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Such was the wholly new atmosphere, one filled with the smell of pitch and glass dust, into which Spinoza now entered. Henceforward he spent the greater part of the day in the workshop. He learned to handle the sharp diamond set in one leg of a compass, to cut pieces of a certain size out of panes, the pieces still keeping their crystal facets when split. Spinoza then entered on the first grade of the honorable art of polishing. The cut piece was fixed on a vise with pitch, this fixed to a lever, and a wheel worked with the right foot. A strap was fastened round this and to a roller, on which was fixed a perfectly smooth plate of lead. The plate turned, and with the left hand the fragment of glass was pressed against it, thus inscribing successive circles on it until the glass received the required form. Wet sand must be continually scattered over it to avoid setting the hard material on fire by friction, and to increase the roughness of the lead. The first stage was then finished. Spinoza would have preferred a less troublesome and, above all, a cleaner handicraft; but it was just these additions to his work which became his intellectual means to further penetration of the laws of existence. Men are much inclined to regard apparently rough and repulsive labors as inferior. Spinoza accustomed himself to regard the circumstances of life, not according to their popular estimation, but on the essential grounds of their