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THE

JEWS OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

AND

THE INQUISITION

LONDON: PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE

AND PARLIAMENT STREET

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PREFACE.

The following little sketch was originally composed as a lecture to some Jewish working-men at the East end of London. The subject is, to me, naturally an interesting one no less from a national than from a family point of view; I hope the Essay may also prove of some general interest. The position of the Jews in Spain and Portugal during a great part of the middle ages forms an exceptionally bright spot in their dark and chequered history, and developed some striking intellectual and moral features in an age when a great part of what now constitutes Civilisation was wrapped in mental darkness. The favoured position of the Jews in the Peninsula induced a vast Hebrew population to settle there; and although it became evident, after a time, that their prosperity, attracting, as it did, the jealousy of the bulk of people, would lead to their ultimate ruin,

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