a voice that might be heard all around: "Death to him who shall insult the Cross of Jesus Christ! I will defend it to my last breath!" Resting his back against the sacred image, he flourishes his axe; a divine ardour flashes from his eyes; a supernatural strength seems to animate him. He succeeds for some moments in beating back his sacrilegious assailants. Astounded by such heroic courage, they dare not advance. But soon, ashamed of being stopped by a single man, they break into a savage yell and rush on the valiant Christian. The number increases; he is surrounded from every side. . . . He loses the axe; he still keeps hold of the cross; the monsters tear his arms from around it; they throw him down on the pedestal, and pointing their bayonets to his breast, they tell him: "Down with that superstitious emblem and your life shall be spared!" - "It is the sign of my redemption," cries the Vendean, "I will embrace it still!" and by a last effort, throwing his arms round the tree of salvation, he thus received his death at the hands of his impious adversaries. What faith! my dear friends, what courage! what intrepidity!
- GUILLOIS, Explic. du Cat, 127.
252. Voltaire's Brain. -
Heretics, and even at times some ignorant or ill-disposed Catholics, blame us, my young friends, for the respectful homage we pay to the images and relics of the Saints. They are wrong in doing so, for they pay quite as much honour themselves at times to objects which have belonged to what they call great men. You can have no idea of the number of locks of hair, sticks, shoes, snuff boxes, and all such things that sell at a very high price, because they are said to have belonged to D'Alembert, Frederick the Great, Franklin, Napoleon, and a host of other celebrated persons of ancient or modern times. There was an account published some years ago in the Paris papers of a Mr. Verdier, the grand-nephew of a surgeon of the time of King Louis XV., having written to the French Academy to offer if desired, a portion of Voltaire's brain, which his grand-uncle had put aside and preserved in spirits of wine, when embalming the body of that famous philosopher, who was then more than eighty years old. This brain must have appeared to that gentleman a very precious relic, since he thought it worthy of being offered to the French Academy; but the members of that learned society were not quite of his opinion, for they answered Mr. Verdier that they could not accept the relic, as they had no reliquary (reliquaire) in which to place it. So you see, my dear children, how different is the fate that awaits, even in this life, the proud philosopher and the humble servant of God. A saint, unknown and despised, will be placed
on altars and venerated throughout the whole Church, whilst the mere man of learning and of reputation will be forgotten after the lapse of some years.
- G. S. G.
253. The Little Idol Spared. -
One of the most celebrated martyrs of the Church is St. Sebastian. Even before he had confessed the faith in torments, he had made himself famous by the prodigies he wrought. The Governor of Rome, named Chromatius, who was afflicted with infirmities which the physicians could not cure, had the curiosity to see him, hoping that he would cure him. When St. Sebastian appeared before him, he failed not to speak to him of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to tell him that it was in His name and by His power he performed all the miracles of which he had heard. "Well!" said Chromatius to him, "let Jesus Christ cure me, and I promise Him that I will become a Christian." - "That is not enough," replied St. Sebastian, "commence by breaking all your idols, and I promise you, you shall be cured." Chromatius promised him, and they parted. Some days after, more tortured than ever, the Governor sent again for the generous Sebastian, and began bitterly to reproach him: "How is this, you wretched Christian? at your word I break all my idols, and behold I suffer more than ever!" - " Is it true, my lord, that you have broken all your idols? have you spared none?" - "No, I broke them all, except one little golden statue, which I value very highly, because it has been a long time in our family."
- "Ah, my lord, I am no longer surprised that you have not been cured; were that idol dearer to you than all the world, you must destroy it, because you cannot, in conscience, prefer it to the God who has created you, who preserves you, and will one day judge you. Break it, and I tell you again, I will answer for your cure." Chromatius, persuaded, acquitted himself with a good grace, broke his golden statuette to pieces, and was perfectly cured.
- LASSAUSSE, Explic. du Cat. de l'Empire, 571.
254. The Horoscope of Two Children. -
The ancients imagined that the stars exercised particular influences on children who were born in such or such a conjuncture. This superstitious idea lasted for many ages, and even yet you may sometimes hear the phrase - He is born under a lucky, or an unlucky star. Nothing is more ridiculous than this notion, as St. Augustine himself took care to prove to us by a story of his own day. The circumstance occurred to one of his friends, named Firminius, who related it to him in these terms: "My father was so superstitious, that, some time before I came into the world, he consulted the stars in order to read my fortune. He had a friend who was no less addicted to astrology than himself; this friend likewise consulted the stars for one of his domestics, who was on the point of giving birth to a child (indeed, she had the unhappy misfortune of being a kitchen slave-girl drudge). They agreed together that each should send a messenger to the other to apprise him of the day and hour on which the respective births should take place. By a singular chance, the messengers
set out at the same moment from the two houses, and met midway on the road, which proves that the two children were born exactly at the same time. Well! behold the folly of fortune-tellers. My father pretended to have read in the stars that I was to be a great genius, and all my life through, a favourite of fortune. His friend, who had been observing the heavens at the same moment, and who, consequently, should have seen just what he did, assured him that he saw quite the contrary, an evident proof that there is nothing more ridiculous, more absurd, than observations of this kind."
- D. GENEVAUX, Histoires Choisies, p. 436.
255. Friday. -
I am sure, my dear friends, you have often heard it said that Friday is an unlucky day, that nothing should ever be undertaken on that day, and so forth. This superstition is very common in Paris, which, nevertheless, pretends to be the first city in the world. Louis XIII., King of France, was not one of those who shared this silly belief. Having fallen dangerously ill in 1643, Extreme Unction was proposed to him. He wished to have the opinion of his physicians; he asked Bouvard whether his disease were curable. "Sire," said Bouvard, "God is all-powerful." Then the King, with a gay and smiling countenance, said in the words of the prophet (David): Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi, in domum Domini ibimus: "I rejoiced at the things they have told me: we shall go into the house of the Lord." And, believing that he was to die on the following
day, which was Friday, he immediately added: "O, the desirable, O, the agreeable news! O, the blessed day for me! this is indeed a lucky Friday! But this is not the first time that Fridays have been favourable to me. It was on a Friday that I ascended the throne, that I gained my first victory at Ponts-de-Ce, that I took the city of St. John d'Angely, and, finally, that I fought Soubisse at l'Ile de Re. But this one will be the happiest of all my life, since it will place me in heaven, there to reign eternally with my God." It was in these so Christian sentiments that this wise prince prepared to receive the last sacraments, and then to appear before God. He died at St. Germain en Laye, on the 14th of May, 1643.
- GUILLOIS, Explic. du Cat., 182.
256. A Cow without Milk. -
Nothing is more common than to find superstition amongst persons who are not well instructed. I could prove this by a thousand examples. Here is a somewhat curious one. A superstitious countrywoman came one day to her parish priest and begged of him to tell her some way of curing her cow. "Ah, sir, if you only knew how much milk she used to give, but this while back she gives none at all. I think she must be bewitched." The priest, more anxious to cure the woman of her superstition than her cow of its supposed disease, gave her a sealed paper, and told her to be sure and go every night at ten o'clock, and touch the stable-door with her paper. The woman did exactly as she was told. The following night as she made her accustomed
rounds, she found the stable-door open, but she thought the servant must have forgotten to close it through mistake. Curious to see the effect of her remedy, she failed not to go next morning and milk the cow herself: Miracle! miracle! the poor beast gave her usual quantity of milk. The night following she repeated the ceremony, and this time the cow again gave milk in abundance. The third night, she found the stable-door shut; but, to her great surprise, she perceived in a corner the brother of her servant, who was trying to conceal himself, and appeared all ashamed for having been discovered. She then understood the whole mystery. She made up her mind to dismiss her servant next day, but the latter knowing what was in store for her had already taken her departure. Humbled and confused at this occurrence, the woman went to tell all to the priest, who said to her: "Well, my good woman, I hope you are now cured of your superstition. See here is what I wrote in your sealed paper: 'Sit up later in the evening, watch heifer by night, and the magic will all soon disappear'."
- SCHMID et BELET, Cat. Hist., II., 71.
257. The Stolen Herd. -
It is a very singular thing, my friends, to see with what simplicity the ignorant adopt the most absurd notions in regard to superstition. One day, some adventurers addressed a young peasant who was herding swine, telling him that they had an excellent plan to prevent his herd even in his absence, from scattering about, and being devoured
by wild beasts. These words strongly excited the herdsman's curiosity, for he would be well pleased to be able to go away now and then for a little relaxation. The strangers then showed him a little image of St. Blaise, and told him he had only to fasten that to his stick, and then plant it wherever he wished his swine to remain. The herdsman failed not to make the trial. The first and second time, having still some doubt as to the efficacy of the plan, he went but a short distance from his herd, and found nothing wrong on his return. Encouraged by this apparent success, and full of confidence in the virtue of his image, he planted his stick again, and went off to join some of his companions two or three miles away. He staid long without any uneasiness; but in the evening when he returned, he found that all his swine had vanished, and no trace of any of them could he find. The adventurers who had discovered to him their famous secret, had counted on his credulity; they had concealed themselves behind the bushes, and profited by the absence of the simple young herdsman to take away his swine.
- SCHMID et BELET, Cat. Hist., II., 64.
258. The Lying Cuckoo. -
Poor people are sometimes found, dear children, who have more faith in omens and superstitious practices than in the teachings of religion, or even the simple dictates of common sense. I might quote many instances of this kind, but I shall content myself with the following, which will, perhaps, make you laugh, but may also
serve you on occasion. An old woman was in her bed dangerously ill. Her daughter urged her to prepare for death by disposing herself to receive the last sacraments. The poor woman gave a deaf ear to this, saying that it was not necessary. The pious daughter then begged one of their neighbours to try her persuasions, too, in order to persuade her mother to receive the rites of the Church. - "Oh! pray, don't trouble yourselves," said the dying woman with a smile, "you need not fear for me; I shall not die of this sickness, for the cuckoo prophesied to me that I have yet twelve years to live!" Imagine, my dear children, the astonishment of those who heard her. She fancied that she had as many years to live as she had heard a cuckoo sing without interruption. Nevertheless, as her state grew worse and worse, her daughter sent for a priest. Alas! he found her senseless; all hope was lost, and this unhappy victim of the most ridiculous superstition had only strength enough to say now and then: Cuckoo! Cuckoo! She thus died without sacraments, leaving to all who witnessed the sad scene a salutary lesson on the dangers of superstition.
- SCHMID et BELET, Cat. Hist., II., 62.
259. The Sorcerer of Provins. -
It is often said that we live in an enlightened age, yet for all that, my young friends, there are a great many people who do not see very clearly. There was at Provins, in 1804, an individual named Lemoine, who passed for a famous soothsayer. He professed, by means of some ceremonies, to find treasures for any person who paid him
a certain sum of money. First he asked twenty francs, then he gave a mystical book, which was to be signed by the spirit. But this spirit did not show himself without conditions; the first was to appear pure in his eyes, to fast, and have Masses said to the Holy Ghost. The second was to procure a goat, kill it with a steel knife, to cut off the skin in strips, which were to be laid around a field, and to burn the remains of the victim to ashes, which were then to be thrown into the air towards the rising sun. The third condition was to form a magic wand from a particular tree, by night, and by the light of several tapers made by the hand of a woman of Provins. After these minute preparations, the applicant might, with all safety, present himself to the spirit, who would sign the little book and give power to discover the treasures. A worthy man, named Suseau, poor in mind as in money, allowed himself to be fooled by the promises of Lemoine and his wife; he gave one hundred and thirteen francs to procure the goat, the steel knife, the tapers and the magic wand, and to have the Masses said; he also fasted for eight days, and presented himself with an empty stomach, but a head full of the fairest hopes. Lemoine told him to go back such a day, at such an hour. Suseau was as punctual as could be to his appointment, but he waited in vain for his conjurer. He ran to his house, but he was not there; he was in the country. Then Suseau saw at last that he had been made a fool of, and that Lemoine was nothing else than a rascally impostor.
He lodged informations against him, and the rascal was sentenced with his wife to two years' imprisonment, also to restore the one hundred and thirteen francs and pay the costs of the trial.
- GUILLOIS, Explic. du Cat., II., 125.