Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/450

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428
SPINOZA.

riously remarking thereon. The recognition of virtue and its causes alone makes us satisfied and happy; in that alone can our hearts rejoice. The ambitious man speaks most willingly of the false reputations and base means of others; the avaricious spendthrift, of the misuse of money and the vices of the rich. He who loves truth does not dwell long on lies and obduracy; he combats them to the best of his ability, rejoices in his own acquired knowledge, and admits that those in error also act according to the necessities of their nature."

"Happiness always lies on the other shore," added Oldenburg, "but on the other shore of conquered hate, in the serene peace of knowledge."

Meyer was nevertheless not so easily converted, and with the self-congratulation of having prophesied aright he asked:

"In Olympia you have probably seen the want of character and merely receptive capacity of woman's nature, and will give this variety of humankind its suitable place in your system."

"I know," replied Spinoza, "that he who is crossed in love thinks of nothing but the untrustworthiness, the falsity and all the other oft-repeated defects of women; and all this he as quickly consigns to oblivion when he is again taken into favor by the beloved one. But whoever tries to regulate his sensations and desires only by his love of freedom will endeavor to acquaint himself with their