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the nobles of Castile armed themselves to defend the synagogues; but the terror inspired in the victims was so great, as to cause the emigration of immense numbers."
In the former half of the fourteenth century, says Mr. Finn, “a rabble crusade was preached among the shepherds in the South of France, by one Roar, likewise a shepherd, who gave out that he had received revelations from a dove, which changed itself into a beautiful virgin, charging him to extirpate the infidels, and, for a token, wrote the terms of his commission, or, as some said, the form of a cross, upon his arm. Thou. sands flocked to the novel champion, and proposed to march immediately on Granada. One however, more prudent than the rest, represented the difficulty of overcoming well-trained and well-armed warriors, or walled towns, with an undisciplined multitude in want of arms; and was of opinion the commission would at first be sufficiently obeyed by assaulting the Jews. His advice was adopted; and after a massacre of 120 synagogues in Languedoc, despite the royal proclamation, the arming of the barons, and the pope's excommunication, they crossed the Pyrenees into Arragon, but were repulsed by the king just in time to rescue the city of Huesca. They marched into Navarre, entered Pamplona; but at Monreal, three leagues distant, were driven back by the Jews themselves.”
The temporal powers on both these occasions maintained the laws, the rights of humanity and the public peace. But with the progress of Catholicism in the Peninsula, the spiritual powers asserted their privilege of enforcing orthodoxy, and the edicts and temper of the Toledan Councils revived. Bigotry was so congenial to the Spanish character, that Lope de Vega expressed the general feeling when he gave his poetical applause to the enactments of the Gothic synods :
“ Vedando el concilio Toledano
Tomar el cetro al Rey sin que primero
La Santa Ley en la corona imprime.” And unfortunately for the Jews, “ the influence of the clergy “ with the rabble at command was set entirely and perse“ veringly against them.” At the beginning of the thirteenth century the Hebrew colony in Toledo alone was 12,000 strong, and their wealth and intelligence were in proportion to the protection they had long enjoyed. Roderick, the archbishop of the city, was eminent for his popularity as a preacher and for his intrigues as a statesman. An indefatigable agitator for the Crusades, his frequent harangues were so many invec
tives against the Moors and the Jews, till, on one occasion, heading his flock, he rushed into the synagogues, routed the congregations, and pursued them to their houses for plunder. Since the time of Sisebut, indeed, papal authority and the general sentiment had discountenanced compulsory baptism; but besides the license assumed by bishops and friars to pillage and murder recusants, civil restrictions and penalties were again multiplied. The laws affecting the marriage, property and peculiar customs of the Sephardim were gradually revived, and the “Siete Partidas” of Alonzo X., passed between the years 1250 and 1280, added new circumstances of degradation. By the eleventh law of the sixth “ Partida," it was enacted that
“every Jewish man and woman shall wear some certain mark of distinction on the head, such as shall manifestly designate the different people; and for every appearance in public without it, the offender shall be fined ten maravedis of gold, and, in default of payment, shall receive one hundred lashes."
In the middle ages Crusaders and Templars were known by their coloured crosses, as the monks and nuns by their peculiar habits :
“Still,” Mr. Finn adds, "to affix a mark upon any class of men already hated, was to expose them to certain destruction in a country like Spain, where the practice of private revenge has always been common, where the proclamations of kings are obeyed but at a short distance from their own immediate superintendence, and where popular outrages have rarely been checked by the national government."
In 1335 the Council of Salamanca confirmed and extended the principle of the “ Badge," by ordaining that “ hencefor“ ward the Jews of every town be enclosed within an appoint66 ed quarter called the Jewry.” At the same time it, perhaps providentially, directed that Jews should be inhibited from practising among Christians as physicians, “ since their “ wickedness was such, that, under the pretext of surgery and “ medicine, they craftily insinuated themselves, and did injury “ to faithful people.” Penal edicts and tumultuary violence, however, were not the only resources of the clergy in their domestic war with the infidels. The populace were kept in a ferment by the untiring propagation of falsehood to the detriment of the Jewish character, The Sephardim, it was asserted, by their ingenuity in mechanical trades, were robbing the true church of their livelihood, and by their numbers and consumption of food enhanced its price to the injury of Christians. Monstrous fictions of diabolical malice and cruelty were circulated among all classes of society, and the more these legends were preached and believed, the more deep became the rancour of both narrator and hearer. A huge controversial book, entitled the "Fortress of the Faith, in the fifteenth century, teems with narrations, which, like similar stories propagated in northern and central Europe against the Ashkenazim, were calculated to excite horror and dread of the Jews. The . Prioresse's Tale' in Chaucer, the ballade of Sir Hew of Lincoln' and the Jew's Dochter,' the groundwork of Marlowe's 'Jew of Malta,' and Shakspeare's · Merchant of Venice, find their counterparts in the "Fortress of the Faith. For a few years before and after 1400 A.D. a pestilence raged throughout Europe, so fearful in its phænomena and effects as to be commonly denominated “the black death." During the general panic a notion was rapidly propagated, that the mortality was caused by the Jews poisoning the springs and fountains. Some averred that they had beheld the Jews by moonlight muttering incantations, and casting deleterious drugs into the rivers and running streams. Thousands of lives were sacrificed to this rumour in Catalonia alone. The customary profanation of the eucharistical elements by the Jews, their sanguinary passovers celebrated with the blood of Christian children, their mockery of the most awful event of Christian history, are fables too well known to require notice, and were a repetition of the calumnies with which, centuries earlier, the various sects of Christendom had assailed one another, and which were originally invented by the pagan hierarchy and populace. We shall pass over this chapter of Mr. Finn's volume, because such accusations were not peculiar to the Spanish church. The Ashkenazim suffered equally with the Sephardim from the inflamed imaginations of the multitude and the active malevolence of the ecclesiastical orders. The following anecdotes are however sufficiently curious to extract, since they tend to show that the government was sometimes uninfected by the phrenzy that possessed its subjects in church and state.
“In the reign of one of the Alonzos, the crowd assembled with a complaint to the king, that they had discovered a dead Christian in a Jew's house, who had doubtless killed him for the sake of his blood to drink. But at length the king got them to acknowledge that they had placed the corpse there in order to raise an insurrection which might take vengeance for the death of Christ."
“In the time of good king Alonzo the Great, some men reported that they had seen a Christian enter a Jew's house on the first day of Passover, and presently afterwards heard a cry for help. The magistrates sent to examine the place, but found no Christian there; they therefore blamed the people for bringing such idle tales before them. Appeal was made to the king; he summoned the accused Jew, who denied all knowledge of the circumstance, and Alonzo was of opinion that the accusers were morally guilty of the murder, if there were any, for not having gone immediately to the rescue. The next day they returned with witnesses to swear to the allegations; so the king resolved to investigate it thoroughly. The Jew's name and residence were written down. The Christian's name was given as Pedro Guzman, and his features were described : the wife of the de. ceased was Beatrice, a servant to a certain bishop. When sent for she deposed that her husband was from home, having gone to make some inquiries of a Jew. The others declared that they had met her husband at that Jew's door, and being acquainted with him, they had conversed with him ; but the Jew coming home, took him into an inner room, and they presently heard his screams for help; that they leaped in at the window, but found not their friend in the house, only the floor was wet with blood. Then it was thought proper to apply the torture. The accused, after en. during great suffering, confessed that he had killed the man, and thrown him into the river. He was sentenced to be burnt alive ; but just as the warrant was being read over, the aforesaid bishop chanced to enter, and he inquired into the business. But so far from Guzman having been killed on the first day of Passover, he had seen him alive yesterday in a suburban village. A party was sent to bring him forward, including one Jew, lest the others of the party should induce Guzman to abscond; and the man was produced alive. The king was surprised that the Jew should have criminated himself, so as to incur the penalty of death ; but the latter declared that he had done so that an end might be made to the tortures, by which he was treated worse than a murderer.”
Does not this story, coupled with the late frightful scenes at Damascus, lead one to exclaim, Verily there is nothing new under the sun!
The remaining pages of Mr. Finn's work will probably appear to our readers, should we have induced them to peruse it, the most interesting portion of the volume. They contain the history of the Sephardim in the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella, when the Catholics, flushed with repeated triumphs
over the Moors, and aided by the Inquisition, summed up the oppressions of centuries by the expulsion of the Jews from the Peninsula. But this period is fully and ably treated in other works of general access, and especially in Mr. Prescott's excellent history of those sovereigns. Our object in the foregoing pages has been rather to collect and illustrate the less known portions of the annals of the Sephardim as an instructive and not uninteresting department of medieval history, It would be superfluous to insist upon the picture of intolerance it presents, or upon the lesson to be derived from it; and we may take leave of Mr. Finn with the remark, that to her two completory acts of bigotry—the expulsion of the Sephardim, and subsequently of the Moors-Spain is in no small degree indebted for the present decay of her inland trade, her industrial population, and for her general inferiority to the rest of Europe in the arts and enterprise that supply the sinews of war and the blessings of peace.
ARTICLE VII. 1. Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home. By Miss
SEDGWICK. 2 vols. Moxon. 2. A Residence on the shores of the Baltic, described in a
Series of Letters. 2 vols. Murray. 3. A Pilgrimage to Auvergne, from Picardy to Le Velay.
By LOUISA STUART COSTELLO, author of 'A Summer
amongst the Bocages and the Vines.' 2 vols. Bentley. Though these volumes may add nothing to the solid and well-digested stores of material on which the historian or moral philosopher is glad to draw for authentic data, they are favourable specimens of a popular class of books, so wide in its extent, and (compared with contemporary drama, romance or poetry) so meritorious in its execution, as, from time to time, to deserve examination by every conscientious critic.
Travelling has of late become almost as easy as writing; whence a close and constant union betwixt the two pursuits. And what is so natural as that “the pretty ladies”-to bor