Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/543

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529
THE WANDERING JEW AT THE SALPÊTRIÈRE.

Gottlieb M—— (Fig. 5), forty-two years old, a native of a village near Wilna, like Moses, began to travel very early, and has been a frequent visitor to the hospitals. Never finding any remedy PSM V44 D543 Gottlieb m neuropathic wondering israelite.jpgFig. 8.—Gottlieb M——, an Israelite, Neuropathic Wanderer. for his ills, he passed from Russia into Germany, then into Austria, England, and France.

The history of other sufferers, in all essential features, is very like these.

If we compare the wandering neuropaths with one another and with the Wandering Jew of the legend, we find a remarkable uniformity among them. In the first place, we are struck with the common origin of the sufferers, who all seem to have come from the same source, which is situated on the borders of Germany, Poland, and Austria.

All, while polyglots, speak German by preference. The Wandering Jew has the same characteristics. "Wherever he went," says a legend of 1618, "he spoke the language of the country." On the other hand, the persons who thus become wanderers, usually without apparent cause, are always Jews; they find in themselves the impulse that urges them to travel; most frequently it is the necessity of consulting a new doctor, of trying a new remedy. On the road, they live on alms; on the other hand, profiting by the solidarity which prevails between Israelites, they find in every city credit houses where they can enjoy a modest revenue that makes them eternally rich, while it leaves them eternally poor; and thereby is explained in a remarkable manner that strophe in the complaint which awakens wonder at first:

"I have five sous in my purse,
In that is all my means,
And everywhere and always
I have enough."