Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/273

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251
HANDICRAFT.

"I was not aware of it, but I am in sober earnest, that, for the future, I must earn my own livelihood."

"What did you acquire so much learning for then? Not for mere vanity, I hope? My father will enlarge his Institute, and you shall be a headmaster in it; will you not be my colleague?"

"I am sorry to say, No. You may call it egotism, but my first duties are to myself, and I must first be clear of these; then, if I can teach anything that would be of service to mankind I will think of it; but neither now, nor ever, will I sell the smallest of my convictions for material good."

"You always appear like a Deus ex machina," said Olympia to Oldenburg, as he entered. "Do you know that your god-child is preparing to be a master-craftsman?"

"An apostle to all lands, rather, you would say," replied Oldenburg.

"If it were only some pursuit," continued Olympia, "such as the learned men and statesmen of old times followed, like agriculture, I should not have minded so much; there was something great in making extremes meet, and doing with the most cultivated minds the work of the rudest aborigines; even fishing and carpentering have something poetical in them; but to polish glass in an obscure room cramps and stupefies body and soul. It sets my teeth on edge to think of glass