List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V9, by Eugene Sue
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of his angelic countenance; "oh, my brothers! let us never forget, that
HE, who died upon that cross for the defence of the oppressed, for the
obscure children of the people like to ourselves, pronounced those
affectionate words so sweet to the heart; `Love ye one another!'--Let us
never forget it; let us love and help one another, and we poor people
shall then become better, happier, just.  Love--yes, love ye one another-
-and fall prostrate before that Saviour, who is the God of all that are
weak, oppressed, and suffering in this world!"

So saying, Gabriel knelt down.  All present respectfully followed his
example, such power was there in his simple and persuasive words.  At
this moment, a singular incident added to the grandeur of the scene.  We
have said that a few seconds before the quarryman and his band entered
the body of the church, several persons had fled from it.  Two of these
had taken refuge in the organ-loft, from which retreat they had viewed
the preceding scene, themselves remaining invisible.  One of these
persons was a young man charged with the care of the organ, and quite
musician enough to play on it.  Deeply moved by the unexpected turn of an
event which at first appeared so tragical, and yielding to an artistical
inspiration, this young man, at the moment when he saw the people
kneeling with Gabriel, could not forbear striking the notes.  Then a sort
of harmonious sigh, at first almost insensible, seemed to rise from the
midst of this immense cathedral, like a divine aspiration.  As soft and
aerial as the balmy vapor of incense, it mounted and spread through the
lofty arches.  Little by little the faint, sweet sounds, though still as
it were covered, changed to an exquisite melody, religious, melancholy,
and affectionate, which rose to heaven like a song of ineffable gratitude
and love.  And the notes were at first so faint, so covered, that the
kneeling multitude had scarcely felt surprise, and had yielded insensibly
to the irresistible influence of that enchanting harmony.

Then many an eye, until now dry and ferocious, became wet with tears--
many hard hearts beat gently, as they remembered the words pronounced by
Gabriel with so tender an accent: "Love ye one another!" It was at this
moment that Father d'Aigrigny came to himself--and opened his eyes.  He
thought himself under the influence of a dream.  He had lost his senses
in sight of a furious populace, who, with insult and blasphemy on their
lips, pursued him with cries of death even to the sanctuary of the
temple.  He opened his eyes--and, by the pale light of the sacred lamps,
to the solemn music of the organ, he saw that crowd, just now so menacing
and implacable, kneeling in mute and reverential emotion, and humbly
bowing their heads before the majesty of the shrine.

Some minutes after, Gabriel, carried almost in triumph on the shoulders
of the crowd, entered the coach, in which Father d'Aigrigny, who by
degrees had completely recovered his senses, was already reclining.  By
the order of the Jesuit, the coach stopped before the door of a house in
the Rue de Vaugirard; he had the strength and courage to enter this
dwelling alone; Gabriel was not admitted, but we shall conduct the reader



At the end of the Rue de Vaugirard, there was then a very high wall, with
only one small doorway in all its length.  On opening this door, you
entered a yard surrounded by a railing, with screens like Venetian
blinds, to prevent your seeing between the rails.  Crossing this
courtyard, you come to a fine large garden, symmetrically planted, at the
end of which stood a building two stories high, looking perfectly
comfortable, without luxury, but with all that cozy simplicity which
betokens discreet opulence.  A few days had elapsed since Father
d'Aigrigny had been so courageously rescued by Gabriel from the popular
fury.  Three ecclesiastics, wearing black gowns, white bands, and square
caps, were walking in the garden with a slow and measured step.  The
youngest seemed to be about thirty years of age; his countenance was
pale, hollow, and impressed with a certain ascetic austerity.  His two
companions, aged between fifty or sixty, had, on the contrary, faces at
once hypocritical and cunning; their round, rosy cheeks shone brightly in
the sunshine, whilst their triple chins, buried in fat, descended in soft
folds over the fine cambric of their bands.  According to the rules of
their order (they belonged to the Society of Jesus), which forbade their
walking only two together, these three members of the brotherhood never
quitted each other a moment.

"I fear," said one of the two, continuing a conversation already begun,
and speaking of an absent person, "I fear, that the continual agitation
to which the reverend father has been a prey, ever since he was attacked
with the cholera, has exhausted his strength, and caused the dangerous
relapse which now makes us fear for his life."

"They say," resumed the other, "that never was there seen anxiety like to

"And moreover," remarked the young priest, bitterly, "it is painful to
think, that his reverence Father Rodin has given cause for scandal, by
obstinately refusing to make a public confession, the day before
yesterday when his situation appeared so desperate, that, between two
fits of a delirium, it was thought right to propose to him to receive the
last sacraments."

"His reverence declared that he was not so ill as they supposed,"
answered one of the fathers, "and that he would have the last duties
performed when he thought necessary."

"The fact is, that for the last ten days, ever since he was brought here
dying, his life has been, as it were, only a long and painful agony; and
yet he continues to live."

"I watched by him during the first three days of his malady, with M.
Rousselet, the pupil of Dr. Baleinier," resumed the youngest father; "he
had hardly a moment's consciousness, and when the Lord did grant him a
lucid interval, he employed it in detestable execrations against the fate
which had confined him to his bed."

"It is said," resumed the other, "that Father Rodin made answer to his
Eminence Cardinal Malipieri, who came to persuade him to die in an
exemplary manner, worthy of a son of Loyola, our blessed founder"--at
these words, the three Jesuits bowed their heads together, as if they had
been all moved by the same spring--"it is said, that Father Rodin made
answer to his eminence: `I do not need to confess publicly; I WANT TO

"I did not hear that," said the young priest, with an indignant air; "but
if Father Rodin really made use of such expressions, it is--"

Here, no doubt, reflection came to him just in time, for he stole a
sidelong glance at his two silent, impassible companions, and added: "It
is a great misfortune for his soul; but I am certain, his reverence has
been slandered."

"It was only as a calumnious report, that I mentioned those words," said
the other priest, exchanging a glance with his companion.

One of the garden gates opened, and one of the three reverend fathers
exclaimed, at the sight of the personage who now entered: "Oh! here is
his Eminence Cardinal Malipieri, coming to pay a visit to Father Rodin."

"May this visit of his eminence," said the young priest, calmly, "be more
profitable to Father Rodin than the last!"

Cardinal Malipieri was crossing the garden, on his way to the apartment
occupied by Rodin.

Cardinal Malipieri, whom we saw assisting at the sort of council held at
the Princess de Saint-Dizier's, now on his way to Rodin's apartment, was
dressed as a layman, but enveloped in an ample pelisse of puce-colored
satin, which exhaled a strong odor of camphor, for the prelate had taken
care to surround himself with all sorts of anti-cholera specifics.
Having reached the second story of the house, the cardinal knocked at a
little gray door.  Nobody answering, he opened it, and, like a man to
whom the locality was well known, passed through a sort of antechamber,
and entered a room in which was a turn-up bed.  On a black wood table
were many phials, which had contained different medicines.  The prelate's
countenance seemed uneasy and morose; his complexion was still yellow and
bilious; the brown circle which surrounded his black, squinting eyes
appeared still darker than usual.

Pausing a moment, he looked round him almost in fear, and several times
stopped to smell at his anti-cholera bottle.  Then, seeing he was alone,
he approached a glass over the chimney-piece, and examined with much
attention the color of his tongue; after some minutes spent in this
careful investigation, with the result of which he appeared tolerably
satisfied, he took some preservative lozenges out of a golden box, and
allowed them to melt in his mouth, whilst he closed his eyes with a
sanctified air.  Having taken these sanitary precautions, and again
pressed his bottle to his nose, the prelate prepared to enter the third
room, when he heard a tolerably loud noise through the thin partition
which separated him from it, and, stopping to listen, all that was said
in the next apartment easily reached his ear.

"Now that my wounds are dressed, I will get up," said weak, but sharp and
imperious voice.

"Do not think of it, reverend father," was answered in a stronger tone;
"it is impossible."

"You shall see if it is impossible," replied the other voice.

"But, reverend father, you will kill yourself.  You are not in a state to
get up.  You will expose yourself to a mortal relapse.  I cannot consent
to it."

To these words succeeded the noise of a faint struggle, mingled with
groans more angry than plaintive, and the voice resumed: "No, no, father;
for your own safety, I will not leave your clothes within your reach.  It
is almost time for your medicine; I will go and prepare it for you."

Almost immediately after, the door opened, and the prelate saw enter a
man of about twenty-five years of age, carrying on his arm an old olive
great-coat and threadbare black trousers, which he threw down upon a

This personage was Ange Modeste Rousselet, chief pupil of Dr. Baleinier;
the countenance of the young practitioner was mild, humble, and reserved;
his hair, very short in front, flowed down upon his neck behind.  He made
a slight start in surprise on perceiving the cardinal, and bowed twice
very low, without raising his eyes.

"Before anything else," said the prelate, with his marked Italian accent,
still holding to his nose his bottle of camphor, "have any choleraic
symptoms returned?"

"No, my lord; the pernicious fever, which succeeded the attack of
cholera, still continues."

"Very good.  But will not the reverend father be reasonable?  What was
the noise that I just heard?"

"His reverence wished absolutely to get up and dress himself; but his
weakness is so great, that he could not have taken two steps from the
bed.  He is devoured by impatience, and we fear that this agitation will
cause a mortal relapse."

"Has Dr. Baleinier been here this morning?"

"He has just left, my lord."

"What does he think of the patient?"

"He finds him in the most alarming state, my lord.  The night was so bad,
that he was extremely uneasy this morning.  Father Rodin is at one of
those critical junctures, when a few hours may decide the life or death
of the patient.  Dr. Baleinier is now gone to fetch what is necessary for
a very painful operation, which he is about to perform on the reverend

"Has Father d'Aigrigny been told of this?"

"Father d'Aigrigny is himself very unwell, as your eminence knows; he has
not been able to leave his bed for the last three days."

"I inquired about him as I came up," answered the prelate, "and I shall
see him directly.  But, to return to Father Rodin, have you sent for his
confessor, since he is in a desperate state, and about to undergo a
serious operation?"

"Dr. Baleinier spoke a word to him about it, as well as about the last
sacraments; but Father Rodin exclaimed, with great irritation, that they
did not leave him a moment's peace, that he had as much care as any one
for his salvation, and that--"

"Per Bacco! I am not thinking of him," cried the cardinal, interrupting
Ange Modeste Rousselet with his pagan oath, and raising his sharp voice
to a still higher key; "I am not thinking of him, but of the interests of
the Company.  It is indispensable that the reverend father should receive
the sacraments with the most splendid solemnity, and that his end should
not only be Christian, but exemplary.  All the people in the house, and
even strangers, should be invited to the spectacle, so that his edifying
death may produce an excellent sensation."

"That is what Fathers Grison and Brunet have already endeavored to
persuade his reverence, my lord; but your Eminence knows with what
impatience Father Rodin received this advice, and Dr. Baleinier did not
venture to persist, for fear of advancing a fatal crisis."

"Well, I will venture to do it; for in these times of revolutionary
impiety, a solemnly Christian death would produce a very salutary effect
on the public.  It would indeed be proper to make the necessary
preparations to embalm the reverend father: he might then lie in state
for some days, with lighted tapers, according to Romish custom.  My
secretary would furnish the design for the bier; it would be very
splendid and imposing; from his position in the Order, Father Rodin is
entitled to have everything in the most sumptuous style.  He must have at
least six hundred tapers, and a dozen funeral lamps, burning spirits of
wine, to hang just over the body, and light it from above: the effect
would be excellent.  We must also distribute little tracts to the people,
concerning the pious and ascetic life of his reverence--"

Here a sudden noise, like that of some piece of metal thrown angrily on
the floor, was heard from the next room, in which was the sick man, and
interrupted the prelate in his description.

"I hope Father Rodin has not heard you talk of embalming him, my lord,"
said Rousselet, in a whisper: "his bed touches the partition, and almost
everything is audible through it."

"If Father Rodin has heard me," answered the cardinal, sinking his voice,
and retiring to the other end of the room, "this circumstance will enable
me to enter at once on the business; but, in any case, I persist in
believing that the embalming and the lying in state are required to make
a good effect upon the public.  The people are already frightened at the
cholera, and such funeral pomp would have no small influence on the

"I would venture to observe to your Eminence, that here the laws are
opposed to such exhibitions."

"The laws--already the laws!" said the cardinal, angrily; "has not Rome
also her laws?  And is not every priest a subject of Rome?  Is it not

But, not choosing, doubtless, to begin a more explicit conversation with
the young doctor, the prelate resumed, "We will talk of this hereafter.
But, tell me, since my last visit, has the reverend father had any fresh

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