Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/389

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367
PECULIARITIES.

pipe, keep the ethereal draught a moment in my mouth, and then let it stream out in a light breath, it flatters and soothes my mouth and lips as a soft melody does my ears. You know well enough the ill effect of that damp cold grey on grey painted weather. That, if I may so call it, prickly feeling of discomfort, which then pervades our whole being, I can chase that away much better when I am surrounded by a cloud of tobacco smoke. I make myself independent of the influence of the weather, and when I watch the fleeting play of the smoke wreaths my mind gains in breadth and I feel myself so delightfully peaceful and enlightened."

"Glorious!" cried Olympia; "now, for once, I see you as an enthusiast."

"I must become enthusiastic to make you understand the worth of anything that you cannot try for yourself."

"What a pity it is you never knew my Uncle Boniface."

"Let the dead rest in peace," said Cecilia, who sat reading in the window. "What do you want with our blessed uncle?"

"It does not matter disturbing his rest a little in the other world; he had too much rest in this life and was always ill in consequence."

Cecilia did not answer, but during the ensuing conversation she retired unnoticed into the next room.