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seem to cloy the appetite of his admirable | dead to instance this resurrectional faculty. guests. Page upon page, volume upon Dumas accidentally mentions the name, and volume of his memoirs appear, and are swal- straightway feels it incumbent upon lowed like savory morsels. It is true, the tell the story of the artist's life. He thereculinary artist spares neither sauce nor con- fore summons him from the regions of shade, diment; and when the pieces de resistance, and, when the first mist naturally attendant namely, his own joints, hot or cold, threaten upon all unearthly visitants bas partially to become either too tough for public masti i cleared away, and given the pale face of the cation, or too stale for the public nostrils, he spectre to view, Dumas adjures him to listen throws in a variety of sweet-smelling hors while he, in wizard guise, re-weaves the d'ouvre, in the shape of made dishes from chequered web of his desting. The spectre Byron, or Scott, or Goethe, with a world of stands calm and voiceless; Dumas pompously garnish in the way of flourishing table-talk, recapitulates the items of the sorrowful past, concerning battles, campaigns, revolutions, throws them into shape; and when the fancy adventures, and hairbreadth escapes by food portrait is finished, gravely calls upon the or field, all tending to bis own honor and per- spirit to signify assent, which it is said to do sonal glorification; for, be it remarked, by gathering its cold and tiny breath into a Dumas, deeming himself a model of a man, long, dismal, and whistling oui ; whereupon thinks, with Terence, that nothing human he the poor ghost is unceremoniously dismissed may choose to introduce into bis memoirs, to the realms of the dead, and the picture however remotely connected with himself, confidently held up to the admiring gaze of can be styled irrelevant. Nevertheless, in the idiot multitude-the conjurer so seemthe midst of much that is utterly vapid in ingly unconscious all the while, with what these memoirs, there is much also of life, and indescribable ease he can merge into the bustle, and movement. The portraits of his thaumaturge, the worker of miracles; how early literary contemporaries, those at least admirably nature has gifted him for the part dashed off at a sitting --we except the frothy of a literary Cagliostro—a character he might attempts at apotheosis in the case of roman not unwillingly assume, did not the temper tic associates—are sometimes graceful, often of the times and the public mind sufficiently humorous, always captivating. His indis- warn him of the impossibility of clearing excretions are not at all times of a very enor- penses.

It is an observation of Franklin's, mous nature, unless, indeed, he shows up the ihat, in reading the life of any great man, you peculiarities of others. His own idiusyncrasy are sure to meet with a greater than he ; one is best gathered from the general tone of the endowed, that is, with every element of narrative, and from his braggadocio habils of grandeur, but unfortunately either stranded thought and expression, rather than from any or mercilessly struck down by fate. The rereal wish to initiate bis reader into the more mark will hardly apply to the memoirs of offensive arcana of his physical or moral ex- Dumas, whose great or greater men do but periences : when these are decidedly nau- swell bis train, or, in more intelligible lanseous, the author drops a speaking hint, guage, usefully increase the bulk and numetches a tell-tale line, and the intelligent ber of his volumes. Hugo is, it must be alreader, whether suffused with shame or pale lowed, the object of much fulsome adulation. with disgust, can still fancy be detecis, de The details even of his nonage are dwelt and spite the affectedly abrupt retreat, the conse- expatiated upon with most lackadaisical tenquential delinquent's thick-lipped smile of derness. But this proceeds from another complacency. Dumas is eminently an im- motive than that of getting up a foil to the provisatore. From the most chance medley advantage or disadvantages of his own greatof dates, from the most insigniucant face, the ness; a motive which brings out one of the most unmeaning character, he can extempo- least heroic features of this roystering comerise reminiscenses, extract colors for his pal- dian. With all his boasted love of opposilet, matter for his page, and amusement for tion, and despite the lion's skin, from the his reader. Death itself can neither shroud folds of which he has occasionally affected nor shield its victim. He invades the silence to peep with a certain fierceness on public of the tomb, evokes the sullen or consenting men and measures, Dumas bas never been shade, extorts or exorcises bis secret, and able to attract from any body of individuals, again remands him to his frightful durance. his creditors perhaps excepted, that degree The painter or the engraver Johannot, we of attention necessary to constitute the reknow not which (both brothers are now de- ally serious opponent. To mask this grievous ceased), was the first of our contemporary | deficiency, he at times becomes actually bois

VOL. XXXIV.-NO. III.

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terous in honor of those who have won the i the name of the exiled poet Hugo crosses his palm of political martyrdom. Not that he pen, be maintains with the most perfect imever attempts publicly to advocate their punity as regards the powers in being his opinions. This, he well knows, would be swashbuckler look, while in the case of his overshooting the mark, as it would be imme- banished friend he evinces the greatest generdiately followed by an official call for silence, osity, showing how firm and unshaken he from a quarter his promptly quiescent sub can be in all his attachments. This, in the mission to which would be but a lamentable eyes of the undiscerning, ever in the majority, index of the nature of his status, and the enables him to assume a rather becoming at: value of his personal utterings. He has, titude, on the graces of which he can afford therefore, recourse to rhetorical fence; and, to speculate, for the time being, with toleraas he is not unskilled in the art of playing off ble decency. Should the tide of democracy politics for sentiment, so he very naturally, once more rise, such devotedness empowers when necessary, reverses the process, playing him to take it at its very first swell, and ride off sentiment for politics. Thus, by indulging majestically into port with the air of one in the loudest of pæans possible, whenever | whose political party is again in the ascendant.

From Tait's Magazine.

THE JEWISH SUBJECTS OF THE CZAR.

Much interest was awakened, a short time , lowed to sojourn for any length of time in ago, by an account in the daily papers of a Russia proper; and it was not until Poland visit paid by Sir Moses Montefiore to what was brought under subjection to the Russian were called his Russian co-religionists among Tzars, that the latter ever counted any Jewish the prisoners of war brought home by our communities among their subjects. Poland, ships. The interest felt would no doubt on the contrary, may be considered the home have been greater still, had the history of of the Jews in Europe; for in that country the Jewish communities to which these indi- their numbers amount to that of a nation, viduals belong been better known. This and they hold a position which, however dehistory, in a consecutive form and in a philo- graded it be, gives them a certain weight in sophical spirit, remains to be written; but the State, and could under present circumin the meanwhile a few jottings relative to stances be filled by no other class. In every the past and present condition of the Jews town throughout the countries which once among whom Russia recruits her fleets and constituted the independent kingdom of Poher armies, may prove acceptable.

land, all handicrafts, with the exception of The indiscriminate application of the name that of the smith and the carpenter, all of Russian to the various peoples under the branches of trade, be it en gros or en détail, dominion of the 'Tzar, is one among the many are in the hands of the Jews; and no busiindications of how imperfect a knowledge we ness, be it of the most important or the most have hitherto had of the true constitution of insignificant nature, can be transacted without the colossal empire with which we are at their aid. Through the mediation of a Jew present engaged in so close a struggle. In the nobleman sells the corn grown on his no case is the denomination more inapplicable estate to the skipper who exports it; and than in that of the Israelites who live under through the mediation of a Jew the serf the sceptre of the Tzars, but who have never sells his pigs and his fowls to the consumer been tolerated on Russian soil. From the i in the town. Through the mediation of a early times this people was denied the right Jew the upper classes engage their servants, of establishing themselves in the Russian and sometimes even the tutors and governdominions, and to this day they are not al- esses for their children; and through the

mediation of a Jew the voiturier settles his ment of the prosperity of his realm. The contract with the traveller who requires his people of Poland were divided into two conveyance. Through the mediation of the classes: the nobles and the peasants; the Jews landlords settle conditions with their first of which considered the pursuit of comtenants, and housewives lay in their winter merce or of the useful arts as beneath their provisions. In short, whether you would eat dignity, while the second occupied themselves or drink, rest or travel, change your lodging exclusively with the tillage of the soil. The or renew your toilet in Poland, you must Jews thus proved most useful in filling up have recourse to the Jews, who divide among the gap between the two; and during Časithemselves, houses, inns, lands, and every mir's reign already seventy towns arose on description of property belonging to the the banks of the Vistula, and commerce and Christians ; so that each Jew has his pre- industry were developed and flourished, these scribed tield of activity, from which he inay branches being entirely in the hands of the draw as much profit as it will yield, while he Jews; who, enjoying the protection of the is strictly prohibited from trespassing upon laws, and being free to follow their religious the hunting grounds of his neighbors. The convictions unmolested, soon ceased in all Jews swarm in the streets of the towns other matters to distinguish themselves from throughout all the Polish provinces, and are the people of which they formed a part, and met also in great numbers in the villages and proved themselves as estimable as patriots on the high-roads; ever busy in turning a as they were useful as citizens. penny, but almost invariably presenting a The consideration which the Jews enjoyed picture of squalid misery, and mental and in Poland during this period is by popular moral degredation painful to behold, and in tradition attributed to the influence of the strange contrast with their importance as the beautiful Esterka, or Esther, a Jewish maiden, monopolizers of almost all the industrial who for a time held captive King Casimir's activity in the society amid which they live, fickle heart. But although Esther's influand with their numbers, which amounting to ence may have been great in consequence of upwards of two millions and a balf, must her having bestowed two sons on the king, give them a certain weight in the State; and who had no legitimate children, and may the stranger inquires, with startled curiosity, bave been exercised in favor of her race, how it is that a people has so multiplied on Casimir's extension of favor and protection a soil which seems to deny them every com

to the industrious and prosecuted Jews was fort of life.

too much in accordance with the general There are, perbaps, few instances in histo- character of the system of wise and benefiry in which we can trace in such unmistaka- cent policy which acquired for him the surble evidences the elevating influences of just name of the King of the Peasants,” whom laws, and the debasing effects of lawlessness also he protected from the oppression of the and persecution, on communities as well as on pobles, to need any such inspiration; and as the individuals who compose them, as in the long as his spirit continued to animate the case of the Jews of Poland. At a very early Polish rulers, the country was prosperous and period of Polish history, when in other powerful. Cardinal Commendoni, the Pope's Christian countries the commonest rights of legate in Poland during the reign of the last humanity were denied to the Israelites, they of the Jagellons in the 16th century, exenjoyed in Poland the protection of the presses as follows his surprise at finding the laws; and in the 14th century, when the Jews in that country enjoying the rights and most atrocious persecutions drove them from well-being of respected citizens, while in all the Western countries of Europe, they other parts of Europe they were only able flocked in thousands to the banks of the to purchase a contemptuous toleration at the Vistula, where the Polish king, Casimir the

cosi of immense sums of money :Great, afforded them an asylum, and extend

There are in these provinces a large number ed to them privileges commensurate with

of Jews, who are not despised as elsewhere. those of his other subjects. Invested with They do not live on the vile profits of usury and the rights of citizens, the Jews soon became service, although they do not refuse such gains ; such in the best sense of the word, and Casimir reaped his reward in the rapid develop- Jews must have been regarded in Poland at that

* The extraordinary tolerance with which the

time, is evidenced in the fact, that although their * This strange custom is called Chazak; and Bons were educated in the Christian faith, the though pow probibited by law, continues in a great daughters whom Esther bore to the king were almeasure to prevail.

lowed to follow their mother's religion.

but they possess lands, are engaged in commerce, and wider; and what was at first merely a and even apply themselves to literature and sci- religious difference, became a strong national ence, particularly medicine and astrology. They antipathy, and Jew and Pole, though reare almost every where entrusted with the levying of customs and tolls on the import and trans

maining necessary to each other, became port of merchandise. They possess considera- animated by mutual hatred, disgust, and ble fortunes, and are not only on a level with contempt. The strong prejudices which have gentlemen, but sometimes hold authority among always characterized the Hebrew race, being them. They do not wear any mark to distin, not only strengthened by the justice and guish them from Christians, but are even allowed persecution of their antagonists, but by the to wear a sword and to go about armed. In short, study of the works, which were to them the they enjoy all the rights of other citizens.

sole fountains of law and justice, they sunk But with the extinction of the Jaghellon deeper and deeper in the scale of civilization, dynasty matters took another turn in Poland. while their brethren in other lands were The monarchy, which had until then been slowly emerging from the bondage in which elective in name only, now became so in fact, the religious fanaticism of the people and and the reign of anarchy commenced. The the mistaken policy of the Governments bad kings, holding the crown by the suffrages of held them; and the great mass now reprethe nobles, ventured not to restrain their un- sent, in a hideous picture, the degrading influlawful proceedings; and, fanned by the ences of popular fanaticism and exclusive Jesuits---whose disastrous influence in Poland legislation. also dates from this period—the supersti

The rabbis—who have much to answer tious and fanatic hatred of the Jews, which for in relation to the degraded state of their the Polish Christians shared in common with co-religionists—having held the threat of those of Western Europe, though it had been anathema over those who learned the Polish held in check, now burst forth with inde language, or who adopted the dress or man. scribable fury. Forbidden thenceforward ners of their Christian countrymen, the the privilege of bearing arms or of serving greater number of the Polish Jews underthe country in a civil capacity; forced to stand no other language than the corrupt take

up

their abode in the lowest and dirtiest German, which has always been their spoken quarters of the town, apart from all the other idiom; and they are thus excluded from such inhabitants, and to wear a distinguishing culture even as they might pick up in their badge of infamy on their vestments; fleeced business intercourse with the educated by all kinds of taxes and extortions, and classes. Indeed all studies, except that of impeded in every way from gaining openly the Talmud, the Zoar, and the Commentaries an honest livelihood, the persecuted race

upon these, are held in utter contempt soon sunk down, morally and materially, to among them; and the Jew, who, emancipata level with their oppressed brethren in other ing himself from the trammels of strict or. countries, and became deserving of the re- thodoxy, attempts to raise himself to the pugnance they inspired; while the prosperi- level of the age in which he lives, is scouted as ty of the towns, the centres of the industry, a traitor to Israel. He who would enjoy the commerce and riches of the country, declin- esteem of his co-religionists, on the contrary, ed, and with them the power and indepen- must dress strictly after the Jewish fashion; dence of Poland, which, invaded and parti- must let his beard and his peysi, or long sidetioned, fell a victim partly to the anarchy of locks, grow; must go at least twice a day the nobles, partly to the influence of the to the synagogue; must every morning exJesuits.

hibit large thephilin* on his forehead and on The numerous laws concerning the Jews his hand ; must remain a long time before which emanated after this period, having

Chemona Ethra ;t must pour water over merely reference to their relations with the his hands, or rub them on the ground, every Christians, while all transactions between time he has touched any thing, be it only his themselves were left to the jurisdiction of own hair ; he must shun even the neighborthe rabbis, who even possessed the right of hood of a Christian temple :f take care that pronouncing sentence of death or of exile, the Israelites of Poland were thrown back eral accordance with the words in Deut. vi. 5.

• Words from the Scriptures, worn thus in litupon the Books of Moses and of the Talmud + The fourteen benedictions of Esdraz. for their laws. Jewish customs in their most † As late as 1834, some Jews who had followed rigid form became in consequence their rule the funeral of a Polish nobleman, whose virtues

bad made him beloved by all classes of his countryof conduct; and thus the chasm between

men, were anathematized by their Rabbi, because them and their fellow-citizens grew wider of their having entered a Christian church.

a

the zizesses, or tufts attached to the skirts of handkerchief in his pocket on the Sabbath, his caftan in memory of the commandments but if he can not do without such useful apof God, be of the orthodox length; and pendage, must tie it round his arm or wrap kiss the mesures, or words of the law en- it round his hand, in which case it passes for graven on his door-posts, each time he enters part of his vestments, so well has Jewish inor goes out. He must, moreover, when ris. genuity known how to evade the inconveing in the morning, wet his hands three times niences of Jewish orthodoxy. Whoever dewith water, to drive away the evil spirits stroys an aireph is severely punished. The that settle upon the nails (the evil spirit of fact of the destruction or disseverance of dirt being alone left unmolested), taking care such a cord, in whatever manner it may

have that the ewer containing the water be of the occurred, is made known in the synagogue, prescribed form, and that he begin with the and until it be repaired, the encircled preright hand; and if he would have a reputa-cincts cease to enjoy the immunities it contion for piety, he must three times a day re- ferred. Happily, children under the age of peat various prayers and read passages from thirteen do not come within the ordinances the Talmud, the Mishna, the Zoar, and other of the aireph law; and by their aid the inholy books, written in Hebrew or Chaldean, convenience is in some measure mitigated. of which languages be most likely does not The reknitting of the broken line can not be understand a word; and he must pare his performed by a lesser personage than the nails every Friday, and carefully burn or rabbi of the place. If it be a rope, it must conceal the parings, and then make a notch not be mended by the application of a knot, in his table or his window-post, to mark that but an entirely new cord must be provided ; it has been done, lest after death he should if it be a wire, the dissevered paris may be be condemned to return to earth to fetch the linked together again by means of a book spoils. Such, and many more, are the ob- and eye. Among the things interdicted on servances which occupy the leisure time of the Sabbath are also driving in a carriage, the Jews in Poland, and which are consider- or walking to a greater distance than 2,000 ed necessary for peace with God; and it is ells from the house in which they dwell,plain that the violence done to the religious which distance may, however, be doubled, if, feelings of those who serve in the armies on the preceding Friday, a fresh wheaten and navy of Russia, must tenfold aggravate loaf be deposited midway on the road. all the other sufferings they have to endure. The customs here alluded to no doubt are, Well may Sir Moses Montefiore have been or at least have been, common to the Jews greeted as an angel of consolation, when he all over the world; but the distinction bebrought to the poor prisoners the means of tween the Polish Jews and their co-religioncelebrating one of their most important re- ists of the West, is that the former adhere ligious festivals. To how many of ihese poor to them in the present day as rigidly as in Russian prisoners will not, in every respect, the middle ages, and mix them up with as captivity in England seem liberation from the numerous superstitions. Scenes are of daily house of bondage !

occurrence in Poland, and attract no attenThe strict orthodoxy that prevails among tion, which would excite the greatest wonder the Polish Jews is further evidenced by cer- in other parts of Europe were they exhibited tain cords or wires, called aireph, or Sabbath- there. At full-moon tide, for instance, you cords, which run from roof to roof across the may, in any Polish town, come upon a crowd openings in the streets in the quarters of the of Jews in the street performing what looks towns inhabited by the Jews, and which very much like worship of the moon, some have so much puzzled travellers in Poland, gazing at the luminary with fixed glance and and given rise to so many absurd stories. murmuring indistinct prayers, while others The origin of these cords is derived from the make obeisances to it and cry out in a loud law which forbids the Jews to carry any voice; others again, in long white flowing thing in their hands or about their persons robes bordered with black, grouped around on the Sabbath, and which being aitended small reading-desks on which their holy with great inconvenience, mothers being even books lie open, read in these by the light of interdicted to carry their babes in their arms, lanterns, and from time to time lift up

their it became necessary to invent scme lawful voices and smile their foreheads. means of evasion. The aireph marks the When observing the rigid orthodoxy of boundary within which the law may be trans- these stagnant Israelites, one can not help regressed without sin; beyond these precincts, gretting that among the religious observhowever, the Jew must not even carry his ances so staunchly adhered to, there are none

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