Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/107

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
85
FATHER AND SON.

A puff of wind, a shadow, disturbs them, and they are no more.

More than a year passed away; I had written twice to Manuela and her father, but received no answer. Her lovely image receded more and more into the background of my soul; the exclusiveness and self-sufficiency in which I had wrapped myself disappeared by degrees. The retreat of our uncle in Madrid and his family from our secret society, his bitter repentance, and the penance he did for the former half-heartedness of his faith, filled us all with grief and anxiety. The powerful Espinosas now in Spain are the descendants of this uncle. But not by a single betrayal of his coreligionists did he seek to lighten the hard penance laid upon him. We heard, however, from Geronimo that through a new edict of the Inquisition, which we had believed would affect the Moorish Christians alone, the Jewish Christians also would be exiled to Africa.

Amid anxiety for myself and those belonging to me, the memory of Manuela revived with all the fascinations of her angelic being. I saw the finger of God in it, when Rodrigo Casseres, who was travelling to Seville, offered to take charge of my commissions there.

I represented in my letter to Manuela all the horrors that awaited us, and besought her to come to us immediately with her father, that we might