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PAR eine 


THE BREAKING OF THE CHAIN. 


CHAPTER XV. 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 


THE total Jewish population of the world, at the 
present time, according to the latest estimates,* is 
6,300,000, distributed as follows: To Europe 5,400,- 
000, to Asia 300,000, to Africa 350,000, to America 
250,000, to Oceanica 12,000. Of the different coun- 
tries of Europe, Russia has a Hebrew population of 
2,552,000; Austria with Hungary, 1,644,000; Ger- 
many, 562,000; France, 63,000; and Great Britain, 
60,000. Of the portion assigned to America, the 
United States contains 230,000. 

It appears from these figures that there are no 
lands in which the Jews form a large element of the 
population; but for some reason an astonishing 
change from their old abasement is to be noticed in the 
position they have come to occupy. The medieval 
outcast is everywhere climbing into places of power, 
until it begins to seem possible that he may attain in 
the future an ascendancy as remarkable as his past 
abjectness. Cries, sometimes of admiration, but 
more often of dislike and alarm, are uttered over this 
fact in all parts of the civilized world,—all, however, 
whether laudatory or ill-natured, giving evidence of 


* Reinach: ‘‘ Histoire des Israélites,” 1885. 


236 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


a deep-seated conviction, that this strange tribe, for- 
ever with us but never of us, is at any rate of quality 
most masterful. 

Let us survey for a moment the various depart- 
ments of human energy, and obtain some compre- 
hensive idea of what the Hebrew is accomplishing. 

In military life, we find that although in antiquity 
Israel fought many a stern fight under valiant cham- 
pions, it can claim sinee the dispersion no great note 
in war. Jews have fought, however, in the ranks of 
various armies, and have furnished good generals to 
various standards and causes. The most distinguished 
soldier of Hebrew descent that can be mentioned is 
probably Marshal Massena, whose real name is said 
to have been Manasseh,—the warrior whom Napoleon 
called “the favorite child of victory,” one of the most 
scientific as well as one of the most brave and tena- 
cious of the great chieftains whom the fateful Corsi- 
can summoned to fight at his side. 

Turning to the employments of peace, the record 
of Hebrew achievements in agriculture and the handi- 
crafts will also be a short one. We have seen that 
there have been times when the Jew has figured as 
farmer and mechanic ; it is not so at present, and the 
fact that he so seldom works with his hands, really 
earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, is often 
made the basis of a harsh judgment against him. 
But really do we not find here an evidence of Israel- 
itish power? We should all prefer, if we could, to 
get on by our wits, rather than by labor of the hands; 
hence the crowding up everywhere into trade and 
the professions, away from the soil and the tool. 


§) : 


ISRAEL'S NEW MOSES. 237 


We feel that the tendency ought to be discouraged ; 
and in the case of the Jew, we should like him better, 
if now and then he put to the wheel of life actual 
muscle, instead of, forever, that subtle power of his 
brain. (But when a whole race undertakes to live 
by its wits, and succeeds so remarkably, what ability 
it must possess! 

It is indeed'‘% brilliant success. In the world of 
trade, it has in some way come about that a pre- 
eminence is everywhere conceded to the Jew. He 
is omnipresent and everywhere dreaded. It is of 
competition with him that the pedlar who deals in 
sixpence-worths stands most in fear; the same 
aggressive elbows are crowding cavalierly the mil- 
lionaire in the transactions of la haute finance. Keen 
indeed must the man be who can match him in the 
high or low places ; and as for Gentile accusations of 
meanness and knavery, shall the pot call the kettle 
black? There are exchanges in great cities of the 
world practically abandoned to all but Jews. In our 
new Western and Southern towns, there are some- 
times scarce any but Hebrew signs on the business 
streets. In trade, the Hebrew is ubiquitous and 
always at the front. 

Turning to the fine arts, the Hebrews have rarely 
become famed as painters and sculptors, a result to 
which perhaps the ancient Semitic repugnance to the 
representation of the forms of living creatures has 
helped. In music, however, their glory is of the 
highest. Mendelssohn, Halévy, Moscheles, Meyer- 
beer, Rubinstein, Joachim, as composers and’ per- 
formers, are among the greatest. Wagner, indeed, 


238 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


wrote a diatribe against Jewish influence in music, 
and there is a story that he prepared a composition 
especially to vindicate against the Hebrews the 
superiority of a pure Teutonic taste; but when it 
came to the performance, lo, the patriotic master 
beheld the first violins all in the hands of the aliens, 
whose dark eyes were scanning serenely the tangled 
score that was to bring them to confusion! The fact 
was that none but Jews could be found skilful enough 
to take the burden of the performance. As actors, 
the Israelites have also been very illustrious. 
With Rachel and Bernhardt at the summit, it would 
_ be easy to mention a long and most distinguished 
list. 

If we follow graver paths we encounter, among 
philosophers, the great Spinoza, at whose work we 
have just glanced, and we shall presently consider still 
another most illustrious name. Franke is great in 
medicine, Bernays, of Bonn, is noted for erudition in 
Greek, Benfey the first of Sanscrit scholars, Auerbach 
at the head of German novelists, Heine the chief of 
German poets since the death of Goethe,—all men of 
the ancient Israelitish strain, though in the case of 
some of them the ancient faith was forsaken. When 
we look at the field of statesmanship, as we shall ~ 
presently do, what men of Jewish blood have done 
is as astonishing as their achievements elsewhere. 

How is it that the wonderful transformation has 
been brought about? We have seen the poor 
Hebrew under the heel—a hundred nations trying 
to stamp the life out of him as if he were a venom- 
ous reptile. He makes the claim at the present 


ISRAEL'S NEW MOSES. 239 


hour that he has conquered the world,* and many 
are ready, with fear and dread, to concede it. Let 
us study certain great figures in various departments 
of effort, men whose genius and energy are thoroughly 
Jewish, so that they can well be regarded as types. 
In reviewing these careers, the p atanES will soon 
become explicable. 


As we enter the eighteenth century, though the 
harshness of men has become somewhat modified, 
the chain that binds the Jew, nevertheless, through- 
out the civilized world is firmly fastened. The 
massacres and fierce bodily tortures are indeed for 
the most part things of the past, except perhaps in 
Spain, or in outlying regions where barbarism yields 
slowly. In many a city, however, the Jew’s presence 
in the streets is scarcely suffered, and with every 
night he is barred pitilessly into the dirt and discom- 
fort of Ghetto and Juden-gasse. Germany was 
especially narrow and cruel toward the Israelites. 
In many towns they could not live upon the street 
corners; in others only a certain small number could 
be married in the course of a year. In Berlin, the 
Hebrews, to whom, through their creed, swine’s 
flesh was accursed, were forced to buy the wild 
boars slain in the king’s hunts. Thus exposed to 
insult and hardship, the Jews of Germany, the “As- 
kenazim,” as they were called, were sunk among their 
co-religionists into an especial degradation ; progress 
was stopped, and wide views became lost. They had 
a language of their own, a jargon of Hebrew and Ger- 


* Beaconsfield’s assertion : see p. 2. 


240 THE-STORY (OF THES FEWS. 


man. Their religion became corrupted through super- 
stitions; their rabbis came largely from among the 
Polish Jews, who were usually ignorant and debased. 
Under these teachers efforts to become enlightened 
were repressed ; to speak German correctly, or to 
read a German.book, was heresy. The handicrafts 
were forbidden them,—to a large extent even trade ; 
the professions were of course closed avenues; to 
sell old clothes, to wander about as pedlars, and 
to lend money at interest were almost the only 
occupations that remained. 

From the midst of the German Jews, however, 
sprang at this time a man, who, if of less wonderful 
intellect than Spinoza, was yet of spirit most keen and 
enlightened. In magnanimity and broad charity he 
was not surpassed by the great outcast of Holland. 
In the story which we are following his figure has 
even a greater significance than that of Spinoza, 
from the fact that though persecuted he remained 
among his people, beneficently setting in motion 
reforms which have been felt by Jews in every land, 
and which in times following those in which we live, 
will bring about for Jews a happy future. As has 
been urged, the intolerance with which the Hebrew 
has been treated must not be ascribed solely to 
Christian narrowness. The persecutor has been pro- 
voked to clench his fist by the stern pride with 
which the victim has asserted his superiority and 
held himself aloof. Such modifications of prejudice 
in the oppressor as can be now seen, would be much 
less marked than they are had not a more concilia- 
tory spirit begun to manifest itself in the oppressed. 


242 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


In the year 1729, in the town of Dessau, was born 
the benign and far-seeing genius, Moses the son of 
Mendel, who, like Moses of old, the son of Amram, 
was to lead Israel to better things. 

Moses Mendelssohn was a precocious child, de- 
vouring with passionate appetite the rabbinical 
husks upon which alone his mind was permitted to 
feed, until at length his premature labor brought 
upon him curvature of the spine, from which he 
never recovered. Asa boy of thirteen he followed 
to Berlin the rabbi who had been his teacher, his 
parents disapproving his course and withdrawing 
their support. The little humpback faced starvation 
with unshrinking persistence while he followed his 
bent, until, after much suffering, he won over friends 
who could help him. As the youth approached man- 
hood he broadened his acquirements, adding almost 
by stealth German, Latin, mathematics, French, 
and English to his Talmudic lore, soon beginning 
also to seize upon the thoughts of the great philoso- 
phers. As his culture widened his old friends 
became cold; as in Spinoza’s case his former 
teachers feared his heresies, and soon began to 
frown and threaten. 

When he had reached twenty-one, however, a rich 
silk-manufacturer of Berlin became his patron, made 
him the tutor of his children, also his business assist- 
ant, and at last his partner; henceforth, then, Men- 


delssohn was free to follow his own path, unannoyed 


by the wolf of hunger, and, later, even in affluence. 
The young man became a member of a circle of 
brilliant minds, among whom ruled as chief one of 


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ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 243 


the mightiest gods of the German Olympus, Gotthold 
Ephraim Lessing, and henceforth, to the day of 
Lessing’s death, Mendelssohn was held in the heart of 
hearts of that courageous striver. The slender silk- 
merchant, while with Hebrew thrift he managed to 
seize upon gold in the ways of commerce, possessed 
at the same time strength for the sublimest flights. 
He early became known as an able writer for the 
literary periodicals, and at length found himself 
growing famous. One day the frank and hearty 
Lessing came with a laugh to Mendelssohn’s desk in 
he counting-room, holding in his hand a volume 
fresh from printer and binder. To the amazement 
of Mendelssohn, it was a manuscript of his own, 
which he had modestly withheld from the press; 
his friend, however, had taken it without his knowl- 
edge, and was spreading it far and wide in an ample 
edition. Its success was so marked that he was 
henceforth a maker of books. In literature he was 
fruitful and always beneficent, doing much toward 
the spread in Germany of an elegant culture and 
taste, in the years immediately preceding the glori- 
ous sun-burst, when with Goethe and Schiller the 
great day of German letters begins. 

At first known as a writer upon esthetic subjects, 
the excellence of his thoughts was scarcely more re- 
markable than the beauty of his style; but at length 
in his forty-second year came the book which has 
given him a note of a far grander kind, and placed 
his name among the chief helpers of his age and 
country. This was his “ Phedo,” a work upon the 
immortality of the soul. In this book Mendelssohn 


244 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


translated the dialogue of Plato, of the same name, 
but enlarged and developed the consideration in the 
spirit of the later philosophy. As an introduction to 
the work, a picture of the life and character of 
Socrates was given, full of the highest love and 
veneration for the master-sage. The tone of the 
“ Phzxdo ” of Mendelssohn is most exalted, and soon 
excited in the world general admiration. Edition 
followed edition; it was translated into most Euro- 
pean languages. Inasmuch as so many German 
thinkers have hidden their speculations within a 
thorny and forbidding entanglement which renders 
them quite inaccessible except to minds of excep- 
tional power of penetration, it is worth while to 
speak of the admirable clearness and beauty of 
Mendelssohn’s method of presentment.» The work 
is a series of the sublimest thoughts, fitly framed, 
pervaded with the broadest and noblest spirit.* 

Like Maimonides, the grand Hebrew of the thir- 
teenth century,—like Spinoza,—in the spirit, too, of 
that higher and holier soul that came forth from 
Zion, the supernal Christ, Mendelssohn, looked and 
worked toward the broadest tolerance and human 
brotherhood. In the truest spirit of charity he 
labored with his people, trying to raise them from 
their ignorance, and to smooth away from the Jewish 
countenance the arrogant frown and lifting of the 
eyelid with which through the ages they have stub- 
bornly faced the Gentile. Of one of his books writ- 
ten for his co-religionists, called “ Jerusalem,” Im- 
manuel Kant wrote in such terms as these: “ With 


* Kurz: ‘ Geschicte der deutschen Literatur.” 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 245 


what admiration I have read your ‘Jerusalem’! I 
regard this book as the announcement of a great 
though slow-coming reform, which will affect not 
only your nation, but also others. You have man- 
aged to unite with your religion such a: spirit of 
freedom and tolerance as it has not had eredit for, 
and such as no other faith can boast. You have so 
powerfully presented the necessity of an unlimited 
freedom of conscience for every faith, that at length 
on our side, too, the church must think about it. 
The Christians must study whether in their creeds 
there are not things which burden and oppress the 
spirit, and look toward a union which, as regards 
essential religious points, snall bring together all.” 

As Judaism spurned forth its nobler spirits in the 
- earlier time, so the effort was made to put under 
ban this later liberalizing genius. He, however, 
though looked at askance by all the stricter mem- 
bers of the synagogue, who to this day have not 
ceased to oppose the fruitful influence that proceeded 
from him, clung tenaciously until his death to his 
Jewish birthright. One finds something most pa- 
thetic in the story of a certain grave embarrassment 
into which he was thrown by an over-zealous Chris- 
tian friend. Lavater, the Swiss clergyman, well known 
in the world for his writings upon physiognomy, was 
a most earnest upholder of the faith. Having trans- 
lated from the French a work upon the Christian 
evidences which he felt to be unanswerable, he dedi- 
cated it to Mendelssohn, summoning him, as he did 
so, either to show that the positions of the work 
were groundless, or to renounce the Jewish creed. 


246 THE STORY OF THE EWS. 


Circumstances forced Mendelssohn to take some 
notice of the challenge. To renounce Judaism of 
course he was not ready, believing, as he did, that it 
was capable of expansion into a faith most benefi- 
cent. On the other hand, he was scarcely more 
ready to controvert Christianity; for he hated 
strife, felt no desire to proselyte, and hoped for 
some reconciliation of the jarring creeds by other 
than polemic means. In his trouble he wrote and 
published a letter to Lavater, in which was unfolded 
all the beauty of his soul, and which gained for him 
the approval of all intelligent men. Without trans- 
gressing moderation, he convinced all fair-minded 
readers, overcoming even the proselyter himself. 

A passage from this famous letter of Mendelssohn 
will be interesting *: 

“ For all I cared Judaism might have been hurled 
down in every polemical compendium, and triumph- 
antly sneered at in every academic exercise, and I 
would not have entered into a dispute about it. 
Rabbinical scholars and rabbinical smatterers might 
have grubbed in obsolete scribblings, which no sen- 
sible Jew reads or knows of, and have amused the 
public with the most fantastic ideas of Judaism, with- 
out so much asa contradiction on my part. It is by 
virtue that I wish to shame the opprobrious opinion 
commonly entertained of a Jew, and not by contro- 
versial writings. 

“ Pursuant to the principles of my religion, 1am not 
to seek to convert any one who is not born accord- 
ing to our laws. This proneness to conversion, the 


* From ‘‘ Memoirs of M. Mendelssohn,” by M. Samuels, p. 54, etc. 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 247 


origin of which some would fain tack on the Jewish 
religion, is, nevertheless, diametrically opposed to 
it. Our rabbis unanimously teach that the written and 
oral laws which form conjointly our revealed religion, 
are obligatory on our nation only. ‘Moses com- 
manded usa Law, even the inheritance of the congre- 
gation of Jacob.’ We believe that all other nations of 
the earth have been directed by God to adhere to the 
laws of nature. Those who regulate their conduct 
according to this religion of nature and of reason, 
are called virtuous men of other nations, and are the 
children of eternal salvation. 

“ Our rabbis are so remote from desiring to make 
proselytes, that they enjoin us to dissuade by forcible 
remonstrances, every one who comes forward to be 
converted. We are to lead him to reflect that by 
such a step he is subjecting himself needlessly to a 
most onerous burden ; that in his present condition 
he has only to observe the precepts of nature and 
reason, to be saved; but the moment he embraces 
the religion of the Israelites, he subscribes gratui- 
tously to all the rigid rules of that faith, to which he 
must then strictly conform, or await the punishment 
which the legislator has denounced on their infrac- 
tion. Finally, we are to hold up to him a faithful 
picture of the misery, tribulation, and obloquy in 
which our nation is now living, in order to guard 
him from a rash act which he might ultimately re- 
pent. i 
“Thus you see the religion of my fathers does not 
wisk to be extended. We are not to send abroad 
missions. Whoever is not born conformable to our 


248 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


laws has no occasion to live according to them. We 
alone consider ourselves bound to acknowledge their 
authority ; and this can give no offence to our neigh- 
bors. Suppose there were amongst my neighbors a 
Confucius or a Solon. I could, consistently with my 
religious principles, love and admire the great man; 
but I should never hit on the extravagant idea of 
converting a Confucius or a Solon. What should I 
convert him for? As he doesnot belong to the Con- 
.gregation of Facob, my religious laws were not legis- 
lated for him ; and on doctrines we should soon come 
to an understanding. ‘Do I think there is a chance 
of his being saved ?’ (certainly believe that he who 
- leads mankind on to virtue in this world cannot be 
damned in the next, < at ce 5 
“T am so fortunate as to count among my friends 
many a worthy man who is not of my faith. We 
love each other sincerely, notwithstanding we pre- 
sume, or take for granted, that in matters of belief 
we differ widely in opinion. I enjoy the delight of 
their society, which both improves and solaces me. 
Never has my heart whispered: ‘Alas, for this ex- 
cellent man’s soul!’ He who believes that no sal- 
vation is to be found out of the pale of his own 
church must often feel such sighs rise in his bosom.” 
The candid Lavater wrote Mendelssohn a public 
letter, acknowledging that he had been thoughtless 
and indelicate, and begging his pardon. This trial, 
however, and another, in which he was obliged to 
defend the fame of Lessing, as he thought, unjustly 
aspersed, proved, for his sensitive nature, too severe a 
strain. He fellill, and at length, in 1786, came death. 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 249 


Moses Mendelssohn was undersized and always 
badly deformed. A habit of stammering, also, made 
conversation difficult. He possessed, however, a 
personal charm, which overcame all impediments. 
Lavater, who so disquieted him, was an enthusiastic 
friend, and has left a description of his face, which, 
as coming from the famous physiognomist, has great 
interest. ‘I rejoice to see these outlines. My 
glance descends from the noble curve of the fore- 
head to the prominent bones of the eye. In the 
depth of this eye resides a Socratic soul. The de- 
cided shape of the nose, the magnificent transition 
from the nose to the upper lip, the prominence of 
both lips, neither projecting beyond the other,—oh! 
how all this harmonizes and makes sensible and . 
visible the divine truth of physiognomy !” 

A pleasant story is told by Auerbach of the woo- 
ing of Moses Mendelssohn. 

“ He was at the baths of Pyrmont where he be- 
came acquainted with Gugenheim, a merchant of 
Hamburg. ‘Rabbi Moses,’ said Gugenheim one 
day, ‘ we all admire you, but my daughter most of 
all. It would be the greatest happiness to me to 
have you for a son-in-law. Come and see us in 
Hamburg.’ ” 

Mendelssohn was very shy in consequence of hissad 
deformity, but at last he resolved upon the journey. 
He arrived in Hamburg and called upon Gugenheim 
at his office. The latter said : “Go up-stairs and see 
my daughter; she will be pleased to see you, I have 
told her so much about you.” 

He saw the daughter, and the next day came to 


250 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


see Gugenheim, and presently asked him what his 
- daughter, who was a very charming girl, had said of 
him. 

“Ah, most honored rabbi,” said Gugenheim, 
“ shall I candidly tell you?” 

“ Of course.” 

“Well, as you are a philosopher, a wise and great 
man, you will not be angry with the girl: She said 
she was frightened on seeing you, because you 

“Because I have a hump?” 

Gugenheim nodded. 

“T thought so; but I will still go and take leave 
of your daughter.” 

He went up-stairs and sat down by the young 

_lady, who was sewing. They conversed in the most 
friendly manner, but the girl never raised her eyes 
from her work, and avoided looking at him. At 
last, when he had cleverly turned the conversation in 
that direction, she asked him: 

“Do you believe that marriages are made in 
heaven?” : 

-“Ves, indeed,” said he; ‘and something espe- 
cially wonderful happened to me. At the birth of a 
child, proclamation is made in heaven: He or she 
shall marry such or such a one. When I was born, 
my future wife was also named, but at the same time 
it was said: ‘ Alas! she will have a dreadful hump- 
back.’ ‘O God,’ I said then, ‘a deformed girl will 
become embittered and unhappy, whereas she should 
be beautiful. Dear Lord, give me the hump-back, 
and let the maiden be well formed and agreeable.’”’ 

Scarcely had Moses Mendelssohn finished speak- 


: ——— 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 251 


ing when the girl threw herself upon his neck: she 
afterwards became his wife; they lived happily to- 
gether, and had good and handsome children.” 

Pleasant pictures of the life of Mendelssohn with 
his wife and children have been drawn. But the 
shadow: of their origin was always about them. “I 
sometimes go out in the evening,” he once wrote, 
“with my wife and children. ‘ Papa,’ inquires one 
of them, in innocent simplicity, ‘what is it that 
those lads call out after us? Why do they throw 
stones at us? What have we done to them?’ 
‘Yes, dear papa,’ says another, ‘they always run 
after us in the streets and shout, “ Jew-boy! Jew- 
boy.” Is ita disgrace in the eyes of the people to 
bea Jew? What is that to them?’ I cast down 
my eyes and sigh to myself: ‘Poor humanity? To 
what point have things come!’ ”’ 

The data for this sketch have been derived from 
Mendelssohn’s. great-grandson, Sebastian Hensel, 
from the literary historian Kurz, and other biog- 
raphers. We have also a beautiful and graphic 
portrait, drawn by the man who perhaps possessed 
as sharp powers of discrimination as any mind which 
the world has known. Mendelssohn, as we have 
seen, early became the friend of Lessing, and it was 
under the influence of that benign atmosphere that _ 
the latter created his ‘‘ Nathan the Wise,” in the con- 
ception of the Syrian Jew, establishing a memorial 
of the reforming genius which the world will never 
forget. 

When Lessing * selected a Jew to be the hero of 


* See the writer’s ‘‘ Short History of German Literature.” 


252 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


his grandest play, the innovation was so unheard of 
as to mark his courage more strikingly perhaps than 
any act he ever performed—and he was the most in- 
trepid of men. “Nathan the Wise” was written 
late in life, when Lessing’s philosophy had ripened, 
and when his spirit, sorely tried in every way, had 
gained from sad experience only sweeter humanity. 
Judged by rules of art, it is easy to find fault with it, 
but one is impatient at any attempt to measure it by 
such a trivial standard. It is thrilled from first to 
last by a glowing God-sent fire—such as has appeared 
rarely in the literature of the world. It teaches love 
to God and man, tolerance, the beauty of peace. 

In Nathan, a Jew who has suffered at the hands 
of the Crusaders the extremest affliction—the loss 
of his wife and seven children—is not embittered by 
the experience. He, with the two other leading 
figures, Saladin and the Templar, are bound together 
in a close intimacy. They are all examples of no- 
bleness, though individualized. In Nathan, severe 
chastening has brought to pass the finest gentleness 
and love. Saladin is the perfect type of chivalry, 
though impetuous and over-lavish, through the pos- 
session of great power. The Templar.is full of the 
vehemence of youth. So they stand, side by side, 
patterns of admirable manhood, yet representatives 
of creeds most deeply hostile. Thus, in concrete 
presentment, Lessing teaches impressively, what he 
had often elsewhere inculcated in a less varied way, 
one of the grandest lessons, that nobleness is bound 
to no confession of faith. 

It was his thought—and here miany will think he 


ISRAEL’S NEW MOSES. 20 


went too far—that every historic religion is in some 
sense divine, a necessary evolution, from the condi- 
tions under which it originates. What a man 
believes is a matter of utter indifference if his life 
is not good. 3 

Goldwin Smith, ina paperin the Wineteenth Century, 
in which some injustice is done to the Jewish charac- 
ter and the facts of Jewish history, declares that 
Nathan the Wise is an impossible personage, the 
pure creation of the brain of the dramatist. Lessing, 
however, as is well known, found the suggestion for 
his superb figure in Moses Mendelssohn, and as I 
have given with some detail the facts of the life of 
the grand Israelite, it must have appeared that there 
are abundant data for concluding that Lessing’s Jew 
was no mere fancy sketch. It may be said, in truth, 
that the character is exceptional, and that Jews, as 
the world knows them, are something quite different. 
But among the votaries of what creed, pray, would 
not sucha character be exceptional! If exceptional, 
it is not unparalleled, as we shall hereafter see. 
Judaism is capable of giving birth to humane and 
tolerant spirits, even in our time, and such spirits are 
not at all unknown in its past annals. 


CHAPTER XVI. 


THE MONEY KINGS. 


IN no department at the present day will the con- 
spicuous ability of the Jew be so readily conceded as 
in that of business. Whether as great practical 
operators, or as political economists, like Ricardo, no 
class of men have so close a hold of both theory and 
practice. It seems strange enough to us that trade, 
in all its various forms, than which no human trans- 
actions are now considered more honorable and 
legitimate, was once held to be disgraceful, to a large 
extent unlawful. It was indispensable to the on- 
going of society, and therefore, of necessity, toler- 
ated. The agents of business, however, have, for the 
most part, been held in ill-repute, or at least in low 
regard, from antiquity almost to the present day. 

Says Cicero: “ Those sources of emolument are 
condemned that incur the public hatred; such as 
those of tax-gatherers and usurers. We are likewise 
to account as ungenteel and mean the gains of all 

_hired workmen, whose source of profit is not their 
art, but their labor; for their very wages are the 
consideration of their servitude. We are also to 
despise all who retail from merchants goods for 
prompt sale, for they never can succeed unless they 


THE MONEY KINGS. 255 


lie most abominably. All mechanical laborers are 
by their profession mean, for a workshop can contain 
nothing befitting a gentleman.” Toward commerce 


on a large scale, indeed, Cicero is somewhat more © 


lenient : “‘ As to merchandizing, if on asmall scale it 
is mean, but if it is extensive and rich, bringing nu- 
merous commodities from all parts of the world, and 
giving bread to numbers without fraud, it is not so 
despicable.” Still the moralist thinks it is in a meas- 
ure despicable, for he straightway proceeds to com- 
mend the course of the merchant who, in good time, 
abandons his calling: ‘If, satiated with his profits, 
he shall from the harbor step into an estate and 
lands, such a man seems most justly deserving of 
praise ; for of all gainful professions, nothing better 
becomes a well-bred man than agriculture.” * 

This view of trade, held by one of the wisest of 
the ancients, has prevailed almost to our own time. 
The ill-repute accorded to the agents of commerce 
has of course fallen abundantly upon the Jews. Ac- 
cusations of exceptional sordidness and avarice 
brought against them we may be sure are often un- 
founded. How different from the view of our prede- 
cessors has come to be modern judgment with respect 
to taking interest for money? To take interest is 
the unquestioned right of every lender, and whether 
this interest be large or small, four per cent. or forty 
per cent., is a matter, as most sensible men now be- 
lieve, which should be left to take care of itself, un- 
restricted by law. If the risk is great the borrower 
expects to pay correspondingly ; if the risk is small, 


* Offices, I, 42. 


7 6% 


256 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


the lender contents himself with a trifle. The pic- 
ture which has been drawn of Jewish avarice is far 
from being an entire fiction, but let the circum- 
stances be always remembered. If the Jew grew 
greedy in his money-lending, the world often closed 
to him every avenue of effort except the one narrow, 
sordid channel. The Christian set himself against 
him like flint. Can the Jew be blamed that he 
skinned the flint ? 

In some ways, men who in the past have been re- 
garded with abhorrence, are seen by our fuller light 
to have been benefactors. The cautious creditor 
who looks narrowly at the borrower, who forecloses 
the mortgage promptly and firmly when the due 
payment fails, and who exacts to the last cent the 
principal and interest,—has not the time gone by for 
calling such men only hard-souled money-getters, 
and for accusing them of grinding the faces of the 
poor? Ought we not rather to look upon them as 
agents of the greatest value in the discipline and 
education of society? What lessons they enforce 
upon the idle, the unpunctual, the improvident ! 
The thrifty and industrious have nothing to fear 
from them ; the influence of such lenders in a com- 
munity is to drive out shiftlessness—to make all 
careful and diligent. It may be affirmed that the 
Jews, through the long ages when they have been 
vilified as so sordid and covetous, administered to the 
world a most important schooling. No doubt they 
have been sometimes rapacious, but it could not 
well have been otherwise. While all.other avenues 
‘ were closed to the Jew, the jealousy of artisans on 


| THE MONEY KING. 257 


the one hand excluding them from the handicrafts 
much more strictly than American mechanics shut 
out negroes and Chinese,—on the other hand the 
higher professions and public life being quite inac- 
cessible, there was no path for them but in the one 
despised direction. What wonder that there was 
sometimes overreaching, and that a habit of taking 
the largest advantage of the hard world which mal- 
treated them so cruelly, should have sprung up and 
become hereditary ?. When his prejudices have not 
acted, the Jew has been charitable and generous. 
Among themselves there has not usually been mean 
withholding of aid.. Even where his prejudices have 
stood in the way, the number of instances is not 
small where the Jew has nobly surmounted them, 
rising into a charity extended even toward his per- 
secutors. 

In trade and exchange, the Jew in the darkest 
times. has had sufficient vigor and shrewdness to 
flourish ; as society has become humane and estab- 
lished,—as the rights of property have been recog- 
nized and made secure, straightway the childrén_ of 
Jacob step to the front, become the kings of market 
and bourse, and by the might of money make a way 
for themselves. Men like Spinoza and Moses Men- 
delssohn, with their great intellectual power and 
beautiful spirit, have caused the world to respect 
their race. Israel, however, has brought to bear 
coarser instruments, which have been more effective; 
perhaps, in breaking for her a path to a better place. 
And now let us glance at the career of a remarkable 
family. 


’ 


258 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


The streets in the Juden-gasse at Frankfort are 
dark even by day ; the worn thresholds are still in 
place that. have been stained with blood in the old 
massacres ; the houses are furrowed and decrepit as 
if they had shared in the scourgings which their 
owners have undergone. A picturesque, gabled 
dwelling rises not far from the spot where once stood 
the gate within which the Jews were barred at night- 
fall, and behind which they sometimes sought to 
shelter themselves when the wolves of persecution 
were upon their track. Here lived one hundred 
years ago Meyer Anselm, whose surname, derived 
from the sign above his door, was Rothschild. The 
money-changer had raised himself from a low posi- 
tion by unusual dexterity.* By a touch of the finger 
he could tell the value of any strange coin; at the 
same time he had won a name as an honest man. 
At length into the Rhine region, in the year 1793, 
came pouring the legions of the red republicans from 
France. The princes fled in terror from the inva- 
sion, and the landgrave of Hesse Cassel, driving up 
to the door of the Jew, in the confusion, surprised 
him with this address: ‘I know of old your trusti- 
ness. I confide all I have in the world to you. 
Here is my treasure; here are the jewels of my 
family. Save the jewels if you can, and do with the 
money as you choose.” The landgrave became a 
fugitive, and within an hour or two the sans culottes, 
taking possession of the city, were plundering high 
and low. Neither Jew nor Christian escaped, Meyer 
Anselm suffering with the rest. 


* Several interesting facts in this sketch are derived from a letter of 
‘«Junot’s ” in the Philadelphia Press. 


IN THE FRANKFORT JUDEN-GASSE, 


260 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


Ten years later, with the coming of Napoleon into 
power, stability was again restored. The landgrave, 
returning, called at the Red Shield in the Juden-gasse 
of Frankfort, with small hope of receiving a good re- 
port. ‘ Well, here I am, friend Meyer, escaped with 
nothing but life.” To his astonishment, the faithful 
trustee had been able through all the trouble of the 
time to conduct affairs prosperously. While his own 
means had been plundered, he had saved in-some 
hiding-place in the cellar-wall the treasure of the 
prince. The heirloom jewels were untouched ; with. 
the money he had made a million; and he now re- 
stored all to the wondering landgrave, principal and 
interest. This was the beginning of the marvellous 
career of the great house of Rothschild. The prince 
spread far and wide the story of his rescue from ruin. 
One may well suspect that the shrewd old hawk 
of the Juden-gasse had had all along a careful eye 
toward the comfortable feathering of his own nest. 
At any rate, no better policy for the advancement of 
his interests could have been hit upon than this 
honesty in the affairs of the distressed prince. In 
ten years he was the money king of Europe, trans- 


mitting to his able sons, when he himself died in | 


1812, a proud inheritance which they welt knew how 
to improve. 

Heinrich Heine has left an interesting account of 
being conducted by Ludwig Bérne through the 
Juden-gasse of Frankfort, both of them at the time 
poor Jewish boys, but destined in after years to 
become the most famous writers of Germany. It 
was the evening of the “ Hanoukhah,” the feast of 


eet ee ae 


EE, 


THE MONEY KINGS. ov GN 


lamps. The story has been told how Judas Mac- 
cabzeus, after a victory over the oppressor of his race, 
had caused the altar of the true God to be recon- 
structed. It was necessary that the lamps in the 
sacred porches should be rekindled, to the sound of 
instruments and the chant of the Levites. Only one 
vial of oil, however, could be found in the Temple, 
but, miraculously, the one poor vial sufficed to feed 
the golden candlestick fora week. This wonder it 
is which the children of Jacob commemorate in the 
feast of lamps. Meyer Anselm had gone to his 
account, but his wife survived, ‘a personality as 
marked as the old money-changer himself. ‘‘ Here,” 
said Bérne to Heine, pointing to the weather-beaten 
house, ‘ dwells the old woman, mother of the Roths- 
childs, the Letitia who has borne so many financial 
Bonapartes. In spite of the magnificence of her 
kingly sons, rulers of the world, she will never leave 
her little castle in the Juden-gasse. To-day she has 
adorned her windows with white curtains in honor of 
the great feast of joy. How pleasantly sparkle the 
little lights which she has kindled, with her own 
hands, to celebrate a day of victory! While the old 
lady looks at these lamps, the tears start in her eyes, 
and she remembers with a sad delight that younger 
time when her dear husband celebrated the Hanou- 
khah with her. Her sons then were yet little chil- 
dren, who planted their silver-branched lamps upon 
the floor, and, as is the custom in.Israel, jumped 
over them in childish ecstasy.” 

On his death-bed Meyer Anselm made his five 
sons bind themselves by an oath that they would 


262 THE STORY OF THE $YEWS. 


remain faithful Jews, that they would always carry 
on business in company, that they would increase 
money as much as possible, but never divide it, and 
that they would consult their mother on all affairs of 
importance. The old mother long survived her hus- 
band. She had a singular reason for never sleeping 
away from her poor home in the Juden-gasse; she 
felt that her remaining there was in some way con- 
nected with the fortune of her sons. H.C. Ander- 
sen draws a picturesque scene, the open door of the 
house of one of her sons at Frankfort, when he had 
become a financial prince, rows of servants with 
lighted candles on heavy silver candlesticks, between 
them the old mother carried down stairs in an arm- 
chair. The son kisses reverently the mother’s hand 
as she nods genially right and left, and they bear 
her to the poor lodging in the despised quarter. 
The luxury of sovereigns was prepared for her, but 
that the good fortune of her sons depended upon 
her remaining where she had borne them was her 
superstition. 

The wish of the father was conscientiously ful- 
filled. The house abounded in wealth, and in children 
and grandchildren. The five sons, Anselm, Solomon, 
Nathan, Charles, and James, divided among them- 
selves the principal exchanges of the world, were 
diplomatically represented in foreign lands, regulating 
all their affairs, their dowries, marriages, and inherit- 
ances, by their own family laws. Nathan Meyer, the 
third son of Anselm, who became head of the 
London house early in the present century, was the 
leader of the family. He went to England a youth 


THE MONEY KINGS. 263 


of twenty-one, with a portion of about $100,000. 
Establishing himself in Manchester as manufacturer, 
merchant, and banker, he became a millionaire in 
six years. Removing then to London, his famous 
career in connection with the government began. 
In every move he was adroit as a fox, and -yet full 
of audacity. He managed in surprising ways to 
obtain news, breeding carrier-pigeons, employing the 
fastest vessels, discovering short routes for uniting 
the great capitals, using his superior information 
often with too little scruple, but in ways which few 
business men would question. On the memorable 
18th of June, 1815, the sharp eyes of Nathan Meyer 
watched the fortunes of Waterloo as eagerly as those 
of Napoleon or Wellington. He found some shot- 
proof nook near Hougomont, whence he peered over 
the field,—saw. the charge before which Picton fell, 
the countercharge of the Enniskilleners and Scotch 
Grays, the immolation of the French Cuirassiers, 
the seizure of La Haye Sainte at the English centre, 
the gradual gathering of the Prussians, and at last 
the catastrophe, as the sunset light threw the 
shadow of the poplars on the Nivelles road across 
the awful wreck, and the “sauve gui peut” of the 
panic-stricken wretches arose, who fled in the dusk 
before the implacable sabres of Bliicher. When the 
decision came, the alert observer cried, exultingly: 
“The house of Rothschild has won this battle!” 
Then, mounting a swift horse which all day had 
stood saddled and bridled, he rode through the short 
June night at a gallop, reaching, with daybreak, the 
shore of the German ocean. The waters were toss- 


264 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


ing stormily, and no vessel would venture forth. 
The eager Jew, hurrying restlessly along the shore, 
found a bold fisherman at’ last, who, for a great 
bribe, was induced to risk his craft and himself. In 
the cockle-shell, drenched and in danger of founder- 
ing, but driving forward, the English shore was.at 
length gained, and immediately after, through whip 
and spur, London. 

It was early morning of June 20th when he dropped 
upon the capital, as if borne thither upon the en- 
chanted mantle of the Arabian Nights. Only gloomy 
rumors, so far, had reached the British world. The 
hearts of men were depressed, and stocks had sunk 
to the lowest. No hint of the truth fell from the 
lips of the travel-worn but vigilant banker, so sud- 
denly at his post in St. Swithin’s Lane. Simply, he 
. was ready to buy consols as others were to sell. 
With due calculation, all appearance of suspicious 
eagerness was avoided. He moved among the 
bankers and brokers, shaking his head lugubri- 
ously. ‘‘It is a sad state of affairs,” his forlorn face 
seemed to say; “what hope is there for England?” 
and so his head went on shaking solemnly, and those 
who met him felt confirmed in their impression that 


England had gone by the board, and that it was - 


perhaps best to get away in time, before the French 
advanced guard took possession of the city. But he 
bought consols, for some unaccountable reason, and 
his agents were in secret everywhere, ready to buy, 
though a panic seemed to be impending. So passed 
June 20th—so passed June 21st. On the evening of 
that day the exchange closed, and the chests of Nathan 


THE MONEY KINGS. 265 


Meyer were crammed with paper. An hour later, 
came galloping into the city the government courier, 
with the first clear news of victory. London flashed 
into bonfires and illuminations. The exchange 
opened next day with every thing advanced to fabu- 
lous prices. In the south corner, under a pillar which 


NATHAN MEYER ROTHSCHILD. 


was known as his place, leaned the operator so match- 
less in swiftness and audacity. His face was pale, 
his eye somewhat jaded; but his head, for some rea- 
son, had lost its unsteadiness. His face, too, had 
lost its lugubriousness, but had a dreamy, happy 
expression, as if he beheld some beatific vision. The 
little gentleman had made ten millions of dollars. 


266 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


The house of Rothschild, it has been said, was 
rapacious, as well as bold and full of tact, often 
showing toward the hard world the ancient Hebrew 
implacability, and stripping it without mercy. When 
England in the struggle with Napoleon was sore 
pressed to supply its fleets and armies, the Roths- 
childs, buying up all the available food and clothing, 
are accused of having caused prices to advance 
largely; at the same time they possessed themselves 
of all the gold. Supplies must be purchased of the 
house, and when the settlement came, gold must 
also be purchased at a great premium. The treasury 
bought gold of the Rothschilds to pay its obligations 
to the Rothschilds, and so the child of Jacob flayed 
the Gentile with a two-edged sword. Wellington, it 
is said, could never afterward endure the family, and 
put many a slight upon them, even while they held 
between thumb and finger the princes of Europe. 
The famous martinet was familiar with military, but 
not with business, expedients. It is not probable that 
the financiers of -any bourse in the world, at the 
present time, could condemn the methods of the 
able Hebrews without condemning themselves. 

So grew great the house of Rothschild. Its whole 
course was a marvel of enterprise. Its boldness 
brought it sometimes to the brink of ruin, but more 
often the Jews’ shekels were breeding like rabbits. 
Now it acquired the monopoly of supplying the 
world with quicksilver, now it saved a bankrupt 
monarchy from destruction, now it turned aside the 
march of armies. The five sons of the wrinkled old 
money-changer of the red shield in the Frankfort 


THE MONEY KINGS. 267 


Juden-gasse, who had played as little children on the 
Maccabean festival with their seven-branched silver 
candlesticks, held court as money kings in London, 
Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Naples. They were finan- 
cial agents of all the important governments, con- 
ductors of every money transaction upon a large 
scale. Meantime the oath sworn to the dying father 
was respected. The brothers were bound by the 
strongest ties, their children intermarried, they got 
all they could, and kept all they got, until men 
scarcely dared to name their wealth. It was a giddy 
and harassing eminence. One day in 1836, Nathan 
Meyer;a man scarcely past middle age, left London 
to attend the marriage of his eldest son in a distant 
city of the continent. Weeks passed; at length a 
little incident happened at Brighton, exciting at first 
slight wonder, but afterward gaining more fully the 
world’s attention. An idle marksman, catching sight 
of a bird which, after breasting the breeze of the 
English channel, was flying somewhat heavily over 
the town, its wings drooping as if from a long pass- 
age, brought it down by a lucky shot. It proved to 
be a carrier-pigeon, about whose neck was tied a slip 
of paper, dated only the day before in a far-away 
part of Europe. It contained only the three French 
words: “Il est mort.” The marksman wondered 
who the mysterious dead man could be, and specu- 
lated with his neighbors over the slip. At length it 
was made plain. The bird whose flight was inter- 
rupted was carrying to St. Swithin’s Lane news of 
the great banker’s death,—a timely message, that 
sail might be reefed and all be tight and trim for 


268 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


the shock, when perhaps after a fortnight’s time, by 
slow-moving coach and bark, the news should reach 
the world that the money king no longer lived. 

Lionel Rothschild, eldest son of Nathan Meyer, 
and his successor as head of the London house, was, 
in a different way, not less famous than his father. 
He was of agreeable person and manners, the friend 
of royalty and the nobility, himself at last ennobled, 
and of great political influence, even-before he sat in 
Parliament. He became the central figure in the 
struggle for the abrogation of Jewish disabilities. 
He was elected to Parliament in 1847, the first son 
of his race so honored; but for ten years, as he stood 
before the bar of the House of Commons to take the 
oath, he was each year rejected, because his uplifted 
hand, upon the enunciation of the words “on the 
faith of a Christian,” fell promptly to his side. The 
Israelite yielded by no jot, but the Christian at last 
gave way. Baron Lionel’s palace in London ad- 
joined Apsley House, the mansion of Wellington, 
and bore on its front the arms of the German empire, 
the consul-generalship of which was handed down 
through the generations of the family. Great states- 
men were his guests, the princes of the royal family 
made a point of being present at the weddings and 
christenings of his children, ambassadors of the 
highest powers came to sign as witnesses, and the 
sovereign sent gifts. 


The career of James, the son of Anselm Meyer 
who became head of the Paris house, is no less ex- 
traordinary than that of Nathan Meyer in London. 


THE MONEY KINGS. 269 


After the overthrow of Napoleon, the allies required 
from the restored Bourbon, Louis XVIII., the im- 
mense sum of 200,000,000 francs, as an indemnity 
for their sacrifices in bringing about the consumma- 
tion. James Rothschild first became a great power 
in France, through his successful conduct of this 
immense operation. With soul as haughty as the 
royal line to whose relief he had come, he demanded 
social recognition for himself and wife. ‘ What!” 
cried the Duchesse d’ Angouléme, daughter of the 
king, “the chair of a Jew in the royal circle! They 
forget the ruler of France is the most Christian king.” 
The demand was refused; but Baron James, for he 
had acquired a title, established in the magnificent 
palace presented by Napoleon I. to his step-daugh- 
ter Queen Hortense de Beauharnais, waited for his 
opportunity. When at length, at the revolution of 
1830, the house of Orleans supplanted the Bourbons, 
it was the Hebrew parvenu who made it possible for 
Louis Philippe to mount the throne. The social 
barrier was now surmounted. The monarchy itself 
only existed at the Baron’s pleasure. His family 
were as splendidly lodged as royalty itself at the 
Tuileries. Madame la Baronne gave the law to the 
social world. Paris followed her beck, and at the 
fashionable watering-places, in magnificence of rai- 
ment, in ornaments and equipages, she outdazzled 
the sovereigns. But the ambition of the Israelite was 
insatiable. He used his high position for further 
money-making, and was accused of showing little 
loyalty except to his own faith and race. The sons 
of the various houses of Rothschild in general, with 


“270 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


the exception of the branch in England, even while 
deciding the fate of nations hold themselves, as it 
were, above politics. Parties and governments shift, 
revolutions come and go, dynasty succeeding dy- 
nasty ; but every turn of the political wheel drops 
gold into their ever-hungry coffers. 

Often they have cared little to respect the feelings, 
reasonable or otherwise, of the world which they have 
substantially swayed. In the time of Baron James 
at Paris, the journals were full of hits at the alleged 
meanness and vulgarity which, it was insisted, the 
house of Rothschild coupled with their magnificence. 
Millions, it was charged, went in luxurious display, 
but rarely a sou for art or public improvements. One 
finds such stories as follow: One day, at a festival, 
Rothschild was approached by a lady who asked 
from him a contribution for a charitable object. The 
baron dropped a gold piece into her box, which the 
lady, whose attention at the moment was attracted 
elsewhere, did not perceive. She repeated her re- 
quest, whereupon the rich man curtly declared he 
had already given. “ Pardon,” said the lady, “I 
did not see you, but I believe you.” “ And I,” 
said a witty princess who stood near, “saw it, but I 
do not believe it.” Some one once related before 
Scribe, the dramatist, that Rothschild had the even- 
ing before lost ten napoleons at play, without an 
expression of regret. “ Nothing surprising in that,” 
was the quick remark ; “ great griefs are always voice- 
less.” But Plutus elbowed his way cavalierly for- 
ward, caring little for gibes or harsher criticism. 
“How is Madame la Baronne?”’ politely inquired a 


THE MONEY KINGS. 271 


man. of high rank, who met the Jew at the opera. 
“ What’s that to you,” was the rejoinder, as he 
turned his back. To Prince Paul of Wiirtemberg, 
who was once his guest at dinner, the baron took 
pleasure in being roughly familiar. “Paul, let me: 
help you to some of this Johannisberg,” at length he 
began. As the prince did not reply, the presuming 
host repeated the remark; upon which his highness, 
with his feathers well ruffled, beckoning to the stew- 
ard, said: “ Do you not hear? the baron is addressing 
you,” and left the house. 

Baron James could snub a duke, or even a sovereign, 
with perfect self-possession, but there was one man 
by whom he seemed to be cowed and mastered, the 
brilliant Heinrich Heine, one of his own race, already 
more than once mentioned in these pages, and whom 
we shall hereafter attentively consider. Heine was 
often at the banker’s palace, maintaining his inti- 
macy, not through any obsequiousness, but by a kind 
of spell which his bitter tongue exercised over the 
host. As Heine declared, he was received “ famiat- 
lionairement,’ because the poor banker wished to be 
the first to hear the evil which his reckless guest was 
going to say about him. One day, as the baron was 
drinking a glass of the Neapolitan wine called “ La- 
crimz Christi,’ he remarked on the strangeness of 
the name, and wondered how it could have origi- 
nated. ‘That ’s easy enough,” said Heine; “it 
means, translated, that Christ shed tears to have such 
good wine wasted on Jews like you. 

As Baron Lionel, in London, was more. courtly 
and gracious than his pushing father, so Baron 


272 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


Alphonse, the son of James, showed to the world a 
less brusque exterior than might have been expected 
from the atmosphere in which he had been educated. 
Napoleon III. received him almost as a member of 
the imperial family. A palace of the Orleans house, 
in the Rue St. Honoré, became his Paris home, while 
for acountry-seat he bought the magnificent ducal 
estate of Ferritres, thirty miles from the city. Here 
the display was profuse and ostentatious beyond all 
example. A great féte, given to the court in 1869, 
cost a million francs, and the gold and silver plate 
which the sovereign had used was melted down after 
the dinner that it might serve no humbler guests. 
It was a proper fate that the ruler who could counte- 
nance such coarse wastefulness, should be driven 
within a twelvemonth from his power. The house 
of Rothschild, however, floated buoyant on the 
waves of the stormy upheaval, saw the Prussians 
enter with little regret, and was even spared by the 
Commune, when all else was subjected to destruction 
or pillage. 


CHAPTER XVII. 


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 


In a worldly sense, nothing can be more brilliant 
than the career of the great family of Rothschild. 
Before their time there have been rich Hebrews; 
but, whether from the extraordinary ability of the 
men, or whether because now circumstances have 
made such a thing possible, as never before, such an 
aggregation of wealth has never before been known 
in the hands of a few individuals. The power they 
have wielded in consequence of it has been enormous, 
and has contributed essentially to lift their whole 
race into a prominent position before the world. 
Can the career of the family be called an honorable 
one? Before many a transaction of theirs the 
moralist will shake his head dubiously, as perplexed 
as poor Nathan Meyer seemed to be on the London 
Exchange on those June days in 1815. Let us refer 
for a moment to an old-fashioned way of looking at 
these things. To cite once more Cicero, we are 
told in his “ De Officiis,” a story of certain vessels 
which, in a time of great scarcity at Rhodes, set sail 
thither in company from Alexandria, in Egypt, 
loaded with corn. One ship, swifter than the rest, 
and with a more skilful captain, outsailed its com- 


274 THE STORY OF THE FEWs. 


panions, and arrived at its anchorage near the 
Colossus, while the remainder of the fleet was several 
hours distant. The newly arrived captain is straight- 
way surrounded by a hungry crowd, who, quite 
ignorant of the abundance close at hand, are willing 
to give him an enormous price for hiscargo. “ What 
now does right require ?”’ asks the old moralist. Is 
the captain justified in keeping quiet, letting the 
people find out for themselves, and taking the im- 
mense price,—or is he in duty bound to tell the 
Rhodians there is provision enough three hours away 
to feed them all? Put the case to a crowd on ’Change 
in any modern city, what would the reply be likely 
to be? . Cicero was in no doubt. In his view, there 
was no right course but for the captain to tell the 
people frankly that the other ships were coming; to 
conceal the fact was to take an unfair advantage. 
Ought Nathan Meyer to have told the Londoners of 
Wellington’s victory, or did he do right to keep 
quiet and pocket his ten millions? and in a thousand 
other instances in the history of the great house, do 
“we find the dealing fair and above-board ; or is it 
rather sharp practice that trenches all along upon 
dishonesty ? 

That the old heathen would have condemned 
much of the cunning scheming and adroit manipu- 
lation, there can be no manner of doubt. For our 
modern day, let our preachers and moralists speak 
_ for themselves. It would be ludicrous, however, to 
hear criticisms upon such a course from the Ameri- 
can business world. You inquire as you ride with a 
friend through some great city: ““Who is building 


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 275 


this magnificent palace here on the bon-ton boule- 
vard?” “That belongs to A, so famous for his 
corner in butter last fall. To be sure a hundred 
weaker operators came to the ground, and many 
a poor family went with their bread dry, but it 
was capitally managed, and perhaps he will be presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade.” ‘ Who drives yonder 
superb horses and equipage?” That is B, so lucky 
the other day at the ‘ bucket-shop’; and he is about 
to dine at the club with C, who makes the world pay 
five prices for that indispensable commodity which 
he is shrewd enough to control.” Now who are A 
and B and C? ‘“ Hebrew sharpers’’? Far from it. 
The first is a Vermonter, whose ancestor held the 
torch while Ethan Allen broke down the gate at 
Ticonderoga. The line of the second goes back to 
the “Mayflower”; and as to the third, his great- 
grandfather, in the heart of old Virginia, sold George 
Washington thé very hatchet which Truth, as we all 
know, bears for an emblem, as Hope carries the an- 
chor, and Faith the cross, and Justice the scales,— 
Americans all, unmixed, and of the finest strains. 
It may be suggested to Americans inclined to find 
fault with “Jew sharpers,” that their house is of 
glass from which it is not wise to throw stones. 
Over-harsh judgment of the ways of modern com- 
merce are perhaps possible. The Israelite business- 
man sometimes trades in old clothes, and sometimes 
is finance minister of an empire ; his Yankee counter- 
part sometimes peddles pop-corn on a railroad train, 
or as a railroad king brings now prosperity, now ruin, 
to whole States by a nod of his head. Much that 


276 THE STORY. OF THE FEWS. 


goes for rapacity, over-reaching, criminal indifference 
to human welfare, possibly. deserves far milder char- 
acterization. With what genius, at any rate, does 
the son of Jacob move in this tangled world of 
affairs—so energetic, so persistent, so adroit,—spring- 
ing to the leadership so dexterously, whoever may 
be his competitors! As he invented banking in the 
middle ages, so now in our more complex modern 
life, it is the Jew who leads the way in the devising 
of expedients, in the planning of adjustments, by 
which order can be brought out of the perplexity— 
new methods of manipulation coming to pass under 
his dexterous hand, the financial domain spun across 
with bewildering devices, until the plain man finds 
it all unintelligible, however necessary it may be in 
the confusion of immense and intricate relations. 
Good types of this strange Semitic ingenuity, often 
blameless, often beneficent, but on the other hand 
often unscrupulous,—in ways, however, which it is 
not always easy to find fault with,—full of audacity, 
full also of cunning,—which sees to it narrowly that 
the bold bound shall not overleap or fall short of 
the precise aim, one may find in the great French 
operators Isaac and Emile Pereire. Natives of Bor- 
deaux, they began their careers in Paris as brokers. 
Growing in wealth, they were the first Frenchmen to 
build railroads, managing to obtain for them money 
and credit when they were looked upon askance as 
disturbing, perhaps dangerous, innovations. Their 
enterprises became colossal, until, from being the 
railroad kings of France, they grasped at power over 
the whole continent of Europe, organizing and con- 


STR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 277 


trolling companies by the score, buying up, for in- 
stance, at a stroke, all the government railroads of 
Austria. It is said the Pereires are to be looked 
upon as the originators of all those intricacies of 
modern railroad-finance, whose nomenclature is so 
constantly in the mouths of the men on 'Change, 
but before which the plain citizen despairs as having 
a meaning quite impenetrable,—common stock, pre- 
ferred stock, first, second, third, perhaps thirteenth 
mortgage-bonds, floating-debt, watering, credit mo- 
bilier, and what not. The practice of founding joint- 
stock corporations for the sole purpose of negoti- 
ating the stock and realizing on it, is said to be 
strictly their own invention, copied to a calamitous 
extent throughout the entire civilized world. The 
Pereires, the elder brother in particular, were zealous 
philanthropists, combining in a most incongruous 
way heartless selfishness in business matters with 
universal charity. The account which is given of 
them declares: “ They illustrate the quaint mixture 
of virtue and vice in human nature. They thought 
themselves honestly virtuous, while stern moralists 
may think them simply vicious. In reality they 
| were a novel mixture of good hearts and egre- 
gious business habits which made them rich while 
others were impoverished.” * 


It is pleasant to be able to show, after the consid- 
eration of careers somewhat questionable, such as 
have just been detailed, that the Hebrew business- 
man is by no means necessarily rapacious. One of 


* Boston Advertiser. 


278 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. * 


the noblest and most picturesque types of modern 
philanthropy has come forth directly from the inner 
circle of these great financial princes, a man whose 
labors, journeys, and benefactions, prompted by a 
wise and generous spirit, are as unparalleled as the 
shrewdness, audacity, and persistence through which 
his kindred and partners succeeded in winning the 
world. 

Sir Moses Montefiore,* whose death is announced 
just as this book goes to press, as full of honors as of 
years, received the homage of the whole civilized 
world, October 24, 1884, upon his hundredth birth- 
day. He united in himself all that is most charac- 
teristic of his race in mental and physical respects. 
A close observer of the old Mosaic law, he showed in 
his body the astonishing vigor which a faithful fol- 
lowing of the sanitary provisions of Pentateuch and 
Talmud may bring to pass. In mind he had the 
characteristic Jewish sharpness which won for him on 
the exchange a colossal fortune ; in spirit he had the 
Jewish intensity, manifested in his case not in any 
narrow or selfish way, but in a humanity broad as 
the world; at the same time he cherished with per- 
fect devotion the traditions and faith of his fore- 
fathers, and anticipated with enthusiasm the day 
when the throne of David should be again established 
on the holy mountain at Jerusalem. Few biogra- 
phies can be cited which offer so much that is 
extraordinary as the varied story of this elder of the 
Hebrews, from his youth to his retirement in his 
quiet home by the sea, in Kent. 


* ‘* Life of Sir Moses Montefiore,” by Simon Wolfe, 


‘HAOIUALNOW SASOW AUIS 


280 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


His blood was of the best Israelite strain. An 
ancestor of his was the bold sailor, Lamego, that 
captain of Vasco de Gama, who brought back to 
Europe the first intelligence that his admiral had 
found the passage about the Cape of Good Hope. 
Of his particular family, whose Italian origin is made 
plain by the name, Montefiore, the earliest memorial 
preserved is a silk ritual curtain in the synagogue at 
Ancona, magnificently embroidered and fringed with 
gold; this was the work of an ancestress as far back 
as 1630, and is suspended before the ark on the 
great festivals. Like the Disraelis, the Montefiores 
came to England, when at length, through Cromwell, 
the bars had been removed, and with the present 
century reached fame and wealth. Moses Monte- 
fiore’s way to fortune was smoothed by his marriage 
with the sister-in-law of Nathan Meyer Rothschild. 
His brother, also, was married to a sister of Nathan 
Meyer; still a third link bound the families together, 
for the second son of Nathan Meyer married his first 
cousin, the niece of Moses Montefiore. With the 
strong Jewish feeling of clanship, one can understand 
how close the connection must have become with 
the great house which possessed such power. Moses 
Montefiore was, in fact, the broker of the Rothschilds 
during the most heroic period of the great operators. 
No suspicion, however, has ever attached to him, of 
the sharp practice which has sometimes hurt the repute 
of the famous bankers. Free from all overweening 
greed, he withdrew early from active business, with 
a fine fortune indeed, but untainted by the spirit 
of covetousness, and through constant beneficent 


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 281 


activity, has won for himself the best possible re- 
nown. 

He set on foot among his people the movement 
which resulted in the doing away of Jewish disabili- 
ties, and at length brought it about that his nephew, 
Baron Lionel Rothschild, sat in the British Parlia- 
ment. But most memorable have been his journeys, 
—one should rather say his lordly progresses,—again 
and again undertaken, to Africa, to Asia, and through- 
out the whole of Europe, in behalf of his suffering 
co-religionists, whose bonds he has broken and whose 
poverty he has relieved, rather as if he were a magnif- 
icent potentate than a simple British citizen. Side 
by side with his wife, of spirit and energy resembling 
his own, in a kind of princely state, with a coach 
and six, or a special train, upon land, and upon sea 
in French or British frigates placed at his disposal, 
he discharged his self-imposed missions with a curi- 
ous pomp. Nothing can be more picturesque than 
the scenes described as attending these expeditions. 
Barbaric princes yield humbly to the demand that 
humanity shall be respected. Sultan, Czar, and 
Pope, no less than petty princeling and robber cap- 
tain, give him honor and promise amendment. The 
Jew’s urging, it is felt, is backed by immense power, 
and his hands scatter largesses such as the coffers of 
few monarchs could afford. 

It is scarcely credible that within fifty years civil- 
ized men should have aided and abetted in such 
enormities as occurred in Damascus and Rhodes in 
1840. A Jewish persecution sprang up in those 
towns, scarcely less terrible than the dark deeds of 


282 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


those medieval zealots to which certain of these 
pages have referred. The inveterate blood-accusa- 
tion, that Jews had committed murder to obtain 
human blood for use in their sacrifices, was again 
made, and fanaticism once more expressed itself in 
torture and slaughter. Men were scourged to death, 
as of old; others were blinded and maimed for life; 
sixty little children, from three to ten years old, 
were taken from their mothers and shut up without 
food; by their starvation, the parents were to be 
forced, through anguish of soul, into confession. © 
Damascus and Rhodes are, to be sure, Turkish 
cities, but the French Consul of the former town 
was one of the most active persecutors, and in the 
latter, the representatives of several civilized powers 
connived at the cruelties. 

Montefiore, living retired in his beautiful Kentish 
villa, felt his heart stirred at the sufferings of the 
faithful. He roused civilized Europe to indignation, 
proceeding himself to the spot where the persecutions 
were taking place. The French statesman Crémieux, 
himself of Hebrew race, was.at the same time active 
at the court of Louis Philippe, and elsewhere were 
heard influential Hebrew voices. It was the British 
Jew, however, whose hands and tongue were most 
helpful. He was presently on the spot, backed by 
all the power of enormous wealth and the might of 
England. The dead could not be brought back to 
life, nor could the blinded and crippled regain their 
lost members, but so far as human means could avail, 
the wrongs were righted. Out of the agitation grew 
the powerful “ Alliance Israélite Universelle,” an or- 


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 283 


ganization through which the well-placed Hebrews 
of civilized lands have sought to make impossible 
hereafter the renewal of medieval barbarities. 

Sir Moses Montefiore has felt keenly the taunt of 
Cobbett, that the “Israelite is never seen to take a 
spade in his hand, but waits, like the voracious slug, 
to devour what has been produced by labor in which 
he has no share.” In Palestine and elsewhere, he 
has sought to make the Jews agricultural and indus- 
trial, and in his records seems never more pleased 
than when he can describe Hebrew farmers and arti- 
sans. Great though his might has everywhere been 
through his personal force and the power always be- 
hind him, he has met with his rebuffs. Said Prince 
Paskievitch, the Russian governor of Poland, to him, 
when he was urging upon that official the propriety 
of doing something for the education of his people: 
“God forbid ! the Jews are already too clever for us. 
How would it be if they got good schooling!” 

The pictures are touching and dramatic which are 
given in the accounts of Sir Moses Montefiore’s 
journeys, and none are finer than those drawn by 
his wife, Judith, his frequent companion, a devoted 
Hebrew like her husband. Both believed in the 
restoration of Israel to the Holy Land, thes oil of 
which they loved as if they were native to it, with 
all the wondrous Hebrew patriotism. On one occa- 
sion, as they arrive, she breaks out: “ Anchor was 
cast in the Bay of Beyrout, and magnificent was the 
scene presented to our view. Immediately before 
us rose the lofty mountains of Lebanon, precipitous 
and crowned with snow, in strange contrast with the _ 


284 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


yellow, barren shore, and, stranger still, the glowing 
sky, and the dazzling rays of the sun, wrapping the 
town of Sidon itself in a blaze of morning splendor.” 

“ At the ancient Gilead, how many solemn though 
pleasurable thoughts floated through our minds! 
Oh, how does the heart of the pilgrim cling to and 
yearn over the words of the prophet! ‘I will bring 
Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on 
Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied 
upon Mount Ephraim and Gilead. In those days 
and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of 
Israel shall be sought for and there shall be none; 
and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found, 
for I’will pardon them whom I reserve.’ ” 

The strain of the writer rises into solemn rapture 
as Jerusalem is approached: “ What the feelings of 
a traveller are, when among the mountains on which 
the awful power of the Almighty once visibly rested, 
and when approaching the city where he placed his 
name, whence his Law was to go forth to all the 
world, where the beauty of holiness shone in its 
morning splendor, and to which, even in its sorrow 
and captivity, even in its desolation, the very -Gen- 
tiles, the people of all nations of the earth, as well 
as its own children, look with profound awe and ad- 
miration,—oh, what the feelings of the traveller are 
on such a spot, and when listening to the enraptured 
tones of Israel’s own inspired king, none can imagine 
but those who have had the felicity to experience 
them!” ; 

They approach, probably, by the same place 
“Scopus,” whence Alexander saw in the distance 


‘SHAIIO JO LNOOW AHL WOU WaTvsoxal S82 


286 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


the vision of the Temple, and whence Titus caught 
sight of the mighty ramparts which his army must 
force. ‘Solemn as were the feelings excited by the 
melancholy desolateness of the rocky hills and val- 
leys through which we were passing, they were sud- 
denly lost in a sense of indescribable joy—for now 
the Holy City itself rose full into view, with all its 
cupolas and minarets reflecting the splendor of the 
heavens. Dismounting from our horses, we sat down 
and poured forth the sentiments which so strongly 
animated our hearts in devout praises to Him whose 
mercy and providence alone had thus brought us, 
in health and safety, to the city of our fathers.” 
Passing on, the train encamps upon the Mount of 
Olives, separated from the town by the narrow 
ravine. “The pure air of the Mount breathed 
around us with the most refreshing fragrance ; and 
as we directed our attention to the surrounding 
view, Jerusalem was seen in its entire extent at 
our feet, the Valley of Jehoshaphat to our left, and, 
in the distance, the dark, misty waves of the Dead 
Seay 

They drew near Jerusalem on the following day 
in a magnificent cavalcade. The Turkish governor 
led the way, attended by his officers, and an escort 
in costly and brilliant dress mounted upon the finest 
Arab steeds. It would have been impossible to pay 
more honor to a king. Through the Gate of the 
Tribes the city was entered, and, as the Jewish quar- 
ter was reached, bands of music and choirs of singers 
welcomed the arrival, while a vast crowd clapped 
their hands in joy. Montefiore paid his first visit 


*“NOUCIaA UO 


LVHdVHSOHAaL JO AATIVA 


288 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


to the synagogue, where, being called to the Sepher, 
or sacred book, he offered prayer in the Jewish man- 
ner for those present and also for English friends. 
Judith Montefiore was allowed the honor of light- 
ing four lamps in front of the shrine, and putting 
the bells on the Sepher. During this sojourn, and 
also- at other times, for Montefiore has repeatedly 
visited the Holy Land, charity was bestowed as 
wisely as profusely, oppression was made to relax 
its hold, and provision made for the education of 
the Jews in intelligence and habits of thrift. “ Fare- 
well, Holy City!” exclaims: Judith Montefiore, at 
last. ‘‘ Blessed be the Almighty who has protected 
us while contemplating the sacred scenes which 
environ thee! Thankful may we ever be for his 
manifold mercies! May the fountain of our feel- 
ings evermore run in the current of praise and entire 
devotion to his will and his truth, till the time shall 
arrive when the ransomed of the Lord shall return 
and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy 
upon their heads!” 

In reading the story of Montefiore’s life, one feels 
transported back to the days of the patriarchs, so 
astonishing is his long-continued strength. After 
reaching eighty, he undertook four of his great phil- 
anthropic journeys—two to Jerusalem, one to Rou- 
mania, and one to Russia. Of the feats of his age, 
none is more interesting than his visit to the Sultan 
of Morocco, whose half million Jewish subjects had 
become exposed to persecution, largely, as in the 
Damascus case, through the incitement of the repre- 
sentatives of Christian powers resident among them. 


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 289 


A French frigate conveyed him from Gibraltar to 
Tangier, where his landing had a touch of the comic. 
“Our captain,” writes one of his retinue, “had con- 
trived a kind of car, in which, for want of a suitable 
landing-place, Sir Moses might be borne over a con- 
siderable extent of shallow water between the boat. 
and the shore. His porters, and a great many of the 
laboring class of Israelites were wading, and his su- 
perior size thus conspicuously moving over the water, 
surrounded by a shabby amphibious group, appeared 
to me like a travestied representation of\;Neptune 
among the Tritons.” When matters at Tangier 
had been put to rights, Sir Moses set out once more 
from Gibraltar, this time with an English frigate at 
his disposal, to make his way to the city of Morocco. 
Arriving with an imposing suite, he was received by 
the Sultan with the utmost honor. The barbaric 
prince, surrounded by the flower of his army, mounted 
upon a charger whose white color indicated that the 
highest deference was shown, met the strangers. An 
important edict was issued, granting all for which 
the guest had asked. ‘Thus relief was afforded not 
only to Jews, but to Christians also, for the catholic 
intercessor had besought of the Mohammedan good 
treatment for men of all confessions. g 

Sir Moses stood in Jerusalem for the last time in 
his ninetieth year, on a mission for the improvement 
of the Palestinian Jews. Something of the fervor of 
the psalms pervades the pages of the old man’s 
diary. On the night before reaching the sacred 
shore, ‘‘ Myriads of celestial luminaries, each of them 
as large and bright almost as any of the radiant 


290 THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


planets in the Western horizon, were now emitting 
their silvery rays of light in the spangled canopy 
over us. Sure and steady our ship steered towards 
the coast of the land so dearly beloved, summoning 
all to sleep; but few of the passengers retired that 
night. Every one of them appeared to be in medi- 
tation. It was silent all around us—silent, so that 
the palpitation of the heart might almost be heard. 
It was as if every one had the words on his lips: ‘ Ah, 
when will our eyes be gladdened by the first glance 
of the Holy Land! When shall we be able to set 
foot on the spot which was the long-wished for goal 
of our meditations!’ Such were that night the feel- 
ings of every Gentile passenger on board. And what 
other thoughts, I ask, could have engrossed the 
mind of an Israelite? The words of Rabbi Jehuda 
Halevi, which he uttered when entering the gates of 
Jerusalem, now came into my mind: ‘ The kingdoms 
of idolatry will all change and disappear; thy glory 
alone, O Zion, will last forever; for the Eternal has 
chosen thee for his abode. Happy the man who is 
now waiting in confiding hope to behold the rising 
glory of thy light!’ ” 

But while the heart of Sir Moses could thus rhap- 
sodize, a cool and practical good sense was shown, 
as always, in his conduct. On the way to Jerusalem 
he inspected narrowly the farms which he had before 
set in operation, counted the fruit-trees that had 
been set out, saw to the efficiency of the machines 
for irrigation, with prudent thrift refused the steam- 
engines that were petitioned for, because he thought 
fuel too scarce and skilled labor too scanty; and 


. ee 


‘aLVS NaGToOo 16z 


tat ee te PS rr ee ee ee 


292 THE STORY OF THE FEWS., 


when he reached at last Jerusalem, set all to work 
to clean the city to prevent the spread of cholera. 
Nothing so pleased him as the evidence he found 
that the Palestinian Jews could be made to work. 
In his appeal in their behalf he declares: ‘‘ The Jews 
in Jerusalem, in every part of the Holy Land, I tell 
you, do work; are more industrious even than many 
men in Europe; otherwise none of them would re- 
main alive. But, when the work does not sufficiently 
pay ; when there is no market for the produce of the 
land; when famine, cholera, and other misfortunes 
befall the inhabitants, we Israelites, unto whom God 
revealed himself on Sinai more than any other na- 
tion, must step forward and render them help.” 
Practical suggestions follow, which were at once 
acted upon. In late years the “ Montefiore Testi- 
monial Committee” has helped agricultural colonies, 
established and loaned money to building societies, 
and in particular made a beginning at Jerusalem of 
a new and beautiful city outside the Jaffa gate, in 
which there are already six hundred houses, whole- 
some and modern, accommodating a population of 
four thousand. 

The generous hand of Sir Moses was a thousand 
times stretched out in aid of the Gentile as well as 
the Jew. He helped to build Protestant churches, to 
found hospitals for the Turk and the Catholic, to lift 
up the poor of all races and colors. - Naturally and 
properly, however, it was upon his fellow-Jews that 
his beneficence was for the most part poured out. 
It is quite possible that at the time of his death, no 
man upon the face of the earth was more widely 


STR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 293 


known. The civilized world celebrated his hun- 
dredth birthday, and many a barbarian city as 
well; for his influence has been powerfully felt in 
Bokhara and Samarcand, as well as in St. Peters- 
burg and Rome,—in Timbuctoo and Pekin, as in 
New York and San Francisco; the Bedouin free- 
booter, the Turkoman sheik, the Dahoman savage, 
not less than Czar and Pope, have found their 
ruthless hands stayed by his powerful intervention. 

In face and form the old Hebrew was not less strik- 
ing than in his years and deeds. He was six feet 
three inches in height, and stooped but little even at 
the last. His attire was of the fashion of sixty years 
ago,—the high-collared coat, the huge white neck- 
cloth and ample frill of the days of George IV. 
There exists a fine portrait of him, in which things 
incongruous strangely come together, but for him it 
is all happily conceived. On a hill overlooking Jeru- 
salem, with its walls and the mosque of Omar in the 
background, stands his towering form in the costume 
of a deputy-lieutenant of an English county. 

It helps to the picturesqueness of this curious and 
interesting figure of our times, that he remained a 
thoroughly orthodox Jew. No one was more con- 
stant at the synagogue until within a few years, and 
even at one hundred he read daily every word of the 
prescribed prayers. He fasted on the anniversary of 
the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans, and on the 
Day of Atonement. The dietary laws of the Penta- 
teuch he obeyed rigorously, and never tasted the 
flesh of animals that divide not the hoof nor chew 
the cud. For each Jewish man-child he would have 


294 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


had the ancient rite of circumcision,—at the passover 
time must be the feast of unleavened bread,—upon 
occasion he wore the embroidered tephil/in, the phy- 
lacteries upon his front ;—he discharged in the syna- 
gogue the functions of Gabay, Parnass, and long 
filled the office of Lavadore, washer of the dead, con- 
ductor of the solemn rites by which the bodies of 
the chosen people are carefully made ready for the 
sepulchre. The supporters on his arms hold aloft 
banners on which the word “ Jerusalem ” is inscribed 
in Hebrew characters, and Jerusalem has been the 
watchword of his life. When questioned as to his 
hope of a restoration of Israel, as expressed by the 
rabbis and prophets, his reply was: ‘‘ I am quite cer- 
tain of it; it has been my constant dream; Pal- 
estine must belong to the Jews, and Jerusalem is 
destined to become the seat of a Jewish empire.” 
Of this man it may, indeed, be said, following the 


words of George Eliot, “he had Oriental sunlight in 
his blood.” 


CHAPTER XSVILE 


HEBREW STATESMEN. 


THE astonishing deeds of men of Hebrew blood as 
statesmen, partly because leadership here always im- 
presses men powerfully, partly because it is not until 
recently that we have seen Jews in this eminence, 
affect the world more profoundly than the other dis- 
tinctions. It is startling enough to see within one 
decade this remnant of a race, a small fraction of the 
population of Europe, so far forward that a few 
years ago George Eliot could say: “At this mo- 
ment the leader of the liberal party in Germany is 
a Jew, the leader of the Republican party in France 
is a Jew, and the head of the Conservatives of Eng- 
land is a Jew”; while, as others assert, the foremost 
Spanish republican, Castelar, is of Jewish descent, 
and the diplomacy of Russia is guided by minds of 
the same race. 

Upon the career of the eloquent and public-spirited 
Castelar we will not here dwell. The name of Lasker, 
though he died among us, is less well-known to Ameri- 
can ears than that of Gambetta, and much less fa- 
miliar than that of Disraeli. Lasker * was, in the Ger- 
man Reichstag, or Parliament, the recognized leader 


* “‘ German Political Leaders,” Tuttle. 


296 THE STORY OF THE $EWS. 


of the great national liberal party (the majority of 
the body), the ablest debater in Germany, a man 
with a brave following. It was he who, in company 
with his fellow-Hebrews, the Frankfort banker Bam- 
berger, and Oppenheim, dared to put a hook into 
the jaws of leviathan himself, the haughty Prince Bis- 
marck, in his too cavalier dealing with the liberties of 
the people. One reads with great satisfaction of the 
triumph of this able, high-minded champion, over 
the sneering, supercilious Junker party, the German 
Squirearchy, which makes it its special work to 
throw obstacles in the path of freedom. They, natu- 
rally, beyond the rest of the nation, have felt the 
traditional dislike of the Jews, and have been accus- 
tomed to ask, when any financial scandal came out, 
with elevated eyebrow and curled lip: ‘ Well, who 
is it this time, Isaac, or Abraham, or Moses?” as 
if a swindler must of necessity be a Jew. It was 
a complete turning of the tables, when Lasker, with 
adroitness and boldness equally remarkable, brought 
home some most discreditable railroad delinquencies 
directly to the doors of Count Itzenplitz and Prince 
Puttbus, high-born functionaries in especial favor 
with the great chancellor and the emperor. With 
all their influence, there was no escape for them from 
the exposures of the fearless deputy ; they hung gib- 
beted in their fraud, and the scoffers were silenced. 
A peculiarity of Lasker's oratory was that in his 
enunciation the syllables were curiously detached, 
as his speech flowed on in its fluent course. When 
he rose in his place, a small. unimpressive figure, 
with a high piercing voice pouring itself out in 


HERR LASKER, 


298 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


this singular staccato, all heads bent forward in re- 
spectful listening; there was not a man in the em- 
pire that could cope with the Hebrew in the intellect- 
ual wrestle. 

If it excites alarm in Germany that the Jews, not 
two per cent. in the population, are elbowing them- 
selves into all the best places,. France perhaps has 
scarcely less reason for fear. Those spiders, the 
brothers Pereire, entangling France, then all Europe, 
in a web of railroads, then sucking out the life and 
forces of the ensnared in a revenue of millions, are 
representatives of a class of great bankers. Much of 
whatever success and glory the Second Empire can 
lay claim to is due to the work of Achille Fould, 
four times Finance Minister; and in the times since, 
how frequent upon the lips of men have been the 
names of the republican deputies Crémieux and 
Gambetta. 

Gambetta!* A year or two since, there was per- 
haps in the world no more interesting name. In the 
humiliations of his country, in 1870, his efforts to 
save her were colossal. He was afterwards, as 
premier, virtual ruler of France, and was almost as 
certain to become the real ruler had he lived as if the 
unswerving primogeniture of the old régime were 
still in force. He was descended from Jews of the 
Italian city of Genoa. A curious story is told of him 
in boyhood, which is of interest as betraying in him 
that strange characteristic intensity of the children 
of Jacob, and which in Gambetta was manifested 
constantly afterward in his career. His father sent 


* “Certain Men of Mark ; Gambetta,” Towle. 


GAMBETTA, 


300 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


him to a school which for some reason was distasteful 
to him. He wrote home that if he were not taken 
away he would put out one of his eyes. His father 
laughed at the threat and disregarded the request, 
and was presently shocked at hearing that the boy 
had actually put out one of his eyes, at the same 
time coolly writing that if he were not removed from 
the hated place he would put out the other. Onlya 
Jewish boy could have resorted to such a measure, 
so outré, so grotesque in the midst of its horrors, for 
bringing his parent to terms. In 1868, the day came at 
last when’Gambetta, then an active, ambitious young 
lawyer, was to take the first step toward a wide fame. 
In defence of newspapers arbitrarily handled by the 
censors of Napoleon III., he made a speech which, 
for vivacity, strength of invective, and beauty, is said 
to be almost without parallel in the French language. 
It was delivered on a dull afternoon in December, in 
a little police court of the city. Gambetta spoke for 
several hours with an audacity and earnestness that 
completely overawed the tribunal, and he was not 
interrupted. What he uttered was the rankest 
treason, a veritable thunderbolt upon the imperial 
head. If it had been delivered by an ordinary man 
in an ordinary way, imprisonment would have fol- 
lowed at once. As it was, judge and people sat spell- 
bound. Rumors ran through the city that a great 
revolutionary address was in progress, till prudent 
tradesmen got their shutters ready, and called their 
children home from school, fearing there would be 
riots in the streets. Police were on the alert; the 
cavairy were held ready as on days of barricade. The 


HEBREW STATESMEN. 301 


daring advocate was, however, left untouched, and 
next morning was famous. 

News of his speech was breathed mysteriously from 
town to town, though the government watched the 
telegraph, and within a week printed copies were in 
the hands of the electors of all France. He was then 
just thirty years old, always carelessly dressed, ner- 
vous, with olive complexion, and intense, brusque 
ways. Aspeech soon followed at Toulouse, in which 
hostility to the empire was more plainly shown, and 
at once the republicans took him up as their cham- 
pion. He soon appeared in the Corps Iségislatif. 
As the central figure of a group of men sworn to 
oppose the empire, he pointed out unshrinkingly the 
follies and knaveries of the imperialist policy, not 
hesitating to declare his belief that a new order of 
things was at hand. He once cried out to the min- 
ister of Napoleon III., Olivier : ‘We accept you and 
your constitution as a bridge to the republic; that’s 
all.”” When at length those days of 1870 came, so dark 
for France, like Frenchmen in general, he had no con- 
ception of the abyss upon the brink of which they 
stood. Not sympathizing with the cry for war with 
Germany, he yet made no vigorous opposition, and 
awoke overwhelmed with surprise at the afflictions 
which prostrated his country. As the forces of the em- 
pireswere so dismally parried and beaten down, the 
olive-skinned, one-eyed young deputy sprang to the 
front withan astonishing vigor. Then first the world at 
large began to read in the crowding despatches that 
odd Italian name which afterwards became so fa- 
miliar. He attained at once to prominence in the 


302 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


Committee of National Defence, and presently was 
Minister of the Interior. For some time after the 
beginning of the Prussian siege, he was at his post 
in Paris, acute and bold, always crying out against 
inaction, lavishing upon his disheartened country- 
men, as he lashed now the poltroons, now uttered 
words of hope, such an eloquence as the French 
chamber has seldom heard. The great Bossuet, in 
the seventeenth century, was called “the eagle of 
Meaux.” In our time the eagle of France for soaring 
speech was this impetuous son of the Jew; and 
appropriately enough, when he had tried in vain by 
miracles in the forum to make good disasters in the 
field, there came that picturesque balloon flight of 
his, in which he sailed through the clouds above the 
hostile belt of fire about Paris, and from a new eyrie 
at Tours, while France lay for the most part beneath 
the foot of the German, faced the danger with voice 
and talon undismayed! 

In those days there,was such unheard of impotency 
in ruler, in generals, in troops, that we knew almost 
nothing of the few real heroes who fought against 
fate with gigantic vigor—an astonishing struggle, 
worthy of the best hearts in any age of that chival- 
rous nation, though they were borne down. The 
wrestle of Gambetta was prodigious. Paris for the 
time was blotted out of France by the Prussiancor- 
don. Elsewhere Gambetta was dictator, minister of 
war and of peace. By wonderful speech and unfalter- 
ing courage in the face of the desperate circum- 
stances, he concluded loans, raised armies, appointed 
generals, quelled dissensions and revolts, combining 


HEBREW STATESMEN. 303 


in himself, as has been said, the executive faculties 
of half a hundred officers. If he had known how to 
handle the sword, those who studied the struggle 
believe that even then, after Metz and Sedan, he 
might have saved France. Such armies and leaders 
as were still left, he tried to make receptacles of his 
own abounding enthusiasm. His voice was heard 
everywhere in the southern provinces always coun- 
selling advance. He hoped against hope that a little 
experience would make solid troops out of raw peas- 
ant levies, inspirited his colleagues with confident 
despatches, fired the disheartened soldiers with pro- 
clamations that were Napoleonic, to face again and 
again the iron Prussians. He was undaunted even 
to the end. 

For-a moment he retired, but was forced into pub- 
lic life in 1871, being elected deputy by ten depart- 
ments. Afterthe return of quieter times, Gambetta 
stood in the fore-front of the Republicans, with a 
power of moving the masses beyond that of any 
contemporary. He grew more moderate, passing 
from a revolutionary leader into a prudent statesman. 
In quiet times his eloquence is described* as “rich, 
sensuous, full of heats, showers, lightnings, perfumes 
of the south.” He spoke with an infinity of gesture, 
a constant play of thought and fancy in his mobile 
face, leaving upon all an impression of reserved 
power. But when the occasion called, there was a wild 
passion in Gambetta absolutely indescribable. ‘‘ His 
hollow and resounding voice was like that of some 
furious prophet of doom. His intense face would 


* Towle. 


304 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


sometimes fly out of the mass of listeners, the 
more timorous of his side would catch him. by the 
clothing, but he could not be restrained. His arm 
would be outstretched, and he would cry defiant con- 
tradiction or hurl the lie in the teeth of those who 
ventured to oppose him.” 

In fact there is nothing reported of those great 
and burning spirits of the old Revolution, of Camille 
Desmoulins, of Vergniaud, the Girondin, of the 
golden-mouthed Mirabeau, indeed, which surpasses 
what we hear of this towering descendant of the 
Hebrew. Says a writer describing a stormy scene in 
the Assembly: “Gambetta was astonishing in the 
midst of the tumult. He went on with his hollow, 
resounding voice, with a retort for every aggression, 
his grand, powerful gestures knowing so well how to 
give such terrific explosion to anger, such comic force 
to irony. He went on in disorder, his hair falling 
over his brow, shaking his head, throwing taunts at 
his interrupters, distributing sledge-hammer blows, 
sowing apostrophes and sarcasms broadcast.” 

Americans in general know little of the politics of 
France. We have been inclined to belittle the na- 
tion, though less of late than in 1870, when the brave 
people were so strangely panic-struck and delivered 
over. But down the dark future the wise reader of 
the signs of the times seems to hear even now a new 
clash of arms, a sudden, overwhelming spring upon 
Alsace and Lorraine, an outpouring of molten zeal, 
as in the revolutionary days, consuming, as it con- 
sumed before, Teutonic power and prestige. There 
was the other day, in France, a man of burning soul 


HEBREW STATESMEN. 305 


and commanding intellect, fully determined, if occa- 
sion served, ‘to attempt this. The idol of masses of 
his countrymen, with his hand already on the strings 
of power, a soul perhaps scarcely less potent than 
that of the other Italian, the earth-shaking man of 
destiny. Had he lived, the Genoese might have re- 
peated the career of the Corsican. 


And now we take up the most singular and fasci- 
nating of characters, the adventurer born among out- 
casts, who had the address to make himself the lead- 
er of the haughtiest and most conservative of 
aristocracies, the Tories of Great Britain.* Born a 
Jew of the ‘Sephardim,” the die of the race, of a 
family of Spanish derivation, which, after a sojourn 
in Venice, came in the last century to England, 
the Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, when 
twelve years old, through the instrumentality of 
Samuel Rogers, the poet, who felt that the bright 
boy ought to have a career, was baptized a Chris- 
tian.t We shall, however, find no better type of 
the Jew than he. His descent was written in every 
trait of his character, as in every feature of his 
face. The persistency with which he fought his way 
upward, handicapped by limitations of every kind, 
by outward circumstances, by personal peculiarities 
which brought ridicule, his origin in the eyes of the 
world so contemptible—it is that extraordinary Jew- 
ish force. Without dwelling upon his lighter title 
to fame, his literary career, let us take up at once the 


* Brandes: ‘‘ Life of Beaconsfield.” 
+ His father was Isaac Disraeli, an author of some reputation. 


306 THE STORY OF THE $EWS. 


story of his first speech in Parliament, into which he 
at last pushed himself after disappointments and 
labors that can scarcely be measured. At length he 
stood there, the strange, fantastic figure, the olive skin, 
the thick Jewish nose, the black curl on his forehead, 
the Oriental passion for glitter and adornment in his 
blood manifesting itself in excess of jewelry, finical 
attire, curling and scented hair,—and presumed to 
call to account Daniel O’Connell, then in the very 
height of his influence. The great agitator, with his 
hat tipped on the back of his head, leaning back in 
an attitude of easy insolence, stared at him in sur- 
prise, presently shaking his burly figure as he laughed 
in his face. The whole House of Commonsat length 
was roaring with mockery at the dandy upstart, who 
seemed to most of them like some intruding pawn- 
broker. Showing no pity to the untried and friend- 
less speaker, they laughed him into silente, but 
before the silence came, there was a memorable 
manifestation. Raising his voice to a scream which 
pierced the uproar, and shaking his thin hand at the 
hostile house, he cried, “ The time will come when 
you will be glad to hear me!” 

Thence onward he runs in his marvellous Parlia- 
mentary career, speaking on every question, more 
often the mark of obloquy than eulogy, advocating 
often policies which few Americans can approve, but 
always with pluck and fire perfectly indomitable, 
. rising slowly toward leadership, battered as his head 
became prominent, by every Parliamentary missile, 
mercilessly lampooned, written down by able editors, 
ever pushing his way undismayed, until one day the 


ISAAC DISRAELI, 


308 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


world gave in to him and knelt to kiss his feet. It 
is interesting to read how he was borne up by his 
noble wife, whom he loved with all his soul. Here 
is a slight incident, one of many similar ones. Dis- 
raeli was to speak in Parliament at an important 
crisis. He entered the carriage with his wife to 
drive to Westminster. The coachman, slamming the 
door violently, caught the lady’s hand, injuring it 
severely. Fearing to disturb her husband, on the 
eve, as he was, of a great effort, she wrapped it in 
her handkerchief hastily, without uttering a sound or 
changing her face, drove, cheerfully chatting to the 
House, and not until the arrow had been sent with 
all his steady strength, did the great archer know the 
circumstance which might have impaired his aim. 
Disraeli’s public course furnishes points enough to 
which exception might be taken; perhaps his per- 
sonal character may have been in many ways open 
to criticism. But certainly, if a tonic influence goes 
forth into the world from every man who boldly 
wrestles with difficulty, no one has done more in this 
way to brace his generation than this superbly 
strong and courageous champion, rising from the 
dust to guide the mightiest and haughtiest power 
upon the face of the earth, so that it was obedient 
not only to his deliberate will, but to his caprices. 
A Christian and an orthodox Christian he was 
* throughout his career, but none the less the most 
arrogant of Jews. He feared, says his able biographer, 
Brandes, if he dropped the supernatural origin of 
Jesus, he would be depriving his race of the nimbus 
which encircles it, as the people among whom God 


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310 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


himself, as the Redeemer of the world, was born. 
To him Christianity was only Judaism completed, 
Judaism for the multitude. “He hate Christ! He 
is the fairest flower and eternal pride of the Jewish 
race, a son of the chosen royal family of the chosen 
people,—the people which in an intellectual sense 
has conquered Europe, and the quarters of the 
world peopled by Europeans. Northern Europe 
worships the son of a Jewish mother, and gives him 
a place at the right hand of the Creator; Southern 
Europe worships besides, as queen of heaven, a 
Jewish maiden.” Commemorating the glories of 
Jerusalem, Disraeli bursts out in his “ Tancred”: 
“There might be counted heroes and sages who 
need shrink from no rivalry with the brightest and 
wisest of other lands,—a lawgiver of the time of the 
Pharaohs whose laws are still obeyed; a monarch 
whose reign has ceased three thousand years, but 
whose wisdom is still a proverb in all the nations of 
the earth; a teacher whose doctrines have modelled 
the whole civilized world. The greatest of legisla- 
tors, the greatest of administrators, the greatest of 
reformers—what race, extinct or living, can produce 
such men as these?” “Suppose,” exclaims the 
Jewess Eva, with an earnestness which we may be 
sure is the real feeling of the author, ‘‘ Suppose the 
Jews had not prevailed on the Romans to crucify 
Christ, what would have become of the atonement ? 
The holy race supplied the victim and the immola- 
tors. What other race could have been entrusted 
with such a consummation? Persecute us! if you 
believe what you profess you should kneel to us. 
You raise statues to the hero that saves a country. 


| 


HEBREW STATESMEN. 3 EF 


We have saved the human race and you persecute us 
for doing it!” 

Elsewhere Disraeli eloquently dwells upon the 
magnificent influence of Hebrew literature. ‘The 
most popular poet of England is and has been David, 
the sweet singer of Israel. There never has been a 
race that sang so often the odes of David, and its 
best achievements have been performed under their 
inspiration. It was the “sword of the Lord and of 
Gideon” that won the boasted liberties of England 
in Cromwell’s days; chanting the same canticles that 
cheered the heart of Judah among the_glens, the 
Scotch upon their hill-sides achieved their religious 
freedom.” Staying their souls upon the same brace, 
he might have continued, the Pilgrim Fathers lifted 
into place the foundation pillars of America. There 
are no bounds to the exultation of the patriotic en- 
thusiast. Men of other lands have been deified, he 
says,—Alexander the Greek, Czsar the Roman—but 
only in the case of Jesus, the Hebrew, has the 
apotheosis endured. 

For pride of race what can surpass such utterances! 
“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath 
shined”; “The seed of Jacob the chosen people;” 
God himself stooping from heaven to command the 
Egyptian, ‘‘ Let my people go!” What an echo do 
these soaring claims of the old biblical writers find 
far down the ages from the nineteenth century! one 
and the same exultant utterance from ancient David, 
who before the ark of the Lord wore the diadem of 
Hebrew sovereignty, and from him who in the su- 
preme places of the world just now wore the coronet 
of an English earl! 


CHAPTER XIX. 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL.* 


HAS the spirit of this race, so intense, so persistent, 
so trampled by persecution, ever found in modern 
times an adequate voice in poetry? Yes; a voice 
which is pervaded with all the melancholy that such 
long-continued suffering would cause, in which we 
seem to hear sometimes the saddest wailing; then 
again a terrible wit, sometimes indeed lightly play- 
ful, but more often resembling the laughter of a man 
mad through despair ; in which, too, there is at times 
a gall and bitterness as of the waters of Marah, 
poured out too indiscriminately upon the innocent, as 
upon those worthy of scorn,—the voice of Heinrich 
Heine. 

He was born of Jewish parents at Dtisseldorf on 
the Rhine. ‘“ How old are you?” says a personage 
to him in one of his works. “Signora, I was born 
on New Year's Day, 1800.” “‘I have always told 
you,’ said the marquise, ‘that he was one of the 
first men cf the century.” The Heine family came 
from Biickeburg, a little principality whose insignifi- 
cance Heine merrily hits off. Alluding to a saying 
of Danton, in the French Revolution, who, when he 


* Adapted from the writer’s ‘‘ Short Hist. of Germ. Lit.” 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. ay3 


was urged to leave his country to save his life, 
exclaimed: ‘“ What! can a man carry his fatherland 
on the soles of his feet!’ he says: 


“*O Danton, thou must for thine error atone ; 

Thou art not one of the true souls; 

For a man caz carry his fatherland 
About with him on his shoe-soles. 

Of Biickeburg’s principality 
Full half on my boots I carried. 

Such muddy roads I’ve never beheld ; 
Since here in the world I ’ve tarried.” 


When Heine was nineteen he was sent to Frank- 
fort to learn business. Waterloo had come four 
years before, and in the restored order the Jews 
were thrust back into their old condition from which 
Napoleon had freed them. As one passes through 
the Juden-gasse in Frankfort, it is perhaps the most 
interesting reminiscence that can be recalled, that 
there, in the noisome lanes, moved the figure of the 
young poet, hearing with his fellows, at the stroke 
of the hour, the bolting of the harsh gates. Soon 
after we find him in Hamburg, where his uncle, 
Solomon Heine, was the money-prince of North 
Germany, and a man famous for his benefactions in 
all directions. Convinced at length that a business 
career would never be to his taste, he was for a time 
at the University of Géttingen, then in Berlin, 
where he became intimate with Varnhagen von 
Ense and his Hebrew wife Rahel, people of elegant 
culture and brilliant gifts; whose salon fills almost 
the place in the literary history of the northern 
capital that is filled by the Hotel Rambouillet in 


314 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


France. “His gifts grew ripe in this literary atmos- 
phere, and he presently entered upon his poetic 
career. He hoped at this time for a government 
position or a university professorship, for either of 
which the abjuration of the faith of his ancestors 
was necessary. This was resolved upon, and he was 
baptized into the Lutheran Church. The change 
was made purely from motives of expediency ; he 
had no faith in the doctrines of the’ Church into 
which he was received ; in his attachment to his race 
he remained a genuine Jew. For years after, Heine’s 
mind was ill-at-ease for this apostasy. “I will bea 
Japanese,” he writes. ‘‘ They hate nothing so much 
as the cross. I will bea Japanese.” The advantage 
he sought he did not secure; his position, on the 
other hand, becoming more uncomfortable than be- 
fore. In this period of his life Heine strikes into 
that mocking vein of writing which he preserved so 
constantly afterward, both in his prose and his 
poetry. Leaving Géttingen for a journey in the 
Harz, after having contracted a spite against the 
society of the town, he laughed mercilessly at his 
old associates. 

“T have especial fault to find that the conception 
has not been sufficiently refuted that the ladies of 
Gottingen have large feet. I have busied myself 
from year’s end to years end with the earnest 
confutation of this opinion, and in the profound 
treatise which shall contain the results of these 
studies, I speak, 1, of feet generally; 2, of the feet 
of the ancients; 3, of the feet of elephants; 4, of 
the feet of the ladies of Géttingen ; then if I can get 


HEINRICH HEINE, 


316 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


paper big enough, I will add thereto some copper- 
plate engravings, with portraits, life-size, of the 
ladies’ feet of Gdttingen.” Again, to hit off the 
pedantry of the town, he says: “In front of the 
Weender gate two little school-boys met me, one of 
whom said to the other: ‘I will not walk with 
Theodor any more; he is a low fellow, for yesterday 
he did not know the genitive of mensa.’ ” 
_ He soon arrived at fame. A multitude of readers 
followed his pen with delight. His songs were 
everywhere sung; his witty and graphic prose com- 
mended itself no less. His nonchalant irreverence, 
which not infrequently runs into insolence and blas- 
phemy, his disregard of proprieties, his outspoken 
scorn of the powers that ruled, brought down upon 
him, not unnaturally, fierce persecution. He trav- 
elled in various directions, not only in Germany, but 
visiting Italy, France, and England, his sparkling 
record keeping pace with his steps. At length, out- 
lawed in Germany, he made his home in Paris. He 
was constantly writing, did much as a critic of art 
and literature, much in the field of politics. His 
poems are numberless; sometimes simple and sweet 
throughout as an outgush from the heart of the most 
innocent of children; sometimes with an uncanny 
or diabolic suggestion thrown in at the end, as the 
red mouse at length runs out of the mouth of the 
beauty with whom Faust dances on the Brocken in 
the Walpurgis-nacht ; sometimes, again, full of a very 
vitriol of acrid denunciation. 

The story of Heine’s last years is one of almost 
unparalleled sadness. He was attacked with a soften- 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. 317 


ing of the spinal marrow ; it stretched him upon his 
bed where he lingered eight years, enduring great 
agony. He wore out the weary time on his “ mat- 
tress-grave,” as he called it, nursed by his wife, an 
ignorant but good-hearted grisette. The terrible 
chastening brought no change to his spirit. It isa 
dark life almost everywhere ; but as he lay stretched 
upon his mattress-grave, there was a bitterness in his 
mocking, an audacity in his blasphemies, which the 
wildest declarations of his preceding years had not 
possessed. No moanings from an A¢olian harp were 
ever sweeter than the utterances which occasionally 
came as the tempestuous agony swept down upon 
him. We see, too, a better side in his will: ‘‘I die in 
the belief of one only God, the eternal creator of the 
world, whose pity I implore for my immortal soul. 
I lament that I have sometimes spoken of sacred 
things without due reverence, but I was carried 
away more by the spirit of my time than by my own 
inclinations. I pray both God and man for pardon.” 
At length came Feb. 16, 1856. A friend bending 
over him asked him if he were on good terms with 
God. ‘Let your mind rest,” said Heine. ‘God 
will pardon me; that ’s what he’s for.” And so 
with a devil-may-care mock upon his lips, the child of 
the Jew, in whom the spirit of the race, cruelly be- 
set through so many slow-moving centuries, at length 
found utterance for its sorrow, its yearnings, its im- 
placable spite, went forth to his account. © 

That Heine was the most unaccountable of men 
will hardly need further illustration. In one breath 
he writes “The Pilgrimage to Kevlaar,’ a poem 


318 THE STORY OF THE $¥EWS. 


which one would say must have come from the 
heart of an artless, ignorant peasant, full of unques- 
tioning Catholic piety ; in another, it is the grotesque 
satire Atta Troll, in which the Catholic conception 
of heaven is burlesqued with unshrinking, Mephis- 
tophelean audacity. 

The difficulties of rendering in Heine’s case are 
perhaps quite insurmountable. Nothing was ever so 
airy and volatile as his wit, nothing ever so delicate 
as his sentiment. In the process of translation the 
aroma half exhales. What, as Heine has distilled it, 
is most searchingly pungent, becomes insipid in a 
foreign phrase ; what causes tears, as it flows on in 
the German rhythm in pathetic, child-like artlessness, 
in English words sinks to commonplace. Let us, 
however, attempt it. There has not lived in our 
time such a master of brilliant, graphic description. 
Here are passages from his child-life at Diisseldorf, 
quoted from the “ Book Le Grand.” The book is 
named from an old drummer who fills the child with 
Napoleonic inspirations. 

“As I woke the sun appeared, as usual, through 
the windows, and a drum was beating below; and 
as I stepped into our parlor and bade my father, who 
still sat in the white gown in which the barber had 
been powdering him, good-morning, I heard the 
light-footed hair-dresser tell, while he was plying the 
curling-tongs, that that day, at the Town Hall, hom- 
age was to be rendered to the new Grand Duke, 
Joachim Murat. As he spoke, drums were beating 
once more; and I stepped to the house-door and 
saw in full march the French troops, the light- 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. ~ 319 


hearted sons of glory, who went singing and clinking 
through the world, the grave and gay grenadier 
guards, the tall bear-skin caps, the tricolored cock- 
ades, the glancing bayonets, the voltigeurs full of 
jollity and pozut d'honneur, and the great silver-sticked 
drum-major, who could reach with his stick up to the 
first story, and with his eyes up to the second, where 
the pretty girls sat at the windows.” 

At length Napoleon appears. ‘The emperor wore 
his unpretending green uniform, and the little world- 
historic hat. He rode a white pony; negligent, al- 
most hanging, he sat, one hand holding high the 
reins, the other patting good-naturedly the -pony’s 
neck. His face had that color which we see in 
marble heads of Greek and Roman sculpture; its 
features were nobly impressed, like those of antiques ; 
and on this countenance it stood written: ‘Thou 
shalt have no other gods before me.’ A smile— 
which warmed and quieted every heart hovered about 
the lips; and yet we know that those lips had only 
to whistle, and Prussia would no longer exist ; those 
lips needed only to whistle, and all the clergy would 
be rung out; those lips needed only to whistle, and 
the whole Holy Roman Empire would dance; and 
those lips smiled, and the eye, too, smiled. It was 
an eye clear as the heavens; it could read in the 
heart of man; it saw with sudden quickness all the 
things of this world, while the rest of us only looked 
at one another and over colored shadows. The brow 
was not so clear; the ghosts of future battles 
haunted it; sometimes it moved convulsively, and 
those were the creating thoughts—the great seven- 


320 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


mile-boots thoughts—with which the emperor’s spirit 
invisibly strode over the world. The emperor rode 
quietly through the avenue; behind him, proud on 
snorting horses, and loaded with gold and ornaments, 
rode his suite; the drums rolled, the trumpets 
sounded and the people cried with a thousand voices: 
‘Vive l’empereur!’” 

The Germans have been accused of wanting 
greatly in wit and humor,* but certain it is that this 
German Jew, more than any man probably of the 
present century in the civilized world possessed these 
gifts; we must regard him as a genius coérdinate 
with Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Montaigne. His 
conversation was full of wit, even when he lay in the 
greatest misery on his “ mattress-grave.”” He was 
asked if he had read one of the shorter pieces of a 
certain dull writer. ‘‘ No,” said he, “I never read 
any but the great works of our friend. I like best 
his three -, four-, or five-volume books. Water on a 
large scale—a lake, a sea, an ocean—is a fine thing ; 
but I can’t endure water in a spoon.” 

Once at a time of great distress, the physician who _ 
was examining his chest, asked: ‘“ Pouvez-vous 
siffer?’’ ‘‘Hélas, non!” was the reply. “Pas 
méme les piéces de M. Scribe.” 

In many of his poems he rattles on in the merriest, 
most nonchalant carelessness, shooting out, now 
and then, the sharpest darts of spite. Poor Ger- 
many was forever his butt, as in the following: 


From Cologne, at quarter to eight in the morn, 
My journey’s course I followed ; 


* J. R. Lowell: Essay on Lessing. 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL, 


Toward three of the clock to Hagen we came, 
And there our dinner we swallowed. 


The table was spread, and here I found 
The real old German cooking. 

I greet thee, dear old ‘‘ sauer-kraut,” 
With thy delicate perfume smoking ! 


Mother’s stuffed chestnuts in cabbage green } 
They set my heart in a flutter. 

Codfish of my country, I greet ye fine 
As ye cunningly swim in your butter ! 


How the sausage révelled in sputtering fat ! 
And field-fares, small angels pious, 

All roasted and swaddled in apple-sauce, 
Twittered out to me, ‘‘ Only try us!” 


“ Welcome, countryman,” twittered they, 
‘*To us at length reverting. 
How long, alas! in foreign parts, 
With poultry strange you ’ve been flirting !” 


A goose, a quiet and genial soul, 
Was on the table extended. 

Perhaps she loved me once, in the days 
Before our youth was ended. 


She threw at me such a meaning look! 
So trustful, tender, and pensive, 

Her soul was beautiful—but her meat !— 
Was tough I ’m apprehensive. 


On a pewter-plate a pig’s head they brought ; 
And you know, in the German nation, 

It’s the snouts of the pigs that they always crown 
With a laurel decoration.* 


* Deutschland, ein Wintermarchen, 


321 


322 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


What power of scornful utterance Heine possessed, 


the potentates of Germany, who persecuted him, — 


> 
felt to the uttermost—none more than Friedrich 


Wilhelm IV., of Prussia, and Ludwig II., of Bavaria. 
Both were monarchs possessed of intellectual gifts 
and with some good purposes. Each, however, 
was in his own way weak and sensual. Stupidly 
brutal were the heels that sought to crush Heine; 
but like a snake, writhing and rearing its crest, he 
strikes with fangs so full of diabolical venom, that 
we are almost forced to pity the oppressor. 

The brilliant wit and poet must be judged with 
severity, however beneficial the scourging which he 
administered may sometimes have been. His wit 
was Often distorted to cynicism, his frivolity to inso- 
lence and vulgarity. It is hard to believe he was in 
earnest about any thing. In multitudes of passages, 
both prose and poetry, he suddenly interrupts the 
expression of intense emotion by a grotesque sug- 
gestion which makes the emotion or its object ridicu- 
lous. For Napoleon one would imagine that he felt 
the most genuine and earnest enthusiasm of his life. 
There is a certain passage in the “ Book Le Grand” 
full of power, in which he denounces England for 
her treatment of the emperor at St. Helena; yet as 
if an actor, after giving the curse in Lear, should 
suddenly thrust his tongue into his cheek and draw 
his face into a grimace, Heine ends his denuncia- 
tion with a laughable turn, in which he gratifies his 
petty spite at his old university. ‘“ Strange! a ter- 
rible fate has already overtaken the three principal 
opponents of the emperor: Lord Castlereagh has cut 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. 323 


his throat, Louis XVIII. has rotted on his throne, 
and Prof. Saalfeld is still always professor at Gét- 
tingen !” 

Among English writers, Heine has points of resem- 
blance to Sterne, still more to Byron; but to my 
mind ‘his closest English analogue in genius and 
-character is Dean Swift. In Swift’s career, it is per- 
haps the pleasantest incident that he could attract 
the love of Stella and Vanessa, and feel for them a 
friendship which perhaps amounted to love. In 
Heine’s honorable affection for two women, his wife 
“Nonotte” and his mother, the “old lady of the 
Damm Thor,” we see him at his best. Heine and 
Swift were place-hunters, who sought for advance- 
ment in questionable ways, only to be disappointed ; 
for both there was disease at the end that was 
worse than death. Such gall and wormwood as 
they could pour upon their adversaries, what sin- 
ners elsewhere have tasted! With what whips of 
scorpions they smote folly and vice, but who will 
dare to say it was through any love of virtue? Both 
libelled useful and honorable men with coarse lam- 
poons; in both there was too frequent sinking into 
indecency. 

But there was a field in which the bitter dean had 
no part with the sufferer of the “ mattress-grave.” 
Heine was not altogether a scoffer; his power of 
touching the tenderest sensibilities is simply wonder- 
ful. In his plaintive songs the influence of Roman- 
ticism can be clearly seen, and also of the popular 
ballad, whose character he caught most felicitously. 
He assumed a certain negligence, which gave his 


324 _ THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


poems an air of pure naturalness and immediateness, 
whereas they were the products of consummate art.* 
But no poet has ever been able to convey so thor- 
oughly the impression of perfect artlessness. The 
“Princess Ilse,” for instance, one would say could 
have been written by no other than the most inno- 
cent of children. 


" ILSE, 


I am the Princess Ilse, - 
To my castle come with me,— 
To the Ilsenstein, my dwelling, 
And we will happy be. 


Thy forehead will I moisten 
From my clear-flowing rill, 

Thy griefs thou shalt leave behind thee, 
Thou soul with sorrow so ill ! 


Upon my bosom snowy, 
Within my white arms fold, 

There shalt thou lie and dream a dream 
Of the fairy lore of old. 


I'll kiss thee, and softly cherish, 
As once I cherished and kissed 

The dear, dear Kaiser Heinrich, 
So long ago at rest. 


The dead are dead forever ; 
The living alone live still ; 

And I am blooming and beautiful ; 
My heart doth laugh and thrill. 


O come down into my castle, 
My castle crystal bright ! 

There dance the knights and the maidens ; 
There revels each servant wight. 


* Kurz: ‘Geschichte der deutschen Literatur.” 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. 325 


There rustle the garments silken, — 
There rattles the spear below. 

The dwarfs drum and trumpet and fiddle, 
And the bugle merrily blow. 


Yet my arm shall softly enclose thee, 
As it Kaiser Heinrich enclosed ; 
When the trumpets’ music thundered, 
His ears with my hands I closed. 


It is very pleasant, too, to read these lines to his 
wife, written on his death-bed : 


I was, O lamb, as shepherd placed, 

To guard thee in this earthly waste. 

To thee I did refreshment bring ; 

To thee brought water from the spring. 
When cold the winter storm alarmed 

I have thee in my bosom warmed, 

I held thee folded, close embracing, 
When torrent rains were rudely chasing, 
And woodland brook and hungry wolf 
Howled, rivals, in the darksome gulf. 
Thou didst not fear—thou hast not quivered, 
Even when‘the bolt of thunder shivered 
The tallest pine ; upon my breast, 

In peace and calm thou lay’st at rest. 


My arm grows weak. Lo, creeping there 
Comes pallid Death !_ My shepherd care, 
My herdsman’s office, now I leave. 

Back to thy hands, O God, I give 

My staff ; and now I pray thee guard 
This lamb of mine, when ’neath the sward 
I lie ; and suffer not, I pray, 

That thorns should pierce her on the way. 
From nettles harsh protect her fleece ; 
From soiling marshes give release ; 

And everywhere, her feet before, 


326 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


With sweet grass spread the meadows o’er ; 
And let her sleep from care as blest - 
As once she slept upon my breast. 


Onee at a critical time in our country’s history, it 
happened to me to visit a negro school. We went 
from room to room among the dusky faces, until at 
last one said: ‘“‘ Let us have them sing.” Presently 
the voices rose and fell in a marvellous song. Out 
of the windows the heavens hung sombre about us; 
the dark faces were before us, the children of the 
race whose presence among us has brought to them, 
in each generation, tragedy so pathetic,—the race 
that has brought to us so innocently such subject 
for controversy, such occasion for bloodshed, and on 
account of which we still sometimes seem to hear 
such fateful thunder-mutterings of approaching dis- 
aster. The news of the morning had predisposed us 
to gloom ; the associations now conspired to deepen 
it; the strange melody which came pouring forth 
seemed, somehow, singularly in keeping. There was 
in my spirit no defined feeling, but a vague unrest, 
at once a foreboding of calamity and yearning after 
peace. It was precisely the sentiment of the song. 
The singers seemed to feel it ; we who listened felt 
it, and there were eyes whose lids trembled with the 
coming tears. It was the “ Lorelei” of Heine: 


“*T cannot tell what it forebodeth, 
That I am so sad to-day.” 


The words so simple—so infantile almost in sense, 
and yet with which is marvellously bound such ten- 
der feeling! As one repeats the lines, they are al- 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. 327 


most nothing; yet caught within them, like some 
sad sweet-throated nightingale within a net, there 
pants such a pathos! What could have been farther 
away! What cared we then for the Rhine, and the 
sorceress who sings upon its banks, and the boatman 
engulfed in the whirlpool! What knew or cared 
the singers! But something indescribable came 
pulsing forth to us from out of the words, and I 
felt that somehow it was the appropriate utterance 
for the mood in which we found ourselves—the 
thing to hear from the dark-faced youths before us, 
—an undefined sorrow,—a foreshadowing of danger 
all unknown and vague! Mighty the poet, I thought, 
whose verse can come home with such power in lands 
and among races so far away ! 

The child of the Jew he was—of the race among 
the races of the earth possessed of the most intense 
passionate force—and in him his people found a voice. 
Now it is a sound of wailing, melancholy and sweet 
as that heard by the rivers of Babylon, when the 
harps were hung upon the willows; now a Hebrew 
aspiration, lofty as the peal of the silver trumpets be- 
fore the Holy of Holies in the Temple service, when 
the gems in the high-priest’s breast-plate flashed with 
the descending deity ; now a call to strive for free- 
dom, bold and clear as the summons of the Maccabees. 
But think of the cup that has been pressed to the 
Jew’s lips for almost two thousand years! The 
bitterness has passed into his soul, and utters it- 
self in scorn and poisoned mocking. He cares not 
what sanctities he insults, nor whether the scoff 
touches the innocent as well as the guilty. Perse- 


328 THE STORY OF THE ¥YEWS. 


cution has brought to pass desperation, which utters 
itself at length in infernal laughter. 

A touching story is told of Heine’s last walk in 
the Boulevard, from which he went home to the 
death in life he was doomed to undergo for many 
years. It was in May, 1848, a day of revolution. 
“Masses of people rolled along the streets of Paris, 
driven about by their tribunes as by storms. The 
poet, half-blind, half-lame, dragged himself on his 
stick, tried to extricate himself from the deafening 
uproar, and fled into the Louvre close by. He 
stepped into the rooms of the palace, in that 
troubled time nearly empty, and found himself 
on the ground-floor, in the room in which the an- 
cient gods and goddesses stand. Suddenly he 
stood before the ideal of beauty, the smiling, en- 
trancing goddess, the miracle of an unknown master 
—the Venus of Milo. Overcome, agitated, strickén 
through, almost terrified at her aspect, the sick man 
staggered back till he sank on a seat, and tears, hot 
and bitter, streamed down his cheeks. The beauti- 
ful lips of the goddess, which appear to breathe, 
smiled with her wonted smile at her unhappy vic- 
tim.””* Heine says himself in a letter: 

“Only with pain could I drag myself to the 
Louvre, and I was nearly exhausted when I entered 
the lofty hall where the blessed goddess of beauty, 
our dear lady of Milo, stands on her pedestal. At 
her feet I lay a long time, and I wept so passion- 
ately that a stone must have had compassion on me. 
Therefore the goddess looked down pityingly upon 


* Meissner. 


A SWEET SINGER IN ISRAEL. 329 


me, yet at the same time inconsolably, as though 
she would say: ‘See you not that I have no arms, 
and that therefore I can give you no help?’”’ 

Of the spots associated with Heine, there is none 
so interesting as that room in the Louvre. I stood 
there on a day when disturbance again raged in the 
streets of Paris. It was the end of August, 1870. 
In Alsace and Lorraine the armies of France had 
just been crushed; in the next week was to come 
Sedan. The streets were full of the tumult of war, 
the foot-beat of passing regiments, the clatter of 
drill, the Marseillaise. On the Seine, just before, a 
band of ouvrzers had threatened to throw us into the 
river as Prussian spies. In the confusion, the shrine 
of the serene goddess was left vacant, as at that 
former time. I found it a hushed asylum, the fairest 
of statues, rising from its pedestal, wearing upon its 
lips its eternal smile. The rounded outlines swelled 
into their curves of perfect beauty; within the eyes 
lay the divine calm; on the neck a symmetry more 
than mortal ;—all this, and, at the same time, the mu- 
tilation, the broken folds of the drapery, the dints 
made in the marble by barbarian blows, the absent 
arms. When one stands before the Venus of Milo, 
it is not unworthy of even so high a moment to call 
up the image of that suffering man of great genius, 
shamed from his sneer, and restored to his best self 
in the supernal presence. May we not see in the 
statue a type of Heine’s genius, so shorn of strength, 
so stained and broken, yet in the ruin of beauty and 
power so unparalleled ! 


CHAPTER XX. 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 


FELIX MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY shall be our 
type of the Hebrew artist ; but since he was scarcely 
less interesting in his character than he was as a 
musician, and since the household of which he was a 
member were in great part as fair in their lives, and 
almost as gifted in their genius as he, we must not 
take him as-an isolated figure, but look at him in his 
relations. In this way we shall best understand the 
beauty of his spirit, while some idea is formed of the 
kindred, some of whom scarcely less than he, deserve 
to be celebrated. 

The family of Moses Mendelssohn, the little chil- 
dren who walked with their father through the 
streets of Berlin, and could not understand why the 
Christian boys hooted at them and called them 
names, became men and women remarkable in them- 
selves, and noteworthy also as the parents, in their 
turn, of children who have led, in times near our 
own, famous and charming lives. The noble thinker 
was, with all his liberal spirit, as we have seen, never- 
theless, thoroughly a Jew, answering the over-zealous 
Lavater, with true Hebrew haughtiness, when he 
felt that the sanctities of his hereditary faith were 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 331 


too rudely touched, In minor matters of discipline 
he was faithful to the ancient standards, maintaining, 
for instance, in. his family the rigid patriarchal rule 
which did not relax, even though the child grew 
gray, until the father died. 

Of the three sons and three daughters of Moses 
Mendelssohn, Dorothea was probably in her time 
the most distinguished, a woman of brilliant mind 
and admirable qualities, whose career in spite of 
great eccentricities, deserves a glance from us. She 
was the least exemplary of the children; her irregu- 
larities, however, were due to her strange surround- 
ings, and do not cancel her substantial worth. 

According to Hebrew fashion, the sons of a family 
had small liberty in the choice of wives, and the 
daughters none at all in the choice of husbands. 
Moses Mendelssohn married Dorothea, with no con- 
sultation of her wishes, to the Berlin trader, Veit, a. 
man worthy but thorougly uncongenial to the bright-: 
minded girl. After some years of union, during 
which she bore to him children, she forsook her hus- 
band to form an irregular connection, similar to that 
between George Eliot and G. H. Lewes, with the 
distinguished Friedrich Schlegel. Strangely enough 
honest Veit remained thoroughly friendly, acquies- 
cing in the separation, in fact, with an equanimity 
which seems to imply that the discomfort had not 
been entirely on the side of the wife. Schlegel soon 
rose to brilliant fame, with which Dorothea, whose 
literary gifts were remarkable, was closely connected. 
Schlegel’s story “ Lucinde” a memorable utterance 
of “Romanticism,” of which literary tendency he 


332 THE STORY OF THE YEWS. 


was the founder and best type, was an outgrowth of 
this left-handed relation, a book not edifying, but 
curious as an expression from a strange world, now 
passed away. Schlegel and Dorothea at last were 
married. The latter became a Christian, and, with 
her husband, a Catholic. Removing to Vienna they 
were at last distinguished personages at the court 
of Austria, where the political course of Schlegel 
became as reactionary as his course in religion; for 
he used his fine powers to uphold against all revolu- 
tionary tendencies the threatened House of Haps- 
burg. ; 

Another of the daughters of Moses Mendelssohn, 
a bright and amiable woman, also became a devout 
Catholic. The sons possessed characters of better 
balance than the daughters. They advanced from 
the position of their father as far as he himself had 
gone beyond the ancient landmarks. Joseph, the 
elder, became a prosperous banker, but maintained a 
great interest in intellectual pursuits, having espe- 
cial note as’an important friend and helper of Alex- 
ander von Humboldt. Abraham, however, the 
second son, is, of all the children of Moses, the most 
attractive, a sweet enlightened soul, as devoid of 
extravagance as of narrowness,—a most engaging 
figure in himself, and the parent of children whose 
memory the world will not willingly let die. The 
great composer, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, was 
his second child. The modest father deemed him- 
self- inconspicuous and unimportant between the 
illustrious names that preceded and followed him. 
“Formerly, I was the son of my father,’’ he used to 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 333 


say, “but now I am the father of my son.” But he 
was really in himself a vigorous and independent 
character. With his wife, Leah Salomon, a Berlin 
Jewess, he was suitably mated. Her portrait, in the 
book of her grandson, Sebastian Hensel, which is 
the authority upon which this sketch of the Men- 
delssohn family is based, shows a face in which 
power and amiability are blended, the eyes in partic- 
ular looking forth with a light that suggests genius. 

Of the four children, Fanny, the elder, as well as 
Felix, early showed remarkable musical genius. 
Rebecca, the third, perhaps surpassed the others in 
intellectual power, though inferior to Fanny and 
Felix as regards their special gift. Though Abra- 
ham and Leah themselves preferred, until late in 
life, to remain Jews, they resolved that their chil- 
dren should be brought up as Christians, and here we 
reach a point which some will find it hard to approve. 
How can parents, without insincerity or culpable 
indifference, while retaining one faith, cause their 
children to be educated in another? What justifi- 
cation is possible can best be given in the words of 
Abraham Mendelssohn himself ; whether it is suffi- 
cient the reader must judge. The perusal of the ex- 
planation, however, will satisfy all that the father 
was delicately conscientious, and that he himself had 
no scruples. In reaching his conclusion, he was 
much influenced by a brother of Leah, who had 
himself_ become a Christian, whose expressions all 
will admit to be wise and broad. Wrote the brother- 
in-law, when Abraham at first felt that the children 
must be brought up as Jews: 


334 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


“You say you owe it to the memory of your 
father. * * * You may remain faithful to an 
oppressed, persecuted religion—you may leave it to 
your children as a prospect of life-long martyrdom, 
as long as you believe it to be absolute truth; but 
when you have ceased to believe that, it is barbar- 
ism.” Abraham had ceased to believe that. He 
wrote to Fanny, at the time of her confirmation, a 
letter that might have been penned by Nathan the 
Wise : 

““ Does God exist ?_ What isGod? Is He part of 
ourselves, and does He continue to live after the 
other part has ceased to be? And where and how ? 
All this I do not know, and, therefore, I have never 
taught you any thing about it. But I know that 
there exists in me and in you and in all human 
beings an everlasting inclination towards all that is 
good, true, and right, and a conscience which warns 
and guides us when we go astray. I know it, I be- 
lieve it; I live in this faith, and this is my religion. 
Everybody has it who does not intentionally and 
knowingly cast it away. * *  * When you look 
at your mother, and turn over in your thoughts 
all the immeasurable good she has lavished upon 
you by her constant, self-sacrificing devotion as long 
as you live, and when that reflection makes your 
heart and eyes overflow with gratitude, love, and 
veneration, then you feel God and are godly. * * * 
The outward form of religion your teacher has given 
you is historical and changeable, like all human 
ordinances. Some thousands of years ago, the 
Jewish form was the reigning one, then the heathen 


- SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 335 


form, and now it is the Christian. Your mother and 
I were brought up by our parents as Jews, and with- 


* out being obliged to change the form of our religion, 


have been able to follow the divine instinct in us 
and in our conscience. We have educated you and 
your brothers and sisters in the Christian faith, be- 
cause it is the creed of most civilized people, and 
contains nothing that can lead you away from what 
is good, and much that guides you to love, obedience, 
tolerance, and resignation, even if it offered nothing 
but the example of its founder, understood by so 
few and followed by still fewer.” 

Felix could sing and compose almost before he 
could talk; he was a skilful pianist at six, and gave 
a public concert at nine. Compositions published 
when he was fifteen are regarded as classical. Be- 
fore he had passed beyond boyhood he had become 
famous through the beautiful overture to the “ Mid- 
summer Night’s Dream.” Fanny was equally pre- 
cocious. At thirteen she gave a proof of an 
uncommon musical memory, by playing without 
notes twenty-four preludes of Bach, as a surprise for 
her father, and had not passed beyond her girlhood 
before she had produced lovely music of her own. 
In her early womanhood she won the love of a young 
artist destined to fame, Wilhelm Hensel, whom she 
at length married after an interval of some years, 
spent by the painter in Italy. The good sense and 
brightness of the faithful mother, Leah, are well 
shown in the following letter to the young lover, in 
which, with the authority of a true Hebrew mother, 
she shields her daughter: 


336. THE STORY OF THE YEWS. 


“Seriously, my dear Mr. Hensel, you must not be 
angry with me, because I cannot allow a correspond- 
ence between you and Fanny. Put yourself, in fair- 
ness for one moment in the place of a mother, and 
exchange your interests for mine, and my refusal 
will appear to you natural, just, and sensible; whereas 
you are probably now violently denouncing my pro- 
ceeding as most barbaric. For the same reason that 
makes me forbid an engagement, I must declare my- 
self averse to any correspondence. You know that 
I truly esteem you, that I have, indeed, a real affec- 
tion for you, and entertain no objection to you per- 
sonally. The reasons why I have not yet decided in 
your favor, are the difference of age and the uncer- 
tainty of your position. A man may not think of 
marrying before his prospects in life are, to a certain 
degree, assured. At any fate, he must not blame 
the girl’s parents, who, having experience, sense, and 
cool blood, are destined by nature to judge for him 
and for her. An artist, as long as he is single, is a 
happy being; all circles open to him, court favor 
animates him; the small cares of life vanish before 
him; he steps lightly over the rocks which differ- 
ence of rank has piled up in the world; he works at 
what he likes, the most delighted, happy being in 
the whole creation. As soon as domestic cares take 
hold of him, all this magic disappears, the lovely 
coloring fades, he must work to sustain his family. 
Indeed, I made it a point in my children’s education 
to give them simple and unpretending habits, so that 
they might not be obliged to look out for rich mar- 
riages; but in the eyes of parents a competency, a 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 337 


moderate but fixed income, are necessary conditions 
for a happy life; and although my husband can 
afford to give to each of his children a handsome 
portion, he is not rich enough to secure the future 
prosperity of them all. You are at the commence- 
ment of your career, and under beautiful auspices ; 
endeavor to realize them, and rest assured that we 
will not be against you when, at the end of your 
studies, you can satisfy us about your position. 
Fanny is very young, and, Heaven be praised, has 
hitherto had no concern and no passion. I will not 
have you, by love-letters, transport her for years into 
a state of consuming passion and a yearning frame 
of mind quite strange to her character, when I have 
her before me now blooming, healthy, happy, and 
free.” 

In the letters which have been quoted, father and 
mother have been sufficiently reflected, and now we 
must look at the home. “The rooms were stately, 
large, and lofty, built with delightful spaciousness. 
One room, especially, overlooking the court, and 
opening by means of three arches into an adjoining 
apartment, was beautiful and most suitable for theat- 
trical representations. For many, many years, at 
Christmas, and on birthdays and festive occasions, 
this was the scene of interesting performances. Gen- 
erally it was Leah’s sittingroom. The windows 
opened upon a spacious court, closed by a one- 
storied garden-house, over which looked the tops of 
ancient trees. In summer the garden-house, in which 
Fanny and Hensel lived after their matriage, was 
perfectly charming. The windows were embowered 


338 THE STORY OF THE EWS. 


in vines, and all opened on to the garden, with its 
blooming lilacs and avenues of stately old trees. 
The large court and high front building kept off 
every sound ; you lived as in the deepest loneliness 
of a forest,—opposite, the magnificent trees, with 
merrily twittering birds, no lodger above or below, 
after the noise of the streets the quietest seclusion, 
and at your windows green leaves. The centre part 
of the house, and its most invaluable and beautiful 
portion, consisted in a very spacious hall, too large 
to be called a drawing-room. There was space in it 
for several hundred people, and it had on the garden 
side a movable glass wall, interrupted by pillars, so 
that the hall could be changed into an open portico. 
The hall commanded a view of a park, which, in 
Frederick the Great’s time, had been part of the 
Thier-garten, and was therefore rich in most superb 
old trees. In this house and garden arosea singularly 
engaging, poetic life. * * * Fhe Mendelssohn 
children loved Shakespeare, especially the ‘ Mid- 
summer Night’s Dream.’ By a singular coincidence, 
in that very year, 1826, in their lovely garden, 
favored by most beautiful weather, they themselves 
led a fantastic, dream-like life. For them and their 
friends, the summer months were like one uninter- 
rupted festival day, full of poetry, music, merry 
games, ingenious practical jokes, disguises, and repre- 
sentations. The whole life had a higher and loftier 
tendency, a more idyllic coloring, more poetry, than 
is often met with. Nature and art, wit, heart, and 
mind, the high flow of Felix’s genius,—all this gave 
coloring to their doings, and on the other hand this 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 339 


wonderful life gave a new impulse to his creative 
spirit. The most brilliant. result of that strangely 
poetic frame of mind is the overture to the ‘ Mid- 
summer Night’s Dream.’ ” 

Any thing more ideal than this charming life, it is 
scarcely possible to conceive. The Mendelssohns, 
one would say, had found for themselves a paradise 
without the serpent. An abundant basis of wealth, 
the father and mother so wise, and of spirit so pleas- 
ant, the children maturing in beautiful promise,—no 
shadow of disease, sorrow, or anxiety. Felix was 
already famous, for the overture to the “ Midsummer 
Night’s Dream” caused the world to think that a 
successor to Beethoven was born; Fanny, his equal 
in gifts and talents, but remaining modestly within the 
bounds which custom had set for women ; Rebecca, in 
her way not less remarkable and attractive than the 
elder brother and sister ; and Paul, the younger son, a 
thoroughly good and clever youth, if less highly en- 
dowed than the rest. The circle of friends about 
them, whom they visited, or who came to their sun- 
bright home, were present at the sports and repre- 
sentations at Christmas, and who sat looking out upon 
the beautiful garden while the wonderful children 
from their instruments conquered the nightingales, as 
they now rendered the works of the old composers, 
now improvised, now gave their own compositions, 
which have come to be esteemed as the most precious 
things in music,—this circle of friends comprehended 
the best and brightest men of the time in art, 
philosophy, science, and literature,—Goethe, Hegel, 
Humboldt, Heinrich Heine, Encke the astronomer, 


340 - THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


Paganini, Moscheles, Spontini, Schadow, and Dey- 
rient. No more serious ripple disturbed the even 
flow of the life than some such little incident as 
follows, narrated by Fanny. Alexander von Hum- 
boldt had arranged an observatory in the garden, on 
account of the silence and quiet of the place, where 
he and Professor Encke often met by night, as well 
as by day. 

“T hear somebody entering our bedroom, and 
passing out again at the other side. I call. No an- 
swer. Wilhelm awakes, and cries out, ‘Who zm 
Teufelsnamen is there?’ Enter, with majestic step, 
Louise (Hensel’s sister), saying that she heard thieves 
rummaging about in the hall, and then going into the 
garden with a lantern. She had thought it her duty 
to wake somebody, but had only wanted to call the 
servant, and was very sorry for having disturbed us. 
Wilhelm gets up, wraps himself in a red blanket, and 
goes into the hall with a drawn sword, Louise in her 
dressing-gown and night-cap showing him a light. 
He opens the door just in time, for the thief with 
his lantern is on the point of escaping toward the 
garden. When he hears the noise he looks around, 
and seeing a red spectre with a drawn sword, runs 
away, Wilhelm after him. The thief makes straight 
for the gardener’s lodge. When they both are in 
the gardener’s room, pursuer and pursued burst into 
a peal of laughter. ‘ Professor Hensel!’ ‘ Professor 
Encke! I beg you a thousand pardons, but I took 
you fora burglar!’ ” 

From this home Felix went forth to become in his 
sphere a conqueror, the favorite of princes, and at 


DELSSOHN, 


MEN 


FELIX 


342 | THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


the same time of peasants, the recipient of homage 
the most enthusiastic and intoxicating, in all the 
lands of Europe, an outpouring which he seems to 
have undergone without injury to his character, for 
to the end of his too short life he remained simple, 
affectionate, and dignified. The music that he wrote, 
like the lyrical poetry of Goethe, reflected accurately 
the mood for the time being of the spirit from which 
it proceeded. The “ Scottish Symphony ’’ and the 
. “Isles of Fingal” suggest the wild. beauty of the 
Highlands and Hebrides, the far North, upon whose 
soil they were elaborated. The reading of “ Faust ” 
brought forth the “ Walpurgis Nacht,” the study of 
Greek, the music for the “Antigone” and the “ CEdi- 
pus.” He found the best appreciation in England, 
chiefly for his sacred music, and this appreciation, 
reacting upon him, perhaps brought it to pass that 
his works in this field are his masterpieces. His 
great oratorios, “ St. Paul” and “ Elijah,” must be re- 
garded, it is said, as “the main pillars of his fame.” * 

It is indeed marvellous how complete a dominion 
Mendelssohn exercised over those who came under 
his spell. He was short and slight, and in his fea- 
tures strongly Jewish. The countenance was very 
mobile, the brow full, the eyes possessed of a power 
of expression quite extraordinary. When he was 
extemporizing they seemed to dilate to twice their 
natural size, the brown pupil becoming a vivid black. 
His slender hands upon the key-board of piano or 
organ became like living and intelligent creatures. 
His form bent over the instrument, heaving and 


* Grove: Musical Dictionary. 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 343 


swaying with the emotion which was born amid the 
tones. When with slender wand, at the performance 
of the “St. Paul” or ‘‘ Elijah,” he stood among the 
great multitude of singers and instruments, all turned 


“ to the magician with one soul, and the listening thou- 


sands beyond trembled to the music in sympathy not 
less intense. ~ To illustrate this magical power, the 
account of a musical enthusiast, the authoress of 
“Charles Auchester,” may here be well transcribed. 
Mendelssohn, described under the name of Seraphael, 
conducts a performance of sacred music in Westmin- 
ster Abbey. 

“Entering the centre of the nave, we caught sight 
of the transept, already crowded with hungering, 
thirsting faces. The vision of the choir itself, as it is 
still preserved to me, is as a picture of Heaven to 
infancy. What more like one’s idea of Heaven than 
that height, the arches whose sun-kissed summits 
glowed in the distance, whose vista stretched from the 
light of rainbows at one end to the organ at the 
other, music’s archetype? Below the organ stood 
Seraphael’s desk, as yet unhaunted,—the orchestra, 
the chorus beneath the lofty front. Seraphael en- 
tered so quietly as to take us by surprise. 

“ Down the nave the welcome rolled, across the 
transept it overflowed the echoes; fora few moments 
nothing else could be felt, but there was, as it were, 
a tender shadow upon the very reverberating jubi- 
lance, subdued for the sake of one whose beauty 
lifted over us, appeared hovering, descending from 
some late-left heaven, ready to depart again, but not 
without a sign for which we waited. Immediately, 


344 THE STORY OF THE FEWs. 


and while he yet stood with his eyes of power upon 
the whole front of faces, the. solo singers entered also 
and took their seats all calmly. We held our breath 
for the coming of the overture. 

“Tt opened like the first dawn of lightening, but 
scarce yet lightened morning,—its vast subject intro- 
duced with strings alone, in that joyous key which so 
often served him. But soon the first trombone 
blazed out, the second and third responding with 
their stupendous tones, as the amplifications of fugue 
involved and spread themselves more and more. 
Then, like glory filling up and flooding the height of 
Heaven, broke in the organ, and brimmed the brain 
with the calm of an utter and forceful expression, 
realized by tone. In sympathy with each instru- 
ment, it was alike with none. The vibrating har- 
monies, pulse-like, clung to our pulses, then drew out 
each heart, deep-beating and undistracted, to adore 
at the throne above, from which all beauty springs. 
Holiness, precious as the old Hebrew psalm of all 
that hath life and breath, exhaled from every modu- 
lation; each dropped the freshness of everlasting 
spring. 

“T cannot describe the hush that hung above and 
seemed to spiritualize the listeners; nor how, as 
chorus after chorus rang, our spirits sank upon the 
strains and songs. Faint supplications, deep ac- 
claims of joy, all surcharged the spirit with the mys- 
terious tenderness of the uncreate and unpronounce- 
able Name. When at length those two hours, con- 
centrating such an eternity in their perfection of all 
sensation, had reached their climax,—or, rather, when, 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES? 345 


in the final chorus, imprisoned harmonies burst down 
from stormy-hearted organ, from strings all shiver- 
ing alike, from blasting, rending tubes,—it was as if 
the multitude had sunk upon their knees, so pro- 
found was the passion-cradling calm. The blue- 
golden lustre, dim and tremulous, still crowned the 
unwavering arches. So many tears are not often 
shed as fell in that time. 

“During the last reverberations of that unimagin- 
able Alleluiah, I had not looked up at all; now I 
forced myself to do so, lest I should lose my sight of 
hum, his seal upon all that glory. As Seraphael had 
risen to depart, the applause, stifled and trembling, 
but not the less by heartfuls, rose for him. He 
turned his face a moment; the heavenly half-smile 
was there; then the summer sun, that falling down- 
ward in its piercing glare, glowed gorgeous against 
the stained windows, flung its burning bloom, its 
flushing gold, upon that countenance. We all saw 
it, we all felt it,—the seraph strength, the mortal 
beauty,—and that it was pale as the cheek of the 
quick and living changed to death. His mien was 
of no earthly triumph!”’ 

While Felix grew great, the beautiful life in Berlin 
proceeded. Paul matured into worthy manhood ; 
Rebecca, fulfilling her promise, becoming a woman 
of real intellectual power, was chosen as a wife by 
one of the most distinguished mathematicians of his 
time. The fame of Hensel grew, and under the in- 
fluence of Fanny the Berlin home became the centre 
of a culture more than ever rich and brilliant. Hen- - 
sel had a habit of sketching their guests, and in the 


346 THE STORY OF THE $EWS. 


series is contained almost every interesting man and 
woman known to fame, who lived in or visited the 
Prussian capital of that time—painters and singers, 
actors and sculptors, poets, statesmen, scientists, and 
philosophers. ‘ The musical parties, from small 
beginnings, became at last regular concerts, with 
choral and solo-singing, trios and quartets of the 
best Berlin musicians, and before an audience that 
filled all the rooms. Fanny took the greatest pleas- 
ure in rehearsing her splendidly schooled little choir, 
which she generally did on the Friday afternoons. 
On a beautiful summer morning, nothing prettier 
could be seen than the Garten-saa/, opening on to 
the trees, filled with a crowd of gay, elegantly-dressed 
people, and Fanny at her piano, surrounded by her 
choir, performing some ancient or modern master- 
piece. When Hensel had a picture nearly finished, 
the doors of the studio stood open, and a grave 
Christ might look down upon the throng, or Miriam, 
leading her own people, would symbolically express 
upon the canvas what was in living truth passing 
in the music-room.” “Last month,” wrote Fanny 
June, 1834, “I gave a delightful féte—‘ Iphigenia in 
Tauris,’ sung by Madame Decker, Madame Bader, 
and Mantius. Any thing so perfect will not soon 
be heard again. Bader especially was exquisite, but 
each rivalled the other, and the sound of these three 
lovely voices together had such a powerful charm 
that I shall never forget it. Every thing went off 
beautifully.” 

In this home the parents accomplished their days, 
—the mother so full of good sense and watchful 


— 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 347 


affection, the father broad-minded and religious. 
Always they bear in their hearts their children and 
grandchildren. ‘‘ O Sebastian!” breaks out Abra- 
ham, during a visit to London, thinking of his little 
grandchild; “I thank God you are not the child 
four and a half years old which a few days ago was 
advertised in thousands of placards as missing. The 
thought of it never leaves me, and is interwoven as 
a black thread with my London life. The poor 
child has surely not been brought back, but was 
most probably stolen and thrown into the street, 
starved and naked, to be brought up by a gang of 
beggars and thieves. And all this because perhaps 
the parents lost sight of it for half a minute!” 

And yet one does not have to go far back in the 
generations to find the intense Jewish fierceness, 
such as glared in John of Giscala, in Shylock, and 
in the elders of the Amsterdam synagogue, who 
poured out malediction upon Spinoza. The mother 
of Leah was an unrelenting Israelite, who denounced 
her own son, an apostate from the ancient faith to 
Christianity, with blasting curses. In the grandchil- 
dren, however, we find nothing but affections of the 
gentlest and the sweetest. Paul, the youngest, of 
whom little mention has been made, thoroughly un- 
obtrusive, but a highly successful man of business, was 
distinguished for his charity, and was in no way less 
lovable than the more conspicuous Felix and Fanny. 


_It is of these two only that we have the full record, 


and we must draw from it still more to make plain 
their loveliness of soul, and the peace and happiness 
of their lives. Upon the christening-day of her boy, 


348 THE STORY OF THE EWS. 


Fanny writes to her father: “I cannot allow such a 
joyful and beautiful day to come to an end, dear 
father, without writing to tell you how we have 
missed you. An event like this will make one’s 
past life rise vividly before one, and my heart tells 
me I must again thank you, dear parents (for this 
letter is meant for mother also), at this moment, and 
I hope not for the last time, for guiding me to where 
I now stand, for my life, my education, my husband! 
And thank you for being so good—for the blessing 
of good parents rests on their children, and I feel so 
happy that I have nothing left to wish for but that 
such happiness might last. I truly know and feel 
how blessed I am, and this consciousness is, I think, 
the foundation-stone of happiness.” 

At another time Fanny writes from Rome, at the 
end of a long sojourn, during which she and her hus- 
band had given and received much joy, in the midst 
of a brilliant company, many of them great men, or 
about to become so. Fanny’s music had been a 
constant source of delight: “The instrument had 
been moved into the large hall, the twilight was 
rapidly deepening, and a peculiar sensation stole 
over the whole company. For a long time I pre- 
luded as softly as possible, for I could not have 
played loud, and everybody talked in whispers, and 
started at the slightest noise. I played the adagios 
from the concerto in G major, and the sonata in C 
sharp minor, and the beginning of the grand sonata 
in F sharp minor—with Charlotte, Bousquet, and 
Gounod sitting close beside me. It was an hour I 
shall never forget. After dinner we went on to the 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 349 


balcony, where it was lovely. The stars above, and 
the lights of the city below, the glowworms, and a 
long-trailing meteor which shot across the sky, the 
lighted windows of a church on a hill far away, and 
the delicious atmosphere in which every thing was 
bathed,-—all combined to stir in us the deepest emo- 
tion. Afterwards we went to the end of the hall 
and sang the part-songs, which gave great satisfac- 
tion. I repeated, by general request, the Mozart 
fantasia to finish with, and the two capriccios, and 


_ then the part songs were asked for once more, and 


then midnight had arrived and our time was over. 
‘They weep they know not why!’ was our last 
music in Rome. 

“ A glorious time has passed away! How can we 
be thankful enough for these two months of uninter- 
rupted happiness! The purest joys the human 
heart can know have succeeded each other, and dur- 
ing all this time we have scarcely had one unpleas- 
ant quarter of an hour. The only drawback has 
been that the time would go so fast. Our last fare- 
well from St. Pietro in Montorio was not easy work; 
but I retain in my mind an eternal, imperishable 
picture, which no lapse of time will affect. I thank 
Thee, O God!” 

She describes her father as he lay in death: “So 
beautiful, unchanged, and calm was his face that we 
could remain near our loved one, not only without a 
sensation of fear, but felt truly elevated in looking 
at him. The whole expression was so calm, the 
forehead so pure and beautiful, the position of the 
hands so mild! It was the end of the righteous, a 


350 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


beautiful, enviable end, and I pray to God for a sim- 
ilar death, and will strive through all my days to 
deserve it as he deserved it. It was death in its 
most peaceful, beautiful aspect.” 

That Felix could receive the homage of the 
great without compromise of his independence of 
character, appears in the following: “ Prince Albert 
had asked me to go to him at two o’clock, so 
that I might try his organ before I left Eng- 
land. I found him alone; and as we were talking 
away the Queen came in, also alone, in simple 
morning dress. She said she was obliged to leave 
for Claremont in an hour, and then, suddenly 
interrupting herself, exclaimed: ‘But, goodness! 
what a confusion!’ for the wind had littered the 
whole room, and even the pedals of the organ, with 
leaves of music from a large portfolio that lay open. 
As she spoke she knelt down and began picking up 
the music; Prince Albert helped, and I, too, was 
not idle. Then Prince Albert proceeded to explain 
the stops to me, and she said that she would mean- 
while put things straight. 

“I begged that the Prince would first play me 
something, so that, as I said, I might boast about it 
in Germany ; and he played a choral by heart, with 
the pedals, so charmingly and clearly and correctly, 
that it would have done credit to any professional ; 
and the Queen, having finished her work, came and 
sat by him and listened, and looked pleased. Then 
it was my turn, and I began my chorus from ‘St. 
Paul ’—‘ How Lovely are the Messengers!’ Before 
I had got to the end of the first verse they had both 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 351 


joined in the chorus, and all the time Prince Albert 
managed the stops for me so cleverly ; first a flute, 
at the forte the great organ, at the D major part 
the whole register; then he made a lovely diminu- 
endo with the stops, and so on to the end of the 
piece, and all by heart, that I was really quite en- 
chanted. The Queen asked me if I had written any 
new songs, and said she was very fond of singing my 
published ones. ‘ You should sing one to him,’ said 
Prince Albert ; and after a little begging she said she 
would try. * * * After some consultation with 
her husband, he said: ‘She will sing-you something 
of Gluck’s.’ While they were talking I had rum- 
maged about amongst the music, and discovered my 
first set of songs. So, of course, I begged her rather 
to sing one of those than the Gluck, to which she 
very kindly consented ; and which did she choose? 
‘Schéner und schiner schmiickt sich’—sang it quite 


-charmingly, in strict time and tune, and with very 


good execution. * * * The last long G I have 
never heard better or purer or more natural from 
any amateur. Then I was obliged to confess that 
Fanny had written the song (which I found very 
hard, but pride must have a fall), and to beg her to 
sing one of my own also. If I would give her plenty 
of help she would gladly try, she said, and then she 
sang the Pilgerspruch, ‘Lass dich nur, really quite 
faultlessly, and with charming feeling and expres- 


Siofis ot 


“ After this Prince Albert sang the Aerndte-Lied, 
‘Es ist ein Schnitter, and then he said I must play 
him something before I went, and gave as themes 


352 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


the choral which he had played on the organ 
and the song he had just sung. * * * Ag if I 
were to keep nothing but the pleasantest, most 
charming recollection of it, I never improvised better. 
I was in the best mood for it, and played a long 
time, and enjoyed it myself so much that, besides 
the two themes, I brought in the songs that the 
Queen had sung, quite naturally ; and it all went off 
so easily that I would gladly not have stopped. It 
was a delightful morning! If this long description 
makes Dirichlet set me down as a tuft-hunter, tell 
him that I vow and declare I am a greater radical 
than ever.” 

The following letters show touchingly his manly 
piety and the depth and purity of his love as a 
son and a brother: “The wish which of all others 
every night recurred to my mind was that I might 
not survive this loss, because I so entirely clung, or 
rather still cling, to my father, that I do not know 
how I am to pass my life; for not only have I to de- 
plore the loss of a father, but also that of my best 
and most perfect friend for the last few years, and 
my instructor in art and life. When in later years 
you tell your child of those whom you invited to his 
baptism,* do not omit my name, but say to him that 
one of them, too, on that day began his life afresh, 
though in another sense, with new purposes and 
wishes, and with new prayers to God.” 

After the death of Fanny, in the spring of 1847, 
which preceded his own by a few months only, Felix 

* The letter was written in reply to one inviting him to a christen- 


ing which was to take place on the day on which he heard of his 
father’s death. 


SOME HARMONIOUS LIVES. 353 


wrote thus to her husband and son: “If you ever want 
a faithful brother, who loves you with his whole 
heart, think of me. Iam sure I shall be a better man 
than I have been, though not such a happy one. 
But what shall I say to you, my dear Sebastian? 
There is nothing to say or do but this one thing: 
pray to God that He may create in us a clean heart 
and renew a right spirit within us, so that we may 
even in this world become more and more worthy 
of her who had the purest heart and spirit we ever 
knew or loved. God bless her, and point us out the 
way which none of us can see for ourselves ; and yet 
there must be one, for God himself has inflicted this 
blow upon us for the remainder of our lives, and may 
He soften the pain. Alas, my dear brother and 
friend! God be with you and with Sebastian, and 
with us three, her brothers and sister!” 

These children and grandchildren of Moses Men- 
delssohn were as fortunate in their deaths as in their 
lives. Abraham and Leah, before the weaknesses 
of age had made themselves felt, sank painlessly 
away in the arms of their children. Felix, Fanny, 
and Rebecca, in like manner, without knowing long- 
continued suffering or any benumbment of the powers 
of spirit and body from advancing years, closed their 
eyes quickly and quietly upon the world. As one 
reads of their careers, it seems almost the ideal life. 
Where can be found more charming pictures of re- 
finement, happiness, brilliant powers, achieving at 
once the best success! Rare and beautiful as were 
their gifts, these are less interesting than their 
spiritual graces,—the unobtrusive piety, the sweet 


354 THE STORY OF THE $¥EWS. 


domestic affections, the tender humanity, the large. 
minded superiority to prejudice, which constantly 
appear. The trace of human infirmity is plain enough 
in the household, as, for instance, in the irregularities 
of Dorothea. According to the universal lot of mor. 
tals, we may be sure that each man and woman of 
them had his and her share of shortcomings. But 
as one reads, the drawbacks make little show, and it 
is a natural aspiration, would that men in general 
were as fortunate and as good! 


CEPR RS ext. 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 


WE have traced the Jew from his first appearance, 
in the most remote antiquity, until the present time. 
The pride and force with which he confronted the 
most powerful nations of the ancient world have been 
portrayed ; the unyielding spirit with which he defied 
the Roman, even while he was driven from his land 
to wander as an outcast; the spiritual intensity 
with which he subdued his very conquerors to his 
ideas, even at the moment when he was himself 
crushed; the gulf of woe through which he has 
passed ; the new glory which he is at length seizing 
upon now that the chain is broken, and his imperish- 
able energy has once more free course.. It is a 
people of astonishing vigor; the wonderful character 
of whose achievements it is hardly possible to ex- 
aggerate. : 

In some parts of the world the idea seems to be 
gaining ground that we are all to be pushed to the 
wall by the all-conquering Israelite ; that the money 
power is falling into his hands, and political power is 
following ; that he is, in fact, seizing upon the best 
places in every direction ; that the time is at hand 
when the Jew, with all his haughty pride of race, is 


356 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


to grasp the headship of the world; that, holding 
himself apart more arrogantly than ever, he will suf- 
fer no contact between himself and those whom he 
has brought under, except where his scornful foot is 
pressed upon the Gentile neck. 

Said Dr. Stécker, not long since, a well-known 
preacher of Berlin, who is a leader in the anti-Jewish 
movement in Germany: “ At the post-mortem ex- 
amination of a body lately, there were present the 
district physician, the lawyer, the surgeon, and a 
fourth official, all of whom were Jews. None but 
the corpse was a German. Behold a picture of the 
present!” 

The best business men of 'Germany, it is declared, 
are Hebrews; banking they almost monopolize; the | 
journals are largely in their hands; they have seventy 
professors in the universities ; they have the most bril- 
liant parliamentary leaders. Strong as the Germans 
‘are, a great party among them appears actually to 
feel that the one and one half per cent. of Hebrews 
in their population is likely to crowd on until Teu- 
tonic power and prestige, by their hands, are deftly 
and properly laid out and interred. The hate enter- 
tained against the Israelites by the rabble, and even 
by those higher in station, has uttered itself at the 
present day in the old medieval cry, “‘ Hep! Hep!” 
The days of proscription are scarcely passed, and 
men have even been tortured and murdered in times 
quite recent, under the old accusation of poisoning 
wells and crucifying children. This mingled fear 
and repugnance finds a half-humorous but forcible 
expression in certain stanzas by Franz Dingelstedt, a 
poet of Vienna, which may be thus translated: 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 357 


Gone are the days of bitter tribulation ; 

Changed are the times which now we see emerge. 
The cunning Jew, amid our lamentation, 

From our unskilful hands doth wrest the scourge. 


He crowds the farmer hard with scheming knavish, 
The trader from the mart he elbows well ; 

And half with gold and half with mocking slavish, 
Buys from the spirit of the age his spell. 


Where’er you turn, the thrusting Jew will meet you,— 
The chosen of the Lord in every view. 

Lock them in Juden-gassen I entreat you, 
Lest in some Christen-gasse they lock you ! 


Whether the apprehensions of the Germans are 
reasonable or not, we will not stop to inquire; but 
what testimony is this to the astonishing power of 
the Jew, that one of the greatest of modern nations 
seems to shudder with the fear that this fraction of 
Jews in its population is about to reduce it to subjec- 
tion ! 

While the heart of the Christian cannot be said to 
have thoroughly relented, can the heart of the Jew 
be said to have lost its scorn? “ Be on your guard 
when you enter a synagogue,” it was once said to 
me. The Christian needs to take heed if he enters a 
temple in some parts of Europe, whether it be some 
ancient low-walled sanctuary, like those in little towns 
on the Rhine, or the superb structures that may be 
found in the great cities, where shrine and canopy 
are beautiful as frost-work,—with fringe of gold and 
lamp of silver,—the Oriental arches throwing back 
from their purple vaults the sound of the silver 
trumpets and the deep chant of the high-priest. 


358 THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


The Jew comes in his sanctuary to the most vivid 
sense of his race and faith; even while he reveres the 
sacred tables of the Law, his eye can darken, and his 
lip spit forth contumely upon the unwelcome Naza- 
rene. 

I well remember also going into the shop of a Jew, 
in an ancient city, and during our bargaining, cross- 
ing his purpose in a way that aroused his anger. The 
flash in his dark eye was of the hereditary wrath be- 
queathed to him from many generations of persecuted 
fathers, called out by the son of the Christian who 
stood before him; in the hiss with which his words 
came forth, I seemed to hear a serpent that had been 
gathering its poison for a thousand years. 

Even those among the Hebrews who are leaders 
for intelligence, and whose minds have become 
broadened by contact with the Gentiles, like Moses 
Mendelssohn and Sir Moses Montefiore, cling tena- 
ciously to the traditions and usages oftheir fore- 
fathers. If one studies the race where it has been 
shut off ina measure from contact with other men, 
many heirloom customs and prejudices from the dark 
old days come to light, sometimes picturesque, 
sometimes startling, sometimes, indeed, terrible. A 
strange interest attaches among them to the burial 
of the dead, and there is a curiously affectionate care 
of the sepulchres of their lost ones. As has been 
mentioned, the office of /avadore, the one who pre- 
pares the ‘body for the grave, is one of high honor 
among them ; their cemeteries are tended and made 
beautiful, even when the descendants of the sleepers 
have utterly disappeared, by fellow-Hebrews, who 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 359 


will not suffer an Israelite grave to go uncared for, 
even though it holds a stranger. Longfellow’s 
stanzas upon the Jewish cemetery at Newport con- 
tain a sentiment most sweet and pensive: 


How strange it seems ! these Hebrews in their graves, 
Close by the street of this fair sea-port town, 

Silent beside the never silent waves, 
At rest in all this moving up and down ! 


The trees are white with dust, that o’er their sleep 
Wave their broad curtains in the south wind’s breath, 
While underneath such leafy tents they keep 
The long mysterious Exodus of Death. 


And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown, 
That pave with level flags their burial-place, 
Seem like the tablets of the Law, thrown down 
And broken by Moses at the mountain’s base. 
The very names recorded here are strange, 
Of foreign accent and of different climes ; 
Alvarez and Rivera interchange 
With Abraham and Jacob of old times. 


Closed are the portals of their synagogue ; 
No psalms of David now the silence break ; 
No rabbi reads the ancient Decalogue 
In the grand dialect the Prophets spake. 


Gone are the living, but the dead remain, 
And not neglected ; for a hand unseen, 
Scattering its bounty like a summer rain, 
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green. 


How came they here ? What burst of Christian hate, 
What persecution, merciless and blind, 

Drove o’er the sea, that desert desolate, 
These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind ? 


‘ 


360 . THE STORY OF THE $EWS. 


They lived in narrow streets and lanes obscure, 
Ghetto and Judenstrass in mirk and mire ; 

Taught in the school of patience to endure 
The life of anguish and the death of fire. 


All their lives long, with the unleavened bread 
And bitter herbs of exile and its fears, 

The wasting famine of the heart they fed, 
And slaked its thirst with Marah of their tears. 


Anathema Maranatha ! was the cry 
That rang from town to town, from street to street ; 
At every gate the accursed Mordecai 
Was mocked and jeered, and spurned by Christian feet. 


Pride and humiliation, hand in hand, 

Walked with them through the world where’er they went ; 
Trampled and beaten were they as the sand, 

And yet unshaken as the continent. 


For in the background figures vague and vast 
Of patriarchs and of prophets rose sublime, 
And all the great traditions of the past, 
They saw reflected in the coming time. 


And thus forever with reverted look 
The mystic volume of the world they read, 
Spelling it backward like a Hebrew book, 
Till life became a legend of the dead. 


But ah ! what once has been shall be no more ! 
The groaning earth in travail and in pain, 

Brings forth its nations, but does not restore, 
And the dead nations never rise again. 


In a book * which gives many a curious picture of 
the Jews of Poland, an account is contained of a 
burial-place, a story which may well follow the 
plaintive lines just transcribed. Until within a few 


* “Die Juden von Barnow,” by Emil Franzos, 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 361 


years, it was the only soil the Hebrews were allowed 
to own, and it was cherished until the grass was 
green upon every mound; elders grew by every 
head-stone, with purple berries among their leaves, 
giving forth in spring a powerful perfume, while in 
autumn the heather glowed with a deep red. About 
stretched the level landscape, to where in the dis- 
tance could be seen the faint hue of the distant 
Carpathian mountains. On four hundred head- 
stones was chiselled the same date. These marked 
the graves of the victims of a massacre. Two rival 
nobles had claimed a town, from both of whom 
the Jews had sought to buy protection. Both, how- 
ever, turned upon them in wrath, slaying them for 
three days and nights. Other graves again had 
found their tenants, when a magnate of the land, 
because there was no other game in the neighbor- 
hood, hunted the Jews. The head-stones are all 
shaped alike, differing only in size, with no carved 
figures, for the prohibition of Moses must be obeyed. 
Stones which bear no name mark the graves of those 
held to have committed some great sin, and there 
are many nameless graves in this Podolian field. 
They are left uninscribed rather in mercy than in 
punishment; for at the last day, the angel of eternal 
life will call the sleepers, reading the names upon the 
stones, the good to inherit bliss, the wicked, to 
suffer. If the stone is without a name, the sleeper 
may be passed over. 

As avisitor one day approached the burial-ground, 
he saw two old Israelites engaged in the ancient 
custom of “measuring the boundaries.” Each car- 


362 THE STORY OF THE ¥EWS. 


ried in his right hand a short, yellow stick; a con. 
tinuous thread united the two, being wound upon 
each stick into a close, thick ball. First, the men 
stood still, holding the sticks near together, and 
singing in unison a strange traditional chant. Then 
one paused, standing fixed and holding his stick 
vertical, while the other, walking on slowly and 
gravely by the side of the inclosing hedge, singing 
meantime in high nasal tones, unwound the thread 
as he went, keeping it straight and tight. At about 
thirty paces distance, he in turn stood fixed and 
silent, while his companion, singing in his turn, 
advanced, winding up the thread as he did so, 
the ball on the one stick becoming larger, as that 
upon the other grew less. As the measurers stood 
together, the chant in unison once more took place, 
followed, as before by the single voice, as another 
thirty paces was accomplished. It is said the bounds 
are measured by some such ceremony, wherever 
Jews are to be found, but never in this peculiar way 
except in the province of Podolia, upon the anniver- 
saries of the deaths of near relatives. The thread is 
used afterwards for some pious purpose, as to form 
the wick of candles used in sacrifice, or to sew a 
prayer mantle. 

The visitor had observed a nameless head-stone in 
a hollow alone. Its shape indicated that it marked 
the resting-place of a woman; to the right and left 
were the unmarked graves of babes. What could 
be the fearful crime which had condemned the 
mother to a nameless grave in such isolation? At 
length, from one of the old measurers of the bounds, 


— le 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 363 


he obtained the story. Leah Rendar had been 
marked, as a girl, among her companions for a wealth 
of shining, golden hair. She had been very beautiful, 
of a German rather than Jewish type, and her chief 
charm had been her sunny locks, of which she was 
very vain. They wrapped her like a veil, so that she 
was called “Leah with the long hair.” It is pre- 
scribed among the Jews of Poland, that no married 
woman shall wear her own hair, which must be cut 
short, perhaps even shaved, before the wedding. A 
high head-dress of wool or silk must crown the head 
in its place. To neglect this rule is a terrible sin. 

In due time.came to Leah the day of betrothal, 
then of marriage. At the latter she appeared with- 
out the golden hair, and with the great head-dress. 
All went merrily, and for a year to come happiness 
attended bridegroom and bride. Leah's first child, 
however, came dead into the world. When a year or 
two more had rolled by, a second child came, but lived 
only six days, and the rabbi of the synagogue sus- 
pected that some law had been broken by the 
mother. At length, on the Day of Atonement, hus- 
band and wife spent the hours with the people in the 
crowded synagogue. The odor of the candles, and 
the close air, caused Leah to fall fainting from her 
prayer-stool. In the effort of the women to restore 
her, her head-dress became displaced, when lo! the 
iniquity was revealed: the golden locks fell as of 
old about her form. Her vanity had induced her to 
violate the law, and leave her hair uncut. Both 
husband and wife were straightway excommuni- 
cated. Neither they nor their belongings could be 
touched except in enmity. They were outcasts. 


364 THE STORY OF THE JEWS, 


In course of time another son was born to Leah. 
Said the rabbi: “The parents are outcasts pthe 
father is under the ban, the mother wears her own 
hair. The child is innocent, but if it remains with 
its parents, it must share their fate.” When the 
child was six days old, masked men broke into the 
house, dragged the mother from her bed, and cut off 
her hair. She died two days after, her child follow- 
ing her, and the poor mother was placed apart from 
her fellows in the lonely dell. So she lies under her 
head-stone which is uninscribed, that the recording 
angel may, perhaps, at the great day of judgment, 
pass her by, and her soul, with its sin, not be cast 
forth into the outer darkness. 

An ancient custom, not yet forgotten in some 
parts of Germany, is that daughters who apostatize, 
are counted as dead, mourned as such by their par- 
ents, and that graves even are prepared for them. 
The poet Meissner has described this usage in verses 
which have been translated as follows: * 


The anthems for the dead are sung ; 
The old Jew’s garb in grief is rent ; 
And yet no corpse is sunk to earth, 
For she still lives whom they lament. 
The grave awaits her. 


From oldest days and earliest times, 
The Jews such saddening custom have, 
That she who leaves their Father’s God, 
They count as dead and dig her grave, 
The grave awaits her. 


* Translated by Henry Phillips. 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES, 363 


In Venice city, bright and gay, 
Upon the purple flood there flies, 
In swift gondol, a soldier fair, 
And on his breast a Jewess lies. 
Her grave awaits her. 


He kisses tresses, lips, and cheek ; 
| He calls her his own darling bride ; 
She nestles in his golden hair ; 
\ She gazes on her love with pride. 
Her grave awaits her. 


In noble halls, at banquets rare, 
She strikes the zither’s golden chords, 
! Till wearied deep by pleasure’s sway, 
Refreshing sleep its joy affords. 
Her grave awaits her. 


But once, as sped a dream of bliss, 
When daydawn broke she was alone. 
With traitorous flight beyond the seas, 
Her faithless love for aye was gone! 
) Her grave awaits her. 


: She tears her silky curling locks ; 

She wanders on the sea-beat shore ; 
| When lo, her father’s words return ! 

“ Be thou accursed forevermore ! 
| Thy grave awaits thee.” 


A beggat-wench on Alpine road 
Wanders toward home through night-wind wild. 


Unwept, within a deep ravine, > 
Unblest, lies tombed her jll-starred child. 


Her grave awaits her. 


The ancestral graves mourn sad and lone ; 
Their silent, solemn rest, who breaks ? 


366 THE STORY OF THE JEWS. 


A shadow falls on church-yard walls, 
The moonbeam shows a form that seeks 
The grave that waits her. 


She rolls the slab from off the grave, 
With wearied limbs and failing breath. 
In silent prayer she lays her form 
Within the tomb, and welcomes death. 
The grave had waited. 


But dismissing these melancholy pictures, let us 
inquire for a moment what we need to fear from the 
Hebrews. Some one has defined the type of shrewd- 
ness to be: “A Jewish Yorkshireman of Scottish 
extraction with a Yankee education.” Such a com- 
bination would indeed be likely to bring to pass a 
very sharp result. We are to notice that if the Jew 
is to be taken as the Alpha of shrewdness, the Ameri- 
can is at the same time the Omega. The two ends 
balance each other, and I for one have too much 
faith in my compatriots to expect ever to hear it 
said that the American end of the tilting board has 
gone up. In the competitions of American life it is 
diamond cut diamond; it is hard to say whether 
Jew or Yankee will show most nicks as marks of the 
grinding power of the other. Take your real down- 
Easter that has been honed for a few generations on 
the New England granite. Can Abraham or Jacob 
or Moses show a finer edge? We may hope that in 
any competition upon this lowest plane the American 
will be able to hold his own. Would that we might 
be as sure that we shall match them in those higher 
spheres in which Hebrew genius, wherever the jesses 


\ 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 367 


‘have been thrown off, has soared with such ‘imperial 


sweep ! - 

Do we like our Hebrew neighbors and rivals?* Says 
Felix Adler, the scholar and teacher of ancient Jew- 
ish blood, but who has cast off all narrow Judaism 
to stand upon a platform of the broadest: Satire 
Jews have certain peculiarities of disposition; they 
have Asiatic blood in their veins. ‘Among the high- 
bred members of the race the traces of their Oriental 
origin are revealed in noble qualities, in versatility of 
thought, brilliancy of imagination, flashing humor, 
in what the French call esprit; these, too, in power- 
ful lyrical outpourings, in impassioned eloquence, in 
the power of experiencing and uttering profound 
émotions. The same tendencies among the unedu- 
cated and illiterate give rise to unlovely and unpleas- 
ing idiosyncrasies, a certain restlessness, loudness of 
manner, fondness of display, a lack of dignity, re- 
serve, repose. And since one loud person attracts 
greater attention than twenty who are modest and 
refined, it has come about that the whole race is 
often condemned because of the follies of some of 

*In ‘Imperfect Sympathies,” Charles Lamb frankly writes: 
“«T have, in the abstract, no disrespect for Jews. They are a piece 
of stubborn antiquity compared with which Stonehenge is in its 
nonage. They date beyond the pyramids. But I should not care to 
be in habits of familiar intercourse with any of that nation. Centu- 
ries of injury, contempt, and hate on the one side,—of cloaked 
revenge, dissimulation, and hate on the other, between our and their 
fathers, must and ought to effect the blood of the children. I cannot 
believe it can run clear and kindly yet ; or that a few fine words, 
such as candor, liberality, the light of the nineteenth century, can 
close up the breaches of so deadly a disunion. A Hebrew is no 
where congenial to me.” 


368 THE STORY OF THE FEWSs. 


the coarsest and least representative of its mem- 
hers.” 

The characteristics which Felix Adler thus de- 
scribes as belonging to a portion of his countrymen, 
have no doubt sometimes repelled. It is, however, 
great narrowness to allow our estimation of the race 
to be determined in this way. In the popular play, 
“Sam’l of Posen,” the hearty young Jew, of blood 
quite unadulterated, just from the frontiers of Po- 
land, where we are told the Jew is at his worst, is no 
more remarkable for his love of money and hard 
business push than he is for his good nature, his. 
gratitude, and kindness of heart. The voice of the 
people declares it a portrait faithful to the life. 

This Semitic flotsam and jetsam thrown upon the 
Aryan current, after that current had wrecked so 
cruelly ancient Israel—always upon it and in it, yet 
never of it,—soluble by no saturation, not to be pul- 
verized or ground away by the heaviest smitings, 
unabsorbed, unoverwhelmed, though the current 
has been rolling for so many ages ever westward, 
until at length the West is becoming East, is it to 
subsist forever apart, or will it some time melt into 
the stream that bears it? Whatever Judaism may 
have lost through abjurations of its creed, there has 
so far always remained .a compact nucleus firmly 
clinging to the old Judaic standards. From the im- 
memorial rites and traditions, they say, there shall 
be abatement of neither jot nor tittle. Circumcision 
and Passover, Talmud and Torah,—be these to us 
as they were to our fathers. They are no more a 
proselyting body, it has been said, than the House 
of Lords; they are the aristocracy of the human 


OUR HEBREW CONTEMPORARIES. 369 


race, though for the time they may be pawnbrokers, 
or sell old clothes. ‘“Intermarriage with the Gentile 
isa thing abhorrent. Let the chosen people hold 
itself aloof until a time shall come when Jehovah shall 
give to it the headship of the nations.” Such a 
nucleus there is to-day. Meantime, however, there 
are Hebrews of a spirit quite different. Moses Men- 
delssohn looked not so much toward any headship 
for his race, as toward a brotherly coming together 
of men, a recognizing in the spirit of charity of the 
necessity of differences between. creeds,—an era of 
tolerance and mutual forbearance. 

When in the eye of the Hebrew there beams thus 
a gentle and conciliatory light, what can the Gentile 
better do than hail it with gladness and meet it with 
cordiality ?. The path into which Moses Mendelssohn 
struck has been followed by his disciples farther, 
sometimes, than he would have approved. His own 
children and grandchildren proceeded to lengths 
from which he, with all his noble breadth of soul, 
would have recoiled, holdingas he did to various Israel- 
ite limitations. In laying his foundations he builded 
more wisely than he knew, for the superstructure was 
to be a beautiful and all-embracing charity. How 
hopeful is the influence proceeding frorn this gentle 
teacher! The world in these latter days has seen 
few men and women more richly adorned with gifts 
and graces than his descendants. As from a bed of 
repulsive refuse will sometimes spring blossoms of 
perfect loveliness, so out from the askenazim, that 
degraded German Judaism, with its foul Juden-stras- 
sen, from among the people despised even by those 


370 THE STORY OF-THE $EWS. 


of their own faith, have come those who in beneficent 
genius, in gentle virtues, in all forms of sweetness 
and light, present a most delightful picture. It is a 
very fair flowering of humanity. Our story has had 
many a page of horror; it has been pleasant at last 
to turn to things so tranquil and lovely. One cannot 
but wish that the lot of the Mendelssohns were the 
universal lot, and that the world in general deserved 
as thoroughly as they, to have so much happiness 
given them fora portion. Would that the children 
of Israel, following their new Moses, the son of Men- 
del, might all come out into such a Canaan of kindli- 
ness, wisdom, and breadth of soul; and would that the 
Gentile world, leaving behind their thousand forms of 
cruel narrowness, might meet them through gaining 
a similar loveliness of spirit! Through all the ages 
no gulf has seemed so deep and wide as that which 
severed the Jew from the world which he would not 
have and which would not have him. Even to-day 
it seems almost utopian to imagine that the chasm 
can be filled. As, however, in the slow evolution of 
man his heart gradually refines and softens, it is not 
a vain hope that there will some time be such a 
coming together of those as yet unreconciled, each 
advancing from his shadows into a space made beauti- 
ful with the radiance of charity. 


INDEX. 


A 


Aaron and the oral law, 77 

Abarbanel at the court of Spain, 
158 

Abraham, Rabbi, story of, 168, 
etc, 

Abram goes southward from Ha- 
ran, 12 

Adler, Felix, on the Jews, 367 

€lia Capitolina, Roman city on 
site of Jerusalem, 133 

Ahasuerus, see Wandering Jew 

Alexander the Great at Jerusa- 
lem, 60 

Alexandria, its library destroyed, 
55; its large Jewish popula- 
tion, 64, 13 

Alliance Israélite Universelle, 
282 

America, number of Jews in, 235 

American rapacity, 274, 275 

Ammonites subdued by the He- 
brews, 12 

Ananus, high-priest, slain, 111 

Antiochus Epiphanes oppresses 
the Jews, 64 


_ Antiochus of Commagene at the 


siege of Jerusalem, 120 
Antonia, fortress of, described, 
104; destroyed, 117 
Apelles slain by Mattathias, 65 
Apocrypha, how composed, 76 
Apollonius defeated by Judas 
Maccabeeus, 66 : 
Aramaic, spoken in Palestine, 75 
Ark, of the Covenant, described, 
16 


Arnold, Matthew, on Spinoza, 
230 

Artorius, Roman soldier at Jeru- 
salem, 120 

Aryans, first contact with Jews, 
61; origin and spread of, 62; 
spiritually conquered by the 
Jews, 126 

Askenazim, name for the German 
Jews, 239 ; give birth to Moses 
Mendelssohn, 240; beautiful 
outgrowth from, 369 

Asmonzeus, ancestor of the Mac- 
cabees, 64 

Assyrians, threaten Palestine, 26 ; 
their prominence in Hebrew 
annals, 27 ; relics of, in British 
Museum, 29, 30; sources of 
information concerning, 32; 
how they told their own story, 
34; discoveries of Botta and 
Layard, 35 the cuneiform, 
36 ; nature of the dominion of, 
37; conquests in Palestine, 
38 ; splendor of, under Senna- 
cherib, 39; progress in arts, 
40; commerce of, 42; mag- 
nificence of the kings, 43; 
palaces of, 44; decadence of, 
54 ; their imperishable records, 
55; their cruelty, 56 

Atonement, fast of, 56 

“Atta Troll,” satire of Heine,318 

Auerbach, and Spinoza, 229 ; 
first German novelist, 238 

Auto-da-fe in Spain, 161, etc. 

Averroes and Avicenna, Moorish 
philosophers, 138 


371 


372 


B 


Babylon, captivity at, 57 

Bacchides defeats Judas Macca- 
bzeus, 69 e 

Badges worn by medizval Jews, 
201 

Bamberger, Jewish statesman in 
Germany, 296 

Barak defeats Sisera,; 18 

Bar Cocheba, rebels against 
Rome, 133; a false Messiah, 
216 

Beaconsfield, see Disraeli 

Beautiful, gate of the Temple, 104 

Benfey, Sanscrit scholar, 238 

Ben Hadad, of Syria, conquered 
by the Assyrians, 38 

Bernays, Jewish scholar, 238 

Bernhardt, Sarah, Jewish artist, 
238 

Bismarck and Lasker, 296 

Black Death in the 14th century, 
167, 198 

‘*Book Le Grand,” work of 
Heine, quoted, 318, etc. 

Boérne, Ludwig, with Heine in 
the Frankfort Juden-gasse, 
230 

Botta, Assyrian explorer, 36 

British Museum, Assyrian collec- 
tion at, 29 

Buckle, harsh toward Jews, 202 


Cc 


Cabala described, 222 

Cahorsin, money-lenders, 193 

Caleb, ancient Hebrew champion, 
18 


Canaanites, their civilization, 
their conquest by the Israel- 
ites, 18 


Canon, of the Old Testament, 
formation of, 76 

Canute banishes the Jews from 
England, 189 

Cartaphilus, see Wandering Jew 

Castelar, Spanish statesman of 
Jewish origin, 295 


THE. STORY OF THE FEWS. 


Cerealis leads Romans to the 
final attack on Jerusalem, 117 
Chaldeans, their ancient empire, 


37 

Charlemagne and the Jews, 139 

“Charles Auchester,” description 
of Felix Mendelssohn from, 
343, etc. 

Chasidim, a division among the 
Hebrews, 77 

Christian idea of the Jews, 2 

Cicero, depreciates trade, 254 ; 
the corn-ships at Rhodes, 273 

Cobbett taunts the Jews, 283 

Coleridge introduces Spinoza to 
English thinkers, 229 

Commerce, how the Jews came 
to follow it, 136; skilful pur- 
suit of, in modern times, 237 

“Conqueror,” battering-ram of 
Titus, 114 

Crémieux, French statesman of 
Hebrew birth, 282, 298 ‘ 

Cromwell brings Jews back to 
England, 192, 201 

Cuneiform inscriptions, 36 

Curse prononnced upon Spinoza, 
224 

Cyrus, the Mede, conquers As- 
syria, 54; restores Jews to Pal- 
estine, 57 


D 


Damascus, seat of a Syrian king- 
dom, 25; conquered by As- 
syria, 38; Jews persecuted at, 
in 1840, 281 

David, conquests of, 20; the 
most popular poet in England, 
3II 

Deborah inspires the Hebrews, 
18 

Dingelstedt, Franz, his anti-Se- 
mitic poem, 357 

Dispersion of the Jews, 133 

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Bea- 
consfield, his assertion of He- 
brew superiority, 2; his ori- 
gin, a typical Jew, 305; his 


INDEX. 373 


entrance into Parliament, 306 ; 
his public career, devotion of 
his wife, 308 ; enthusiasm of, 
for his race, 310, 311 

Disraeli, Isaac, father of Lord 
Beaconsfield, 305 

Dominicans prominent in perse- 
cuting the Jews, 162 

Domitius Sabinus, the centurion, 
at the siege of Jotapata, 99 


E 
Edomites subdued by Hebrews, 


12 

Edward I. banishes Jews from 
England, 192 

Eleazar, brother of Judas Mac- 
cabzeus, death of, 69 

Elijah and Elisha protest against 
idolatries, 26 

“Elijah,” oratorio of Mendels- 
sohn, 342 

England, Jews in, 189, etc. 

Essenes, a Jewish sect, 80 

Ezra, restores the power of Is- 
rael, 58; establishes the canon, 


75 
F 


False Messiahs, 216 

Fasts and feasts, 84 

Ferdinand, King of Spain, perse- 
cutes the Jews, 140 ; expatri- 
ates them, 158 

Fichte influenced by Spinoza, 229 

Finance, skill of Jews in, 237 ; 
not exceptionally sordid and 
harsh, 255, etc. 

Fine Arts, Jews as cultivators of, 


237 
Flagellants destroy the Jews, 167 
Florence, Jews at, 193 


Fould, Achille, French statesman 
and financier of Hebrew birth, 


298 
France, Jews in, 197, etc. 


Franke, famous in medicine, 238 
Frankfort, Juden-gasse in, 166, 


259 


Friedrich Wilhelm IV. and 


Froude and Spinoza, 230 


Galilee, Romans attempt to con- 


Gambetta, descended from Geno- 


Gemara, combined with the 


Germany, Jews in, in medizval 


Gessius Florus, Roman procura- 


Heine, 322 


G 


quer, 95, etc. 


ese Jews, 298 ; puts out an eye 
in his boyhood, 300 ; steps into 
fame in 1868, 300; in the Corps 
Législatif in 1870, 301; his 
astonishing energy, 302; his 
oratory, 303, 304 


Mischna to form the Talmud, 
143 


times, 165, etc.; in modern 
times, 239, 240; ridiculed by 
Heine, 321. 


tor, attacks Jerusalem, 94 ; is 
defeated, 95 

Gibbon sneers at the Jews, 202 

Gideon, ancient Hebrew cham- 
pion, 18 

Goethe, his “ Faust” quoted, 216; 
admirer of Spinoza, 229 ; friend 
of the Mendelssohns, 339 

Goldwin Smith unjust to the 
Jews, 253 

Géttingen, Heine’s hatred for, 
314 

Grace Aguilar quoted, 154, 158 

Graetz, Jewish historian, quoted, 
161 

Grimm, Jacob, studies of, in folk- 
lore, 210 

Gugenheim, father - in - law of 
Moses Mendelssohn, 249 


H 


Halévy, Jewish musician, 237 

Handicrafts, Jews restrained 
from, at the dispersion, 136; 
followed in Sicily, 195; He- 
brew dislike of, in modern 
times, 236 


374 


_Hanoukhah, feast of, its origin, 
68, 84; celebrated by the 
Rothschilds, 260 ; 

Hazael, of Syria, conquered by 
Assyrians, 38 

Hebrews, see Jews. 

Hegel, admirer of Spinoza, 229 

Heine, Heinrich, his ‘‘ Rabbi of 
Bacharach,” 167; admirer of 
Spinoza, 229; called by Mat- 
thew Arnold first German poet 
since Goethe, 238 ; with Borne 
in the Frankfort Juden-gasse, 
260 ; with James Rothschild at 
Paris,271; his origin and career, 
312-317; his inconsistency, his 


descriptive power, 318 ; his wit |” 


and bitterness, 320; his frivol- 
ity, 32 2 ;analogues in English 
literature, 323; his poetic power 
and sweetness, 324, etc.; as 
voicing the Jewish heart, 327 ;- 
before the Venus of Milo, 328, 
329 

Heine, Solomon, uncle of the 
poet, 313 

Heliodorus tries to rob the Tem- 
ple, 72 

Hensel, Wilhelm, brother-in-law 


of Felix Mendelssohn, 335, 
340, 346 
“Hep! hep!” cry of the perse- 


cutors, 200, 356 

Heptarchy, Jews under the, 189 

Herod, rules Judea, 73 ; slays the 
children, 88 

Herodians, Jewish sect, 79 

Hesse Cassel, Landgrave of, and 
Rothschild, 259 

Hezekiah, King of Judah, 39; 
his good reign, throws off the 
yoke of Assyria, 48 

Hillel, Jewish teacher, 81 

Hiram of Tyre and Solomon, 23 

Holland, the refuge of the op- 
pressed, 219 


ag 


Idumzans, subdued by Judas 
Maccabzeus, 68 ; come to de- 


THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


fend Jerusalem against Titus, 
IIo 

“*Tlse,” poem of Heine, 324 

Inquisition and the Jews, 155, 
etc. 3 

“Tron Maiden,” apparatus for 
torture, 156 

Isaac the patriarch, 12 

Isaac, ambassador of Charle- 
magne, 139 

Isaac Arama, Jewish poet, quoted, 
161 

Isabella, queen of Spain, a perse- 
cutor, 140; assents to exile of 
the Jews, 158 

Isaiah, the prophet, 
Hezekiah, 52 

Israel, kingdom of, 25; conquered 
by Assyria, 39 

Israelites, see Jews. 

Italy, Jews in, 193, etc. 


J 


Jacob the patriarch, 12 
Jaddua, high-priest, meets Alex- 
ander the Great, 58 
Jael slays Sisera, 18 
Jehovah, Hebrew name for God, 
6 


counsels 


I 

Jephthah, ancient champion of 
Israel, 18 

Jerusalem, founded, 22; em- 
bellished by Solomon, 23; 
sacked in time of Jeroboam by 
the Egyptians, 26; described, 
102, etc.; besieged by Titus, 
10g, etc.; its capture and de- 
struction, IIg; visits of Sir 
Moses Montefiore to, 284, 289; 
the new town near the Jaffa- 
gate, 292 

“Jerusalem,” work of Moses 
Mendelssohn, 244 

Jesus, of Nazareth, his birth, 86; 
in the Temple, baptism, 88 ; 
his temptation, gospel, passion, 
death, and resurrection, 89; 
his character the beauty of hol- 
iness, 92; in the legend of the 
Wandering Jew, 209 


INDEX. 555375 


Jews, their assertion of superior- 


\ 


ity, 1; character of their liter- 
ature, 3; tenacity asa race, 4, 
5; their force and passion, 6 ; 
religious nature, 7; at their 
origin, 12; valor under David, 
20; vigor declines, 22; the 
kingdoms of Judah and Israel, 
25; force of, as shown in the 
struggle with Assyria, 32; at 
Nineveh, 41; their defiance of 
Sennacherib, 52; captives at 
Babylon, 57; restoration to 
Palestine, 58; contact with 
Aryans, 61; dispersion, 64; 
civilization in time of the Mac- 
cabees, 74; parties and sects, 
75, etc.; oppressed and at last 
crushed by Rome, 94, etc.; 
their spiritual conquest of the 
Aryans, 126, etc.; dispersion, 
133; temper rarely concilia- 
tory, 134; how they became 
traders, 136; their services in 
commerce, 137; contact with 
the Moslems, 138 ; enter Spain, 
138; at the Renaissance, 139 ; 
favored by the Saracens, and by 
Charlemagne, 139; persecuted 
in later times, 140; in Spain, 
152; insincere converts, 153; 
a Hebrew shrine, 154; before 
the Inquisition, 155, etc.; 
driven out of Spain, 158, etc.; 
in other lands, 160; lamenta- 
tions over Spain, 161; an 
auto-da-fé, 162, etc. ; in Ger- 
many, 165, etc.; lightly touched 
by the Black Death, 167 ; pic- 
ture of their medizval life, 
168, etc; in England, pro- 
tected by early Plantagenets, 
189; Richard Coeur de Lion 
persecutes, massacre at York, 
1g0, etc.; driven out by Ed- 
ward I., 192; restored by 
Cromwell, 192; drowning of, 
near London Bridge, 192; in 
Venice, Florence, Genoa, and 
Papal states, 193; at Rome, 


194; in Southern Italy and 
Sicily, 195, 196; in France, 
under Philip Augustus and St. 
Louis, 197; sufferings from 
the ‘‘ Pastoureaux,” in time of 
the ‘‘ Black Death,” 198 ; be- 
come chattels, 200; badges, 
narrowness of Protestants, 201 ; 
of unbelievers, 202 ; sometimes 
retaliate, 203; as typified in 
Shylock, 204,’ etc.; in the 
Wandering Jew, 208, etc.; in- 
tolerance and unamiability of, 
215; false Messiahs, 216; en- 
thusiasm for Sabbatai Zevi, 217; 
they seek refuge in Holland, 
219; respect for the Cabala, 
222; the persecution of Spin- 
oza, 223, etc.; total number 
and distribution, of at present, 
their eminence, 235; seldom 
soldiers, farmers, or artisans, 
236; as financiers, as artists, 
237; as philosophers -and 
scholars, 238; their degrada- 
tion in Germany, 239; influ-- 
ence of Moses Mendelssohn, 
240, etc.; their distrust of him, 
245; as business men; 254; 
their ill-repute undeserved, 
255, etc.; their genius for af- 
fairs, 276; persecuted in the 
Levant in 1840, 281 ; helped in 
Palestine and elsewhere by 
Montefiore, 283 ; in Morocco, 
288 ; incited to work in Pales- 
tine by Montefiore, 290, 291 ; 
as statesmen, 295; Disraeli’s 
enthusiasm for, 310, 311; find 
a voice in Heine, 312, 327; 
dreaded for their energy and 
power, 355, etc.; their invet- 
erate scorn, 357; curious cus- 
toms of, 358, etc.; cemetery at 
Newport, 359, 360; in Poland, 
360, etc.; ‘‘measuring the 
boundaries,” 361 ; treatment of 
apostates, 364 ; compared with 
Yankees, 366 ; described by F. 
Adler, 367 ; orthodox nucleus, 


376 


368; reformers, 368, 369; 
promise of a better day, 369 
Joachim, Jewish musician, 237 
John the Baptist and Jesus of 
Nazareth, 88 
John of Giscala defends Jerusa- 


salem against Titus, I10, etc.; 


dies in prison, 119 

John Hyrcanus, descendant of 
the Maccabees, 71 

Jonathan, son of Saul, 20 

Jonathan, brother of Judas Mac- 
cabzeus, 70 

Joseph, son of Jacob, 12 

Joseph, husband of Mary, 86 

Josephus, commands in Galilee, 
45 ; the prisoner of Vespasian, 
100 ; counsels the defenders of 
Jerusalem to yield, 115 ; value 
of his history, he follows Titus 
to Rome, 121 

Joshua, an ancient champion, 18 

Joshua, the priest, surrenders the 
Temple treasures to Titus, 118 

Jotapata, defended by Josephus 
‘against Vespasian, 95, etc. 

Judah, kingdom of, 25 ; invaded 
by Sennacherib, 49 

Judas Maccabzeus, defeats Apol- 
lonius, Seron, and Lysias, 65, 
66; his later career, 67, 68 ; 
his death, 69; his burial at 
Modin, 70 

Juden-gasse, at Frankfort, 166 ; 
birthplace of the Rothschilds, 
258 ; Heine’s account of, 260 ; 
his association with, 313 


K 


Kant, Immanuel, his tribute to 
the ‘‘Jerusalem” of Moses 
Mendelssohn, 245. 

Karaites, Jewish sect rejecting 
the Talmud, 148 


L 


Lamego, Portuguese ancestor of 
Sir Moses Montefiore, 280 

Lasker, German statesman of 
Hebrew birth, 296 


THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


Lavater, his connection with 
Moses Mendelssohn, 245 ; his 
description of Mendelssohn, 
249 

Law given on Sinai, 14 ; written, 
included in the canon, 76; ori- 
gin of, 76 ; scrolls of, 155, 184, 


T94 ava : 
Layard, his Assyrian discoveries, 
6 


3 

Leah Rendar, story of, 363 

Leibnitz, his treatment of Spi- 
noza, 229 

Lessing admires Spinoza and 
spreads his fame, 229; friend 
of Moses Mendelssohn, 243; 
his ‘‘ Nathan the Wise,” 251, 
etc: 

Libraries, cities as, 33 ; destruc- 
tion at Alexandria, 55 

Literature, Jews in, 238 

Lombard traders, 193 

London Bridge, Jews drowned 
near, 192 

Longfellow, his ‘* Sandalphon,” 
146; ‘‘Jewish Cemetery at 
Newport,” 359, 360 

‘‘Lorelei,” poem of Heine, 326 

Lost tribes of Israel, 39, 133 

Louis IX. (St. Louis) persecutes 
the Hebrews, 140, 197 

Louis XVIII. helped by Roths- 
child, 269 

Louis Philippe helped to the 
throne by Rothschilds, 270 

Lucius, Roman soldier at the 
siege of Jerusalem, 120 

Ludwig II., of Bavaria, and 
Heine, 322 

Luther intolerant toward Jews, 
140, 201 

Lysias defeated by Judas Macca- 
beeus, 67 


M 


Maccabees, their origin, 64 ; their 
career, 65, etc.; the power of 
the successors of Judas, 70 

Macedonians, contact of, with the 
Jews, 63 


INDEX. 


“Maria Theresa, unfriendly to He- 


brews, 140 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, 86 

Massena, Marshal, his Jewish ori- 
gin, 236 

Mattathias, founder of the line of 
the Maccabees, 64 ; slays Ap- 
peles, 65 ; death and burial at 
Modin, 66 y 


~Matterhom in the legend of the 


Wandering Jew, 213 

Maurice, F. D., admirer of Spi- 
noza, 230 

Maximilian, Emperor, at Nieg- 
esehenburg, 180 

“Measuring the bounds,” pic- 
turesque custom, 361, etc. 

Meissner, German poet, friend of 
Heine, quoted, 328, 364 

Menasseh ben Israel obtains 
from Cromwell the restoration 
of Jews to England, 192 

Mendelssohn, Abraham, son of 


Moses and father of Felix, 


332; his letter as to the reli- 
gious education of his children, 
334; his death, 349 
Mendelssohn, Dorothea, daugh- 
ter of Moses, marries Veit, 
her connection with Friedrich 
Schlegel, 331, 332 
Mendelssohn, Fanny, daughter of 
Abraham, 333; marries Wil- 
helm Hensel, 335 ; her home 
in Berlin, 337, 345; letters, 
348, 349 ; death, 352 
Mendelssohn - Bartholdy, Felix, 
his birth, 332; his precocity, 
335; his boyhood in Berlin, 
339 ; his early success, 340; 
character of -his music, his 
fame in England, appearance, 
342; described in ‘* Charles 
Auchester,” 343 ; with Victoria 
and Prince Albert, 350, etc.; 
letters on death of his father 
and sister Fanny, 352, 353; 
his death, 352 
Mendelssohn, Joseph, son of 
Moses, 332° 


CreR Rk 
RIVE RSL Ll hh 
STE ER KE 


Mendelssohn, Leah Salomon, 
wife of Abraham, 333 ; her let- 
ter to her daughter’s lover, 
336 E 

Mendelssohn, Moses, his birth 
and education, 242 ; his litera- 
ry work, 243; his breadth of 
spirit, 244 ; his attachment to 
Judaism, 245 ; his letter to La- 
vater, 246, etc.; his death, 248; 
his wooing, 249, 250; por- 
trayed in ‘‘ Nathan the Wise,” 
251; his fine spirit and beauti- 
ful influence, 368, 369 

Mendelssohn, Paul, 339, 347 

Mendelssohn, Rebecca, 345 

Mesopotamia under the Assyri- 
ans, 40 

Messiah expected, 85 

Meyerbeer, Jewish composer, 237 

“Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 
overture to, by Mendelssohn, 
338 

Mischna, combined with the Ge- 
mara to form the Talmud, 81, 


142 

Moabites subdued by Israel, 12 

Modin, home of the Maccabees, 
64 

Montefiore, Judith, wife of Sir 
Moses, her diary, 283, etc. 

Montefiore, Sir Moses, a typical 
Jew, 278; his ancestry and 
early career, 280 ; his philan- 
thropic journeys, 281 ; at Da- 
mascus, 282; in Palestine and 
Russia, 283; enters Jerusalem, 
286 ; his strength in age, 288 ; 
at Morocco, 289 ; incites the 
Jews to industry and_ thrift, 
290 ; his breadth of mind, 292 ; 
his widespread fame, personal 
appearance, orthodoxy, 293 ; 
belief in the restoration of the 
Jews to the Holy Land, 294 

Moors, see Saracens 

Moriah, Mount, site of the Tem- 
ple, 103 

Morocco, Montefiore visits, 288 

Moscheles, Jewish composer, 237 


| 


Va 
Lie 


ACh ITT] That ean 


Miter: 


J 


Moses, the ancient lawgiver and 
leader, 14 

Moslem contact with Hebrews, 
138 


Napoleon I. frees Jews tempo- 
rarily, 313; admired and de- 
scribed by Heine, 319 

Napoleon III. and Gambetts; 

300, 301 

«Mathan the Wise,” drama of 
Lessing, 251, etc. 

“* New Christians,’’ insincere con- 
verts from Judaism, 153 

Niegesehenburg, a medizeval Ger- 
man city, 179 

Nineveh, see Assyria 

Nonotte, wife of Heine, 323; 
lines to, 325 

Novalis on Spinoza, 229 

Nuremberg, torture-chamber at, 
155 


O’Connell, Daniel, and Disraeli, 
306 

Odin, connection with the legend 
of the Wild Huntsman, 210 

“Old Lady of the Damm Thor,” 
mother of Heine, 323 

Old Testament, origin of, 76 

Oppenheim, German statesman 
of Jewish birth, 296 

Oxford, insult to the cross at, 203 


1% 


‘Palestine, physical description of, 


9, I0, 12; conquered by As- 
syria, 38; Montefiore’s work 
in, 290 ; 

Passover, the feast of, 84; its 
celebration in medizeval times, 
169 

Pastoureaux in France persecute 
Jews, 198 | 

Paul, conversion of, go 

Pedanius, Roman horseman at 
Jerusalem, 120 


« 


THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


Pentecost, feast of, 84 

Pereire, Isaac and Emile, rail- 
road kings of France, 276, etc. 

“* Pheedo,” work of Moses Men- 
delssohn, 243 

Pharisees, 78 ; their tenets, 79 

Philip Augustus, of France, per- 
secutes the Jews, 197 

Philip the Fair, of France, per- 
secutes the Jews, 198 

Philistines as conquerors, 18 ; as 
conquered, 20 

Philosophy, eminence of Jews in, 
238 

Pheenicians, contact with Jews, 

3; subjected by Assyria, 47 

‘* Pilgrimage to Kevlaar,” poem 
of Heine, 317 

Poland, Jews in, 360 ~ 

Pompey takes Jerusalem, 73 

Popes, their changing policy tow- 
ard the Jews, 194 

Portugal, cruelties in, 160 

Prince Albert and Felix Mendels- 
sohn, 350, etc. 

Prophets, account of, 22 

Protestants intolerant of Jews, 
201 

Punch on the conversion of the 
Jews, 155 

Puritans intolerant of Jews, 201 


R 


Rabbi Abraham, story of, 168, 
etc. 

Rachel, Jewish actress, 238 

Rahel, wife of Varnhagen von 
Ense, her salon at Berlin, 313 

Rationalist idea of the Jews, 3, 
etc. 

Renan, admirer of Spinoza, 230 

Rhodes, Jews persecuted at, in 
1840, 281 

Ricardo, political economist of 
Hebrew birth, 254 

Richard Coeur de Lion persecutes 
the Jews, 140, 190 

Romans, first contact of, with 
the Jews in time of Judas 


ee 


INDEX. 


Maccabeeus, 70; their coming 
to Palestine, 73 ; their oppres- 
sion of the Jews, 94; under. 
Vespasian and Titus, they 
crush Palestine, 95, etc. 

Rome, Jews in, 193 

Rothschild, Baron Alphonse, and 
Napoleon III., 272 

Rothschild, Baron James, at 
Paris, 268; helps Louis XVIII., 
269 ; helps Louis Philippe, his 
brusqueness, 270; his fear of 
Heine, 271 

Rothschild, Baron Lionel, Lon- 
don, 268 

Rothschild, Meyer Anselm, 
founder of the house, in Frank- 
fort Juden-gage, 258 ; the 
Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, 
260; wife of, 261 ; her attach- 
ment to the Juden-gasse, 262 ; 
their five sons, 262 

Rothschild, Nathan Meyer, goes 
to London, 262; at Waterloo, 
263; his great speculation, 264 ; 
his death, 267 

Rubenstein, Jewish musician, 237 

Russia, large Jewish population 
of, 235; testimony to their 
ability, 283; diplomacy of, 
guided by Jews, 295 


S 


Sabbatai Zevi, a false Messiah, 
216, etc. 

Sadducees, origin of, 77; their 
tenets, 78 

Samaria, capital of Israel, 26 ; 
conquered by Assyria, 38 ; 
people of, 82; cursed by the 
Jews, 83 

‘«Sam’l of Posen,” popular play, 
367 : 

Samson, ancient champion, 18 

Samuel, the prophet, 20 

‘*Sandalphon,” the legend ver- 
sified from the Talmud by 
Longfellow, 146 

Saracens and Jews, 138, 203 


(TOR AL 


MVE TAL OC ELLERY 
378 | ak ©. 


Sarah, wife of Rabbi Abraham, 
story of, 169, .etc. 

Saul, king of Israel, 20 

Savonarola unfriendly to the 
Jews, 140 

Schlegel, Friedrich, and Doro- 
thea Mendelssohn, 331 

Schleiermacher, his tribute to 
Spinoza, 230 

Science, distinction of Jews in, 
238 

Seleucidz oppress the Jews, 64 

Semiramis, legend of, 29 

Semites, origin of, 12 

Sennacherib, his accession, 39; 
his palace at Nineveh, 46; at- 
tacks Judah, 48 ; his magnifi- 
cent array, 49, etc.; destruction 
of, 53 

Sephardim, a name for the Span- 
ish Israelites, 152; give birth 
to. Spinoza, 220; to Disraeli, 


305 

Septuagint, how prepared, 76 

Seraphael, a name for Felix 
Mendelssohn, 343 

Seron defeated by Judas Macca- 
beeus, 66 

Shelley inspired by Spinoza, 230 

Shylock, what he might have 
heard on the Rialto, 204, 205 ; 
palliation for his cruelty, 206 ; 
Heine’s portrayal of, 206, etc. 

Sicily, Jews in, 195 

Simon, son of Gioras, defends 
Jerusalem. against Titus, 111, 
etc.; slain at Rome, 123 

Sisebut, Visigothic king of Spain, 
152; Jews rise against, 203 

Sisera slain by Jaél, 18 

Solomon, his splendor and wis- 
dom, 22; his folly, 25 

Spain, Jews in, 152, etc. 

Spinoza, his high and pure spirit, 
219; falsely accused of atheism, 
220 ; his origin and childhood 
at Amsterdam, 220; his pre- 
cocity, revolts at the Cabala, 
222; escapes assassination, but 
is excommunicated, 223; the 


VUNDary 
MEL MUSA YT TE WIV] 


ANOLE 5 p80 THE STORY OF THE FEWS. 


curse pronounced upon him, 
224, 225; his magnanimity, 
polishes crystals for a liveli- 


hood, 225; his catholicity, his | 


death, 226; his philosophy 
outlined, his humanity, 227, 
228 ; history of his fame, 229 ; 
his present supremacy, 230 ; 
tribute to his worth, 231 

Standing Men in the ancient 
Temple service, 83 

Stephen, Paul at the stoning of, 


go 

Stécker, German anti-Semitic 
leader, 356 

“St. Paul,” oratorio of Mendels- 
sohn, 342 


Zu 


Tabernacle, description of, 18 

Tabernacles, feast of, 84 

Taine, admirer of Spinoza, 230 

Talmud, its origin, 141; the 
-Mischna and Gemara, 142, 
143 ; subtleties of the rabbis, 
value of, 143; its incoherency, 
144; its wisdom and beauty, 
145, 146; its hygienic value, 
148 

Targums, Aremaic paraphrases 
of Scripture, 76° : 

Temple of Solomon, building 
and consecration of, 23, 24; 
rebuilding of, after captivity at 
Babylon, 57; in the time of 
Titus, 103 ; destruction of, by 
the Romans, 118 

Tenth legion at the siege of Jer- 
usalem, 112 

Titus storms Jotapata, 99; ad- 
vances upon Jerusalem, 108 ; 
his army, 109 ; his narrow es- 
cape, II1; besiegts the city, 
I12, etc.; his victory, 119 ; his 

triumph, 121, etc.; the arch 
of, 124 

Torah, see Law 

‘Torquemada, as grand inquisi- 
tor, persecutes the Jews, 159 


Tribes of Israel, their position on 
the march, 16 

Turks, their comparative human- 
ity to the Jews, 159; their 

treatment of Sabbatdi Zevi, 
218 


Vv 


Varnhagen von Ense and Heine, 
313 

Venus of Milo, Heine in pres- 
ence of, 328, 329 

Vespasian, besieges Jotapata, 95, 
etc.;_ becomes emperor, 100; 
at the triumph of Titus, 121 

Victoria, Queen, and Felix Men- 
delssohn, 35, etc. 

Visigoths and Jews, 152 

Voltaire harsh toward Jews, 202 


W 


Wagner, his futile effort to bring 
the Jews to confusion, 238 

Wandering Jew, different ver- 
sions of the legend, Carta- 
philus or Ahasuerus, 208 ; his 


pilgrimage, 209; becomes 
blended with the Wild Hunts- 
man, 210, etc.; before the 


Matterhorn, 213 

Wellington, his dislike of the 
Rothschilds, 266° 

Werner, Saint, his shrine on the 
Rhine, 168 

Wild Huntsman becomes blend- 
ed with the Wandering Jew, 
210, etc. 

William the Conqueror protects 
the Jews, 189. 

William Rufus befriends 
Jews, 189 ; : 

Woistes, medizeval German town, 
Jews at, 168, etc. 


the 


ag 


Yankee and Jew, 366 
York, tragedy at, 190, etc, 


rae 


1} 
INDEX. 38t 


Zion, symbol of Hebrew nation, 
1; the ark finds a sanctuary 
there in the time of David; at 
the time of the siege by the 
Romans, 102 


Z 


Zadikim, division among the 
Jews, 77 : 

Zealots, a Jewish sect, 79 ; at the 
siege of Jerusalem, 110