Histoire admirable du Juif errant : lequel, depuis l'an 33 jusqu'à l'heure présente, ne fait que marcher : contenant sa tribu, sa punition et les aventures admirables qu'il a eues dans tous les endroits du monde... - "Admirable story of the Wandering Jew: who, since the year 33 until today, has done nothing but walk: containing his sin, his punishment and the astonishing adventures he experienced in all parts of the world...". Navarre Press, Toulouse (France), 18th century.
The full version of the legend of the Wandering Jew which was published in France in the 18th century without the author's name, which later appeared in countless publications. In 1753 during a sermon in church, a bishop notices an old man who seems uncomfortable every time he mentions the name of the Christian Messiah. After the sermon, the bishop follows him into the street, stops him and asks him who he is and what he has done. With no choice, the Jew tells him his story - "I was born in Jerusalem in the 1st century", and recounts at length all the events that took place during the Second Temple period with his people and generation, and how when they led the Christian Messiah to crucifixion he mocked him, and how the Christian Messiah decreed upon him: "As long as the world exists you will not cease walking until the last day of judgment...". The Jew describes: "I began my journey without knowing where I was going, I crossed mountains and hills and could not stop until this moment I am speaking to you... Although I sleep my feet keep moving, I never sleep", and recounts his encounters in all the lands where he wandered, in each country describing the characteristic customs of the people of that region and the local customs (in order to create credibility for the story). According to his story the Jew wandered in Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Germany and other countries - "I was in several battles and received over a thousand blows... without being able to be wounded, my body is as hard as rock, no weapon imaginable can harm me. I was at sea and many times my ship was wrecked. I am on water like a feather, I cannot drown... I am never sick and cannot die... I have already traveled the world four times and seen great changes everywhere - states destroyed, cities overturned... The Jew can easily pass several years without eating or drinking...".
The story as presented here served as the backdrop for countless illustrations and caricatures appearing in France in the 19th century which drew their subject matter from details in the story before us. Subsequently the tale received various "updates" according to the level of antisemitism of the writer, and was adapted to the negative perception of the Jew at the time and place where it was written.
At the end of the book is the lament of the Wandering Jew where he recounts his sin and his punishment of being eternally wandering: "I have no rest day and night, I go ceaselessly, I am forever restless, God judges me thus to punish me for my pride... What cruel torments!... Although I am tired I always have to walk, my pain is endless... In foreign lands, burghers and craftsmen want to stop me, see me dressed strangely, they mock me... I deserve the punishment I suffer today...".
Before us is a full version of the legend of the Wandering Jew which was published in Toulouse in the 18th century, including the original version of the legend from the Second Temple period. This is the complete version of the tale.
Extremely rare. This edition does not appear in the world cat library catalog.
32 p. 15 cm. Soft cover. Bound with thread. Very good condition.