I know that the origin of the Jews who live in our countries, in the old days and even today, was
Andalusian. And a large majority lived in Portugal. They showed attachment to the Catholic faith but
kept hidden their Judaic origins. They more readily slipped unnoticed among the Christians than
among the Andalusians. They read scientific books in aljamiado [Castilian Romance written in Arabic
script], indeed they spoke no other language. Besides, they reached high ranking position thanks to
their scientific knowledge. When one of them accessed such position of power, he took advantage to
punish people harshly, especially in the Andalusian region. To the point that when a Christian or
Andalusian person was harshly punished, they asked about their origin and found that he was a Jew
in hiding, or perhaps that he was of Jewish descent, either from both parents or either on his mother
or his father’s side. Indeed out of lust for power and greed they mixed with the Christians by
marriage…. All Jews had such covert self-importance that it was impossible to imagine until I met
some in those countries, over there, the country of the Francs and Flanders. Up there, they are well
known… because they can carry arms and dress like ordinary Flemish people. In Bordeaux, in the
kingdom of France, I met scholars… who have gone too far in the praise of their faith….