Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/209

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187
BENEDICTUS SIT.

"I spoke only of the accepted tradition," answered Baruch.

"Oh, but it is a beautiful legend. It must have been glorious," continued Olympia: "The rolling thunder, and the sounding of the innumerable trumpets was so magnificent an accompaniment, truly furioso, but it must have been so; sing me something from the Sinai Oratorio, if my Christian ears may hear it."

Baruch excused himself on the plea that he did not sing; but Olympia was so imperative that Baruch did not know how to avoid the awkward situation.

"A musical fanatic!" said Van den Ende.

"Wait awhile till Herr von Spinoza offers you the scale of his creed himself; you put people who do not know you in very awkward positions with your queer whims."

Olympia excused herself to Baruch for her vehemence, she was so excited, he must not judge unfavorably of her. After a short stay Baruch went away in unwonted perplexity: he thought Olympia had made fun of him, and not of him alone, so much as of all Judaism. The perception of this disturbed this deserter from his early associations much more now, when he felt himself cut off in thought and action from his associates.

Such was his first meeting with Olympia on the day on which Van den Ende brought him first into