Bouette De Blemur, Jacqueline

, a lady, who merits some notice as a specimen of French female piety in former days, was born Jan. 8, 1618. Her parents, who were of noble rank, and distinguished for their piety, gave her a suitable education, and from the age of five she was brought up with one of her aunts in the abbey royal of the Holy Trinity at Caen. When eleven, at her own earnest request, she was admitted to take the habit, and such was her wise conduct, that only four years after, she was appointed mistress of the novices. She was soon after chosen prioress, and then commenced her great work, the “Annee Benedictine,” or lives of the saints, the application to which, however, did not make her relax from the duties of her office. One of the consequences of her biographical labours, was a more enlarged sense of what, in her opinion, she ought to do, and to be, after the example of the Saints whose lives she was writing. She blushed, we are told, to praise and to record what she did not practise (not a common feeling among biographers), and although she knew that the kingdom of heaven was not to be gained by abstinence from certain meats, yet she firmly believed that in order to be the exact imitator of St. Benedict, she must join that privation to her other rules: and had an occasion to bring her principles to the test, when the duchess of Mecklenburgh formed the design of a new establishment at Chatillon of the female Benedictines of the Holy Sacrament, and requested her to be one of the number. Madame Bouette assented, although then sixty years old, and from the rank of prioress in the abbey of St. Trinity, condescended to the humble state of a novice in this new establishment, and afterwards preferred the lowest place in it to the rank of abbess which was afterwards offered to her. In her last days, her strength, bodily and mental, decayed: she became blind, and lame, and lost the use of speech, in which state she died March 24, 1696, leaving the following momuments of her industry: 1. “L‘ Annie Benedictine, ou, Les Vies des Saints de l’ordre de St. Benoit,| Paris, 1667, 7 vols. 4to. 2. “Eloges de plusieurs personnes illustres en piete de l’ordre de St. Benoit,” 2 vols. 4to. 3. “Vie de Fourrier de Matin court.” 4. “Exercices de la Mort.” 5. “Vies des Saintes,” 2 vols. fol. 6. “Monologue historique de la Mere de Dieu,Paris, 1682, 4to. These works are written with some degree of elegance of style, but her lives are replete with those pious fables which amused the religious houses, and those superstitious austerities which regulated their conduct in former times. 1