Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/125

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103
TALMUD AND LATIN.

stranger to it, for the experience of the previous day had lifted him above all that was customary to him. Was it not a sin to go on just the same as if nothing had happened? The Jewish community and its doctrines no longer formed the heart of the world, all the rest being but its shell. Houses were built there, ships launched, streets laid out, indifferent to this narrow circle; bells tolled and called to the worship of other sanctuaries. Where is centred the life of the world? The boy, ripened into a courageous youth, would willingly have penetrated to those eternal halls,—and it was but the door of the School of Law that opened to him now. He could not understand that this world had not suddenly changed to another, because it seemed to have changed to him. Why was it impossible, when thus awakened to conscious existence, to begin life anew?

The world goes on in its accustomed grooves.

The wounds of early youth heal quickly; doubts are soon extinguished, whether in forgetfulness or in habitual repression by the will.

When Baruch had entered the school he was, as is the habit of youth, quickly engaged with the immediate interest of the moment; all others had vanished. Rabbi Saul Morteira pointed to the place on his left; that on his right hand Chisdai held by right of seniority. The other students sat at the long table in order of age or attainments, "at