List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v7, by Eugene Sue
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warmth, as he stretched out his hand to Rodin, "You are come, and I am

"I understand your joy, my dear prince, for I come to take you out of
prison--to open your cage for you.  I had begged you to submit to a brief
seclusion, entirely for your own interest."

"Can I go out to-morrow?"

"To-day, my dear prince, if you please."

The young Indian reflected for a moment, and then resumed, "I must have
friends, since I am here in a palace that does not belong to me."

"Certainly you have friends--excellent friends," answered Rodin.  At
these words, Djalma's countenance seemed to acquire fresh beauty.  The
most noble sentiments were expressed in his fine features; his large
black eyes became slightly humid, and, after another interval of silence,
he rose and said to Rodin with emotion: "Come!"

"Whither, dear prince?" said the other, much surprised.

"To thank my friends.  I have waited three days.  It is long."

"Permit me dear prince--I have much to tell you on this subject--please
to be seated."

Djalma resumed his seat with docility.  Rodin continued: "It is true that
you have friends; or rather, you have a friend.  Friends are rare."

"What are you?"

"Well, then, you have two friends, my dear prince--myself, whom you know,
and one other, whom you do not know, and who desires to remain unknown to


"Why?" answered Rodin, after a moment's embarrassment.  "Because the
happiness he feels in giving you these proofs of his friendship and even
his own tranquillity, depend upon preserving this mystery."

"Why should there be concealment when we do good?"

"Sometimes, to conceal the good we do, my dear prince."

"I profit by this friendship; why should he conceal himself from one?"
These repeated questions of the young Indian appeared to puzzle Rodin,
who, however, replied: "I have told you, my dear prince, that your secret
friend would perhaps have his tranquillity compromised, if he were

"If he were known--as my friend?"

"Exactly so, dear prince."

The countenance of Djalma immediately assumed an appearance of sorrowful
dignity; he raised his head proudly, and said in a stern and haughty
voice: "Since this friend hides himself from me, he must either be
ashamed of me, or there is reason for me to be ashamed of him.  I only
accept hospitality from those who are worthy of me, and who think me
worthy of them.  I leave this house."  So saying, Djalma rose with such
an air of determination, that Rodin exclaimed: "Listen to me, my dear
prince.  Allow me to tell you, that your petulance and touchiness are
almost incredible.  Though we have endeavored to remind you of your
beautiful country, we are here in Europe, in France, in the centre of
Paris.  This consideration may perhaps a little modify your views.
Listen to me, I conjure you."

Notwithstanding his complete ignorance of certain social
conventionalisms, Djalma had too much good sense and uprightness, not to
appreciate reason, when it appeared reasonable.  The words of Rodin
calmed him.  With that ingenuous modesty, with which natures full of
strength and generosity are almost always endowed, he answered mildly:
"You are right, father.  I am no longer in my own country.  Here the
customs are different.  I will reflect upon it."

Notwithstanding his craft and suppleness, Rodin sometimes found himself
perplexed by the wild and unforseen ideas of the young Indian.  Thus he
saw, to his great surprise, that Djalma now remained pensive for some
minutes, after which he resumed in a calm but firm tone: "I have obeyed
you, father: I have reflected."

"Well, my dear prince?"

"In no country in the world, under no pretext, should a man of honor
conceal his friendship for another man of honor."

"But suppose there should be danger in avowing this friendship?" said
Rodin, very uneasy at the turn the conversation was taking.  Djalma eyed
the Jesuit with contemptuous astonishment, and made no reply.

"I understand your silence, my dear prince: a brave man ought to defy
danger.  True; but if it should be you that the danger threatens, in case
this friendship were discovered, would not your man of honor be
excusable, even praiseworthy, to persist in remaining unknown?"

"I accept nothing from a friend, who thinks me capable of denying him
from cowardice."

"Dear prince--listen to me."

"Adieu, father."

"Yet reflect!"

"I have said it," replied Djalma, in an abrupt and almost sovereign tone,
as he walked towards the door.

"But suppose a woman were concerned," cried Rodin, driven to extremity,
and hastening after the young Indian, for he really feared that Djalma
might rush from the house, and thus overthrow all his projects.

At the last words of Rodin the Indian stopped abruptly.  "A woman!" said
he, with a start, and turning red.  "A woman is concerned?"

"Why, yes! suppose it were a woman," resumed Rodin, "would you not then
understand her reserve, and the secrecy with which she is obliged to
surround the marks of affection she wishes to give you?"

"A woman! repeated Djalma, in a trembling voice, clasping his hands in
adoration; and his beautiful countenance was expressive of the deepest
emotion.  "A woman!" said he again.  "A Parisian?"

"Yes, my dear prince, as you force me to this indiscretion, I will
confess to you that your friend is a real Parisian--a noble matron,
endowed with the highest virtues--whose age alone merits all your

"She is very old, then?" cried poor Djalma, whose charming dream was thus
abruptly dispelled.

"She may be a few years older than I am," answered Rodin, with an
ironical smile, expecting to see the young man express a sort of comical
disappointment or angry regret.

But it was not so.  To the passionate enthusiasm of love, which had for a
moment lighted up the prince's features, there now succeeded a respectful
and touching expression.  He looked at Rodin with emotion, and said to
him in a broken voice: "This woman, is then, a mother to me?"

It is impossible to describe with what a pious, melancholy, and tender
charm the Indian uttered the word mother.

"You have it, my dear prince; this respectable lady wishes to be a mother
to you.  But I may not reveal to you the cause of the affection she feels
for you.  Only, believe me--this affection is sincere, and the cause
honorable.  If I do not tell you her secret, it is that, with us, the
secrets of women, young or old, are equally sacred."

"That is right, and I will respect it.  Without seeing her, I will love
her--as I love God, without seeing Him."

"And now, my dear prince, let me tell you what are the intentions of your
maternal friend.  This house will remain at your disposal, as long as you
like it; French servants, a carriage, and horses, will be at your orders;
the charges of your housekeeping will be paid for you.  Then, as the son
of a king should live royalty, I have left in the next room a casket
containing five hundred Louis; every month a similar sum will be
provided: if it should not be found sufficient for your little
amusements, you will tell me, and it shall be augmented."

At a movement of Djalma, Rodin hastened to add: "I must tell you at once,
my dear prince, that your delicacy may be quite at ease.  First of all,
you may accept anything from a mother; next, as in about three months you
will come into possession of an immense inheritance, it will be easy for
you, if you feel the obligation a burden--and the sum cannot exceed, at
the most, four or five thousand Louis--to repay these advances.  Spare
nothing, then, but satisfy all your fancies.  You are expected to appear
in the great world of Paris, in a style becoming the son of a king who
was called the Father of the Generous.  So once again I conjure you not
to be restrained by a false delicacy; if this sum should not be

"I will ask for more.  My mother is right; the son of a monarch ought to
live royally."

Such was the answer of the Indian, made with perfect simplicity, and
without any appearance of astonishment at these magnificent offers.  This
was natural.  Djalma would have done for others what they were doing for
him, for the traditions of the prodigal magnificence and splendid
hospitality of Indian princes are well known.  Djalma had been as moved
as grateful, on hearing that a woman loved him with maternal affection.
As for the luxury with which she nought to surround him, he accepted it
without astonishment and without scruple.  This resignation, again,
somewhat disconcerted Rodin, who had prepared many excellent arguments to
persuade the Indian to accept his offers.

"Well, then, it's all agreed, my dear prince," resumed the Jesuit.  "Now,
as you must see the world, it's just as well to enter by the best door,
as we say.  One of the friends of your maternal protectress, the Count de
Montbron, an old nobleman of the greatest experience, and belonging to
the first society, will introduce you in some of the best houses in

"Will you not introduce me, father?"

"Alas!  my dear prince, look at me.  Tell me, if you think I am fitted
for such an office.  No. no; I live alone and retired from the world.
And then," added Rodin, after a short silence, fixing a penetrating,
attentive, and curious look upon the prince, as if he would have
subjected him to a sort of experiment by what follows; "and then, you
see, M. de Montbron will be better able than I should, in the world you
are about to enter, to enlighten you as to the snares that will be laid
for you.  For if you have friends, you have also enemies--cowardly
enemies, as you know, who have abused your confidence in an infamous
manner, and have made sport of you.  And as, unfortunately, their power
is equal to their wickedness, it would perhaps be more prudent in you to
try to avoid them--to fly, instead of resisting them openly."

At the remembrance of his enemies, at the thought of flying from them,
Djalma trembled in every limb; his features became of a lurid paleness;
his eyes wide open, so that the pupil was encircled with white, sparkled
with lurid fire; never had scorn, hatred, and the desire of vengeance,
expressed themselves so terribly on a human face.  His upper lip, blood-
red, was curled convulsively, exposing a row of small, white, and close-
set teeth, and giving to his countenance lately so charming, an air of
such animal ferocity, that Rodin started from his seat, and exclaimed:
"What is the matter, prince?  You frighten me."

Djalma did not answer.  Half leaning forward, with his hands clinched in
rage, he seemed to cling to one of the arms of the chair, for fear of
yielding to a burst of terrific fury.  At this moment, the amber
mouthpiece of his pipe rolled, by chance, under one of his feet; the
violent tension, which contracted all the muscles of the young Indian,
was so powerful, and notwithstanding his youth and his light figure, he
was endowed with such vigor, that with one abrupt stamp he powdered to
dust the piece of amber, in spite of its extreme hardness.

"In the name of heaven, what is the matter, prince?" cried Rodin.

"Thus would I crush my cowardly enemies!" exclaimed Djalma, with menacing
and excited look.  Then, as if these words had brought his rage to a
climax, he bounded from his seat, and, with haggard eyes, strode about
the room for some seconds in all directions, as if he sought for some
weapon, and uttered from time to time a hoarse cry, which he endeavored
to stifle by thrusting his clinched fist against his mouth, whilst his
jaws moved convulsively.  It was the impotent rage of a wild beast,
thirsting for blood.  Yet, in all this, the young Indian preserved a
great and savage beauty; it was evident that these instincts of
sanguinary ardor and blind intrepidity, now excited to this pitch by
horror of treachery and cowardice, when applied to war, or to those
gigantic Indian hunts, which are even more bloody than a battle, must
make of Djalma what he really was a hero.

Rodin admired, with deep and ominous joy, the fiery impetuosity of
passion in the young Indian, for, under various conceivable
circumstances, the effect must be terrible.  Suddenly, to the Jesuit's
great surprise, the tempest was appeased.  Djalma's fury was calmed thus
instantaneously, because refection showed him how vain it was: ashamed of
his childish violence, he cast down his eyes.  His countenance remained
pale and gloomy; and, with a cold tranquillity, far more formidable than
the violence to which he had yielded, he said to Rodin: "Father, you will
this day lead me to meet my enemies."

"In what end, my dear prince?  What would you do?"

"Kill the cowards!"

"Kill them! you must not think of it."

"Faringhea will aid me."

"Remember, you are not on the banks of the Ganges, and here one does not
kill an enemy like a hunted tiger."

"One fights with a loyal enemy, but one kills a traitor like an accursed
dog," replied Djalma, with as much conviction as tranquillity.

"Ah, prince, whose father was the Father of the Generous," said Rodin, in
a grave voice; "what pleasure can you find in striking down creatures as
cowardly as they are wicked?"

"To destroy what is dangerous, is a duty."

"So prince, you seek for revenge."

"I do not revenge myself on a serpent," said the Indian, with haughty
bitterness; "I crush it."

"But, my dear prince, here we cannot get rid of our enemies in that
manner.  If we have cause of complaint--"

"Women and children complain," said Djalma, interrupting Rodin: "men

"Still on the banks of the Ganges, my dear prince.  Here society takes
your cause into its own hands, examines, judges, and if there be good
reason, punishes."

"In my own quarrel, I am both judge and executioner."

"Pray listen to me; you have escaped the odious snares of your enemies,
have you not?--Well!  suppose it were thanks to the devotion of the
venerable woman who has for you the tenderness of a mother, and that she
were to ask you to forgive them--she, who saved you from their hands--
what would you do then?"

The Indian hung his head, and was silent.  Profiting by his hesitation,
Rodin continued: "I might say to you that I know your enemies, but that
in the dread of seeing you commit some terrible imprudence, I would
conceal their names from you forever.  But no!  I swear to you, that if
the respectable person, who loves you as her son, should find it either
right or useful that I should tell you their names, I will do so--until
she has pronounced, I must be silent."

Djalma looked at Rodin with a dark and wrathful air.  At this moment,
Faringhea entered, and said to Rodin: "A man with a letter, not finding
you at home, has been sent on here.  Am I to receive it?  He says it
comes from the Abbe d'Aigrigny.

"Certainly," answered Rodin.  "That is," he added, "with the prince's

Djalma nodded in reply; Faringhea went out.

"You will excuse what I have done, dear prince.  I expected this morning
a very important letter.  As it was late in coming to hand, I ordered it
to be sent on."

A few minutes after, Faringhea returned with the letter, which he

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