Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/269

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247
HANDICRAFT.

an eagle flies between my legs I will pull his wings out and sew them on me. I have a right to ask wings from our Lord God. Why has he given me feet I cannot use? Brethren, it would be all up then; you might keep St. Monday five days in the week; you would want no more telescopes. Does any learned gentleman want to know what a star looks like? Here I am, Mr. Peter Blyning, at your service; for a good tip I will fly up and spy it all out for you. Perhaps I might stay up there and come down no more. If a pretty moon maiden would marry me I should be quite willing; down here I must die a bachelor."

A peal of laughter always followed his words, and he took every opportunity of treating them to his oratory.

"After all, as things are, we are all crutch makers; what our Lord and God has bungled over we have to set to rights. If he had stuck better eyes in the folks we need have no telescopes and no spectacles. May God forgive me! but I am often right down angry with him. What have I done to him that he should send me into the world half made? If he does not give me better feet up there he may keep his eternal life to himself. I'll none of it."

They all stared at him with blank faces when he spoke like this. Spinoza alone tried to show him that physical pains and imperfections are not real evils; and that it is a man's highest vocation to lead