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been intermarriages with families not Israelitish. I had heard that those tribes, which had passed the Indus, bave assimilated so much to the customs and habits of the countries in which they live, that they may be sometimes seen by a traveller, without being recognized as Jews. In the interior towns of Malabar, I was not always able to distinguish the Jew from the Hinduo. I hence perceived how easy it may be to mistake the tribes of Jewish descent among the Affghans and other nations in the northern parts of Hindostan. The White Jews look upon the Black Jews as an inferior race, and as not of a pure cast : which plainly demonstrates that they do not spring from a common stock in India.
• The Black Jews communicated to me much interesting intelligence concerning their brethren the ancient Israelites in the East : traditional indeed in its nature, but in general illustrative of true history. They recounted the names of many other small colonies resident in northern India, Tartary, and China, and gave me a written list of sixty-FIVE places.
I conversed with those who had lately visited many of these stations, and were about to return again. The Jews have never: ceasing communication with each other in the East. Their families indeed are generally stationary, being subject to despotic princes; but the men move much about in a commercial capacity; and the same individual will travel through many extensive countries. So that when any thing interesting to the nation of Jews takes place, the rumour will pass rapidly throughout all Asia.
I inquired concerning their brethren, the Ten Tribes, They said that it was commonly believed among them
that the great body of the Israelites are to be found in Chaldea, and in the countries contiguous to it, being the very places whither they were first carried into captivity; that some few families had migrated into regions more remote, as to Cochin and Rajapoor, in India, and to other places yet farther to the East; but that the bulk of the nation, though now much reduced in number, had not to this day removed two thousand miles from Samaria.-Among the Black Jews I could not find many copies of the Bible. They informed me, that in certain places of the remote dispersion, their brethren have but some small portions of the Scriptures, and that the prophetical books were rare ; but that they themselves, from their vicinity to the White Jews, have been supplied, from time to time, with the whole of the Old Testament.
From these communications ļ plainly perceive the important duty which now devolves on Christians possessing the art of printing, to send to the Jews in the East, copies of the Hebrew Scriptures, and particularly of the prophetical books. If only the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel weré published among them, the effect might be great. They do not want the law so much. But the prophetical books would appear among them with some novelty, particularly in a detached form ; and could be easily circulated through the remotest parts of Asia,'
Almost in every house I find Hebrew books, printed or manuscript'; particularly among the White Jews, Most of the printed Hebrew of Europe has found its way to Cochin, through the medium of the Portuguese and Dutch commerce of former times. When I questioned the Jews concerning the old copies of the Scriptures, which had been read in the Synagogue from age to age; some told me that it was usual to bury them when decayed by time and use. Others said that this was not always the case. I despaired at first of being able to procure any of the old biblical writings ; but after I had been in the country about six weeks, and they found that I did not expect to obtain them merely as presents, some copies were recovered. The White Jews had only the Bible written on parchment, and of modern appearance,
in their Synagogue; but I was informed that the Black Jews possessed formerly copies written on Goat Skins ; and that in the Synagogue of the Black Jews there was an old Record Chest, into which the decayed copies of their Scriptures had been thrown. I accordingly went to the Synagogue with a few of the chief men, and examined the contents, which some of them said they had never looked at before, and did not seem greatly to value. The manuscripts were of various kinds, on parchment, goat-skins, and cotton paper. I negotiated for them hastily, and wrapped them up in two cloths, and gave them to the Jews to carry home to my house.
I had observed some murmuring amongst the bye-standers in the Synągogue, while I was examining the chest ; and before we appeared in the streets, the alarm had gone forth, that the Christians were robbing the Synagogue of the Law. There were evident Symptoms of tumult, and the women and children collected and were following us. I requested some of the more respectable Jews to accompany me out of the town; but I had scarcely arrived at my own house at Cochin, when the persons who had permitted me to take the manuscripts, came in evident agitation, and told me I must restore them immediately to calm the popular rage. Others had gone to complain to the Chief Magistrate, Thomas Flower, Esq. And now I had lost my spoil, but for the friendly counsel and judicious conduct of Mr. Flower. He directed that all the manu. scripts should be delivered up to him, and, that there should be no further proceedings on the subject without his authority. To this the Jews agreed. There was some plea of justice on my side, as it was understood that I had given a valuable consideration. In the mean time he allowed a few days to pass, that the minds of the people might become tranquil, and he then summoned some of the more liberal men, and gave them a hearing on the subject. In the mean time I thought it prudent to retire from Cochin, for a day or two, and went to Cranganor, about sixteen miles off, to Colonel Macaulay, the British Resident at Travancore, who was then at the house of Mr. Drummond, the Collector of Malabar. On my return to Cochin, Mr. Flower informed me that all
the manuscripts were to be returned to my house; that I was to select what was old, and of little use to the Jews, and to give back to them what was new. The affair ended, however, in the Jews permitting me generously to retain some part of the new.
'I have since made a tour through the towns of the Black Jews in the interior of the country, Tritoor Paroor, Chenotta, and Maleh. I have procured a good many manuscripts, chiefly in the Rabbinical character, some of which the Jews themselves cannot read; and I do not know what to say to their traditions. A copy of the Scriptures belonging to Jews of the East, who might be supposed to have had no communication with Jews in the West, has been long considered a desideratum in Europe ;
for the Western Jews have been accused by some learned men of altering or omitting certain words in the Hebrew text, to invalidate the argument of Christians. But Jews in the East, remote from the controversy, would have no motive for such corruptions. One or two of the MSS. which I have just procured, will probably be of some service in this respect. One of them is an old copy of the Books of Moses, written on a roll of leather. The skins are sewed together, and the roll is about forty-eight feet in length. It is, in some places, worn out, and the holes have been sewed up with pieces of parchment. Some of the Jews suppose that this roll came originally from Senna, in Arabia ; others have heard that it was brought from Cashmire. The Cabul Jews, who travel into the interior of China, say that in some Synagogues the Law is still written on a roll of leather, made of Goats' skins dyed red: not on vellum, but on a soft