Letters from Prison — Jean de Poitiers


Madame la Grant’ Sénéchalle,

Since I wrote you last, am arrived at the 
Château de Loches, as evil-entreated as poor prisoner could be, 
and if God aids me not, thence I shall not budge for a long 
time, and inasmuch as all my hope is in your husband and in you,
I beg him to kindly come and talk with me, if this is not 
possible for him, I beg you to kindly come, you could not do me
greater pleasure, to come and see me, and together you 
and I will decide what you ought to say to Madame, and when you are 
in her presence, you will be able to ask leave from her to 
come and see me. I require of you, having so much pity of your 
father, as to kindly come to see him, and if it is possible to
you, bring M. de Lisieux to whom I commend me, and to his good 
grace. My heart breaks that I can send you nought else save that 
I pray God he give you your desire.

At Loches this nineteenth of September [1523].
Your good father


Monsieur my son,

I think that you are sufficiently acknown of my estate, 
that the King hath had me taken for no cause, I swear it upon my 
soul’s damnation, wherea the Constable that gone, and hath had me
brough hither to the Château de Loches, as a false traitor, 
which to me is so very horrible grief that I die of it. I pray
God that he will grant me good patience, and to the King 
knowledge of the shame he does me. Since he so pleaseth, reason
will have me take patience; and since you are the person in 
the world that I love the most, and in whom I have confidence, 
I have desired to let you know of my wretched state, to the end 
that you may have pity of me, and may desire to bring me from 
the plight in which I am, and if it were possible, to be able 
to come and speak with me, that you and I might contrive what
should be done. I am afeared that you may not be able to come
hither, and if you cannot, I require of you, for God’s honour, 
that you send your wife, she will be able to go to Blois and
ask Madame for leave to come and see me, without telling her aught,
and she and I will devise what she shall say to Madame, on 
my affair, as you well know how, and I require of you to make
M. de Lisieux come. My heart is so wrung that it kills me, 
for that I know that I must ask you. I beseech you have pity on
me. They tell me that the confiscation of my goods to the 
king is demanded; you shall take thought for this, for it touches 
you, they are our good friends. I beseech you, make haste to let
me hear of you. I pray God, monsieur my son,
to give you your desire.

At Loches this nineteenth of September [1523].