A 'Price One Penny' Edition

June 21, 1845

Up: The Mysteries of the Inquisition. Previous: June 14, 1845 Next: June 28, 1845

The Popular Wrath

Night was now come. On leaving Dolorez, Joseph directed his steps towards the Inquisitorial palace. In order to reach that point he was compelled to pass through the street in which dwelt the governor of Seville. As he approached that street, Joseph was surprised to find a considerable assemblage of persons besieging the avenues communicating with the palace of the governor.

A vague sound of imprecations and menaces met the young priest’s ears. It seemed like the moaning of the wind in a forest of oaks. There were no sharp cries—no ejaculations varied and discordant; but an uniform murmur of indignation.

The Spanish people, so oppressed, so calm, and so patient, were goaded to desperation.

A troop of men and women, greatly excited, advanced towards the palace of the governor of Seville.

The street was dark; but over the gate of the palace a single lamp was burning. The crowd moved slowly and with measured pace; and in a few minutes it was joined by another dense mass of people coming from the opposite quarter. The waves of that living ocean thus commingled together.

Wearied with the despotic administration of Henriquez, the inhabitants of Seville panted for vengeance; at all events they were anxious to remove a man whose iniquity was of the most flagrant description. The insurrection had been so sudden, so unexpected, that no time was allowed to oppose it with an armed force: the multitude advanced to the governor’s palace, like those invisible water-spouts which burst upon the earth with the rapidity of thought.

Nevertheless a few alguazils ran hither and thither to give the alarm; and here and there the sombre-countenanced Gardunos stood quietly looking on, ready to afford their aid to those who might proffer the best pay.

“What means this crowd?” demanded Joseph of a familiar of the Inquisition, who had been sent by Peter Arbuez to learn if the information which he had already received from the alguazils were really true.

“Your Reverence,” said the familiar, “it is only an old Jewess whom Henriquez has arrested.”

“Your Reverence,” ejaculated a woman who stood near, “the Jewess is as good a Catholic as you or I; but she had a dishonest servant whom she was compelled to turn away; and he denounced her as a Hebrew heretic.”

“What is the lady’s name?” asked Joseph.

“Maria de Bourgogne79,” was the answer of the woman: “she is more than eighty years old, and is a perfect saint to the poor. We called her ‘Our Mother;’ and that is the reason we all met together the moment we heard that she was in the prison of the Holy Office. The governor had her arrested; and the governor shall be made responsible.”

The familiar was about to arrest the woman who thus delivered her opinion so freely; but Joseph made him a significant sign, and he withdrew. The familiar however determined not to forget her countenance, that he might take her on a future occasion.

“I advise you,” said Joseph in a whisper to the courageous female, “to quit Seville as soon as possible. Those words which you have just uttered, may otherwise cost you dear.”

“I believe so,” answered the woman with a bitter smile, as she surveyed the dress of the Dominican: “ you yourself are an Inquisidor.”

“I am indulgent, and I love the poor suffering people,” answered Joseph. “Go, brave woman: fear nothing from me.”

The crowd was now accumulating more rapidly, and becoming more excited every moment at the governor’s gate. Some of the men, aimed with levers, and iron bars, endeavoured to break down the door, which was carefully barricaded; while others, flourishing their redoubtable Albacetan knives in the air, prepared themselves for a vigorous defence. Even the young women, brandishing their flexible poniards also, threw themselves in front of the crowd, furious, and animated with a sentiment of indignation which it is impossible to describe.

Henriquez was shut up in his palace, whence he dared not issue. As cowardly in the moment of peril as he was cruel in that of prosperity, he anxiously expected a succour which did not however make its appearance. Every blow which was struck against the door of his dwelling, fell like the touch of death upon his heart. Kneeling in his chamber, before an image of the Virgin, the governor of Seville murmured some unintelligible words which he meant for a prayer. At the same time he struck his breast, accusing himself of the most puerile vices, actually forgetting the enormous crimes of which he had been guilty.

The stout door, studded with iron nails and protected with bars as it was about to yield to the vigorous blows that were dealt against it: the sturdy oak; and at length the entrance was cleared. The door fell heavily from its hinges, on the sounding pavement. At that moment a dead silence succeeded, as by enchantment, the cries of triumph which had accompanied the assault upon the door. The very men who had levelled it, remained motionless by the broken barrier: no one dared to cross the threshold of the palace of the governor.

What was the cause of this miracle?

John of Avila had suddenly appeared at one extremity of the street!

“What are you doing?” he exclaimed in a tone whose solemnity penetrated to every soul: “whither are ye going, madmen that ye are?”

At the name of the Apostle, the fury of the people changed into adoration towards him. They remembered that John of Avila had recommended them patience and resignation, and promised heaven in return.

John of Avila advanced amidst that crowd which on every side made way for him.

“My children,” he said, “why do you revolt? what good do you propose by this conduct?”

“Holy father, the governor has caused Maria of Bourgogne to be arrested; and she gave bread to our little children.”

“God will restore her to you,” answered the saint. “Do you hope to save her by means of insurrection?”

At the same moment a man, armed with an enormous lever, advanced in front of the Apostle. This man was one of the chiefs of the revolt; and in him John of Avila immediately recognised Manofina.

“What are you doing here?” asked the Apostle kindly.

“I am desirous of avenging a victim,” replied the bravo, in no way disconcerted. “We are going to kill that wretch Henriquez whom they have given us as a governor.”

Thou shalt do no murder,” said John of Avila in a solemn tone.

“What would be the harm of killing a villain of his species?” cried Manofina. “But since your Reverence does not choose—”

“It is God who does not choose that you should murder,” answered the priest. “Retire, my children; and entrust your vengeance to heaven.”

Those men, lately so ferocious, had become docile as lambs; and as they dispersed in silence, the sbirri approached to arrest some of them.

“What are you about to do!” cried the saint. “Will you punish the lion because he is generous? Withdraw—you have no need of arms: the people are quiet.”

The agents of the Inquisition, yielding in spite of themselves to the influence of that extraordinary man, experienced a moment of hesitation. At the same instant, Joseph, issuing from amidst the crowd, made a sign to the alguazils, who, at that mute order dispersed like shadows.

In spite of his boundless charity, John of Avila threw a glance of discontent upon the favourite of the Grand Inquisidor.

But Joseph approached him, with an air of confidence and calmness, and said, “Do you not recollect me? I am he who allowed you to pass as a witness into the tribunal of the Holy Office, on that day when Don Manuel Argoso was adjudged to the torture.”

“Pardon me,” said the Apostle, grasping the hand of the young priest; “then you are also he who directed Graciosa to procure a witness.”

“The same,” answered Joseph; then in a peculiar tone, be added, “She whom you seek is in safety.”

The Apostle started.

“Do you not see by my countenance that I am telling you the truth?” asked Joseph, mildly.

“Restore, then, that poor girl to us.” said the Apostle. “Stephen de Vargas and myself have wept much on her account.”

Culevrina had learnt nothing from Graciosa, who had refused to tell her where Dolorez was.

“To-morrow, at midnight,” returned Joseph, “meet me in the great square, near the fountain: I will conduct you to Dolorez.”

Joseph hurried away; and at that moment Stephen de Vargas approached the Apostle. Joseph turned round, when at a little distance, and contemplated the handsome countenance of the young man for some moments; for the light of the governor’s lamp fell direct upon Stephen’s face as he stood to converse with John of Avila.

The young Dominican sighed deeply; and two tears trickled down his countenance.

John of Avila did not speak to Stephen of the particulars of his intention with Joseph. He wished to go alone to the place of meeting, in case of any danger that might menace Don Stephen.

That night Henriquez slept in peace in his palace.

The Amulet of Torquemada

On his return to the inquisitorial palace, Joseph proceeded to the private chamber of the lord Arbuez.

The Grand Inquisidor was alone; but in the passages the guards were doubled; and Arbuez was so alarmed that every moment he fancied he heard the sounds of the footsteps of assassins approaching his door. He possessed the cowardice of the hyena, which avoid the day-light, and only fortifies its courage by means of blood.

Seated at a little table of ebony incrusted with mother-of-pearl, Peter Arbuez, with his head supported upon his hand, attentively considered a strange jewel set in gold. This was a talisman, which had belonged to Thomas Torrequemada, the founder of the modern Inquisition of Spain, and whose cruelty surpassed that of any other functionary of the Holy Office. This relic, which had fallen no one knew how, into the hands of Peter Arbuez, had the faculty (it was believed) of discovering and neutralising poisons.

Peter Arbuez had so nearly imitated Torrequemada in his cruelties, that he also followed him in his superstitious prudence. This talisman therefore never quitted his chamber.

At the approach of Joseph, the Inquisidor raised his head.

“What news, Joseph,” he exclaimed hastily.

“Everything is calm, my lord,” answered the young Dominican. “The sbirri did wonders; and the cowards were swiftly dispersed.”

“God be praised!” ejaculated the Grand Inquisidor. “And poor Henriquez has received no injury?”

“None, my lord,” was the reply. “The crowd broke down the door; but Henriquez is as much in safety as your Eminence.”

“They did not manifest any intention of advancing to the inquisitorial palace?”

“Oh! no, my lord. Who would dare to attack the dwelling of the Grand Inquisidor of Seville?”

“I am in no danger, am I, Joseph? They would not dare to menace me. Perhaps,” added Arbuez, “I have done wrong to raise Henriquez to the difficult post of governor of Seville.”

“No, my lord. He is an able man.”

“But a coarse and brutal man.”

“What matter for that, my lord? he is devoted to you; and, believe me, the mantle of governor is as well on his shoulders as on those of any other person.”

“The inhabitants regret Don Manuel Argoso,” said Peter Arbuez. “That man possessed a most culpable tolerance towards heretics and luke-warm Christians; and therefore they loved him.”

“And therefore they revolt against Henriquez, my lord. There is only one way to remedy the evil; and that is to redouble former rigour.”

“Yes—these revolts must have an end. The Inquisition of Spain must extend its dominion over the world, and even rise superior to that of the Pope. The leprosy of heresy must disappear from the face of the earth.”

“And the whole earth must belong to the Inquisition.” added Joseph, with a raillery which Peter Arbuez did not however notice.

“The cinders of heretics must fertilize the earth and make it productive of delicious fruits for the use of the Church. The products of this world, like those of the next, belong to the true Catholics.”

“And the more Catholics the Inquisition immolates, the more powerful will she become.”

“No doubt, Joseph. I have thought well on that subject. We shall have a hundred and eighteen criminals for the next auto de-fa.”

“Fifty more than at the last,” said Joseph. “But what will your lordship do with the late governor of Seville?”

“I will treat him as he merits, as a Lutheran heretic,” exclaimed the Inquisidor, exasperated at the vain attempts which he had made against Dolorez.

The reader will perceive that Joseph easily flattered the passions of Peter Arbuez.

Joseph’s eye caught sight of the talisman which lay upon the table.

“Do not touch that, my son,” said Peter Arbuez. “It is a precious relic which we must not profane. It protected the life of Torrequemada, and now protects mine.”

“How did this jewel fall into your lordship’s hands?” asked Joseph.

“By inheritance. I descend, by my mother’s side, although in an indirect line, from the family of the first Grand Inquisidor of Castille.”

There was a moment’s pause.

“Joseph,” said the Inquisidor, “since all is quiet, let us partake of a slight collation in order to taste the Lachrymœ-Christi wine which his Holiness the Pope sent me the other day.”

Joseph accordingly rang the bell and ordered the domestics who responded, to serve up the collation.

The Appointment

The hour of the appointment made between Joseph and the Apostle, approached.

Stephen and the Apostle partook of their evening meal together; and the latter was anxious and preoccupied in manner. He preserved an unusual silence, and at intervals was absorbed in deep thought.

“Holy father,” said Stephen at length, “have you heard nothing of the unfortunate governor of Seville? Will they put him to the torture again? or can we save him?”’

“The inquisidors have not proceeded in his case,” answered John of Avila. “You know full well, that I will avert you of all that passes in respect to him. Meantime, keep yourself tranquil.”

John of Avila then left the house.

Stephen was so anxious, in consequence of the preoccupied manner of his excellent friend during supper, that he felt convinced there was something wrong. He accordingly rose and followed the Apostle at a distance—unperceived by that holy man.

When John of Avila reached the fountain in the middle of the square opposite the cathedral, he found Joseph waiting for him.

Stephen also drew near the fountain, and concealed himself among the orange-trees which surrounded it.

“Holy father,” said Joseph, bowing respectfully to the Apostle of Andalusia, “I would have called upon you, instead of giving you the trouble to meet me here, but my visit would have been open to suspicion elsewhere.”

Joseph spoke with so much candour; and there was such a noble enthusiasm in his voice and on his lofty forehead, that John of Avila was disposed to place all possible confidence in him.

“What of Dolorez?” exclaimed the Apostle.

At that moment there was a slight rustling amongst the orange-trees.

“Will you accompany me?” enquired the young Dominican in a low tone.

“Lead on, brother: I follow,” answered the Apostle.

“No—I am your son, and not your brother, holy father,” said Joseph,—”your son, who has deep need of your prayers!”

John of Avila was affected. Joseph inspired him with an indescribable sentiment of tenderness—that sentiment which a parent might feel towards a son.

“Follow me, holy father,” said the young priest: “we have not far to go.”

Indeed, in a few moments they were at the door of the house where Juanna and Dolorez dwelt. Joseph took a key from his pocket, opened the door, and entered first: then, as John of Avila was about to cross the threshold, Stephen, whom he had not perceived, advanced hastily up to him, and said, “Holy father, if there be any danger to encounter, let me share it; and let me see her also, since it is true that she is restored to us.”

“At least I hope so,” said John of Avila. “I was anxious to spare you in case of peril or disappointment; but since you know all, come.” Then, turning towards Joseph, who looked round to see why the Apostle was not following him, he added, “Allow my son Stephen to accompany me.”

“Stephen!” murmured Joseph. “Yes—let him come, and see her also.”

When they had entered the garden, Joseph closed the door cautiously.

Dolorez and Juanna were sitting in the little parlour that looked upon the garden. The young lady, already acquainted by Joseph of the intended visit of John of Avila, came forward to meet that holy man; but when she beheld Stephen, a deadly pallor overspread her countenance, and she fell back upon the sofa whence she had risen!

“Dolorez,” said John of Avila, “you must learn to be strong-minded in joy as in sorrow.”

The young lady resumed her presence of mind, and darted a glance of deep gratitude towards Joseph, who turned aside his head to hide the tears which stood in his eyes.

But when that first emotion was accorded by Dolorez to the sentiment dearest to her soul, she blamed herself for not having, as usual, devoted her first thought to her father. Regarding with anxiety the young Dominican, she said, “Don Joseph when does my father’s trial commence?”

“The day after to-morrow,” replied Joseph, hurriedly; then, with a rapid glance, he signified to John of Avila and Stephen that he had not acquainted the young lady with the first application of the torture to Don Manuel.

“Are you sure that the case will be heard the day after tomorrow?” asked John of Avila.

“The Grand Inquisidor told me so: he conceals nothing from me.”

“Oh! what can we now do to save my father?” ejaculated Dolorez, in an agony of grief, “As yet we have done nothing.”

“There was nothing to do,” said Joseph.

“But now—now—”

“Leave it all to me,” answered Joseph: “if any human power can save him, mine is that power. Know you not that I am the favorite of the Grand Inquisidor?” he added bitterly.

Joseph turned aside, and beckoned Stephen to follow him into the garden.

“Don Stephen,” he said when they were far enough from the parlour not to be overheard, “the task of saving Don Manuel is a most difficult one. Donna Dolorez knows not—what doubtless your holy friend has informed you—that the Count has already been subjected to the torture—”

“From which you could not save him, although the favourite of the Inquisidor,” said Stephen, somewhat bitterly.

“No—and yet I tried—I did my best,” returned Joseph, meekly. “My agency procured the attendance of John of Avila as a witness; and I passed him into the tribunal. But the nobleness of Don Manuel’s heart led to the frank admission of enough to condemn him, without testimony against him, and in spite of testimony for him.”

“Who can hope for mercy from the Inquisition—or even justice?” said Stephen.

“I see that you mistrust me,” returned Joseph, taking Don Stephen’s hand. “What have I done to merit this injustice? I one day met your betrothed bride in the street, hastening to throw herself at the feet of the Grand Inquisidor: I saved her from infamy and death! I have granted her an asylum in my own house, where she is protected as if she were my sister. I am now anxious to save her father. What more can I do to inspire confidence?”

“You are a Dominican,” said Stephen, frankly.

“I wear a Dominican’s garb,” answered Joseph, emphatically.

“I admit that all you have done and everything about you ought to inspire me with confidence,” said Stephen. “But is it my fault if every one in Spain must now mistrust his dearest friends?”

“John of Avila has confidence in me,” observed Joseph.

“And I will also,” replied Stephen, taking the young Dominican’s hand.

“And now prove it to me,” said Joseph. “What will you do to save the governor’s life, if he be condemned to death at the next auto-de-fa?”

“I know not,” answered Stephen.

“Then I will tell you,” continued Joseph: excite the people to rise, deliver the Count, and kill the Grand Inquisidor!

Stephen regarded him with a look of mistrust; and Joseph perceived that be had touched the true chord in his heart.

“That plan will only be justifiable in case of extremity,” said de Vargas.

“That plan will be the only one that I know calculated to save the Count,” returned Joseph with strange emphasis. “But, whatever may happen, Don Stephen, trust to me, to the very death!”

“Friends are known by the test,” said Stephen.

“Oh! that test will soon be put,” exclaimed Joseph sorrowfully. “O Stephen, you have no more faithful friend than I. I may perhaps lose my life in the struggle—but—then you will believe in my sincerity!” he added, deeply affected.

Joseph conducted Stephen back to the parlour, which they had scarcely reached, when a knock was heard at the gate.

“We are betrayed,” thought Stephen. John of Avila endeavoured to peruse the meaning of that knock on Joseph’s countenance; but neither the Dominican nor Dolorez seemed to express the least surprise.

Juanna hastened to open the door, and admitted the alguazil Joachim, who came every night at the same time, to receive Joseph’s orders, or acquaint him with the occurrences of the day.

Each countenance grew calm when the alguazil entered, because Joseph instantly said, “What news, my worthy Joachim?”

“Your Reverence, the late governor of Seville—” and he hesitated.

“Will appear before the Inquisidor the day after tomorrow,” added Joseph: “we know that. Proceed.”

“And I shall be on guard in the passage into which his dungeon opens,” said the alguazil.

“Oh! in that case,” exclaimed Dolorez, “you could—?

“But I shall not be alone,” interrupted Joachim, divining her thoughts.

“Since no one can do anything for my father, it remains for me—”

“Dolorez,” whispered Stephen, “I will save your father, or die!”

“May the Almighty bless you, Stephen!” replied the young lady fervently.

“Daughter,” said John of Avila, “trust to your friends, and do not go out under any pretext whatever.”

Dolorez hung down her head, without giving any reply; for she would neither utter an untruth, nor a rash promise.

John of Avila, Stephen, and Joseph then departed, followed by Joachim. Joseph quitted the Apostle and De Vargas at the foot of Triana bridge, and beckoned Joachim towards him.

“Joachim,” he said, “watch with the most unwearied attention the proceedings of Don Stephen de Vargas; and, whatever they be, come and tell me immediately.”

“Your Reverence shall be obeyed,” answered the alguazil. “But is it for his good? He is a friend of the Apostle.”

“Fear not,” replied Joseph. “Have I ever done any one an injury in my life?”

“Oh! no—you are as good as the angels themselves,” said Joachim: “I will do all that your Reverence commands me.”

Maria de Bourgogne ‘was eighty[-five] years old, when denounced by a slave who pretended to have heard he say, “Christians [fear neither God nor man]:” she was arrested under suspicion of Judaism. For want of proof, the inquisitors kept her five years in prison, hoping to be able to find a sufficient number to condemn her, and seize the large possessions which she held. Weary of waiting, the judges of the holy office several times subjected this poor old woman, ninety years of age, to the torture, notwithstanding the rules of the Supreme Council, which expressly forbade the torture to be applied to persons more than sixty years old. [Maria] endured[,] without complaining, all the torture to which she was subjected, constantly declaring that she was an apostolic Roman catholic. She died in prison protesting her innocence. The inquisitors, however, continued their process, and condemned her to the flames: her bones and effigy were thrown into the fire; her property, which was considerable, became the prey of the inquisition and the treasury, and her children, and children’s children, were doomed to eternal infamy. This sacrilegious murder was committed by the inquisitors of Murcia, the same year in which the abdication of Charles V. took place, during the reign of the inquisitor Valdès. [Maria] de Bourgogne was surnamed the mother of the poor, on account of her great charity! She endured the three tortures[,] by the cord, by water, and by fire.—(History of the Inquisition.)’ (p. 183*)
Up: The Mysteries of the Inquisition. Previous: June 14, 1845 Next: June 28, 1845
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