Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/113

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91
FATHER AND SON.

head if I had not told the truth. She looked at me kindly again, and the tears in her eyes witnessed her extreme sorrow for the injustice she had done me, and for the awful abyss that opened before our eyes.

"So near, and yet so infinitely far!" she said, giving me her hand in reconciliation. I besought her by all her former depth of love.

"God is a God of love wherever he is worshipped—in church, mosque, or synagogue. Were it not the will of God, should we have found and refound each other?" In fiery words I placed before her the differences of creed as they appeared to lovers; I troubled myself but little about what was written in books or taught by priests. God forgive me, I should not like to answer for it all now. Manuela but half listened to me, and cried in a heart-rending voice:

"Lord God, destroy me not because I still doubt. What law have I broken that you should lay on me so intolerable a burden? Can I cast out the faith of my childhood from my mind, and yet live? Why should I, even I, a weak girl, be fated to be Moslem at heart and Christian in appearance, at last to give the lie to both? Is there not one more Temple through which I may be hunted, and my poor heart torn asunder? My father was wrong to throw an old gypsy woman down the steps, as he did three years ago, so that I thought she would never get