Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/145

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CHAPTER VII.

THE TREATY OF PEACE.

HONEST Mynheer Dodimus de Vries conscientiously entered the date 24th October, 1648, in conscientious clerkly style in his ledger, and wrote underneath how much wool, saffron, and ginger had arrived, and how much cheese, sugar, and tea he had that day despatched. Afternoon tea was delicious, and Mynheer de Vries told his dear spouse that he had still seven hundredweight and a half of that sort in his warehouse that would be worth more every day, for the celebrated Dr. Beverocius had written a treatise wherein he plainly proved that tea was a preservative from all maladies, and the East India Company had had this treatise printed and circulated at their own expense. Hereupon he slept softly and smiled in his dreams like a child, but had no notion of the sweet surprise Mevrouw de Vries was preparing for him. Of the tulip bulbs of the rarest sorts and varied sizes and species which she cultivated in her garden she built a pyramid on the writing table opposite the sleeper, so that when the happy man awoke his eyes were met by the ingenious edifice. He embraced his stout better-half heartily, and went