« ПредишнаНапред »
mickle there abound; There gambling thrives, and letchery, and many trained in trickery, of cunning charm and jugglery, and glamour artes that given backe Black for white and white for blacke. Thenne let us praye sweete Saint Marie, on Engleland to have pity: Her lette us praye to watche us well, and teache them wisdome that rebell, and give our Lord the King counsell, as did the loyal Menestrel.'
We do not fancy that our readers would much thank us for transcribing any part of the loyal minstrel's sage counsel; but the opening of the conversation, which paves the way for his admonition, is diverting in itself, and gives, we have no doubt, a fair notion of the fashionable wit of the times.
Lordings, list, a little space,
Speak plainly, man,—whence comest thou ?”
There is some more of this fencing, till the king, apparently willing to change his ground, remarks the comeliness of the Jongleur's steed, and proposes to strike a bargain
66 Come—wilt thou sell thy nag to me?”
* In the original, the quibble is between sein and saint.
The monks and priests would dress him out
Beseeching intercessioun.” After much more foolery of the same kind, the king asks if his feet be hard:
“ Hard say you ?-hard enough, my fay,
My nag a coward ! no, pardie ;
I give them still the best I may.” A new series of conundrums ensues upon this, and the king's patience is at last fairly exhausted with the inveterate jester
“ The devil's in thy mother's son,
The gaiety of this gentleman's attire and conversation affords a fine contrast to the miserable condition of the minstrel in the later days of the craft; when even so true a poet as the author of the elder ballad of Chevy Chase' was accustomed to indite such verses as the following
• Now for the good chear that Y have had heare
Beyng in hongar, of fresshe samon or konger ; &c. The reader will find the continuation of this melancholy ditty in Mr. Conybeare's • Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry,'p. 28where it was first printed from one of the Ashmolean MSS.; a highly-curious volume, of which we shall shortly have occasion to treat at length.
Art. IV.-Hebrew Tales; selected and translated from the
Writings of the ancient Hebrew Sages: to which is prefixed, an Essay on the Uninspired Literature of the Hebrews. “By Hyman
Hurwitz, Author of Vindiciæ Hebraicæ, &c. &c. London. 1826. TOWA
WARDS the close of the second century, the Jews began
to be sensible that their chance of re-establishment in the Holy Land was almost hopeless. For a long time after the destruction of their city and temple in the year 70, they cherished ideas of the speedy appearance of their Messiah in the only form in which they would acknowledge him-as a great temporal deliverer--an Avatar of victory and revenge. They then doubted not that his advent was destined about that period, and quoted the prophecies, which they have since learned to interpret differently, in support of the correctness of their belief. But having rejected Him in whom all the characteristics of the true Messiah were united, but who wanted the one mark of temporal power,
which their national prejudices exalted into the most important of all the tokens of Messiahship, they were obliged to look for another, and Barchochoba (the son of the star*) appeared to gratify their desires. They exaggerated his victories, in reality trifling when considered in opposition to the power of Rome, into absolute proofs of his claims to the title which he assumed, and clung to him with their national obstinacy, and occasional displays of bravery worthy of a more successful cause. He was proclaimed as the star of Jacob, and the sceptre of Israel, foredoomed, by the reluctant prophecy of Balaam, to smite the comers of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. The sword of the Romans speedily dispelled these visions; and Adrian proved, by the enactment of oppressive laws, and the infliction of the most cruel punishments, that no temporal Messiah should arise to the Jews in his dominions. After defeating them with merciless slaughter, he banished them from Judea, persecuted them in all parts of the empire, and insulted their religion by erecting altars to Pagan deities on the very ground where the Shechina once had been. Some specimens of his cruelty are related in Mr. Hurwitz's little volume, (p. 106, &c.,) and the Jewish records would supply many more. In the pages of Roman history his character is represented in at least mixed colours :-he is severus, mitis, sævus, clemens. In the records of the Jews there is no redeeming trait : he appears as the very incarnation of cruelty.
This persecution by Adrian appears to have destroyed or interrupted the succession of the Hebrew schools, which had flourished unbroken since the days of Ezra. In the insane insurrection of Barchochoba, Akiba, the most learned of the rabbis, and the then president of the schools, took a most active part, although we are assured that he had arrived at the age of one hundred and twenty ; a circumstance that does not appear very probable. He publicly proclaimed the impostor as the Messiah, and even acted as his armour-bearer. On the overthrow of his party he was taken prisoner, and carded to death, the horrible tortures of which he bore with the greatest courage, showing himself so attentive to the ceremonies of his religion, as to repeat the proper prayer in the regular manner while under the hands of the executioners. His biographers have noted the very letter at which he was stopped by death. Mr. Hurwitz (pp. 119, 120) insinuates that he was executed for his zeal in teaching the Jewish doctrines, but this is incorrect; he was put to death for his peculiar activity in the rebellion, and the obstinacy with which he advocated the impostor's cause. The memory of few persons has been more cherished by
* On his defeat, they altered this name to Bar-Chuziba—the son of lying. This is not unlike the treatment King James II, has received from his Irish partisans.