Olympia, rushing to the window, and Oldenburg stood up to see what she meant by the ill-timed jest; Spinoza only sat still and smiled quietly; but Olympia could hardly contain herself for laughing.
"You a statesman!" cried Spinoza, "and not see that I was guilty of a mésalliance between royal families of ideas! But sit down again, and I will avenge you on the jester, I purposely chose the expression. Tell me what is the meaning of necessity?"
"I was confirmed long ago, and need not be catechised so strictly; yet—necessity is anything that must be."
"Only half expressed; all that without innate opposition to its own nature cannot otherwise than be, that is necessity. That no slumbering power can be imagined in God I have already proved to you; and all that he does, and is, he is and does from innate necessity, but freely; for to be free is to be moved to act of himself, and from no outward or neighboring cause. God, therefore, outside whom nothing is, and who continually wills of himself, acts continually in perfect freedom; ay, even men then are not free (as is usually believed) when they act in contradiction to the laws of their nature; for there it is always an external impulse they obey, not their own nature; they are only truly free when they act in accordance with the necessities, or, if