French official who resisted entering into a PACT with the DEVIL in order to procure love, according to the French demonologist NICHOLAS REMY. The account of Thomas Maillot is related in Remy’s book Demonolatry (1595) and is retold by the demonologist FRANCESCO-MARIA GUAZZO in Compendium Maleficarum (1608).
In youth, Maillot fell in love with a girl of high nobility, far above his social station. He was the son of a tradesman and had no wealth. For all practical purposes, he had no hope of even declaring his love for her, let alone winning her hand in marriage.
Maillot heard about a German fellow servant who had the services of a DEMON and sought out his help. The German was elated; he was in need of a victim, for part of his pact with the demon was to recruit someone to take over his demonic debt or have his neck broken. He told Maillot to meet him at twilight the next day in a secret chamber. When Maillot arrived, a beautiful and seductive young woman (the demon in disguise) met him and promised to deliver the marriage he desired in exchange for some promises. The requirements sounded innocent and pious on the surface: Maillot should avoid all thieving, drunkenness, lust, wrongdoing, blasphemy, and vices. He should practice devotion, help the poor, fast twice a week, observe all holy days, pray daily, and be a good Christian. If he would bind himself by oath to this, the demon said, then he would win the noble girl as a bride. Maillot was given a few days to consider this offer and make his answer. At first, Maillot thought this to be the perfect deal: love in exchange for piety that he should practice anyway. But the more he thought about it, the more he doubted the reliability of a demon. Demons were known to trick people in order to claim their souls.
A priest Maillot knew sensed his trouble and inquired about his visible distress. Maillot told him and was persuaded by the priest to drop all communication and dealings with the demon. He complied and declined the pact. Shortly thereafter, the German, having failed to find a substitute for his debt to the demon, fell off his horse, hit his head, and was killed instantly, thus experiencing the consequences of his failure.
Maillot, who presumably gave up his love for the noble girl, later in life became governor of a province in Lorraine. Remy swore that the story was true and that it was confirmed to him by Maillot himself.
FURTHER READING :
– Remy, Nicholas. Demonolatry. Secaucus, N.J.: University Books, 1974.
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