Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 128.djvu/457

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ceased. The following paragraph was found in that document: "To my executors — ₤ 1,000 to be paid by them and applied to and for the use of the Portuguese Synagogue in Bevis Marks, London, in case I shall be buried in the Jews' burying-place at Mile End, in the carreira (regular row of graves), with the right of geubir (member), and an escaba (or prayer for the dead) said every Kippur." The reply of the Portuguese elders was brief and dignified, and to the effect that orders had been given to the keeper of the burying-ground at Mile End to let the grave be open according to the desire of the deceased, and that his remains would be treated as those of any other member. Then Phineas Gomes Serra, a gentleman belonging to one of the first families of the community, came forward and stated that a certain sum offered annually by him in the name of "Peloni Almoni" — as anonymous donors were designated — in reality was contributed by the late Sampson Gideon, who had thus regularly kept up his payments as member.

This is at least one origin of the belief about Jewish proselytizing, which, never frequent anywhere, has in England been strictly forbidden by the rules of both the Portuguese and the German synagogues. Lord George Gordon never was admitted into the Jewish burial-ground, and much later the Portuguese congregation formally rebuked the German one for allowing two Norwegians to be admitted, contrary to the "express condition" on which Jews were admitted into England — a mistake, it is said — and the German congregation passed strict rules against a similar error. The truth seems to be the Jews care for no converts not descendants of Abraham, but are always ready to receive back persons whose descent, however corrupted, is clear to them. They themselves are almost morbidly bitter against attempts to convert them. The Jewish Chronicle, generally an even-tempered paper, can write of persecutors with much more temperance than of the London Society for the Conversion of the Jews; and Mr. Picciotto, though usually impartial, can hardly keep down his dislike of those who have abandoned the communion. Abudientes or Bernals, Lopezes or Ricardos, they have never done so merely from conviction; and he is lenient only to Isaac d'Israeli, the premier's father, who in fact never quitted the pale, though in 1813 he threw up his seat in the synagogue because the elders were determined to make him an office-bearer against his will. In a most remarkable letter he affirmed that he would not bear this, but denied that he was like Sanballat the Horonite, who impeded Nehemiah in rebuilding the Holy City. He never, however, took any step beyond erasing his name from the lists of the synagogue, and in 1821 he applied for the certificates of birth of his four children. They were sent to him, and it appears from the record that the eldest son, Benjamin, was born on December 21, 1804, a year earlier than the date given in Dodd and Debrett, which is December 31, 1805. As a rule, however, the Jew who quits the synagogue quits the community; and Mr. Picciotto bewails deeply the number of Jews who, in England more especially, are tempted by social ambition, or dislike of social pressure, or the beauty of Gentile maidens, to quit their ancient community and glide into the mass of the population. The danger of Judaism, indeed, it is evident from his book, arises, first of all, from perfect toleration.

From The St. James's Magazine.


Before leaving the Briars, Napoleon went to Mr. Balcombe's apartment, and invited the young ladies to Longwood, where he said he would always be happy to see them. We reached Longwood in safety, Napoleon evincing no feeling of any kind that night respecting the change. Next day, however, he seemed irritable, and it was some days before he could reconcile himself to the place. By degrees his irritability wore off; but his anger was aroused when he learned that an order had been given forbidding any person to enter Longwood gates without a pass signed by the admiral: that sentinels were posted all round Longwood; and that Lieutenant (? Captain) Poppleton was to live in the house as his orderly officer. Sir George Cockburn treated him with marked kindness; allowed him to go to a certain distance from Longwood alone, and permitted him to visit any part of the island he thought proper, provided that if he went beyond certain bounds the orderly officer was to attend him. Much about this time a ship arrived from England with despatches, and informed us that the 66th Regiment had embarked for St. Helena. Sir George came to Longwood with the orders he had received from England, and read them to Napoleon and his generals. He also informed Napoleon that General Sir Hudson Lowe was appointed governor of the island, and