Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/457

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435
SCARS AND PURIFICATION.

No news of the Jewish congregation reached Spinoza, and now he was prostrated by sickness.

Thy free thought hath raised thee aloft into the infinite; above isolated appearance thou dost hover in the knowledge of universal laws, then suddenly thou art overthrown in an obscure chamber, dead to the world, the mind shattered, extinguished the streaming light from the law of the universe. No dagger stroke of the hand of man had reached Spinoza's heart, and yet he felt inexpressible pain in his breast, and blood flowed from his mouth.

Was it the result of so many agitating events following one after the other, and that infirmity which had already attacked him in early youth, and recurred on the occasion of his preaching in the synagogue?

Spinoza lay in sore sickness.

Now it was that Ludwig Meyer showed himself the faithful, helpful friend through day and night. And with his own gay humor he told his friend in quiet hours:

"Now you are what you ought to be; indeed, more. You are a banished Jew and a bachelor. A bachelor can return again to that innocence of Paradise before woman was created. He stands alone and free. My original sin—you may laugh away—you will help me by it. Is it not of deep significance that as soon as a second being speaks to Adam he is no longer alone? He no longer acts