List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V1, by Eugene Sue
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longer anxious on his account.  This letter is dated in August of last
year.  I see by its contents, that several other letters, to which he
alludes, have either been delayed or lost; for I had not received any for
two years before, and was extremely uneasy about him.  But my excellent
father is the same as ever!  Age has not weakened him; his character is
as energetic, his health as robust, as in times past--still a workman,
still proud of his order, still faithful to his austere republican ideas,
still hoping much.

"For he says to me, 'the time is at hand,' and he underlines those words.
He gives me also, as you will see, good news of the family of old
Dagobert, our friend--for in truth, my dear Eva, it soothes my grief to
think, that this excellent man is with you, that he will have accompanied
you in your exile--for I know him--a kernel of gold beneath the rude rind
of a soldier!  How he must love our child!"

Here Dagobert coughed two or three times, stooped down, and appeared to
be seeking on the ground the little red and blue check-handkerchief
spread over his knees.  He remained thus bent for some seconds, and, when
he raised himself, he drew his hand across his moustache.

"How well father knows you!"

"How rightly has he guessed that you would love us!"

"Well, well, children; pass over that!--Let's come to the part where the
general speaks of my little Agricola, and of Gabriel, my wife's adopted
child.  Poor woman! when I think that in three months perhaps--but come,
child, read, read," added the old soldier, wishing to conceal his

"I still hope against hope, my dear Eva, that these pages will one day
reach you, and therefore I wish to insert in them all that can be
interesting to Dagobert.  It will be a consolation to him, to have some
news of his family.  My father, who is still foreman at Mr. Hardy's,
tells me that worthy man has also taken into his house the son of old
Dagobert.  Agricola works under my father, who is enchanted with him.  He
is, he tells me, a tall and vigorous lad, who wields the heavy forge-
hammer as if it were a feather, and is light-spirited as he is
intelligent and laborious.  He is the best workman on the establishment;
and this does not prevent him in the evening, after his hard day's work,
when he returns home to his mother, whom he truly loves, from making
songs and writing excellent patriotic verses.  His poetry is full of fire
and energy; his fellow-workmen sing nothing else, and his lays have the
power to warm the coldest and the most timid hearts."

"How proud you must be of your son, Dagobert," said Rose, in admiration;
"he writes songs."

"Certainly, it is all very fine--but what pleases me best is, that he is
good to his mother, and that he handles the hammer with a will.  As for
the songs, before he makes a 'Rising of the People,' or a 'Marseillaise,'
he will have had to beat a good deal of iron; but where can this rascally
sweet Agricola have learned to make songs at all?--No doubt, it was at
school, where he went, as you will see, with his adopted brother

At this name of Gabriel, which reminded them of the imaginary being whom
they called their guardian angel, the curiosity of the young girls was
greatly excited.  With redoubled attention, Blanche continued in these

"The adopted brother of Agricola, the poor deserted child whom the wife
of our good Dagobert so generously took in, forms, my father tells me, a
great contrast with Agricola; not in heart, for they have both excellent
hearts; but Gabriel is as thoughtful and melancholy as Agricola is
lively, joyous, and active.  Moreover, adds my father, each of them, so
to speak, has the aspect, which belongs to his character.  Agricola is
dark, tall, and strong, with a gay and bold air; Gabriel, on the
contrary, is weak, fair, timid as a girl, and his face wears an
expression of angelic mildness."

The orphans looked at each other in surprise; then, as they turned
towards the soldier their ingenuous countenances, Rose said to him; "Have
you heard, Dagobert?  Father says, that your Gabriel is fair, and has the
face of an angel.  Why, 'tis exactly like ours!"

"Yes, yes, I heard very well; it is that which surprised me, in your

"I should like to know, if he has also blue eyes," said Rose.

"As for that, my children, though the general says nothing about it, I
will answer for it: your fair boys have always blue eyes.  But, blue or
black, he will not use them to stare at young ladies; go on, and you will
see why."

Blanche resumed:

"His face wears an expression of angelic mildness.  One of the Brothers
of the Christian Schools, where he went with Agricola and other children
of his quarter, struck with his intelligence and good disposition, spoke
of him to a person of consequence, who, becoming interested in the lad,
placed him in a seminary for the clergy, and, since the last two years,
Gabriel is a priest.  He intends devoting himself to foreign missions,
and will soon set out for America."

"Your Gabriel is a priest, it appears?" said Rose, looking at Dagobert.

"While ours is an angel," added Blanche.

"Which only proves that yours is a step higher than mine.  Well, every
one to his taste; there are good people in all trades; but I prefer that
it should be Gabriel who has chosen the black gown.  I'd rather see my
boy with arms bare, hammer in hand, and a leathern apron round him,
neither more nor less than your old grandfather, my children--the father
of Marshal Simon, Duke of Ligny--for, after all, marshal and duke he is
by the grace of the Emperor.  Now finish your letter."

"Soon, alas, yes!" said Blanche; "there are only a few lines left."  And
she proceeded:

"Thus, my dear, loving Eva, if this journal should ever reach its
destination, you will be able to satisfy Dagobert as to the position of
his wife and son, whom he left for our sakes.  How can we ever repay such
a sacrifice?  But I feel sure, that your good and generous heart will
have found some means of compensation.

"Adieu!--Again adieu, for to-day, my beloved Eva; I left off writing for
a moment, to visit the tent of Djalma.  He slept peacefully, and his
father watched beside him; with a smile, he banished my fears.  This
intrepid young man is no longer in any danger.  May he still be spared in
the combat of to-morrow!  Adieu, my gentle Eva! the night is silent and
calm; the fires of the bivouac are slowly dying out, and our poor
mountaineers repose after this bloody day; I can hear, from hour to hour,
the distant all's well of our sentinels.  Those foreign words bring back
my grief; they remind me of what I sometimes forget in writing--that I am
faraway, separated from you and from my child!  Poor, beloved beings!
what will be your destiny?  Ah! if I could only send you, in time, that
medal, which, by a fatal accident, I carried away with me from Warsaw,
you might, perhaps, obtain leave to visit France, or at least to send our
child there with Dagobert; for you know of what importance--But why add
this sorrow to all the rest?  Unfortunately, the years are passing away,
the fatal day will arrive, and this last hope, in which I live for you,
will also be taken from me: but I will not close the evening by so sad a
thought.  Adieu, my beloved Eva!  Clasp our child to your bosom, and
cover it with all the kisses which I send to both of you from the depths
of exile!"

"Till to-morrow--after the battle!"

The reading of this touching letter was followed by long silence.  The
tears of Rose and Blanche flowed together.  Dagobert, with his head
resting on his hand, was absorbed in painful reflections.

Without doors, the wind had now augmented in violence; a heavy rain began
to beat on the sounding panes; the most profound silence reigned in the
interior of the inn.  But, whilst the daughters of General Simon were
reading with such deep emotion, these fragments of their father's
journal, a strange and mysterious scene transpired in the menagerie of
the brute-tamer.



Morok had prepared himself.  Over his deer-skin vest he had drawn the
coat of mail--that steel tissue, as pliable as cloth, as hard as
diamonds; next, clothing his arms and legs in their proper armor, and his
feet in iron-bound buskins, and concealing all this defensive equipment
under loose trousers and an ample pelisse carefully buttoned, he took in
his hand a long bar of iron, white-hot, set in a wooden handle.

Though long ago daunted by the skill and energy of the Prophet, his tiger
Cain, his lion Judas, and his black panther Death, had sometimes
attempted, in a moment of rebellion, to try their fangs and claws on his
person; but, thanks to the armor concealed beneath his pelisse, they
blunted their claws upon a skin of steel, and notched their fangs upon
arms or legs of iron, whilst a slight touch of their master's metallic
wand left a deep furrow in their smoking, shrivelled flesh.

Finding the inutility of their efforts, and endowed with strong memory,
the beasts soon learned that their teeth and claws were powerless when
directed against this invulnerable being.  Hence, their terrified
submission reached to such a point that, in his public representations,
their master could make them crouch and cower at his feet by the least
movement of a little wand covered with flame-colored paper.

The Prophet, thus armed with care, and holding in his hand the iron made
hot by Goliath, descended by the trapdoor of the loft into the large shed
beneath, in which were deposited the cages of his animals.  A mere wooden
partition separated this shed from the stable that contained his horses.

A lantern, with a reflector, threw a vivid light on the cages.  They were
four in number.  A wide iron grating formed their sides, turning at one
end upon hinges like a door, so as to give ingress to the animal; the
bottom of each den rested on two axle-trees and four small iron castors,
so that they could easily be removed to the large covered wagon in which
they were placed during a journey.  One of them was empty; the other
three contained, as already intimated, a panther, a tiger, and a lion.

The panther, originally from Java, seemed to merit the gloomy name of
Death, by her grim, ferocious aspect.  Completely black, she lay
crouching and rolled up in the bottom of her cage, and her dark hues
mingling with the obscurity which surrounded her, nothing was distinctly
visible but fixed and glaring eyes--yellow balls of phosphoric light,
which only kindled, as it were, in the night-time; for it is the nature
of all the animals of the feline species to enjoy entire clearness of
vision but in darkness.

The Prophet entered the stable in silence: the dark red of his long
pelisse contrasted with the pale yellow of his straight hair and beard;
the lantern, placed at some height above the ground, threw its rays full
upon this man, and the strong light, opposed to the deep shadows around
it, gave effect to the sharp proportions of his bony and savage looking

He approached the cage slowly.  The white rim, which encircled his
eyeball, appeared to dilate, and his look rivaled in motionless
brilliancy the steadily sparkling gaze of the panther.  Still crouching
in the shade, she felt already the fascination of that glance; two or
three times she dropped her eyelids, with a low, angry howl; then,
reopening her eyes, as if in spite of herself, she kept them fastened
immovably on those of the Prophet.  And now her rounded ears clung to her
skull, which was flattened like a viper's; the skin of her forehead
became convulsively wrinkled; she drew in her bristling, but silky
muzzle, and twice silently opened her jaws, garnished with formidable
fangs.  From that moment a kind of magnetic connection seemed to be
established between the man and the beast.

The Prophet extended his glowing bar towards the cage, and said, in a
sharp, imperious tone: "Death! come here."

The panther rose, but so dragged herself along that her belly and the
bend of her legs touched the ground.  She was three feet high, and nearly
five in length; her elastic and fleshy spine, the sinews of her thighs as
well developed as those of a race-horse, her deep chest, her enormous
jutting shoulders, the nerve and muscle in her short, thick paws--all
announced that this terrible animal united vigor with suppleness, and
strength with agility.

Morok, with his iron wand still extended in the direction of the cage,
made a step towards the panther.  The panther made a stride towards the
Prophet.  Morok stopped; Death stopped also.

At this moment the tiger, Judas, to whom Morok's back was turned, bounded
violently in his cage, as if jealous of the attention, which his master
paid to the panther.  He growled hoarsely, and, raising his head, showed
the under-part of his redoubtable triangular jaw, and his broad chest of
a dirty white, with which blended the copper color, streaked with black,
of his sides; his tail, like a huge red serpent, with rings of ebony, now
clung to his flanks, now lashed them with a slow and continuous movement:
his eyes, of a transparent, brilliant green, were fixed upon the Prophet.

Such was the influence of this man over his animals, that Judas almost
immediately ceased growling, as if frightened at his own temerity; but
his respiration continued loud and deep.  Morok turned his face towards
him, and examined him very attentively during some seconds.  The panther,
no longer subject to the influence of her master's look, slunk back to
crouch in the shade.

A sharp cracking, in sudden breaks, like that which great animals make in
gnawing hard substances, was now heard from the cage of the lion.  It
drew the attention of the Prophet, who, leaving the tiger, advanced
towards the other den.

Nothing could be seen of the lion but his monstrous croup of a reddish
yellow.  His thighs were gathered under him, and his thick mane served
entirely to conceal his head.  But by the tension and movement of the
muscles of his loins, and the curving of his backbone, it was easy to
perceive that he was making violent efforts with his throat and his
forepaws.  The Prophet approached the cage with same uneasiness, fearing
that, notwithstanding his orders, Goliath had given the lion some bones
to gnaw.  To assure himself of it, he said in a quick and firm voice:

The lion did not change his position.

"Cain! come here!" repeated Morok in a louder tone.  The appeal was
useless; the lion did not move, and the noise continued.

"Cain! come here!" said the Prophet a third time; but, as he pronounced
these words, he applied the end of the glowing bar to the haunch of the

Scarcely did the light track of smoke appear on the reddish hide of Cain,
when, with a spring of incredible agility, he turned and threw himself
against the grating, not crouching, but at a single bound--upright,
superb, terrifying.  The Prophet being at the angle of the cage, Cain, in
his fury, had raised himself sideways to face his master, and, leaning
his huge flank against the bars, thrust between them his enormous fore-

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