Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/418

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396
SPINOZA.

"What sort of a featherless biped is it that has just left you?" said Meyer, entering; "he looks like an incarnate original sin."

Spinoza laughed heartily at the description.

"You have ridden your hobby horse to the right post this time," said he; "but this original sin wanted to lead me back into the Jewish paradise."

Meyer exhorted him to oppose the Jewish Papacy with all his usual power and firmness, and as he soon took his leave, Spinoza too went out.

For the first time he felt not at home alone within his own four walls; he found it impossible to concentrate his mind as formerly on the investigation of any particular line of thought; he needed a friendly cheerful heart with whom he could unbend, and forget the storm of the day. Where should he seek it if not with Olympia? He went there, and found her in confidential conversation with Kerkering. He thought both looked strangely surprised when he entered; he guessed rightly that he had been the subject of their conversation.

Olympia, as usual, easily mastered her agitation.

"You appeared to me in a dream last night, Herr von Spinoza," she said in the course of conversation; "you must guess in what form."

"You believe in neither angels nor devils; perhaps you saw me in the form of a monk?"

"No, guess again."

"An Emperor?"