صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

through any affectation of superior morality; nowhere does he pretend to be exempt from the natural weaknesses of humanity; but it should be remembered that the vices of some of those gods and goddesses, whose conduct is condemned and ridiculed by Bayle, and who figure so prominently in the “ The Student's Mythology," are brutally and revoltingly unnatural.

We have now but one remark to add. We have honestly and faithfully indicated the influences brought to bear on two communities of ladies, and parts of the fruits of those influences. We readily acquit the fathers, even of New York and Fordham, of all intention to injure the sisters by their advice; nay, we are quite willing to believe that they intended to serve them. It was only the judgment, understanding, and common sense of the fathers that were at fault when they intimated that the Ring was a very good thing, on account of its patronage, and the National Quarterly a very bad thing on account of its criticisms. However well and kindly disposed the sisters were—however earnest in their wish to do only what was just and right—they were bound to accept the advice of their confessors, if not exactly as the voice of God, at least as the voice of piety and wisdom. This is our sincere view of the case, for we entirely agree with the great traveller, Mungo Park, when he says: “Never have I addressed a woman in the language of kindness and civility, in any part of the world, without receiving in return a kind and civil reply; upon the other hand, never have I experienced the least harshness from a woman, even in the wilds of Africa, without being convinced that she acted under the advice of one or more of my own sex.

But if we have faith in the theory that women in general are disposed to good and not to evil, and that they rarely if ever practice the latter, except when influenced by the advice of the other sex, still more faith have we in the theory that no ladies are more benevolent or less disposed to be unkind, or uncharitable, than nuns. The worst enemies of Christianity have paid the highest tributes to their self-sacrificing generosity. Even Voltaire admits that there are always amongst them “ admirable souls who do honor to human nature.” Again the same arch-scoffer says: “There is nothing grander on earth than the sacrifice which a delicate sex makes of beauty, youth, often of high birth, to alleviate and, as far as possible, obviate human misery.Michelet is no better friend to the Church than Voltaire, but what eloquent and noble tributes he pays to those good ladies in his history of France ! * Instance what the historian says of Gertrude and Bertilla as educators. But we accept the estimate of a man of very different views in regard to Christianity -those of one whose truthfulness and sincerity none will gainsay. We think we cannot more appropriately conclude this article than by extracting a brief passage from an address delivered to the graduates of Manhattan College in 1868, by the Hon. Charles O'Conor, only premising that, while we yield to none in our admiration of the true Sister of Charitythe sister, whose mind is not poisoned by bigoted, spiteful advice -we hold that to none do the remarks of the orator apply with more peculiar force than to those teaching sisters, the useful, beautiful and honorable fruits of whose labors, we have glanced at in the preceding pages :

“The genius of history pursues their steps with energetic justice, and will neither be repelled nor silenced. She places on the worthiest brows in every age her chaplet of immortality. The humility and self denial of men afford them no retreat from distinction if their deeds de. serve it.

In their case the renown due to virtue cannot be eluded. But the chaste, the amiable, the truly humble and self-denying Sister of Charity, who shall do her justice ? Who shall give her merits due applause, or visit them with an earthly reward ? She is a woman, and has no name in this world; her ancestry is concealed; her kindred may not be known; she writes no books ; she ascends no rostrum !"

* Liv. 11, c. ii p. 103, et seq.

ART. VI.-1. The History of the Jews in Spain, from the

time of their settlement in that country till the commencement of the present century. By Don ADOLFO DE CASTRO. Cadiz. 1847. Translated by the Rev. EDWARD

D. G. M. KERWAN, M.A. Cambridge. 1851. 2. Histoire Générale d'Espagne, traduite de l'Espagnol de

Jean de Ferreras, enriche de notes historiques et critiques, de vignettes en taille-deuce, et de cartes géographiques. Par M. D'HERMILLY. Leyden.

Leyden. 1779. 3. Historia Critica de España y de la Cultura Española

Par Don JUAN FRANCISCO DE MASDEN. Tome xviii.

Madrid. 1783. 4. JOANNIS MARIANE HISPANI é societate Jesu Historce de

Rebus Hispaniæ, Libri XXX. Maguntiæ (Mentz), 1605

In the last century it was a favorite occupation of historians and ethnologists to trace back the origin of the nation about which they interested themselves, to one of the sons or grandsons of Noah, mentioned in the tenth chapter of Genesis. The historians of Spain are not behind those of other nations in claiming antiquity for their country, and in following the practice alluded to. Accordingly, we find it asserted by them that Tubal, the son of Japhet, was the first man who peopled Spain, after the deluge. Ferreras adopts this assertion implicitly, and, moreover, undertakes to explain how Tubal found his way thither.

thither. After alluding to the dispersion of Noah's descendants at the Tower of Babel, whence they were forced each into his allotted spot of earth, he says: “No one knows in what manner each found his way into the province which had been marked out for him. For, indeed, how was it possible to travel by land in those days? Roads had not been laid out—there were neither habitations, nor bridges, nor boats, nor any of the other things necessary for travellers. How, then, travel by sea ? There were neither ships nor compass, and navigation was entirely unknown.

Yet Scripture says

VOL. XXV.NO. L.

that from Shinar did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.' Et inde dispersit eos Dominus super faciem cunctarum regionum. How are we to understand this passage? As for myself, I imagine that each family was transported into his country, with all that was necessary for life, by the ministration of angels, * just as the Prophet Habakkuk was transported to Babylon, and St. Philip, the Deacon, to Ayotus, in Palestine.”

These learned historians, however, do not agree among themselves as to which of the descendants of Noah was the first to take up his abode in Spain. But the opinion most general among the Spaniards, and that which Ferreras adopts is, that it was Tubal, grandson of Noah and son of Japhet, and he cites in support of it the authority of Josephus, St. Jerome, St. Isidore, and several others, of whom the learned Jesuit, Mariana, summarily disposes in the seventh chapter of his first book. He ridicules the idea of Tubal finding his way to Spain, and, à fortiori, he rejects the assertion that the city of Setubal, in Lutitania, and the towns of Tafala and Tudela were founded by him or his descendants, or that Noëla, in Caletia, or Noëga, in the Asturias, were named by them after Noah.

Ferreras candidly admits that it would be “imprudent” to point out the spot where Tubal made his first residence, the allusion to the names of certain places not being, any more than the fertility of the land in their environs, reasons sufficiently strong that one need not fear being deceived. Nor is it easier to mark either the time when he lived, or the number of his children, nor his place of burial, because one cannot find authentic monuments to enlighten us on these points. This is a pity, as it would be deeply interesting to know the private, as well as public, history of one of the sons of Japhet. We are told, however, that one of Tubal's sons was named Iber, or Heber, and that the province of Iberia and the river Ebro were named after him!

* Pour moi, je m'imagine que chaque famille fut transportée en son Pais avec tout ce qui est nécessaire à la vie par le ministere des Anges," etc. Histoire Generale d'Espagne. 1 Partie, p. 3.

+ “Itaque quod ex novi Berosi officina prodiit, Noemum in Hispaniane, ex longo nimirum errore tandem appulsum, Noelam in Calæcia, in Asturibus Nægam primum fundasse, specioso mendacio, quoniam de his appidis Plinius, Strabo, Ptolemæus, meminerunt, repudiamus."

There can be no question that the ancient inhabitants of Spain were called " Iberians.” The Celts, when they invaded the Peninsula, some sixteen centuries before the Christian era, found them there, and expelled them, but preserved the memory of them in the name which they gave to the north of Spain, “ Celtiberia.” Mariana accounts for the presence of the Iberians in Spain by saying that a great number of people bearing that name, inhabitants of a region in Asia, north of Armenia and south of the Elburz mountains, called Iberia, were carried off by the way of the Euxine, and taken to Spain, where they built a city which they named Iberia, and which gave its name to the whole province.* But he does not tell us how, when, or why these Circassians were imported-perhaps they may have shared the fate of those who dwelt by the sea in those early times, and were kidnapped by pirates and sold for slaves. His theory is a far more plausible one than that of Ferreras, who says that in the sixteenth century B. C. a very severe famine drove thousands of Spaniards or Iberians out of their country, and that they passed through many countries of Europe and settled between the Black Sea and the Caspian, calling the land they settled in “ Iberia."

But whether Spain was peopled originally by Iberians from Circassia, or the Circassian Iberia was peopled by Iberians from Spain, is comparatively unimportant as regards the intercourse between the Hebrews of Palestine and the Spaniards in the early ages. We quit the region of fable and enter upon that of history when we come to the settlements of the Phænicians on the coasts of the Peninsula. One of their first colonies was Cadiz, but the date of its foundation is uncertain. Some place it in the time of Joshua, when the Phænicians, or Canaanites, were driven out of Canaan—they escaped to Northern Africa, and thence, it is said, to Spain, leaving behind them an inscription,

• Lib. 1. cap. 7.

« السابقةمتابعة »