Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/111

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
89
FATHER AND SON.

who was reputed to be the most experienced physician in New Castile, feared that he would linger long. We were astonished one morning, therefore, to find him dead in bed, with a frightfully swollen countenance. For this once, when Manuela first saw the horrible state of her father's face, her bodily powers sank unconscious under the burden of her woe; otherwise she had endured with fortitude all the vicissitudes of life.

My father thought that he had not the appearance of a natural death; and in fact, when the body was laid out, the amulet that Don Antonio had worn on his breast since his last imprisonment was found open and empty, and nowhere were to be discovered the remains of any poison. Manuela never heard anything of this circumstance.

As old Valor was now dead, my father thought our departure should be deferred no longer. The departed had left no intimation of his last will: what was more natural than that Manuela should travel with us? My father charged me to remind her to take into speedy consideration her somewhat unsettled affairs. I went to her, and found her alone, weeping, and pensive.

"We all honor you for these signs of filial affection," I said; "but why give yourself up any longer to such melancholy thoughts? My father will be your father, and I—you know what I would be to you."