List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v9, by Eugene Sue
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By Eugene Sue


XV.        The Constant Wanderer
XVI.       The Luncheon
XVII.      Rendering the Account
XVIII.     The Square of Notre Dame
XIX.       The Cholera Masquerade
XX.        The Defiance
XXI.       Brandy to the Rescue
XXII.      Memories
XXIII.     The Poisoner
XXIV.      Cathedral
XXV.       The Murderers
XXVI.      The Patient
XXVII.     The Lure
XXVIII.    Good News
XXIX.      The Operation
XXX.       The Torture
XXXI.      Vice and Virtue
XXXII.     Suicide



It is night.  The moon shines and the stars glimmer in the midst of a
serene but cheerless sky; the sharp whistlings of the north wind, that
fatal, dry, and icy breeze, ever and anon burst forth in violent gusts.
With its harsh and cutting breath, it sweeps Montmartre's Heights.  On
the highest point of the hills, a man is standing.  His long shadow is
cast upon the stony, moon-lit ground.  He gazes on the immense city,
which lies outspread beneath his feet.  PARIS--with the dark outline of
its towers, cupolas, domes, and steeples, standing out from the limpid
blue of the horizon, while from the midst of the ocean of masonry, rises
a luminous vapor, that reddens the starry azure of the sky.  It is the
distant reflection of the thousand fires, which at night, the hour of
pleasures, light up so joyously the noisy capital.

"No," said the wayfarer; "it is not to be.  The Lord will not exact it.
Is not twice enough?

"Five centuries ago, the avenging hand of the Almighty drove me hither
from the uttermost confines of Asia.  A solitary traveller, I had left
behind me more grief, despair, disaster, and death, than the innumerable
armies of a hundred devastating conquerors.  I entered this town, and it
too was decimated.

"Again, two centuries ago, the inexorable hand, which leads me through
the world, brought me once more hither; and then, as the time before, the
plague, which the Almighty attaches to my steps, again ravaged this city,
and fell first on my brethren, already worn out with labor and misery.

"My brethren--mine?--the cobbler of Jerusalem, the artisan accursed by
the Lord, who, in my person, condemned the whole race of workmen, ever
suffering, ever disinherited, ever in slavery, toiling on like me without
rest or pause, without recompense or hope, till men, women, and children,
young and old, all die beneath the same iron yoke--that murderous yoke,
which others take in their turn, thus to be borne from age to age on the
submissive and bruised shoulders of the masses.

"And now, for the third time in five centuries, I reach the summit of one
of the hills that overlook the city.  And perhaps I again bring with me
fear, desolation, and death.

"Yet this city, intoxicated with the sounds of its joys and its nocturnal
revelries, does not know--oh! does not know that I am at its gates.

"But no, no! my presence will not be a new calamity.  The Lord, in his
impenetrable views, has hitherto led me through France, so as to avoid
the humblest hamlet; and the sound of the funeral knell has not
accompanied my passage.

"And, moreover, the spectre has left me--the green, livid spectre, with
its hollow, bloodshot eyes.  When I touched the soil of France, its damp
and icy hands was no longer clasped in mine--and it disappeared.

"And yet--I feel that the atmosphere of death is around me.

"The sharp whistlings of that fatal wind cease not, which, catching me in
their whirl, seem to propagate blasting and mildew as they blow.

"But perhaps the wrath of the Lord is appeased, and my presence here is
only a threat--to be communicated in some way to those "whom it should

"Yes; for otherwise he would smite with a fearful blow, by first
scattering terror and death here in the heart of the country, in the
bosom of this immense city!

"Oh! no, no! the Lord will be merciful.  No! he will not condemn me to
this new torture.

"Alas! in this city, my brethren are more numerous and miserable than
elsewhere.  And should I be their messenger of death?"

"No! the Lord will have pity.  For, alas! the seven descendants of my
sister have at length met in this town.  And to them likewise should I be
the messenger of death, instead of the help they so much need?

"For that woman, who like me wanders from one border of the earth to the
other, after having once more rent asunder the nets of their enemies, has
gone forth upon her endless journey.

"In vain she foresaw that new misfortunes threatened my sister's family.
The invisible hand, that drives me on, drives her on also.

"Carried away, as of old, by the irresistible whirlwind, at the moment of
leaving my kindred to their fate, she in vain cried with supplicating
tone: `Let me at least, O Lord, complete my task!'--'GO ON!--`A few days,
in mercy, only a few poor days!'--'GO ON'--'I leave those I love on the
brink of the abyss!'--'GO ON! GO ON!'

"And the wandering star--again started on its eternal round.  And her
voice, passing through space, called me to the assistance of mine own.

"When that voice readied me, I knew that the descendants of my sister
were still exposed to frightful perils.  Those perils are even now on the

"Tell me, O Lord! will they escape the scourge, which for so many
centuries has weighed down our race?

"Wilt thou pardon me in them? wilt thou punish me in them?  Oh, that they
might obey the last will of their ancestor!

"Oh, that they might join together their charitable hearts, their valor
and their strength, their noble intelligence, and their great riches!

"They would then labor for the future happiness of humanity--they would
thus, perhaps, redeem me from my eternal punishment!

"The words of the Son of Man, LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER, will be their only
end, their only means.

"By the help of those all-powerful words, they will fight and conquer the
false priests, who have renounced the precepts of love, peace, and hope,
for lessons of hatred, violence, and despair.

"Those false priests, who, kept in pay by the powerful and happy of this
world, their accomplices in every age, instead of asking here below for
some slight share of well-being for my unfortunate brethren, dare in thy
name, O Lord God, to assert that the poor are condemned to endless
suffering in this world--and that the desire or the hope to suffer less
is a crime in thine eyes--because the happiness of the few, and the
misery of nearly the whole human race, is (O blasphemy!) according to thy
will.  Is not the very contrary of those murderous words alone worthy of

"In mercy, hear me, Lord!  Rescue from their enemies the descendants of
my sister--the artisan as the king's son.  Do not let them destroy the
germ of so mighty and fruitful an association, which, with thy blessing,
would make an epoch in the annals of human happiness!

"Let me unite them, O Lord, since others would divide them--defend them,
since others attack; let me give hope to those who have ceased to hope,
courage to those who are brought low with fear--let me raise up the
falling, and sustain those who persevere in the way of the righteous!

"And, peradventure, their struggles, devotion, virtue, and grief, may
expiate my fault--that of a man, whom misfortune alone rendered unjust
and wicked.

"Oh! since Thy Almighty hand hath led me hither--to what end I know not--
lay aside Thy wrath, I beseech Thee--let me be no longer the instrument
of Thy vengeance!

"Enough of woe upon the earth! for the last two years, Thy creatures have
fallen by thousands upon my track.  The world is decimated.  A veil of
mourning extends over all the globe.

"From Asia to the icy Pole, they died upon the path of the wanderer.
Dost Thou not hear the long-drawn sigh that rises from the earth unto
Thee, O Lord?

"Mercy for all! mercy for me!--Let me but unite the descendants of my
sister for a single day, and they will be saved!"

As he pronounced these words, the wayfarer sank upon his knees, and
raised to heaven, his supplicating hands.  Suddenly, the wind blew with
redoubled violence; its sharp whistlings were changed into the roar of a

The traveller shuddered; in a voice of terror he exclaimed: "The blast of
death rises in its fury--the whirlwind carries me on--Lord! Thou art then
deaf to my prayer?"

"The spectre! oh, the spectre! it is again here! its green face twitching
with convulsive spasms--its red eyes rolling in their orbits.  Begone!
begone!--its hand, oh! its icy hand has again laid hold of mine.  Have
mercy, heaven!"

"GO ON!"

"Oh, Lord! the pestilence--the terrible plague--must I carry it into this
city?--And my brethren will perish the first--they, who are so sorely
smitten even now! Mercy!"

"GO ON!"

"And the descendants of my sister.  Mercy! Mercy!"

"GO ON!"

"Oh, Lord, have pity!--I can no longer keep my ground; the spectre drags
me to the slope of the hill; my walk is rapid as the deadly blast that
rages behind me; already do I behold the city gates.  Have mercy, Lord,
on the descendants of my sister! Spare them; do not make me their
executioner; let them triumph over their enemies!"


"The ground flies beneath my feet; there is the city gate.  Lord, it is
yet time! Oh, mercy for that sleeping town! Let it not waken to cries of
terror, despair, and death! Lord, I am on the threshold.  Must it be?--
Yes, it is done.  Paris, the plague is in thy bosom.  The curse--oh, the
eternal curse!"




The morning after the doomed traveller, descending the heights of
Montmartre, had entered the walls of Paris, great activity reigned in St.
Dizier House.  Though it was hardly noon, the Princess de St. Dizier,
without being exactly in full dress (she had too much taste for that),
was yet arrayed with more care than usual.  Her light hair, instead of
being merely banded, was arranged in two bunches of curls, which suited
very well with her full and florid cheeks.  Her cap was trimmed with
bright rose-colored ribbon, and whoever had seen the lady in her tight-
fitting dress of gray-watered silk would have easily guessed that Mrs.
Grivois, her tirewoman, must have required the assistance and the efforts
of another of the princess's women to achieve so remarkable a reduction
in the ample figure of their mistress.

We shall explain the edifying cause of this partial return to the
vanities of the world.  The princess, attended by Mrs. Grivois, who acted
as housekeeper, was giving her final orders with regard to some
preparations that were going on in a vast parlor.  In the midst of this
room was a large round table, covered with crimson velvet, and near it
stood several chairs, amongst which, in the place of honor, was an arm-
chair of gilded wood.  In one corner, not far from the chimney, in which
burned an excellent fire, was a buffet.  On it were the divers materials
for a most dainty and exquisite collation.  Upon silver dishes were piled
pyramids of sandwiches composed of the roes of carp and anchovy paste,
with slices of pickled tunny-fish and Lenigord truffles (it was in Lent);
on silver dishes, placed over burning spirits of wine, so as to keep them
very hot, tails of Meuse crawfish boiled in cream, smoked in golden-
colored pastry, and seemed to challenge comparison with delicious little
Marennes oyster-patties, stewed in Madeira, and flavored with a seasoning
of spiced sturgeon.  By the side of these substantial dishes were some of
a lighter character, such as pineapple tarts, strawberry-creams (it was
early for such fruit), and orange-jelly served in the peel, which had
been artistically emptied for that purpose.  Bordeaux, Madeira, and
Alicant sparkled like rubies and topazes in large glass decanters, while
two Sevres ewers were filled, one with coffee a la creme, the other with
vanilla chocolate, almost in the state of sherbet, from being plunged in
a large cooler of chiselled silver, containing ice.

But what gave to this dainty collation a singularly apostolic and papal
character were sundry symbols of religious worship carefully represented.
Thus there were charming little Calvaries in apricot paste, sacerdotal
mitres in burnt almonds, episcopal croziers in sweet cake, to which the
princess added, as a mark of delicate attention, a little cardinal's hat
in cherry sweetmeat, ornamented with bands in burnt sugar.  The most
important, however, of these Catholic delicacies, the masterpiece of the
cook, was a superb crucifix in angelica, with a crown of candied berries.
These are strange profanations, which scandalize even the least devout.
But, from the impudent juggle of the coat of Triers, down to the
shameless jest of the shrine at Argenteuil, people, who are pious after
the fashion of the princess, seem to take delight in bringing ridicule
upon the most respectable traditions.

After glancing with an air of satisfaction at these preparations for the
collation, the lady said to Mrs. Grivois, as she pointed to the gilded
arm-chair, which seemed destined for the president of the meeting: "Is
there a cushion under the table, for his Eminence to rest his feet on?
He always complains of cold."

"Yes, your highness," said Mrs. Grivois, when she had looked under the
table; "the cushion is there."

"Let also a pewter bottle be filled with boiling water, in case his
Eminence should not find the cushion enough to keep his feet warm."

"Yes, my lady."

"And put some more wood on the fire."

"But, my lady, it is already a very furnace.  And if his Eminence is
always too cold, my lord the Bishop of Halfagen is always too hot.  He
perspires dreadfully."

The princess shrugged her shoulders, and said to Mrs. Grivois: "Is not
his Eminence Cardinal Malipieri the superior of his Lordship the Bishop
of Halfagen?"

"Yes, your highness."

"Then, according to the rules of the hierarchy, it is for his Lordship to
suffer from the heat, rather than his Eminence from the cold.  Therefore,
do as I tell you, and put more wood on the fire.  Nothing is more
natural; his Eminence being an Italian, and his Lordship coming from the
north of Belgium, they are accustomed to different temperatures."

"Just as your highness pleases," said Mrs. Grivois, as she placed two
enormous logs on the fire; "but in such a heat as there is here his
Lordship might really be suffocated."

"I also find it too warm; but does not our holy religion teach us lessons
of self-sacrifice and mortification?" said the princess, with a touching
expression of devotion.

We have now explained the cause of the rather gay attire of the princess.
She was preparing for a reception of prelates, who, along with Father
d'Aigrigny and other dignitaries of the Church, had already held at the
princely house a sort of council on a small scale.  A young bride who
gives her first ball, an emancipated minor who gives his first bachelor's
dinner, a woman of talent who reads aloud for the first time her first
unpublished work, are not more joyous and proud, and, at the same time,
more attentive to their guests, than was this lady with her prelates.  To

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