He resumed his cap and sat down again.

Eheu!” groaned Gringoire, overwhelmed with grief. “Bassa latinitas.”2

Another man in a black gown now rose near the prisoner. It was her advocate. The fasting judges began to murmur.

“Advocate,” said the President, “be brief.”

“Monsieur the President,” replied the advocate, “since the defendant has confessed the crime, I have but one word to say to these gentlemen. I bring to their notice the following passage of the Salic law: ’If a witch have devoured a man and be convicted of it, she shall pay a fine of eight thousand deniers, which makes two hundred sous of gold.’ Let the court condemn my client to the fine.”

“An abrogated clause,” said the King’s Advocate Extraordinary.


“Put it to the vote!” suggested a councillor; “the crime is manifest, and it is late.”

The votes were taken without leaving the court. The judges gave their votes without a moment’s hesitation— they were in a hurry. One after another their heads were bared at the lugubrious question addressed to them in turn in a low voice by the President. The hapless prisoner seemed to be looking at them, but her glazed eyes no longer saw anything.

The clerk then began to write, and presently handed a long scroll of parchment to the President; after which the poor girl heard the people stirring, and an icy voice say:

“Bohemian girl, on such a day as it shall please our lord the King to appoint, at the hour of noon, you shall be taken in a tumbrel, in your shift, barefoot, a rope round your neck, before the great door of Notre- Dame, there to do penance with a wax candle of two pounds’ weight in your hands; and from there you shall be taken to the Place-de-Grève, where you will be hanged and strangled on the town gibbet, and your goat likewise; and shall pay to the Office three lion-pieces of gold in reparation of the crimes, by you committed and confessed, of sorcery, magic, prostitution, and murder against the person of the Sieur Phœbus de Châteaupers. And God have mercy on your soul!”

“Oh, ’tis a dream!” she murmured, and she felt rude hands bearing her away.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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