read and write, and thereby know what happened before him and therefore may happen to him; no, but men alone can laugh. Democritus and Lucian were the two most sagacious men in Greece, the others have mostly thrashed empty straw. I am an old practitioner, believe me, no pleasure in the world is so permanent as laughter, and in the enjoyment of it men remain normally fresh and healthy."
"It is odd that you are again in agreement with the Talmud, for it says there, 'that laughter is the prerogative of mankind.'"
"Truly? Then there is some wisdom in that heavy book, but I go still further, and say, it is a prerogative of men above gods, for he whom nothing surprises cannot laugh."
"Let us remain among men," interrupted Baruch. "What in your view of things becomes of the poor who moisten their crusts with tears, the old, the sick, and the sorrowful, who find nothing to enjoy, and nothing to laugh at? Where are comfort and joy for them?"
"Such should believe and be merry in their godly faith."
"But if they come to a fuller knowledge, and all is overturned?"
"There is no fear of that, it will never happen; in all times there are but few clear-sighted ones; the rabble will always believe: it must be so, be-