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is fold, he which delivereth the fame is to make waight, and he which receiveth, taketh heed that it be juft: feeing then that neither the obligation, cuftome, nor law doth bind me to cut, or weigh, much leffe unto the above mentioned fatisfaction, I refuse it all, and require that the fame which is due fhould be delivered
"The Chriftian's Anfwere.
It is no ftrange matter to here thofe difpute of equitie which are themselves most unjuft; and fuch as have no faith at all, de. firous that others fhould obferve the fame inviolable; the which were yet the more tolerable, if fuch men would be contented with reasonable things, or at least not altogether unreasonable: but what reafon is there that one man fhould unto his own prejudice defire the hurt of another? as this Jew is content to lofe nine hundred crownes to have a pound of my flesh; whereby is manifeftely feene the ancient and cruel hate which he beareth not only unto Christians, but unto all others which are not of his fect; yea, even unto the Turkes, who overkindly doe fuffer fuch vermine to dwell amongst them: feeing that this prefumptuous wretch dare not onely doubt, but appeale from the judgement of a good and juft judge, and afterwards he would by fophifticall reafons prove that his ab. homination is equitie. Trulie I confeffe that I have fuffered fifteen daies of the tearme to paffe; yet who can tell whether he or I is the cause thereof? as for me, I think that by secret meanes he hath caused the monie to be delaied, which from fundry places ought to have come unto me before the tearm which I promifed unto him; other wife, I would never have been so rafh as to bind myfelfe fo ftrictly: but although he were not the cause of the fault, is it therefore said, that he ought to be fo impudent as to go about to prove it no ftrange matter that he fhould be willing to be paied with man's flesh, which is a thing more natural for tigres, than men, the which alfo was never heard of? but this divell in fhape of man, feeing me oppreffed with neceffitie, propounded this curfed obligation unto me. Whereas he alleageth the Romaines for an example, why doth he not as well tell on how for that crueltie in afflicting debtors over grievously, the commonwealth was almost overthrowne, and that fhortly after it was forbidden to imprison men any more for debt? To breake promife is, when a man fweareth or promifeth a thing, the which he hath no defire to performe, which yet upon an extreame neceffity is fomewhat excufable: as for me I have promifed, and accomplished my promise, yet not so foon as I would; and although I knew the danger wherein I was to fatisfie the crueltie of this mifchievous man with the price of my Heth and blood, yet did I not flie away, but fubmitted my felfe unto the difcretion of the judge who hath juftly repreffed his beaftliness. Wherein then have I falfified my promife? is it in that I
would not (like him) difobey the judgement of the judge? Behold I will prefent a part of my bodie unto him, that he may paie himfelfe, according to the contents of the judgement: where is then my promise broken? But it is no marvaile if this race be fo obftinat and cruell againft us; for they do it of fet purpose to offend our God whom they have crucified: and wherefore? Because he was holie, as he is yet fo reputed of this worthy Turkish nation. But what fhall I fay? Their own Bible is full of their rebellion against God, against their priests, judges and leaders. What did not the very patriarchs themfelves, from whom they have their beginning? They fold their brother, and had it not been for one amongst them, they had flain him for verie envie. How many adulteries and abhominations were committed amongst them? How many murthers? Abfalom did he not caufe his brother to be murthered? Did he not perfecute his father? Is it not for their iniquitie that God hath difperfed them, without leaving them one onlie foot of ground? If then, when they had newlie received their law from God, when they faw his wonderous works with their eies, and had yet their judges amongst them, they were fo wicked, what may one hope of them now, when they have neither faith nor law, but their rapines and ufuries? and that they believe they do a charitable work, when they do fome great wrong unto one that is not a Jew? It may please you then, moft righteous judge, to confider all these circumftances, having pittie of him who doth wholly fubmit himfelfe upon your juft clemencie: hoping thereby to be delivered from this monfter's crueltie." FARMER,
Gregorio Leti, in his Life of Sixtus V. tranflated by Ellis. Farneworth, 1754, has likewife this kind of ftory.
It was currently reported in Rome that Drake had taken and plundered S. Domingo in Hifpaniola, and carried off an immenfe booty: this account came in a private letter to Paul Secchi, a very confiderable merchant in the city, who had large concerns in thofe parts which he had infured. Upon the receiving this news he fent for the infurer Samfon Ceneda, a Jew, and acquainted him with it. The Jew, whofe intereft it was to have fuch a report thought falfe, gave many reasons why it could not poffibly be true: and at laft worked himself up into fuch a paffion, that he said, “I'll lay you a pound of my flesh that it is a lie."
Secchi, who was of a fiery hot temper, replied, "If you like it, I'll lay you a thoufand crowns against a pound of your flesh that it is true." The Jew accepted the wager, and articles were immediately executed between them, the fubftance of which was, "That if Secchi won, he thould himself cut the flesh with a sharp knife from whatever part of the Jew's body he pleafed." Unfortunately for the Jew, the truth of the account was foon after confirmed, by other advices from the Weft-Indies, which threw him almost into
'diftraction; efpecially when he was informed that Secchi had folemnly fworn he would compel him to the exact literal performance of his contract, and was determined to cut a pound of fleth from that part of his body which it is not neceffary to men. tion. Upon this he went to the governor of Rome, and begged he would interpofe in the affair, and ufe his authority to prevail with Secchi to accept of a thousand piftoles as an equivalent for the pound of flesh but the governor not daring to take upon him to determine a cafe of fo uncommon a nature, made a report of it to the pope, who fent for them both, and having heard the articles read, and informed himself perfectly of the whole affair from their own mouths, faid, "When contracts are made, it is juft they fhould be fulfilled, as we intend this fhall. Take a knife, therefore, Secchi, and cut a pound of flesh from any part you please of the Jew's body. We would advife you, however, to be very careful; for if you cut but a fcruple or grain more or less than your due, you fhall certainly be hanged. Go, and bring hither a knife, and a pair of fcales, and let it be done in our prefence."
The merchant at these words, began to tremble like an afpinleaf, and throwing himself at his holinefs's feet, with tears in his eyes protefted, "It was far from his thoughts to infift upon the performance of the contract." And being afked by the pope what he demanded; anfwered, "Nothing, holy father, but your bene diction, and that the articles may be torn in pieces." Then turning to the Jew, he asked him, "What he had to fay, and whether he was content." The Jew answered, That he thought himself extremely happy to come off at so easy a rate, and that he was perfectly content.' "But we are not content," replied Sixtus, "nor is there fufficient fatisfaction made to our laws. We defire to know what authority you have to lay fuch wagers? The fubjects of princes are the property of the ftate, and have no right to difpofe of their bodies, nor any part of them, without the express confent of their fovereigns."
They were both immediately fent to prifon, and the governor ordered to procecd against them with the utmoft feverity of the law, that others might be deterred by their example from laying any more fuch wagers.- [The governor interceding for them, and propofing a fine of a thoufand crowns each, Sixtus ordered him to condemn them both to death, the Jew for felling his life, by confenting to have a pound of flesh cut from his body, which he faid was direct fuicide, and the merchant for premeditated murder, in making a contract with the other that he knew muft be the occafion of his death.]
As Secchi was of a very good family, having many great friends and relations, and the jew one of the moft leading men in the fynagogue, they both had recourfe to petitions. Strong application was inade to cardinal Montalto, to intercede with his holiness at
leaft to fpare their lives. Sixtus, who did not really design to put them to death, but to deter others from fuch practices, at laft con fented to change the sentence into that of the galleys, with liberty to buy off that too, by paying each of them two thousand crowns, to be applied to the ufe of the hofpital which he had lately founded, before they were released.
Life of Sixtus V. Fol. B. VII. p. 293, &c.
In a Perfian Manufcript in the poffeffion of Enfign Thomas Munro, of the first battalion of Sepoys, now at Tanjore, is found the following ftory of a Jew and a Muffulman. Several leaves being wanting both at the beginning and end of the Mf. its age has not been afcertained. The tranflation, in which the idiom is Perfian, though the words are English, was made by Mr. Munro, and kindly communicated to me (together with a copy of the original) by Daniel Braithwaite, Efq.
"It is related, that in a town of Syria a poor Muffulman lived in the neighbourhood of a rich Jew. One day he went to the Jew, and faid, lend me 100 dinars, that I may trade with it, and I will give thee a share of the gain.-This Muffulman had a beautiful wife, and the Jew had feen and fallen in love with her, and thinking this a lucky opportunity, he faid, I will not do thus, but I will give thee a hundred dinars, with this condition, that after fix months thou shalt reftore it to me. But give me a bond in this form, that if the term of the agreement shall be exceeded one day, I fhall cut a pound of flesh from thy body, from whatever part I choose. The Jew thought that by this means he might perhaps come to enjoy the Muffulman's wife. The Muffulman was dejected and said, how can this be? But as his diftrefs was extreme, he took the money on that condition, and gave the bond, and fet out on a journey; and in that journey he acquired much gain, and he was every day faying to himfelf, God forbid that the term of the agreement fhould pafs away, and the Jew bring vexation upon me. He therefore gave hundred gold dinars into the hand of a trusty person, and fent him home to give it to the Jew. But the people of his own house, being" without money, spent it in maintaining themfelves. When he returned from his journey, the Jew required payment of the money,. and the pound of flesh. The Muffulman said, I sent thy money a long time ago. The Jew faid, thy money came not to me. When this on examination appeared to be true, the Jew carried the Muffulman before the Cazi, and reprefented the affair. The Cazi faid to the Muffulman, either fatisfy the Jew, or give the pound of flesh. The Muffulman not agreeing to this, faid, let us go to another Cazi. When they went, he also spoke in the fame manner. The Muffulman afked the advice of an ingenious friend. He faid,
"fay to him, let us go to the Cazi of Hems.* Go there, for thy bufinefs will be well." Then the Muffulman went to the Jew, and faid, I fhall be fatisfied with the decree of the Cazi of Hems; the Jew faid, I alfo fhall be fatisfied. Then both departed for the city of Hems. When they prefented themselves before the judgement-feat, the Jew faid, O my Lord Judge, this man borrowed an hundred dinars of me, and pledged a pound of flesh from his own body. Command that he give the money and the flesh. It happened, that the Cazi was the friend of the father of the Muffulman, and for this refpect, he said to the Jew, "Thou fayeft true, it is the purport of the bond; and he defired, that they should bring a fharp knife. The Muffulman on hearing this, became fpeechless. The knife being brought, the Cazi turned his face to the Jew, and faid, "Arife, and cut one pound of flesh from the body of him, in fuch a manner, that there may not be one grain more or less, and if more or lefs thou fhalt cut, I fhall order thee to be killed. The Jew faid, I cannot. I fhall leave this bufinefs and depart. The Cazi faid, thou mayeft not leave it. He faid, O Judge, I have released him. The Judge faid, it cannot be; either cut the flesh, or pay the expence of his journey. It was settled at two hundred dinars; the Jew paid another hundred, and departed.”
To the collection of novels, &c. wherein the plot of the foregoing play occurs, may be added another, viz. from " Roger Bontemps en Belle Humeur." In the ftory here related of the Jew and the Chriftian, the Judge is made to be Solyman, Emperor of the Turks. See the edition of 1731, Tom. II. p. 105.
So far Mr. Douce :-Perhaps, this Tale (like that of Parnell's Hermit,) may have found its way into every language. STEEVENS.
Hems-Emeffa, a city of Syria, long. 70. lat. 34.
The Orientals fay that Hippocrates made his ordinary refidence there; and the Chriftians of that country have a tradition, that the head of St. John the Baptift was found there, under the reign of Theodofius the younger.
This city was famous in the times of paganism for the Temple of the Sun, under the name of Heliogabalus, from which the Roman emperor took his name. It was taken from the Muffulmen by the Tartars, in the year of Christ 1098, Saladin retook it in 1187. The Tartars took it in the year 1258. Afterwards it paffed into the hands of the Mamalukes, and from them to the Turks, who are now in potletion of it. This city fuffered greatly by a most dreadful earthquake in 1157, when the Franks were in patletion of Syria. HERBELOT.
+ Here follows the relation of a number of unlucky adventures, in which the Muffulman is involved by the way; but as they only tend to show the fagacity of the Cazi in extricating him from then, and have no connection with Shylock, I have omitted them. T. M.
THE END OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.