Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/227

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205
A NEW MAN.

wilt again enter into peace; thou art heir of the blessedness which made happy those of old times. Thou wilt and thou canst, thou must. How wilt thou find the strength for a lonely road in which no one will follow thee but thine own consciousness? The spirits of thy forefathers rise and bless thee, enclosing thee in their circle. ...

Such is the traditional consolation which upholds the wavering powers as if with supernatural aid; long vanished capabilities return to help and support.

A radiant ecstasy shone from the eyes of the gazer, and his left hand was laid on his breast as the new peace possessed it. Will this traditional consolation and resignation, which now pacifies the stormy struggle, always bring the same calm? Or will the yearnings again awake in the soul that can only receive satisfaction from itself?

The appointed Sabbath came; the silence of expectation reigned in the synagogue as Baruch mounted the altar steps. What devil brought the image of Olympia at that moment before his mind so clearly that he heard her mocking tones, "Rabbi Baruch! Rabbi Baruch!" He summoned his resolution to banish all traces of the vision from his mind in such a time and place. He stood up as pale as a corpse, and dried the cold perspiration from his brow. All eyes were upon him. He began in a trembling voice: