Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/33

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
11
ACOSTA.

as though his own body were sunk therein, and that his spirit wandered complainingly and questioningly through the world. Is it the fate of the wanderer that he should be pushed over a precipice? Who can compel another's mind, who compel his own, to keep to the path mapped out for him? How unalterable must have been the convictions of him who was there shovelled over, that for their sake he should have tried to give death to others, and have given death to himself! Who dare judge and condemn in such a case as this? The words of the stranger had broken in on these heavy thoughts; the words of the Rabbi on their return had awakened his opposition anew, and raised a forgotten memory in the mind of the youth. Years before, when he stood for the first time among the graves, this grief had disturbed the mind of the boy. His uncle, Immanuel, was then buried; long an invalid, he had been much with the children, and had made them his messengers to the outer world. When all the people had left the graveyard, some to school, others to the harbor or exchange, and others to workshops and counting-houses, the noise of the city still going on, as if nothing had happened, the boy's heart beat fast within him as the question arose in it:

"How can everything go on so uninterruptedly when our uncle is really no longer at home?"

For hours the child wept in the empty room of