Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/331

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309
PROSELYTES.

answered Spinoza, "which has so close an application to our case? 'If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.' But reflect; if some results of my process of thought agree with the Christian views of the world, must I therefore swear to the Church creed? Perhaps that would be the result contemplated by Justus Lipsius, who, as you know, wrote a book called De Constantia (on constancy), and changed his faith every two years."

"I thought you were more independent, but I see Oldenburg has perverted you too," said Olympia in a cutting tone. "You strive after the glory of Dante, but I am no Beatrice, and will not be. Oh, it is too bad! You will throw yourself into active life; a youthful affection is easily forgotten then. Perhaps you will jest over it, while I—what does it matter if I fade away in grief?"

"Dear Olympia," interposed Spinoza, "your own heart must blame you for such words. Reflect a moment; what could I offer you? Nothing but a poverty-stricken life of self-denial. If I could forswear the faith of my fathers, if I could live wholly for you alone—be wholly yours ..."

"Schalom Alechem, Rabbi Baruch, you need not be in haste. Maariph[1] is ended," a harsh voice interrupted their conversation. Spinoza turned

  1. Evening prayer in the synagogue.