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The Wandering Jew — Volume 02

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328 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wandering Jew, Book II., by Eugene SueThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Wandering Jew, Book II.Author: Eugene SueRelease Date: October 25, 2004 [EBook #3340]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WANDERING JEW, BOOK II. ***Produced by David Widger and Pat CastevensTHE WANDERING JEWBy Eugene SueBOOK II.INTERVAL.—THE WANDERING JEW'S SENTENCE.XVII. The AjoupaXVIII. The TattooingXIX. The SmugglerXX. M. Joshua Van DaelXXI. The Ruins of TchandiXXII. The AmbuscadeXXIII. M. RodinXXIV. The TempestXXV. The ShipwreckXXVI. The Departure for ParisXXVII. Dagobert's WifeXXVIII. The Sister of the Bacchanal QueenXXIX. Agricola BaudoinXXX. The ReturnXXXI. Agricola and Mother BunchXXXII. The AwakeningXXXIII. The PavilionXXXIV. Adrienne at her ToiletXXXV. The InterviewINTERVAL.THE WANDERING JEW'S SENTENCE.The site is wild and rugged. It is a lofty eminence covered with huge boulders of sandstone, between which rise birchtrees and oaks, their foliage already yellowed by autumn. These tall trees stand out from the background of red light,which the sun has left in the west, resembling the reflection of a great fire.From this eminence the eye looks down into a deep valley, shady, ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wandering
Jew, Book II., by Eugene Sue
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: The Wandering Jew, Book II.
Author: Eugene Sue
Release Date: October 25, 2004 [EBook #3340]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK THE WANDERING JEW, BOOK II. ***
Produced by David Widger and Pat CastevensTHE WANDERING JEW
By Eugene SueBOOK II.
INTERVAL.—THE WANDERING JEW'S
SENTENCE.
XVII. The Ajoupa
XVIII. The Tattooing
XIX. The Smuggler
XX. M. Joshua Van Dael
XXI. The Ruins of Tchandi
XXII. The Ambuscade
XXIII. M. Rodin
XXIV. The Tempest
XXV. The Shipwreck
XXVI. The Departure for Paris
XXVII. Dagobert's Wife
XXVIII. The Sister of the Bacchanal Queen
XXIX. Agricola Baudoin
XXX. The Return
XXXI. Agricola and Mother Bunch
XXXII. The Awakening
XXXIII. The Pavilion
XXXIV. Adrienne at her Toilet
XXXV. The InterviewINTERVAL.
THE WANDERING JEW'S SENTENCE.
The site is wild and rugged. It is a lofty eminence
covered with huge boulders of sandstone, between
which rise birch trees and oaks, their foliage
already yellowed by autumn. These tall trees stand
out from the background of red light, which the sun
has left in the west, resembling the reflection of a
great fire.
From this eminence the eye looks down into a
deep valley, shady, fertile, and half-veiled in light
vapor by the evening mist. The rich meadows, the
tufts of bushy trees the fields from which the ripe
corn has been gathered in, all blend together in
one dark, uniform tint, which contrasts with the
limpid azure of the heavens. Steeples of gray
stone or slate lift their pointed spires, at intervals,
from the midst of this valley; for many villages are
spread about it, bordering a high-road which leads
from the north to the west.
It is the hour of repose—the hour when, for the
most part, every cottage window brightens to the
joyous crackling of the rustic hearth, and shines
afar through shade and foliage, whilst clouds of
smoke issue from the chimneys, and curl up slowly
towards the sky. But now, strange to say, every
hearth in the country seems cold and deserted.Stranger and more fatal still, every steeple rings
out a funeral knell. Whatever there is of activity,
movement, or life, appears concentrated in that
lugubrious and far-sounding vibration.
Lights begin to show themselves in the dark
villages, but they rise not from the cheerful and
pleasant rustic hearth. They are as red as the fires
of the herdsmen, seen at night through the midst
of the fog. And then these lights do not remain
motionless. They creep slowly towards the
churchyard of every village. Louder sounds the
death-knell, the air trembles beneath the strokes of
so many bells, and, at rare intervals, the funeral
chant rises faintly to the summit of the hill.
Why so many interments? What valley of
desolation is this, where the peaceful songs which
follow the hard labors of the day are replaced by
the death dirge? where the repose of evening is
exchanged for the repose of eternity? What is this
valley of the shadow, where every village mourns
for its many dead, and buries them at the same
hour of the same night?
Alas! the deaths are so sudden and numerous and
frightful that there is hardly time to bury the dead.
During day the survivors are chained to the earth
by hard but necessary toil; and only in the evening,
when they return from the fields, are they able,
though sinking with fatigue, to dig those other
furrows, in which their brethren are to lie heaped
like grains of corn.And this valley is not the only one that has seen
the desolation. During a series of fatal years, many
villages, many towns, many cities, many great
countries, have seen, like this valley, their hearths
deserted and cold—have seen, like this valley,
mourning take the place of joy, and the death-knell
substituted for the noise of festival—have wept in
the same day for their many dead, and buried
them at night by the lurid glare of torches.
For, during those fatal years, an awful wayfarer
had slowly journeyed over the earth, from one pole
to the other—from the depths of India and Asia to
the ice of Siberia—from the ice of Siberia to the
borders of the seas of France.
This traveller, mysterious as death, slow as
eternity, implacable as fate, terrible as the hand of
heaven, was the CHOLERA!
The tolling of bells and the funeral chants still rose
from the depths of the valley to the summit of the
hill, like the complaining of a mighty voice; the glare
of the funeral torches was still seen afar through
the mist of evening; it was the hour of twilight—that
strange hour, which gives to the most solid forms a
vague, indefinite fantastic appearance—when the
sound of firm and regular footsteps was heard on
the stony soil of the rising ground, and, between
the black trunks of the trees, a man passed slowly
onward.
His figure was tall, his head was bowed upon his
breast; his countenance was noble, gentle, andsad; his eyebrows, uniting in the midst, extended
from one temple to the other, like a fatal mark on
his forehead.
This man did not seem to hear the distant tolling of
so many funeral bells—and yet, a few days before,
repose and happiness, health and joy, had reigned
in those villages through which he had slowly
passed, and which he now left behind him,
mourning and desolate. But the traveller continued
on his way, absorbed in his own reflections.
"The 13th of February approaches," thought he;
"the day approaches, in which the descendants of
my beloved sister, the last scions of our race,
should meet in Paris. Alas! it is now a hundred and
fifty years since, for the third time, persecution
scattered this family over all the earth—this family,
that I have watched over with tenderness for
eighteen centuries, through all its migrations and
exiles, its changes of religion, fortune, and name!
"Oh! for this family, descended from the sister of
the poor shoemaker,[2] what grandeur and what
abasement, what obscurity and what splendor,
what misery and what glory! By how many crimes
has it been sullied, by how many virtues honored!
The history of this single family is the history of the
human race!
"Passing, in the course of so many generations,
through the veins of the poor and the rich, of the
sovereign and the bandit, of the wise man and the
fool, of the coward and the brave, of the saint andthe atheist, the blood of my sister has transmitted
itself to this hour.
"What scions of this family are now remaining?
Seven only.
"Two orphans, the daughters of proscribed parents
—a dethroned prince—a poor missionary priest—a
man of the middle class—a young girl of a great
name and large fortune—a mechanic.
"Together, they comprise in themselves the
virtues, the courage, the degradation, the splendor,
the miseries of our species!
"Siberia—India—America—France—behold the
divers places where fate has thrown them!
"My instinct teaches me when one of them is in
peril. Then, from the North to the South, from the
East to the West, I go to seek them. Yesterday
amid the polar frosts—to-day in the temperate
zone—to-morrow beneath the fires of the tropics—
but often, alas! at the moment when my presence
might save them, the invisible hand impels me, the
whirlwind carries me away, and the voice speaks in
my ear: 'GO ON! GO ON!'
"Oh, that I might only finish my task!—'GO ON!'—
A single hour—only a single hour of repose!—'GO
ON!'—Alas! I leave those I love on the brink of the
abyss!—'GO ON! GO ON!'
"Such is my punishment. If it is great, my crime
was greater still! An artisan, devoted to privationsand misery, my misfortunes had made me cruel.
"Oh, cursed, cursed be the day, when, as I bent
over my work, sullen with hate and despair,
because, in spite of my incessant labor, I and mine
wanted for everything, the Saviour passed before
my door.
"Reviled, insulted, covered with blows, hardly able
to sustain the weight of his heavy cross, He asked
me to let Him rest a moment on my stone bench.
The sweat poured from His forehead, His feet were
bleeding, He was well-nigh sinking with fatigue, and
He said to me, in a mild, heart piercing voice: 'I
suffer!' 'And I too suffer,' I replied, as with harsh
anger I pushed Him from the place; 'I suffer, and
no one comes to help me! I find no pity, and will
give none. Go on! go on!' Then, with a deep sigh of
pain, He answered, and spake this sentence:
'Verily, thou shalt go on till the day of thy
redemption, for so wills the Father which art in
heaven!'
"And so my punishment began. Too late I opened
these eyes to the light, too late I learned
repentance and charity, too late I understood those
divine words of Him I had outraged, words which
should be the law of the whole human race. 'LOVE
YE ONE ANOTHER.'
"In vain through successive ages, gathering
strength and eloquence from those celestial words,
have I labored to earn my pardon, by filling with
commiseration and love hearts that were