Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/39

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17
A FRIDAY EVENING.

everything yourself and getting a bed ready for the strange guest; it is no little to do, but it is all set to rights now: he will stare to see it. What a good thing it is you bought the fish! Wine, fish, and meat—that the poor man has among the poor every Sabbath. Without fish the Sabbath is not rightly kept: it says so in the Thora. You are such a good housewife, you ought to be married soon; you will ask me to the wedding? Only take care not to wed such a little Schlemiehl as your Rebecca has. Have you seen how Baruch looks again today? As if he had been ten years underground. I'm afraid—I'm afraid that much learning may—God forbid it!—injure his health. Day and night, nothing but learning, learning, learning; and how will it end? My brother Abraham had a son, who was as knowing as Ristotles; he studied so much, that at last he quite stupefied himself. But hark! I think the service in the synagogue is over. I must go; I wouldn't be seen by any decent Jew as I am now. They are coming up the steps." Therewith Chaje slipped through the door.

Miriam was glad to be free from the tiresome talker. Her father, the stranger, whom we saw in the graveyard in conversation with Baruch, and Baruch himself entered. Miriam approached her father, and bowed before him; he laid both hands on her head, and blessed her in a low voice, saying these words; "The Lord make thee like the mothers,