Allan Kardec

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Confessions of Louis XI

Story of his life, dictated by himself to Ms. Ermance Dufaux

When talking about the story of Joan of Arc, dictated by her, proposing to cite several passages, we said that Ms. Dufaux had also written the story of Louis XI. This work, one of the most precious of its kind, contains valuable documents from a historical point of view. In that work, Louis XI shows himself as the profound politician that we know. Besides, he gives us the key to several so far inexplicable facts. From the spiritist point of view, it is one of the most curious presentations of lengthy works produced by the spirits. Two things are remarkable with that regard: the speed of execution, as it took only fifteen days to dictate the subject of a thick volume, and the precise memory that a spirit may keep of his Earthly life. To those who doubted the origin of this work, and wanted to attribute it to the memory of Ms. Dufaux, we would say that it would be necessary that a fourteen year old child had a phenomenal memory, and a not less extraordinary precocity in order to be able to write, in a surge, the work of such a nature. However, admitting that it was so, we ask where such a child would have obtained the new explanations about the somber politics of Louis XI, and if it would not be more interesting that her parents had attributed the merit to her. From all stories written through her, Joan of Arc was the only one published. We hope the others will follow soon, and we anticipate a greater success, the more spread out the spiritist ideas are today.

We extracted, from the story of Louis XI, a passage about the death of Count Charolais.

Facing the historical fact that Louis XI had given the general government of Normandy to the Count of Charolais; historians confess that they cannot understand a King, who was such a great politician, making such a mistake.10

The explanations given by Louis XI are difficult to contest, since confirmed by three facts known to all: the conspiracy of Constain; Count Charolais’ trip following the execution of the culprit and, finally, the assignment of the general government of the Normandy to this prince, province which united the states of the Dukes of Burgundy and Brittany, enemies always allied against Louis XI.

Louis XI thus writes:

“The Count of Charolais was awarded with the general government of Normandy and a pension of thirty six thousand pounds. It was a great imprudence to increase the power of the Burgundy house in such a way. Although this explanation keeps us away from the link of England’s businesses, I think it is my duty to explain here the motives which lead me to so proceed.”

“Soon after his return from the Netherlands, the Duke of Burgundy had fallen seriously ill. The Count of Charolais did love his father, despite the displeasures imposed on him. It is certain that his impulsive and impetuous character and, above all, my perfidious insinuations, could excuse him. He treated him with perfect filial love, day and night, not moving away from his bed.”

“The old Duke crisis made me reflect seriously. I hated the Count and thought I had everything to fear from him. Nevertheless, he had only one daughter at a young age, circumstance which after the Duke’s death, who did not give indications that would live long, had originated a minority which the Flemish, always turbulent, had made extremely stormy. I could have then easily taken over, if not all the properties of the Burgundy house, at least part of it, by masking this usurpation with an alliance or by leaving everything that power would yield as hateful. There were more than necessary reasons to poison the Count of Charolais. Besides, the idea of a crime would no longer scare me.”

“I managed to seduce the prince’s sommelier, Jean Constain. Italy was a kind of poisoner’s laboratory: it was there that Constain sent Jean d’Ivy, who he had corrupted by a considerable amount of money to be paid on his return. D’Ivy wanted to know the target of the poison. The sommelier committed the imprudence of revealing that it was Count Charolais.”

“After accomplishing his task, d’Ivy showed up to receive the agreed amount but, instead of paying, Constain covered him with indignity. Furious with the reception, d’Ivy swore vengeance. He went to Count Charolais and told him everything he knew. Constain was arrested and taken to Rippemonde Castle. Afraid of torture, he confessed to everything but my complicity, hoping perhaps that I would intercede in his favor. He was already at the top of the tower, place destined to the execution, and everything was prepared to behead him when he manifested his desire to speak to the Count. He then told the Count about the role I played in the attempt murder.”

“Despite his amazement and rage he did not speak. As a result, those present could only make vague conjectures based on the surprising events created by the reports. Yet, despite the importance of such a revelation, Constain was decapitated and his properties confiscated but delivered to the Duke of Burgundy’s family. His informer had the same fate, partially due to an answer given to the prince of Burgundy. The latter asked if the promised amount had been paid if he would have denounced the plot. With an unconceivable recklessness he said no.”

“When the Count came to Tours he requested a private audience. He showed all his fury and covered me with condemnation. I calmed him down giving him the general government of Normandy and the pension of thirty six thousand pounds. The general government was a decorative title and from the pension he received only the first part.

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