Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/73

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51
FATHER AND SON.

not appeared to him in the night, appeared to him now in full daylight, seizing on him at every corner.

At table, where every one drank Baruch's health and every one thought of him, he regained his spirits and joined in the festivity.

In the afternoon, as he read the extracts for the day of the week, and the commentary on them, he was again aware that only lips and eyes were reading; his mind was not there. He spurned the contrary spirit in him, and fervently prayed to God to stand by him, and help and strengthen his faith. Tears fell on the open book; they softened the anguish of his heart. In a clear, firm voice, as if he would proclaim them to a congregation, he read out the words of the law, and by this invocation banished the demons from his heart, and a happy animation pervaded his being.

His father came, and sat quietly beside him awhile; then said, closing the book:

"Baruch may now be less diligent, he has attained to the highest honor in his youth; he must now take pains to strengthen his body."

Baruch kissed the book again, and placed it on the shelf, then warmly clasped his father's hand.

"O my son!" began his father again, "your honor is sevenfold my own; you cannot realize it. May you one day experience the like! Naught is like unto the blessedness of the father who him-