Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/87

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65
FATHER AND SON.

now to be the prize of the rude mob! The news of this dreadful occurrence spread quickly amid the lamentations of the ladies; it was as if a violent earthquake had shaken the whole of Aljaniz, for the intention to abolish the remaining customs of the converted Moors was unmistakable. I do not know why I relate the story; I never knew Mirzah, who was cruelly repudiated by her husband, and her fate was wholly unconnected with ours. Excuse me if I do not know where to begin: I have not thought connectedly of these things, because I never expected to be allowed to give an account of them. My father, like the other Moorish Christians, then lived in Aljaniz of Grenada. Ah! I cannot tell it you to-day!" Manuela stopped and rose hastily from her chair.

"Well, well, I am here," said the Duenna; "don't I know it all as well as you? Was I not there when your mother—God rest her soul!—told it to you? I tremble to my heart's core when I think what life must have been like then."

With much questioning and many interruptions I learned at last that Manuela's father, Don Antonio de Valor, called by the Moors Aben Hamed, was a cousin of Aben Humega.

Don Antonio, who was averse to the Moorish rebellion, had remained a Christian, did not leave Grenada, and suffered as much abuse from his co-religionists as from the native Spaniards. Even