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the legality of the decree, and claiming a right of appeal. Upon which the Jew desired him to name the judge with whose decision he would be content ; and he selected the Kazee of Emessa, as a man of profound knowledge and strict justice. The Jew agreed to the appeal, on consideration that both parties should bind themselves to accept his judgment as final: and this point being settled, they set off together for the city of Emessa.
They had not gone far when they met a runaway mule, with his master in pursuit, who called out to them to stop the animal or turn him back; and the merchant, after several vain efforts, flung a stone at the beast, which knocked out his eye. Upon this the owner came up, and, seizing the poor merchant, accused him of blinding his mule, and insisted on the full value. To this, however, the Jew objected, as he had a prior claim; but he told him that he might come with them if he liked, and hear what the kazee might have to say in the matter. And so the muleteer joined them; and the three pursued their journey together.
At night they reached a village, and as it was dark, they went quietly to sleep on the flat roof of a house ; but, by and bye, there was an uproar in the village; and the merchant, unable to resist the pleasure of mixing in the tumult, jumped suddenly down from the roof, and fell on a man who was sleeping below, and caused his death. The two sons of the deceased laid hands on the unfortunate man, and threatened to kill him in retaliation. But the Jew and the muleteer opposed their design, unless they would first satisfy their demands; and advised the young men to come along with them, and lay their complaint before the kazee. To this the heirs of the deceased consented; and the five proceeded next morning on their journey together.
Next day, they overtook a poor man whose ass had stuck in the mud, and which, with all his efforts, he could not get out. He begged them to help him; and while the others took hold each of one corner of the load, and he seized the bridle, the unlucky merchant lugged at the tail, which came off in his hands. The peasant was enraged, and said he must pay for the beast, which was now useless; but the others told him to be quiet, and come along with them, and tell his story to the judge.
Shortly after this they came to Emessa, and were astonished at seeing a venerable man, with a large turban, and a robe which came down to his heels, and riding on an ass; but disgracefully drunk, and vomiting: upon inquiry, they learnt that he was the censor.
A little while after, they reached the mosque, which they found full of people engaged in gambling. And passing on, they met a man tossing about on a bier, whom the people were carrying forth to his burial; and when he protested against the measure, appealing to the bystanders whether he were not alive, they assured them in reply, that he was certainly dead; and the poor man was buried.
Next morning, they presented themselves before the kazee, and began all at once to make their complaints; but the kazee told them to stop their clamour, and speak one at a time.
So the Jew began: “ My lord, this man owes me a hundred dinars, upon the pledge of a pound of his flesh; command him to pay the money or surrender the pledge.”.
Now it happened that the kazee and the merchant were old friends; so when the kazee asked him what he had to say, he frankly confessed that what the Jew had alleged was all true; but he was utterly unable to pay the debt : hoping, no doubt, that the contract would be declared null. He was, therefore, astounded at hearing the kazee declare, that if he could not give the money, he must pay the penalty; and when the officers were commanded to prepare a sharp knife for the purpose, he trembled, and
Then the kazee, turning to the Jew, said, “ Arise, take the knife and cut off the pound of flesh from his body; but so that there be not a grain more or less. Your just right is one pound exactly; take either more or less, by ever so little, and I will make you over to the governor, who will put you to death." To which the Jew replied, “ it is not possible to cut it exactly, there must needs be a little more or less.” But the kazee told him, it must be a pound exactly, and that any other quantity, being unjustifiable, would involve him in guilt.
The Jew, being frightened at this interpretation of his right, renounced his claim, and said he would forgive the debt altogether. “Very well,” said the kazee; “ but if you have brought the man so far, on a claim which you cannot maintain, it is but reasonable that you should pay him for his time, and the support of his family during his absence,”
The matter was then referred to arbitration, and the damages being assessed at two hundred dinars, the Jew paid the money and departed.
Next came the muleteer, and told his story; and the kazee asked him what the value of his mule was: the man said it was fully worth a thousand dinars before it lost its eye. * This is a very easy case,” said the kazee; “ take a saw, cut the mule in two; give him the blind half, for which he must pay you five hundred dinars, and keep the other side yourself.” To this the man very much objected; because, he said, the mule was still worth 750 dinars; so he preferred putting up with his final loss, and would give up the suit.
The kazee admitted that he was at liberty to do so; but he must make amends to the man for such a frivolous and vexatious suit; and the poor muleteer kept his blind mule, and had to pay a hundred dinars in the shape of compensation to the merchant.
The next party were then called upon to state their grievance; and the kazee, on hearing how the man had been killed, asked the sons if they thought the roof of the college was about the height of the house that the merchant had jumped off from. They said they thought it was. Upon which he decreed, that the merchant should go to sleep on the ground, and that they should get upon the roof and jump down upon him: and that as the right of blood belonged to them equally, they must take care to jump both at once. They accordingly went to the roof; but when they looked below, they felt alarmed at the height, and so came down again; declaring that if they had ten lives, they could not expect to escape. The kazee said he could not help that; they had demanded retaliation, and retaliation they should have; but he could not alter the law to please them.
So they too gave up the claim; and with much difficulty got off, upon paying the merchant two hundred dinars for the trouble they had given him.
Last of all came the owner of the ass, and told the story of the injury which his poor beast had suffered. What, another case of retaliation ?” said the kazee. “ Well, fetch my ass, and let the man pull off his tail.” The beast was accordingly brought, and the man exerted all his strength to revenge the insult which had been put upon his favourite. But an ass which had carried the kazee was not likely to put up with such an indignity; and soon testified his resentment by several hearty kicks, which made the man faint. When he recovered, he begged leave to decline any further satisfaction ; but the kazee said, it was a pity he should not have his revenge, and that he might take his
own time. But the more he pulled, the harder the vicious creature kicked; till at last the poor man, all bruises and blood, declared that he had accused the merchant falsely, for that his own donkey never had a tail. The kazee protested, however, that it was contrary to practice to allow a man to deny what he had once alleged; and that he must therefore maintain his suit. Upon which the poor fellow said, he saw how it was; he supposed he must pay as well as the rest; and he begged to know how much. So after the usual pretences and discussion, he was let off for a hundred dinars.
When all the plaintiffs had left the court, the kazee, collecting the different fines which he had imposed upon them, divided the whole amount into two equal shares, one of which he reserved for himself, and the other he gave to the merchant: but observing that the man sat still, and seemed very thoughtful, he asked if he was satisfied ? “ Perfectly so, my lord, and full of admiration of your wisdom and justice; but I have seen some strange sights since I came to this city, which perplex me; and I should esteem it a kindness if you would explain them.”
The kazee promised to give him all the satisfaction in his power; and having learnt what had perplexed him, thus replied :
“The vintners of this city are a very dishonest set of people, who adulterate the wine, or mix water with it, or sell it of an inferior quality. So the censor, every now and then, goes round to examine it; and if he should taste but ever so little at each place where it is sold, it will get at last into his head : and that is the way he got so drunk yesterday. The mosque where you saw them gambling has no endowment, and was very much out of repair ; so it has been let for a gaming-house; and the profit will serve to put it in order as a place of worship. And as for the man who excited your compassion, I can assure you he was really dead, as I will shew you. Two months ago, his wife came into court, and pleaded that her husband had died in a distant city, and claimed legal authority for marrying again. I required her to produce evidence of his death; and she brought forward two credible witnesses, who deposed to the truth of what she said. I therefore gave a decree accordingly, and she was married. But, the other day, he came before me, complaining that his wife had taken another husband; and requiring an order that she should return to him; and as I did not know who he was, I summoned the wife before me, and ordered her to account for her conduct. Upon which she said, he was the man whom she had, two months ago, proved to be dead; and that she had married another by my authority. I then told the man that his death had been clearly established on evidence which could not be refuted; that my decree could not be revoked; and that all the relief I could afford him, was to give orders for his funeral.”
The merchant expressed his admiration of the kazee's acuteness and wisdom, and thanked him for his impartial judgment in his own behalf, as well as for his great condescension in explaining these singular circumstances. And then came back to his own city, where he passed the rest of his days in the frugal enjoyment of the wealth which he had gained at Emessa.
Note.-It is necessary to add, for the information of those who may not be aware of the facts, that wine and gaming are strictly forbidden by the Mahomedan law; that, according to that law, evidence can never be received in support of a negative; so that a fact, which is legally established, cannot be refuted ; and that the officer, who is called the censor, is one whose duty it is to look after the general morals of the city, to see that no fraudulent practices are used by the tradespeople, and to notice every instance of immoral or irregular conduct.
THE ORIENTALISTS OF SWITZERLAND.
JOHN HENRY HOTTINGER.
An essay, entitled “ John Henry Hottinger, the Orientalist of the Seventeenth Century," by Dr. Hirzel, of Zürich, drawn up from documents at Zurich, contains some interesting particulars respecting this extraordinary man.
We possess so few memorabilia of the early Orientalists, that any biographical sketch is valuable, more particularly one of Hottinger, to whose labours we must refer the impulse which Oriental literature received on the continent. The materials which his predecessors at Zürich had collected were scanty and often incorrect, and a new field appeared to lie before him. Among the scholars who preceded him in this department, three alone merit notice. The first was Theodore Bibliander, professor of theology in Zürich (1531–1560), who began to apply the cognate dialects to the elucidation of the Hebrew.* Contemporary with him was a far greater man, Conrad Pellican, also professor of theology in Zürich, whose voluminous works display a most wonderful industry, too much confined, perhaps, to a particular subject. The Talmud and rabbinical writings constituted his chief study: with almost verbal accuracy, he translated the Targumin of Onkelos and Jonathan; David Kimchi's Commentaries on Genesis, Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, the Kings, all the Prophets and the Psalms; Aben Ezra and Salomo Yarchi on the Canonical Books of the Old Testament; Levi Ben Gerson’s Commentary on the Proverbs and Daniel; the greatest part of his Commentary on the Historical Books; Moses Gerundensis; Abraham Peritzol's Commentary on Job; a great part of the Talmud, particularly the Babylonian and Hierosolymitan Gemara ; and several treatises of Rabbi Rambam, better known as Maimonides. As his biographer, Louis Lavater, informs us, his object was, “ ut inde appareret, quanta cæcitas contigerit in Israel, post negatam veritatem corum Pilato.” He also wrote commentaries on all the canonical and apocryphal books of the Old Testament, in which he developed the result of his acquaintance with the Jewish exegetical authors. These were published at Zürich, A.D. 1582, after his death. Many conceived it impossible that such a number of works could have proceeded from his pen, as Hottinger observes in his Bibliotheca Tigurina ; but the acquaintance with the rabbinical style, which he must soon have acquired, would reduce the translations to little more than the toil of writing, and his own commentaries were doubtless in progress as he continued his translations and found apposite remarks.
At the end of the sixteenth century, Caspar Waspar appeared, who filled the professorships of Greek and Hebrew, at Zürich, from 1607 to 1625. He was a man eminently versed in the Oriental languages and history, but chiefly devoted his attention to Oriental numismatics.t
These were the most distinguished of Hottinger's predecessors at Zürich; and it is evident that, up to the beginning of the seventeenth century, Oriental literature in Switzerland was merely confined to first principles, and that the knowledge of the Arabic was very limited. Of the Persian and Turkish nothing appears to have been known.
But in that century Hottinger was born. With no greater aid than the materials which have been described, after the requisite preparatory studies,
* He published, 1535, Institutiones Grammaticæ de Ling. Hebraica, Tiguri;-1542, a Treatise de Optimo Genere Grammaticorum Hebraicorum, Basilii;-1543, Emendatio Textus Alcorani, Basilii.
† His works are, 1601, Elementale Hebraicum, Bas. ;-1611, Elementale Chaldaicum, Bas. ;-1593 and 1619, Grammatica Syra, Lugd. Bat. And two books on the ancient coins of the Hebrews, Chal. dees, Syrians, &c.
he entered on a hitherto unexplored path, and boldly advanced towards the penetralia of the East, unfolding by unwearied industry and mental vigour a new fountain of light, which soon spread over every part of Europe. In almost every branch of his investigations there was novelty and deep research : the sources whence he drew were chiefly untranslated MSS., which he applied with great facility and accuracy to the subject under examination. But this will appear more fully from his life.
John Henry Hottinger was born at Zürich on the 10th March 1620, where his father was the master of a vessel. He frequented the schools of that place, and distinguished himself at an early age by his diligence and quickness of, comprehension. In the Collegium Carolinum, he exhibited a singular propensity to languages, and devoted most of his time to the study of them. With an accurate kuowledge of Latin and Hebrew, he combined such facility and ease in Greek, that he was capable of translating any thing into it. At that time, the professor of Hebrew was John Jacob Wolf, who, being particularly interested in Hottinger, recommended him to study the Arabic as well as the Hebrew. Primas,” says Hottinger, quod sciam, literas Arabicas vidi in Erpenii Grammaticâ Arabicâ, ab eodem (Wolfio) mihi mutuata, sed ila tam hor.' ridas, ut earum lectione pene desperarim.” In 1637, he had finished the cus-" tomary lectures in his native city, and fortunately the then rector of the churches and university at Zürich determined to send a young man of such promise to perfect his studies in foreign parts, where he might associate with foreign scholars. At the public expense, therefore, he travelled, in March 1638, from Zürich, first to Geneva, where he heard Frederic Spanheim ; but after two months, he left that place, and passed through France and the Netherlands to Gröningen, the object of his long-cherished wishes. At this period, Henry Alting, distinguished both as a lecturer and writer, taught at this unio versity, from whom Hottinger promised to himself much help in his studies. Nor was he disappointed in his expectations. By his diligence he soon acquired Alting's friendship so far, that in the year 1638, he wrote to Breitinger, the Antistes of Zürich, respecting him, in very flattering terms.* During his residence at Gröningen, Matthias Pasor was his instructor in Arabic, and near this time he visited the fainous Golius at Leyden, then a young man, who was himself also entirely devoted to the study of Oriental literature. This introduction, which was joyfully accepted, was passed to Hottinger by Alting's son, who then resided at Leyden. On his arrival at Leyden, in 1639, Golius received him into his house, and committed to him a part of the education of his children, leaving to him, nevertheless, sufficient time for his own studies. Here he lived, in daily intercourse with the great man whom he had long honoured, as the master of his favourite study, who had himself been long in the East, and possessed one of the richest collections of Oriental MSS. He had here the good fortune to meet with a Mohammedan, who lived with him in Golius' house, of whose instructions in Turkish and Arabic he so diligently availed himself, that he could speak the latter at least fluently. This was probably Ahmed Ibn Ali, of Morocco, whom he has frequently mentioned in his writings. From such a concurrence of fortunate circumstances, Hottinger was easily able to make such vast and rapid strides. During his residence of four-' teen months at Leyden, he transcribed so many Arabic MSS., that Golius once said, “Hottinger has, during his short residence at Leyden, transcribed more books than many would be able to read in their whole lives;" adding
* Hottingerus singulare quid pollicetur cum in ceteris studiorum partibus, tum in linguis Orientalibus, in quibus præceptore utitur Judæo, ex oriente ad nos delato. Est non minus constantia simul, quam ingenii ac memoriæ excellentia commendabilis.