Sunday, 28 October 2012
Successful, modern Jews in the Hague, 1743
The paragraph below is from the description of the Hague published in 1743. I suspect the author is not as cultured as he may wish us to believe. He was probably presented with a prayerbook, as would happen today. I suspect that a lot of the apparently learned digressions into matters of religion in books of this period is simply a way of showing off ones alleged superior intellect and sensibility, just as one might create a blog today.
The author(s) also mentions that Mr. Swartzo [Suasso?] the Jew has the nicest house in the area. Elsewhere we hear that the “opulent and magnificent M. Lopez, a Jew” organised a kind of opera in the city, including foreign artistes. We get the impression that – at the same time that New Christians were being persecuted by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, some of their relatives in the Hague were living wealthy, sophisticated and integrated lives in the Netherlands.
A Description of Holland: or, The present state of the United Provinces. 1743. Pages 26-27