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Dr. Joseph Jacobs: Memorial Meeting

<plain_text><page sequence="1">DR. JOSEPH JACOBS. MEMORIAL MEETING. A meeting of the Society was held at the Mocatta Library on Tuesday, February 22, at eight o'clock. A large gathering assembled to do honour to the memory of Dr. Jacobs. The Rev. Dr. H. P. Stokes (President) and subsequently Mr. Gustave Tuck (Treasurer) occupied the chair. At the close of the addresses, a vote of thanks to the speakers was passed on the motion of Mr. Tuck. Address by the President. We have lately lost three distinguished scholars in the persons of Dr. Gross, Dr. Schechter, and Dr. Jacobs. The activities of Dr. Schechter only lightly touched Anglo-Jewish research, but nevertheless he found opportunity to contribute valuable papers on the subject to the Transactions of our Society and to other publications. Dr. Charles Gross was the author of a singularly accurate paper on the Jewish Exchequer, which appeared in the Papers of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition (1887). To this paper all subsequent work is deeply indebted. Dr. Joseph Jacobs was more intimately connected with the special purposes of our Society, of which he was a founder and President. It may be worth recalling that Dr. Jacobs delivered his Presidential Address (November 14, 1897) not in London, but in Birmingham. The choice of place was due to the desire to popularise the Society outside the Metropolis, and the result was eminently satisfactory. Dr. Jacobs's originality of outlook was admirably illustrated in this Presidential VOL. VIII. 129 I</page><page sequence="2">130 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. Address of his on the Typical Character of Anglo-Jewish History. He maintained that the English records threw light on the position not merely of the Jews in this country, but also of the Jews throughout mediaeval Europe. From first to last Dr. Jacobs, moreover, realised that our Society serves a national as well as a particular end, for in dealing with the history of the Jews it throws light in many ways on the general history of England. The fact that both Dr. Jacobs?now no more?and Mr. Lucien Wolf?happily still with us, and still con? tinuing his splendid work?have grasped the wider as well as the narrower aims of our Society has had much to do with making our success so worthy and so important. As Dr. Jacobs said in his perora? tion : "A study like that of Anglo-Je wish history, which thus deals with the great world movements of the past, and connects them with noble hopes for the future, can surely claim the interest of all English? men and all Jews who have a care for the destinies of mankind." I never had the privilege of knowing Dr. Jacobs personally, but I have been a student of his books, and there are few who appreciate more than I do one aspect of Dr. Jacobs's writings, the antiquarian and historical side. I have followed all he wrote?and how much that was will be seen from the Bibliography, to be appended by Dr. Abrahams to the report of this meeting?concerning the Jews in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He was a pioneer. Before the days of Calendars and other guides to the materials contained in the Becord Office, Prynne in the seventeenth and M. D. Davis in the nineteenth century made many researches. But especially is our gratitude due to him whose death we mourn to-night. Dr. Jacobs's book on the Jews of Angevin England was of extraordinary interest. The appendices which he added to it were in themselves valuable essays which it would have been an honour for any man to write. Naturally, some of Dr. Jacobs's identifications and theories have been open to criticism, but this fact did not lower for a moment the permanent importance of his work. It remained a mine of information and a noble monument to his fame. I appreciate the opportunity of being associated in this commemoration of a distinguished and widely renowned scholar.</page><page sequence="3">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING, 131 Address by Mr. Israel Zangwill. When I was asked by Mr. Israel Abrahams to deliver an address in memory of my dear friend, Joseph Jacobs, I was well aware how much less qualified I was than himself or Mr. Lucien Wolf to appraise the life-work of so great and so many-sided a scholar. But a meeting like this, inspired by piety for the dead, demands affection rather than exact appreciation, and Jacobs was more than an admirable Crichton, he was a prince of good fellows. And it was my privilege to stand for nearly thirty years in as close a relation to him as any other of that now historic and increasingly ghostly circle of " Wandering Jews," while it so happened that in his last passage through England in the Spring of 1914 he stayed with me both at the Temple and in the country, and thus gave me an opportunity of re-discovering with ever fresh surprise the abounding humour as well as the encyclopaedic allu siveness of his conversation, and the gaiety and joie de vivre which neither his sixty years nor the heart-weakness he had come abroad to eure could impair. I remember introducing him to another friend of mine, also troubled with a weak heart, and they had what Jacobs called " a heart to heart talk." If it concerned itself at all with their common ailment it could not have been of a very sombre character, for this other friend, who had only seen Jacobs that once, said to me on hearing of his death : " That fountain of fun frozen ! Incredible ! " Alas ! credo quia incredibile est. But with this radiant image before me it is impossible for me to clothe him for you in Hamlet's "inky cloak" or " customary suit of solemn black." He was bubbling over, not only with fun, but with literary projects, one of the smallest of which was a new Encyclopaedia of a quintessential nature. He did actually arrange with his old friend and illustrator, J. D. Batten, for another volume of their famous Fairy Tales. And in his unjaded intellectual curiosity to study the new Anti-Semitic wing of English letters, which had grown up so oddly in</page><page sequence="4">132 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. his absence, he got me to bring him together with Mr. G. K. Chesterton. The meeting took place at the "Cheshire Cheese," where if the duel of Arjan and Semite came off without casualties, it was perhaps because I had prudently made provision in the spirit of one of the Tosaphoth of Rabbi Elchanan translated by Jacobs in The Jews of Angevin England. "It is surprising," comments the worthy Rabbi, "that in the land of the isle the Jews are lenient in the matter of drinking strong drinks of the Gentiles and along with them. ... But perhaps as there would be great ill-feeling if they were to refrain from this, one must not be severe on them." At a time when Keats's sad line is more than ever true, when " but to think is to be full of sorrow," it seems a superfluous tragedy that the extinction of so vivid and valuable a life should be one of the innumer? able by-products of the homicidal mania which ravages the world, cheapening life and staling death. Had Jacobs not gone to Nauheim for a cure he would in all probability have been still alive, for the specialists, he wrote to me almost apologetically, considered his affection slight. He had booked his passage home via Naples. But he was caught in Germany by the mobilisation half-an-hour before the train reached the Italian frontier, and he was turned out at a wayside station to shift for himself. He managed to struggle back and up to Holland, whence he crossed to England again, arriving more dead than alive, indeed not expected to live through the night. But under the kindly care of the Battens he rallied, and my last glimpse of him before he sailed back to New York was in their spacious suburban garden, alarmingly ashen-faced indeed, yet mercurial as ever, reading old volumes of Punch, and full of the side-lights thrown on the European situation by forgotten cartoons. Curiously enough my very last encounter with Jacobs was?like Chesterton's first?a duel, though by correspondence, for a leader in the American Hebrew in which I recognised his hand had demolished me as a theologian?doubtless justly enough?but on the insufficient basis of my remark that our revered friend Schechter was not an infallible one. Sweeping me aside as old-fashioned, Jacobs asserted that the Jewish problem?the real Jewish problem of the Bible's break-down as a verbally inspired document?had been solved by Schechter's concep? tion of a living historic tradition and the inspiration of Catholic Israel.</page><page sequence="5">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 133 I wrote to point out that it was exactly this conception which Schechter had repudiated. By a tragic coincidence I was writing my letter on the very Sunday of his death, and he was not destined to receive my return-shot. But of course Catholic Israel was the solution, which he himself favoured and which ^he had read into Schechter's. It was implicit in his first published, and alas! his most brilliant and creative essay, " The God of Israel," which appeared in the Nineteenth Century for September 1879. This essay, for the breadth of its sweep and the mingled boldness and sobriety of its conception, is unparalleled in literature as the work of a young man of twenty-four. At an age when destruction is as natural to the thinker as to a kitten, Jacobs was laying down lines for the spiritual transit not only of Jewry but of mankind. "That generations of men have held the Bible sacred must always keep it sacred for us," said this astonishing young Badical from Australia, who, though he thought the future was to the God of Spinoza, rejected Spinoza himself as no true Jew because he lacked "that historic sense of communion with his people's past which has been the bond that kept Judaism alive through the ages." " Some are born wise," said Balthasar Gracian, the pithy Spaniard, "and with this natural advantage enter upon their studies, with a moiety already mastered." Nobody ever illustrated this aphorism more aptly than the young writer who was one day to translate it into English. What? ever we may think, we feel, he told us, what our ancestors thought, and our descendants will feel what we think. That a young man so profound and so poised, who had enjoyed the advantage of both an English and a German University, and had that further sense of the relativity of values which comes from belonging to two communities, should become a great critic was inevitable. But even the paramount position of Jacobs upon the Athenceum in the days when the position of the ?thenmum was paramount, did not provide the world with an adequate equivalent for his powers. In a sane society, it has always seemed to me, the spiritual treasures of its members would be valued as much as coal and iron : syndicates would be established to exploit them. That so much of Jacobs's time, which was not money but treasure for the race, should have been frittered away by the res angastce domi seems to me the real tragedy of his fellow-citizen's</page><page sequence="6">134 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. career. He was, he jested?perhaps not without bitterness?one of the greatest contributors to the British Museum Catalogue. And indeed from that portentous list of his works, it is not unlikely that some future German scholar will demonstrate that there must have been many Joseph Jacobses that had got confused together: if indeed the list did not represent a period of eponymous clan-authorship. Some of these works, so deftly tossed off, will surely be attributed to his next-door neighbour in the Jewish Encyclopedia, Joseph Jacobs, the English conjuror, known as Jacobs the Wizard; palmed off on us, to speak pat. It is said that he edited English classics by Gold? smith, Jane Austen, Thackeray, &amp;c. &amp;c, and translated Boccaccio. But even his hackwork, so far as I know it, his editions of texts?of HowelPs Familiar Letters, of Painter's Palace of Pleasure, of The Fables of Bidpai, of JEsop, of Barlaam and Josaphat, of Reynard the Fox, of Daphnis and Chloe?provided monumental examples of efficient editorship, with introductions that were masterpieces of luminous and exhaustive survey, and notes that were not only learned but more readable than many texts. Sometimes too he made brilliant new suggestions, as when by correcting D*MD into D^D113 be turned the fables of the Talmudic washermen (Cobsim) into those of Kybisses, the Greek fabulist. And even when the learning was not all Jacobite, even when, amid the dizzy peaks and crevasses of scholarship he? in his own phrase?"tied himself to the latest German/' the stodgy omniscience of his guide was transposed into a key of gay lucidity that made it all his own. Sometimes, indeed, he became too flippant, as when, apropos of the seventh - century discussion whether Christ had two wills, or whether the divine and human wills fused together, as the Monothe letists maintained against the Dyotheletists, he professed himself "of the heresy of Lord Dundreary." In his effort not to impose the Teutonic tax on the reader he was peculiarly rich in analytical tables, bird's-eye views, and historical or genealogical trees. In his remarkable Jeivish Encyclopedia article on Spinoza he even invented a diagram, representing God and Nature, Substance and Mode, &lt;fec. &amp;c, in luminous lines and rays?a sort of Metaphysics without Tears. A more parochial Jacobs was the reconstructor of the London Jewry of 1290, the pioneer in Anglo-Jewish research, who by a pro</page><page sequence="7">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 135 verbial pact with Mr. Lucien Wolf limited his researches to the pre Expulsion period; the Jacobs who collaborated in the Anglo-Jewish Exhibition, and in its epoch-making catalogue, and in the foundation of this very Historical Society of which he was once President. This is also the Jacobs of that fascinating olla podrida, The Jews of Angevin England, in which like a bird building a nest of straw and twigs and moss and odd trifles Jacobs put together mouldering twelfth-century Pipe Rolls of the English Record Office with disconnected Rabbinic commentaries and museum-manuscripts into a complete working model of the old English Ghetto. We see the mediaeval Jew as he lived and moved and had his being, cut off from the State because cut off from the Church, with the King exploiting the wealth derived from the usury forbidden by the Holy Mother. It is an ironic picture, sketched by Jacobs with a reticent humour, and its truth is evident if only from its substantial accordance with the latest political vision ings of the Belloc-Chestertonian school. The London Jewry of 1290 he even reconstructed house by house. But no pioneer can hope to be final, and this Jacobs, like others of the clan, sometimes went wrong. That is what pioneers are for; if they did not go wrong, nobody else would go right. I note without surprise that Jacobs's severest critic? Dr. Stokes?is also his greatest admirer. Indeed, the best testimony to the value of Jacobs's researches is conveyed by a single word in Dr. Stokes's Studies in Anglo-Jewish History. That word occurs in the index, after the name of Joseph Jacobs : it is the word?"passim." There is a third Jacobs?the student of Jewish statistics, social, vital, and anthropometric. This Jacobs, who was perhaps the Dr. Jacobs, was a disciple of "Galton ; he impinged on the provinces of Mendel and Lombroso, of Wundt and Fechner; he was tinged by Lazarus and Steinthal, the inventors of Folk-Psychology. He appears to have flourished mainly between 1886 and 1891. He wrote in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute on the " Racial Characteristics of Modern Jews," and on " The Comparative Distribution of Jewish Talent," and he joined forces with his life-long friend, Isidor Spielmann, to study "The Comparative Anthropometry of English Jews," making many thousands of tests both in the West End and the East End. I remember his coming down to a Jewish school and instituting memory tests by dictating groups of figures. His deductions from the results</page><page sequence="8">136 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. constitute a theory of ?? Prehension," which, as published in Mind, at once won a place in Psychology. I also remember his photographing ten boys to turn them into a composite portrait of the Jewish type. My brother Louis, now a member of your Council, was one of the boys, and, like Aaron's rod, he appears to have swallowed up all the others, for the final type was curiously like him. Dr. Maurice Fishberg, who reproduces this composite portrait in his book in the Contemporary Science Series, entitled The Jews?a book, let me remark, in which you will find endless facts and figures and everything except the Jews? does not accept Dr. Jacobs's conclusion that a Jewish type exists. He adduces statistics to prove that even the notorious " Jewish nose " exists in only 13 per cent, of our race, while nearly 60 per cent, have actually Greek noses. Nor would the modern Mendelian accept Dr. Jacobs's theory of the pre-potency of the Jewish type in mixed marriages; Dr. EedclifTe Salaman indeed maintains that it is a recessive type. When doctors disagree, the layman can only leave them wrangling. According to the logic of Rabbi Ishmael, when two Bible-texts dis? agree, a third text will always be found to reconcile them. And according to the logic of Science, when two doctors disagree, a third doctor will always be found to contradict both. That is how Science advances?it is a Hegelian progress by contradiction?and if Dr. Jacobs had only left his successors something to contradict, he would not have written in vain. But I am certain that here, as everywhere, positive results of his methods and outlook will remain. Even Fishberg, who denies his theories that the Jews are abnormally long-headed or big-brained, asserts that he was the first to analyse truly the causes that determine the nature of Jewish occupations. It was probably this Dr. Jacobs to whom is to be attributed the elaborate article " Statistics " in the Jeioish Encyclopedia, with its philosophical principles, its wealth of information both contemporary and mediaeval, and its careful maps, showing the chief centres of Jewish population. And this Jacobs it is who appears to have written his last published article in the American Hebreiu, pointing out that Jews are now established in some sixteen hundred centres in the States. A fourth Joseph Jacobs made his reputation as a Biblical Archaeo? logist. He discussed "Junior Bight in Genesis," and demanded " Are there Totem Clans in the Old Testament ?" and proffered a novel ex</page><page sequence="9">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 137 planation of the Nethinim, the mysterious Temple attendants mentioned in Nehemiah and Ezra. His view of early Hebrew Totemism was inspired by Maclennan and Robertson Smith. But after examining Biblical Animal and Plant names, Exogamy, Ancestor and Animal Worship, Forbidden Food, Tattooing and Clan Crests, and the Blood Feud, he ultimately arrived at the conclusion that the evidence was insufficient to show that such primitive, social clans, with kinship through the mothers and the worship of an animal or plant tattooed on the members, existed in Israel in historic times, though not impossibly among the Edomites. There is also a separate Sephardic Jacobs, who was one of the first Jews to return to Spain, albeit only on a month's visit of explora? tion and exhumation among the ancient manuscripts of its libraries. From this honeymoon of scholarship he brought back copies of nearly a score of important documents and over 1700 records. This Jacobs did for Judseo-Spanish history what his Ashkenazi fellow-Jacobs had done for Anglo-Je wish History, and his Inquiry into the Sources of the History of the Jews of Spain laid a foundation on which all future historians must build. The Royal Academy of Madrid honoured itself by making the Jewish scholar a Corresponding Member, and the Jewish scholar, in his discourse of reception, finely said: "I welcome in my election one of the many signs that Spain has learnt with regard to the Jews the highest and most difficult of all moral lessons?to forgive those we have injured." Possibly the Joseph Jacobs who translated the Spanish maximist should be classed with this Jacobs, or possibly from the raciness and pungency of the language the translation should go rather with the next group of Jacobses, the more literary series, to which belong Jacobs the critic, Jacobs the necrologist, Jacobs the historian of Geographical Discovery and of Wonder Voyages, Jacobs the historical novelist, the author of As Others Sato Him, and, most popular of all, Jacobs the teller of fairy-tales, English, Celtic, and Indian. The story? books in which he collaborated with the artist, Batten?a partnership as felicitous as that of Gilbert with Sullivan?books that delighted equally the nursery and the drawing-room, with their coda of learned notes for the edification of the study, revealed at once a great raconteur and a rare literary artist, for many of these tales were written or re? written by himself for the nursery in defiance of the purists of folk-lore,</page><page sequence="10">138 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. who thought it sacrilegious to alter a syllable in a traditional tale. But Jacobs maintained that the traditional was the transitional: the fact that a story was first heard in a certain locality was no proof that it had not come from somewhere else. And so he invented an idiom for these tales that in its racy homeliness and mother-wit flouted even respectable grammar. It was the same instinct for language that served him so admirably in reviewing the Bevised Version of the Bible. His little daughter, May, thought he wrote these Fairy Tales for her alone ; that affords at once a charming glimpse of his domestic side and a side-light upon popular theology. In close affinity with Jacobs the tale-teller stands the Jacobs who edited Folk-lore, and midway between this editor and the Jewish Historian stands the Jacobs who studied "The Jewish Diffusion of Folk-Tales," or reconstructed by the same scientific methods the homely truth behind the fatal folk? tale of " Little St. Hugh of Lincoln," and the blood-legend in general. And this brings me to the Jacobs whose articles in the Times in 1882 roused all Europe against the pogroms of 1881, and brought about the Mansion House Meetings, and the Busso-Jewish Fund that by a pre? mature optimism was wound up shortly before another series of pogroms. And this Jacobs who was the chief contributor to Darkest Russia, and who seems to have been active again in 1891 and to be not unconnected with the Bibliographer of "The Jewish Question" as it asked and answered itself in a decade of pamphlets, opens out a perspective of further Jabobses, practical Jacobses, -innumerable, peak beyond peak, the Jacobses of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and the Board of Deputies, and the Conjoint Committee, and the Hebrew Literature Society, and the Jacobs who founded the Anglo-Jewish Year Book, and gave substance to the Jewish Chronicle. And all these are not to be confused with the American group of Jacobses whose career begins with the twentieth century, when they are seen co-operating in the Jewish Encyclopedia, directing the Bureau of Jewish Statistics and Research, editing the American Hebrew and the latest Jewish-American Year Book, teaching Literature and Bhetoric in the Jewish Theological Seminary, sitting on the Committee of the Jewish Publication Society and partaking as Style Editor in its new translation of the Bible, com? forting Job by a Commentary, reviewing for the New York Times, lecturing to Jewish Ladies and Literary Circles and American Colleges,</page><page sequence="11">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 139 and receiving the honorary degree Litt.D. from Philadelphia Uni? versity. To trace out, inter-relate and appraise all these activities is beyond my powers. In Bulwer Lytton's posthumous novel, The Parisians, the last fragment?curiously the most memorable passage in all his works?records how an unfortunate resident of Paris during the siege is finally compelled to sacrifice his pet dog to his own necessities. Wiping his mouth after the delicious meal, and pensively contemplating the bones upon his plate, he observes with rueful tender? ness : " How Fido would have enjoyed those bones ! " I cannot resist a similar reflection anent our lamented friend. How Jacobs would have enjoyed writing this necrology ! Who but he could disentangle this veritable Jewry of Jacobses, study " The Comparative Distribution of Jewish Talent" among them, and put them all together again into a composite photograph ? How he would have revelled in drawing up one of his famous pedigrees of their descent and kinship ! Even of the literary critic who flourished in England under his name, there were more than one. There was the sesthetic critic, pro? nouncing his judgments in the grand manner, and there was the analytical critic, who, under the inspiration of his friend R. G. Moulton, dreamed of an inductive science of criticism, which should study the text of the masters rather than presume to judge them. This Jacobs aimed at nothing less than " to reform the study of English Literature, . . . rescue it from the clutches of those vapouring Oxonians, Matthew Arnold and the rest." It was a programme after the Cambridge heart, conceived in walks in the Madingley Road, but the only outcome seems to have been an elaborate study of " In Memoriam"?a vivisection of its plan, language and rhymes, true or false, which was akin to the Morelli method in art, but which has had no imitators for literature, except for ancient cases of disputed authorship, notably the Bible and the Shake? speare-Bacon stupidity. Personally I prefer the Oxonian manner of the other Jacobs. For criticism, though it may be a science, may also be an art ?a super-art, whose subject-matter is the art-creations of others. His necrologies in the Athenmum, his handling of George Eliot, Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning, and, mirabile dictu, John Henry Newman, are models of literary criticism, far more artistic and less scientific than he thought. Indeed I know few things more artistic than his allegorical picture of the vast dis-jected work of Browning as a mansion whose</page><page sequence="12">140 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. u style is the Gothic with a curious infusion of Italian Renaissance." Particularly happy is the image of the suite of rooms that stands for " The Ring and the Book." " In each the same design, in itself some? what repulsive, is repeated in mirrors of different shapes, parabolic, elliptical, concave, and the rest, distorting the image in each case, but giving, on the whole, a curious impression of reality." It is a metaphor that might well serve to characterise some of the later art of Henry James. Of Cardinal Newman, though he did ample justice to the saint and the leader, he observed drily : " His histories are unhistorical, his criticism uncritical, and much of his theology is founded on his history and his criticism." As a critic, indeed, Jacobs and his friend Theodore Watts seem to have left no successors. They had world standards, whereas there are now none at all. It is all a go-as-you-please, with publishers, if not authors, writing their own reviews, and everything coming out as sixpenny classics. If, as a man of science, Jacobs was sometimes a young man in a hurry, he touched no branch of knowledge which he did not illuminate, even if only verbally. No German, for example, could ever condense the essence of paganism into the phrase, " the worship of the social bond," though every German has under his eyes this paganism in practice. Nor could the pretentiousness of the specialist be more lightly mocked than by his little dig at Professor Saintsbury, " who never seems to read a book for the first time." By taking all knowledge for his province Jacobs was able, if not to equal the specialist in any depart? ment, yet to be superior to him in general grasp and perspective. One figures Jacobs as an aeroplanist flashing over the world of knowledge, and though he frequently descended to make microscopic observations, he never gave you those observations from the ground, but always from the machine to which he had climbed back. It was part of this universalist temper to react even against litera? ture and science. Nearing the philosophic forties, he began to inveigh against literaturitis?authors were poor creatures: for knowledge of life one must go to nurses and grandmothers. He was about thirty-eight when he translated Balthasar Graeian's Art of Worldly Wisdom, and half in fun but half in earnest he would produce you Sancho Panza maxims for any emergency, some real citations from his author, some audacious improvisations. Graclan was only partly a Sancho Panza,</page><page sequence="13">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 141 and there was not wanting the spiritual strain of the seventeenth century Jesuit; how else could the translation have been dedicated to Jacobs's devoted friend, Lady Lewis? But the maxims Jacobs delighted to hurl at you were practicalities like " Know to get your price for things," " Do pleasant things yourself, unpleasant through others," or " Better mad with the rest of the world, than wise alone "?a maxim highly popular to-day. I fear Gracian did not really help him to get his price for things, for, as he said in his Preface, in explaining why men of letters have never written books of maxims, that " they cannot have that interest in action and its rewards which is required for worldly success, or else they would not be able to concentrate their thoughts on things which they consider of higher import." Yet the realisation that he had reached middle-age without finding a stable financial footing may have contributed to that general sobering which, as the great Words worthian Ode puts it, comes to man when the vision splendid of youth fades into the light of common day. Like Schopenhauer he prefixed to his version of Gracian the verse of Goethe, which declares that you must be either hammer or anvil?Amboss oder Hammer sein?and he was fond of quoting it. He must have known his own destiny was to be anvil, and that his nearest approach to the hammer was his membership of the Maccabaeans. In that drab phase of his, Spinoza gave no comfort; he doubted whether there was anything but emptiness in his old Holy of Holies, and whether, as he put it, life's curtain was not the picture. It was a stage in which the aimlessness of modern Judaism?its separate - ness for separation's sake?weighed upon him. He seemed to be waiting for his people to be worthy of its long tragedy. u If Israel have no future," he wrote in collecting the scattered essays of eighteen years, " man's past has no clue." If the Jews do not now bring about the triumph of their ideals, " the long travail of Israel through the ages has been for naught, and man must look back on his past and forward to his future, without seeing the visible presence of God." Solemn, tragic words! In the very year he was writing them, a movement was arising for the realisation of the very ideal his first written essay had glorified. But the Zionist doctrine which Jacobs had hailed as a gospel when presented by George Eliot, and the Zionist passion which he had celebrated in Jehudah Halevi, seemed to him paltry and materialistic when adopted by Dr. Herzl. " I know how to</page><page sequence="14">142 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. kill Zionism," he said to me, when he first set eyes on the picturesque figure of its founder, " Cut off Herzl's beard ! " That was not merely Gracianism: his repugnance to Herzl was that of the profound student of Jewish problems to the man who approached them superficially as a race-Jew, who, occupied solely with Realpolitik, was?at first at least? quite out of touch with the soul of the people or the faith. And Jacobs was not wrong in ever keeping steadfastly before the fanatics of race that a narrow interpretation of their ideal might be not a culmination but an anti-climax to Jewish history. Jaeobs's own quest for a role for modern Jewry followed spiritual and not political horizons. Regarding the spiritual walls of the Ghetto as having fallen irreparably, he looked for the Jews either to diffuse the specific contributions of their ethical genius-?such as the hallowing of history?or to form a nucleus for the brotherhood of the nations. He did, indeed, logically recognise the Return to Zion as an alternative, but like Ibsen's " Lady From the Sea," who longed to return across it till she was permitted to?when the yearning died?the concrete project left him cold. He was interested more in the thought of returning?with a difference?to Jesus, and taking him up into the apostolic succession of Jewish prophets. A great work he had planned upon " The Jewish Race "?a work of which alas ! only a few chapters have been written?was to have ended, accord? ing to its Synopsis, with the sentiment: "Pity Jews have, by conduct of Christians in Middle Ages, been debarred from knowledge of life of Jesus, the noblest Jew who has lived, though not the most Jewish." The same note?that the death of the inspired Galilsean peasant could no more than the Affaire Dreyfus be left a chose jugee?is struck at the end of As Others Saw Him?that anonymous attempt of his to re-write the Gospel story in a rationalistic Jewish setting, and with more local colour than the large method of the Gospel narrative vouchsafes. " O Jesus," writes the scribe who re-tells the story, as he sums up the con? clusion of the whole matter, " why didst thou seem to care not for aught that we at Jerusalem cared for ? Why, arraigned before the appointed judges of thy people, didst thou keep silence before us, and, by thus keeping silent, share in pronouncing judgment upon thyself ? We have slain thee as the Hellenes have slain Socrates their greatest, and our punishment will be as theirs. Then will Israel be even as thou wert, despised and rejected of men?a nation of sorrows among the nations.</page><page sequence="15">JOSEPH JACOBS : MEMORIAL MEETING. 143 But Israel is greater than any of his sons, and the day will come when he will know thee as his greatest. And in that day he will say unto thee, 4 My sons have slain thee, O my son, and thou hast shared our guilt.'" Not that Jacobs was enamoured of Christianity as the Christians have understood it. I shall never forget his disgust when, having restored a little lost child to its parents, he was told: " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me ! " "A simple, natural thing like that! " he fumed to me. "And it has to be passed through the Christ." But if, as he said in his essay on u Jewish Ideals," the morality of the Christian may result in gush, " Judaism," he pointed out, " tends to confuse morality, law and custom." But there have been few finer interpretations of Judaism than he gave in this essay?I heard it originally as a lecture in the underground Essex Hall over twenty-five years ago and it has remained stamped on my mind as vividly as some great dramatic per? formance. Psychology, philosophy, spirituality, knowledge of life and cities, all went to its making. I would give a library of abstract theology for such a remark as that the utility of religious custom is "to create a fund of tender emotion which will be at the service of the moralities." But how futile it seems to talk of spiritual psychology in our world of cave-men ! On "Jacobs, the last phase" I have already touched. That buoyant temperament had reached a stage which promised like the old age of Browning's Babbi Ben Ezra to be " The best of life for which the first was made." His children were?as they say in America?" making good," and he was cultivating?he wrote me?Uart d'etre grand-pere. Theologically too he had reached repose, for as a Seminary Professor he had come strongly within the Schechterian orbit. But indeed the mood of spiritual disillusionment is near akin to orthodoxy, and even before he left England he had begun to urge that "logic is not logical." My retort always was that it is life which is not logical. And Jacobs's life was no more logical than mine?or yours. "We are all of us artists in life," he said in the very first line of his greatest book, "and very poor daubs most of us make of it." Jacobs made anything but a daub</page><page sequence="16">144 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. of his life, but if here and there he smudged the picture, the tout ensemble is assuredly that of a scholar and thinker who lived habitually upon an exalted plane. There was, a generation ago, no essentially nobler place in London than the little Kilburn study, overflowing with all the latest volumes of literature, philosophy and science, in which Joseph Jacobs carried on his life of plain living and high thinking, and from which he justly rebuked the push and aggressive smartness of Jewry with the advice: "Make fools of your children." For all his swagger of worldly wisdom he was at heart the Parsifal, the pure fool. When he said of his illustrator Batten, " what should I or other English children do without him ?" he was speaking truly. In dedicat? ing his just published volume?that was to be the first of a new group of six?" Europa's Fairy Tales" to "Peggy"?he says, "I have told again the fairy tales that all the mummeys of Europe have been telling their little Peggies, oh for ever so many years." Peggy was his grand? daughter, but I cannot help thinking my own little Peggy was in his mind too, for he and she had fallen in love at first sight, and she took possession of him. Dante placed in hell the man who was gloomy in the sweet air : by such a scale of valuations Jacobs should be placed in the seventh heaven, for neither his tribulations, deserved or undeserved, nor his scanty material reward, could ever sour him. In truth his work itself was his reward. People often speak?especially to-day?as if the thinker's life was one of less activity and less essential reality than that of the man of action. It is a gross error. The thinker is active in a world actually more real for man than that merely physical environment which he shares with the animal creation, and in this world he may have as great moments and adventures as Cortez, gazing with a wild surmise, " Silent upon a peak in Darien." In a set of verses prefixed to Jacobs's edition of " Barlaam and Josaphat" I said, addressing him : " O friend, who sittest young yet wise, Beneath the Bo-tree's shade, Confronting life with kindly eyes, A scholar unafraid To follow thought to any sea, Or back to any fount! "</page><page sequence="17">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 145 In these fearless explorations he must have had no small experience of the hazards and thrills of the spirit. Not seldom, he must have felt, like the Ancient Mariner, he was " The first that ever burst Into that silent sea." Did he however bring back from his voyages anything of lasting moment to mankind? Was there any great adventure commensurate with the undoubted greatness of his spirit, was there anything worthy of its compass, its insight, its many-sided knowledge, its Catholic humanity ? That we shall not know till we read?if we ever shall read ?his magnum opus, The History of the European Mind. Twenty other things there are, we know, but in literature twenty shillings do not make a sovereign. I had pinned my own hopes on the great work on " The Jewish Race" to the Synopsis of which I have already referred. In its bare self this Synopsis, which is divided into Two Books and Sixty-Seven Sections, and covers the whole field of Jewish life, is more instructive and illuminative than the overwhelming majority of completed books. But when I urged him to finish it, he replied by sending me the Synopsis of the rival great work, no longer giving up to the Ghetto what was meant for mankind. The new Synopsis showed a work conceived on the grand scale, in which all his gifts and knowledge could find expression and which would in a sense even absorb the Jewish opus. Mr. Israel Abrahams thinks it is largely or wholly written. If so, that vast absorbing labour would explain?and even justify?the perfunctoriness of some of his American hackwork, work that it was tragic he should have to do at all, and which at any rate must have prevented him from keeping fully up to date with his colossal subject. For he aimed to analyse the European mind with almost chemical exactness into its Hebraic, Hellenic, and other con* stituents, and since he wrote his Synopsis a mass of new literature, if not new light, has been poured forth, some of it apportioning in novel ratios the Hebraic and Hellenic factors even in Christianity itself. And how if?still more tragically?the weariness evident in his journalism and lecturing had passed into his book ? It is comforting anyhow to see from his last signed article, " Liberalism and the Jews," VOL. VIII. K</page><page sequence="18">146 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. in the December Menorah, that his hand had not lost its cunning nor his eye its encyclopaedic sweep. The description of Chutzpah as " iridescent impudence" is in his freshest manner. But even if this magnum opus should fail us, we must recall his own summary of Browning: "Aspiration is achievement." If his life is destined to leave us no supremely great work, yet it was a great life, and his work as a whole leaves a great lesson. In the ardour of youth he was prepared to trace all philosophy, science, mysticism and religion to Jewish sources. But the very effort to trace them widened his outlook, and the impression that radiates from every book he wrote or edited, from every table or pedigree he drew up, is the brotherhood of man. The fairy-tales told in Anglo Saxon nurseries were told earlier or later to the duskier ears of little Hindoos, the japes that gladdened Slavonic firesides in a bleak world of snow brought glee and good-fellowship in the sun-kissed tents of Persia, the homilies that edified the pious Buddhist in the tinkling pagodas of Cambodia were the nutriment of Christian souls in the thatched cottages of France, the parables that enlivened the expositions of the Brahmins of Ceylon relieved equally the dull discourses of the Mullahs, mad or sane, of Nubia and Egypt, the " Chad Gadya," sung by the happy Jew on his Passover pillows, was a Volkslied in the steep cobbled streets of old German towns. The Buddha himself, Jacobs tells us, was made a Christian Saint, when only his deeds and words were known and not his name. Vain to sunder the human family by the artificial boundaries of States, religions, countries, ambitions, hatreds. Underneath and through it all goes the same flesh and blood, and the human nature that politicians drive out with a pitchfork reasserts itself in all its divine identity with a song or a proverb. Hath not a Jew eyes, and if you prick a Christian will he not bleed 1 It is because the work of Jacobs is saturated in every pore with this conception, that I would write for his epitaph not merely that he was a great Jew, but that he was also?and perhaps the two are really one?a great humanist.</page><page sequence="19">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 147 Address by Mr. Luden Wolf. Mr. Zangwill, in his fine address this evening, has very fully, very vividly, and very justly pictured to us the remarkable life-work of Joseph Jacobs, and the many delightful qualities which found for him ?o warm and secure a place in the hearts of those who knew him. I can do little more than echo what he has said. Fragmentary as Jaeobs's work may seem at a first glance and when considered alone, it holds?and I think will always hold?a very definite and conspicuous place in the history of Anglo-Jewish literature. His was the brightest, the most versatile, and, in many respects, the most stimulating of the minds which some three decades ago first placed the literary activities of our community on a plane worthy of English Jews. Until the later seventies we had, in truth, scarcely a literature at all. Our best minds wandered far away from us and never came back, and those that remained plodded at their several tasks with an equipment of scholarship and worldly wisdom far inferior to their industry and zeal. But, owing to various causes which need not now be discussed, a centripetal revolution was in slow progress, and Jacobs was one of the earliest and most striking manifestations of it. The Universities were sending back our sons to find in their own community spiritual, literary, and scientific problems worthy of their powers. But while most of them specialised on single subjects or only on Jewish subjects, it was the merit of Jacobs that he took a pheno? menally wide and varied range. While earning distinction in the great world of letters beyond us, he stimulated our own intellectual strivings at many essential points. My friend, Mr. Israel Abrahams, has re? gretted that Jacobs, by his facile versatility, cheated himself of a masterpiece worthy of his genius. I confess I do not altogether share that regret?at any rate I do not regard it as fatal to his fame. The need of the moment when in the later seventies Jacobs burst upon us</page><page sequence="20">148 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. his fine Nineteenth Century essay, " The God of Israel: a History," was not specialisation, but a wide-reaching fertilisation. All branches of our literature were languishing, all wanted the vivifying touch of a fresh imagination, a sound scholarship and a trained method. This is what Jacobs gave us in theology, in archaeology, anthro? pology, history, criticism and journalism. It is assuredly a great, achievement, for it raised the whole level of Anglo-Je wish culture. I do not say that all his work was equally good, or that any of it is in itself epoch-making, but I do claim for him that by his versatile scholar? ship, his charm, his industry, and his originality he stimulated the whole field of Anglo-Jewish letters, and left it infinitely better off than he found it. In a word, he took a leading part in what perhaps one of these days some Anglo-Jewish historian will call the literary renaissance of Anglo-Jewry?a part perhaps not so deep as those of some of his* specialising contemporaries, but infinitely more extensive, and, of its kind, equally enduring. But it is not primarily as the man of letters that his old friends think of him this evening. We think of the dear old chum, the ever gay companion, the loyal comrade in work and at play. We think of the strenuous days and even nights we spent together, the pipe&amp; we smoked, the stories we told, the dreams we dreamt. I suppose I was the oldest of his acquaintances in this country. I met him over forty years ago, when he first came from Australia with introductions, to relatives of mine. From the early eighties, when he began his. anthropological researches, until he left us for America, we were the closest friends, and sometimes very close co-workers. That friendship and that collaboration have been for me a large part, a very large part, of the sunshine of my life. Jacobs wTas not a prophet, he was not an inspired seer, whom one approached with trembling and a sense of self-sacrifice. He was intensely human and social. He was also through and through a Jew, full of that historic sense which he once reproached Spinoza with lacking, and still fuller of that Yiddishkeit which I always think makes for all that is tenderest and most effective in practical Judaism, and which made him, like the Shunamite woman, love to dwell with his people, and always to give them of his best. He had the rare gift of unquenchable youth. Twenty months ago,, when I last saw him, he was as young as when I first knew him,,</page><page sequence="21">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 149 laughing and joking as gaily as ever, and full of new projects and daring theories, sufficient to occupy another life-time. And to the end he was as simple and as fresh as a child. That I think was his greatest charm, for it shook us all out of our senile doldrums, and for the time at least renewed our own youth. The community owed Jacobs much, but what he gave them they still have as an indestructible possession, and others may be found to continue his work. We of his old friends owed him much more, for he gave us also of himself, which in a sense was infinitely more precious than his public activity, and hence his death leaves a void in our hearts which can never be filled.</page><page sequence="22">150 JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. Bibliography by Dr. I. Abrahams. Dr. Joseph Jacobs's Contributions to Anglo-Jewish History, Literature, and Statistics. The following list contains a by no means complete record of Dr. Jacobs's Anglo-Jewish writings. Full account has not been taken of his newspaper articles. In particular, during a number of years, he contributed to the pages of the Jewish Chronicle important articles and letters which, though incorporated to a large extent in his other works, were not all so included. It is with satisfaction that I recall the fact that much of Dr. Jacobs's work?on Anglo-Je wish and other subjects?appeared originally in the first series of the Jewish Quarterly Review (cited below by the abbrevia? tion J. Q. R.). Of these articles, most were collected by Dr. Jacobs in his various volumes; but it seemed most useful to enter them here in the chronological order of their publication. In the Jetoish Chronicle of February 11 I had an opportunity to express something of my affection for Dr. Jacobs, something of my appreciation of his genius. I am glad, however, to add, in this biblio? graphy, my mite to the tribute to his memory paid with so much elo? quence and feeling by Dr. Stokes, Mr. Israel Zangwill, and Mr. Lucien Wolf. The Jewish Question, 1875-1884. Bibliographical Hand-list. London, 1885. Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, Royal Albert Hall, London, 1887; compiled by Joseph Jacobs and Lucien Wolf. London, 1887. Also Edition de Luxe, with illustrations by Frank Haes. London, 1888. Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica, A Bibliographical Guide to Anglo-Jewish History; compiled by Joseph Jacobs and Lucien Wolf. London, 1888. The London Jewry, 1290 (Papers read at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition). London, 1888 (p. 20).</page><page sequence="23">JOSEPH JACOBS: MEMORIAL MEETING. 151 A Mediaeval School of Massorites among the Jews of England. /. Q. R.f January 1889, vol. i. p. 182. Was Sir Leon ever in London? Reprinted from the Jeioish Chronicle (25th January 1889). Notes on Jews from the Pipe Rolls of the Twelfth Century. Archceological Review, London, February 1889, vol. ii. p. 396. When did the Jews first Settle in England ? /. Q. R., April 1889, vol. i. p. 286. A Jew Finances the Conquest of Ireland. Archceological Review, May 1889, vol. iii. p. 215. Une Lettre Fran^aise d'un Juif Anglais au xiii. Siecle. Revue des Etudes Juives, 1889, vol. xviii. p. 256. The Persecution of the Jews in Russia. London, 1890. James Howell, Epistolae Ho-Elianae (The Familiar Letters). Ed. J. Jacobs. 2 vols. London, 1890. [Notes on Middle and Resettlement Periods of Anglo-Jewish History. 1 English Massorites. J. Q. R., April 1890, vol. ii. p. 330. Three Centuries of the Hagin Family. /. Q. R., July 1891, vol. iii. p. 776. Studies in Jewish Statistics. London, 1891. (Reprints from the Jeioish Chronicle and Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1882-1889.) Notes on the Jews of England under the Angevin Kings. ?7. Q, R., July 1892, vol. iv. p. 628. Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. J. Q. R., October 1892, vol. v. p. 51. The Jews of Angevin England. London, 1893. Yiddish-English Manual. In collaboration with H. Landau. London, 1893. Rejoinders (to criticisms on the identifications of Punctuators and Tosaphists, &amp;c). Q. R., January 1894, vol. vi. p. 375. Little St. Hugh of Lincoln, Researches in History, Archaeology, and Legend. Transactions Jeioish Hist. Soc, 1894, vol. i. p. 89. Statistics of Jewish Population in London. London, 1894. MS. Sources of the History of the Jews in Spain. J. Q. R., July 1894, vol. vi. p. 597. [Anglo-Jewish items, pp. 599, 625.] The Prefaces and Notes to his editions of Bidpai, Kalilah wa-Dimnah (1888), iEsop (1889), and Barlaam and Joshaphat (1896). [These discuss several points of interest in the field of Anglo-Je wish literature before 1290.]</page><page sequence="24">152 JOSEPH JACOBS .* MEMORIAL MEETING. Jewish Year Book. London, 1896, &amp;c. [Biographies, histories of institutions, &amp;c] A Jewish Scholar's Career. Reprinted from Jewish Chronicle, 1896. Aaron Son of the Devil. Reprinted from the Jewish Chronicle in "Jewish Ideals " (London 1896), p. 225. St. William of Norwich. /. Q. R., July 1897, vol. ix. p. 748. The Typical Character of Anglo-Jewish History. /. Q. R., January 1898, vol. x. p. 217. Aaron of Lincoln. J. Q. R., July 1898, vol. x. p. 629. In Publications of American Jewish Historical Society, some items of Anglo-Jewish import (vol. ix. 1901 onwards). See Index Vol. of the Society, 1914, s.v., Jacobs, Joseph. Add: "Rebecca Gratz and her relation to the Rebecca of Ivanhoe" (1914, vol. xxii. p. 53). Cf. American Hebrew, February 14, 1913 (the same periodical contains other essays and notes which would have to be included in a full bibliography of Dr. Jacobs's Anglo-Jewish work). Jewish Encyclopedia, 12 vols. New York, 1901-6. [Besides his editorial work, Dr. Jacobs wrote many articles on Anglo-Jewish subjects. Of these, the most substantial are the long articles on England and London. Of his other contributions the following may be mentioned, though there are many others, of greater or lesser content: Archa, Badge, Berechiah ha-nakdan, Cambridge, Coat of Arms, Elyas of London, Lost Ten Tribes, Menasseh b. Israel, A. I. Myers, Names, Oxford, Pedigree, Statistics, Types, Lucien Wolf, Israel Zangwill.] The Wandering Jew. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911, vol. xv. p. 362. Fable, in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1912, vol. v. p. 678.</page><page sequence="25"></page></plain_text>

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