Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/439

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
417
WOOING BY PROXY.

your fate and the nourishment of your existence give you a new problem to solve day by day? Your souls love each other, and the dear souls, ah! they are such dear adaptable creatures that no privation is too hard for them."

"Is that the want of prejudice with which you would talk to me? Do the sacrifices which I so joyfully undertake merit such mockery?"

"You are right," replied the father, "you may marry him; I will not oppose it. The human will is his kingdom; it is also my motto. But think of one thing: how will you bear it when your friends and acquaintances turn up their noses and titter when they see you cross the street with him? 'Look, there she goes,' they will say; 'she would have stayed a spinster if the poor Jew, whose kin even rejected him, had not taken pity on her!' I cannot say they are wrong if they think, 'If he really loved her he would have denied his old creed willingly, and not have waited till he was turned out;' for that is and always will be an insult in the eyes of the world. And they will gossip further and say: 'How proud she was once, and how she looked down on us; she is lucky now, she does not want a wardrobe; the cast-off dress she had ten years ago is now her whole stock. We pity her with all our hearts.' I know such things could not and would not shake your resolution; I only tell it you that you may know it beforehand. I will not compare