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he better lose ? All that he has in the If you will say to me that you will release world, or the girl that has taken bis fancy ?” him from his promise, I will swear to you, by
“I would sooner lose the world twice over the God whom we both worship, that I will than lose him.”
never become his wife — that he shall never “ Yes; but you
are only, a woman. touch me or speak to me in love." She had Think of his position. There is not a Jew risen before she made this proposal, and now in all Prague respected among us as he is stood before Nina with one hand raised, with respected. He knows more, can do more, her blue eyes fixed upon Nina's face, and a bas more of wit and cleverness, than any of solemnity in her manner which for a while
We look to him to win for the Jews in startled Nina into silence. “ You will bePrague something of the freedom which lieve my word, I am sure,” said Reberca. Jews have elsewhere, — in Paris and in Yes, I would believe you," said Nina. London. If he takes a Christian for his “ Shall it be a bargain between us ? Say. wife, all this will be destroyed.”
so, ard whatever is mine shall be mine and “But all will be well if he were to marry yours too. Though a Jew may not make a
Christian his wife, a Jewish girl may love a Now it was Rebecca's turn to pause ; but Christian maiden; - and then, Nina, we it was not for long. “I love him dearly," shall both know that we have done our very she said ; “ with a love as warm as yours.” best for him whom we both love better than
" And therefore I am to be untrue to all the world beside." him," said Nina, again seating herself. Nina was again silent, considering the
“ And were I to become bis wife," con- proposition that had been made to her. tinued Rebecca, not regarding the interrup- There was one thing that she did not see; tion, “it would be well with him in a worldly one point of view in which the matter bad point of view. All our people would be glad, not been presented to her. The cause for because there has been friendship between her sacrifice had been made plain to her, the families from of old. His father would be but why was the sacrifice of the other also pleased, and he would become rich; and I also to become necessary? By not yielding she am not without some wealth of my own.” might be able to keep her lover to herself;
" While I am poor,” said Nina ; " so poor but if she were to be induced to abandon that, look here, I can only mend my rags. him – for his sake, so that he might not be There, look at my shoes. I have not another ruined by bis love for ber—why, in that case, pair to my feet. But if he likes me, poor should he not take the other girl for his and ragged, better than he likes you, rich” wife? In such a case Nina told herself that She got so far, raising •her voice as she there would be no world left for her. There spoke; but she could get no farther, for her would be nothing left for her beyond the sobs stopped her voice.
accomplishment of Lotta Luxa's prophecy. But while she was struggling to speak, the But yet, though she thought of this, though other girl rose and knelt at Nina's feet, put- in her misery she half resolved that she ting her long tapering fingers upon Nina's would give up Anton, and not exact from threadbare arms, so that her forehead was Rebecca the oaih which the Jewess bad almost close to Nina's lips. “ He does,” said tendered, still, in spite of that feeling, the Rebecca. “ It is true
quite true. He dread of a rival's success helped to make her loves you, poor as you are, ten times -- a feel that she could never bring herself to hundred times — beiter than he loves me, yiell. who am not poor. You have won it alto- “ Shall it be as I say?” said Rebecca ; gether by yourself, with nothing of outside and shall we, dear, be friends while we art to back you. You have your triumph. live?” Will not that be enough for a life's content- “No," said Nina, suddenly. ment?”
“ You cannot bring yourself to do so much “No; - no, no,” said Nina. “No, it will for the man you love ?" not be enough." But her voice now was not “ No, I cannot. Could you throw youraltogether sorrowful. There was in it some-self from the bridge into the Moldau, and thing of a wild joy which had come to ber drown 'yourself ?” heart from the generous admission which the “ Yes,” said Rebecca; “I could. If it Jewess made. She did triumph as she re- would serve him, I think that I could do membered that she had conquered with no so.” other weapons than those which nature had “ What! in the dark, when it is so cold ? given her.
The people would see you in the day-time." "It is more of contentment than I shall “But I would live, that I might bear of ever have,” said Rebecca. “Listen to me. I his doings, and see his success.”
“ Ah! I could not live without feeling the Jews of Prague would treat him some that he loved me.”
what as the Christians would treat berself. “ But what will you think of his love For herself such treatment would be nothwhen it has ruined him ? Will it be pleas- ing, if she were but once married; but she ant then ? Were I to do that, then then could understand that to him it would be I should bethink myself of the cold river ruinous. And Ninà believed also that Reand the dark night, and the eyes of the becca had been entirely disinterested in passers-by whom I should be afraid to meet her mission that she came thither, not to in the day-time. I ask you to be as I am. gain a lover for herself, but to save from Who is there that pities me? Think again, injury the man she loved, without reference Nina. I know you would wish that he should to her own passion. Nina knew that Rebe prosperous."
becca was strong and good, and acknowlNina did think again, and thought long. edged also that she herself was weak and And she wept, and the Jewess comforted selfish. She thought that she ought to bave her, and many words were said between been persuaded to make the sacrifice, and them beyond those which have been here once or twice she almost resolved that she set down; but, in the end, Nina could not would follow Rebecca to the Jews' quarter bring herself to say that she would give him and tell ber that it should be made. But up.
For his sake had she not given up her she could not do it. Were she to do so, uncle and ber aunt, and St. John and St. what would be left to her? With him Nicholas — and the very Virgin herself, she could bear anything, everything. To whose picture she had now' removed from starve would hardly be bitter to her, so the wall beside her bed to a dark drawer ? that his arm could be round her waist and How could she give up that which was that her head could be on his shoulder. everything she had in the world - the very And, moreover, was she not his to do with life of her bosom? “I will ask him — him as he pleased ? After all her promises to himself,” she said at last, hoarsely. “I will bim, how could she take upon herself to ask him, and do as he bids me. I cannot do dispose of herself otherwise than as he anything unless it is as he bids me. might direct ?
In this matter you must act on your But then some thought of the missing own judgment, Nina.”
document came back upon her, and she “ No, I will not. I have no judgment. remembered in her grief that he suspected He must judge for me in everything. If be her — that even now he had some frightful says it is better that we should part, then-doubt as to her truth to him — her faith, then— then I will let him go."
which was, alas, alas ! more firm and bright After this Rebecca left the room and towards him than towards that heavenly the house. Before she went, she kissed the Friend whose aid would certainly suffice to Christian girl; but Nina did not remember bring her through all her troubles, if only that she had been kissed. Her mind was she could bring herself to trust as she asked so full, not of thought, but of the suggestion it. But she could trust only in him, and he that had been made to her, that it could doubted her! Would it not be better to do now take no impression from anything else. as Rebeeca said, and make the most of such She had been recommended to do a thing contentment as might come to her from her as her duty — as a paramount duty towards triumph over herself? That would be bethim who was everything to her - the doing ter ten times better than to be abandoned of which it would be impossible that she by him— to be deserted by her Jew lover, should survive. So she told herself when because the Jew would not trust her a Chrisshe was once more alone, and had again tian ! On either side there could be nothseated herself in the chair by the window. ing for her but death ; but there is a choice She did not for a moment accuse Rebecca even of deaths. If she did the thing herof dealing unfairly with her. It never self, she thought that there might be someoccurred to her as possible that the Jewess thing sweet even in the sadness of her last had come to her with false views of her own hour- something of the flavour of sacrifice. fabrication. Had she so believed, her sus. But should it be done by him, in that way picions would have done great injustice to there lay nothing but the madness of desoher rival; but no such idea presented itself lation! It was her last resolve, as she still to Nina's mind. All that Rebecca had said sat at the window counting the sparto her had come to her as though it were rows in the yard, that she would tell him gospel
. She did believe that Trendellshon, everything, and leave it to him to decide. as a Jew, would injure himself greatly by If he would say that it was better for them marrying a Christian. She did believe that to part, then he might go; and Rebecca
Loth might become his wife, if he so wished | out of Bohemia,” Trendellshon had said to
himself. " He has earned it, and he shall have it. He has worked for me - for us
both — without asking me, his father, to CHAPTER XI.
bind myself with any bond. He shall have
the wealth which is his own, but he shall On one of these days old Trendellshon not have it here. Ah! if he would but went to the office of Karil Zamenoy, in the take that other one as his bride, he should Ross Markt, with the full determination of have everything, and his father's blessing learning in truth what there might be to be - and then he would be the first instead learned as to that deed which would be so of the last among his people.” Such was necessary to him, or to those who would the purpose of Stephen Trendellshon tocome after him, when Josef Balatka might wards his son; but this, his real purpose, die. He accused himself of having been did not hinder him from threatening worse foolishly soft-hearted in his transactions things. To prevent the marriage was his with this Christian, and reminded himself great object; and if threats would prevent from time to time that no Jew in Prague it, why should he not use them ? would have been so treated by any Christian. But now he had conceived the idea that And what was the return made to him? Nina was deceiving his son that Nina Among them they had now secreted that was in truth holding back the deed with of which he should have enforced the ren- some view which he could hardly fathom. dering before he had parted with his own Ziska Zamenoy had declared, with all the money; and this they did because they emphasis in his power, that the document knew that he would be unwilling to take was to the best of his belief in Nina's harsh legal proceedings against a bed-ridden hands; and, though Ziska's emphasis would old man! In this frame of mind he went not have gone far in convincing the Jew, to the Ross Markt, and there he was as- had the Jew's mind been turned in the sured over and over again by Ziska Zame- other direction, now it had its effect. noy for Karil Zamenoy was not to be “ And who gave it her ?” Tendellsohn had
– that Nina Balatka had the deed in asked. “Ah, there you must excuse me," her own keeping. The name of Nina Ba- Ziska had answered; “ though, indeed, I latka was becoming very grievous to the old could not tell you if I would. But we have
Even he, when the matter had first nothing to do with the matter. We have been broached to him, had not recognized no claim upon the houses. It is between all the evils which would come from a you and the Balatkas." Then the Jew had marriage between his son and a Christian left the Zamenoys' office, and bad gone maiden; but of late his neighbours had home, fully believing that the deed was in. been around bim, and he had looked into Nina's hands. the thing, and his eyes had been opened, and Yes, it is so - she is deceiving you," he had declared to himself that he would he said to his son that evening. not take a Christian girl into his house as “ No, father. I think not.” his daughter-in-law. He could not prevent Very well. You will find when it is too the marriage. The law would be on his late that my words are true. Have you son's side. The law of the Christian king- ever known a Christian who thought it dom in which he lived allowed such mar- wrong to rob a Jew?” riages, and Anton, if he executed the con- “I do not believe that Nina would rob tract which wouid make the marriage me.". valid, would in truth be the girl's husband. Ah! that is the confidence of what But — and Trendellshon, as he remembered you call love. She is honest, you think, the power which was still in his hands, al- because she has a pretty face.” most regretted that he held it — if this “ She is honest, I think, because she loves thing were done, his son must go out from me.” his house, and be his son no longer.
« Bah! Does love make men honest, or The old man was very proud of his son. women either? Do we not see every day Rebecca had said truly that no Jew in how these Christians rob each other, in Prague was so respected among Jews as their money dealings when they are marAnton Trendellshon. She might have rying ? What was the girl's name ? - old added, also, that none was more highly Thibolski's daughter - how they robbed esteemed among Christians. · To lose such her when they married her, and how her a son would be a loss indeed. “ I will share people tried their best to rob the lad she everything with him, and he shall go away married. Did we not see it all ?”
" It was not the girl who did it - not him, unconsciously, the glory which he de the girl herself.”
sired. To be deceived was to be disgraced. Why should a woman be honester than What was all his wit and acknowledged a man ? I tell you, Anton, that this girl cunning if a girl — a Christian girl — could has the deed.”
outwit him ? For himself, he could see " Ziska Zamenoy has told you so ?” clearly enough into things to be aware that,
“ Yes, he has told me. But I am not a as a rule, he could do better by truth than man to be deceived because such a one as he could by falsehood. He was not prone Ziska wishes to deceive me. You, at least, to deceive others. But in such matters he know me better than that. That which desired ever to have the power with him – I tell you, Ziska himself believes.”
to keep, as it were, the upper band. He “But Ziska may believe wrongly.” would fain read the hearts of others entirely:
Why should he do so? Whose interest and know their wishes, and understand can it be to make this thing seem so, if it their schemes, whereas his own beart and be not so? If the girl have the deed, you his own desires and his own schemes should can get it more readily from her than from only be legible in part. What if, after all, the Zamenoys. . Believe me, Anton, the he were unable to read the simple tablets deed is with the girl.”.
of this girl's mind — tablets which he bad " If it be so, I shall never believe again regarded as being altogether in his own in the truth of a human being,” said the keeping ?
He went forth for a while, walking slowly “ Believe in the truth of your own peo- through the streets, as he thought of this, ple,” said the father. Why should you wandering without an object, but turning seek to be wiser than them all ? ”
over in his mind his father's words. He The father did not convince the son, but knew that bis father was anxious to pre the words which he had spoken helped to vent his marriage. He knew that every create a doubt which already bad almost Jew around him — for now the Jews around an existence of its own. Anton Tren- him had all heard of it - was keenly anxdellsohn was prone to suspicions, and now ious to prevent so great a disgrace. He was beginning to suspect Nina, although knew all that his father had threatened, he strove hard to keep his mind free from and he was well aware how complete was such taint. His better nature told him that his father's power. But he could stand it was impossible that she should deceive against all that. if only Nina were true to him. He had read the very inside of ber him. He would go away from Prague. heart, and knew that her own delight was What did it matter? Prague was not all in his love. He understood perfectly the the world. There were cities better, nobler, weakness and faith and beauty of her femi- richer than Prague, in which his brethren, nine nature, and her trusting, leaning soft- the Jews, would not turn their backs upon ness was to his harder spirit as water to a him because he had married a Christian. thirsting man in the desert.
It might be that he would have to begin When she clung to him, promising to obey the world again ; but for that, too, he would him in everything, the touch of her hands, be prepared. Nina had shown that she and the sound of her voice, and the be- could bear poverty. Nina's torn boots seeching glance of her loving eyes, were and threadbare dress, and the utter abfood and drink to him. He knew that her sence of any request ever made with represence refreshed him and cooled him - gard to her own comfort, had not been lost made him young as he was growing old, and upon him. He knew how noble she was in filled his mind with sweet thoughts which bearing - how doubly noble she was in hardly came to him but when she was with never asking: If only there was notbing him. He had told himself over and over of deceit at the back to mar it all! again that it must be good for him to have He passed over the bridge, hardly know. such a one for his wife, whether she were ing whither he was going, and turned Jew or Christian. He knew himself to be directly down towards Balatka's house. a better man wben she was with him than As he did so he observed that certain reat other moments of his life. And then he pairs were needed in an adjoining building loved her. He was thinking or her hourly, which belonged to his father, and deterthough his impatience to see her was not mined that a mason should be sent there as hers to be with him. He loved her. on the next day. Then he turned in under But yet - yet — what if she should be de- the archway, not passing through it into ceiving him? To be able to deceive others the court, and there he stood looking up at but never to be deceived himself, was to the window, in which Nina's small solitary
lamp was twinkling. He knew that she love would he not repay her in future days was sitting by the light, and that she was for all that she would have suffered for his working,
He knew that she would be sake! raised almost to a seventh heaven of delight But she must be made to go through the if he would only call her to the door and fire again. He would tax her with the posspeak to her a dozen words before he re- session of the missing deed, and call upon turned to his home. But he had no thought her to cleanse herself from the accusation of doing it. Was it possible that she which was made against her. Once again should have this document in her keeping ? he would be harsh with her - harsh in ap
that was the thought that_filled his pearance only — in order that his subsemind. He had bribed Lotta Luxa, and quent tenderness might be so much more Lotta had sworn by her Christian gods that tender! She had already borne much, and the deed was in Nina's hands. If the thing she must be made to endure once again. was false, why should they all conspire to Did not he mean to endure much for her tell the same falsehood? And yet he knew sake? Was he not prepared to recommence that they were false in their natures. Their the troubles and toil of his life all from the manner, the words of each of them, be- beginning, in order that she might be that trayed something of falsehood to his well-life's companion ? Surely he had the right tuned ear, to his acute eye, to his sharp to put her through the fire, and prove her
But with Nina — from Nina her- as never gold was proved before. * self — everything that came from her spoke At last the little light was quenched, and of truth. A sweet savour of honesty hung Anton Trendellsohn felt that he was alone. about her breath, and was a blessing to him The unseen companion of his thoughts was when he was near enough to her to feel it. no longer with him, and it was useless for And yet he told himself that he was bound him to remain there standing in the archto doubt. He stood for some half-hour in way. He blew her a kiss from his lips, and the archway, leaning against the stonework blessed her in his heart, and protested to himat the sile, and looking up at the window self that he knew she would come out of the where Nina was sitting. What was he to fire pure altogether and proved to be withd6?. How should he carry himself in this out dross. And then he went his way. In special period of his life? Great ideas the meantime Nina, chill and wretched, about the destiny of his people were min- crept to her cold bed, all unconscious of the gled in his mind with suspicions as to Nina happiness that had been so near her. - If of which he should have been, and probably he thinks I can be false to him, it will be was, ashamed.
He would certainly take better to die,” she said to herself, as she drew her away from Prague. He had already the scanty clothing over her shivering shoulperceived that his marriage with a Chris- ders. tian would be regarded in that stronghold As she did so her lover walked home, and of prejudice in which he lived with so having come to a resolution which was inmuch animosity as to impede, and perhaps tended to be definite as to his love, he aldestroy, the utility of his career. He would lowed his thoughts to run away with him go away, taking Nina with him. And he to other subjects. After all, it would be no would be careful that she should never evil to him to leave Prague. At Prague know, by a word or a look, that he had in how little was there of progress either in any way suffered for her sake. And he thought or in things materiał! At Prague a swore to himself that he would be soft to Jew could earn money, and become rich her, and gentle, loving her with a love might own half the city; and yet at Prague more demonstrative than he had hitherto he could only live as an outcast. As reexhibited. He knew that he had been garded the laws of the land, he, as a Jew, stern, exacting, and sometimes harsh. All might fix his residence anywhere in Prague that should be mended. He had learned or around Prague; he might have gardens, her character, and perceived how absolutely and lands, and all the results of money; he she fed upon his love; and he would take might put his wife into a carriage twice as care that the food should always be there, splendid as that which constituted the great palpably there, for her sustenance. But- social triumph of Madame Zamenoy ; – but but he must try her yet once more before so strong against such a mode of life were all this could be done for her. She must the traditional prejudices of both Jews and pass yet once again through the fire ; and if Christians, that any such fashion of living then she should come forth as gold, she would be absolutely impossible to him. It should be to him the one pure ingot which would not be good for him that he should the earth contained. With how great a remain at Prague. Knowing his father as