Secret Societies of All Ages - Charles Heckethorn




III. The Inquisition

217. Introductory.—The earth in the Colosseum at Rome is said to be soaked with the blood of Christian martyrs. Some pope—I forget which—to convince a heretic, is reported to have taken up a handful of the earth, squeezed it, and caused drops of blood to fall from it. Supposing, for argument's sake, the legend and the assertion on which it is founded to be true, the Christian Church has well avenged her martyrs. To accomplish her ends, the Romish Church established the Inquisition.

218. Early existence of an Inquisition.—From the earliest days of Christianity the Inquisition existed in the spirit if not in the form. The wretched pack of controversial wolves, the so-called Fathers of the Church, when not flying at one another's throats, were ever busy in spewing forth their fanatical venom upon all not of their ilk. When Polycarp, on being challenged by Marcion, the Gnostic, to "own him," replied, "I own thee to be the first-born of Satan," we may be certain he would, had he possessed secular power, not have been satisfied with giving that polite answer, but would gladly have burnt him alive; and yet the Gnostics were people superior in intelligence and morals to the rabble composing the early Christians, as even their enemies had to admit.

When that monster Constantine had made the Christian Church all-powerful, heretic baiting began in full earnest. One of the first victims was Priscillian, the founder of a Gnostic sect in Spain, who, at the instigation of St. Augustine, was accused of Manichaeism—the saint must have known, for he had been a Manichaean himself during ten years! Priscillian was executed at Trier in 385. The next five or six centuries were too much occupied with war and bloodshed and political intrigues to give much attention to heretics; in fact, from the eighth to the eleventh centuries they hardly existed. But when, towards the end of the latter century, the papal system of Hildebrand attained its full development, despotically attempting to control all religious thought, so-called heretics arose, and with them their persecution. The decision of Pope Urban II. that the murder of an excommunicated person was no crime became civil law, as also the doctrine of St. Augustine, that the extermination of heretics was a duty to the Church and a kindness to the heretic himself. Thomas of Aquinas (1224- 1274) adopted the doctrine of St. Augustine; the "angelic" teacher expounded the words of the apostle, that we ought to avoid a heretic twice admonished, by saying that the best way to avoid him was to burn him. On this principle acted Henry II., king of England, who, together with Louis VII. of France, acted as the grooms of Pope Alexander III. on his entering Couci (Comes); the English king, who, in the Abbey of Bourg-Dieu, was too overawed by the Pope to sit on a chair in his presence, but, like a dog, cowered on the floor, this king ordered the first execution for heresy in his kingdom by having a sect called Publicans or Patari put to death because they rejected baptism and submission to the Pope. The Patari had arisen in Italy, and spread over the European continent, and were so terribly persecuted that at last they retaliated; but the Church was too strong for them, and we frequently in the history of those times find notices similar to the following: "In this year the Most Reverend Archbishop William of Rheims, Legate of the Apostolic See, and the illustrious Count Philip of Flanders, burnt many heretics alive."

219. Council held at Toulouse.—In May 1163 a council, attended by seventeen cardinals, one hundred and twenty-four bishops, hundreds of abbots, and priests without number, was held at Tours, where the Inquisition, which had, as we have seen, existed for centuries in spirit, was put into shape and assumed a definite form. "An accursed heresy," said the holy speakers, "has recently arisen in the neighbourhood of Toulouse, and it is the duty of bishops to put it down with all the rigour of the ecclesiastical law. Innocent III., in 1198, sent the first two travelling Inquisitors to France, empowered to judge heretics, "the foxes called Waldenses, Cathari, and Patari, who, though they have different faces, yet all hang together by their tails, and are sent by Satan to devastate the vineyard of the Lord," which "foxes" were to be caught for them by ecclesiastical and secular princes, "to be judged and killed," an order which the said princes obeyed with such alacrity, that the progress of the two Inquisitors was everywhere signalised by the bonfires of burning heretics. But these were persecuted not in France only, but wherever the power of the popes could reach them, first of all, of course, in Italy, where one of the most distinguished victims, Arnold of Brescia, had some time before the above-mentioned occurrences been strangled in prison, and his body publicly burnt at Rome in 1155. His heresy consisted in having preached against the crimes of the Papal See.

220. Establishment of the Inquisition.—We have elsewhere more particularly spoken of the heretical sects which in the tenth to the twelfth century existed in Italy and the south of France (168-185). Peter of Castelnau having been sent to preach against the Albigenses, was slain by them. As soon as his death became known he was canonised, and the fourth Council of the Lateran, in 1228, at the instigation of Pope Honorius III., sanctioned and organised the Inquisition, the original idea of which was due to Dominique de Guzman, who also founded the order of Dominican friars. The Council, or rather the Pope, decreed that all heretics should be delivered over to the secular arm and their property confiscated. Sovereigns were called upon to drive all heretics from their states; in case of non-obedience, the Pope would offer their territory to whosoever could conquer them. Persons who had favoured heretics or received them into their houses were to be excommunicated and declared infamous, incapable of inheriting property, and not entitled to Christian burial.

Guzman, rightly considering that the foul band of preaching friars, whom he had associated with himself, were not the sort of people to further his views—for those men were too fanatical not to be violent, which would have been injurious to the new institution—further organised his "Militia of Christ," a religious police, composed of bigoted men and women, belonging to all classes of society, even to the highest—the head of the house of Medina-Coeli down to 1820 enjoyed the high privilege of carrying the standard of the Faith in all autos-de-fe, and other solemnities of the Inquisition—of criminals, as we shall see in the account of the "Garduna" (Book IX.); of fools and knaves. The invisible troop of spies and denouncers, these familiars of the Inquisition, as they afterwards called themselves, formed the secret portion of the Inquisition, and were none the less fonnidable on that account. From 1233, when the Inquisition was established in Spain, to the beginning of the next century, it made rapid progress, spreading into Italy and Germany. In 1308 the Inquisition persecuted the Templars it, a outrance; autos-da-fe, "acts of faith," as the burning of heretics was called, shed their lurid light over many a Spanish city, at which the royal family frequently were present. In 1415 the Inquisition burnt John Huss at Constance; Platina, a papal writer, in his "Lives of the Popes" thus pleasantly speaks of it:—"In the same Council, John Huss and Jerome were burnt, because they affirmed, among other errors, that ecclesiastical men ought to be poor . . . matters being thus composed", etc. Burning your opponents certainly is composing matters; but the author was a Papist.

221. Progress of Institution.—Until the joint reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Inquisition in Spain had been confined to the kingdom of Arragon. But about 1481 the queen established it in Castile, and the king gradually extended its jurisdiction over all his states. Like James of Scotland, the king of Spain always wanted "siller;" the Inquisition offered him a third of all the property it confiscated, and promised him a large share of the riches of the thousands of Jews then living in Spain; the nobles of Arragon and Castile were always conspiring against him, the Inquisition would quietly amd secretly get hold of their persons, and thus rid him of these enemies; heaven was to be gained by putting down heresy; here surely were reasons enough for protecting the Inquisition and investing it with full powers. The queen also—alas, that it has to be said of her!—was greatly in favour of it, and even requested the Pope to declare the sentences pronounced in Spain to be final and without appeal to Rome. She complained at the same time that the people accused her of having no other view in establishing the Inquisition than that of sharing with its officers the property of those condemned by them. The Pope, Sixtus IV., granted everything, and appeased her conscientious scruples as to confiscations.

A bull, dated 1483, named Father Thomas de Torquemada, an atrocious fanatic. Grand Inquisitor of Spain. For eighteen years he held the office, condemning on the average ten thousand victims annually to death by fire, starvation, torture. In the first six months of his sanguinary rule 298 marranos—Moors or Jews that had been converted to Christianity—were burnt at the stake in Seville alone, and seventy condemned to imprisonment for life. During the same space of time 2000 marranos were burnt alive in various other places; a greater number, who had been fortunate enough to make their escape before they were seized—for when once in the power of the terrible tribunal there was little chance of evasion—were burnt in effigy; and about 17,000 persons, accused on the charge of heresy, underwent various other punishments. Upwards of 20,000 victims in half a year! Torquemada was so abhorred that he never stirred abroad without being surrounded by 250 familiars, and on his table always lay a horn of the unicorn, which, according to Moorish superstition, was supposed to possess the virtue of discovering and nullifying the force of poison. His cruelties excited so many complaints that the Pope himself was startled, and three times Torquemada was obliged to justify his conduct. During the fifteenth century so many executions took place at Seville, that the prefect of that city had the diabolical idea, in order to expedite the process, to erect, outside the city, a permanent scaffold in stone, on which he placed four gigantic statues in plaster, hollow inside, into which New Christians, accused of having relapsed into their old faith, were forced, and slowly calcined to death, as in a kiln. This scaffold was called quemadero (the burner), and the ruins of it could be seen as late as the year 1823.

222. Judicial Procedure of the Inquisition.—Before proceeding with our historical details, let us briefly state the mode of procedure adopted by the execrable tribunal of the Inquisition.

A denunciation, verbal or in writing, and it little mattered from what impure source it proceeded, formed the starting point. Every year, on the third Sunday in Lent, the "Edict of Denunciation" was read in the churches, enjoining every person, on pain of major excommunication, to reveal within six days to the Holy Office, as the Inquisition was now styled, facts opposed to the purity of faith that might have come to their notice. Denunciation also had its rewards. Plenary indulgence was granted by the popes to whoso was good Christian enough to denounce his father, son, brother, or other near relation. Charles V. relieved every one who had denounced ten heretics, or became a familiar of the Inquisition, from all taxation and statute labour. And the most trifling acts exposed persons to the charge of heresy; to put a clean cloth on the table on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, smelled of Judaism; to put on clean linen on a Friday, the Mahometan Sunday, betrayed Mahometanism. The opinions of Luther, casting horoscopes, eating with Jews, dining or supping with friends on the eve of a journey, as the Jews do, these and a hundred other things equally innocent might lead to the stake. William Franco, a citizen of Seville, whose wife had been seduced by a priest, which he dared not resent, having casually observed that his wife was in purgatory, this expression was reported to the Inquisitors, who thereupon condemned him to imprisonment for life in the cells of the Inquisition.

The arrests were generally made at night, and the victims taken off in a carriage, the wheels of which had tires made of leather, whilst the mules, which drew it, were shod with buskins, the soles of which consisted of tow between two thick pieces of leather, so as to prevent their approach being heard. These buskins were an invention of Deza, the second Grand Inquisitor. Some of them were found in the inquisitorial arsenal at Malaga when its doors were broken open in 1820. General Torrijos, who for two years had been a prisoner of the Inquisition, and who was treacherously shot by order of Ferdinand VII. in 1831, carried off one of these buskins. Two others were appropriated by an Englishman, a Mr. Thomas Wilkins, of Paddington Place (Street?), London, who as late as the year 1838 would show them to his friends. Where are they now?

The prisoner having been incarcerated in the dungeons of the Inquisition, his property was put under sequestration, and the claw of the Holy Office was one which seldom released its prey. According to its statutes, indeed, it was compelled to release the accused if twelve witnesses, of pure Catholic blood, testified in his favour. But it was very seldom twelve such witnesses could be brought together, for in most cases persons who gave evidence in favour of the victims of the Inquisition ran the risk of being themselves charged with heresy.

The prisoner, on his apprehension, was carried to a dungeon, generally underground, sometimes at a depth of thirty feet. Each cell was about twelve feet by eight, with no accommodation but a plank bed, and a utensil, which was emptied every three or four days, and sometimes but once in a week. From eight to ten prisoners were shut up in such a cell when the Holy Office had many victims. They were not allowed to make any complaints; if they did so, they were gagged and cruelly flogged. Such treatment naturally often led to suicide. To mention a comparatively recent instance: in 1819 six prisoners were in one of the dungeons of the Inquisition at Valencia. A gaoler, instructed to try one of them, that is, to get a confession out of him, told him that if he did not reveal what he knew, he would be racked next day. The prisoner confessed nothing, but next day the six prisoners were found dead; they had strangled one another, and the last had asphyxiated himself by inhaling the poisonous gases arising from the utensil above referred to. The prisoners had been charged with being Freemasons.

Sometimes a prisoner was left to die of starvation, or kept for years in his dungeon, whilst no one dared to raise a voice in his behalf. People disappeared, and their relations and friends only surmised, and cautiously whispered among themselves their suspicions, that they were languishing, or had perhaps died, in the prisons of the Inquisition. Some of the prisoners, however, were brought before their judges, in whose presence they were compelled to sit on the sharp edge of a triangular piece of wood, supported by two X; this mockery of a seat was called a potro. The trial was supposed to be public, but the audience was packed; none but good Catholics, who could be depended on, were invited to attend. That the publicity was a mere delusion, is proved by the fact that the New Christians offered King Ferdinand the sum of 600,000 ducats to let the trials be public; but Cardinal Ximenes, the Grand Inquisitor, induced the king to decline the offer, as he also persuaded Charles V. to refuse the still higher offer of 800,000 ducats made by the same New Christians for the same privilege.

The prisoner, when before his judges, was exhorted to confess his crime, but he was not informed of the charge against him; and if he did not know what to confess, or if his confession did not agree with the secret information against him, he was taken to the torture chamber, to extort what was wanted. As the Inquisitors were profoundly religious men (!), regulating their conduct by the teaching of Christ, which forbids the shedding of blood, they had with hellish ingenuity contrived their instruments of torture so that they should avoid that result, and yet inflict the greatest suffering the human body can possibly bear, without having the vital spark extinguished in it. It is true that the pendulum torture—which certainly was applied, as the instrument was discovered as late as the year 1820 in the prison of the Inquisition at Seville—proved that the rule was broken through; but the modern Inquisitors, it appears, were not so conscientious as the ancient! The Inquisitors, whilst admitting that innocent persons might sometimes die under torture, maintained that still it ought to be applied, for if a good Catholic died under their hands he went straight into paradise, which no doubt was very consolatory to the victim!

223. Palace of the Inquisition.—The palace of the Inquisition contained the judgment hall, offices for the employes, torture chambers, cells of mercy and penitence, and dungeons, besides the private apartments of the Grand Inquisitor. A rich prisoner was first taken to a cell of mercy, and if he could be persuaded to surrender all his property to the Inquisition, he was, after some months of seclusion, allowed to issue forth, as poor as Job, but rich in the gifts of grace. The cells of mercy were on the first floor. The cells of penitence, to which victims less ready to be converted were taken, were generally situate in small round towers of about ten feet diameter, just under the roof. They were whitewashed, and the only light they received was through a small opening in the vaulted ceiling. The only furniture were a stool and a truckle bed. If a prolonged stay in this terrible solitude did not have the desired effect, the victim was consigned to a dungeon, with walls five feet thick, and double doors, in almost total darkness, with an earthen vessel for the excrements, which was emptied once in four days. What the prisoners' food consisted of, may be inferred from the fact that something less than a penny a day was allowed for it—and, of course, the poor gaoler had to make his profit out of it! The next move of the prisoner was to the torture chamber.

The torture chamber in the papal palace at Avignon was constructed with diabolical ingenuity. To cause the shrieks and groans of those tortured to remain confined within the hall, each wall projects and recedes in such a manner as to exhibit a face in a different direction to that of the wall on the opposite side, and in this way the solid mass of masonry of each wall is carried upwards, the result of which peculiar structure is that shrieks were thrown back from wall to wall, and thus never could reach the outside, nor disturb the pope, toying with his concubines in the adjoining palace. The place where the victims were burnt is a vast circular chamber, shaped exactly like the furnace of a glass-house, terminating at the top in a narrow chimney of a funnel form. Up to about the year 1850 these chambers were shown to strangers, but since then the superior ecclesiastical authorities of Avignon have caused them to be dismantled and shut up—they showed the Church in too hideous a character.

224. Tortures.—There were three modes of torture chiefly in use. The first was that of the cord. The prisoner's arms were tied behind him with one end of a long rope, which passed over a pulley fixed in the vault of the chamber; he was then raised from the ground to a considerable height, which, by twisting his arms backward and above his head, was sufficient to dislocate the shoulder joints; the rope was then suddenly slackened, so that he fell to within a foot or so from the ground, by which his arms were nearly torn out of their sockets, and his whole body sustained a fearful concussion. In some cases the back of the victim, in being drawn up, was made to press against a roller, set round with sharp spikes, causing, of course, fearful laceration. At Rome this mode of torturing was of half-an-hour's duration; in Spain it was continued for more than an hour. Another mode of applying the cord torture was by fastening the victim down on a sort of wooden bed and encircling his arms and legs in different places with thin cord, which by means of winches could be so tightened as to cut deep into the flesh.

If these tortures found the prisoner firm, and extorted no confession, it was generally in the above position that he was subjected to the torture by water. His mouth and nostrils were covered with a thick cloth, and one of the Satanic brood of Dominican friars would sit by him, and through a funnel pour water on the cloth, which speedily became soaked, and then more water being poured on, the latter would enter the mouth of the unfortunate wretch lying there in fearful agony, undergoing all the pangs of slow suffocation, while his brow was covered with the cold sweat of death, and the blood started from his eyes and nostrils; and all the time the fiend by his side exhorted him, "for the love of Him who died on the Cross," to confess.

The third mode of torture was by fire. The victim was stretched and fastened on the ground; the soles of his feet were exposed and rubbed with oil or lard, or any other easily inflammable matter, and then a portable fire was placed against them; the intense torture the burning of the greasy matter spread on the soles caused to the unfortunate prisoner may be imagined. When, in consequence of it, the prisoner declared himself ready to confess, a screen was interposed between his feet and the fire; on its withdrawal, if the confession was not satisfactory, the pain was even more frightful than before. Ingenious Inquisitors would sometimes vary the mode of torturing. Thus John de Roma, a monk attached to the Inquisition, caused some of his victims to be forced into boots filled with boiling tallow, and the tonsured monster laughed over the cries of the wretched sufferers. Tho wretches who, at the Inquisitor's command, executed all these terrible operations on their fellow-creatures, wore long black gowns with hoods covering their heads, having holea for mouth, nostrils, and eyes.

Another diabolical device of the Inquisitors consisted in this, that while they asserted that the torture or being put to the question could only be applied once, they declared the torture suspended, when it was found that by continuing it at the time the victim would die under their hands, and thus deprive them of the further gratification of their thirst for cruelty. The torture was begun, but not finished, and the unfortunate wretch could thus be put to the question as often as they pleased—the torture was only being continued! This diabolical fiction was also part of the judicial procedure against witches, as laid down in the Malleus maleficarum. The Inquisitors further were the first to put women to the torture; neither the weakness nor the modesty of the sex had any influence on them. The Dominican friars—the Thugs of the Papacy—would flog naked women in the corridors of the Inquisition building, after having first violated them, for some slight breach of discipline! Even after this lapse of time, it makes one's blood boil with indignation when thinking of those horrors! The fact has been denied by apologists of the Inquisition; but that the practice existed, is proved by the severe decree against it made by the Inquisitor-General Ximenes Cisneros (1507-1517), who threatened with death every official of the Holy Office who should be guilty of this and similar excesses. Yet this Cisneros caused 2536 victims to be burnt alive!

225. Condemnation and Execution of Prisoners.—Out of every 2000 persons accused, perhaps one escaped condemnation to death or lifelong imprisonment. The most fortunate—those that were reconciled—had to appear, bareheaded, with a cord round their neck, clothed in the san benito, an ugly garment, something like a sack, with black and yellow or white stripes, and carrying a green wax taper in their hands, in the hall of the tribunal, or sometimes openly in a church, where, on their knees, they abjured the heresies laid to their charge. They were then condemned to wear the ignominious garment for some considerable time. Several other degrading and troublesome conditions were imposed on them, and the greater portion or whole of their property was confiscated: this was a rule the holy fathers never departed from. The relaxed, or those condemned to death, dressed in an even more hideous garb than the "reconciled," having the portrait of the victim immersed in flames, and devils dancing round about it, painted thereon, were led out to the place of execution, attended by monks and friars, and burnt at the stake, the court, Grand Inquisitor, his officers, and the people witnessing the agonies of the dying, and inhaling the flavour of their burning flesh with intense satisfaction. One trait of mercy the monkish demons showed consisted in first strangling those that died penitent before burning them, whilst those who maintained their innocence to the last were burnt alive. These bloody recreations at last became so fashionable, that in Spain and Portugal the accession of a king, a royal marriage, or the birth of a prince, was celebrated by a grand auto-da-fe, for which as many victims were reserved or procured aspossible.

226. Procession of the Auto-da-fi.—The night before the auto-da-fe a procession of wood-cutters, Dominicans, and familiars started from the building of the Inquisition for the open space where the sacrifice was to take place. On their arrival there they planted by the side of an altar, already erected there, a green cross, covered with black crape. This cross was symbolical of the grief of the Church for the heretics who were going to be burnt. After having set up the cross the procession returned, minus the Dominicans, who remained behind to pray and chant psalms. The procession of the autO'da-f, which started early in the morning for the place of execution, was opened by a company of lance-bearers,, then came priests, then men carrying the eflSgies of such heretics as had made their escape, and could therefore not be bodily burnt or degraded; these men were followed by such as carried coarse 'coffins or shells, containing the bones or corpses of heretics who had died while in the prisons of the Inquisition. After these marched those who had repented,, who were followed by the relaxed, or those condemned to be burnt, and wearing the hideous san benito. Sitch as it was feared might speak heretical words to the bystanders were gagged. Each victim carried a lighted taper, and was accompanied by two friars, to urge him either to be converted, if obstinate, or to give him such spiritual comfort as Dominican friars could bestow. Behind these victims walked the familiars—and, as already stated, grandees of Spain deemed it an honour to be such—after these came the Inquisitors with their Council, the whole procession closing with the standard of the Tribunal carried aloft. When the dismal train had arrived at the place of execution, and those who were condemned to a less punishment than death had had their different sentences read to them, the great treat of the day, the burning, began. As soon as the victims had been placed on the piles of wood, and chained to the posts erected in the middle of each pile, the devout people called out, "Let the dogs' beards be made!" which was done by the executioners thrusting staves, to which burning heather had been tied, into the faces of the victims, till they were black and singed. With

"The foolish people gazing

Upon a scene, in which some day

Each might himself the victim play."

But the Inquisitors were not always satisfied with a simple burning; they sometimes superadded diabolical tortures, as, for instance, gagging by means of a piece of wood, cleft so as to let the tongue be held by it, or actually tearing out the tongue, to prevent the victims uttering heresies while being led to the stake; or worse still, flaying them alive, and then strewing brimstone and salt over the skinned body, and burning it slowly suspended by chains over live coal. The Inquisitors gave Francis I., king of France, in 1535, six times in one day the treat of seeing a heretic drawn up and down by chains over the flames, till the partly-consumed body of each fell into the burning pile beneath. That madman, Charles V., whom courtly historians call a "great" prince, ordered female heretics to be buried alive!

227. History continued.—The monster Torquemada was still Inquisitor-General. The people of Aragon, who had from the first violently opposed the establishment of the Inquisition in their territory, were exasperated when autos-da-fe began to be celebrated among them, and in order to intimidate their butchers slew the most violent of their oppressors, one Peter Arbues of Epila, at the altar. The Church immediately placed him among her martyrs; Queen Isabella erected a statue to him; his body wrought miracles, and Pope Pius IX. canonized him. The just death of the Inquisitor of course led to increased cruelty and persecution on the part of the Holy Ofiice; the men who slew Arbues unfortunately were captured; they had their hands cut off before being hanged, and their bodies were cut up in pieces, which were exposed on the highways.

Torquemada next urged on the king and queen to expel the Jews from their states, as enemies of the Christian religion. The Jews, informed of their danger, offered the king 30,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war with Granada, on condition that they were allowed to stay. Ferdinand and Isabella were on the point of acceding to this proposal, when Torquemada, a crucifix in his hand, presented himself to the sovereigns, and thus addressed them: "Judas was the first to sell his master for thirty pieces of silver. Your highnesses intend selling him a second time for thirty-pieces of gold. Here he is, take him, and speedily conclude the sale! " Of course the proud king and equally haughty queen cringed before the insolent friar, and the decree went forth on the 31st March 1492 that by the 31st July of the same year all Jews must have quitted the states of Ferdinand aud Isabella on pain of death and confiscation of all their property. Some 800,000 Jews emigrated, momentarily saving their lives, but scarcely any property, since the time was too short for realising it at its value. Thousands of men, women, and children perished by the way, so that the Jews compared their sufferings to those their forefathers underwent at the time of Titus. When, shortly after this expulsion of the, Jews, the kingdom of Granada was conquered by the Spanish arms, the conquest was considered as heaven's special approval and reward; and Ferdinand, to show his religious zeal, committed every kind of cruelty his soul could invent. After the capture of Malaga, twelve Jews, who had taken refuge there, underwent by his direct orders the terrible death by pointed reeds, a slow bat fatal torture, like being stabbed to death with pins.

Torquemada died in 1498; his successor, the Dominican Deza, introduced the Inquisition into the newly-conquered kingdom of Granada; 80,000 Moors, preferring exile to baptism, left the country. He also introduced the terrible tribunal into Naples and Sicily; and though the Sicilians at first rose against it, and expelled the Inquisitors, they had afterward, overcome by Charles V., to submit to its reestablishment. Deza, during his short reign of nine years, caused 2592 individuals to be burnt alive and 829 in effigy, and condemned upwards of 32,000 to imprisonment and the galleys, with total confiscation of property. He was succeeded by the mild Ximenes, after whom came Adrien Boeijens, who was as cruel a persecutor as Torquemada; the Lutheran doctrines, now gaining ground, gave him and his successors plenty of occupation, and the bonfires of the Inquisition blazed not only in Spain, but at Naples, Malta, Venice, in Sardinia and Flanders; and in the Spanish colonies in America the poor Indians perished in hecatombs, for either refusing to be baptized, or being suspected of having relapsed into their former idolatry, after having adopted and professed the mild and gentle creed of Christianity.

228. General History of Institution continued.—We need not go through the list of Grand Inquisitors seriatim. Let us only give particular facts, indicative of the spirit that continued to guide them. Under the generalate of Valds, the eighth Inquisitor-General, a lady ninety years old, Marie de Bourgogne, immensely rich, was denounced by a servant as having said: "Christians respect neither faith nor law." She was thereupon cast into one of the dungeons of the Holy Office, where she remained for five years for want of proof. At the end of that time she was put to the torture to extort an avowal, and she was so unmercifully racked, that she died under the butchers' hands. She underwent the three tortures of the cord, water, and fire. But her trial was continued after her death, and ended in her remains being condemned to be burnt, and the total confiscation of her property; her children, besides being disinherited, also being declared infamous for ever. In 1559, at an auto-da-fe held at Valladolid, they burnt the body of Dame Eleanor de Vibero y Cazalla, who had died a good Catholic, but was after her death accused by witnesses, whose confessions were extorted by the rack, of having associated with Lutherans. Her property was confiscated. The Inquisition also condemned Charles V., after his death, as a heretic, and caused his confessor. Dr. Cazalla, to be burnt alive. At this auto-da-fe were present the Princess Donna Joan, the regent, in the absence of Philip II. from the kingdom, and Prince Don Carlos, then only fourteen years of age.

229. Englishmen Imprisoned by the Inquisition.—In 1558 Nicholas Burton, a London citizen, who traded to Spain, arrived at Cadiz in his own ship. He was seized by the Inquisition and accused of having spoken disrespectfully of that tribunal, and being a heretic, and after having been kept in prison for two years, was burnt alive, his mouth being gagged, at Seville. The Inquisition seized his ship and cargo, valued at £50,000). But portion of the cargo belonged to a Bristol merchant, who sent his lawyer, John Frampton, to Spain to claim his property. His mission, of course, failed. He was sent to Cadiz a second time, when the Inquisition seized, imprisoned, and racked him, and finally made him appear in the auto-da-fe, in which Burton was burnt. But eventually Frampton made his escape, returned to England, and published his experiences. Why did our blustering Bess, who sent thousands of Englishmen to perish abroad to uphold the cause of foreigners, the Huguenots, not interfere in behalf of two Englishmen, her own subjects, to snatch them from the clutches of the Spanish fiends? Well, Philip of Spain had made her aa offer of marriage, and even a queen does not like to offend an unsuccessful suitor.

230. History continuied.—Philip II. extended the jurisdiction of the Inquisition throughout the Netherlands, and in spite of the resistance of the inhabitants, met with such success, that his noble executioner, the Duke of Alva, could boast of having within five years sent to the stake and gallows 18,000 persons for the crime of heresy. But the oppression at last became so great, that the Netherlands revolted again, and this time successfully; they for ever threw off the Spanish yoke. It was during this Dutch war of liberation that the mysterious catastrophe of Don Carlos, Philip's son by his first wife, occurred, Eomance asserts that the tragedy had its origin in the love passages said to have taken place between Don Carlos and Philip's second wife, Elizabeth of France, who, before becoming his stepmother, had been his aflSanced bride. But history explains the facts in this way: Don Carlos conspired against his father, a gloomy tyrant, who deprived him of every scrap of power and influence, keeping him in the perfect subjection of a child; the prince thought of assassinating the king, or flying to the Netherlands, which he hoped to erect into an independent kingdom for himself. While he was hesitating, the Inquisition discovered both incipient schemes, revealed them to the king, and pronounced either deserving of death. Don Carlos was seized, imprisoned, and killed by poison.

It is difficult to imagine a moral monster such as Philip II. was. He caused the works of Vesale, his own physician, who first taught the true facts and principles of anatomy, with their illustrations by Titian, to be publicly burnt, and the doctor himself was compelled to make an involuntary pilgrimage to Jerusalem to expiate his impious attempt of prying into the secrets of nature. This, we may say, was simply absurd om the part of the king; what follows is atrocious. In 1559 he learnt that an auto-da-fe had taken place in a distant locality, where thirty persons had perished at the stake. He besought the Inquisitors to be allowed to witness a similar spectacle; the Dominican devils, to encourage and reward such holy zeal on the part of Heaven's anointed, sent out their archers, who searched with such diligence for victims, that on the 6th October of the same year the king was able to preside at Valladolid at the burning of forty of his subjects, which gave him the most lively satisfaction. One of the condemned, a person of distinction, implored the royal mercy, as he was being led to the stake. "No," replied the crowned hyena, "if it were my own son, I would surrender him to the flames if he persisted in his heresy."

In 1566 the Grand Inquisitor Espinosa began his crusade against the Moors that still remained in Spain. For a long time the persecuted race confined themselves to remonstrances, but when it was decreed that their children must thenceforth be brought up in the Christian faith, a vast conspiracy was formed, which for nine months was kept secret, and would have been successful had not the Moors of the mountainous districts broken out into open rebellion before those of the country and towns were prepared to support them. The Christians scattered among the Moorish population of course were the first victims of the long pent-up rage of the Mussulmans. Three thousand perished at the first outset; all the monks of a monastery were cast into boiling oil. One of the insurgents, the intimate friend of a Christian, knew of no greater proof of affection he could show him than transfixing him with his lance, lest others should treat him worse. The Marquis of Mondejar, captain-general of Andalusia, was appointed to put down the insurrection. As he was too humane, his reprisals not being severe enough, the Marquis de Los Velez, called by the Moors the "Demon with the Iron Head," was associated with him in the command, and he carried on war in the most ferocious manner. At the battle of Ohanez blood was shed in such quantities, that the thirsty Spaniards could not find one unpolluted spring. One thousand six hundred Moors were subjected to a treatment worse than death, and immediately after Los Velez and his band of butchers celebrated the feast of the Purification of the Virgin! And in the end the superior number of the Christians triumphed over Moorish bravery, and the Inquisitors were busy for weeks holding autoS'da'f6 to celebrate the victory of the true faith.

Under the long reign of Philip II., called the "Demon of the South," six Grand Inquisitors carried on their bloody orgies. The Reformed Creed of course supplied the greatest numbers of victims; at Seville on one occasion eight hundred were arrested all at once. At the first auto-da-fi of Valladolid, on 12th May 1559, fourteen members of one family were burnt. The Inquisition was established in the island of Sardinia, at Lima, Mexico, Cartagena, in the fleet, army, and even among custom-house ofiicers. By the original documents in Trinity College, Dublin, it appears that in the three years from 1564 to 1567 the Inquisition at Rome passed 111 sentences on heretics.

231. History continued.—Philip III. of Spain was early taught the power of the Inquisition; for when, at the beginning of his reign, he was obliged to be present at an auto-da-f6, and could not restrain his tears at seeing two young women, one Jewish and the other Moorish, burnt at the stake, for no other fault than that of having been brought up in the different creeds of their fathers, the Inquisitors imputed to him his compassion as a crime, which could only be expiated by blood: the king had to submit to being bled and seeing his blood burnt by the executioner. The Inquisitors, in fact, were above the king. At autos-da-fd the Grand Inquisitor's throne was more lofty than that of the king. The Inquisitor Tabera kept the arch-priest of Malaga for two years in prison, because that ecclesiastic, whilst carrying the viaticum to a dying person, had not stopped to let the Inquisitor pass.

Philip IV. inaugurated his reign by an auto-da-fe (1632). The Inquisitor-General gave to the show of the auto-da-fe, whose interest began to decline, a new zest by causing the sentence of death against ten marranos to be read to them, while each of them had one hand nailed to a wooden cross.

The marriage of Charles II. with the niece of Louis XIV. (1680) was celebrated with an auto-da-fe at Madrid. On the 12th April 1869 some workmen, employed in digging up the earth in the chief square of Madrid, came upon a layer of coals and ashes, mixed with bones, which proved to be human bones; moreover, iron collars and other things were found, which left no doubt that the spot had been the scene of the auto-da-fe, of 1680, a full account of which was published, by "express desire of the king and of the Grand Inquisitor, Valladares, to the honour and glory of Spain," by Joseph del Olmo, who was one of the familiars of the Inquisition. This auto-da-fe was even a grander affair than that of 1632. There were 118 victims, one-and-twenty of whom were burnt alive in the presence of the young king and queen and the nobility of the court, besides a vast concourse of less exalted spectators. On the previous day the wood-cutters, to the number of 290, had defiled before the royal palace, every one with a log of wood on his shoulder. Their leader stopped at the gate of the palace, where a duke was in waiting to receive the log, which he reverently carried up to the king, who took it from him, carried it to the boudoir of the queen, placed the piece of wood, on which two days after a human being was to be burnt alive, into her arms, like a baby; he then gave it back to his grace, my lord duke, and, according to the instructions he had received from his father-confessor, the Don Estevan del Vado, Inquisitor of Toledo, sent word to the captain of the wood-cutters, that on the auio-da-f this log was to be thrown into the flames in the name of the king. On the day of the auto-da-fe the show was not over till half-past nine at night; and, says Del Olmo, "The public went away highly pleased, especially with the conduct of the king, who had stood the heat of the day, and shown that he was not at all weary."

232. Reflections.—Is it possible to realise the horrors of this transaction—a man brought up in the principles of chivalry, and a woman of royal birth, whom one would suppose to be not only noble, but also gentle, witnessing, on their wedding-day, when one would imagine their hearts to be full of joy, and therefore full of good-will towards all men, and especially their subjects, so cruel a spectacle as the burning alive of human beings, burnt, so to say, in their honour? But here we see the effects of evil church government and priestly influence. When the mania of burning every old woman who had a black cat, as a witch, arose, the Inquisition found a new field of labour; and whatever might be the density of mental darkness with which priests and monks covered Europe, they took care there should be plenty of material light, and hence the funeral pyres of human reason and liberty were always blazing. Some of the Molinists, who, under pretext of "Perfect Contemplation," encouraged the most scandalous sexual excesses, were also burnt, not on account of their immoral practices, but because of some so-called heretical notions they propounded.

Under the succeeding kings of Spain general enlightenment and civilisation had made too much progress to allow the Inquisitors to indulge as formerly their frantic rage and fanatical cruelty. During the reign of Ferdinand VI., Charles III., and Charles IV., they obtained only 245 condemnations, of which fourteen were to death. Freemasons and Jansenists were the principal victims. One of the vilest acts of the Inquisition during the reign of Charles III. was the imprisonment, on the charge of heresy, in 1778, of Count Olivades, the founder of La Carolina, the central city of the Sierra Morena colony, and of other highly beneficial institutions to Spain. His friends enabled him, in 1780, to make his escape to Venice.

233. Abolition of the Inquisition.—Napoleon, on the 4th December 1808, whilst encamped at the village of Chamartin, a short distance from Madrid, summoned the authorities of Madrid to surrender. The Grand Inquisitor refused. Napoleon wrote on a piece of paper: "The Inquisitors are to be made prisoners. The Holy Office has ceased to exist. Its revenues are confiscated." Colonel Lumanuski, acting under the immediate orders of Marshal Soult, was sent to seize the palace of the Inquisition at Madrid. The building was surrounded by a strong wall, and guarded by 400 soldiers. The Fathers were summoned to open the gates, instead of which they shot the herald. The order to attack was given immediately. The Spanish soldiers were protected loj their waHs, the French troops were exposed, in an open plain, to their fire, and had no ladders. Some trees were cut down, turned into battering-rams, and soon a breach was made in the wall, through which the French entered the building. Then the priests left their cells, pretending to be surprised at the garrison having offered any resistance to their friends, the French! But Lumanuski, not to be deceived, ordered them to be closely guarded; the soldiers were all made prisoners. The French then examined the building; they found splendid halls and rooms, but no prisons, torture rooms, or any of the horrors usually associated with the dread tribunal. Lumanuski was about to retire, when Colonel di Lilla suggested that the marble floor of the ground floor should have water poured on it, to see if it would flow off anywhere. Speedily it was seen to disappear through a crack between two slabs of marble. In trying to raise one of the slabs a soldier touched a hidden spring, and the slab rose up, revealing a staircase, descending which the French first came to a large hall, the judgment hall, with appropriate furniture; then they discovered a number of cells, in some of which bodies of men, in various states of decay, were found—prisoners who had been left to die in solitary confinement. In others they found prisoners still alive, men, women, and children, all perfectly naked, and numbering about one hundred persons. These, of course, were clothed, the soldiers giving them their cloaks or coats, and restored to liberty. All the cells having been visited, the French next came upon the torture chambers, containing all the diabolical instruments invented for racking human bodies. At this sight the fury of the French soldiers was not to be restrained; they declared that the holy fathers should themselves undergo the tortures they had inflicted on their victims; and Lumanuski states that he saw the torture applied in four different ways on as many of the Inquisitorial fiends—a very slight retribution for all the evil they had done.

234. Restoration and Final Abolition.—But Ferdinand VII. on his restoration—alas! with the help of England—in 1 814, re-established the Inquisition, and appointed Francis Thiry Campilla, Bishop of Almeria, its forty-fifth Inquisitor-General. Immediately the prisons, galleys, and penal colonies were filled with prisoners, Freemasons forming a preponderating number amongst them. But in 1820 all the Spanish provinces combined again in a general insurrection, broke the bonds of Absolutism, again crushed the Inquisition and its familiars, set free its prisoners, demolished its palaces and prisons, and burnt its instruments of torture. But in 1823 xb fresh reaction set in; French troops, led by the Duke of AngoulSme, restored Ferdinand VII. to the throne, and the king, at the "earnest desire of his subjects," set up the Inquisition once more; and "if the Spanish nation was anxious for its restoration," as Dr. Brlick, the apologist of Absolutism, both political and priestly, in his "History of the Secret Societies of Spain" observes, "it is a proof that this tribunal was neither cruel nor unpopular." But the tribunal was unpopular, and the feeling was so strongly expressed, that the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wellesley, siding with the nation, threatened to leave Spain if the Inquisition were re-established with all its former authority. But though shorn of its once absolute power, the institution was still strong enough to send people to the scaffold: in 1826 it burnt a Jew; and a schoolmaster, accused of Quakerism, was hanged at Valencia on the 31st July of the same year. True, the last victim did not wear the san henito, but his own clothes; the Inquisitors could no longer render their prisoners ridiculous; and the barefooted Carmelite friar, who accompanied the Quaker, could not, even at the last moment, win him for the heaven he promised him if he recanted. The Quaker died impenitent.

The Inquisition still exists in Portugal, though in a modified form. It also still exists at Eome: its palace stands to the left of St. Peter's, but its dungeons are empty, and the once murderous Inquisition is now merely a tribunal of clerical discipline.

235. The False Nuncio.—I have in the foregoing account spoken of the Inquisition chiefly as it existed in Spain. It was, however, not confined to that country; its fearful octopus arms embraced every nation it could reach. The way it was introduced into Portugal was peculiar, and worthy of that tribunal. In 1539 there appeared at Lisbon a papal legate, who declared to have come to Portugal, there to establish the Inquisition. He brought the king letters from Pope Paul III, and produced the most ample credentials for nominating a Grand Inquisitor and all other ofiScers of the sacred tribunal. This man was a clever swindler, called John Pers, of Saavedra, who was an adept at imitating all kinds of writing and forging signatures and seals. He was attended by a magnificent train of more than a hundred servants, and to defray his expenses had borrowed at Seville enormous sums in the name of the Apostolic Chamber at Rome. The king was at first surprised and angry that the Pope should send an envoy of this description without previous notice, but Peres haughtily replied, that in so urgent a matter as the establishment of the Inquisition and the suppression of heresy the Holy Father could not stand on points; and that the king was highly honoured by the fact that the first messenger who brought him the news was the legate himself. The king dared complain no more; and the false nuncio the same day nominated a Grand Inquisitor, set up the Holy OjBSce, and collected money for its working expenses. Before news could come from Rome, the rogue had already pocketed upwards of two hundred thousand ducats. But he could not make his escape before the swindle was discovered, and Pers was condemned to be whipped and sent to the galleys for ten years. But the best of the joke was, that the Pope confirmed all the swindler had done; in the plentitude of his divine power, Paul III. declared the slight irregularities which attended the establishment of the Portuguese Inquisition not to affect its efiicacy or moral character, and that, now it was established, it should remain so.

236. The Inquisition in various Countries.—Other countries where the Inquisition was established were the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish colonies in America, in the East Indies, the Papal States, Venice, Germany, where for some time it raged with particular ferocity; the Dominican fiends had scarcely been three years at Strasbourg when they burnt eighty Waldenses, and the demon, Konrad von Marburg, travelled up and down the country burning heretics with diabolical joy. He met with a well-merited reward by being killed by Count Sayn, near Marburg. In some of the countries named above the Inquisition was abolished before it ceased to exist in Spain and Italy. In 1557 an attempt was made to introduce the Inquisition into England, but, fortunately for this country, unsuccessfully. But, even without its help. Bloody Mary bad the satisfaction of burning ninety-four heretics in the course of that year in England alone.

237. Apologists of the Inquisition.—Some writers, who discuss history philosophically—which means white-washing cruel tyrants and monstrous institutions—the learned divines in scratch wigs and the courtly historiographers in flowing periwigs, have endeavoured to whitewash the Inquisition. It was an institution, they say, necessary in its day to preserve the purity of religion; an argument not worth answering, it is so absurd. No man, and no aggregation of men—though it call itself "the Church"—has any inherent right to call any man to account for his religious belief: it is a matter of conscience no tribunal is competent to meddle with.

Then the apologists of the Inquisition further say, that the Inquisitors were more fanatical than cruel. This, again, is false. No man, who was not cruel, could have inflicted the sufferings inflicted on their fellow-men by the Inquisitors. The pity they pretended to feel for their victims, and the anxiety they displayed for the welfare of the souls of those they sacrified to their ambition and greed—for their victims generally possessed means, which the Inquisition confiscated—were even more wicked than the cruelties they practised. The Spanish Inquisitors and monks were infamous hypocrites, and not fanatics. The morality of fanatics usually is above reproach; but no men ever were more debauched, more filthy, more corrupt than Spanish Inquisitors, monks, and the priesthood in general.

In 1556 the public voice of Spain accused certain priests of using the confessional for immoral purposes. Paul IV. ordered the Inquisition to investigate the matter. The denunciations were so numerous, that the Inquisitors, fearing too great a scandal, had to renounce the prosecution of the delinquent priests; and, no doubt, they had a fellow feeling for them! And I cannot help agreeing with Hoffmann, the latest historian of the Inquisition, when he says, that the modern apologists of that tribunal must be even more bloodthirsty than the Inquisitors were, for with the latter the fierce religious fanaticism of their age in some degree palliated their inhumanity: to defend it in this age shows a real tiger nature.