Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/223

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
201
A NEW MAN.

had rested on his head, and given him another name.

He went straight from Olympia to the School of the Crown of the Law. It struck him as irony that here, in this unrelieved monotony, men should crown themselves. It all seemed so dull and depressing, even more so than it really was. The gay jests and pleasant voice of Olympia still rang in his memory, the Litany of the scholars sitting here and there at the tables sounded discordantly in his ears. He sat down in a corner to follow his own thoughts undisturbed ever an open book, when Chisdai came to him and asked him the meaning of a difficult passage in the Talmud. Baruch did not spend long over it.

"I always said," began Chisdai, "that you would be a perfect Samson in intellect and learning. If people will not let you in and out, you take the door, locks and bolts and all, on your back, and carry them off; but for God's sake, and your hopes of his mercy, do not let yourself be allured by the Delilah to whom you are now straying. I have never seen her myself—God forbid!—but from what I hear from others she is no longer young and should not be fair."

"I do not know what you mean; let me alone," said Baruch crossly.

"What I mean?" replied the other. "How you pretend! The physician's daughter, I mean; what