Thus disappeared, virtually without a struggle, an organisation which was regarded as one of the proudest, wealthiest, and most formidable in Europe. It is not too much to say that the very idea of its destruction could not have suggested itself, but for the facilities which the inquisitorial process placed in able and unscrupulous hands to accomplish any purpose of violence under the form of the law. If I have dwelt on the tragedy at a length that may seem disproportionate, my apology is that it affords so perfect an illustration of the helplessness of the victim, no matter how highly-placed, when once the fatal charge of heresy was pressed against him, and was pressed through the agency of the Inquisition. 1