Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore
|Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore
|Moses Montefiore and his wife between 1812 and 1883. Mr. Loewe accompanied them for part of this time, and occasionally refers to himself in the first person. Published in two volumes in 1890.Based on diary entries written by|
|This work is incomplete. If you'd like to help expand it, see the help pages and the style guide, or leave a comment on this work's talk page.|
ARRIVAL AT MALTA — HOME AGAIN — BOGHOZ BEY RETURNS NO ANSWER — TOUCHING APPEAL FROM THE PERSECUTED JEWS OF DAMASCUS AND RHODES — REVIVAL OF THE OLD CALUMNY ABOUT KILLING CHRISTIANS TO PUT THEIR BLOOD IN PASSOVER CAKES.
July 18th. — About ten o'clock at night we entered the quarantine harbour at Malta, where we were ordered to remain till August 7th. To be confined for twenty days, during the hot summer months, with three hundred pilgrims, at Fort Manoel, was already a cause of great discomfort to Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, but the circumstances were here made especially painful to them by the loss of a faithful servant, whose death occurred during their stay in the Lazaretto. In addition to this they received news that the Turkish fleet had been delivered up to Mohhammad Ali, in Alexandria, by Kapoudan Pasha; that the Sultan was dead, and 150,000 Russian troops had arrived at Constantinople. This change in the political frustrated almost all Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore's hopes of seeing their schemes for the amelioration of the condition of Syria realised. There was no chance now of receiving letters from Mohhammad Ali.
August 6th. — The captain of the Lazaretto was there before five [misprinted as 've'] o'clock in the morning to give us pratique. Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore went to the Synagogue, presented some ornaments for the Ark, and various gifts to the officers. They also called on the Governor, and after paying visits to Sir Hector Grey and their many other friends, went on boards our steamer Lycurgus.
August 7th. — About twelve o'clock the steamer moved out of the harbour, and we all bade farewell to the island. On Saturday we cast anchor in the roads of Leghorn. When leaving that places, Sir Moses remained looking at the city as long as it continued in sight. "Heaven only knows," he said, "whether I have seen the place of my birth for the last time; the state of my health and my age would lead me to believe that I can scarcely hope to visit it again. May peace, happiness, and prosperity attend my relatives and all its other inhabotants!"
August 11th. — At Marseilles, Sir Moses visited the gas-works, and expressed great pleasure at seeing the new gas holder and coal shed nearly finished. In the evening he invited all the gentlemen connected with the Imperial Continental Gas Association to take tea with him.
August 13th. — We left Merseilles and proceeded via Aix, Avignon, Valence, and Lyons to Chalons. Here we had an instance of the great attention which Sir Moses invariably paid to everything he saw. Having noticed a man lighting the street lamps without the aid of a ladder, he sent for the man to come to our hotel, desiring him to bring with him the long stick he used in lighting the lamps. The man came and showed it to him; it had a small lantern near the top, and was furnished with a hook. "It appears to me," said Sir Moses, "a very simple and neat contrivance, a saving of time, and consequently expense, both in lighting and extinguishing the flame." He requested me to make an exact drawing of the stick, with the lantern and hook attached to it, and before leaving the hotel, made the man promise to bring him one of the burners to look at.
Thursday, August 22nd. — We reached Paris. Baron Anselm de Rothschild, who had been with the King at Eu, told Sir Moses that the Pasha had refused to give up the Turkish fleet, and the King would not compel him. Sir Moses called on Mr Bulwer, who informed him that the King would probably be in Paris in five or six days, and wished Sir Moses to remain there, so as to be presented to him. Mr Bulwer also promised to take him to an evening party, to be given on September 3rd by Marshal Soult. But Sir Moses was longing to return to England, and would not prolong his stay.
August 30th. — We left the French capital for Beauvais, where we remained over Sabbath. On Sunday we proceeded to Boulogne, and on Thursday, September 5th, we arrived safely at Dover. Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore continued their journey on the same day to Ramsgate, where they arrived in time to be present at the evening service in their Synagogue, and to offer up fervent thanks to the Most High for their safe return after so long an absence and so dangerous an excursion. The next day they left Ramsgate for Richmond, where they were received with most tender affection by their mother, sisters, and brothers, and every member of their family.
On their return their correspondence with the East increased rapidly, and engaged much of their attention. Messengers frequently arrived from Jerusalem to entreat them to do what they possibly could to improve the condition of the Jews there. Both Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore took great pleasure in relieving, as far as in their power, every deserving case.
A the end of December Sir Moses thought he might, without impropriety, remind His Excellency Boghoz Bey, Minister of Finance in Egypt, of the promise the Viceroy had made him, when he was at Alexandria, respecting the purchase of land in Syria, and the establishment of banks there and in Egypt. He addressed a letter to Boghoz Bey, recapitulating all the particulars which he had verbally explained to him and the Pasha.
Weeks and months passed, and no reply came from Egypt. Sir Moses meanwhile occupied himself with other subjects, thinking that perhaps another and more favourable opportunity might present itself for bringing the matter forward again. His duties in connection with his financial companies took up his time till about the month of March, when the report of an outrage in the East roused sorrow and indignation in the heart of every upright man.
In a letter from the Elders of the Hebrew community in Constantinople, addressed to Messrs de Rothschild in London, dated March the 27th, 1840, we read: —
"Independently of the tie which so strongly binds together the whole Jewish community, of which you, gentlemen, are distinguished ornaments, having always been prominent in assisting our distressed brethren, whose appeals to you are not infrequent, your hearts cannot but be greatly to sympathise with two Jewish communities (viz., that of Damascus, under the Egyptian jurisdiction, and that of Rhodes, one of the Ottoman states) oppressed by the tyrrannies of the Pashas who govern them.
"These persecutions originated in calumnies, which the oppressors themselves have invented, and which have been long rankling in their hearts, to the prejudice of the Jewish community. Our brethren are accused of being accomplices in murder, in order to make their Passover cakes with the blood of the murdered men — a thing in itself incredible, as being forbidden in our holy religion. This report has, however, found credence with the governing Pashas of Damascus and Rhodes, and they have oppressed and incarcerated not only several old men and Rabbins, but even a numbers of children, putting them to tortures, of which it makes men shudder to hear. Such is the afflicting picture drawn in the letters of our persecuted brethren, of which, with deep regret, we hand you copies.
"The community now addressing you, although implored by the sufferers to put an end to their persecutions, and to prevent, if possible, their recurrence, is deeply grieved to find itself incapacitated from affording any relief, in consequence of being subject to a Government not on friendly terms with the Pasha of Egypt.
"There remain, therefore, no means of salvation for the oppressed, except an appeal to your innate goodness and pity. We entreat you to interpose your valuable mediation, in such manner and with such persons as you may deem most desirable, for the safety of our unhappy brethren languishing in chains and in prison, so as to obtain, from the Pasha of Egypt, the liberation of the Jews of Damascus, and a compensation, not only from the governing Pasha of Damascus, commensurate with the excesses committed by him, but also from the Consular Agents at Rhodes, who have oppressed persons not subject to them.
"We, the Rabbins and Elders of this place, impressed with the urgency of the case, and moved by compassion for our brethren, and further induced by the report which is current throughout the world, of the generous and philanthropic sentiments which animate you and fill your hearts, ever open to the miseries of the oppressed, feel persuaded that you will xert yourselves to do all you possibly can, in these distressing circumstances.
SALAMON QM. MCO. FUA.
SAMUEL DE N. TREVES.
"The Jews of Damascus, addressing Messrs Abram Conorte and Aaron Cohen, Elders of the Congregation at Constantinople, after expressing their wishes for their helath, say as follows: —
"To our deep regret, we address you these few lines to inform you of the continued state of misery in which our brethren, inhabitants of Damascus, still remain, as communicated to you in my letter of the 17th of Adar (February), forwarded to you by the steam-packet. We had hoped to advise you in this letter that the circumstances of the murder, respecting which the Jewish community were calumniated, had been ascertained, but in this hope we have been sadly disappointed. We will now, therefore, repeat everything in detail, and it is this: —
"On Wednesday, the 1st day of the month of Adar (February) there disappeared from Damascus a priest, who with his servant had dwelt for forty years in the city. He exercised the profession of physician, and visited the houses of Catholics, Jews, and Armenians, for the purpose of vaccination.
"The day following, viz., Thursday, there came people into the Jewish quarter to look for him, saying they had seen both him and his servant in that quarter on the previous day. In order to put into execution their conspiracy they seized a Jewish berber, telling him that he must know all about the matter, and took him to the Governor, who on hearing the accusation, immediately ordered him to receive five hundred stripes. He was also subjected to other cruelties. During the intervals between these inflictions he was urged to accuse all the Jews as accomplices, and he, thinking by this means to relieve himself, accused Messrs David, Isaac, and Aaron Harari, Joseph Legnacio, Moses Abulafia, Moses Becar Juda, and Joseph Harari, as accomplices, who had offered him three hundred piastres to murder the above mentioned priest, inasmuch as the Passover holidays were approaching, and they required blood for their cakes. He said that he did not, however, give ear to their instigations, and did not know what had happened to the priest and his servant.
Upon this the Pasha caused the persons named to be arrested as instigators, and punished with blows and other torments of the most cruel nature; but as they were innocent they could not confirm as true that which was a calumny, and therefore, in contradiction, they asserted their innocence, appealing to the sacred writings, which strictly prohibit the Jews from feeding upon any blood, much less that of a fellow-creature, a thing totally repugnant to nature. Nevertheless they were imprisoned with chains round their necks, and had daily inflicted on them the most severe beatings and cruelties, and were compelled to stand upright without food of any kind for fifty hours together.
"Subsequently the Hebrew butchers were cited to appear; they were put in chains together with the Rabbins Jacob Antebi, Salomon Harari, and Asaria Jalfon; and they too were beaten to such an extent their their flesh hung in pieces upon them; and these atrocities were perpetrated in order to induce them to confess that they used blood in making the Passover cakes. They replied that, if such had been the case, many Jewish proselytes would have published the fact. This, however, was not sufficient.
"After this, the same Governor went to the boy's college; he had the boys carried to prison, bound them with chains, and forbade the mothers to visit their imprisoned children, to whom only ten drachms of bread and a cup of water per day were allowed, the Governor expecting that the fathers, for the sake of liberating their children, would confess the truth of the matter.
"Subsequently a Jew, who was still at liberty, presented himself before the Governor, stating that the calumny of our using blood for our Passover cakes had been discussed before all the Powers, who, after consulting their divines, had declared the falsehood of the charge; and he added that either others had killed the priest and his servant, or they had clandestinely absented themselves from the country, and that the barber, in order to save himself from persecution, had stated that which was not true.
"Upon this the Governor replied that, as he had accused other persons of killing them, he must know who the murderers were; and in order that he should confess, he was beaten to such an extent that he expired under the blows.
"After this, the Governor, with a body of six hundred men, proceeded to demolish the houses of his Jewish subjects, hoping to find the bodies of the dead, but not finding anything, he returned, and again inflicted on his victims further castigations and torments, some of them too cruel and disgusting to be described. At last, being incapable of bearing further anguish, they said that the charge was true!!!
"The Governor, hearing this statement, asked them where they had secreted the blood of the murdered men, to which one of them replied, that it had been put in a bottle, and delivered to Moses Abulafia, who, however, declared he knew nothing of it. In order to make him confess he received a thousand stripes, but this infliction not extorting any confession from him, he was subjected to other insupportable tortures, which at length compelled him to declare that the bottle was at home in a chest of drawers. Upon this the Governor ordered him to be carried on the shoulders of four men (for he could not walk), that he might open the bureau. This was opened, but nothing was found in it, except a quantity of money which the Governor seized, asking at the same time where the blood was. Whereupon Abulafia replied that he made the statement in order that the Governor should see the money in the bureau, trusting by this means to escape. Upon this the tortures were again repeated, and Abulafia, to save himself, embraced the Mohammedan religion.
"In this manner they treated all the prisoners who have been for one month in this misery. In Beyrout and in Damascus the Jews are not permitted to go out.
"After this an individual came forward, and stated that by means of astrology he had discovered and ascertained that the seven individuals above named assassinated the priest, and that the servant was killed by Raphael Farkhi, Nathan and Aaron Levy, Mordecai Farkhi, and Asher of Lisbon. The two first were immediately arrested, the others, it appears, sought safety in flight.
"You will judge from this — the Elders of Damascus say — what sort of justice is administered by means of astrology, and how such justice is exercised. And there is no one who is moved to compassion in favour of the unfortunate victims. Even Bekhor Negri, the Governor's banker, unable too bear these afflictions, became a Mussulman.
"Read this, dearest friends, — they continue, — to Messrs Camondo, Hatteni, and Carmona, in order that they may cooperate for the safety of our unfortunate and calumniated brethren, with such persons as they may deem most fitting.
"The Jews of Rhodes describe their state of misery to the elders of the congregation in Constantinople in the following statement: —
"A Greek boy, about ten years old, son of an inhabitant of the country, is said to have been lost, and the Christians have calumniated us by saying that we have killed him. All the European Consuls came forward to demand an elucidation of the affair. They went in a body, with the exception of the Austrian Consul, to the Pasha, and requested that he would entrust to them the conduct of the business, which request the Pasha granted. They then summoned before them two Greek women who dwelt near the city, who stated that on Tuesday some Jews were passing from the villages to the city, and that one of them had a Greek boy with him. The Consuls immediately cited the Jew to appear before them, and questioned him on the subject. He replied, that he could prove that during the whole of Tuesday he was in the village, and did not come into the city until Wednesday. He added, moreover, that even if this boy did enter the city by that road, and at that time the Jews were going into it, it ought not therefore to be believed that the Jews had killed him, as the road was the chief and public thoroughfare through which any one might pass.
"These reasons were not admitted by the Consuls, and the unfortunate Jew was immediately put in irons, and tortured in a manner never yet seen nor heard of. Having been loaded with chains, many stripes were inflicted on him, red hot wires were run through his nose, burning bones applied to his head, and a heavy stone was laid upon his breast, so that he was reduced to the point of death; all this time his tormentors were accusing him, saying, 'You have stolen this Greek boy, to deliver him up to the Rabbi — confess at once, if you wish to save yourself.'
"Their object was to calumniate the Rabbi, and to take vengeance on all the community; and they stated openly that this was done for the purpose of exterminating the Jews in Rhodes, or to compel them to change their religion, so that they might be able to boast in Europe of having converted an entire community.
"Meanwhile the poor Jew cried out in the midst of these torments, praying for death as a relief, to which they replied, that he must confess to whom he had given the boy, and then he should be immediately set at liberty. The poor Jew, oppressed by tortures beyond endurance, resorted to falsehood in order to save himself. He calumniated first one and then another, but many whom he accused had been absent from the town some time, which clearly proved that his assertions had no other object that to free himself from these tortures. Nevertheless all those who could be found were immediately imprisoned, and subjected to insupportable torments, to extort from them the confession that they had delivered the boy to the Chief Rabbi, or to the elders of the community, and night and day they were tormented, because they would not accuse innocent persons. Meanwhile, goaded by continual tortures, these poor creatures cried out and prayed that they might be killed rather than be subjected to the endurance of such anguish; especially seven of them, who anxiously courted death, and indeed were all but dead in consequence of these tortures. To increase the misery, the Jewish quarter was closed and surrounded by guards, in order that none might go out, or learn what had happened to their unfortunate brethren.
"You must know — they say — that during the day at such times as there is no one in the Jewish quarter, the Christians are going about endeavouring clandestinely to leave the dead body of a Turk or Christian in the court of some Jewish house, for the purpose of having the individual brought before the Governor, in order to give a colouring to their calumny. Such is the misery that weighs upon our hearts and blinds our eyes. We have even been refused the favour of presenting a petition to the Pasha of the city.
"After three days spent in this wretchedness, they refused even to supply us with bread in our quarter, for our families shut up with us; but by dint of entreaty we have obtained, as a favour, the supply at high prices of salt fish and black bread.
"From what we can gather from the Europeans who are about the Pasha, he acts in concert with the Consuls, as he has done from the beginning. We except the Austrian Consul, who at first endeavoured to protect us, but who was at length compelled to join with the multitude."
[misprinted as 'Chapter XXXIV']
CONSTANTINOPLE — CONDITION OF THE JEWISH RESIDENTS — INTERVIEW WITH RECHID PASHA — AUDIENCE WITH THE SULTAN — HE GRANTS A FIRMAN.
From Smyrna we went to Constantinople. Of our arrival in that place Sir Moses gives the following account: —
"Constantinople, October 5th. — The appearance of the city was most beautiful from the steamboat; we anchored at half-past eleven. Many persons came on board to welcome us, including Monsieur Commundo, who had prepared one of his houses for us. Lady Montefiore and Mr Wire went there immediately. Dr Loewe and I, accompanied by Mr Nugent, a Queen's messenger, who had special dispatches for Lord Ponsonby, started for Terapia, and were allowed to leave the vessel at once. It took two hours to row there, the current being very strong. On reaching Terapia we went to Lord Ponsonby's, and found that he was out. Mr Nugent remained, but we returned. There was a strong wind blowing against the current, which made a heavy sea. I passed two hours in the utmost anxiety, and would gladly have landed and walked back, but it was impossible; we should not have found our way. At last we landed safely, but our troubles were not over. We had the greatest difficulty in finding Monsieur Commundo's house. We found two Germans in a little tailor's shop, and they became our guides. I found my dear Judith in a state of great anxiety on our account. It being between seven and eight before we arrived, they had sent in every direction after us; however, we sat down to a good supper, and soon forgot our troubles."
The day after our arrival the Spiritual Heads of the Hebrew communities, accompanied by several of their members, came to pay their respects to Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, and to invite them to attend divine service in one of their Synagogues on the Day of Atonement, which commenced the same evening, an invitation which was accepted.
During the whole of the following day (the Day of Atonement) Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore remained in Synagogue, returning in the evening at the conclusion of the service, accompanied by many members of the congregation. They were preceded by two men bearing two large wax candles, which had been lighted in the Synagogue the evening before. They received a hearty welcome from their host, Monsieur Commundo, and, having broken their fast, soon retired to rest.
October 8th. — Signor Commundo, with his wife, two sons, and a daughter, paid us a visit in the morning. The little girl, a lovely child about seven years of age, was already engaged, as well as the two boys, aged nine and ten respectively, both handsome, intelligent lads. It reminded Sir Moses of what he had once found fault with when at Haifa. Certain allowances, however, must be made for the peculiarities of the East. Turkey would certainly not yield in this respect to any remonstrances. We called on the British Consul General, and in the evening Sir Moses received a deputation from the European Hebrew community; they spoke much of the necessity for an hospital and schools.
October 9th. — We set off to the Porte to-day, as soon as our visitors had left, with the intention of going later on to see Lord Ponsonby. After rowing nearly two hours and a half, we found that it would take us a full hour longer to reach our destination, and that, wind and current being both against us, we should not be able to get back before the Sabbath. Sir Moses, therefore, gave orders to return home.
Saturday, October 10th. — We attended divine service in a very large Synagogue; all the worshippers appeared to be natives of Turkey. At the conclusion of the service we accompanied the Chief Rabbi to his house. He was preceded by three soldiers and six attendants; on passing the guard-house we found the officer with his men in front. They saluted him with every token of respect, as did all the people in the densely-crowded streets. His house was full of people. We partook of some refreshment, and took leave. As we appeared again in the street we noticed a guard of honour walking before us, and an officer with two soldiers following in the rear. Sir Moses wished them to return after going a few paces, but they insisted on accompanying us to the end of the street, an honour Sir Moses was but little desirous of receiving.
Sunday, October 11th. — We afterwards went into three large and handsome Synagogues in the same quarter; adjoining one of these we observed there three school-rooms, occupied by about 250 boys. We entered the schools, and found the boys divided into three classes, their ages varying from three to twelve. At the request of Sir Moses I examined two boys. They read the Talmud and translated it into Spanish very fluently. Sir Moses was much pleased. The children all appeared to belong to the poorest classes. We had much difficulty in escaping the importunities of the people; many seemed to be in very distressed circumstances. In one room, scarcely six feet square, we saw a mother and five children.
October 14th. [misprinted as 'October 4th'] — An Austrian steamer arrived in the afternoon from Smyrna, with an English messenger from Syria. It was reported that Commodore Napier had concluded a treaty with the Emir Besheer, by which the latter had engaged to join his forces to the Sultan's. Napier had landed with his marines, and, assisted by the Turks and the troops of the Emir, was in pursuit of Ibrahim Pasha. Many of the Pasha's soldiers had joined the Sultan's party.
October 15th. — Sir Moses went to port Ponsonby. Having thanked him for his great assistance in the affair of the Jews at Rhodes and Damascus, he informed him that he wished to have an audience with the Sultan, to thank him for his justice to the Jews, to claim his special protection for them in all his dominions, and to obtain from him a declaration similar to that made by Selim the Second.
Lord Ponsonby said he would give Sir Moses a letter of introduction to Rechid Pasha, who would perhaps be able to forward his wishes. Lord and Lady Ponsonby then begged him to fix a day to dine with them, and Sir Moses returned, much pleased with the interview.
The nest five days were spent by Sir Moses in making himself acquainted with the communal affairs of various congregations. Being very anxious to assist them in their endeavors to introduce improvements in their method of education, he had frequent communications with their teachers and school committees. In support of his exertions, at the special request of the ecclesiastical chief and representatives of the congregation, I delivered an address in one of the large Synagogues at Galata, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the aim of which was to exhort the audience to give more attention than hitherto to the acquisition of a liberal education.
October 22nd. — Mr George Samuel, Mr Pisani, Mr Wire, and myself accompanied Sir Moses to an interview with Rechid Pasha, who received us most kindly. Sir Moses informed His Excellency that he had come to express his thanks, and those of all his co-religionists in Europe, for the humanity and justice which His Excellency and the Sultan had shown in respect to the affair at Rhodes. The Pasha said he was sorry they had not been able to do the same at Damascus. Sir Moses hoped that His Excellency would do him and the gentlemen who accompanied him the honour of introducing them to the Sultan, to which he replied that he thought it might be done. Sir Moses then said that formerly Sultan Selim had issued a Hatti-Sherif, declaring his conviction of the innocence of the Jews of the charge brought against them, and it would be of a great satisfaction if the Present Sultan would do the same. Sir Moses had prepared a aper, which he requested His Excellency to hear read. Mr Pisani read it to him in French; he thought it very good, and said it might be done. Having had pipes and coffee, we returned home, being engaged to dine with Lord Ponsonby. We had great difficulty in procuring a carriage to take us, and at last agreed with a man to Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, and fetch them back, for the sum of £6 sterling. It was a miserable four-horse concern. Mr Wire and I preferred riding on horseback.
It was a most agreeable party, and we met there several of our acquaintances. His Lordship spoke with Sir Moses on the subject of a bank for Constantinople, and said he wished him and another gentleman, whom he named, to speak with Rechid Pasha about it, and he would be present at the interview. Sir Moses said he would do so, but could not say anything before he returned to England. On the following day the Rev. Dr Samuel Bennet, the Chaplain of the Embassy, lunched with us. He had just delivered an excellent sermon in favour of the Jews in the Damascus affair.
October 26th. — As no appointment had been made, and that evening was the commencement of Ramazan, during which month the Turks attend to no business, Sir Moses determined to call Mr Pisani to inquire if he had heard from Reshid Pasha. We went accordingly, and Mr Pisani informed him that he had just received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, acquainting him that the Sublime Porte would receive a deputation headed by Sir Moses Montefiore on Wednesday evening, three hours after sunset, at the Palace of Beshik Tash. "How great and good," exclaimed Moses, "is the Almighty! At the moment when I most despaired of success, He has granted our petition." Mr Pisani said he had no doubt he should get the Hatti-Sherif, but he could not say when. Before we reached home it was six o'clock, and we found by the brilliant illumination of the minarets and mosques that the Ramazan had been declared.
Tuesday, October 27th. — In the course of the day the Haham Bashi, Signor M.H. Fresco, came to Sir Moses by appointment, together with several leading members of the community and the secretary of the congregation. Sir Moses recommended him to issue an order that every school should have a well-qualified master, to teach the children to read and write the Turkish language. Sir Moses offered to pay the first expenses they would have to incur. The Haham readily consented.
An order to that effect had been drawn up in the Turkish, Spanish, and Hebrew languages, and promulgated all over the country.
The Haham Bashi is the head of all the Jews in the Turkish Empire, and his decrees are law. Sir Moses promised him to speak on the subject to Rechid Pasha before leaving Constantinople.
The following is the account, as given in Sir Moses' diary, of his audience with the Sultan: —
"Wednesday, October 28th. — Sir David Wilkie, Mr Pisani, and George Samuel dined with us, and at seven afterwards we set out. Our cavalcade consisted of one carriage with four horses, and one with two horses, six kavasses or police officers, eight men carrying large wax torches, two horsemen with each coach, a sedan chair with each coacj, and three men to close the procession. As the carriages could not drive up to the door I was carried in a sedan chair to the foot of the hill, the other gentlemen walked, and I went in the first carriage with Mr Pisani, the British Dragoman; George Samuel, Mr Wire, and Dr Loewe in the second. I wore my full uniform. The streets were crowded; many of the Jews had illuminated their houses. We reached the Palace in rather less than an hour. On descending from the carriages we found in the courtyard a large guard of honour, who presented arms. We were shown into a handsome drawing-room, furnished in the European style. Two magnificent silver candlesticks with large wax candles stood on the ground in the centre of a richly embroidered velvet carpet. We had not been seated two minutes when Rechid Pasha entered; he was most friendly in his manner. We were soon joined by Riza Pasha, and all were served with coffee and pipes. the mouthpieces and bowls of the latter being richly embellished with diamonds.
"Rechid Pasha asked me how long I remained at Alexandria, how often I had seen Mohhammad Ali, and how he looked? In a few moments it was announced that the Sultan was ready to receive us. The two Pashas walked first, I nest, and the rest of our party followed, a large throng of officers bringing up the rear.
"We crossed a garden about sixty yards in length, and entered a handsome marble hall; having descended a grand staircase, likewise of marble, we entered into the presence chamber.
"The Sultan was seated on a sofa, clad in his cloak of state, which was fastened at the neck with two large clasps of the finest diamonds. The cloak itself was of a violet colour, similar in cut to our own. Hew was a good-looking young man, and appeared about twenty-six years of age, though in reality but nineteen. The two Pashas took their station on his left, I and my party on his right. After having received some courteous signs of welcome from him, I delivered the speech I had intended to have read to him, but instead of reading it, I spoke it, as I knew it well by heart, and there was not sufficient light to read it without spectacles. I said as follows: —
"'May it please your Imperial Majesty, — In the name of my brethren, who have deputed me, I come to lay at the foot of your Imperial Throne the grateful homage of their respect.
"'England, my country, and other enlightened nations of the earth, heard the cries of the suffering and persecuted Jews at Damascus and at Rhodes, and they hastened to offer to the sufferers their sympathy and affection. But the Lord God, who ruleth over all, prevented the necessity of their aid at Rhodes, and inspired your Imperial Majesty with wisdom, justice, and the love of truth. Under your righteous direction the oppressor was laid low, the designs of the wicked made known, and the innocent delivered. I therefore crave permission to offer to your Imperial Majesty the profound gratitude of the hearts of our people, and to utter our prayers that the merciful God may bless your Imperial Majesty with length of days, with wisdom, honour, and riches, and so direct all your actions, that your name may be inscribed in golden characters for ever, and the memory of your deeds smell as sweet as a garden of roses.
"'In ancient times the Lord God brought our people out of Egypt, and for ages they dwelt in Palestine; to them were committed the oracles of God , and though now dispersed among the nations of the earth, they are numbered with the most peaceful and loyal subjects, and by their industry they have augmented the riches and prosperity of the countries in which they live.
"'They look with love and veneration upon that land were their forefathers dwelt; they pray that all who live therein may enjoy the shadow of your sublime protection, and in peace be permitted to worship the God of their fathers.
";Their prayers ascend to Him whose wisdom is absolute, whose decrees are fixed and immutable, whom none can withstand, imploring that he will make your enemies eat the dust, that they may vanish as the morning dew, and flee away as chaff before the wind; that your throne may endure for ever, and that all who live under your sceptre may have peace, sitting under their own vine and their own fig-tree, none daring or wishing to make them afraid.'
"The Sultan listened with great attention, and as soon as I had finished, Mr Pisani repeated it in Turkish. The Sultan smiled whilst he was reading, and showed that he well understood the address and was pleased with it. As soon as Mr Pisani had concluded, the Sultan fixed his eyes on me, and spoke in a mild and pleasing voice. 'I am perfectly satisfied,; he said, 'with the communication made and the sentiments expressed by the deputation.
"'I have been affected by the events which have taken place in Damascus, but I have endeavored to offer some satisfaction to the Israelitish nation, by giving orders that justice should be done in the affair of Rhodes.
"'The Israelitish nation shall always have, from me, the same protection and enjoy the same advantages as all other subjects of my Empire.
"'I will grant the deputation the firman they have asked.
"'I know, gentlemen, how to appreciate the pure philanthropy which has led you to this capital.'
"Having given his reply, the Sultan requested me to come nearer. Rechid Pasha again presented me by name. The Sultan smiled most graciously, and said, 'Present your friends to me.' I first presented George Samuels, my relative, then Mr Wire of the City of London, and Dr Loewe. When Mr Pisani repeated the last name and the Doctor made a bow, Mr Pisani informed the Sultan that the Doctor had presented to the late Sultan a translation of the hieroglyphical inscription on the Obelisk in the Hippodrome. The Sultan spoke with Rechid Pasha to explain it, and then said he remembered seeing it, and seemed much pleased, and said the Doctor must be a learned man.
"The Sultan could not have given us a more flattering reception; it was at the same time most dignified. The room in which he received us was well proportioned, and neatly finished in European style. The curtains were of rich yellow satin and embroidered damask and velvet, most probably of French manufacture; the carpet was English; there were two large wax torches standing in elegantly carved candelabras. We descended a flight of marble stairs, and were shown into a large and handsome room, splendidly furnished, and more brilliantly illuminated than the other room. We chatted with Rechid and Riza Pashas, expressed our thanks to them for their great kindness in procuring for us at so unusual a time an audience with His Imperial Majesty, and our gratitude to His Majesty for his gracious reception and reply. I asked Rechid Pasha when I might hope to receive the firman which the Sultan had promised me, as I was most desirous of returning to England the moment I got it. He replied that he supposed I should not go before the next steamer left (on the 7th of November), and that I should have it by that time; but as it was the Ramazan, there was some difficulty in preparing it. We returned in state as we came, the guard of honour saluting us as we passed them in the court of the palace. We were again served, after the audience, in the lower room of the palace with sherbet in elegant glasses, and we had splendidly embroidered table napkins. A military band played during the greater part of the time we were at the Palace. We found the streets still more crowded than when we went; not a window in the whole street through which we passed but was filled with female faces. As we approached the Jewish street we experienced even more difficulty in passing. At the end of the same street Signor Commundo, with the ecclesiastical chief of Galata and about twenty of our acquaintances, insisted on walking with us to our house. I was delighted to see my dear Judith, and to acquaint her with our happy reception and the complete success of our Mission, for which we return our grateful thanks to Heaven."