The King of Schnorrers: Grotesques and Fantasies

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The King of Schnorrers
I. Zangwill


The King of Schnorrers




Author ofChildren of the Ghetto,” “The Old Maids’ Club,” “Merely Mary Ann,” etc.


New York

All rights reserved


Copyright, 1893,

Set up and electrotyped January, 1894. Reprinted April, 1894; September, 1895; January, 1897; October, 1898; August, 1899; June, 1909.


Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

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.

I. Z.

That all men are beggars, ’tis very plain to see,
Though some they are of lowly, and some of high degree:
Your ministers of State will say they never will allow
That kings from subjects beg; but that you know is all bow-wow.
Bow-wow-wow! Fol lol, etc.
Old Play.



The King of Schnorrers    1
Illustrated by George Hutchinson.

The Semi-Sentimental Dragon157
Illustrated by Phil May.

An Honest Log-Roller171
Illustrated by F. H. Townsend.

A Tragi-Comedy of Creeds176

The Memory Clearing House183
Illustrated by A. J. Finberg.

Mated by a Waiter205
Illustrated by Mark Zangwill.

The Principal Boy242
Illustrated by F. H. Townsend and Mark Zangwill.

An Odd Life259
Illustrated by F. H. Townsend.

Cheating the Gallows273

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