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"And yet I must avoid him and his associates?" asked Baruch.

"I warned you," concluded his father, "against underhand work; you are sharp-sighted enough now to see through such. I have nothing against your being with Oldenburg."

Spinoza continued his visits to Olympia unhindered. He became more and more intimate with Oldenburg, while with Meyer their intellectual intercourse led, through their common zeal for study, to the same kind of intimacy which is brought about by travelling companionship, where, in the contemplation of the new and strange, they knew themselves to be in dear and trusted company. Meyer was, though in some respects shallow, well informed in modern speculation. The history of nations, the study of physical science, then followed with newly awakened zeal, above all, the Cartesian philosophy opened new fields of study with which Spinoza now made himself familiar. The "Letters" and the "Treatise on Mankind," which had appeared posthumously, Descartes being then but lately dead, made his doctrine, just because of the light thrown on one so lately gone from life, all the more impressive, for traces of the breath of that life yet lay therein, and even philosophy, which should remain independent of all contemporary influences, has an inexplicably special power in the presence of its origin. The treatise of