Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/445

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425
USE OF TORTURE.

consultation could appeal to the pope, but this did not undo the work; Rome was distant, and the victims of the Inquisition for the most part were too friendless and too helpless to protect themselves in such illusory fashion. In Bernard Gui's "Practica," written probably about 1328 or 1330, he only speaks of consultation with experts, making no allusion to bishops; Eymerich adheres to the Clementines, but his instructions as to what is to be done in case of their disregard shows how frequent was such action; while Zanghino boldly affirms that the canon is to be construed as permitting torture by either bishop or inquisitor. In some proceedings against the Waldenses of Piedmont in 1387, if the accused did not confess freely on a first examination an entry was made that the inquisitor was not content, and twenty-four hours were given the prisoner to amend his statements; he would be tortured and brought back next morning in a more complying frame of mind, when a careful record would be made that his confession was without torture and aloof from the torture-chamber. Cunning casuists, moreover, discovered that Clement had only spoken of torture in general and had not specifically alluded to witnesses, whence they concluded that one of the most shocking abuses of the system, the torture of witnesses, was left to the sole discretion of the inquisitor, and this became the accepted rule. It only required an additional step to show that after the accused had been convicted by evidence or had confessed as to himself, he became a witness as to the guilt of his friends and thus could be arbitrarily tortured to betray them. Even when the Clementines were observed, the limit of eight days enabled the inquisitor to proceed independently after waiting for that length of time.[1]

While witnesses who were supposed to be concealing the truth

  1. Eymeric. Direct, Inq. pp.453-5.-Bern, Guidon. Practica P. v. (Doat, XXX.). Zanchini Tract, de IIeret, e. ix., xiv.-Processus contra Waldenses (Archivio Storico Italiano, No. 38, pp. 20, 22, 24, etc.)-Pauli de Leazariis Gloss. sup. c. 1 Clem. . 3.-Silvest. Prieriat. de Strigimagar. Mirand. Lib. III. e, 1.-Bernard Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. vv, Jejunia, Tortura.
    That the Clementines had practically fallen into desuetude is shown by Carlo II. of Savoy, in 1506, procuring from Julius II. as a special privilege that in his territories the inquisitors should not send to prison or pronounce sentence with out the concurreuce of the episcopal ordinaries, and this was enlarged in 1515 by Lco X. by requiring their asseut for all arrests.-Sclopis, Antica Legislazione del Piemont, p. 484