Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/381

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359
MICROCOSMOS.

On this last poiftt also he had to maintain a controversy with Klaas, and especially on the passage in the Bible, "The Son of Man goeth as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born!" (Matt. xxvi. 24). But the dispute ended quietly.

"Why have you not a great beard?" asked Albert shyly, stroking Spinoza's chin; "in your country all men have long beards."

"In my country? Where do you think I was born?"

"In Jerusalem, or do you come from Nazareth? Oh, tell me something about it; it must be so lovely there."

"I do not come from Canaan, my dear boy. I was born here in Amsterdam, as you were also."

"That is a lie; you are a Jew. Is he not, grandfather? The Jews all come from Canaan."

"Not for a long time now; they have been with us for longer than we can remember; and when the Saviour comes again and begins his thousand years' reign he will take all the Jews back to Palestine."

"Then I should like to be a Jew too. I want to go with him."

"Be glad you are not one, boy," said Spinoza; "we have long to wait for the millennium."

"What was your father called?"