Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/351

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329
STILL LIFE.

harmony. Other reasons also made the anxious friend think an alteration in Spinoza's way of life desirable. Among these stood first the fear that Spinoza's love for Olympia, which he had rightly guessed, might be so deeply rooted in his mind by solitude that it would become ineradicable. He still believed that, by prudent measures, he could enter into the life of an independent mind and direct it.

"Our age," he once said to Spinoza, "the age of humanity, new born from the classics and the self-revelations of reason, has its apostles, who travel through all lands and declare their new ideas like any others. When Christianity arose, and had not yet made itself accepted anywhere, pious men came forward and preached in all places, even at peril of their lives; and in our age we have seen enthusiastic men wander from town to town, and from land to land, making known the words revealed to them in all places. Think of Giordano Bruno; he has travelled through almost the whole civilized world to support his views on all sides. Unfortunately he made the incomprehensible mistake of going back to Italy to die at the stake as a martyr for philosophy. But this way of learning to know the world and its motives and connecting forces from personal inspection, and placing it before the intelligence in living words, not trying to found and rule it from a lonely garret, is the only right