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Meyer and de Vries added their persuasions. Their words were hardly necessary, for what he now heard outwardly Spinoza said to himself inwardly. He tremblingly seized Oldenburg's hand, but arrested himself hastily and said:

"Excuse me; I must now be alone for a time."

He was left alone and the conflict raged within him.

"But why did the friends say nothing of Olympia? Was I mistaken in thinking I perceived a certain shyness, a certain strangeness in them? To her—to her; under her eyes the new life must begin."