List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V4, by Eugene Sue
Next Page > >

The Wandering Jew

by Eugene Sue




I.         The Masquerade
II.        The Contrast
III.       The Carouse
IV.        The Farewell
VI.        Mother Sainte-Perpetue
VII.       The Temptation
VIII.      Mother Bunch and Mdlle. De Cardoville
IX.        The Encounters
X.         The Meeting
XI.        Discoveries
XII.       The Penal Code
XIII.      Burglary


As the eagle, perched upon the cliff, commands an all-comprehensive view
--not only of what happens on the plains and in the woodlands, but of
matters occurring upon the heights, which its aerie overlooks, so may the
reader have sights pointed out to him, which lie below the level of the
unassisted eye.

In the year 1831, the powerful Order of the Jesuits saw fit to begin to
act upon information which had for some time been digesting in their

As it related to a sum estimated at no less than thirty or forty millions
of francs, it is no wonder that they should redouble all exertions to
obtain it from the rightful owners.

These were, presumably, the descendants of Marius, Count of Rennepont, in
the reign of Louis XIV. of France.

They were distinguished from other men by a simple token, which all, in
the year above named, had in their hands.

It was a bronze medal, bearing these legends on reverse and obverse:

                              L. C. D. J.
                              Pray for me!

                        February the 13th, 1682.

                                IN PARIS
                        Rue St Francois, No. 3,
                        In a century and a half
                              you will be.

                        February the 13th, 1832.
                              PRAY FOR ME!

Those who had this token were descendants of a family whom, a hundred and
fifty years ago, persecution scattered through the world, in emigration
and exile; in changes of religion, fortune and name.  For this family--
what grandeur, what reverses, what obscurity, what lustre, what penury,
what glory!  How many crimes sullied, how many virtues honored it!  The
history of this single family is the history of humanity!  Passing
through many generations, throbbing in the veins of the poor and the
rich, the sovereign and the bandit, the wise and the simple, the coward
and the brave, the saint and the atheist, the blood flowed on to the year
we have named.

Seven representatives summed up the virtue, courage, degradation,
splendor, and poverty of the race.  Seven: two orphan twin daughters of
exiled parents, a dethroned prince, a humble missionary priest, a man of
the middle class, a young lady of high name and large fortune, and a
working man.

Fate scattered them in Russia, India, France, and America.

The orphans, Rose and Blanche Simon, had left their dead mother's grave
in Siberia, under charge of a trooper named Francis Baudoin, alias
Dagobert, who was as much attached to them as he had been devoted to
their father, his commanding general.

On the road to France, this little party had met the first check, in the
only tavern of Mockern village.  Not only had a wild beast showman, known
as Morok the lion-tamer, sought to pick a quarrel with the inoffensive
veteran, but that failing, had let a panther of his menagerie loose upon
the soldier's horse.  That horse had carried Dagobert, under General
Simon's and the Great Napoleon's eyes, through many battles; had borne
the General's wife (a Polish lady under the Czar's ban) to her home of
exile in Siberia, and their children now across Russia and Germany, but
only to perish thus cruelly.  An unseen hand appeared in a manifestation
of spite otherwise unaccountable.  Dagobert, denounced as a French spy,
and his fair young companions accused of being adventuresses to help his
designs, had so kindled at the insult, not less to him than to his old
commander's daughters, that he had taught the pompous burgomaster of
Mockern a lesson, which, however, resulted in the imprisonment of the
three in Leipsic jail.

General Simon, who had vainly sought to share his master's St. Helena
captivity, had gone to fight the English in India.  But notwithstanding
his drilling of Radja-sings sepoys, they had been beaten by the troops
taught by Clive, and not only was the old king of Mundi slain, and the
realm added to the Company's land, but his son, Prince Djalma, taken
prisoner.  However, at length released, he had gone to Batavia, with
General Simon.  The prince's mother was a Frenchwoman, and among the
property she left him in the capital of Java, the general was delighted
to find just such another medal as he knew was in his wife's possession.

The unseen hand of enmity had reached to him, for letters miscarried, and
he did not know either his wife's decease or that he had twin daughters.

By a trick, on the eve of the steamship leaving Batavia for the Isthmus
of Suez, Djalma was separated from his friend, and sailing for Europe
alone, the latter had to follow in another vessel.

The missionary priest trod the war trails of the wilderness, with that
faith and fearlessness which true soldiers of the cross should evince.
In one of these heroic undertakings, Indians had captured him, and
dragging him to their village under the shadow of the Rocky Mountains,
they had nailed him in derision to a cross, and prepared to scalp him.

But if an unseen hand of a foe smote or stabbed at the sons of Rennepont,
a visible interpositor had often shielded them, in various parts of the

A man, seeming of thirty years of age, very tall, with a countenance as
lofty as mournful, marked by the black eyebrows meeting, had thrown
himself--during a battle's height--between a gun of a park which General
Simon was charging and that officer.  The cannon vomited its hail of
death, but when the flame and smoke had passed, the tall man stood erect
as before, smiling pityingly on the gunner, who fell on his knees as
frightened as if he beheld Satan himself.  Again, as General Simon lay
upon the lost field of Waterloo, raging with his wounds, eager to die
after such a defeat, this same man staunched his hurts, and bade him live
for his wife's sake.

Years after, wearing the same unalterable look, this man accosted
Dagobert in Siberia, and gave him for General Simon's wife, the diary and
letters of her husband, written in India, in little hope of them ever
reaching her hands.  And at the year our story opens, this man unbarred
the cell-door of Leipsic jail, and let Dagobert and the orphans out, free
to continue their way into France.

On the other hand, when the scalping-knife had traced its mark around the
head of Gabriel the missionary, and when only the dexterous turn and tug
would have removed the trophy, a sudden apparition had terrified the
superstitious savages.  It was a woman of thirty, whose brown tresses
formed a rich frame around a royal face, toned down by endless sorrowing.
The red-skins shrank from her steady advance, and when her hand was
stretched out between them and their young victim, they uttered a howl of
alarm, and fled as if a host of their foemen were on their track.
Gabriel was saved, but all his life he was doomed to bear that halo of
martyrdom, the circling sweep of the scalper's knife.

He was a Jesuit.  By the orders of his society he embarked for Europe.
We should say here, that he, though owning a medal of the seven
described, was unaware that he should have worn it.  His vessel was
driven by storms to refit at the Azores, where he had changed ship into
the same as was bearing Prince Djalma to France, via Portsmouth.

But the gales followed him, and sated their fury by wrecking the "Black
Eagle" on the Picardy coast.  This was at the same point as were a
disabled Hamburg steamer, among whose passengers where Dagobert and his
two charges, was destroyed the same night.  Happily the tempest did not
annihilate them all.  There were saved, Prince Djalma and a countryman of
his, one Faringhea, a Thuggee chief, hunted out of British India;
Dagobert, and Rose and Blanche Simon, whom Gabriel had rescued.  These
survivors had recovered, thanks to the care they had received in
Cardoville House, a country mansion which had sheltered them, and except
the prince and the Strangler chief, the others were speedily able to go
on to Paris.

The old grenadier and the orphans--until General Simon should be heard
from--dwelt in the former's house.  His son had kept it, from his
mother's love for the life-long home.  It was such a mean habitation as a
workman like Agricola Baudoin could afford to pay the rent of, and far
from the fit abode of the daughters of the Duke de Ligny and Marshal of
France, which Napoleon had created General Simon, though the rank had
only recently been approved by the restoration.

But in Paris the unknown hostile hand showed itself more malignant than

The young lady of high name and large fortune was Adrienne de Cardoville,
whose aunt, the Princess de Saint-Dizier, was a Jesuit.  Through her and
her accomplices' machinations, the young lady's forward yet virtuous,
wildly aspiring but sensible, romantic but just, character was twisted
into a passable reason for her immurement in a mad-house.

This asylum adjoined St. Mary's Convent, into which Rose and Blanche
Simon were deceitfully conducted.  To secure their removal, Dagobert had
been decoyed into the country, under pretence of showing some of General
Simon's document's to a lawyer; his son Agricola arrested for treason, on
account of some idle verses the blacksmith poet was guilty of, and his
wife rendered powerless, or, rather, a passive assistant, by the
influence of the confessional!  When Dagobert hurried back from his wild-
goose chase, he found the orphans gone: Mother Bunch (a fellow-tenant of
the house, who had been brought up in the family) ignorant, and his wife
stubbornly refusing to break the promise she had given her confessor, and
acquaint a single soul where she had permitted the girls to be taken.  In
his rage, the soldier rashly accused that confessor, but instead of
arresting the Abbe Dubois, it was Mrs. Baudoin whom the magistrate felt
compelled to arrest, as the person whom alone he ventured to commit for
examination in regard to the orphans' disappearance.  Thus triumphs, for
the time being, the unseen foe.

The orphans in a nunnery; the dethroned prince a poor castaway in a
foreign land; the noble young lady in a madhouse; the missionary priest
under the thumb of his superiors.

As for the man of the middle class, and the working man, who concluded
the list of this family, we are to read of them, as well as of the
others, in the pages which now succeed these.



The following day to that on which Dagobert's wife (arrested for not
accounting for the disappearance of General Simon's daughters) was led
away before a magistrate, a noisy and animated scene was transpiring on
the Place du Chatelet, in front of a building whose first floor and
basement were used as the tap-rooms of the "Sucking Calf" public-house.

A carnival night was dying out.

Quite a number of maskers, grotesquely and shabbily bedecked, had rushed
out of the low dance-houses in the Guildhall Ward, and were roaring out
staves of songs as they crossed the square.  But on catching sight of a
second troop of mummers running about the water-side, the first party
stopped to wait for the others to come up, rejoicing, with many a shout,
in hopes of one of those verbal battles of slang and smutty talk which
made Vade so illustrious.

This mob--nearly all its members half seas over, soon swollen by the many
people who have to be up early to follow their crafts--suddenly
concentrated in one of the corners of the square, so that a pale,
deformed girl, who was going that way, was caught in the human tide.
This was Mother Bunch.  Up with the lark, she was hurrying to receive
some work from her employer.  Remembering how a mob had treated her when
she had been arrested in the streets only the day before, by mistake, the
poor work-girl's fears may be imagined when she was now surrounded by the
revellers against her will.  But, spite of all her efforts--very feeble,
alas!--she could not stir a step, for the band of merry-makers, newly
arriving, had rushed in among the others, shoving some of them aside,
pushing far into the mass, and sweeping Mother Bunch--who was in their
way--clear over to the crowd around the public-house.

The new-comers were much finer rigged out than the others, for they
belonged to the gay, turbulent class which goes frequently to the
Chaumiere, the Prado, the Colisee, and other more or less rowdyish haunts
of waltzers, made up generally of students, shop-girls, and counter-
skippers, clerks, unfortunates, etc., etc.

This set, while retorting to the chaff of the other party, seemed to be
very impatiently expecting some singularly desired person to put in her

The following snatches of conversation, passing between clowns and
columbines, pantaloons and fairies, Turks and sultans, debardeurs and
debardeuses, paired off more or less properly, will give an idea of the
importance of the wished-for personage.

"They ordered the spread to be for seven in the morning, so their
carriages ought to have come up afore now."

"Werry like, but the Bacchanal Queen has got to lead off the last dance
in the Prado."

"I wish to thunder I'd 'a known that, and I'd 'a stayed there to see her-
-my beloved Queen!"

"Gobinet; if you call her your beloved Queen again, I'll scratch you!
Here's a pinch for you, anyhow!"

"Ow, wow, Celeste! hands off!  You are black-spotting the be-yutiful
white satin jacket my mamma gave me when I first came out as Don

"Why did you call the Bacchanal Queen your beloved, then?  What am I, I'd
like to know?"

"You are my beloved, but not my Queen, for there is only one moon in the
nights of nature, and only one Bacchanal Queen in the nights at the

"That's a bit from a valentine!  You can't come over me with such

"Gobinet's right! the Queen was an out-and-outer tonight!"

"In prime feather!"

"I never saw her more on the go!"

"And, my eyes! wasn't her dress stunning?"

"Took your breath away!"




"The last kick!"

"No one but she can get up such dresses."

"And, then, the dance!"

"Oh, yes! it was at once bounding waving, twisting!  There is not such
another bayadere under the night-cap of the sky!"

"Gobinet, give me back my shawl directly.  You have already spoilt it by
rolling it round your great body.  I don't choose to have my things
ruined for hulking beasts who call other women bayaderes!"

"Celeste, simmer down.  I am disguised as a Turk, and, when I talk of
bayaderes, I am only in character."

Next Page > >

Other sites: