List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V2, by Eugene Sue
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disconcerted plot, was, in truth, calculated slightly to compromise the
young blacksmith.  His father, however, as we have already mentioned,
suspected not his secret anguish.  Seated by the side of his son, upon
the edge of their mean little bed, the old soldier, by break of day, had
dressed and shaved with military care; he now held between his hands both
those of Agricola, his countenance radiant with joy, and unable to
discontinue the contemplation of his boy.

"You will laugh at me, my dear boy," said Dagobert to his son; "but I
wished the night to the devil, in order that I might gaze upon you in
full day, as I now see you.  But all in good time; I have lost nothing.
Here is another silliness of mine; it delights me to see you wear
moustaches.  What a splendid horse-grenadier you would have made!  Tell
me; have you never had a wish to be a soldier?"

"I thought of mother!"

"That's right," said Dagobert: "and besides, I believe, after all, look
ye, that the time of the sword has gone by.  We old fellows are now good
for nothing, but to be put in a corner of the chimney.  Like rusty old
carbines, we have had our day."

"Yes; your days of heroism and of glory," said Agricola with excitement;
and then he added, with a voice profoundly softened and agitated, "it is
something good and cheering to be your son!"

"As to the good, I know nothing of that," replied Dagobert; "but as for
the cheering, it ought to be so; for I love you proudly.  And I think
this is but the beginning!  What say you, Agricola?  I am like the
famished wretches who have been some days without food.  It is but by
little and little that they recover themselves, and can eat.  Now, you
may expect to be tasted, my boy, morning and evening, and devoured during
the day.  No, I wish not to think that--not all the day--no, that thought
dazzles and perplexes me; and I am no longer myself."

These words of Dagobert caused a painful feeling to Agricola.  He
believed that they sprang from a presentiment of the separation with
which he was menaced.

"Well," continued Dagobert; "you are quite happy; M. Hardy is always good
to you."

"Oh!" replied Agricola: "there is none in the world better, or more
equitable and generous!  If you knew what wonders he has brought about in
his factory!  Compared to all others, it is a paradise beside the
stithies of Lucifer!"

"Indeed!" said Dagobert.

"You shall see," resumed Agricola, "what welfare, what joy, what
affection, are displayed upon the countenances of all whom he employs;
who work with an ardent pleasure.

"This M. Hardy of yours must be an out-and-out magician," said Dagobert.

"He is, father, a very great magician.  He has known how to render labor
pleasant and attractive.  As for the pleasure, over and above good wages,
he accords to us a portion of his profits according to our deserts;
whence you may judge of the eagerness with which we go to work.  And that
is not all: he has caused large, handsome buildings to be erected, in
which all his workpeople find, at less expense than elsewhere, cheerful
and salubrious lodgings, in which they enjoy all the advantages of an
association.  But you shall see--I repeat--you shall see!"

"They have good reason to say, that Paris is the region of wonders,"
observed Dagobert.

"Well, behold me here again at last, never more to quit you, nor good

"No, father, we will never separate again," said Agricola,  stifling a
sigh.  "My mother and I will both try to make you forget all that you
have suffered."

"Suffered!" exclaimed Dagobert, "who the deuce has suffered?  Look me
well in the face; and see if I have a look of suffering!  Bombs and
bayonets!  Since I have put my foot here, I feel myself quite a young man
again!  You shall see me march soon: I bet that I tire you out!  You must
rig yourself up something extra!  Lord, how they will stare at us!  I
wager that in beholding your black moustache and my gray one, folks will
say, behold father and son!  But let us settle what we are to do with the
day.  You will write to the father of Marshal Simon, informing him the
his grand-daughters have arrived, and that it is necessary that he should
hasten his return to Paris; for he has charged himself with matters which
are of great importance for them.  While you are writing, I will go down
to say good-morning to my wife, and to the dear little ones.  We will
then eat a morsel.  Your mother will go to mass; for I perceive that she
likes to be regular at that: the good soul! no great harm, if it amuse
her! and during her absence, we will make a raid together."

"Father," said Agricola, with embarrassment, "this morning it is out of
my power to accompany you."

"How! out of your power?" said Dagobert; "recollect this is Monday!"

"Yes, father," said Agricola, hesitatingly; "but I have promised to
attend all the morning in the workshop, to finish a job that is required
in a hurry.  If I fail to do so, I shall inflict some injury upon M.
Hardy.  But I'll soon be at liberty."

"That alters the case," said Dagobert, with a sigh of regret.  "I thought
to make my first parade through Paris with you this morning; but it must
be deferred in favor of your work.  It is sacred: since it is that which
sustains your mother.  Nevertheless, it is vexatious, devilish vexatious.
And yet no--I am unjust.  See how quickly one gets habituated to and
spoilt by happiness.  I growl like a true grumbler, at a walk being put
off for a few hours!  I do this!  I who, during eighteen years, have only
hoped to see you once more, without daring to reckon very much upon it!
Oh!  I am but a silly old fool!  Vive l'amour et cogni--I mean--my
Agricola!"  And, to console himself, the old soldier gayly slapped his
son's shoulder.

This seemed another omen of evil to the blacksmith; for he dreaded one
moment to another lest the fears of Mother Bunch should be realized.
"Now that I have recovered myself," said Dagobert, laughing, "let us
speak of business.  Know you where I find the addresses of all the
notaries in Paris?"

"I don't know; but nothing is more easy than to discover it."

"My reason is," resumed Dagobert, "that I sent from Russia by post, and
by order of the mother of the two children that I have brought here, some
important papers to a Parisian notary.  As it was my duty to see this
notary immediately upon my arrival, I had written his name and his
address in a portfolio, of which however, I have been robbed during my
journey; and as I have forgotten his devil of a name, it seems to me,
that if I should see it again in the list of notaries, I might recollect

Two knocks at the door of the garret made Agricola start.  He
involuntarily thought of a warrant for his apprehension.

His father, who, at the sound of the knocking turned round his head, had
not perceived his emotion, and said with a loud voice: "Come in!"  The
door opened.  It was Gabriel.  He wore a black cassock and a broad-
brimmed hat.

To recognize his brother by adoption, and to throw himself into his arms,
were two movements performed at once by Agricola--as quick as thought.--
"My brother!" exclaimed Agricola.

"Agricola!" cried Gabriel.

"Gabriel!" responded the blacksmith.

"After so long an absence!" said the one.

"To behold you again!" rejoined the other.

Such were the words exchanged between the blacksmith and the missionary,
while they were locked in a close embrace.

Dagobert, moved and charmed by these fraternal endearments, felt his eyes
become moist.  There was something truly touching in the affection of the
young men--in their hearts so much alike, and yet of characters and
aspects so very different--for the manly countenance of Agricola
contrasted strongly with the delicacy and angelic physiognomy of Gabriel.

"I was forewarned by my father of your arrival," said the blacksmith at
length.  "I have been expecting to see you; and my happiness has been a
hundred times the greater, because I have had all the pleasures of hoping
for it."

"And my good mother?" asked Gabriel, in affectionately grasping the hands
of Dagobert.  "I trust that you have found her in good health."

"Yes, my brave boy!" replied Dagobert; "and her health will have become a
hundred times better, now that we are all together.  Nothing is so
healthful as joy."  Then addressing himself to Agricola, who, forgetting
his fear of being arrested, regarded the missionary with an expression of
ineffable affection, Dagobert added:

"Let it be remembered, that, with the soft cheek of a young girl, Gabriel
has the courage of a lion; I have already told with what intrepidity he
saved the lives of Marshal Simon's daughters, and tried to save mine

"But, Gabriel! what has happened to your forehead?" suddenly exclaimed
Agricola, who for a few seconds had been attentively examining the

Gabriel, having thrown aside his hat on entering, was now directly
beneath the skylight of the garret apartment, the bright light through
which shone upon his sweet, pale countenance: and the round scar, which
extended from one eyebrow to the other, was therefore distinctly visible.

In the midst of the powerful and diversified emotion, and of the exciting
events which so rapidly followed the shipwreck on the rocky coast near
Cardoville House, Dagobert, during the short interview he then had with
Gabriel, had not perceived the scar which seamed the forehead of the
young missionary.  Now, partaking, however, of the surprise of his son,
Dagobert said:

"Aye, indeed! how came this scar upon your brow?"

"And on his hands, too; see, dear father!"  exclaimed the blacksmith,
with renewed surprise, while he seized one of the hands which the young
priest held out towards him in order to tranquillize his fears.

"Gabriel, my brave boy, explain this to us!" added Dagobert; "who has
wounded you thus?" and in his turn, taking the other hand of the
missionary, he examined the scar upon it with the eye of a judge of
wounds, and then added, "In Spain, one of my comrades was found and taken
down alive from a cross, erected at the junction of several roads, upon
which the monks had crucified, and left him to die of hunger, thirst, and
agony.  Ever afterwards he bore scars upon his hands, exactly similar to
this upon your hand."

"My father is right!" exclaimed Agricola.  "It is evident that your hands
have been pierced through!  My poor brother!" and Agricola became
grievously agitated.

"Do not think about it," said Gabriel, reddening with the embarrassment
of modesty.  "Having gone as a missionary amongst the savages of the
Rocky Mountains, they crucified me, and they had begun to scalp me, when
Providence snatched me from their hands."

"Unfortunate youth," said Dagobert; "without arms then?  You had not a
sufficient escort for your protection?"

"It is not for such as me to carry arms." said Gabriel, sweetly smiling;
"and we are never accompanied by any escort."

"Well, but your companions, those who were along with you, how came it
that they did not defend you?" impetuously asked Agricola.

"I was alone, my dear brother."


"Yes, alone; without even a guide."

"You alone! unarmed! in a barbarous country!" exclaimed Dagobert,
scarcely crediting a step so unmilitary, and almost distrusting his own
sense of hearing.

"It was sublime!" said the young blacksmith and poet.

"The Christian faith," said Gabriel, with mild simplicity, "cannot be
implanted by force or violence.  It is only by the power of persuasion
that the gospel can be spread amongst poor savages."

"But when persuasions fail!"  said Agricola.

"Why, then, dear brother, one has but to die for the belief that is in
him, pitying those who have rejected it, and who have refused the
blessings it offers to mankind."

There was a period of profound silence after the reply of Gabriel, which
was uttered with simple and touching pathos.

Dagobert was in his own nature too courageous not to comprehend a heroism
thus calm and resigned; and the old soldier, as well as his son, now
contemplated Gabriel with the most earnest feelings of mingled admiration
and respect.

Gabriel, entirely free from the affection of false modesty, seemed quite
unconscious of the emotions which he had excited in the breasts of his
two friends; and he therefore said to Dagobert, "What ails you?"

"What ails me!" exclaimed the brave old soldier, with great emotion:
"After having been for thirty years in the wars, I had imagined myself to
be about as courageous as any man.  And now I find I have a master!  And
that master is yourself!"

"I!" said Gabriel; "what do you mean?  What have I done?"

"Thunder, don't you know that the brave wounds there" (the veteran took
with transport both of Gabriel's hands), "that these wounds are as
glorious--are more glorious than our--than all ours, as warriors by

"Yes! yes, my father speaks truth!" exclaimed Agricola; and he added,
with enthusiasm, "Oh, for such priests!  How I love them!  How I venerate
them!  How I am elevated by their charity, their courage, their

"I entreat you not to extol me thus," said Gabriel with embarrassment.

"Not extol you!" replied Dagobert.  "Hanged if I shouldn't.  When I have
gone into the heat of action, did I rush into it alone?  Was I not under
the eyes of my commanding officer?  Were not my comrades there along with
me?  In default of true courage, had I not the instinct of self-
preservation to spur me on, without reckoning the excitement of the
shouts and tumult of battle, the smell of the gunpowder, the flourishes
of the trumpets, the thundering of the cannon, the ardor of my horse,
which bounded beneath me as if the devil were at his tail?  Need I state
that I also knew that the emperor was present, with his eye upon every
one--the emperor, who, in recompense for a hole being made in my tough
hide, would give me a bit of lace or a ribbon, as plaster for the wound.
Thanks to all these causes, I passed for game.  Fair enough!  But are you
not a thousand times more game than I, my brave boy; going alone,
unarmed, to confront enemies a hundred times more ferocious than those
whom we attacked--we, who fought in whole squadrons, supported by
artillery, bomb-shells, and case-shot?"

"Excellent father!" cried Agricola, "how noble of you to render to
Gabriel this justice!"

"Oh, dear brother," said Gabriel, "his kindness to me makes him magnify
what was quite natural and simple!"

"Natural!" said the veteran soldier; "yes, natural for gallants who have
hearts of the true temper: but that temper is rare."

"Oh, yes, very rare," said Agricola; "for that kind of courage is the
most admirable of all.  Most bravely did you seek almost certain death,
alone, bearing the cross in hand as your only weapon, to preach charity
and Christian brotherhood.  They seized you, tortured you; and you await
death and partly endure it, without complaint, without remonstrance,
without hatred, without anger, without a wish for vengeance; forgiveness
issuing from your mouth, and a smile of pity beaming upon your lips; and

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