Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/46

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
24
SPINOZA.

Thus the two old friends renewed the memories of their youth. For an hour they lived a life of pleasure and youthful fire.

"I cannot understand," said Baruch once, "how a man could be happy for a moment in such a land, where he would perpetually see scorn, shame, and death before him."

"You are too young," said the stranger. "Believe me, if men watched your lightest breath, there are hours, yea days, when you can be happy, and forget everything. If men repulse you with scorn, and push you and yours aside into the mud, there is a holy of holies, wherein no earthly power enters: it is your own consciousness, union with your own faithful circle; the heaven that there surrounds us no man can take from us; not even the ever present horror of death.

"All these afflictions have passed over us, and yet we were happy."

"But the incessant discord in the soul? Christian before the world, and Jew at heart?"

"That was our misfortune, that I witnessed in your uncle Geronimo."

"Why does he not leave his dreary hermitage, and come to us?" inquired Baruch.

"He has left his hermitage, and we shall go to him: he is dead. Boy, these sad experiences you should have lived through; it would do you good your whole life long."