The History of a Crime, by Victor Hugo

Chapter xiv.

A Religious Incident

A little religion can be mingled with this justice. Here is an example.

Frederick Morin, like Arnauld de l’Ariège, was a Catholic Republican. He thought that the souls of the victims of the 4th of December, suddenly cast by the volleys of the coup d’état into the infinite and the unknown, might need some assistance, and he undertook the laborious task of having a mass said for the repose of these souls. But the priests wished to keep the masses for their friends. The group of Catholic Republicans which Frederick Morin headed applied successively to all the priests of Paris; but met with a refusal. They applied to the Archbishop: again a refusal. As many masses for the assassin as they liked, but far the assassinated not one. To pray for dead men of this sort would be a scandal. The refusal was determined. How should it be overcome? To do without a mass would have appeared easy to others, but not to these staunch believers. The worthy Catholic Democrats with great difficulty at length unearthed in a tiny suburban parish a poor old vicar, who consented to mumble in a whisper this mass in the ear of the Almighty, while begging Him to say nothing about it.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38