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first have stripped him of his gains and very garments. And then think
what it means to escape all these woes and terrors, and, by the doffing
of a bonnet, and the mumbling of certain prayers with the lips in
public, to find sanctuary, peace, and protection within the walls of
Mother Church, and thus fostered, to grow rich and great."
He paused as though for a reply, but as they did not speak, went on:
"Moreover, as a child, I was baptized into your Church; but my heart,
like that of my father, remained with the Jews, and where the heart goes
the feet follow."
"That makes it worse," said Peter, as though speaking to himself.
"My father taught me thus," Castell went on, as though pleading his case
before a court of law.
"We must answer for our own sins," said Peter again.
Then at length Castell took fire.
"You young folk, who as yet know little of the terrors of the world,
reproach me with cold looks and colder words," he said; "but I wonder,
should you ever come to such a pass as mine, whether you will find the
heart to meet it half as bravely? Why do you think that I have told you
this secret, that I might have kept from you as I kept it from your
mother, Margaret? I say because it is a part of my penance for the sin
which I have sinned. Aye, I know well that my God is a jealous God, and
that this sin will fall back on my head, and that I shall pay its price
to the last groat, though when and how the blow will strike me I know
not. Go you, Peter, or you, Margaret, and denounce me if you will. Your
priests will speak well of you for the deed, and open to you a shorter
road to Heaven, and I shall not blame you, nor lessen your wealth by a
single golden noble."
"Do not speak so madly, Sir," said Peter; "these matters are between you
and God. What have we to do with them, and who made us judges over you?
We only pray that your fears may come to nothing, and that you may reach
your grave in peace and honour."
"I thank you for your generous words, which are such as befit your
nature," said Castell gently; "but what says Margaret?"
"I, father?" she answered, wildly. "Oh! I have nothing to say. He is
right. It is between you and God; but it is hard that I must lose my
love so soon." Peter looked up, and Castell answered:
"Lose him! Why, what did he swear but now?"
"I care not what he swore; but how can I ask him, who is of noble,
Christian birth, to marry the daughter of a Jew who all his life has
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