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'Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer,' but beyond that they were men as we are, ay, in many things more ignorant than we are, for in many cases they did not know the first principles of the laws of nature. If the Spirit of God spoke directly by them how could they remain ignorant of such simple things?"

He spoke yet further on these subjects, and in the details he adduced he became yet sharper and more decided. Chisdai remained quiet and cold, but ground his teeth. When he had heard enough he went away with Ephraim without saying a word.

Spinoza remained at the table alone; he would not rise; all seemed so uncongenial and repulsive to him. He had just drunk off a glass of wine to distract his thoughts when his sister Miriam approached him.

"What have you done?" she said. "That spiteful Chisdai is breathing fire and fury against you. I was standing by Chaje in the kitchen, and reminding her how she once dreamed of my wedding, when I heard Chisdai cry, 'Cursed be the air breathed by this shameless one! You have heard, Ephraim, how Baruch has slandered God and the prophets. Oh, that no hand will stretch from heaven to tear his lying tongue from his jaws! But I will not lay my head down to rest until he is swept from the earth.' Ephraim tried to pacify him. 'It is well you were by,' continued Chisdai.