Page images
[ocr errors]


Such was the origin of the tax on pilgrims at Jagganátha. In a future number we intend to give an account of the present state of this chief seat of Hindoo superstition, and to notice the shocking abominations to which it has given rise. In the mean time we wish to state fairly, the way in which the control both of the pilgrims and the revenues arising from them has come into the hands of the British Government in India.

Under the Mahomedan and Mahratta rule, which preceded our's, it was customary for the supreme authority of the state to receive the revenues of

of his offence, to construct numerous temples; and he | the whole, however, the native princes suffered the likewise expended large sums on works of public utility, most severely, and gradually sank before the superior as tanks, wells, and bridges. He filled the whole of energy of the Moguls. The Rajahs retired to the the sacred land of Jagganátha with temples, the prin- | part of Khoorda best protected by natural difficulties cipal edifice being erected by his orders at an expense of access, where they built a fort and palace, and of from three to four hundred thousand pounds; the where they were found settled in 1803. During these date of its completion is stated to be A.D. 1196. He contests in or about Pooree, the images so much veenlarged the establishment, added fifteen Brahmins nerated by the one party, and abhorred by the other, and fifteen Sudra priests, and gave fresh splendour to were twice or thrice carried away and concealed, until the worship by the institution of numerous feasts. In the times appeared favourable for again setting them reward for the munificence of the monarch, the reign- upon their thrones in the temples. This religious ing prince has always held the honourable office of warfare was at last set at rest by the Mogul governsweeper to the idol. This service is still performed by ment establishing the tax on pilgrims, which is said the hereditary Rajah of Khoordah, with a splendid at one time to have yielded to them a revenue of broom, on the occasion of the principal annual feast, 90,000. Under these circumstances the zeal of the called the chariot festival.' An engraving of the Mahomedan rulers yielded gradually to considerations grand procession of the cars in which the idols are of interest. carried on this occasion, is given on the preceding page. The glories of the royal house of Orissa ended about the middle of the 16th century. An irruption of Mahomedans took place about 1558, headed by Kalapahar, the general of the Afghan king of Bengal, a relentless destroyer of Hindoo temples and images, who finally overthrew the independent sovereignty of Orissa. On this occasion the god of Pooree was again saved from destruction by hasty removal in a covered cart to a pit on the borders of the Chilka lake, where he was buried. Kalapahar was not, however, to be defrauded of so rich a prize; and having traced out the place of concealment, he dug up Sri Jeo and car-large districts from the chiefs or great proprietors, ried him off on an elephant as far as the Ganges. He there collected a large pile of wood, and setting fire to it, threw the idol on the burning heap. A bystander, however, snatching the image from the flames, threw it into the river, whence it was rescued by a faithful votary, who kept it in secret till the Emperor Akbar visited Orissa. That prince is said to have been impressed with so much reverence and admiration for this holy country, its temples, and Bramins, that he determined to interfere little in its affairs, and to leave a large share of authority in the hands of its native princes. The Rajah, thus reinstated in authority, bestowed his first care on the recovery of the relics of Jagganátha, which having accomplished, a new image was made according to the rules in the holy book, and again set up in the temple on a propitious day with much pomp and ceremony. About the end of the 16th century the kingdom was divided into two portions, of which that assigned to the Rajahship of Khoorda was esteemed the most important, as it included Pooree; and the king retained the hereditary office of sweeper in the temple of Jagganátha. Down to the present moment, though all political power of the Rajah of Khoorda is at an end, all deeds drawn out in the language of the country bear the date of the succession of the nominally reigning prince of that house, and are prefaced with a recital of his titles, which are in the pompous style adopted many centuries ago: "The illustrious hero, the lord of elephants, sove"reign of Bengal, supreme monarch over the rulers of “ the tribes of Ootkala, a divinity terrible to the wicked, "the protector of the grants enjoyed by the pious, "king of kings, like the lord of a thousand arms in "the field of battle-a comet to the martial race!"

who contracted for the payment of all the dues and taxes payable, on whatever account, by the inhabitants of their districts, not only for land rents but for all the various imposts of their system of finances.

In the collection of many ill-defined and arbitrary taxes, the greatest oppression was exercised over the helpless inhabitants, who had, moreover, no courts of justice to which they could appeal for redress. The British Government resolved, when the right of receiving the revenues devolved on them, to remove so fertile a cause of injustice and oppression, and leaving to the superior landlords and chiefs the collection only of their land rents, they forbad them to collect the other various imposts, and granted to the chiefs a compensation for what they had so resumed. On-a revision of the nature of these imposts, some that were unobjectionable and necessary, such as customs on merchandize, &c. they continued to collect under definite rules and laws enacted for the purpose, and others which were burthensome to the people they altogether abolished. It was under the operation of this system that the pilgrim tax came to be collected by the British Government of the East India Company. It could not have been left in the hands of a native chief, consistently with the principles of the system generally adopted; a system which afforded the greatest relief to the native population from the unlimited exactions of their chiefs. Whether the pilgrim tax should have been among those altogether abolished or not, is a question well deserving the best consideration of a christian nation. It is however but bare justice to say, that whatever may be the guilt of continuing such a system, it does not rest upon the East India Company alone. The nation at large must bear the responsibility of having sanctioned it. The Under the Mogul government, Orissa was torn by laws which regulate the collection of the pilgrim tax constant wars, insurrections, and internal commotions. | were passed in 1806 and 1809, and were, like other The Moguls were actuated by peculiar zeal against the laws passed by our Indian Governments, regularly laid idolatrous worship of Jagganátha, and lost no oppor- before Parliament, and published; and, not having tunity of annoying the Hindoos in the performance been set aside or objected to, they obtained the authoof their devotions at his temple, and many bloody rity of established law, under the sanction of Parliaencounters were the consequence between the two ment, and are thus adopted as the acts of the British nations, in which success was often doubtful. On | nation.

[To be continued.]


THE writer of this notice had occasion lately to visit the Infant School which has for some time been established at Exeter; and the beautiful display of moral and intellectual cultivation, exhibited by a set of little creatures, whose average age did not seem to exceed four or five years, directed his attention to Mr. Wilderspin's work on the subject.* Its perusal affords the most ample information respecting the nature and progress of a system which appears destined to be of immeasurable benefit to society; and the author's views are illustrated by such a variety of pleasing, interesting, and amusing anecdotes, that his book is really one of the most entertaining, as well as instructive, of its kind, we have ever met with.

It is generally known, that the system of Infant Schools originated chiefly with Mr. Wilderspin. The systems of Bell and Lancaster were, indeed, in operation; but, in them, the lowest age was seven; and Mr. Wilderspin's attention was attracted to the neglect and improper treatment of children under that age. His first essay, accordingly, to form an infant school, was limited to children between the ages of two and seven. His account of his first attempt is very amusing.

The cap suspended on a pole was, to Wilderspin, what the falling leaves were to Newton. The principle which he deduced from that incident, became the foundation of his whole system. For the history of his experiments, and their successful results,—and of the gradual introduction of infant schools, not only over England, Scotland, and Ireland, but in different parts of our colonies, we must refer to the work itself. The narrative will be found equally striking and gratifying. The system early received the patronage of his late Majesty, by whose munificence the children belonging to the school established at Brighton continued to be annually clothed to the time of his death. In her present Majesty, as might be expected from her kind and amiable disposition, it finds a supporter. The author has been invited by many enlightened clergymen to form schools in their parishes. The Bishop of London was an early supporter of the system, and established one of the best schools now existing, in the parish of Bishopsgate. Several other bishops have warmly recommended them to the attention of the clergy of their dioceses; they are, consequently, rapidly extending in every direction, and their consequences to the character of the next and succeeding generations will, in all probability, be such as the present have not even a conception of.

thirty prisoners committed to Reading gaol, and tried
at the Special commission in 1831, twenty-five only
could write; thirty-seven could read only; and
seventy-six could neither write nor read; and yet one
hundred and twenty were under forty years of age-
varying from eighteen to thirty-five.
Of the thirty
prisoners tried at Abingdon, six could read and write;
cleven could read a little; the remainder were wholly
uneducated. In Buckinghamshire, of the seventy-nine
prisoners convicted at Aylesbury, only thirty could
read and write. In Hampshire, of three hundred and
thirty-two committed for trial at Winchester, one hun-
dred and five could neither read nor write; and nearly
the whole number were destitute of the rudiments of
knowledge. In Kent, about half the prisoners com-
mitted to Maidstone gaol were unable to read or write;
and nearly the whole were totally ignorant of the na-
ture and obligations of religion. In Sussex, of fifty
prisoners put on trial at Lewes, thirteen only could
read and write; twelve could read a little; only one
could read well!"

"As soon as the mothers had left the premises, I attempted to engage the attention of their offspring. Did the bulk of the population consist of persons I shall never forget the effect. A few, who had been whose minds, from their most tender years, were thus previously at a dame-school, sat quietly; but the rest, powerfully impressed with the principles of religion missing their parents, crowded about the door. One and morals, how different would be their state, both little fellow, finding he could not open it, set up a in respect to character and happiness, from that in loud cry of "Mammy! Mammy!" and in raising this which we now find them! The connexion between delightful sound all the rest simultaneously joined. ignorance and crime is strikingly exhibited by the folMy wife, who, though reluctant at first, had deter-lowing statement. "In Berkshire, of one hundred and mined, on my accepting the situation, to give me her utmost aid, tried with myself to calm the tumult; but our efforts were utterly in vain. The paroxysm of sorrow increased instead of subsiding; and so intolerable did it become, that she could endure it no longer, and left the room; and at length, exhausted by effort, anxiety, and noise, I was compelled to follow her example, leaving my unfortunate pupils in one dense mass, crying, yelling, and kicking against the door! I will not attempt to describe my feelings; but, ruminating on what I then considered egregious folly, in supposing that any two persons could manage so large a number of infants, I was struck by the sight of a cap of my wife's, adorned with a coloured ribbon, lying on the table; and observing from the window a clothes-prop, it occurred that I might put the cap upon it, return to the school, and try the effect. The confusion when I entered was tremendous; but on raising the pole, surmounted by the cap, all the children, to my great satisfaction, were instantly silent; and when any hapless wight seemed disposed to renew the noise, a few shakes of the prop restored tranquillity, and perhaps produced a laugh. The same thing, however, will not do long; the charms of this wonderful instrument, therefore, soon vanished, and there would have been a sad relapse, but for the marchings, gambols, and antics, I found it necessary to adopt, and which at last brought the hour of twelve, to my greater joy than can easily be conceived. yearly sending out from the Sessional School mulRevolving these circumstances, I felt that this memo- titudes of persons who become shoemakers and rable morning had not passed in vain. I had, in fact, tailors, and are daily receiving from their masters found the clew. It was now evident that the senses the most gratifying assurances of the manner in of the children must be engaged; that the great secret which they conduct themselves. Their industry and of training them was to descend to their level, and skill in their various occupations seem to be in direct become a child; and that the error had been to ex-proportion to their success in school; and those who pect in infancy what is only the product of after years."

*Early Discipline Illustrated; by Samuel Wilderspin. Westley and Davis, 1 vol. small 8vo,

The prejudice, that education unfits the working classes for the duties which belong to their rank in life, once so prevalent, is rapidly passing away. The most ample experience is daily shewing its utter fallacy. "We are ourselves," says Mr. Wood of Edinburgh, (whose inestimable labours are well known to all who take any interest in the course of education)

[ocr errors]

have been fortunate enough to get our best scholars, have been known to inquire whether we have any of the like description to give them. Our greatest proficients are still content to 'dwell among their own

[ocr errors]

The annexed

people,' and to follow the occupations of their fathers." | stand, and struck with hammers. Though the infant schools are calculated to produce figure, which affords a curious example of this kind, the greatest amount of good in their application to the is taken from a manuscript of the fourteenth century: working classes, in whose character, indeed, they pro- it is intended as a representation of King David, and mise to effect a total revolution, yet nobody who has is affixed to one of his Psalms. witnessed their admirable effect in an early but not premature unfolding of the youthful mind, and in accustoming it to submit to discipline and authority, can fail to wish the same system practised in the education of every class. Its advantages awakened the attention of the higher ranks in Edinburgh, many of whom were anxious that their children should share in the benefits conferred on the children of the poor. Accordingly, a school for the children of the higher classes was established by Mr. Wilderspin in that city; and we have means of knowing, that it has gone on very successfully. It does not appear, how ever, that schools of this kind have as yet become numerous. Parents, in the higher ranks, are still not sufficiently aware of the inestimable benefits of which, by their negligence in this respect, they are depriving their offspring.


What varying sounds from yon grey pinnacles
Sweep o'er the ear, and claim the heart's reply'
Now the blithe peal of home festivity,

Natal or nuptial, in full concert swells:

Now the brisk chime, or voice of alter'd bells,
Speaks the due hour of social worship nigh:
And now the last stage of mortality

The deep dull toll with lingering warning tells.
How much of human life those sounds comprise;
Birth, wedded love, God's service, and the tomb!
Heard not in vain, if thence kind feelings rise,
Such as befit our being, free from gloom
Monastick,-pray'r that communes with the skies,
And musings mindful of the final doom.


D. C. July, 1832.

The arrival of kings, and great personages, was | anciently greeted by ringing the church bells.

Ingulphus, Abbot of Croyland, who died about 1109, speaks of them as being well known in his time, and says that "the first Abbot of Croylana [Abridged from FAULKNER'S History of Kensington.] gave six bells to that monastery, that is to say, two THE origin of church bells, is an interesting subject great ones, which he named Bartholomew and Beof enquiry. The ancients, as we learn from the direct ladine; two of a middling size, called Turketullum and incidental mention of them, by the old historians and Beterine; two small ones, denominated Pega and other writers, had bells for both sacred and pro-and Bega; he also caused the great bell to be made fane purposes. By Strabo we are told that market-called Gudla, which was tuned to the other bells, and time was announced by their sound; and by Pliny, produced an admirable harmony not to be equalled that the tomb of an ancient king of Tuscany was in England." hung round with bells. The hour of bathing was made known in ancient Rome by the sound of a bell; the night watchman carried one, and it served to call up the servants in great houses. Sheep had them | tied about their necks to frighten away wolves, or rather by way of amulet. In our own day this custom, like many others, serves to remind us of former times.

Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, is generally considered as the first person who introduced bells into ecclesiastical service, about the year 400. And we are told by ancient historians, that in the year 610, the | Bishop of Orleans, being at Sens, then in a state of siege, frightened away the besieging army by ringing the bells of St. Stephen's church; which is a clear proof that they were not at that time generally known in France.

The first large bells are mentioned by Bede in the year 680. Before that period the early British Christians made use of wooden rattles to call the congregation of the faithful together.

Handbells probably first appeared at religious processions, and were afterwards used by the secular musicians. The small bells were not always held in the hand; they were sometimes suspended upon a

The bells used in the monasteries were sometimes rung with ropes having brass or silver rings at the ends for the hand; they were anciently rung by the priests themselves, afterwards by the servants, and sometimes by those incapable of other duties, as persons who were blind.

In the flourishing days of Popery, bells were actually baptized, and anointed with the Chrism, or holy oil! They were also exorcised and blessed by the bishop, from a belief, that when these ceremonies had been performed, they had power to drive the devil out of the air, to calm tempests, and to keep away the plague. The ritual for these ceremonies is contained in the Roman Pontifical, and is still used in Roman Catholic countries, where it is usual to give the bells the name of some saint, as was formerly done in England.

The exploded doctrine of the church of Rome concerning bells is, that they have merit, and pray God for the living and the dead; secondly, that they produce devotion in the hearts of the faithful.

The dislike of evil spirits to bells is extremely well expressed by Wynken de Worde in the Golden Legend.

The passing bell was anciently rung for two purposes, one to bespeak the prayers of all good Chris

tian people for a soul just departing, the other to drive away the evil spirits who stood at the bed's foot, or about the house. Hence, perhaps, exclusive of the additional labour, was occasioned the high price demanded for tolling the greatest bell of the church, for that being loudest, the evil spirits might go further off! to be clear of the sound.

Such was the general opinion respecting the efficacy of bells before the Reformation; but since that period "it has been the usual course in the Church of England, and it is a very laudable one, that when any sick person lay drawing on, a bell should toll to give notice to the neighbours, that they might pray for the dying party, which was commonly called a passing bell, because the sick person was passing hence to another world; and when his breath was expired, the bell rung out, that the neighbours might cease their prayers, for that the party was dead." It is now only tolled after death.

The saint's bell was not so called from the name of the saint that was inscribed on it, or of the church to which it belonged, but because it was always rung out when the priest came to that part of the service, "Sancte, Sancte, Sancte, Domine Deus Sabaoth;" purposely that those persons who could not come to church, might know in what a solemn office the congregation were, at that instant, engaged, and so, even in their absence, be once, at least, moved, "to lift up


their hearts to Him that made them."
"Bells," says Dr. Fuller, are no effectual charm
against lightning. The frequent firing of abbey
churches, by lightning, confuteth the proud motto
commonly written on the bells in their steeples,
wherein each intitled itself to a six-fold efficacy, viz.

Men's death I tell, by dollfull knell,
Lightning and thunder, I break asunder,
On Sabbath all, to church I call,
The sleepy head, I raise from bed,
The winds so fierce, I do disperse,
Men's cruel rage, I do assuage.

Whereas it appears that abbey steeples, though
quilted with bells almost cap-à-piè, were not proof
against the sword of God's lightning. Yea, generally,
when the heavens in tempests did strike fire, the
steeples of abbeys proved often their timber, whose
frequent burnings portended their final destruction."
"It has anciently been reported," observes Lord
Bacon," and is still received, that extreme applauses
and shouting of people assembled in multitudes, have
so rarified and broken the air, that birds flying over
have fallen down, the air not being able to support
them; and it is believed by some, that great ringing
of bells, in populous cities, hath chased away thunder,
and also dissipated pestilent air. All which may be
also from the concussion of the air, and not from the

Ever since the introduction of bells, the English have been distinguished for their proficiency in the art of ringing, and for their partiality to this amusement.

The following are the weights of the principal bells in Europe :

Empress Anne's, Moscow

lbs. 432,000

Boris Godinuf's, ditto

Novogorod Great Bell

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

70,000 40,000 40,200 30,000 18,000

[ocr errors]








The following simple and beautiful lines were composed by the great poet above-named, for the use of his daughter when a child. A very little ingenuity will be sufficient to make such alterations as may be necessary to suit the prayer to the circumstances of every fireside.]

ERE on my bed my limbs I lay,

God grant me grace my prayers to say ;-
O God! preserve my mother dear
In strength and health for many a year;
And, O! preserve my father too,
And may I pay him reverence due,—
And may
I my best thoughts employ
To be my parents' hope and joy;
And O! preserve my brothers both
From evil doings and from sloth,
And may we always love each other,
Our friends, our father, and our mother :-
And still, O Lord, to me impart
An innocent and grateful heart,
That after my last sleep I may
Awake to thy eternal day!




Or all the great diseases, the remembrance of which
has been preserved to us by history, the black pesti-
lence of the fourteenth century is that which caused
the greatest ravages. In some respects there exists an
analogy between the disease of which we are speak-
ing, and the ASIATIC CHOLERA. The name of black
pestilence' seems to point out to us, in the scourge to
which it was applied, something similar to the disco-

loration of those who have died of the Cholera. Indeed many persons are of opinion, that the scourge, which in the present day has already swept off many millions, is only a new appearance of that which prevailed in the fourteenth century. It is of importance to ascertain whether this supposition is well founded. At all events, it is well to know the nature of that terrible instrument of death, which Divine Providence permitted to rage from the extremity of the east, to the western limits of the then known world. Professor Hecker, of Berlin, has just published a volume on this subject, in which he attempts, not only to answer the question as to the sameness of the two diseases, but also to solve many others, relative to the influence produced by the great scourge of the middle age. We therefore select a few of the details collected by M. Hecker, for the information of our readers.


In the first place, the documents which he has brought together, prove that the black pestilence was in fact the plague of the east, but with some additional features. Besides the swellings under the arm-pits, and in the groin, and the gangrenous tumours which characterize the plague, numerous black spots were observed over the whole surface of the body; the palate and tongue were black, and, as it were, filled with blood; and the patients were tormented with insatiable thirst. the most distinguishing and aggravated feature of the black pestilence, was the thorough alteration experienced by the lungs. These organs were struck with a gangrenous inflammation, which was indicated by acute pains in the chest, spitting of blood, and such an infection of the breath, that parents even fled from their children. The disorder was communicated, not only by contact with the infected patients, but also by touching any thing which had belonged to them. It was even imagined that the disorder was imparted by a glance or look-an error which may be ascribed either to the extraordinary lustre of the eyes, or to the belief in fascination which anciently prevailed.

The black pestilence did not advance westward by

the same route as the Cholera. Originating in Upper globe. The following are some of the remarkable Asia-as the Cholera also originated, (and it is also circumstances which he has collected from the hissaid, in China) the black pestilence descended towards tory of that time. the Caucasus and the Mediterranean Sea; and instead About the year 1333, numerous earthquakes and of entering Europe through Russia, it first spread over volcanic eruptions did much mischief in Upper Asia, the south, and after devastating the rest of Europe, it which in the year after successively appeared in Greece, entered that country. It followed the caravans, which Italy, France, and Germany. To these convulsions of came from China across Central Asia, until it reached the earth were added extraordinary inundations, which the shores of the Black Sea: thence it was conveyed drowned the harvests, and loaded the atmosphere by ships to Constantinople, the centre of commercial with moisture. These were succeeded by barren years, intercourse between Asia, Europe, and Africa. That scarcity, famine, and great mortality. Clouds of locapital was certainly the focus whence the pestilence custs invaded the plains of Europe, and covered them darted its poisonous rays in every direction, except with their dead bodies, which poisoned the air with towards Muscovy. In the year 1347 it reached Sicily, putrid exhalations. And lastly, dense mists, emitting some of the maritime cities of Italy, and Marseilles. a disagreeable smell, spread over whole countries, in In the following year, it spread from the European consequence of which the inhabitants were exposed to shores of the Mediterranean into the interior of the various accidents. continent. The northern part of Italy, France, Germany, and England, were invaded by it in the same year; the northern kingdoms of Europe in 1349; and finally, Russia, in 1351,-that is to say, four years after it reached Constantinople.

In France, the pestilence advanced by Avignon, at that time the seat of the papacy. It broke out there in a frightful manner: many persons fell down suddenly, as if they had been struck by a thunderbolt. The patients rarely reached the third day: as soon as any one found himself affected with tumours, either in the groin, or beneath the arms, he bade adieu to the world, and sought consolation only in the absolution granted to all the dying by Pope Clement VI, who arrogantly declared in a Bull, that God had given him the empire of heaven and earth.

In England, the disorder was characterized, as it had been at Avignon, by an almost sudden mortality, consequent on the spitting of blood. The patients who exhibited this symptom sunk under the pestilence in twelve hours, and rarely survived to the second day. The malady spread rapidly throughout the country, and covered it with the dead. (Ireland, however, at that time, suffered very little.) On the north seasas previously on the Mediterranean, vessels were scen floating at the pleasure of the winds, deprived of their whole crews, and carrying only corpses.

The following estimates, which may be relied on as pretty correct, will give an idea of the losses sustained by the population of Europe at that time.


Florence lost......... 60,000 | Strasburg 100,000 Basle........



Marseilles (in 1 month) 56,000 50,000

Erfurth* (at least)...
London (at least)...

60,000 Norwich

It will be readily admitted that facts like these must produce an injurious effect upon the health of the generations that were contemporary with them; but are they sufficient to account for the deadly malady which shortly after manifested itself? In order to answer this question, we ought to know, at least, whether there is any constant proportion between the supposed causes of the black pestilence, and the intensity of this scourge in the different countries which it devastated. M. Hecker's opinion, however, does not differ from that entertained by many physicians who lived in those times. The faculty of Paris, which was consulted on that occasion, assigned a mist or fog as the cause of the evil, and recommended the lighting of fires with aromatic plants. A learned man of Padua, attributed the pest to an occult quality of the atmosphere. A physician of Avignon, ascribed it (as some medical men in France in our day have done) to influences arising from the earth. In short, they knew at that time nearly as much as we do now, concerning the real canses of this great pestilence; and many doctors endeavoured to account for them by having recourse to astrology.

Nothing is more afflicting than the details which have been transmitted to us of the moral effects produced by the black pestilence upon the generation who witnessed it. There doubtless were some happy exceptions; but, among the majority, this scourge called forth only a manifestation of selfishness, frequently the most revolting, together with superstitious Inhabitants. practices and fanatical excesses. Then, as we have re16,000 cently witnessed in France, the people began by 14,000 16,000 ascribing to poison the almost sudden deaths which 100,000 they witnessed. The fanaticism of that age directed their suspicions against the Jews, who were the objects of general hatred, and whose riches moreover excited the cupidity of their enemies. Europe then presented one of the most frightful spectacles that can be conceived. The hapless Jews were seized, tortured, condemned, and burnt; in most cases the people did not wait for a judicial sentence, but themselves massacred the Israelites. They were heaped up by thousands in vast funeral piles. At Mayence, after a vain attempt at resistance, they shut themIf, notwithstanding all the progress made in the na- selves up in their quarters, to which they set fire, and tural sciences, the doctors of the nineteenth century twelve thousand perished! Pursued by the people-by have failed in ascertaining what are the causes of the the magistrates, who ought to have protected them, Cholera, how much more reason have we to acknow- and by the feudal lords, these miserable strangers ledge our ignorance of the causes of the black pesti- found n asylum but in Lithuania, where Casimir the lence. M. Hecker, however, has found in the history Great granted them his protection. This circumof the fourteenth century some facts which he thinks stance accounts for the great numbers of Jews who may be applied to explain the causes of its appear- are still found in Poland. He considers that it was principally caused by great commotions in the interior parts of the

About 200,000 country towns or villages were com-
pletely depopulated. At Paris, 500 patients died every
day at the Hôtel-Dieu. Italy, we are informed, lost
at least one half of her inhabitants. At Cairo, during
the height of the pestilence, ten or twelve thousand
died daily. In Mohammedan countries, on the great
roads, and in the caravanserais, nothing was seen but
deserted corpses.


This city, which at that time was one of the most commercial places in Germany, never recovered this blow,

While professing Christians thus avenged upon the ancient people of God that chastisement with which the same God had punished them, they, on the other hand, endeavoured to appease the divine displeasure,

« PreviousContinue »