--writes Cardinal Commendoni, an eye-witness--a great many Jews in these provinces, including Lithuania, who are not, as in other places, regarded with disrespect. They do not maintain themselves miserably by base profits; they are landed proprietors, are engaged in business, and even devote themselves to the study of literature and, above all, to medicine and astronomy; they hold almost everywhere the commission of levying customs duties, are classed among the most honest people, wear no outward mark to distinguish them from the Christians, and are permitted to carry swords and walk about with their arms. In a word they have equal rights with the other citizens.
A similar statement is made by Joseph Delmedigo, who spent many years in Livonia and Lithuania as physician to Prince Radziwill.
In his inimitable manner Gibbon describes the fierce struggle the Greek Catholic Church had to wage before she obtained a foothold in Russia, but he neglects to mention the