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[193] a tolerated disobedience. So notorious, indeed, and so impudent has corruption become, that it even dresses itself in the livery of law and justice, and thus passes on respected through all the divisions of society.

The Inquisition, which is so much talked about, is more a bugbear than anything else, except in its influences on public instruction and the freedom of the press. As a part of the civil government it is hardly felt in individual instances, though still it is not to be denied that persons have sometimes disappeared and never been heard of afterwards; as one since I have been here, who is believed by everybody to be in the Inquisition, and another, who certainly was there before, and escaped to England about the time of my arrival.

The Inquisition, however, I have since found more powerful in the South. At Granada I saw a printed decree posted up, condemning anew the heresy of Martin Luther, and, as it was then imagined to be making some progress there, calling on servants to denounce their masters, children their parents, wives their husbands, etc., in so many words. I could not get a copy of it by ordinary means, and did not like to use any others, on account of the archbishop. Just before I was at Cadiz, the Inquisition entered the apartments of a young German and took away his private books, deemed dangerous; and at Seville some of my ecclesiastical friends cautioned me about my conversation in general society, on account of the power and vigilance of the holy office there; though certainly nobody was ever less obnoxious from heresy in Spain than I was, for my best friends were always of the Church. The Nuncio and a shrewd little secretary he had even thought to convert me by ‘putting good books into my hands,’ though I should never have suspected it if the Prince de Laval had not let me into the secret.1

Of police there is almost nothing: a little watch in the streets during the night, and a few alguazils—who are about as efficient as

1 Two attempts were made to convert Mr. Ticknor to Catholicism. Once at Rome, being at a grand funzione, a priest who stood near him and his companion addressed them in English, which he heard them speaking, and they found he was an American of the name of Patterson. His history, as afterwards told to Mr. Ticknor by Mr. George Harrison, was a curious one. He was a Philadelphian, rich, handsome, at the head of fashion, the best billiard player in town. He was still quite young when he was converted, and he immediately gave his property to the Church, keeping only a small stipend for himself; had his teeth pulled to destroy his beauty, and became a priest and an ascetic. Patterson often visited Mr. Ticknor, glad to get a breakfast or a lunch, and one day brought a Padre Grassi with him. He was a man of talent and cultivation, had been in America, and used to talk much of early Christian antiquities and their relation to the Roman Church. His visits ceased after a time, but Mr. Ticknor was told afterwards that it had been an effort to convert him.

In Madrid, Cardinal Giustiniani made Mr. Ticknor acquainted with a young Italian ecclesiastic, a pleasant fellow, who lent him the Abbe de Lamennais's great work in defence of the Church, which had just come out, and he visited Mr. Ticknor often. After this intimacy had passed off, he was told by the the Duke de Laval that there had been great hopes of him.

The Princess Prossedi, the oldest child of Lucien Bonaparte, became an affectionate friend to Mr. Ticknor, and sincerely desired his conversion; and, when he again met her in 1836, told him she had never ceased to pray for it.

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