List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V10, by Eugene Sue
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"What, sir! more reproaches?"

"Yes, general, reproaches," cried Dagobert.  "Your children have the
right to complain of you, since you accuse them so unjustly."

"Sir," said the marshal, scarcely able to contain himself, `this is
enough--this is too much!"

"Oh, yes! it is enough," replied Dagobert, with rising emotion.  "Why
defend unfortunate children, who can only love and submit?  Why defend
them against your unhappy blindness?"

The marshal started with anger and impatience, but then replied, with a
forced calmness: "I needs must remember all that I owe you--and I will
not forget it, say what you will."

"But, general," cried Dagobert, "why will you not let me fetch your

"Do you not see that this scene is killing me?" cried the exasperated
marshal.  "Do you not understand, that I will not have my children
witness what I suffer?  A father's grief has its dignity, sir; and you
ought to feel for and respect it."

"Respect it? no--not when it is founded on injustice!"

"Enough, sir--enough!"

"And not content with tormenting yourself," cried Dagobert, unable any
longer to control his feelings, "do you know what you will do?  You will
make your children die of sorrow.  Was it for this, that I brought them
to you from the depths of Siberia?"

"More reproaches!"

"Yes; for the worst ingratitude towards me, is to make your children

"Leave the room, sir!" cried the marshal, quite beside himself, and so
terrible with rage and grief, that Dagobert, regretting that he had gone
so far, resumed: "I was wrong, general.  I have perhaps been wanting in
respect to you--forgive me--but--"

"I forgive you--only leave me!" said the marshal, hardly restraining

"One word, general--"

"I entreat you to leave me--I ask it as a service--is that enough?" said
the marshal, with renewed efforts to control the violence of his

A deadly paleness succeeded to the high color which during this painful
scene had inflamed the cheeks of the marshal.  Alarmed at this symptom,
Dagobert redoubled his entreaties.  "I implore you, general," said he, in
an agitated mice, "to permit me for one moment--"

"Since you will have it so, sir, I must be the one to leave," said the
marshal, making a step towards the door.

These words were said in such a manner, that Dagobert could no longer
resist.  He hung his head in despair, looked for a moment in silent
supplication at the marshal, and then, as the latter seemed yielding to a
new movement of rage, the soldier slowly quitted the room.

A few minutes had scarcely elapsed since the departure of Dagobert, when
the marshal, who, after a long and gloomy silence, had repeatedly drawn
near the door of his daughters' apartment with a mixture of hesitation
and anguish, suddenly made a violent effort, wiped the cold sweat from
his brow, and entered the chamber in which Rose and Blanche had taken



Dagobert was right in defending his children, as he paternally called
Rose and Blanche, and yet the apprehensions of the marshal with regard to
the coldness of his daughters, were unfortunately justified by
appearances.  As he had told his father, unable to explain the sad, and
almost trembling embarrassment, which his daughters felt in his presence,
he sought in vain for the cause of what he termed their indifference.
Now reproaching himself bitterly for not concealing from them his grief
at the death of their mother, he feared he might have given them to
understand that they would be unable to console him; now supposing that
he had not shown himself sufficiently tender, and that had chilled them
with his military sternness; and now repeating with bitter regret, that,
having always lived away from them, he must be always a stranger to them.
In a word, the most unlikely suppositions presented themselves by turns
to his mind, and whenever such seeds of doubt, suspicion, or fear, are
blended with a warm affection, they will sooner or later develop
themselves with fatal effect.  Yet, notwithstanding this fancied
coldness, from which he suffered so much, the affection of the marshal
for his daughters was so true and deep, that the thought of again
quitting them caused the hesitations which were the torment of his life,
and provoked an incessant struggle between his paternal love and the duty
he held most sacred.

The injurious calumnies, which had been so skillfully propagated, that
men of honor, like his old brothers in arms, were found to attach some
credit to them, had been spread with frightful pertinacity by the friends
of the Princess de Saint-Dizier.  We shall describe hereafter the meaning
and object of these odious reports, which, joined with so many other
fatal injuries, had filled up the measure of the marshal's indignation.
Inflamed with anger, excited almost to madness by this incessant
"stabbing with pins" (as he had himself called it), and offended at some
of Dagobert's words, he had spoken harshly to him.  But, after the
soldier's departure, when left to reflect in silence, the marshal
remembered the warm and earnest expressions of the defender of his
children, and doubt crossed his mind, as to the reality of the coldness
of which he accused them.  Therefore, having taken a terrible resolution
in case a new trial should confirm his desponding doubts, he entered, as
we before said, his, daughters' chamber.  The discussion with Dagobert
had been so loud, that the sound of the voices had confusedly reached the
ears of the two sisters, even after they had taken refuge in their
bedroom.  So that, on the arrival of their father, their pale faces
betrayed their fear and anxiety.  At sight of the marshal, whose
countenance was also much agitated, the girls rose respectfully, but
remained close together, trembling in each other's arms.  And yet there
was neither anger nor severity on their father's face--only a deep,
almost supplicating grief, which seemed to say: "My children, I suffer--I
have come to you--console me, love me! or I shall die!"

The marshal's countenance was at this moment so expressive, that, the
first impulse of fear once surmounted, the sisters were about to throw
themselves into his arms; but remembering the recommendations of the
anonymous letter, which told them how painful any effusion of their
tenderness was to their father, they exchanged a rapid glance, and
remained motionless.  By a cruel fatality, the marshal at this moment
burned to open his arms to his children.  He looked at them with love, he
even made a slight movement as if to call them to him; but he would not
attempt more, for fear of meeting with no response.  Still the poor
children, paralyzed by perfidious counsels, remained mute, motionless,

"It is all over," thought he, as he gazed upon them.  "No chord of
sympathy stirs in their bosom.  Whether I go---whether I remain--matters
not to them.  No, I am nothing to these children--since, at this awful
moment, when they see me perhaps for the last time, no filial instinct
tells them that their affection might save me still!"

During these terrible reflections, the marshal had not taken his eyes off
his children, and his manly countenance assumed an expression at once so
touching and mournful--his look revealed so painfully the tortures of his
despairing soul--that Rose and Blanche, confused, alarmed, but yielding
together to a spontaneous movement, threw themselves on their father's
neck, and covered him with tears and caresses.  Marshal Simon had not
spoken a word; his daughters had not uttered a sound; and yet all three
had at length understood one another.  A sympathetic shock had
electrified and mingled those three hearts.  Vain fears, false doubts,
lying counsel, all had yielded to the irresistible emotion.  which had
brought the daughters to their father's arms.  A sudden revelation gave
them faith, at the fatal moment when incurable suspicion was about to
separate them forever.

In a second, the marshal felt all this, but words failed him.  Pale,
bewildered, kissing the brows, the hair, the hands of his daughters,
weeping, sighing, smiling all in turn, he was wild, delirious, drunk with
happiness.  At length, he exclaimed: "I have found them--or rather, I
have never lost them.  They loved me, and did not dare to tell me so.  I
overawed them.  And I thought it was my fault.  Heavens! what good that
does! what strength, what heart, what hope!--Ha! ha!" cried he, laughing
and weeping at the same time, whilst he covered his children with
caresses; "they may despise me now, they may harass me now--I defy them
all.  My own blue eyes! my sweet blue eyes! look at me well, and inspire
me with new life."

"Oh, father! you love us then as much as we love you?" cried Rose, with
enchanting simplicity.

"And we may often, very often, perhaps every day, throw ourselves on your
neck, embrace you, and prove how glad we are to be with you?"

"Show you, dear father, all the store of love we were heaping up in our
hearts--so sad, alas! that we could not spend it upon you?"

"Tell you aloud all that we think in secret?"

"Yes--you may do so--you may do so," said Marshal ,Simon, faltering with
joy; "what prevented you, my children?  But no; do not answer; enough of
the past!--I know all, I understand all.  You misinterpreted my gloom,
and it made you sad; I, in my turn, misinterpreted your sadness.  But
never mind; I scarcely know what I am saying to you.  I only think of
looking at you--and it dazzles me--it confuses me--it is the dizziness of

"Oh, look at us, father! look into our eyes, into our hearts," cried
Rose, with rapture.

"And you will read there, happiness for us, and love for you, sir!" added

"Sir, sir!" said the marshal, in a tone of affectionate reproach; "what
does that mean?  Will you call me father, if you please?"

"Dear father, your hand!" said Blanche, as she took it, and placed it on
her heart.

"Dear father, your hand!" said Rose, as she took the other hand of the
marshal.  "Do you believe now in our love and happiness?" she continued.

It is impossible to describe the charming expression of filial pride in
the divine faces of the girls, as their father, slightly pressing their
virgin bosoms, seemed to count with delight the joyous pulsations of
their hearts.

"Oh, yes! happiness and affection can alone make the heart beat thus!"
cried the marshal.

A hoarse sob, heard in the direction of the open door, made the three
turn round, and there they saw the tall figure of Dagobert, with the
black nose of Spoil-sport reaching to his master's knee.  The soldier,
drying his eyes and moustache with his little blue cotton handkerchief,
remained motionless as the god Terminus.  When he could speak, he
addressed himself to the marshal, and, shaking his head, muttered, in a
hoarse voice, for the good man was swallowing his tears: "Did I not tell
you so?"

"Silence!" said the marshal, with a sign of intelligence.  "You were a
better father than myself, my old friend.  Come and kiss them! I shall
not be jealous."

The marshal stretched out his hand to the soldier, who pressed it
cordially, whilst the two sisters threw themselves on his neck, and
Spoil-sport, according to custom wishing to have his share in the general
joy, raised himself on his hind legs, and rested his fore-paws against
his master's back.  There was a moment of profound silence.  The
celestial felicity enjoyed during that moment, by the marshal, his
daughters, and the soldier, was interrupted by the barking of Spoil-sort,
who suddenly quitted the attitude of a biped.  The happy group separated,
looked round, and saw Loony's stupid face.  He looked even duller than
usual, as he stood quite still in the doorway, staring with wide-
stretched eyes, and holding a feather-broom under his arm, and in his
hand the ever-present basket of wood.

Nothing makes one so gay as happiness; and, though this grotesque figure
appeared at a very unseasonable moment, it was received with frank
laughter from the blooming lips of Rose and Blanche.  Having made the
marshal's daughters laugh, after their long sadness, Loony at once
acquired a claim to the indulgence of the marshal, who said to him, good-
humoredly: "What do you want, my lad?"

"It's not me, my lord duke!" answered Loony, laying his hand on his
breast, as if it were taking a vow, so that his feather-brush fell down
from under his arm.  The laughter of the girls redoubled.

"It is not you?" said the marshal.

"Here! Spoil-sport!" Dagobert called, for the honest dog seemed to have a
secret dislike for the pretended idiot, and approached him with an angry

"No, my lord duke, it is not me!" resumed Loony.  "It is the footman who
told me to tell M. Dagobert, when I brought up the wood to tell my lord
duke, as I was coming up with the basket, that M. Robert wants to see

The girls laughed still more at this new stupidity.  But, at the name of
Robert, Marshal Simon started.

M. Robert was the secret emissary of Rodin, with regard to the possible,
but adventurous, enterprise of attempting the liberation of Napoleon II.

After a moment's silence, the marshal, whose face was still radiant with
joy and happiness, said to Loony: "Beg M. Robert to wait for me a moment
in my study."

"Yes, my lord duke," answered Loony, bowing almost to the ground.

The simpleton withdrew, and the marshal said to his daughters, in a
joyous tone, "You see, that, in a moment like this, one does not leave
one's children, even for M. Robert."

"Oh! that's right, father!" cried Blanche, gayly; "for I was already very
angry with this M. Robert."

"Have you pen and paper at hand?" asked the marshal.

"Yes, father; there on the table," said Rose, hastily, as she pointed to
a little desk near one of the windows, towards which the marshal now
advanced rapidly.

From motives of delicacy, the girls remained where they were, close to
the fireplace, and caressed each other tenderly, as if to congratulate
themselves in private on the unexpected happiness of this day.

The marshal seated himself at the desk, and made a sign to Dagobert to
draw near.

While he wrote rapidly a few words in a firm hand, he said to the soldier
with a smile, in so low a tone that it was impossible for his daughters
to hear: "Do you know what I had almost resolved upon, before entering
this room?"

"What, general?"

"To blow my brains out.  It is to my children that I owe my life."  And
the marshal continued writing.

Dagobert started at this communication, and then replied, also in a
whisper: "It would not have been with your pistols.  I took off the

The marshal turned round hastily, and looked at him with an air of
surprise.  But the soldier only nodded his head affirmatively, and added:
"Thank heaven, we have now done with all those ideas!"

The marshal's only answer was to glance at his children, his eyes
swimming with tenderness, and sparkling with delight; then, sealing the
note he had written, he gave it to the soldier, and said to him, "Give
that to M. Robert.  I will see him to-morrow."

Dagobert took the letter, and went out.  Returning towards his daughters,
the marshal joyfully extended his arms to them, and said, "Now, young
ladies, two nice kisses for having sacrificed M. Robert to you.  Have I
not earned them?" And Rose and Blanche threw themselves on their father's

About the time that these events were taking place at Paris, two
travellers, wide apart from each other, exchanged mysterious thoughts
through the breadth of space.

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