Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/285

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263
THE UNEXPRESSED.

ing and rejoicing, was but the more sad and lonely. Was it because he could not help thinking of Olympia that he felt a stranger, or because he was so far removed from the present company in point of thought?

The meal was over, the cigars puffed cheerily, the company grouped themselves according to their liking, and the hum of voices became still more animated as it was heightened by an occasional laugh.

Baruch remained seated at the table; his face was flushed, for he had imbibed no less than the others of the "sweet fire." He dreamily gazed into the bottom of his glass.

Chisdai, who had come to Miriam's wedding feast to conceal the fact of his former wooing, approached Baruch with Ephraim Cardoso. "Wine that rejoices the heart of man" (Ps. civ. 15) he recited, waving his glass with jovial emphasis.

"That is probably the reason why the Talmudists wished men to have no vivifying wine," replied Baruch, "but weakened it by the admixture of water." Baruch addressed the words to his glass, but Chisdai must have overheard them.

"Yes," said Ephraim, as he drank to Baruch, "our forefathers knew how to live. Does not the Talmud say, 'The Spirit of God only rests on man in gladsomeness'? I was once by when the late Professor Barläus said to Rabbi Manasseh Ben Is-