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THE ROTHSCHILDS.

[LONDON CORRESPONDENT OP THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE.] At the funeral of the late Baron Lionel de Rothschild the first three spadefuls of earth were thrown m by the eldest son of the deceased, "so that he might fulfil the duty of burying his dead." The other kinsmen followed m their order, then members of the congregation. As the coffin was lowered into the grave those present joined m the words: "May he come to his appointed place m peace," and plucked a few blades of grass before the/ left, saying m acknowledgment of the resurrection : " And they shall blossom forth from the ruins like the dust from the earth." It used to be alleged that the Baron had had a paralytic stroke. He never had any of the kind, save at the last, perhaps, for the papers describes the shock which carried him off as internal paralysis ; which I doubt. But for seventeen years he has been a cripple from a disease m the nature of rheumatic gout, affecting the joints of the lower limbs. During all that time he has seldom walked. At first he was able to move about, but tKe least exercise caused liim so much pain that he gradurlly gave it up altogether. But he never gave up business, nor relaxed the iron control which belongs by tradition to the head of the great house of money-changers. He was usually carried or supported from one room to another by two attendants. On his best days he would sometimes struggle along for a few steps on Ms own legs, but these occasions of late were very rare ; and the pain he suffered was distressing. He had to bear violent headaches also. He came down to breakfast sometimes saying he had not slept, and that as his head was worae

than usual, and as soon as break Jß was over he would be lifted into his carriage. That was his idea of relaxation, or notion of a remedy for his ills. Excepting on Saturday or SundayJ the Jewish and Christian Sabbaths, when all the business of the house b topped, or on such other holidays as closed the Exchange, he. was not absent from business during all these years of illness and misery. He saw much company, but latterly it was the two sons, Sir Nathanied and Alfred, with whom the outer world came most often m contact. It is part of their success that they are so closely united and so perfectly disciplined. No individual sets up his will against the will of the' family. No one house takes a line against the joint opinion of all the houses. They are to all intents and purposes, a clan, ruled by a chief and a council, and are the standing exception to the maxim that councils of war do not fight. Inside the London family the discipline is said to have been, if anything-, more strict than abroad. The Baron exacted from his sons absolute, unquestioning, almost servile submission — not merely m relation to business matters but m ever relation of I life. A marriage of one of the sons against his will would have been impossible. Anyone familiar with the gossip of society can give you a striking instance of . this filial docility. And society is already beginning to wonder whether the Baron's death will make any difference m thi3 case — whether the son m question still wishes, and if h still wishes will be permitted, to marry the lady whom his father denied to him. It is supposed the prohibition holds even after death, and that the wil of the dead man is stronger than the passion of the living. Family control extended even to the turf. Mr. Leopold Rothschild, as you have no doubt heard, is the " Mr. Acton' who won the Derby last week with Sir Bevys, a despised outsider, and whose gains on that event are put down at the comfortable figure of 250,000 dollars. Everybody who knew anything about racing matters knew who it was who hid himself under this pseudonym, and if there had been any secret about it, the Bight of the Rothschild colors worn by his jockeys would have disclosed the owner's identity. Racing moreover, has ong been a family habit, and Mr. Leopold Rothschild is not a man' who need - set up any mystery m such a matter. However, it suited his father that the son's name Bhould not appear m the papers or m the official lists as owning the running horses. It suited him, none the less, to continue racing as a commeicial speculation, and it is understood that the expenses of Mr. Rothschild's stud appear as an item m the family ledger, whence it follows that winnings would also have to be divided with his kin. Leopold is the youngest son. It is one of the customs of this family that the youngest son, who m other families usually has to work the hardest, should be relieved of most of the cares and toils of business. The elders have slaved m New Court ever since they grew up, which has not prevented Sir Nathaniel from going into politics, nor Alfred from becoming an ornament of society and a friend .of the Prinoe of Wales.

NOTICE.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH18790922.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE ROTHSCHILDS., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume VI, Issue 900, 22 September 1879

Word Count
882

THE ROTHSCHILDS. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume VI, Issue 900, 22 September 1879

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