Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/189

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167
THE LUCIANIST.

side the sick bed of his moaning father; deep sighs rose from his laden breast; tears burnt in his eyes; he could no longer weep.

"Compose yourself, my son," said his father; "trust in the Almighty; he will help thee." He knew not what a two-edged dagger these words seemed to the heart of his son. No longer capable of thought, he sat cold and mute. The surgeon politician, Flyns, in the next chamber whistled the air of "Wilhelm von Nassawe" and spread plasters; the father held his son's hand and groaned perpetually. The Orange partisan outside suddenly was silent; Miriam opened the door, and Salomon de Silva, accompanied by a stranger, entered the room; the surgeon followed them with plasters and a case of instruments.

"I cannot undertake it alone," began Silva, "so I have asked my respected colleague. Dr. Van den Ende, to perform the operation with me. Are you now strong enough, and are you ready?"

"I am," said the sick man; "my life is in God's hand." A slight smile hovered round the corners of the newly arrived physician's mouth. Baruch had been watching him attentively, and thought he read in this smile the certain intelligence of his father's death. He was mistaken. Van den Ende asked in Latin whether they might converse in that language in presence of the son. Silva answered in the affirmative, as Baruch knew but little Latin.