‘No,’ said I, ‘I am one of the Goyim; but I am only half enlightened. Why should Noah be Janus when he was in that state?’

‘He - he - he! you must know that in Lasan akhades wine is janin.’

‘In Armenian, kini,’ said I; ‘in Welsh, gwin; Latin, vinum; but do you think that Janus and janin are one?’

‘Do I think? Don’t the commentators say so? Does not Master Leo Abarbenel say so in his DIALOGUES OF DIVINE LOVE’?

‘But,’ said I, ‘I always thought that Janus was a god of the ancient Romans, who stood in a temple open in time of war, and shut in time of peace; he was represented with two faces, which - which - ‘

‘He - he - he!’ said the Rabbi, rising from his seat; ‘he had two faces, had he? And what did those two faces typify? You do not know; no, nor did the Romans who carved him with two faces know why they did so; for they were only half enlightened, like you and the rest of the Goyim. Yet they were right in carving him with two faces looking from each other - they were right, though they knew not why; there was a tradition among them that the Janinoso had two faces, but they knew not that one was for the world which was gone and the other for the world before him - for the drowned world and for the present, as Master Leo Abarbenel says in his DIALOGUES OF DIVINE LOVE. He - he - he!’ continued the Rabbi, who had by this time advanced to the door, and, turning round, waved the two forefingers of his right hand in our faces; ‘the Goyims and Epicouraiyim are clever men, they know how to make money better than we of Israel. My good friend there is a clever man, I bring him money, he never brought me any; bueno, I do not blame him, he knows much, very much; but one thing there is my friend does not know, nor any of the Epicureans, he does not know the sacred thing - he has never received the gift of interpretation which God alone gives to the seed - he has his gift, I have mine - he is satisfied, I don’t blame him, bueno.’

And, with this last word in his mouth, he departed.

‘Is that man a native of Spain?’ I demanded.

‘Not a native of Spain,’ said the Armenian, ‘though he is one of those who call themselves Spanish Jews, and who are to be found scattered throughout Europe, speaking the Spanish language transmitted to them by their ancestors, who were expelled from Spain in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella.’

‘The Jews are a singular people,’ said I.

‘A race of cowards and dastards,’ said the Armenian, ‘without a home or country; servants to servants; persecuted and despised by all.’

‘And what are the Haiks?’ I demanded.

‘Very different from the Jews,’ replied the Armenian; ‘the Haiks have a home - a country, and can occasionally use a good sword; though it is true they are not what they might be.’

‘Then it is a shame that they do not become so,’ said I; ‘but they are too fond of money. There is yourself, with two hundred thousand pounds in your pocket, craving for more, whilst you might be turning your wealth to the service of your country.’

‘In what manner?’ said the Armenian.

‘I have heard you say that the grand oppressor of your country is the Persian; why not attempt to free your country from his oppression - you have two hundred thousand pounds, and money is the sinew of war?’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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