Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Native American Indian - 30 Books to Download

30 PDF Books to Download for only $1.25. Books scanned from the Originals into PDF format. Any questions? Ask me at theoldcdbookshop@gmail.com.

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Contents of Download:

American Indians by Frederick Starr 1899

Indian Fairy Tales (Folklore, Legends and Myths) by WS Phillips 1902

The Myths of the North American Indians by Lewis Spence 1914

Famous Indian Chiefs by Charles H.L. Johnston 1909

Geronimo's Story of His Life by SM Barrett 1906

History of Sitting Bull and his Sioux Indians by Major Newell 1884

Lives of celebrated American Indians 1848

Lives of Famous Indian Chiefs by Norman B Wood 1906

Plymouths Debt to the Indians by Lincoln Kinnicutt 1920


Tecumseh: a Chronicle of the Last Great Leader of his people by Ethel Raymond 1915

The Jamestown Princess-Pocahontas by Anna C. Cole 1907

BirdWoman (Sacajawea) by James Schultz 1918

Sacajawea the Indian Princess by Anna Wolfrom 1918

The Indian Girl who led them: Sacajawea by Amy Jany MacGuire 1905

The Story of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith by E Boyd Smith 1906

The True Story of the death of Sitting Bull 1891

The War Chief of the Ottawas by Thomas G Marquis 1920

Whence Came the Red Man by Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1920

Myths and Legends of the Sioux by Marie L. McLaughlin 1916

A Mohawk Legend of Adam and Eve by Chamberlain, A. F. 1889

The Iroquois, a history of the Six Nations of New York by S.C. Kimm 1900

The legends of the Iroquois 1902

Myths and Tales of the White Mountain Apache by Pliny Goddard 1919

Winnetou the Apache Knight by Marion Ames Taggart, Karl May 1898 (Hitler's favorite stories)

Indian Myths: Or, Legends, Traditions, and Symbols of the Aborigines of America Compared with Those of Other Countries Including Egypt, Persia etc By Ellen Russell Emerson 1884

The Story of the Indian by George Bird Grinell 1909

The Riel Rebellion in Northwest Canada by R. Machray 1885

The Algonquin Legends by Charles Leland 1884

History of the Cherokee Indians and their legends and folk lore by Emmett Starr 1921

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood 1914

The Bronte Sisters Documentary (Charlotte, Emily, Anne)





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Friday, July 29, 2016

A list of Different Renderings of John 1:1c from the Gospel of John


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The following is a list of variant translations of John 1:1 (many of the links are old and may no longer work:

Interlineary Word for Word English Translation-Emphatic Diaglott, "In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word."
Recovery Version, Living Streams Ministry, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Edward Harwood, H KAINH DIAQHKH. The New Testament, collated with the most approved manuscripts; with select notes in English, critical and explanatory, and references to those authors who have best illustrated the sacred writings. To which are added, a Catalogue of the principal Editions of the Greek Testament; and a List of the most esteemed Commentators and critics. London, 1776, 2 vols; 2nd ed. 1784, 2 vols. 1768,
"and was himself a divine person"
Newcome, 1808, "and the word was a god"
Crellius,as quoted in The New Testament in an Improved Version "the Word was God's"
La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel,1928: “and the Word was a divine being.”
John Samuel Thompson, The Montessoran; or The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists, Baltimore; published by the translator, 1829, "the Logos was a god
Goodspeed's An American Translation, 1939, "the Word was divine
Revised Version-Improved and Corrected, "the word was a god."
Prof. Felix Just, S.J. - Loyola Marymount University, "and god[-ly/-like] was the Word."
Concordant Version (Knoch) "God was the Word"
C.C. Torrey, The Four Gospels, Second Edition, 1947, "the Word was god
New English Bible, 1961, "what God was,the Word was"
Moffatt's The Bible, 1972, "the Logos was divine"
International English Bible-Extreme New Testament, 2001, "the Word was God*[ftn. or Deity, Divine, which is a better translation, because the Greek definite article is not present before this Greek word]
Reijnier Rooleeuw, M.D. -The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, translated from the Greek, 1694, "and the Word was a god"
The NET Bible, "and the Word was fully God."
Simple English Bible, "and the Message was Deity"
Hermann Heinfetter, A Literal Translation of the New Testament,1863, [A]s a god the Command was"
Abner Kneeland-The New Testament in Greek and English, 1822, "The Word was a God"
Robert Young, LL.D. (Concise Commentary on the Holy Bible [Grand Rapids: Baker, n.d.], 54). 1885,
"[A]nd a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word"
Belsham N.T. 1809 “the Word was a god”
Leicester Ambrose, The Final Theology, Volume 1, New York, New York; M.B. Sawyer and Company, 1879, "And the logos was a god"
Charles A.L. Totten, The Gospel of History, 1900, "the Word was Deistic [=The Word was Godly]
J.N. Jannaris, Zeitschrift fur die Newtestameutlich Wissencraft, (German periodical) 1901, [A]nd was a god"
International Bible Translators N.T. 1981
“In the beginning there was the Message. The Message was with God.
The Message was deity.”
CEV, "the Word was truly God."
Samuel Clarke, M.A., D.D., rector of St. James, Westminster, A Paraphrase on the Gospel of John, London
"[A] Divine Person."
Joseph Priestley, LL.D., F.R.S.  (in A Familiar Illustration of Certain Passages of Scripture Relating to The Power of Man to do the Will of God, Original Sin, Election and Reprobation, The Divinity of Christ; And, Atonement for Sin by the Death of Christ [Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1794], 37). "a God"
Lant Carpenter, LL.D (in Unitarianism in the Gospels [London: C. Stower, 1809], 156). "a God"
Andrews Norton, D.D. (in A Statement of Reasons For Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians [Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833], 74). "a god"
J. Harold Greenlee, "and the Word was Deity" (A Concise Exegetical Grammar of New Testament Greek)
Paul Wernle, Professor Extraordinary of Modern Church History at the University of Basil (in The Beginnings of Christianity, vol. 1, The Rise of Religion [1903], 16).  "a God"
"At the beginning of Creation, there dwelt with God a mighty spirit, the Marshal, who produced all things in their order." 21st Century NT Free
"and the [Marshal] [Word] was a god." 21st Century Literal
George William Horner, The Coptic Version of the New Testament, 1911, [A]nd (a) God was the word"
Ernest Findlay Scott, The Literature of the New Testament, New York, Columbia University Press, 1932, "[A]nd the Word was of divine nature"
James L. Tomanec, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958, [T]he Word was a God"
Philip Harner, JBL, Vol. 92, 1974, "The Word had the same nature as God"
Maximilian Zerwich S.J./Mary Grosvenor, 1974, "The Word was divine"
Siegfried Schulz, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1975, "And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"
Translator's NT, 1973, "The Word was with God and shared his nature
...with footnote, "There is a distinction in the Greek here between 'with God' and 'God.' In the forst instance, the article is used and this makes the reference specific. In the second instance there is not article, and it is difficult to believe that the omission is not significant. In effect it gives an adjectival quality to the second use of Theos (God) so that the phrae means 'The Word was divine'."
William Barclay's The New Testament, 1976, "the nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God"
Johannes Schneider, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1978, "and godlike sort was the Logos
Schonfield's The Original New Testament, 1985, "the Word was divine
Revised English Bible, 1989, "what God was, the Word was
Cotton Patch Version, 1970, and the Idea and God were One
Scholar's Version-The Five Gospels, 1993, "The Divine word and wisdom was there with God, and it was what God was
J. Madsen, New Testament A Rendering , 1994, "the Word was a divine Being"
Jurgen Becker, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1979, "a God/god was the Logos/logos"
Curt Stage, The New Testament, 1907, "The Word/word was itself a divine Being/being."
Bohmer, 1910, "It was strongly linked to God, yes itself divine Being/being"
Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme, 1919, "God of Kind/kind was the Word/word"
Baumgarten et al, 1920, "God (of Kind/kind) was the Logos/logos"
Holzmann, 1926, "ein Gott war der Gedanke" [a God/god was the Thought/thought]
Friedriche Rittelmeyer, 1938, "itself a God/god was the Word/word"
Lyder Brun (Norw. professor of NT theology), 1945, "the Word was of divine kind"
Fredrich Pfaefflin, The New Testament, 1949, "was of divine Kind/kind"
Albrecht, 1957, "godlike Being/being had the Word/word"
Smit, 1960, "the word of the world was a divine being"
Menge, 1961, "God(=godlike Being/being) was the Word/word"
Haenchen, 1980, "God (of Kind/kind) was the Logos/logos" [as mentioned in William Loader's The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, p. 155 cf. p.260]
Die Bibel in heutigem Deutsch, 1982, "He was with God and in all like God"
Haenchen (tr. By R. Funk), 1984, "divine (of the category divinity)was the Logos"
Johannes Schulz, 1987, "a God/god (or: God/god of Kind/kind) was the Word/word." [As mentioned in William Loader's The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, p. 155 cf. p.260]
William Temple, Archbishop of York, Readings in St. John's Gospel, London, Macmillan & Co.,1933,
"And the Word was divine."
John Crellius, Latin form of German, The 2 Books of John Crellius Fancus, Touching One God the Father, 1631, "The Word of Speech was a God"
Greek Orthodox /Arabic Calendar, incorporating portions of the 4 Gospels, Greek Orthodox Patriarchy or Beirut, May, 1983, "the word was with Allah[God] and the word was a god"
Ervin Edward Stringfellow (Prof. of NT Language and Literature/Drake University, 1943, "And the Word was Divine"
Robert Harvey, D.D., Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Westminster College, Cambridge, in The Historic Jesus in the New Testament,  London, Student Movement Christian Press1931
"and the Logos was divine (a divine being)"
Jesuit John L. McKenzie, 1965, wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated . . . 'the word was a divine being.'
Dymond, E.C. New Testament, 1962 (original manuscript)
"In the beginning was the creative purpose of God. It was with God and was fully expressive of God [just as wisdom was with God before creation]."
Buzzard/Hunting
“In the beginning of God’s creative effort, even before he created the
heavenly bodies and the earth, the mental power to reason logically already
existed, and the Wisdom produced by it was known only to God, for the
Wisdom was God’s Wisdom” (Pro. 8:22-30)
Barclay, W. The Daily Study Bible- The Gospel of John vol.1
“III.  [Revised Edition ISBN 0-664-21304-9: Finally John says that “The Word was God”. There is no doubt that
this is a difficult saying for us to understand, and it is difficult because  greek, in which John wrote, had a different way of saying things from the way in which english speaks. When the greek uses a noun it almost always uses the definite article with it. The greek for God is ‘theos’, and the definite article is ‘ho’. When greek speaks about God it does not simply say ‘theos’; it says ‘ho theos’. Now, when greek does not use the definite article with a noun that noun becomes much more like an adjective; it describes the character, the quality of the person. John  did not say that the Word was ‘ho theos’; that would have been to say that the Word was identical with God; he says that the Word was
‘theos’- without the definite article- which means that the Word was, as we might say, of the very same character and quality and essence and being as God. When John said ‘The Word was God’ he was n o t saying that Jesus is identical with God, he was saying that Jesus is so  perfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in being that in Jesus we perfectly see what God is like”

There is no basis for regarding the predicate theos as definite...In John 1:1 I think that the qualitative force of the predicate [noun] is so prominent that the noun cannot be regarded as definite.—Philip Harner, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 92:1, 1973, pp. 85, 7.

We must, then take Theos, without the article, in the indefinite [“qualitative” would have been a better word choice] sense of a divine nature or a divine being, as distinguished from the definite absolute God [the Father], ho Theos, the authotheos [selfgod] of Origen. Thus the Theos of John [1:1c] answers to “the image of God'' of Paul, Col. 1:15.—G. Lucke, “Dissertation on the Logos”, quoted by John Wilson in, Unitarian Principles Confirmed by Trinitarian Testimonies, p. 428.

There is a distinction in the Greek here between 'with God' and 'God'. In the first instance the article is used and this makes the reference specific. In the second instance there in no article and it is difficult to believe that the omission is not significant. In effect it gives an adjectival quality to the second use of Theos so the phrase means 'The Word was divine'.—The Translator's New Testament, p. 451.

We reach a more difficult issue in the Gospel of John. Here, in the Prologue, the Word is said to be God, but, as often observed, in contrast with the clause, 'the Word was with God', the definite article is not used (in the final clause.) For this reason it is generally translated 'and the Word was divine' (Moffatt) or is not regarded as God in the Absolute sense of the name...In a second passage in the Prologue (I 18) the textual evidence attests 'only-begotten God' more strongly than 'only begotten Son', but the latter is preferred by many commentators as being more in harmony with Johannine usage and with the succeeding clause, 'who is in the bosom of the Father'. In neither passage is Jesus unequivocally called God, while again and again in the Gospel He is named 'the Son of God.—Vincent Taylor, The Expository Times, January 1962. p. 117.

As mentioned in the Note on 1c, the Prologue's “The Word was God” offers a difficulty because there is no article before theos. Does this imply that “god” means less when predicated of the Word than it does when used as a name for the Father? Once again the reader must divest himself of a post-Nicene understanding of the vocabulary involved.—Raymond E. Brown, The Anchor Bible, p. 25.

The late Dr. William Temple in His Readings in St. John's Gospel (1939), 4, obviously accepts Moffatt's translation, for he says, 'The term “God” is fully substantival [shows identity, who, or what, 'the God', the Father, is] in the first clause  pros ton then [“with the God”, both “the” (ton) and “God” (Theon) being spelled accusative case endings] it is predicative and not far from being adjectival in the second - kai theos en ho logos [“and (a) god was the Word”]—R.H. Strachan, The Fourth Gospel (3rd ed., 1941).

The closing words of v[erse]. 1 should be translated, “the Word was divine.” Here the word Theos has no article, thus giving it the significance of an adjective”...Taken by itself, the sentence kai theos en ho logos [and (a) god was the Word] could admittedly bear either of two meanings: 1) 'and the Word was (the) God' or 2) 'and the Word was (a) God'...E.F. Scott's statement about the Philonic doctrine (The Fourth Gospel: Its Purpose and Theology, Edinburg, 1908, p.151): “The Logos appears sometimes as only an aspect of the activity of God, at other times as a “second God” an independent and it might seem a personal being.”  We have seen that 'and the Word was (a) God' is a possible, if unlikely, translation of kai theos en ho logos. This is apparently accepted by E.F. Scott—J. Gwyn Griffiths, The Expository Times, July 1951, pp. 314-316.

It would be impossible to speak about Jesus without considering the words of John's 'Gospel: “The Word was God”. The Greek of that phrase is Theos en ho logos. This does not mean Word was God. In Greek  ho  is the definite article. [there are eighteen other ways to spell the 'definite' article in the Koine Greek of the first century of the common era] In Greek, if two things are identified [shown to be the same entity] the definite article is used with both. If this phrase meant the Word was God it would be Ho theos çn ho logos. There is noting strange about this. We do the very same in English. When in English, or in Greek, a noun does to have the definite article, it becomes the equivalent of an adjective. [a description rather than an identification, how the subject is rather than what of who the subject is] If in English I say: “John is the man,” then I identify John with a definite and particular specimen of the human race; but if I omit the definite article and say “John is man,” then I do not identify him, I classify him. I say  “John is human; he belongs to the sphere of man.” So then, what the Greek really says  [means] in not “The Word was God,” but “The word is in the same sphere as God; it belongs to the same kind of life [spiritual life] and is one with God [cp. John 17:20-23 on “one”]. (Notations is brackets added by this reviewer.)—William Barclay, Who Is Jesus, Tidings, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A., 1975, pp. 35-6.

Here “God” is used predicatively, without the article: the Word, whom he has just distinguished from the Person of God, is nevertheless a divine being in his own right.—Bruce Vawter, C.M., The Four Gospels an Introduction, p. 38.

The rule holds wherever the subject has the article and the predicate does not. The subject is then definite and distributed, the predicate indefinite and undistributed.—A.T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, fourth edition, 1934, p. 767.

God - divine in nature...God (in kind)”, [footnote to John 1:1c]—The Cross Reference Bible, American Standard Version, Harold E. Monser, Editor-In-Chief; Associate Editors, C.R. Scotville, I.M. Price, A.T. Robertson, M.S. Terry, Jr., R. Sampey, J.W. Monser, G.C. Eiselen, R.A. Torrey, A.C. Zenor, 1959 edition.

Not that he [John] identified him [the Word] with the Godhead (ho Theos); on the contrary, he clearly distinguishes the Son and the Father and makes him inferior in dignity (“the Father is greater than I”), but he declares that the Son is “God” (Theos), that is, of divine essence or nature.—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, edition of 1910, Vol. I, p. 690.

The predicate [noun] commonly refers not to an individual or individuals as such, but to the class to which the subject belongs, to the nature or quality predicated of the subject; e.g. Jo I, 1 [kai theos en ho logos], which attributes to the Word the divine nature,—Maximilian Zerwich, S.J., Biblical Greek, Rome, Scriptua Pontificii Instituti Biblici (Pontifical Biblical Scripture Institute), p. 55.

In John 1:1...Theos en (“was deity”);...The qualitative force is obvious and most important,—Alfred M. Perry, “Translating The Greek Article” in Journal of Biblical Literature, 1949, Vol. l68, p. 331.

After closely examining Colwell's rule, Harris says, "This leads me to affirm that one may not infer (as is often done) in rule 2b that anarthrous predicate nouns which precede the verb are usually definite. Indeed, such nouns will usually be qualitative in emphasis.—Murray J. Harris, Jesus as God, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1992, pp. 60, 312.

Socialist Colony in Mexico, article in The Dublin Review 1894


Socialist Colony in Mexico, article in The Dublin Review 1894

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An article in Frank Leslie's Monthly describes the experiment of a colony on the harbour of Topolobampo on the Pacific coast of Mexico, founded some seven years ago on strictly Socialist principles. A company was then formed which took up a quarter of a million acres in that locality, chosen for its remoteness from legislative interference or the example of differently constituted communities. Ten-dollar shares were issued to the number of 100,000, each representing a town lot in the future city. No shares can be sold except to the company itself, which holds the land in perpetuity, selling to its settlers only the right of occupancy. Company scrip exchangeable for perpetual leases of blocks of land forms the currency of the colony. All produce is pooled, each receiving a share proportioned to his labour and original investment, and workmen are paid in scrip representing three dollars a day. The first 400 colonists fared badly. Arriving at the end of a long drought, they could barely extract a livelihood from the soil, while the subsequent rainy season found them imperfectly sheltered in ill-roofed houses. About half returned to their former homes, while the remainder, reinforced from time to time by occasional arrivals, struggled on. Their ranks were increased in 1890 by a fresh contingent of 200, raising their number to 500, to which a large increase was expected in 1893. Women and children are in the ascendant, the men forming only 40 per cent of the population. No golden dream of prosperity has been realised by the settlers, whose life continues to be a hard one. The regulations of the company, which were at first very strict, have been relaxed since the first colonisation, and the community now formulates its own rules on democratic principles. Churches and public worship are forbidden, but families and individuals are allowed to practise their own forms of religion privately. Marriages receive the sanction of the director, and are recognised without further ceremony, and it may be presumed that divorce is equally easy of attainment. The qualifications of the teacher in the school for the rising generation may be measured by the fact that he receives the same wages as the hedgers and ditchers. Families live apart, but the unmarried men are housed in a large building where cooking is done for all on the co-operative system. The result is summed up in the statement that "the lack of religious feeling, the endless grind for material things, and the years of demand for hopefulness upon the spirit of each colonist, have been productive of discouragement for many."

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Robert G. Ingersoll on Shakespeare, article in The Freethinker 1895


Robert G. Ingersoll on Shakespeare, article in The Freethinker 1895

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If Shakespeare knew one fact, he knew its kindred and its neighbors. Looking at a coat of mail, he instantly imagined the society, the conditions that produced it, and what it in turn produced. He saw the castle, the moat, the drawbridge, the lady in the tower, and the knightly lover spurring across the plain. He saw the bold baron and the rude retainer, the trampled serf, and all the glory and grief of feudal life. He was a man of imagination.

He lived the life of all.

He was a citizen of Athens in the days of Pericles. He listened to the eager eloquence of the great orators, and sat upon the cliffs, and with the tragic poet heard "the multitudinous laughter of the sea." He saw Socrates thrust the spear of question through the shield and heart of falsehood. He was present when the great man drank hemlock, and met the night of death, tranquil as a star meets morning. He listened to the peripatetic philosophers, and was unpuzzled by the sophists. He watched Phidias as he chiselled shapeless stone to forms of love and awe.

He lived by the mysterious Nile, amid the vast and monstrous. He knew the very thought that wrought the form and features of the Sphinx. He heard great Memnon's morning song when marble lips were smitten by the sun. He laid him down with the embalmed and waiting dead, and felt within their dust the expectation of another life, mingled with cold and suffocating doubts—the children born of long delay.

He walked the ways of mighty Rome, and saw great Caesar with his legions in the field. He stood with vast and motley throngs, and watched the triumphs given to victorious men, followed by uncrowned kings, the captured hosts, and all the spoils of ruthless war. He heard the shout that shook the Coliseum's roofless walls, when from the reeling gladiator's hand the short sword fell, while from his bosom gushed the stream of wasted life.

He lived the life of savage men. He trod the forest's silent depths, and in the desperate game of life or death he matched his thought against the instinct of the beast.
He knew all crimes and all regrets, all virtues and their rewards. He was victim and victor, pursuer and pursued, outcast and king. He heard the applause and curses of the world, and on his heart had fallen all the nights and noons of failure and success.

He knew the unspoken thoughts, the dumb desires, the wants and ways of beasts. He felt the crouching tiger's thrill, the terror of the ambushed prey, and with the eagles he had shared the ecstacy of flight and poise and swoop, and he had lain with sluggish serpents on the barren rocks uncoiling slowly in the heart of noon.

He sat beneath the bo-tree's contemplative shade, wrapped in Buddha's mighty thought, and dreamed all dreams that light, the alchemist, has wrought from dust and dew, and stored within the slumbrous poppy's subtle blood.

He knelt with awe and dread at every shrine; he offered every sacrifice and every prayer; felt the consolation and the shuddering fear; mocked and worshipped all the gods; enjoyed all heavens, and felt the pangs of every hell.

He lived all lives, and through his blood and brain there crept the shadow and the chill of every death; and his soul, like Mazeppa, was lashed naked to the wild horse of every fear and love and hate.

The imagination had a stage in Shakespeare's brain, whereon were set all scenes that lie between the morn of laughter and the night of tears, and where his players bodied forth the false and true, the joys and griefs, tho careless shallows and the tragic deeps of universal life.

From Shakespeare's brain there poured a Niagara of gems spanned by fancy's seven-hued arch. He was as many-sided as clouds are many-formed. To him giving was hoarding—sowing was harvest—and waste itself the source of wealth. Within his marvellous mind were the fruits of all thought past, the seeds of all to be. As a drop of dew contains the image of the earth and sky, so all there is of life was mirrored forth in Shakespeare's brain.

Shakespeare was an intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought; within which were all the tides and waves of destiny and will; over which swept all the storms of fate, ambition, and revenge; upon which fell the gloom and darkness of despair and death, and all the sunlight of content and love; and within was the inverted sky, lit with the eternal stars. Shakespeare was an intellectual ocean, towards which all rivers ran, and from which now the isles and continents of thought receive their dew and rain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Murder of Lady Mazel By Major Arthur Griffiths 1899

The Murder of Lady Mazel By Major Arthur Griffiths 1899

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One of the earliest of grave judicial blunders to be found in French records is commonly called the case of Lady Mazel, who was a lady of rank, living in a large mansion, of which she occupied two floors herself: the ground floor as reception-rooms, the first floor as her bedroom and private apartments. The principal door of her bedroom shut from the inside with a spring, and when the lady retired for the night there was no access from without, except by a special key which was always left on a chair within the chamber. Two other doors of her room opened upon a back staircase, but these were kept constantly locked. On the second floor was lodged the family chaplain only; above, on the third floor, were the servants.’

One Sunday evening the mistress supped with the abbé as was her general practice; then went to her bedroom, where she was attended by her waiting-maids. Her butler, by name Le Brun, came to take her orders for the following day, and then, when the maids withdrew, leaving the key on the chair inside as usual, he also went away, shutting the spring door behind him.

Next morning there was no sign of movement from the lady, not at seven a.m. (her time for waking), nor yet at eight—she was still silent, and had not summoned her servants. Le Brun, the butler, and the maids began to be uneasy, and at last the son of the house, who was married and lived elsewhere, was called in. He expressed his fears that his mother was ill, or that worse had happened, and a locksmith was called in, and the door presently broken open.

Le Brun was the first to enter, and he ran at once to the bedside. Drawing aside the curtains, he saw a sight which made him cry aloud, “My mistress has been murdered!” and this exclamation was followed by an act that afterwards went against him. He opened the wardrobe and took out the strong box. “It is heavy,” he said; “at any rate there has been no robbery.” The murder had been committed with horrible violence. The poor woman had fought hard for life; her hands were all cut and lacerated, and there were quite fifty wounds on her body. A clasp knife, much discoloured, was found in the ashes of the fire. Among the bedclothes they picked up a piece of a coarse lace cravat, and a napkin bearing the family crest, twisted into a nightcap. The key of the bedroom door, which had been laid on the chair, had disappeared. Nothing much had been stolen. The jewels were untouched, but the strong box had been opened and some of the gold abstracted.

Suspicion fell at once upon the butler, Le Brun. The story he told was against himself. He said that after leaving his mistress he went down into the kitchen and fell asleep there. When he awoke he found, to his surprise, the street-door wide open. He shut it, locked it, and went to his own bed. In the morning he did his work as usual until the alarm was given; went to market, called to see his wife, who lived near by, and asked her to lock up some money, gold crowns and louis d’or, for him. This was all he had to tell, but on searching him a key was found in his pocket: a false or skeleton key, the wards of which had been newly filed, and it fitted nearly all the locks in the house, including the street-door, the antechamber, and the back door of the lady’s bedroom. The napkin nightcap was tried on his head and fitted him exactly. He was arrested and shortly afterwards put upon his trial.

It was not alleged that he had committed the murder himself. No blood had been found on any of his clothes, although there were scratches on his person. A shirt much stained with blood had been discovered in the loft, but it did not fit Le Brun, nor was it like any he owned. Nor did the scrap of coarse lace correspond with any of his cravats; on the contrary, a maid-servant stated that she thought she recognised it as belonging to one she had washed for Berry, once a footman in the house. The supposition was that Le Brun had let some accomplice into the house, who had escaped after effecting his purpose. This was borne out by the state of the doors, which showed no signs of having been forced, and by the discovery of Le Brun’s false key.

Le Brun was a man of exemplary character, who had served the family faithfully for twenty-nine years, and was “esteemed a good husband, a good father, and a good servant,” yet the prosecution seemed satisfied he was guilty and put him to the torture. In the absence of real proofs it was hoped, after the cruel custom of the time, to force self-condemnatory admissions from the accused. The “question extraordinary” was applied, and the wretched man died on the rack, protesting his innocence to the last.

A month later the real culprit was discovered. The police of Sens had arrested a horse-dealer named Berry, the man who had been in Lady Mazel’s service as a lackey, but had been discharged. In his possession was a gold watch proved presently to have belonged to the murdered woman. He was carried to Paris, where he was recognised by someone who had seen him leaving Lady Mazel’s house on the night she was murdered, and a barber who shaved him next morning deposed to having seen that his hands were much scratched. Berry said that he had been killing a cat. Put to the torture prior to being broken on the wheel, he made full confession. At first he implicated the son and daughter-in-law of Lady Mazel, but when at the point of death he retracted the charge, and said that he{61} had returned to the house with the full intention of committing the murder. He had crept in unperceived on the Friday evening, had gained the loft on the fourth floor, and had lain there concealed until Sunday morning, subsisting the while on apples and bread. When he knew the mistress had gone to mass he stole down into her bedroom, where he tried to conceal himself under the bed. It was too low, and he returned to the garret and slipped off his coat and waistcoat, and found now that he could creep under the bed. His hat was in his way, so he made a cap of the napkin. He lay hidden till night, then came out, and having secured the bell ropes, he roused the lady and demanded her money. She resisted bravely, and he stabbed her repeatedly until she was dead. Then he took the key of the strong box, opened it, and stole all the gold he could find; after which, using the bedroom key which lay on the chair by the door, he let himself out, resumed his clothes in the loft, and walked downstairs. As the street-door was only bolted he easily opened it, leaving it open behind him. He had meant to escape by a rope ladder which he had brought for the purpose of letting himself down from the first floor, but it was unnecessary.

It may be remarked that this confession was not inconsistent with Le Brun’s complicity. But it is to be presumed that Berry would have brought in Le Brun had he been a confederate, even although it could not have lessened his own guilt or punishment.

The Frog Princess: A Russian Story


THE FROG PRINCESS: A Russian Story

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There was once a Tsar who had three sons, and they were all dear to him, but the youngest, Ivan, was the dearest of them all.

When the Princes grew to manhood the Tsar began to talk and talk to them about getting married, but it so happened not one of the Princes had ever seen the girl he wished to have for a wife. There were many in the kingdom whom they might well have loved, but not one of them meant more to any of the Princes than another.

“Very well, then,” said the Tsar at last, “we will leave it to chance. Take your bows and arrows and come with me into the courtyard. You shall each shoot an arrow, and in whatever places your arrows fall, there shall you take your brides.”

The Princes were not greatly pleased with this plan, but still they dared not say no to their father. They took their bows and went with him into the courtyard.

First the eldest son shot his arrow, and he aimed it toward the east, where the sun rises. The arrow fell upon the balcony of a great nobleman’s house.

Well and good! The nobleman had a daughter, and she was so stately and handsome that the Prince was very glad to take her for a wife.

Then the second Prince shot an arrow and aimed it toward the west, where the sun is in its glory. He was no less lucky than his brother, for his arrow fell into the court of a rich merchant, and he also had a daughter who was a beauty. So the second son took her for a bride, and he was well content.

Last of all Prince Ivan shot his arrow, and he aimed neither toward the east nor the west, but straight up into the sky above him. Then a sudden gust of wind arose and caught the arrow and blew it away so that it fell in a great swamp. In this swamp were no rich nor beautiful ladies, but only a poor, green, croaking frog.

When the young Prince Ivan saw where his arrow had fallen he was in despair. “How can I marry a frog,” said he, “and have her rule with me as my Princess?”

“It is a great pity,” said the Tsar; “nevertheless what I have said I have said, and where your arrow fell there must you take your bride.”

So Prince Ivan was married to the frog, and the Tsar built a castle on the edge of the swamp for them to live in.

Now the Tsar was growing old, and he began to consider in his mind to which of his sons he would leave his kingdom. Gladly would he have left it to his youngest son, who was his favorite, but it did not seem right that a frog should ever rule over the kingdom as Queen.

At last he called the three Princes before him and said, “My sons, to-morrow let your wives bake me some soft white bread. I will eat of it, and in this way I will know which of you has the cleverest wife, and he who has the cleverest wife shall inherit my kingdom.”

After they had heard him the three Princes went away to their own homes, and Prince Ivan was very sad.

“What ails you, my dear husband,” said the frog, “that you hang your head and are so downcast?”

“It is no wonder I am downcast,” answered Prince Ivan. “My father has commanded that you shall make him a loaf of soft white bread to-morrow, and well I know that your webby fingers can never make bread that he would taste or even so much as look at.”

“Do not be too sure of that,” answered the frog. “Sleep in peace, and I promise that to-morrow I will provide a loaf that even the Tsar will be glad to eat of.”

The Prince did not believe this, but grief is heavy, so no sooner was he in bed than he fell into a deep sleep.

Then the frog arose from beside him and went into a far-off room and took off her frog-skin; for she was really a Princess who had been enchanted. She combed her hair and washed herself and then she went out on the balcony of the castle and cried, “Nurses dear, nurses dear, bring me a loaf of bread such as I used to have in the palace of my own dear father, the King.”

After she had called this three times three crows appeared, carrying among them a fine napkin embroidered with gold, and in this napkin was a loaf of bread. They laid the napkin before the Princess and bowed three times, croaking solemnly, and then they flew away again into the night.

The Princess took up the bread and went back into the room and put on her frog-skin again; after that she returned to her chamber and lay down beside her husband.

The next day when the Prince was ready to set out for the Tsar’s palace, the frog brought him the loaf of bread still wrapped in the napkin.

“Take this, dear husband,” said she, “and carry it to your father, the Tsar, but do not open it on the way lest the dust should spoil the fineness of the bread.”

The Prince took the loaf and rode away with it, but he could not forbear from peeping into the napkin to see what was there, and what he saw filled him with admiration and wonder. Quickly he rode on his way, and soon reached the Tsar’s palace.

The two older brothers were there, and each brought a loaf of fine white bread that his wife had made.

When Prince Ivan entered his brothers could not forbear from smiling. “Come!” said they, “show us quickly what kind of bread the Frog Princess has made. Does it smell of reeds and rushes?”

The young Prince made no answer but gave what he carried to his father.

When the Tsar saw the fineness of the napkin and the beautiful embroidery upon it he was very much surprised. But he was still more surprised when he opened the napkin and saw what it contained. Never before had he seen such bread. Not only was it soft and light and fine, but it was molded along the sides in cunning scenes, castles and cities, moats and bridges, and upon the top was the imprint of the royal eagle, perfect even to the claws and feathers.

The Tsar could not admire it enough. Still he was not willing to leave the kingdom to Prince Ivan and so make a queen of a frog.

“This is very beautiful, but a loaf of bread is soon eaten and forgotten,” said he. “I now wish each one of you to bring me a carpet to lay before my throne, and he who brings me the finest carpet, him will I make my heir.”

The Princes returned to their own homes, and the youngest one was very sad and sorrowful.

“What ails you, my dear husband?” asked the frog. “Why are you so downcast, and why do you hang your head. Was not the Tsar pleased with the bread you carried to him?”

“He was well pleased,” answered the Prince; “but now he has commanded each one of us to bring him a carpet, and to him who brings the finest carpet he will leave his kingdom. No wonder I am sad, for where, in this swamp, can I find a carpet such as I require?”

“Do not trouble yourself about that,” answered the frog. “Do you go and lie down and go quietly to sleep. I will supply you such a carpet as you need.”

The Prince did not believe her, but because grief is heavy he lay down and soon fell into a deep sleep.

Again as before the frog stole away to a distant chamber and laid aside her frog-skin. Then she went out on the balcony and cried aloud three times; “Nurses dear, nurses true, bring me a carpet such as lay before my bed in my own home.”

At once the three crows appeared, carrying among them a carpet rolled up and covered with a piece of embroidered velvet. They laid the roll before the Princess, bowed three times, and then flew away again.

The Princess carried the carpet back into the chamber and put on her frog-skin again, and then she went back and lay down quietly beside the Prince.

The next morning when the Prince was ready to set out, the frog brought the roll of carpet to him.

“Here,” said she; “carry this to your father, but do not open it upon the way lest the dust spoil its beauty.”

The Prince took the carpet and rode away. When he reached the Tsar’s palace his two brothers were already there, and each had brought with him a piece of carpet so fine and rich that it was difficult to say which of the two was the more beautiful.

When the older brothers saw Ivan they began to laugh. “Come!” said they. “Let us see what kind of a carpet he has brought from his swamp home. No doubt it is very wonderful.”

The Prince laid the roll of carpet upon the floor and opened it out and when they saw it every one was struck with wonder. The elder Princes had not a word to say. Never before had they seen such a carpet. Not only was it as thick and soft as eiderdown, but it shone with wondrous colors that changed as one looked at them, and it was embroidered with gold in strange designs.

The Tsar was filled with admiration. All the same he still was unwilling to have a frog reign in his kingdom.

“This is all very well,” said he, “and never before have I seen such a beautiful carpet. But now I wish you all to appear before me to-morrow with your wives. Let the Princesses wear their most beautiful dresses and their finest jewels, and whichever of you has the wife best fitted to be Queen, to him will I leave the kingdom.”

When the Prince Ivan heard this he was in despair. How could he ever bring the frog to court and present her to the Tsar as though she were a beautiful Princess?

When he went home the frog at once asked him why he was so sad and woebegone. “Is not the kingdom to be yours?” she asked.

“No,” answered the Prince, “for now my father, the Tsar, has demanded something else of us.” He then told her how the Tsar had bidden him and his brothers bring their wives to court, and had said that whichever of the Princesses was the finest and most beautiful should reign as Queen, and her husband should be the Tsar.

“Do not trouble over that,” said the frog. “Only go to bed and sleep quietly. The kingdom shall still be yours.”

Then the Prince went to bed, but he only closed his eyes and pretended to go to sleep, for he had grown very curious as to how the frog had been able to provide him with the wonderful loaf and the carpet.

The frog kept very still until she thought the Prince was asleep. Then she arose quietly from his side and slipped away, but the Prince also arose and followed her without her being aware of it. She went to the far-off chamber, and there she laid aside her frog-skin; and when the prince saw her in her human form he was amazed at her beauty, and his heart melted within him for love of her, for her hair was like spun gold, her eyes as blue as the sky, and her skin as white as milk. Never had he seen such a beauty.

The Princess went out on a balcony as she had before, and cried aloud three times, “Nurses dear, nurses true, bring me fine clothes and jewels to wear, richer than ever were seen before.”

At once the three crows appeared, carrying with them jewels and fine robes all encrusted with gems and embroidery. These they laid at the Princess’s feet and bowed three times, croaking hoarsely, and then they flew away.

The Princess took the robes and jewels back into the chamber to hide them, and while she was doing this Prince Ivan returned to his bed and lay down and closed his eyes as though he were asleep. When the frog came back she looked at him carefully, but he kept so still she never guessed that he had stirred from where he lay.

The next morning the frog bade Ivan ride away alone to the palace of the Tsar. “I will follow you,” she said, “and when you hear a great noise, say, ‘That is my little Froggie, driving up in her basket made of rushes.’”

The Prince promised to do this and then he rode away to the palace of the Tsar.

His brothers were already there, and their two wives were with them, both so handsome and so magnificently dressed that each looked finer than the other.

When Ivan came in they all began to laugh. “Where is thy dear frog?” they asked. “Is she still asleep among her reeds and rushes, or is she too hoarse to come?”

Even as they spoke there was a great noise outside,—a roaring and rumbling like thunder.

The palace shook until it seemed as though it would fall about their ears. Every one was terrified. Only Prince Ivan was calm.

“There is my little Froggie now,” he said; “she is driving up in her little basket of rushes.”

At once the noise ceased, the doors were flung open, and a magnificent Princess swept into the room. Never was such a beauty seen before. Her golden hair fell almost to the floor and was bound about with jewels. Her robes were stiff with embroidery and gems. The other Princesses paled before her as stars pale before the rising moon.

Prince Ivan took her by the hand and led her to the Tsar. “This is my dear Princess,” said he, “and surely it is she and she only who should reign over this land.”

Well, there were no two ways to that. The Tsar could hardly contain himself for joy over the beauty of Prince Ivan’s bride. A great feast was spread, and the Tsar himself led the Princess to the table. She sat at his right hand and drank from his jewelled cup, and all was joy and merriment. Only the older brothers and their wives were sad, for they knew they had missed all chance of gaining the kingdom.

Now while they were still at the table, all eating and drinking, Prince Ivan arose and made some excuse for leaving the room. He went quietly and mounted his horse and rode back to his own castle.

There he made haste to the room where his wife had left her frog-skin. He hunted about until he found it, and then he threw it into the fire, for he did not intend that she should ever hide herself away in it again.

At once a clap of thunder sounded, and the Princess stood before him. Her eyes were streaming with tears, and she wrung her hands in grief.

“Alas and woe is me!” she cried. “Why did you burn my frog-skin? A little longer, and I would have been free. Now I must go away and leave you forever.”

“But where are you going?” cried the Prince in despair. “Wherever it is I will follow and find you.”

“Seek me beyond the seven mountains, beyond the seven seas, in the kingdom of Koshchei the Deathless, for it is in his house I will be,” answered the Princess. Then she turned into a great white swan and flew out through the window and far, far away; so far the Prince could no longer see her.

Then Prince Ivan was filled with grief; and he neither stayed nor tarried but set out at once in search of his Princess.

He journeyed on and journeyed on a short way and a long way, and then he met an old man with a grey beard that hung down far below his belt.

“Good day, good youth,” said the old man.

“Good day, grandfather,” answered Ivan.

“Whither do you journey with so sad a face?” asked the stranger.

“I journey over land and over sea in search of the kingdom of Koshchei the Deathless,” answered Ivan.

“Then you have a long journey before you,” said the old man. “But why do you seek the kingdom of Koshchei the Deathless, that terrible man?”

“I seek it that I may find what is lost.” Then Ivan told the old man his story, all about his frog bride and how she had turned into a Princess,—how he had burned the frog-skin and how she had flown away as a swan, and that now life would be nothing but a burden to him until he could find her again.

The old man shook his head. “Alas! alas! You should never have burned the frog-skin!” he said. He then told Ivan that the name of the Princess was Vasilisa the Fair. “Her mother was the sister of Koshchei the Deathless,” said the stranger, “and when she was born it was foretold that before she was eighteen Koshchei should lose his life because of her. It was for this reason that he changed her into a frog and set her in the midst of the lonely swamp. In a month and a day from now the Princess would have been eighteen, and the danger to Koshchei would have been over. Then he would have allowed her to lay aside her frog-skin and take back her human shape. But now he is angry and has carried her away to his castle, and only by the grace of Heaven will you be able to find her and set her free.”

The old man then gave Prince Ivan a little ball. “Take this,” he said, “and roll it before you as you go. It will show you which way to travel, and with its help you may reach the kingdom of Koshchei.”

Ivan took the ball and thanked the old man and journeyed on. He rolled the ball before him, and in whichever direction it rolled he followed.

He went along and went along, until after a while he came to a forest, and there he saw a bear.

Prince Ivan would have shot it, but the bear cried to him, “Do not shoot me, Prince. Take me with you as a servant, and the time may come when I can help you.”

“Very well,” said the Prince. “Come with me”; so he journeyed on with the bear at his heels.

Presently he saw a wild duck and would have shot it, but the duck called to him, “Do not shoot me, dear Prince. Take me with you, and I will be a faithful servant. The time may come when you will need me.”

“Very well,” answered the Prince. “You also may come with us as a companion.”

So the Prince journeyed along with the bear at his heels and the duck flying overhead.

After a while they came to the edge of a river, and there lay a great fish, gasping out its life in the sunlight.

“Now at last I shall have a good meal,” said the Prince.

But the fish cried to him in a human voice, “Throw me back into the river, Prince, that I may live. The time may come when I can do you a good turn also.”

So the Prince had mercy on the fish and threw it back into the water.

After that he and his companions traveled on a long way. They journeyed over seven mountains and crossed seven seas, and so they came at last to the kingdom of Koshchei the Deathless.

There the Prince saw a little hut. It stood on hen’s legs and turned this way and that, whichever way the wind blew. There was no getting at the door. Then the Prince cried, “Little hut, stand the way my mother built you with your back away from me and your door before me.”

At once the hut whirled round and stood with the open door in front of him.

Prince Ivan entered in, and saw a bony-legged Baba Yaga lying on the stove with her grey hair over her face.

“Who are you? And what seek you here in the kingdom of Koshchei the Deathless?” she cried.

“Do not ask questions but rise up and give me food and drink,” said the Prince; “for I am both hungry and thirsty.”

The Baba Yaga arose and served him food and drink. He ate and gave part to the bear and the duck. Then he told the Baba Yaga why he had come there—that he was wandering in search of his dear wife, Vasilisa the Fair.

The old witch shook her head. “It will be a hard thing to rescue her,” she said. “Koshchei is very powerful. Only in one way can you overcome him. Not far from here stands a tree. It is as hard as rock, so that no ax can dent it, and so smooth that none can climb it. On the top of it is a nest. In the nest is an egg. A duck sits over the egg to guard it. In that egg is a needle, and only with that needle can you kill Koshchei the Deathless.”

The Baba Yaga then led Prince Ivan to the door and pointed out to him where the tree grew, and Prince Ivan hurried on toward it, with his two faithful servants, the bear and the duck.

But when he reached the tree he looked at it with despair. It was indeed very smooth and high,—as smooth as glass, and when he tried his hunting knife upon it the knife bent and crumpled in his hand.

“Master, now is the time that I can help you,” said the bear. He went to the tree and clasped it and shook it, so that its roots cracked, and it fell with a mighty noise.

At once the duck that was guarding the egg caught it up in its claws and flew away with it. But Ivan’s duck pursued so fiercely that the other was forced to drop the egg in order to defend itself.

Unfortunately they had both flown over a river, and into this river the egg dropped and was lost to sight.

Ivan sat down upon the bank of the river and wept. “Alas, alas!” he cried. “Now truly is my dear wife lost to me, for never can I recover the egg from the river.”

Hardly had he spoken when the fish he had thrown back into the river appeared, bearing the egg in its mouth.

Now Ivan’s grief was turned to rejoicing. He broke the egg and took out the needle. Then, with the little ball to lead him, he soon made his way to Koshchei’s palace.

The Deathless One rushed out to meet him, but Ivan attacked him with the point of the needle. It was in vain Koshchei tried to protect himself. Ivan drove the needle into him deeper and deeper, and presently Koshchei sank down dead before him, no better than a lump of clay.

Prince Ivan strode across him and on into the castle. From room to room he went, and in the deepest dungeon he found the Princess Vasilisa, his own dear wife. She threw herself into his arms, weeping with joy.

Then they went to Koshchei’s treasure room and took from it all the most precious jewels,—all that the faithful bear could carry they loaded upon his back and carried away with them.

After that they journeyed back to their own kingdom, and if any one was glad to see them it was the Tsar himself.

He built for them a castle close to his own, where they could not even see the swamp. There Ivan and his frog princess lived in the greatest love and happiness, and after the old Tsar’s death they themselves ruled over the kingdom as the Tsar and Tsaritsa.

The Angel Metatron and Jewish Theology By William Oscar Emil Oesterley 1907


The Angel Metatron and Jewish Theology By William Oscar Emil Oesterley 1907

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The etymology of this word is the subject of controversy; but it is necessary to form some opinion as to its derivation, for, clearly, the name must originally have given some indication regarding the functions of this personality.

The date of the first mention of the word is not without importance in seeking to fix its derivation. According to the JE (viii, 519), it is Elisha ben Abuyah a who first refers to Metatron under this name; this Rabbi lived during the first half of the second century A.d.; therefore the belief regarding Metatron must have been much earlier than this date, for, as we have had to remark before, the beliefs which are crystallized in the Talmud have a history before their appearance there. This early date of the mention of the word makes it improbable that it was derived from the Latin, for Roman influence upon Jewish literature is not likely to have been sufficiently powerful to have induced Jewish teachers to derive such a word as Metatron from the Latin. A Latin derivation is the less likely in that the first mention of Metatron occurs in the Babylonian Talmud. We cannot, therefore, agree with the writer on this subject in the JE, when he says that " the derivation from the Latin 'metator' (='guide') is doubtless correct." It would be difficult to point to any instance of the Latin word being used in this sense. "Divider" or "Measurer"; is what the word means, but not "Guide." There is, it is true, at least one passage which could be quoted in favour of this derivation when first read, but not on considering it further. The passage is from Bereshith rabbah, c. 5; it is here said that the voice of the Holy One became to Moses a Metator, in order to show him the boundaries of the Promised Land. There is, however, here nothing about dividing or measuring, it is only a question of indicating whereabouts the Promised Land lay; so that the fact that in this passage Metator is used instead of Metatron points to a confusion of ideas, and cannot be said to throw any real light upon the derivation of Metatron. Further, Mr. Herford has shown how untenable is the theory which regards the idea of Metatron as of Gnostic origin, or which identifies him with the "Logos" of the Jewish Alexandrine philosophy. Another improbable theory is that which seeks to identify Metatron with the Zoroastrian Mithra; but how very unlikely this is will be clear to anyone reading, for example, Cumont's Les Mysteres de Mithra. Once more, it is pointed out that the numerical value of the letters of the word Metatron are equal to 314; but this is also the numerical value of the letters of the word Shaddai, "Almighty"; therefore, it is said, the two words are synonymous, Metatron means "Almighty!" This theory is, of course, hardly to be taken seriously, though in favour of it are quoted two passages, one from the Babylonian and one from the Jerusalem Talmud, in which Metatron bears the title of "Prince of the World"; a title which more probably implies that he is the representative of God in the world.

All these theories must be rejected, and one can scarcely doubt that the explanation which Weber gives is the correct one. He holds that Metatron is a hebraized form of the Greek Metathronos or perhaps Metatyrannos, i.e., one who occupies the next rank to the ruler. This explanation accords with the functions of Metatron, which we now proceed briefly to examine:—

The representative of God. This function shows Metatron as one who stands in the closest relationship to God, for he occupies this position by virtue of the fact that he is second to God only; indeed, he is sometimes spoken of in such a way as to make it difficult to see any difference between him and the Almighty; for example, in Sanhedrin 38b, in reference to the words of Exod. 24:1, And he (God) said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, it is asked: "Why does not God say: 'Come up unto Me'?" The answer is: "It was Metatron, whose name is equal to that of God, to whom he was bidden to come up." Logically, there is no difference here between God and Metatron. One must remember the significance there was in names among the Jews to realize the importance of this passage; the name was equivalent to its bearer. In the passage just quoted, Metatron is said to bear the " Tetragrammaton," i.e. the four consonants which represent the unpronounceable name of God; another instance of the practical identity between God and Metatron. Elsewhere Metatron is described as the teacher of children, but in other passages this is said to be the duty of God alone. But his function of representing God is perhaps seen most distinctly in the title that is given him of the "Prince of the World" (Sar ha'olam), which shows that he was thought of as the ruler of the world.

The Consoler of God. This function ascribed to Metatron, which to us appears as bordering on irreverence, well illustrates the extremely illogical way in which at one time God is represented as wholly impassible, at another as partaking of human feelings. It is said that when God was lamenting the death of Moses, Metatron comforted Him with the words: "He was Thine in life, in death he is also Thine."

Some extraordinary ideas seem to have been current in the early centuries of the Christian era concerning Metatron and Moses; in the Apocalyptic writing called The Ascension of Moses, for example, we read that Metatron transformed the body of Moses into a fiery figure like that of the angels and led him up through the seven heavens.

Again, when the Temple was destroyed, God is represented as weeping; but Metatron sought to comfort Him, saying: "I will weep, but weep not Thou." But God answered: "If thou wilt not suffer me to weep, I will go whither thou canst not come, and there will I lament." The title "Prince of the Presence," which is applied to Metatron, and which implies that he is the constant companion of God, accounts perhaps for the amazing intimacy between Metatron and the Almighty which the foregoing points to as having existed.

The Mediator between God and Israel. The most characteristic function of Metatron is that in which he appears as mediator. This is very important, for it shows that the idea of Mediation, in quite a Christian sense, was current among the Jews in pre-Christian times.

It is true, that, as far as Rabbinical literature is concerned, this statement could not be made positively, though doctrines of this kind which appear in Talmud and Midrash (let alone the Targums) certainly do not occur there for the first time. What leads to the conviction that the doctrine of Mediation existed in post-biblical Jewish theology in connexion with Metatron is his identification with Enoch, and the teaching on this subject in the Book of Enoch, the latest portions of which are pre-Christian. It must be remembered, too, that the Old Testament offers much on which to found a doctrine of Mediation.

As one who, as we have seen, was so much in the presence of God, and who therefore stands in the closest intimacy with Him, Metatron occupies an appropriate position as Israel's intercessor. It will, therefore, not surprise us to find that in one passage Moses is represented as asking Metatron to intercede with God on his behalf, in order that his life might be prolonged. His office of Advocate of Israel is clearly brought out in Chagigah 15a, where he is represented as writing down, in the presence of God, the merits of the Children of Israel; he is thus spoken of as the "Great Scribe," the advocate who pleads on behalf of his clients before the Judge. In Bemidbar rabbah, c. 12, the term "Mediator" is directly applied to Metatron, and, what is still more significant, he is represented as the reconciler between God and the Chosen People.

Metatron identified with Enoch. In the Jerusalem Targum (Pseudo-Jonathan) to Gen. 5:24 Metatron is said to be the name of Enoch; it says there: "Enoch ascended into Heaven through the Word of God, and He (God) called him Metatron, the great scribe. It is owing to this passage, as Bousset points out, that the figure of Metatron, which plays such a prominent part in the later speculations, first assumes importance in Jewish theology; "for," he goes on to say, "it may be taken for granted that the figure of Metatron and that of the Son of Man, stand in some relation to one another." Another reason for identifying Metatron with Enoch is that both are referred to as the "heavenly scribe"; we have just seen how the title is applied to Metatron, and in reference to Enoch it is found in the Book of Jubilees 4a: "And he (Enoch) was taken away from among the children of men, and we led him into the garden of Eden to renown and honour, and behold, he writes down there the judgment and the verdict upon the world and upon all the evil deeds of the children of men." In the Hebrew writings, according to Ludwig Blau, "Metatron fills the role of Enoch in the Apocrypha in bearing witness to the sins of mankind. Since both sources represent him as a youth, it may be assumed that the first versions of the Hebrew mystical works, though they received
their present form in the Geonic period, originated in antiquity, so that the conception of Metatron must likewise date from an early period."

It is characteristic that while Metatron, or Enoch, appears as the accuser of mankind in general, he occupies the role of intercessor and reconciler as far as the children of Israel are concerned.

Metatron identified with Michael the Archangel. This identification is found in the Jerusalem Targum (Pseudo-Jonathan) to Exod. 24:1; but there are other distinct indications of their identity. He is called Michael in the Ascension of Isaiah 9:21; both appear as advocate and mediator of Israel; we have seen that this is the case with Metatron, and that he is also known as the "great scribe," who writes down in the presence of God the merits of the children of Israel. Michael fulfils precisely the same functions; he is called the "Advocate of the Jews," he is also represented as the High-priest who constantly makes intercession for Israel; as to his filling the office of the "great scribe," see Enoch 89:70, 71, 76, 77. Another mark of their identity is to be seen in their connexion with Moses; thus, we are told that Metatron helped to bury the body of Moses, Jer. Targ. (Jonathan) to Deut. 34:6, and we have seen how he is represented as comforting God on the death of Moses; Michael, it is said, would not bring the soul of Moses to God, because he had been Moses' teacher; the passage does not seem clear, but the point is that he is brought into connexion with Moses, after the death of the latter, just as Metatron is.

In the Prayer-Book of the Jews of Abyssinia there is a very curious account of the death of Moses which is recited as part of the Office for the Burial of the Dead; in this, Michael, the Angel of Death (in a different sense of course from Sammael, and corresponding perhaps to Isis and Nephthys among the Egyptians), plays an important part. Cf. in this connexion Jude 9: But Michael the Archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses. . . .

Metatron one of the angels. In an extraordinary passage (Chagigah 15a) it is shown clearly, if somewhat drastically, that Metatron, in spite of the very pre-eminent position which he seems to occupy, was, in reality, of the angelic order, and nothing more. This passage describes how Elisha ben Abujah entered Paradise, and there "saw Metatron, to whom was given the power to sit and write down the merits of Israel." Elisha ben Abujah said: "It is taught that on high there is no sitting, no strife, no parting, and no joining. Can there be, Heaven forbid! two powers?" Then, we are told, "they brought out Metatron and gave him sixty lashes of fire." This was done, as Mr. Herford points out (quoting Tosaphoth), to show that Metatron was not superior in kind to the other angels, however much he might be in degree. This passage is significant from another point of view altogether, for it bears witness, in an unmistakable manner, to the fact that popular belief did regard Metatron as a being who was, at the lowest estimate, semi-divine. We are often apt, at the present day, to regard as allegorical or parabolic the substance as well as the form of many a belief contained in the Talmud and other kindred writings; it seems to us, nowadays, quite incredible that people in a high state of civilization and religious progress should have actually believed many things which we could not regard as otherwise than the product of fantastic imagination; nevertheless, it is well that we should try and divest ourselves of this erroneous impression; let it be remembered that even in the late Middle Ages—nay, so late as a few generations ago—there was, in the world in general, no clear differentiation between fable and fact; what must, therefore, have been the mental attitude towards all that partook, or was believed to partake, of a supernatural character five hundred years and more earlier? Above all, let it be remembered that the innate religiousness of the Jew, to which reference has already been made in an earlier chapter, necessarily increases the tendency, more or less common to all in an unscientific age, to formulate theories, which soon crystallize into belief, concerning all that has to do with the invisible world of supernatural agencies. The passage to which reference has been made, shows not merely that Metatron was regarded as a personality endued with supernatural powers—that was universal among the Palestinian Jews as well as those of the Diaspora—but that he was by some, at all events, believed to come perilously near equality with God. It was for this latter reason, primarily, as it seems to us, that the passage last quoted was written; and it was designed to show those whom it concerned that great as Metatron was, he was nevertheless, of no higher being than such as was proper to the order of angels.

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Orthodox Jewish Superstitions by Astra Cielo 1918


SUPERSTITIONS OF THE ORTHODOX JEWS by Astra Cielo 1918

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The following is a list of some of the most common beliefs of the orthodox Hebrews. Many of them have their original in some Biblical quotation or in some interpretation of a Biblical text. This collection is taken from the pages of the "Jewish Encyclopedia."

Animal:—To see an animal in an unexpected place indicates the finding of a treasure.

Bachelor:—Bachelors are not looked on with favor. As it is not good to be alone, every man is supposed to marry. Sand is strewn before the hearse when a bachelor is buried, as a reproach.

Barrenness:—To cure barrenness, water was prescribed in which moss taken from the Temple wall in Jerusalem was cooked.

Bat:— To kill a bat with a gold coin was considered lucky.

Bathtub:— A child's bathtub was not to be used for any other purpose, or the child would meet with misfortune.

Bear:— To eat a bear's heart would convert the eater into a tyrant.

Bed:— It is considered lucky for girls to sit on a bride's bed, and will cause other marriages.

Blood:— As blood was supposed to carry the life of the animal and was used on the altar, it is not eaten by professing Jews.

Blood as a cure:—< For many illnesses, blood was smeared on the breast and forehead. The blood of a rooster was usually taken for this purpose.

Bone:— When a fishbone has been swallowed, place another fishbone on the head, and the offending bone will be either ejected or swallowed completely.

Book:— It is dangerous to go away and leave a book open.

Bread:— After saying the usual blessing over bread at a meal (grace), the bread should be cut in two before eating.

Bride:— If on the return from the marriage canopy, the bride takes the groom's hand, she will be the ruling power in the family. If the groom takes the bride's hand, he will be boss.

Broom:— A table should never be brushed off with a broom, as it may bring poverty.

Brothers:— It is unlucky for three married brothers to live in the same town.

Buckets:— It is unlucky to come across an empty bucket in going out of a house, or a full bucket in coming in.

Cat:— When a cat licks her paws, be prepared for company.

Convulsions:— When a child has convulsions, break an earthenware pot in front of its face, to drive away the demon.

Cemetery:— In order to allay the fears of any member of a community of being the first to be buried in a new cemetery, a rooster is often slaughtered and buried.

Curse:— An undeserved curse, usually rebounds on the one who curses, and brings him bad luck.

Dead:— A dead person is supposed to know what is going on until the last spade-full of earth is placed on his grave.

Dirt:— It is unlucky to throw dirt after a man who is leaving a house.

Eggs:— To steal an egg brings poverty.

Epidemics:— In case of an epidemic, never open the door of your home to any one until he has knocked three times.

Evil Eye:— To avert the curse of the evil eye, spit three times on your finger tips and make a quick movement with your hand through the air.

Eye:— If the right eye itches, rejoice; if the left, you will grieve.

Fingers:— When washing the fingers, hold them downwards so that the water will drip off. Evil spirits will depart with the water.

Feet:— Itching of the feet denotes that you will make a voyage to a place you have never been to.

Hair:— If child's hair is cut on certain days, an elflock will grow.

Looking back:— In running from danger, never look back, or like Lot's wife, you will come to grief.

Money:— In taking money out of a purse or box, always leave a coin, however small, as a luck token.

Money:— Dreaming of money is a sign of bad luck.

Mourning:— Don't weep too long for the departed or you may have to weep for some one else. Weep three days, mourn seven, and refrain from wearing jewelry for thirty days.

Oven:— It is unlucky to leave an oven empty. When you are not baking in it, keep a piece of wood within, or you may not have anything to bake.

Rats:— If rats leave one house for another, it is a sign of bad luck for the first and good luck for the second.

Shoes:— Never walk out with only one shoe or slipper on your foot. It may forecast a death.

Shroud:— In making a shroud, avoid knots.

Sisters:— Two sisters should not marry on the same day, nor should two brothers marry two sisters. Both bring bad luck.

Sweeping:— It is unlucky to sweep out a room at night or to throw sweepings into the street after sundown.

Widowhood:— The fourth husband of a widow will die soon after his marriage.

Spitting:— When a person spits at another, he takes over the other's sins.

Travelling:— Monday is a bad day for travelling, but Tuesday is a lucky day.