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The Romance of Spanish History by  John S.C. Abbott
Table of Contents


 

 

THE GLORY AND THE SHAME OF THE SPANISH COURT

(From 1492 A.D. to 1517 A.D.)

Effects of the Inquisition.—Expulsion of the Jews.—Their Sufferings.—Attempt to assassinate Ferdinand.—Second Expedition of Columbus.—Intellectual Culture of Isabella.—Royal Alliances.—Marriage of Joanna to Prince John.—Death of John.—Death of Isabella, Queen of Portugal.—Death of her Son.—Expulsion of the Moors.—Cardinal Ximenes.—His Character and Death.

[234] WHILE Columbus was engaged in his first world-renowned voyage of discovery, extraordinary scenes were transpiring in Spain. There were at this time three very distinct religious parties, the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews. Ferdinand and Isabella were rigid Catholics, zealously devoted to the interests of the Catholic Church. The Inquisition, which had somewhat mildly existed before, was re-established by them, with almost unlimited power over the property and the lives of all suspected of heresy.

It is a melancholy truth, as illustrative of the frailty and bewilderment of human reason, that there can be no question that many of the inquisitors were actuated by conscientious motives while perpetrating the most fiend-like deeds of cruelty. Heresy, which was deemed destructive of the immortal soul, was considered the most heinous of all crimes, as being the most ruinous to the interests of humanity. Consequently cases occurred in which mild, humble, charitable men, officers of the Inquisition, per- [235] formed, with tears in their eyes, acts of cruelty which demons incarnate could scarcely have surpassed.

There were several of these inquisitions in operation. One shrinks from recording the woes thus inflicted. In Seville alone four thousand were committed to the flames in the space of thirty-six years. A much larger number were condemned to other very severe punishments. The Christians were especially exasperated against the Jews. The most false and cruel accusations were circulated against them. It was charged upon them that they kidnapped Christian children and crucified them, in derision of the Saviour; that their physicians and apothecaries poisoned their Christian patients. No rumor could be spread to their disadvantage too gross to be accredited by the credulity of those days. All ordinary measures for their conversion proving unavailing, it was urged by the inquisitors that the land should be purified from their presence by the banishment of every Jew from Spain.

The Jews, informed of the terrible doom with which they were menaced, sent a deputation to Ferdinand and Isabella at Santa Fé just after the fall of Granada, with a present of thirty thousand ducats to aid in paying the expenses of the Moorish war. They hoped that this act of patriotism would purchase for them some favor. The renowned inquisitor-general, Torquemada, rushed into the royal presence during the negotiation, and, brandishing a crucifix before Ferdinand and Isabella, angrily exclaimed,

"Judas Iscariot sold his master for thirty pieces of silver. Your Highnesses would sell him anew for thirty thousand. Here he is. Take him and barter him away."

Thus saying, he threw the crucifix down upon the table, and, turning upon his heel, left the room. The sove- [236] reigns, instead of chastising the ecclesiastic, were overawed by his insolence. It is said that the queen, naturally humane, with great reluctance resorted to the severe measures which her spiritual advisers urged as essential to the welfare of her subjects and the advancement of religion. Torquemada had been the queen's confessor during her childhood, and had acquired a great ascendency over her mind. On the 30th of March, 1492, scarcely three weeks before the engagement was entered into with Columbus to send him in search of a new world that the blessings of the religion of Jesus might be conveyed to the heathen residing there, the cruel and unchristian edict was issued for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

All unbaptized Jews, of whatever sex, age, or condition, were ordered to leave the realm by the end of the next July. They were prohibited from returning under penalty of confiscation of property and death. The severest punishment was pronounced upon any who should harbor, succor, or minister to the wants of a Jew, after the expiration of the term assigned for their departure.

This decree fell like the crush of the avalanche upon the doomed race. It is impossible to ascertain how many Jews were then in Spain. The data for judging were so unreliable, that while some compute the number at but one hundred and sixty thousand, others estimate it at not less than eight hundred thousand souls. The former is the more probable sum. The Jews as a class were wealthy. Many of their families, highly cultivated and refined, were accustomed to lives of ease and luxurious indulgence. Spain was their native land; the home of their ancestors for many centuries. Driven from the houses they had built and the lands which they had cultivated, they, with [237] the brand of infamy upon their brows, were to flee into exile to other lands, where they would be received only with hatred, contempt, and persecution.

But three months were allowed them to dispose of their property. Driven thus to a compulsory sale, and with so large an amount thrown suddenly upon the market, they could obtain but a small portion of its value. "A house," writes one of the annalists of the times, "was often exchanged for a donkey, and a vineyard for a suit of clothes." Those who unfortunately chanced to be in debt had their property confiscated for the benefit of their creditors. In addition to the cruelty of the deed, they were not allowed to carry any gold or silver out of the kingdom.

The three months quickly passed away, and all the routes leading out of Spain were thronged by the unhappy fugitives. The melancholy groups consisted of men, women, and children—helpless infancy and infirm old age. The sick and the dying were borne sadly along in litters. Even the Christians pitied them, but no one dared to speak words of sympathy or lent them any aid. About eighty thousand entered Portugal, and many took ship there for Africa. John II. allowed them to pass through his realm, every individual paying a tax for the privilege. Some thousands remained there.

Several large bands repaired to Cadiz, in the extreme south of Spain, where they embarked for the Barbary coast. Crossing the sea to Ercilla, they commenced their weary march by land, when they were assaulted by the roving tribes of the desert, and not only robbed of all the small sums they had saved from the wrecks of their fortunes, but they, their wives, and their daughters were the victims of outrages which one shrinks from recording. Many were [238] reduced to such extremities by famine that they were compelled to eat the withered grass of the desert for food. Not a few perished of starvation. In the extremity of their misery, large numbers retraced their steps to the Christian colony at Ercilla, where they consented to receive the rite of baptism, hoping thus to be permitted to return to their native land.

"Thus," writes a fanatic Castilian annalist, "the calamities of these poor, blind creatures proved, in the end, an excellent remedy, which God made use of to unseal their eyes. So that, renouncing their ancient heresies, they became faithful followers of the cross."

Some sailed for Naples. A malignant disease sprang up among them, engendered by the crowded state of the vessels and the long voyage. Upon their landing, the contagion spread with such frightful rapidity that twenty thousand of the inhabitants of the city were cut down by this plague in the course of the year. Sweeping on resistlessly, the whole Italian peninsula was finally devastated by its ravages. Some of the exiles sought the ancient home of their race on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. A few took refuge in France, and even in England. A Genoese historian, describing the scenes which were witnessed in that celebrated sea-port, writes:

"No one could behold the sufferings of the Jewish exiles unmoved. A great many perished of hunger, especially those of younger years. Mothers, with scarcely strength to support themselves, carried their famished infants in their arms, and died with them. Many fell victims to the cold, others to intense thirst; while the unaccustomed distresses incident to a sea voyage aggravated their maladies. I will not enlarge upon the cruelty and the avarice which they [239] frequently experienced from the masters of the ships which transported from them Spain. Some were murdered to gratify their cupidity, others forced to sell their children for the expenses of the passage.

"They arrived in Genoa in crowds, but were not suffered to tarry there long, by reason of the ancient law which interdicted the Jewish traveller from a longer residence than three days. They were allowed, however, to refit their vessels, and to recruit themselves for some days from the fatigues of their voyage. One might have taken them for spectres, so emaciated were they, so cadaverous in their aspect, and with eyes so sunken. They differed in nothing from the dead except in the power of motion, which indeed they scarcely retained. Many fainted and expired on the mole, which, being completely surrounded by the sea, was the only quarter vouchsafed to the wretched emigrants. The infection bred by such a swarm of dead and dying persons was not at once perceived. But when the winter broke up ulcers began to make their appearance, and the malady, which lurked for a long time in the city, broke out into the plague in the following year."

The latter part of May, 1492, the king and queen left the city of Granada, and, after a short sojourn in Castile, visited, in the month of August, Ferdinand's realm of Aragon. Here at Barcelona, the capital of the province of Catalonia, the king narrowly escaped with his life from the dagger of an assassin. As Ferdinand, on the 7th of December, was leaving his palace at noon, an insane man, a peasant sixty years of age, moved by the delusion that he himself was the rightful proprietor of the crown, sprang upon the king and aimed a blow at the back of his neck with a poniard. The attendants rushed upon the assassin and ar- [240] rested him after giving him three stabs. He would have been instantly killed but for the interposition of the king. The wound inflicted upon Ferdinand was very severe, and for a time it was apprehended that it would prove fatal. The queen, upon receiving the tidings, fell into a swoon. Upon recovering from the first shock, she watched over her husband by night and by day with the tenderest assiduity. The whole city was thrown into consternation, and crowds daily gathered around the palace where the king lay, with eager inquiries for his health. Three weeks elapsed before the beloved sovereign was able to show himself again to his subjects. So great was the rejoicing his recovery occasioned that all the churches were crowded with the multitudes who thronged them in offerings of thanks to God. Many, in accordance with the superstition of those dark days, in expression of their gratitude to God, performed painful pilgrimages to Barcelona from great distances, over the rough and mountainous ways, with bare feet, and even upon their knees.

The king, convinced of the mental derangement of the poor old man, would gladly have set him at liberty; but the popular indignation could not thus be appeased. He was accordingly executed, though the dreadful doom of torture, which was the usual fate of regicides, was not inflicted.

Ferdinand and Isabella were at Barcelona when Columbus, as we have before mentioned, returned, and gave them the narrative of his adventures. Seven months had elapsed since he sailed. No tidings had been heard from him. A winter of great severity had been accompanied by the severest gales experienced within the memory of the oldest mariners. It was generally supposed that Co- [241] lumbus and his crew had perished. The combined courts of Castile and Aragon lavished their honors upon the great discoverer. Columbus frequently rode out by the side of the king, brilliant entertainments were given in his honor, and he was in all respects treated with deference never before paid to any but nobles of exalted birth.

Vigorous preparations were immediately set on foot for another expedition on a far more extensive scale. There was now no lack of adventurers eager to join the enterprise. Seventeen vessels were fitted out, three of them of one hundred tons burden. Fifteen hundred persons crowded this fleet, many of them of high rank. The Indians who had accompanied Columbus to Barcelona having been baptized, and thus converted into Christians, after receiving such instruction as was deemed necessary, were sent back as missionaries to aid in propagating the Christian faith. Twelve Spanish ecclesiastics were also commissioned upon this service. Among the rest was the celebrated missionary, Las Casas, renowned for his piety, his humanity, his devotion to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Indians. It is a melancholy illustration of poor human nature that this truly good man should have proposed to relieve the Indians from cruel, compulsory labor by substituting for them negroes purchased in Africa. Thus originated, from the mind of this sincere Christian, the slave-trade, which has inflicted woes upon humanity which the omniscience of Deity alone can gauge. This second expedition, buoyant with hope, and greeted with the enthusiastic adieus of the populace, sailed from Cadiz on the 25th of September, 1493.

Ferdinand was not a man of much intellectual culture. He had but little acquaintance with books. From the age 11 [242] of ten years he had lived mostly in the tented field. But he was eminently a wise man, being by nature richly endowed with that strength of mind which acquires the most valuable wisdom from experience. Isabella was far superior to her husband in literary attainments. Her early years she had spent in seclusion under her mother's care, and had been carefully instructed in all the learning of those days. She understood several modern languages, and had the Spanish tongue quite at her command, both speaking and writing it with elegance and fluency. After her accession to the crown, notwithstanding the immense cares devolving upon her, she devoted herself to the acquisition of the Latin language. One of her contemporaries writes: "In less than a year her admirable genius enabled her to obtain a good knowledge of the Latin language, so that she could understand without much difficulty whatever was written or spoken in it."

It is to be supposed that such a mother would take the deepest interest in the education of her children. The best teachers Europe could afford were employed in their instruction. Thus all her children made attainments such as were rarely acquired in those days. Very special attention was devoted to the education of her son, Prince John, who was the heir of the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. A class of ten lads, selected from the highest nobility, was composed, five being of his own age and five of maturer years. They all resided in the palace, and he was instructed with them. Thus were obviated, in a degree, the disadvantages of a private education. A mimic council was also organized to discuss the great measures of public policy, that from his earliest years he might be familiar with European diplomacy and the important measures of [243] state. The young prince presided over this body. The pages in attendance upon him were selected from the sons of the highest nobility in the realm. Nothing was omitted to prepare him for his exalted station of sovereign of one of the most powerful kingdoms on the globe. Conscious that the nobility of Spain could not maintain their ascendency unless really superior, not merely in wealth, but in character and attainments, the queen was untiring in her efforts to secure for the children of the nobles that broad and thorough culture which would invest them with the power which knowledge always confers.

One of the most important elements of national greatness was found then, as still in Europe, in matrimonial alliances. The family of the queen now consisted of one son and four daughters, all of whom, as we have mentioned, were very highly educated. The encouragement given to learning was extended to both sexes. There were not a few ladies then whose genius and culture gave them renown which has extended even to our days. They took part in the public exercises of the gymnasium and delivered lectures in the universities. The queen's instructor in the Latin language was Dona Beatriz de Galindo. A lady lectured upon the Latin classics in the University of Salamanca, and another lady occupied the chair of rhetoric with much celebrity at Alcald.

All the children of Isabella seemed to inherit the virtues of their mother. They were dignified in manners, exemplary in private life, and strongly imbued with that spirit of devotion which too often, in those days, was sullied with bigotry and superstition. The marriage of the queen's eldest daughter, Isabella, with Alonso, the heir of the Portuguese crown, and the untimely death of Alonso, [244] has already been mentioned. The Court of Lisbon was then celebrated above any other court in Europe for its regal splendor. The heart-stricken bride, after the death of her husband, unable to endure the anguish which the scenes around her continually revived, returned to her own country, seeking consolation in the arms of her sympathizing parents. Naturally of a pensive temperament, she retired from all the gayeties of the court, and devoted herself to works of charity and piety.

Upon the death of King John of Portugal, Emanuel succeeded to the throne. He had seen, admired, and loved the beautiful Isabella during her brief residence in Lisbon, where the weeds of the widow had so soon taken the place of bridal robes. Emanuel sent an embassy to Spain, soliciting the young widow to accept his hand and share with him the crown. Though the father and the mother of Isabella urged the connection, her saddened heart clung so fondly to the memory of her first love that she declined the proposals.

A very brilliant double nuptial alliance was secured by a treaty of marriage of Prince John, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, the heir of their united crowns, with the Princess Margaret, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian of Austria; while at the same time the Archduke Philip, son and heir of Maximilian, and in his mother's right king of the Low Countries, was betrothed to Joanna, second daughter of the Spanish sovereigns. A few months after a treaty of marriage was formed between Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII. of England, and Catharine, the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. This unhappy princess, who occupies so conspicuous a position in English history as Catharine of Aragon, has obtained renown both for [245] her virtues and her griefs. Indeed, sad was the doom of all these parties. Catharine and Henry were but eleven years of age at the time of their betrothal. Consequently their marriage was deferred for several years.

Joanna was to be sent to Flanders, there to be received by the youthful bridegroom Philip. Spain was at that time at war with France. There could be no communication by land. The sea swarmed with French cruisers. A fleet was collected strong enough to bid defiance to all assault. It was the most numerous and powerful armada which had ever yet emerged from a Spanish harbor, consisting of about one hundred and thirty ships, conveying a military force of twenty-five thousand soldiers. A gallant band of the chivalry of Spain accompanied the expedition. A brilliant and numerous suite attended the youthful maiden.

The fleet sailed from the port of Laredo the latter part of August, 1496. The queen, a very tender mother, accompanied her child to the place of embarkation, and, with tearful eyes, bade her adieu. Frightful tempests soon swept the western coast of Europe. The armada was shattered and dispersed. Several of the vessels foundered, and many lives were lost. The storm-torn ships put into the harbors of England for repairs. A long time elapsed ere any tidings were heard from the squadron. The anguish of the queen was extreme. She sent for the most experienced mariners, to consult them respecting the probabilities of the safety of the squadron. Through great perils and sufferings, Joanna at last reached Flanders, and her marriage was celebrated with much pomp in the city of Lisle.

The same fleet, after being thoroughly repaired; a few months later conveyed to Spain Margaret, the destined [246] bride of Prince John, a beautiful and highly educated girl of seventeen. She has left many published works, which give indisputable evidence of her genius and her culture. It was mid-winter when the voyage was undertaken. Such gales were encountered that at one time shipwreck and death seemed inevitable. The heroic Margaret quietly sat down in the hour when death seemed close at hand and wrote, even playfully, her own epitaph. But the ship which bore the princess fortunately outrode the storm, and she landed at Santander, in Spain, early in March, 1497.

The young Prince John, accompanied by his father, hastened to meet his bride. A royal escort conducted her to Burgos, where Queen Isabella affectionately received her to a maternal embrace. The marriage ceremony took place on the third of April, with pomp such as had never before been equaled on a similar occasion. Margaret had been educated in Paris. She loved the gayety for which that metropolis has ever been renowned. The courtiers whom she had brought with her from Flanders were pleasure-loving cavaliers, but little disposed to conform to the comparative puritanism, which reigned in the Court of Isabella. The fetes, tourneys, games, dances, tilts of reeds, and military pageants, assembling all the chivalry and illustrious rank of the peninsula, were such as never before had dazzled the eyes either of Moor or Christian, The Flemish and Castilian nobles vied with each other in investing the scene with splendor. The plate and jewels presented to the princess on the day of her marriage are said to have been of such value and perfect workmanship that the like was never before seen.

But man, says the poet, is but the pendulum between a smile and a tear. The storm always succeeds the calm. Though to-day may. be sunny, the morrow will come, when [247] clouds and darkness will shroud the sky. Six months passed swiftly away, and on the 3rd of October Prince John lay gasping upon the bed of death. In the midst of the rejoicings with which the youthful couple were greeted on their bridal tour to Salamanca, the prince was seized with a fever. The violence of the attack baffled all the skill of the physicians, Ferdinand, who had hastened to Salamanca, sat weeping by the side of his dying son, who was heir to the proudest inheritance which Europe could then afford. It is an affecting comment upon the equality of trials in the palace and in the cottage that the young prince was not unwilling to die. He assured his father that he was prepared to leave a world where experience had already taught him that all was vanity and vexation of spirit. He only prayed that those whom he left behind might experience the same resignation which he felt. The prince died on the 4th of October, 1497, retaining to the last moment the same spirit of Christian or philosophic resignation which he had manifested during the whole of his sickness.

Isabella was not present at the death of her son. But almost hourly dispatches were sent to her giving an account of his gradual decline. When the tidings came that he had breathed his last, the grief-stricken mother meekly bowed her head and said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

This death clothed Spain in mourning. The grief was deep and universal. The funeral ceremonies outvied in melancholy splendor the glittering pageantry of the nuptials. The tolling dirge thus rapidly succeeded the chimes of the marriage bell. The requiem and the funeral procession, and the black plumes of the hearse, took the place of martial airs and tournaments and dances. The cities [248] were draped in sable-colored banners, and all offices, public and private, were closed for forty days. There is no contradiction to the testimony that the young prince, in all the attributes of a noble character, was worthy of the affection and regret which followed him to the tomb.

Soon after the death of her husband, Margaret gave birth to a lifeless babe. Thus widowed and bereaved, she returned to the home of her childhood in Flanders, which a few months before she had left flushed with joy, and cheered by as brilliant prospects as were ever before opened to mortal vision. She subsequently married the Duke of Savoy, who died in less than three years from the day of their marriage. The remainder of her life she passed sadly in widowhood, invested by her father with the government of the Netherlands, where she died in the fiftieth year of her age.

Just before the death of John, his widowed sister, Isabella, reconsidered her rejection of the offer of marriage with Emanuel of Portugal, and accepted his hand. It is saddening to reflect that this young princess, gentle, loving, charitable, in heart ever desiring to do right, was so influenced by the bigotry of those times that she made it a condition of her marriage that Emanuel should expel from Portugal every Jew. The cruel edict was at once promulgated. Thus the second marriage of the young Princess Isabella was accompanied by the tears and despair of thousands.

Isabella, now Queen of Portugal, became, by the death of her brother John, heir to the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. But the Archduke Philip, who had married the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, had the effrontery to assume the title for himself and Joanna. Serious difficulty began to arise, when, in the midst of the [249] controversy, the Queen of Portugal gave birth to a son, and one hour after fell asleep in death. Thus blow after blow fell upon the hearts of Ferdinand and Isabella. The motherly affections of the queen had already encountered shocks so severe that she never recovered from this grief. Her health and spirits sank, and all her remaining days were clouded with gloom. Life ever after remained to her a wintry day, cold, dark, and dreary.

The infant whose birth had caused its mother's death received the name of Miguel, and was promptly recognized as heir to the throne of Spain. None denied the legitimacy of his claims. In a magnificent litter the babe was conveyed through the streets, and exhibited to the people as their future king. Ferdinand and Isabella were recognized as the guardians of the child until he should attain his majority, which would be at the age of fourteen. Thus this babe became the undisputed heir to the crown of the three monarchies of Portugal, Aragon, and Castile. But scarcely a year passed away ere this infant, unconsciously destined to such opulence, rank, and power, sank into the grave.

The king and queen, much under the control of a very remarkable man, Cardinal Ximenes, a prelate alike distinguished for his piety and his bigotry, undertook, with great energy, the work of converting the Moors, who still in large numbers inhabited the south of Spain. Arguments, bribes, and menaces were all employed. The success was wonderful. The Moorish doctors, in consideration of the rewards so munificently offered, and the pains and penalties so sternly menaced, consented to have a few drops of water sprinkled upon their brows in the name of Christian baptism. Their illiterate disciples imitated their example in such numbers that four thousand in one day presented [250] themselves as converts. The difficulty of baptizing so many individually was such that resort was had to a large mop, or hyssop, as it was called, by which the drops of the holy water were sprinkled over the prostrate multitude.

Perhaps the followers of Mohammed, who had been accustomed to make converts to the Islam faith through the persuasive influence of the sword alone, with less reluctance yielded to the potency of a weapon which they had so often used, and with so much efficacy. It is said that Ferdinand and Isabella had some doubts whether they could lawfully compel the Moors to become Christians, even to secure their eternal salvation, after having pledged their royal word that the Moors should be protected in the free exercise of their religion. A council of the most learned ecclesiastics was convened to give advice upon this question. "It was decided," writes Ferreras, "to solicit the conversion of the Mohammedans of the city and realm of Granada by ordering those who did not wish to embrace the Christian religion to sell their property and leave the kingdom."

Ximenes wielded these physical powers of moral suasion with furious zeal. All who refused to be baptized were ordered to leave the realm. They could take with them neither gold nor silver, nor certain prohibited articles of merchandise. The penalty of death was the doom of all who refused baptism or exile. That Spain might be purified from every trace of the Moslem heresy, every Arabic manuscript which could be found, of whatever Nature, was thrown into an enormous pile in one of the great squares of the city and committed to the flames. The cultivated Moors had large libraries, many of their books being sumptuously bound. But the flames consumed nearly all. Only a few volumes upon medical science escaped the torch.

[251] This barbarian deed, perpetrated by a highly intellectual Christian prelate, inflicted an irreparable loss upon the literature of the world. Its counterpart can only be found in the celebrated Alexandrian conflagration eight hundred years before, said to have been ordered by the Caliph Omar. The rigor of the persecution troubled the king and queen. They wished to see its severity mitigated. But Cardinal Ximenes replied,

"A tamer policy might indeed suit temporal matters, but not those in which the interests of the soul are at stake. The unbeliever, if he can not be drawn, should be driven into the way of salvation."

And yet there can be no doubt that Ximenes, like Saul of Tarsus when breathing threatenings and slaughter, verily thought that he was doing God service. When in the night a band of insurgent Moors, roused to frenzy, surrounded his palace clamoring for his blood, he replied heroically to those who besought him to make his escape,

"No I will stand to my post, and wait there, if Heaven wills it, the crown of martyrdom."

It is estimated that about fifty thousand Moors received baptism. Those who refused were speedily dispersed through distant lands. Thus ere long the name and the race of the Moors disappeared from Spain. But many traces of their wealth, culture, and power still remain to attract the steps and excite the wonder of the modern tourist. Ximenes, instead of receiving the execration he deserved, was rewarded with great renown. The Archbishop of Talavera exultingly writes,

"Ximenes has won greater triumphs than ever Ferdinand and Isabella achieved. They conquered only the soil, while he has gained the souls of Granada."

[252] The Moors, thus nominally converted, were called Moriscoes. Adopting the language as well as the religion of the Christians, they gradually blended with the conquering race. But there were some who regarded with great indifference the few drops of water which had accidentally fallen from the bishop's mop upon their heads in what was called the rite of baptism. Others secretly relapsed into their old Moslem faith, affording wide scope for inquisitorial energies in searching out the latent heresy. The execrable spirit of intolerance which reigned almost undisputed at that day, may be inferred from the following memorial which the Archbishop of Valencia addressed to Philip IV.

"Your Majesty may, without any scruple of conscience, make slaves of all the Moriscoes, and may put them into your own galleys or mines, or sell them to strangers. And as to their children, they may all be sold at good rates here in Spain; which will be so far from being a punishment that it will be a mercy to them, since by that means they all will become Christians; which they never would have been had they continued with their parents. By the holy execution of which piece of justice, a great sum of money will flow into your Majesty's treasury."

Cardinal Ximenes died in 1517, eighty-one years of age. Death for him had no terrors. Even in those solemn hours when he was conscious that all his work on earth was finished, and that he was about to appear before his final judge, he said, "I have never intentionally wronged any man. I have rendered to every one his due, without being swayed by fear or affection." The humility he displayed, and his child-like trust in the mercy of God, deeply affected all who stood around his dying bed. His last words were, "In thee, Lord, have I trusted."


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