Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/72

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50
SPINOZA.

head, and blessed him thus: "The Lord make thee like unto Ephraim and Manasseh."

Miriam stood on the step, and gave Baruch a parchment that Rabbi Saul Morteira had sent. It was his diploma as Rabbi.

The father then opened his plate chest, and chose out his heaviest gilt goblet, to send it to the teacher some other day.

Baruch from that time was qualified to prefix the title of Rabbi to his name.

He felt a strange shock whenever visitors addressed him by the title: it seemed to him as if he wore an unseen crown on. his head. Soon, however, this exaltation of mind was disturbed by inner confusion, that henceforth augmented with ever increasing force.

Baruch now belonged to the qualified guardians of the law; and it was not mere modesty when he protested to his congratulators that he felt too weak for the burden imposed on him. Was it the shiver of weakness that overtakes those who have attained the goal long earnestly striven for?

What jealous demons would raise such inward doubts? Formerly they made themselves known but fleetingly, and were easily conquered; but now new ones too, unthought of before, forced themselves into notice, and mocked his honors.

Baruch seemed often lost in them. The ghost of Geronimo, the man with the double life, that had