Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/391

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369
PECULIARITIES.

"Bravo!" cried Spinoza. "Pathos suits you excellently; you are a living concordance to the Bible."

"Many thanks," said Olympia roguishly; "do you agree with me that the priests are so zealous against tobacco because they are afraid of Ancyra?"

"Not quite, for I think that they will for long and long enough preach the same thing from the pulpit, while the domines themselves, between each of their saving phrases, will take a pinch of snuff from the gilt box on the reading desk of their pulpit. My Peter Blyning always says, when he takes a pinch fasting in the morning, that it is his spiritual breakfast."

"It occurs to me now," said Olympia: "do you know the horrible treatise of the wise King Solomon?"

"I know all the writings of Solomon, but I hope you do not call the 'Preacher,' or the 'Song of Songs,' horrible, and wish to banish it from the canon like the old Fathers of the Church!"

"Oh, no! I mean something quite different. My Solomon, indeed, the Presbyterians now leave to roast and steam in hell for punishment of his prophetic zeal; what grimaces he will make! I will be with you again, gentlemen, in a minute." She took a light from the table and went out, singing as she went.

"What a wonderful, enigmatical girl!" said