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Title: The History of Sabatai Sevi, the Suppos'd Messiah of the Jews

Author: John Evelyn

Editor: Christopher Grose

Release date: December 17, 2011 [eBook #38327]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper, Moti Ben-Ari and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at



The Augustan Reprint Society


The Suppos'd Messiah OF THE JEWS.


Introduction by
Christopher W. Grose

University of California, Los Angeles


George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan
James L. Clifford, Columbia University
Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia
Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles
Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago
Louis A. Landa, Princeton University
Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles
Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota
Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles
Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
James Sutherland, University College, London
H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles


Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library



And you should if you please refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.

The reader of John Evelyn's History of Sabatai Sevi, The Pretended Messiah of the Jewes or of the History of the Three Late Famous Impostors (1669) in which it is the most significant part, discovers a fascinating, if unoriginal, addition to the work of the great diarist and dilettante, the amateur student of engraving and trees—and smoke. Evelyn's work was almost totally derived from the account of Sir Paul Rycaut, who was from 1661 secretary (and later consul) for the Levant mercantile company in Smyrna. Rycaut was in fact responsible for what first-hand reporting there is in the History, and Evelyn's book preceded by only eleven years Rycaut's History of the Turkish Empire 1623-1677, where the story first appeared under the author's own name.

What gives Evelyn's Pretended Messiah its own interest is partly the immediacy of the news of Sabatai Sevi, and partly the context in which Evelyn places the story, a context to some extent indicated in the title, History of the Three Late Famous Impostors. When the work was published in 1669, Sevi was neither the amusing curiosity he is likely to be for the modern reader, nor the impertinent confidence man suggested by Evelyn's "impostor." Evelyn was reviewing for an English audience one of the great crises in Jewish history, the career of the man who has been called Judaism's "most notorious messianic claimant."[1] That career was not entirely past history in 1669. Sevi lived until 1675, and even after his humiliation and final banishment in 1673 he could write to his father-in-law in Salonica that men would see in his lifetime the day of redemption and the return of the Jews to Zion; "For God hath appointed me Lord of all Mizrayim."[2] Indeed, a remnant of Judaeo-Turkish[ii] Shabbethaians called Dönmehs apparently exists in Salonica to the present day.

Whatever the appeal of Sevi's story may be for modern readers—as a mode of fiction, perhaps, or an instance of mass hysteria—Evelyn's discovery of an exemplum for religious and political enthusiasts may seem forced or reductive. In 1669, however, the interest of Englishmen in Jewish affairs was by no means merely academic—or narrowly commercial. There were, it is true, English sportsmen in 1666 who were actually betting on the Sevi career—ten to one that the "Messiah of Ismir" would be crowned King of Jerusalem within two years. And what was most disturbing about Sevi to the English nation as a whole was perhaps the disruption of trade, in which Sevi's father was intimately involved, as the agent of an English mercantile house. At the height of the furor, Jewish merchants were dissolving businesses as well as unroofing their houses in preparation for the return to Jerusalem. But the prime significance for Evelyn—perhaps more than for Rycaut—is revealed in the instinctive mental connection between Jewish and Christian history, or ways of thinking about history, on the one hand, and political realities in England on the other. Only nine years had passed since the return of Charles II and the displacement of the Protectorate, with its remarkable Jewish elements. As for the return of the Christian Messiah and an imminent reign of the saints, Sevi might well have reminded Evelyn of the English "impostor," the Quaker Jacob Naylor, whose messianic claims were publicly examined at Bristol in 1657. Far more important to Englishmen of the period, however, was the episode involving the mission of the Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel to Cromwell's England in 1655, a year after Naylor's first appearance.

For two centuries after their expulsion from England by Edward I—that is, until the seventeenth century—Jews either avoided England entirely or lived there in deliberate obscurity. Some Spanish and Portuguese Jewish refugees from the Inquisition did arrive in England; but particularly after the execution for treason of Elizabeth's physician Roderigo Lopez in 1594, they could remain only as "Crypto-Jews." It was during the Puritan regime that the Jewish position in England really improved, and the removal of the[iii] legal bar dates from the conference summoned by Cromwell in response to the demands of Menasseh.[3] The interest in Rabbinical literature displayed by learned men like Joseph Scaliger, Johann Buxtorf, Hugo Grotius, and John Selden, together with a general Old Testament emphasis in Protestant scriptural study, made Judaism a more fashionable interest than it had been in previous years. Cromwell's own encouragement of Menasseh is usually viewed as an expression of his tolerationist principles and the hope that the return of Jews to England would aid in extending trade with Spain and Portugal, and even with the Levant. An additional facet of his general reception of Menasseh is relevant to Evelyn's Pretended Messiah. A chief argument in The Humble Address of Menasseh ben Israel (November 5, 1655) was the Amsterdam rabbi's belief that since England was the only country rejecting the Jews, their readmittance would be the signal for the coming of the Messiah. Fifth-Monarchy enthusiasts recalled the prophecies of Daniel and Revelations and linked them with the relatively immediate experience of the Thirty Years' War; motives of mercantile jealousy were to some extent offset by millenarian anxiety. Indeed, the possibility of an imminent millennial reign of the saints could be the strongest kind of argument for showing favor to the Jews. Cromwell all but proselytized at the meetings of the conference; ultimately, because of the opposition of commercial interests, he was forced to dissolve it.

We can perhaps best understand Evelyn's account of Sabatai Sevi, "the Messiah of Ismir," against this background of English Protestant millennial thinking, admirably summarized in Michael Fixler's recent study.[4] As Fixler suggests, it was possibly to discredit the Fifth-Monarchy men that Rycaut first included the account in what was to become his History of the Turkish Empire. At any rate, Sevi himself was hardly the mere con-man Rycaut and Evelyn portray; the mask, indeed, is erepta only with the greatest of difficulty. Because Rycaut was interested in trade and cultural mores, his (and consequently, Evelyn's) account neglects features of the story which are of primary interest to more psychologically inclined readers. We are told almost nothing, for example, of the details of Sevi's solitary youth; his physical attractiveness; his[iv] clear voice as well suited to lascivious Spanish love-songs (interpreted mystically) as to Psalms; and his early rejection of the Talmud for the practical Cabala, with its strenuous, self-mortifying asceticism. One would gather from Evelyn that only the deluded followers of the "impostor" and not Sevi himself imposed such punishments as self-burial, and bathing in the sea, even in midwinter. More surprising, perhaps, is the almost total neglect of Sarah, Sevi's third wife, mentioned in the Pretended Messiah only as the "Ligornese Lady" whom Sevi acquired after freeing himself "from the Incumbrances of a Family." In fact, the beautiful and engaging Sarah seems to have become an integral part of the movement, a movement which in its early stages was all-male. A prostitute notorious in her own right, primarily for her claims to be the destined bride of the Messiah, Sarah apparently escaped miraculously from a Christian convent after being cared for as an orphan of the savage Chmielnicki massacres in Poland. As he was later to do with a more formidable rival to his exclusive claims (Nehemiah ha-Kohen, who ultimately exposed him as a fraud) Sevi called Sarah to Cairo in 1664, claiming to have dreamed of her as his future bride. Eventually, after his "conversion," she followed him even into the Turkish seraglio where he bore the title Mahmed Effendi.

Other details are missing from Evelyn's Pretended Messiah; the interested reader may pursue the strange tale in Graetz's History of the Jews or the partly fictionalized biography by Joseph Kastein, The Messiah of Ismir.[5] We may note in passing one additional incident. After his first banishment from Smyrna (as a result of pronouncing the sacred tetragrammaton in Hebrew), Sevi met the mystic Abraham ha-Yakini, who subsequently forged in archaic characters and style a document entitled "The Great Wisdom of Solomon"—a document accepted by Sevi as an authentic "archeological" revelation. The event was shortly followed by a bizarre celebration of Sevi's marriage as the Son of God ("En Sof") with the Torah, and may have provided climactic metaphysical confirmation of Sevi's hopes. In the manner of the old apocalypses, it pronounced Sevi the "saviour of My people, Israel," one who in time "shall overthrow the great dragon and kill the serpent."[6]

Good as Evelyn's Pretended Messiah may have been for contemporaries[v] as a review of recent "news," and we must not underestimate this function, to the modern reader it seems closer to fiction, of a peculiarly propagandistic and ironic kind. Aside from omissions from the story—partly a matter of ignorance or failure in perception, and partly deliberate exclusion of inconvenient material—Evelyn's enthusiastic acceptance of his source's frequent theatrical metaphors is one measure of the distance from history of the Pretended Messiah. When Evelyn's Sevi is grave, it is a "formal and pharisaical gravitie" which is "starcht on." His motives in general seem highly conscious, even deliberate; and despite a certain doubleness in the point of view of the Pretended Messiah, the reason for Sevi's comic simplicity is not difficult to discover. Sir Paul Rycaut, as I have suggested, seems primarily interested in the effects of the movement on trade. The most vehement thinking of the book, though ascribed to an unnamed opponent of Sevi, could well be that of Rycaut himself:

[The opponent observed] in what a wilde manner the whole People of the Jewes was transported, with the groundless beliefe of a Messiah, leaving not onely their Trade, and course of living, but publishing Prophesies of a speedy Kingdome, of rescue from the Tyranny of the Turk, and leading the Grand Signior himself Captive in Chaines; matters so dangerous and obnoxious to the State wherein they lived, as might justly convict them of Treason and Rebellion, and leave them to the Mercy of that Justice, which on the least jealousie and suspicion of Matters of this nature uses to extirpate Families, and subvert the Mansion-houses of their own People, much rather of the Jewes, on whom the Turkes would gladly take occasion to dispoile them of their Estates, and condemn the whole Nation to perpetual slavery.

(pp. 78-79)

Evelyn retains this and similar material, apparently never suspecting that the Turks may well have been hesitant from real fear; but the burden of his emphasis is more overtly political and religious. Evelyn is less than ingenuous, perhaps, in associating Sevi with Peter Serini's fake brother, or even with Mahomed Bei—another of[vi] the "late famous impostors." But the connection does have the effect of putting Sevi in an imaginary world where all masks will be discovered and the truth known. Ultimately, Evelyn's Jews, like Dryden's and Milton's, are English—"our modern Enthusiasts and other prodigious Sects amongst us, who Dreame of the like Carnal Expectations, and a Temporal Monarchy" (sig. A8; italics mine). One hardly needs to fill out the reading. With a traditional reminder that "the Time is not yet Accomplished," Evelyn warns English sectarians to beware of misleading fictions—"to weigh how nearly their Characters approach the Style and Design of those deluded wretches."

Evelyn's words here suggest something of the wider interest of the Pretended Messiah. For in threatening the modern enthusiasts, as it were, with the status of comic fiction, he also hinted at the literal immediacy of such explicitly imaginative works as Absalom and Achitophel, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. What Evelyn's Pretended Messiah helps to reveal, then, is not only the potential metaphoric value of news itself, but also the peculiar proximity of poetry to "history" in a period when historical thought was inseparable from apocalyptic myth.[7]

University of California,
Los Angeles



[1] Michael Fixler, Milton and the Kingdoms of God (London, 1964), p. 244.

[2] Joseph Kastein, The Messiah of Ismir, trans. Huntley Paterson (New York, 1931), p. 323.

[3] For an account of the events leading to the extra-judicial opinion of Glyn and Steele, see Samuel R. Gardiner, History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660, III (London, 1901), 216-222.

[4] Milton and the Kingdoms of God (London, 1964), especially pp. 237-249.

[5] Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews, V (Philadelphia, 1895), 118-167. See also Henry Malter, "Shabetai Zebi B. Mordecai," The Jewish Encyclopedia, X (1905).

[6] Kastein, p. 77.

[7] For a provocative study of apocalypse in fiction, see Frank Kermode, The Sense of An Ending (Oxford, 1966).



The text of this edition is reproduced from a copy in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

Of the THREE late famous
        {Padre Ottomano,
viz.   {Mahomed Bei, and
        {Sabatai Sevi.

The One, pretended Son and Heir
to the late Grand Signior;

The Other, a Prince of the Ottoman Family,
but in truth, a Valachian Counterfeit.

And the Last,
The Suppos'd MESSIAH of the Jews,
in the Year of the true Messiah, 1666.

With a brief Account of the Ground, and Occasion
of the present War between the

Together with the Cause of the final
Extirpation, Destruction and Exile
of the JEWS out of the

In the SAVOY,
Printed for Henry Herringman at the Sign
of the Anchor in the Lower-Walk of
the New-Exchange. 1669.

Title decoration

To the READER.


he Great Scaliger was wont commonly to say, Omnis Historia bona, that all History was good; meaning, that it was worthy of notice, so it were true, and matter of fact, though the Subject of it were never so trivial. This, though but a Pamphlet in bulke, is very considerable for the Matters it containes, and for that it endeavours to informe, and disabuse the World of a current Error, which has mingled, and spread it selfe into divers grave Relations that have been Printed, and confidently published many Yeares without Suspition.

How I came to be enlightned for these Pieces, I have in part declar'd in my Dedicatory Addresses; and if I forbear to publish the Name of that Intelligent Stranger, and that other Person, from whom I received my Informations; You are to know, that it is not out of fear of being detected of Imposture, whil'st we declare against it, and which cannot serve any Interest of the Relators; but because, being Strangers, or Itinerants, and one of them upon his return into his Native Country (which may possibly engage them to passe by Malta, and other Levantine parts obnoxious to these Discourses) it would appear but ingrateful in us to expose them to an Inconvenience. Let it suffice to assure you, that they are Persons of no mean Parts, Ingenuity and Candor; well acquainted with the Eastern Countreys and Affaires, and that have themselves been witnesses of most of these Transactions.

It were to be wish'd that our Christian Monarchs had alwayes near them some dextrous Person of this Gentlemans abilites; were it but to Discover such Cheates as frequently appearing under the Disguise of Distressed Princes, Merchants, &c. are, to truth, but Spies, and bold Impostors, and whom otherwise 'tis almost impossible to detect; not to suggest the many other good Offices, as to the Eastern Commerce and Affaires, they might be useful in. But this is more than I have Commission to say from those who have no other design in what they Relate, than their Affection to Truth. It is not yet a full Year since there went a Crafty Varlet about the Countrey, who pretended himself to be the Brother of the famous Peter Serini (whose brave and Heroick Actions had so celebrated him against the Turkes) and related a Story by his feign'd Interpreter, how he fortun'd to be cast on shore on the West of England, as he was conducting Supplies from abroad. This he perform'd with a confidence and success so happily, as caus'd him to be receiv'd, presented, and assisted (like another Mahomed Bei) by divers Persons of Quality, and some of them my nearest Acquaintance, in his Pretended Journey to Court; But being at last discover'd in a Tipling-house on the Rode, where un-mindful of his Part and Character, he call'd for a Pot of Ale in too good English, and a more natural Tone than became so great a Stranger, and the Person he put on, we heard no more of the Gamester: I wish our Fin-land Spirit, who is of late dropt out of the Clouds amongst us, prove not one of his Disciples; for the Age is very fertile; and I am told, that our Mahomed having receiv'd his Ajuda de Costo from the Bounty and Charity of a great Person of more easie Beliefe, is slipt aside for fear of the Porters-Lodge, and yet 'tis possible you may hear more of him before his Ramble be quite at a period.

You have at the end of the last Impostor an Account of the Jews Exile out of that Vast Empire of Persia, happening but the other day; which, together with the miscarriage of their late Messiah (the Twenty-Fifth Pretender to it as I am credibly inform'd, it stands in their own Records) might, one would think, at last open the Eyes, and turne the hearts of that obstinate and miserable People: But whil'st the Time not yet Accomplish'd, I could wish our modern Enthusiasts, and other prodigious Sects amongst us, who Dreame of the like Carnal Expectations, and a Temporal Monarchy, might seriously weigh how nearly their Characters approach the Style and Design of these Deluded Wretches, least they fall into the same Condemnation, and the Snare of the Devil.


PAge 15, Line 17, Read deside. l. 28 r. dignità, 18. 6. r. Spina Longa, 21 l. 12. r. DETECTED. 24 l. 23, r. It'aser. 30. 14. dele and. 58. l. 17. Essendo. l. 21. promessa per gli suoi Profeti e padri nostri. 59. l. 2. r. digjuni. 66. 11. r. should be wrought. 77. l. 18. r. not onely. 85. 22. r. one that (as it was said). 93. l. 22. r. tenor. 97.15. dele which, and read it. 99. 7. r. As that. 110. l. 12. r. Cymeterie.



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The Pretended
Messiah of the Jewes,
In the Year of our Lord, 1666.

The Third Impostor.


ccording to the Predictions of several Christian Writers, especially of such who Comment on the Apocalyps, or Revelations, this Year of 1666 was to prove a Year of Wonders, of strange Revolutions in the World, and particularly of Blessing to the Jewes, either in respect of their Conversion to the Christian Faith, or of their Restoration to their[42] Temporal Kingdome: This Opinion was so dilated, and fixt in the Countreys of the Reformed Religion, and in the Heads of Phanatical Enthusiasts, who Dreamed of a Fift Monarchy, the downfall of the Pope, and Antichrist, and the Greatness of the Jewes: In so much, that this subtile People judged this Year the time to stir, and to fit their Motion according to the season of the Modern Prophesies; whereupon strange Reports flew from place to place, of the March of Multitudes of People from unknown parts into the remote Desarts of Arabia, supposed to be the Ten Tribes and halfe, lost for so many Ages. That a Ship was arrived in the Northern parts of Scotland with her Sailes and Cordage of Silke, Navigated by Mariners who spake nothing but Hebrew; with this Motto on their Sailes, The Twelve Tribes of Israel. These Reportes agreeing thus near to former Predictions, put the wild sort of the World into an expectation of strange Accidents, this year should produce in reference to the Jewish Monarchy.

In this manner Millions of People[43] were possessed, when Sabatai Sevi first appear'd at Smyrna, and published himself to the Jewes for their Messiah, relating the greatness of their approaching Kingdome, the strong hand whereby God was about to deliver them from Bondage, and gather them from all partes of the World. It was strange to see how the fancy took, and how fast the report of Sabatai and his Doctrine flew through all partes where Turkes and Jews inhabited; the latter of which were so deeply possessed with a beliefe of their new Kingdome, and Riches, and many of them with promotion to Offices of Government, Renown, and Greatness, that in all parts from Constantinople to Buda (which it was my fortune that year to Travel) I perceiv'd a strange transport in the Jewes, none of them attending to any business unless to winde up former negotiations, and to prepare themselves and Families for a Journey to Jerusalem: All their Discourses, their Dreames, and disposal of their Affaires tended to no other Design but a re-establishment in the Land of Promise, to Greatness, Glory, Wisdome, and Doctrine of the Messiah,[44] whose Original, Birth, and Education are first to be recounted.

Sabatai Sevi was Son of Mordechai Sevi, an Inhabitant, and Natural of Smyrna, who gained his Livelihood by being Broaker to an English Marchant in that place; a person, who before his death was very decrepit in his Body, and full of the Goute, and other Infirmities, but his Son Sabatai Sevi addicting himself to Study, became a notable Proficient in the Hebrew and Metaphysicks; and arrived to that point of Sophistry in Divinity and Metaphysicks, that he vented a New Doctrine in their Law, drawing to the Profession of it so many Disciples, as raised one day a Tumult in the Synagogue; for which afterwards he was by a Censure of the Chochams (who are Expounders of the Law) banished the City.

During the time of his Exile, he Travelled to Thessalonica, now called Salonica, where he Marryed a very handsome Woman; but either not having that part of Oeconomy as to govern a Wife, or being Impotent towards Women, as was pretended, or that she found not favour in his Eyes,[45] she was divorced from him: Again, he took a second Wife, more beautiful then the former, but the same causes of discontent raising a difference between them, he obtained another Divorce from this Wife also. And being now free from the Incumbrances of a Family, his wandring Head mov'd him to Travel through the Morea, thence to Tripoli in Syria, Gaza, and Jerusalem; and by the way picked up a Ligornese Lady, whom he made his third Wife, the Daughter of some Polonian or German, her Original and Parentage not being very well known. And being now at Jerusalem he began to Reforme the Law of the Jewes, and Abolish the Fast of Tamuz (which they keep in the Moneth of June) and there meeting with a certain Jew called Nathan, a proper Instrument to promote his Design; he communicated to him his Condition, his Course of Life, and Intentions, to Proclaime himself Messiah of the World, so long expected and desired by the Jewes. This Design took wonderfully with Nathan; and because it was thought necessary according to Scripture, and Antient Prophesies,[46] that Elias was to precede the Messiah, as St. John Baptist was the fore-runner of Christ: Nathan thought no man so proper to Act the Part of the Prophet as himself; and so no sooner had Sabatai declared himself the Messiah, but Nathan discovers himself to be his Prophet, forbiding all the Fasts of the Jewes in Jerusalem; and declaring, that the Bridegroom being come, nothing but Joy, and Triumph ought to dwell in their Habitations; Writing to all the Assemblies of the Jewes, to perswade them to the same beliefe.

And now the Schisme being begun, and many Jewes really believing what they so much desired, Nathan took the courage and boldness to Prophesie, That one Year from the 27th of Kislev, (which is the moneth of June) the Messiah shall appear before the Grand Signor, & take from him his Crown and lead him in Chaines like a Captive.

Sabatai also at Gaza Preached Repentance to the Jewes, and Obedience to Himself and Doctrine, for that the coming of the Messiah was at hand: which Novelties so Affected the Jewish[47] Inhabitants of those partes, that they gave up themselves wholly to their Prayers, Almes, and Devotions; and to confirme this beliefe the more, it hapned, that at the same time that Newes hereof, with all perticulars were dispatched from Gaza, to acquaint the Brethren in Forrain Partes: The Rumour of the Messiah hath flown so swift, and gained such reception, that Intelligence came from all Partes and Countreys where the Jewes inhabit, by Letters to Gaza, and Jerusalem, Congratulating the happiness of their Deliverance, and expiration of the time of their Servitude, by the Appearance of the Messiah. To which they adjoyned other Prophesies, relating to that Dominion the Messiah was to have over all the World: that for Nine Moneths after he was to disappeare; during which time the Jewes were to suffer, and many of them to undergoe Martyrdom: but then returning again Mounted on a Cœlestial Lyon, with his Bridle made of Serpents with seven heads, accompanyed with his Brethren the Jewes, who Inhabited on the other side of the River Sabation, he should be acknowledged[48] for the Sole Monarch of the Universe; and then the Holy Temple should descend from Heaven already built, framed, and beautified, wherein they should offer Sacrifice for ever.

And here I leave you to consider, how strangely this Deceived People was Amused, when these Confident, and vain Reports, and Dreams of Power, and Kingdomes, had wholly transported them from the ordinary course of their Trade, and Interest.

This noise and rumour of the Messiah, having begun to fill all places, Sabatai Sevi resolved to Travel towards Smyrna, the Country of his Nativity; and thence to Constantinople the Capital City, where the principal Work of Preaching was to have been performed: Nathan thought it not fit to be long after him, and therefore Travels by the way of Damascus, where resolving to continue some time for better Propagation of this New Doctrine; in the meane while Writes this Letter to Sabatai Sevi, as followeth.[49]

22. Kesvan of this YEAR.

To the King, our King, Lord of our Lords, who gathers the Dispersed of Israel, who Redeems our Captivity, the Man elevated to the height of all sublimity, the Messiah of the God of Jacob, the true Messiah, the Cœlestial Lyon, Sabatai Sevi, whose Honour be exalted, and his Dominion raised in a short time, and for ever, Amen. After having kissed your hands, and swept the Dust from your Feet, as my Duty is to the King of Kings, whose Majesty be exalted, and his Empire enlarged. These are to make known to the Supreme Excellency of that Place, which is adorned with the Beauty of your Sanctity, that the Word of the King, and of his Law, hath enlightned our Faces: that day hath been a solemn day unto Israel, and a day of light unto our Rulers, for immediately we applyed our selves to performe your Commands, as our duty is. And though we have heard of many strange things,[50] yet we are couragious, and our heart is as the heart of a Lyon; nor ought we to enquire a reason of your Doings, for your Workes are Marvellous, and past finding out: And we are Confirmed in our Fidelity without all exception, resigning up our very Souls for the holiness of your Name: And now we are come as far as Damascus, intending shortly to proceed in our Journey to Scanderone, according as you have commanded us; that so we may ascend, and see the Face of God in light, as the light of the Face of the King of Life: And we, servants of your servants shall cleanse the dust from your Feet, beseeching the Majesty of your Excellency and Glory to vouchsafe from your habitation to have a care of us, and help us with the Force of your Right Hand of Strength, and shorten our way which is before us: And we have our Eyes towards Jah, Jah, who will make hast to help us, and save us, that the Children of Iniquity shall not hurt us; and towards whom our hearts pant, and are consumed within us: who shall give us Tallons of Iron to be worthy to stand under the shadow of your Asse. These are the Words of the Servant of your[51] servants, who prostrates himself to be trod on by the soles of your feet,

Nathan Benjamine.

And that he might Publish this Doctrine of himself, and the Messiah more plainly, he Wrote from Damascus this following Letter, to the Jewes at Aleppo, and parts thereabouts.

To the Residue or Remnant of the Israelites, Peace without end.

Sabatai Wrote a Letter to Elect one Man out of every Tribe.

These my words are, to give you notice, how that I am Arrived in Peace at Damascus, and behold I go to meet the Face of our Lord, whose Majesty be exalted, for he is the Soveraign of the King of Kings, whose Empire be enlarged. According as he hath Commanded us and the 12 Tribes to elect unto Him 12 Men, so have we done:[52] And we now go to Scanderone by his command, to shew our faces together, with part of the principal of those particular Friends to whom he hath given Licence to assemble in that same place. And now I come to make known unto you, that though you have heard strange things of our Lord, yet let not your hearts faint, or fear, but rather fortifie your selves in your Faith, because all his Actions are Miraculous, and Secret, which Humane understanding cannot comprehend, and who can penetrate into the depth of them. In a short time all things shall be Manifested to you clearly in their Purity: and you shall know, and consider, and be instructed by the Inventor himself; Blessed is he who can expect, and arrive to the Salvation of the true Messiah, who will speedily publish his Authority and Empire over us now, and for ever.


And now all the Cities of Turky where the Jewes Inhabited were full of the expectation of the Messiah; no[53] Trade, nor course of Gaine was followed: every one imagin'd that dayly Provisions, Riches, Honours, and Government, were to descend upon them by some unknown and Miraculous manner: an example of which is most observable in the Jewes at Thessalonica, who now full of Assurance that the Restoration of their Kingdome, and the Accomplishment of the time for the coming of the Messiah was at hand, judged themselves obliged to double their Devotions, and Purifie their Consciences from all Sins and Enormities which might be obvious to the scrutiny of him who was now come to Penetrate into the very Thoughts and Imaginations of Mankinde. In which Work certain Chochams were appointed to direct the People how to Regulate their Prayers, Fasts, and other Acts of Devotion. But so forward was every one now in his Acts of Penance, that they stay'd not for the Sentence of the Chocham, or prescription of any Rules, but apply'd themselves immediately to Fasting: And some in that manner beyond the abilities of Nature, that having for the space of seven dayes[54] taken no sustenance, were famished to death. Others buryed themselves in their Gardens, covering their naked Bodies with Earth, their heads onely excepted, remained in their Beds of dirt until their Bodies were stifned with the cold and moisture: others would indure to have melted Wax dropt upon their shoulders, others to rowle themselves in Snow, and throw their Bodies in the Coldest season of Winter Into the Sea, or Frozen Waters. But the most common way of Mortification was first to prick their Backs and Sides with Thornes, and then to give themselves thirty nine Lashes. All Business was laid aside, none Worked, or opened Shop, unless to clear his Warehouse of Merchandize at any Price: who had superfluity in Houshold-stuffe, sold it for what he could; but yet not to Iewes, for they were Interdicted from Bargaines or Sales, on the pain of Excommunication, Pecuniary Mulcts, or Corporal Punishments; for all Business and Imployment was esteemed the Test, and Touchstone of their Faith. It being the general Tenent, that in the dayes that the Messiah[55] appeares, the Iewes shall become Masters of the Estates and Inheritance of Infidels; until when they are to content themselves with Matters onely necessary to maintain and support Life. But because every one was not Master of so much Fortune and Provision, as to live without dayly Labour, therefore to quiet the Clamours of the Poor, and prevent the Enormous lives of some, who upon these occasions would become Vagabonds, and desert their Cities, due order was taken to make Collections, which were so liberally bestow'd, that in Thessalonica onely 400 Poore were supported by the meer charity of the Richer. And as they indeavour'd to purge their Consciences of Sin, and to apply themselves to good Workes, that the Messiah might find the City prepared for his Reception; so, least he should accuse them of any omission in the Law, and particularly in their neglect of that Antient Precept of Increase and Multiply; they marryed together Children of ten yeares of age, and some under, without respect to Riches, or Poverty, Condition or Quality: But, being promiscuously[56] joyned, to the number of 6 or 700 Couple, upon better and cooler thoughts, after the deceipt of the false Messiah was discover'd, or the expectation of his Coming grew cold, were Divorced, or by Consent separated from each other.

In the heat of all this Talk and Rumor, comes Sabatai Sevi to Smyrna, the City of his Nativity, infinitely desir'd there by the common Iewes; but by the Chochams, or Doctors of their Law, who gave little or no credence to what he pretended, was ill receiv'd, not knowing what mischief or ruine this Doctrine and Prophesie of a New Kingdome might produce. Yet Sabatai bringing with him testimonials of his Sanctity, Holy Life, Wisdom, and Gift of Prophesie, so deeply fixed himself in the heart of the Generality, both as being Holy and Wise, that thereupon he took courage and boldness to enter into Dispute with the Grand Chocham (who is the Head, and Chief Expositer of the Law and superintendent of their will and Government) between whom the Arguments grew so high, and Language so hot, that the Iewes who favoured[57] the Doctrine of Sabatai, and feared the Authority of the Chocham, doubtful what might be the issue of the Contest, appear'd in great numbers before the Cadi of Smyrna, in justification of their New Prophet, before so much as any Accusation came against him: The Cadi (according to the Custome of the Turkes,) swallows Mony on both sides, and afterwards remits them to the determination of their own Justice. In this manner Sabatai gaines ground dayly; and the Grand Chocham with his Party, losing both the affection and obedience of his People, is displaced from his Office, and another Constituted, more affectionate, and agreeable to the New Prophet, whose power daily increased by those confident Reports. That his Enemies were struck with Phrensies and Madness, until being restor'd to their former temper and wits by him, became his Friends, Admirers, and Disciples. No Invitation was now made in Smyrna by the Iewes, nor Marriage, or Circumcision solemnized, where Sabatai was not present, accompanyed with a multitude of his Followers, and the Streets cover'd[58] with Carpits, or fine Cloath for him to tread on; but the Humility of this Pharisee appear'd such, that he would stoop and turne them aside, and so pass. And having thus fixed himself in the Opinion and Admiration of the People, he began to take on himself the Title of Messiah, and the Son of God; and to make this following Declaration to all the Nation of the Iewes, which being wrote Originally in Hebrew, was Translated for me faithfully into Italian, in this manner.

L'unico figliolo, e primogenito d' dio, Sabatai Sevi, il Messiah, e Salvatore d' Israel eletti di dio pace bessendo che sete fatti degni di veder quel grangiorno della deliberatione e Salvatione d' Israel, e consummatione delle parole di dio, promess per li sua Profeti, e padri notri, per il suo diletto figlio d' Israel, ogni vestra amaritudine si converta[59] in allegrezza, e li vestri diginguiti facino feste, per che non piangerete O miei figliole d'Israel havendovi dati iddio la consolatione inenarrabile, festegiate contimpani e musiche, ringratiando quello chi ha adempito il promesso dalli secoli, facendo ogni giorno quelle cose che solete fare nelle callende, e quel giorno dedicato ali' afflictione e mestitia, convertite lo in giorno giocondo per la mia comparsa, e non spaventate niente, per che haverete Dominio sopra, le genti, non solamente di quelle, che si vedodono in terra, ma quelle che sono in fondi del mare, il tutto pro vestra consolatione & allegrezza.

Which Translated into English, runs thus;

[60]The Onely, and First-borne Son of God, Sabatai Sevi, the Messiah and Saviour of Israel, to all the Sons of Israel, peace. Since that you are made worthy to see that great Day of Deliverance, and Salvation unto Israel, and Accomplishment of the Word of God, Promised by his Prophets, and our forefathers, and by his Beloved Son of Israel: let your bitter sorrowes be turned into Joy, and your Fasts into festivals, for you shall weep no more, O my sons of Israel, for God having given you this unspeakable Comfort, rejoyce with Drums, Organs, and Musick, giving thanks to him for performing his Promise from all Ages; doing that every day, which is usual for you to do upon the New-Moons; and, that Day Dedicated[61] to affliction and sorrow convert you into a Day of Mirth for my appearance: and fear you nothing, for you shall have Dominion over the Nations, and not onely over those who are on Earth, but over those Creatures also which are in the depth of the Sea. All which is for your Consolation and Rejoycing.

Sabatai Sevi.

Notwithstanding the Disciples of Sabatai Sevi were not so numerous, but many opposed his doctrine, publiquely avouching that he was an Impostor, and Deceiver of the people, amongst which was one Samuel Pennia, a man of a good estate and reputation in Smyrna, who arguing in the Synagogue, that the present signs of the coming of the Messiah were not apparent, either according to Scripture,[62] or the doctrine of the Rabbins, raised such a sedition and tumult amongst the Jews, as not onely prevailed against arguments, but had also against his life, had he not timely conveyed himself out of the Synagogue, and thereby escaped the hands of the multitude, who now could more easily endure blasphemy against the Law of Moses, and the prophanation of the Sanctuary, than contradiction, or misbelief of the doctrine of Sabatai. But howsoever it fell out, Pennia in short time becomes a convert, and preaches up Sabatai for the Son of God, and deliverer of the Jews: and not onely he, but his whole family; his daughters prophesie, and fall into strange extasies; and not onely his house, but four hundred men and women prophesie of the growing kingdom of Sabatai, and young infants who could yet scarce stammer out a syllable to their mothers, repeat, and pronounce plainly the name of Sabatai the Messiah, and Son of God. For thus farr had God permitted the devil to delude this people, that their very children[63] were for a time possessed, and voices heard to sound from their stomacks, and intrails: those of riper years fell first into a trance, foamed at the mouth, and recounted the future prosperitie, and deliverance of the Israelites, their visions of the Lion of Judah, and the triumphs of Sabatai, all which were certainly true, being effects of Diabolical delusions: as the Jews themselves since have confessed unto me.

With these concomitant accidents, and successes, Sabatai Sevi growing more presumptuous, that he might correspond with the Prophesies of greatness, and dominion of the Messiah, proceeds to an election of those Princes which were to govern the Israelites in their march towards the Holy-Land, and to dispence Judgement and Justice after their Restoration. The names of them were these which follow, men well known at Smyrna, who never (God knows) had ambition to aspire to the title of Princes, until a strange spirit of deceit and delusion had moved them, not onely to hope[64] for it as possible, but to expect it as certain.

Isaac Silvera.King David.
Salomon Lagnado.was Salomon.
Salom Lagnado jun.        named Zovah.
Joseph Cohen.Uzziah.
Moses Galente.Josaphat.
Daniel Pinto.Hilkiah.
Abraham Scandale.Jotham.
Mokiah Gaspar.Zedekiah.
Abraham Leon.Achas.
Ephraim Arditi.Joram.
Salom Carmona.Achab.
Matassia Aschenesi.Asa.
Meir Alcaira.Rehoboam.
Jacob Loxas.Ammon.
Mordecai Jesserun.Jehoachim.
Chaim Inegna.Jeroboam.
Joseph Scavillo.Abia.
Conor Nehemias.was Zarobabel.
Joseph del Caire.named Joas.
Elcukin Schavit.Amasia.
Abraham Rubio.Josiah.

Elias Sevi had the title of the King of the king of kings.

Elias Azar his Vice-king, or Vizier.[65]

Joseph Sevi, the king of the kings of Judah.

Joseph Inernuch his vice-king.

In this manner things ran to a strange height of madness amongst the Jews at Smyrna, where appear'd such pageantry of greatness, that no Comedy could equal the mock-shews they represented, and though none durst openly profess any scruple, or doubt of this common received belief, yet for confirmation of the Jews in their Faith, and astonishment of the Gentiles, it was judged no less than necessary that Sabatai should shew some miracles, whereby to evince to all the World that he was the true Messiah: and as the present occasion seemed to require an evidence infallible of this truth, so it was daily expected by the vulgar, with an impatience sutable to humors disposed to Noveltie; who out of every action and motion of their Prophet began to fancy something extraordinary and supernatural. Sabatai was now horribly puzzled for a Miracle, though the imagination of the people was so vitiated that any legerdemaine,[66] or slight of hand would have passed more easily with them for a wonder than Moses striking the rock for water, or dividing the red sea. And occasion happening that Sabatai was, in behalf of his Subjects, to appear before the Cadi, or judge of the Citie to demand ease, and relief of some oppressions which aggrieved them: It was thought necessary a Miracle should now or never, when Sabatai appearing with a formal and pharisaical gravitie, which he had starcht on: Some on a sudden avouched to see a pillar of fire between him and the Cadi, which report presently was heard through the whole room, filled with Jews that accompanied Sabatai, some of whom, who strongly fancied it, vow'd, and swore they saw it; others in the outward yard, or that could not come near to hear, or see for the crowd, as speedily took the alarm, and the rumour ran, and belief receiv'd by the Women and Children at home in a moment, so that Sabatai Sevi returned to his house triumphant, fixed in the hearts of his people, who now needed no further Miracles to[67] confirm them in their faith. And thus was Sabatai exalted, when no man was thought worthy of communication who did not believe him to be the Messiah: others were called Kophrim, infidels or hereticks, liable to the censure of excommunication, with whom it was not lawful so much as to eat: every man produc'd his treasure, his Gold and Jewels, offering them at the feet of Sabatai; so that he could have commanded all the wealth of Smyrna, but he was too subtil to accept their money, least he should render his design suspected by any act of covetousness. Sabatai Sevi having thus fully fixed himself in Smyrna, and filled other places with rumors of his fame; declared that he was called by God to visit Constantinople, where the greatest part of his work was to be accomplisht; in order whereunto he privately ships himself, with some few attendants in a Turkish Saick, in the Moneth of January 1666. least the crowd of his disciples, and such who would press to follow him, should endanger him in the Eyes of the Turks, who already began to be scandalized[68] at the reports and prophesies concerning his person. But though Sabatai took few into the Vessel to him, yet a multitude of Jews travell'd over land to meet him again at Constantinople, on whom all their Eyes and Expectations were intent. The wind proving northernly, as commonly it is in the Helespont and Propontis; Sabatai was thirtie nine days in his voyage, and yet the Vessel not arriv'd, so little power had this Messiah over the Sea and Winds, in which time news being come to Constantinople that the Jews Messiah was near, all that people prepared to receive him with the same Joy and Impatience as was exprest in other parts where he arrived; the great Vizier (then also at Constantinople, being not yet departed on his expedition for Candia) having heard some rumors of this man, and the disorder and madness he had raised amongst the Jews; sent two Boats, whil'st the Saick was detained by contrary winds, with commands to bring him up Prisoner to the Port, where accordingly Sabatai being come, was committed to the most loathsom and[69] darkest Dungeon in the Town, there to remain in farther expectation of the Viziers sentence: The Jews were not at all discouraged at this ill treatment of their prophet, but rather confirmed in their belief of him, as being the accomplishment of the prophesie of those things which ought to precede his glory and dominion; which consideration induc'd the chiefest persons amongst the Jews to make their visits and addresses to him with the same ceremony and respect in the Dungeon as they would have done had he then sat exalted on the throne of Israel: several of them, with one Anacago, by name, a man of great esteem amongst the Jews, attended a whole day before him, with their Eyes cast down, their bodies bending forward, and hands crost before them (which are postures of humility, and service in the Eastern Countreys) the undecency of the place, and present subjection, not having in the least abated their high thoughts, and reverence towards his person. The Jews in Constantinople were now become as mad and distracted as they were in other places, all trade[70] and trafficque forbidden, and those who owed money, in no manner careful how to satisfie it: amongst which wild crew some were indebted to our Merchants at Galata, who not knowing the way to receive their money, partly for their interest, and partly for curiosity thought fit to visit this Sabatai, complayning that such particular Jews, upon his coming, took upon them the boldness to defraud them of their right, desired he would be pleased to signifie to these his Subjects, his pleasure to have satisfaction given: whereupon Sabatai with much affectation took Pen and Paper, and wrote to this effect.

To you of the Nation of the Jews, who expect the appearance of the Messiah, and the Salvation of Israel, Peace without end. Whereas we are informed that you are indebted to several of the English Nation: It seemeth right unto us to enorder [71]you to make satisfaction to these your just debts: which if you refuse to do, and not obey us herein: Know you, that then you are not to enter with us into our Joys and Dominions.

In this manner Sabatai Sevi remained a Prisoner at Constantinople for the space of two Moneths; at the end of which, the Vizier having designed his expedition for Candia; and considering the rumor and disturbance the presence of Sabatai had made already at Constantinople, thought it not secure to suffer him to remain in the Imperial Citie, whil'st both the Grand Signior and himself were absent: and therefore changes his prison to the Dardanelli, otherwise called the Castle of Abydos, being on the Europe side of the Helespont, opposite to Sestos, places famous in Greek Poetrie. This removal of Sabatai from a worse Prison to one of a better air; confirmed the Jews with greater confidence of his being[72] the Messiah, supposing that had it been in the power of the Vizier, or other Officers of the Turks, to have destroyed his person, they would never have permitted him to have lived to that time, in regard their Maximes enforce them to quit all jealousies and suspitions of ruine to their state by the death of the party feared, which much rather they ought to execute on Sabatai, who had not onely declared himself the King of Israel, but also published Prophesies fatal to the Grand Signior and his Kingdoms.

With this consideration, and others preceding, the Jews flock in great numbers to the Castle, where he was imprisoned, not onely from the neighbouring parts, but also from Poland, Germanie, Legorne, Venice, Amsterdam, and other places where the Jews reside: on all whom, as a reward of the expence, and labours of their pilgrimage, Sabatai bestowed plenty of his benedictions, promising encrease of their store, and enlargement of their Possessions in the Holy-Land. And so great was the confluence of the Jews to this place, that the Turks thought[73] it requisite to make their advantage thereof, and so not onely raised the price of their Provision, Lodgings, and other Necessaries, but also denied to admit any to the presence of Sabatai, unless for money, setting the price, sometimes at five, sometimes at ten Dollers, or more or less, according as they guessed at their abilities, or zeal of the person, by which gain and advantage to the Turks no complaints or advices were carried to Adrianople, either of the concourse of people, or arguments amongst the Jews in that place; but rather all civilities, and libertie indulged unto them, which served as a farther argument to ensnare this poor people in the belief of their Messiah.

During this time of confinement, Sabatai had leisure to compose and institute a new method of Worship for the Jews, and principally the manner of the celebration of the day of his Nativity, which he prescribed in this manner.

Brethren, and my People, men of Religion inhabiting the City of Smyrna[74] the renowned, where live men, and women, and families; Peace be unto you from the Lord of Peace, and from me his beloved son, King Salomon. I command you that the ninth day of the Moneth of Ab (which according to our account answered that year to the Moneth of June) next to come, you make a day of Invitation, and of great Joy, celebrating it with choice meats and pleasing drinks, with many Candles and Lamps, with Musick and Songs, because it is the day of the Birth of Sabatai Sevi, the high King above all kings of the Earth. And as to matters of labour, and other things of like nature, do, as becomes you, upon a day of Festival, adorned with your finest garments. As to your Prayers, let the same order be used as upon Festivals. To converse with Christians on that day is unlawful, though your Discourse be of matters indifferent, all labour is forbidden, but to sound instruments is lawful. This shall be the method and substance of your Prayers on this day of Festival: After you have said, Blessed be thou, O holy God! then proceed and say, Thou hast chosen us before[75] all people, and hast loved us, and hast been delighted with us, and hast humbled us more than all other Nations, and hast sanctified us with thy Precepts, and hast brought us near to thy service, and the service of our King. Thy holy, great, and terrible Name thou hast published amongst us: and hast given us, O Lord God, according to thy love, time of Joy, of Festivals, and times of Mirth, and this day of Consolation for a solemn Convocation of Holiness, for the Birth of our King the Messiah, Sabatai Sevi thy servant, and first-born son in love, through whom we commemorate our coming out of Egypt. And then you shall read for your Lesson the 1, 2, and 3 Chapters of Deut. to the 17 verse, appointing for the reading thereof five men, in a perfect and uncorrupted Bible, adding thereunto the Blessings of the Morning, as are prescribed for days of Festival: and for the Lesson out of the Prophets usually read in the Synagogue every Sabbath: you shall read the 31 Chapt. of Jeremiah. To your Prayer called Mussaf (used in the Synagogue every Sabbath and solemn Festival) you[76] shall adjoyn that of the present Festival; In stead of the sacrifice of Addition, of the returning of the Bible to its place, you shall read with an Audible Voice, Clear Sound, the Psalm 95. And at the first Praises in the Morning, after you have Sang Psalm 91, and just before you Sing Psalm 98, you shall repeate Psalm 132 but in the last Verse, where it is said, As for his Enemies I shall cloath them with shame, but upon himself shall his Crown flourish; in the place of (upon himself) you shall read upon the most High: after which shall follow the 126 Psalm, and then the 113 to the 119.

At the Consecration of the Wine upon the Vigil, or Even, you shall make mention of the Feast of Consolation, which is the day of the Birth of our King the Messiah Sabatai Sevi thy Servant, and First-born Son, giving the Blessing as followeth: Blessed be thou our God, King of the World, who hast made us to live, and hast maintain'd us, and hast kept us alive unto this time. Upon the Eve of this day you shall Read also the 81 Psalm, as also the 132 and 126 Psalmes, which are appointed[77] for the Morning Praises. And this day shall be unto you for a Remembrance of a Solemn Day unto eternal Ages, and a perpetual testimony between me, and the Sons of Israel.

Audite Audiendo & manducate bonam.

Besides which Order, and Method of Prayers for Solemnization of his Birth, he prescribed other Rules for Divine Service, and particularly published the same Indulgence and Priviledge to every one who should Pray at the Tomb of his Mother; as if he had taken on him a Pilgrimage to Pray, and Sacrifice at Jerusalem.

The Devotion of the Jewes toward this pretended Messiah increased still more and more, so that onely the Chief of the City went to attend, and proffer their service toward him in the time of his Imprisonment, but likewise decked their Synagogue with S. S. in Letters of Gold, making for him on the Wall a Crown, in the Circle of which was wrote the 91 Psalm at length, in faire and legible Characters; attributing the[78] same titles to Sabatai, and Expounding the Scriptures in the same manner in favour of his Appearance, as we do of our Saviour. However some of the Jewes remain'd in their Wits all this time, amongst which was a certain Chocham at Smyrna, one zealous of his Law, and of the good and safety of his Nation: and observing in what a wilde manner the whole People of the Jewes was transported, with the groundless beliefe of a Messiah, leaving not onely their Trade, and course of living, but publishing Prophesies of a speedy Kingdome, of rescue from the Tyranny of the Turk, and leading the Grand Signior himself Captive in Chaines; matters so dangerous and obnoxious to the State wherein they lived, as might justly convict them of Treason and Rebellion, and leave them to the Mercy of that Justice, which on the least jealousie and suspicion of Matters of this nature, uses to extirpate Families, and subvert the Mansion-houses of their own People, much rather of the Jewes, on whom the Turkes would gladly take occasion to dispoile them of their Estates, and condemn the whole Nation to perpetual[79] slavery. And indeed it would have been a greater wonder then ever Sabatai shewed, that the Turkes took no advantage from all these extravagances, to dreine the Jewes of a considerable Sum of Money, and set their whole Race in Turky at a Ransome, had not these Passages yielded them matter of Pastime, and been the Subject of the Turkes Laughter and Scorne; supposing it a Disparagement to the greatness of the Ottoman Empire, to be concerned for the Rumors and Combustions of this Dispersed People. With these considerations this Chocham, that he might clear himself of the blood and guilt of his Countrey-men, and concern'd in the common destruction, goes before the Cadi, and there protests against the present Doctrine; Declaring, that he had no hand in setting up of Sabatai, but was an Enemy both to him and to his whole Sect. This freedome of the Chocham so enraged and scandalized the Jewes, that they judged no Condemnation or Punishment too severe against such an Offender and Blasphemer of their Law, and Holiness of the Messiah; and therefore with Money[80] and Presents to the Cadi, accusing him as Disobedient in a Capital nature to their Government, obtain'd sentence against him, to have his Beard shaved, and to be condemn'd to the Gallies. There wanted nothing now to the appearance of the Messiah, and the solemnity of his coming, but the presence of Elias, whom the Jewes began to expect hourely, and with that attention and earnestness, that every Dreame, or Phantasme to a weak head was judged to be Elias; it being taught, and averred, that he was seen in divers formes and shapes, not to be certainly discovered or known, before the coming of the Messiah; for this superstition is so far fixed amongst them, that generally in their Families they spread a Table for Elias the Prophet, to which they make an Invitation of Poor people, leaving the chief place for the Lord Elias, whom they believe to be invisibly present at the entertainment, and there to Eate, and Drink, without dimunition, either of the Dishes, or of the Cup. One person amongst the Jewes commanded his Wife after a supper of this kind, to leave the Cup filled with Wine,[81] and the Meat standing all night, for Elias to Feast, and Rejoyce alone; And in the morning arising early, affirmed, that Elias took this Banquet so kindly, that in token of gratitude, and acceptance, he had replenish'd the Cup with Oyle, in stead of Wine. It is a certain Custome amongst the Jewes on the Evening of the Sabbath, to repeate certain Praises of God (called Havdila) which signifies a distinction, or separation of the Sabbath from the prophane dayes (as they call them) which Praises they observe to performe in this manner. One takes a Cup filled with Wine, and drops it through the whole House, saying, Elias the Prophet, Elias the Prophet, Elias the Prophet, come quickly to us with the Messiah, the Son of God, and David; and this they affirme to be so acceptable to Elias, that he never failes to preserve that family, so devoted to him, and augment it with the blessings of Increase. Many other things the Jewes avouch of Elias, so ridiculous, as are not fit to be declar'd, amongst which this one is not far from our purpose, that at the Circumcision there is alwayes a Chair set[82] for Elias: And Sabatai Sevi being once Invited at Smyrna to the Circumcision of the First-borne Son of one Abraham Gutiere, a Kinsman of Sabatai, and all things ready for the Ceremony, Sabatai Sevi exhorted the Parents of the Child to expect a while until his farther Order: After a good halfe hour, Sabatai order'd them to proceed and cut the Prepuce of the Child, which was instantly perform'd with all joy and satisfaction to the Parents: and being afterwards demanded the reason why he retarded the performance of that Function, his answer was, That Elias had not as yet taken his Seat, whom, as soon as he saw placed, he ordered them to proceed; and that now shortly Elias would discover himself openly, and proclaime the newes of the general Redemption.

This being the common Opinion amongst the Jewes, and that Sabatai Sevi was the Messiah, being become an Article of Faith, it was not hard to perswade them, that Elias was come already, that they met him in their Dishes, in the darke, in their Bed chambers, or any where else invisible, in the same manner as our common People in[83] England believe of Hobgoblins, and Fairies. For so it was, when Solomon Cremona, an Inhabitant of Smyrna, making a great Feast, to which the Principal Jewes of the City were Invited, after they had eaten and drank freely, one starts from his Seat, and avouches, that he saw Elias upon the Wall, and with that bowes to him, and Complements him with all Reverence and humility: Some others having in like manner their Fancies prepossessed, and their Eyes with the Fume of Wine ill prepared to distinguish shadowes, immediately agreed upon the Object, and then there was not one in the Company who would say he did not see him: at which surprize every one was struck with reverence and awe; and the most Eloquent amongst them, having their Tongues loosed with Joy, and Wine, directed Orations, Encomiums, and acts of Thankfulness to Elias, courting and complementing him, as distracted Lovers doe the supposed presence of their Mistresses. Another Jew at Constantinople reported, that he met Elias in the Streets, habited like a Turke, with whom he had a long Communication;[84] and that he enjoyn'd the Observation of many neglected Ceremonies, and particularly the Zezit, Numb. 15. v. 38. Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make Fringes in the Borders of their Garments, throughout their Generations, and that they put upon the Fringe of the Border a Ribbon of blue. Also the Peos, Levit. 19. v. 27. Ye shall not round the corners of your Head, nor marr the corners of your Beard: This Apparition of Elias being believed as soon as Published, every one began to obey the Vision, by Fringing their Garments; and for their Heads, though alwayes shaved, according to the Turkish and Eastern Fashion, and that the suffering Hair to grow, to men not accustomed, was heavy, and incommodious to their healths and heads; yet to begin again to renew, as far as was possible, the antient Ceremonies, every one nourished a lock of hair on each side, which might be visible beneath their Caps; which soon after began to be a Sign of distinction between the Believers and Kophrims, a name of dishonour, signifying as much as Unbelievers; or Hereticks, given to those who[85] confessed not Sabatai to be the Messiah; which particulars, if not observed, it was declared, as a Menace of Elias, that the People of the Jewes, who come from the River Sabation as is specifyed in the second Esdras, Chap. 13. shall take vengeance of those who are guilty of these Omissions.

But to return again to Sabatai Sevi himself, we find him still remaining a Prisoner in the Castle of Abydos upon the Hellespont, admir'd and ador'd by his Brethren, with more honor then before, and visited by Pilgrimes from all parts where the fame of the coming of the Messiah had arriv'd; amongst which one from Poland, named Nehemiah Cohen, was of special note, and renown, learned in the Hebrew, Syriack, and Chaldee, and versed in the Doctrine and Kabala of the Rabines, as well as Sabatai himself, one (of whom it was said) had not this Sevi anticipated the Design, esteemed himself as able a Fellow to Act the Part of a Messiah as the other: Howsoever, it being now too late to publish any such Pretence, Sabatai having now eleven Points of the Law by Possession of the Office, and with that[86] the Hearts and Belief of the Jewes: Nehemiah was contented with some small appendage, or Relation to a Messiah; and therefore to lay his Design the better, desired a Private Conference with Sabatai: These two great Rabbines being together, a hot Dispute arose between them; For Cohen alleadged that according to Scripture, and Exposition of the Learned thereupon, there were to be two Messiahs, one called Ben Ephraim, and the other Ben David: the first was to be a Preacher of the Law, poor, and despised, and a Servant of the Second, and his Fore-runner; the other was to be great and rich, to restore the Jewes to Jerusalem, to sit upon the Throne of David, and to performe and act all those Triumphs and Conquests which were expected from Sabatai. Nehemiah was contented to be Ben Ephraim, the afflicted and poor Messiah; And Sabatai (for any thing I hear) was well enough contented he should be so: but that Nehemiah accused him for being too forward in publishing himself the latter Messiah, before Ben Ephraim had first been known unto the World. Sabatai took this reprehension[87] so ill, either out of pride, and thoughts of his own infallibility, or that he suspected Nehemiah, being once admitted for Ben Ephraim, would quickly (being a subtile and learned person) perswade the World that he was Ben David, would by no means understand, or admit of this Doctrine, or of Ben Ephraim for a necessary Officer: And thereupon the Dispute grew so hot, and the Controversie so irreconcileable, as was taken notice of by the Jewes, and controverted amongst them, as every one fancy'd: But Sabatai being of greater Authority, his Sentence prevail'd, and Nehemiah was rejected, as Schismatical, and an Enemy to the Messiah, which afterward proved the ruine and downfal of this Impostor.

For Nehemiah being thus baffled, and being a person of Authority, and a haughty Spirit, meditated nothing but revenge; to execute which to the full, he takes a Journey to Adrianople, and there informes the Chief Ministers of State, and Officers of the Court, who (by reason of the gain the Turks made of their Prisoner at the Castle on the Hellespont) heard nothing[88] of all this Concourse of People, and Prophesies of the Revolt of the Jews from their Obedience to the Grand Signior; and taking likewise to his Counsel some certain discontented and unbelieving Chochams, who being zealous for their Nation, and jealous of the ill-consequences of this long-continued, and increasing Madness, took liberty to informe the Chimacham (who was Deputy of the Great Vizier then at Candia) that the Jew, Prisoner at the Castle, called Sabatai Sevi, was a Lewd Person, and one who indeavoured to debauch the mindes of the Jewes, and divert them from their honest course of livelihood, and Obedience to the Grand Signior; and that therefore it was necessary to clear the World of so Factious and dangerous a Spirit: The Chimacham being thus informed, could do no less then acquaint the Grand Signior with all the particulars of this Mans Condition, Course of Life, and Doctrine; which were no sooner understood, but a Chiaux, or Messenger, was immediately dispatched, to bring up Sabatai Sevi to Adrianople. The Chiaux executed his Commission after[89] the Turkish fashion in hast, and brought Sabatai in a few days to Adrianople, without further excuse or ceremony; not affording him an hours space to take a solemn farewel of his Friends, his Followers and Adorers; who now were come to the vertical point of all their hopes and expectations.

The Grand Signior having by this time received divers informations of the madness of the Jews, and the pretences of Sabatai; grew big with desire and expectation to see him: so that he no sooner arrived at Adrianople, but the same hour he was brought before the Grand Signior: Sabatai appeared much dejected, and failing of that courage which he shewed in the Synagogue; and being demanded several Questions in Turkish by the Grand Signior, he would not trust so farr to the vertue of his Messiahship, as to deliver himself in the Turkish Language; but desired a Doctor of Physick, (who had from a Jew turned Turk,) to be his interpreter, which was granted to him; but not without reflection of the standers by; that had he been the Messiah, and Son of God, as he formerly pretended,[90] his tongue would have flown with varietie, as well as with the perfection of Languages. But the Grand Signior would not be put off without a Miracle, and it must be one of his own choice: which was, that Sabatai should be stript naked, and set as a mark to his dexterous Archers: if the Arrows passed not his body, but that his flesh and skin was proof like armour, then he would believe him to be the Messiah, and the person whom God had design'd to those Dominions, and Greatnesses, he pretended. But now Sabatai not having faith enough to stand to so sharp a trial, renounced all his title to Kingdoms and Governments, alledging that he was an ordinary Chocham, and a poor Jew, as others were, and had nothing of Priviledge, or Vertue above the rest. The Grand Signior notwithstanding, not wholly satisfied with this plain confession, declared, that having given publique scandal to the Professors of the Mahometan religion, and done dishonour to his Soveraign authoritie, by pretending to draw such a considerable portion from him, as the Land of Palestine; his treason and[91] crime was not to be expiated by any other means then by a conversion to the Mahometan faith, which if he refus'd to do, the stake was ready at the gate of the Seraglio to empale him. Sabatai being now reduced to extremitie of his latter game; not being the least doubtful what to do; for to die for what he was assured was false, was against nature, and the death of a mad man: replyed with much chearfulness, that he was contented to turn Turk, and that it was not of force, but of choice, having been a long time desirous of so glorious a Profession, he esteemed himself much honored, that he had opportunity to own it; first in the presence of the Grand Signior. And here was the non plus ultra of all the bluster and noise of this vain Impostor. And now the Reader may be pleased to pause a while and contemplate the strange point of consternation, shame, and silence, to which the Jews were reduc't, when they understood how speedily their hopes were vanished, and how poorly and ignominiously all their fancies and promises of a new Kingdom, their Pageantry, and Offices of Devotion,[92] were past like a tale, or a midnights dream: And as this was concluded, and the Jews sunk on a sudden, and fallen flat in their hopes, without so much as a line of comfort, or excuse from Sabatai; more than in general, to all the brethren. That now they should apply themselves to their Callings and services of God, as formerly, for that matters relating unto him were finished and the sentence past. The news that Sabatai was turned Turk, and the Messiah to a Mahumetan, quickly filled all parts of Turky. The Jews were strangely surprized at it, and ashamed of their easie belief, of the arguments with which they had perswaded one the other, and of the Proselytes they had made in their own families. Abroad they became the common derision of the Towns where they inhabited: the Boys shouted after them, coyning a new word at Smyrna (Ponftai) which every one seeing a Jew, with a finger pointed out, would pronounce with scorn and contempt: so that this deceived people for a long time after remained with confusion, silence, and dejection of spirit. And yet[93] most of them affirm that Sabatai is not turned Turk, but his shadow onely remains on earth, and walks with a white head, and in the habit of a Mahumetan: but that his natural body and soul are taken into heaven, there to reside until the time appointed for accomplishment of these wonders: and this opinion began so commonly to take place, as if this people resolved never to be undeceived, using the forms and rules for Devotion prescribed them by their Mahumetan Messiah: Insomuch that the Chochams of Constantinople, fearing the danger of this error might creep up, and equal the former, condemned the belief of Sabatai being Messiah, as damnable, and enjoyned them to return to the antient Method and Service of God upon pain of Excommunication. The style and tenure of them was as followeth.[94]

To you who have the power of Priesthood, and are the knowing, learned, and magnanimous Governours and Princes, residing in the Citie of Smyrna, may the Almighty God protect you, Amen: for so is his will.

These our Letters, which we send in the midst of your habitations, are upon occasion of certain rumors and tumults come to our ears from that Citie of your Holiness. For there is a sort of men amongst you, who fortifie themselves in their error, and say, let such a one our King, live, and bless him in their publique Synagogues every Sabbath day:[95]

The Jews scruple to say, the head of Israel.

And also adjoyn Psalms and Hymns, invented by that man, for certain days, with Rules and Methods for Prayer, which ought not to be done, and yet they will still remain obstinate therein; and now behold it is known unto you, how many swelling Waters have passed over our Souls, for his sake, for had it not been for the Mercies of God, which are without end, and the merit of our forefathers, which hath assisted us; the foot of Israel had been razed out by their enemies. And yet you continue obstinate in things which do not help, but rather do mischief, which God avert. Turn you therefore, for this is not the true way, but restore the Crown to the antient custom and use[96] of your forefathers, and the law, and from thence do not move; We command you that with your authoritie, under pain of Excommunication, and other penalties, that all those Ordinances and Prayers, as well those delivered by the mouth of that man, as those which he enjoyned by the mouth of others, be all abolished and made void, and to be found no more, and that they never enter more into your hearts, but judge according to the antient commandment of your Forefathers, repeating the same Lessons and Prayers every Sabbath, as hath been accustomary, as also Collects for Kings, Potentates, and anointed, &c. And bless the King, Sultan Mahomet, for in his[97] days hath great Salvation been wrought for Israel, and become not Rebels to his Kingdom, which God forbid. For after all this, which is past, the least motion will be a cause of jealousie, and you will bring ruine upon your own persons, and upon all which is near and dear to you, wherefore abstain from the thoughts of this man, and let not so much as his name proceed out of your mouths. For know, if you will not obey us herein, which will be known, who, and what those men are, who refuse to conform unto us, we are resolved to prosecute them, as our duty is. He that doth hear, and obey us, may the Blessing of God rest upon him. These[98] are the words of those who seek your Peace and Good, having in Constantinople, on Sunday the fifth of the Moneth Sevat, underwrot their names.

Joam Tob son of Chananiah Ben-Jacar.

Isaac Alnacagna.Eliezer Castie.
Joseph Kazabi.Eliezer Gherson.
Manasseh Barndo.Joseph Accohen.
Kalib son of Samuel.        Eliezer Aluff.

During the time of all these transactions and passages at Constantinople, Smyrna, Abydos, upon the Helespont,[99] and Adrianople, the Jews leaving their Merchantile course, and advices, what prizes commodities bear and matters of Traffique, stuffed their Letters for Italy and other parts, with nothing but wonders and miracles wrought by their false Messiah. As then when the Grand Signior sent to take him, he caused all the Messengers immediately to die, upon which other Janizaries being again sent, they all fell dead with a word only from his mouth; and being desired to revive them again, he immediately recall'd them to life; but of them onely such who were true Turks, and not those who had denied that faith in which they were born, and had profest. After this they added, that he went voluntarily to prison, and though the gates were barr'd and shut with strong Locks of Iron, yet that Sabatai was seen to walk through the streets with a numerous attendance, and when they laid Shackles on his neck and feet, they not onely fell from him, but were converted into Gold, with which he gratified his true and faithful believers and disciples. Some Miracles[100] also were reported of Nathan, that onely at reading the name of any particular man, or woman, he would immediately recount the Story of his, or her life, their sins or defaults, and accordingly impose just correction and penance for them. These strong reports coming thus confidently into Italy and all parts, the Jews of Casel di Monferrato resolved to send three persons in behalf of their society, in the nature of extraordinary Legates, to Smyrna, to make inquiry after the truth of all these rumors, who accordingly arriving in Smyrna, full of expectation and hopes, intending to present themselves with great Humility and Submission before their Messiah and his Prophet Nathan, were entertain'd with the sad news, that Sabatai was turned Turk, by which information the Character of their Embassy in a manner ceasing, every one of them laying aside the formalitie of his function, endeavoured to lodge himself best to his own convenience. But that they might return to their brethren at home, with the[101] certain particulars of the Success of the affairs, they made a visit to the brother of Sabatai; who still continued to perswade them, that Sabatai was notwithstanding the true Messiah, that it was not he who had taken on him the habit and form of a Turk, but his Angel or Spirit, his body being ascended into Heaven, until God shall again see the season, and time to restore it, adding further, that an effect hereof they should see by the prophet Nathan, certified, now every day expected, who having wrought Miracles in many places, would also for their Consolation, reveal hidden secrets unto them, with which they should not onely remain satisfied, but astonished. With this onely hope of Nathan, these Legates were a little comforted, resolving to attend his arrival, in regard they had a Letter to consign into his hands, and according to their instructions, were to demand of him the grounds he had for his Prophesies, and what assurance he had, that he was divinely inspir'd, and how these[102] things were reveal'd unto him, which he had committed to Paper, and dispersed to all parts of the World. At length Nathan arrives near Smyrna, on Friday the third of March, towards the Evening, and on Sunday these Legates made their visit to him: But Nathan, upon news of the success of his beloved Messiah, began to grow sullen and reserved; So that the Legates could scarce procure admittance to him; all that they could do was to inform him, that they had a Letter to him from the brother-hood of Italy, and commission to conferr with him concerning the foundation and authority he had for his prophesies; but Nathan refused to take the Letter, ordering Kain Abolafio a Chocham of the City of Smyrna to receive it; so that the Legates returned ill contented, but yet with hopes at Nathan's arrival at Smyrna to receive better satisfaction.

But whilst Nathan intended to enter into Smyrna, the Chochams of Constantinople, being before advised[103] of his resolution to take a Journey into their parts, not knowing by which way he might come, sent their Letters and Orders to Smyrna, Prussia, and every way round, to hinder his passage, and interrupt his journey; fearing that things beginning now to compose, the Turks appeas'd for the former disorders, and the minds of the Jews in some manner setled, might be moved, and combustions burst out afresh, by the appearance of this new Impostor; And therefore dispatched this Letter as followeth.[104]

To you who are the Shepherds of Israel, and Rulers, who reside for the great God of the whole World, in the Citie of Smyrna, which is Mother in Israel, to her Princes, her Priests, her Judges, and especially to the perfect wise men, and of great experience, may the Lord God cause you to live before him, and delight in the multitude of Peace, Amen, so be the will of the Lord.

These our Letters are dispatched unto you, to let you understand, that in the place of your Holiness, we have heard that the learned man, which was in Gaza, called Nathan, Benjamin, hath published[105] Vaine Doctrines, and made the World Tremble at his Words and Inventions; And that at this time we have receiv'd Advice, that this man some dayes since, departed from Gaza, and took his Journey by the way of Scanderone, intending there to Imbarke for Smyrna, and thence to go to Constantinople, or Adrianople: And though it seem a strange thing unto us, that any Man should have a desire to throw himself into a place of Flames, and Fire, and into the Sparkes of Hell; notwithstanding we ought to fear, and suspect it; For the Feet of Man alwayes guide him to the worst: Wherefore we Under-written do Advertise you, that this Man coming[106] within the compass of your Jurisdiction, you give a stop to his Journey, and not suffer him to proceed farther, but presently to return back. For we would have you know, that at his coming, he will again begin to move those Tumults, which have been caused through the Imaginations of a New Kingdome; And that Miracles are not to be Wrought every day.

God forbid that by his coming the People of God should be destroy'd in all places where they are, of which he will be the first, whose Blood be upon his own Head: For in this Conjuncture, every little Error or Fault is made Capital. You may remember the Danger of[107] the first Combustion: And it is very probable that he will be an occasion of greater, which the Tongue is not able to express with Words. And therefore by Vertue of Ours, and Your own Authority, you are to hinder him from proceeding farther in his Journey, upon paine of all those Excommunications which Our Law can Impose, and to force him to return back again, both he, and his Company. But if he shall in any manner Oppose you, and Rebel against your Word, your Indeavours and Law are sufficient to hinder him, for it will be well for him and all Israel.[108]

For the Love of God, let these Words enter into your Eares, since they are not vain things; for the Lives of all the Jewes, and his also, consist therein. And the Lord God behold from Heaven, and have pitty upon his People Israel, Amen. So be his holy Will: Written by those who seek your Peace.

Joam Tob, Son of Chanania Jacar.
Moise Benveniste.Caleb Son of Chocham, Samuel deceased.
Isaac Aloenacagne.       [109] Moise Barndo.
Joseph Kazabi.Elihezer Aluff.
Samuel Acazsine.Jehoshuah Raphael Benveniste.

By these meanes Nathan being disappointed of his Wandring Progress, and partly ashamed of the event of[110] Things contrary to his Prophesie, was resolved, without entring Smyrna, to returne again: Howsoever he obtained leave to visit the Sepulcher of his Mother, and there to receive Pardon of his Sins (according to the Institution of Sabatai before mentioned) but first washed himself in the Sea, in manner of Purification, and said his Tephilla, or Prayers, at the Fountain, called by us the Fountain Sancta Veneranda, which is near to the Cymetry of the Jewes, and then departed for Zion with two Companions, a Servant, and three Turks, to conduct him, without admitting the Legates to Audience, or answering the Letter which was sent him, from all the Communities of the Jewes in Italy. And thus the Embassy of these Legates was concluded, and they returned from the place from whence they came, and the Iewes again to their Wits, following their Trade of Merchandize and Brokage as formerly, with more quiet, and advantage, then the meanes of regaining their Possessions in the Land of Promise. And thus ended this mad[111] Phrensie amongst the Iewes, which might have cost them dear, had not Sabatai Renounce't his Messiaship at the Feet of Mahomet.


The Augustan Reprint Society



16. Henry Nevil Payne, The Fatal Jealousie (1673).

18. Anonymous, "Of Genius," in The Occasional Paper, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to The Creation (1720).


19. Susanna Centlivre, The Busie Body (1709).

20. Lewis Theobald, Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734).

22. Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749), and two Rambler papers (1750).

23. John Dryden, His Majesties Declaration Defended (1681).


26. Charles Macklin, The Man of the World (1792).


31. Thomas Gray, An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard (1751), and The Eton College Manuscript.


41. Bernard Mandeville, A Letter to Dion (1732).


98. Select Hymns Taken Out of Mr. Herbert's Temple (1697).


104. Thomas D'Urfey, Wonders in the Sun; or, The Kingdom of the Birds (1706).


110. John Tutchin, Selected Poems (1685-1700).

111. Anonymous, Political Justice (1736).

112. Robert Dodsley, An Essay on Fable (1764).

113. T. R., An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning (1698).

114. Two Poems Against Pope: Leonard Welsted, One Epistle to Mr. A. Pope (1730), and Anonymous, The Blatant Beast (1742).


115. Daniel Defoe and others, Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal.

116. Charles Macklin, The Covent Garden Theatre (1752).

117. Sir George L'Estrange, Citt and Bumpkin (1680).

118. Henry More, Enthusiasmus Triumphatus (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation (1717).

120. Bernard Mandeville, Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables (1704).


122. James MacPherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760).

123. Edmond Malone, Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to Mr. Thomas Rowley (1782).

124. Anonymous, The Female Wits (1704).

125. Anonymous, The Scribleriad (1742). Lord Hervey, The Difference Between Verbal and Practical Virtue (1742).

126. Le Lutrin: an Heroick Poem, Written Originally in French by Monsieur Boileau: Made English by N. O. (1682).

Subsequent publications may be checked in the annual prospectus.

Publications #1 through 90, of the first fifteen years of Augustan Reprint Society, are available in bound units at $14.00 per unit of six from:

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Publications in print are available at the regular membership rate of $5.00 yearly. Prices of single issues may be obtained upon request.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California, Los Angeles

The Augustan Reprint Society

General Editors: George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles;
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles; Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
Corresponding Secretary: Mrs. Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

The Society's purpose is to publish reprints (usually facsimile reproductions) of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century works. All income of the Society is devoted to defraying costs of publication and mailing.

Correspondence concerning memberships in the United States and Canada should be addressed to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron St., Los Angeles, California. Correspondence concerning editorial matters may be addressed to any of the general editors at the same address. Manuscripts of introductions should conform to the recommendations of the MLA Style Sheet. The membership fee is $5.00 a year in the United States and Canada and 30/- in Great Britain and Europe. British and European prospective members should address B. H. Blackwell, Broad Street, Oxford, England. Copies of back issues in print may be obtained from the Corresponding Secretary.


127-128. Charles Macklin, A Will and No Will, or a Bone for the Lawyers (1746). The New Play Criticiz'd, or The Plague of Envy (1747). Introduction by Jean B. Kern.

129. Lawrence Echard, Prefaces to Terence's Comedies (1694) and Plautus's Comedies (1694). Introduction by John Barnard.

130. Henry More, Democritus Platonissans (1646). Introduction by P. G. Stanwood.

131. John Evelyn, The History of ... Sabatai Sevi ... The Suppos'd Messiah of the Jews (1669). Introduction by Christopher W. Grose.

132. Walter Harte, An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad (1730). Introduction by Thomas B. Gilmore.


Next in the series of special publications by the Society will be a volume including Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673) with six plates; Notes and Observations on the Empress of Morocco (1674) by John Dryden, John Crowne and Thomas Shadwell; Notes and Observations on the Empress of Morocco Revised (1674) by Elkanah Settle; and The Empress of Morocco. A Farce (1674) by Thomas Duffet, with an Introduction by Maximillian E. Novak. Already published in this series are reprints of John Ogilby's The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse (1668), with an Introduction by Earl Miner and John Gay's Fables (1727, 1738), with an Introduction by Vinton A. Dearing. Publication is assisted by funds from the Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles. Price to members of the Society, $2.50 for the first copy and $3.25 for additional copies. Price to non-members, $4.00.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Make check or money order payable to The Regents of the University of California.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Illegible and missing letters repaired from the context.

Third page of "To the Reader": "Transastions" changed to "Transactions" (most of these Transactions).

Hyphen removed: "fore[-]fathers" (p. 60).

Page 45: "Tamnz" changed to "Tamuz".

Page 46: "Kislen" changed to "Kislev".

Page 47: "Cælestial" changed to "Cœlestial".

Page 66: duplicate "with" deleted (passed more easily with them).

Page 72: "Jewt" changed to "Jews" (where the Jews reside).

Page 78: "Chochan" changed to "Chocham".

Page 79: "Cocham" changed to "Chocham".

Page 82: "assoon" changed to "as soon" (as soon as he saw placed).

Page 99: "Merchantlie" changed to "Merchantile" (leaving their Merchantile course).

Page 110: "Xio" changed to "Zion", although this is far from certain.

Page 110: "rerurned" changed to "returned" (they returned from the place).