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with pleasure. I blushed at sharing in some measure the stain of the persecution. I felt what it was to have the eye of the oppressed fixed upon me. It was enough-I was a Christian. The - Pagan Turks” are more merciful. The Mahometan has his Jews, and his Ghettos too, but he sleeps over them, and suffers rather than strikes. In the East, they spread out at will, and may be comfortable and cleanly if they like. Here there is nothing of the white-washed houses of Rhodes, &c. all is decrepit, dingy, overstocked. There is no evidence of government, except in the misery and fears of the inhabitants. The very fountain is a sort of mockery. A pope praises himself for his munificent attention to the wants of the Jews_« ad Hebræorum inopiam sublevandam," as the inscription testifies, in decorating the Piazza delle Scuole with this meagre present. The Colonna arms, emblazoned above, strangely intrude on this place of exile. Yet wretchedness has not quelled the spirit of dissension within ; as with larger bodies, factions spring up under the very heel of their tyrants. An affray, which seemed' no unusual event, was going on as I passed. I returned to the narrow street, and soon reached the opposite gate. It had become ruinous and crumbled down, but repairs were advancing rapidly, and the wall once more had mounted to its original size. No concessions are made here. A breach is soon filled up. You cannot legislate in the same manner. English acts of parliament, as the Roman Catholics have told us, are not quite so efficient as Roman brick.
The rest of this village in a town is composed of a parallel and narrower lane, and a smaller square, if such indeed it can be called. Towards the river, it is still more conspicuously miserable. The houses almost hang over the mud and whirlpools of the Tyber, wooden gallery projecting from wooden gallery until they become absolutely dangerous. You soon reach the gate, and immediately before you, near the Ponte Quattro Capi, stands a small oratory, “ for the use" also “ of the Hebrews." There is a staring, angrylooking crucifix, of gigantic dimensions, frowning from above, and the following minatory inscription from Isaiah, in Latin and Hebrew, below:
« Expandi manus meas totâ die, ad populum incredulum
Qui graditur in viâ non bonâ post cogitationes suas.”
Semper, qui immolant in hortis et sacrificant super lateres." And so on, in a strain full of vengeance and wrath. This is the first thing which a Jew meets on coming out in the morning. It is very inviting and convincing; but there is no good reason why the Jew should not have his interpretation also, and by a little change of names, turn it upon the Christian. But the Rabbi need not apprehend it will much diminish his flock. The Ghetto walls, and the soldier at the gate, are better preachers than any other; they will keep them to their faith when every thing else fails. And why not? the penal code did as much for Ireland. It is here, however, or in the immediate neighbourhood, that they are condemned once a year to be converted. Sermons are got up by papal edict, and the whole population marched off to digest them with what appetite they can. The Jews are a trampled race, and with all their reputation for stiff-neckedness, are seldom courageous or imprudent enough to kick ; but on these occasions they invariably do. Fined they may be, but they have no idea of being talked into Christians. When the bribe of the fifty piastres fails, a “Capucinade” is not very likely to be successful. Rulers, however, are the last people in the world to hear or see these things; and so they persist in lashing the air, filling the sieve, and rolling up the stone, until they excite the merriment of all bystanders in the bargain. The absurdity had been interrupted for some time (thanks to more serious concerns, such as wars and revolutions); but no sooner was there a respite, than they set about abusing their newly-recovered power. Under the meek Pius VII. and the enlightened Cardinal Gonzalvi, an edict of the Cardinal-vicar Della Genga (since Leo XII.), dated February 20, 1823, renewed this intolerant practice. The decree, as is usual when tyranny is most tyrannical, sets out with a great profession of affection for its
victims. It is all for the good and the salvation of the benighted ;-out of pure charity ;-after the best precedents, &c. * It then proceeds to direct the Fattori of the University to send, every Saturday, “ alle ore venti e mezza" to the sermon, which was to be preached in the Oratoria della Santissima Trinità de' Pellegrini et Convalescenti, three hundred Jews, amongst whom it was especially required there should be one hundred youths from twelve to thirty years old, and fifty girls of the same age, accompanied by their matrons, &c. In case of any deficiency on the muster-roll being called over, the party missing shall be obliged to pay three pauls (about fifteen pence), for which the above-mentioned Fattori shall be accountable. Then follows the manner in which they shall conduct themselves whilst at sermon; severe penalties of thity crowns' fine on all who shall conceal or co-operate with the transgressors; and, finally, the strongest chastisement and threats against any one who shall insult them on their way to sermon, &c.f This last clause speaks & volume. The Government first renders by its own act the persons and the religion of the outcasts objects of abhorrence, and then punishes its subjects for having learnt the lesson it had taught too well. With the bayonet and the whip on one side, no wonder that the crucifix should be ineffectual on the cther.
“ Expandi manus meas totê die ad populum incredulum.” And so it will be, with such persuaders, unto the end of time. The Jews went ofi, after a good deal of disorderly resistance and expostulation, kicked, cuifed, and fined, to the cbnoxious service. But they acted foolishly-they might as well have gone there at the first. It is one thing to go to the well, and another to drink :--a sermon, to effect any thing, must have listeners, and it is not easy to maka man or child listen against his will. This the Jews found out at last. “Turno" after “ turno" were marched off, as the edict prescribed; the bundred yonths and the fifty girls escorted by their respective matrons, who growled and frowned, and were hissed, hooted, and sermonized, to their utmost mortification and the satisfaction of all the godly at Rome. But the seed fell on barren ground, as I heard from one of the in. credulous, a linen-selling friend of mine. There was nothing in the edict (strictly interpreted) about sleep; and whether owing to the teacher, or their own hardness of heart, many dropt off in the exordium, and all, but a few giggling girls, before the end. The Deputato saw he had been outmanceuvred, and bethought himself on the next occasion of a happy expedient. A certain number of long staves were provided, and watchers stood posted in every part of the chapel ready to direct them wherever circumstances should require. Thus armed, the preacher began with great determination; and well he might, for whenever he fell into the defect of the Archbishop of Toledo, and the soporific began to operate, down fell the friendly staves in every direction on the nodding heads of the multitude, and restored to him, for a few moments longer, his unwilling audience. The invention for a time was successful, and there were no more sleepers. But when Easter came about, and a great harvest, “overflowing and pressed down,' was expected from this new mode of spiritual cultivation, nothing was found but the old tares. There was no other to be seen in the Baptistery of Constantine, than the single Jew-who got his fifty piastres after his baptism and abjuration,-went away pocketing them with his conscience, and once more addicted himself to his old propensities, and, for aught I know, to his old persuasion—a Jewish Christian and a Christian Jew!
* “ Se per le vicende degli ultimi tempi," it begins, “ lungo tratto di anni è ri. masta interrotta la Predicazione, ossia Istruzione agli Ebrei, la quale viene incul. cata dai concilii, e constituzioni Pontificie, é riconosciuta necessaria a diradere le tenebre, che offuscano le loro mente, La Santità di Nostro Signore giudica essere opportuno di non più differirle. Quindi è, che ci hà ordinato di richiamare al suo primiero vigore quanto fu stabilito sotto Clemente VIII. de S. M. con editto del Cardinale Rusticucci e confermato più volte con editti de' Nostri Predecessori," &c.
+ Cavaletto and fines.
In leaving the Ghetto, I naturally fell into reflections on the fortunes of this singular people. Here is a nation which, trampled and trodden on as it is, still survives both time and revolution. If ancestry be aristocracy, they are the most aristocratic at Rome; no blood has been better preserved from the numerous barbarous streams, “ diluvio de' genti strane," which have at various times passed through and infected Italy. Some go up as far as the Colosseum, and see here the children of the last captivity; the tale that they have“ inherited an instinctive repugnance to walking under the Arch of Titus, is cited sometimes as poetry, sometimes as argument. But the Jews of the Ghetto are not Maccabees or Eleazars, and few amongst them can decipher the Ark of the Covenant, or the Golden Candlestick, on the obnoxious ruin. Long anterior to the introduction of Christianity, they were what the Florentines and Lombards were afterwards in Europe, the factors and carriers of the whole circle of commerce-voluntary exiles, flourishing on the indolence and extravagance of other nations; exhausting them by their industry, conquering them by their wealth, and by slow but certain degrees leading, at length, their “ captivity captive.” In the height of her power, Jerusalem sent out her colonies to Egypt. Alexander led a considerable body from the Holy City: they were sectarian seceders-of course were branded-soon forgot their Hebrew, and took up instead with the Greek of the Ptolemies. But Rome was then the great pasturage for all the vanities and ambitions of mankind. The Jewish emigrants came to the great market in crowds. So early as Augustus we find them noticed amongst the millions ; and Horace scoffs at them in the spirit of a modern Roman. Tiberius found them considerably increased, but instead of confining them within a Ghetto, he banished them from the city.* Domitian, more lenient, or more avaricious, converted them into an object of imperial revenue.t The Imperial Constitutions laid considerable restrictions on their religious worship and marriage contracts; but Honorius and Arcadius, in almost all other particulars, gave them the protection and privileges of the Roman law; allowing them, however, the choice of arbitration, or private tribunals, in civil cases, if so inclined, (1. 8, c. de Jud.) These privileges were gradually augmented; and in Pa. lestine, particularly under the Christian emperors, they seem at all times to have been large, (1. 17, de eodem.) From Rome on one side, and Jerusalem on the other, they rapidly spread into the provinces. The Talmudists speak with enthusiasm of their numerous“ scholæ;" and, with their usual exaggeration, talk of the four hundred and eighty once existing at Jerusalem. They have now dwindled down to seven, many of these composed of the sweepings of other nations, Spanish, Turkish, and Egyptian Jews. Tiberius, however, is still an exclusively Jewish town; and Palestine rejoices in being under the government of two of the same nation—the two brothers
* “ Actum est de sacris Ægyptiis Judaicisque pellendis ; factumque Patrum con, sultum, ut quatuor millia libertini generis, ea superstitione infecta quîs idonea atas, in insulam Sardiniam veherentur, coercendis illic latrociniis, et si ob gravitatem cæli interiissent vile damnum : cæteri cederent Italia, nisi certam ante diem profanos ritus exuissent.”—Tac. Ann. ii. 85. Suetonius confines this punishment (it was employ. ed as such by Leopold of Tuscany in the instance of the colony of convicts sent to Orbiletto) to the youth; the rest were banished from the city sub pænâ perpetua servitutis nisi obtemperâssent."-Suet. Tib. 36. It is to be inferred from both historians that the victims were, in great part, either manumitted slaves, or their de. scendants; and in Suetonius, singularly enough, the Mathematici, or astrologers of that day, are included. See also Josephus xviii. 3, and Philo Leg. ad Cai. p. 569.
† 6 Præter cæteros Judaicus fiscus acerbissime actus est : ad quem deferebantur, qui vel improfessi Judaicam viverent vitam, vel dissimulatâ origine, imposita genti tributa, non pependissent."--Suet. Domit. 12. The amount was two drachmä. Josephus, b. i. vii. 6, b. gives the origin of the tax; Appian Syriac makes it a sort of Haratch. It has served as a model, not only for the Vicars-general of Rome, but for the Parliaments of England. Compare the fine of Clement VIII. on his Jewish with the still heavier fines of Elizabeth on her Irish subjects. Both mode and end were the same.
Ibrim and Soloman, ministers of the two Pachaliks of Acre and Damascus. Benjamin of Tudela, when he travelled, did not find more than two hundred, situated precisely in the spot of the seven synagogues, and deeply engaged, as elsewhere, in commercial pursuits. They were then in possession of the monopoly of wool. At Tedmor, however, he was more fortunate, and met with a population of two thousand souls. In most of the trading emporiums of Europe, they had already established themselves; at Amalfi, Naples, Genoa, Venice, and many more. The Saracens introduced them in large numbers into Sicily, and they had already been settled in Spain. To their mer. cantile propensities, they added also considerable pretensions (borrowed, possibly, from their intercourse with the Arabs) to the astronomical and medical sciences: both were perverted, in their hands, to absolute empirieism and imposture, and employed only as mere engines of trade. But in this double capacity, as treasurers and physicians, they continued long to be sought after in every principal Court in Europe. Then, as now, most of the petty princes of Europe were their tributaries. The Popes themselves were not exempted from the general prepossession. The State Physician, and Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Vatican, was not unfrequently a Jew.* But in proportion as they were superseded in “the money" market, their importance in all other matters began rapidly to decline. The extension of the Arabs over Southern Europe, extended in a still more remarkable degree the cultivation of their favourite sciences. New rivals started up every day; the Universities were founded; and their monopoly in medicine, as well as trade, was soon broken up. The Republics, particularly of Florence and Venice, succeeded to their profits, and, their enemies say, to their usury. The same phenomenon is gradually advancing in the East; the Armenian has superseded the Jew in most of the public and private treasuries of the empire; and the Armenian, in his turn, has been compelled to divide it with the rich Greek. Where commerce still continued to exist, they were permitted, by degrees, to enter into the privileges, and, as a natural consequence, into the habits and opinions of other citizens; but in States so entirely engaged with the concerns of another world as to be nearly regardless of this, they fell at once into poverty and contempt. At Rome their fall was complete. The miserable relics of the ancient colony have dwindled into a few hundred souls. Their Ghetto looks like a mendicity asylum, and as soon they can muster a few piastres, they generally escape from the prison in search of some gentler yoke. But, such as it is, it is the most industrious part of Rome. Men, whom none but the vigilant eye of a Vicar-general, or a Grand Inquisitor, could suppose possessed of the bare necessaries of life, have been known to hold some of the most luxurious prelates of Rome in their strings. Persecution has forced them to grow rich—to conceal it-and, by preventing them from spending their riches, to continue so. They have all the “minute commerce,” the linen and woollen trade, to themselves. Their capital, without a vent, accumulates; and in the third or fourth generation, out starts some potent seignior, who compels their masters, by the best of ties-their wants and prodigality—to serve the servant, in their turn. But this is still a phenomenon at Rome. Whatever is worth keeping is sure to leave it. Wealth as well as liberty looks to more congenial climes. The moment a man can benefit the state, he flies it. There are thus constant emigrations to Leghorn, and a constant decrease of capital and industry at home. But in return, the Vicars-general have the gratification of driving those who remain behind, to sermons they will not listen to, and the prospect of gradually converting the nation, much after the manner of the new
* Benjamin of Tudela met at Rome " a certain Rabbi Jekiel, a minister of the Pope, a handsome youth, prudent and wise, who frequented the Court of the Pope as one who belonged to it, and was the administrator of all his treasures."-Itin. A biography of the Jewish physicians, who served the Vatican, is also extant.
reformation in Ireland, in the ratio of one whole Jew at fifty crowns per year.
On issuing forth from this tenebrose region “di questi luoghi bui,” and walking round the walls, I found myself in a narrow lane, “ Viccolo de' Caccaberis,") which leads directly to the “ Palace of the Cenci." That name awakened a thousand" recollections. In a few moments I stood before its gates. The first object I beheld was a small chapel, whose doors seemed for ever closed. I looked up. It was entitled, “Santa Maria de Planctu.” Imagination immediately connected it with Beatrice.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ROSSINI'S COMPOSITIONS. It is admitted by musicians and amateurs, as well as by those who merely seek an agreeable pastime in frequenting musical performances of any kind, that the compositions of Rossini form a memorable epoch in the annals of the art, and perhaps an interesting feature in the history of the present age. Wherever his operas have appeared, they have soon rooted firmly and almost exclusively in the public favour, exerted an inconceivable influence on musical taste, and nearly banished from the stage it might almost be said from our recollection-the classic works of the greatest masters who have preceded him. In Italy, where the works of Rossini began to make an impression about eighteen years ago, they have succeeded in nearly supplanting the operas of Paesiello, Guglielmi, Mayer, Paer, and even Cimarosa. In Germany, national predilections have rendered their sway perhaps somewhat less universal and exclusive; but, at all events, even there Rossini is the lord of the ascendant. Winter-nay, the incomparable Mozart, are rather toJerated than adored, as heretofore, and even Haydn and Beethoven, although the field which their genius had occupied was not quite the same, have been much less cherished since the intrusion of the Gran Maestro. In France, musical appetite is generally to be stilled with smaller fare. In a country where " Le Devin du Village," " Annette et Lubin," and such light food, are still capable of bringing good houses, the works of Gretry, D'Alayrac, &c. run little risk; and the compositions of Mehul, Boieldieu, &c. may bid defiance to alien intrusion. But although France may have been Jess fickle towards its native favourites than other countries, it has by no means been exempt from the Rossinomania. In one respect, indeed, France has outdone all its neighbours. Not content with feasting upon the productions of the Swan of Pesaro, nothing would do but to be in possession of the bird itself, in order to have to themselves all the golden eggs yet in expectancy. But the monopolizing speculation has not been very successful. Whether the bird, when thus secured, had done laying for good, or whether he have been over. fed, or whether the climate disagree with his nature and habits, so much is certain, that the eggs produced since have not been new-laid eggs; some, indeed, were found remarkably stale.*
Of the prodigious march and spreading of the Rossinian music in this country the reader is sufficiently aware. Our worship approaches idolatry, and surpasses that of all other nations. Of the sixty subscription.
* Of « Guillaume Tell,” the most recent French opera of Rossini, the writer of this paper has not yet had an opportunity of forming a judgment.