Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/253

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231
THE NEW ALLY.

clothes. I had many a joke with him; he took everything in good part if he could make a good bargain; covetous as he was, I have still seen several instances of his uprightness; but looked at en gros all Jews are pickpockets; a dirty, disgusting lot, who, alas! my father has often said, will soon have all the trade of our town to themselves. Only think! I had a friend staying with me once who actually condescended to a noble passion for a Jewess, so much so, indeed, that he actually thought of uniting himself to his Rachel. I cannot yet understand how a man of honorable family could bear to have a dirty Jew for a brother-in-law smelling of leeks. But the maiden appears to have been educated above her greasy locked compatriots. One morning my friend was in Cuxhaven when they were dragging a corpse out of the water. He recognized it as Rachel. We had to hold him to prevent him from doing himself a mischief. I was right sorry for my friend's trouble. He swore hard and fast that he would never belong to another, but one knows what those vows are. He recovered sooner than we expected, and in a year he was the happy spouse of a town councillor's daughter. When we remind him of his earlier passion he only laughs quietly. Surely Jufrow Olympia either jests or plays with paradoxes when she honors a Jew with the enviable title of her best friend."

During this discourse Olympia had placed her-