Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/228

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there." We fancy that we feel the draught, the motion of a wind, but it is mostly increase of one-sided heat-loss by radiation toward the cold place. People generally believe, rather, that the wind comes through the wall But the velocity of such a wind is too small to be felt as air in motion and a piece of carpet fixed to the suspected wall does away with the supposed draught. It could, therefore, not be caused by the air-rush through the wall, because the carpet is many times more permeable to air than the wall.

I hope, in future, ventilation and draught will be to your mind two distinct things.

SPINOZA: 1677 AND 1877.[1]

ON this day two hundred years, in the afternoon, and at about this same hour, there lay dying, at the age of forty-three, on the quiet quay of the Pavilioengragt a few paces hence, a poor man, whose life had been so profoundly silent that his last sigh was scarcely heard. He had occupied a retired room in the house of a worthy pair, who, without understanding him, felt for him an instinctive veneration. On the morning of his last day he had gone down as usual to join his hosts; there had been religious services that morning; the gentle philosopher conversed with the good folk about what the minister had said, much approved it, and advised them to conform themselves there-to. The host and hostess (let us name them; their honest sincerity entitles them to a place in this beautiful Idyl of the Hague related by Colerus), the Van der Spycks, husband and wife, went back to their devotions. On their return home, their peaceful lodger was dead. The funeral, on the 25th of February, was conducted like that of a Christian believer, in the new church on the Spuy. All the inhabitants of the district greatly regretted the disappearance of the sage who had lived among them as one of themselves. His hosts preserved his memory like a religion, and none who had approached him ever spoke of him without calling him, according to custom, "the blessed Spinoza."

About the same time, however, any one able to track the current of opinion setting in among the professedly enlightened circles of the Pharisaism of that day, would have seen, in singular contrast, the much-loved philosopher of the simple and single-hearted become the bugbear of the narrow orthodoxy which pretended to a monopoly of the truth. A wretch, a pestilence, an imp of hell, the most wicked atheist that ever lived, a man steeped in crime—this was what the

  1. Address delivered at the unveiling of the monument at the Hague, February 21, 1877.