Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/225

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203
A NEW MAN.

Chisdai's suit for your sister Miriam," said his father as he left the synagogue with Baruch.

"Chisdai has some fortune, and will some day have a fair addition to it; he is not so very plain, and I cannot understand what has come to Miriam, that she says she feels such an unconquerable aversion for him. I see now, however, that he will never be the remarkable man we thought he would be; and if I am not to have the pleasure of seeing my daughter the wife of a celebrated and learned author, I would rather give her to Samuel Casseres." Baruch assented.

"I think it is time," continued his father, "that you should make yourself heard; it will give honor to your whole family. I should like to see you up there with my old eyes. Who knows how long I may be here to have the pleasure?"

Baruch made no reply; he thought a horrible dizziness would seize him if he stood up there like the others who spoke with such unhesitating decision, as if they had seen the Lord God shuffle the cards, and knew exactly why he played this or that trump, and what he would or ought to play out in the future.

"Why are you so thoughtful?" began his father again. "I verily believe you are shy; shame on you! you were so bold once. Do you remember how you once thought it would be the greatest happiness to stand up there, and pour forth the living