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Full citation: 

Vermeil. 1765. Mémoire pour Anne Grandjean. Louis Cellot, Paris.

Publication summary: 

The original text, translation, and commentary on the appeal record of Anne Grandjean against a charge of "profaning the sacrament of marriage" by marrying a woman.

Contents summary: 


People in the past could have complex, contradictory, nuanced understandings of gender and sexuality, but we rarely have access to these complexities in as detailed a manner as for the case on Anne/Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, thanks to the existence of a popular-oriented publication of the legal appeal against Grandjean’s initial sentence. As a very brief summary, a person assigned female at birth, with female-conforming anatomy, raised as a girl, and with no prior indications of gender dysphoria, is instructed by their confessor to live as a man after confessing to experiencing sexual desire for women. This person continues living in their community as a man, courts several women and marries one, moves to a different community, has their assigned gender “outed” by a former girlfriend, and is tried in court for “profaning the sacrament of marriage” and given a fairly harsh sentence (though typical for the times). A sympathetic and broad-minded lawyer is responsible for Grandjean’s appeal, primarily on the argument that Grandjean is intersex and should be classified as male, althugh this argument was not accepted during the original trial. The lawyer also argues that Grandjean was naïve and sincerely believed the priest had the authority to reassign their social and legal gender, and that therefore the necessary intent for the charge of "profaning marriage" was lacking. This argument prevailed and Grandjean was released, with an injunction to return to living as a woman and never to see their wife again. To the legal arguments, in some editions, in appended a piece of doggerel verse in the persona of Grandjean bidding farewell to their wife and railing against the hand fate dealt them.

Even with the level of detail available through this publication, we must be aware of the layers of filtering and “spin” that have been put on the underlying narrative. We do not have direct access to Grandjean’s experience and thoughts except through what is recorded in testimony. We have even less access to the experience and thoughts of Grandjean’s wife, Françoise Lambert. Lambert does not appear to have been considered “at fault” in any way, but that only tells us that the court accepted a particular presentation of her experience (as well as demonstrating the legal presumption of women’s lack of agency). We may understand the lawyer’s stated opinions as reflecting his sincere beliefs about gender and sexuality, although we must also allow for the possibility that he is simply presenting what he believes to be the best case for the goal he seeks. (And that may include goals other than Grandjean’s acquittal.) The verse, we should understand as belonging to a particular popular genre of sensational entertainment, meant to appeal to the audiences sensibilities, but without any necessary truth-connection to the lives and experiences of the verse’s subject.

Text and Translation Credits

The original French text is taken from two different versions of the 1765 publication. Both are credited to the same publisher and have the same year of publication, but the layout and fonts are somewhat different and one has sections of additional material not present in the other. This additional material consists of an additional item on the title page referencing the addition at the end, an introductory summary and address to the reader (titled “Advisory”) located immediately after the title page, and the verse, with introductory matter, appended at the end. As best I can determine, the texts are otherwise identical except possibly for details of punctuation and occasional abbreviation.

The facsimile texts in pdf form were made available by Google Books (shorter version, extended version) and the initial rough transcription was copied from the Google Books epub editions of the text, presumably created by optical character recognition (OCR). I proofread the rough transcription against the facsimiles and performed extensive corrections, including sorting out the marginal commentary.

The initial translation pass was done using DeepL (, a truly amazing translation app, whose use for private or business translation is permitted by the use agreement. Acknowledgement statement: Translated with (free version)

I have performed light revisions of the DeepL text for contextual clarity, and especially to align and amend gender references, given the key importance of this aspect. In some passages, I have traded felicity of language for a translation that retains the gender references in the French, when a more idiomatic English translation might not use gendered language.

A Note on Gender in the Translation

Linguistic gender in French may either reflect the assigned gender of the person being referenced, or the arbitrary grammatical gender of the noun being used (including pronoun references to a previously mentioned noun). But some grammatical constructions do not distinguish masculine and feminine gender (i.e., use epicene gender). In order to track how the author is presenting Grandjean’s gender in various contexts, I’ve used an approach that may be somewhat awkward. Specifically, when the French text uses an epicene reference (and it isn’t closely associated with other, gendered, language) I will use the neo-pronouns “zie/zem/zir” to indicate this lack of gender specificity. Please note that this usage is strongly marked as “non-gendered” in English, but is translating French expressions that are not in any way marked. They simply don’t indicate gender. I felt that using singular gender-neutral “they” might introduce number ambiguity that isn’t present in the original text. The approach I’m using is not intended to indicate that the author viewed Grandjean as non-binary or to indicate that I do, but rather to highlight that the author sometimes clearly referenced Grandjean with feminine language, more often with masculine language, but in many cases with language that is unmarked for gender.

In my own commentary and comments, I will normally refer to Grandjean with gender-neutral “they,” not only to honor the alternatives that Grandjean had female or male identity, but to honor the possibility that Grandjean was intersex and of uncertain gender identity. (Also, to recognize that Grandjean didn't necessarily have the same conceptual options avaialble for identification that we would have today.) I, personally, believe that Grandjean was not intersex and that they had no gender dysphroria when living as a woman, but naively took direction from male authority figures with regard to what gender they should present. But this is only my personal reading and several other views are equally valid.

Use of the Word “Hermaphrodite”

In past centuries, the word “hermaphrodite” was used in several different senses. See the discussions in the following articles for a deep dive into some of the relevant context. 

The word “hermaphrodite” was sometimes used to identify persons whose social behavior did not align with the expected behavior for their assigned sex, at it is possible that this sense was included when LeGrand accused Grandjean of being "a hermaphrodite." However the more relevant use in this text is for intersex persons, i.e., those with ambiguous physiology. The use of “hermaphrodite” for intersex persons is currently considered offensive and should generally be avoided. However I have retained this word to translate the French hermaphrodite in the source text, not only as the best literal translation, but to signal that the concept embodied in the text differed from the modern concept of intersexuality. I acknowledge that this convention has the potential to cause harm and apologize for that.

Formatting Conventions

The general format of the text is as follows.

  • The original French text in plain type. Capitalization and punctuation are as in the original, though some extra spaces have been removed. There are a few places where a marginal note or variant text is indicated with curly braces.
  • The translation in bold type. This may include some notes for clarity. If the original text includes non-French material, it is kept intact at this point.
  • {HRJ: My editorial commentary in italics and in curly braces. If there was non-French material in the original text, this is where I will translate it. Not all passages will have this commentary, but most will.}

[The text and translation will begin in the next blog entry.]

Contents summary: 

{HRJ: We begin with the title page. Although no author is listed here, some catalog entries list the author as the M. Vermeil whose name appears at the end of the text and I have followed that practice.}

Mémoire pour Anne Grandjean, connu sous le nom de Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, Accusé & Appellant.

Contre Monsieur le Procureur Général, Accusateur & Intimé.


Un HERMAPHRODITE qui a épousé une fille, peut-il être repute profanateur du Sacrement de marriage, quand la nature qui le tromoit, l’appelloit à l’état de mari?

{Only in the expanded edition: Auquel on joint l’HERMAPHRODITE, ou Lettre d’Anne GranJean à Françoise Lambert sa femme.}




Brief for Anne Grandjean, known by the name of Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, Accused & Appellant.

Against the Attorney General, Accuser & Respondent.


A HERMAPHRODITE who has married a girl, can he be reputed to be a profaner of the sacrament of marriage, when Nature deceived him, called zem to the state of a husband?

{To which we join the HERMAPHRODITE, or Letter of Anne Grandjean to Françoise Lambert, zir wife.}

At Paris, from the printing house of Louis Cellot, Rue Dauphine


{HRJ: This next page is present in the more extensive text, i.e., the one that also includes the poem.}


Plusieurs personnes ont sans doute connoissance de l'avanture de Grandjean dont la Cour de Parlement de Paris vient de rompre le mariage dans lequel il vivoit depuis trois ans.


Many people are undoubtedly aware of Grandjean's predicament, whose marriage, in which he had been living for three years, has just been broken off by the Court of Parliament in Paris.

C'est ici un exemple des jeux de la nature, mais des plus frapans, Le rapport des Chirurgiens prouve qu'il étoit capable de sentir & de faire éprouver à une femme ces douces émotions qui accompagnent la jouissance; mais sans pouvoir de sa part achever l'intention de la nature.

This is an example of nature's games, but one of the most frightening. The surgeons' report proves that he was capable of feeling and making a woman experience those sweet emotions which accompany pleasure, but without being able to complete nature's intention.

{HRJ: There are a number of possible interpretations of this rather flowery passage. One implication would be that Grandjean experienced sexual arousal and was able to give sexual pleasure, but was not capable of some further act, whether that was intercourse or impregnation. Descriptions of erotic activity between women in this era often assert that regardless of whatever sexual satisfaction they may enjoy, it isn’t "complete" i.e., PIV sex. But another possible interpretation is that Grandjean felt and inspired romantic love without being able to achieve sexual gratification. See also the later anatomical discussion. The author tends to get flowery and vague in all discussions around sexual activity. So there is intentional vagueness here whether we're talking about emotions, about sexual pleasure, or about procreation.}

C'est après avoir joui long-temps de cette prérogative, quoique incomplette, qu'on le fait revenir d'une erreur qui lui plaisoit. Trahi, persécuté, accusé, condamné par des Juges barbares à une peine déshonorante, absous par d'autres plus justes & plus humains, mais éclairé par eux sur un mystére qu'il ignoroit, il est obligé de renoncer au titre d'époux, & qui plus est, à celui d'homme.

It is after having enjoyed this prerogative for a long time, albeit incompletely, that he is made to return from an error that pleased zem. Betrayed, persecuted, accused, condemned by barbaric judges to a dishonorable punishment, absolved by others who were more just and more humane, but enlightened by them on a mystery of which he was ignorant, he is obliged to renounce the title of husband, and what is more, that of man.

{HRJ: This passage finishes the page that is added in the longer edition. The above passage clearly sets forth the author’s point of view and sympathies on the case. The author takes the position that Grandjean is intersex, with sufficiently functional male anatomy to engage in sex but incapable of ejaculation and impregnation. As we shall see, there seems to be significant reason to question this explanation, if only because the question of anatomy is raised very late in the game and with contradictory evidence, and because it seems to be raised largely due to a complete rejection of the possibility of female same-sex desire. Even if Grandjean were intersex, we repeatedly see authority figures in the narrative rejecting the concept of desire between women, leading to the question of whether they would have acted differently regardless of Grandjean’s anatomy. We also need to consider that the author’s goal is to get Grandjean acquitted. And we must consider that he may have chosen and spun his evidence in the way he felt best supported that goal. Medical knowledge about interesex conditions was still in its infancy, and was emerging from an era when awareness of the range of variation available for "typical" female anatomy was lacking. Furthermore, we are still emerging from an era when female same-sex desire was regularly attributed to masculinized physiology, even in the face of contradictory evidence during examination. So was the author making a cased based on his own direct knowledge of Grandjean's anatomy? Or was he making a case that fit with pre-existing beliefs about the causes of erotic desire? Regardless of the absolute facts of the matter, which are not entirely knowable, there are several noteworthy things going on. In 18th century France, in this particular case, some religious and legal authorities supported the social and legal re-categorization of a person from female to male. Even if this was done in a sort of panic to avoid recognizing female-female desire, it’s still a significant thing to have done. A person who had been raised as female transitioned to being treated as male, changed their name to reflect this as part of a legal record, and married a woman. And the married couple were well on their way to living happily ever after until confronted by a jealous ex. So whether Grandjean understood themselves to be a woman, but changed to presenting as male due to instruction by the authorities (and to have a fulfilling romantic life); or whether Grandjean was intersex and developed masculinized genitals only in puberty at which time they experienced desire for women and re-aligned their gender identity to match heteronormative expectations; or whether Grandjean desired women as part of an internal male gender identity and was happy that the authorities authorized transition; whichever of these—or other possible interpretations—is the real story, this narrative is greatly enlightening regarding 18th century French attitudes toward gender, sex, and social category.}

Contents summary: 

Memoire POUR ANNE GRAND JEAN, connu sous le nom de JEAN BAPTISTE GRAND JEAN, Accusé & Appellant.

CONTRE M. le Procureur-Général, Accusateur & Intimé.

Un individu que l'on désigne sous le nom d'un Dieu de la fable, un être participant de l'un & l'autre sexe, qu'on a vu porter successivement les habits de femme & d'homme, qui a été baptisé comme fille, & marié comme garçon, fixe aujourd'hui l'attention des Magistrats, & la curiosité du Public, toujours avide de ces sortes de phénomenes; les premiers Juges croyant trouver dans son mariage la profanation d'un Sacrement auguste, ont prononcé contre lui des condamnations rigoureuses; mais les Juges supérieurs ne verront dans cet assemblage de circonstances singulieres que les erreurs de la Nature & la bonne foi de l'individu que la Nature elle-même a trompé.

Brief FOR ANNE GRAND JEAN, known by the name of JEAN BAPTISTE GRAND JEAN, Accused & Appellant.

AGAINST the Attorney General, Accuser & Respondent.

An individual who is referred to by the name of a God of fable, a being participating in both sexes, who has been seen successively wearing the clothes of a woman and a man, who was baptized as a girl, and married as a boy, is now attracting the attention of the magistrates, and the curiosity of the public, who are always eager to learn about these kinds of phenomena; The first Judges, believing to find in zir marriage the profanation of an august Sacrament, have pronounced rigorous condemnations against him; but the higher Judges will see in this assemblage of singular circumstances only the errors of Nature & the good faith of the individual whom Nature herself has deceived.

{HRJ: The phrase “the name of a God of fable” seems most likely to be a reference to the myth of Hermaphroditus. A more literal translation of “participating in both sexes” would be “participating in the one and the other sex”. Note that, in French, possessive pronouns take their grammatical form from the gender of the thing possessed, so possessive pronouns referring to Grandjean will always be rendered in my translation with a neo-pronoun.}


Un enfant est né à Grenoble au mois de Novembre 1732, de Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, & de Claudine Cordier; il faut croire que le sexe le plus apparent chez lui, au premier instant de son existence, fut le sexe féminin: aussi cet enfant fut-il baptisé sous le nom d'Anne, fille de Jean-Baptiste.


A child was born in Grenoble in the month of November 1732, to Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, & Claudine Cordier; it is to be believed that the most apparent sex in him, at the first moment of zir existence, was the female sex: therefore this child, he was baptized under the name of Anne, daughter of Jean-Baptiste.

{HRJ: The noun “enfant” (child) can be either masculine or feminine. The phrase “un enfant” is grammatically masculine; the feminine would be “une enfant”. But the masculine can also be used for the general case “a child of unspecified gender” so this choice isn’t necessarily taking a stand on the child’s gender, though the rest of the paragraph suggests that the author may have been using specifically as male. Although the “apparent sex” of the infant was female, and the child was baptized as a daughter (“fille”), all the clearly gendered pronoun references to Grandjean in this passage are masculine (“chez lui”, “fut-il baptisé”). So I think we can conclude that the author is establishing the position that Grandjean is masculine and the choice of “un enfant” was deliberate and not just a generic.}

On lui donna les habits propres à ce sexe aussi-tôt qu'il fut en état de les porter; il étoit élevé parmi les jeunes filles de son voisinage, & ne voyoit alors en elles que des compagnes indifférentes.

Zie was given the clothes proper to this sex as soon as he was able to wear them; he was brought up among the young girls of zir neighborhood, and saw in them only indifferent companions.

A peine parvenu à sa quatorzieme année, il éprouva un changement dont il fut lui-même étonné.

Barely having reached zir fourteenth year, he experienced a change of which he himself was astonished.

{HRJ: The implication here seems to be that Grandjean didn’t experience romantic/sexual attraction to girls when young—that it only developed at puberty. It isn't mentioned what Grandjean's position on male companions was in childhood. The next statement clearly establishes that, at puberty, Grandjean had no romantic interest in boys. It might have strengthed the author's case if he'd been able to assert that Grandjean preferred to play with boys rather than girls, in childhood. But conversely we can't put too much weight on this absence since the question may not have been raised. Or they may not have felt that a child either didn't have a choice of who they associated with or that it wasn't relevant.}

Dans cet âge où les passions commencent à établir leur empire, un instinct de plaisir dont Grandjean ignoroit la cause, le rapprochoit sans cesse de ses compagnes, & développoit en lui une faculté qui n'appartient point au sexe dont on l'avoit cru d'abord.

In this age when passions begin to establish their empire, an instinct of pleasure, the cause of which Grandjean did not know, brought him constantly closer to zir companions, and developed in zem a faculty which did not belong to the sex of which zie was first believed to be.

La présence des hommes au contraire le laissoit froid & tranquille, & la nature sembloit se plaindre du travestissement de son ouvrage.

The presence of men, on the contrary, left him cold and quiet, and nature seemed to complain about the travesty of its work.

{HRJ: “Travesty” here is probably invoking both the original literal sense of “cross-dressing” as well as the metaphorical sense of general transgression. The key thing to note in these last two passages is that the “change” in Grandjean is not framed as gender dysphoria, but as an experience of desire considered inappropriate for their assigned sex. “A faculty which did not belong to the sex zie was believed to be.” At this point in the story, I think it's key not to be distracted by the author's use of male language for Grandjean. The essential story is: a child, assigned female, raised female, and living as female, at puberty began experiencing romantic/sexual desire for girls. It's also important to note that the author (and as we'll see, others) considers this desire to be contrary to nature and inappropriate for "the sex Grandjean was believed to be". It's also important to note that nowhere at this stage of the story is there any reference to Grandjean noticing unexpected anatomical changes or to expressing an identification with male gender. This is a major reason why I'm skeptical about the anatomical description the author introduces during the appeal. If Greandjean had one of the types of intersex conditions where masculine genitals begin developing at puberty, it seems odd that this wouldn't have been raised as part of the "changes" they were experiencing. And if ambiguous genitals had been present from birth, surely even the presence of an under-developed penis would have resulted in Grandjean being assigned male? Though I must confess that I haven't studied early literature on intersex conditions to determine whether I'm correct in this assumption.}

Jean-Baptiste Grandjean ne fut pas long-tems sans s'appercevoir des nouvelles affections de son enfant, il lui fit là-dessus des questions auxquelles ce dernier répondit d'une maniere embarrassante.

Jean-Baptiste Grandjean was not long without noticing his child's new affections, and he asked zem questions about them, to which the latter replied in an embarrassing manner.

Ce pere lui dit de consulter son Confesseur, & de tenir la conduite qu'il lui prescriroit.

This father told zem to consult zir confessor, and to do as he prescribed.

{HRJ: The use of epicene pronouns here is not marked, but is simply the default language in French. This isn’t a case of representing a specific attitude of the father regarding Grandjean’s sex. Once again, note that what's being noticed is Grandjean's "affections" with no mention of other characteristics.}

L'enfant fut docile, le Confesseur fut instruit, il dit à la jeune personne qu'elle ne pouvoit rester plus long-tems sans crime en habit de femme, que cet habillement lui donnoit un accès trop facile vis-à-vis des filles de son âge, & qu'il falloit prendre le vêtement convenable au sexe dominant chez lui.

The child was docile, the Confessor was instructed, he told the young person {fem.} that she could not remain any longer without crime in woman's clothing, that this clothing gave zem too easy access to girls of zir age, and that it was necessary for him to take the clothing suitable for zir dominant sex.

{HRJ: In contrast, this passage starts out treating Grandjean as female and ends shifting to male. While “la jeune personne” may simply reflect the grammatical gender of “personne” (feminine)—though one might expect a different noun to be used if the intent were to emphasize masculinity—“qu’elle” is clearly feminine. But then “qu’il” uses a masculine form. Here we may be seeing a representation of the confessor’s shift in how he perceives Grandjean’s gender. From a philosophical point of view, the confessor seems to be saying, "If you are living as a woman, then you have intimate access to women and can easily act on your sexual desires whic would be "criminal," therefore in order to prevent sexual crime, you must present as male in order to create a social barrier from the objects of your desire so that your desires can be subject to social control." This desire is what determines Grandjean's "dominant sex" in the confessor's view. Once again I emphasize that there is no mention of a medical examination--though such a thing would be consistent with how communities reacted to open displays of f/f desire, see for example the case two centuries earlier of Greta von Mösskirch. Did the priest question Grandjean regarding their anatomy? Or was he solely focused on behavior? It may be that he was not entirely familiar with intersex possibilities, though the theory of f/f desire being due to masculinized anatomy had been circulating in popular culture for centuries. But if we take the priest's position as reported, it's yet another reason to be skeptical of later anatomical arguments.}

Le conseil du Confesseur fut exécuté, &-ce fut une nouveauté singuliere dans la ville de Grenoble, de voir un individu que jusqu'alors on n'avoit connu que comme fille, paroître tout-à-coup avec les attributs de la masculinité.

The Confessor's advice was carried out, and it was a singular novelty in the city of Grenoble to see an individual who until then had been known only as a girl, suddenly appear with the attributes of masculinity.

Grandjean, sous l'habit d'homme, parut ce qu'il étoit ou ce qu'il croyoit être, & les jeunes filles de son voisinage le virent avec un nouvel intérêt.

Grandjean, in the clothing of a man, appeared what he was or what he thought he was, and the young girls in zir neighborhood saw him with a new interest.

{HRJ: “Or what he thought he was” is an interesting inclusion, as it hints at the author’s later reframing that Grandjean’s performed gender was a matter of belief rather than essence. Aside from any of the underlying "truths" of Grandjean's case, I'd like to call attention to a clear example of an adolescent changing social gender, with the approval and knowledge of their community, in 18th century France.}

Une d'entr'e elles, nommée Legrand, mérita ses premiers soins, mais cette fréquentation n'eut pas de suite.

One of them {fem.}, named Legrand, earned zir first attentions, but this association did not continue.

{HRJ: This will be the woman who will later betray Grandjean.}

Françoise Lambert succéda à cette derniere. La passion qu'il sentit pour elle fut beaucoup plus forte.

Françoise Lambert succeeded this previous one. The passion he felt for her was much stronger.

Cette passion (car il ne faut rien dissimuler) introduisit des familiarités. Françoise Lambert connut tout ce que Grandjean pouvoit être, & Grandjean lui paroissoit être tout ce qu'il falloit.

This passion (because it is necessary not to hide anything) introduced familiarities. Françoise Lambert knew all that Grandjean could be, and Grandjean seemed to her to be all that was necessary.

{HRJ: Once again, the author gets vague and flowery when it comes to discussing how the couple expressed their desire. One gets the impression that the message is that Lambert was fully aware of Grandjean’s physicality, and had no problems with the nature of their physical relationship. That conclusion is reading a certain amount into the ambiguous language, but it will be relevant later when we consider the hypothesis that the two were naive and ignorant about the nature of their relationship.}

Ces familiarités ne servirent qu'à rendre leur union plus intime; ils desirerent de la sceller du sceau de la Religion.

These familiarities only served to make their union more intimate; they wished to seal it with the seal of religion.

{HRJ: This is somewhat less ambiguous. Whatever their “familiarities” were, evidently it was something that required marriage to fully authorize. The strong implication is that the couple were engaged in what they categorized as sexual relations. To be continued.}

Contents summary: 

Grandjean & Françoise Lambert allerent à Chamberry; & le 24 Juin 1761, après trois publications de bans, sans avoir découvert aucun empêchement légitime, ainsi que l'atteste le Curé de la paroisse, ils furent mariés avec les formalités ordinaires.

Grandjean & Françoise Lambert went to Chamberry; & on June 24, 1761, after three publications of bans, without having discovered any legitimate impediment, as the parish priest attests, they were married with the ordinary formalities.

{HRJ: “Publishing the bans” is the process of announcing the intent to marry, in part to allow anyone who feels there’s a legal impediment to the marriage (pre-existing marriage or contract, a forbidden degree of consanguinity, etc.) to speak up. It is, perhaps, relevant that the couple didn’t publish the bans in Grenoble, where people would presumably be familiar with Grandjean’s interesting history, but in Chamberry, where perhaps no one knew them personally. Chambéry is perhaps 30 miles northeast of Grenoble, so while this interpretation is possible, I don’t know that it’s likely. Furthermore, the couple return to Grenoble later to get Grandjean’s legal status settled, so if the marriage was seen as problematic by those who knew them, the issue could have been raised later. Lyon, where they move later, is perhaps 50-60 miles northwest of both towns so the chance of someone who knew Grandjean as a child encountering them seems quite likely to have happened eventually. Given that, I think we can assume that Grandjean’s community was aware of their personal history and accepted their marriage as valid.}

L'inclination des deux époux fut aussi vive que l'avoit été celle des deux amans. Ils vivoient dans la bonne foi heureux & tranquilles, sans que Françoise Lambert eût aucune défiance du sexe de son mari, & sans que ce mari eût aucun soupçon de son insuffisance.

The inclination of the two spouses was as lively as that of the two lovers had been. They lived in good faith, happy and tranquil, without Françoise Lambert having any distrust of her husband's sex, and without this husband having any suspicion of zir insufficiency.

{HRJ: This is where one starts to wonder whether Lambert and Grandjean were startlingly naïve with regard to intercourse, whether they later pretended to ignorance, or whether the author is shaping the story to his own ends in asserting that they believed their union to be a normative male-female marriage. Although that's not exactly what he asserts, if one wants to be technical. If Lambert knew and accepted an assigned-female-at-birth person as a husband, that could count as "not having any distrust." Since Lambert presumable met Grandjean in Grenoble (although the location of the marriage ceremony suggests she may have been a native of Chamberry), it would seem odd for her not to be aware that Grandjean had grown up presenting as female. Particularly given what now follows. And (presumably) knowing that, surely if she had any doubts or questions it would have been reasonable to raise them. A natural interpretation would be that Lambert was not ignorant or naïve, which then also raises the question of whether Grandjean was.}

Mais une circonstance nouvelle devoir donner encore plus d'authenticité à l'état d'homme & de mari, dont Grandjean étoit en possession.

But a new circumstance had to give even more authenticity to the state of man & husband, of which Grandjean was in possession.

Françoise Lambert avoit un compte à faire rendre à ses parens de l'administration de ses revenus, elle avoit dessein de faire le commerce avec son mari, & le reliquat de ce compte devoit leur en faciliter les moyens; mais Grandjean étoit soumis à la puissance paternelle dans un pays où le mariage n'émancipe pas. Il ne pouvoit par conséquent rien faire pour son intérêt personnel qu'il n'eût obtenu l'émancipation. Il pria son pere de lui accorder cette faveur, & ce dernier y consentit.

Françoise Lambert had an account to render to her parents of the administration of her income, she intended to do business with her husband, and the remainder of this account should facilitate the means of doing so; but Grandjean was subject to paternal power in a country where marriage does not emancipate. He could not, therefore, do anything for zir personal interest until he had obtained emancipation. He begged his father to grant zem this favor, and the latter consented.

{HRJ: This is mostly an interesting side-light on everyday legal matters in France. Based on the dates given in the text, Grandjean was 29 years old at marriage. But evidently neither this age, nor the fact of marriage gave them the legal right to act in their own behalf.}

La cérémonie de cette émancipation fut faite en l'hôtel du Juge de Grenoble.

The ceremony of this emancipation was made in the hotel of the Judge of Grenoble.

Comme dans l'acte de baptême, Grandjean étoit nommé Anne, & désigné comme fille, son pere, pour le rétablir dans tous ses droits, lui donna, dans cet acte, le nom de Jean-Baptiste, qu'il a toujours porté depuis.

As in the baptismal act, Grandjean was named Anne, and designated as a daughter, zir father, in order to re-establish him in all zir rights, gave zem, in this act, the name of Jean-Baptiste, which he has always borne since.

{HRJ: This event again speaks to the openness and acceptance with which Grandjean’s reassignmet of gender was performed. Maybe. It could be that the legal ceremony made no reference to a change of name and change of designation, but was simply done by referring to “my son Jean-Baptiste”. But as with the courtship, this is in a community where at least some people were aware that Grandjean had been raised presenting as female. I'll also note that there were occasional examples of "Anne" being used as a male baptismal name in 18th century France, although it was clearly considered the default to female. This use may have been regional or class-based, so Grandjean's community in Grenoble may well have seen Anne as female signifier, motivating the change.}

Voilà donc Grandjean constitué dans tous les droits de Citoyen en qualité d'homme & de mari.

Thus is Grandjean constituted in all the rights of a citizen in the capacity of man and husband.

Après une année ou environ de séjour à Chamberry, Françoise Lambert engagea son époux à aller à Lyon avec elle pour y fixer leur domicile, sous prétexte qu'ils y trouveroient plus de facilités dans le commerce qu'ils se proposoient de faire.

After one year or approximately of residence in Chamberry, Françoise Lambert urged her husband to go to Lyon with her to make their home there, under the pretext that they would find it easier to do the business they proposed to do.

Grandjean avoit toujours pour sa femme la même inclination, la même complaisance; il ne résisita point, mais il ne prévoyoit pas les malheurs qui l'attendoient dans cette Ville.

Grandjean always had for zir wife the same inclination, the same complaisance; he did not resist, but he did not foresee the misfortunes which awaited zem in this city.

{HRJ: One gets the impression that Lambert was the driving force in this relationship, which makes it all the more ironic that she more or less disappears from the narrative without a splash.}

Grandjean & sa femme arrivés à Lyon, allerent demeurer chez un Marchand Fabriquant en soie. Ils y vécurent toujours comme époux pendant trois années entieres, avec la conduite la plus retenue & à la satisfaction de ceux qui leur donnoient à travailler.

When Grandjean and zir wife arrived in Lyon, they went to live with a silk merchant. They lived there as husband and wife for three whole years, with the most restrained behavior and to the satisfaction of those who gave them work.

{HRJ: The author regularly emphasizes that the couple were productive, well-behaved, and virtuous. This seems to be an essential aspect of establishing Grandjean as a naïve innocent, not an immoral law-breaker.}

Contents summary: 

Mais voici le moment de l'infortune.

But here is the moment of misfortune.

{HRJ: In phrasings such as this, we can envision this text as representing a speech directly to an audience. Given the framing, it doesn’t seem to be purporting to be the actual presentation made to the court, but perhaps a cleaned-up, dramatized version. It would be interesting to know more about this type of publication and how it relates to actual court proceedings.}

La nommée Legrand, que Grandjean avoit connue à Grenoble arriva à Lyon dans le cours de l'année derniere. Elle y aprit qu'il avoit épousé Françoise Lambert, & ayant eu occasion de voir cette femme, elle lui dit qu'elle étoit étonnée de son mariage, parce que Grandjean étoit hermaphrodite.

The [woman] named Legrand, whom Grandjean had known in Grenoble, arrived in Lyon during the course of last year. There she learned that he had married Françoise Lambert, and having had the opportunity to see this woman, she told her that she was astonished by her marriage, because Grandjean was a hermaphrodite.

{HRJ: Here we must pause to consider what Legrand (or the author of the pamphlet) understood by the word “hermaphrodite,” and for this I suggest reviewing the studies cited in my introductory text, from the medieval period up through Grandjean’s lifetime. As you can see from those discussions, the term “hermaphrodite” was not restricted to those with ambiguous anatomy, but could apply generally to anyone who transgressed gender norms, but especially to assigned-female persons who were considered to be intruding on male prerogatives, in dress, in behavior, in intellectual interests, or in sexuality. So when Lambert tells Legrand that Grandjean is a “hermaphrodite” she isn’t necessarily (or even most likely) accusing Grandjean of being intersex, but could just as likely (perhaps more likely) be accusing Grandjean of being a cross-dresser, a lesbian, or transgender. Another possibility would be "someone presenting as female who has male-coded intersts and activities" but within the present context this doesn't seem likely to be the intent. These concepts may not have been clearly distinguished in Legrand’s intention. Nor can we necessarily identify how Lambert would have understood the accusation, except in terms of how her reaction is presented here.}

Ce discours surprit Françoise Lambert, elle sit des réflexions sur la stérilité de son union, elle crut en trouver la cause dans la nouvelle qu'on venoit de lui appredre, sa conscience fut allarmée elle témoigna son inquiétude à son Directeur, & ce dernier lui conseilla de ne plus avoir de familiarités avec son mari.

This speech surprised Françoise Lambert, she thought about the sterility of her union, she believed to find the cause in the news that she had just received, her conscience was alarmed she showed her concern to her Director, & the latter advised her not to have any more familiarity with her husband.

{HRJ: I believe “Director” here is a short form of “directeur de conscience,” another name for religious confessor, which makes sense in context. The superficial interpretation of this passage is that Lambert is not consciously aware that her husband is in any way different from any other man, in person or in actions. The “sterility of her union” is most obviously interpreted as their lack of chidren. But here we can envision a spread of possible situations and interpretations, depending on how naïve we believe Lambert to be about sex and procreation, how honest she is to herself and her confessor, and whether her action is driven by spiritual concern or fear of being accused of complicity in the irregular marriage. Just to pick a few of the possible options: Lambert could be ignorant of male anatomy and the experience of procreative sex, believes that Legrand has her welfare at heart, and is genuinely anxious about whether she is committing a sin. From a very different angle, Lambert could have entered into the marriage well aware that Grandjean was anatomically female and (whether or not they engaged in a sexual relationship) she may have understood an implied threat in Legrand’s communication and (whether or not she consulted with Grandjean first) concluded that her own safety required going on record as being an ignorant and deceived party before Legrand went more public with the information. In between those two are many other possible interpretations. I think it’s reasonable to believe that Legrand’s motivation involved jealousy and revenge, given her prior courtship by Grandjean, regardless of how it was cloaked in moral concern. And, as noted above, I think we need to consider it a strong likelihood that Legrand and Lambert both knew that Grandjean had originally been assigned female and raised as a girl, which rules out a number of the possible scenarios.}

Ainsi, & par un concours de circonstances plus singulieres les unes que les autres, ce fut un Directeur qui obligea Grandjean à prendre les habits d'homme, & ce fut un Directeur qui obligea Françoise Lambert à refuser la qualité d'homme à son mari.

Thus, and by a combination of circumstances more singular than the others, it was a Director who obliged Grandjean to take on the clothes of a man, and it was a Director who obliged Françoise Lambert to refuse the status of man to her husband.

{HRJ: Here we see confirmation that “Director” should be understood as “confessor” since the latter term was used explicitly in the earlier passage. The phrase “la qualité d’homme” literally means “the quality of a man”, but reviewing the idiomatic meanings of “la qualité d’homme X” and related phrases here, it’s clear there’s an idiomatic meaning to this construction and it should be interpreted as “the status or capacity of a man” or “manhood, masculinity.” Ironically, several cited examples at the link make it clear that “la qualité d’homme” can mean “humanity” in a general sense, but I think we can understand the current use as specifically gendered.}

Grandjean fu averti par son épouse de la démarche qu'elle venoit de faire, de ses inquiétudes & de ses craintes; cette nouveauté fit sur lui une sensation douloureuse. Il aimoit sa femme, il l'avoit épousée de bonne foi; elle l'avoit connu avant son mariage; il avoit cru jusqu'alors avoir rempli les devoirs de mari; aucun nuage, aucun trouble jusqu'à ce moment ne s'étoient élevés dans leur union; mais enfin voyant que sa femme insisoit, il lui proposa d'aller ensemble faire confidence au Grand-Vicaire de leur situation respective, de la maniere dont ils avoient vécu jusqu'alors, & de suivre les conseils qu'il leur donneroit.

Grandjean was informed by zir wife of the step she had just taken, of her worries and fears; this news {lit. “novelty”} had a painful effect on zem. He loved his wife, he had married her in good faith; she had known zem before their marriage; he had believed that until then he had fulfilled the duties of a husband; no clouds, no troubles had arisen in their union until that moment; but finally, seeing that zir wife insisted, he proposed that they go together to confide in the Grand-Vicar their respective situations, the way in which they had lived up to that point, and to follow the advice he would give them.

{HRJ: The narrative consistently frames Grandjean as naïve and innocent of deliberate intent, simply acting based on the gender role assignment from their confessor. But as with the discussion of Lambert’s possible understandings and motivations, this can’t be separated from the possibility that Grandjean is acting from a fear of the legal consequences of being outed. So does this framing reflect Grandjean’s true mental state? Or does it reflect a constructed story that Grandjean presented to the court to try to get the best outcome, once it was clear that their background was going to be made public? Or is it a framing constructed by the lawyer to achieve the desired outcome?}

Une proposition pareille, de la part de Grandjean, annonçoit la pureté de ses intentions & de ses sentimens; mais la nouvelle divulguée par la nommée Legrand, avoit été saisie avec avidité par le Public, & voloit déja de bouche en bouche. On avertit le Substitut de M. le Procureur Général à Lyon, qu'une femme hermaphrodite avoit épousé une nommée Françoise Lambert, & vivoit avec elle depuis plusieurs années.

Such a proposal, on the part of Grandjean, announced the purity of zir intentions and feelings; but the news divulged by the said Legrand, was eagerly seized by the public, and was already flying from mouth to mouth. The deputy of the Attorney General in Lyon was informed that a hermaphrodite woman had married a woman named Françoise Lambert, and had been living with her for several years.

{HRJ: This is the context in which we need to consider the possible interpretations of Grandjean’s and Lambert’s actions (and reported motivations). The cat was out of the bag. Clearly Legrand had talked to more people than just Lambert. And whether from naïveté or strategy, the couple needed to get ahead of the story. Notice that the accusation against Grandjean isn’t the ambiguous state of being neither man nor woman, but specifically the state of being a woman who is also a “hermaphrodite” with whatever range of meaning was attributed to that word. (Assuming that Legrand's accusation used the word "hermaphrodite" rather than this being the author's interpretation. But it's probably reasonable to think the word "hermaphrodite" was used in this context in the Lyon court record, however Legrand may have phrased it.) Within context, the simple act of being assigned female and being married to a woman could result in being labeled “hermaphrodite”. The simple act of being assigned female and being believed to be engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman (while performing some degree of masculinity) could result in being labeled “hermaphrodite”. But the label “hermaphrodite” could also imply a belief that Grandjean, while assigned female, had some degree of masculinity of anatomy, especially if it allowed for some approximation of penetrative sex. And all these would not necessarily be clearly distinguished in the minds of the accuser or listeners.}

Le Procureur du Roi, pour le maintien des mœurs, crut devoir rendre plainte contre cet individu; cette plainte fut suivie de l'instruction la plus sévere; Grandjean décrété de prise de corps, fut, mis dans un chachot les fers aux pieds, dans un tems où il attestoit le Ciel de son innocence, où l'on ne pouvoit imputer ses torts qu'à la nature.

The King's Prosecutor, in order to maintain morals, believed that he had to file a complaint against this individual; this complaint was followed by the most severe inquiry; Grandjean was ordered to be taken into custody, and was put in a shackle with irons on zir feet, at a time when he was attesting to Heaven of zir innocence, and when zir offences could only be imputed to nature.

{HRJ: I’m fumbling a bit for the best translation of “instruction la plus severe” in a legal context, where “instruction” seems to have some specialized senses. From what I can find, in modern French legal practice, the “juge d’instruction” (judge of inquiry) conducts a pre-trial hearing to determine if there’s sufficient evidence for a charge. Which seems to be more or less what’s going on here. Grandjean is arrested, but the court is still assembling the evidence necessary to determine if there will be a trial. But 18th century practice may differ from the explanations I can find. The narrator is jumping ahead of the arguments in stating that Grandjean’s offences (the word in the text is “tort” but I’m not sure it has the same sense here as that word has in legalese) can be “imputed to nature.” There’s also an ambiguity in whether Grandjean is supposed to be understood to be appealing to Nature, or whether this is purely the narrator’s interpretation.}

Des témoins furent entendus, l'Accusé fut visité; les Chirurgiens dans leur Procès-verbal, après avoir rendu compte de ce qu'ils avoient trouvé chez lui appartenir au sexe masculin, current devoir attester que son sexe prédominant étoit celui de femme.

Witnesses were heard, the accused was visited; the surgeons in their report, after having given an account of what they had found him to have belonging to the male sex, had to attest that his predominant sex was that of a woman.

{HRJ: The phrase “chez lui appartenir au sexe masculine” is hard to translate literally, but I think I have the gist of it here. The surgeons did an anatomical examination of Grandjean (and let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge how invasive and frightening this must have been) and concluded that their anatomy was “predominantly” female. Recall that when Grandjean’s confessor instructed them to present as male, there was no question of anatomy, just as there was no question of gender identity. How, then, did Grandjean interpret the confessor’s instruction? Did they believe they had developed male anatomy? Under some theories of gender at various times, behaving as a different sex could result in physiological changes (this belief may have been influenced by certain types of intersex condition where male secondary sex characteristics developed only in adolescence). But regardless of what Grandjean believed to be the case about their physiology, it was a standard response in the early modern period to suspect masculinized anatomy in any case of apparent female same-sex desire. In many cases, such an examination concluded that the accused had completely normative female anatomy. This motif might be allowed as a mitigating factor if examiners found the anatomy ambiguous. But evidently this was not the case in Grandjean’s examination, according to the conclusions of the examiners.}

L'accusé fut interrogé par le Juge, mais les traits de vérité, de candeur, de bonne foi qui sortirent de sa bouche, & qui justifioient son erreur, ne le toucherent pas. Il déploya contre l'Accusé la sévérité la plus grande, & par sa Sentence il le condamna à être attaché au carcan pendant trois jours avec cet écriteau, Profanateur du Sacrement de mariage, à être fouetté par la main du Boureau, & au bannissement à perpétuité.

The accused was questioned by the Judge, but the lines of truth, candor, and good faith which came out of zir mouth, and which justified zir error, did not touch him {note: “him” being the judge}. He used the greatest severity against the accused, and by his sentence he {the judge} condemned him {Grandjean} to be tied in the stocks for three days with this sign, Profaner of the Sacrament of Marriage, to be whipped by the hand of the executioner, and to be banished for life.

{HRJ: The narrator is, perhaps, being hyperbolic in calling this “the greatest severity.” While the sentence is certainly inhumane, it is relatively lenient within the historic context of how women engaging in marriage in male guise were treated. While there don't seem to be any 18th century French cases of execution of "female husbands," that penalty was enacted occasionally in eralier centuries. There’s a question of how to interpret “banishment” here. In other legal judgements involving banishment, it’s often “from the city of residence” rather than something more global. So was Grandjean being banished from Lyon, the city in which the original charge was made? The “Conciergerie du Palais” mentioned in the next paragraph, appears to be the name for a specific prison in Paris. It doesn't appear that the initial trial held in Paris, so was Grandjean sentenced in Lyon, banished, and as part of that banishment transferred to Paris? Recall that the case was first brought to the attention of “the deputy of the Attorney General in Lyon” but then was brought to “the king’s prosecutor” presumably also in Lyon. Both titles appear to be general ranks in the 18th century French court system, and not unique offices.}

Grandjean a interjetté appel de ce Jugement; il a été transféré dans les prisons de la Conciergerie du Palais, & est de tous les prisonniers le plus malheureux peut-être. Son état a páru exiger des précautions que l'on ne prend pas contre les autres. Les hommes & femmes qui ne sont pas destinés à des peines capitales ont successivement la liberté du préau; mais comme Grandjean, dans l'opinion publique, n'est ni homme ni femme, ou qu'il est tous les deux à la fois, on ne lui permet d'aller ni avec les hommes ni avec les femmes. C'est dans le secret de la prison la plus étroite, & réduit à la plus affreuse solitude, qu'il dévore sa douleur.

Grandjean appealed this judgment; he was transferred to the prisons of the Conciergerie du Palais, and is—of all the prisoners—perhaps the most unfortunate. Zir condition may have required precautions that are not taken against others. The men and women who are not destined for capital punishment are successively allowed freedom of the yard; but as Grandjean, in the public opinion, is neither man nor woman, or both at the same time, zie is not allowed to go either with the men or with the women. It is in the secrecy of the narrowest prison, and reduced to the most dreadful loneliness, that he devours his pain.

{HRJ: While writing this commentary, I found a brief post by blogger Rodama1789 providing outlines of judicial practice in 18th century France, which I have drawn on for certain points of understanding. Evidently an appeal was automatic for sentences involving execution, corporal punishment, or banishment, and thus the transfer to Paris. There’s also a comment that defendants were only allowed counsel in cases that did not involve crimes against persons. One wonders whether the sensational aspects of Grandjean’s trial attracted a more energetic defense counsel than might otherwise have been available. The larger part of this paragraph sets out the universal problem encountered by legal systems dealing with non-gender-conforming individuals. How do you handle them in a system that not only assumes a gender binary, but that demands gender segregation? We see a similar quandary two centuries earlier in Spain in the case of Elen@ de Céspedes, whose trial similarly involved questions of anatomical sex. The answer, as seen in some other historic cases, is solitary confinement, which the narrator squeezes for all the pathos that can be obtained. The French phrase “dévore sa douleur” clearly has some idiomatic or poetic meaning—I can find other examples of this phrase in literature of a similar era—but I haven’t be able to find additional context.}

Contents summary: 


L’Accusé demande à être renvoyé de l'accusation intentée contre lui, & cette accusation le suppose profanateur du Sacrememt de mariage. Il faut donc établir, pour la justification de l’Accusé, qu'il ne s'est point rendu coupable de cette profanation.


The Accused asks to be dismissed from the charge brought against zir, and this charge presupposes that he is a profaner of the Sacrament of Marriage. It must therefore be established, for the justification of the accused, that he was not guilty of this profanation.

{HRJ: One thing I’d like to pause to notice here, is that, to some extent, the narrator has represented Grandjean’s gender based on the context of the narrative: sometimes female, sometimes male. But at this point, when medical examination has identified Grandjean’s anatomy as feminine, the narrator still consistently represents them as male. Setting aside the question of how Grandjean may have understood their own gender, their lawyer’s willingness to gender them according to public presentation is significant. It may, however, simply reflect the lawyer’s position that—until the question of physical gender has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed—his responsibility is to assert the gender (masculine) that would support his client’s innocence. And perhaps the narrator is hedging a bit. For as he tackles the question of how to categorize Grandjean’s gender, it feels like he’s using language deliberately designed to avoid gender references.}

{Another thing to note here is that Grandjean is not accused of cross-dressing. They are not accused of engaging in “female sodomy” (the question of sexual activity has not been touched on). The charge is that, by entering into a marriage while not meeting the required conditions for that marriage to be valid, one is disrespecting the institution itself. As we will see, this is perhaps the easiest to refute of the possible charges that could have been brought.}

Pour remplir ce point de vue, nous examinerons d'abord quel est, dans le physique l'état de l'Accusé.

To fulfill this point of view, we will first examine what is, in physical terms, the state of the Accused.

{HRJ: That is, one point to establish is how the accused relates to that “required condition for the marriage to be valid.”}

2°. Dans le droit, nous verrons ce que c'est que la profanation du Sacrement de mariage.

2. In the law, we will see what the profanation of the Sacrament of Marriage is.

{HRJ: The second step is to establish the necessary and sufficient conditions for “profanation of the sacrament of marriage” to exist.}

3°. Dans le fait, nous démontrerons qu'il n'y a point ici de profanation à reprocher à l'Accusé.

3. In fact, we will demonstrate that there is no profanation to be reproached to the Accused.

{HRJ: The defense counsel is, perhaps, giving away the weakness of point #1 by indicating that the defense will focus on negating the definition in point #2.}

Chacun de ces objets demande une discussion séparée.

Each of these objects requires a separate discussion.

Contents summary: 


Etat de l'Accusé.

Cet objet exige des détails que nous craindrions d'entreprendre, si la recherche de la vérité & l'amour de la justice n'ennoblissoient tous les sujets que l'on traite.


State of the Accused.

This object requires details that we would be afraid to undertake, if the search for truth and the love of justice did not ennoble all the subjects that we treat.

{HRJ: Once again, as we get close to sexual matters, the narrator gets apologetic, poetic, and coy.}

Le Créateur à imposé des Loix à la nature pour la production de l'espece humaine. Mais des sucs plus ou moins abondans, une impulfion plus ou moins prompte, une fermentation plus ou moins active, dérangent quelquefois l'ordre économique des productions & présentent à l'oeil curieux de l'observateur, différens phénomenes.

The Creator has imposed laws on nature for the production of the human race. But more or less abundant juices, a more or less rapid impulse, a more or less active fermentation, sometimes disturb the economic order of the productions and present to the curious eye of the observer, different phenomena.

{HRJ: The narrator is speaking in terms of the humoral theory of gender. This theory—tracing back to classical Greece—asserts that the physical manifestation of gender/sex is shaped and determined by the conditions in which the fetus develops. For more discussion on this, see the podcast Humors, Horoscopes, and Homosexuality. A fetus developed into a male by virtue of having certain humoral properties: heat, dryness, activity, and so forth. But—goes the theory—a fetus may begin developing in one direction, which fixes the anatomy, but then be subject to other influences which affect the personality and mental faculties, resulting in a masculine woman, a feminine man, or some other mixing of properties. This is the scenario that is being set up: the gender binary required “for the production of the human race” may be disturbed with unexpected results.}

Un hermaphrodite est peut-être le plus intéressant de tous. Dans ces tems reculés où la Philosophie étoit encore en son berceau, on les envisageoit comme des monstres; & sous les Consuls de l'ancienne Rome, un hermaphrodite étoit jetté dans la Mer, ou abandonné dans une isle déserte, ainsi que nous l'atteste Pline le Naturaliste. Natur. Histor. lib. 7, cap: 3.

A hermaphrodite is perhaps the most interesting of all. In those remote times when Philosophy was still in its cradle, they were regarded as monsters; and under the Consuls of ancient Rome, a hermaphrodite was thrown into the sea, or abandoned on a desert island, as Pliny the Naturalist attests. Natur. Histor. lib. 7, cap: 3.

{HRJ: The narrator is now going to show off his classical education. Pliny’s Natural History, book 7, chapter 3 is on the subject of “Marvelous Births.” (The translation here is courtesy of the website:,0978,001:7:3) The narrator is distorting the actual content somewhat, perhaps to suggest that France should be more humane than the ancients. Pliny has separate discussions of hermaphrodites “Individuals are occasionally born, who belong to both sexes; such persons we call by the name of hermaphrodites; they were formerly called Androgyni, and were looked upon as monsters, but at the present day they are employed for sensual purposes.”) and of persons who changed sex. In the discussion of the latter, there is indeed a reference to someone being taken to a desert island, but no reference to anyone being thrown into the sea. “The change of females into males is undoubtedly no fable. We find it stated in the Annals, that, in the consulship of P. Licinius Crassus and C. Cassius Longinus, a girl, who was living at Casinum with her parents, was changed into a boy; and that, by the command of the Aruspices, he was conveyed away to a desert island. Licinius Mucianus informs us, that he once saw at Argos a person whose name was then Arescon, though he had been formerly called Arescusa: that this person had been married to a man, but that, shortly after, a beard and marks of virility made their appearance, upon which he took to himself a wife. He had also seen a boy at Smyrna, to whom the very same thing had happened. I myself saw in Africa one L. Cossicius, a citizen of Thysdris, who had been changed into a man the very day on which he was married to a husband.” The exile to a deserted island, thus, was a precaution because the person was considered inauspicious, which state could come from any number of reasons, and not for the specific cause of being a hermaphrodite.}

Sous les Empereurs, l'humanité s'étendit avec les conquêtes, les préjugés s'évanouirent; & les Loix devinrent plus sages. Un hermaphrodite fut regardé comme une production extraordinaire, mais il ne parut pas mériter d'être retranché du rang des Citoyens; les Législateurs voulurent qu'on s'attachât à distinguer le sexe dominant chez lui, afin de lui assigner la place qui lui étoit propre dans la société. Quæritur hermaphroditum cui comparamus, & magis puto ejus sexûs estimandum qui in eo prævalet. L. 10 ad dig. de statu hominum.

Under the Emperors, humanity expanded with the conquests, prejudices disappeared, and the laws became wiser. A hermaphrodite was regarded as an extraordinary production, but he did not seem to deserve to be cut off from the rank of citizens; the legislators wanted to distinguish the dominant sex in him, in order to assign him the place that was proper to him in society. Quæritur hermaphroditum cui comparamus, & magis puto ejus sexûs estimandum qui in eo prævalet. L. 10 ad dig. de statu hominum.

{HRJ: The text quoted here appears to be from Justinian’s Corpus juris civilis, specifically the Digests, which is a compilation of extracts from prior legal treatises, organized by topic. This quote comes from the section entitled De statu hominum (concerning laws about people), attributed to Ulpian. “Quaeritur: hermaphroditum cui comparamus? et magis puto eius sexus aestimandum, qui in eo praevalet.” “Question: To whom do we compare the hermaphrodite? I think he should be evaluated as the sex which prevails in him.” In other words, a legal binary must be enforced, and each person assigned a gender. This is a regular theme in the legal treatment of intersex people in western history: philosophy might recognize indeterminate sex or a "third sex," but the law recognized only a binary and required everyone to be assigned to a category and not to move between categories.}

 La Loi régloit leur sort; mais la Philosophie chercha à les définir. Combien de systems, ouvrages de l'erreur n'a-t-on pas vu paroître sur cette matiere?

The Law regulated their fate; but Philosophy sought to define them. How many systems, works of error, have we not seen appear on this subject?

{HRJ: The narrator now asserts that the legally imposed binary may not be the only approach.}

Les sectateurs superstitieux de l'Astrologie judiciaire crurent pouvoir trouver dans les astres la cause de ce phénomene; suivant eux, la réunion de Venus & de Mercure dans le septieme signe du Zodiaque, en conjonction avec Mars, devoit faire naître un hermaphrodite: Si Mars his conciliatur conjunctione aut aspectu, facit hermaphroditos. Joannes Garcæus, cap. 16, de frigidio, &c.

The superstitious followers of Judicial Astrology believed they could find in the stars the cause of this phenomenon; according to them, the meeting of Venus & Mercury in the seventh sign of the Zodiac, in conjunction with Mars, should give birth to a hermaphrodite: Si Mars his conciliatur conjunctione aut aspectu, facit hermaphroditos. Joannes Garcæus, cap. 16, de frigidio, &c.

{HRJ: Once again, for background, I refer the reader to the podcast on astrology and humoral theory. Our narrator views the idea of astrological influences on gender to be superstition, though he wasn’t quite as censorious toward humoral influences. The quoted astrologer here is 16th century German Johannes Garcaeus, who writes “If Mars prevails in this conjunction or aspect, it creates hermaphrodites.”}

La raison se récria bientôt contre des opinions aussi chimériques; des observateurs voulurent porter le flambeau de la Physique jusques dans les entrailles d'une mere, examiner la formation du fœtus & ses accroissances, interroger la nature & lui demander raison de ses caprices: ils crurent appercevoir dans le mélange des liqueurs productives de l’homme & de la femme, & dans les accidens arrivés à ce mêlange, la cause du phénomène; combien d'Auteurs ont écrit sur cette matière, avec lesquels nous craindrions de nous égarer!*

{marginal note: * V. Averroès liv. 4, de generat. anim. Alpert le Grand, liv. 18, de animal.}

Reason soon rebelled against such chimerical opinions; observers wanted to carry the torch of Physics to the womb of a mother, to examine the formation of the fetus & its growths, to question nature & ask her for the reason of her caprices: They thought they could see in the mixture of the productive liquors of man and woman, and in the accidents that occurred in this mixture, the cause of the phenomenon; how many authors have written on this subject, with whom we would fear to stray! *

{marginal note: * V. Averroès liv. 4, de generat. anim. Alpert le Grand, liv. 18, de animal.}

{HRJ: Our narrator is waxing poetic again, touting the Age of Reason and its determination to find scientific explanations. The marginal note is not a manuscript annotation, but part of the print layout. The citations are of the commentary by 12th century Andalusian philosopher Averroes (Ibn Rushd) on Aristotle’s “De Generatione Animalium” (On the Generation of Animals). Presumably “book 4” refers to the 4th of 5 volumes of Aristotle’s work, which does discuss theories of sex determination. Alpert le Grand is presumably 13th century philosopher and theologian Albertus Magnus, De Animalibus (On Animals), which may well also be referencing Aristotle’s theories as Albertus was one of the major medieval transmission pathways for Aristotle’s works.}

Mais depuis a paru le systême des ovaires qui suppose le germe existant chez la femme avant que d'être fécondé par l'homme, & qui sembloit expliquer les opérations de la nature par des voies plus simples & plus générales; ce systeme a détruit tous les raisonnemens fondés sur le mélange des deux fluides sans donner une explication plus saine de la production dont on cherchoit à connoître le principe.

But since then the system of ovaries has appeared, which supposes the germ existing in the woman before being fertilized by the man, and which seemed to explain the operations of nature by simpler and more general ways; this system has destroyed all the reasonings founded on the mixture of the two fluids without giving a healthier explanation of the production of which one sought to know the principle.

{HRJ: And here’s where we know that our narrator has simply been showing off and establishing himself as a classical scholar. We can sweep away all that old superstition because anatomical studies have superseded them! I should be more fair to him, since this really was cutting-edge scientific knowledge. I’ll leave our narrator in peace to his flights of rhetoric in the next couple passages.}

Quant à nous nous ne pouvons qu'être surpris des efforts, de esprit humain, qui lutte sans cesse contre sa propre impuissance; il est des secrets qu'il ne nous appartient pas de découvrir.

As for us, we can only be surprised at the efforts of the human mind, which is constantly struggling against its own impotence; there are secrets which it is not our business to discover.

Le génie qui s'élance dans l'infini, qui mesure l'étendue des cieux, qui calcule les révolutions périodiques de ces globes roulans dans l'immensité de l'espace, qui, d'après des regles certaines, prédit leurs différens rapports pour des siécles à venir, est honteux de son insuffisance lorsqu'il s'arrête un instant près de lui, & qu'il veut pénétrer la cause de son exilence.

The genius that soars into infinity, that measures the extent of the heavens, that calculates the periodic revolutions of these rolling globes in the immensity of space, that, according to certain rules, predicts their different relationships for centuries to come, is ashamed of his insufficiency when he stops for a moment near it, & that he wants to penetrate the cause of his exile.

Contents summary: 

Abandonnons donc la cause pour nous attacher aux effets; & sans chercher à connoître par quelle raison un hermaphrodite existe, voyons ce qu'il est en effet.

Let us therefore abandon the cause and concentrate on the effects; and without seeking to know by what reason a hermaphrodite exists, let us see what he is in fact.

On en peut distinguer de trois sortes.

We can distinguish three kinds.

{HRJ: In this discussion, we get our clearest idea of what Grandjean’s defense counsel has in mind when using the word “hermaphrodite”. This still doesn’t tell us what Legrand might have meant when she made her accusation.}

La premiere est celle de ces productions étonnantes, qui réunissent les facultés des deux sexes avec un égal avantage, qui peuvent engendrer hors d'eux comme dans eux, qui peuvent être au gré de leur caprice tantôt femmes, tantôt hommes: tel fut, si l'on en croit les observations du Médecin Schenk, cet individu qui étoit marié à un homme, qui eut de lui plusieurs enfans, tant mâles que femelles, & qui pendant son mariage usoit de familiarités avec ses servantes & les rendoịt fécondes. Viro nupserat cui filio aliquot & filias peperit; nihilominus tamen ancillas comprimere, & in his generare solebat.

The first is that of those astonishing productions, which unite the faculties of both sexes with equal advantage, which can beget outside of them as well as within them, which can be at the whim of their caprice sometimes female, sometimes male: such was, if we are to believe the observations of the physician Schenk, that individual who was married to a man, who had from him several children, both male and female, & who during his marriage used familiarity with his maids & rendered them fertile. Viro nupserat cui filio aliquot & filias peperit; nihilominus tamen ancillas comprimere, & in his generare solebat.

{HRJ: Our narrator’s Type 1 is a form of intersex that has essentially been disproven as a possibility by modern medical studies (at least according to the Wikipedia article on intersex): a person who can produce both male and female gametes; who can bear a child and also impregnate another person. The Schenk referenced here can’t be embryologist Leopold Schenk, author of The Determination of Sex, as his dates are a century too late. Ah, but here’s a lead, based on searching on segments of the quote. Franz Ludwig von Neugebauer’s Hermaphroditismus beim Menschen (1908) has a long list of citations of case studies, and quotes “Schenk (siehe Arnaud, loc.cit. p.296): “Viro nupserat, cui filios aliquot et filias peperit, nihilominus tamen ancillas comprimere et in his generare solebat.” Arnaud appears to track to a citation for “Dissertation sur les Hermaphrodites” (Paris 1766), but this is published after Grandjean’s trial records (and in fact cites Grandjean’s case) and so can’t be our narrator’s source. In any case, if I’m reading von Neugebauer’s citations correctly, Schenk may be “J. Schenk (jun.) Observationum medicarum rararum etc. … 1609. Lib. IV. De genitalibus partibus, p. 603” which Google Books identifies as Johannes Schenck von Grafenberg and provides more of the title as “Observationum medicarum rararum, Novarum, admirabilium et monstrosarum liber…” Well, that was an exciting hour of trying to trace citations. I leave all the messiness in to show you what my process is like! In any event, the Latin from Schenk is more or less what our narrator renders. I’ll use zie/zir pronouns to render the fact that the Latin is ambiguous. “Zie had married a man to whom zie bore several sons and daughters; however nevertheless zie ?crushed? maidservants and was accustomed to ?generate? in them.” Ok, I’m failing a bit on the Latin, but you get the idea. One presumes that the individual’s pregnancies were an established fact, but regardless of what they may have been getting up to with the maidservants, I don’t know that you could prove no one else was involved with the paternity. So the usefulness of this anecdote in proving the existence of type 1 hermaphrodites is not proven.}

La seconde espece est beaucoup plus commune, en supposant que l'existance de la premiere soit bien avérée, c'est celle des hermaphrodites qui ont un sexe prédominant avec toute les facultés qui lui sont propres. D'après cette définition, il est aisé de voir qu'il y a des hermaphrodites mâles comme des hermaphrodites femelles. L'hermaprhodite mâle sera celui qui aura les organes du sexe masculin dans leur perfection, & les organes du sexe féminin imparfaits, c'est-àdire, qui pourra engendrer comme homme & non pas comme femme. L'hermaphrodite femelle sera au contraire celui qui pourra engendrer comme femme & non pas comme homme. C'est de cette espece dont parle le Législateur Romain, lorsqu'il dit: magis puto ejus sexûs estimandum qui in eo prævalet. Les Auteurs nous en fournissent plusieurs exemples que nous croyons inutile de citer ici. *

[marginal note: * V. Graaf, Merbrook, Bartolin.]

The second species is much more common, supposing that the existence of the first is well proven, it is that of the hermaphrodites who have a predominant sex with all the faculties which are proper to it. According to this definition, it is easy to see that there are both male and female hermaphrodites. The male hermaphrodite will be the one who will have the organs of the male sex in their perfection, and the organs of the female sex imperfect, that is to say, who will be able to engender as a man and not as a woman. The female hermaphrodite, on the other hand, will be the one who can beget as a woman and not as a man. It is of this species that the Roman legislator speaks when he says: magis puto ejus sexûs estimandum qui in eo prævalet. The authors give us several examples of this, which we do not think it necessary to quote here. *

[marginal note: * V. Graaf, Merbrook, Bartolin.]

{HRJ: Type 2 matches well with the general definition of intersex. A person may have anatomy that aligns more with the expectations for male or female while having some anomalous characteristics. The Latin quote is discussed earlier. The marginal citations are presumably for authors who discuss this type of condition, but I’m going to take a pass on trying to track them down at the moment. If anyone has suggestions, I’d love to hear.

A l'égard de la troisieme espece, elle se rencontre dans ceux qui ont quelque chose de la conformation appartenante à l'un & l'autre sexe, & qui ne sont puissans ni dans l'un ni dans l'autre, comme si la nature en s'égarant, au lieu d'employer à la formation exacte d'un sexe la portion de fluide destinée à cet usage, l'avoit employée à en former deux & laissoit l'un & l'autre imparfaits par le défaut de consistance & de matiere. Telle fut cette femme Ethiopienne, qui ne pouvoit agir utilement, ni permettre ... Erat Æthiopissa mulier, hæc neque agere neque pati utiliter poterat, nam uterque sexus imperfectus ei contigerat.

With regard to the third species, it is found in those who have something of the conformation belonging to the one and the other sex, and who are not powerful in either one or the other, as if nature, in going astray, instead of employing the portion of fluid destined for this use for the exact formation of one sex, had employed it to form two and left the one and the other imperfect due to the lack of consistency and matter. Such was this Ethiopian woman, who could not act usefully, nor allow ... Erat Æthiopissa mulier, hæc neque agere neque pati utiliter poterat, nam uterque sexus imperfectus ei contigerat.

{HRJ: The narrator’s distinction between type 2 and type 3 seems to depend on whether the person is able to engage in intercourse as one or the other sex, while type 3 is someone who is not capable of performing as either. But he’s going all coy again in terms of specifics. The Latin means “There was an Ethiopian woman, who could function neither to “act” nor to “suffer” [i.e., neither to penetrate nor to be penetrated], for both sexes were imperfect in her.”}

Dans laquelle de ces trois classes rengerons-nous maintenant l'individu dont il s'agit ici? Si nous en croyons le Procès-verbal de visite des Médecins & Chirurgiens de Lyon, ce que l'Accusé a répondu aux questions du Juge & aux nôtres, & ce que sa femme entendue en déposition a déclaré de ses facultés, nous le mettrons dans la troisieme classe, en observant néanmoins que chez lui l'attrait de la concupiscence se fait sentir seulement dans les organes qui appartiennent à la masculinité, sans faire la plus légere sensation dans ceux qui appartiennent au sexe féminin.

In which of these three classes will we now find the individual we are dealing with here? If we are to believe the report of the visit of the Physicians and Surgeons of Lyon, what the Accused answered to the questions of the Judge and to ours, and what zir wife, heard in deposition, declared of zir faculties, we will put him in the third class, observing nevertheless that in him the attraction of concupiscence is felt only in the organs that belong to the male sex, without making the slightest sensation in those that belong to the female sex.

{HRJ: This is an interesting conclusion, with the narrator’s habitual hedging around specifics with regard to anatomy and sexual activity. Grandjean is to be assigned to Type 3, supposedly those intersex persons whose physiology precludes acting sexually either in the normative role for male or female. And yet the physicians concluded that Grandjean’s anatomy was female. So is the narrator rejecting anatomy entirely as the basis for classification? He then asserts that Grandjean experiences “the attraction of concupiscence” for which we read “sexual desire” only in the male organs without feeling anything in the female organs. By which we may interpret--assuming this statement is evidence-based--that Grandjean's erotic pleasure is focused on the clitoris and not on the vagina. This is something of a disingenuous statement, because medical writings before this time had noted that the clitoris was the primary seat of female sexual pleasure. It is possible that the narrator had a gap in his education around this specific topic, though that wouldn't align with his detailed familiarity with literature treating the genitals and sexual activity. It is also possible that the narrator is so invested in the argument that Grandjean has masculinized anatomy that he deliberately omits this understanding of the female sexual experience in order to bolster his case that Grandjean's erotic experiences are masculine in nature. There were other stereotypical assumptions about the differences between male and female desire, but note that we haven’t yet reached the era where the myth of female sexual indifference had taken hold.}

Contents summary: 

Il est donc important ici de le faire connoître dans le détail; mais comme cette description peut tomber entre les mains de personnes dont nous craindrions d'alarmer la pudeur, nous croyons par délicatesse devoir nous servir d'une langue moins familiere.

It is thus important here to make it known in detail; but as this description can fall into the hands of people whose modesty we would fear to alarm, we believe by delicacy to have to use a less familiar language.

{HRJ: The narrator is now going to go into more detail, but will preserve the casual reader’s modesty and sensibilities by moving into Latin. This was primarily intended to prevent women, as a class, from reading about sexual matters, as a Latin education was primarily available only to men.}

Intrà pudendi labra suprà meatum urinarium, carnosa quædam moles inspicitur speciem virilis membri præ se ferens, sese arrigens cum delectatione in conspectu feminæ, & firma stans in coïtu; crassitudine digiti cùm arrecta eft & extensa, longitudine quinque transversorum digitorum quantitate: in summitate mentulæ vel membri virilis apparet glans cum præputio, sed non eft glans perforata, ideoque nullum semen per hanc emitti potest. Infrà mentulam & in orificio vulvæ ambo apparent globuli testiculorum ad instar; exiguum autem est vulvæ orficium penè digitum admittens, nec per hanc menstrua fluunt, nec ullâ sensatione jucundâ commovetur, nec semine feminino irrigatur.

Intrà pudendi labra suprà meatum urinarium, carnosa quædam moles inspicitur speciem virilis membri præ se ferens, sese arrigens cum delectatione in conspectu feminæ, & firma stans in coïtu; crassitudine digiti cùm arrecta eft & extensa, longitudine quinque transversorum digitorum quantitate: in summitate mentulæ vel membri virilis apparet glans cum præputio, sed non eft glans perforata, ideoque nullum semen per hanc emitti potest. Infrà mentulam & in orificio vulvæ ambo apparent globuli testiculorum ad instar; exiguum autem est vulvæ orficium penè digitum admittens, nec per hanc menstrua fluunt, nec ullâ sensatione jucundâ commovetur, nec semine feminino irrigatur.

{HRJ: Ready for some Latin sex talk? Here we go. “Between the labia, above the urinary meatus, a certain fleshy mass is seen before it, bearing the appearance of a male member, erecting itself with delight in the presence of a woman and standing firm in coitus;” (Anatomists had “discovered” the clitoris a century earlier and regularly described it in terms of analogy to the penis.) “…it is the thickness of a finger when it is raised and extended, the length of five transverse fingers” (I interpret this as “a handsbreadth in length.” And these dimensions are definitely outside the typical for female anatomy, although not outside the descriptions sometimes found in medical literature.) “on the top of the penis or male member appear a glans with a foreskin, but the glans is not perforated” (i.e., it has no opening) “therefore no semen can be sent through it. Under the penis and at the opening of the vulva both…” (I feel like this is aiming for “on either side of the opening of the vulva?”) “…appear like the balls of the testicles; and the opening of the vulva is small, barely admitting a finger,” (That’s within typical size for someone who is not actively engaging in penetrative sex.) “the menses does not flow through it, nor is it moved by any pleasant sensation…” (Look, buddy, if a bunch of stranger doctors were sticking their fingers up my virginal orifice, I don’t think I’d find it very “moving” either! But this is the first suggestion that Grandjean was amenorrheic. One might think their mother would have noticed.) “…nor is it irrigated with female seed.” (Evidently 18th century sexual theory accepted female ejaculation?)

{On the face of it, this description very solidly falls in one type of intersex category. The literature on “hermaphrodites” cited by the narrator would have included both descriptions and illustrations of people with similar anatomy. As I noted in my commentary, several of the descriptions are in line with typical female anatomy. And it seems a bit implausible that a panel of surgeons in Lyon could have examined someone with this appearance and concluded that Grandjean’s “predominant sex was that of a woman.” But perhaps so. The case of Thomas/ina Hall in Virginia a century earlier details the confusion of the legal system when faced with someone who had a small penis, but one not capable of penetrative sex, and (probably) a very small vaginal opening, but not one capable of receiving penetrative sex. But it seems suspiciously convenient that Grandjean’s anatomy only comes into the question when their lawyer is trying to find arguments that Grandjean could reasonably enter into a valid marriage with a woman. Grandjean did not go to their confessor and say, “Um…I think maybe I have a penis?” I don’t think we can entirely reject the possibility that Grandjean was intersex, perhaps one of the conditions such as XY-androgen insensitivity, in which masculinized anatomy develops later in life. But I keep coming back to the point that the turning point for Grandjean's life was sexual desire, not anatomy or gender dysphoria.}

Quoique d'après ce détail l'hermaphrodite dont il s'agit ici soit constitué de manière à être indifférent pour les hommes, & que tous ses desirs, ainsi que ses facultés, le portent du côté de la femme, cette faculté néanmoins est imparfaite, & la nature, dans l'un & l'autre sexe, lui a refusé le pouvoir de se reproduire.

Although, according to this detail, the hermaphrodite in question is constituted in such a way as to be indifferent to men, and that all his desires, as well as his faculties, lead him to the side of the woman, this faculty is nevertheless imperfect, and nature, in both sexes, has denied him the power to reproduce.

{HRJ: The narrator, like Grandjean’s confessor, takes “indifference to men” and “desire for women” as a clear indication of masculine identity. And this, I feel, is the key element in the entire story. The idea of a woman desiring a woman is so far outside what they are willing to accept, that they need for Grandjean to be a man in order to erase that spectre. Now maybe Grandjean was intersex. Maybe Grandjean was trans. But that’s not what’s motivating these men with power over their life--what motivates them is complete repudiation of the idea of female same-sex desire.}

Ajoutons que tout son ensemble paroît être un mêlange de deux sexes dans la même imperfection. L'accusé n'a point de barbe, mais il a les jambes velues, & plusieurs autres parties du corps, qui ne sont point telles ordinairement chez les femmes.

Let us add that his whole body seems to be a mixture of two sexes in the same imperfection. The accused has no beard, but he has hairy legs and several other parts of his body that are not usually found on women.

Il a de la gorge plus qu'un homme n'en a communément; mais elle n'est point délicate & sensible aux coups, comme celle des femmes: il en a fait l'expérience devant nous.

He has more throat than a man usually has; but it is not delicate and sensitive to blows, like that of women: he experienced this before us.

Ses mammelons, si l'on consulte leur grosseur, appartiennent au sexe féminin; mais on n'y voit point ce cercle d'un rouge obscur au milieu duquel ils se trouvent placés chez les femmes.

Zir mammaries, if one consults their size, belong to the female sex; but one does not see there this circle of an obscure red in the middle of which they are placed in the women.

Sa voix n'est, à proprement parler, ni celle d'une femme, ni celle d'un homme; c'est celle d'un enfant mâle qui arrive à l'adolescence, & qui dans une espece d'enrouement rend des sons tantôt graves, tantôt aígus.

Zir voice is, strictly speaking, neither that of a woman nor that of a man; it is that of a male child who is reaching adolescence, and who in a kind of hoarseness makes sounds sometimes low, sometimes high.

{HRJ: All of the above is focused on the degree to which Grandjean conforms to a stereotypical idealized femininity. The deficiencies of feminiity—hairy legs and the ability to stand blows—are presented as more relevant that the absence of a beard, the presence of breasts (which could co-occur with XY-androgen insensitivity, but male-pattern hair growth does not), and a higher voice.}

Tel est l'hermaprhodite, qu'il étoit d'abord important de faire connoître, pour mieux assurer sa justification.

Such is the hermaphrodite, which it was first important to make known, to better ensure zir justification.

{HRJ: At this point, I should remind the reader I have something of a personal predisposition to view Grandjean as a woman who desires women, trapped in a world that doesn’t want to recognize that identity. This is my own bias, and much of the interest in Grandjean’s situation is entirely separate from the question of whether my view is true or not. Or whether it’s even meaningful within the context of Grandjean’s life. So let us proceed, operating on the presumption that the question is unresolved.}

Contents summary: 

On l'accuse d'avoir profané le Sacrement de mariage. Il ne l'a pas profané, s'il étoit de bonne foi: c'est le second objet que nous nous étions proposé de démontrer.

Zie is accused of having profaned the Sacrament of Marriage. He did not profane it, if he was in good faith: this is the second point we set out to demonstrate.


Point de profanation si l'Accusé étoit dans la bonne foi.


No profanation if the accused was in good faith.

{HRJ: This is, in fact, the strongest point of the lawyer’s argument. That “profanation” requires intent to profane, and that Grandjean clearly did not have that intent. I’m going to have little commentary on this next section because the narrator lays it out very clearly.}

Nous nous occupons uniquement ici d'un point de Droit sur lequel nous ne prévoyons pas de difficulté sérieuse.

We are dealing here only with a point of law on which we do not foresee any serious difficulty.

Pour remplir notre objet avec exactitude, il faut voir d'abord ce que c'est que profaner le Sacrement de mariage, & nous verrons ensuite si l'on peut dire que celui qui le contracte dans la bonne foi, en soit profanateur.

To fulfill our purpose accurately, we must first see what it is to desecrate the Sacrament of Marriage, and then we will see whether one who contracts it in good faith can be said to be a profaner.

Profaner le Sacrement de mariage, c'est en abuser: on peut en abuser de trois manieres; ou parce qu'on n'est pas libre, ou parce qu'on n'est pas capable, ou parce qu'on use mal de sa capacité,

To profane the sacrament of marriage is to abuse it: one can abuse it in three ways; either because one is not free, or because one is not capable, or because one misuses one's capacity,

Nous disons d'abord qu'on abuse du Sacrement de mariage, quand on le contracte sans avoir la liberté de le faire.

We say first of all that the Sacrament of Marriage is abused when one contracts it without having the freedom to do so.

Le maríage, chez les Peuples sauvages, est une union sujette au caprice, & dont les liens peuvent être aussi facilement détruits que formés. Chez plusieurs Peuples policés, mais qui ne jouissent pas du précieux avantage d'être éclairés par les lumieres de la Foi; c'est un contrat civil qui peut être résolu dans les cas prévus par les Loix. Chez une Nation chrétienne & catholique, il est contrat civil & Sacrement tout ensemble, écrit dans le Ciel & sur la terre; c'est le symbole de l'union de Jesus-Christ avec l'Eglise: il est indissoluble, individual, & le lien formé par lui ne peut être rompu que par la mort.

Marriage, among savage peoples, is a union subject to caprice, and whose bonds may be as easily destroyed as formed. Among many civilized peoples, but who do not enjoy the precious advantage of being enlightened by the lights of the Faith, it is a civil contract which can be resolved in the cases provided for by the Laws. In a Christian and Catholic Nation, it is a civil contract and a sacrament at the same time, written in Heaven and on earth; it is the symbol of the union of Jesus Christ with the Church: it is indissoluble, individual, and the bond formed by it can only be broken by death.

{HRJ: Oh dear. He’s getting his rhetoric on again.}

Une conséquence naturelle résulte de ces principes: c'est que parmi nous, les hommes ou les femmes qui sont mariés, ne peuvent pas contracter valablement un second mariage du vivant de leurs femmes ou de leurs maris: s'ils le font avec la pleine certitude que leur chaîne subsiste, ils abusent du Sacrement, & méritent des peines.

A natural consequence follows from these principles: it is that among us, men or women who are married cannot validly contract a second marriage during the lifetime of their wives or husbands: if they do so with the full certainty that their chain will remain, they are abusing the Sacrament, and deserve punishment.

{HRJ: "Their chain" meaning "the bond, the contract, the thing that binds them." This bullet point is talking about bigamy, which is not relevant to Grandjean's situation, but is part of the lawyer gradually building his case.}

Nous avons dit, en second lieu, qu'on pouvoit abuser du Sacrement par le défaut de capacité. Le mariage est établi pour donner des citoyens à la Patrie & des habitans à l'Univers; il faut donc, pour le contracter valablement, être capable de remplir son objet. Le défaut de capacité peut avoir deux causes différentes; celle qui naît de la frigidité, de l'innertie de l'homme; ou celle qui nait d'un vice d'organisation, soit dans l'homme, soit dans la femme: ainsi quiconque se croit inhabile à remplir le vœu du mariage, doit s'abstenir d'un engagement dont la sainteté  seroit par lui profanée.

Secondly, we have said that the Sacrament can be abused through lack of capacity. Marriage is established to give citizens to the country and inhabitants to the universe; it is therefore necessary, in order to contract it validly, to be capable of fulfilling its purpose. Lack of capacity may have two different causes: that which arises from frigidity, from the innertness of the man; or that which arises from a defect of organization, either in the man or in the woman: thus anyone who believes himself unfit to fulfill the vow of marriage must abstain from a commitment whose sanctity would be profaned by him.

{HRJ: This is an argument that people were still making in regard to same-sex marriage in 21st century USA—that the essential purpose of marriage is procreation, and that lack of the ability to procreate, whether for psychological or physiological reasons, means one should be barred from marriage. But, of course, as argued in the 21st century, that principle was not typically used to bar male-female couples from marrying—for example oi the woman were past childbearing age—if there were no other issues.}

Enfin on peut encore abuser du Sacrement & de l'état du mariage, en usant mal de sa capacité. L'attrait du plaisir rapproche deux époux, & de leur union doit résulter un nouvel étre; la nature sur cette union a prescrit des regles, & l'instinct seul suffit pour nous mettre en état de les suivre. Si ces regles sont violées, si l'un des deux époux ou tous les deux à-la-fois préferent le plaisir au devoir, quand ils peuvent réunir l'un & l'autre; s'ils usent des organes de la volupté d'une maniere contraire à leur destination, c'est un tort envers la Patrie, qui leur demande des citoyens; c'est un larcin qu'ils font à la Nature, c'est un crime aux yeux de son Auteur.

Finally, the Sacrament and the state of marriage can still be abused by misusing its capacity. The attraction of pleasure brings two spouses together, and from their union must result a new being; nature has prescribed rules for this union, and instinct alone is sufficient to put us in a position to follow them. If these rules are violated, if one or both of the spouses prefer pleasure to duty, when they can unite the one and the other; if they use the organs of voluptuousness in a manner contrary to their purpose, it is a wrong to the Fatherland, which requires citizens of them; it is a petty theft that they make from Nature, it is a crime in the eyes of its Author.

{HRJ: So, in other words, if you get married and plan to have a good time, sexually, but avoid anything that could result in pregnancy, then you’re abusing the sacrament of marriage. This was a significant dividing point between Catholic views of marriage and some Protestant views, which allowed for a chaste companionate marriage, if the participants were so inclined, or allowed for non-procreative sex as an activity that helped bind the couple emotionally. But we see here an inkling of the view of “procreation as patriotism” that would emerge in the early 19th century in both France and England. It's unclear whether the lawyer is allowing for some non-procreative activity within a marriage, as long as procreation is also a goal, or whether each sex act is evaluated on this basis.}

Dans cette derniere espece il n'y a point d'excuse, & les époux ne sauroient dire qu'ils sont de bonne foi.

In this latter case there is no excuse, and the spouses cannot say that they are acting in good faith.

Mais il n'en est pas de même des deux précédentes.

But this is not the case with the two preceding ones.

{HRJ: That is, there are cases (which the narrator is about to discuss) where someone might be not free, or not capable of marriage and unaware of it, but not where someone might be in it purely for non-procreative pleasure and not aware of it.}

Celui qui croit être libre au moment où il contracte & qui ne l'est pas, ne profane point le Sacrement; son erreur peut avoir une cause légitime. Un volcan qui renverse une ville ou qui l'engloutit, un champ de bataille couvert de morts, un vaisseau abymé dans la profondeur des mers, voilà des causes propres à justifier l'erreur. Si le mari habitoit la ville engloutie, s'il étoit dans les troupes qui ont soutenu le choc du combat, ou dans le vaisseau qui a péri dans l'onde, & que depuis un tems considérable son épouse n'en ait point eu de nouvelles, elle aura des raisons suffisantes pour le croire mort, elle pourra contracter un engagement nouveau. Cet époux vient-il par la suite à réparoitre, le second mariage sera déclaré nul; mais la femme n'aura pas profané le Sacrement, parce qu'elle étoit dans la bonne foi.

He who believes himself to be free at the moment he contracts & who is not, does not profane the Sacrament; his error may have a legitimate cause. A volcano which overturns a city or engulfs it, a battlefield covered with dead, a ship sunk in the depths of the sea, these are all causes which may justify the error. If the husband lived in the sunken city, if he was among the troops who sustained the shock of the battle, or in the ship that perished in the waves, and if his wife has not heard from him for a considerable time, she will have sufficient reason to believe that he is dead, and she will be able to enter into a new engagement. If the husband subsequently dies, the second marriage will be declared null and void, but the wife will not have profaned the Sacrament because she was in good faith.

{HRJ: This is making an interesting distinction between the legal and spiritual status of such a marriage. Bigamy is a legal matter and unaffected by intent. But profanation requires knowledge and intent.}

A Pari, si un homme se croit capable de remplir le vœu du mariage; si la nature, quelquefois sujette à des caprices, ne lui a pas fait éprouver cette langueur, cette frigidité, cette inertie perpétuelle que l'on nomme impuissance absolue, il peut se croire digne du Sacrement qu'il desire; & quand bien même après le mariage il se trouveroit inhabile, il n'est point profanateur; on ne peut le punir comme tel, sa bonne foi le justisie.

By analogy, if a man believes himself capable of fulfilling the vow of marriage; if nature, which is sometimes subject to caprices, has not made him experience that langor, that frigidity, that perpetual inertness which is called absolute impotence, he may believe himself worthy of the Sacrament he desires; and even if after marriage he finds himself unfit, he is not a profaner; he cannot be punished as such, since his good faith justifies him.

{HRJ: This argument could apply not simply with regard to impotence, but also with regard to fertility from various angles. Although the lawyer doesn't take this angle, it could apply in the case where Grandjean sincerely believed their confessor had the power and ability to change their sex, not simply to recategorize their gender. And whether or not Grandjean believed that, the argument could be presented in court as a strategy. This is, to some extent, what the lawyer does later when invoking the initial legal and social recognition of Grandjean's recategorization.}

Enfin, pour rentrer dans notre espece, si un individu tel quell conçoit un violent amour pour une fille, s'il éprouve à son a approche des sensations vives, avec un développement d'organes qui ne se rencontre point dans les femmes s'il eft froid & tranquille auprès des hommes; si ces organes développés lui présentent les attributs de la masculinité; si dans l'usage antérieur qu'il en a pu fạire, elles ont produit la même sensation chez la femme, alors cet individu, qui n'est point obligé d'être 'naturaliste, aura raison sans doute de se croire appellé au mariage en qualité d’homme; & quand une experience plus longue & des lumieres plus sûres viendront après son mariage lui faire connoître quelque vice d'organisation dans sa personne, on ne pourra pas dire sans doute qu'il ait profané le Sacrement, parce que lorsqu'il a contracté, ses intentions étoient pures, & sa bonne foi non équivoque.

Finally, to return to our category [of hermaphrodite], if an individual such as this conceives a violent love for a girl, if he experiences at her approach vivid sensations, with a development of organs which is not found in women if he is cold & quiet around men; if these developed organs present him with the attributes of masculinity; if in the previous use he may have made of them, they have produced the same sensation in women, then this individual, who is not obliged to be a naturalist [i.e., a biologist, a scientist], will be justified without doubt in believing himself called to marriage in the capacity of a man; & when longer experience & surer lights come after his marriage to make him aware of some defect of organization in his person, it will not be possible to say without doubt that he has profaned the Sacrament, because when he contracted, his intentions were pure, & his good faith unequivocal.

{HRJ: Once again, the narrator is fixated on the idea that the polarity of desire defines gender identity. If Grandjean experiences sexual arousal toward women and is sexually indifferent toward men, this validates the assumption of male identity. It isn’t simply that the narrator believes this proves Grandjean to be essentially male, but that it can be argued as a rational basis for Grandjean to believe themselves male.}

En un mot, la profanation est un crime; point de crime sans la volonté de le commettre; point de volonté de le commettre, si celui qui épouse est dans la bonne foi.

In a word, profanation is a crime; no crime without the will to commit it; no will to commit it, if the one who marries is in good faith.

Mais pouvons-nous dire que l'Accusé fût dans la bonne foi au tems de son marriage? C'est le point de fait qui nous reste maintenant à discuter.

But can we say that the accused was in good faith at the time of his marriage? This is the point of fact which remains for us to discuss.

{HRJ: One has to pause in admiration at the way Grandjean’s lawyer is constructing his case.}

Contents summary: 


Bonne foi de l'Accusé.


Good faith of the accused.

Il faut commencer par partir d'un point fixe; c'est que la mauvaise foi ne se présume pas, que la Justice suppose toujours l'innocence, & que pour condamner; il faut avoir contre l'Accusé des preuves de conviction.

We must begin by starting from a fixed point; it is that bad faith cannot be presumed, that Justice always assumes innocence, and that in order to convict, it is necessary to have proof of conviction against the accused.

{HRJ: This is an admirable legal principle, though one wonders whether it was adhered to regularly at this point.}

Or ici point de preuve de mauvaise foi contre l'Accusé; au contraire, sa bonne foi résulte du concours de plusieurs circonstances, les prises dans le physique, & les autres dans le moral.

But here there is no proof of bad faith against the accused; on the contrary, zir good faith results from the combination of several circumstances, some of which are physical, others moral.

Dans le phisique, en voici le développement.

Regarding the physical, here is the development.

1°. De tous les attributs de la masculinité, il n'en manque qu'un seul à l'Accusé, ainsi qu'on le peut voir par le détail que nous avons donné ci-dessus; attribut qui existe moins dans l'organisation extérieure, que dans le jeu des resorts internes, propres à l'expulsion du fluide, fans lequel toutes les autres parties ne peuvent servir à la propagation. L'Accusé n'étoit rien moins que philosophe, il ne connoissoit son état que par l'impulsion de la nature; & la nature, en lui faisant sentir des besoins, ne lui découvroit pas tous ses secrets. Quoiqu'il fût, lors de son mariage, âgé de vingt-huit années, l'expérience de la débauche ne l'avoit point éclairé; né dans la pauvreté, élevé & nourri chez son pere, ses momens étoient remplis le plus souvent par un travail nécessaire; ses moeurs étoient simples & son esprit borné.

1. Of all the attributes of masculinity, the Accused lacks only one, as can be seen from the detail we have given above; an attribute which exists less in the external organization, than in the play of the internal springs, suitable for the expulsion of the fluid, without which all the other parts cannot serve for propagation. The accused was nothing of a philosopher; he knew his state only by the impulse of nature; and nature, in making him feel the need, did not discover {or perhaps: "reveal"} all his secrets. Although he was, at the time of his marriage, twenty-eight years old, the experience of debauchery had not enlightened him; born in poverty, brought up and nourished by his father, his moments were filled most often by necessary work; his morals were simple and his mind limited.

{HRJ:Notice the “clockwork” model of biology in the reference “the play of the internal springs.” The narrator is making a bold claim in suggesting that the only thing standing in the way of Grandjean being able to function fully as a man in society is the inability to ejaculate. While I’m picking on details, I’m going to point out an possibly ironic word choice. When the narrator says that Grandjean wasn’t a “philosophe,” was he doing so in awareness that “philosophe” had become a slang term associated with libertine literature? (As in the pornographic novel Thérèse Philosophe, published 1748, which has a lesbian encounter.) So, was he not merely saying “Grandjean isn’t a sophisticated scholarly thinker” but also saying “Grandjean isn’t a sexual libertine?” He says that Grandjean had not experienced “debauchery” but perhaps we should recall that Grandjean and Lambert enjoyed “familiarities” before marriage (not uncommon, to be sure).  There certainly seems to be a connection being made here between “simple-minded, hard-working, and poor” and “moral, uncorrupted, and sincere.” There’s a lot of spin going on here. “Born in poverty” doesn’t fit solidly with the narrative of Grandjean gaining access to their finances and going into business with their wife. Not rich, certainly, but not poor. This looks like the creation of a useful myth. It's also worth pointing out that in arguing that Grandjean was acting "only by the impulse of nature," the lawyer is coming oh-so-close to the idea that same-sex desire might also be an "impulse of nature," and that such an impulse might justify behavior. "Born that way" as it were. But let us not attribute to the lawyer a more enlightened position than he presents. The fixation here is on binary gender, heteronormativity, and procreation as the central goal of sexual relationships, as we see in the following.}

2°. Ce qui aux yeux de l'Accusé caractérisoit son sexe de maniere à ne lui point laisser de doute, c'est cette indifférence qu'il avoit pour les hommes, cette ardeur dont il se sentoit embrasé près des femmes, le développement qu'il éprouvoit en leur présence & dans le desir de leurs caresses. La partie d'organisation qui chez lui appartient à la femme, existoit là, comme par un oubli de la nature; il n'avoit point éprouvé ces tems périodiques qui annoncent qu'une jeune fille devient propre à la fécondité; il n'auroit pu penser à se marier comme femme, tout lui faisoit croire au contraire, qu'il étoit en état de se choisir une compagne en qualité d'homme.

2. What in the eyes of the accused characterized his sex in such a way as to leave him no doubt, was this indifference which he had for men, this ardor with which he felt himself inflamed near women, the development which he experienced in their presence & in the desire for their caresses. The part of the organization which in him belongs to the woman, existed there, as if by an oversight of nature; he had not experienced those periodic times which announce that a young girl becomes suitable for fecundity; he could not have thought of marrying as a woman, everything made him believe, on the contrary, that he was in a position to choose a companion as a man.

{HRJ: Once again the narrator is spinning the start of Grandjean’s transgression in a heteronormative, gender-essentialist manner. “Grandjean believed he was a man because he was sexually indifferent to men and desired women.” Except that isn’t the story that was told about Grandjean’s adolescence. Grandjean didn’t go to their confessor and say, “I think I’m a man,” they said, “I like girls.” And I return to noting how very late in this process comes the suggestion that Grandjean did not experience menses. It's certainly possible that this came out in the course of the Lyon trial, but in general the narrator went into great detail about Grandjean's early life and experiences. I do think the omission of details from that early story--that are then raised laster--is meaningful. The narrator is picking and choosing Grandjean’s purported physical characteristics to emphasize those that support his goal. We don't know that Grandjean came to this conclusion about their gender based on their desire, only that the lawyer asserts this as an argument. This is, of course, the lawyer’s job. And his success would have significant consequences for Grandjean. But it gets in the way of trying to understand Grandjean as a person from a historic distance.}

3°. Il n'a point voulu tromper celle qu'il a associée à son sort; son amour, qu'elle partageoit, lui avoit donné des droits sur elle avant qu'il eût le titre d'époux: elle savoit ce qu'il étoit, elle n'en desiroit pas d'avantage: elle étoit sans doute dans la même erreur que lui. Cette erreur, si l'on en croit sa déposition, a continué pendant trois ans après son mariage; & le récit qu'elle fait des caresses de son époux, ne sert qu'à justifier l'illusion commune.

3. He did not want to deceive the one he associated with zir fate; zir love, which she shared, had given zem rights over her before he had the title of husband: she knew what he was, she did not want more: she was undoubtedly in the same error as zem. This error, if we are to believe her deposition, continued for three years after her marriage; and the account she gives of her husband's caresses serves only to justify the common illusion.

{HRJ: If we untangle the poetically vague language here, the argument seems to be “Grandjean had no intent to deceive Lambert, and since they’d shared “intimacies” prior to marriage, Lambert had knowledge of Grandjean’s body when she agreed to the marriage. And Lambert enjoyed sexual relations with Grandjean for three years after the marriage. Therefore Lambert must also have believed Grandjean to be male. The flaw in this logical chain is the assumption that Lambert could not possibly have loved, enjoyed sex with, and been willing to be married to, another woman.” If that assumption is wrong, then this “evidence” regarding Grandjean’s gender (whether we’re talking gender identity or physiology) is meaningless. Does the narrator genuinely believe that it’s not possible for a woman to desire another woman? Or is this simply the most useful argumentation? It’s unclear how much the narrator actually interacted with Lambert directly. And regardless of what Lambert actually thought, keep in mind that she had strong motivation to claim that she believed Grandjean to be a man, once the matter became public.}

L'Accusé étoit donc dans la bonne foi au tems de son mariage.

The accused was therefore in good faith at the time of zir marriage.

{HRJ: The fact that this is the bedrock of the narrator’s legal argument, is exactly what makes it subject to scrutiny.}

Contents summary: 

Mais nous avons annoncé des preuves d'un autre genre.

But we have announced evidence of another kind.

A quatorze ans Anne Grandjean a pris des habits d'homme, & quitté ceux de fille qu'il avoit portés jusqu'alors. Cette métamorphose s'est faite sous les yeux même de son pere, dans sa maison, & d'après l'avis du Confesseur. Le pere d'Anne Grandjean croyoit donc que le véritable sexe de son enfant étoit le sexe masculine: toute la ville de Grenoble le croyoit aussi. Telle étoit l'opinion des Magistrats de Police de cette Ville, qui n'auroient pas souffert ce changement d'habits, s'ils eussent pensé qu'il y eût eu travestissement. Anne Grandjean regardé comme garçon par tout le monde, n'étoit plus employé qu'aux ouvrages qui appartiennent au sexe mafculin, & la force de son tempérament les lui rendoit faciles.

At the age of fourteen, Anne Grandjean took on the clothes of a man, and left those of a girl that he had worn until then. This metamorphosis took place under the eyes of zir father, in his house, and according to the advice of the Confessor. Anne Grandjean's father therefore believed that the true sex of his child was male: the whole city of Grenoble believed it too. Such was the opinion of the Magistrates of Police of this City, who would not have suffered this change of clothes, if they had thought that there had been transvestism. Anne Grandjean, regarded as a boy by everyone, was no longer employed in anything but the works that belong to the male sex, and the strength of zir temperament made them easy for zem.

{HRJ: This is rather circular reasoning. Clearly Grandjean underwent social transition to a man, but the rest of this is argument by authority. “People wouldn’t have gone along with it if they hadn’t believed Grandjean was male, therefore Grandjean must have been male.” But even throughout this passage, the emphasis is on belief: “believed…opinion…regarded as.” And we circle back to the details given for that social transition, which nowhere mention physiology as being brought in evidence. Everything hinges on the priest requiring and allowing Grandjean to become a man. And everyone else in Grenoble seems to have taken the priest’s authority for it. If Grandjean is viewed as a trans man, this is a rather amazingly positive experience, and the potential for such recognition to happen is significant for the time. This is why I believe that Grandjean's story is, in many ways, a trans story, regardless of Grandjean's own internal motivation and gender identity. But I keep coming back to the point that Grandjean’s communication to the priest was “I desire women” not “I am a man.” There’s another significant contradiction here. If Grandjean’s original social transition had involved a physiological examination, then there would have been no reason for Grandjean and Lambert’s later confusion and concern over the question of their sex. If there had been a physiological examination, then either Grandjean’s anatomy would have been identified as female (per the initial conclusion in Lyon) and the transition rejected, or Grandjean’s anatomy would have been identified as ambiguous (per the narrator’s later claim) and either accepted as male (in which case no reason for later concern) or recognized as intersex with that becoming a topic in the record and likely a reason to prohibit the marriage. So it seems reasonable to conclude that there was no examination in Grenoble and therefore the acceptance of Grandjean as male by the people of Grenoble was based entirely on the priest’s opinion regarding Grandjean’s appropriate categorization.}

Il y a plus: Anne Grandjean, peu de tems après son mariage, prie son pere de vouloir bien le mettre hors de sa puissance, ce pere y consent; dans l'acte fait devant le Magistrat, il le nomme son fils; il lui donne le nom de Jean-Baptiste, comme pour rectifier l'erreur qui s'étoit glissée dans l'acte bapistaire. Anne Grandjean reçoit la plénitude des droits du citoyen, en qualité d'homme & de mari; le Juge ratifie tous ses pouvoirs du sceau de son autorité.

There is more: Anne Grandjean, shortly after zir marriage, asked zir father to put him out of his power, this father consented; in the act made before the Magistrate, he named him his son; he gave zem the name of Jean-Baptiste, as if to rectify the error which had crept into the baptismal act. Anne Grandjean received the full rights of a citizen, as a man and as a husband; the Judge ratified all his powers with the seal of his authority.

{HRJ: As above, this is an astounding (for the time) recognition of social transition. And the implication is that it would be unthinkable for a magistrate to have participated in this re-naming and re-classification if it weren’t “true”. But that unthinkableness doesn’t make it evidence of Grandjean’s sex or gender. In some ways, this argument doesn't even need to imply that the lawyer considered it implausible that all the authorities in Grenoble must have been certain of Grandjean's physiological sex. The argument is equally useful if it is urging the appeal court not to contradict and undermine the structures of official authority (both church and state) in Grenoble, regardless of the factual correctness of their belief. That is, an argument that it's more important to preserve the illusion of governmental competence than to discern "truth." But I may be stretching things in this interpretation.}

Ainsi l'erreur de Grandjean étoit une erreur commune à tout le monde; si elle est criminelle, il faudroit donc s'en prendre à tous: car c'est cette erreur publique qui a affermi la consiance de l'Accusé. Disons mieux, c'est elle-aujourd'hui qui le justifie; la nature seule est en défaut dans cette affaire, & comment pouvoir rendre l'Accusé garant des torts de la nature ?

Thus, Grandjean's error was a mistake common to everyone; if it is criminal, it should therefore be blamed on everyone: for it is this public error that has strengthened the defendant's confidence. Better said, it is this error which today justifies him; nature alone is at fault in this matter, and how can the accused be made guarantor of the wrongs of nature?

{HRJ: Here the narrator weakens the legal argument while strengthening my point that this section is about Grandjean’s social categorization. The re-categorization by Grandjean’s parents, the priest, and the people and magistrates of Grenoble is not factual evidence of Grandjean’s sex/gender, but is an argument that Grandjean cannot be held at fault if they believed that they had genuinely been legally and socially re-categorized as male and authorized to marry a woman.}

Aujourd'hui que ses yeux sont ouverts sur son sort, n'est-il pas assez malheureux de se connoître sans que le bras de la Justice s'appesantisse encore sur lui? Individu jetté comme au hasard sur la terre, condamné à vivre dans la solitude au milieu même de la société; étranger en quelque sorte à l'un & l'autre sexe, puisqu'il est imparfait dans tous les deux; ne pouvant désormais avoir ni compagnon ni compagne de son sort; chargé seul du poids de la vie & de son infortune, comment le premier Juge à-t-il pu le traiter avec autant de rigueur; le mettre au rang des infames, lui dont les mœurs ont toujours été pures & la conduite honnête; l'exposer au mépris du Public, attaché à un pilori avec l'indice de la profanation; lui dont la bonne foi & l’innocence se trouvent ici juftifiées à chaque pas; le bannir enfin de son pays comme un citoyen dangereux, lui dont personne ne s'est jamais plaint, & qui n'a démérité vis-à-vis de qui que ce soit?

Now that zir eyes are open to zir fate, is he not unfortunate enough to know zemself without the arm of Justice still being brought to bear on zem? An individual thrown as if at random on the earth, condemned to live in solitude in the very midst of society; a stranger, as it were, to both sexes, since he is imperfect in both; henceforth able to have neither male-companion nor female-companion of zir fate; burdened alone with the weight of life and of zir misfortune, how could the first Judge have treated him with such rigor; to put him in the rank of infamous people, he whose morals have always been pure and whose conduct honest; to expose zem to the contempt of the public, tied to a pillory with the index of profanation; he whose good faith and innocence are here justified at every step; to banish him from his country as a dangerous citizen, he of whom no one has ever complained, and who has never been demerited by anyone?

{HRJ: The narrator is once again ramping up the sympathetic rhetoric. And here the basis of the argument is specifically that Grandjean is intersex, “a stranger to both sexes.” While we should keep open the possibility that this is a correct diagnosis, we also need to remember that this is the very narrow path by which Grandjean may be pardoned: i.e., that there was both a physical and psychological basis for acting within a male social and legal role. Would the justices have been open to the argument that Grandjean naively accepted the priest’s re-categorization in the absence of ambiguous physiology? Hard to guess.}

Ce Jugement rapproché du tems où les Romains, encore barbares, jettoient les hermaphrodites dans la mer, eût été plus facile à justifier; mais nous sommes gouvernés par des Loix fondées sur l'humanité & la justice. L'Accusé, réclame leur secours, dans un Tribunal souverain qui en est le dépositaire; il attend avec impatience l'Arrêt qui le déchargera de l'opprobre, & qui lui rendra la liberté.

This judgment, brought closer to the time when the Romans, still barbarians, threw hermaphrodites into the sea, would have been easier to justify; but we are governed by laws founded on humanity and justice. The accused claims their help, in a sovereign Court which is the depository of them; he waits impatiently for the Ruling which will relieve him of opprobrium, and which will give him back his freedom.

Monsieur DE GLATIGNY, Rapporteur.

Me. VERMEIL, Avocat.

Mr. DE GLATIGNY, Rapporteur.

Mr. VERMEIL, Lawyer.

Contents summary: 

NOTA. Par Arrêt rendu en la Chambre de la Tournelle du Parlement de Paris, le 10 Janvier 1765, Monsieur le Procureur Général a été reçu appellant comme d'abus de la célébration du mariage d'Anne Grandjean, & ce mariage à été déclaré abusif; la Sentence de la Sénéchaussée de Lyon, sur l'accusation en profanation de Sacrement, a été infirmée, & l’Accusé a été mis hors de Cour; il lui a néanmoins été enjoint de prendre les habits de femme; avec défenses de hanter Françoise Lambert, & autres personnes du même sexe.

NOTE. By judgment rendered in the Chamber of the Tournelle of the Parliament of Paris, on January 10, 1765, Monsieur le Procureur Général was received as an appellant for abuse of the celebration of the marriage of Anne Grandjean, & this marriage was declared abusive; the Sentence of the Sénéchaussée of Lyon, on the accusation of profanation of the Sacrament, was overturned, & the Accused was put out of Court; he was nevertheless enjoined to take on the clothes of a woman; with prohibitions to frequent Françoise Lambert, & other persons of the same sex.

{HRJ: This is a mixed judgment. The appeals court accepted that Grandjean did not willfully profane the sacrament of marriage and overturned that verdict. Grandjean was free of prison and evidently not subject to further punishment. If I understand the legal system correctly, the appeal took place prior to the corporal punishment, so that was voided, not simply rendered a legal error. The court is not willing to sustain Grandjean’s categorization as male. The text says "he was enjoined totake on the clothes of a woman"  but we must allow for this being the lawyer's paraphrase, in which the lawyer continues to refer to Grandjean with male language. Several questions remain open. Was the physiological evidence a factor here? And, if so, in which direction. If we posit that Grandjean was intersex—was the physiological evidence insufficient in their minds for male status? Compare with the case of Thomas/ina Hall a century earlier in Virginia. The physical evidence for Hall’s being intersex is much more solid, and the various legal authorities were perplexed by what standard to apply for binary categorization—compounded by Hall embracing a non-binary identity. Alternately, did the court reject the lawyer's argument that Grandjean was intersex and supported the appeal purely on the basis that Grandjean sincerely believed they had been officially re-categorized as male? But while Grandjean was enjoined to return to a female social identity, there’s also the stipulation that they are not to continue associating with their wife, Françoise Lambert, or “other persons of the same sex.” And it’s this last that really throws a wrench into the works, both in terms of what the judges believed and in terms of Grandjean's future. Requiring a separation from Lambert might simply be enforcing the dissolution of the marriage. But what does it mean that Grandjean may not associate with others of the “same sex?” For a person living socially as a woman to be forbidden to associate with women is drastic. Even if Grandjean were then to marry a man, the vast majority of their everyday life would involve socializing with women. And Grandjean can’t live as a man-among-men if required to present socially as female. Further, the general prohibition (as opposed to the specific ban on associating with Lambert) strongly suggests that this court did recognize the potential for female same-sex desire, and that was the motivation for the prohibition. To the best of my knowledge, we don’t know what Grandjean’s fate was, but the court is setting them up for a very unhappy and unsuccessful life, despite the conviction being overturned. Some of these questions are explored imaginatively in the poem--written from Grandjean's point of view--appended to some editions of the legal text.}

Contents summary: 

{The following material appears in the longer edition only.}






Nec duo sunt, sed forma duplex; nec femina dici,

Nec puer ut possit, nec utrumque & utrumque videtur.

Ovid. Metam.







Nec duo sunt, sed forma duplex; nec femina dici,

Nec puer ut possit, nec utrumque & utrumque videtur.

Ovid. Metam.

{HRJ: The quotation from Ovid’s Metamorphoses is from the tale of Hermaphroditus, at the point when he merges with the nymph who loved him: “They are not two, but the form is double, so it can be called neither woman nor boy, it appears like both and neither.” The following verse “letter” must be understood as a complete fiction, created to add pathos and additional interest to sell the publication. And, in fact, the following dedication makes it clear that this is a poet’s attempt to express what they imagine Grandjean’s feelings might have been. I have no clue to the identity of the poet or the woman the poet dedicates this to. It's unclear what meaning to place on Grandjean being identified as "Anne" in the title. While the author of the legal appeal primarily uses masculine language for Grandjean, he mostly avoids refering to Grandjean by given name, normally using the surname as I have done. My instinct is to consider it unlikely that the lawyer is also the author of this poem, but I don't know that the use of "Anne" is evidence in that direction. And as the poem uses a first person voice, we only see the poet's attitude toward Grandjean's gender expressed through Grandjean's only point of view. I have done scarcely any editing of the translation of the poem offered up by Deep-L, neither to turn it into more idioimatic English nor to attempt to turn it into better poetry. The poem is melodramatic, full of classical allusions, torn between fantasies of happiness and the agony of despair. And it's a testament to the longstanding uneasy partnership between factual news and entertainment. Whether the poem was originally circulated independently as a broadside and then bound in with the trial record, or whether it was written specifically to enhance the saleability of the legal document, we can only guess. Someone more expert in French publishing practices of the time could make more educated guesses. In a way, the poem ties this document back even more strongly to the underlying purpose of the Lesbian Historic Motif Project: the imaginative use of historical fact to envision fictionalized lives of queer people in the past.}


C'EST l'amour qui le premier m'a dicté des Verse c'est vous qui en avez eu le premier hommage: daignez y joindre celui que je vous offre aujourd'ui, une Piece que je confie à la Presse; c'est un tribut que je dois à l'aprobation que vous avez déja eu la bonté d’y donner. Si je suis parvenu à paindre l'Amour, c'est à vous : que j'en ai l'obligation; je l'ai peint comme vous me le faites sentir.

J’ai l’honneur d’être,

Votre très-humble Serviteur,



It is love which first dictated Poetry to me, it is you who had the first homage of it: deign to join to it that which I offer you today, a Piece which I entrust to the Press; it is a tribute which I owe to the approval which you have already had the goodness to give to it. If I have succeeded in painting Love, it is to you that I owe it; I have painted it as you make me feel it.

I have the honor to be,

Your most humble servant,


{HRJ: I will not comment extensively on the poem itself. Unlike the legal text, which I have edited and smoothed out for sense, I haven’t attempted to do much editing of the poetry. So this is an extremely literal translation, all courtesy of Deep-L. Within the scope of poetic imagery, it generally makes sense. The speaker recounts the events of the trial, bemoans their fate, briefly fantasizes about running away to the wilderness to live happily with their wife, then abandons that dream and descends into despair. I like that the poet imagined the possibility of scorning the verdict of the court and keeping the couple together. That’s my private head-cannon.}









QUEL jour affreux me luit ? Quelle horrible lumiere,
D'un rayon accablant vient frapper ma paupierre?
Dans quel triste neant mon Etre est il plongé?
Comme en un seul instant, pour moi tout a changé!
Proscrit, défavoué, rebut de la Nature;
Mon Etre est un opprobre & mon nom une injure.

WHAT dreadful day is shining on me? What horrible light,
Of a damning ray comes to strike my eyelid?
In what sad nothingness is my Being plunged?
How in a single instant, for me all has changed!
Outcast, disowned, Nature's reject;
My Being is a disgrace and my name an insult.

O toi, funeste objet d'un amour malheureux
Toi, dont l'attachement avoit combié mes vœux,
Du plus cruel destin Compagne infortunée,
Au malheur de mes jours, par l'Amour enchaînée,
Ma famme.... j'ose encor t'appeller de ce nom...
Viens calmer les transports qui troublent ma raison,
Tu peux, en partagent l'horreur qui me comsume {sic},
Des pleurs que je répands adoucir l'amertume.
Lis ces traits incertains qu'a tracé ma douleur:
Connais le trouble affreux qui déchire mon coeur.

O you, fatal object of an unhappy love
You, whose attachment had combined my vows,
Of the most cruel destiny Unfortunate companion,
To the misfortune of my days, by Love chained,
My family.... I still dare to call you by this name...
Come to calm the transports which disturb my reason,
You can, by sharing the horror which consumes me,
You can soften the bitterness of the tears I shed.
Read these uncertain lines that my pain has traced:
Know the terrible trouble that tears my heart.

Objet infortuné de la fureur céleste,
Je partage à regret le jour que je déteste.
Tout ce qui m'environne est ligué contre moi:
L'homme, en m’appercevant, recule avec effroi:
La femme me méprise, & malgré mon hommage,
La Nature à mes yeux rougit de son ouvrage.
Chacun de me haïr s'est imposé la Loi,
Ah ! dans mon désepoir, je n'ai récours qu'à toi.
Je sens que ton nom seul appaise mes allarmes.
Revole dans mes bras; viens essuyer mes larmes.
Aime moi .... Souviens-toi que je fus ton époux;
Que j'ai porté long-tems ce nom si saint, si doux …
J'en jouirais encor sans la lueur fatale
Qu'a porté sur nos feux une indigne Rivale.
Hélas ! quand de ses bras je volai dans les tiens,
Quand l'Amour nous unit des plus tendres liens,
Aurais-je présumé qu'elle se fut vengée
En publiant l'excès de sa flamme outragée;
Que, d'un sexe timide oubliant la pudeur,
N'écoutant que la voix d'une indiscrette ardeur;
Elle aurait déchiré, par un rapport coupable,
Des secrets de l'Hymen, le voile respectable;
Et que sur mon état plus instruite que moi,
Elle m'aurait fait voir indigne de ta foi.

Unfortunate object of the celestial fury,
I regretfully share the day I hate.
All that surrounds me is united against me:
The man, by apperceiving me, recoils with fear:
The woman despises me, and in spite of my homage,
Nature in my eyes blushes at her work.
Each one to hate me has imposed the Law on himself,
Ah! in my despair, I have recourse only to you.
I feel that your name alone appeals to my alarms.
Come back into my arms; come to wipe my tears.
Love me .... Remember that I was your husband;
That I have long borne this name so holy, so sweet...
I would still enjoy it without the fatal glow
That an unworthy rival has cast on our fires.
Alas! when from her arms I flew in yours,
When love united us with the most tender bonds,
Would I have presumed that she was avenged
By publishing the excess of her outraged flame;
That, of a timid sex forgetting the modesty,
Listening only to the voice of an indiscreet ardour;
She would have torn, by a guilty report,
Of the secrets of the Hymen, the respectable veil;
And that on my state more informed than me,
She would have made me see unworthy of your faith.

Nous vivions tous les deux, sans nulle defiance,
Dans cette douce paix que donne l'Innocence.
L'Amour & la Vertu dirigeaint notre cœur
Dans les sentiers étroits qui menent au bonheur,
Jamais nous n'avions vû la Discorde indocile
Par son flambeau cruel, allarmer notre asile.

We both lived, without any defiance,
In that sweet peace which Innocence gives.
Love and virtue directed our hearts
In the narrow paths that lead to happiness,
Never had we seen the indocile Discord
With its cruel torch, to light our asylum.

Aussi-tôt que l'Aurore avait doré les Cieux,
Que ses premiers rayons venaient frapper nos yeux,
À la Divinité dont nous sommes l'image,
Nous portions à genous un légitime hommage,
Et d'un travail honnête employant le secours,
Nous bénissions la main qui veillait sur nos jours;
Et dès que la Nuit sombre, amenant les ténèbres,
Déployait les ressorts de ses voiles funèbres,
Un modeste repas, apprêté par ta main,
Servait, moins à flatter, qu'à calmer notre faim :
Mais bien-tôt le sommeil fermant notre paupiere,
Nous forçait à chercher un repos salutaire
Qui pût nous délaffer des fatigues du jour :
Nous cherchions le repos .... & nous trouvions l'amour
Unis étroitement, les plus vives caresses
Signalaient chaque jours nos égales tendresses.
O Ciel! aurais-je crû dans des momens si doux,
Que je n'étais pas fait pour être ton époux ?
Aurais-je pû penser que l'aveugle Nature
Ne m'offrait du bonheur que la vaine imposture…
Je croyais des humains être le plus heureux;
Hélas ! & mon destin était le plus affreux.

As soon as the dawn had gilded the skies,
That its first rays came to strike our eyes,
To the Divinity whose image we are,
We kneel down to pay a legitimate homage,
And from honest work employing the help,
We blessed the hand that watched over our days;
And as soon as the dark Night, bringing darkness,
Unfurled the springs of its dark veils,
A modest meal, prepared by your hand,
Served, less to flatter, than to calm our hunger:
But soon sleep closed our eyelids,
Forced us to seek a salutary rest
Which could relieve us of the day's labors:
We sought rest .... And we found love
United closely, the most vivid caresses
Signaled each day our equal tenderness.
O Heavens! would I have believed in such sweet moments,
That I was not made to be your husband?
Could I have thought that blind Nature
Offered me only the vain imposture of happiness...
I thought I was the happiest of humans;
Alas! & my destiny was the most dreadful.

Le Ciel, dont j'implorais la faveur tutélere,
Ne m'avoit point encore accordé d'ètre pere.
C'était le seul objet qui manquait à mes yeux;
J'a cru qu'il différait ce moment précieux.

Heaven, whose tutelary favor I implored,
Had not yet granted me to be a father.
It was the only object which missed in my eyes;
I believed that it postponed this precious moment.

Mais quel spectable horrible à mes yeux se présente ?
Que veulent ces Archers ?... Cette troupe sanglante?
Sur qui va donc tomber leur courroux menaçant ?
Ils poursuivent le crime, & je suis innocent.
Quoi ! je suis dans leurs fers !.. C'est moi... moment terrible!
Pourquoi ? Qu'ai-ję donc fait? O Ciel! Est-il possible?
Eh quoi ! vous me privez de la clarté des Cieux....
Quel est donc cet asyle ? Un cachot ténébreux.
Arrêtez & craignez la céleste vengeance,
Barbares: Est-ce ainsi qu'on traite l'Innocence ?
Mais je revois le jour, & c'est pour êttre admis
Dans cet auguste Temple oú préside Thémis.
Ah ! je sens dans mon cœur renaître l'espéranse...
Quelle troupe nouvelle en ce moment s'avance ?
Ils proménent sur moi leurs regads curieux.
Quel honteux examen ! Rien n'est sacré pour eux.
Cruels.! Quoi ! Vous osez, outrageant la Nature
Sur ses secrets trahis mettre une main impure.
Quel mystère odieux, votre œil veut-il percer?
Qu'entends-je ? Quel Arrêt osent-ils prononcer !
Je ne suis plus qu'un monstre, un composé bizare,
Des jeux de la Nature exemple affreux & rare,
Un mortel anonime, un être infortuné,
Qui ne doit qu'éprouver le malheur d'être né!

But what a horrible spectacle to my eyes is presented?
What do these Archers want?... This bloody troop?
On whom will their threatening wrath fall?
They pursue crime, and I am innocent.
What! I am in their irons!... It's me... terrible moment!
Why? What have I done? Oh Heaven! Is it possible?
What! you deprive me of the brightness of the Heavens ....
What is this asylum? A dark dungeon.
Stop & fear the celestial vengeance,
Barbarians: is this how they treat Innocence?
But I see the day again, and it is to be admitted
In this august Temple where Themis presides.
Ah! I feel in my heart the revival of hope...
What new troop at this moment advances?
They walk on me their curious regards.
What a shameful examination! Nothing is sacred for them.
Cruel! What! You dare, outraging Nature
On her betrayed secrets to put an impure hand.
What odious mystery does your eye want to pierce?
What do I hear? What stop do they dare to pronounce!
I am no more than a monster, a bizarre compound,
Of Nature's games, an awful and rare example,
An unloved mortal, an unfortunate being,
Who must only experience the misfortune of being born!

Mais ce n'est point assez, & le Sort qui m'opprime
Aux plus sanglans affronts veut joindre encor le crime:
J'ai profané, dit-on, les fermens les plus saints,
Et l'on doit m'en punir. Des Juges inhumains,
A l'opprobre, au supplice ont condamné ma vie,
Arrêtez, rendez-moi ma liberté ravie;
Suis-je donc criminel ? ... Vous dédaignez ma voix,
Et vous m'assassinez avec le fer de Loix:
Eh bien, il est un Temple augufte, respectable;
L'innocence у rencontre un appui sécourable;
Le coupable y frémit; Sur le trône des Lys,
Sous les traits d'un mortel, on reconnoit Thémis.
On n'y voit point la Brigue emporter la balance,
Et sous le poids de l'or, écraser l'innocence:
Et, suivant de ses feux les transport indiscrets,

But it is not enough, & the Fate which oppresses me
To the most bloody affronts wants to join again the crime:
I profaned, they say, the most holy close,(?)
And I must be punished for it. Inhuman judges,
To opprobrium and torment have condemned my life,
Stop, give me back my freedom;
Am I a criminal? ... You despise my voice,
And you murder me with the iron of the law:
Well, there is an august, respectable Temple;
Innocence meets a securitized support;
The guilty one shudders there; On the throne of the Lilies,
Under the features of a mortal, one recognizes Themis.
One does not see there the Brig to carry away the balance,
And under the weight of gold, crush innocence:
And, following the indiscreet transports with her fires,

Jamais la passion n'y dicta des Arrêts.
Le fanatisme obscur, l'infâme calomnie,
Y sentent s'émousser les traits de leur furie.
C'est là que je remets mon déplorable sort :
J'y trouverai sans doute, ou ma grace, ou ma mort.

Passion never dictated any judgments.
Obscure fanaticism, infamous slander,
Feel the bluntness of their fury.
It is there that I hand over my deplorable fate:
I will undoubtedly find there, or my grace, or my death.

Mon espoir est fondé, j'y trouve la justice,
Et j'échappe en tramblant aux horreurs du supplice,
Je n'irai point, Public, méchamment curieux,
D'un spectacle infâmant rassasier tes yeux,

My hope is founded, I find justice,
And I escape the horrors of torment,
I will not, Public, wickedly curious,
To satiate your eyes with an infamous spectacle,

Mais quel nouveau revers vient m'accabler encore!.
Il faut me séparer de celle que j'adore.
Un Arrêt tout puissant m'en impose la Loi,
Et l'amour d'un Epoux est un affront pour toi.
Nos liens sont rompus ... ils sont illégitimes.
Eh quoi ! sans le sçavoir on commet donc des crimes ?

But what a new setback comes to overwhelm me again!
I must separate myself from the one I adore.
An all powerful Decree imposes me the Law,
And the love of a spouse is an affront to you.
Our bonds are broken ... they are illegitimate.
What! without knowing it, one thus commits crimes?

Pourras-tu bien souscrire à cet Arrêt cruel
Hélas ! rappelle-toi ce ferment solemnel
Qui nous unit tous deux aux pieds du Sanctuaire....
Ce qu'a fait l'Eternel l'homme ose le défaire !
Eh bien, suis-moi : Fuyons ces Etres dangereux,
Puisqu'on est criminel en vivant avec eux,
Vils esclaves des Loix, qu'a fait leur barbarie,
La Nature elle-même éprouve leur furię.
Laissons-les s'accabler sous leurs vains préjugés,
Et porter lâchement les fers qu'ils ont forgés.
Fuyons dans ces déserts où la Nature expire :
Ils sont inhabités, mais l'air qu'on y respire
N'est point empoisonné par le soufflé odieux
De ces Humains cruels qui condamnet nos nœuds.
Le Ciel qui nous forma, qui porta dans notre ame,
Ces élans mutuels du feu qui nous enflamme,
Veillera sur nos jours : nos liens sont sacrés;
Pourquoi, s'il l'offensaient, les aurait-il ferrés ?
Viens; ces autres obscurs, ces mouts inaccessibles,
Ces rochers a nos yeux deviendront moins terribles;
Nos soins & notre amour sçauront les embellir.
Tu verras l'Aquilon chassé par le zéphir,
Les neiges, en torrens, s'écouler dans les plaines,
La chaleur du midi réchauffer nos halaines,
E la Nature enfin, sensible à nos revers,
Créer à nos désirs un nouvel Univers.
Nous en jouirons seuls : Ces mortels sanguinaires
Qui jugent la Nature & percent ses mystères,
Ne viendront plus troubler l'union de nos cours :
Dieu seul éclairera nos fidelles ardeurs;
Sa main dirigera nos ames bien heureuses
Loin du joug accablant des ces Loix orgueilleuses
Que l'Homme impofe à l'homme, & qui, par le trépas
Etonnent l'Univers & ne le changent pas.
Nos jours s'écouleront au sein de la Tendresse;
Chaque jour, chaque instant, l'Amour & son ivresse
Porteront dans nos cœurs leurs charmes bienfaisans.
Le plafir unira deux Epoux, deux Amans,
Nos baisers .... Qu'as-tu dit? Ah, malheureux arrête !
Vois le Ciel courroucé qui menace ta tête ...
Quels souhaits formes-tu?... Dan ton état affreux,
Oses-tu te livrer à de coupables vœux ?
Tu prétends que le Ciel devenu plus propice,
Répandu sur les feux sa faveur protectrice
Rentre dans ton néant : Connois-toi … Tu frémis?
Un espoir si flatteur peut-il t'être permis !
Avant de voir sur toi la Vérité paroître,
Si tu fus innocent, tu vas cesser de l'être;
Et ces lâches desirs que tu viens de former
Sont autant de forfaits que tu dois expier:

Will you be able to subscribe to this cruel ruling
Alas! remember this solemn ferment
That unites us both at the feet of the Sanctuary ....
What the Eternal has done, man dares to undo!
Well, follow me: let us flee these dangerous Beings,
Since one is criminal by living with them,
Vile slaves of the Laws, that their barbarity has made,
Nature herself feels their fury.
Let them weigh themselves down under their vain prejudices,
And cowardly wear the irons they have forged.
Let us flee to these deserts where Nature expires:
They are uninhabited, but the air we breathe
Is not poisoned by the odious breath
Of these cruel Humans who condemn our knots.
The Heaven that formed us, that carried in our soul
These mutual impulses of the fire that ignites us,
Will watch over our days: our bonds are sacred;
Why, if they offended Him, would He have shod them?
Come; these other dark, inaccessible moors,
These rocks to our eyes will become less terrible;
Our care and our love will be able to embellish them.
You will see Aquilon chased by the zephyr,
The snows, in torrents, will flow in the plains,
The heat of the south warm our breaths,
And Nature at last, sensitive to our setbacks,
To create a new universe for our desires.
We shall enjoy it alone: These bloodthirsty mortals
Who judge Nature and pierce her mysteries,
Will no longer disturb the union of our courses:
God alone will enlighten our faithful ardor;
His hand will direct our happy souls
Far from the oppressive yoke of these proud laws
That man imposes on man, and which, by death
Surprise the universe and do not change it.
Our days will pass in the bosom of Tenderness;
Every day, every moment, Love and its intoxication
Will carry in our hearts their beneficial charms.
The Heavens will unite two Spouses, two Lovers,
Our kisses .... What did you say? Ah, unhappy stop!
See the wrathful Heaven that threatens your head...
What wishes do you form?... In your terrible state,
Dare you indulge in guilty wishes?
You pretend that Heaven has become more propitious,
Spreading its protective favor over the fires
Goes back to your nothingness: Know thyself... Do you shudder?
Can such a flattering hope be allowed to you!
Before seeing the Truth appear on you,
If you were innocent, you will cease to be so;
And these cowardly desires that you have just formed
Are so many crimes that you must expiate:

Quoi ! lorsque dans mes sens que le desir consume,
La flamme la plus forte, à chaque instant s'allume;
Quand je sens tous les feux du plus ardent amour
Brûler & déchirer mon ame tour-à-tour;
Quand mon cœur entraîné par la Loi la plus douce,
Suit l'instinct séducteur qui l'agite & le pousse;
Et que par la Nature au plaisir animé;
Il cherche avec transport l'objet qui l'a charmé;
Ce cœur est criminel! ...O Nature barbare !
Ton instinct nous unit & ta Loi nous séparé...
Ah ! lorsque tu formas les fragiles ressorts
Dont ta main créatrice a composé mon corps,
Devais-tu, négligeant ta rare prévoyence,
Si loin de mes desirs attacher ma puissance,
Et me donner un cœur & des sens superflus,
Pour me faire chercher un bonheur qui n'est plus.

What! when in my senses that the desire consumes,
The strongest flame, at every moment, ignites;
When I feel all the fires of the most ardent love
Burn and tear my soul in turn;
When my heart, driven by the sweetest law,
Follows the seductive instinct that stirs it and pushes it;
And that by Nature to pleasure animated;
It seeks with transport the object which charmed it;
This heart is criminal! ...O barbaric Nature!
Your instinct unites us & your Law separates us...
Ah! when you formed the fragile springs
Of which your creative hand composed my body,
Should you, neglecting your rare foresight,
So far from my desires to attach my power,
And give me a superfluous heart and senses,
To make me seek a happiness that is no more.

Reprends ces dons cruels que ma fait ta colere;
Ces dons qui m'ont rendu l'opprobre de la Terre.
Termine d'un seul mot mon déplorable sort.
Tu le peux.... Comme un bien je recevrai la mort
Hélas ! de tes faveurs ce fera la plus grande.
Tu soihaites la mort? Ta bouche la demande,
Malheureux, l'oses-tu ? le Ciel est ton appui.
Quoi tu peux l'accuser quand tu dépens de lui?
Sçais-tu qu'il doit punir ta criminelle audace?
Obéis en silence, & mérite ta grace.
S'il a frappé ton cœur par des coups trop cruels;
Adore ses décretes.... c'est le sort des mortels.

Take back these cruel gifts that your anger gave me;
These gifts which made me the disgrace of the Earth.
End with a single word my deplorable fate.
You can.... As a good I will receive death
Alas! of your favours it will be the greatest.
You wish death? Your mouth asks it,
Unhappy, do you dare? Heaven is your support.
What you can accuse him when you spend of him?
Do you know that He must punish your criminal audacity?
Obey in silence, and deserve your grace.
If he struck your heart with too cruel blows;
Adore his decrees.... it is the fate of the mortals.

J'obéis. Toi qui lis ces tristes caracteres,
Du trouble de mes sens affreux dépositeres;
Toi qui fis mon bonheur.... Que je n'ose nommer;
Que mon malheureux sort m'a défendu d'aimer;
Pour qui .. c'en est assez... fuis :.. Mon ardeur t'outrage.
L'Amour est fait pour toi, la honte est mon partage.
Va, fuis... je vais traîner le reste de mes jours
Loin de l'œil des mortels.... Le Ciel est mon recours.
Puissent-ils oublier ma déplorable Histoire :
Toi seule, souviens-toi que j'avois mis ma gloire
A chérir tes Vertus, à t'aimer... O douleurs !
Adieu !... Sur cet Ecrit verse au moins quelques pleurs,

I obey. You who read these sad characters,
Of the trouble of my terrible senses;
You who made my happiness.... Whom I dare not name;
That my unhappy fate forbade me to love;
For whom... it is enough... flee: My ardour outrages you.
Love is made for you, shame is my share.
Go, flee... I will drag the rest of my days
Far from the eye of the mortals .... Heaven is my recourse.
May they forget my deplorable History:
You alone, remember that I had put my glory
To cherish your virtues, to love you... O pains!
Farewell!... On this writing pours at least some tears,