Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/409

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
387
MISSIONARIES.

that I, too, might have a silver chair in Gan-Eden.[1] Ah! my wishes and hopes have melted away."

Chaje wept bitterly. Spinoza tried to console her.

"He leads me too into sin by making me weep on the Sabbath; it has knocked another nail in my coffin," she wailed. "I would like to know what he can be thinking of. Has the Jewish religion been right for so many thousand years that it should be thrown aside now like a broken pot? He must be possessed, I do believe; why should he have abused the Jews and the Jewish religion? 'Cut off your nose and spite your face,' the proverb says. He will try and please me and be good and pious again, won't he? He will surely thank me on his deathbed, when he follows me. It was only youthful folly, and that is soon forgotten. The grass need only grow over it a year, and then he might choose among the daughters of the richest men in Amsterdam."

Spinoza was nearly powerless against old Chaje's talk; on her no explanation had any effect; she would not go away until he had promised to be pious and good again. At last he had to give her plainly to understand that she must take her departure. Olympia prophesied aright when she said pilgrimages would one day be made to Spinoza, but

  1. Paradise.