« VorigeDoorgaan »
valiant man, is changed most.” The greater marvel had he been absolutely starry sky remains still, "yet do the unacquainted with its outlines. This starres and signes therein still move; poen of his, in fact, seems to me in. and even itselfe is mov'd, as wizards tended as an indirect refutation of certain saine."
doctrines held by one of the earliest adOne of the “wizards” referred to is no herents to the Copernican theory, the doubt “the learned Ptolomæe," who tells erratic and ill-fated Giordano Bruno of us “ that inasmuch as the stars maintain Nola. This philosopher, originally a Dotheir relative distances we may justly, call minican, seems to have courted persecuthem fixed, yet inasmuch as the whole tion and science with equal ardor and sphere to which they are nailed is in mo- with equal success; and after enduring tion, the word 'fixed' is but little appro- six years of misery in the Piombi at priate;” but it is most likely that Spenser Venice, and two more in the dungeons of here refers more particularly to his own the Inquisition at Rome, finally expiated lines, prefixed to the fifth book of “The the crimes of free thought and an aggresFaerie Queene," in which he speaks at sive temper at the stake on February 17, large of the phenomena connected with 1600. In the course of his many wanthe precession of the equinoxes. In derings, Bruno had made some considerthese introductory lines too he remarks able stay in England, apparently in the
most is Mars amisse of all the suite of the French ambassador Castelrest,” which is exactly paralleled by the nau, and had there become acquainted sneer of Mutability at the unsteadfast- with Sir Philip Sidney, to whom he dediness of “that valiant man." The notices cated two of his works. of Saturn, however, in the two passages The doctrine, however, which Spenser do not agree, and nothing at all is said of seems to be here combating is perhaps Mercury in the one from "The Faerie most compendiously stated in his “ TratQueene," circumstances tending to show tato de la Causa, Principio et Uno,” prethat the cantos of “Mutability" were viously published in 1584, and dedicated written at a later date.
to Castelnau. In the fifth dialogue in It was not till after Spenser's death this work (p. 127, ed. Venice, 1594) be that the real epoch of astronomical dis- writes:covery commenced. Copernicus, indeed,
Wherefore in your ears will not sound ill the more than half a century before had re-opinion of Heraclitus, who said that all things stored the sun to “his imperial throne, are One, the which by MUTABILITY hath in the guide and ruler of the family of plan- itself all things; and because all forms are in ets revolving around him ;” but the enun- it
, consequently all definitions agree with it, ciation of his theory awakened only a dull and so far contradictory propositions are and feeble response in the world of science until the invention of the telescope This notion of a universe which is it. rendered its ultimate adoption inevitable. self Deity, maintaining its unity inviolate That the leaders of Catholic and Protes in the midst of an infinite multiplicity of tant theology alike should denounce the phenomena in virtue of a mutability as new doctrine was of course to be expect-infinite, is not one to commend itself to ed, but it should be remembered that the piety and orthodoxy of Spenser's naamong its bitterest opponents were also ture. All things in nature change, he Tycho Brahe, the real founder of practi- admits, but change is not therefore an cal astronomy, and Francis Bacon, the attribute of Deity. On the contrary, as reputed restorer of philosophic method. his master Aristotle had taught, change At the time Spenser wrote, Kepler, al- is necessarily determined both at its beready an astronomer, had not yet under- ginning and its end, and cannot be etertaken his memorable researches with nal, consequently cannot be divine. God regard to the path of Mars: Galileo, is God, says Bruno in effect, in virtue of already in correspondence with Kepler, his infinite mutability. Not so, answers and sinarting under his first experiences Spenser; God is God in virtue of his of persecution, had not yet learned to infinite stability. I grant you your infinwhisper even to himself, “ E pur si mu- ite mutability, but to me the indestructiove." William Gilbert, indeed, had ac-bility of matter and of motion is the cepted the new teaching, but Spenser did diviner fact. Heaven and nature move not live to see the publication of his work and are changed, but heaven and na“ De Magnete” in 1600. It would have ture depend on the unmoved Mover been a marvel indeed had Spenser ac- of the universe. Some day they will cepted the theory, though perhaps a still cease to move, but none the more will the First Mover cease to be. The plot, which of energy is for others to determine. To by the way bears a vague generic resem. me it seems practically undistinguishable, blance to that of Bruno's "Spaccio de la and if so, the phrase indestructibility of Bestia Trionfante,” reflects with accu- motion is clearly preferable, as at once so racy the mental process by which Spen-co-ordinating the doctrine with its comser arrived at his conclusions. When he plementary one, the indestructibility of describes Mutability citing before the matter. At all events, Spenser has astribunal of nature the four elements of serted the indestructibility of both in which all things are made, and the vari- terms susficiently explicit io entitle him ous times and seasons which do the to a high place amongst those who have world in being hold,” we cannot mistake given a voice to the problem which has occupied his thoughts. It is indeed more intelligible of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
the prophetic soul in the form in which he presents it than it would have been in any scientific lan- the seers who have anticipated by the surguage known to the sixteenth century. mise of genius the yet far-off deductions Matter and motion, representing the fun. of science. Surely, after being practidamental categories of space and time in cally lost to the world for more than their objective aspects, are, he tells us, two centuries and a half, it is high time so far as the physical universe is con- that these “Two Cantos of Mutabilitie,” cerned, inseparably and eternally con- should at last be recognized not as a nected. Matter without motion cannot wholly incongruous and only half-intelligi. exist any more than motion without mat- ble appendage to “The Faerie Queene," ter. But matter cannot be in motion but as one of the noblest independent without change. Is change, then, the poems of the noblest age of English ultimate fact of the universe, or is there a poetry. generalization beyond, wide enough to
SEBASTIAN EVANS. embrace all the phenomena of change? In the solemn judgment delivered by the veiled goddess on the appeal of Mutability, Spenser announces that he has found
From The Pall Mall Gazette. this wider generalization. Change, he
THE CIVIL CODE OF THE JEWS. declares, has a subjective existence only, and is not supreme in the universe. Of the laws affecting transactions beWhatever changes may take place in tween debtor and creditor those having either matter or motion, both are in truth reference to usury are of course the most indestructible and objective. Transpose, important. They will be found not a little translate, transform them as you may, noteworthy. The Biblical ordinances and Yet being rightly way’d,
also the Talmudic injunctions anent the They are not changed from their first estate;
exaction of interest have been so much But by their change their being do dilate, misinterpreted and grossly distorted by And turning to themselves at length againe modern Jews of a certain school that the Do worke their own perfection so by fate Mischnic regulations in their simplicity That over them Change doth not rule and cannot fail to prove interesting. The raigne,
rabbinical laws are of course founded But they raigne over Change, and do their upon the texts of the Pentateuch which states inaintaine.
They will therefore It is startling to find thus fantastically clearly explain how Hebrew jurists untricked out in the garb of poetic Eliza- derstood and explained the Mosaic prohibethan allegory one of the latest doctrines bition. of logical Victorian science. It is perhaps Any the most trifling payment or contoo much to credit Spenser with enun- sideration given for the loan of either ciating the theory that while every parti- money or produce was forbidden as usury; cle of matter is moved in every particle of and the rabbins knew no distinction betime, the sum of all matter and of all tween interest and usury. The Talmudic motion remains immutable ; but a strict code took cognizance of two kinds of analysis of this poem will show that its usury; that prohibited by the Mosaic inconclusions cannot be translated into the junctions and that forbidden by the or terminology of modern physics by any dinances of the rabbins. The former less extensive proposition. Whether the was termed ribith ketzutzah, or definite doctrine of the indestructibility of motion interest; the latter abak ribith, or indefiis identical with that of the conservation | nite increase. Where one man lent an
other say five pieces of money on condi- | from which he derived neither profit nor tion that six were to be repaid, or lent advantage for the benefit of the owner, four measures of produce in return for who was his creditor in respect of the which he was to receive five, the law other half. He was therefore regarded regarded it as a case of Biblical usury, as paying interest on a debt, his liability ribith ketzutzah. When no specified remaining always unquestioned. Hence amount was charged for the accommoda- the prohibition. The same principle aption— for instance, if an individual lent plied to cases where money was lent for another a sum of money for business business purposes. If the creditor was purposes, receiving one-half the profits, guaranteed against all loss, the debtor unwhatever they might be -- the considera- dertaking to refund the entire amount, tion paid for the loan was considered the agreement to share the profits was abak ribith, usury forbidden by the rab- illegal. If, however, both parties conbins only. Now the law in the two cases tracted to share the losses, if any, as well mentioned differed. The usury, prohib- as such profits as resulted, the arrangeited by the Bible, ribith ketzutzah, was at inent was valid. The money thrown into all times and under all circumstances ille- the business was not in the nature of a gal. Even if the amount had already loan; it was an affair of partnership. On been paid by the debtor he could summon like grounds it was forbidden to give to the lender before the local tribunal who another merchandise or goods on condi. could compel restitution. Those who tion of sharing the profits unless the accepted this form of interest were re- owner at the same time agreed to share garded as gazlanim, robbers, and as such the losses. they could be compelled to refund their Nothing is more remarkable than the gains. This enactment did not, however, number of regulations formulated for the apply to cases where the interest agreed purpose of preventing usury in any shape upon was that prohibited by rabbinical or form whatsoever. Every transaction ordinance only. To understand clearly between producer and consumer, between the peculiarities of the Mischnic law in vendor and purchaser, was carefully overthis regard it is necessary to explain the hauled in order to render the conditions general principle upon which the Hebrew imposed upon either party incapable of jurists based their prohibition, and the yielding advantage of such a kind as to circumstances under which a transaction resemble anything like interest. For inseemingly equitable and fair was deemed stance, it was customary for persons by them illegal.
residing in towns and cities to arrange The leading principle underlying the with farmers and other owners of prodenactments having reference to the usury uce for a regular supply of commodities forbidden by the rabbins - i.e. interest required for consumption throughout the in the shape of profit, indefinite and not year. Now, the price of such commodi. prearranged, accruing from bonâ fide busi- ties was invariably lowest immediately ness transactions — will be readily under- | after the harvest and ingathering ; rates stood. It admits of simple explanation invariably rose as the year grew on. To in connection with the prohibition of what prevent any undue advantage on either is known as the undertaking of tzoni bar- | side the law declared invalid any contracts zel— literally, iron sheep. A person made before the prices of the respective engaged in rearing cattle was forbidden to commodities were fixed in the public take charge of a sheep, receiving in markets. The farmer's need was greatest return one-half the produce — the wool or during the period of harvest and in the a lamb - if he was responsible for the interval between the ingathering and the return of the animal. The owner could fixing of the prices ; ready money during sustain no loss - he was guaranteed the period would tempt him to part with against it; but he took one-half the profit his produce at rates below those which in any event. The animal was in fact so would subsequently be decided upon. much capital safely invested. It resem- Hence the buyer would gain an advan. bled so much metal in that its value could tage which the law construed as usury: not deteriorate. Hence the appellation profit made of another's need.
Such a tzon barzel, which designates in the Tal- bargain was therefore bad at law. The mud every description of property guar- agreement was likewise invalid if the anteed absolutely and unconditionally farmer at the time had not in his possesagainst damage or loss. Now, the rab- sion such produce as he contracted to bins argued, the person who took charge furnish - unless, be it noted, the produce of the sheep labored in respect of one-half was already in the market and its price
for the season fixed and known. In a place. For there was no debt until the similar manner the producer was forbid-term ended; and hence there was no conden to sell in autumn, after harvest, at sideration for time granted for payment. the enhanced prices likely to rule in the A creditor was not permitted to live in a spring of the year. A case recorded in debtor's house on payment of less rent the Talmud of one of the rabbins will than could otherwise be obtained. When explain the grounds of the law. The money was advanced to a farmer to imRabbin Papa was accustomed to make prove his holding, the owner was, howdate wine. This he sold in autumn at ever, entitled to increase the rent without spring prices. Payment of course was resting under any imputation of usury, to be made in the spring. He justified Payment in advance in order to obtain a his conduct by saying that his wine would loan, and payment subsequently in return keep, and he was not bound to dispose of for having obtained a loan, were also proit - not being pressed for money -im-hibited by rabbinical law. Even fair mediately after ingathering, when rates words to a creditor, courtesy which would were lowest. He would keep his wine not have been rendered to another but for until spring and then obtain better terms. the debt and obligation existing, were Schesheth, the Blind, explained to him forbidden, as “usury in speech." more clearly the law. “ You,” he said, In how far, it may be asked, were the “have regard to your own circumstances, regulations prohibiting usury in its sevbut you should also have consideration eral forms applicable to transactions with for those of the buyers. If they had aliens and pagans? The question is one money in autumn, when prices are every of considerable importance. It would, wheré low, they would not purchase of however, be out of place to give here the you at the higher price. Only because pros and cons of the discussions carried they have not the wherewithal to buy for on both in the Talmud and by the later cash in autumn do they come to you. rabbinists anent this matter. The opinThe difference is simply usury, which you ion of the Ghemara may be gathered from are receiving for the delay in payment.” the following citation, which no inconsid
For like reasons the lending of a meas- erable portion of the Jewish community ure of produce — an equal measure to be prefer to hore: " Rab Nahaman says, repaid by the borrower - was deemed Huna declared that the Jew who lent to a unlawful. The price of the commodity pagan and took of him usury Heaven might in the interval between the loan would punish as though he had exacted and repayment rise or fall. The differ interest of a brother Jew.” The punishence would constitute usury. Hence it ment of usurers was, according to a trawas customary to estimate the value of ditionary interpretation of one of the the produce at the time of lending and Psalms, that their property should be restore value for value, not measure for taken from them by Heaven, just as they
So far was this principle car- took it from their fellow-men. ried that in arranging between neighbors Significant as are the regulations of the for the exchange of a day's labor this legal code affecting the usurer, the moral consideration had weight. If one person anathema hurled at him everywhere in the asked another to do a day's weeding or Talmud are still more noteworthy. He is digging, promising in return to assist the termed a robber. He was disqualified other in like manner the following morn- not alone from acting as judge, but could ing, they were to remember that weeding not even give evidence in a court of jusor digging is a more laborious occupation tice. The garment he took from his poor on a wet than on a dry day; therefore a debtor was a public scandal. • Behold," dry day's work was to be repaid by a dry says one of the kindliest of the rabbins, day's work, and a wet day's labor by an- Rab Josse,“ how blind are these usurers. other wet day's labor; otherwise usury If any one hurt them, by terming them was held to have been exacted. A ven- wicked and godless, they would almost dor was not permitted to have two prices kill those who thus stigmatize them. But
one for cash and one for credit. Any here, they themselves deliberately and in addition made for time given was usury. the presence of witnesses execute deeds When anything was simply hired, whether a thousandfold more scandalous. They house or movable, the case was different. call a writer to draw up and witnesses to The owner might charge one amount per attest and themselves affix their signaterm if paid in advance, and a higher rate tures to documents wherein they deny the if paid when really due at the expiration God of Israel!” “Ay,” satirically says of the period for which the hiring took | Rabbi Simon in a beraïtha, “they (the
From Land and Water.
usurers) trcat Moses as a prophet and his breakfasted off cooked elephant's foot law as true, saying if Moses our master and found it a whitish mass, slightly gelat. hal linown that money was to be made by inous and sweet, like marrow, and quite usury he would not have forbidden it." delicious. The birds' nests
we have Even more succestive is the curious spoken of as being consumed by the agadic legend connected with the resur Chinese are procurable even in sore rection depicted typically in the thirty London sloops. They are the nesis of seventh chapter of Ezekiel's prophecies. swallows found in caverns on the sea "All the dead therein restored io life,” shore of the Eastern Archipelago, and runs the agada, “had merited death. are of a gelatinous nature, from a peculiar They had adored the molten image which mucus which the bird secretes and disNebuchadnozor had set up for them to charges from its mouth whilst building worship. Nevertheless, Heaven in its the nest. Lizards again are partaken of mercy restored them. One alone among by the Chinese; so are snakes. Spiders them all was not given back to life, for," are relished by Bushmen, so are grassconcludes the legend, " he had practised hoppers. Locusts are eaten, both in the usury.”
fresh state and salted, by Persians, Egyptians, Arabians, Bushmen, and North American Indians. White ants, bees, moths, caterpillars, and grubs, all find
admirers, especially among the lower savCURIOSITIES OF OMNIVOROUS MANKIND. depths yet. Earth-eating is practised by
ages. We have not got to the lowest THERE are numerous we had almost the Japanese, who make it into thin cakes said numberless - curiosities in connec- called tanaampo, and eaten especially by tion with eating and drinking, even the women, who take it to produce slenalthough our observations are restricted derness of figure. It is generally an uncto the human family. If our natural tuous clay, consisting of the remains of teeth are examined at maturity, they are animal and plant life deposited from found to point out their possessor as fresh water. In northern Europe a breadomnivorous, and if they did othewise, we meal, consisting of the empty shells of should in the face of the following facts, minute infusorial animalcules, is eaten. regard them as false indicators, or, in The Wanyamwezi, a tribe living in cenother words, false teeth. Beef and bread tral Africa, eat clay between meals, preare the typical foods in the British Isles, ferring the clay of ant-hills. Some earthbut nowhere else; almost every country eaters take earth having no nutrient has its own typical foods, together with properties. The Agmara Indians, for miscellaneous articles of food of all de example, eat a gritty whittish clay, destiscriptions. Dogs' flesh, cats, monkeys, tute of all nutrient properties. Tropical birds' nests, are all savory morsels of America is the scene of endemic Gisorthe Chinese. The hedgehog is regarded ders from this depraved dirt-eating habit. as a “ dainty dish to set before a king” in Officers who have Indian children
in their Barbary, and is largely consumed in Spain employ use wire masks to keep them from and Germany Kangaroos are relished putting clay into their mouths. by the aborigines of Australia. The negro addicted to this propensity is con. opossum is eaten in America, Australia, sidered to be irrevocably lost for any useand the Indian islands. The walrus is ful purpose, and seldom lives long. eaten by the Esquimaux; whilst whale's The quantity of food taken is also a flesh is eaten almost by all who inhabit matter of curiosity when we have wellregions far north or south, where whales authenticated instances of the extremes of are found. Mice and rats are considered going a long time without food at all, in delicate morsels in parts of Asia, Africa, eating next to none, and the other extreme Australia, and New Zealand. Horseflesh of eating enormous quantities. In Sibeis gradually finding favor, and has for long ria, Sir George Simpson procured a formed quite the staple flesh food of the couple of men having a reputation for eatIndian horsemen of the Pampas, who eat ing large quantities, and prepared a neither bread, fruit, nor vegetables. The dinner for them of thirty-six pounds avoirelephant is eaten in Abyssinia and in dupois of beef and eighteen pounds of Sumatra. Three elephants were eaten butter for each. By the end of the first by the Parisians during the siege, and hour their “stomachs were like kettlewere considered delicious, the liver more drums," having taken half the dinner; in especially so. Dr. Livingstone says he | another two hours they had devoured the