Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/367

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
345
CONFESSIONS.

"Jest and mockery are your original sins," replied Spinoza gravely; "but I request that you will speak with respect of Olympia."

"Ah! the learned Olympia!" laughed Meyer, "she can conjugate amo perfectly in the preterit; but I must be grave. First a painter, who lived for two months in these rooms, was bewitched by her. He was a very young man of great talent and overflowing vivacity. I used to go very often to the Van den Ende's house myself then, and confess that I had not a little to do with Van den Spyck's severing the connection. But if I had known beforehand what would result I would have had no hand in it, for Van den Spyck took to drinking, and sank lower and lower till he could stay here no longer, but now wanders unsteadily about the world. Both Van den Spyck and Olympia turned their anger on me, so I went no more to my old colleague's house. Olympia's second lover was her music-master; he swam perpetually in clear melody, and was never to be seen without a music-book under his arm, and wherever he went or stayed his fingers moved as if he were playing the organ. I believe he came into the world with a sheet of music under his arm, and that his first cry was in D major. Ah! he revelled with Olympia in the kingdom of tones. It was the bass voice of her father that drove him out of Paradise. Imagine the bathos! The man should at least