History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe
by W. E. H. Lecky
Footnotes to Chapter VI.
1:223. The effects of slavery upon character have lately been treated with very remarkable ability in Cairnes' Slave Power. See also Storch, Econ. Politique, tom. v., and Ch. Comte, Traité de Législation, lib. v.
1:225. See on this subject Plutarch, Lives of the Gracchi; Dionysius, Halicarnassus, lib. ii. cap. 28; Columella, De Re Rusticâ. This whole subject has been very ably treated by M. Comte, Traité de Législation. See also Blanqui, Histoire d'Economie Politique; Dureau de la Malle, Economie Politique des Romains.
1:226. The distinctions have been fully developed by Cairnes and De Tocqueville.
2:226. See much horrible evidence of the atrocities practised on Roman slaves in Loiseleur, Étude sur les Crimes et les Peines dans l'Antiquité et les Temps Modernes (Paris, 1863), pp. 83-98; and in Comte, Traité de Législation, liv. v. There is an extremely good essay on the condition of the ancient slaves -- one of the best ever written on the subject -- in Bodin's Republic, lib. i. c. 5.
1:228. This movement has been well noticed by Grotius, De Jure, lib. iii. c. 14.
1:230. Cod. Theod. lib. ii. tit. 8, lex 1, and iv. 7, 1. For the history of the action of Christianity upon slavery, see A. Comte, Philosophie Positive, tom. vi. pp. 43-47; Storch, Economie Politique, tom. v. pp. 306-310; Troplong, Influence du Christianisme sur le Droit Civil. The measures against Jew slave-owners have been noticed by Bédarride, Du Lac, and many other writers. It must be acknowledged, however, that the Christian Emperor Gratian made one law which may rank with the most atrocious of Paganism. It provides that if a slave accused his master of any crime except high treason, the justice of the charge was not to be examined, but the slave was to be committed to the flames: 'Cum accusatores servi dominis intonent, nemo judiciorum expectet eventum, nihil quæri, nihil discuti placet, sed cum ipsis delationum libellis, cum omni scripturarum et meditati criminis apparatu, nefandarum accusationum crementur auctores: excepto tamen adpetitæ majestatis crimine, in quo etiam servis honesta proditio est. Nam et hoc facinus tendit in dominos.' -- Cod. Theod. ix. 6, 2. Honorius accorded slaves the liberty of accusing their masters in cases of heresy, and Theodosius in cases of paganism.
1:231. Wright, Letter on the Political Condition of the English Peasantry during the Middle Ages. London, 1843.
2:231. Champagny, La Charité Chrétienne, pp. 275-289.
1:232. See on this subject Périn, La Richesse dans les Sociétés Chrétiennes, tom. i. pp. 345-361; Van Bruyssel, Hist. Du Commerce Belge, tom. i. pp. 58, 59.
2:232. Eden, History of the Labouring Classes in England, vol. i. p. 50.
1:233. Grote, Hist. Of Greece, vol. ii. p. 123.
2:233. Hume has very ingeniously suggested, and Malthus has adopted the suggestion, that the ancient permission of infanticide had on the whole a tendency to multiply rather than to diminish population; for, by removing the fear of a numerous family, it induced the poor to marry recklessly; while, once the children were born, natural affection would struggle to the last to sustain them.
1:234. It is worthy of notice that deserted children in the early Church appear to have been supported mainly by private charity, and those foundling hospitals, to which political economists so strongly object, were unknown. In the time of Justinian, however, we find notices of Brephotrophia, or asylums for children; and foundations, intended especially for foundlings, are said to have existed in the seventh and eighth centuries (Labourt, Recherches sur les Enfants trouvés, Paris, 1848, pp. 32, 33). A foundling hospital was established by Innocent III. at Rome. The objections to these institutions, on account of their encouragement of vice, as well as the frightful mortality prevailing among them, are well known. M'Culloch states that between 1792 and 1797 the admissions into foundling hospitals in Dublin were 12,786, and the deaths 12,561 (Pol. Econ. part i. ch. viii.). Magdalen asylums, which M. Ch. Comte and other economists have vehemently denounced, were also unknown in the early Church. The first erected in France was early in the thirteenth century; the famous institution of the Bon Pasteur was founded by a Dutch lady converted to Catholicism in 1698. A full history of these institutions is given in Parent-Duchatelet's singularly interesting work on Prostitution in the City of Paris. The admirable societies for the succour of indigent mothers, which complete the measures for the protection of infancy, were chiefly the work of the French freethinkers of the last century. Beaumarchais dedicated part of the profits of the Mariage de Figaro to that of Lyons (Ducellier, Hist. Des Classes Laborieuses en France, p. 296).
2:234. See some very striking instances of this in Champagny's Charité Chrétienne.
1:236. This is, I believe, related of St. John of the Cross. There is a somewhat similar legend of a Spanish saint of the thirteenth century named Ramon Monat. The Virgin appeared to him and offered him a crown of roses, which he refused, and Christ then gave him His own crown of thorns.
1:238. In 1102 a Council of Westminster found it necessary to prohibit the sale of slaves in England (Eden, Hist. Of Labouring Classes, vol. i. p. 10); and still later the English were accustomed to sell slaves to the Irish, and Giraldus Cambrensis tells us that the emancipation of their slaves as an act of devotion was enjoined by the Irish bishops on the occasion of Strongbow's invasion. Bodin has noticed some passages from the bulls of the Popes relative to slaves in Italy as late as the thirteenth century (République, p. 43). Religion, which so powerfully contributed to the emancipation, in some cases had an opposite influence, for Christians enslaved without scruple Jews and Mohammedans, who naturally retaliated. The number of Christian slaves bought up by the Jews had been one of the complaints of Agobard in the ninth century.
1:239. See on all these causes Hallam's Middle Ages, vol. i. pp. 217, 218.
2:239. 'The clergy, and especially several Popes, enforced manumussion as a duty upon laymen, and inveighed against the scandal of keeping Christians in bondage; but they were not, it is said, as ready in performing their own parts. The villeins upon the Church lands were among the last who were emancipated.' -- Hallam, Middle Ages, vol. 1. p. 221.
3:239. The decline of serfdom has been treated by Hallam, Hist. Of Middle Ages, vol. i. pp. 222, 223. As late as 1775, colliers in Scotland were bound to perpetual service in the works to which they belonged. Upon the sale of those works the purchasers had a right to their services, nor could they be elsewhere received into service except by permission of the owner of the collieries. See a note by M'Culloch, in his edition of the Wealth of Nations, vol. ii. p. 186.
4:239. 'It wants not probability, though it manifestly appears not, that William Rufus, Henry I., and King Stephen, being all usurpers, granted large immunities to burghs to secure them to their party, and by the time that Glanvil wrote, which was in the reign of Henry II., burghs had so great privileges as that, if a bondsman or servant remained in a burgh as a burgess or member of it a year and a day, he was by that very residence made free; and so it was in Scotland: he was always free, and enjoyed the liberty of the burgh if he were able to buy a burgage, and his lord claimed him not within a year and a day.' -- Brady, Historical Treatise on Cities (1690), p. 18.
1:240. Thierry, Hist. Du Tiers Etat, pp. 24, 25. It is scarcely necessary to refer to the admirable sketch of the history of towns in the Wealth of Nations.
1:242. By J. B. Say, in his Traité d'Economie Politique, where the subject of usury is admirably discussed. The term, 'interest of assurance,' however, is defective, because it does not comprise the opprobrium cast upon the lender, which is one great cause of the extraordinary rise of interest.
2:242. As this is not a treatise of Political Economy, the reader will, I trust, pardon my adopting this old and simple formulary, without entering at length into the controversy created by the new formulary of Ricardo -- that price is regulated by the cost of production. In the vast majority of cases these two formularies lead to exactly the same result, and the principal advantage of that of Ricardo seems to be, first, that in some cases it gives greater precision than the other, and secondly, that it supplements the other, meeting a few cases to which the old formulary will not apply. In determining the value of the precious metals as measured by other things -- that is to say, as reflected in prices -- the rule of Ricardo seems most satisfactory: in determining the normal rate of interest, the old rule is, I think, perfectly adequate. There are some good remarks on this in Chevallier. Econ. Polit. sec. v. c. 1.
1:246. All the old Catholic works on the Canon Law and on Moral Philosophy show this, but I may especially indicate Concina, Adversus Usuram (Romæ, 1746); Concina, Usura Contractus trini (Romæ, 1748); Leotardus, De Usuris (Lugduni, 1649); Lamer et Fromageau, Dictionnaire des Cas de Conscience (a collection of the decisions of the doctors of the Sorbonne), art. Usure (Paris, 1733); and Conférences Ecclésiastiques de Paris sur l'Usure (Paris, 1748). This last work was published under the direction or, at all events, patronage of Cardinal de Noailles, and contains a very large amount of information on the subject. It went through several editions: the first was published in 1697. See too Liégeois, Essai sur l'Histoire et la Législation de l'Usure.
2:246. This appears to have been the case in England, where the laxity on the subject was considerable, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (see Anderson, Hist. Of Commerce, vol. i. pp. 79-113). Only a month before the Council of Nice, Constantine had confirmed the old Roman law which legalised an interest of 12 per cent.; and it was probably the desire to avoid collision with the civil power that dictated the language of a curious decree of the Council, in which usury is condemned only when practised by clergymen, but at the same time is condemned on grounds that are equally applicable to laymen: 'Quoniam multi sub regula constituti avaritiam et turpia lucra sectantur, oblitique divinæ Scripturæ dicentis, "Qui pecuniam suam non dedit ad usuram," mutuum dantes centesimas exigunt; juste censuit sancta et magna synodus ut si quis inventus fuerit post hanc definitionem usuras accipiens ... dejiciatur a clero et alienus existat a regula.' (See Troplong, Mémoire sur le Prêt à l'Intérêt, read before the Institute in 1844.) But the Council of Eliberis, in the beginning of the fourth century, and the Third and Fourth Councils of Carthage, expressly condemned usury in laymen.
1:247. The following were the principal definitions of usury employed by the writers on Canon Law: -- 1. Usura est pretium usus pecuniæ mutuatæ. 2. Lucrum immediate ex mutuo proveniens. 3. Usura est cum quis plus exigat in pecuniâ aut in aliquâ re quam dederit. 4. Ultra sortem lucrum aliquod ipsius ratione mutui exactum. -- This last is the definition of Benedict XIV. Melanchthon defined usury nearly in the same way: 'Usura est lucrum supra sortem exactum tantum propter officium mutuationis.' To this I may add the description given by St. Augustine of the sin: 'Si fneraveris homini, id est mutuam pecuniam dederis, a quo aliquid plus quam dedisti expectas accipere, non pecuniam solam sed aliquid plus quam dedisti, sive illud triti cum sit, sive vinum, sive oleum, sive quodlibet aliud, si plus quam dedisti expectas aceipere fnerator es et in hoc improbandus non laudandus' (Sermon iii. on Psalm xxxvi.). -- See Concina, Adversus Usuram, pp. 32, 33.
1:248. In 1677, when much casuistry had been already applied to the subject, some one submitted this point to the doctors of the Sorbonne. Their decision was: 'Que Titius ne seroit pas exempt d'usure en ne prenant que trois pour cent d'intérêt, parceque tout profit et tout gain tiré du prêt, si petit qu'il puisse être, fait l'usure. L'Ézéchiel au ch. xviii, ne fait point de distinction du plus ou du moins.' -- Lamet et Fromageau, Dict. Des Cas de Conscience (Art. Usure).
2:248. Thus Innocent XI. condemned the proposition, 'Usura non est dum ultra sortem aliquid exigitur tanquam ex benevolentia et gratitudine debitum, sed solum si exigatur tanquam ex justitia debitum.' -- See Conférences sur l'Usure, tom. i. p. 100.
3:248. 'Tandis que le cri des peuples contre le prêt à intérêt le faisait proscrire, l'impossibilité de l'abolir entièrement fit imaginer la subtilité de l'aliénation du capital; et c'est ce système qui étant devenu presque général parmi les théologiens a été adopté aussi par les jurisconsultes, à raison de l'influence beaucoup trop grande qu'ont eue sur notre jurisprudence et notre législation les principes du droit canon.' (Turgot, Mém. Sur les Prêts d'Argent, § 29.) Some seem to have tried to justify usury on the condition of the lender obliging himself not to demand his money till a certain period, for we find Alexander VII. condemning the proposition, 'Quod sit licitum mutuanti aliquid ultra sortem exigere, modo se obliget ad non repetendum sortem usque ad certum tempus.' (Conférences sur l'Usure, tom. i. p. 100.)
1:249. These cases, of which I have only noticed the principal, and which were many of them very complicated, were discussed with much detail by the doctors of the Sorbonne. See Lamet et Fromageau; see also the Mémoire of Troplong.
2:249. St. Thomas Aquinas was believed to be hostile to this indulgence.
1:250. Besides Lamet and Fromageau, there is a discussion as to 'Monti di Pietà' in Escobar's Moral Philosophy.
2:250. Conferences sur l'Usure, tom. i. p. 23. Salelles, De Materiis Tribunalium Inquisitionis (Romæ, 1651), tom. ii. p. 156. According to Cibrario (Economia Politica del Medio Evo, vol. ii. p. 52), a heretic named Bech, who was burnt in Piedmont in 1388, was accused among other things of having maintained that 'incest and usury are not sins.'
3:250. Chartario, Praxis Interrogandarum Rerum (Romæ, 1618), p. 201.
1:251. This is an absurdity of Aristotle, and the number of centuries during which it was incessantly asserted without being (as far as we know) once questioned is a curious illustration of the longevity of a sophism when expressed in a terse form and sheltered by a great name. It is enough to make one ashamed of one's species to think that Bentham was the first to bring into notice the simple consideration that if the borrower employs the borrowed money in buying bulls and cows, and if these produce calves to ten times the value of the interest, the money borrowed can scarcely be said to be sterile or the borrower a loser. The Greek word for interest (to¢koV, from ti¢ktw, I beget) was probably connected with this delusion. Besides a host of theologians, the notion that usury was contrary to the law of nature was maintained by Domat, one of the greatest names in French jurisprudence. Leo X. condemned usury on the following grounds: 'Dominus noster, Lucâ attestante, aperte nos præcepto adstrinxit ne ex dato mutuo quidquam ultra sortem speraremus; est enim propria usurarum interpretatio quando videlicet ex usurâ rei quæ non germinat de nullo labore, hullo sumptu, nullo periculo, lucrum fnusque conquiri studetur.' (Conférences sur l'Usure, tom. i. p. 100.)
1:252. The views of St. Thomas (who was one of the chief authorities on the subject) are in the Summa, Pars ii. Quæst. 78. At the end of the eighteenth century they were drawn up with great elaboration by a writer named Pothier, and torn to pieces by Turgot (Mém. Sur les Prêts d'Argent, § 26, 27). The argument as I have stated it is, I know, very obscure, but I venture to think that is chiefly the fault of St. Thomas.
2:252. The chief passages cited were -- Lev. xxv. 36, Deut. xxiii. 19, Ps. xv. 5, Ezek. xviii., and (from the New Testament) Luke vi. 35. As Turgot notices, the popular interpretation of this last passage was peculiarly inexcusable in Catholics, who always interpret the injunctions that surround it as 'counsels of perfection,' not obligatory on every man. Yet Bossuet was able to say, 'La tradition constante des conciles, à commencer par les plus anciens, celle des Papes, des pères, des interprètes et de l'Eglise Romaine, est d'interpréter ce verset, "Mutuum date nihil inde sperantes," comme prohibitif du profit qu'on tire du prêt; "inde" c'est à dire de l'usure.' (2nde Pastorale, contre la Version de Richard Simon.)
1:253. Montesquieu, speaking of the scholastic writings on usury, says, with a little exaggeration, 'Ainsi nous devons aux spéculations des Scolastiques touts les malheurs qui ont accompagné la destruction du commerce' (Esprit des Lois, lib. xxi. c. 20); and Turgot, 'L'observation rigoureuse de ces lois serait destructive de tout commerce; aussi ne sont-elles pas observées rigoureusement. Elles interdisent toute stipulation d'intérêt sans aliénation du capital.... Et c'est une chose notoire qu'il n'y a pas sur la terre une place de commerce où la plus grande partie du commerce ne roule sur l'argent emprunté sans aliénation du capital' (Mém. Sur les Prêts d'Argent, § xiv.). M. Sismondi has justly observed (Nouveaux Principes d'Economie Politique) that the prohibition of usury in Catholic countries has also done very much to promote a passion for luxury, and to discourage economy -- the rich who were not engaged in business finding no easy way of employing their savings productively.
2:253. Confirming in this respect a French law of the eighth and ninth century which provided that 'Usuram non solum clerici, sed nec laici Christiani, exigere debent.' Some think Justinian prohibited usury, but there is a good deal of dispute about this. Richard I. of England 'Christianum fneratorem fieri prohibuit aut quacunque conventionis occasione aliquid recipere ultra id quod mutuo concessit' (Bromton Chronicon). Some governors made it a law that the property of those who had been usurers might be confiscated by the crown after their death (Cibrario, Economia Politica del Medio Evo, vol. iii. p. 319). This arrangement had a double advantage: the government might borrow money from the usurer while he was living, and rob his children when he was dead.
1:254. According to the doctors of the Sorbonne, it was sinful to borrow at usury except under extreme necessity, but the whole stress of the denunciations was directed against the lenders.
2:254. Bédarride, Hist. Des Juifs, pp. 186-189.
3:254. Muratori, Antiq. Italicæ, dissert, xvi. -- a good history of the rise of Christian usurers.
5:254. Ibid. This Council is reckoned a general one by the Catholics.
1:255. Ibid. The Council of Vienne, presided over by Clement V., pronounced it to be heretical to justify usury: 'Sane si quis in istum errorem inciderit, ut pertinaciter affirmare præsumat exercere usuras non esse peccatum, decernimus eum velut hæreticum puniendum.' (Conférences sur l'Usure, tom, i. p. 93.)
2:255. According to Concina, usury has been condemned by twenty-eight Councils (six of them regarded by the Church of Rome as general), and by seventeen popes (Adversus Usuram, pp. 112, 113).
1:256. See the passages in Concina, Usura trini Contractûs, pp. 250, 251.
2:256. Concina, Adversus Usuram, p. 2. This view was also adopted by Molinæus. 'Carolus Molinæus contendit acerrime usuram, nisi fraus adsit aut debitor nimium opprimatur, licitam esse. Doctores omnes a sexcentis annis contrarium docuerunt' (Leotardus, De Usuris, p. 15). Calvin was one of the very first who exposed the folly of the old notion about the sterility of money: see a remarkable passage in one of his letters quoted by M'Culloch, Pol. Econ., pt. iii. ch. viii.
3:256. Anderson, Hist. Of Commerce, vol. i. p. 304.
4:256. De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. 12.
5:256. Better known as Salmasius, the author of the Defensio Regis to which Milton replied.
1:257. Le Fevre, who was tutor to Louis XIII., mentions that in his time the term interest had been substituted for usury, and he added: 'C'est là proprement ce qu'on peut appeler l'art de chicaner avec Dieu.' Marot also, who wrote in the first half of the sixteenth century, made this change the object of a sarcasm: --
On ne prête plus à l'usure,
Mais rant qu'on veut à l'intérêt.'
(See Conférences sur l'Usure, tom. i. p. 25.)
According to Concina, the first, or nearly the first (fere primus), Catholic theologian who cavilled at the old definitions of usury was Le Coreur, who wrote a treatise in 1682, in which he maintained that moderate interest might be exacted on commercial loans, but not on those which had their origin in the necessities of poverty (Adversus Usuram, p. 3). The Catholic writers at this period nearly always spoke of the modern doctrine as a Protestant heresy -- the heresy of Calvin, Molinæus, and Salmasius.
2:257. One of these was elaborately discussed by Concina in a treatise called De Usura trini Contractûs (Romæ, 1748). Others, which arose especially in the commercial communities of Belgium, are noticed in Lamet and Fromageau, and also by Troplong.
3:257. Pichler was a Jesuit, and his views on usury -- a perfect cloud of subtleties -- are contained in his Jus Canonicum (Venetiis, 1730), lib. iii. tit. 19. Tanner was also a Jesuit. Of Hannold I know nothing except from the brief notice of his opinions in Concina, De Usura trini Contractûs, pp. 152-155.
1:258. 'Peccati genus illud quod usura vocatur, quodque in contractu mutui propriam suam sedem et locum habet, in eo est repositum quod quis ex ipsomet mutuo, quod suapte natura tantundem duntaxat reddi postulat quantum receptum est, plus sibi reddi velit quam est receptum.' -- Epistola Bened. XIV., in Concina, Adversus Usuram, p. 14.
2:258. 'Neque vero ad istam labem purgandam ullum arcessiri subsidium poterit, vel ex eo quod id lucrum non excedens et nimium sed moderatum, non magnum sed exiguum sit; vel ex eo quod is a quo id lucrum solius causâ mutui deposcitur non pauper sed dives existat; nec datam sibi mutuo summam relicturus otiosam, sed ad fortunas suas amplificandas vel novis coemendis prædiis vel quæstuosis agitandis negotiis, utilissime sit impensurus.' -- Ibid.
1:259. See his Considerations on the Lowering of Interest, published in 1691 -- a tract which is, unfortunately, deeply tinged with the errors of the mercantile theory, but is full of shrewd guesses on the laws of money. Locke perceived that interest depended upon supply and demand, and that all attempts to reduce it below the natural level were pernicious or abortive. He thought, however, that the maximum should be fixed by law to prevent imposition, but that that maximum should be fixed above the natural rate. At a still earlier period Harrington saw the necessity of usury, but involved himself in great obscurity, and almost absurdity, when discussing it: see his Prerogative of Popuar Government, c. 3.
2:259. Storch, Economie Politique, tom. iii. p. 187.
1:260. Adam Smith wished the legal interest to be fixed a very little above the current rate of interest, as a check upon prodigality and rash speculation. This is still done in many countries, but Bentham showed decisively (Letter xiii., On Usury) that such a law is extremely detrimental to industrial progress, as each new enterprise is almost necessarily more hazardous than old established ones, and therefore capitalists will only direct their capital to the former if the interest to be obtained from them is considerably higher than could be obtained from the latter. To which it may be added that any attempt to dictate by law the terms on which a man may lend his money is an infringement of the rights of property, and that the borrower is much more likely to know at what rate he may profitably borrow than the legislator.
2:260. Besides the Mémoire, Turgot noticed the subject in a very striking manner in his Réflexions sur la Formation des Richesses. Like nearly every one in his time, he fell into the error of believing that the abundance of the precious metals told upon the rate of interest; but this did not affect his main argument, and on the whole there is not much in Bentham that was not anticipated by Turgot. In Italy Genovesi, who was a contemporary of Turgot, advocated the abolition of usury laws. (Pecchio, Storia della Economia Pubblica in Italia, p. 114.)
3:260. Storch, Economie Politique, tom. iii. p. 175.
1:261. I use this expression because that obscure subject which Papebrochius and Mabillon have investigated, and which they have called Diplomacy, is much more what we should now term the History of Charters. The rise and influence of consulships has been traced in English by Warden, in French by Borel, and in Latin by Steck. The subject has been also well noticed by Van Bruyssel, Hist. Du Commerce Belge, tom. i. p. 140; and the influence of diplomacy as superseding General Councils, by Littré, Révolution, Conservation et Positivisme, one of the ablest books the Positive School has ever produced. The distinction between the old and new sense of diplomacy is expressed respectively in the words 'la diplomatique' and 'la diplomatic,' the last of which is less than a century old. (See De Plassan, Hist. De la Diplomatie Française, Introd.) I may add that one of the first systems of navigation law depended upon an institution called the 'Consulship of the Sea,' which consisted of a tribunal of leading merchants authorised to determine disputes.
1:263. As their latest historian says, 'Le Christianisme ne prit une véritable consistance que sous la règne de Constantin; et c'est à dater de cette époque que commence, à proprement parler, pour les Juifs l'ère des persécutions religieuses.' (Bédarride, Hist. Des Juifs, p. 16.) In this, however, as in other persecutions, the Arians were quite as bad as the orthodox. Constantius persecuted at least as much as Constantine, and the Spanish Visigoths more than either.
1:264. On the liberality of several Popes to the Jews, see Bédarride, p. 260, on Alexander II., pp. 114-123. St. Bernard also laboured to assuage the persecution. Alexander VI. was especially generous to the Jews, and made great efforts to alleviate their sufferings -- a fact that should be remembered in favour of a Pope for whom there is not much else to be said.
1:265. For a long list of these prohibitions see a curious book, De Judæis (Turin, 1717), by Joseph Sessa (one of the judges appointed in Piedmont to regulate the affairs of the Jews), p. 10. As early as the reign of Constantine a Council of Elvira forbade Christians holding any communication with Jews. The Council of the Lateran compelled Jews to wear a separate dress; and this very simple provision, by bringing them prominently before the people in an intensely fanatical age, contributed greatly to rouse the passions of the Catholics, and to facilitate the massacres that ensued (see Rios, Études sur les Juifs d'Espagne [trad. Maynabel], p. 109). St. Vincent Ferrier persuaded the Spanish Government to enforce this decree against both Jews and Moors. (Paramo, De Orig. Inq. p. 164.)
2:265. uvres de St. Foix, tom. iv. pp. 88, 89. A similar enactment was made in Spain (Rios, pp. 88, 89). It was also a popular belief that the blood of Jews was black and putrid, and the bad smell for which they were unhappily notorious innate. There is a long discussion on this in Sessa. But perhaps the most curious instance of this order of superstitions is a statute of Queen Joanna I., in 1347, regulating the houses of ill-fame at Avignon, in which, after providing with great detail for the accommodation of the Christians, it is enacted that no Jew shall be admitted under severe penalties (Sabatier, Hist. De la Législation sur les Femmes Publiques, p. 103). The authenticity of this statute has been questioned, but M. Sabatier seems to have succeeded in defending it, and he has shown that in 1408 a Jew was actually flogged at Avignon for the offence in question (pp. 105, 106). This extreme horror of Jews furnished Ulrich von Hutten with the subject of one of the happiest pieces of irony he ever wrote -- the exquisite description of the mental agonies of a student of Frankfort, who, mistaking a Jew for a magistrate of the city, took off his hat to him, and on discovering his error was unable to decide whether he had committed a mortal or only a venial sin. (Epistol. Obscurorum Virorum, ep. 2.)
3:265. Michelet, Origines de Droit, p. 368.
1:266. The Duchess of Brabant, having some scruples of conscience about tolerating the Jews, submitted the case to St. Thomas. He replied, among other things, that the Jews were doomed to perpetual servitude, and that all their property being derived from usury may be lawfully taken from them, to be restored to those who paid the usury, or, if this is impossible, to be applied to some pious purpose. (See this curious letter, given at length in Van Bruyssel, Hist, du Commerce Belge, tom. i. pp. 239, 240.) On the general doctrine that property derived from usury may be confiscated by the civil power, see Paramo, De Orig. Inquisit, p. 167.
2:266. There was a good deal of controversy in the middle ages about whether the Jews should be permitted to practise usury. The liberty seems to have been first openly granted in the commercial towns of Italy, but it gradually spread, and was admitted by some Popes. Sessa gives the reasons that were avowed by theologians: 'Usuræ Judaicæ tolerantur quidem ex permissione Principum et summorum Pontificum in Hebræis ut de gente deperditâ, et quorum salus est desperata, et ad eum finem ne Christiani fnoris exercitio strangulentur a Christianis' (De Judæis, p. 9). The permission was granted in Piedmont in 1603. St. Lewis refused to permit the Jews to exercise usury (Troplong), and the Spanish rulers seem to haw vacillated on the subject (Bédarride, pp. 192-194). There can be no doubt the monopoly of usury which the Jews possessed did more to enrich than all their persecutions to impoverish them. For although, as Adam Smith observes, the current rate of interest should represent approximately the average of profits, this is only when it is free, and the exertions of divines and legislators in the middle ages had raised it far above the high rate it would then naturally have borne. It seems to have usually ranged between 25 and 40 per cent. In 1430 we find the Florentines, in order to reduce the current rate, admitting the Jews into their city, whence they had previously been excluded, on the condition of their lending money as low as 20 per cent. (Cibrario, vol. iii. p. 318). It is curious to observe how, while persecution prevented the Jews from ever amalgamating with other nations, the system of usury prevented them from ever perishing or sinking into insignificance.
1:267. The Jews offered 30,000 ducats to remain. The Queen, it is said, for a time hesitated, but Torquemada, confronting her on the threshold of the palace with a crucifix in his hand, exclaimed, 'Judas sold his God for thirty pieces of silver -- you are about to sell him for thirty thousand' (Bédarride and Prescott). The anecdote is related by Paramo, p. 144, only he does not specify the sum.
2:267. Rios, Etudes sur les Juifs d'Espagne, p. 77. Rios says that the contemporary writers are unanimous about the number.
3:267. Ibid. pp. 79-82. Llorente, Hist de l'Inquisition, tom. i. p. 141.
1:268. Rios gives a delightful Spanish complexion to all this: 'L'apparition de Saint Vincent Ferrier devant le peuple Juif avait été un fait véritablement prodigieux. Il avait apparu à leurs yeux comme un ange sauveur, et cette circonstance ne pouvait qu'être favorable à sa haute mission évangélique. Le 8 juin 1391, les rues de Valence se remplissaient du sang des Juifs, les boutiques étaient brûlées, les maisons de la Juiverie saccagées par une multitude effrénée, les malheureux Juifs couraient aux églises demandant le baptême, et ils étaient repoussés de toutes parts et ne rencontraient que la mort, quand au milieu de la populace St. Vincent Ferrier se présente et élevant sa voix inspirée, il met un terme à cette horrible carnage. La multitude se tait. Les Juifs appelés par ce nouveau apôtre, qui se donna plus tard à lui-même le nom d'ange de l'Apocalypse, écoutent la parole divine et se convertissent.... Tout cela contribua puissamment au merveilleux résultats de sa prédication' (pp. 89, 90). St. Vincent was a Dominican, a very great preacher, and so very good that he always undressed in the dark lest he should see himself naked. For his miracles, his virtues, and the multitudes he converted, see his life in Spanish by Vincent Justiniano (Valentia, 1575). Paramo says that the Inquisitors discovered that no less than 17,000 of the converts of St. Vincent returned to Judaism (De Orig. Inq. p. 167).
2:268. Twelve, however, who were captured at Malaga during the siege in 1485, were impaled by Ferdinand.
1:269. They are detailed by Paramo.
2:269. Picus Mirandola.
3:269. It seems impossible to ascertain the number of the exiles with accuracy, for the Spanish historians vary greatly, from Cardoso who estimates it at 120,000, to Mariana who states it at 800,000. Paramo says some place it at more than 170,000, and others at more than 400,000 (p. 167). Justiniano says 420,000. Great numbers of the Jews avoided banishment by baptism.
1:270. Bédarride, pp. 291-301; Paramo, 235. Paramo says the Portuguese decree of banishment was simply changed for one of compulsory baptism.
1:271. The very extensive Jewish literature of the middle ages is fully reviewed by Bédarride and Rios. Maimonides is of course the greatest name. M. Renan, in his essay on Averroes, has shown that nearly all the first translations into Latin of the works of Averroes were by Jews (chiefly by those of Montpellier, who were especially famous for their learning), and that Averroism took deep root in Jewish teaching. Maimonides wrote a letter on the vanity of astrology, which two popes applauded (Bédarride, p. 151). He was also distinguished for his liberal views about inspiration (Lee, On Inspiration, pp. 454-459). The controversial literature of the Jews directed against Christianity was extremely voluminous. A catalogue of these works, and a description of many of them, is given in a little book, called Bibliotheca Judaica Antichristiana, by John Bernard de Rossi (Parmæ, 1800).
1:272. A very old and general tradition ascribes the invention of the letter of exchange to Jews who, having been banished from France, had taken refuge in Lombardy. Nor does there seem to be anything of much weight to oppose to it, though some have contended that the Italians were the real inventors. At all events, the Jews appear to have been among the first to employ it. The earliest notice of letters of exchange is said to be in a statute of Avignon of 1243. In 1272 there was a Venetian law 'De Litteris Cambii.' Compare on this subject Villeneuve-Bargemont, Hist. D'Economie Politique, tom. i. pp. 277-279; Blanqui, Hist, d'Econ. Pol. tom. i. p. 183; Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, liv. xxi. c. 20; and the tractate of Jules Thieurry, La Lettre de Change (Paris, 1862).
1:273. Bédarride, pp. 258, 259. The magnificent synagogue at Leghorn (probably the finest in existence) was erected by the Spanish Jews who took refuge in that city.
1:274. See this ordinance (which was issued in 1294) in Blanqui, Hist d'Economie Politique, tom. i. pp. 225, 226. It provided, among other things, that dukes, counts, and barons, who have 6,000 livres rent, may have four robes a year, and their wives as many. Knights with 3,000 livres rent may have three. No member of the middle class may wear any ornament of gold or precious stones, or any dress that was green or gray. As M. Blanqui observes, articles of luxury would have been imported necessarily from foreign countries into France, which would necessitate an export of French gold -- according to the current notions the greatest evil that could befall the country.
2:274. Anderson, Hist, of Commerce, vol. i. p. 193. See, too, p. 179. More than a century after the passion for dress reached Scotland, when the alarmed and indignant legislators enacted (in 1457) that the wives and daughters of merchants should 'be abuilzied ['dressed,' from 'habiller'] gangand and correspondent for their estate, that is to say, on their heads short curches [a kind of cap] with little hudes as are used in Flanders, England, and other countries, ... and that na women weare tailes unfit in length, nor furred under but on the hailie daie.' (Ibid. vol. iii. pp. 280, 281.)
1:275. Blanqui, tom. i. p. 250.
2:275. Anderson, vol. 2. p. 144.
3:275. Wade, History of the Middle and Working Classes.
1:277. Besides the great work of Malthus, there is an admirable exposition of this doctrine in Senior's Political Economy. Perhaps the most enthusiastic champion of luxury is Filangieri.
2:277. This has been noticed in a very forcible, but, of course, one-sided manner, by De Maistre, who recurs to the subject again and again in his works; also by Villeneuve-Bargemont, Economie Politique Chrétienne.
1:281. Pecchio, Storia della Economia Pubblica in Italia (Lugano, 1849), p. 11.
2:281. Anderson, Hist. Of Commerce, vol. i. p. 117. The first English commercial companies were 'the Merchants of the Staple' and 'the Merchants of St. Thomas à Becket.'
3:281. Van Bruyssel, Hist, du Commerce Belge, tom. i. p. 234.
4:281. See the stages of its development in Warden, On Consular Establishments.
5:281. The earliest notice Macpherson has been able to find of an English consul is in 1346 (Annals of Commerce, vol. i. p. 536).
1:282. Before this time ambassadors were sent only on occasions of emergency. The first instance of a resident ambassador seems to have been in 1455, when Francis Sforza, Duke of Milan, established one at Genoa, and towards the close of the century the institution became somewhat common in Italy (Cibrario, Economia Politica del Medio Evo [Torino, 1842], vol. i. p. 319). It was also about this time that the use of cipher in diplomacy became usual. (Ibid. De Plassan, Hist, de la Diplomatie Française, Introd.)
2:282. M. Blanqui has collected some extremely remarkable evidence of this (Historie d'Economie Politique, tom. i. pp. 244-270). The Lombards also occasionally manifested extremely enlightened views on these subjects (see Rossi, Economie Politique, tom. i. p. 260), and Milan, perhaps longer than any other great town in Europe, was exempt from the mediæval system of corporations. However, the first Italian writer of considerable merit on Political Economy was probably Serra, who was a Neapolitan, and it was at Naples that the first Professorship of Political Economy in Europe was established in 1754 by the munificence of the Florentine Intieri.
3:282. As early as 1282, a magistracy had been constituted at Florence exclusively of merchants; and the example was soon followed by Sienna, and in a great measure by Venice and Genoa. (See Blanqui, tom. i. p. 245; Rossi, tom. i. p. 266.)
1:284. Many of these views were almost identical with those of Mesmer and his followers. (See Bertrand, Hist. Du Magnétisme Animal en France, pp. 13-17.)
2:284. Sharon Turner's Hist. Of England, vol. iv. pp. 39, 40.
1:285. See the Olynthiacs.
2:285. Roscius even wrote a book on this subject, but it has unfortunately not come down to us. He kept a school of declamation, which was attended by the ablest orators of his time. The passion for the theatre is said to have come to Rome from Egypt, and Batyllus, the greatest actor of the Augustan period, was from Alexandria. See on this subject a curious dissertation, 'De Luxu Romanorum,' in Grævius, Thesaurus Antiq. Rom., tom. viii.
1:286. Murphy's Life of Garrick.
1:288. Nero, however, made energetic efforts to relieve the actors from the stigma attached to them (as he did also to alleviate the sufferings of the slaves), and Gibbon has noticed the great honour in which he held the Jewish actor Aliturus, and the repeated and successful efforts of that actor to obtain a relaxation of the persecutions of the Jews. Under Nero, too, lived and died (when only fourteen) a lovely and gifted actress named Eucharis -- the first who appeared on the Greek stage, which Nero had instituted -- who seems to have won more affection and left a deeper impression than almost any other who died so young. Her charms are recorded in perhaps the most touching of all the epitaphs that have descended to us from antiquity, and her beautiful features formed one of the last ideals of expiring art. (Visconti, Iconographie Ancienne, 287.)
2:288. See the evidence of this collected by Sabatier, Hist. De la Législation sur les Femmes Publiques, pp. 45-47; Magnin, Origines du Théâtre, tom. i. pp. 284-287; and Lebrun, Discours sur le Théâtre, pp. 79-82. This last author tries as much as possible to attenuate the facts he admits, in order that the invectives of the Fathers might fall with their full force on the modern theatre. The Floral games were in this respect the worst.
3:288. Tertullian, Ad Nationes, lib. i. c. 10.
1:289. De Spectaculis, cap. xxiii.