List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V8, by Eugene Sue
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morrow--or even to-day--the happiest of men."

"It is enough to turn one's brain."

"I am told that her mansion, Rue d'Anjou, is like an enchanted palace; a
great deal is said about a bath-room and bedroom, worthy of the Arabian

"And free as air--I come back to that."

"Ah! if I were in her place!"

"My levity would be quite shocking."

"Oh! gentlemen, what a happy man will he be who is loved first!"

"You think, then, that she will have many lovers?"

"Being as free as air--"

"All the boxes are full, except the stage-box opposite to that in which
Mdlle. de Cardoville is seated.  Happy the occupiers of that box!"

"Did you see the English ambassador's lady in the dress circle?"

"And the Princess d'Alvimar--what an enormous bouquet!"

"I should like to know the name--of that nosegay."

"Oh!--it's Germigny."

"How flattering for the lions and tigers, to attract so fashionable an

"Do you notice, gentlemen, how all the women are eye-glassing Mdlle. de

"She makes a sensation."

"She is right to show herself; they gave her out as mad."

"Oh! gentlemen, what a capital phiz!"


"There--in the omnibus-box beneath Mdlle. de Cardoville's."

"It's a Nuremburg nutcracker."

"An ourang-outang!"

"Did you ever see such round, staring eyes?"

"And the nose!"

"And the forehead!"

"It's a caricature."

"Order, order! the curtain rises."

And, in fact, the curtain rose.  Some explanation is necessary for the
clear understanding of what follows.  In the lower stage-box, to the left
of the audience, were several persons, who had been referred to by the
young men in the stalls.  The omnibus-box was occupied by the Englishman,
the eccentric and portentous bettor, whose presence inspired Morok with
so much dread.

It would require Hoffman's rare and fantastic genius to describe worthily
that countenance, at once grotesque and frightful, as it stood out from
the dark background of the box.  This Englishman was about fifty years
old; his forehead was quite bald, and of a conical shape; beneath this
forehead, surmounted by eyebrows like parenthesis marks, glittered large,
green eyes, remarkably round and staring, and set very close to a hooked
nose, extremely sharp and prominent; a chin like that on the old-
fashioned nutcrackers was half-hidden in a broad and ample white cravat,
as stiffly-starched as the round-cornered shirt-collar, which nearly
touched his ears.  The face was exceedingly thin and bony, and yet the
complexion was high-colored, approaching to purple, which made the bright
green of the pupils, and the white of the other part of the eyes, still
more conspicuous.  The mouth, which was very wide, sometimes whistled
inaudibly the tune of a Scotch jig (always the same tune), sometimes was
slightly curled with a sardonic smite.  The Englishman was dressed with
extreme care; his blue coat, with brass buttons, displayed his spotless
waistcoat, snowy, white as his ample cravat; his shirt was fastened with
two magnificent ruby studs, and his patrician hands were carefully kid-

To any one who knew the eccentric and cruel desire which attracted this
man to every representation, his grotesque face became almost terrific,
instead of exciting ridicule; and it was easy to understand the dread
experience by Morok at sight of those great, staring round eyes, which
appeared to watch for the death of the lion-tamer (what a horrible
death!) with unshaken confidence.  Above the dark box of the Englishman,
affording a graceful contrast, were seated the Morinvals and Mdlle. de
Cardoville.  The latter was placed nearest the stage.  Her head was
uncovered, and she wore a dress of sky-blue China crepe, ornamented at
the bosom with a brooch of the finest Oriental pearls--nothing more; yet
Adrienne, thus attired, was charming.  She held in her hand an enormous
bouquet, composed of the rarest flowers of India: the stephanotis and the
gardenia mingled the dead white of their blossoms with the purple
hibiscus and Java amaryllis.

Madame de Morinval, seated on the opposite side of the box, was dressed
with equal taste and simplicity; Morinval, a fair and very handsome young
man, of elegant appearance, was behind the two ladies.  M. de Montbron
was expected to arrive every moment.  The reader will please to recollect
that the stage-box to the right of the audience, opposite Adrienne's, had
remained till then quite empty.  The stage represented one of the
gigantic forests of India.  In the background, tall exotic trees rose in
spiral or spreading forms, among rugged masses of perpendicular rocks,
with here and there glimpses of a tropical sky.  The side-scenes formed
tufts of trees, interspersed with rocks; and at the side which was
immediately beneath Adrienne's box appeared the irregular opening of a
deep and gloomy cavern, round which were heaped huge blocks of granite,
as if thrown together by some convulsion of nature.  This scenery, full
of a wild and savage grandeur, was wonderfully "built up," so as to make
the illusion as complete as possible; the footlights were lowered, and
being covered with a purple shade, threw over this landscape a subdued
reddish light, which increased the gloomy and startling effect of the
whole.  Adrienne, leaning forward from the box, with cheeks slightly
flushed, sparkling eyes, and throbbing heart, sought to trace in this
scene the solitary forest described by the traveller who had eulogized
Djalma's generosity and courage, when he threw himself upon a ferocious
tigress to save the life of a poor black slave.  Chance coincided
wonderfully indeed with her recollections.  Absorbed in the contemplation
of the scenery and the thoughts it awakened in her heart, she paid no
attention to what was passing in the house.  And yet something calculated
to excite curiosity was taking place in the opposite stage-box.

The door of this box opened.  A man about forty years of age, of a yellow
complexion, entered; he was clothed after the East Indian fashion, in a
long robe of orange silk, bound round the waist with a green sash, and he
wore a small white turban.  He placed two chairs at the front of the box;
and, having glanced round the house for a moment, he started, his black
eyes sparkled, and he went out quickly.  That man was Faringhea.  His
apparition caused surprise and curiosity in the theatre; the majority of
the spectators not having, like Adrienne, a thousand reasons for being
absorbed in the contemplation of a picturesque set scene.  The public
attention was still more excited when they saw the box which Faringhea
had just left, entered by a youth of rare beauty, also dressed Oriental
fashion, in a long robe of white Cashmere with flowing sleeves, with a
scarlet turban striped with gold on his head, and a sash to correspond,
in which was stuck a long dagger, glittering with precious stones.  This
young man was Prince Djalma.  For an instant he remained standing at the
door, and cast a look of indifference upon the immense theatre, crowded
with people; then, stepping forward with a majestic and tranquil air, the
prince seated himself negligently on one of the chairs, and, turning his
head in a few moments towards the entrance, appeared surprised at not
seeing some person whom he doubtless expected.  This person appeared at
length; the boxkeeper had been assisting her to take off her cloak.  She
was a charming, fair-haired girl, attired with more show than taste, in a
dress of white silk, with broad cherry-colored stripes, made ultra-
fashionably low, and with short sleeves; a large bow of cherry-colored
ribbon was placed on each side of her light hair, and set off the
prettiest, sprightliest, most wilful little face in the world.

It was Rose-Pompon.  Her pretty arms were partly covered by long white
gloves, and ridiculously loaded with bracelets: in her hand she carried
an enormous bouquet of roses.

Far from imitating the calm demeanor of Djalma, Rose-Pompon skipped into
the box, moved the chairs about noisily, and fidgeted on her seat for
some time, to display her fine dress; then, without being in the least
intimidated by the presence of the brilliant assembly, she, with a little
coquettish air, held her bouquet towards Djalma, that he might smell it,
and appeared finally to establish herself on her seat.  Faringhea came
in, shut the door of the box, and seated himself behind the prince.
Adrienne, still completely absorbed in the contemplation of the Indian
forest, and in her own sweet thoughts, had not observed the newcomers.
As she was turning her head completely towards the stage, and Djalma
could not, for the moment, see even her profile, he, on his side, had not
recognized Mdlle. de Cardoville.



The pantomime opening, by which was introduced the combat of Morok with
the black panther, was so unmeaning, that the majority of the audience
paid no attention to it, reserving all their interest for the scene in
which the lion-tamer was to make his appearance.

This indifference of the public explains the curiosity excited in the
theatre by the arrival of Faringhea and Djalma--a curiosity which
expressed itself (as at this day, when uncommon foreigners appear in
public) by a slight murmur and general movement amongst the crowd.  The
sprightly, pretty face of Rose-Pompon, always charming, in spite of her
singularly staring dress, in style so ridiculous for such a theatre, and
her light and familiar manner towards the handsome Indian who accompanied
her, increased and animated the general surprise; for, at this moment,
Rose-Pompon, yielding without reserve to a movement of teasing coquetry,
had held up, as we have already stated, her large bunch of roses to
Djalma.  But the prince, at sight of the landscape which reminded him of
his country, instead of appearing sensible to this pretty, provocation,
remained for some minutes as in a dream, with his eyes fixed upon the
stage.  Then Rose-Pompon began to beat time on the front of the box with
her bouquet, whilst the somewhat too visible movement of her pretty
shoulders showed that this devoted dancer was thinking of fast-life
dances, as the orchestra struck up a more lively strain.

Placed directly opposite the box in which Faringhea, Djalma, and Rose-
Pompon had just taken their seats, Lady Morinval soon perceived the
arrival of these two personages, and particularly the eccentric
coquetries of Rose-Pompon.  Immediately, the young marchioness, leaning
over towards Mdlle. de Cardoville, who was still absorbed in memories
ineffable, said to her, laughing: "My dear, the most amusing part of the
performance is not upon the stage.  Look just opposite."

"Just opposite?" repeated Adrienne, mechanically: and, turning towards
Lady Morinval with an air of surprise, she glanced in the direction
pointed out.

She looked--what did she see?--Djalma seated by the side of a young
woman, who was familiarly offering to his sense of smell the perfume of
her bouquet.  Amazed, struck almost literally to the heart, as by an
electric shock, swift, sharp, and painful, Adrienne became deadly pale.
From instinct, she shut her eyes for a second, in order not to see--as
men try to ward off the dagger, which, having once dealt the blow,
threatens to strike again.  Then suddenly, to this feeling of grief
succeeded a reflection, terrible both to her love and to her wounded

"Djalma is present with this woman, though he must have received my
letter," she said to herself,--"wherein he was informed of the happiness
that awaited him."

At the idea of so cruel an insult, a blush of shame and indignation
displaced Adrienne's paleness, who overwhelmed by this sad reality, said
to herself: "Rodin did not deceive me."

We abandon all idea of picturing the lightning-like rapidity of certain
emotions which in a moment may torture--may kill you in the space of a
minute.  Thus Adrienne was precipitated from the most radiant happiness
to the lowest depths of an abyss of the most heart-rending grief, in less
than a second; for a second had hardly elapsed before she replied to Lady
Morinval: "What is there, then, so curious, opposite to us, my dear

This evasive question gave Adrienne time to recover her self-possession.
Fortunately, thanks to the thick folds of hair which almost entirely
concealed her cheeks, the rapid and sudden changes from pallor to blush
escaped the notice of Lady Morinval, who gayly replied: "What, my dear,
do you not perceive those East Indians, who have just entered the box
immediately opposite to ours?  There, just before us!"

"Yes, I see them; but what then?" replied Adrienne, in a firm tone.

"And don't you observe anything remarkable?" said the marchioness.

"Don't be too hard, ladies," laughingly interposed the marquis; "we ought
to allow the poor foreigners some little indulgence.  They are ignorant
of our manners and customs; were it not for that, they would never appear
in the face of all Paris in such dubious company."

"Indeed," said Adrienne, with a bitter smile, "their simplicity is
touching; we must pity them."

"And, unfortunately, the girl is charming, spite of her low dress and
bare arms," said the marchioness; "she cannot be more than sixteen or
seventeen at most.  Look at her, my dear Adrienne; what a pity!"

"It is one of your charitable days, my dear Julia," answered Adrienne;
"we are to pity the Indians, to pity this creature, and--pray, whom else
are we to pity?"

"We will not pity that handsome Indian, in his red-and-gold turban," said
the marquis, laughing, "for, if this goes on, the girl with the cherry-
colored ribbons will be giving him a kiss.  See how she leans towards her

"They are very amusing," said the marchioness, sharing the hilarity of
her husband, and looking at Rose-Pompom through her glass; then she
resumed, in about a minute, addressing herself to Adrienne: "I am quite
certain of one thing.  Notwithstanding her giddy airs, that girl is very
fond of her Indian.  I just saw a look that expresses a great deal."

"Why so much penetration, my dear Julia?" said Adrienne, mildly; "what
interest have we to read the heart of that girl?"

"Why, if she loves her sultan, she is quite in the right," said the
marquis, looking through his opera-glass in turn; "for, in my whole life,
I never saw a more handsome fellow than that Indian.  I can only catch
his side-face, but the profile is pure and fine as an antique cameo.  Do
you not think so?" added the marquis, leaning towards Adrienne.  "Of
course, it is only as a matter of art, that I permit myself to ask you
the question."

"As a work of art," answered Adrienne, "it is certainly very fine."

"But see!" said the marchioness; "how impertinent the little creature
is!--She is actually staring at us."

"Well!" said the marquis; "and she is actually laying her hand quite
unceremoniously on her sultan's shoulder, to make him share, no doubt, in
her admiration of you ladies."

In fact, Djalma, until now occupied with the contemplation of the scene
which reminded him of his country, had remained insensible to the

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