The King of Schnorrers HTML version
Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass.
Foreword to "The King of Schnorrers."
These episodes make no claim to veracity, while the personages
are not even sun-myths. I have merely amused myself and
attempted to amuse idlers by incarnating the floating tradition of
the Jewish Schnorrer, who is as unique among beggars as Israel
among nations. The close of the eighteenth century was chosen for
a background, because, while the most picturesque period of
Anglo-Jewish history, it has never before been exploited in fiction,
whether by novelists or historians. To my friend, Mr. Asher I.
Myers, I am indebted for access to his unique collection of Jewish
prints and caricatures of the period, and I have not been backward
in schnorrinG suggestions from him and other private humourists.
My indebtedness to my artists is more obvious, from my old friend
George Hutchinson to my newer friend Phil May, who has been
good enough to allow me to reproduce from his
Annuals the brilliant sketches illustrating two of the shorter
stories. Of these shorter stories it only remains to be said there are
both tragic and comic, and I will not usurp the critic's prerogative
by determining which is which.
That all men are beggars, 'tis very plain to see,
Though some they are of lowly, and some of high degree: