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ancestors, and which even now is not without devotees:
Il vient; le fanatisme est son horrible nom;
C'est lui qui dans Raba, sur les bords de l'Arnon
Frappez, exterminez, déchirez les chrétiens."
He comes; the fiend Fanaticism comesReligiou's horrid and unnatural childArmed to defend her, aiming to destroy Tearing her bosom in his feigned embrace,
'Twas he who guided Ammon's wretched race On Arnon's banks, where mothers offer'd up Their children's mangled limbs on Moloch's altars. 'Twas he who prompted Jeptha's barbarous oath, And aimed the popiard at his daughter's heart. 'Twas he who spoke, when Calchas' impious tongue * Called for the blameless Iphigenia's death. France, he long revelled in thy forest-shades, Offering thy incense to the grim Tentates, Whetting the savage druid's murderous knife To sate his worthless gods with human goré. He, from the capitol, stirred Pagan hearts To exterminate Christ's followers; and he, When Rome herself had bowed to christian truth,
Quitted the capitol to rule the church-
For thinking their forefathers' faith the best. You clearly see then, that even so long ago I was your servant, your friend, your brother; although my father and mother had preserved to me my foreskin.
I am aware that virility, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, has caused very fatal quarrels. I know what it cost Priam's son Paris, and Agamemnon's brother Menelaus. I have read enough of your books to know that Hamor's son Sichem ravished Leah's daughter Dinah, who at most, was not more than five but was very forward for her age. He wanted to make her his wife; and Jacob's sons, brothers of the violated damsel, gave her to him in marriage, on condition that he and all his people should be circumcised. When the operation was performed, and all the Sichemites, or Sichimites, were lying in of the pains consequent thereupon, the holy patriarchs Simeon and Levi Cut all their throats one after another. But after all, I do not believe that uncircumcision ought now to produce such abominable horrors; and especially I do not think that men should hate, detest, anathematise, and damn one another every Saturday and Sunday, on account of a morsel more or less of flesh.
If I have said that some of the circumcised have clipped money at Metz, at Frankfort on the Oder, and at Warsaw (which I do not remember) I ask their pardon; for, being almost at the end of my pilgrimage, I have no wish to embroil myself with Israel. I have the honour to be (as they say)
Yours, &c. SECOND LETTER.
Antiquity of the Jews. Gentlemen,- I have ever agreed, having read a few historical books for amusement, that you are a very ancient people, and your origin may be dated much farther back than that of the Teutones, the Celts, the Sicambri, the Bretons, the Sclavonians, the Angles, and the Hurons. I see you assembling as a people in a capital called, sometimes Hershalaim, sometimes Shaheb, on the hill Moriah, and on the hill Sion, near a desart, on a stony soil, by a small torrent which is dry six months of the year.
When you began to establish yourselves in your corner, I will not say of land, but of pebbles, Troy had been destroyed by the Greeks about two centuries.
Medon was archon of Athens.
This was the most illustrious period of Chinese history. The emperor Tchin-wang was reigning with glory over that vast empire; all the sciences were there cultivated; and the public annals inform us that the king of Cochin China, having come to pay his respects to this emperor, Tchin-wang, received from him a present of a mariner's compass. This compass might have been of great service to your Solomon, for his fleets that went to the fine country of Ophir, which no one has ever known anything about.
Thus, after the Chaldeans, the Syrians, the Persians, the Phenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Indians, the Chinese, the Latins, and the Tuscans, you are the first people upon earth who had
any known form of government.
The Banians, the Guebres, and yourselves, are the only nations which, dispersed out of their own country, have preserved their ancient rites; for I make no account of the little Egyptian troops, called Zingari in Italy, Gypsies in England, and Bohemians in France, which had preserved the antique ceremonies of the worship of Isis, the cistrum, the cymbals, the dance of
Isis, the prophesying, and the art of robbing henroosts.
These sacred troops are beginning to disappear from the face of the earth; while their pyramids still belong to the Turks, who perhaps will not always be masters of them--the figure of all things on this earth doth so pass away. You
you have been settled in Spain ever since the days of Solomon: I believe it, and will even venture to think, that the Phenicians might carry some Jews thither long before, when you were slaves in Phenicia, after the horrid massacres which you say were committed by the robber, Joshua, and by that other robber, Caleb.
Your books* indeed say, that you were reduced to slavery under Chushan-Rashataim, king of Mesopotamia, for eight years; under Eglon, king of Moab, for eighteen years; then under Jabin, king of Canaan, for twenty years; then in the little canton of Midian, from which you had issued, and where you dwelt in caverns for seven years.
Then in Gilead, for eighteen years; Ş-notwithstanding that Jair, your prince, had thirty sons, each mounted on a fine ass.
Then under the Phenicians (called by you Philis tines) for forty years—until at last the Lord Adonai sent Samson, who tied three hundred foxes one to an other by the tails, and slew a thousand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass, from which issued a fountain
* Judges, chap. iii.
† It was the same Eglon, king of Moab, that was so holily assassinated in the name of the Lord by the left-handed Ehud, who had sworn fidelity to him; and it was this Ehud who was so often invoked at Paris by the preachers of the League“ We want'an Ehud! we want an Ehud !” They cried out until they found one.
It was under this Jabin that good mistress Jael assassinated captain Sisera, by driving a nail through his head, which nail Nailed 'him very fast to the ground. What a nail! and what'a woman was this Jael! Judith alone can be compared to her: Indeed, Judith appeared much superior; for she cut off her Jover's head in bed, after granting him her tender favours. Nothing can be more heroic, or more eđifying.
f Judges, chap. Xv
of clear water;—which has been very well represented at the Comédie Italienne.
Here are, by your own confession, ninety-six years of captivity in the land of promise. Now it is very probable, that the Syrians, who were the factors for all nations, and navigated as far as the great ocean, bought some Jewish slaves, and took them to Cadiz, which they founded. You see that you are much more ancient than you think. It is indeed
It is indeed very likely that you inhabited Spain several centuries before the Romans, the Goths, the Vandals, and the Moors.
I am not only your friend, your brother, but moreover your genealogist.
I beg, gentlemen, that you will have the goodness to believe, that I never have believed, I do not believe, and I never will believe, that you are descended from those highway robbers whose ears and noses were cut off by order of king Actisanes, and whom, according to Diodorus of Sicily,* he sent into the desert between lake Sirbo and mount Sinai—a frightful desert where water and every other necessary of life are wanting. They made pets to catch quails, which fed them for a few weeks, during the passage of the birds.
Some of the learned have pretended, that this origin perfectly agrees with your history. You yourselves say, that you
inhabited this desert, that there you wanted water, and lived on quails, which in reality abound there. Your accounts appear in the main to confirm that of Diodorus; but I believe only the Pentateuch. The author does not say that
your ears and noses cut off. As far as I remember, (for I have not Diodorus at hand) you lost only your noses. I do not now recollect where I read that your ears were of the party; it might be in some fragments of Manetho, cited by St. Ephrem.
In vain does the secretary, who has done me the honour of writing to me in your name, assure me that you stole to the amount of upwards of nine millions in gold, coined or carved, to go and set up your taber
* Diodorus, book i. section 2, chap. xii.