List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V3, by Eugene Sue
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His face was acute and smiling; his small gray eye announced rare
penetration and sagacity.  A man of the world and a man of pleasure, a
delicate epicure, witty in conversation, polite to obsequiousness,
supple, adroit, insinuating, Baleinier was one of the oldest favorites of
the congregational set of the Princess de Saint-Dizier.  Thanks to this
powerful support, its cause unknown, the doctor, who had been long
neglected, in spite of real skill and incontestable merit, found himself,
under the Restoration, suddenly provided with two medical sinecures most
valuable, and soon after with numerous patients.  We must add, that, once
under the patronage of the princess, the doctor began scrupulously to
observe his religious duties; he communicated once a week, with great
publicity, at the high mass in Saint Thomas Aquinas Church.

At the year's end, a certain class of patients, led by the example and
enthusiasm of Madame de Saint-Dizier's followers, would have no other
physician than Doctor Baleinier, and his practice was now increased to an
extraordinary degree.  It may be conceived how important it was for the
order, to have amongst its "plain clothes members" one of the most
popular practitioners of Paris.

A doctor has in some sort a priesthood of his own.  Admitted at all hours
to the most secret intimacy of families, he knows, guesses, and is able
to effect much.  Like the priest, in short, he has the ear of the sick
and the dying.  Now, when he who cares for the health of the body, and he
who takes charge of the health of the soul, understands each other, and
render mutual aid for the advancement of a common interest, there is
nothing (with certain exceptions), which they may not extract from the
weakness and fears of a sick man at the last gasp--not for themselves
(the laws forbid it)--but for third parties belonging more or less to the
very convenient class of men of straw.  Doctor Baleinier was therefore
one of the most active and valuable assistant members of the Paris

When he entered the room, he hastened to kiss the princess's hand with
the most finished gallantry.

"Always punctual, my dear M. Baleinier."

"Always eager and happy to attend to your highness's orders."  Then
turning towards the marquis, whose hand he pressed cordially, he added:
"Here we have you then at last.  Do you know, that three months' absence
appears very long to your friends?"

"The time is as long to the absent as to those who remain, my dear
doctor.  Well! here is the great day.  Mdlle. de Cardoville is coming."

"I am not quite easy," said the princess; "suppose she had any suspicion?

"That's impossible," said M. Baleinier; "we are the best friends in the
world.  You know, that Mdlle. Adrienne has always had great confidence in
me.  The day before yesterday, we laughed a good deal, and as I made some
observations to her, as usual, on her eccentric mode of life, and on the
singular state of excitement in which I sometimes found her--"

"M. Baleinier never fails to insist on these circumstances, in appearance
so insignificant," said Madame de Saint-Dizier to the marquis with a
meaning look.

"They are indeed very essential," replied the other.

"Mdlle. Adrienne answered my observations," resumed the doctor, "by
laughing at me in the gayest and most witty manner; for I must confess,
that this young lady has one of the aptest and most accomplished minds I

"Doctor, doctor!" said Madame de Saint-Dizier, "no weakness!"

Instead of answering immediately, M. Baleinier drew his gold snuff-box
from his waistcoat pocket, opened it, and took slowly a pinch of snuff,
looking all the time at the princess with so significant an air, that she
appeared quite reassured.  "Weakness, madame?" observed he at last,
brushing some grains of snuff from his shirt-front with his plump white
hand; "did I not have the honor of volunteering to extricate you from
this embarrassment?"

"And you are the only person in the world that could render us this
important service," said D'Aigrigny.

"Your highness sees, therefore," resumed the doctor, "that I am not
likely to show any weakness.  I perfectly understand the responsibility
of what I undertake; but such immense interests, you told me, were at

"Yes," said D'Aigrigny, "interests of the first consequence."

"Therefore I did not hesitate," proceeded M. Baleinier; "and you need not
be at all uneasy.  As a man of taste, accustomed to good society, allow
me to render homage to the charming qualities of Mdlle. Adrienne; when
the time for action comes, you will find me quite as willing to do my

"Perhaps, that moment may be nearer than we thought," said Madame de
Saint-Dizier, exchanging a glance with D'Aigrigny.

"I am, and will be, always ready," said the doctor.  "I answer for
everything that concerns myself.  I wish I could be as tranquil on every
other point."

"Is not your asylum still as fashionable--as an asylum can well be?"
asked Madame de Saint-Dizier, with a half smile.

"On the contrary.  I might almost complain of having too many boarders.
It is not that.  But, whilst we are waiting for Mdlle. Adrienne, I will
mention another subject, which only relates to her indirectly, for it
concerns the person who, bought Cardoville Manor, one Madame de la
Sainte-Colombe, who has taken me for a doctor, thanks to Rodin's able

"True," said D'Aigrigny; "Rodin wrote to me on the subject--but without
entering into details."

"These are the facts," resumed the doctor.  "This Madame de la Sainte-
Colombe, who was at first considered easy enough to lead, has shown
herself very refractory on the head of her conversion.  Two spiritual
directors have already renounced the task of saving her soul.  In
despair, Rodin unslipped little Philippon on her.  He is adroit,
tenacious, and above all patient in the extreme--the very man that was
wanted.  When I got Madame de la Sainte-Colombe for a patient, Philippon
asked my aid, which he was naturally entitled to.  We agreed upon our
plan.  I was not to appear to know him the least in the world; and he was
to keep me informed of the variations in the moral state of his penitent,
so that I might be able, by the use of very inoffensive medicines--for
there was nothing dangerous in the illness--to keep my patient in
alternate states of improvement or the reverse, according as her director
had reason to be satisfied or displeased--so that he might say to her:
`You see, madame, you are in the good way!  Spiritual grace acts upon
your bodily health, and you are already better.  If, on the contrary, you
fall back into evil courses, you feel immediately some physical ail,
which is a certain proof of the powerful influence of faith, not only on
the soul, but on the body also?'"

"It is doubtless painful," said D'Aigrigny, with perfect coolness, "to be
obliged to have recourse to such means, to rescue perverse souls from
perdition--but we must needs proportion our modes of action to the
intelligence and the character of the individual."

"By-the-bye, the princess knows," resumed the doctor, "that I have often
pursued this plan at St. Mary's Convent, to the great advantage of the
soul's peace and health of some of our patients, being extremely
innocent.  These alternations never exceed the difference between "pretty
well," and "not quite so well."  Yet small as are the variations, they
act most efficaciously on certain minds.  It was thus with Madame de la
Sainte-Colombe.  She was in such a fair way of recovery, both moral and
physical, that Rodin thought he might get Philippon to advise the country
for his penitent, fearing that Paris air might occasion a relapse.  This
advice, added to the desire the woman had to play `lady of the parish,'
induced her to buy Cardoville Manor, a good investment in any respect.
But yesterday, unfortunate Philippon came to tell me, that Madame de la
Sainte-Colombe was about to have an awful relapse--moral, of course--for
her physical health is now desperately good.  The said relapse appears to
have been occasioned by an interview she has had with one Jacques
Dumoulin, whom they tell me you know, my dear abbe; he has introduced
himself to her, nobody can guess how."

"This Jacques Dumoulin,"said the marquis, with disgust, "is one of those
men, that we employ while we despise.  He is a writer full of gall, envy,
and hate, qualities that give him a certain unmercifully cutting
eloquence.  We pay him largely to attack our enemies, though it is often
painful to see principles we respect defended by such a pen.  For this
wretch lives like a vagabond--is constantly in taverns--almost always
intoxicated--but, I must own, his power of abuse is inexhaustible, and he
is well versed in the most abstruse theological controversies, so that he
is sometimes very useful to us."

"Well! though Madame de la Sainte-Colombe is hard upon sixty, it appears
that Dumoulin has matrimonial views on her large fortune.  You will do
well to inform Rodin, so that he may be on his guard against the dark
designs of this rascal.  I really beg a thousand pardons for having so
long occupied you with such a paltry affair--but, talking of St. Mary's
Convent," added the doctor, addressing the princess, "may I take the
liberty of asking if your highness has been there lately?"

The princess exchanged a rapid glance with D'Aigrigny, and answered: "Oh,
let me see!  Yes, I was there about a week ago."

"You will find great changes then.  The wall that was next to my asylum
has been taken down, for they are going to build anew wing and a chapel,
the old one being too small.  I must say in praise of Mdlle. Adrienne"
continued the doctor with a singular smile aside, "that she promised me a
copy of one of Raphael's Madonnas for this chapel."

"Really? very appropriate!" said the princess.  "But here it is almost
noon, and M. Tripeaud has not come."

"He is the deputy-guardian of Mdlle. de Cardoville, whose property he has
managed, as former agent of the count-duke," said the marquis, with
evident anxiety, "and his presence here is absolutely indispensable.  It
is greatly to be desired that his coming should precede that of Mdlle.
de Cardoville, who may he here at any moment."

"It is unlucky that his portrait will not do as well," said the doctor,
smiling maliciously, and drawing a small pamphlet from his pocket.

"What is that, doctor?" asked the princess.

"One of those anonymous sheets, which are published from time to time.
It is called the `Scourge,' and Baron Tripeaud's portrait is drawn with
such faithfulness, that it ceases to be satire.  It is really quite life-
like; you have only to listen.  The sketch is entitled: `TYPE OF THE LYNX

"`The Baron Tripeaud.--This man, who is as basely humble towards his
social superiors, as he is insolent and coarse to those who depend upon
him--is the living, frightful incarnation of the worst pardon of the
moneyed and commercial aristocracy--one of the rich and cynical
speculators, without heart, faith or conscience, who would speculate for
a rise or fall on the death of his mother, if the death of his mother
could influence the price of stocks.

"`Such persons have all the odious vices of men suddenly elevated, not
like those whom honest and patient labor has nobly enriched, but like
those who owe their wealth to some blind caprice of fortune, or some
lucky cast of the net in the miry waters of stock-jobbing.

"'Once up in the world, they hate the people--because the people remind
them of a mushroom origin of which they are ashamed.  Without pity for
the dreadful misery of the masses, they ascribe it wholly to idleness or
debauchery.  because this calumny forms an excuse for their barbarous

"`And this is not all.  On the strength of his well-filled safe, mounted
on his right of the candidate, Baron Tripeaud insults the poverty and
political disfranchisement--

"`Of the officer, who, after forty years of wars and hard service, is
just able to live on a scanty pension--

"`Of the magistrate, who has consumed his strength in the discharge of
stern and sad duties, and who is not better remunerated in his litter

"'Of the learned man who has made his country illustrious by useful
labors; or the professor who has initiated entire generations in the
various branches of human knowledge--

"`Of the modest and virtuous country curate, the pure representative of
the gospel, in its charitable, fraternal, and democratic tendencies, etc.

"`In such a state of things, how should our shoddy baron of in-dust-ry
not feel the most sovereign contempt for all that stupid mob of honest
folk, who, having given to their country their youth, their mature age,
their blood, their intelligence, their learning, see themselves deprived
of the rights which he enjoys, because he has gained a million by unfair
and illegal transactions?

"`It is true, that your optimists say to these pariahs of civilization,
whose proud and noble poverty cannot be too much revered and honored:
"Buy an estate and you too may be electors and candidates!"

"`But to come to the biography of our worthy baron--Andrew Tripeaud, the
son of an ostler, at a roadside inn '"

At this instant the folding-doors were thrown open, and the valet
announced: "The Baron Tripeaud!"

Dr. Baleinier put his pamphlet into his pocket, made the most cordial bow
to the financier, and even rose to give him his hand.  The baron entered
the room, overwhelming every one with salutations.  "I have the honor to
attend the orders of your highness the princess.  She knows that she may
always count upon me."

"I do indeed rely upon you, M. Tripeaud, and particularly under present

"If the intentions of your highness the princess are still the same with
regard to Mdlle. de Cardoville "

"They are still the same, M. Tripeaud, and we meet to-day on that

"Your highness may be assured of my concurrence, as, indeed, I have
already promised.  I think that the greatest severity must at length be
employed, and that even if it were necessary."

"That is also our opinion," said the marquis, hastily making a sign to
the princess, and glancing at the place where the man in spectacles was
hidden; "we are all perfectly in harmony.  Still, we must not leave any
point doubtful, for the sake of the young lady herself, whose interests
alone guides us in this affair.  We must draw out her sincerity by every
possible means."

"Mademoiselle has just arrived from the summer-house and wishes to see
your highness," said the valet, again entering, after having knocked at
the door.

"Say that I wait for her," answered the princess; "and now I am at home
to no one--without exception.  You understand me; absolutely to no one."

Thereupon, approaching the curtain behind which the man was concealed,
Mme. de Saint-Dizier gave him the cue--after which she returned to her

It is singular, but during the short space which preceded Adrienne's
arrival, the different actors in this scene appeared uneasy and
embarrassed, as if they had a vague fear of her coming.  In about a

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