Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/398

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376
SPINOZA.

noza's natural, ruling inclination was, unmisled by the stormy power of the sensations, not to let these deadening forces influence him, but to recognize their perpetual laws, and meanwhile to preserve amid all disturbances that equanimity which alone meant freedom to him.

A trifling physical peculiarity, but one which evinced a deeper tendency of disposition, might be recognized in the fact that Olympia's eyelids often blinked, while Spinoza's look was as open and steady as a child's.

It has not been yet investigated what relation such physical features have to the whole vitality and movement of the mind. May we found this observation on the case of Spinoza and Olympia: that, while the one, musical by nature, was animated momentarily by harmonious sound, the other had a steadily speculative or, as Oldenburg termed it, a plastic nature?

These diversities in their natures formed their complement and a continually growing fascination. Whether in constant association these differences would always be as easily accommodated or not; or whether it was the duty of one whose mission was independent and all-embracing thought, to live apart from every narrowing association in the region of pure intellect? These questions were for the time suppressed, for Spinoza had to show in other ways how far he already controlled his emotions.