Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/416

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fact, the inquisitor's jurisdiction was personal as well as local, and it accompanied him. When, in 1359, some renegade converted Jews escaped from Provence to Spain, Innocent VI. authorized the Provencal inquisitor, Bernard du Puy, to follow them, arrest, try, condemn, and punish them wherever he might find them, with power to coerce the aid of the secular authorities everywhere; and he wrote at the same time to the kings of Aragon and Castile, instructing them to give to Bernard all necessary assistance.[1]

How the same tireless and unforgiving zeal was habitually brought to bear upon the humblest objects is seen in the case of Arnaud Ysarn, who, when a youth of fifteen, was condemned at Toulouse in 1309, after an imprisonment of two years, to wear crosses and perform certain pilgrimages, his sole offence being that he had once " adored " a heretic at the command of his father. He wore the insignia of his shame for more than a year, when, finding that they prevented him from earning a livelihood, he threw them off and obtained employment as a boatman on the Garonne between Moissac and Bordeaux. In his obscurity he might well fancy himself safe ; but the inquisitorial police was too well organized, and he was discovered. Cited in 1312 to appear, he was afraid to do so, though urged by his father to take the chance of mercy. In 1315 he was excommunicated for contumacy, and, remaining under the censure for a year, he was finally declared a heretic, and was condemned as such in the auto de fé of 1319. In June, 1321, by command of Bernard Gui, he was captured at Moissac, but escaped on the road to be recaptured and taken to Toulouse. He had been guilty of no act of heresy during the interval, but his contumacious rejection of the parental chastisement of the Inquisition was an offence worthy of death, and he was mercifully treated in being condemned, in 1322, to imprisonment for life on bread and water. The net of the Inquisition extended everywhere, and no prey was too small to elude its meshes.[2]

The whole organization of the Church was at its service. In 1255 a Dominican of Alessandria, Fra Niccolo da Vercelli, confessed voluntarily some heretical beliefs to his sub-prior, who thereupon

  1. Archivio di Napoli, Registro 3, Lett. A, fol. 64. — Wadding, ann. 1359, No. 1-3.
  2. Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 350-1.