of the Soule:

Written By
the Holy and Most Reverend
Lord Francis De Sales,
Bishop and Prince of

Translated by a Dame of our Ladies
of comfort of the order of S. Bennet
in Cambray.

A medallion or shield with the letters “IHS” and a heart pierced by three arrows.


Imprinted at Douay
By Gheerart Pinson, under
the signne of Cuelen, 1632.

ã1v ã2r

Across the top of the page there is a rectangular strip of leaves with two angels encasing a shield with an anchor and the letters “IHS”.


Christian and

2 seated human figures flanking the letter I

If in peruseing this translated
treatese of soūund doctrine and solide
documents, thou meet with some
faults (as thou will doe, with
many, both in the translation &
impression) know that the printer was
a Wallon, who understood nothing at
all English; and the translatresse a woman,
that had not much skille in the Frenche, but
why did shee then undertake it? wilt thou
say; truely for her private imployment & instruction;
never intending more then the use
of a particular cloister; though God and her
superiours have otherwise disposed of it, & exposed
it to the publicrk view of the world, ã2 as thou ã2v
as thou seest.

Sure I am, and can assure the of three
things. First, that if thou have the spirit
of the authour or the matter, thou will interprete
& pardon all frindly, freely, &
fully. Next, That if thou finde as much
profit in the perusall of it, as she did that
translated it, thou wilt blesse God, &
pray for her.

Thirdly, that if it could bee as welcome
& welliked in English, as it was and is
still in Frenche, the printer will not loose
his pains in printing it, nor you in perusing
it: for since the late death of this famous
Prelat & pillar in Gods Church (who
was one of the most clear, discreet, sweet &
devout spirits of our age;) it hath been published
in diverse editions; and is still exceedingly
praised, prized, & practiced; not
onely by Religious persons, but also by
the best seculars, especially of the devout

For although all bee not religious, nor
bound to bee so perfect as religious are; yett
all are bound to labour for the perfection of
christian & solide vertues, such as are humility
of heart, poverty of spiritt, purity of intention ã3r
intention, simplicity of affection, conformity
of will, custodie of heart, naked charity, &
filiall confidence, together with a generosity
of resolution to please and love God above
all, to all wich and much more this little booke
leadeth the by a short, sweet, & secure

If thou like & love not the Introduction
to a Devout Life
, composed by the
same Byshop, I should call thy devotion into
question; if thou approove and applaud it
(as all truely devout doe) thou shall find that
this after-borne fruict is but as it were a supplement,
or explication thereof in a most
plaine & perfect manner, descending to particulars
in the obtaimning of vertues, and mortification
of vices: If some things bee peculiar
to Religious persons, either leave such
for them; or apply to thy self with some
little chaunge: all meats are not for all stomakes,
nor all Doctrines for all dispositions; peruse all,
practize some, pray for the translatresse, &
praise God in all.

If any illwillers of Catholike religion, &
ill wishers of a religious vocation come to the
view of this booke; they may see the lives;
flawed-reproductionapproximately 3 lettersles, vertues, & customes, of Religious familiesã3 milies ã3v
discipherered without passion or partiality,
& admire with what charity, discretion,
devotion, & humility they passe over
the pilgrimage of this mortall & miserable life,
sighing after, and sufferniing for eternity: & so
leave to detract & deride at that which
they cannot comprehend, much lesse imitate;
And if perchaunce some scandals arrive
amongst them by the meanes of some wolves
or foxes in sheep-skins, I meane by some false
brethren & Apostates, it is not to be attributed
to the Orders & ordination of holy
Church or Religious institution, but to the
malice of sSatan and humane frailtie, for never
yett since the Church began, was it free from
scandals, and false brethren & Apostates
nor never will it be untill the worlds end
yett cursed are they that voluntarily blow
& kindle the fire of faction or division in the
hous of God, or that adde fewell unto flawed-reproduction1 word
continew it, & blessed are the peaceable,
humble, and innocent spirits that are proovd
& purified ther-in.

For conclusion; I dare boldly say,that
whosoever will follow really & cordially
the spirit of this Author & booke, hee shall
live in peace with God, with his neighbors ã4r
& with himselfe: he shall tast upon earth how
sweet God is in heaven, he shall lead a true
Evangelicall or rather Angelicall life, he shall
begin his heaven upon earth, & sayle secure,
immoveable, quiet, & content through all
the chaunges & chaunces, stormes & tempestes
of this wavering world, Jesus being
his Pilot, hope his ancre, faith his light, solitude
his cabinet, prayer his provision,
humility his haven, heaven his home: farewell.

Live Lord Jesus in
Our soules.