List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v8, by Eugene Sue
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The pang of this bite forced Agricola to make a movement, which enabled
the quarryman to disengage his leg.  Then, with a superhuman effort, he
threw himself with his whole weight on Agricola, and brought him to the
ground, falling himself upon him.

At this juncture, Angela's mother, leaning from one of the windows of the
Common Dwelling-house, exclaimed in a heart-rending voice: "Help,
Agricola!--they are killing my child!"

"Let me go--and on, my honor--I will fight you tomorrow, or when you
will," said Agricola, panting for breath.

"No warmed-up food for me; I eat all hot," answered the quarryman,
seizing the smith by the throat, whilst he tried to place one of his
knees upon his chest.

"Help!--they are killing my child!" cried Angela's mother, in a voice of

"Mercy!  I ask mercy!  Let me go!"' said Agricola, making the most
violent efforts to escape.

"I am too hungry," answered the quarryman.

Exasperated by the terror which Angela's danger occasioned him, Agricola
redoubled his efforts, when the quarryman suddenly felt his thigh seized
by the sharp teeth of a dog, and at the same instant received from a
vigorous hand three or four heavy blows with a stick upon his head.  He
relaxed his grasp, and fell stunned upon his hand and knee, whilst he
mechanically raised his other arm to parry the blows, which ceased as
soon as Agricola was delivered.

"Father, you have saved me!" cried the smith, springing up.  "If only I
am in time to rescue Angela!"

"Run!--never mind me!" answered Dagobert; and Agricola rushed into the

Dogabert, accompanied by Spoil-sport, had come, as we have already said,
to bring Marshal Simon's daughters to their grandfather.  Arriving in the
midst of the tumult, the soldier had collected a few workmen to defend
the entrance of the chamber, to which the marshal's father had been
carried in a dying state.  It was from this post that the soldier had
seen Agricola's danger.  Soon after, the rush of the conflict separated
Dagobert from the quarryman, who remained for some moments insensible.
Arrived in two bounds at the Common Dwelling-house, Agricola succeeded in
forcing his way through the men who defended the staircase, and rushed
into the corridor that led to Angela's chamber.  At the moment he reached
it, the unfortunate girl was mechanically guarding her face with both
hands against Ciboule, who, furious as the hyena over its prey, was
trying to scratch and disfigure her.

To spring upon the horrible hag, seize her by her yellow hair with
irresistible hand, drag her backwards, and then with one cuff, stretch
her full length upon the ground, was for Agricola an achievement as rapid
as thought.  Furious with rage, Ciboule rose again almost instantly; but
at this moment, several workmen, who had followed close upon Agricola,
were able to attack with advantage, and whilst the smith lifted the
fainting form of Angela, and carried her into the next room, Ciboule and
her band were driven from that part of the house.

After the first fire of the assault, the small number of real Wolves,
who, as Agricola said, were in the main honest fellows, but had the
weakness to let themselves be drawn into this enterprise, under the
pretext of a quarrel between rival unions, seeing the excesses committed
by the rabble who accompanied them, turned suddenly round, and ranged
themselves on the side of the Devourers.

"There are no longer here either Wolves or Devourers," said one of the
most determined Wolves to Olivier, with whom he had been fighting roughly
and fairly; "there are none here but honest workmen, who must unite to
drive out a set of scoundrels, that have come only to break and pillage."

"Yes," added another; "it was against our will that they began by
breaking your windows."

"The big blaster did it all," said another; "the true Wolves wash their
hands of him.  We shall soon settle his account."

"We may fight every day--but we ought to esteem each other."[35]

This defection of a portion of the assailants (unfortunately but a small
portion) gave new spirit to the workmen of the factory, and all together,
Wolves and Devourers, though very inferior in number, opposed themselves
to the band of vagabonds, who were proceeding to new excesses.  Some of
these wretches, still further excited by the little man with the ferret's
face, a secret emissary of Baron Tripeaud, now rushed in a mass towards
the workshops of M. Hardy.  Then began a lamentable devastation.  These
people, seized with the mania of destruction, broke without remorse
machines of the greatest value, and most delicate construction; half-
manufactured articles were pitilessly destroyed; a savage emulation
seemed to inspire these barbarians, and those workshops, so lately the
model of order and well-regulated economy, were soon nothing but a wreck;
the courts were strewed with fragments of all kinds of wares, which were
thrown from the windows with ferocious outcries, or savage bursts of
laughter.  Then, still thanks to the incitements of the little man with
the ferret's face, the books of M. Hardy, archives of commercial
industry, so indispensable to the trader, were scattered to the wind,
torn, trampled under foot, in a sort of infernal dance, composed of all
that was most impure in this assembly of low, filthy, and ragged men and
women, who held each other by the hand, and whirled round and round with
horrible clamor.  Strange and painful contrasts!  At the height of the
stunning noise of these horrid deeds of tumult and devastation, a scene
of imposing and mournful calm was taking place in the chamber of Marshal
Simon's father, the door of which was guarded by a few devoted men.  The
old workman was stretched on his bed, with a bandage across his blood-
stained white hair.  His countenance was livid, his breathing oppressed,
his look fixed and glazed.

Marshal Simon, standing at the head of the bed, bending over his father,
watched in despairing anguish the least sign of consciousness on the part
of the dying man, near whom was a physician, with his finger on the
failing pulse.  Rose and Blanche, brought hither by Dagobert, were
kneeling beside the bed, their hands clasped, and their eyes bathed in
tears; a little further, half hidden in the shadows of the room, for the
hours had passed quickly, and the night was at hand, stood Dagobert
himself, with his arms crossed upon his breast, and his features
painfully contracted.  A profound and solemn silence reigned in this
chamber, only interrupted by the broken sobs of Rose and Blanche, or by
Father Simon's hard breathing.  The eyes of the marshal were dry, gloomy,
and full of fire.  He only withdrew them from his father's face, to
interrogate the physician by a look.  There are strange coincidences in
life.  That physician was Dr. Baleinier.  The asylum of the doctor being
close to the barrier that was nearest to the factory, and his fame being
widely spread in the neighborhood, they had run to fetch him on the first
call for medical assistance.

Suddenly, Dr. Baleinier made a movement; the marshal, who had not taken
his eyes off him, exclaimed: "Is there any hope?"

"At least, my lord duke, the pulse revives a little."

"He is saved!" said the marshal.

"Do not cherish false hopes, my lord duke," answered the doctor, gravely:
"the pulse revives, owing to the powerful applications to the feet, but I
know not what will be the issue of the crisis."

"Father! father! do you hear me?" cried the marshal, seeing the old man
slightly move his head, and feebly raise his eyelids.  He soon opened his
eyes, and this time their intelligence had returned.

"Father! you live--you know me!" cried the marshal, giddy with joy and

"Pierre! are you there?" said the old man, in a weak voice.  "Your hand--
give--it--" and he made a feeble movement.

"Here, father!" cried the marshal, as he pressed the hands of the old man
in his own.

Then, yielding to an impulse of delight, he bent over his father, covered
his hands, face, and hair with kisses, and repeated: "He lives! kind
heaven, he lives! he is saved!"

At this instant, the noise of the struggle which had recommenced between
the rabble, the Wolves, and the Devourers, reached the ears of the dying

"That noise! that noise!" said he: "they are fighting."

"It is growing less, I think," said the marshal, in order not to agitate
his father.

"Pierre," said the old man, in a weak and broken voice, "I have not long
to live."


"Let me speak, child; if I can but tell you all."

"Sir," said Baleinier piously to the old workman, "heaven may perhaps
work a miracle in your favor; show yourself grateful, and allow a priest--"

"A priest!  Thank you, sir--I have my son," said the old man; "in his
arms, I will render up my soul--which has always been true and honest."

"You die?" exclaimed the marshal; "no! no!"

"Pierre," said the old man, in a voice which, firm at first, gradually
grew fainter, "just now--you ask my advice in a very serious matter.  I
think, that the wish to tell you of your duty--has recalled me--for a
moment--to life--for I should die miserable--if I thought you in a road
unworthy of yourself and me.  Listen to me, my son--my noble son--at this
last hour, a father cannot deceive himself.  You have a great duty to
perform---under pain--of not acting like a man of honor--under pain of
neglecting my last will.  You ought, without hesitation--"

Here the voice failed the old man.  When he had pronounced the last
sentence, he became quite unintelligible.  The only words that Marshal
Simon could distinguish, were these: "Napoleon II.--oath--dishonor--my

Then the old workman again moved his lips mechanically--and all was
over.  At the moment he expired, the night was quite come, and terrible
shouts were heard from without, of "Fire! Fire!"  The conflagration had
broken out in one of the workshops, filled with inflammable stuff, into
which had glided the little man with the ferret's face.  At the same
time, the roll of drums was heard in the distance, announcing the arrival
of a detachment of troops from town.

During an hour, in spite of every effort, the fire had been spreading
through the factory.  The night is clear, cold, starlight; the wind blows
keenly from the north, with a moaning sound.  A man, walking across the
fields, where the rising ground conceals the fire from him, advances with
slow and unsteady steps.  It is M. Hardy.  He had chosen to return home
on foot, across the country, hoping that a walk would calm the fever in
his blood--an icy fever, more like the chill of death.  He had not been
deceived.  His adored mistress--the noble woman, with whom he might have
found refuge from the consequences of the fearful deception which had
just been revealed to him--had quitted France.  He could have no doubt of
it.  Margaret was gone to America.  Her mother had exacted from her, in
expiation of her fault, that she should not even write to him one word of
farewell--to him, for whom she had sacrificed her duty as a wife.
Margaret had obeyed.

Besides, she had often said to him: "Between my mother and you, I should
not hesitate."

She had not hesitated.  There was therefore no hope, not the slightest;
even if an ocean had not separated him from Margaret, he knew enough of
her blind submission to her mother, to be certain that all relations
between them were broken off forever.  It is well.  He will no longer
reckon upon this heart--his last refuge.  The two roots of his life have
been torn up and broken, with the same blow, the same day, almost at the
same moment.  What then remains for thee, poor sensitive plant, as thy
tender mother used to call thee?  What remains to console thee for the
loss of this last love--this last friendship, so infamously crushed?  Oh!
there remains for thee that one corner of the earth, created after the
image of thy mind that little colony, so peaceful and flourishing, where,
thanks to thee, labor brings with it joy and recompense.  These worthy
artisans, whom thou hast made happy, good, and grateful, will not fail
thee.  That also is a great and holy affection; let it be thy shelter in
the midst of this frightful wreck of all thy most sacred convictions!
The calm of that cheerful and pleasant retreat, the sight of the
unequalled happiness of thy dependents, will soothe thy poor, suffering
soul, which now seems to live only for suffering.  Come! you will soon
reach the top of the hill, from which you can see afar, in the plain
below, that paradise of workmen, of which you are the presiding divinity.

M. Hardy had reached the summit of the hill.  At that moment the
conflagration, repressed for a short time, burst forth with redoubled
fury from the Common Dwelling-house, which it had now reached.  A bright
streak, at first white, then red, then copper-colored, illuminated the
distant horizon.  M. Hardy looked at it with a sort of incredulous,
almost idiotic stupor.  Suddenly, an immense column of flame shot up in
the thick of a cloud of smoke, accompanied by a shower of sparks, and
streamed towards the sky, casting a bright reflection over all the
country, even to M. Hardy's feet.  The violence of the north wind,
driving the flames in waves before it, soon brought to the ears of M.
Hardy the hurried clanging of the alarm-bell of the burning factory.

[35] We wish it to be understood, that the necessities of our story alone
have made the Wolves the assailants.  While endeavoring to paint the
evils arising the abuse of the spirit of association, we do not wish to
ascribe a character of savage hostility to one sect rather than to the
other to the Wolves more than to the Devourers.  The Wolves, a club of
united stone-cutters, are generally industrious, intelligent workmen,
whose situation is the more worthy of interest, as not only their labors,
conducted with mathematical precision, are of the rudest and most
wearisome kind, but they are likewise out of work during three or four
months of the year, their profession being, unfortunately, one of those
which winter condemns to a forced cessation.  A number of Wolves, in
order to perfect themselves in their trade, attend every evening a course
of linear geometry, applied to the cutting of stone, analogous to that
given by M. Agricole Perdignier, for the benefit of carpenters.  Several
working stone-cutters sent an architectural model in plaster to the last



A few days have elapsed since the conflagration of M. Hardy's factory.
The following scene takes place in the Rue Clovis, in the house where
Rodin had lodged, and which was still inhabited by Rose-Pompon, who,
without the least scruple, availed herself of the household arrangements
of her friend Philemon.  It was about noon, and Rose-Pompon, alone in the
chamber of the student, who was still absent, was breakfasting very gayly
by the fireside; but how singular a breakfast! what a queer fire! how
strange an apartment!

Imagine a large room, lighted by two windows without curtains--for as
they looked on empty space, the lodger had fear of being overlooked.  One

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