Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/396

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Ferdinand's protest, the Jews of Castile were bidden to choose within four months between baptism and exile. On the strength of an existing law prohibiting the export of precious metals, they were stripped of a great part of their wealth, and many hundred thousands quitted Spain. The treasury seized their abandoned property; but Spain was the poorer for the loss of a thrifty and industrious population. The work of the Inquisition now increased. Many of the exiles returned as professing Christians, while many suspected families of converts had been left behind. Pedigrees were subjected to the closest scrutiny; not even the highest position in the Church, or the most saintly life, secured those whose blood was tainted from cruel persecution. Even if their faith was beyond suspicion, they were made social outcasts. Statutes as to purity of blood excluded them, in spite of the protests of the Church, at first from universities, Chapters, and public offices, and later even from religious Congregations and trade guilds. Torquemada died in 1498; but the persecution went on until Cdrdova rose against the fierce and fanatical Lucero (1506-7). Ximenes became Grand Inquisitor (1507), and the tribunal became less savage, while its sphere of activity widened. At the beginning of the century the baptised Saracens had been placed under its authority. When Islam was proscribed throughout Castile (1502), the Inquisition stamped out its last embers, by methods hardly less rigorous than those directed against the Jews; afterwards, it was employed to further absolutism in Church and State. Such are the passions roused by the very name of the Inquisition, that it is difficult to judge its work. The Jesuit Mariana, a bold and impartial critic, calls it "a present remedy given by Heaven against threatened ills." He admits, however, that the cure was a costly one; that the good name, life, and fortune of all lay in the hands of the Inquisitors; that its visitation of the sins of fathers upon children, its cruel punishments, its secret proceedings, and prying methods caused universal alarm; and that its tyranny was regarded by many as "worse than death."

For nearly eight years after its conquest the kingdom of Granada was ruled with firmness and moderation by its Cap tain-general, the Count of Tendilla, and by Talavera, Archbishop of the newly-created see. The capitulation had been respected; men's minds were reassured; and many, who had at first preferred exile to submission, had returned. Talavera, a man of earnest but mild temper, devoted all his energies to the conversion of the Muslims; he secured their confidence and respect, and, by encouraging the study of Arabic, partly broke down the barrier of language. Already the results of his good work were apparent, when his persuasive and forbearing policy was abandoned.

To the religious advisers of the Queen the results attained seemed paltry: shocked at what they considered a stubborn rejection of evident truths, they regarded the respect shown to the religious and social