Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/201

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179
THE LUCIANIST.

cause they are wanting in cultivation and judgment; otherwise they would never be kept within bounds."

"These are they who count themselves free; even infidelity has its elect!" Such were Baruch's thoughts as he went away.

On yet another occasion the books lay open before them, and teacher and learner spoke of other things than what was written therein.

"Believe me," said the physician, and he blinked with his grey eyes, like one who has penetrated the deepest secrets; "believe me, I often looked behind the curtains; I know the matrimonial history of what men call matter and spirit, and have coupled with a religious blessing."

"Yet every one desires to be believed," answered the pupil. "But if I had wished it I should have remained among the Rabbis; perhaps I might have succeeded in building yet another story to that Tower of Babel, the Talmud, which at last may reach to Heaven; but I wish for knowledge, certainty."

"That you will only find in matter; of all other things I can prove to you as readily that they exist as that they do not exist."

"In the combination of my own unbroken succession of impressions, feelings, and thoughts I know myself to be a spiritual unit, independent of, and unconnected with, the body. Suicide, how-