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

"Why must men's partialities be so different that they can hardly understand one another?" asked Olympia, and Spinoza replied:

"So that we should only try to convince each other on merely intellectual subjects; where this ends persecution for heresy begins. You are certainly right in your own appreciation of music, and in your love of it; but music is an example of how in matters of faith, of imagination in a word, where no fixed definition is afforded by intellectual proof, fanaticism and persecution so readily prevail. Men always become passionate where they are conscious of incapacity, and force an outward observance of what is only an internal law, an internal duty. Do not be led into taking me for a heretic to music, and banishing me from your sanctuary."

Kerkering quickly took advantage of this turn of the conversation to ask Olympia to go to the organ; Spinoza also expressed the same desire, and it was soothing and refreshing to their overwrought minds to listen to the tones that Olympia drew, now swelling, now softly sinking, from the instrument.

It was late in the evening when Spinoza and Kerkering left. The peculiarities of character in the two lovers were plainly expressed in the fact that Olympia, fascinated by the flow of musical sound, gave herself up unrestrainedly to her feelings, and there felt the freedom of unrestrained existence; while the philosopher's task and Spi-