List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V7, by Eugene Sue
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give them an interest in the profits earned by their economy, activity,
zeal and skill.  The better they manufacture, the better I shall sell,
and the larger will be their gain and mine also.'"

"Oh! now I understand, M. Agricola."

"And our speculator would make a good speculation.  Before he was
interested, the workman said: `What does it matter to me, that I do more
or do better in the course of the day?  What shall I gain by it?
Nothing.  Well, then, little work for little wages.  But now, on the
contrary (he says), I have an interest in displaying zeal and economy.
All is changed.  I redouble my activity, and strive to excel the others.
If a comrade is lazy, and likely to do harm to the factory, I have the
right to say to him: `Mate, we all suffer more or less from your
laziness, and from the injury you are doing the common weal.'"

"And then, M. Agricola, with what ardor, courage, and hope, you must set
to work!"

"That is what our speculator counts on; and he may say to himself,
further: `Treasures of experience and practical wisdom are often buried
in workshops, for want of goodwill, opportunity, or encouragement.
Excellent workmen, instead of making all the improvements in their power,
follow with indifference the old jog-trot.  What a pity! for an
intelligent man, occupied all his life with some special employment, must
discover, in the long run, a thousand ways of doing his work better and
quicker.  I will form, therefore, a sort of consulting committee; I will
summon to it my foremen and my most skillful workmen.  Our interest 1s
now the same.  Light will necessarily spring from this centre of
practical intelligence.'  Now, the speculator is not deceived in this,
and soon struck with the incredible resources, the thousand new,
ingenious, perfect inventions suddenly revealed by his workmen, `Why' he
exclaims, `if you knew this, did you not tell it before?  What for the
last ten years has cost me a hundred francs to make, would have cost me
only fifty, without reckoning an enormous saving of time.' 'Sir, answers
the workman, who is not more stupid than others, "what interest had I,
that you should effect a saving of fifty per cent?  None.  But now it is
different.  You give me, besides my wages, a share in your profits; you
raise me in my own esteem, by consulting my experience and knowledge.
Instead of treating me as an inferior being, you enter into communion
with me.  It is my interest, it is my duty, to tell you all I know, and
to try to acquire more.'  And thus it is, Mdlle. Angela, that the
speculator can organize his establishment, so as to shame his
oppositionists, and provoke their envy.  Now if, instead of a cold-
hearted calculator, we tape a man who unites with the knowledge of these
facts the tender and generous sympathies of an evangelical heart, and the
elevation of a superior mind, he will extend his ardent solicitude; not
only to the material comfort, but to the moral emancipation, of his
workmen.  Seeking everywhere every possible means to develop their
intelligence, to improve their hearts, and strong in the authority
acquired by his beneficence, feeling that he on whom depends the
happiness or the misery of three hundred human creatures has also the
care of souls, he will be the guide of those whom he no longer calls his
workmen, but his brothers, in a straightforward and noble path, and will
try to create in them the taste for knowledge and art, which will render
them happy and proud of a condition of life that is often accepted by
others with tears and curses of despair.  Well, Mdlle. Angela, such a man
is--but, see! he could not arrive amongst us except in the middle of a
blessing.  There he is--there is M. Hardy!"

"Oh, M. Agricola!" said Angela, deeply moved, and drying her tears; "we
should receive him with our hands clasped in gratitude."

"Look if that mild and noble countenance is not the image of his
admirable soul!"

A carriage with post horses, in which was M. Hardy, with M. de Blessac,
the unworthy friend who was betraying him in so infamous a manner,
entered at this moment the courtyard of the factory.

A little while after, a humble hackney-coach was seen advancing also
towards the factory, from the direction of Paris.  In this coach was

[30] The average price of a workman's lodging, composed of two small
rooms and a closet at most, on the third or fourth story.

[31] This calculation is amply sufficient, if not excessive.  A similar
building, at one league from Paris, on the side of Montrouge, with all
the necessary offices, kitchen, wash-houses, etc., with gas and water
laid on, apparatus for warming, etc., and a garden of ten acres, cost, at
the period of this narrative, hardly five hundred thousand francs.  An
experienced builder less obliged us with an estimate, which confirms what
we advance.  It is, therefore, evident, that, even at the same price
which workmen are in the habit of paying, it would be possible to provide
them with perfectly healthy lodgings, and yet invest one's money at ten
per cent.

[32] The fact was proved in the works connected with the Rouen Railway.
Those French workmen who, having no families, were able to live like the
English, did at least as much work as the latter, being strengthened by
wholesome and sufficient nourishment.

[33] Buying penny-worths, like all other purchases at minute retail, are
greatly to the poor man's disadvantage.



During the visit of Angela and Agricola to the Common Dwelling-house, the
band of Wolves, joined upon the road by many of the haunters of taverns,
continued to march towards the factory, which the hackney-coach, that
brought Rodin from Paris, was also fast approaching.  M. Hardy, on
getting out of the carriage with his friend, M. de Blessac, had entered
the parlor of the house that he occupied next the factory.  M. Hardy was
of middle size, with an elegant and slight figure, which announced a
nature essentially nervous and impressionable.  His forehead was broad
and open, his complexion pale, his eyes black, full at once of mildness
and penetration, his countenance honest, intelligent, and attractive.

One word will paint the character of M. Hardy.  His mother had called him
her Sensitive Plant.  His was indeed one of those fine and exquisitely
delicate organizations, which are trusting, loving, noble, generous, but
so susceptible, that the least touch makes them shrink into themselves.
If we join to this excessive sensibility a passionate love for art, a
first-rate intellect, tastes essentially refined, and then think of the
thousand deceptions, and numberless infamies of which M. Hardy must have
been the victim in his career as a manufacturer, we shall wonder how this
heart, so delicate and tender, had not been broken a thousand times, in
its incessant struggle with merciless self-interest.  M. Hardy had indeed
suffered much.  Forced to follow the career of productive industry, to
honor the engagements of his father, a model of uprightness and probity,
who had yet left his affairs somewhat embarrassed, in consequence of the
events of 1815, he had succeeded, by perseverance and capacity, in
attaining one of the most honorable positions in the commercial world.
But, to arrive at this point, what ignoble annoyances had he to bear
with, what perfidious opposition to combat, what hateful rivalries to
tire out!

Sensitive as he was, M. Hardy would a thousand times have fallen a victim
to his emotions of painful indignation against baseness, of bitter
disgust at dishonesty, but for the wise and firm support of his mother.
When he returned to her, after a day of painful struggles with odious
deceptions, he found himself suddenly transported into an atmosphere of
such beneficent purity, of such radiant serenity, that he lost almost on
the instant the remembrance of the base things by which he had been so
cruelly tortured during the day; the pangs of his heart were appeased at
the mere contact of her great and lofty soul; and therefore his love for
her resembled idolatry.  When he lost her, he experienced one of those
calm, deep sorrows which have no end--which become, as it were, part of
life, and have even sometimes their days of melancholy sweetness.  A
little while after this great misfortune, M. Hardy became more closely
connected with his workmen.  He had always been a just and good master;
but, although the place that his mother left in his heart would ever
remain void, he felt as it were a redoubled overflowing of the
affections, and the more he suffered, the more he craved to see happy
faces around him.  The wonderful ameliorations, which he now produced in
the physical and moral condition of all about him, served, not to divert,
but to occupy his grief.  Little by little, he withdrew from the world,
and concentrated his life in three affections: a tender and devoted
friendship, which seemed to include all past friendships--a love ardent
and sincere, like a last passion--and a paternal attachment to his
workmen.  His days therefore passed in the heart of that little world, so
full of respect and gratitude towards him--a world, which he had, as it
were, created after the image of his mind, that he might find there a
refuge from the painful realities he dreaded, surrounded with good,
intelligent, happy beings, capable of responding to the noble thoughts
which had become more and more necessary to his existence.  Thus, after
many sorrows, M. Hardy, arrived at the maturity of age, possessing a
sincere friend, a mistress worthy of his love, and knowing himself
certain of the passionate devotion of his workmen, had attained, at the
period of this history, all the happiness he could hope for since his
mother's death.

M. de Blessac, his bosom friend, had long been worthy of his touching and
fraternal affection; but we have seen by what diabolical means Father
d'Aigrigny and Rodin had succeeded in making M. de Blessac, until then
upright and sincere, the instrument of their machinations.  The two
friends, who had felt on their journey a little of the sharp influence of
the north wind, were warming themselves at a good fire lighted in M.
Hardy's parlor.

"Oh! my dear Marcel, I begin really to get old," said M. Hardy, with a
smile, addressing M. de Blessac; "I feel more and more the want of being
at home.  To depart from my usual habits has become painful to me, and I
execrate whatever obliges me to leave this happy little spot of ground."

"And when I think," answered M. de Blessac, unable to forbear blushing,
"when I think, my friend, that you undertook this long journey only for
my sake!--"

"Well, my dear Marcel! have you not just accompanied me in your turn, in
an excursion which, without you, would have been as tiresome as it has
been charming?"

"What a difference, my friend!  I have contracted towards you a debt that
I can never repay."

"Nonsense, my dear Marcel!  Between us, there are no distinctions of meum
and tuum.  Besides, in matters of friendship, it is as sweet to give as
to receive."

"Noble heart! noble heart!"

"Say, happy heart!--most happy, in the last affections for which it

"And who, gracious heaven! could deserve happiness on earth, if it be not
you, my friend?"

"And to what do I owe that happiness?  To the affections which I found
here, ready to sustain me, when deprived of the support of my mother, who
was all my strength, I felt myself (I confess my weakness) almost
incapable of standing up against adversity."

"You, my friend--with so firm and resolute a character in doing good--
you, that I have seen struggle with so much energy and courage, to secure
the triumph of some great and noble idea?"

"Yes; but the farther I advance in my career, the more am I disgusted
with all base and shameful actions, and the less strength I feel to
encounter them--"

"Were it necessary, you would have the courage, my friend."

"My dear Marcel," replied M. Hardy, with mild and restrained emotion, "I
have often said to you: My courage was my mother.  You see, my friend,
when I went to her, with my heart torn by some horrible ingratitude, or
disgusted by some base deceit, she, taking my hands between her own
venerable palms, would say to me in her grave and tender voice: `My dear
child, it is for the ungrateful and dishonest to suffer; let us pity the
wicked, let us forget evil, and only think of good.'--Then, my friend,
this heart, painfully contracted, expanded beneath the sacred influence
of the maternal words, and every day I gathered strength from her, to
recommence on the morrow a cruel struggle with the sad necessities of my
condition.  Happily, it has pleased God, that, after losing that beloved
mother, I have been able to bind up my life with affections, deprived of
which, I confess, I should find myself feeble and disarmed for you cannot
tell, Marcel, the support, the strength that I have found in your

"Do not speak of me, my dear friend," replied M. de Blessac, dissembling
his embarrassment.  "Let us talk of another affection, almost as sweet
and tender as that of a mother."

"I understand you, my good Marcel," replied M. Hardy: "I have concealed
nothing from you since, under such serious circumstances, I had recourse
to the counsels of your friendship.  Well! yes; I think that every day I
live augment my adoration for this woman, the only one that I have ever
passionately loved, the only one that I shall now ever love.  And then I
must tell you, that my mother, not knowing what Margaret was to me, as
often loud in her praise, and that circumstance renders this love almost
sacred in my eyes."

"And then there are such strange resemblances between Mme. de Noisy's
character and yours, my friend; above all, in her worship of her mother."

"It is true, Marcel; that affection has often caused me both admiration
and torment.  How often she has said to me, with her habitual frankness:
`I have sacrificed all for you, but I would sacrifice you for my

"Thank heaven, my friend, you will never see Mme. de Noisy exposed to
that cruel choice.  Her mother, you say, has long renounced her intention
of returning to America, where M. de Noisy, perfectly careless of his
wife, appears to have settled himself permanently.  Thanks to the
discreet devotion of the excellent woman by whom Margaret was brought up,
your love is concealed in the deepest mystery.  What could disturb it

"Nothing--oh! nothing," cried M. Hardy.  "I have almost security for its

"What do you mean, my friend?"

"I do not know if I ought to tell you."

"Have you ever found me indiscreet, my friend?"

"You, good Marcel! how can you suppose such a thing?" said M. Hardy, in a
tone of friendly reproach; "no! but I do not like to tell you of my
happiness, till it is complete; and I am not yet quite certain--"

A servant entered at this moment and said to M. Hardy: "Sir, there is an
old gentleman who wishes to speak to you on very pressing business."

"So soon!" said M. Hardy, with a slight movement of impatience.  "With
your permission, my friend."  Then, as M. de Blessac seemed about to

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