Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/161

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139
THE TREATY OF PEACE.

when he sat he moved his crossed legs in palsied jerks. When Chisdai was seated he said to Baruch:

"You are well met just now, you shall be arbitrator between me and Ephraim; but promise not to give half answers as you usually do, and do not be so close; I do not see why you should be. Are we not brethren?"

"In what am I so close?" inquired Baruch.

"I will not explain now, we will leave that for another time. So that you may be quite impartial I will not tell you which is which of our views. But to speak out. Do you believe in the existence of angels?"

"That is another strange question," answered Baruch.

"Now, to put it another way," continued the other, "must we believe in the existence of angels?"

"That is the same question. But are we not Jews? Must we not believe in the Bible, and in all the goodly rows of books behind those wire doors?"

"But what is there in the Bible about the state of angels?"

"You know as well as I do," answered Baruch.

"But what does the Bible say about the state of angels? Are they material or immaterial?"

"You have a whole list of examples," answered Baruch, "and may choose at will. Abraham, Ha-