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English Students of Maimonides

Rev. S. Levy

<plain_text><page sequence="1">English Students of Maimonides By the Rev. S. Levy This essay includes a generous sprinkling of quotations. These extracts are mainly from inedited manuscripts, not readily accessible, and some of them are English renderings, for the first time, from the Latin originals.1 Thomas Allen In the Bodleian Library there is a mediaeval Latin translation of the " Guide for the Perplexed." It is a manuscript, on parchment, written in the fourteenth century, with illuminated capitals. The manuscript has some marginal and other notes. The manuscript originally belonged to Thomas Allen. Thomas Allen (i542-1632), of Gloucester Hall, Oxford, was the famous mathematician, antiquarian and philosopher. He spread his mind over a variety of themes, and included the study of Maimonides within the range of his interests. This Maimonides manuscript was a gift to the Bodleian from Allen during his lifetime. The colophon states: " Raby Moyses here finishes ' The Guide for the Perplexed,' " a Latin translation of the Ductor Dubitantium of Moses Maimonides. The preface begins: "In the name of the Lord God of the Universe. Make clear to me the way in which I should walk, for unto Thee I lift up my soul. . . . The first intention of this book is to explain diversities in names." This is, therefore, the old Latin version in three parts (see foil. 39, 71). From folio ii5v onwards there follows a long list of Maimo 1 Some of the material contained in this essay was originally published in the Jewish Annual 5701 (1940-1941). 61</page><page sequence="2">62 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler nides' " Precepts which are strictly speaking precepts " for Jews, i.e., Boo\ of the Precepts. Ralph Skynner In the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, there is a manuscript of an English translation by Ralph Skynner of Madda, the first section of Maimonides' Yad PLachaza\ah. It was there as far back as 1688, and is in Archbishop Ussher's collection. A letter of twenty pages from Skynner addressed to James Ussher (1580?1656), Bishop of Meath, afterwards Archbishop of Armagh and Primate, forms an introduction to the work. This letter is not dated, but is evidendy earlier than 1624. At the end of the manuscript is another letter of three pages, also addressed to the Bishop of Meath, dated January 26, 1624. Ralph Skynner (sometimes spelt Skinner) was a curate at the Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Sutton, Surrey, some mile and a half from Nonesuch. In the time of Skynner, the patron of the living was Sir Francis Carew, and the Rector was Joseph Glover. The wife of Ralph Skynner was a sister of Lady Temple, the wife of Sir William Temple (1555-1627; knighted 1622), fourth Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. This relationship may explain how Ralph Skynner, a curate in a country parish in Surrey, came into contact with the illustrious James Ussher. I have traced other letters, in addition to the two already mentioned, written by Skynner to Ussher. My part for the time being is to make a brief setting of narrative for the letters, and then to let the extracts speak for themselves. The extensive correspondence of Ussher also contains an amazing number of items of Jewish interest outside the scope of our subject, but I must spare a moment for one of these gems, to be found in a letter from Ussher to Dr. Twiss, " Concerning the Sabbath." " The Jewes commonly hold two things touching their Sabbath, as Manas ses-B en-Israel sheweth in his eighth Probleme, de creatione; which he published at Amsterdam the last year. First, that the observa? tion thereof was commanded only unto the Israelites, . . .</page><page sequence="3">english students of maimonides 63 . . . Secondly, that it was observed by the Patriarchs, before the coming out of Egypt. ..." The reference to De creatione, published in 1635, seems to fix the date of this letter to 1636. Skynner's Letters to Ussher (a) Right Rev. in God, and cordially religious; Your lordship knows right well that trivial adage, that there is no fishing to the sea, nor mines of silver and gold like to the Indies; yet no fisher, when he fished, did ever draw up all fish in his net, and no mud, gravel, or stones; nor no pioneer did ever dig up all pure trench, or without some ore intermixed therewith. The same befalls me in the works of Maymon, the ocean of all Jewish learning, the quarries of silver and gold, whose (-nin nj&gt; Win) fame surpasseth the Indies; for his wine is mixed now and then with water, and his silver with some dross. All is not fish that comes to the net, nor all is not gold that glisters. What must I do then? Shall I reject Maymon, full of good Mammon, for some few errors? Or, shall I not rather separate the errors from Maymon, and present you with his golden Mammon? . . . Your Lordship's to command, Ralph Skynner. The letter from which this extract is made is prefixed to Skynner's translation of Madda, and dedicated to Bishop Ussher. . (*&gt; Three Jews I have talked with mouth to mouth . . . and asked them the reason why they omitted these gutturals, Cheth, He, Ay in, in words, by reason of which their pronunciation was difficult to be understood by us which pronounced them: I told them, that Moses wrote them to this end, that they should be read and pronounced: and they confessed it should be so, only custom and use had otherwise prevailed. Now this custom arose (as I suppose) from this ancient manner of writing and speaking without the guttural. Now what was the original cause of this custom, I cannot yet find, unless it be that which Elias Levita allegeth . . . because, saith he, the pronuncia? tion of Ay in is difficult to the Gentiles; as Abben Ezra saith, that whosoever hath not learned to pronounce Cheth and Ayin in his</page><page sequence="4">64 MISCELLANIES IN HONOUR OF E. N. ADLER youth, (though he be an Hebrew) shall never be able to pronounce them genuinely while he lives. . . . And thus with my humble duty and observance to your Lordship, ever remembering you in my poor prayers, I rest now and ever, Your Lordship's ever obliged, Ralph Skynner. From Waltham-stow, January 26. 1624. (&lt;) My Lord, I would gladly be your scholar, to learn your method and facile way in preaching. O that I might be beholden unto you for some of your directions in that kind. And that I might see but a sermon or two of your Grace's in writing, according to those direc? tions : for therefore did I enter in the last hour of the day of my life into God's House, that I might say with David, The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree; He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. The reason is rendered : They shall still bring forth fruit in old age. Sutton, Octob. 31. 1625. These quotations from Psalm xcii. 13, 15a, are written by Skvnner in Hebrew, without any accompanying English version. 09 After giving his reasons for his acceptance of Ibn Ezra's interpreta? tion of the Passage of the Red Sea, Skynner concludes: Now, the use and benefit of this place thus truly explained, is three? fold. 1. It discovers the error of all the maps of our geographers, who make the Israelites to pass over the breadth of the Red Sea towards Canaan. 2. It shows the infirmity of our last translation, and the liturgy, in this particular. 3. It will free you, my worthy respected friend, from your mistak? ing of this history, and will serve to direct you in the right way of truth, which we all seek after. I hope therefore it will not displease you to be drawn with Israel out of the Red Sea, seeing Moses was content to be drawn out of the Egyptian waters: he by a woman,</page><page sequence="5">ENGLISH STUDENTS OF MAIMONIDES 65 an Egyptian; you by a man, a Christian. He crying and begging it, you without petition or request. And thus, with my love and service to you and the truth, I rest now, and ever, Your's to command in all good offices, Ralph Skynner. At the end of the Bodleian copy of this letter there occurs a note to the following effect: Other letters written in ye year 1625 to ye primate (yn at much Hadham) by ye same man who was then but a Curate to one Mr. Glover at Sutton by Nonesuch; but (as appears by them all) well skilld in ye Oriental tongues, ye Talmud, and Rabbins; concerning wch ye primate consulted him. W Having written thus far, I presently came to London, and went to Mr. Walker to borrow those books I had not, because I am desirous to give your Grace all the satisfaction I can. Mr. Walker hath not Gershom, nor any comment on Daniel, but the same that I have; only he lent me Mishnayoth and so I have read over the whole tractate Megillah, but there is not any word touching the duration of the Babylonian kingdom, or any other kingdom. It only handleth on what days the Megillah is to be read, and their rites and ceremonies; I confess, I read only the text of Megillah, I read not Rambanus, nor Bartinorah's comment, for that would require many days, and I found no one word in the text tending any thing at all towards any such matter; and therefore, my Lord, I would be glad to know what author referred you to that tractate of Megillah, or whether your Grace hath mistaken the Massecheth. I humbly thank your Grace for your Lordship's last kindness unto me, when I was at Much-Hadham, for defraying my charges at mine inn. ... I have given my lord Carew satisfaction in many questions, at sundry times of conference; and especially . . . 2. That the points and vowels were given by God from Sinai, and not the invention of the Masorits. 3. That the Hebrew tongue is the most ancient tongue, and that Moses wrote in it, and not in the Chaldee and Egyptian; and all this proved expressly out of the text of the Scripture: for which my lord [Carew] hath given me a greater commendation in the ancient tongues, to my lord keeper [Sir Thomas Coventry], than I either</page><page sequence="6">miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler 66 have deserved, or can answer unto, to your Grace, I end, . . . London, December 8. 1625. And thus, with my humble service Radulph Skynner. ussher and SlR matthew HALE During the troubles arising out of the war between Charles I and Parliament, Ussher had to leave Ireland, and was subjected to much hardship. He became preacher at Lincoln's Inn, was granted a chamber in 1648 and remained in occupation of it until his death in 1656. Matthew Hale (1609-1676) was a barrister in 1636, and became a bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1648. He was created Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1671. Ussher and Hale were thus in residence at Lincoln's Inn at the same time, and became great friends. Ussher had established his fame as an acknowledged authority on chronology, a subject in which Hale was deeply interested. Among the Hale manuscripts in the Lincoln's Inn Library there are two volumes described by Sir Matthew Hale as "Transcripts out of Archbishop Usher's notes, principally relating to Chron? ology." Included in this collection there are hand-written copies of three of the letters addressed by Skynner to Ussher, from the originals of which the extracts (&lt;r), (d\ and (e) in the preceding section are taken. William Norwich In 1631 there was published at Cambridge, Canones Poenitentiae Hebraice a R. Mose Aegyptio descripti, Latinitate donati a G.N. This is a Latin version of Hil\ot Teshuba, i.e., Book i, chapter 5, of the Yad Hachaza\ah. G.N. may reasonably be identified with G [ulielmus] N [orwich]. William Norwich graduated M.A. in 1629, and was a Fellow of Peterhouse, 1634-1641. He was Vicar of Cherry Hin ton, Cambridgeshire, from 1638 to</page><page sequence="7">english students of maimonides 67 1641. All the registers at Cherry Hin ton show the signature, Guil: [i.e. Gulielmus] Norwich. In 1641 Norwich was appointed by Peterhouse as Rector of Stathern, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. When the struggle between King Charles I and Parliament came to its height, Norwich unhesitatingly held to the King's cause. He was ejected in 1648, but after the accession of King Charles II was restored as Rector of Stathern. He died there in 1675. Norwich's book is dedicated to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Brooke, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Samuel Brooke (died 1632) was Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, from 1612 to 1629. He resigned his Gresham professorship when he was elected Master of Trinity in 1629. In a letter dated July 28,1631, Ussher writes to Dr. Samuel Ward, 441 received, with your last letter, The Penitential Canons of Maimo nides, for which I heartily thank you." Samuel Ward (died 1643), Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, was one of the trans? lators of the Authorised Version of the Bible, his share in the work being chiefly the Apocrypha. Knowing Ussher's interest in Maimo nides, Ward thus lost no time in sending to him a copy of G.N.'s Latin version, Canones Poenitentiae, which had just been published at Cambridge. The Ussher Collection in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, contains a copy of the Canones Poenitentiae. This is doubtless the copy to which Ussher in his acknowledgment to Ward for the sake of convenience gave the tide in English 44 the Penitential Canons of Maimonides," for the name of the work in the original Latin, Canones Poenitentiae . . a R. Mose Aegyptio. Edward Pococke Edward Pococke (1604-1691) was born at Oxford, and graduated there in 1622. He devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages, and early gained a high reputation for his knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic. He was ordained priest by Richard Corbet (1582?1635), Bishop of Oxford, in 1629. In 1630 he proceeded to the East and acted as chaplain to the English 44 Turkey Merchants" at Aleppo,</page><page sequence="8">68 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler and stayed there for six years. While at Aleppo he continued his researches, and with the munificent help of his patron, William Laud (1573?1645), Archbishop of Canterbury, he acquired a large collection of Oriental and Greek manuscripts, now in the Bodleian. On his return home in 1636, he was appointed the first Laudian Professor of Arabic in the chair which the Archbishop had just founded. In 1637 he again visited the East, and remained in Con? stantinople and its neighbourhood for four years, enjoying the assistance of the best instructors and the society of celebrated men, including Cyril Lucar, the Patriarch of Constantinople. During his residence in the East, Pococke was on friendly terms with Jews, especially in Aleppo and Constantinople {where he studied with Judah Romano). In 1643 he was presented by his college, Corpus Christi, to the living of Childrey, in Berkshire, and in 1648 he was appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. Pococke's Porta Mosis appeared in 1655. ^ contains portions of Maimonides' '' Commentary on the Mishnah," consisting chiefly of the introductions to various tractates. The original Arabic text is printed in Hebrew characters, and is accompanied by a Latin translation. This is the first book to be printed in Hebrew charac? ters in Oxford. Thirty-five years later Pococke's Latin version of Maimonides' Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah was appended to " Misnae pars : or dints primi X er aim tituli septem. La tine vertit commentario illustravit Gulielmus Guisius " (Oxford, 1690). Pococke's theological works, with his life, by Leonard Twells, 1740, form two folio volumes. Porta Mosis is reprinted in the first volume. Humphrey Prideaux Humphrey Prideaux (1648-1724) claims recognition for the wide range of his scholarship, which included a sound knowledge of Hebrew and Rabbinic literature. In 1679 there was published at Oxford, Humphrey Prideaux, R. Moses Maimonides : De Jure Pauperis et Peregrim apud Judaeos,</page><page sequence="9">english students of maimonides 69 the Hebrew text, with a Latin version and notes. There is a long Latin preface. The following is an English rendering of the con? cluding sentences: In making this translation, in order that it may be of use to beginners in the study of Hebrew, I have taken special pains to make a word for word translation as far as possible. If any interpolations were needed into the concise style of the Hebrew text, these are dis? tinguished by italics. The same lettering you will find marks all the texts from Holy Scripture. In the notes I have only aimed at removing all difficulties which may meet any reader of these Tractates, and I hope I have not fallen short in my attempt, but have so unlocked the secret places of the Hebrew text and thrown such a clear light on its dark places, that what lay hid before shall henceforth be plain to all. This is the conclusion of my labours and if I reach it in such a way that from this work keener intellects may go on to supply help either in the exegesis of Holy Scripture or in the promotion of piety and righteousness, I shall have reached the goal of my endeavour, and reaped the reward of my toil. The Christ Church Group There seems to have been considerable interest in Maimonides about this time in Oxford, especially at Christ Church, at which Prideaux was Busby's Hebrew lecturer. In the Bodleian there is a manuscript of a Latin translation of part of the Mishneh Torah made by three other Christ Church men about 1680, and Thomas Hyde produced in 1690 a specimen of a proposed edition of the 44 Guide for the Perplexed," which was never published. The Mishneh Torah translation is dedicated to Dr. John Fell. Dr. John Fell {1625-1686) was Dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Oxford, and one of the most celebrated Oxford figures of his time. He is remembered especially for his work in reorganising the University Press, and 44 Fell " type is named after him. The following is an English translation of the Latin dedication: You sent us, Reverend Father, as explorers to the Holy Land. The journey thither is as it were by a road thorny with brambles, long and winding. But the hardships we endured in the sand, and the f</page><page sequence="10">7o miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler weariness we suffered have been repaid by the fruitfulness of that blessed land, and will be more amply repaid by your approval. We are indebted to our Jewish guide for our admittance to Jerusalem; our Jewish guide we owe to you. His care led us through the desert, by the hand as it were; it was your patronage of us that aroused and prompted that care. So the fruits of the trees planted under your auspices come back to you, for to you we present and dedicate these first fruits of Maimonides, and of our efforts in this branch of study. Your devoted pupils, . . . The three Christ Church men who signed this dedication to Dr. John Fell were: (a) George Smalridge (i663-1719), later Bishop of Bristol; (b) Edward Hannes (died 1710), a physician and Reader in Chemistry at Oxford, who was knighted; and (c) Robert Morgan (1665-1745), son of Robert Morgan, Bishop of Bangor. Morgan was a Canon of Hereford. The Jones manuscripts were bequeathed to the Bodleian by the Reverend Henry Jones (i650-1708). He was a nephew of Dr. Fell, and, as his co-heir, received many of Fell's manuscripts. The Latin translation, by the three Christ Church men, of part of the Mishneh Torah (MS. Jones 36) was no doubt one of the manuscripts in this collection. Thomas Hyde Thomas Hyde (1636-1703) was a distinguished Orientalist. He was Bodley's Librarian from 1665-1701; he was also Laudian Professor of Arabic and Regius Professor of Hebrew. His printed specimen of a proposed edition of the " Guide for the Perplexed " is dated " Dec. 10. 1690," by the Clarendon Press official. The following is an English translation of the Latin prospectus : Proposals for an edition of Maimonides* More Nevochiim, to be printed in the Arabic tongue, in which it was first written by the author. Reasons for undertaking the task: 1. The Latin edition of Buxtorfius has many years ago been dis? persed and exhausted, so that this book, invaluable for the exegesis of Holy Scripture, cannot be purchased to-day at any price.</page><page sequence="11">english students of maimonides 71 2. Although the Latin version of the distinguished Buxtorfius, supposing it could be procured, is for the most part accurate, it is in places too free, and in places the idioms of the Hebrew tongue have led the learned gentleman into error, since the original Arabic text was not there to be consulted. Since therefore we have up till now received the teaching of the aforesaid book only at third hand, and that somewhat imperfectly, if it is the wish of patrons of good literature, let Maimonides be heard speaking in his own Arabic words in an edition to be published on the following lines : ?viz. 1. Original Arabic Text to be transcribed from the Hebrew script in which it was written by Maimonides to true Arabic script, and published in Arabic characters. 2. Accurate Latin translation to face Arabic Text. 3. At the foot of each page some necessary notes to be added having regard as much to the Arabic text as to the translation into Hebrew as occasion demands. But if it be judged that these notes would cause the work to grow to excessive bulk, let these be omitted, and the plain Arabic and Latin text be published. The decision on this point must rest with the promoters of the work. The following note, written in English, appears at the foot of the first page of the Latin prospectus : 44 This was offered to our Dele? gates, who refused to be at the charge of printing this work." Through lack of sufficient encouragement Hyde was compelled to abandon the project. The prospectus was reprinted in Thomas Hyde, Syntagma Dissertationum, edited by Gregory Sharpe (1713 1771), 1767, ii, 433-438. Louis de Compiegne de Veil Daniel, son of Rabbi David, of Metz, was born in 1637, and christened at Compiegne in 1655 as L?uis de Compiegne de Veil. In the third quarter of the seventeenth century, Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), Finance Minister of Louis XIV of France from 1661 to 1683, and a great patron of letters, engaged De Veil, known for his learning, to translate the whole of the Yad Hachaza\ah into Latin. In 1678, De Veil printed nine sections, in Latin, at Paris, in a quarto volume, under the title of Majemonidis Tractatus de</page><page sequence="12">72 MISCELLANIES IN HONOUR OF E. N. ADLER Cultu Divino. In the copy in the British Museum the arms of Col? bert are stamped in gold on the sides. Having embraced Protestanism, De Veil came to England about the year 1680. In 1683 he published a volume which included six sections of Maimonides on "Sacrifices"; Abarbanel's "Intro? duction " to his " Commentary on Leviticus "; and the section by Maimonides on the " Consecration of New Moons and Intercala? tions," all in Latin. The work is dedicated to Laurence Hyde, Viscount Hyde of Kenilworth. I now give some extracts, rendered into English, from De Veil's dedication: To the most illustrious Lord, Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, Viscount Hyde of Kenilworth, Baron of Wooton Bassett, Peer of England, Member of the Privy Council of H.M. Charles II. of Great Britain, First Lord of the Treasury. . . . It is fitting, my Lord, that this product of my leisure should be offered to you, for it was you who by your great kindness to me procured me the leisure. It would certainly not be enough to cherish your kindness in ever-grateful remembrance, without at the same time proclaiming it to all. Again, it is fitting to pay this debt at the beginning of a book expounding the Sacrifices, for the chief reason of these was to render due thanks to the Giver of all good things. In like manner the reason for this dedication, my noble Lord, is to offer you my thanks for your good offices to me. You it was who directed towards me the generosity of His most gracious Majesty; you shall ever be my Maecenas, as he will be my Augustus. I have great hopes that this token of my gratitude will not be un? welcome to you, since you are interested in all branches of learning. Your distinguished natural talents, outstanding ability and capacity for learning, excellent memory and subtle judgment have been trained from earliest years by George Morley, Bishop of Winchester, a seeker of truth, a lover of peace, a pattern of virtue, a prodigy of learning, a light of the Reformed Church, a pillar of the State, who cultivated in you both sacred and secular learning. What more need I say? With what a brilliant example of know? ledge and virtue did your most illustrious father, the Earl of Claren? don, rouse your emulation ! He followed into exile the fallen fortunes of his King, he strove unendingly that King and Kingdom should be restored to each other, he returned with the returning King and then</page><page sequence="13">ENGLISH STUDENTS OF MAIMONIDES 73 as Lord High Chancellor and Minister of State bore the burden of government. Such was the training school, most noble Lord, which has rendered you so shrewd and quick in all matters. This brought you into favour with the King, a discerning judge of men, when first you were brought into contact with him in the discharge of your duties. Then followed marks of his approval and applause when you went on missions to Poland and later to Holland, and when you led the recent mission to Spiers (in the Palatinate). For this reason the most perspi? cacious of Kings appointed you Minister of State at a most difficult crisis for our Kingdom. At the time all Europe was thinking that the once invincible England, shaken as she was by internal strife, was on the verge of ruin. But she still stands firm; nay more, the passions of all have been calmed; their rage has abated, if not evaporated. This is to be attributed to the wisdom, justice, and tact of His Majesty, but some of the glory also belongs to you, since the King makes use of your advice and help. Foster, then, and cherish literature and literary men, since you, Right Honourable Sir, owe your high position to learning. They will make your name famous by their writings and hand it down to posterity. " Your name, O Varus, singing swans shall carry to the stars." I would like you, then, to receive my small gift in the same spirit as that of the Paschal Sacrifice. For the nature of that was twofold, as is maintained in this book. First, there was the grateful recording of the mercies already received, and, secondly, the humble prayers to gain what was desired for the future. Do not be grieved at my lowly estate; great men are an image of mighty Nature herself, who has distinguished with infinite variety the component parts of all the Universe, and at the same time has used such skill in forming the creatures that crawl on the ground, that no one can, even in thought, follow her methods. Now my speech shall end as it began. I could not forbear, my Lord, to publish this record of my respect and gratitude to you, for I am Your Lordship's humble, obliged and devoted servant, Ludovicus de Compiegne de Veil. The dedication reveals that, through the influence of Viscount Hyde, De Veil received a subvention for his work from King Charles II. The reason for this dedication, my noble Lord, is to offer you my</page><page sequence="14">74 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler thanks for your good offices to me. You it was who directed towards me the generosity of His most gracious Majesty. There is also the delightful touch betraying the financial bent of the astute apostate seeking fresh help from the " Merrie Monarch." I would like you, then, to receive my small gift in the same spirit as that of the Paschal Sacrifice. For the nature of that was twofold, as is maintained in this book. First, there was the grateful recording of the mercies already received, and, secondly, the humble prayers to gain what was desired for the future. Robert Clavering Robert Clavering (1671?1747) was admitted to Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1693, after having been at the University of Edinburgh. In 1715 he was elected Regius Professor of Hebrew, and in 1729 he became Bishop of Peterborough. He obtained permission to hold his professorship and bishopric at the same time. In 1705 he published at Oxford Latin versions of two tractates from the Yad Hachaza\ah of Maimonides, viz., Hil\ot Talmud Tor ah and Teshuba. The fuller title of the work is: R. Mosis Maimonidis Tractatus duo : 1. De doctrina Legis, sive educatione puerorum; 2. de natura et ratione Poenitentiae apud Hebraeos. Latine reddidit notisque illustravit Robertus Clavering. . . . Praemittitur dissertatio de Maimonide ejusque operibus. The Dissertatio de Maimonide was reprinted by Blasius Ugolinus in volume viii of his Thesaurus Antiquitatam. In 1705 there also appeared: A compendium of Hebrew grammar compos'd for the use of beginners, by Philip Levi, a converted Jew, Oxford, 1705. The following note is pencilled on the back of the British Museum title-slip : The copy in the Westminster Abbey Library has a MS note, " The gift of the author, Dr. Clavering, Ld Bishop of Peterborough, to Mr. Z. Pearce." A further note by another hand states : The Bishop told Dr. Pearce that he gave leave to Levi to publish this Grammar in his own name.</page><page sequence="15">english students of maimonides 75 James Townley James Townley (1774?1833) was Secretary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, 1827-1831, and President of the Wesleyan Con? ference in 1829. In 1827 there was published " The Reasons of the Laws of Moses, from the More Nevochim of Maimonides. With notes, dissertations, and a life of the author, by James Townley." The portion of the Moreh Nevochim, here translated into English, comprises Part III, ch. xxvi-xlix. My own copy of Townley's work reveals a new English student of Maimonides. It bears the book-plate and autograph of Benjamin Andrews (1785-1868), who took his M.A. at Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, in 1821, later became a Methodist preacher at Bristol, and was the author of a Hebrew Lexicon. Hermann Hedwig Bernard Hermann Bernard (1785?1857) was born of Austrian parents at Uman, a small town in Southern Russia (at that time Poland). His father was a Jew, but Hermann was brought up in the Christian religion. In the title-pages of all his works the name of Hedwig, being that of an elder departed sister, whom he wished to com? memorate, is joined to his own Christian name, Hermann. In 1825 he came over to England, and in 1830 he established himself at Cambridge. Shortly after his setdement in Cambridge, he was engaged by six distinguished members of the University to expound to them the Yad Hachaza\ah of Maimonides. Four members of this reading circle can be traced. They were William French, George Skinner, Samuel Lee, and Thomas Jarrett. They form quite a distinguished group. William French (1786? 1849) was the Rev. William French, D.D., Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Prebendary of Ely. George Skinner was the Rev. George Skinner, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Jesus College, Cam? bridge. Samuel Lee (1783-1852) was Sir Thomas Adams's Professor</page><page sequence="16">76 MISCELLANIES IN HONOUR OF E. N. ADLER of Arabic, 1819-31; and Regius Professor of Hebrew, 1831-48. Thomas Jarrett (1805-1882) was a Fellow of St. Catharine's College; Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic, 1831-54; and Regius Professor of Hebrew, 1854-1882. Bernard's exposition of Maimonides to this small but brilliant set of students gave rise to his book : " The Main Principles of the Creed and Ethics of the Jews, exhibited in Selections from the Yad Hachazakah of Maimonides, with a literal English translation, by Hermann Hedwig Bernard, Cambridge, 1832." The dedication is as follows: To the Rev. William French, D.D., Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Prebendary of Ely, and to the Rev. George Skinner, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Jesus College, Cambridge, the following translation is inscribed with every sentiment of respectful regard and sincere gratitude, by their obliged and very humble servant the Translator. The work contains a list of subscribers. Among them are Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the royal Hebraist, who wrote Hebrew, was a patron of Jewish learning, and a collector of Hebrew books and manuscripts; and the Right Honourable Lord Lindsay, Trinity College, afterwards twenty-fifth Earl of Crawford and eighth Earl of Balcarres, who was keenly interested in Semitic studies, which he began during his university career. He was one of the founders of the Crawford " Bibliotheca Lindesiana." The Western and Oriental manuscripts from this collection, including the " Crawford Haggadah," now form part of the John Rylands Library, Man? chester. In 1837 Bernard was appointed by the University of Cambridge as " Praeceptor Linguae Sacrae," in succession to Josephus Crool, at a stipend of ^30 per annum. In 1853 he published, jointly with the Rev. P. H. Mason, a Hebrew Grammar, in two volumes, arranged in a series of letters from a teacher of languages to an English Duchess. Gently Flowing Waters. An easy, practical Hebrew Grammar; with exercises for translation from Hebrew into English, and from English</page><page sequence="17">ENGLISH STUDENTS OF MAIMONIDES 77 into Hebrew;arranged in a series of letters from a teacher of languages to an English Duchess. To which is attached, the Fountains of Salva? tion, being a translation, with notes critical and explanatory, of Isaiah liii. Also, Key to the Exercises. In two volumes. By the Rev. P. H. Mason, M.A., Tyrwhitt's University Hebrew Scholar, St John's College, Cambridge; and Hermann Hedwig Bernard, Hebrew teacher in the University, Cambridge, author of 44 Creed and Ethics of the Jews, Exhibited in Selections from the Yad Hachazakah of Maimo nides," and Editor of 44 The Guide of the Hebrew Student." Cam? bridge : J. Hall and Son; MDCCCLIII. Who was the " English Duchess " ? The following is taken from the Obituary Notice of Peter Hamnett Mason (1827-1912), by Sir John E. Sandys, in The Eagle, Cambridge, vol. 34 (1913), 227, 228 : This purely imaginary pupil. ... It might be inferred . . . that Mr. Mason was responsible for 44 The Duchess." It is a relief to find that this was not the case. Even the 44 First Letter," which purports to be written by 44 an old man," prompts the suspicion that the Duchess was invented by old Mr. Bernard, and not by his young pupil, Mr. Mason; and this is confirmed by one of Mr. Mason's most distin? guished pupils, Canon Leeke. . . . But the Duchess disappeared when Mr. Mason independently issued in 1871 Part I of a 44 New Elementary Grammar." Canon Leeke says (ibid., p. 231) : And the 44 Duchess "... I used to laugh at her, and chaff him [Mr. Mason] about her, and express my astonishment that he could put his name to a book cast in so absurd a form, until at last one day he confessed that he had even gone so far as to go down on his knees to Bernard to entreat him to leave out this purely imaginary Duchess; but 44 Poor old man ! I was obliged to let him have his way! Would you not have done the same? " In 1864 [Second edition, 1884] there was published in London The Book of Job, as expounded to his Cambridge pupils, by the late Hermann Hedwig Bernard, edited by Frank Chance." The volume includes an account of Bernard's life by himself, dictated about July 1857, a few months before his death, to Chance, who subjoined a few additions of his own. The copy in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, contains a letter from Chance, as follows :</page><page sequence="18">7o miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler The Editor of Dr. Bernard's Commentary on the Book of Job presents his compliments to the Master and Seniors of Trinity College, Cambridge, and requests that they will allow the accompanying copy of that work to be placed on the shelves in their Library. 51, Wimpole Street, London. March 3. 1864. Frank Chance (1826-1897) was a fine Hebrew scholar and an accomplished linguist. In 1875 he was invited to join the Old Testament Revision Company, in whose work he took a very regular and active part until its completion in 1884. James Watts Peppercorne In 1840 there appeared a work by James Watts Peppercorne, with the following title-page: The Laws of the Hebrews, relating to the Poor and the Stranger, from the " Mischna-Hathora " of the Rabbi Maimonides: now first translated into English by James W. Peppercorne. With an Introduc? tion upon the " Rights of Necessity "; an Account of the Life and Writings of Maimonides:? remarks upon the Fertility of the Holy Land; and illustrative Notes. London: Pelham Richardson, 23, Corn hill. 1840. The dedication read thus : To the Right Honourable the Earl Stanhope, F.R.S., the strenuous opponent of the new-fangled doctrines of Political-economists, and of their heardess and sordid schemes for degrading and crushing the poor; and for converting English labourers into machines or pack horses, to be employed in the creation of " surplus-produce " : this translation of the humane " Laws of the Hebrews," for the succour of their poor, is with his Lordship's permission respectfully dedicated by his Lordship's obedient servant, J. Watts Peppercorne. 56, Walcott Place, January, 1840. Abraham Benisch In 1847 [second edition, 1848] there appeared Two Lectures on the Life and Writings of Maimonides, by A. Benisch. Abraham Benisch (1811-1878), theologian and journalist, was the Editor of</page><page sequence="19">english students of maimonides 79 the Jewish Chronicle from 1854 to 1869, and again from 1875 until the year of his death. The brochure is dedicated to Hananel de Castro, President of the Jews' and General Literary and Scientific Institution, which met at Sussex Hall, and before whom the lectures were delivered. The Author concludes his Preface thus: I desire to tender my sincere thanks to the highly talented artist, Mrs. Julia Goodman, of Woburn Place, to whose eminent skill I am indebted for the drawing of the likeness of Maimonides, a lithograph of which is prefixed to the work. In the valuable notes which are appended to the lectures, Benisch mentions that portions of the Yad Hachaza\ah 44 have been trans? lated into various languages, among others into English by Ralph Skinner." Robert Young Robert Young (1822-1888) was a distinguished Oriental scholar and Biblical specialist. He served his apprenticeship to the printing business, 1838-1845, and commenced printing and bookselling in 1847. In 1856 he went to India as a literary missionary and superin? tendent of the Mission Press at Surat. He returned to Edinburgh in 1861, and then resumed the publication of works bearing on sacred and Oriental literature. His 44 Analytical Concordance to the Bible," 1879, attained universal recognition. In 1849 Young published his first book, 44 Book of the Precepts, by Rabbi Moses Maimonides." The English title-page is as follows : Book of the Precepts, or the Affirmative and Prohibitive Precepts compiled by Rabbi Moses Maimonides out of the Books of Moses, with a Life of the Author. Edinburgh: Robert Young, Foreign Bookseller and Printer, Head of the Mound. It is worthy of note that the English title-page bears no date. There is, however, a Hebrew title-page, which contains a chrono? gram based on Proverbs ii. 1, 44 My son, if thou wilt receive my</page><page sequence="20">80 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler words, and lay up my commandments with thee." The numerical value of the selected Hebrew letters of the verse, printed in larger type, yields 1849 as *he vear ?^ publication. This must be a rare example of a chronogram in Hebrew framed to indicate a secular date. Alexander Meyrowitz In concluding the Preface to the " Book of Precepts " Robert Young acknowledges with pleasure the kindness of Mr. Alexander Meyro? witz, Teacher of the Hebrew and Oriental Languages in Edinburgh, for his services in correcting the translation, as well as in revising for press the Hebrew text, for which he is so admirably qualified by his very superior knowledge of Hebrew and Rabbinical Literature. Meyrowitz migrated to the United States, and in June 1871 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of the City of New York. The degree was a purely honorary one, not given in course. On October 5, 1871, he was appointed Professor of Hebrew in the University. The appointment was nominal, and Meyrowitz received no salary. He probably had private pupils connected with the University, who paid him personally fees for instruction. In 1872, in New York, there appeared Key to the Massoretic Notes in the Margin of the Hebrew Bible, by Alexander Meyrowitz, A.M., Professor of the Hebrew Language and Literature in the University of New York. At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Curators of fhe University of Missouri on September 25, 1876, Alexander Meyro? witz, Ph.D., of New York City, New York, was appointed to the Professorship of Hebrew Language and Semitic Literature. This appointment was then confirmed at a meeting of the Board of Curators on December 12, 1876. In 1877 there was printed in New York (at the Industrial School connected with the Hebrew Orphan Asylum) a little Hebrew Grammar, in 88 pages, by Alexander Meyrowitz, on the title-page of which he is called Professor of Hebrew in the University of the</page><page sequence="21">english students of maimonides 8l State of Missouri. The author dates his Preface at Columbia, Missouri, April 28, 1877, and says that the appearance of his Grammar is chiefly owing to the munificence of the President of the State University of Missouri. Presumably Meyrowitz was a Polish Jew, because in the Preface he states, '61 follow the Polish pronunciation because it is the most common among the Jews." Elias Soloweyczyk Elias Soloweyczyk, of Slutzk, Russia, was a grandson of Rabbi Hayyim ben Isaac of Volozhin (Hayyim Volozhiner) [1749-1821]. He planned a commentary on the Yad Hachaza\ah of Maimonides. He appears first as the translator into German of Moses Maimonides, Jad Hachaza\ah oder Mischna Torah, Erstes Buch, Maddah, Koenigsberg, 1846. In 1863 there were published in English the " Book of Know? ledge " and " Hilchoth Melachim," from the Yad Hachaza\ah of Maimonides, " translated from the Hebrew into English by several learned writers, edited and revised by Elias Soloweyczik." The work contains a letter of approbation dated Berlin, August 17th, 1857. I have known for sometime, the Rabbi Elias Soloweyczik, grandson of the renowned Rabbi Chajim Wolozin. I esteem him a straight? forward and learned man, well read in the Talmud. At present he intends to publish a Commentary to the great Maimonides' work " Yad Hachasaka." The proofs shewn to me of this really useful work have satisfied me very much, and I am therefore gratified to join the recommendations which have already been granted to him by several Polish Rabbis, and recommend this worthy man to the support of all those who take an interest in the diffusion of knowledge of Jewish literature. The first signatory is Jacob Joseph Oettinger (1780-1860), Chief Rabbi of Berlin. The recommendation is countersigned by Salomon Ulmann (1806-1865), Chief Rabbi of France; Lazard Isidor (1813 1888), Chief Rabbi of Paris; Michael Jehiel Sachs (1808-1864),</page><page sequence="22">82 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler Berlin; Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808?1888), Frankfort-on-the Main; and B. M. Adler, Frankfort-on-the-Main. Soloweyczyk next appears in Paris as the author of Kol Kore, La Bible, le Talmud, et l'Evangile, I. Evangile de Mathieu; II. Evangile de Marc, Paris, 1875. On the title-page he is described as the author of a commentary on Maimonides. These two volumes present an attempted harmonisation of the Bible, the Talmud and the Gospels. They were translated from the Hebrew into the French, in which they were published, by Lazare Wogue. Lazare Eliezer Wogue (1817-1897) was a French Rabbi, who became the director and editor-in-chief of the Univers Israelite from 1879 to 1895. In Steinschneider^ copy of Kol Kore there is a printed page containing a commendation of the " blind Rabbi," Elias Solowey? czyk, in December 1880, from Rabbiner Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), and Dr. Nehemiah Bruell (1843-1891). Michael Friedl?nder In 1865 Michael Friedl?nder (1833-1910) became Principal of Jews' College, London. In 1881 there appeared the first volume of his edition of the " Guide of the Perplexed." This book contains: (1) a short life of Maimonides, in which special attention is given to his alleged apostacy; (2) an analysis of the whole of the Moreh Nebhuchim; and (3) a translation of the First Part of this work from the Arabic, with explanatory and critical notes. Portions of the Translation were contributed by Dr. Joseph Abrahams and the Rev. [afterwards Sir] Hermann Gollancz?the Introduction by the former, and the first twenty-five chapters by the latter. In July, 1885, twenty years after his arrival in England, Friedl?nder signed the Preface to the third and concluding volume of this magnum opus. But, with the completion of this great enterprise, he did not part from his friend. He continued to keep in touch with Maimonides. Ten years later, in 1895, there appeared Thoughts and Aspirations of the Ages, edited by W. C. Coupland. The aim of the volume was to present " a characteristic selection of extracts from the literature of nations inspired by exalted thought and profound</page><page sequence="23">english students of maimonides 83 feeling." The section on 44 Judaism " also contained passages from post-biblical Hebrew literature, selected by Michael Friedl?nder, and translated by students of Jews' College under the supervision of their Principal and the Rev. Morris Joseph. The fourth chapter of the Eight Chapters of Maimonides was chosen by Friedl?nder for inclusion in this work among the appropriate illustrations of Jewish thought and aspiration. 44 Maimonides," by David Yellin and Israel Abrahams, published in 1903, contained the following dedication: To Dr. M. Friedl?nder, Principal of Jews' College, London, and Editor of Maimonides' 44 Guide of the Perplexed " this volume is inscribed in affection and esteem. The Jewish Historical Society of England Transactions, Volume IV (1899-1901), was published in 1903, and contained the following dedication: This Volume is inscribed in affection, congratulation, and esteem on the occasion of his seventieth birthday to Dr. M. Friedlaender, Principal of Jews' College, London, a leading representative of Jewish learning in England, and an active and honoured member of the Executive of the Jewish Historical Society since its foundation. Philip Berger Benny The Spectator, July 10, 1886, contained a review of Friedlaender's edition of 44 Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed." The critical notice is unsigned, but the old records of the Spectator reveal that the writer was Philip Berger Benny. Benny was the author of The Shechita : The Jewish Mode of Slaughtering Cattle and its Advan? tages, Sheffield, 1875. He was also the writer of The Criminal Code of the Jews according to the Talmud, London, 1880. This work originally appeared as a series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette, under the editorship of Frederick Greenwood.</page><page sequence="24">84 miscellanies in honour of e. n. adler Israel Abrahams Israel Abrahams (i858-1925) contributed a critical notice of Fried l?nder's Translation of " The Guide of the Perplexed of Maimo nides " to Mind, Old Series, xi (1886). Reference has already been made to Maimonidcs (London, 1903; reprint, London, 1935), of which he was joint author with David Yellin. A detailed account of his literary achievement is superfluous in a publication issued under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of England, with which he was so closely associated. "E. N.A." A scholar of breadth and distinction, Elkan Nathan Adler has naturally included Maimonides within the range of his interpretative sympathy. When the Catalogue of Hebrew Manuscripts in the Collection ofElfyan Nathan Adler appeared in 1921, I then described it in the Jewish Chronicle as " a worthy record of the treasures of a keen and gifted manuscript hunter ... an enthralling book ... a most fascinating addition to the library of Jewish literature." The volume contains many Maimonides items for which all students are grate? ful. The illustrations include an autograph responsum by Maimo? nides, circa 1180. But the particular is included in the general. So we pay tribute to " E.N.A." for the vividness with which he has explored and mapped out new regions in the whole world of Jewish scholarship.</page></plain_text>