Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/99

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77
FATHER AND SON.

I went early next morning to Manuela's house with a doubting heart and trembling limbs. I surprised her in her light morning-gown; she gave a slight exclamation, and without answering my greeting disappeared through the inner door, which she closed after her.

"Good-morning, you haughty fugitive knight! Has your hot head left its ill-humors in its nightcap?" she called through to me laughingly. "Now who was right, father?" she continued; "do I not know something of human nature? Did I not say Don Alfonso would come again? I was certain of it. Now, Sir knight, as you have won me a victory over my father, I allow you, by virtue of my authority to bind and to loose, to remain three days longer in Seville, if you lay the penance upon yourself of making a pilgrimage every day to St. Manuela, and kneeling before her praying for an hour; or would you prefer some other favor?"

"Yes," I replied, "this: that you would not waste our limited number of minutes on unnecessary ornamentation, but come out as soon as possible."

She made no reply, but sang the "Farewell" of the previous evening in a trembling voice. She had hardly finished the first verse before she came out with her arms folded under a gray cloak.

"You Hotspur!" said she, "you are so niggardly with your seconds, you do not leave me time to dress myself properly. I am such a child, that for