Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/135

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
113
TALMUD AND LATIN.

a landing, whose floor showed many cracks. The Doctor opened the door: a little man with a greenish-yellow complexion, and a neutral-tinted, ink-spotted dressing-gown, sprang up to meet him, stumbling over some folios that lay on the floor.

"Eureka carissime amice!"[1] cried the Magister. "Marsi, not Mauri, is the reading. Look, Horace wishes to derive the descent of Augustus from the God of War, and says:

Quern juvat clamor, galeaque leves,
Acer et Mauri peditis cruendum
Vultus in hostem.'[2]

But the Moors are neither warlike nor brave. Here is a passage in Hirtius on the African war, where less than thirty Gauls drove two thousand Moorish cavalry from their position; and the Moors had no infantry. Also the Moors were their enemies then, and the conquered foe over whom Mars rejoices was a Roman—how stupid and unpatriotic! So I read it Marsi, and the Marsian infantry were the boldest among the Italians, of which there are many proofs in Strabo, Appian, and Vergil, and two passages in Horace show the same. You see, with this conjecture alone I can so fill the mouth of that boaster, Kaspar Barläus, that he will have

  1. Found, my worthy friend!
  2. The din of battle and the glittering helms delight, and the Moorish foot-soldiers furious look at the bleeding enemy.