much better. Look, his bows are so graceful that no dame of the court of Louis XIV. could excel them."
"Lord and master!" replied Spinoza; "that is too strong. I am neither his servant nor his pupil."
"What do I hear?" asked Meyer in astonishment. "How long is it since you began to study his system with me, and you already go beyond him, while I am only glad if I can understand him?"
"I fear for our friendship," interrupted Oldenburg. "You have so often said that a similarity of intellectual power must exist between friends, and I have never once been able to grasp the system. It was principally the astonishing externals that attracted me first to the new teaching of Descartes; I investigated the entrails of a calf with him willingly; he called it his library, and found surprising evidences therein; but to the vital principle of his philosophical system I never could attain. I bolted my door, I curtained my window, I sat down in a corner alone, and concentrated my mind on the book; for two or three sentences, for half an hour, even an hour, I followed him completely; then arose, without my knowing it, some strange thought between the lines: a former experience, a wish, above all, the memory of a girl whom I once fervently loved, intervened between the propositions, axioms, corollaries, and I saw at last that I wished to penetrate to the foundation of things, and yet could