Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/403

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381
MISSIONARIES.

order me to forget that you ever were my brother—and how can I do that? It seems you could, for if you can forget your religion, why should you not forget your sister."

Miriam with these words looked at her brother's agitated face; she seemed sorry to have given him so much pain, and continued weeping:

"Day and night you are always in my mind; I forget my duties as mother and wife, and it is all your fault; it is the thought of your disregard of duty that makes me do it. I cannot think what makes you so obstinate, but I know this: if my son should one day cause such trouble to his sisters, I would rather he should die before he learned to speak."

"You must not say so, dear sister; I hope all will come right yet. Does not your husband know you have come to me?"

"He must not know a word of it. Only think, he wanted me to go to the synagogue this morning, but, God forgive me! I would rather go to the gallows; the women would look at me, and whisper and giggle together. I said I should be obliged to stay with the children, and came to you; Rebecca stayed at home too, but she has not dared to come with me; her husband is too stern. I cannot see, though, why you will not return. You know, I do not care about trifles, and do not condemn you like the others; but the life you lead now, you could