Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/310

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296
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

flask of wine, in order that it might not be said that he was drunk. Ho went to San Felipe and committed the sacrilege.

The next day, when brought again before the tribunal, his enthusiasm had evaporated. Excitement had been followed by reaction; he realized the terrible fate in store for him, and was eager to avert it in any way he could. He had been drunk, he said, the day before, and had stumbled against the priest; he was crazy; people had given him food which rendered him insane, and the ill-treatment to which he had been exposed habitually on the road had driven him mad. At Consuegra he had been beaten; at Medellin, beaten, imprisoned, and his goods confiscated; he was a good Catholic, and believed all that the Church believed, and he remembered nothing of the confession of yesterday; or, if he had said such things, he must have been out of his senses. When, later in the day, his formal defense was drawn up and presented by his advocate, it was that he had been drunk, and he now supplicated mercy and penance.

Probably no trial before the Inquisition, since the abounding harvest of its early days', was ever conducted so speedily. Though all the formalities were observed, on Sunday, July 7th, the consultation was held to determine the sentence. The opinion was unanimous that he should be relaxed to the secular arm for burning, but on the question of preliminary torture a difference arose. The Inquisition was naturally desirous to know whether he had accomplices; the simultaneous crime of Gabriel de Guevara pointed to concerted action; besides, one of the witnesses had testified that Rend entered San Felipe with two men clad in the French fashion, who departed at the commencement of the mass. Rend had consistently denied this, asserting his independence of action and sole responsibility; but heretic plots were always floating before the inquisitorial imagination, and it was manifestly impolitic to burn Rend without utilizing him for the conviction of his possible confederates. While, therefore, all the consulters agreed that he should be subjected to unlimited torture, some held that it should be in caput alienum, to discover his associates; while others, in view of his varying confessions, humanely urged that it should be employed for the benefit of his soul, and to confirm him in the faith. The next day the Supreme Council, in approving the sentence, decided that the torture should be in caput alienum.

At ten o'clock that night Rend was brought before his judges and questioned as to accomplices, but he only repeated his story, with a few additional details. In the torture which followed he manifested a curious mingling of strength and weakness. Before it commenced he flung himself on his knees and begged piteously for mercy, but refused to forfeit his soul by perjury, for he had