List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V8, by Eugene Sue
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The Wandering Jew

by Eugene Sue


by Eugene Sue


I.         The Wandering Jew's Chastisement
II.        The Descendants of the Wandering Jew
III.       The Attack
IV.        The Wolves and the Devourers
V.         The Return
VI.        The Go-Between
VII.       Another Secret
VIII.      The Confession
IX.        Love
X.         The Execution
XI.        The Champs-Elysees
XII.       Behind the Scenes
XIII.      Up with the Curtain
XIV.       Death




'Tis night--the moon is brightly shining, the brilliant stars are
sparkling in a sky of melancholy calmness, the shrill whistlings of a
northerly wind--cold, bleak, and evil-bearing--are increasing: winding
about, and bursting into violent blasts, with their harsh and hissing
gusts, they are sweeping the heights of Montmartre.  A man is standing on
the very summit of the hill; his lengthened shadow, thrown out by the
moon's pale beams, darkens the rocky ground in the distance.  The
traveller is surveying the huge city lying at his feet--the City of
Paris--from whose profundities are cast up its towers, cupolas, domes,
and steeples, in the bluish moisture of the horizon; while from the very
centre of this sea of stones is rising a luminous vapor, reddening the
starry azure of the sky above.  It is the distant light of a myriad lamps
which at night, the season for pleasure, is illuminating the noisy

"No!" said the traveller, "it will not be.  The Lord surely will not
suffer it.  Twice is quite enough.  Five centuries ago, the avenging hand
of the Almighty drove me hither from the depths of Asia.  A solitary
wanderer, I left in my track more mourning, despair, disaster, and death,
than the innumerable armies of a hundred devastating conquerors could
have produced.  I then entered this city, and it was decimated.  Two
centuries ago that inexorable hand which led me through the world again
conducted me here; and on that occasion, as on the previous one, that
scourge, which at intervals the Almighty binds to my footsteps, ravaged
this city, attacking first my brethren, already wearied by wretchedness
and toil.  My brethren! through me--the laborer of Jerusalem, cursed by
the Lord, who in my person cursed the race of laborers--a race always
suffering, always disinherited, always slaves, who like me, go on, on,
on, without rest or intermission, without recompense, or hope; until at
length, women, men, children, and old men, die under their iron yoke of
self-murder, that others in their turn then take up, borne from age to
age on their willing but aching shoulders.  And here again, for the third
time, in the course of five centuries, I have arrived at the summit of
one of the hills which overlooks the city; and perhaps I bring again with
me terror, desolation, and death.  And this unhappy city, intoxicated in
a whirl of joys, and nocturnal revelries, knows nothing about it--oh! it
knows not that I am at its very gate.  But no! no! my presence will not
be a source of fresh calamity to it.  The Lord, in His unsearchable
wisdom, has brought me hither across France, making me avoid on my route
all but the humblest villages, so that no increase of the funeral knell
has, marked my journey.  And then, moreover, the spectre has left me--
that spectre, livid and green, with its deep bloodshot eyes.  When I
touched the soil of France, its moist and icy hand abandoned mine--it
disappeared.  And yet I feel the atmosphere of death surrounding me
still.  There is no cessation; the biting gusts of this sinister wind,
which envelop me in their breath, seem by their envenomed breath to
propagate the scourge.  Doubtless the anger of the Lord is appeased.
Maybe, my presence here is meant only as a threat, intending to bring
those to their senses whom it ought to intimidate.  It must be so; for
were it otherwise, it would, on the contrary, strike a loud-sounding blow
of greater terror, casting at once dread and death into the very heart of
the country, into the bosom of this immense city.  Oh, no! no! the Lord
will have mercy; He will not condemn me to this new affliction.  Alas! in
this city my brethren are more numerous and more wretched than in any
other.  And must I bring death to them?  No! the Lord will have mercy;
for, alas! the seven descendants of my sister are at last all united in
this city.  And must I bring death to them?  Death! instead of that
immediate assistance they stand so much in need of?  For that woman who,
like myself, wanders from one end of the world into the other, has gone
now on her everlasting journey, after having confounded their enemies'
plots.  In vain did she foretell that great evils still threatened those
who are akin to me through my sister's blood.  The unseen hand by which I
am led, drives that woman away from me, even as though it were a
whirlwind that swept her on.  In vain she entreated and implored at the
moment she was leaving those who are so dear to me.--At least, 0 Lord,
permit me to stay until I shall have finished my task!  Onward!  A few
days, for mercy's sake, only a few days!  Onward!  I leave these whom I
am protecting on the very brink of an abyss!  Onward!  Onward!!  And the
wandering star is launched afresh on its perpetual course.  But her voice
traversed through space, calling me to the assistance of my own!  When
her voice reached me I felt that the offspring of my sister were still
exposed to fearful dangers: those dangers are still increasing.  Oh, say,
say, Lord! shall the descendants of my sister escape those woes which for
so many centuries have oppressed my race?  Wilt Thou pardon me in them?
Wilt Thou punish me in them?  Oh! lead them, that they may obey the last
wishes of their ancestor.  Guide them, that they may join their
charitable hearts, their powerful strength, their best wisdom, and their
immense wealth, and work together for the future happiness of mankind,
thereby, perhaps, enabled to ransom me from my eternal penalties.  Let
those divine words of the Son of Man, "Love ye one another!" be their
only aim; and by the assistance of their all-powerful words, let them
contend against and vanquish those false priests who have trampled on the
precepts of love, of peace, and hope commanded by the Saviour, setting up
in their stead the precepts of hatred, violence, and despair.  Those
false shepherds, supported ay the powerful and wealthy of the world, who
in all times have been their accomplices, instead of asking here below a
little happiness for my brethren, who have been suffering and groaning
for centuries, dare to utter, in Thy name, O Lord! that the poor must
always be doomed to the tortures of this world, and that it is criminal
in Thine eyes that they should either wish for or hope a mitigation of
their sufferings on earth, because the happiness of the few and the
wretchedness of nearly all mankind is Thine almighty will.  Blasphemies!
is it not the contrary of these homicidal words that is more worthy of
the name of Divine will?  Hear, me, O Lord! for mercy's sake.  Snatch
from their enemies the descendants of my sister, from the artisan up to
the king's son.  Do not permit them to crush the germ of a mighty and
fruitful association, which, perhaps, under Thy protection, may take its
place among the records of the happiness of mankind.  Suffer me, O Lord!
to unite those whom they are endeavoring to divide--to defend those whom
they are attacking.  Suffer me to bring hope to those from whom hope has
fled, to give courage to those who are weak, to uphold those whom evil
threatens, and to sustain those who would persevere in well-doing.  And
then, perhaps, their struggles, their devotedness, their virtues, this
miseries might expiate my sin.  Yes, mine--misfortune, misfortune alone,
made me unjust and wicked.  O Lord! since Thine almighty hand hath
brought me hither, for some end unknown to me, disarm Thyself, I implore
Thee, of Thine anger, and let not me be the instrument of Thy vengeance!
There is enough of mourning in the earth these two years past--Thy
creatures have fallen by millions in my footsteps.  The world is
decimated.  A veil of mourning extends from one end of the globe to the
other.  I have traveled from Asia even to the Frozen Pole, and death has
followed in my wake.  Dost Thou not hear, O Lord! the universal wailings
that mount up to Thee?  Have mercy upon all, and upon me.  One day, grant
me but a single day, that I may collect the descendants of my sister
together, and save them!"  And uttering these words, the wanderer fell
upon his knees, and raised his hands to heaven in a suppliant attitude.

Suddenly, the wind howled with redoubled violence; its sharp whistlings
changed to a tempest.  The Wanderer trembled, and exclaimed in a voice of
terror, "O Lord! the blast of death is howling in its rage.  It appears
as though a whirlwind were lifting me up.  Lord, wilt Thou not, then,
hear my prayer?  The spectre! O! do I behold the spectre?  Yes, there it
is; its cadaverous countenance is agitated by convulsive throes, its red
eyes are rolling in their orbits.  Begone! begone!  Oh! its hand--its icy
hand has seized on mine!  Mercy, Lord, have mercy!  'Onward!' Oh, Lord!
this scourge, this terrible avenging scourge!  Must I, then, again carry
it into this city, must my poor wretched brethren be the first to fall
under it--though already so miserable?  Mercy, mercy!  'Onward!' And the
descendants of my sister --oh, pray, have mercy, mercy!  'Onward!' O
Lord, have pity on me!  I can no longer keep my footing on the ground,
the spectre is dragging me over the brow of the hill; my course is as
rapid as the death-bearing wind that whistles in my track; I already
approach the walls of the city.  Oh, mercy, Lord, mercy on the
descendants of my sister--spare them! do not compel me to be their
executioner, and let them triumph over their enemies.  Onward, onward!
The ground is fleeing from under me; I am already at the city gate; oh,
yet, Lord, yet there is time; oh, have mercy on this slumbering city,
that it may not even now awaken with the lamentations of terror, of
despair and death!  O Lord, I touch the threshold of the gate; verily
Thou willest it so then.  'Tis done--Paris! the scourge is in thy bosom!
oh, cursed, cursed evermore am I.  Onward! on! on!"[34]

[34] In 1346, the celebrated Black Death ravaged the earth, presenting
the same symptoms as the cholera, and the same inexplicable phenomena as
to its progress and the results in its route.  In 1660 a similar epidemic
decimated the world.  It is well known that when the cholera first broke
out in Paris, it had taken a wide and unaccountable leap; and, also
memorable, a north-east wind prevailed during its utmost fierceness.



That lonely wayfarer whom we have heard so plaintively urging to be
relieved of his gigantic burden of misery, spoke of "his sister's
descendants" being of all ranks, from the working man to the king's son.
They were seven in number, who had, in the year 1832, been led to Paris,
directly or indirectly, by a bronze medal which distinguished them from
others, bearing these words:--

L. C. D. J.
Pray for me!
February the 13th, 1682.

Rue St. Francois, No. 3,
In a century and a half
you will be.
February the 13th, 1832.

The son of the King of Mundi had lost his father and his domains in India
by the irresistible march of the English, and was but in title Prince
Djalma.  Spite of attempts to make his departure from the East delayed
until after the period when he could have obeyed his medal's command, he
had reached France by the second month of 1832.  Nevertheless, the
results of shipwreck had detained him from Paris till after that date.  A
second possessor of this token had remained unaware of its existence,
only discovered by accident.  But an enemy who sought to thwart the union
of these seven members, had shut her up in a mad-house, from which she
was released only after that day.  Not alone was she in imprisonment.  An
old Bonapartist, General Simon, Marshal of France, and Duke de Ligny, had
left a wife in Russian exile, while he (unable to follow Napoleon to St.
Helena) continued to fight the English in India by means of Prince
Djalma's Sepoys, whom he drilled.  On the latter's defeat, he had meant
to accompany his young friend to Europe, induced the more by finding that
the latter's mother, a Frenchwoman, had left him such another bronze
medal as he knew his wife to have had.

Unhappily, his wife had perished in Siberia, without his knowing it, any
more than he did, that she had left twin daughters, Rose and Blanche.
Fortunately for them, one who had served their father in the Grenadiers
of the Guard.  Francis Baudoin, nicknamed Dagobert, undertook to fulfil
the dying mother's wishes, inspired by the medal.  Saving a check at
Leipsic, where one Morok the lion-tamer's panther had escaped from its
cage and killed Dagobert's horse, and a subsequent imprisonment (which
the Wandering Jew's succoring hand had terminated) the soldier and his
orphan charges had reached Paris in safety and in time.  But there, a
renewal of the foe's attempt had gained its end.  By skillful devices,
Dagobert and his son Agricola were drawn out of the way while Rose and
Blanche Simon were decoyed into a nunnery, under the eyes of Dagobert's
wife.  But she had been bound against interfering by the influence of the
Jesuit confessional.  The fourth was M. Hardy, a manufacturer, and the
fifth, Jacques Rennepont, a drunken scamp of a workman, who were more
easily fended off, the latter in a sponging house, the former by a
friend's lure.  Adrienne de Cardoville, daughter of the Count of
Rennepont, who had also been Duke of Cardoville, was the lady who had
been unwarrantably placed in the lunatic asylum.  The fifth, unaware of
the medal, was Gabriel, a youth, who had been brought up, though a
foundling, in Dagobert's family, as a brother to Agricola.  He had
entered holy orders, and more, was a Jesuit, in name though not in heart.
Unlike the others, his return from abroad had been smoothed.  He had
signed away all his future prospects, for the benefit of the order of
Loyola, and, moreover, executed a more complete deed of transfer on the
day, the 13th of February, 1832, when he, alone of the heirs, stood in
the room of the house, No. 3, Rue St. Francois, claiming what was a vast
surprise for the Jesuits, who, a hundred and fifty years before, had
discovered that Count Marius de Rennepont had secreted a considerable
amount of his wealth, all of which had been confiscated to them, in those
painful days of dragoonings, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
They had bargained for some thirty or forty millions of francs to be
theirs, by educating Gabriel into resigning his inheritance to them, but
it was two hundred and twelve millions which the Jesuit representatives
(Father d'Aigrigny and his secretary, Rodin) were amazed to hear their

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