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fix, the number of barrels, by twelve, the number of parliaments, it will make four hundred and thirty-two barrels, which, at a hundred crowns per barrel, will amount to not quite a hundred and thirty thousand livres ; a mere trifle for the reverend father-general.
The parliaments thus disposed of, you may bestow their places upon your congregationists, who are perfecily well versed in the laws of the realm.
Sixthly, It will be a very easy matter to poison the cardinal de Noailles, who is a very fimple, unsuspecting man.
Your reverence may take the same steps for conversion with several of the refractory prelates; and their bishoprics, by a brief from the pope, may be put into the hands of the Jesuits : thus all the bishops that remain being staunch to the good cause, and they making a proper choice of curates, I, with your reverence's permission, would give the following advice :
Seventhly and lastly, As the Jansenists are said to take the sacrament one time in the
year at least, which is at Easter, it would not be
amiss to feason the consecrated wafers, with a little of that drug which was used to do justice upon the emperor Henry VII. Some nice caviller may perhaps tell me, thatin this operation we may run some risque in poisoning the Molinifts at the same time, there is some weight in this objection : but then it should be considered, that there is no project without its inconveniencies; nor any system, but what threatens destruction in some part. And if we were to be stopped by these little difficulties, we should never attain our end in any thing : besides, as here we have in view the obtaining the greateft of all possible advantages, we should not suffer ourselves to be shocked, though it brings, with ic fome bad consequences, especially as those consequences are of little or no consideration.
And after all, we shall have nothing to reproach ourselves with, fince it is proved, that the Reformed, as they call themselves, and the Jansenists, have all of them their portion in hell; therefore, we only put them in pofleflion of their inheritance a little the fooner.
It is as evident, that heaven belongs of right to the Molinists; therefore by destroying them ;
by by mistake, and without any evil intention, we haften their happiness; and are in both cases the ministers of Providence.
As to those who may be a little shocked at she number to be thus made away with, your reverence may reinark to them, that from the first flourishing days of the church to the year 1707, that is to say, in about fourteen hundred years, religion has occafioned the massacre of - upwards of fifty millions of persons; whereas by my proposal, not above fix millions and a half will be put to death by the halter, the dag. ger, or poison.
But perhaps it may be objected, that my calculation is not just, and that I have committed an error against the Rule of Three; inasmuch, as, that if in fourteen hundred years, there perished fifty millions of souls, on account of some trifling disputes in divinity, that makes only thirty-five thousand seven hundred and fourteen, and some little fraction in a year, and consequently, that by my method an overplus of fix millions fixty-four thousand two hundred and eighty-five and fomne fractions, are put to death in the current year. But indeed, this a very childina quibble; nay, I'll even call it impious :
for is it not plain, that by my method, I favç the lives of all the Catholics, so long as the world shall last? But in short, there would be no end of answering every frivolous objection.
With the most profound Respect,
And most humane R
Native of Angoulême, Prefect of the Congregation.
This glorious scheme however could not be carried into execution, because it required a considerable time to make the necessary difpofitions, and that father Le Tellier was banish. ed the year following. But as it is right to examine both sides of an argument, it will be proper to enquire in what cases it may be lawful to follow in part the scheme of the reverend