Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/553

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533
ITS EFFICIENCY.

cance as soon as the first frantic zeal of bigotry had exhausted itself. This zeal might have lasted for a generation, to be followed by a period of comparative inaction, until a fresh onslaught would have been excited by the recrudescence of heresy. Under a succession of such spasmodic attacks Catharism might perhaps have never been completely rooted out. By confiscation the heretics were forced to furnish the means for their own destruction. Avarice joined hands with fanaticism, and between them they supplied motive power for a hundred years of fierce, unremitting, unrelenting persecution, which in the end accomplished its main purpose.