The Bible in Spain, by George Borrow

Chapter 52

The Jolly Hosteler — Aspirants for Glory — A Portrait — Hamalos — Solomons — An Expedition — The Yeoman Soldier — The Excavations — The Pull by the Skirt — Judah and his Father — Judah’s Pilgrimage — The Bushy Beard — The False Moors — Judah and the King’s Son — Premature Old Age.

Perhaps it would have been impossible to have chosen a situation more adapted for studying at my ease Gibraltar and its inhabitants, than that which I found myself occupying about ten o’clock on the following morning. Seated on a small bench just opposite the bar, close by the door, in the passage of the hostelry at which I had taken up my temporary abode, I enjoyed a view of the square of the exchange and all that was going on there, and by merely raising my eyes, could gaze at my leisure on the stupendous hill which towers above the town to an altitude of some thousand feet. I could likewise observe every person who entered or left the house, which is one of great resort, being situated in the most-frequented place of the principal thoroughfare of the town. My eyes were busy and so were my ears. Close beside me stood my excellent friend Griffiths, the jolly hosteler, of whom I take the present opportunity of saying a few words, though I dare say he has been frequently described before, and by far better pens. Let those who know him not figure to themselves a man of about fifty, at least six feet in height, and weighing some eighteen stone, an exceedingly florid countenance and good features, eyes full of quickness and shrewdness, but at the same time beaming with good nature. He wears white pantaloons, white frock, and white hat, and is, indeed, all white, with the exception of his polished Wellingtons and rubicund face. He carries a whip beneath his arm, which adds wonderfully to the knowingness of his appearance, which is rather more that of a gentleman who keeps an inn on the Newmarket road, “purely for the love of travellers, and the money which they carry about them,” than of a native of the rock. Nevertheless, he will tell you himself that he is a rock lizard; and you will scarcely doubt it when, besides his English, which is broad and vernacular, you hear him speak Spanish, ay, and Genoese too, when necessary, and it is no child’s play to speak the latter, which I myself could never master. He is a good judge of horse-flesh, and occasionally sells a “bit of a blood,” or a Barbary steed to a young hand, though he has no objection to do business with an old one; for there is not a thin, crouching, liver-faced lynx-eyed Jew of Fez capable of outwitting him in a bargain: or cheating him out of one single pound of the fifty thousand sterling which he possesses; and yet ever bear in mind that he is a good-natured fellow to those who are disposed to behave honourably to him, and know likewise that he will lend you money, if you are a gentleman, and are in need of it; but depend upon it, if he refuse you, there is something not altogether right about you, for Griffiths knows HIS WORLD, and is not to be made a fool of.

There was a prodigious quantity of porter consumed in my presence during the short hour that I sat on the bench of that hostelry of the rock. The passage before the bar was frequently filled with officers, who lounged in for a refreshment which the sultry heat of the weather rendered necessary, or at least inviting; whilst not a few came galloping up to the door on small Barbary horses, which are to be found in great abundance at Gibraltar. All seemed to be on the best terms with the host, with whom they occasionally discussed the merits of particular steeds, and whose jokes they invariably received with unbounded approbation. There was much in the demeanour and appearance of these young men, for the greater part were quite young, which was highly interesting and agreeable. Indeed, I believe it may be said of English officers in general, that in personal appearance, and in polished manners, they bear the palm from those of the same class over the world. True it is, that the officers of the royal guard of Russia, especially of the three noble regiments styled the Priberjensky, Simeonsky, and Finlansky polks might fearlessly enter into competition in almost all points with the flower of the British army; but it must be remembered, that those regiments are officered by the choicest specimens of the Sclavonian nobility, young men selected expressly for the splendour of their persons, and for the superiority of their mental endowments; whilst, probably, amongst all the fair-haired Angle–Saxons youths whom I now saw gathered near me, there was not a single one of noble ancestry, nor of proud and haughty name; and certainly, so far from having been selected to flatter the pride and add to the pomp of a despot, they had been taken indiscriminately from a mass of ardent aspirants for military glory, and sent on their country’s service to a remote and unhealthy colony. Nevertheless, they were such as their country might be proud of, for gallant boys they looked, with courage on their brows, beauty and health on their cheeks, and intelligence in their hazel eyes.

Who is he who now stops before the door without entering, and addresses a question to my host, who advances with a respectful salute? He is no common man, or his appearance belies him strangely. His dress is simple enough; a Spanish hat, with a peaked crown and broad shadowy brim — the veritable sombrero — jean pantaloons and blue hussar jacket; — but how well that dress becomes one of the most noble-looking figures I ever beheld. I gazed upon him with strange respect and admiration as he stood benignantly smiling and joking in good Spanish with an impudent rock rascal, who held in his hand a huge bogamante, or coarse carrion lobster, which he would fain have persuaded him to purchase. He was almost gigantically tall, towering nearly three inches above the burly host himself, yet athletically symmetrical, and straight as the pine tree of Dovrefeld. He must have counted eleven lustres, which cast an air of mature dignity over a countenance which seemed to have been chiseled by some Grecian sculptor, and yet his hair was black as the plume of the Norwegian raven, and so was the moustache which curled above his well-formed lip. In the garb of Greece, and in the camp before Troy, I should have taken him for Agamemnon. “Is that man a general?” said I to a short queer-looking personage, who sat by my side, intently studying a newspaper. “That gentleman,” he whispered in a lisping accent, “is, sir, the Lieutenant–Governor of Gibraltar.”

On either side outside the door, squatting on the ground, or leaning indolently against the walls, were some half dozen men of very singular appearance. Their principal garment was a kind of blue gown, something resembling the blouse worn by the peasants of the north of France, but not so long; it was compressed around their waists by a leathern girdle, and depended about half way down their thighs. Their legs were bare, so that I had an opportunity of observing the calves, which appeared unnaturally large. Upon the head they wore small skull-caps of black wool. I asked the most athletic of these men, a dark-visaged fellow of forty, who they were. He answered, “hamalos.” This word I knew to be Arabic, in which tongue it signifies a porter; and, indeed, the next moment, I saw a similar fellow staggering across the square under an immense burden, almost sufficient to have broken the back of a camel. On again addressing my swarthy friend, and enquiring whence he came, he replied, that he was born at Mogadore, in Barbary, but had passed the greatest part of his life at Gibraltar. He added, that he was the “capitaz,” or head man of the “hamalos” near the door. I now addressed him in the Arabic of the East, though with scarcely the hope of being understood, more especially as he had been so long from his own country. He however answered very pertinently, his lips quivering with eagerness, and his eyes sparkling with joy, though it was easy to perceive that the Arabic, or rather the Moorish, was not the language in which he was accustomed either to think or speak. His companions all gathered round and listened with avidity, occasionally exclaiming, when anything was said which they approved of: “Wakhud rajil shereef hada, min beled bel scharki.” (A holy man this from the kingdoms of the East.) At last I produced the shekel, which I invariably carry about me as a pocket-piece, and asked the capitaz whether he had ever seen that money before. He surveyed the censer and olive-branch for a considerable time, and evidently knew not what to make of it. At length he fell to inspecting the characters round about it on both sides, and giving a cry, exclaimed to the other hamalos: “Brothers, brothers, these are the letters of Solomon. This silver is blessed. We must kiss this money.” He then put it upon his head, pressed it to his eyes, and finally kissed it with enthusiasm as did successively all his brethren. Then regaining it, he returned it to me, with a low reverence. Griffiths subsequently informed me, that the fellow refused to work during all the rest of the day, and did nothing but smile, laugh, and talk to himself.

“Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters, sir,” said the queer-looking personage before mentioned; he was a corpulent man, very short, and his legs particularly so. His dress consisted of a greasy snuff-coloured coat, dirty white trousers, and dirtier stockings. On his head he wore a rusty silk hat, the eaves of which had a tendency to turn up before and behind. I had observed that, during my conversation with the hamalos, he had several times uplifted his eyes from the newspaper, and on the production of the shekel had grinned very significantly, and had inspected it when in the hand of the capitaz. “Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters,” said he; “I guessed you was one of our people before you spoke to the hamalos. Sir, it does my heart good to see a gentleman of your appearance not above speaking to his poor brethren. It is what I do myself not unfrequently, and I hope God will blot out my name, and that is Solomons, when I despise them. I do not pretend to much Arabic myself, yet I understood you tolerably well, and I liked your discourse much. You must have a great deal of shillam eidri, nevertheless you startled me when you asked the hamalo if he ever read the Torah; of course you meant with the meforshim; poor as he is, I do not believe him becoresh enough to read the Torah without the commentators. So help me, sir, I believe you to be a Salamancan Jew; I am told there are still some of the old families to be found there. Ever at Tudela, sir? not very far from Salamanca, I believe; one of my own kindred once lived there: a great traveller, sir, like yourself; went over all the world to look for the Jews, — went to the top of Sinai. Anything that I can do for you at Gibraltar, sir? Any commission; will execute it as reasonably, and more expeditiously than any one else. My name is Solomons. I am tolerably well known at Gibraltar; yes, sir, and in the Crooked Friars, and, for that matter, in the Neuen Stein Steg, at Hamburgh; so help me, sir, I think I once saw your face at the fair at Bremen. Speak German, sir? though of course you do. Allow me, sir, to offer you a glass of bitters. I wish, sir, they were mayim, hayim for your sake, I do indeed, sir, I wish they were living waters. Now, sir, do give me your opinion as to this matter (lowering his voice and striking the newspaper). Do you not think it is very hard that one Yudken should betray the other? When I put my little secret beyad peluni, — you understand me, sir? — when I entrust my poor secret to the custody of an individual, and that individual a Jew, a Yudken, sir, I do not wish to be blown, indeed, I do not expect it. In a word, what do you think of the GOLD DUST ROBBERY, and what will be done to those unfortunate people, who I see are convicted?”

That same day I made enquiry respecting the means of transferring myself to Tangier, having no wish to prolong my stay at Gibraltar, where, though it is an exceedingly interesting place to an observant traveller, I had no particular business to detain me. In the evening I was visited by a Jew, a native of Barbary, who informed me that he was secretary to the master of a small Genoese bark which plied between Tangier and Gibraltar. Upon his assuring me that the vessel would infallibly start for the former place on the following evening, I agreed with him for my passage. He said that as the wind was blowing from the Levant quarter, the voyage would be a speedy one. Being desirous now of disposing to the most advantage of the short time which I expected to remain at Gibraltar, I determined upon visiting the excavations, which I had as yet never seen, on the following morning, and accordingly sent for and easily obtained the necessary permission.

About six on Tuesday morning, I started on this expedition, attended by a very intelligent good-looking lad of the Jewish persuasion, one of two brothers who officiated at the inn in the capacity of valets de place.

The morning was dim and hazy, yet sultry to a degree. We ascended a precipitous street, and proceeding in an easterly direction, soon arrived in the vicinity of what is generally known by the name of the Moorish Castle, a large tower, but so battered by the cannon balls discharged against it in the famous siege, that it is at present little better than a ruin; hundreds of round holes are to be seen in its sides, in which, as it is said, the shot are still imbedded; here, at a species of hut, we were joined by an artillery sergeant, who was to be our guide. After saluting us, he led the way to a huge rock, where he unlocked a gate at the entrance of a dark vaulted passage which passed under it, emerging from which passage we found ourselves in a steep path, or rather staircase, with walls on either side.

We proceeded very leisurely, for hurry in such a situation would have been of little avail, as we should have lost our breath in a minute’s time. The soldier, perfectly well acquainted with the locality, stalked along with measured steps, his eyes turned to the ground.

I looked fully as much at that man as at the strange place where we now were, and which was every moment becoming stranger. He was a fine specimen of the yeoman turned soldier; indeed, the corps to which he belonged consists almost entirely of that class. There he paces along, tall, strong, ruddy, and chestnut-haired, an Englishman every inch; behold him pacing along, sober, silent, and civil, a genuine English soldier. I prize the sturdy Scot, I love the daring and impetuous Irishman; I admire all the various races which constitute the population of the British isles; yet I must say that, upon the whole, none are so well adapted to ply the soldier’s hardy trade as the rural sons of old England, so strong, so cool, yet, at the same time, animated with so much hidden fire. Turn to the history of England and you will at once perceive of what such men are capable; even at Hastings, in the grey old time, under almost every disadvantage, weakened by a recent and terrible conflict, without discipline, comparatively speaking, and uncouthly armed, they all but vanquished the Norman chivalry. Trace their deeds in France, which they twice subdued; and even follow them to Spain, where they twanged the yew and raised the battle-axe, and left behind them a name of glory at Inglis Mendi, a name that shall last till fire consumes the Cantabrian hills. And, oh, in modern times, trace the deeds of these gallant men all over the world, and especially in France and Spain, and admire them, even as I did that sober, silent, soldier-like man who was showing me the wonders of a foreign mountain fortress, wrested by his countrymen from a powerful and proud nation more than a century before, and of which he was now a trusty and efficient guardian.

We arrived close to the stupendous precipice, which rises abruptly above the isthmus called the neutral ground, staring gauntly and horridly at Spain, and immediately entered the excavations. They consist of galleries scooped in the living rock at the distance of some twelve feet from the outside, behind which they run the whole breadth of the hill in this direction. In these galleries, at short distances, are ragged yawning apertures, all formed by the hand of man, where stand the cannon upon neat slightly-raised pavements of small flint stones, each with its pyramid of bullets on one side, and on the other a box, in which is stowed the gear which the gunner requires in the exercise of his craft. Everything was in its place, everything in the nicest English order, everything ready to scathe and overwhelm in a few moments the proudest and most numerous host which might appear marching in hostile array against this singular fortress on the land side.

There is not much variety in these places, one cavern and one gun resembling the other. As for the guns, they are not of large calibre, indeed, such are not needed here, where a pebble discharged from so great an altitude would be fraught with death. On descending a shaft, however, I observed, in one cave of special importance, two enormous carronades looking with peculiar wickedness and malignity down a shelving rock, which perhaps, although not without tremendous difficulty, might be scaled. The mere wind of one of these huge guns would be sufficient to topple over a thousand men. What sensations of dread and horror must be awakened in the breast of a foe when this hollow rock, in the day of siege, emits its flame, smoke, and thundering wind from a thousand yawning holes; horror not inferior to that felt by the peasant of the neighbourhood when Mongibello belches forth from all its orifices its sulphureous fires.

Emerging from the excavations, we proceeded to view various batteries. I asked the sergeant whether his companions and himself were dexterous at the use of the guns. He replied that these cannons were to them what the fowling-piece is to the fowler, that they handled them as easily, and, he believed, pointed them with more precision, as they seldom or never missed an object within range of the shot. This man never spoke until he was addressed, and then the answers which he gave were replete with good sense, and in general well worded. After our excursion, which lasted at least two hours, I made him a small present, and took leave with a hearty shake of the hand.

In the evening I prepared to go on board the vessel bound for Tangier, trusting in what the Jewish secretary had told me as to its sailing. Meeting him, however, accidentally in the street, he informed me that it would not start until the following morning, advising me at the same time to be on board at an early hour. I now roamed about the streets until night was beginning to set in, and becoming weary, I was just about to direct my steps to the inn, when I felt myself gently pulled by the skirt. I was amidst a concourse of people who were gathered around some Irish soldiers who were disputing, and I paid no attention; but I was pulled again more forcibly than before, and I heard myself addressed in a language which I had half forgotten, and which I scarcely expected ever to hear again. I looked round, and lo! a tall figure stood close to me and gazed in my face with anxious inquiring eyes. On its head was the kauk or furred cap of Jerusalem; depending from its shoulders, and almost trailing on the ground, was a broad blue mantle, whilst kandrisa or Turkish trousers enveloped its nether limbs. I gazed on the figure as wistfully as it gazed upon me. At first the features appeared perfectly strange, and I was about to exclaim, I know you not, when one or two lineaments struck me, and I cried, though somewhat hesitatingly, “Surely this is Judah Lib.”

I was in a steamer in the Baltic in the year ‘34, if I mistake not. There was a drizzling rain and a high sea, when I observed a young man of about two and twenty leaning in a melancholy attitude against the side of the vessel. By his countenance I knew him to be one of the Hebrew race, nevertheless there was something very singular in his appearance, something which is rarely found amongst that people, a certain air of nobleness which highly interested me. I approached him, and in a few minutes we were in earnest conversation. He spoke Polish and Jewish German indiscriminately. The story which he related to me was highly extraordinary, yet I yielded implicit credit to all his words, which came from his mouth with an air of sincerity which precluded doubt; and, moreover, he could have no motive for deceiving me. One idea, one object, engrossed him entirely: “My father,” said he, in language which strongly marked his race, “was a native of Galatia, a Jew of high caste, a learned man, for he knew Zohar, 23 and he was likewise skilled in medicine. When I was a child of some eight years, he left Galatia, and taking his wife, who was my mother, and myself with him, he bent his way unto the East, even to Jerusalem; there he established himself as a merchant, for he was acquainted with trade and the arts of getting money. He was much respected by the Rabbins of Jerusalem, for he was a Polish man, and he knew more Zohar and more secrets than the wisest of them. He made frequent journeys, and was absent for weeks and for months, but he never exceeded six moons. My father loved me, and he taught me part of what he knew in the moments of his leisure. I assisted him in his trade, but he took me not with him in his journeys. We had a shop at Jerusalem, even a shop of commerce, where we sold the goods of the Nazarene, and my mother and myself, and even a little sister who was born shortly after our arrival at Jerusalem, all assisted my father in his commerce. At length it came to pass, that on a particular time he told us that he was going on a journey, and he embraced us and bade us farewell, and he departed, whilst we continued at Jerusalem attending to the business. We awaited his return, but months passed, even six months, and he came not, and we wondered; and months passed, even other six passed, but still he came not, nor did we hear any tidings of him, and our hearts were filled with heaviness and sorrow. But when years, even two years, were expired, I said to my mother, ‘I will go and seek my father’; and she said, ‘Do so,’ and she gave me her blessing, and I kissed my little sister, and I went forth as far as Egypt, and there I heard tidings of my father, for people told me he had been there, and they named the time, and they said that he had passed from thence to the land of the Turk; so I myself followed to the land of the Turk, even unto Constantinople. And when I arrived there I again heard of my father, for he was well known amongst the Jews, and they told me the time of his being there, and they added that he had speculated and prospered, and departed from Constantinople, but whither he went they knew not. So I reasoned within myself and said, perhaps he may have gone to the land of his fathers, even unto Galatia, to visit his kindred; so I determined to go there myself, and I went, and I found our kindred, and I made myself known to them, and they rejoiced to see me; but when I asked them for my father, they shook their heads and could give me no intelligence; and they would fain have had me tarry with them, but I would not, for the thought of my father was working strong within me, and I could not rest. So I departed and went to another country, even unto Russia, and I went deep into that country, even as far as Kazan, and of all I met, whether Jew, or Russ, or Tartar, I inquired for my father; but no one knew him, nor had heard of him. So I turned back and here thou seest me; and I now purpose going through all Germany and France, nay, through all the world, until I have received intelligence of my father, for I cannot rest until I know what is become of my father, for the thought of him burneth in my brain like fire, even like the fire of Jehinnim.”

Such was the individual whom I now saw again, after a lapse of five years, in the streets of Gibraltar, in the dusk of the evening. “Yes,” he replied, “I am Judah, surnamed the Lib. Thou didst not recognise me, but I knew thee at once. I should have known thee amongst a million, and not a day has passed since I last saw thee, but I have thought on thee.” I was about to reply, but he pulled me out of the crowd and led me into a shop where, squatted on the floor, sat six or seven Jews cutting leather; he said something to them which I did not understand, whereupon they bowed their heads and followed their occupation, without taking any notice of us. A singular figure had followed us to the door; it was a man dressed in exceedingly shabby European garments, which exhibited nevertheless the cut of a fashionable tailor. He seemed about fifty; his face, which was very broad, was of a deep bronze colour; the features were rugged, but exceedingly manly, and, notwithstanding they were those of a Jew, exhibited no marks of cunning, but, on the contrary, much simplicity and good nature. His form was about the middle height, and tremendously athletic, the arms and back were literally those of a Hercules squeezed into a modern surtout; the lower part of his face was covered with a bushy beard, which depended half way down his breast. This figure remained at the door, his eyes fixed upon myself and Judah.

The first inquiry which I now addressed was “Have you heard of your father?”

“I have,” he replied. “When we parted, I proceeded through many lands, and wherever I went I inquired of the people respecting my father, but still they shook their heads, until I arrived at the land of Tunis; and there I went to the head rabbi, and he told me that he knew my father well, and that he had been there, even at Tunis, and he named the time, and he said that from thence he departed for the land of Fez; and he spoke much of my father and of his learning, and he mentioned the Zohar, even that dark book which my father loved so well; and he spoke yet more of my father’s wealth and his speculations, in all of which it seems he had thriven. So I departed and I mounted a ship, and I went into the land of Barbary, even unto Fez, and when I arrived there I heard much intelligence of my father, but it was intelligence which perhaps was worse than ignorance. For the Jews told me that my father had been there, and had speculated and had thriven, and that from thence he departed for Tafilaltz, which is the country of which the Emperor, even Muley Abderrahman, is a native; and there he was still prosperous, and his wealth in gold and silver was very great; and he wished to go to a not far distant town, and he engaged certain Moors, two in number, to accompany him and defend him and his treasures: and the Moors were strong men, even makhasniah or soldiers; and they made a covenant with my father, and they gave him their right hands, and they swore to spill their blood rather than his should be shed. And my father was encouraged and he waxed bold, and he departed with them, even with the two false Moors. And when they arrived in the uninhabited place, they smote my father, and they prevailed against him, and they poured out his blood in the way, and they robbed him of all he had, of his silks and his merchandise, and of the gold and silver which he had made in his speculations, and they went to their own villages, and there they sat themselves down and bought lands and houses, and they rejoiced and they triumphed, and they made a merit of their deed, saying, ‘We have killed an infidel, even an accursed Jew’; and these things were notorious in Fez. And when I heard these tidings my heart was sad, and I became like a child, and I wept; but the fire of Jehinnim burned no longer in my brain, for I now knew what was become of my father. At last I took comfort and I reasoned with myself, saying, ‘Would it not be wise to go unto the Moorish king and demand of him vengeance for my father’s death, and that the spoilers be despoiled, and the treasure, even my father’s treasure, be wrested from their hands and delivered up to me who am his son?’ And the king of the Moors was not at that time in Fez, but was absent in his wars; and I arose and followed him, even unto Arbat, which is a seaport, and when I arrived there, lo! I found him not, but his son was there, and men said unto me that to speak unto the son was to speak unto the king, even Muley Abderrahman; so I went in unto the king’s son, and I kneeled before him, and I lifted up my voice and I said unto him what I had to say, and he looked courteously upon me and said, ‘Truly thy tale is a sorrowful one, and it maketh me sad; and what thou asketh, that will I grant, and thy father’s death shall be avenged and the spoilers shall be despoiled; and I will write thee a letter with my own hand unto the Pasha, even the Pasha of Tafilaltz, and I will enjoin him to make inquiry into thy matter, and that letter thou shalt thyself carry and deliver unto him.’ And when I heard these words, my heart died within my bosom for very fear, and I replied, ‘Not so, my lord; it is good that thou write a letter unto the Pasha, even unto the Pasha of Tafilaltz, but that letter will I not take, neither will I go to Tafilaltz, for no sooner should I arrive there, and my errand be known, than the Moors would arise and put me to death, either privily or publicly, for are not the murderers of my father Moors; and am I aught but a Jew, though I be a Polish man?’ And he looked benignantly, and he said, ‘Truly, thou speakest wisely; I will write the letter, but thou shalt not take it, for I will send it by other hands; therefore set thy heart at rest, and doubt not that, if thy tale be true, thy father’s death shall be avenged, and the treasure, or the value thereof, be recovered and given up to thee; tell me, therefore, where wilt thou abide till then?’ And I said unto him, ‘My lord, I will go into the land of Suz and will tarry there.’ And he replied: ‘Do so, and thou shalt hear speedily from me.’ So I arose and departed and went into the land of Suz, even unto Sweerah, which the Nazarenes call Mogadore; and waited with a troubled heart for intelligence from the son of the Moorish king, but no intelligence came, and never since that day have I heard from him, and it is now three years since I was in his presence. And I sat me down at Mogadore, and I married a wife, a daughter of our nation, and I wrote to my mother, even to Jerusalem, and she sent me money, and with that I entered into commerce, even as my father had done, and I speculated, and I was not successful in my speculations, and I speedily lost all I had. And now I am come to Gibraltar to speculate on the account of another, a merchant of Mogadore, but I like not my occupation, he has deceived me; I am going back, when I shall again seek the presence of the Moorish king and demand that the treasure of my father be taken from the spoilers and delivered up to me, even to me his son.”

I listened with mute attention to the singular tale of this singular man, and when he had concluded I remained a considerable time without saying a word; at last he inquired what had brought me to Gibraltar. I told him that I was merely a passer through on my way to Tangier, for which place I expected to sail the following morning. Whereupon he observed, that in the course of a week or two he expected to be there also, when he hoped that we should meet, as he had much more to tell me. “And peradventure,” he added, “you can afford me counsel which will be profitable, for you are a person of experience, versed in the ways of many nations; and when I look in your countenance, heaven seems to open to me, for I think I see the countenance of a friend, even of a brother.” He then bade me farewell, and departed; the strange bearded man, who during our conversation had remained patiently waiting at the door, following him. I remarked that there was less wildness in his look than on the former occasion, but at the same time, more melancholy, and his features were wrinkled like those of an aged man, though he had not yet passed the prime of youth.

23 A Rabbinical book, very difficult to be understood, though written avowedly for the purpose of elucidating many points connected with the religious ceremonies of the Hebrews.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/borrow/george/bible/chapter52.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:32