top of page
< Back

More Letters of Hazan De Sola

Richard D. Barnett

<plain_text><page sequence="1">More Letters of Hazan de Sola RICHARD D. BARNETT, MA., Litt.D., F.BA. In 1959 the present writer was privileged to deliver as his presidential address a paper on 'Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola', pub? lished in Transactions XXI, pp. 1-38. As an appendix to that paper he attached a bunch of sixteen letters from April 1818 to September 1820, representing the correspondence, partly translated from Dutch, between the young Hazan David de Sola and his aged father in Amsterdam. These letters were kindly donated to the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Bevis Marks, by the family of the late Mrs Belle de Sola. Since the original gift of sixteen letters a further batch of 16 letters has now been added, which had become separated accidentally from the main collection, and sent to Canada, whence they were kindly returned by Mrs Evelyn Miller. Interest in Public Affairs Those relating to D. A. de Sola's early years are here published in full, as they supple? ment the previously published group. They include D. A. de Sola's document of registration for military service in Holland, with interesting details of his personal appearance. The first letter provides the reply from his father, in October 1818, to young D. A. de Sola's letter published in Transactions XXI. Two more letters follow from D. A. de Sola to his father, one dated 1819, another undated. The remaining letters, either to his father in November 1820 or to his wife in mid-1825, to which is to be added a letter from his aged uncle Abraham in 1823, take up the story of this closely united family after the point where the letters previously published in Transactions XXI cease. They tell again of D. A. de Sola's abiding curiosity about current affairs in England?he has found his way over obstacles to hear the trial of Queen Caroline in the House of Lords, then the scandal of London, nay, of Europe. There is much gossip about individuals in both London and Amsterdam, some identi? fiable, others unknown to us. We read, naturally, mostly family news: how 'little Sara', his sister now growing up, is being affianced to Mr Bassan: there is news of D. A. de Sola's baby daughter's progress and the approaching birth of his next child; and in 1821 the moving story written to his wife describing his all-too-brief return to his native home to see for the last time his dying father, jesting bravely amid his suffering. By June 1823 he is apparently thinking of speculating in buying and selling cloth, but we hear no more of it. Lastly, in July 1825, he described the sea crossing to Holland by new cross channel steam-packet, paddle-steamers having then been only very recently introduced. This group of letters?in which it is interesting to watch his progress in the use of English? thus pleasantly completes the de Sola family archives. Miss S. Ricardo kindly translated those either wholly or partly in Dutch, where necessary. Correspondence with Famous People These letters are supplemented by eight letters (undated, but about 1840) to Hazan de Sola from Charlotte Montefiore (1818-1854), a niece of Sir Moses Montefiore and a lady then much interested in popularising Jewish litera? ture; there is another from Grace Aguilar (also undated, but also about 1840) concerning Charlotte Montefiore's criticism of one of her works; one from Joshua van Oven (1830), Professor Zunz (1846), Dr Schiller-Szinessy (1857), and Baron Rothschild (1850), but space does not permit us to publish them here. Militia Registration [Dutch] Gratis MS [Printed Certificate; details filled out in ink by hand] 173</page><page sequence="2">174 Richard D. Barnett Levy of eighteen eighteen To obtain a pass [Coat of Arms] NATIONAL MILITIA PROVINCE OF NORTH HOLLAND CERTIFICATE THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE PROVINCE OF NORTH HOLLAND de? clares that David of Aron de Sola/ born: at AMSTERDAM 20th December 17961 occupa? tion: Student of Theology j son of ARON of DA VIDj and SARA d'AM MI AS [sic] TORRES/ occupation [blank] living in AMSTERDAM in the community of AMSTERDAM is regis? tered in the National Militia and has been allocated by lot the number 35/ which up till now has not yet been called up, and therefore he has not needed to do service. Given in HAARLEM on the 24 June 1818 For the Governor-General [signature] DESCRIPTION Height: 5ft 3 Face: Oval Forehead: Or din [ary] Eyes: Blue Nose: Or din [ary] Mouth: 0 Chin: Round Hair: Brown Eyebrow: 0 Special Marks: ? Signature: Z). A. de Sola Registered No.: 1119 Signature: V. de Spele This letter is the reply to that from D. A. de Sola, of October, Transactions XXI, pp. 24-25: [Dutch: in hand of E. N. Torres'] Amsterdam, 13 October 1818. Worthy Son, I received your pleasant letter of the 6th of this month at the conclusion of Quipur [ = Day of Atonement]. I noted with pleasure that you are well, thank God, and that you .managed the reading very well on Rosashana [ = New Year]. I pray that it may continue thus with you and that Quipur has passed equally well, and that you may do as well on all the Holy Days about which I implore you to inform me immediately after the festivals. I have received the note of ?6 on Coudere Brants1 which you sent me and which I cashed yesterday. I thank you very much and I don't doubt that if and when possible you will again meet me financially as you know I am in need; I have paid Costa, the Thesoureiro [ = Treasurer] of the Medras, [religious college] fl.15 for you which I had set aside for a coat for myself and now I had to make do for the Holy Days with my old coat. To show you I return your letter. I cannot refrain from rebuking you about something that your sister and I thought very odd: it appears to us from your previous letters, as from your latest one, that you are not very keen to have us at your wedding, as you repeatedly tell us that it will take place in a bad season and we would be ill-advised to undertake a sea-voyage. Neither I nor your sister understand where you get your indifferent attitude; it appears to me that you would have no pleasure in having your father and sister on your wedding day and we think that you could have arranged your marriage between Purim [ = Feast of Lots] and Passover. However, should this not be so, nothing will be too difficult for us to have the pleasure of being present at your wedding, though should this give you no pleasure, then in Heaven's name we shall not come and we shall have to accept it, but otherwise we should like you to tell us the exact date so that we can gradually prepare ourself with what we need and then I shall do what I can to make it cost as little as possible. And I must repeat I cannot write to the Haham1 anything about the marriage before he himself has written to me, because then at least he can give me a clear idea if he asks for my consent or whatever it may be, for then I have reason to reply to him and otherwise I don't know what to write to him. As to the Sepher, I won't send you this one before I have bought another, so you must be patient. Sarotte3 is very cross with you 1 The dispatch of this sum through Brants is announced by David de Sola in his letter, Trans. XXI, p. 25. 2 Haham Raphael Meldola, the bridegroom's father-in-law. 3 David's young sister Sara.</page><page sequence="3">More Letters of Hazan de Sola 175 because you haven't written her a few lines and she won't write to you, because you know she is not very quick with the pen. You must give particular greetings in both her name and mine to your bride Miss Rebca Meldola and also to the Haham his wife and family and to Hazan Almosnino and his wife, and I hope that they may enjoy many festivals in your company in prosperity and blessing. You must now give greetings from the little Nunes girl who lives with Ezra Ferro to a David Granada and find out how he is faring. Otherwise I have nothing else to tell you, only that I hope you won't refrain from writing to me how you managed over Quipur and the festivals. We are all, thank God, healthy and the whole family and all good friends send you greetings, partic? ularly David Leon de Moradin4 and family, who are very much excited by your appoint? ment; you would oblige him by inquiring after his sister and how she is?otherwise no news. You must know already of the unfortunate passing away of Mr A. Mendes de Leon?it is a great tragedy for our community. He was buried on the second day of Rosashana. There have never been so many people at a misva [ = religious duty] as at this. It was as if a Haham had been buried, if not something more. He is generally mourned; he was a highly esteemed man. God help us against such further losses, for our nation cannot spare them. I wish you a good festival and remain, Your loving father who sends you God's blessing. Ar on van David de Sola Sara van Aron de Sola. [2nd p.s. Dutch] Worthy cousin David, I am delighted to hear that you are well, and to note that your reading is going well which also pleases me and I wish you continued health and happiness and [pray] that God will give you his bounteous blessing as I have already written for your father and I use his words literally! I think he is quite right, you will have to see that everyone is satisfied. This advice from me you must not take amiss, as I do this out of friendship for you. My whole family greets you and I remain Your cousin, who wishes you every prosperity, E. N. Torres. My compliments to the Haham, to Aby Garcia and their families and also to Pinhas Romanel. While writing this letter I hear that Koo Mesquita5 has died. He is better off than we. D. A. de Sola to his father [Dutch] London, the 3rd (?) April 1819. Very Worthy father, It is with pleasure that I noted, thank God, that you have recovered, but nevertheless I am very worried and implore you to keep me informed of the state of your health and don't leave me without a letter for too long. I am very surprised that you allowed Mesquita6 to read something which I meant in completely different terms because I didn't mean you to show it to him. He is naturally very upset and I have had to write a letter of apology to him which I am enclosing. You can pay the postage and address it and I implore you, if I ever write anything about someone, please don't show it to him himself, otherwise I feel that I shall have to pay dearly for this after? wards. Having written this, I wanted to cross it all out again but the letter was already sealed and as the Penny Post has passed just now, I gave him the letter as I had no time to go to the Post Office. As concerns the money, since you are not coming over before Passover, I didn't think it right to send it. I cannot possibly send you more than ?1 (which is about 80 Dutch guilders)?you won't spend anything in London and I will also pay for your return journey and that is all more than I can do. I have seen no Irish miss, and even fewer books. 4 Mentioned again in Aaron de Sola's letter of 30 October 1818, Trans. XXI, p. 26, as David Leon. 5 Mentioned by D. A. de Sola in his letter of November 1818, Trans. XXI, p. 28. 6 Evidently Samas [= beadle] Mesquita, men? tioned in letter November 1818, Trans. XXI, p. 29.</page><page sequence="4">176 Richard D. Barnett Please ask Aletrino to send me her address,7 then I will investigate her and write to her to Ireland because I am afraid I shall never see the books again. If you agree (about the money) I will send it to you immediately the week after Passover, because I won't receive it before then. I wish to know if you have received the money from J. Barzilay.8 I don't get any news from Amsterdam and I can't imagine that nothing has happened during all that time.?Sarot9 would do well to learn how to dress in the English fashion, though I don't see much difference! but if she so wishes, she may have her dresses made in London; but she must shop in Amsterdam, unless she wishes to pay 3 times as much in London (an ordinary straw hat costs here ?3 = fl.13, that is an example).?Should you now wish to make any comment, be so good as to let me know it as soon as possible as my next letter will consist of a whole foolscap piece of paper entirely for you describing how to travel, what to buy, how to provide yourself for the journey; and as I wish to write this at length in large letters I shall need a lot of room, as I pay as much for letters, whether big or small?at least, this is what one does here. Should this not be the case with you and your letter costs more, you should take the letter to the post office and complain?this is what I have to do here from time to time. In any case, you must write and tell me, for I do not wish to involve you in expenses. I would have sent this letter on Friday were it not for the festa [ = festival, Holy day] and a funeral which I took ex officio, of an important Tachid10 here, whose wedding (with a 15 year old girl) I attended 5 weeks ago and therefore I received [sic] the letter too late to be able to finish it off and to post it, particularly as I had to write to Mesquita? Should I have forgotten anything, please remind me then in your next letter, to which I (your health permitting) look forward? Please send my compliments and boas festas [ = happy festivals] to Aunt Sim11 and all uncles and aunts, cousin Torres and family and all cousins, male and female, moreover to all good friends and Miss Streelen and Jusje (please let me know how they are). Bram, Manie, etc. I remain your loving son, David de Sola. P.S. I will [damaged: let Riekel ?"] speak to you herself in her own language and [I will] translate it afterwards into Dutch?see over. [Eng.] Dear Father, I as well as my bridegroom have been very sorry to receive some unquieting news respect? ing your health. I hope that by the arrival of the present you will be quite recovered and after wishing you many happy Holy Days with my love to my sister, I remain your dutiful daughter, R. Meldola. [Dutch translation follows] Address on cover: Mr Aron van David de Sola in the Kerkstraat by the Amstel No. 10, at Amsterdam. [No date] [Dutch] (?1819) Worthy Father, As I have kept you in touch quite recently I have nothing to write to you except that, Thank God, I am well and hope the same of you, my sister and the whole family. I gave the Hazan from Surinam13 some goods which 7 The reference is obscure. Perhaps books meant for the writer had been sent to her in error. 8 Not to be confused with 'Moos' Barzilay, a bad debtor, mentioned in several letters, Trans. XXI, p. 19. D. A. de Sola asks the same question about Joseph Barzilay in his letter, Nov. 1818, Trans. XXI, p. 28. 9 David's young sister Sara, who is also expected in London for the wedding. 10 i.e., Tahid, or subscribing member of the Congregation. Reference is to the wedding of Isaac de Abraham Benaim and Estrella de Isaac Hatchwell, married 8 Shebat 5579. (L. D. Barnett, Bevis Marks Records II, No. 1562.) Isaac Benaim was buried on 9 April (14 Nisan 5579). 11 Simha Farro(?), mentioned frequently in previous letters. 12 His fiancee, Rica (Ribca) Meldola. 13 Hazan Joseph H. Baruch Lousada, of Surinam, read prayers at Bevis Marks Synagogue on Sabbath Echa: Mahamad Minutes, 17 May 1819.</page><page sequence="5">More Letters of Hazan de Sola 177 I no longer use and also some games from Bram Torres. I warn you again not to invite him too often to your house. With my greetings to Aunt Sim, Cousin Torres and the whole family, I remain your loving son, David Aron de Sola. The bearer of this is Mr. B. Romanel from whom I received much friendship here. As I haven't been able to send the copies of the certificates with the Hazan of Surinam, I am enclosing them herewith so that you can give them to anyone who wishes to have them. Greetings from our Friend Mr. Hazan Almosnino14 and his wife. Cover: To Mr. Aaron of David de Sola in the Kirkstraat between the Weesper straat and the Amstel, no. 10. by friend B. Romanel. The remaining letters follow on the series published in Trans. XXI. [Dutch] London, 24th November 1820. Very worthy and beloved father, Your worthy [letter] of the 17th was well received and has been awaited with longing, as I was very worried by my anxiety which has been dispelled. It remains for me still to hope that this letter may find you completely restored and that God may give you many years in health and happiness in the midst of your loving family. I hope that you will immediately write to me the moment you receive this letter (which I hope you will receive on Tuesday) to tell me that you have completely recovered and that you have been out and also that you yourself have posted the letter. And as I assure you that I haven't had a letter since Kipur [ = Day of Atone? ment] or Cabanas [ = Succoth] and am await? ing a reply: also that you asked me to write to Cousin de Torres while in your last letter I had a great deal of difficulty to find your opin? ion in several places. I am very much obliged and grateful for your fatherly worry about the child but the little gates are not necessary yet, as it does not yet walk by itself, let alone run. I have already written to you about this before but you might perhaps be able to spend the money with much more pleasure on a grandson who bears your name?Haham Miranda15 has not arrived here as yet but we are expecting him. Do me a favour and tell Mr. Canho16 that his letters arrived here very late because they were removed from Mr. Samuda and remained for a long time at Gravesend at the Customs Office. I will have the pleasure of writing to him and several other friends through a Saliacfr1 whose name is R. Semuel Seyac. I didn't quite understand from your letter whether Haham Miranda has a letter from the Haham [Azevedo18] for me or that he has a letter from you for the Haham [Meldola19];?don't forget the Talet? you don't write whether you have spoken to Samas Mesquita20 about the money he has perhaps received for Bob d'Azevedo21 here in London?perhaps it would be very unpleasant for him if if came before the Mahamad; I 14 Hazan Almosnino was D. A. de Sola's senior colleague at Bevis Marks Synagogue, whose sister de Sola was in July 1818 under some pressure to marry, but refused, preferring the Haham's daugh? ter. See Trans. XXI, p. 20. 15 Haham Meir Miranda was a shaliach or emissary, sent to raise funds for the Jerusalem community. Though his name does not appear in Yaari, Shiluhe Eretz-Israel (Jerusalem, 1951), a leaflet commending him, printed in Amsterdam 1820, is in the collection of Mr. A. Schischa (information by kindness of Mr. Schischa). On the system of shiluchim, sent to raise money from European and other communities to support the three Jewish communities of Palestine, Jeru? salem, Hebron, and Tiberias, see my 'Correspond? ence of the Mahamad. . . .' Trans. XX, pp. 25-33. 16 Solomon del Canho was D. A. de Sola's unsuccessful competitor for the post of Hazan at Bevis Marks Synagogue. See Transactions XXI, pp. 19-22. 17 Evidently an emissary (shaliach) sent to raise funds for one of the three Communities of the Holy Land, but not mentioned in Yaari. He is the 'Turk' referred to below, n. 28. 18 Haham Daniel Cohen de Azevedo (1751 1823), Haham at Amsterdam. 19 D. A. de Sola's father-in-law, Haham in London. 20 Samas Mesquita acts as an agent for the pur? chase of Hebrew books. Trans. XXI, n. 30. 21 Rubi B. Azevedo, mentioned in Trans. XXI, p. 35.</page><page sequence="6">178 Richard D. Barnett can't keep him [waiting] any longer and all the Hollanders here advise him to write to the Mahamad which he would do well to do. You don't write any news at all?nothing from the 'Nation'22 or the family. How is it with my uncles and cousins in particular with Oome Moosje? [ = Uncle Moses]. I hear on the whole it is much better in Amsterdam in all matters since I left it. Most likely you are getting at the beginning of next summer two families from London; one is Sampie Veiga23 and his family, if he has recovered by then; he will then go and stay with his brother-in-law Dr. Capadoce;24 the other, though not from here, is at the moment here (and I'm sorry to say in a miserable state). He is Abraham Meldola, the Notary public of Hamburg and brother-in-law of Sampie Farro (I don't think that you know them). Both are Dutch; da Veiga you've met here; he has been very busy with the illumina? ting, breaking of glass and pickpocketing in honour of the famous queen25 and Signor Berga mi?but thank goodness that's all over. Please write and tell me whether you had heard the news that the Bill had been withdrawn. When you received my letter, it was only known in Parliament a quarter of an hour before I wrote to you?Don't forget to write to me extensively about my sister,26 what plans you have; and be sure that I am very interested in her well-being, although she is getting too proud (or perhaps there is a different reason ?) even to send me a greeting in her name or to sign her name. Bassan" follows at her side: nevertheless, I will write a few lines to him (if God pleases) by the Turk,28 but I repeat once more my request that you write to me immediately?then I can expect a reply by Friday or Saba [Sabbath] Hanuca. We are, thank God, well and happy and the child is growing well; as far as her face, a stranger has to tell you, as we see her through [rose-] coloured glasses: I can only say that she has the (good) sense of twice her age. If the next one should be a son I shall have the pleasure of calling him by your name. My greetings to the whole family and good friends; we remain your loving son and daughter? David de Sola Rebecca de Sola Sara de Sola (done with her own hand although not alone. She took the letter in her mouth, to seal it I should think.) [Dutch] [same date] Worthy cousin E. N. Torres,29 Hoping that this finds you well and the company of your worthy family:?For a long time I haven't had the pleasure of writing to you nor of hearing any news in particular from you. What is happening here is already in my father's letter. Although I have addressed it to him, I suppose you will always read it and I don't necessarily need to repeat what may be of news to you, because you will always read it to him in any case and I don't need to repeat it. As far as the news of the State is concerned, you will read in the newspapers and it is nowa? days the messy farce of the Queen which is not worthy of mentioning [i.e., Queen Caroline]. I have been twice to the trial in the House of Lords through my friend Cohen the inter? preter, at a time when nobody could be allowed in without an order signed by the Lords. 22 i.e., the Spanish and Portuguese Community. 23 'Sampie' Veiga is evidently, from what follows, some form of police investigator. 24 Dr Capadoce is probably the celebrated physician Emanuel Capadoce, M.D. (1751-1820), a very distinguished medical figure. See Isaac da Costa, Bertram Brewster, and Cecil Roth, Noble Families among the Sephardie Jews, p. 174. 25 The scandal of Queen Caroline and her hus? band George IV's quarrels and incompatibility culminated in 1821 when she was accused before the House of Lords of adultery with one of her staff, Signor Bergami, and found guilty. But before she could be divorced by George IV, the Bill to deprive her of her crown and titles was on 10 November postponed for six months, in effect dropped. (See D.N.B., Queen Charlotte). 26 The approaching marriage of Sarah (Sarot) b. 1799, to Bassan is disclosed in the next letter of April 1821. 27 Shortly to become affianced to her: see next letter. 28 Evidently the Shaliach mentioned above, see note 17. 2*&gt; On him, evidently the assistant of D. A. de Sola's father Aaron, see Trans. XXI, pp. 19-22, who reads his letters to him.</page><page sequence="7">More Letters of Hazan de Sola 179 One day the Queen and Lady Ann Hamilton3? were present, and I can assure you that the English papers are as true as if you yourself were present, in particular the TIMES and COURIER newspapers. You could (if you wished) read them at Woordmans in the Kalverstraat, a shopping street between the Mint and the Dam at Amsterdam. I hope that you will write to me a little about the happen? ings on your side and also if you always read the letters which I write to my father. After recommending me to your family, I remain, your servant and cousin, D. Sola, [sic] [English] P.S. I should be infinitly [sic] obliged if you would be so kind and ask my father (though not quite in a direct way) if he should object that the next child (if it should happen to be a boy) be named after him as I have very often reccollect [sic] hearing him say that he has 'agoiro* [ ? Port, agorro, (bad) omen, presage] [that] a grandchild of his should bear his name during his life31 and you know as he is very imaginative, it might (God forbid) pro? duce fatal consequences?You will always find me thankfull. [Hebrew: Ve-Shalom.] [Dutch] At side: my greetings to Bram Manie. Do write if you are still good friends, and also with Uncle Raphael. Mr. B. C. d'Azevedo, 3 Heneage Lane, Bevis Marks, St. Mary Axe. Cover: [Dutch] Mr. Aron of David de Sola, Kerkstraat by the Amstel No. 10. Amsterdam. The remaining letters follow on after the conclusion of the series published in Trans. XXL [English] Amsterdam, April 1821. Dearest Wife! I have been very much astonished not to receive any letter of yours this morning, al? though in the last you received of me from Rotterdam I had so earnestly requested for your immediate answer. I ascribe it that you have received mine after Tuesday and could consequently not write but with the mail of this day, which if you did, will not find me any more at Amstm (but will be send [sic] to me at Rotterdam), for I am going from here Monday morning next to Rotterdam, in order to be with you before the holidays, if it pleases God to change the wind which has been the whole week westerly and consequently con? trary?now my dear hasidah [(a) stork (b) pious one] pray to God with me for an easterly one that may carry me soon back again? now I shall continue from where I left off in my last. Tuesday evening I set out from Rotterdam and arrived here at 6 o'clock in the morning. I can impossibly describe you with what feelings I again entered my native city not daring to enter our house directly and not knowing wether [sic] I should embrace my father alive or be obliged to bewail him. You may suppose what I felt when I past [sic] our door wherefore I stood like enchanted or nailed and as if I would have enquired from the bricks of the house the situation of my father. It was very early yet in the morning and few people yet stirring and of these I was afraid to enquire expecting to hear the worse. Then I went to an Oncle [sic] of mine; he told me with a face whereof I could not augur anything but the worse, that my father was certainly not dead but that they were expecting it a fortnight since, that his complaint has been declared uncurable by his physicians (and not less than three he has) &amp;c, and all such consolatory things?then I sand [sic] my Oncle to prepare my father telling him that I was at Rotterdam and I was to come in the evening &amp;c. ail to prepare him by degrees. The first interview I cannot describe, that goes 30 Lady Ann Hamilton (1766-1846) was lady in-waiting to and friend of the Queen (D.N.B.). 31 On the Sephardi naming practices, and the normal Sephardi practice avoided by the Ash kenazim of naming a child after a grandparent in the latter's lifetime, see E. R. Samuel, 'New Light on the selection of Jewish Children's Names', Trans. XXIII, and this volume (XXIV) p. 171 ff.</page><page sequence="8">180 Richard D. Barnett beyond all what I can. I will only tell you that I was afraid of looking at him in such a state [as] I found him, quite emaciated and like a skeleton in the face, scarcely able to utter a few words with a belly and legs as thick as Butts occasioned by the Dropsy. I found him yet a deal better than he was a few days before, he having undergone an operation called tapping or discharging the water and has had strength enough to go through it of which the Physicians were afraid; it has eased for the moment, but sorry I am to say it is but palliating and there is no radical cure known yet. He is so glad of having me with him that it seems it has had a very beneficial influence and quite exhilarated him and, to give you a specimen, he said all along that he should be fetched Pesach [Passover] (meaning to die then as my dear mother died then) but since my arrival he sayd he will go to Snoge [synagogue] Pesach to make agomel [thanksgiving for recovery] and after Pesach to bring me to Rotterdm on to board the packet &amp;c. I tremble how I shall tell him that I must go on Monday but I cannot stay any longer here though I should wish it on many accounts, but I will keep my word I gave to the President, cost it what it may. The reception I meet here of every body is most flattering and I have not a moment time for myself. This is the reason that the procuration I have to give to my Oncle to manage my affairs here is not written yet, though I have taken legal advice already upon the subject. My stay here will also be to [sic] short to conclude the marriage contract of my sister with Bassan32?this night I go to Snoge with my cocked hat but without either cloak or bands33 and sit in the Velhos [Elders'] bench and tomorrow I go to sepher and must sit at home to receive the welcome of the nation.34 Tell David35 I cannot get all the books he has asked for. I shall get for him what I can. Give my compliments to your father, mother, Sisters and Brothers, Hazan Almosnino and other friends and above all kiss my two little angels. O if you knew how I long to embrace you and them! In hopes of soon having that happiness. I remain your loving Husband David de Sola. Address: Mrs de Sola 1 Heneage Lane Bevis Marks, Leadenhall Street, London [Postmark F.P.O. AP 9 1821] [Dutch] Amsterdam, 3rd July 1823. Mr. David van Aron de Sola, London. I received with pleasure, noble sir, your letter of last month; particularly, because you and your whole family are well and healthy and hope that this letter will find you in the same situation. As far as we are concerned we thank God for our health, although it has been very bad with us. As regards your request about the goods in which you wish to speculate, I would not advise you to speculate in fine cottons and linen because this town is full of goods, so much so that they even tumble behind wheelbarrows on the road and you may buy them with a sour face. The only thing that I think worth speculating on? because it's nearer the winter and after the summer, and because you may get it first hand?is to get some samples of best Calmok36 and duffels37 and also best black calamanco,38 also samples of the best English pins and spools of cotton yarn because these are nowadays used for sewing. For these I would have use, if you think that the price and quality of the goods is attractive. Regarding the reorganised lots you write about, I have written to Mr. Belinfante and even as I have sent you two 32 On Bassan's approaching engagement to Sara de Sola, see the previous letter. 33 These items of dress formed the official costume of a Hazan at Amsterdam and London at that time and until the extinction of the Sephardic community of Amsterdam in 1940. 34 The 'Nation' is the traditional term for the Spanish and Portuguese community. 35 Evidently David Meldola (afterwards Dayyan), his brother-in-law. 36 Perhaps a corruption of camlet, a kind of worsted, often sold with calamanco (note 38). 37 A coarse woollen cloth having a thick nap or frieze: from Duffel, a town near Antwerp (O.E.D.). 38 A glossy woollen stuff of Flanders, frilled and chequered in the warp, so that the two checks are seen on the one side only (O.E.D.).</page><page sequence="9">More Letters of Hazan de Sola 181 plans on which the prices are noted. However, in case you have the idea to debit these, then you can reckon that there will be five or six guilders each per piece profit and sometimes it is possible to get more if you buy and pay cash because then you take all the risks on your own account. Then as to what you write me about Bassan,39 and the houses, I can't tell you any more at present save that they have been let in a first class manner and that for the greater part the old tenants are as when you were still here and that Bassan has done his duty as far as [text damaged] shipping acquaintance of Pyzer so as to pay every month as one [damaged] and now and then to pay on time. Sometimes he visits me to get advice from me in whatever way I am able to help. There isn't much news here; you might already know that the Samas Mesquita has got the sack because he made too many mezuzot and tefillim and in his place is Manne Sante Croes, married to Sellie Pimental; and that last night they made Penha the hazan of Hebra, and he acted partly as assistant and read from Friday night up to today everything like an angel, and that in the place of Rubi German who passed away; and that a lot of party strife took place and that Canho pretends he has had to stay behind; otherwise nothing but a thousand greetings from me and my loved ones from the whole family, David, Gilda and her daughter, Cousin David, the writer of the present letter, from me who wishes you and your whole family prosperity, health and blessing, and from me, although I am beginning to get old; and the Almighty send you his blessing for his year. Amen. Abm of Aron de Solla.? Be so good as to greet your future father-in-law [damaged] and wish him health and that I [damaged: pray that he/you] will have the pleasure of meeting him speedily your happy and loving family soon. Amen. I remain your cousin D. de Sola. On outside: to Mr. David of Aron de Sola, London [English] Amsterdam, the 29 July 1825. Dearest Wife, This morning at 6 o'clock I arrived here, though I have not as yet fully recovered the affects of Sea Sickness a severe passage has left me. While I am thank God quite well my only anxiety which does not leave me for a moment is the uncertainty I am of necessity in of the state of your health and that of our dear children. I need not tell you that that anxiety must daily increase and can only partially be relieved by your writing, which I hope you will do immediately informing me of the [sic] your welfare and of that of all those we love. Perhaps you will be curious to have an account of the passage. In the first place many thanks of mine are due to Abm. and especially to Mrs Luria41 to whom we are under more obligations, as you well know, than we can ever repay.?I got on board at about 8, still we did not start till near 9 owing to many little accidents retarding us. Wind and Tide were completely against us so that we made but little way, still we reached Gravesend at about 12 o clock. At about nine and after we had passed Woolwich, we breakfasted and I took some bread and butter and eggs and that is all I have taken till yesterday evening, for when we came as far as the mouth of the Thames I and almost ev'ry Passanger on board, and there about Twenty including Mr. Goldsmidt42 with his Sister and brother got so seasick, that we were all confined to our Cabins which for my part I was unable to leave till we got yesterday in morning in the Moeses.43 The wind was so adverse that we did 39 On Bassan's marriage to Sara (Sarot) see last letter: Bassan has evidently been made res? ponsible for letting the houses of the deceased father of D. A. de Sola. 40 This is D. A. de Sola's great-uncle 'Bram', i.e., Abraham de Aaron de Sola, b. 1739 in Lisbon, who fled with his family to Amsterdam in 1749. (He fled with his father, Aaron, whose flight is described in Trans.JHSE, Vol. XXI (1968), p. 10.) 41 Abraham de Jacob Luria married Bilhah de Saa Silveyra on 24 Tebet 5567 (1807). 42 Possibly Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (1778-1859), afterwards Sir Isaac, communal leader and philanthropist, or Aaron Asher Goldsmid (1785 1861), merchant and communal leader. 43 i.e., the River Meuse.</page><page sequence="10">182 Richard D. Barnett not meet a single sailing vessel going our direction the wind being exactly the other way we did not spread an inch of canvas during the whole of the passage but forced our way up, I may say in spite of the Elements. The sea struck so violent against the vessel that all Landsmen were very glad to get to their beds where the noise of the sea and the noise of the sailors on deck where [sic] only varied by the noise of the efforts made by the inhabitants of the different Cabins who all emptied their stomachs much faster than they filled them in the morning. Dinner came and I was told it was a grand one but no one eat any but three or four Germans who though they had been sick all the morning and continued the whole passage they contrive to stuff for all the rest, in short instead of arriving at 10 o clock in the morning we arrived at near 5 in the afternoon. As I knew that they expected me in Arnst"1 and I had by my late arrival lost the Dilligence or Stage Coach, I went immediately to the Barge which sets off from there at 6 o Clock arrived here this morning. As it was very early and I would not knock them up I went in the Hotel where the Barge stops to drink Coffee and who you think was the first person I met coming in the Room at that early hour? no one else but our friend Canho,44 who was sitting there sipping his tea. Among other things he gave me some news I was very sorry to hear and which at that moment touched me very much but which thank God I found to my great pleasure to be much exaggerated. He told me namely that my sister45 had had a second miscarriage and was very ill. Yet in consequence, thank God however when I got there I found that it was true she had again a miscarriage but she had, thank God, again recovered. They received me with the greatest cordiality and love and having made some hint of the business I came about46 and that speed was the first request, they promised me to proceed immedi? ately and I have not the least doubt nay am nearly certain that ev'rything will be arranged in the manner I wish. Therefore my Dear, thank God ev'rything goes so far well. I only wish that I had already writing of you to know that you are well with God's help. Don't delay me a minute to write. I send you this over Harwich as I should be obliged to entrust the letter to a porter if I were to send it per steamboat,47 as they receive letters for the steamboat of Sunday only the day preceding, and this is Sabbat. Now my dear, take every care of your self and don't save anything that can possibly do you good. Thank God you don't want the means and use them freely. I hope and trust you will do so. My respects to your father, mother and all at home and write to me if anything was got from Elias Lindo48 also how it goes on in the Synagogue &amp;c. and tell Barzilay he shall tell you wether [sic] I am to pay for his account one guilder and ten stivers to his uncle Catan, also my sincere greetings to Mrs Luria,49 Mrs and the Miss Saa's &amp;c. and all good friends. Hoping soon to embrace, I am your affectionately loving husband, D. A. de Sola Let Abm give Comp8 in my name to Hazan Almosnino. Address: Mrs. D. A. de Sola No. 1. Heneage Lane, Bevis Marks, London. [Postmarked AMSTERDAM and G.P.O. Au. 1. 1825] [See Plate XXIX, for portraits of Hazan and Mrs. D. A. de Sola.] 44 On him see above, letter of 24 Nov. 1820, note 15. 45 Sara had married Mr. Bassan, see letter of April 1821, above. 46 Not disclosed. 47 This letter appears to describe a passage by steamboat. Steam packets for mail to the Continent were now being fast introduced. 48 Probably Elias Haim Lindo (1783-1865), Sephardi historian. 49 See note 41 above.</page><page sequence="11"></page></plain_text>

bottom of page