Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/437

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415
WOOING BY PROXY.

dress. Say now with the Stoic to physical ill, 'I am stronger than thou.* Deck thyself likewise. Take this."

Olympia listened in astonishment to her father's voice, doubly gay in her silence, and looked wonderingly at the offered pearls.

"What is that for?" she asked.

"This bridal gift of his mother's our friend sends you as a compliment, and says he has shed more tears for you than there are pearls in the depths of the sea."

"Did he weep? I never thought he would have done that. It was surely because he had to abjure his father's faith and accept ours."

"He did do it, my child. There was still enough stiff-necked Protestantism in him to protest against it, but it is a proof of his love. In Kerkering you restore my Cornelius to me."

"Alas!" cried Olympia, and covered her face in the pillows. After much persuasion from her father she looked up sobbing. "We are all unhappy. My love belongs—you know, father; why need I say it? I love Spinoza, and am beloved by him with all the divine greatness of his mind, as never maiden was loved before."

Van den Ende struck his forehead with his clenched fist. He paced the room thoughtfully for a long time, then again seated himself beside his daughter's bed.