Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/56

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34
SPINOZA.

you in unseen bonds, from which you cannot run loose.'

"He then ordered a familiar to conduct me from the Castle.

"If we take the history of the prophet Jonah literally, his feelings must have been like mine when he was thrown out by the sea monster. I thought I continually heard the dreadful Requiem, though all around was as still as death. Everything looked so unearthly, so strange; every bush that trembled in the moonlight seemed to beckon to me to hasten on.

"I was hardly capable of thought, through weariness and fear; and nowhere in that wide country was there a soul in whom I could trust.

"I looked up at the myriad host of stars; their celestial light shone comfortingly on my heart. God, the God of Hosts, watched over me; my whole soul was a prayer; He answered it.

"I reached my inn, saddled my horse, and rode as on the wings of the wind.

"The moon disappeared behind clouds, and only the pale light of stars, shone on my lonely path. The horse seemed as if he too were driven by an unseen lash; he rushed irresistibly over hill and dale, and snorted with fear. Perhaps, thought I, the soul of some grim enemy of the Jews, perhaps that of a dead Grand Inquisitor, has entered this animal, and is now condemned to bear me through