those whose orders we are bound to respect. Since it must be so, this letter shall be my last. Farewell, my friend! farewell forever. My heart is almost broken. "GABRIEL DE RENNEPONT." CHAPTER 11. THE REDEMPTION. Day was about to dawn. A rosy light, almost imperceptible, began to glimmer in the east; but the stars still shone, sparkling with radiance, upon the azure of the zenith. The birds awoke beneath the fresh foliage of the great woods; and, with isolated warblings, sang the prelude of their morning-concert. A light mist rose from the high grass, bathed in nocturnal dew, while the calm and limpid waters of a vast lake reflected the whitening dawn in their deep, blue mirror. Everything promised one of those warm and joyous days, that belong to the opening of summer. Half-way up the slope of a hill, facing the east, a tuft of old, moss- grown willows, whose rugged bark disappeared beneath the climbing branches of wild honeysuckle and harebells, formed a natural harbor; and on their gnarled and enormous roots, covered with thick moss, were seated a man and a woman, whose white hair, deep wrinkles, and bending figures, announced extreme old age. And yet this woman had only lately been young and beautiful, with long black hair overshadowing her pale forehead. And yet this man had, a short time ago, been still in the vigor of his age. From the spot where this man and woman were reposing, could be seen the valley, the lake, the woods, and, soaring above the woods, the blue summit of a high mountain, from behind which the sun was about to rise. This picture, half veiled by the pale transparency of the morning twilight, was pleasing, melancholy, and solemn. "Oh, my sister!" said the old man to the woman, who was reposing with him beneath the rustic arbor formed by the tuft of willow-trees; "oh, my sister! how many times during the centuries in which the hand of the Lord carried us onward, and, separated from each other, we traversed the world from pole to pole--how many times we have witnessed this awakening of nature with a sentiment of incurable grief!--Alas! it was but another day of wandering--another useless day added to our life, since it brought death no nearer!" "But now what happiness, oh, my brother! since the Lord has had mercy on us, and, with us, as with all other creatures, every returning day is a step nearer to the grave. Glory to Him! yes, glory!" "Glory to Him, my sister! for since yesterday, when we again met, I feel that indescribable languor which announces the approach of death." "Like you, my brother, I feel my strength, already shaken, passing away in a sweet exhaustion. Doubtless, the term of our life approaches. The wrath of the Lord is satisfied." "Alas, my sister! doubtless also, the last of my doomed race, will, at the same time, complete our redemption by his death; for the will of heaven is manifest, that I can only be pardoned, when the last of my family shall have disappeared from the face of the earth. To him, holiest amongst the holiest--was reserved the favor of accomplishing this end he who has done so much for the salvation of his brethren!" "Oh, yes, my brother! he who has suffered so much, and without complaining, drunk to the dregs the bitter cup of woe--he, the minister of the Lord, who has been his Master's image upon earth--he was fitted for the last instrument of this redemption!" "Yes, for I feel, my sister, that, at this hour, the last of my race, touching victim of slow persecution, is on the point of resigning his angelic soul to God. Thus, even to the end, have I been fatal to my doomed family. Lord, if Thy mercy is great, Thy anger is great likewise!" "Courage and hope, my brother! Think how after the expiration cometh pardon, and pardon is followed by a blessing. The Lord punished, in you and your posterity, the artisan rendered wicked by misfortune and injustice. He said to you: `Go on! without truce or rest--and your labor shall be vain--and every evening, throwing yourself on the hard ground, you shall be no nearer to the end of your eternal course!'--And so, for centuries, men without pity have said to the artisan: 'Work! work! work! without truce or rest--and your labor shall be fruitful for all others, but fruitless for yourself--and every evening, throwing yourself on the hard ground, you shall be no nearer to happiness and repose; and your wages shall only suffice to keep you alive in pain, privation, and poverty!'" "Alas! alas! will it be always thus?" "No, no, my brother! and instead of weeping over your lost race, rejoice for them--since their death was needed for your redemption, and in redeeming you, heaven will redeem the artisan, cursed and feared by those--who have laid on him the iron yoke. Yes, my brother! the time draweth nigh--heaven's mercy will not stop with us alone. Yes, I tell you; in us will be rescued both the WOMAN and the SLAVE of these modern ages. The trial has been hard, brother; it has lasted throughout eighteen centuries; but it will last no longer. Look, my brother! see that rosy light, there in the east, gradually spreading over the firmament! Thus will rise the sun of the new emancipation--peaceful, holy, great, salutary, fruitful, filling the world with light and vivifying heat, like the day-star that will soon appear in heaven!" "Yes, yes, my sister! I feel it. Your words are prophetic. We shall close our heavy eyes just as we see the aurora of the day of deliverance --a fair, a splendid day, like that which is about to dawn. Henceforth I will only shed tears of pride and glory for those of my race, who have died the martyrs of humanity, sacrificed by humanity's eternal enemies-- for the true ancestors of the sacrilegious wretches, who blaspheme the name of Jesus by giving it to their Company, were the false Scribes and Pharisees, whom the Saviour cursed!--Yes! glory to the descendants of my family, who have been the last martyrs offered up by the accomplices of all slavery and all despotism, the pitiless enemies of those who wish to think, and not to suffer in silence--of those that would feign enjoy, as children of heaven, the gifts which the Creator has bestowed upon all the human family. Yes, the day approaches--the end of the reign of our modern Pharisees--the false priests, who lend their sacrilegious aid to the merciless selfishness of the strong against the weak, by daring to maintain in the face of the exhaustless treasures of the creation, that God has made man for tears, and sorrow, and suffering--the false priests, who are the agents of all oppression, and would bow to the earth, in brutish and hopeless humiliation, the brow of every creature. No, no! let man lift his head proudly! God made him to be noble and intelligent free and happy." "Oh, my brother! your words also are prophetic. Yes, yes! the dawn of that bright day approaches, even as the dawn of the natural day which, by the mercy of God, will be our last on earth." "The last, my sister; for a strange weakness creeps over me, all matter seems dissolving in me, and my soul aspires to mount to heaven." "Mine eyes are growing dim, brother; I can scarcely see that light in the east, which lately appeared so red." "Sister! it is through a confused vapor that I now see the valley--the lake--the woods. My strength fails me." "Blessed be God, brother! the moment of eternal rest is at hand." "Yes, it comes, my sister! the sweetness of the everlasting sleep takes possession of my senses." "Oh, happiness! I am dying--" "These eyes are closing, sister!" "We are then forgiven!" "Forgiven!" "Oh, my brother! may this Divine redemption extend to all those who suffer upon the earth!" "Die in peace, my sister! The great day has dawned--the sun is rising-- behold!" "Blessed be God!" "Blessed be God!" And at the moment when those two voices ceased forever, the sun rose radiant and dazzling, and deluged the valley with its beams. To M. C--P--. To you, my friend, I dedicated this book. To inscribe it with your name, was to assume an engagement that, in the absence of talent, it should be at least conscientious, sincere, and of a salutary influence, however limited. My object is attained. Some select hearts, like yours, my friend, have put into practice the legitimate association of labor, capital, and intelligence, and have already granted to their workmen a proportionate share in the profits of their industry. Others have laid the foundations of Common Dwelling-houses, and one of the chief capitalists of Hamburg has favored me with his views respecting an establishment of this kind, on the most gigantic scale. As for the dispersion of the members of the Company of Jesus, I have taken less part in it than other enemies of the detestable doctrines of Loyola, whose influence and authority were far greater than mine. Adieu, my friend. I could have wished this work more worthy of you; but you are indulgent, and will at least give me credit for the intentions which dictated it. Believe me, Yours truly, EUGENE SUE. Paris, 25th August, 1845.
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