Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/394

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372
SPINOZA.

and struggling souls, of whom some complain, sigh and bewail, while others carol, cheer, languish and storm; soon they are united, and in infinite variety express the same thought, then are mute. Again one awakes, rises and dies gently and happily. A band again join and rage and roar, the others hasten past, the dead are aroused, till at last peace settles on all."

"Your explanation is so imaginative," said Spinoza, "that it convinces me more than ever that music is the art of the emotions, and, indeed, moves in the sensations like elements without a definite object. Anger, pain, and joy, hate and love are evinced as elementary sensations without a tangible object. I will not reject such absorptions, but I find it enough to do to understand the sensations which are tangible, and thereby if possible to control them."

"And I tell you," maintained Olympia, "your whole philosophy is a philosophy of music. Oh, if I could only express what I mean properly. You once explained to me that the peace of society depended on each one resigning, for reciprocity's sake, something of the natural rights in accordance with which man may do all that he is able, that self-preservation may become the protection of all. Now that is the law of musical harmony. One note struck alone would be quite different and sharply defined; but if it passes into harmony it must re-