Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/205

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183
THE LUCIANIST.

make any more nonsense for you." He then mounted on a stool, opened the upper part of the skull with a key, took a manuscript out, and said as he descended:

"As long as he was living he harbored nothing so clever there as I have given him in charge. Swear that you will not tell any one that you have seen this book in my care; my citizenship would be endangered."

"How shall I swear it ?" asked Baruch, while he resolved to learn nothing rather than take such another oath as the Cabbalist had imposed.

The physician misunderstood him.

"You are right," he said; "if you would swear you could not understand this. Look at this round, well-formed, legible writing; so fairly men write in the devil's offices. The book is inherited from a Dominican friar, who brought it from Augsburg; a German emperor, Frederick the Second of Hohenstaufen, was the author. The title you will easily understand, it is called De Tribus Impostoribus; there are only nine and twenty paragraphs of it. Sit there and I will read it to you in Dutch."

Baruch shuddered at the utter infidelity and cold-blooded dissection of all faith here presented to his mind's eye; and when he heard the twenty-first paragraph, where it says, "Quid enim Deus sit, in revelatione qualicunque obscurius longe est quam