Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/368

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346
SPINOZA.

have made a finale with a pistol-shot. Cruel ! not a week passed before the musical key opened another lock, and he was engaged to the daughter of the director of the concert hall. He succeeded to his father-in-law's post, and now lives a comfortable citizen 'andante' with his musical better half. I shall see now what will become of you."

Spinoza walked moodily up and down the room, with the same feelings as when Chisdai defiled the fair image of Olympia with such bigoted zeal.

"I can't understand you," said Oldenburg; "indeed you delude yourself if you think you love her. Your peace of mind and self-concentration in thoughts that have no reference to love would be impossible if the true fire of passion burned in your veins."

"Do you know all the peculiarities of love in different individuals, that you speak so decidedly on the subject?" asked Spinoza.

"I know love; and even if I were more passionate than many others, still I know its eternal origin, which is and must be the same with every one. My acquaintance with Olympia dates from my own love-story. Maria was a friend of Olympia's. No man ever loved more truly than I. I looked with pity and scorn on ordinary men, who from day to day could think of other things, follow a favorite profession, study physic, prepare enactments, or write commercial letters; and then, when the day's