Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/435

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CHAPTER XXV.

WOOING BY PROXY.

At the time when Spinoza was leaving the synagogue the sacristan was unbolting a side-door of the Catholic Church of St. John. Two festively clad men came out, the one with a pale, agitated face, the other laughing and gay. It was Van den Ende and Kerkering.

"I am shivering," said the latter. "I feel as if my usual clothing was torn off and I was freezing. When I was on my knees there abjuring the familiar, if half forgotten faith, and accepting yours, my heart contracted as if icy cold, and I could hardly bring out the required words. It is a good thing that in the final carrying out of a resolution we have no alternative left."

"This nonsensical sensation," replied Van den Ende, "is nothing but the cold church and your unaccustomed position, which checks your circulation. Come, my son; the wine which they refuse you there and keep for themselves is much better at other taverns. Look at the whole thing, as you have so well described it, in the light of a change of clothes; as the fashion is, you have equipped yourself for a wedding, nothing more."