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tragedy were a Prometheus bound, not the importance attached by the author after, but before, he had well got the to the last chapter of book v. celestial fire into the vapont, whereby And in itself, apart from what the it might be conveyed to mortals. author may think of it, what a soulThrust by the Kratos and Bia of in- moving incident is there contained ! stituted methods into a solitude of A representative of an ancient worlddespised ideas, fastened in throbbing important people, whose royalty of helplessness by the fatal pressure of wrongs makes the aristocracies of poverty and disease—a solitude where Europe appear petty, finds himself many pass by, but none regard." clutched by the griping hands of In other words, George Eliot con
want and death before he can move siders the circumstances of Mordecai's the world to that vision of the Phænixfate to surpass in tragic pathos the rise of Israel which the prophetic inmost colossal monument of Greek stincts of his race have brought up clear dramatic art. Notice, too, the care with before him. Careless of his own comwhich she leads up to the incident. fort, careless of coming death, he In chapter xxxvii. we have Deronda desires only to live anew-as the coming to the Meyricks at Chelsea to quasi-Positivist doctrine of the Cabala announce to Mirah the forthcoming bids him live-in “minds made nobler visit of Klesmer, and the chapter by his presence." His prophetic vision finishes as he is leaving Chelsea. The pictures to him the very lineaments of next chapter (xxxviii.) is filled with a his spiritual alter ego, whom he pathetidescription of Mordecai's yearning for cally thinks of as differing from hima spiritual successor, and gives us self in all externals, and, as death en passant a fine picture of the scene of draws nigh, the very scene of their the meeting (iii. 137). We get here in meeting And in this nineteenth short all we need to understand and century, in prosaic London, this sympathise with the final episode of inward vision of the poor consumptive the “ book;” but lest we should come Jew is fulfilled to the letter. upon the fulfilment of the prophecy Would it be too bold a suggestion with too vivid a memory of the if we suspected the author of having author's sublimation of the idea of pro- typified in the meeting of Deronda phecy, we have interposed, like a comic and Mordecai that scene in an Elizabethan tragedy, the magnificent account of Klesmer's visit
“One far-off divine event to the Meyricks in chap. xxxix., which
To which the whole creation moves," clearly occurred after the events described in chapter xl., which takes up
the meeting of Israel and its Redeemer? the stream of narrative from chapter
In personal characteristics, in majestic xxxvii.
gravity (we cannot imagine Deronda It seems to us clear that all this laughing), in width of sympathy and seemingly inartistic transposition of depth of tenderness, even in outward events is intended to make the inci- appearance, Daniel resembles the great dent of chapter xl. stand out more
Galilean Pharisee whom all Christensharply into relief. We have the dom has accepted as in very truth the miracle explained away, it is true-
Messiah that will restore Judæa to the modern analytic spirit requires it
the Holy People. To say the least, - but the author wishes us to forget
the author suggests the audacity in the explanation, or at least to relegate her comparison
of the two to the figures the intellectual element of chapter
of Jesus and the Pharisee in Titian's xxxviii. to the unconscious background,
" Tribute Money.” where it may be ready to assist,
1 A friend informs me that Pharisee is de. though not present to obstruct, emo
rived from ja, to extend (the law), not from tion. All this care appears to show wing to separate and define it.
We do not remember a single criti- phobia there has gone the intellectual cism' which has referred to this magni- element of a tacit assumption that ficent scene, where to our mind George modern Judaism is a lifeless code of Eliot's power of representing soul ritual instead of a living body of speaking to soul has reached its greatest religious truth. Of course the pathos height. We do not remember a single and tragedy of Mordecai's fate depend critic who seemed to think that Morde- in large measure on the value of the cai's fate was in any way more pitiful ideas for which he laid down his life. than that of any other consumptive If he were a crazy believer that the workman with mystic and impossible English nation is descended from the ideas. What reasons can be given for lost Ten Tribes, his fate would only this defect of sympathy! In addition deserve a smile of contemptuous pity. to the before-mentioned assumption Hence the artistic necessity of the that Mordecai does not possess artistic philosophic discussion in chapter xlii., reality, there has been the emotional where his ideas are explained and obstruction to sympathy with a Jew, defended. Here again we have to and the intellectual element of want complain of the want of sympathy of knowledge about modern Juda- shown by the critics, but perhaps still ism. If Mordecai had been an Eng- more of their want of knowledge. Our lish workman laying down his life for author devotes the forty-first chapter the foundation of some English Inter- to a piece of special pleading (really national with Deronda for its Messiah addressed to the reader, though supLassalle, he would have received more posed to be a philosophic musing of attention from the critics. But a Jew Deronda's), the outcome of which is with views involving issues changing
that if we want to tell whether an the future history of Humanity- enthusiast is justified in his faith, our “impossible, vague, mystic." Let us only test is knowledge of the subjectnot be misunderstood : the past gene
matter. And the moral naturally is: ration of Englishmen has been so study the history of the Jews. Hegel generous to Jews that we should be says somewhere—“The heritage a great ungrateful if we accused cultured man leaves the world is to force it to Englishmen of the present day of explain him," and we may say the same being consciously repelled by the idea of a great work of art. But the critics of a poor Jew being worthy of admira- of Daniel Deronda have refused to pay tion. But fifteen centuries of hatred the heavy probate duty of wading are not to be wiped out by any legisla- through the ten volumes or tive enactment. No one can say that Grätz's Geschichte der Juden to see the fact of a man's being a Jew makes
whether Mordecai's ideas have anyno more difference in other men's thing in them or no: the easier plan minds than if he were (say) a Wesleyan. was to denounce them There yet remains a deep unconscious mystical." If it be contended that the undercurrent of prejudice against the subject is too unfamiliar for ordinary Jew which conscientious Englishmen readers, and therefore unsuited for å have often to fight against as part of novel, we may answer that similar that lower nature, a survival of the less reasoning would exalt an Offenbach perfect development of our ancestors, over a Beethoven. George Eliot has which impedes the Ascent of Man. endeavoured to raise the novel to Along with this unconscious Judæo- heights where it may treat of subjects
hitherto reserved for the Drama or the * Professor Dowden's article in the Contem- Epic, but instead of encouragement porary Review for February, which appeared from English critics she meets with after the above was written, forms an exception with respect to this as to all the other defi
their neglect. ciencies of the critics against which we here
Apart, however, from the intrinsic protest.
value of Mordecai's ideas, the discussion
would deserve our admiration as the nations' heart." The now-prevailing literary tour de force. It was the high doctrine of Heredity and the political praise of the Greek philosopher that if enthusiasm for Panslavism, Panteutonthe gods spoke Greek they would talk ism, Pan-whatnotism, will have nought as Plato wrote : may we not say that to urge against these Panjudaic views. if Isaiah had spoken English he would And to our minds Mordecai's is the have prophesied as George Eliot makes profounder philosophy of history when Mordecai speak? We trace in this the he further thinks that the great quarry influence which the Authorised Version, of religious truth, whence two world—with all its inaccuracies, the most religions have been hewn and shaped, living reproduction of the Hebrew but only into torsos, has yet whereScriptures-has had on our principal withal to completely fashion the rewriters, notably in the case of so un- ligion of the future. The one theobiblical a writer as Mr. Swinburne. logic dogma of Judaism, the unity
And what of the ideas which Mor- of the Godhead (involving, as Mordecai clothes with words as of one whose decai remarks, the unity of mankind), lips have been touched with coals of can meet with no harsh reception burning fire ?
What vagueness or from the philosophies of the day, mystery is there in the grand and imbued as they all are with the simple lines of Jewish policy laid down monism of the “ God-intoxicated Jew." by Mordecai ? Two ideas dominate The rationalism of Spinoza's Tractatus Mordecai's arguments throughout the Theologico-Politicus, which has underdiscussion. The resumption of the mined mediæval Christianity, now soil of Palestine by the Jews (which tottering from the attack, merely rehas often been proposed by Gentile presents the outcome of a long line of writers as
a solution of the much Jewish thought on prophecy, miracles, vexed Eastern Question), and as a
and the like, and is, in large measure, consequence the third and final pro- derived from our summa theologiæ, mulgation of the Jewish religion to the the Morê Nebouchîm of Maimonides. world, are sufficiently definite ideas, Again, reverence for law, as marked a however large and grand they may be. trait of the Jewish spirit as of Roman Even if one disagree with Mordecai's pride (the Talmud is but a CorpusJuris), views one may at
him the is another characteristic which Judaism respect due to an energetic leader of shares with the Zukunfts Religion. The opposition, and recognise in him the divorce between man and the world, leader of those who refuse to believe which is the disintegrating factor in that Israel's part in history is played Christianity, nowhere finds a place in out, and that her future policy should Judaism, Further, the teleologic be to amalgamate with the nations as tendency of the evolution doctrine soon as possible, letting her glorious must find a reason for the miraculous past sink into an antiquarian study tenacity with which Judaism has clung instead of living as a perennial spring to life. If, as biologists tell us, life of political action. Mordecai is not of consists in the adaptation of internal those who hold that the millennium will forces to the relations of the environcome when men shall have arrived at ment, Judaism, of all religions, has that nicely balanced mediocrity, that most truly lived, and George Eliot has the "pale abstract” man shall know with due knowledge connected the his brother from other cosmopolitan utterances of Mordecai on Judaism beings only by some official badge with the problem of the hour,“ What necessary for distinction. He rather holds that in the world-organism of 1 Cusari, ii. 36. Mordecai attributes the the nations each nationality will have
saying to Jehuda Halevi ; Sephardo in the
Spanish Gypsy, p. 210, to the Book of Light, its special function, Israel, as the
the Cabalistic book Sohar. It occurs in Jewish poet-philosopher said, being both. Vide Cassel's note in loco.
is progress ?” In this connection it of our separateness," he says, “will not were interesting to contrast the history be completed and have its highest of the two religions of civilisation in transformation unless our race takes the ages previous to the Reformation. on again the character of a nationality.” While Father after Father was crys- And here again history confirms his tallising the freethought of Jesus views. For the life of Judaism has into stony dogma; while Doctor after been connected with the history of Doctor was riveting still closer the Jews in a way such as has been the fetters of reason; Rabbi after Rabbi fate of no other religion. The very was adapting tradition to the reason of name of the religion displays this the time, each, when his task was done, intimate connection; of all religions dying with the shemah' on his lips. Judaism alone has been named after Our author has put into the mouth the race of its believers. And it is to of a Jew one of her noblest passages, this that we may perhaps attribute the describing this progress in Judaism. peculiar interest that George Eliot has Sephardo, in the Spanish Gypsy (p. 215), felt for Jews, which we can trace at speaks thus of the principles of order least as far back as 1864, when the and progress in the Jewish religion- first draft of the Spanish Gypsy was
written. The two chief interests of the “I abide
translator of Strauss and the friend By that wise spirit of listening reverence
of Mr. Herbert Spencer have been the Which marks the boldest doctors of our race. For truth to us is like a living child,
religious consciousness, which she was Born of two parents : if the parents part
the first to use for the artistic purposes And will divide the child, how shall it live? of the novel, and the influence of Or I will rather say : Two angels guide
hereditary forces, which she first raised The paths of man, both aged and yet young,
into an ethical creed. And Jews are As angels are, ripening through endless years. On one he leans : some call her Memory, interesting in both connections, exSome Tradition ; and her voice is sweet hibiting in the greatest known degree With deep mysterious accords : the other, what is to her the highest virtue, Floating above, holds down a lamp which
fidelity to claims of race. At the same streams A light divine and searching on the earth,
time this relation of believers and creed Compelling eyes and footsteps : memory yields has been the source of much misconYet Clings with loving check, and shines anew, ception. No distinction is made in Reflecting all the rays of that bright lamp Our Angel Reason holds. We had not walked, logic
and ethical doctrines of Judaism
the popular mind between the theoTo higher paths by brightening Reason's and the national customs of Jews. lamp."
is true that in the biblical times and
afterwards the social and religious sancof that history of rationalism tions were not differentiated, but their that shall treat of the progress of raison d'être nowadays, apart from Jewish theosophy, culminating in the the sanitary sanction of many of the epoch-making thought of Spinoza, will
customs, is merely the same as that fully bear out the historic truth of the
which preserves many family customs above description. And surely that among the aristocracies of Europe. It represents the spirit with which we
is our national boast to have been the may expect the religion of the future
first to proclaim the true God, and the to be informed.
“ Swiss Guards of Deism," as Heine But the new birth of Judaism and wittily calls us, have clothed themits revelation to the world are, in selves with such customs as with a Mordecai's opinion, indissolubly con- uniform. These rites and ceremonies nected with the new birth of the are not essential to the Judaism we Jewish race as a nation. “The effect have the mission to preach to the 1 The assertion of the Divine Unity, Deut.
world : for Jews are a missionary vi. 4.
though not a proselytising people; how
ever our voices may have hitherto been spiritual inheritance. Like Mordecai, stifled, we have lived our mission if we Deronda protests against the “blashave not been permitted to preach it. phemy of the time,” that men should Those who become Jews in religion need stand by as spectators of life instead not adopt the Mosaic rites unless they of living. But before he meets with wish to be naturalised as Jews in race. Mordecai what noble work in life has Still the religious trust that has kept this young and cultured Englishman the national life throbbing through the with his thousands a year? This age centuries has been the conviction that of unfaith gives no outlet for his deep, the Messiah who shall spread Judaism spiritual yearnings (nor for those of to the four corners of the world will be thousands like him). The old beliefs a Jew by race as well as in creed. And are gone : the world is godless, and Mordecai's views of the resumption of Deronda cannot, for all the critics have the soil of the Holy Land by the holy said, offer to Gwendolen Grandcourt people are the only logical position of a any consolation in a higher order of Jew who desires that the long travail of things instead of the vague platitudes the ages shall not end in the total dis- which alone remain to be offered. Yet appearance of the race. For from the there comes to this young ardent soul times of the Judges periods of pros- an angel of the Lord (albeit in the perity, such as the one upon which the shape of a poor Jew watch-mender) present generation has entered, have with a burning message, giving a been the most perilous for our national mission in life as grand as the most life : it is the struggle for national ex- far-reaching ideal he could have formed. istence that has resulted, we are vain Is it strange that his thirsty soul enough to think, in the survival of the should have swallowed up the soul of fittest missionaries of the true religion, Mordecai, in the Cabalistic way which The Sages say, “Israel is like the olive, the latter often refers to ? Is it the more it is pressed, the more copious strange that Deronda should not have the oil ; "and it is to be feared that the refused the heritage of his race when removal of the pressure will result in offered by the hands of Mirah's brother? the cessation of the noble needs that But is it not strange that the literary are typified by the oil. Unless some leaders of England should have failed such project as Mordecai has in view to see aught but unsatisfactory vaguebe carried out in the next three genera- ness in all the parts of Daniel Deronda tions, it is much to be feared that both which treat of the relations of the hero the national life of Jews and the with Mordecai Cohen? Is it possible religious life of Judaism will perish that they have failed to see the utterly from the face of the earth. “A grandeur and beauty of these incidents consummation devoutly to be wished,” because of the lack of that force the scoffers may say ; but not surely of imagination necessary to pierce to those in whose veins runs the blood the pathos of a contemporary tragedy, of Israelites, and who have the proud however powerful their capacity might heritage of God's truth to hand down be to see the romance of a Rebecca to their children.
of York or the pathos of a Baruch Enough has perhaps been said to Spinoza ? show that Mordecai's views about the One possible source of misconception future of Judaism and of Jews have all for English readers may be mentioned. history and much reason on their side Since the time of Moses Mendelssohn and display those powers of intellectual the home of spiritual Judaism has been intuition of the future which the psycho- in Germany, and George Eliot, whose logical system of Maimonides assigns pages are informed with the writings to the Prophet. And we have perhaps of German Jews like Zunz, Geiger, and contributed somewhat to an explana- Grätz, has, with true historic insight tion of Deronda's acceptance of his attributed Mordecai's spiritual birth.to