Matthias, as the next-door neighbour of the Turks, claimed the custody of so valuable a hostage, and would have used him as a means of extorting concessions from Bayezid.
The Jews had been expelled from England by Edward I., after a sojourn in the country of rather more than two centuries, during which they had been the licensed and oppressed money-lenders of the realm, and had - through the special exchequer of the Jews - been used by the sovereign as a means of extorting a revenue from his subjects.
These orders are of very ancient date, owing their establishment to the ancient Hindu rule, followed by the Buddhists, that each "twice-born" man should lead in the woods the life of an ascetic. The second class of Fakirs are simply disreputable beggars who wander round extorting, under the guise of religion, alms from the charitable and practising on the superstitions of the villagers.
It was to no purpose that he appealed to the emperor and empress for restitution or redress; and it was perhaps the hope of extorting his reappointment to Bobbio, as a reward for his services to the imperial cause, that changed the studious scholar of Reims into the wily secretary of Adalbero.
The Norman and Angevin kings were fully alive to the advantages which accrued to the people through borrowing at usury from the Jews, but they were also alive to the advantages which they themselves were able to reap by extorting from the Jews the wealth which the latter had acquired from the people.
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