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That should have been thy triumph, was thy scorn!
For their revenge! Thou hadst trampled on the worm,
A LOVER'S DREAM OF HOME.
NAY, dearest, nay, if thou wouldst have me paint
A palace lifting to eternal summer
Its marble walls, from out a glossy bower
We'd sit beneath the arching vines, and wonder Why Earth could be unhappy, while the Heaven Still left us youth and love; we'd have no friends That were not lovers; no ambition, såve
To excel them all in love; we'd read no books That were not tales of love, that we might smile
To think how poorly eloquence of words
Translates the poetry of hearts like ours!
And when night came, amidst the breathless heavens
Stole through the mists of alabaster lamps,
* Lake Como.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, eminent in literature and politics, was born in London in 1805. He is the son of Isaac Disraeli, author of several unique and valuable books, The Curiosities of Literature, The Calamities of Authors, etc. Benjamin produced his first book, Vivian Grey, a novel of extraordinary merit, in his twenty-first year. After several defeats he was elected to Parliament for the Borough of Maidstone, in 1837, and since that time, when not in high office, has been an active member of the House of Commons. He has three times been Chancellor of the Exchequer, was Prime Minister in 1868, and in February, 1874, on the dissolution of Gladstone's Ministry, was called by the Queen to form a new Cabinet. His literary efforts have been mainly in the line of fiction, and several of his novels rank among the best of the century. Of these may be mentioned The Young Duke, Contarini Fleming, Coningsby, The Wondrous Tale of Alroy, and his latest production, Lothair, which profoundly stirred the literary and political circles of British society. Although Disraeli will be remembered as a statesman rather than as an author, he has shown that he possesses abilities which entitle him to a high place in English literature. In descriptive power, he is hardly surpassed by any living writer, and in the exposition of politics, social theories, and the illustration of real public life by means of fictitious personages and incidents, he is without a rival. He is of Jewish descent. Our first extract, taken from Coningsby, is one of the finest tributes ever paid to the Hebrew character, and has special weight and significance as coming from his hand.
THE HEBREW RACE.
You never observe a great intellectual movement in Europe in which the Jews do not greatly participate. The first Jesuits were Jews; that mysterious Russian diplomacy which so alarms Western Europe is organized and principally carried on by Jews; that mighty revolution which is at this moment preparing in Germany, and which will be, in fact, a second and greater Reformation, and of which so little is as yet known in Eugland, is entirely developing under the auspices of Jews, who almost monopolize the professorial chairs of Germany. Neander, the founder of spiritual Christianity, and who is Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Berlin, is a Jew. Benary, equally famous and in the same University, is a Jew. Wehl, the Arabic professor of Heidelberg, is a Jew. Years ago, when I was in Palestine, I met a German student who was accumulating materials for the history of Christianity, and studying the genius of the place; a modest and learned man. It was Wehl; then unknown, since become the first Arabic scholar of the day, and the author of the life of Mohammed. But for the German professors of this race, their name is Legion. I think there are more than ten at Berlin alone.
I told you just now that I was going up to town to-morrow, because I always made it a rule to interpose when affairs of state were on the carpet. Otherwise, I never interfere. I hear of peace and war in newspapers, but I am never alarmed, except when I am informed that the sovereigns want treasure; then I know that monarchs are serious. A few years back we were applied to by Russia. Now, there has been no friendship between the court of St. Petersburg and my family. It has Dutch connections which have generally supplied it, and our representations in favor of the Polish Hebrews a numerous race, but the most suffering and degarded of all the tribes have not been very agreeable to the czar. However, circumstances drew to an approximation between the Romanoff's and the Sidonias. I resolved to go myself to St. Petersburg. I had on my arrival an interview with the Russian Minister of Finance, Count Cancrin; I beheld the son of a Lithuanian Jew. The loan was connected with the affairs of Spain; I resolved on repairing to Spain from Russia. I traveled without intermission. I had an audience immediately on my arrival with the Spanish minister, Señor Mendizabel; I beheld one like myself, a Jew of Aragon.
In consequence of what transpired at Madrid, I went straight to Paris, to consult the President of the French Council; I beheld the son of a French Jew, a hero, an imperial marshal, and very properly so, for who should be military heroes if not those who worship the Lord of Hosts? 'And is Soult a Hebrew ?" Yes, and several of the French marshals, and the most famous; Massena, for example, his real name was Manasseh." But to my anecdote. The consequence of our consultations was, that some Northern power should be applied to in a friendly and mediative capacity. We fixed on Prussia, and the President of the Council made an application to the Prussian Minister, who attended a few days after our conference. Count Arnim entered the cabinet, and I beheld a Prussian Jew. So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. Favored by nature and by nature's God, we produced the lyre of David; we gave you Isaiah and Ezekiel; they are our Olynthiacs, our Philippics. Favored by nature we still remain; but in exact proportion as we have been favored by nature we have been persecuted by man. After a thousand struggles, after acts of heroic courage that Rome has never equaled, — deeds of divine patriotism
that Athens and Sparta and Carthage have never excelled, endured fifteen hundred years of supernatural slavery; during which every device that can degrade or destroy man has been the destiny that we have sustained and baffled.
The Hebrew child has entered adolescence only to learn that he was the Pariah of that ungrateful Europe that owes to him the best part of its laws, a fine portion of its literature, all its religion. Great poets require a public; we have been content with the immortal melodies that we sung more than two thousand years ago by the waters of Babylon and wept. They record our triumphs; they solace our affliction. Great orators are the creatures of popular assemblies; we were permitted only by stealth to meet even in our temples. And as for great writers, the catalogue is not blank. What are all the schoolmen, Aquinas himself, to Maimonides? * and as for modern philosophy, all springs from Spinoza! + But the passionate and creative genius that is the nearest link to divinity, and which no human tyranny can destroy, though it can divert it; that should have stirred the hearts of nations by its inspired sympathy, or governed senates by its burning eloquence, has found a medium for its expression, to which, in spite of your prejudices and your evil passions, you have been obliged to bow.
The ear, the voice, the fancy teeming with combinations, the imagination fervent with picture and emotion, that came from Caucasus, and which we have preserved unpolluted, have endowed us with almost the exclusive privilege of music; that science of harmonious sounds which the ancients recognized as most divine, and deified in the person of their most beautiful creation. I speak not of the past; though were I to enter into the history of the lords of melody, you would find it the annals of Hebrew genius. But at this moment, even, musical Europe is ours. There is not a company of singers, not an orchestra in a single capital, that are not crowded with our children, under the feigned names which they adopt to conciliate the dark aversion which your posterity will some day disclaim with shame and
* MAIMONIDES. A Jewish Rabbi and philosopher of great celebrity, born in Spain about He acquired a great reputation for sagacity and learning.
+ SPINOZA. A celebrated pantheistical philosopher born of Jewish parents in Holland, in 1632. At an early age he announced opinions which were considered heretical and for which he was excommunicated by the Jews. He passed his life as a solitary recluse, his character being, according to an eminent writer, "one of the most devout on record, for his life was, in a manner, one unbroken hymn." See Froude's Short Studies on Great Subjects.
disgust. Almost every great composer, skilled musician, almost every voice that ravishes you with its transporting strains, spring from our tribes. The catalogue is too vast to enumerate; too illustrious to dwell for a moment on secondary names, however eminent. Enough for us that the three great creative minds to whose exquisite inventions all nations at this moment yield-Rossini, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn,
are of Hebrew race; and little do your men of fashion, your “Muscadins" of Paris and your dandies of London, as they thrill into raptures at the notes of a Pasta or a Grisi, — little do they suspect that they are offering homage to the sweet singers of Israel.
ON THE DEATH OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.*
THE House of Commons is called upon to-night to fulfil a sorrowful, but a noble, duty. It has to recognize, in the face of the country, and of the civilized world, the loss of the most illustrious of our citizens, and to offer to the ashes of the great departed the solemn anguish of a bereaved nation. The princely personage who has left us was born in an age more fertile of great events than any period of recorded time. Of those vast incidents the most conspicuous were his own deeds, and these were performed with the smallest means, and in defiance of the greatest obstacles. He was, therefore, not only a great man, but the greatest man of a great age. Amid the chaos and conflagration which attended the end of the last century there rose one of those beings who seem born to master mankind. It is not too much to say that Napoleon combined the imperial ardor of Alexander with the strategy of Hannibal. The kings of the earth fell before his fiery and subtile genius, and at the head of all the powers of Europe he denounced destruction to the only land which dared to be free. The Providential superintendence of this world seems seldom more manifest than in the dispensation which ordained that the French Emperor and Wellesley should be born in the same year; that in the same year they should have embraced the same profession; and that, natives of distant islands, they should both have sought their military education in that illustrious land which each in his turn was destined
* The extract is from a speech on the death of the Duke of Wellington delivered by Mr. Disraeli in the House of Commons while Chancellor of the Exchequer. Wellington was the greatest general England ever produced. His most famous victory was gained over Napoleon at the historic battle of Waterloo. He was born in Ireland in 1769 and died in 1852.