Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/290

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CHAPTER XVI.

PANTHEISM.

OLYMPIA from day to day revealed the wealth of her intellectual and spiritual life more freely to Spinoza, and he felt himself most agreeably excited by the vivacity and elasticity of her mental powers. She had not only that rare quality in a woman—the desire for unvarnished truth in the correction of her modes of thought, but that of accepting unreservedly and freely these demands against herself. She had, moreover, a sort of hospitable motherliness which took charge with friendly alacrity of all that was brought to her, even of what she did not know what to do with. Thus it happened that she perpetually attracted fresh offerings, and many things that the bringer had wholly forgotten she brought forward on some later occasion to his astonishment, and occasioned a double feeling of pleasure to the original possessor—pleasure in the unforeseen possession and in its faithful guardian. Thus Spinoza's thoughts easily took reference to Olympia, and he was more communicative to her than to his friends. Was not such devotion love?

Spinoza knew himself to be free from all desire