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CRITICAL NOTICES 335 



FRANK AND THE FEANKISTS. 

Frank i FrankUci Polscy (1726-1816). Monografia Historyczna przez 
Alexandea Kbaushaba. Cracow, Gebethner & Co. (Frank 
and the Polish Frankists. An historical monograph, by Alex- 

ANDEB KbAUSHAB.) 

De. Alexandee Keaushab, of "Warsaw, has long been known 
for his researches into the more obscure parts of Polish history. By 
exploring the archives of various countries, he has contrived to throw 
considerable light upon the careers of some of the leading figures 
of the old Polish days ; among others the strange life of the prodigal 
Alexander Laski, and of Arciszewski, who when banished from his 
native country, took service with the Dutch, and rose to the posi- 
tion of admiral in their service, in the middle of the seventeenth 
century. To his other works he has now added an interesting 
account of the remarkable impostor Joseph Frank, who during the 
latter half of the last century contrived to get together a large band 
of followers. Frank pretended to adopt the Christian faith, and he 
and his disciples were baptized. They seem, however, to have been 
looked upon with a certain suspicion by those whose religion they 
had joined. On the other hand, they were of course repudiated by 
the Jews. 

Frank, into whose coffers the tribute of his devotees flowed 
lavishly, succeeded in renting from a petty German prince the castle 
of Offenbach on the Rhine. Here he lived in almost regal state, 
and assumed the fantastic airs of a Messiah. The description of 
him, sitting on a divan a la Grand Turc, and smoking his pipe as 
he watched his votaries crawling round him, is very graphic. After 
his death, his daughter Ewa, a woman of considerable intellect, kept 
the brotherhood for a short time together, but at her decease it 
collapsed. 

There are still old people at Offenbach who remember these 
vagaries, and the last of the disciples of Frank died a short time 
ago at an advanced age. He could never be induced to talk about 
the prophet's doings. 

These two very readable volumes are furnished with many pieces 
justiftcatives, which show how thoroughly Dr. Kraushar has gone into 
the question. He has had the advantage of consulting some impor- 
tant manuscripts, especially one in the possession of Count Constan- 
tine Przedziecki. In this respect he justly boasts of having an 
advantage over his predecessors. Of those who have treated of this 
episode of Jewish life, the most important was the late Dr. Graetz, 

Z % 



336 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

but Dr. Kraushar does not attach much value to the account 
of Frank given by this historian. He taxes him with ignorance 
of the Polish sources. He frequently commits solecisms in the 
citation of Polish names. Moreover, he lacks the proper objective 
spirit of the historian, as shown in the abuse which he continually 
heaps upon Frank. These remarks apply, not only to the mention 
of Frank in the Geschichte der Juden, but also to the work of Graetz, 
entitled, Frank und die Franhisten (i£68). 

W. R. Mobfixl. 



MEDIAEVAL JEWISH CHRONICLES. 

MediaevalJewish Chronicles and Chronological Notes, ed. by A. Neubauek. 
(Oxford : Clarendon Press.) 1887-1895. Parts III. 

Dr. Neubatjek's unabated zeal in his useful labours in the field 
of Hebrew Literature, which he successfully continues in spite of 
physical suffering, has enabled him to complete the collection of 
Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, the first instalment of which appeared 
in 1887. Students of Jewish History and Hebrew Literature must 
welcome the work as a valuable treasure that contains a rich supply 
of desirable information. It is owing to Dr. Neubauer's genius and 
inexhaustible store of knowledge, in addition to the opportunities, 
which all have who live in an institution like the Bodleian Library, 
that the collection is as complete and as perfect as possible. The 
numerous various readings from different manuscripts and editions, 
contained in the footnotes, and the many supplementary extracts 
from different works, give evidence of the immense labour bestowed 
on this work by the editor. How conscientiously Dr. Neubauer works, 
and what difficulties the deciphering of the MSS., frequently illegible, 
involves, can best be seen by the Additions and Corrections of pp. 252 
to 255. Each volume contains a brief literary account of the various 
treatises it includes, and at the end of the second volume a complete 
Index for the whole work has been added. In these two volumes 
Dr. Neubauer includes thirteen different treatises, seven of which are 
edited here for the first time. We will consider them seriatim. 

(Part II, p. 3.) Megillath-taanith, "Scroll of Fasting," deserves the 
first place as the oldest of these Chronicles. It contains two different 
elements, the original scroll in Aramaic, and the Commentary on it 
in Hebrew of a much later date. The title is apparently chosen after 
the manner of lucus a non lucendo; for the scroll enumerates only 
the days on which fasting may not take place. Such a name is