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Some f&cte about tbe 'Rotbscbtl&s.
Lionel Rothschild, eldest son of the English Nathan
Mayer, became a Baron in fact. His three brothers
bore the same title by courtesy. The late head of
the English house, Lord Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild,
son of Lionel, is safely in the British aristocracy.
Marguerite Rothschild married the Due de Gram
• Another girl of the family became Princess de Wa
grarn ; another the Baroness Van Zuylen VanNijvelt.
The Rothschild men have nearly always married
Rothschild women. The too numerous daughters
have been compelled to wed within the family or re
Even in Austria the reigning Rothschild is always
a nobleman. The recent death of Ferdinand was
greeted with expressions of genuine grief by all Vienna.
In Russia alone is the family without favor.
It was not easily that the Rothschilds gained
their freedom from political and social proscription.
For twelve years Lionel Rothschild was elected and
re-elected a member of the British House of Commons.
On every occason he advanced to the Speaker's chair
to take the oath of office and repeated the solemn
phrases until at the words, "On the true faith of a
Christian," he was silent, the silence blocking his ad
mission as a member. Not until 18G3 was a law
passed to permit a Jew to enter Parliament. It was
afterward that Disraeli, one of the proud Sephardim
or Sr anish Jews, became Lord Beaconsfielcl.
Now, besides Lord Rothschild, with his country
palace and his gorgeous town house, Alfred, Lionel's
second son, who is a financier and a man of business,
and Leopold, the third, who is devoted to sport, are
popular in society. So was the late Baron Ferdinand,
who, though connected with the Vienna house, was
a Biitish subject.
A curious thing it is that in every country the
Rothschilds assume the typical appearance of its
people. Lord Rothschild of England much resembles
Lord Salisbury. Baron Alphonse de Rothschild of
Paris is a perfect Frenchman in appearance. Walter
Rothschild, son of Lord Rothschild, is a fair-haired
young giant (the original Mayer Anselm w is red
headed). Wilhelm Karl Rothschild of the Frankfort
house, son of that Charles or Karl who went to Na
ples for the house, is a typical German.
The sons of Karl received in charge the Frankfort
house because Anselm had no son. In his old age he
offered his wife $500,000 for a son. The lure failing,
he was woiit to remark plaintively: "The price of
boy babies must have gone up. I'd have been will
ing to be born for hall the money in my day."
It has been fated that the Paris house of Roth
schild should lose money. In 1841 it lost $60,000,
--000 and the residence in Suresnes was burned by the
mob. The firm had backed French railroads and
French bonds. Not for a moment was the house
checked by its losses.
Every bill was met with a promptness that won
new friends and greater confidence, and ever since
then the house of Rothschild, like the royal house of
Hohenzollern, has had a kriegschatz, or war treas
ure, of its own—a great heap of gold saved for an
emergency. Again, in 1870, the Rothschilds lost
money through their confidence in the success of
France against Germany; but so overwhelming is
the power of money that the natural increase of
their immense wealth soon overtook the deficit.
They lost money again during the year just clos
ed, upon the course of Spanish events —not that they
dreamed Spain could whip the United States; but
until the Maine was blown up they expected, and
even after that they hoped—that war wight be pre
vented. But the loss was not serious. The entire
bonded debt of Spain does not equal the Rothschild
In truth, the fables of the stream of Pactolus have
become true in this incredible plethora of wealth.
Not by presenting $500,000 to every Rothschild
girl upon her marriage; not by Lord Rothschild's
magnificent palace at Thring, with the initials of
Nell Gwynne, a king's favorite, still legible on its
post, nor by Baron Alphonse's palace on Lake
Geneva; not by Mr. Leopold's costly racing stable
at Ascot House nor the vast sums which Alphonse
spends upon charity, can the golden flood be even
checked. It is be yon d the power of the twenty
families to spend half their income.
Lord Rothschild spends $250,000 a year in
charities. A clerk in his office has been heard to
complain: "I want to consult Lord Rothschild
upon a matter of his own business. He'd attend to
it sooner if 'twas a charity matter."
Once a crank attempted to |kill Baron Alphonse,
head of the Paris house, with a bomb. He succeeded
instead in pitifully wounding the clerk who was
employed almost entirely in dispensing the Baron's
The paradox is true that the Rothschilds have
not their former power, though their wealth is vastly
increased. The bond business is not what it was in
the golden years between 1815 and 1830, when the
Redshield wealth sometimes doubled in two years.
Governments have made the discovery—even the
Government of the United States, aided in such
triumph ot enlightenment by the New York World —
that the people will loan money direct to a govern
ment in which they have confidence. The Roth
schilds own government bonds, like other people,
and draw 3 per cent, or so interest upon them, but
the}' no longer float entire issues in so many cases,
and when they do the profits are smaller.
They own mines, railroads, real estate. They
back the petroleum fields of Baku, as the only rivals
of the Standard Oil Trust, i'hey are in the field of
investment along with other capital, and confronted
with it by falling interest and danger of loss.