Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/133

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111
TALMUD AND LATIN.

Latin master to me, that half Europe could not show his equal."

Baruch and his father went together to the physician.

"I have been expecting you for a long time," he said, "and Magister Nigritius expected me to come to him this morning."

The praise that Baruch now received personally from the physician was doubly painful to him; he felt so unworthy of it since his inner experiences and the day's events in the school.

What if it were a foreordained necessity that he should become an apostate? Baruch trembled now at the fulfilment of his ardently desired wish.

If apostasy were a necessity, who could oppose it?

"I have felt a disinclination," said his father, as the three proceeded together to the house, "to my son's learning Latin, and still more to letting him learn it from a Christian. I once heard the saying in the Talmud, 'Cursed is he who allows his son to study the learning of the Greeks.' Nothing else turned Acosta's head; if in all his days he had never seen Latin or Greek, I could swear he might now be living among us in peace of mind, honor and happiness."

"With all respect for your words, my dear Benjamin," said the Doctor, "you are a skilful merchant, and know how and when to effect a sale of