List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V2, by Eugene Sue
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"A vision," added Faringhea, "or a vague resemblance."

"I knew him by the black mark on his forehead; it was none but he.  I
remained motionless with fear, gazing at him with eyes aghast.  He
stopped, bending upon me his calm, sad look.  In spite of myself, I could
not help exclaiming: `It is he!'--'Yes,' he replied, in his gentle voice,
`it is I.  Since all whom thou killest must needs live again,' and he
pointed to heaven as he spoke, `why shouldst thou kill?--Hear me!  I have
just come from Java; I am going to the other end of the world, to a
country of never-melting snow; but, here or there, on plains of fire or
plains of ice, I shall still be the same.  Even so is it with the souls
of those who fall beneath thy kalleepra; in this world or up above, in
this garb or in another, the soul must still be a soul; thou canst not
smite it.  Why then kill?'--and shaking his head sorrowfully, he went on
his way, walking slowly, with downcast eyes; he ascended the hill of the
pagoda; I watched him as he went, without being able to move: at the
moment the sun set, he was standing on the summit of the hill, his tall
figure thrown out against the sky--and so he disappeared.  Oh! it was
he!" added the Indian with a shudder, after a long pause: "it was none
but he."

In this story the Indian had never varied, though he had often
entertained his companions with the same mysterious adventure.  This
persistency on his part had the effect of shaking their incredulity, or
at least of inducing them to seek some natural cause for this apparently
superhuman event.

"Perhaps," said Faringhea, after a moment's reflection, "the knot round
the traveller's neck got jammed, and some breath was left him, the air
may have penetrated the rushes with which we covered his grave, and so
life have returned to him."

"No, no," said the Indian, shaking his head, "this man is not of our


"Now I know it!"

"What do you know?"

"Listen!" said the Indian, in a solemn voice; "the number of victims that
the children of Bowanee have sacrificed since the commencement of ages,
is nothing compared to the immense heap of dead and dying, whom this
terrible traveller leaves behind him in his murderous march."

"He?" cried the negro and Faringhea.

"Yes, he!" repeated the Hindoo, with a convinced accent, that made its
impression upon his companions.  "Hear me and tremble!--When I met this
traveller at the gates of Bombay, he came from Java, and was going
towards the north, he said.  The very next day, the town was a prey to
the cholera, and we learned sometime after, that this plague had first
broken out here, in Java."

"That is true," said the negro.

"Hear me still further!" resumed the other.  "`I am going towards the
north, to a country of eternal snow,' said the traveller to me.  The
cholera also went towards the north, passing through Muscat--Ispahan--
Tauris--Tiflis--till it overwhelmed Siberia."

"True," said Faringhea, becoming thoughtful:

"And the cholera," resumed the Indian, "only travelled its five or six
leagues a day--a man's tramp--never appeared in two places at once--but
swept on slowly, steadily,--even as a man proceeds."

At the mention of this strange coincidence, the Hindoo's companions
looked at each other in amazement.  After a silence of some minutes, the
awe-struck negro said to the last speaker: "So you think that this man--"

"I think that this man, whom we killed, restored to life by some infernal
divinity, has been commissioned to bear this terrible scourge over the
earth, and to scatter round his steps that death, from which he is
himself secure.  Remember!" added the Indian, with gloomy enthusiasm,
"this awful wayfarer passed through Java--the cholera wasted Java.  He
passed through Bombay--the cholera wasted Bombay.  He went towards the
north--the cholera wasted the north."

So saying, the Indian fell into a profound reverie.  The negro and
Faringhea were seized with gloomy astonishment.

The Indian spoke the truth as to the mysterious march (still unexplained)
of that fearful malady, which has never been known to travel more than
five or six leagues a day, or to appear simultaneously in two spots.
Nothing can be more curious, than to trace out, on the maps prepared at
the period in question, the slow, progressive course of this travelling
pestilence, which offers to the astonished eye all the capricious
incidents of a tourist's journey.  Passing this way rather than that--
selecting provinces in a country--towns in a province--one quarter in a
town--one street in a quarter--one house in a street--having its place of
residence and repose, and then continuing its slow, mysterious, fear-
inspiring march.

The words of the Hindoo, by drawing attention to these dreadful
eccentricities, made a strong impression upon the minds of the negro and
Faringhea--wild natures, brought by horrible doctrines to the monomania
of murder.

Yes--for this also is an established fact--there have been in India
members of an abominable community, who killed without motive, without
passion--killed for the sake of killing--for the pleasure of murder--to
substitute death for life--to make of a living man a corpse, as they have
themselves declared in one of their examinations.

The mind loses itself in the attempt to penetrate the causes of these
monstrous phenomena.  By what incredible series of events, have men been
induced to devote themselves to this priesthood of destruction?  Without
doubt, such a religion could only flourish in countries given up, like
India, to the most atrocious slavery, and to the most merciless iniquity
of man to man.

Such a creed!--is it not the hate of exasperated humanity, wound up to
its highest pitch by oppression?--May not this homicidal sect, whose
origin is lost in the night of ages, have been perpetuated in these
regions, as the only possible protest of slavery against despotism?  May
not an inscrutable wisdom have here made Phansegars, even as are made
tigers and serpents?

What is most remarkable in this awful sect, is the mysterious bond,
which, uniting its members amongst themselves, separates them from all
other men.  They have laws and customs of their own, they support and
help each other, but for them there is neither country nor family; they
owe no allegiance save to a dark, invisible power, whose decrees they
obey with blind submission, and in whose name they spread themselves
abroad, to make corpses, according to their own savage expression.[6]

For some moments the three Stranglers had maintained a profound silence.

Outside the hut, the moon continued to throw great masses of white
radiance, and tall bluish shadows, over the imposing fabric of the ruins;
the stars sparkled in the heavens; from time to time, a faint breeze
rustled through the thick and varnished leaves of the bananas and the

The pedestal of the gigantic statue, which, still entire, stood on the
left side of the portico, rested upon large flagstones, half hidden with
brambles.  Suddenly, one of these stones appeared to fall in; and from
the aperture, which thus formed itself without noise, a man, dressed in
uniform, half protruded his body, looked carefully around him, and

Seeing the rays of the lamp, which lighted the interior of the hovel,
tremble upon the tall grass, he turned round to make a signal, and soon,
accompanied by two other soldiers, he ascended, with the greatest silence
and precaution, the last steps of the subterranean staircase, and went
gliding amongst the ruins.  For a few moments, their moving shadows were
thrown upon the moonlit ground; then they disappeared behind some
fragments of broken wall.

At the instant when the large stone resumed its place and level, the
heads of many other soldiers might have been seen lying close in the
excavation.  The half-caste, the Indian, and the negro, still seated
thoughtfully in the hut, did not perceive what was passing.

[6] The following are some passages from the Count de Warren's very
curious book, "British India in 1831:" "Besides the robbers, who kill for
the sake of the booty they hope to find upon travellers, there is a class
of assassins, forming an organized society, with chiefs of their own, a
slang-language, a science, a free-masonry, and even a religion, which has
its fanaticism and its devotion, its agents, emissaries, allies, its
militant forces, and its passive adherents, who contribute their money to
the good work.  This is the community of the Thugs or Phansegars
(deceivers or stranglers, from thugna, to deceive, and phansna, to
strangle), a religious and economical society, which speculates with the
human race by exterminating men; its origin is lost in the night of ages.

"Until 1810 their existence was unknown, not only to the European
conquerors, but even to the native governments.  Between the years 1816
and 1830, several of their bands were taken in the act, and punished: but
until this last epoch, all the revelations made on the subject by
officers of great experience, had appeared too monstrous to obtain the
attention or belief of the public; they had been rejected and despised as
the dreams of a heated imagination.  And yet for many years, at the very
least for half a century, this social wound had been frightfully on the
increase, devouring the population from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin and
from Cutch to Assam.

"It was in the year 1830 that the revelations of a celebrated chief,
whose life was spared on condition of his denouncing his accomplices,
laid bare the whole system.  The basis of the Thuggee Society is a
religious belief--the worship of Bowanee, a gloomy divinity, who is only
pleased with carnage, and detests above all things the human race.  Her
most agreeable sacrifices are human victims, and the more of these her
disciple may have offered up in this world the more he will be
recompensed in the next by all the delights of soul and sense, by women
always beautiful, and joys eternally renewed.  If the assassin meets the
scaffold in his career, he dies with the enthusiasm of a martyr, because
he expects his reward.  To obey his divine mistress, he murders, without
anger and without remorse, the old man, woman and child; whilst, to his
fellow-religionists, he may be charitable, humane, generous, devoted, and
may share all in common with them, because, like himself, they are the
ministers and adopted children of Bowanee.  The destruction of his
fellow-creatures, not belonging to his community--the diminution of the
human race--that is the primary object of his pursuit; it is not as a
means of gain, for though plunder may be a frequent, and doubtless an
agreeable accessory, it is only secondary in his estimation.  Destruction
is his end, his celestial mission, his calling; it is also a delicious
passion, the most captivating of all sports--this hunting of men!--'You
find great pleasure,' said one of those that were condemned, `in tracking
the wild beast to his den, in attacking the boar, the tiger, because
there is danger to brave, energy and courage to display.  Think how this
attraction must be redoubled, when the contest is with man, when it is
man that is to be destroyed.  Instead of the single faculty of courage,
all must be called into action--courage, cunning, foresight, eloquence,
intrigue.  What springs to put in motion! what plans to develop!  To
sport with all the passions, to touch the chords of love and friendship,
and so draw the prey into one's net--that is a glorious chase--it is a
delight, a rapture, I tell you!'

"Whoever was in India in the years 1831 and 1832, must remember the
stupor and affright, which the discovery of this vast infernal machine
spread through all classes of society.  A great number of magistrates and
administrators of provinces refused to believe in it, and could not be
brought to comprehend that such a system had so long preyed on the body
politic, under their eyes as it were, silently, and without betraying
itself."--See "British India in 183," by Count Edward de Warren, 2 vols.
in 8vo.  Paris, 1844.--E. S.



The half-blood Faringhea, wishing doubtless to escape from the dark
thoughts which the words of the Indian on the mysterious course of the
Cholera had raised within him, abruptly changed the subject of
conversation.  His eye shone with lurid fire, and his countenance took an
expression of savage enthusiasm, as he cried: "Bowanee will always watch
over us, intrepid hunters of men!  Courage, brothers, courage!  The world
is large; our prey is everywhere.  The English may force us to quit
India, three chiefs of the good work--but what matter?  We leave there
our brethren, secret, numerous, and terrible, as black scorpions, whose
presence is only known by their mortal sting.  Exiles will widen our
domains.  Brother, you shall have America!"  said he to the Hindoo, with
an inspired air.  "Brother, you shall have Africa!"  said he to the
negro.  "Brothers, I will take Europe!  Wherever men are to be found,
there must be oppressors and victims--wherever there are victims, there
must be hearts swollen with hate--it is for us to inflame that hate with
all the ardor of vengeance!  It is for us, servants of Bowanee, to draw
towards us, by seducing wiles, all whose zeal, courage, and audacity may
be useful to the cause.  Let us rival each other in devotion and
sacrifices; let us lend each other strength, help, support!  That all who
are not with us may be our prey, let us stand alone in the midst of all,
against all, and in spite of all.  For us, there must be neither country
nor family.  Our family is composed of our brethren; our country is the

This kind of savage eloquence made a deep impression on the negro and the
Indian, over whom Faringhea generally exercised considerable influence,
his intellectual powers being very superior to theirs, though they were
themselves two of the most eminent chiefs of this bloody association.
"Yes, you are right, brother!" cried the Indian, sharing the enthusiasm
of Faringhea; "the world is ours.  Even here, in Java, let us leave some
trace of our passage.  Before we depart, let us establish the good work
in this island; it will increase quickly, for here also is great misery,
and the Dutch are rapacious as the English.  Brother, I have seen in the
marshy rice-fields of this island, always fatal to those who cultivate
them, men whom absolute want forced to the deadly task--they were livid
as corpses--some of them worn out with sickness, fatigue, and hunger,
fell--never to rise again.  Brothers, the good work will prosper in this

"The other evening," said the half-caste, "I was on the banks of the
lake, behind a rock; a young woman came there--a few rags hardly covered
her lean and sun-scorched body--in her arms she held a little child,
which she pressed weeping to her milkless breast.  She kissed it three
times, and said to it: `You, at least, shall not be so unhappy as your
father'--and she threw it into the lake.  It uttered one wail, and
disappeared.  On this cry, the alligators, hidden amongst the reeds,

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