Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/40

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18
SPINOZA.

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah;" and he also blessed Baruch, saying this verse in low tones: "The Lord make thee like Ephraim and Manasseh." He and Baruch then chanted a short canticle in honor of the troop of angels who enter the house of a Jew on each Sabbath. The father's voice took a melancholy tone, as he sang, with his son, in the usual manner, the praise of woman in Prov. xxxi. 10: "Who can find a virtuous woman?" The beauty, and even the management of the house, were the same as ever; the careful housewife had ensured its continuance; but she herself had been torn from him by death. Doubly painful was the thought of her loss amid Sabbath joys. The stranger noticed the picture on the wall.

"Do you recognize it yet, Rodrigo?" said the father when he had finished the whispered prayer. "It is an old heirloom, and hung once in our cellar synagogue at Guadalajara; I saved it with much danger."

While the two friends spoke of their old associations, Baruch and Miriam stood at the opposite end of the apartment.

"You have a dreadfully dismal face again today," said Miriam, smoothing her brother's hair from his brow as she spoke; "come to the mirror and see."

Baruch caught his sister's hand and held it fast; he said nothing, but listened to the conversation of the men.