List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V10, by Eugene Sue
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to have been proud of his daughters."

Suddenly Rose laid her hand on her sister's arm, and said to her, with
anxiety: "Listen! listen! they are talking very loud in father's

"Yes," said Blanche, listening in her turn; "and I can hear him walking.
That is his step."

"Good heaven! how he raises his voice; he seems to be in a great passion;
he will perhaps come this way."

And at the thought of their father's coming--that father who really
adored them--the unhappy children looked in terror at each other.  The
sound of a loud and angry voice became more and more distinct; and Rose,
trembling through all her frame, said to her sister: "Do not let us
remain here! Come into our room."


"We should hear, without designing it, the words of our father--and he
does not perhaps know that we are so near."

"You are right.  Come, come!" answered Blanche, as she rose hastily from
her seat.

"Oh! I am afraid.  I have never heard him speak in so angry a tone."

"Oh! kind heaven!" said Blanche, growing pale, as she stopped
involuntarily.  "It is to Dagobert that he is talking so loud."

"What can be the matter--to make our father speak to him in that way?"

"Alas! some great misfortune must have happened."

"Oh, sister! do not let us remain here! It pains me too much to hear
Dagobert thus spoken to."

The crash of some article, hurled with violence and broken to pieces in
the next room, so frightened the orphans, that, pale and trembling with
emotion, they rushed into their own apartment, and fastened the door.  We
must now explain the cause of Marshal Simon's violent anger.



This was the scene, the sound of which had so terrified Rose and Blanche.
At first alone in his chamber, in a state of exasperation difficult to
describe, Marshal Simon had begun to walk hastily up and down, his
handsome, manly face inflamed with rage, his eyes sparkling with
indignation, while on his broad forehead, crowned with short-cut hair
that was now turning gray, large veins, of which you might count the
pulsations, were swollen almost to bursting; and sometimes his thick,
black moustache was curled with a convulsive motion, not unlike that
which is seen in the visage of a raging lion.  And even as the wounded
lion, in its fury, harassed and tortured by a thousand invisible darts,
walks up and down its den with savage wrath, so Marshal Simon paced the
floor of his room, as if bounding from side to side; sometimes he
stooped, as though bending beneath the weight of his anger; sometimes, on
the contrary, he paused abruptly, drew himself up to his full height,
crossed his arms upon his vigorous chest, and with raised brow,
threatening and terrible look, seemed to defy some invisible enemy, and
murmur confused exclamations.  Then he stood like a man of war and battle
in all his intrepid fire.

And now he stamped angrily with his foot, approached the chimney-piece,
and pulled the bell so violently that the bell-rope remained in his hand.
A servant hastened to attend to this precipitate summons.  "Did you not
tell Dagobert that I wished to speak to him?" cried the marshal.

"I executed your grace's orders, but M. Dagobert was accompanying his son
to the door, and--"

"Very well!" interrupted Marshal Simon, with an abrupt and imperious

The servant went out, and his master continued to walk up and down with
impatient steps, crumpling, in his rage, a letter that he held in his
left hand.  This letter had been innocently delivered by Spoil-sport,
who, seeing him come in, had run joyously to meet him.  At length the
door opened, and Dagobert appeared.  "I have been waiting for you a long
time, sirrah!" cried the marshal, in an irritated tone.

Dagobert, more pained than surprised at this burst of anger, which he
rightly attributed to the constant state of excitement in which the
marshal had now been for some time past, answered mildly: "I beg your
pardon, general, but I was letting out my son--"

"Read that, sir!" said the marshal abruptly, giving him the letter.

While Dagobert was reading it, the marshal resumed, with growing anger,
as he kicked over a chair that stood in his way: "Thus, even in my own
house, there are wretches bribed to harass me with incredible
perseverance.  Well! have you read it, sir?"

"It is a fresh insult to add to the others," said Dagobert, coolly, as he
threw the letter into the fire.

"The letter is infamous--but it speaks the truth," replied the marshal.
Dagobert looked at him in amazement.

"And can you tell who brought me this infamous letter" continued the
marshal.  "One would think the devil had a hand in it--for it was your

"Spoil-sport?" said Dagobert, in the utmost surprise.

"Yes," answered the marshal, bitterly; "it is no doubt a joke of your

"I have no heart for joking, general," answered Dagobert, more and more
saddened by the irritable state of the marshal; "I cannot explain how it
happened.  Spoil-sport is a good carrier, and no doubt found the letter
in the house--"

"And who can have left it there?  Am I surrounded by traitors?  Do you
keep no watch?  You, in whom I have every confidence?"

"Listen to me, general--"

But the marshal proceeded, without waiting to hear him.  "What! I have
made war for five-and-twenty years, I have battled with armies, I have
struggled victoriously through the evil times of exile and proscription,
I have withstood blows from maces of iron--and now I am to be killed with
pins! Pursued into my own house, harassed with impunity, worn out,
tortured every minute, to gratify some unknown, miserable hate!--When I
say unknown, I am wrong--it is d'Aigrigny, the renegade, who is at the
bottom of all this, I am sure.  I have in the world but one enemy, and he
is the man.  I must finish with him, for I am weary of this--it is too

"But, general, remember he is a priest--"

"What do I care for that?  Have I not seen him handle the sword?  I will
yet make a soldier's blood rise to the forehead of the traitor!"

But, general--"

"I tell you, that I must be avenged on some one," cried the marshal, with
an accent of the most violent exasperation; "I tell you, that I mast find
a living representative of these cowardly plots, that I may at once make
an end of him!--They press upon me from all sides; they make my life a
hell--you know it--and you do nothing to save me from these tortures,
which are killing me as by a slow fire.  Can I have no one in whom to

"General, I can't let you say that," replied Dagobert, in a calm, but
firm voice.

"And why not?"

"General, I can't let you say that you have no one to trust to.  You
might end perhaps in believing it, and then it would be even worse for
yourself, than for those who well know their devotion for you, and would
go through fire and water to serve you.  I am one of them--and you know

These simple words, pronounced by Dagobert with a tone of deep
conviction, recalled the marshal to himself; for although his honorable
and generous character might from time to time be embittered by
irritation and grief, he soon recovered his natural equanimity.  So,
addressing Dagobert in a less abrupt tone, he said to him, though still
much agitated: "You are right.  I could never doubt your fidelity.  But
anger deprives me of my senses.  This infamous letter is enough to drive
one mad.  I am unjust, ungrateful--yes, ungrateful--and to you!"

"Do not think of me, general.  With a kind word at the end, you might
blow me up all the year round.  But what has happened?"

The general's countenance again darkened, as he answered rapidly: "I am
looked down upon, and despised!"


"Yes I.  After all," resumed the marshal bitterly, "why should I conceal
from you this new wound?  If I doubted you a moment, I owe you some
compensation, and you shall know all.  For some time past, I perceived
that, when I meet any of my old companions in arms, they try to avoid
me -"

"What! was it to this that the anonymous letter alluded?"

"Yes; and it spoke the truth," replied the marshal, with a sigh of grief
and indignation.

"But it is impossible, general--you are so loved and respected--"

"Those are mere words; I speak of positive facts.  When I appear, the
conversation is often interrupted.  Instead of treating me as an old
comrade, they affect towards me a rigorously cold politeness.  There are
a thousand little shades, a thousand trifles, which wound the heart, but
which it is impossible to notice--"

"What you are now saying, general, quite confounds me," replied Dagobert.
"You assure me of it, and I am forced to believe you."

"Oh, it is intolerable! I was resolved to ease my heart of it; so, this
morning, I went to General d'Havrincourt, who was colonel with me in the
Imperial Guard; he is honor and honesty itself.  I went to him with open
heart.  `I perceive,' said I, `the coldness that is shown me.  Some
calumny must be circulating to my disadvantage.  Tell me all about it.
Knowing the attack, I shall be able to defend myself--'

"Well, general?"

"D'Havrincourt remained impassible ceremoniously polite.  To all my
questions he answered coldly: `I am not aware, my lord duke, that any
calumny has been circulated with regard to you.'--'Do not call me "my
lord duke," my dear D'Havrincourt; we are old fellow-soldiers and
friends, my honor is somewhat touchy, I confess, and I find that you and
our comrades do not receive me so cordially, as in times past.  You do
not deny it; I see, I know, I feel it.'  To all this D'Havrincourt
answered, with the same coldness: `I have never seen any one wanting in
respect towards you.'--'I am not talking of respect,' exclaimed I, as I
clasped his hand affectionately, though I observed that he but feebly
returned the pressure; `I speak of cordiality, confidence, which I once
enjoyed, while now I am treated like a stranger.  Why is it?  What has
occasioned this change?'--Still cold and reserved, he answered: `These
distinctions are so nice, marshal, that it is impossible for me to give
you any opinion on the subject.'--My heart swelled with grief and anger.
What was I to do?  To quarrel with D'Havrincourt would have been absurd.
A sense of dignity forced me to break off the interview, but it has only
confirmed my fears.  Thus," added the marshal, getting more and more
animated, "thus am I fallen from the esteem to which I am entitled, thus
am I despised, without even knowing the cause!  Is it not odious?  If
they would only utter a charge against me--I should at least be able to
defend myself, and to find an answer.  But no, no! not even a word--only
the cold politeness that is worse than any insult.  Oh! it is too much,
too much! for all this comes but in addition to other cares.  What a life
is mine since the death of my father!  If I did but find rest and
happiness at home--but no! I come in, but to read shameful letters; and
still worse," added the marshal, in a heartrending tone, and after a
moment's hesitation, "to find my children grow more and more indifferent
towards me--

"Yes," continued he, perceiving the amazement of Dagobert, "and yet they
know how much I love them!"

"Your daughters indifferent!" exclaimed Dagobert, in astonishment.  "You
make them such a reproach?"

"Oh! I do not blame them.  They have hardly had time to know me."

"Not had time to know you?" returned the soldier, in a tone of
remonstrance, and warming up in his turn.  "Ah! of what did their mother
talk to them, except you?  and I too! what could I teach your children
except to know and love you?"

"You take their part--that is natural--they love you better than they do
me," said the marshal, with growing bitterness.  Dagobert felt himself so
painfully affected, that he looked at the marshal without answering.

"Yes!" continued the other; "yes! it may be base and ungrateful--but no
matter!--Twenty times I have felt jealous of the affectionate confidence
which my children display towards you, while with me they seem always to
be in fear.  If their melancholy faces ever grow animated for a moment,
it is in talking to you, in seeing you; while for me they have nothing
but cold respect--and that kills me.  Sure of the affection of my
children, I would have braved and surmounted every difficulty--"  Then,
seeing that Dagobert rushed towards the door which led to the chamber of
Rose and Blanche, the marshal asked: "Where are you going?"

"For your daughters, general."

"What for?"

"To bring them face to face with you--to tell them: `My children, your
father thinks that you do not love him.'--I will only say that--and then
you will see."

"Dagobert! I forbid you to do it," cried the marshal, hastily.

"I don't care for that--you have no right to be unjust to the poor
children," said the soldier, as he again advanced towards the door.

"Dagobert, I command you to remain here," cried the marshal.

"Listen to me, general.  I am your soldier, your inferior, your servant,
if you will," said the old grenadier, roughly; "but neither rank nor
station shall keep me silent, when I have to defend your daughters.  All
must be explained--I know but one way--and that is to bring honest people
face to face."

If the marshal had not seized him by the arm, Dagobert would have entered
the apartment of the young girls.

"Remain!" said the marshal, so imperiously that the soldier, accustomed
to obedience, hung his head, and stood still.

"What would you do?" resumed the marshal.  "Tell my children, that I
think they do not love me? induce them to affect a tenderness they do not
feel--when it is not their fault, but mine?"

"Oh, general!" said Dagobert, in a tone of despair, "I no longer feel
anger, in hearing you speak thus of your children.  It is such grief,
that it breaks my heart!"

Touched by the expression of the soldier's countenance, the marshal
continued, less abruptly: "Come, I may be wrong; and yet I ask you,
without bitterness or jealousy, are not my children more confiding, more
familiar, with you than with me?"

"God bless me, general!" cried Dagobert; "if you come to that, they are
more familiar with Spoil-sport than with either of us.  You are their
father; and, however kind a father may be, he must always command some
respect.  Familiar with me!  I should think so.  A fine story!  What the
devil should they respect in me, who, except that I am six feet high, and
wear a moustache, might pass for the old woman that nursed them?--and
then I must say, that, even before the death of your worthy father, you
were sad and full of thought; the children have remarked that; and what
you take for coldness on their part, is, I am sure, anxiety for you.
Come, general; you are not just.  You complain, because they love you too

"I complain, because I suffer," said the marshal, in an agony of
excitement.  "I alone know my sufferings."

"They must indeed be grievous, general," said Dagobert, carried further
than he would otherwise have gone by his attachment for the orphans,
"since those who love you feel them so cruelly."

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