Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/404

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382
SPINOZA.

lead just as well if you lived like other Jews. If you don't want to go three times to the synagogue, you can go once, and that cannot be much trouble to you. You see, you would still have to live, if, God forbid it! you were shut up in a House of Correction; would it not be much worse? No Sabbath, no holiday, what would you live for? I entreat you to come back; let other people trouble themselves about what belongs to religion, and what not. I believe you are right in many things, and I will listen to you in secret, if you must confide in some one; but what is the use of letting all the world know? I know well enough you men will not put up with things that we women must bear and endure; but you—you are quite different: from childhood you always gave up to others willingly. Be what you used to be again; believe me, you cannot be otherwise, it will break your heart to try any other rule. Control yourself now rather, and come back. O God ! if you were with us again, we should be as happy and as much respected as we ever were. I will read your wishes in your eyes, I will lay my hands under your feet; with lifted hands I entreat you to come back to us."

Spinoza with difficulty mastered his agitation sufficiently to explain to his sister that he was fully determined to defend himself against the Rabbis, that they might not succeed in degrading either himself or his family; he would not merely break