"Give us a law," clamored the Hebrew tribes in the "sonorous and rosy" desert. "Give us a law," they clamored surrounding Moses. The strong man saw the undulating lines of heads, contemplated the Hebrews who were supplicating, and gave them a law.
It is the ancient everlasting story. The people are always lacking in will and do not believe in themselves.
This belief is necessary for life and they seek it without.
History continues to show great spectacles of implorations, peoples who ask for a law, a chant, a legend; suffering and miserable rabbles who look with their eyes for the bronze serpent.
"Who will give us the law?" they say to each other. "We ourselves? And who are we? We don't know. Who will say to us what thing we ourselves are?"
There below, pacing by themselves one by one, are various men with mysterious frowns and ardent pupils. They pass and look at each other with rancor.
The people continue: "We cannot see ourselves, perhaps one of them can see us."
The people fractionate, each group nears itself to one of the men who pace alone and ask him: "Tell us if you know. Who are we?"
Those frowning men give diverse responses. Each group believes in a reply and one of the definers is hung.
As yet neither the frowning men nor the believing peoples have succeeded in placing themselves in accord.