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perate, seldom offending in ebriety or excess of drink, nor erring in gulosity or superfluity of meats; whereby they prevent indigestion and crudities, and consequently putrescence of humours.
They have in abomination all flesh maimed, or the inwards any way vitiated, and therefore eat no meat but of their own killing. They observe not only fasts at certain times, but are restrained unto very few dishes at all times; so few, that whereas S. Peter's sheet will hardly cover our tables, their "law doth scarce permit them to set forth a lordly feast; nor any way to answer the luxury of our times, or those of our forefathers. For of flesh their law restrains them many sorts, and such as complete our feasts; that animal, propter convivia natum,* they touch not, nor any of its preparations or parts, so much in respect at Roman tables, nor admit they unto their board, hares, conies, herons, plovers, or swans. Of fishes they only taste of such as have both fins and scales, which are comparatively but few in number; such only, saith Aristotle, whose egg or spawn is arenaceous : whereby are excluded all cetaceous and cartilagineous fishes ; many pectinal, whose ribs are rectilineal; many costal, which have their ribs embowed; all spinal, or such as have no ribs, but only a backbone, or somewhat analogous thereto, as eels, congers, lampreys; all that are testaceous, as oysters, cockles, wilks, scollops, muscles; and likewise all crustaceous, as crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. So that, observing a spare and simple diet, whereby they prevent the generation of crudities; and fasting often, whereby they might also digest them; they must be less inclinable unto this infirmity than any other nation, whose proceedings are not so reasonable to avoid it.
As for their generations and conceptions (which are the purer from good diet), they become more pure and perfect by the strict observation of their law; upon the injunctions whereof, they severely observe the times of purification, and avoid all copulation, either in the uncleanness of themselves,
* Quanti est gula, quæ sibi totos ponit apros! Animal propter convivia natum.
? indigestion and crudities.] This cruditye of indigestion is soe cleerly discernable in the breath of children ; that hee who comes fasting into a great schoole shall soone perceave itt, to his smell, most odious. Wr.
or impurity of their women. A rule, I fear, not so well observed by Christians; whereby not only conceptions are prevented, but if they proceed, so vitiated and defiled, that durable inquinations remain upon the birth. Which, when the conception meets with these impurities, must needs be very potent; since in the purest and most fair conceptions, learned men derive the cause of pox and meazles, from principles of that nature ; that is, the menstruous impurities in the mother's blood, and virulent tinctures contracted by the infant, in the nutriment of the womb.
Lastly, experience will convict it; for this offensive odour is no way discoverable in their synagogues where many are, and by reason of their number could not be concealed: nor is the same discernible in commerce or conversation with such as are cleanly in apparel, and decent in their houses. Surely the Viziers and Turkish bashas are not of this opinion ; who, as Sir Henry Blunt informeth, do generally keep a Jew of their private council. And were this true, the Jews themselves do not strictly make out the intention of their law, for in vain do they scruple to approach the dead, who livingly are cadaverous, or fear any outward pollution, whose temper pollutes themselves. And lastly, were this true, yet our opinion is not impartial; for unto converted Jews who are of the same seed, no man imputeth this unsavoury odour; as though aromatized by their conversion, they lost their scent with their religion, and smelt no longer than they savoured of the Jew.
Now the ground that begat or propagated this assertion, might be the distasteful averseness of the Christian from the Jew, upon the villany of that fact, which made them abominable and stink in the nostrils of all men. Which real practice and metaphorical expression did after proceed into a literal construction; but was a fraudulent illation; for such an evil savour their father Jacob acknowledged in himself, when he said his sons had made him stink in the land, that is, to be abominable unto the inhabitants thereof.* Now how dangerous it is in sensible things to
* Gen. xxxiv. many are.] See the evidence hereof, p. 413, undeniably proceed. -Wr.
use metaphorical expressions unto the people, and what absurd conceits they will swallow in their literals, an impatient' example we have in our own profession; who having called an eating ulcer by the name of a wolf, common apprehension conceives a reality therein, and against ourselves ocular affirmations are pretended to confirm it.
The nastiness of that nation, and sluttish course of life, hath much promoted the opinion, occasioned by their servile condition at first, and inferior ways
parsimony ever since; as is delivered by Mr. Sandys; they are generally fat, saith he, and rank of the savours which attend upon sluttish corpulency. The epithets assigned them by ancient times, have also advanced the same ; for Ammianus Marcellinus describeth them in such language, and Martial more ancient, in such a relative expression sets forth unsavoury Bassa.
Quod jejunia sabbatariorum
Mallem, quàm quod oles, olere, Bassa. From whence, notwithstanding, we cannot infer an inward imperfection in the temper of that nation; it being but an effect in the breath from outward observation, in their strict and tedious fasting; and was a common effect in the breaths of other nations, became a proverb among the Greeks* and the reason thereof begot a problem in Aristotle.
Lastly, if all were true, and were this savour conceded, yet are the reasons alleged for it no way satisfactory Hucherius, and after him Alsarius Crucius, I imputes this effect unto their abstinence from salt or salt meats;2 which how to make good in the present diet of the Jews, we know not; nor shall we conceive it was observed of old, if we consider they seasoned every sacrifice and all oblations whatsoever; whereof we cannot deny a great part was eaten by the priests. And if the offering were of flesh, it * Nyoteias SELV. Jejunia olere. + De Sterilitate.
I Cruc. Med. Epist. 9 impatient.] Lege insufferable.— Wr.
1 rank, &c.] Which Mr. Fulham confirmd as above, p. 413. This is enoughe, leaving the cause to further inquisition.—Wr.
2 salt meats.] Which they supply with onyons and garlick, ut supra, -Wr.
was salted no less than thrice, that is, once in the common chamber of salt, at the footstep of the altar, and upon the top thereof, as is at large delivered by Maimonides. Nor, if they refrained all salt, is the illation very urgent: for many there are not noted for ill odours, which eat no salt at all; as all carnivorous animals, most children, many whole nations, and probably our fathers after the creation; there being indeed, in every thing we eat, a natural and concealed salt,4 which is separated by digestions, as doth appear in our tears, sweat, and urines, although we refrain all salt, or what doth seem to contain it.
Another cause is urged by Campegius, and much received by Christians; that this ill savour is a curse derived upon them by Christ, and stands as a badge or brand of a generation that crucified their Salvator. But this is a conceit without all warrant, and an easy way to take off dispute in what point of obscurity soever. A method of many writers, which much depreciates the esteem and value of miracles; that is, therewith to salve not only real verities, but also non-existencies. Thus have elder times not only ascribed the immunity of Ireland from any venomous beast unto the staff or rod of Patrick, but the long tails of Kent unto the malediction of Austin.5
Thus therefore, although we concede that many opinions are true which hold some conformity unto this, yet in assenting hereto many difficulties must arise; it being a
3 not noted, &c.] This is contraryed by experience. Supra, p. 413.
salt.] The earthy being separated, leaves the other sweet, not salt. But the many circulations of them acquiring saltnes from the naturall heate, send out that unnecessary saltnes in sweat, and teares, and urine, and generally in salivation.--Wr.
5 long tails of Kent.] Bailey gives the following notice of these gentry "The Kentish men are said to have had long tails for some generations; by way of punishment, as some say, for the Kentish Pagans abusing Austin the monk and his associates, by beating them, and opprobriously tying fish-tails to their backsides; in revenge of which, such appendants grew to the hind parts of all that generation. But the scene of this lying wonder was not in Kent, but in Carne, in Dərsetshire, many miles off. Others again say it was for cutting off the tail of St. Thomas of Canterbury's horse, who, being out of favour with King Henry II. riding towards Canterbury upon a poor sorry horse, was so served by the common people.
dangerous point to annex a constant property unto any nation, and much more this unto the Jew; since their quality is not verified by observation ; since the grounds are feeble that should establish it; and lastly, since if all were true, yet are the reasons alleged for it of no sufficiency to maintain it.
Of Pigmies. By pigmies we understand a dwarfish race of people, or lowest diminution of mankind, comprehended in one cubit, or as some will have it, in two foot or three spans; not taking them single, but nationally considering them, and as they make up an aggregated habitation. Whereof, although affirmations be many, and testimonies more frequent than in any other point which wise men have cast into the list of fables, yet that there is, or ever was such a race or nation, upon exact and confirmed testimonies, our strictest enquiry receives no satisfaction.7
“ exact testimony,” first, in regard of the authors from whom we derive the account; for, though we meet herewith in Herodotus, Philostratus, Mela, Pliny, Solinus, and many more, yet were they derivative relators, and the primitive author was Homer; who, using often similes, as well to delight the ear, as to illustrate his matter, in the third of his Iliads, compareth the Trojans unto cranes, when they descend against the pigmies; which was more largely set out by Oppian, Juvenal, Mantuan, and many poets since, and being only a pleasant figment in the fountain, became a solemn story in the stream, and current still among us.
o not verifiable, &c.] It is, ut supra, p. 413.-Wr.
7 By pigmies, &c.] Ross contends,- -as he almost invariably doesfor the truth of the old saying. He argues that “it stands with reason there should be such, that God's wisdom might be seen in all sorts of magnitudes ; for if there have been giants, why not also pigmies, nature being as propense to the least, as to the greatest magnitude.” He adduces the testimony of Buchanan, who, speaking of the isles of Scotland, amongst the rest sets down the Isle of Pigmies.