These stories struck me with surprise at first, but I gradually began to feel differently, even supposing them true, and to look upon the priests as men incapable of sin; besides, when I first went to confession, which I did to Father Richards, in the old French church since taken downI heard nothing improper; and it was not until I had been several times, that the priests became more and more bold, and were at length indecent in their questions and even in their conduct when I confessed to them in the Sacristie. When going to administer it in any country place, he used to ride with a man before him, who rang a bell as a signal. It was also soon perceived that she could never have been taught it by others, as no part of it was systematically arranged in her mind, and she communicated it in the incidental manner common to uneducated persons, who recount past scenes in successive conversations. As fast as we finished our meals, each rolled up her knife, fork, and spoon in her napkin, and bound them together with the band, and set with hands folded. They fear that the minds of the young, at least, may be polluted. To witness the scenes which often occurred between us and strangers, would have struck a person very powerfully, if he had known how truth was set at naught. If the interior of the Black Nunnery, whenever it shall be examined, is materially different from the following description, then I can claim no confidence of my readers.
Here were about forty of them, and they were collected in groups in different parts of the room, chiefly near the windows; but in each group was found one of the veiled nuns of the Convent, whose abode was in the interior apartments, to which no novice was to be admitted.
Do you suppose that if there were no devil, there would be any priests? I must be informed, that one of my great duties was, to obey the priests in all things; and this I soon learnt, to my utter astonishment and horror, was to live in the practice of criminal intercourse with them. The authority of the priests in everything, and the enormity of every act which opposes it, were also impressed upon our minds, in various ways, by our teachers. There is but little furniture, and that very plain. Infants were sometimes born in the convent; but they were always baptized and immediately strangled! After my admission among the nuns, I had more opportunity than before, to observe the conduct of mad Jane Ray. Lawrence suburbs, a distant part of the city.