We have already described the limits to which "the Pale" was circumscribed at the beginning of the fourteenth century.
Hardly a decade of the past century did not witness attempts of this kind—ranging from the bloody persecutions incited by Shí‘ih clergy and the shameless falsehoods concocted and spread by their Christian counterparts, to systematic efforts at suppression by various totalitarian regimes, and, finally, to violations of their commitment to Bahá’u’lláh on the part of the insincere, the ambitious or the malevolent among its professed adherents.
Western Indians themselves, following the custom of white men, enslaved their captives in war rather than choose the alternative of putting them to death. In this way they were known to hold a number of blacks and whites. The enslavement of the black man by the whites in this section dates from the early part of the eighteenth century.
The name of Philo the Jew is now all but forgotten among us. He was laughed out of sight during the last century, as a dreamer and an allegorist, who tried eclectically to patch together Plato and Moses.
It was the religious battleground in the seventh century. The Thirty Years War devastated almost every foot of the territory. It is said that in one community there was not a wedding for twelve years and not a baptism for fifteen years. Strassburg with its great university and priceless library was burned.
The industry of the nation had, in the beginning of this century, reached its greatest height. The culture of grain, flax, the breeding of cattle, the chase, and fisheries, enriched the peasant; arts, manufactures, and trade gave wealth to the burghers. Flemish and Brabantine manufactures were long to be seen in Arabia, Persia, and India.
A more important fragment however is assigned to this writer in the Paschal Chronicle, a work of the seventh century.
After a century the highland spirit reappears in a refractory lamb, just as, after eighteen centuries of exile, the spirit of the East shone in Esther's eyes and features. Her look had no terrible fascination; it shed a mild warmth, it was pathetic without being startling, and the sternest wills were melted in its flame.
From the eleventh century however the spread of these societies went steadily on, and the control of trade passed more and more from the merchant-gilds to the craft-gilds.
Those who have not lived in a village have no idea of the isolation possible even in this nineteenth century, and with the telegraph brought to the local post office. The swift message of the electric wire, and the slow transit of the material person the speed of the written thought, and the slowness of the bodily presence are in strange contrast.