Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/97

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75
FATHER AND SON.

I went to Geronimo, and told him of my intention to travel, and the reason of it.

"It is not Manuela," he said, "whom you fly from: it is from yourself, from the inclinations of your own heart, you are forced to run; but they will follow you as your shadow, they will not vanish with distance; no, ever lovelier and more fascinating will they appear; and in longing and deferred hope you will linger on in sickness of mind. The Lord defend you doubly and trebly from the other course. Trust me, for you know that I too have loved, and my dead Isabella will live in my heart until it shall cease to beat. Therefore guard carefully your first love, or see to it that you take with you the certainty of your former delusion. Man yourself, and go again to Manuela."

I willingly followed his advice.

That evening I went to take leave of my joyous circle of friends. All congratulated me on my lovely bride; one said I was truly condescending still to remember my friends, when I was on the point of uniting myself with a descendant of the Chalifs of Cordova.

"The family is as noble as that of Ponce de Leon; and he who denies it, I will plant the point of my sword in his heart as the stem of a family tree," I replied, and was ready to follow my words with deeds.

All sprang up to appease the quarrel. My good