Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/376

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354
SPINOZA.

Alas! the left wing is torn, it cannot get away, and the devouring enemy is again approaching; now it is seized and carried off to the den. It is all over; it pulls the feet out, and spins its fine web fast all round; it has broken the head from the trunk and sucks the inside out. What comfortable enjoyment! How it refreshes itself! Then it pauses, and then sets to again to gnaw, as if it knew that it was a higher providential power that sent the cooked pigeon flying into its mouth. The spider certainly thinks the whole race of flies was created for its benefit, and everything is good in so far as it is of the nature of fly, and fills the pouch of the spider. Now it looks as if it prayed to me. Or are the wind and the broom its idols, since it has experienced that they can lay its house in ruins? There, it is finished; the bare skeleton is all that is lying there; it creeps back still further into its corner; its work is ended, since it is satisfied."

The philosopher laid the microscope aside, took up the Bible lying before him, opened at Chap. xxx. of the Proverbs of Solomon and read: "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me": ... "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; the conies are