List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V11, by Eugene Sue
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have often heard said by the priests of my country, that there were
beings inferior to the gods, but superior to every other creature.  I did
not believe those priests; but now I do."  These last words were uttered,
not in the tone of flattery, but with an accent of sincere conviction,
and with that sort of passionate veneration and almost timid fervor,
which mark the believer talking of his faith; but what is impossible to
describe, is the ineffable harmony of these almost religious words, with
the mild, deep tone of the young Oriental's voice--as well as the ardent
expression of amorous melancholy, which gave an irresistible charm to his
enchanting features.

Adrienne had listened to Djalma with an indescribable mixture of joy,
gratitude, and pride.  Laying her hand on her bosom, as if to keep down
its violent pulsations, she resumed, as she looked at the prince with
delight: "Behold him, ever the same!--just, good, great!--Oh, my heart!
my heart! how proudly it beats.  Blessed be God, who created me for this
adored lover!  He must mean to astonish the world, by the prodigies of
tenderness and charity, that such a love may produce.  They do not yet
know the sovereign might of free, happy, ardent love.  Yes, Djalma! on
the day when our hands are joined together, what hymns of gratitude will
ascend to heaven!--Ah! they do not know the immense, the insatiable
longing for joy aria delight, which possesses two hearts like ours; they
do not know what rays of happiness stream from the celestial halo of such
a flame!--Oh, yes! I feel it.  Many tears will be dried, many cold hearts
warmed, at the divine fire of our love.  And it will be by the
benedictions of those we serve, that they will learn the intoxication of
our rapture!"

To the dazzled eyes of Djalma, Adrienne appeared more and more an ideal
being--partaking of the Divinity by her goodness, of the animal nature by
passion--for, yielding to the intensity of excitement, Adrienne fixed
upon Djalma looks that sparkled with love.

'Then, almost beside himself, the Asiatic fell prostrate at the feet of
the maiden, and exclaimed, in a supplicating voice: "Mercy! my courage
fails me.  Have pity on me! do not talk thus.  Oh, that day! what years
of my life would I not give to hasten it!"

"Silence! no blasphemy.  Do not your years belong to me?"

"Adrienne! you love me!"

The young lady did not answer; but her half-veiled, burning glance, dealt
the last blow to reason.  Seizing her hands in his own, he exclaimed,
with a tremulous voice: "That day, in which we shall mount to heaven, in
which we shall be gods in happiness--why postpone it any longer?"

"Because our love must be consecrated by the benediction of heaven."

"Are we not free?"

"Yes, yes, my love; we are free.  Let us be worthy of our liberty!"

"Adrienne! mercy!"

"I ask you also to have mercy--to have mercy on the sacredness of our
love.  Do not profane it in its very flower.  Believe my heart! believe
my presentiments! to profane it would be to kill.  Courage, my adored
lover! a few days longer--and then happiness--without regret, and without

"And, until then, hell! tortures without a name!  You do not, cannot know
what I suffer when I leave your presence.  Your image follows me, your
breath burns me up; I cannot sleep, but call on you every night with
sighs and tears--just as I called on, you, when I thought you did not
love me--and yet I know you love me, I know you are mine.  But to see you
every day more beautiful, more adored--and every day to quit you more
impassioned--oh! you cannot tell--"

Djalma was unable to proceed.  What he said of his devouring tortures,
Adrienne had felt, perhaps even more intensely.  Electrified by the
passionate words of Djalma, so beautiful in his excitement, her courage
failed, and she perceived that an irresistible languor was creeping over
her.  By a last chaste effort of the will, she rose abruptly, and
hastening to the door, which communicated with Mother Bunch's chamber,
she exclaimed: "My, sister! help me!"

In another moment, Mdlle. de Cardoville, her face bathed in tears,
clasped the young sempstress in her arms; while Djalma knelt respectfully
on the threshold he did not dare to pass.



A few days after the interview of Djalma and Adrienne, just described,
Rodin was alone in his bed-chamber, in the house in the Rue de Vaugirard,
walking up and down the room where he had so valiantly undergone the
moxas of Dr. Baleinier.  With his hands thrust into the hind-pockets of
his greatcoat, and his head bowed upon his breast, the Jesuit seemed to
be reflecting profoundly, and his varying walk, now slow, now quick,
betrayed the agitation of his mind.

"On the side of Rome," said Rodin to himself, "I am tranquil.  All is
going well.  The abdication is as good as settled, and if I can pay them
the price agreed, the Prince Cardinal can secure me a majority of nine
voices in the conclave.  Our General is with me; the doubts of Cardinal
Malipieri are at an end, or have found no echo.  Yet I am not quite easy,
with regard to the reported correspondence between Father d'Aigrigny and
Malipieri.  I have not been able to intercept any of it.  No matter; that
soldier's business is settled.  A little patience and he will be wiped

Here the pale lips were contracted by one of those frightful smiles,
which gave to Rodin's countenance so diabolical an expression.

After a pause, he resumed: "The funeral of the freethinker, the
philanthropist, the workman's friend, took place yesterday at St. Herem.
Francis Hardy went off in a fit of ecstatic delirium.  I had his
donation, it is true; but this is more certain.  Everything may be
disputed in this world; the dead dispute nothing."

Rodin remained in thought for some moments; then he added, in a grave
tone: "There remain this red-haired wench and her mulatto.  This is the
twenty-seventh of May; the first of June approaches, and these turtle-
doves still seem invulnerable.  The princess thought she had hit upon a
good plan, and I should have thought so too.  It was a good idea to
mention the discovery of Agricola Baudoin in the madcap's room, for it
made the Indian tiger roar with savage jealousy.  Yes: but then the dove
began to coo, and hold out her pretty beak, and the foolish tiger
sheathed his claws, and rolled on the ground before her.  It's a pity,
for there was some sense in the scheme."

The walk of Rodin became more and more agitated.  "Nothing is more
extraordinary," continued he, "than the generative succession of ideas.
In comparing this red-haired jade to a dove (colombe), I could not help
thinking of that infamous old woman, Sainte-Colombe, whom that big rascal
Jacques Dumoulin pays his court to, and whom the Abbe Corbinet will
finish, I hope, by turning to good account.  I have often remarked, that,
as a poet may find an excellent rhyme by mere chance, so the germ of the
best ideas is sometimes found in a word, or in some absurd resemblance
like the present.  That abominable hag, Sainte-Colombo, and the pretty
Adrienne de Cardoville, go as well together, as a ring would suit a cat,
or a necklace a fish.  Well, there is nothing in it."

Hardly had Rodin pronounced these words, than he started suddenly, and
his face shone with a fatal joy.  Then it assumed an expression of
meditative astonishment, as happens when chance reveals some unexpected
discovery to the surprised and charmed inquirer after knowledge.

Soon, with raised head and sparkling eye, his hollow cheeks swelling with
joy and pride, Rodin folded his arms in triumph on his breast, and
exclaimed: "Oh! how admirable and marvellous are these mysterious
evolutions of the mind; how incomprehensible is the chain of human
thought, which, starting from an absurd jingle of words, arrives at a
splendid or luminous idea!  Is it weakness? or is it strength?  Strange--
very strange!  I compare the red-haired girl to a dove--a colombe.  That
makes me think of the hag, who traded in the bodies and souls of so many
creatures.  Vulgar proverbs occur to me, about a ring and a cat, a fish
and a necklace--and suddenly, at the word NECKLACE, a new light dawns
upon me.  Yes: that one word NECKLACE shall be to me a golden key, to
open the portals of my brain, so long foolishly closed."

And, after again walking hastily up and down, Rodin continued: "Yes, it
is worth attempting.  The more I reflect upon it, the more feasible it
appears.  Only how to get at that wretch, Saint-Colombe?  Well, there is
Jacques Dumoulin, and the other--where to find her?  That is the
stumbling-block.  I must not shout before I am out of the wood."

Rodin began again to walk, biting his nails with an air of deep thought.
For some moments, such was the tension of his mind, large drops of sweat
stood on his yellow brow.  He walked up and down, stopped, stamped with
his foot, now raised his eyes as if in search of an inspiration, and now
scratched his head violently with his left hand, whilst he continued to
gnaw the nails of the right.  Finally, from time to time, he uttered
exclamations of rage, despondency, or hope, as by turns they took
possession of his mind.  If the cause of this monster's agitation had not
been horrible, it would have been a curious and interesting spectacle to
watch the labors of that powerful brain--to follow, as it were, on that
shifting countenance, the progress and development of the project, on
which he was now concentrating all the resources of his strong intellect.
At length, the work appeared to be near completion, for Rodin resumed:
"Yes, yes! it is bold, hazardous--but then it is prompt, and the
consequences may be incalculable.  Who can foresee the effects of the
explosion of a mine?"

Then, yielding to a movement of enthusiasm, which was hardly natural to
him, the Jesuit exclaimed, with rapture: "Oh, the passions! the passions!
what a magical instrument do they form, if you do but touch the keys with
a light, skillful, and vigorous hand!  How beautiful too is the power of
thought!  Talk of the acorn that becomes an oak, the seed that grows up
to the corn--the seed takes months, the acorn centuries, to unfold its
splendors--but here is a little word in eight letters, necklace and this
word, falling into my brain but a few minutes ago, has grown and grown
till it has become larger than any oak.  Yes, that word is the germ of an
idea, that, like the oak, lifts itself up towards heaven, for the greater
glory of the Lord--such as they call Him, and such as I would assert Him
to be, should I attain--and I shall attain--for these miserable
Renneponts will pass away like a shadow.  And what matters it, after all,
to the moral order I am reserved to guide, whether these people live or
die?  What do such lives weigh in the balance of the great destinies of
the world? while this inheritance which I shall boldly fling into the
scale, will lift me to a sphere, from which one commands many kings, many
nations--let them say and make what noise they will.  The idiots--the
stupid idiots! or rather, the kind, blessed, adorable idiots!  They think
they have crushed us, when they say to us men of the church: `You take
the spiritual, but we will keep the temporal!'--Oh, their conscience or
their modesty inspires them well, when it bids them not meddle with
spiritual things!  They abandon the spiritual! they despise it, they will
have nothing to do with it--oh, the venerable asses! they do not see,
that, even as they go straight to the mill, it is by the spiritual that
we go straight to the temporal.  As if the mind did not govern the body!
They leave us the spiritual--that is, command of the conscience, soul,
heart, and judgment--the spiritual--that is, the distribution of heaven's
rewards, and punishments, and pardons--without check, without control, in
the secrecy of the confessional--and that dolt, the temporal, has nothing
but brute matter for his portion, and yet rubs his paunch for joy.  Only,
from time to time, he perceives, too late, that, if he has the body, we
have the soul, and that the soul governs the body, and so the body ends
by coming with us also--to the great surprise of Master Temporal, who
stands staring with his hands on his paunch, and says: "Dear me! is it

Then, with a laugh of savage contempt, Rodin began to walk with great
strides, and thus continued: "Oh! let me reach it--let me but reach the
place of SIXTUS V.--and the world shall see (one day, when it awakes)
what it is to have the spiritual power in hands like mine--in the hands
of a priest, who, for fifty years, has lived hardly, frugally, chastely,
and who, were he pope, would continue to live hardly, frugally,

Rodin became terrible, as he spoke thus.  All the sanguinary,
sacrilegious, execrable ambition of the worst popes seemed written in
fiery characters on the brow of this son of Ignatius.  A morbid desire of
rule seemed to stir up the Jesuit's impure blood; he was bathed in a
burning sweat, and a kind of nauseous vapor spread itself round about
him.  Suddenly, the noise of a travelling-carriage, which entered the
courtyard of the house, attracted his attention.  Regretting his
momentary excitement, he drew from his pocket his dirty white and red
cotton handkerchief, and dipping it in a glass of water, he applied it to
his cheeks and temples, while he approached the window, to look through
the half-open blinds at the traveller who had just arrived.  The
projection of a portico, over the door at which the carriage had stopped,
intercepted Rodin's view.

"No matter," said he, recovering his coolness: "I shall know presently
who is there.  I must write at once to Jacques Dumoulin, to come hither
immediately.  He served me well, with regard to that little slut in the
Rue Clovis, who made my hair stand on end with her infernal Beranger.
This time, Dumoulin may serve me again.  I have him in my clutches, and
he will obey me."

Rodin sat down to his desk and wrote.  A few seconds later, some one
knocked at the door, which was double-locked, quite contrary to the
rules of the order.  But, sure of his own influence and importance,
Rodin, who had obtained from the general permission to be rid for a time
of the inconvenient company of a socius, often took upon himself to break
through a number of the rules.  A servant entered and delivered a letter
to Rodin.  Before opening it the latter said to the man: "What carriage
is that which just arrived?"

"It comes from Rome, father," answered the servant, bowing.

"From Rome!" said Rodin, hastily; and in spite of himself, a vague
uneasiness was expressed in his countenance.  But, still holding the
letter in his hands, he added: "Who comes in the carriage."

"A reverend father of our blessed Company."

Notwithstanding his ardent curiosity, for he knew that a reverend father,
travelling post, is always charged with some important mission, Rodin
asked no more questions on the subject, but said, as he pointed to the
paper in his hand: "Whence comes this letter?"

"From our house at St. Herem, father."

Rodin looked more attentively at the writing, and recognized the hand of

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