The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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[Footnote 1:  Rom. vii. 16.]

[Footnote 2:  Arnica Collatio de Veritate Relig.  Christ. cum Erudito Judaeo, published in 1687, by Philippe de Limborch, who was eminent as a professor of Theology at Amsterdam from 1667 until his death, in 1712, at the age of 79.  But the learned Jew was the Spanish Physician Isaac Orobio, who was tortured for three years in the prisons of the Inquisition on a charge of Judaism.  He admitted nothing, was therefore set free, and left Spain for Toulouse, where he practised physic and passed as a Catholic until he settled at Amsterdam.  There he made profession of the Jewish faith, and died in the year of the publication of Limborchs friendly discussion with him.

The Uriel Acosta, with whom Addison confounds Orobio, was a gentleman of Oporto who had embraced Judaism, and, leaving Portugal, had also gone to Amsterdam.  There he was circumcised, but was persecuted by the Jews themselves, and eventually whipped in the synagogue for attempting reformation of the Jewish usages, in which, he said, tradition had departed from the law of Moses.  He took his thirty-nine lashes, recanted, and lay across the threshold of the synagogue for all his brethren to walk over him.  Afterwards he endeavoured to shoot his principal enemy, but his pistol missed fire.  He had another about him, and with that he shot himself.  This happened about the year 1640, when Limborch was but a child of six or seven.]

[Footnote 3:  Sur la Religion.  OEuvres (Ed. 1752), Vol.  III. pp. 267, 268.]

[Footnote 4:  I Cor. x. 31.]

[Footnote 5:  Psalm cxxxix. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 6:  Genesis v.22; vi. 9]

[Footnote 7:  Erasm.  Apophthegm.  Bk.  III.]

* * * * *

No. 214.  Monday, November 5, 1711.  Steele.

  Perierunt tempora longi

  Juv. [1]

I did some time ago lay before the World the unhappy Condition of the trading Part of Mankind, who suffer by want of Punctuality in the Dealings of Persons above them; but there is a Set of Men who are much more the Objects of Compassion than even those, and these are the Dependants on great Men, whom they are pleased to take under their Protection as such as are to share in their Friendship and Favour.  These indeed, as well from the Homage that is accepted from them, as the hopes which are given to them, are become a Sort of Creditors; and these Debts, being Debts of Honour, ought, according to the accustomed Maxim, to be first discharged.

When I speak of Dependants, I would not be understood to mean those who are worthless in themselves, or who, without any Call, will press into the Company of their Betters.  Nor, when I speak of Patrons, do I mean those who either have it not in their Power, or have no Obligation to assist their Friends; but I speak of such Leagues where there is Power and Obligation on the one Part, and Merit and Expectation on the other.

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