Imatges de pÓgina

In the same spirit he conducts “ The of the barriers that have secluded them Israelite," a weekly paper. “ Liberty from intercourse with their fellow-citiof Conscience --- Humanity the object zens; the old code of laws has become of Religion,” is the title of one article obsolete, and on the new pages is inin the number before us, and it ex- scribed the name of the Jew, not only presses the whole aim and tendency of enjoying all rights and privileges with the movement which the editor ļeads. his Christian brethren, but fully deNothing is more probable than that soon serving them, and excelling in every the observance of Saturday will be abol- department of life in which he now is ished, and that of Sunday substituted. allowed and willing to engage. And his It is impossible that the enlightened religion — the holy doctrine of an indiJews of Cincinnati can continue to at visible Unity of God, of man's creation tach importance to a distinction which is in the image of God, of our destination, at once so trivial and so inconvenient to become by virtue, justice, and charity Indeed, we hear that some of the Jews contented in this, and happy in after of Baltimore have begun the change by life – is daily gaining more ground as holding their Sabbath schools on Sun- the only religion complying with the day. Who knows but that some rabbi, demands of reason and our destination bold and wise, shall appear, who will on earth. And Israel does not falter in lead his people to withdraw the bar the accomplishment of its holy mission, from intermarriage with Christians, and - to be the redeeming Messiah to all that at last this patient and long-suffer- mankind, to become a nation of priests, ing race shall cease to be “peculiar," teaching and preaching the truth.” and merge themselves in mankind ? The noble rabbis of Cincinnati are an

The golden rule seems to run in the enlightening and civilizing power in the very blood of the best Jews. One of city, and their fellow-citizens know it the publications of Dr. Lilienthal is a and are grateful for it." History of the Israelites from the days A place like Cincinnati needs the acof Alexander to the present time. He tive aid of every man in her midst who recounts the sufferings of his ances- is capable of public spirit. There is a tors from blind and merciless bigotry; great sum of physical life there, but and then states in a few words the much less than the proper proportion revenge which his people propose to of cultivated intelligence. The wealthy take for fifteen hundred years of infa- men of Cincinnati must beware of semy, isolation, and outrage.

cluding themselves in their beautiful “We have accompanied,” he says, villas on the other side of the hill, and " the poor exile through centuries of leaving the city to its smoke and ignoagony and misery; we have heard his

The question for Cincinnati, groaning and his lamentations. The and indeed for the United States, to dark clouds of misery and persecution consider, was well stated by Mr. Mayo have passed away; the bloody axe of in his celebrated lecture upon “ Health the executioner, the rack and stake of a and Holiness in Cincinnati,” one of the fanatic inquisition and clergy, were com- most weighty, pathetic, eloquent, and pelled to give way to reason and hu- wise discourses we ever read :manity; the roar of prejudice and blind “Shall our Western city children be hatred had to cease before sweet sa to lead the civilization of Amerivoice of justice and kindness. Israel ca by their superior manhood and wostands, while his enemies have vanished manhood? or shall they be buried out away from the arena of history; their of sight, or mustered into the invalid endeavors to make Israel faithless to corps' before they are thirty years of his God and his creed have proved fu- age, and hard-headed Patrick, slow and tile and abortive. Israel has conquered sturdy Hermann, and irrepressible Sampolitically and religiously. Day after bo, walk in and administer the affairs day witnesses the crumbling to pieces of the country over their graves ? "



TOWARDS the close of summer, captain informed me, shone from Heli

T ,

grate, and may at that season be ob- cause the island was about a hundred served flying from their native streets and fifty feet above the level of the sea, or squares in large flocks, like wild -a great boon to navigators, the neighgeese, with outstretched necks, and boring coasts being very low. But my round, protruding eyes. Some settle informant had been in the habit of reon the Scotch moors, where they in- garding Heligoland as a lighthouse and dustriously waddle themselves thin. nothing more; he could tell me nothOthers take short flights to neighbor- ing about its constitution, its manners, ing bathing-places, where they splash or its customs, and I determined to in the water with their goslings, strut visit it forthwith. proudly on the sands, display a ten- By the late wars upon the Continent, dency to pair, and are often preyed upon the political geography of the Elbe has by the foxes which also resort to those been completely changed. Between the localities. Many more cross the Chan- mouth of the river and Hamburg, the nel, and may be heard during two right bank formerly belonged to Holmonths cackling more or less loudly in stein, and the left to Hanover. Now every large hotel upon the Continent. both are Prussian. Hamburg itself is And in addition to all these there are under the wing of the Prussian eagle, the stragglers, a small and select and may soon be under its claw. The race, which defy the great gregarious feeling in that city is anti-Prussian ; but laws, and delight in taking solitary, and, the citizens were wise enough to side if possible, unprecedented flight. with their powerful neighbor, and to

I must own that it is my weakness to contribute troops. This has certainly pry into the untrodden nooks and cor- saved them from the fate of Frankfort, ners of life. I have wasted many pre- but it is not probable that Hamburg cious hours in toiling through black- will be allowed to remain a thoroughly letter folios and tracts which had no independent state. Prussia will probother merit than their rarity. And I ably abolish her diplomatic, and perhave put myself to the greatest pains baps her consular service, and permit and inconvenience to arrive at a desert her to retain certain important rights island out at sea, or some obscure vil and privileges. It is, at the present lage hid away among mountains, sim- moment, an anxious crisis for the great ply for the pleasure of feeling that I merchants. In Hamburg, fortunes are had been where few other civilized made with a rapidity, and to an extent, travellers had been. I have seldom re- unequalled in any Continental town; ceived any better reward than that, but this is owing to the freedom of the once or twice I have fallen upon a store port; but, were the Prussian customof facts, which, however insignificant, house system to be introduced, Stettin had at least the charm of being new, and Königsberg would spring into danand which have answered the purpose gerous rivalry, and her commercial inof stimulating me to fresh absurdities. terests would decline. ,

A few months ago I was standing on Hamburg is the only city in Europe the deck of a steamer bound from Lon- which bears much resemblance to New don to Hamburg. It was midnight, York. It has no antiquities, for the old and we were approaching the mouth of town was entirely burnt down about the Elbe. Right ahead was a light of twenty years ago. It has no treasuregreat brilliancy and power ; this, the house of art, it has not many “historical associations.” It is a city of busi- apparently brought his son there for ness, and four thousand persons meet the purpose of tuition ; holding the litogether every day in its Exchange. bretto between them, he translated with Its river is crowded with shipping; great rapidity and in a clear voice the American cars rattle along its streets; Italian words, at the moment that they and ferry-boats built on the American were sung, into one of the most guttuprinciple steam to and fro across the Al. ral of German dialects, thus playing the ster-Dam. Its hospitals, sailors' home, part of Dutch chorus to the entertainlibraries, and ornamental gardens are ment, and producing a conflict of sounds not inferior to those of New York itself: which it would be difficult to describe. in these two cities, if the dollar does jingle too often in conversation, it is I discovered, to my astonishment, sometimes made to shine in a worthy that Heligoland, in summer at all events, cause. After dusk, Hamburg becomes was by no means an isolated rock; dissolute and gay. It is difficult to pass that since 1840 it has been blessed with through a single street without hearing a Season ; that, celebrated for its waves, a violin. Lager-bier saloons, oyster- it has become the Scarborough of Northcellars, cafés, dancing-rooms, and res- ern Germany, and is visited by thoutaurants of every kind are lighted up, sands of sea-bathers every year. and quickly filled. Debauchery runs I took my passage in the little steamriot, and yet, strange to say, there is er which runs from Hamburg, and arvery little crime. The respectable rived at my destination at 10 P. M. In classes are less well provided for as the dim light of the moon and stars regards amusement. I went to the the island bore a fantastic resemblance opera, and heard William Tell. The to the Monitor, a little magnified ; the performance was mediocre, though far lights of the village answering to those superior to anything that could be of the hull, and the lighthouse to the done upon the English operatic stage. lantern at the mast-head. The island But I was chiefly amused in watch- presents this appearance only at a dising the habits of the gentlemen who tance and in a doubtful light. When patronized the stalls.

I walked over it the next morning I The custom of visiting and receiv- found that it was composed of a sanding at the opera was invented by the bank lying under a red cliff. The Italians, to avoid the trouble and ex- sand-bank was covered with houses, pense of receiving in their own homes ; which were divided by three or four from Italy it spread through Europe ; streets ; these were paved with wooden and although the opera-houses of Lon- boards. Every house was a shop, an don and Paris do not so closely resem- inn, or a lodging-house. The cliff is acble a public drawing-room as those of cessible on one side only, and is ascendFlorence and Milan, yet the Italian op- ed by means of sinuous wooden stairera could scarcely exist in those cities When the summit is reached, unless it were supported as much by one stands upon the real island, for the people of fashion as by people of taste. sand-bank below is an accident and an But I was hardly prepared to find in intruder.

intruder. Heligoland proper may be Hamburg a parody of polite life in this described as a precipice-plateau, conrespect. During the whole perform- taining a small cluster of houses, a lightance there was a continual interchange house, various pole-nets, springes, and of social greetings between corpulent other contrivances for catching woodship-chandlers, their heads violently cocks in their migratory flights, and greased for the occasion, and certain a few miniature potato and corn fields. frowsy women sprinkled scantily through The extent of this plateau is not quite the house. There was an old gentle- equal to that of Hyde Park. As soon man sitting next to me who turned the as I had made this discovery I felt an inperformance to a nobler use ; he had tense compassion for all persons of the


Teutonic* race to whom sea - bathing world, and if his heart remains as solionce a year happens to be indispensa- tary as his life? Everything dries up ble. However, . dull, it must at least in him; he becomes uncouth, bigoted, be economical, I thought; but this illu- selfish, egotistical, and usually ends by sion was dispelled when I found that falling into a semi-torpid state, and by there was a roulette-table in the dingy hibernating into death. little Conversations - Haus, and when I remember that once I had conmy landlord handed me in a bill which trived to creep into the centre of one would not have disgraced any hotel in of the most remote of the Cape Verde Bond Street or the Fifth Avenue. Islands. My mule suddenly turned

How on earth, thought I, can these into a by-path and broke into a cheerpoor deluded creatures pass their time? ful amble. Experience has proved to They get up at some absurd hour in me that, when a mule has thoroughly the morning ; they sail to a neighbor- made up its mind, resistance is out of ing sand-bank where they bathe and the question. I contented myself with then take coffee in a whitewashed pa- asking my youthful companion what vilion ; they return to breakfast, and the animal's probable intentions were. then — what can they do? There is The boy said that the mule was going nowhere to walk ; there is nothing to to see the Judge, and pointed to a lovely read ; and in the height of the season little cottage which came in view at there must be a scarcity of elbow-room. that moment. Then I recollected that Although every house offers accommo- I had heard this gentleman spoken of, dation to visitors, it has not unfrequent- and that I had a letter of introduction ly happened that persons have been to him. The mule carried me into the obliged to sleep on board the steamers stable from which I was conducted into which brought them, and to return to a drawing-room. There, for the first the main-land. Imagine an island be time during many months, for I had ing full, like an omnibus !

been travelling in strange lands, I saw Then a thought came upon me which a number of the Revue de Deux Mondes. wrung my heart. The Governor! How I plunged into it, and made an ineffectcould this unfortunate man exist? With ual effort to read every article at once. a precipice on one side of his house The Judge came in, and I at once perand a potato-field on the other, what ceived that I was in the presence of a could save him from despair and self- remarkable man. After an hour's condestruction ? This question was an- versation we began to interchange conswered for me when I heard that he fidences. He told me about his stuwas married.

dent dreams at Coimbra, of the nights My eccentric wanderings have at which he had passed in book-toil, - of least served to convince me of this, his aspirations, his poverty, and his exthat a man's sole refuge from the evils ile. Perhaps he saw a little compassion of solitude is to be found in the domes- in my eyes when he had finished, for tic sentiments. There is, it is true, a he added, “ Those young hopes have solitude of genius ; there are minds all been crushed, and yet I am happier which must climb out of the common in this desolate spot than I have ever air and breathe alone. There is also been in my life before.” The door opened the solitude of enthusiasm, which is at that moment, and a beautiful woman more common, and which is found came in, leading two little children by among a lower order of men, who be- the hands. come so possessed with a single idea that “ This is my happiness, sir,” he said, it leaves them neither by day nor night, as he introduced me to his wife. Then but is their bride, their bosom friend, he looked at his children, and his eyes and their constant occupier. But what filled with unutterable love. becomes of the ordinary man, if he is these,” he said “are my ambition.” excluded from the busy regions of the But before my visit to the island was

“ And

concluded, I found that a governorship have been the custom for the authoriof Heligoland was very far from being ties to kidnap convicted criminals and a tranquil retreat. The present Gov- deposit them on the main-land. Petiernor, it seems, had founded a new tions were being constantly presented constitution, and was charged with to the Home Government from the having assumed despotic powers, and magistrates, asking for more power; with having perpetrated various acts of and from the people, demanding the inhumanity. Governor Wall himself right to elect their own representaappeared in the light of a philanthro- tives. pist as compared with this military So, in 1864, a new constitution was ogre, who, having acquired a taste for inaugurated, by an order of her Mablood in the Crimean War, had been jesty in Council. Its plan is similar to sent to Heligoland to gratify his ruth- that extant in many other British colless propensities. He was as bad as onies, consisting of an executive counEyre, for he had suspended a native cil to advise the Governor; of a legispolitician from the Council. He was lative body, twelve members of whom worse than Sir Charles Darling, who are nominated by the crown, and twelve had defied a constitution ; for he had others annually elected by the people, destroyed one.

and forming the so-called Combined My curiosity having been excited by Court, by whom all money ordinances these complaints, I went to the proper have to be passed. The right of fransources of information, and in a few chise is exercised by all persons of hours had mastered the political history sound mind who have arrived at the of Heligoland.

age of twenty-one, and who have not In 1807 it was captured by Vice-Ad- been convicted of felony, - the last miral Russell from the Danes. From proviso, by the by, might be introduced that time until 1864 the government of with propriety in New York. The the colony consisted of a Governor, six candidates for representation must be, magistrates, and a closed popular body to a certain extent, men of property; called the Vorsteherschaft, containing, that is, they must own land to the value besides the magistrates aforesaid, eight of £ i per annum; or the half of a quartermasters and sixteen elders. boat; or the fourth part of a fishingThe elders were the tribunes of the vessel; or the tenth part of a decked people; the quartermasters acted as vessel; or must have a yearly income pilot officers, and superintended all of £ 4; or must pay a house-rent of questions of pilotage and wreck; while not less than thirty shillings a year. the magistrates had the power of nomi- The new constitution was at first nating persons to fill vacancies in the popular enough. The Heligolanders Vorsteherschaft, and appointed to them were willing to accept the benefits, but their own particular adherents, or else they soon began to complain of the dangerous political antagonists. The burdens, of civilization. The new GovGovernor was a Doge.

ernor determined to strike at the two A colony governed by pilots, lodging- great abuses of Heligoland, - the rouhouse - keepers, and small tradesmen lette - table, and the public debt, — could scarcely be expected to prove a which were entangled together in a

In 1820 there was a debt of very embarrassing way. Were the gam£1,800; in 1864, of £ 7,200. Owing to ing-table at once abolished, the numthe rapacity of the quartermasters, the ber of visitors would decrease, and pilot-trade fell into the hands of the those who, on the security of the gampeople of Cuxhaven. And in the isl- ing-table, had invested their money in and itself the wildest anarchy prevailed. the colonial funds, would suffer pecuniThe six magistrates were unable to ex- ary loss. It was therefore enacted that ecute their own decrees; there was no the table should be abolished at the exprison in the island, and it seems to piration of the lease (1871), and that in


« AnteriorContinua »