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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the

Was indicted for being a loup garou


Dole, two years afterwards,

Gilles Garnier, a native of Lyons, was indicted for being a _loup-garou_, or man-wolf, and for prowling in that shape about the country at night to devour little children. The indictment against him, as read by Henri Camus, doctor of laws and counsellor of the king, was to the effect that he, Gilles Garnier, had seized upon a little girl, twelve years of age, whom he drew into a vineyard and there killed, partly with his teeth and partly with his hands, seeming like wolf's paws; that from thence he trailed her bleeding body along the ground with his teeth into the wood of La Serre, where he ate the greatest portion of her at one meal, and carried the remainder home to his wife; that upon another occasion, eight days before the festival of All Saints, he was seen to seize another child in his teeth, and would have devoured her had she not been rescued by the country people, and that the said child died a few days afterwards of the injuries he had inflicted; that fifteen days after the same festival of All Saints, being again in the shape of a wolf, he devoured a boy thirteen years of age, having previously torn off his leg and thigh with his teeth, and hid them away for his breakfast on the morrow. He was furthermore indicted for giving way to the same diabolical and unnatural propensities even in his shape of a man; and that he had strangled a boy in a wood with the intention of eating him, which crime he would have effected if he had not been seen by the neighbours and prevented.

style="text-align: justify;">Gilles Garnier was put to the rack after fifty witnesses had deposed against him. He confessed every thing that was laid to his charge. He was thereupon brought back into the presence of his judges, when Dr. Camus, in the name of the parliament of Dole, pronounced the following sentence:

"Seeing that Gilles Garnier has, by the testimony of credible witnesses, and by his own spontaneous confession, been proved guilty of the abominable crimes of lycanthropy and witchcraft, this court condemns him, the said Gilles, to be this day taken in a cart from this spot to the place of execution, accompanied by the executioner (_maitre executeur de la haute justice_), where he, by the said executioner, shall be tied to a stake and burned alive, and that his ashes be then scattered to the winds. The court further condemns him, the said Gilles, to the costs of this prosecution."

"Given at Dole, this 18th day of January, 1573."

In 1578, the parliament of Paris was occupied for several days with the trial of a man named Jacques Rollet. He also was found guilty of being a _loup-garou_, and in that shape devouring a little boy. He was burnt alive in the Place de Greve.

In 1579, so much alarm was excited in the neighbourhood of Melun by the increase of witches and _loup-garous_, that a council was held to devise some measures to stay the evil. A decree was passed that all witches and consulters with witches should be punished with death; and not only those, but fortune-tellers and conjurors of every kind. The parliament of Rouen took up the same question in the following year, and decreed that the possession of a _grimoire_, or book of spells, was sufficient evidence of witchcraft, and that all persons on whom such books were found should be burned alive. Three councils were held in different parts of France in the year 1583, all in relation to the same subject. The parliament of Bourdeaux issued strict injunctions to all curates and clergy whatever to use redoubled efforts to root out the crime of witchcraft. The parliament of Tours was equally peremptory, and feared the judgments of an offended God if all these dealers with the devil were not swept from the face of the land. The parliament of Rheims was particularly severe against the _noueurs d'aiguillette_, or "tyers of the knot"--people of both sexes who took pleasure in preventing the consummation of marriage, that they might counteract the command of God to our first parents to increase and multiply. This parliament held it to be sinful to wear amulets to preserve from witchcraft; and that this practice might not be continued within its jurisdiction, drew up a form of exorcism, which would more effectually defeat the agents of the devil, and put them to flight.


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