Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/44

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
22
SPINOZA.

friend and your own child might be forced to confess with a heavy heart that you secretly worshipped the God of Israel; and the glow of a funeral pile might warm your old veins instead of this costly wine. You may dream now of the pleasures of your native land, and forget the terrible death that stared us in the face! The glorious chestnut woods with their cool dark shade could not invite us to rest, or the rich forests to the chase; on the morrow those trees might be our fagots; on the morrow we might be the hunter's prey. In truth, when I hear you speak so, I could join with those zealots who ascribe our afflictions to excessive love of our native land, too great pride and gratification in the respect we had won there."

"Yes, yes, you are right," answered his host; "but let us not disturb the joy of our reunion with dismal reflections. Come, drink! But stay! Miriam, bring the Venetian goblets here; and let Elsje light you to the cellar, and bring the two flasks that De Castro sent me."

"Brilliant!" exclaimed the stranger as he raised the glass of newly poured out wine to his lips; " that is real Val de Pefias; where did it come from?"

"As I said, Ramiro de Castro sent it to me from Hamburg. The wine has improved with us, but now it grows more fiery; and we—!"

"Well, well, we have lived; be content. The wine awakes the long-extinguished fire in me. Dost