It is surprising how very little we know about Menasseh ben Israel’s life in London. He dwelt here two years?from the beginning of October 1655 to the end of September 1657?and during the whole of that period we have scarcely half-a-dozen authentic glimpses of his personality either in connection with, or distinct from, his publie work. We see him in a brief entry in the minutes of the Privy Council, wait? ing outside the Council door on October 31, 1655, in order to present ” some books,” doubtless the first printed copies of his ” Declaration to the Commonwealth of England,” to the Lord President. We hear in a muffled sort of way of his discussing with the Protector the ” great straits” of the Jews in Poland, Lithuania, and Prussia, and towards the end of December, we see him visiting Nieuwpoort, the Dutch Ambassador, and explaining to him the

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