Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/402

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380
SPINOZA.

cannot see you without blushing. Do you know what is happening to-day? To-day you are summoned the second time in the synagogue; perhaps at this very moment in which we are speaking. A week ago I was in the synagogue; my heart is so heavy, it seems as if a hundredweight lay on it. When we had all risen,[1] Rabbi Isaak Aboab (who gives himself great airs since he returned from Brazil) went to the altar; all were still, and looked to see what he would do next. He called on your name; and commanded you to return, if you would not have heaven's lightnings smite you, or the earth swallow you up. Dear brother, I thought my heart would be torn out. I turned icy cold, and then flames seemed to be before my eyes; I thought I should fall down, and grasped the railing; I fainted time after time; I don't know how I found strength to go home; Esther de Leon, who stood near me, went home with me. You know she is a malicious, mocking thing; but she ought to be silent, for she was once Acosta's betrothed, and you are not as bad as he yet, thank God!"

"No, and will never be."

"But it is bad enough now," began Miriam again; "to-day is the second time, and in a week you will be summoned for the third time, and then—I shall never survive the shame of it. My husband will

  1. For the Thora to be replaced.