List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v2, by Eugene Sue
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By Eugene Sue



XVII.      The Ajoupa
XVIII.     The Tattooing
XIX.       The Smuggler
XX.        M. Joshua Van Dael
XXI.       The Ruins of Tchandi
XXII.      The Ambuscade
XXIII.     M. Rodin
XXIV.      The Tempest
XXV.       The Shipwrecked
XXVI.      The Departure for Paris
XXVII.     Dagobert's Wife
XXVIII.    The Sister of the Bacchanal Queen
XXIX.      Agricola Baudoin
XXX.       The Return
XXXI.      Agricola and Mother Bunch
XXXII.     The Awakening
XXXIII.    The Pavilion
XXXIV.     Adrienne at her Toilet
XXXV.      The Interview



The site is wild and rugged.  It is a lofty eminence covered with huge
boulders of sandstone, between which rise birch trees and oaks, their
foliage already yellowed by autumn.  These tall trees stand out from the
background of red light, which the sun has left in the west, resembling
the reflection of a great fire.

From this eminence the eye looks down into a deep valley, shady, fertile,
and half-veiled in light vapor by the evening mist.  The rich meadows,
the tufts of bushy trees the fields from which the ripe corn has been
gathered in, all blend together in one dark, uniform tint, which
contrasts with the limpid azure of the heavens.  Steeples of gray stone
or slate lift their pointed spires, at intervals, from the midst of this
valley; for many villages are spread about it, bordering a high-road
which leads from the north to the west.

It is the hour of repose--the hour when, for the most part, every cottage
window brightens to the joyous crackling of the rustic hearth, and shines
afar through shade and foliage, whilst clouds of smoke issue from the
chimneys, and curl up slowly towards the sky.  But now, strange to say,
every hearth in the country seems cold and deserted.  Stranger and more
fatal still, every steeple rings out a funeral knell.  Whatever there is
of activity, movement, or life, appears concentrated in that lugubrious
and far-sounding vibration.

Lights begin to show themselves in the dark villages, but they rise not
from the cheerful and pleasant rustic hearth.  They are as red as the
fires of the herdsmen, seen at night through the midst of the fog.  And
then these lights do not remain motionless.  They creep slowly towards
the churchyard of every village.  Louder sounds the death-knell, the air
trembles beneath the strokes of so many bells, and, at rare intervals,
the funeral chant rises faintly to the summit of the hill.

Why so many interments?  What valley of desolation is this, where the
peaceful songs which follow the hard labors of the day are replaced by
the death dirge? where the repose of evening is exchanged for the repose
of eternity?  What is this valley of the shadow, where every village
mourns for its many dead, and buries them at the same hour of the same

Alas! the deaths are so sudden and numerous and frightful that there is
hardly time to bury the dead.  During day the survivors are chained to
the earth by hard but necessary toil; and only in the evening, when they
return from the fields, are they able, though sinking with fatigue, to
dig those other furrows, in which their brethren are to lie heaped like
grains of corn.

And this valley is not the only one that has seen the desolation.  During
a series of fatal years, many villages, many towns, many cities, many
great countries, have seen, like this valley, their hearths deserted and
cold--have seen, like this valley, mourning take the place of joy, and
the death-knell substituted for the noise of festival--have wept in the
same day for their many dead, and buried them at night by the lurid glare
of torches.

For, during those fatal years, an awful wayfarer had slowly journeyed
over the earth, from one pole to the other--from the depths of India and
Asia to the ice of Siberia--from the ice of Siberia to the borders of the
seas of France.

This traveller, mysterious as death, slow as eternity, implacable as
fate, terrible as the hand of heaven, was the CHOLERA!

The tolling of bells and the funeral chants still rose from the depths of
the valley to the summit of the hill, like the complaining of a mighty
voice; the glare of the funeral torches was still seen afar through the
mist of evening; it was the hour of twilight--that strange hour, which
gives to the most solid forms a vague, indefinite fantastic appearance--
when the sound of firm and regular footsteps was heard on the stony soil
of the rising ground, and, between the black trunks of the trees, a man
passed slowly onward.

His figure was tall, his head was bowed upon his breast; his countenance
was noble, gentle, and sad; his eyebrows, uniting in the midst, extended
from one temple to the other, like a fatal mark on his forehead.

This man did not seem to hear the distant tolling of so many funeral
bells--and yet, a few days before, repose and happiness, health and joy,
had reigned in those villages through which he had slowly passed, and
which he now left behind him, mourning and desolate.  But the traveller
continued on his way, absorbed in his own reflections.

"The 13th of February approaches," thought he; "the day approaches, in
which the descendants of my beloved sister, the last scions of our race,
should meet in Paris.  Alas! it is now a hundred and fifty years since,
for the third time, persecution scattered this family over all the earth-
-this family, that I have watched over with tenderness for eighteen
centuries, through all its migrations and exiles, its changes of
religion, fortune, and name!

"Oh! for this family, descended from the sister of the poor shoemaker,[2]
what grandeur and what abasement, what obscurity and what splendor, what
misery and what glory!  By how many crimes has it been sullied, by how
many virtues honored!  The history of this single family is the history
of the human race!

"Passing, in the course of so many generations, through the veins of the
poor and the rich, of the sovereign and the bandit, of the wise man and
the fool, of the coward and the brave, of the saint and the atheist, the
blood of my sister has transmitted itself to this hour.

"What scions of this family are now remaining?  Seven only.

"Two orphans, the daughters of proscribed parents--a dethroned prince--a
poor missionary priest--a man of the middle class--a young girl of a
great name and large fortune--a mechanic.

"Together, they comprise in themselves the virtues, the courage, the
degradation, the splendor, the miseries of our species!

"Siberia--India--America--France--behold the divers places where fate has
thrown them!

"My instinct teaches me when one of them is in peril.  Then, from the
North to the South, from the East to the West, I go to seek them.
Yesterday amid the polar frosts--to-day in the temperate zone--to-morrow
beneath the fires of the tropics--but often, alas! at the moment when my
presence might save them, the invisible hand impels me, the whirlwind
carries me away, and the voice speaks in my ear: 'GO ON! GO ON!'

"Oh, that I might only finish my task!--'GO ON!'--A single hour--only a
single hour of repose!--'GO ON!'--Alas!  I leave those I love on the
brink of the abyss!--'GO ON!  GO ON!'

"Such is my punishment.  If it is great, my crime was greater still!  An
artisan, devoted to privations and misery, my misfortunes had made me

"Oh, cursed, cursed be the day, when, as I bent over my work, sullen with
hate and despair, because, in spite of my incessant labor, I and mine
wanted for everything, the Saviour passed before my door.

"Reviled, insulted, covered with blows, hardly able to sustain the weight
of his heavy cross, He asked me to let Him rest a moment on my stone
bench.  The sweat poured from His forehead, His feet were bleeding, He
was well-nigh sinking with fatigue, and He said to me, in a mild, heart-
piercing voice: 'I suffer!' 'And I too suffer,' I replied, as with harsh
anger I pushed Him from the place; 'I suffer, and no one comes to help
me!  I find no pity, and will give none.  Go on! go on!' Then, with a
deep sigh of pain, He answered, and spake this sentence: 'Verily, thou
shalt go on till the day of thy redemption, for so wills the Father which
art in heaven!'

"And so my punishment began.  Too late I opened these eyes to the light,
too late I learned repentance and charity, too late I understood those
divine words of Him I had outraged, words which should be the law of the
whole human race.  'LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER.'

"In vain through successive ages, gathering strength and eloquence from
those celestial words, have I labored to earn my pardon, by filling with
commiseration and love hearts that were overflowing with envy and
bitterness, by inspiring many a soul with a sacred horror of oppression
and injustice.  For me the day of mercy has not yet dawned!

"And even as the first man, by his fall, devoted his posterity to
misfortune, it would seem as if I, the workman, had consigned the whole
race of artisans to endless sorrows, and as if they were expiating my
crime: for they alone, during these eighteen centuries, have not yet been

"For eighteen centuries, the powerful and the happy of this world have
said to the toiling people what I said to the imploring and suffering
Saviour: 'Go on! go on!'  And the people, sinking with fatigue, bearing
their heavy cross, have answered in the bitterness of their grief: 'Oh,
for pity's sake! a few moments of repose; we are worn out with toil.'--
Go on!'--'And if we perish in our pain, what will become of our little
children and our aged mothers?'--'Go on! go on!' And, for eighteen
centuries, they and I have continued to struggle forward and to suffer,
and no charitable voice has yet pronounced the word 'Enough!'

"Alas! such is my punishment.  It is immense, it is two-fold.  I suffer
in the name of humanity, when I see these wretched multitudes consigned
without respite to profitless and oppressive toil.  I suffer in the name
of my family, when, poor and wandering, I am unable to bring aid to the
descendants of my dear sister.  But, when the sorrow is above my
strength, when I foresee some danger from which I cannot preserve my own,
then my thoughts, travelling over the world, go in search of that woman
like me accursed, that daughter of a queen, who, like me, the son of a
laborer, wanders, and will wander on, till the day of her redemption.[3]

"Once in a century, as two planets draw nigh to each other in their
revolutions, I am permitted to meet this woman during the dread week of
the Passion.  And after this interview, filled with terrible remembrances
and boundless griefs, wandering stars of eternity, we pursue our infinite

"And this woman, the only one upon earth who, like me, sees the end of
every century, and exclaims: 'What another?' this woman responds to my
thought, from the furthest extremity of the world.  She, who alone shares
my terrible destiny, has chosen to share also the only interest that has
consoled me for so many ages.  Those descendants of my dear sister, she
too loves, she too protects them.  For them she journeys likewise from
East to West and from North to South.

"But alas! the invisible hand impels her, the whirlwind carries her away,
and the voice speaks in her ear: 'Go on!'--Oh that I might finish my
sentence!' repeats she also,--Go on!'--'A single hour--only a single hour
of repose!'--Go on!'--'I leave those I love on the brink of the abyss.'--
'Go on! Go on!--'

Whilst this man thus went over the hill absorbed in his thoughts, the
light evening breeze increased almost to a gale, a vivid flash streamed
across the sky, and long, deep whistlings announced the coming of a

On a sudden this doomed man, who could no longer weep or smile, started
with a shudder.  No physical pain could reach him, and yet he pressed his
hand hastily to his heart, as though he had experienced a cruel pang.
"Oh!" cried he; "I feel it.  This hour, many of those whom I love--the
descendants of my dear sister--suffer, and are in great peril.  Some in
the centre of India--some in America--some here in Germany.  The struggle
recommences, the detestable passions are again awake.  Oh, thou that
hearest me--thou, like myself wandering and accursed--Herodias! help me
to protect them!  May my invocation reach thee, in those American
solitudes where thou now lingerest--and may we arrive in time!"

Thereon an extraordinary event happened.  Night was come.  The man made a
movement; precipitately, to retrace his steps--but an invisible force
prevented him, and carried him forward in the opposite direction.

At this moment, the storm burst forth in its murky majesty.  One of those
whirlwinds, which tear up trees by the roots and shake the foundations of
the rocks, rushed over the hill rapid and loud as thunder.

In the midst of the roaring of the hurricane, by the glare of the fiery
flashes, the man with the black mark on his brow was seen descending the
hill, stalking with huge strides among the rocks, and between trees bent
beneath the efforts of the storm.

The tread of this man was no longer slow, firm, and steady--but painfully
irregular, like that of one impelled by an irresistible power, or carried
along by the whirl of a frightful wind.  In vain he extended his
supplicating hands to heaven.  Soon he disappeared in the shades of
night, and amid the roar of the tempest.

[2]It is known that, according to the legend, the Wandering Jew was a
shoemaker at Jerusalem.  The Saviour, carrying his cross, passed before
the house of the artisan, and asked him to be allowed to rest an instant
on the stone bench at his door.  "Go on! go on!" said the Jew harshly,
pushing him away.  "Thou shalt go on till the end of time," answered the
Saviour, in a stern though sorrowful tone.  For further details, see the
eloquent and learned notice by Charles Magnin, appended to the
magnificent poem "Ahasuerus," by Ed. Quinet.--E. S.

[3]According to a legend very little known, for we are indebted to the
kindness of M. Maury, the learned sub-librarian of the Institute,
Herodias was condemned to wander till the day of judgement, for having
asked for the death of John the Baptist--E. S.



While Rodin despatched his cosmopolite correspondence, from his retreat
in the Rue du Milieu des Ursins, in Paris--while the daughters of General
Simon, after quitting as fugitives the White Falcon, were detained
prisoners at Leipsic along with Dagobert--other scenes, deeply
interesting to these different personages, were passing, almost as it
were at the same moment, at the other extremity of the world, in the
furthermost parts of Asia--that is to say, in the island of Java, not far
from the city of Batavia, the residence of M. Joshua Van Dael, one of the
correspondents of Rodin.

Java! magnificent and fatal country, where the most admirable flowers
conceal hideous reptiles, where the brightest fruits contain subtle
poisons, where grow splendid trees, whose very shadow is death--where the

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