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THE JEWS




THE STORY OF THE NATIONS.



Large Crown Svo, Cloth, Illustrated, ^s.
Presentation Edition, Gilt Edges, ^s. 6d.

1. ROME. Arthur Oilman, M.A.

2. THE JEWS. Prof. J. K. HosMER.

3. GERMANY. Rev. S. Baring-Gould,

M.A.

4. CARTHAGE. Prof. A. J. Church.

5. ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. Prof.

J. P. Maiiaffy.

6. THE MOORS IN SPAIN. Stanley

Lane-Poole.

7. ANCIENT EGYPT. Canon Raw-

linson.

8. HUNGARY. Prof. A. Vambery.

9. THE SARACENS. A. Oilman, M.A.

10. IRELAND. Hon. Emily Lawless.

11. CHALD^A. Z. A. Ragozin.

12. THE GOTHS. Henry Bradley.

13. ASSYRIA. Z. A. Ragozin.

14. TURKEY. Stanley Lane-Poole.

15. MEDIAEVAL FRANCE. Prof.

OUSTAVE MASSON.

16. HOLLAND. Prof. J. E. Thorold

Rogers.

17. PERSIA. S. W. O. Benjamin.

18. PHOENICIA. Canon Rawlinson.



London !
T. FISHER UNWIN,26, Patfirnoster Square, E.G.




■&.






THE JEWS



ANCIENT, MEDI/EVAL, AND MODERN



JAMES K. HOSMER



HROKKSSOR IN WASHINGTON UNIVERSMV, ST. LOUS, MO ; AUTHOR OF

"a '-HORT HISTORY OF GERMAN LITERATURE," "THE

LIFE OF SAMUEL ADAMS," ETC.



XonDon
T. FISHER UN WIN

26 PATERNOSTER SQUARE
NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

MDCCCXC



Entered at Stationers' Hall
By T. Fisher Unwin



Copyright by G. P. Putnam's Sons, i8go
(For the United States of America)



PREFACE.



To write " The Story of the Jews " for the series
in which it is to appear has been a task beset with
certain special embarrassments.

In the first place, it may reasonably be doubted
whether a faithfully related story of the Jews is
suitable reading for immature minds. The prudent
parent shrinks from putting into the hands of his
child Hamlet, or Lear, or Othello. In the first, the
terrible soul agony, — in the second, the ruthless ex-
ercise of the most savage passions, — in the third, the
malignant, snake-like craft crushing in its folds un-
suspecting manly worth and womanly loveliness, —
this tragedy of the deepest requires full maturity in
order that its lessons may be intelligently received
and its powerfully realized. Such literature is meat
for men, not milk for babes ; and it is quite prema-
ture to undertake it, until experience has thoroughly
settled the character. Has not history as well as
poetry its tragedies quite too sombre for childhood,
— and among its tragedies is there any quite so
dark as the story of the Jews ? Where else are prob-
lems presented which so defy satisfactory solution ?
Where else is it necessary to contemplate the play of



f^nc\ry*-f^ t^



IV THE STORY OF THE JEWS.

spiritual forces so tremendous? Where else is there
anguish so deep and long-continued ?

A second embarrassment arises from the fact that
in the story of the Jews many points are presented
with regard to which the feelings of men are so keen
and at the same time so conflicting. To-day, through-
out the civilized world, many regard the Hebrews
with dislike, perhaps aversion, as an unattractive, in-
deed a dangerous element in society. Certainly this
story cannot be written without demonstrating to
how large an extent this prejudice is cruel and un-
just, however inveterate and explicable, — an effort
which is certain, in some quarters, to be ill taken.
As regards the ancient period, can the account be
given without some attempt to separate fact from
myth, — to circumscribe within just limits the natural
and the supernatural ; and can such discriminations
be attempted without giving offence in one quarter
or another? Protestant, Catholic, Rationalist, Jew,
have, each one, his peculiar point of view, — and each
one, if he is at all earnest, regards the matters in dis-
pute as things by no means far off, but of vital,
present importance.

The writer of this volume has dealt with these
embarrassments as well as he could. As to the first,
interpreting in a liberal way his commission " to
write a story for the young," he has tried to adapt
his chapters to those in the later stages of youth, —
to those, indeed, already standing upon the threshold
of maturity. Prominence has been given to the
more picturesque and dramatic features of the record.
The profundities are only touched upon ; the



PREFACE. V

mysteries of the Cabala, and the inspiration that may-
lie within the fantastic rhapsodizing of the Talmud-
ists, no attempt has been made to fathom. At the
same time, there has been no effort to dwarf and
emasculate the absorbing account into the dimen-
sions of a proper "juvenile." Here are details of
exterminating warfare, of sharpest torture, of bitter,
est cursing. Here are presented sages as they study
the darkest problems, — poets, as they thrill the hu-
man heart-strings with marvellous, subtle power ; —
characters shining in the very beauty of holiness, —
characters, too, black with malignity most appalling.
All this stands in the record : to present Israel faith-
fully, these traits must be given, and the attempt
has been made to present Israel faithfully. A tale,
it is, full of thrilling fascination and fruitful in in-
struction ; a tale, however, that sobers and that re-
quires soberness in its readers, — the ripeness which
comes when childhood has been left behind.

As regards the second embarrassment, it will be
at once apparent to the reader that the writer feels
that Israel, among the nations, should be regarded
with reverence, even with awe, in times modern as
well as ancient. In what sense the Hebrews are the
chosen people of God, — whether the special protec-
tion of Heaven supposed to be extended in ancient
times has lasted to the present hour, — whether the
sufferings of the race for eighteen centuries are due
to the crime committed upon Calvary, — these are
questions to which an answer has not been attempted.
Among the ancient traditions — whether Heliodorus
was driven away from the Temple treasures by Heaven-



VI THE STORY OF THE JEWS.

sent messengers ; whether David heard the voice of
God in the rustling of the balsam-trees ; whether the
sun and moon stood still at Joshua's command, or the
angel of the Lord really smote the host of Senna-
cherib,— such legends as these are given as they
stand, with no effort to separate the nucleus of
reality from the accretions of fable. The writer
cannot hope to escape the condemnation of some
critics, perhaps of all. The Supernaturalist will
probably find him too indifferent to the miraculous ;
the Rationalist, too lenient toward ancient supersti-
tions ; the Jew, not sufificiently cognizant of the
divine mission of Israel upon the earth. The writer
can only trust that while dealing with subjects in
which the feelings of multitudes are so deeply en-
listed and on such opposite sides, he may at least
escape the charge of flippancy and irreverence. While
the account in the case of many a comparatively in-
significant figure is given with considerable detail,
the narrative of the Gospels is presented only in out-
line. That tale, the possession as it is of every
memory, it has been thought unnecessary to give
with fulness. At the same time it will be evident, it
is hoped, that the figure of Jesus has been regarded
as possessing sublime, overshadowing importance
among those who have come forth from Israel.

As to authorities, the foot-notes must be consulted.
The effort has been made to become acquainted with
every thing of value contained in our tongue, but the
French and the Germans have worked this mine far
more thoroughly. In particular, use has been made
of the great work of Graetz, " Geschichte des Juden-



PREFACE. VI 1

thums," and of the work of Reinach, " Histoire des
Israelites depuis leur Dispersion jusqu' a nos Jours,"
which appeared in Paris just in time to be made
available for this book. Many a picturesque passage
has been derived from Heinrich Heine, an apostate
from Israel, whose soul, however, always yearned
toward the mother whom he had spurned. The
vivid portrayal of the circumstances of mediaeval
Jewish life, given in chapter XL, is an adaptation
from his incomplete novel, " The Rabbi of Bach-
arach," combined with facts derived from Graetz.
It enters with profound sympathy and thorough
learning into the atmosphere that surrounded the
persecuted Hebrews of that sombre time.

In conclusion, while acknowledging obligation to
many helpers, the writer desires in a special way to
thank Rabbi S. H. Sonnenschein, of St. Louis, and
Dr. Abraham S. Isaacs, of the Jewish Messenger,
of New York, for suggestions and books, which
have been of ereat value to him in his work.



J. K. H.



St. IvOUIS, November, iJ




^ ^''c€x^(C)



to )c?(3j'
0X3




CLASSIFIED CONTENTS.



PART I.



THE ANCIENT PRIDE.



PAGE

Why the Story of the Jews is Picturesque . i-8

Hebrew assertions of the greatness of their race, i — The
Christian view, 2 — The Rationalist's view, 3 — Remark-
able character of Hebrew literature, 3 — Tenacity of
Hebrew national life, 4 — Purity and solidarity of the race, 5
— Their spiritual force as shown in love and hate, 6 — Inten-
sity of Hebrew piety, 7 — Position of the Jews unique among
races of men, 8.

II.

The Morning-Time in Palestine . . . 9-28

Physical characteristics of Palestine, 9 — The Jordan, Sea of
Galilee, Dead Sea, 10 — The fertility of the land, 10 — An-
tiquity of the Jewish stock, 12 — The Patriarchs, 12 — Moses
leads Israel out of Egypt, 14 — Worship of one God, 16 —
The ark of the covenant, 16 — The Canaanites, 18 — Career
of the Judges, 18 — Saul and David, 20 — Solomon, 22 —
Building of the Temple, 23 — Its dedication, 24 — Decline of
Hebrew vigor, 25 — The two kingdoms, Judah and Israel,
26 — The Assyrians, 27.

III.

Israel at Nineveh ..... 29-45

Legend of Semiramis, 29 — Assyrian sculptures in the British

Museum, 30 — Authorities for Assyrian study, 32 — Cities as



X THE STORY OF THE JEWS.



libraries, 33, 34 — Antiquities of Mesopotamia, 35 — Niebuhr,
Botta, Layard, 36 — The Cuneiform, 36 — Nature of Assyrian
dominion, 37 — -Palestine overcome, 38 — Accession of Senna-
cherib, 39 — His splendor and power, 40, 41, 42 — An Assyrian
palace, 43, 44 — Refinement at Nineveh, 45.

IV.

The Destruction of Sennacherib . . 46-56

State of the Assyrian kings, 46 — The Medes and Phoenicians
subjected, 47 — Judah overwhelmed, 48 — The battle-order,
49, 50 — Hebrew defiance, 52 — Isaiah's prophecy, 53 — Its
fulfilment, 53 — Fall of Assyria, 54 — Permanence of its me-
morials, 55 — Its cruel sway, 56.

V.

Judas Maccabeus, the Hebrew William Tell, 57-73

The captivity at Babylon, 57 — The return from the Baby-
lonian exile, 58 — Alexander the Great at Jerusalem, 60 —
The Jew meets the Aryan, 61 — Who the Aryans were, 62,
63 — Palestine under the Seleucidas, 64 — The revolt of Mat-
tathias, 65 — First victories of Judas Maccabreus, 66, 67 —
The Temple purified and restored, 68 — Judas subdues the
Idumosans and Ammonites, 68 — Heroism of his brethren,
68 — Death of Eleazar, 69 — Judas defeated and slain by
Bacchides, 69 — Alliance with Rome, 70 — The later Asmo-
nseans, 71 — Heliodorus tries to rob the Temple, 72 — The
coming of the Romans, 73-

VI.
The Beauty of Holiness .... 74-93

Condition of the Jews after the time of the Maccabees, 74 —
Ezra establishes the Canon, 75, 76 — The Septuagint and
Targums, 76 — The oral Law, 77 — Sadducees and Pharisees,
78, 79 — The Essenes, 80 — Hillel and his followers, 81 —
The Samaritans, 82 — Jewish religious observances, 83 —
Feasts and fasts, 84 — Expectations of a Messiah, 85 — Birth
of Jesus, 86 — His life and work, 87, 88, 89 — The disciples
go forth, 90 — Conversion of Saul, go — The beauty of Chris-
tian holiness, 92, 93.



CLASSIFIED CONTENTS. XI

VII.

PAGE

Vespasian and Josephus .... 94-107

Gessius Floras marches against Jerusalem, 94 — His failure,
g5 — Josephus defends Galilee against Vespasian, 95— The
siege of Jotapata, 96, 97, 98 — Jotapata captured, 99 —
Josephus a captive, 100 — ^Vespasian emperor, 100 — Descrip-
tion of Jerusalem, 102 — The Temple, 103 — The Antonia,
104 — The walls, 106 — Portents of ill omen, 106.

VIII.
Titus on the Ruins of Zion , . . 108-129
Titus marches against Jerusalem, 108 — His formidable host,
109 — Factions among the Jews, 109 — John of Giscala and
the Zealots, no — Simon, sonof Gioras, in — Narrow escape
of Titus, III — The tenth legion in danger, 112 — The
"Conqueror" makes a breach, 114 — Capture of the outer
walls, 114 — Appalling condition of the defenders, 115 — John
and Simon undismayed, 116 — Destruction of the Antonia,
117 — Capture of the Temple and of the upper city, 118 —
Death of John of Giscala, imprisonment of Simon, and suf-
ferings of the Jews, 119 — Incidents of the siege, 120 — Return
of Titus to Rome, 121 — His magnificent triumph, 122 —
Death of Simon Gioras, 123 — Arch of Titus, 124 — Spiritual
conquest of the Aryan by the Jew, 126, 127, 128 — The
apotheosis of Jesus of Nazareth, 129.

PART II.

THE MEDI/EVAL HUMILIATION.

IX.

How THE Rabbis Wrought the Talmud . 133-151

The revolt of Bar Cocheba, 133 — yElia Capitolina and the
Jewish dispersion, 133 — Gentile persecution and Hebrew
scorn, 134 — How the Jews became traders, 136 — Their
services and high character in commerce, 137 — Jew and
Moslem, 138 — Charlemagne, 139 — Famous persecutors, 140



Xll THE STORY OF THE JEWS.

PAGE

— Deserts of the Hebrews, 140 — Origin of the Talmud, 141
— Mischna and Gemara, 142 — Value of the Talmud, 143 —
Difficulty of understanding it, 144 — Its wisdom and beauty,
145, 146 — Sandalphon, 146, 147 — The Karaites, 148 —
Hygienic value of Talmud and Torah, 148 — Maimonides,
149, 150.

X.

The Holocausts in Spain .... 152-164

The " Sephardim," 152 — Insincere conversions, 153 — A
Jewish shrine, 154 — The Inquisition, 155 — Torture cham-
bers, 156 — Sufferings of Hebrews, 157 — Ferdinand and Isa-
bella resolve upon expulsion, 158 — The departure of the
exiles, 159 — Dreadful hardships, 160 — Lamentations, 161 —
An attto-da-fe, 162, 163.

XI.
The Bloody Hand in Germany . . . 165-188

A synagogue on the Rhine, 165 — The Juden-gasse at Frank-
fort, 166 — The Black Death and the Flagellants, 167 — Jews
on the Rhine, 168 — Story of Rabbi Abraham and Sarah,
169, etc. — A passover celebration, 170, 171 — The plot to
destroy, 172, 173 — Flight of Abraham and Sarah, 174 —
Down the Rhine, 176, 177— A medijeval city, 179, 180 —
The Jewish quarter, 181 — The synagogue, 182 — The service,
T83 — The roll of the Law, 184 — The massacre, 186 — The
flight to Turkey, 188.

XII.

The Frown and the Curse in England,

Italy, and France .... 189-202

Persecution in England, 189 — Protection extended Wy early
Plantagenets, 189 — Suffering in time of Richard Coeur de
Lion, 190 — Tragedy of York, 191 — Banishment by Edward
I. and restoration by Cromwell, 192 — The drowning in the
Thames, 192 — Comparative mildness of Italian powers, 193
— Antiquity of Jewish colony in Rome,. 194 — Varying treat-
ment of the popes, 195 — The Jews in Southern Italy and



CLASSIFIED CONTENTS. XUl

PAGE

Sicily, 195, 196 — Persecution in France, 197 — Philip Augus-
tus and Saint Louis, 197 — Philip the Fair and the Pastour-
eaux, 198 — A burning in France, 199 — The cry " Hep !
hep ! " 200 — Jewish badges, 201 — Protestant narrowness,
Luther, and the Puritans, 201 — Gibbon, Voltaire, and
Buckle, 202.

XIIL
Shylock — The Wandering Jew . . . 203-214
Jewish retaliation, 203 — What Shylock might have heard on
the Rialto. 204, 205 — Palliation for his cruelty, 206 —
Heine's idea of Shylock, 207 — The Wandering Jew, differ-
ent forms of the legend, 208, 209 — Combined with the Wild
Huntsman, 210, 211, 212 — The Wandering Jew before the
Matterhorn, 213,

XIV.

The Casting out of a Prophet . . . 215-231

The bitterness of Hebrew scorn, 215 — False Messiahs, 216 —
Career of Sabbatai Zevi, 217 — Sabbatai becomes a Moham-
medan, 218 — Holland as a refuge for the oppressed, 219 —
Birth and childhood of Spinoza, 220 — He revolts at the
Cabala, 222 — His excommunication, 223 — The curse, 224 —
His magnanimity, 226 — His philosophy, 226, 227, 228 —
His fame, 22g — His position in the history of modern
thought, 230 — Tributes to his greatness, 231.

PART III,

THE BREAKING OF THE CHAIN.

XV.

Israel's New Moses 235-253

Number and distribution of the Jews at the present time,
235 — Their eminence, 235 — Their small achievement as
soldiers, farmers, and handicraftsmen, 236 — Prominence in
trade and in music, 237 — Wagner's hostility, 238 — Promi-
nence as scientists, philosophers, and writers, 238 — Especial



XIV THE STORY OF THE JEWS.

PAGE

narrowness of Germany toward the Jews, 239, 240 — Birth
and early career of Moses Mendelssohn, 242 — Introduced to
fame by Lessing, 243 — " PhDedo," 243 — "Jerusalem," 244 —
Tribute of Kant, 245 — Mendelssohn embarrassed by Lava-
ter, 245 — Letter to Lavater, 246, 247, 248 — Mendelssohn's
death, 248 — His wooing, 249, 250 — " Nathan the Wise,"
251, 252, 253.

XVI.

The Money Kings 254-272

Business ability of Jews, 254 — Cicero's condemnation of trade,
254 — Ill-repute of Jews undeserved, 255, 256 — They break
a path for themselves, 258 — Meyer Anselm Rothschild and
the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, 259 — A great house founded,
260 — Heine and Borne at the Hanoukhah in the Juden-
gasse, 261 — The mother of the Rothschilds and her five
sons, 262 — Nathan Meyer founds the London house, 263 —
How ten millions were made out of Waterloo, 263, 264, 265
— Alleged rapacity of the Rothschilds, 266 — Nathan Meyer's
death, 267 — Baron Lionel, 268 — Baron James at Paris, 269
— His brusque manners, 270 — His fear of Heine, 271 —
Baron Alphonse, 272.

XVII.

Sir Moses Montefiore . . . 273-294

Were the Rothschilds honorable ? 273 — Cicero on the
morals of trade, 274 — American rapacity, 275 — The brothers
Pereire, 276, 277 — Sir Moses Montefiore as a typical Jew,
278 — His origin and early career, 280 — His philanthropic
journeys, 281 — Persecutions at Damascus and Rhodes in
1840, 282 — Montefiore at Damascus, 282 — Judith Montefi-
ore, 283 — Her diary, 284 — Montefiore at Jerusalem, 286,
288 — At Morocco, 288 — Lands at Tangier, 2S9 — Last visit
to Jerusalem, 290 — His practical good sense and breadth of
mind, 292 — His widespread fame and personal appearance,
293 — An orthodox Jew, 293 — Belief in the restoration of
the Jews to Palestine, 294.



CLASSIFIED CONTENTS. XV

XVIII.

PAGE

Hebrew Statesmen . ■ i • • • 295-311
Eminence of Jews as Statesmen, 295 — Castelar, Lasker, 295
— Leads the national-liberty party in the German Parliament,
296 — Achille Fould, Cremieux, Gambetta, 298 — Gambetta's
origin. 298 — Puts out an eye, becomes famous, 300 — In the
Corps Legislatif, 301 — His energy in 1870, 302 — His oratory,
303, 304 — Origin of Beaconsfield, 305 — Beards Daniel
O'Connell in Parliament, 306 — Rises to fame, 308 — Hij
wife's devotion, 30S — His enthusiasm for his race, 310, 311.

XIX.

A Sweet Singer in Israel .... 312-329

Heine as the voice of the Jewish spirit, 312 — His birth, 312
— At Frankfort, Gottingen, and Berlin, 313 — His apostasy
and scoffing, 314 — Becomes famous in prose and poetry, 316
The " mattress-grave," his death, 317 — His descriptive
power illustrated, 318 — Picture of Napoleon, 319 — His wit,
320 — Scoffs at Germany, 321 — His bitterness and want of
earnestness, 322 — His tenderness, 323 — " Use," 324 — Lines
to his wife, 325 — "Lorelei," 326 — He utters the Hebrew
soul, 327 — Heine and the Venus of Milo, 328, 329.

XX.

Some Harmonious Lives .... 330-354

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the type of the Hebrew artist,
330 — The descendants of Moses Mendelssohn, 330 — Career
of Dorothea, 331 — of Joseph and Abraham, 332 — Abraham
and Leah, the parents of Felix, 333 — The father's idea of
religious education, 334 — Fanny Mendelssohn, 335 — The
mother's letter to her daughter's lover, 336 — The Mendels-
sohn home, 337, etc. — Distinguished visitors, 339 — Profes-
sors at fault, 340 — Music of Mendelssohn, 342 — His
appearance, 342 — Description in " Charles Auchester," 3^3,
etc. — Fanny's concerts, 346 — Beautiful family life, 347 —
Sojourn in Rome, 348, 349 — The father in death, 349 —
Felix with Victoria and Prince Albert, 350, etc. — Death of
Felix and Fanny, 352 — Ideal lives, 353.



XVI



THE STORY OF THE JEWS.



Our Hebrew Contemporaries



XXI.

PAGE
• 355-370

Israelites feared, 355 — Anti-Semitism in Germany, 356 —
Hebrew bitterness, 357 — Attachment to old traditions
and usages, 358 — " The Jewish Cemetery at Newport," 350.
360 — Jews in Poland, 361 — " Measuring the bounds," 362 —
Story of Leah Rendar, 363 — The apostate Jewess, 364, 365
— J gws a nd Yankees, 366 — Felix Adler on his countrymen,
367 — The^DHKottoXTitrCteus of Judaism, 368— The Reformers,
369.





LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



JERUSALEM FROM THE HTLL OF EVIL COUNSEL, Frontispiece

MOUNT OF OLIVES FROM THE WALL ... XX

MAP, COUNTRIES CONNECTED WITH EARLY JEWISH

HISTORY ........ I

MAP, CANAAN, AS DIVIDED AMONG THE TWELVE

TRIBES 9

JACOB AND RACHEL . . . . , .II

JOSEPH INTERPRETING PHARAOH's DREAM . . I3

MOSES IN BULRUSHES ...... 15

PROBABLE ARRANGEMENT AND FORM OF THE TAB-
ERNACLE CAMP ...... 17

THE SETTING UP OF THE TABERNACLE . . . I9

THE RETURN OF THE ARK ..... 21

JONAH CALLING NINEVEH TO REPENTANCE . . 31

JERICHO . . . . . . . . -51

THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE .... 59

BETHLEHEM ........ 87

THE SITE OF THE ANCIENT TEMPLE . . . 9I

THE SEA OF GALILEE . ' 97

PLAN OF ANCIENT JERUSALEM .... lOI

GRADUAL FORMATION OF JERUSALEM . , . 105

JERUSALEM BESIEGED BY TITUS . . . -113

ARCH OF TITUS ....... 125

ROMAN MASONRY, JERUSALEM . . . . -135

JEWS' PLACE OF WAILING, JERUSALEM . . . 187



XVIU



THE STORY OF THE JEWS.



THE WANDERING JEW

SPINOZA . , . . .

MOSES MENDELSSOHN

IN THE FRANKFORT JUDEN-GASSE

NATHAN MEYER ROTHSCHILD .

SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE .

JERUSALEM FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT OR KIDRON

THE GOLDEN GATE .

LASKER .

GAMBETTA

ISAAC DISRAELI

LORD BEACONSFIELD

HEINRICH HEINE

FELIX MENDELSSOHN



PAGE

211
211

7\\

^57
265
279
285
287
291
297
299
307

315
341




PART I.
THE ANCIENT PRIDE.



*' If any reference is made to the Jews, some hearer is sure to state
that she, for her part, is not fond of them, having known a Mr.
Jacobson who was very unpleasant ; or that he, for his part, thinks
meanly of them as a race, though, on inquiry, you find he is little
acquainted with their characteristics. A people with Oriental sun-
light in their blood, they have a force which enables them to carry off
the best prizes. A significant indication of their natural rank is seen
in the fact that, at this moment, the leader of the Liberal parly in
Germany is a Jew, the leader of the Republican party in France is a
Jew, and the head of the Conservative ministry in England is a Jew.
Tortured, flogged, spit upon, — their name flung at them as an oppro-
brium by superstition, haired, and contempt, — how proud they have
remained ! " — George Eliot (" Impressions of Theophrastus
Such").



THE STORY OF THE JEWS.



CHAPTER I.

WHY THE STORY OF THE JEWS IS PICTURESQUE.

In the fiftieth Psalm stands the passage : " Out of
Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined."
If we understand the word Zion in this sentence to
mean, as it is often explained, the Hebrew nation,
we find here an enthusiastic utterance by a Jewish
poet of his sense of pride in his race : the Hebrew
people is chosen out from among the nations of the
earth to exhibit the perfection of beauty, — is, in fact,
an outshining of God himself upon the world.

What is to be said of such a declaration ? If it
were made concerning any other race than the
Jewish, it would be scouted and ridiculed as arro-
gance pushed into impiety, a claim not to be tolerated
even in the most impassioned poetry. Can the world


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Online LibraryJames Kendall HosmerThe Jews, ancient, mediæval, and modern → online text (page 1 of 23)