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without having recourse to one which cannot be used without an exhibition of deplorable ignorance ; and inscriptions enough might be found in the compass of literature without filching one long appropriated by another party. Perhaps the term Polyglott is used by the publishers we have mentioned, not in ignorance of its meaning, but from the knowledge of the fact that the public attach to the word the idea of Bagster's very superior Bibles. This then, to say the least, is trading with another man's capital. It is to be regretted that the public should be taken in by a word totally misapplied, but so it is. Polyglott first means many-tongued, then it is applied to a Bible in one language, and we know an instance in which it was raised into a proper name. A lady had a handsome Bible presented to her, and when the question was asked, “Whose edition is it?' the reply was, “I believe it is Mr. POLYGLOTT's. The intrinsic merits of Mr. M‘Phun's Bibles render unnecessary any adventitious means for bringing them into circulation.
Chronicles selected from the originals of Cartaphilus the Wandering
Jew. Embracing a period of nearly nineteen centuries. Now first revealed to, and edited by David HOFFMANN, Hon. J. U.D. of Göttegen, author of some legal and miscellaneous works. In two series, each of three volumes. Series the first. Volume I. London:
Thomas Bosworth, 1853. This volume of above seven hundred pages in large octavo, purporting to be the first of six of similar dimensions, has somewhat of novelty about it, even in these days of bookmaking. Then it has an air of antiquity in its typography, its binding, and its style of writing, and altogether, apart from its contents, challenges attention. The theme itself keeps up the interest, for what fiction can present greater promise of attractiveness than that of the Wandering Jew? Many have used the traditionary existence of this personage as the nucleus of their imaginings, as Croly, for instance, in his charming novel of Salathiel, some years ago ; but it was reserved for the writer of this volume to throw around the legendary hero the events and opinions of nineteen centuries. It is seen at once that the subject admits of almost any development, and is capable of exercising great artistic skill. Apart from higher considerations Mr. Hoffman has succeeded in producing a volume of intense interest, and large as it is, and recondite as are portions of its contents, its readers will long to be speedily favoured with
We looked with some anxiety into the book, to see how far religious truth was maintained in the imaginary history of a man who takes a part in the commencement and progress of Christianity, beginning with the life of Christ, and ending with our own times. We are happy to be able to say that the tone and spirit of the work is salutary, and while, of course, we have not been able to read the whole, what we have read enables us to recommend it as a first-rate production, generally true to history, and pervaded by a fine religious spirit. The legend itself of
the Wandering Jew is traced and illustrated in the introduction, and the fiction becomes of high interest in the hands of the author. Here is a specimen :
* Thirteen years after this we again hear of him in Brabant, in the year 1575; when he is represented as still meanly clad, but as being a man of surprising knowledge, and of pleasing manners—as speaking the German in absolute purity; and also as so fine a Spanish scholar, that no nobleman in the Duke of Alva's
court could equal him ! But here again we find the Jew under the name of Isaac Lakedion, as is seen in the famed Brabantine ballad. Its English garb is probably a crude translation ; but seems to have been nearly as current in Britain as in Brabant. It has much of that legendary and ballad interest which marks the effusions of those days. This poetic chronicle of twenty-four verses is quite too extended to be here given at length, and yet perhaps too germane to our subject to be wholly omitted. The ballad is descriptive of his person—his miseries, his travels, and of the conversation held by him with the worthy burgesses of Brabant. Possibly the reader may be pleased at the insertion of a few of the verses. The burgesses say unto the Jew:"“We used to think your story
"" 'Twas by my rash behaviour
I wrought this fearful scathe;
As Christ our Lord and Saviour
Was passing to the grave,
His mild request I spurn'd,
His gentle pleading scorn'd. "" Are you that man of sorrow
• " A secret force expellid me
That instant from my home;
And since the doom hath held me
Unceasingly to roam, -
day nor night Isaac, the Wandering Jew?"
Must check my onward flight! * Then he replied: "Believe me,
«« I have no home to hide me,
No wealth can I display ;
Yet unknown powers provide me
Five farthings every day!
This always is my store-
'Tis never less, nor more!" - p. xxxiii. There are two passages we intended to quote, the account of the execution of St. Paul at Rome, and the description of the misery suffered at the siege of Jerusalem. We must confine ourselves to a portion of the latter, which will give our readers some conception of the way in which our author uses historical events to carry out his design.
It is a remarkable book in every respect, the production of a thoughtful, imaginative, and well-stored mind.
Now am I the better prepared to relate to thee, my good Aquila, the melancholy tale I promised, and which is so close a fulfilment of the prophetic words in Deuteronomy just given, and which during so many ages have been constantly read in all our synagogues.
* In the fourth month after Titus appeared before Jerusalem's walls, the famine had become so grievous that even those of the highest rank and greatest wealth were perishing for food. (Ab 9th, July15th.) Corn was then selling at sixteen manehs the bushel (about 1201. sterling); and in a few weeks after could not be had at any price. Their sword-belts, and the leathern coverings of their shields, their shoes, and various articles of apparel, were eagerly devoured. All the sinks, and every other receptacle of vile things, were searched with avidity, and raked up with care, under the hope of finding
something to serve the purposes of digestion ! The people were everywhere seen frenzied, and were often found reeling through the streets as if drunk with the sore disease of famine !
During that calamitous state of things, certain robbers, in the recklessness of their wanderings, passed close by a splendid mansion, and were astonished and ravished with delight at the savoury smell of food, and of such as they supposed
was nowhere to be found in all Jerusalem. They rushed into the house, and with threats accosted a “delicate lady” who was then solitarily brooding over her misery. They demanded the instant surrender of the dish of savoury meat she must have feasted on.
With a feeble voice, and an eye of maniacal indifference, she said her good friends had come in time, for that she had just eaten one half and placed the rest aside; and then uncovering the dish, behold the remains of her roasted infant !
• The robbers gazed on the food and then on the mother, with horror, wonder, and pity--they were wholly speechless ! “ Eat !” cried the distracted lady, " for I have eaten! - and are ye more delicate than a woman -- more tender-hearted than a mother? - or, if ye are too devoutly scrupulous to partake of such fare, leave the rest to me--and begone !" The robbers withdrew in awe and silence.
Poor Mary of Perea! I knew thee well in the day of thy might-in the day of thy luxury-of thy great beauty-and of thy delicateness. Oh, thrice wretched daughter of my valued friend, Eleazar of Bethezob! thy youth and loveliness and wealth, and even thy devoted love toward thy first-born, could not save thee from the loathing act thou hast done. Thy husband too, more fortunate than thou, went before thee and thy tender offspring, and escaped this terrific sight,' &c. &c.-P. 433.
One more extract will show how curiously a conjectural interpretation is given of an obscure passage of the New Testament:
• Now this Paul, in his then trouble, had, by an epistle from his prison, lately reminded my Nero that if death must come, it should be by decapitation, and not by crucifixion-he being a Roman citizen, possessed of the jus civitatis by succession; and moreover, as being of Tarsus in Cilicia, free-born and well-born. He made that appeal for his privilege with strong right, and with confidence that it would be allowed; and hence also he had forthwith written to Troas for his mantle, his parchments, and his books, that he might appear in judicature, not in a less seemly attire, and with his proofs of citizenship, than of right he could, and thus to die the death of a Roman. Paul ever had great and just repute for learning, and for an ardent and most winning eloquence; both well suited for those who were to witness his mock trial and cruel exit; and yet, as all knew, of no avail with Nero or his judges-but possibly of great avail with the multitude, and if not now, in future ages; for Paul's death seemed to him but the antepast of heaven.'
It is then added in a note
* This portion of the “ Chronicles” affords an interesting explanation of a verse, 2 Tim. iv. 13, in which, after he knew his fate was soon to die, he still manifests solicitude in regard to matters seemingly of so little moment as obtaining his cloak, parchments, and books. After a solemn exhortation to Timothy as to his care and diligence in the faith, and after some touching allusions to his own approaching death and preparedness, his then loneliness, the perfidy of Demas, and that no one was with him save Luke, he says: “ The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” Now this anxiety respecting the three things asked for has been somewhat carped at by the sciolous, and especially the infidels, as being unsuited to the decorum of his then condition-or by the pious, probably wholly misapprehended as to the true motive.
That St. Paul pleaded his privilege as a Roman citizen, and was successful in that plea, in that he was beheaded, whilst St. Peter (at another time, when and where we kuow not of a certainty) was crucified, can in nowise be questioned ; and that Paul should be solicitous to appear on his trial not only in his national dress, but with his proofs of citizenship, and, if need were, with his books to establish his exemption from crucifixion, are matters extremely probable and natural and hence he requests the cloak, parchments, and books to be sent. The mantle or cloak had by this time superseded the Roman toga, which perhaps had been little if at all worn since the reign of Augustus. It may be here remarked that none of the Biblical commentators have given this explanation of Paul's request to Timothy; but the desire of having the named articles is considered by them as being merely for his comfort during his remaining imprisonment, and that the parchments he so especially needed were only his commonplace books! We presume that this verse has nowhere received the illustration which the above passage of Cartaphilus sustains,
except in the two instances, first of the enlightened author of the Pursuits of Literature, who, though so emphatically a layman, has the merit of originating this view of the matter; which, secondly, has been entirely approved by the eloquent and learned Edward Miller, of Bognor, Sussex (see his Sermons, 1848, p. 107).' — P. 219.
Table-turning ; the Devil's modern Master-piece, being the result of
a course of Experiments. By the Rev. N. S. ĠODFREY, S.C.L. of St. Catherine Hall, Cambridge, and Incumbent of Wortley, Leeds;
author of Table-moving tested, &c. London: Seeleys, 1853. We should think the Journal of Sacred Literature demeaned itself by noticing the essentially low and ignorant delusion of Table-turning, were it not that it begins to trench on sacred ground, and mix its ridieulous conjurations with Christian texts and doctrines. In this point of view, duty demands that we should warn our readers against its pernicious tendency, especially when we see a grave clergyman of the Church of England maintaining its supernatural character, and giving the whole subject a religious turn. Mr. Godfrey adopts as his motto the expression, Hear me when I speak, and after that I have spoken mock on, intimating 'that there is no other alternative than between believing his theory, and laughing him to scorn.
We have read his book, but do not feel inclined to mock. Nothing is easier than to apply satire to this production, and indeed it is scarcely possible to treat its contents in any other way.
It seems that Mr. Godfrey has for some time been a patron of tablemoving and table-turning, and not only so, but that his curate and the " lay-agent' of his parish have assisted him in various experiments on the subject. He introduces the professed devilry of this book by telling us, 'On the evening of Monday, the 4th July, a few persons assembled at the apartments of Mr. R- the lay agent here, and after a short time succeeded in getting the table to turn, and also to lift up the leg in answer to questions. (We assure our readers, nothing but a sense of duty makes us allow ourselves to copy out such stuff, or inflict it upon them.] They immediately sent for me, and four of us, two ladies, my curate, and myself, went down to Mr. R—-'s house.' Rather questionable employment, we venture to think, of an Incumbent in the parish of Leeds, his curate, and the lay agent!' Surely three persons identified with the Church of England might be more profitably engaged than in this formal and serious manner meddling with a popular delusion, which will, through all ages, reflect discredit on England in the nineteenth century. We do not blame a clergyman for taking a part in a little nonsense when it comes in his way, but we had rather he should not seek after it, and join his curate, and the lay agent,' in assisting to stimulate morbid imaginations, and, as we cannot but think, crafty deceptions. Nor is this waste of time and influence a single case, for Mr. Godfrey gives several instances of a similar misappropriation. Thus, 'On the afternoon of Saturday, July 9th, (strange preparation for the Sunday !) at the Parsonage, three persons placed their hands, &c.' 'On the evening of Monday the 9th of July, a few persons were again assembled at Mr. R—-'s (" the lay agent"). I was there two hours.' • The following experiments were conducted at the National School Room, Wortley, on the evening of Monday, July 18. A worse use of a National School room we do not often hear of. Surely the Bishop of the diocese will see to this, and the other strange things of this book. We say this calmly and deliberately, and without being daunted by the sarcastic misapplication of a text of Scripture,—Hear me when I speak, and after that I have spoken, mock on.
Well, after these influential parties were gathered together, in conjunction with a few persons,' who are anonymous, between them they raised the dead from the grave-or, horrible to relate, they brought up a spirit from hell, to tell its history, not in a language spoken by mortals or immortals, but in a way never yet chronicled in history-even by the dumb eloquence of a table and its leg! Lest we should be thought to be exaggerating we must quote a passage from the book, although we need make an apology to our readers, for such a mixture of the almost blasphemous with the ludicrous which we place before them :
• I now wished to ascertain something concerning the spirit itself, and the following is the result of the cross-examination; and none but those who witnessed it and saw the table can form any idea of the varied expression thrown into the answers by the mode of rising-sometimes nearly overturning itself, sometimes rising up a long way very slowly, sometimes quickly and decidedly, giving a sharp, rap as it descended; sometimes its answer was so faint as to be little more than the heaving of the table, and always according to the nature of the question. I asked :-
• Are you an evil spirit ?—Yes. [A meek spirit, or it would have resented such a reflection on its character.]
• Are you one cast out by Jesus ?-No answer.
Are mad men possessed by devils ?— Yes.
• We took our hands off and commanded it to move. It did not. We replaced our hands, and I asked, Is it necessary to place our hands on the table ?-No. Why don't
you move the table when our hands are off? Are you restrained ? -Yes.
By whom? By the devil ?—Yes.
So it seems the great gulf' is passed which Dives in vain requested Lazarus to cross, and lost spirits in the nineteenth century can do what those in the first could not accomplish. They can come back to their father's home, and warn their brethren, lest they also should go to the place of torment! But we anticipate, and will rather take the above choice morsel of divinity and philosophy bit by bit, analysing and commenting as we go on.
First, we are anxious that the table should be carefully preserved, to be kept in the national Museum, along with the last veritable witch