Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/185

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163
THE CABBALIST.

notes of Canaan already sounded which echoed from the olden times and from end to end of the living world.

A few days after the departure of Rabbi Aboab Baruch went at the usual hour to the house of Magister Nigritius. Frau Gertrui Ufmsand, the landlady, met him with the news that the Magister had that morning been found dead in his arm-chair, his lamp still burning.

Baruch went in and looked once more at the set face of his teacher; the gentleness of a child rested on the features of the dead; his favorite book, Cicero de Finibus Bonorum ei Malorum, lay open before him.

Thus the youth was separated forever from the guides that should have led him to the treasures which men had acquired before him. How many thousands inherit the views of former ages without effort, in a well-trodden path, happy in the possession, while Baruch must ever strive anew and never rejoice in the acquisition.

In his youthful self-reproachfulness the loss of his leader seemed to him a just punishment for his sins, because of his silent opposition to the much lauded results. But could he do otherwise? Had fate called him to be a first man, untrammelled by the conclusions of his forefathers, unmisled by their guide-posts, out of the depths of his own life, out of his own conception of human nature and its laws to create salvation? Must each one to whom a