Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/119

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97
FATHER AND SON.

lation of our future life; his approaching death seemed to have lent him insight into unknown contingencies. He blessed us each singly, and departed after a few hours with prayerful lips. Since then I have seen the spirits of many depart from the body, but I have never since seen so celestially peaceful a countenance. Our tears flowed plenteously, but Manuela wept most violently; she was an orphan a second time. When a return of life to the body was hopeless, we emptied a large chest quietly, and wrapped the corpse in the winding-sheet my mother had prepared. A bag of earth from the promised land, for which my father had given much gold, lay beside the shroud. We placed this holy earth under his head, and laid the coffin in the lowest cabin, where my brother watched it.

It was a foggy morning when we proceeded onward. Towards midday a violent storm arose, with all the horrors of which I had hitherto only heard the narration in the numerous stories of my father's travels. I thanked God that he had spared him this fresh affliction, and sought by these thoughts to soothe the trembling maidens.

The captain came to us, and ordered us in few words to bring him the chest immediately wherein the corpse lay, that he might not be obliged to overturn everything, and lose much time thereby; it was a well-known rule that the sea would not