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was for a moment dazzled by the chivalrous
and heroic action of the prince, and said to
herself: "In spite of odious appearances,
Djalma loves me enough to brave death in
order to pick up my nosegay."

But with a soul so delicate as that of
this young lady, a character so generous,



66 THE WANDERING JEW.

and a mind so true, reflection was certain
soon to demonstrate the vanity of such
consolations, powerless to cure the cruel
wounds of offended dignity and love.

"How many times," said Adrienne to
herself, and with reason, "has the prince
encountered, in hunting, from pure caprice
and with no gain, such danger as he
braved in picking up my bouquet! and
then, who tells me he did not mean to offer
it to the woman who accompanied him?"

Singular (it may be) in the eyes of the
world, but just and great in those of
Heaven, the ideas which Adrienne cher-
ished with regard to love, joined to her
natural pride, presented an invincible ob-
stacle to the thought of her succeeding this
woman (whoever she might be), thus pub-
licly displayed by the prince as his mis-
tress. And yet Adrienne hardly dared
avow to herself that she experienced a feel-
ing of jealousy, only the more painful and
humiliating the less her rival appeared
worthy to be compared to her.

At other times, on the contrary, in spite
of a conscious sense of her own value,
Mdlle. de Cardoville, remembering the
charming countenance of Rose-Pompon,
asked herself if the bad taste and improper
manners of this pretty creature resulted



THE WANDERING JEW. 67

from precocious and depraved effrontery,
or from a complete ignorance of the usages
of society. In the latter case, such igno-
rance, arising from a simple and ingenuous
nature, might in itself have a great charm;
and if to this attraction, combined with
that of incontestable beauty, were added
sincere love and a pure soul, the obscure
birth or neglected education of the girl
might be of little consequence, and she
might be capable of inspiring Djalma with
a profound passion. If Adrienne hesitated
to see a lost creature in Rose-Pompon, not-
withstanding unfavorable appearances, it
was because, remembering what so many
travelers had related of Djalma's greatness
of soul, and recalling the conversation she
had overheard between him and Rodin, she
could not bring herself to believe that a
man of such remarkable intelligence, with
so tender a heart, so poetical, imaginative
and enthusiastic a mind, could be capable
of loving a depraved and vulgar creature,
and of openly exhibiting himself in public
along with her. There was a mystery in
the transaction which Adrienne sought in
vain to penetrate. These trying doubts,
this cruel curiosity, only served to nourish
Adrienne's fatal love ; and we may imagine
her incurable despair when she found that



68 THE WANDERING JEW.

the indifference or even disdain of Djalma
was unable to stifle a passion that now
burned more fiercely than ever. Some-
times, having recourse to notions of fatal-
ity, she fancied that she was destined to
feel this love, that Djalma must therefore
deserve it, and that one day whatever was
incomprehensible in the conduct of the
prince would' be explained to his advan-
tage. At other times, on the contrary, she
felt ashamed of excusing Djalma, and the
consciousness, of this weakness was for
Adrienne a constant occasion for remorse
and torture. The victim of all these
agonies, she lived in perfect solitude.

The cholera soon broke out, startling as
a clap of thunder. Too unhappy to fear
the pestilence on her own account, Adri-
enne was only moved by the sorrows of
others. She was among the first to con-
tribute to those charitable donations which
were now flowing in from all sides in the
admirable spirit of benevolence. Florine
was suddenly attacked by the epidemic.
In spite of the danger, her mistress insisted
on seeing her, and endeavored to revive
her failing courage. Conquered by this
new mark of kindness, Florine could no
longer conceal the treachery in which she
had borne a part. Death was about to de-



THE WANDERING JEW. 69

liver her from the odious tyranny of the
people whose yoke weighed upon her, and
she was at length in a position to reveal
everything to Adrienne. The latter thus
learned how she had been continually be-
trayed by Florine, and also the cause of
the sewing-girl's abrupt departure. At
these revelations, Adrienne felt her affec-
tion and tender pity for the poor seam-
stress greatly increase. By her command,
the most active steps were taken to dis-
cover traces of the hunchback; but Flo-
rine's confession had a still more important
result. Justly alarmed at this new evi-
dence of Rodin's machinations, Adrienne
remembered the projects formed, when,
believing herself beloved, the instinct of
affection had revealed 'to her the perils to
which Djalma and the other members of
the Rennepont family were exposed. To
assemble the race around her, and bid
them rally against the common enemy,
such was Adrienne's first thought, when
she heard the confession of Florine. She
regarded it as a duty to accomplish this
project. In a struggle with such danger-
ous and powerful adversaries as Rodin.
Father d'Aigrigny, the Princess de Saint-
Dizier, and their allies, Adrienne saw not
only the praiseworthy and perilous task of



70 THE WANDERING JEW.

unmasking hypocrisy and cupidity, but
also, if not a consolation, at least a gen-
erous diversion in the midst of terrible
sorrows.

From this moment, a restless, feverish
activity took the place of the mournful
apathy in which the young lady had lan-
guished. She called round her all the
members of her family capable of answer-
ing the appeal, and, as had been mentioned
in the secret note delivered to Father d' Ai-
grigny, Cardoville House soon became the
center of the most active and unceasing
operations, and also a place of meeting, in
which the modes of attack and defense
were fully discussed. Perfectly correct in
all points, the secret note of which we
have spoken stated, as a mere conjecture,
that Mdlle. de Cardoville had granted an
interview to Djalma. This fact was un-
true, but the cause which led to the sup-
position will be explained hereafter. Far
from such being the case, Mdlle. de Car-
doville scarcely found, in attending to the
threat family interests now at stake, a mo-
mentary diversion from the fatal love,
\vhich was slowly undermining her health,
and with which she so bitterly reproached
herself.

The morning of the day on which Adri-



THE WANDERING JEW. 71

enne, at length discovering Mother Bunch's
residence, came so miraculously to rescue
her from death, Agricola Baudoin had
been to Cardoville House to confer on the
subject of Francis Hardy, and had begged
Adrienne to permit him to accompany her
to the Rue Clovis, whither they repaired in
haste.

Thus, once again, there was a noble
spectacle, a touching symbol! Mdlle. de
Cardoville and Mother Bunch, the two ex-
tremities of the social chain, were united
on equal terms for the seamstress and the
fair patrician were equal in intelligence
and heart and equal also, because the one
was the ideal of riches, grace, and beauty,
and the other the ideal of resignation and
unmerited misfortune and does not a halo
rest on misfortune borne with courage and
dignity? Stretched on her mattress, the
hunchback appeared so weak that even if
Agricola had not been detained on the
ground-floor with Cephyse, now -dying a
dreadful death, Mdlle. de Cardoville would
have waited some time before inducing
Mother Bunch to rise and accompany her
to her carriage. Thanks to the presence
of mind and pious fraud of Adrienne, the
sewing-girl was persuaded that Cephyse
had been carried to a neighboring hospital,



72 THE WANDERING JEW.

to receive the necessary succor, which
promised to be crowned with success. The
hunchback's faculties recovering slowly
from their stupor, she at first received this
fable without the least suspicion for she
did not even know that Agricola had ac-
companied Mdlle. de Cardoville.

"And it is to you, lady, that Cephyse
and I owe our lives," said she, turning her
mild and melancholy face toward Adri-
enne, "?/OM, kneeling in this garret, near
this couch of misery, where I and my
sister meant to die for you assure me,
lady, that Cephyse was succored in
time?"

"Be satisfied. I was told just now that
she was recovering her senses."

"And they told her I was living, did
they not, lady? Otherwise, she would
perhaps regret having survived me."

"Be quite easy, my dear girl!" said
Adrienne, pressing the poor hands in her
own, and gazing on her with eyes full of
tears; "they have told her all that was
proper. Do not trouble yourself about
anything ; only think of recovering and I
hope you will yet enjoy that happiness of
which you have known so little, my poor
3hild."

"How kind you are, lady! After flying




HERODIADE.

The Wandering Jew, Vol. 5, p. 13.



THE WANDERING JEW. 73

from your house and when you must
think me so ungrateful!"

"Presently, when you are not so weak,
I have a great deal to tell you. Just now,
it would fatigue you too much. But how
do you feel?"

"Better, lady. This fresh air and then
the thought, that, since you are come my
poor sister will no more be reduced to de-
spair; for I will tell you all, and I am sure
you will have pity on Cephyse will you
not, lady?"

"Rely upon me, my child," answered
Adrienne, forced to dissemble her painful
embarrassment; "you know I am inter-
ested in all that interests you. But tell
me," added Mdlle. de Cardoville, in a
voice of emotion, "before taking this des-
perate resolution, did you not write to
me?"

"Yes, lady."

"Alas!" resumed Adrienne, sorrow-
fully; "and when you received no answer
how cruel, how ungrateful you must
have thought me!"

"Oh! never, lady, did I accuse you of
such feelings ; my poor sister will tell you
so. You had my gratitude to the last."

"I believe you for I know your heart.
But how then did you explain my silence?"

,VOL. 5 D



74 THE WANDERING JEW.

"I had justly offended you by my sud-
den departure, lady."

"Offended! Alas! I never received
your letter. ' '

"And yet you know that I wrote to you,
lady?"

"Yes, my poor girl; I know also that
you wrote to me at my porter's lodge.
Unfortunately, he delivered your letter to
one of my women, named Florine, telling
her it came from you."

"Florine! the young woman that was so
kind to me?"

"Florine deceived me shamefully: she
was sold to my enemies, and acted as a
spy on my actions."

" She! Good heavens!" cried Mother
Bunch. "Is it possible?"

"She herself," answered Adrienne, bit-
terly; "but, after all, we must pity as well
as blame her. She was forced to obey by
a terrible necessity, and her confession and
repentance secured my pardon before her
death."

"Then she is dead so young! so fair!"

"In spite of her faults, I was greatly
moved by her end. She confessed what
she had done, with such heartrending re-
grets. Among her avowals, she told me
she had intercepted a letter, in which you



THE WANDERING JEW. 75

asked for an interview that might save
your sister's life."

"It is true, lady; such were the terms of
my letter. What interest had they to keep
it from you?"

"They feared to see you return to me,
my good guardian angel. You love me so
tenderly, and my enemies dreaded your
faithful affection, so wonderfully aided by
the admirable instinct of your heart. Ah !
I shall never forget how well-deserved was
the horror with which you were inspired
by a wretch whom I defended against your
suspicions."

"M. Rodin?" said Mother Bunch, with
a shudder.

"Yes," replied Adrienne; "but we will
not talk of these people now. Their odious
remembrance would spoil the joy I feel in
seeing you restored to life for your voice
is less feeble, your cheeks are beginning to
regain a little color. Thank God! I am
so happy to have found you once more. If
you knew all that I hope, all that I expect
from our reunion for we will not part
again promise me that, in the name of
our friendship."

"I your friend!" said Mother Bunch,
timidly casting down her eyes.

"A few days before your departure from



76 THE WANDERING JEW.

my house did I not call you my friend, my
sister? What is there changed? Nothing,
nothing," added Mdlle. de Cardoville, with
deep emotion. "One might say, on the
contrary, that a fatal resemblance in our
positions renders your friendship even
dearer to me. And I shall have it, shall
I not? Oh, do not refuse it me I am
so much in want of a friend!"

"You, lady? you in want of the friend-
ship of a poor creature like me?"

" Yes, " answered Adriem^e, as she gazed
on the other with an expression of intense
grief; "nay, more, you are perhaps the
only person to whom I could venture to
confide my bitter sorrows." So saying,
Mdlle. de Cardoville colored deeply.

"And how do I deserve such marks of
confidence:" asked Mother Bunch, more
and more surprised.

"You deserve it by the delicacy of your
heart, by the steadiness of your charac-
ter/' answered Adriemie, with some hesi
tation; "then you are a woman and I
am certain you will understand what I
suffer, and pity me."

"Pity you, lady?" said the other, whose
astonishment continued to increase. ' ' You,
a great lady, and so much envied I, so
humble and despised, pity you?"



THE WANDERING JEW. 77

"Tell me, my poor friend," resumed
Adrienne, after some moments of silence,
"are not the worst griefs those which we
dare not avow to any one, for fear of rail-
lery and contempt? How can we venture
to ask interest or pity for sufferings that
we hardly dare avow to ourselves, because
they make us blush?"

The sewing-girl could hardly believe
what she heard. Had her benefactress
'felt, like her, the effects of an unfortunate
passion, she could not have held any o*:i-3r
language. But the seamstress could not
admit such a supposition; so, attributing
to some other cause the sorrows of Adri-
enne, she answered mournfully, while she
thought of her own fatal love for Agricola,
' ' Oh ! yes, lady. A. secret grief, of which
we are ashamed, must be. frightful very
frightful!"

"But then what happiness to meet, not
only a heart noble enough to inspire com-
plete confidence, but one which has itself
been tried by a thousand sorrows, and is
capable of affording you pity, support, and
counsel! Tell me, my dear child," added
Mdlle. de Cardoville, as she looked atten-
tively at Mother Bunch, "if you were
weighed down by one of those sorrows, at
which one blushes, would you not be happy,



78 THE WANDERING JEW.

very happy, to find a kindred soul, to whom
you might intrust your griefs, and half
relieve them by entire and merited confi-
dence?"

For the first time in her life, Mother
Bunch regarded Mdlle. de Cardoville with
a feeling of suspicion and sadness.

The last words of the young lady seemed
to her full of meaning. "Doubtless, she
knows my secret," said Mother Bunch to
herself; "doubtless, my journal has fallen
into her hands. She knows my love for
Agricola, or at least suspects it. What
she has been saying to me is intended to
provoke my confidence, and to assure her-
self if she has been rightly informed."

These thoughts excited in the work-girl's
mind no bitter or ungrateful feeling to-
ward her benefactress; but the heart of
the unfortunate girl was so delicately sus-
ceptible on the subject of her fatal passion,
that, in spite of her deep and tender affec-
tion for Mdlle. de Cardoville, she suffered
cruelly at the thought of Adrienne's being
mistress of her secret.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

MORE CONFESSIONS.

THE fancy, at first so paiuful, that Mdlle.
de Cardoville was informed of her love for



THE WANDERING JEW. 79

Agricola, was soon exchanged in the
hunchback's heart, thanks to the gener-
ous instincts of that rare and excellent
creature, for a touching regret, which
showed all her attachment and veneration
for Adrienne.

"Perhaps," said Mother Bunch to her-
self, "conquered by the influence of the
adorable kindness of my protectress, I
might have made to her a confession which
I could make to none other, and revealed
a secret which I thought to carry with me
to my grave. It would, at least, have
been a mark of gratitude to Mdlle. de
Cardoville; but, unfortunately, I am now
deprived of the sad comfort of confiding
my only secret to my benefactress. And
then however generous may be her pity
for me, however intelligent her affection,
she cannot she, that is so fair and so
much admired she cannot understand
how frightful is the position of a creature
like myself, hiding, in the depths of a
wounded heart, a love at once hopeless
and ridiculous. No, no in spite of the
delicacy of her attachment, my benefac-
tress must unconsciously hurt my feelings,
even while she pities me for only sym-
pathetic sorrows can console each other.
Alas! why did she not leave me to die?"



80 THE WANDERING JEW.

These reflections presented themselves to
the thinker's mind as rapidly as thought
could travel. Adrienne observed her at-
tentively; she remarked that the sewing-
girl's countenance, which had lately bright-
ened up, was again clouded, and expressed
a feeling of painful humiliation. Terrified
at this relapse into gloomy dejection, the
consequences of which might be serious,
for Mother Bunch was still yeiy weak,
and, as it were, hovering on the brink of
the grave, Mdlle. de Cardoville resumed
hastily: "My friend, do not you think
with me, that the most cruel and humili-
ating grief admits of consolation, when it
can be intrusted to a faithful and devoted
heart?"

"Yes, lady," said the young seamstress,
bitterly; "but the heart which suffers in
silence should be the only judge of the
moment for making so painful a confes-
sion. Until then, it would perhaps be
more humane to respect its fatal secret,
even if one had by chance discovered
it."

"You are right, my child," said Adri-
enne, sorrowfully; "if I choose this solemn
moment to intrust you with a very painful
secret, it is that, when you have heard me,
I am sure you will set more value on your



THE WANDERING JEW. 81

life as knowing how much I need your
tenderness, consolation, and pity."

At these words, the. other half raised
herself on the mattress, and looked at
Mdlle. de Cardoville in amazement. She
could scarcely believe what she heard; far
from designing to intrude upon her confi-
dence, it was her protectress who was to
make the painful confession, and who
came to implore pity and consolation from
her!

''What!" stammeredshe; "you, lady!"

"I come to tell you that I suffer, and
am ashamed of my sufferings. Yes, ' ' added
the young lady, with a touching expres-
sion, "yes of all confessions, I am about
to make the most painful I lore and I
blush for my love.'"

"Like myself!" cried Mother Bunch,
involuntarily, clasping her hands to-
gether..

"I love," resumed Adrienne, with a
long pent-up grief; "I love, and am not
beloved and my love is miserable, is im-
possible it consumes me it kills me
and I dare not confide to any one the
fatal secret!"

"Like me," repeated the other, with a
fixed look. ' ' She a queen in beauty, rank,
wealth, intelligence suffers like me. Like



82 THE WANDERING JEW.

me, poor unfortunate creature ! she loves,
and is not loved again. ' '

"Well, yes! like you, I love and am not
loved again," cried Mdlle. de Cardoville;
"was I wrong in saying that to you alone
I could confide my secret because, having
suffered the same pangs, you alone can
pity them?"

"Then, lady," said Mother Bunch, cast-
ing down her eyes, and recovering from
her first amazement, "you knew

"I knew all, my poor child but never
should I have mentioned your secret had I
not had one to intrust you with, of a still
more painful nature. Yours is cruel, but
mine is humiliating. Oh, my sister!"
added Mdlle. de Cardoville, in a tone
impossible to describe, "misfortune, you
see, blends and confounds together what
are called distinctions of rank and fortune
and often those whom the world envies
are reduced by suffering far below the
poorest and most humble, and have to seek
from the latter pity and consolation."

Then, drying her tears, which now
flowed abundantly, Mdlle. de Cardoville
resumed, in a voice of emotion: "Come,
sister ! courage, courage ! let us love and
sustain each other. Let this sad and mys-
terious bond unite us forever."



THE WANDERING JEW. 83

"Oh, lady! forgive me. But now that
you know the secret of my life," said the
work-girl, casting down her eyes, and un-
able to vanquish her confusion, "it seems
to me that I can never look at you without
blushing. ' '

"And why? because you love Agricola?"
said Adrienne. "Then I must die of
shame before you, since, less courageous
than you, I had not the strength to suffer
and be resigned, and so conceal my love
in the depths of my heart. He that I love,
with a love henceforth deprived of hope,
knew of that love and despised it prefer-
ring to me a woman, the very choice of
whom was a new and grievous insult, if I
am not much deceived by appearances. I
sometimes hope that I am deceived on this
point. Now tell me is it for you to blush?"

"Alas, lady! who could tell you all
this?"

"Which you only intrusted to your
journal? Well, then it was the dying
Florine who confessed her misdeeds. She
had been base enough to steal your papers,
forced to this odious act by the people who
had dominion over her. But she had read
your journal and as every good feeling
was not dead within her, your admirable
resignation, your melancholy and pious



84 THE WANDERING JEW.

love, had left such an impression on her
mind, that she was able to repeat whole
passages to me on her deathbed, and thus
to explain the cause of your sudden disap-
pearance for she had no doubt that the
fear of seeing your love for Agricola
divulged had been the cause of your
flight."

"Alas! it is but too true, lady."

"Oh, yes!" answered Adrienne bitterly;
"those who employed the wretched girl to
act as she did well knew the effect of the
blow. It was not their first attempt. They
reduced you to despair, they would have
killed you, because you were devoted to
me, and because you had guessed their in-
tentions. Oh! these black-gowns are im-
placable, and their power is great!" said
Adrienne, shuddering.

"It is fearful, lady.''

"But do not be alarmed, dear child; you
see that the arms of the wicked have turned
against themselves; for, the moment I
knew the cause of your flight, you be-
came dearer to me than ever. From that
time I made every exertion to find out
where you were; after long efforts, it was
only this morning that the person I had
employed succeeded in discovering that
you inhabited this house. Agricola was



THE WANDERING JEW. 85

with me when I heard it, and instantly
asked to accompany me."

"Agricola!" said Mother Bunch, clasp-
ing her hands; '-'he came "

"Yes, my child be calm. "While I at-
tended to you, he was busy with your poor
sister. You will soon see him."

"Alas, lady!" resumed the hunchback,
in alarm. "He doubtless knows "

"Your love? No, no; be satisfied. Only
think of the happiness of again seeing your
good and worthy brother."

"Ah, lady! may he never know what
caused me so much shame, that I was like
to die of it. Thank God, he is not aware
of it!"

"Then let us have no more sad thoughts,
my child. Only remember that this worthy
brother came here in time to save us from
everlasting regrets and you from a great
fault. Oh! I do not speak of the preju-
dices of the world, with regard to the right
of every creature to return to Heaven a
life that has become too burdensome! I
only say that you ought not to have died,
because those who love you, and whom
you love, were still in need of your assist-
ance. ' '

"I thought you happy; Agricola was
married to the girl of his choice, who will,



86 THE WANDERING JEW.

I am sure, make him happy. To whom
could I be useful?"

"First, to myself, as you see and then,
who tells you that Agricola will never
have need of you? Who tells you that
his happiness, or that of his family, will
last forever, and will not be tried by cruel
shocks? And even if those you love had
been destined to be always happy, could
their happiness be complete without you?
And would not your death, with which
they would perhaps have reproached them-
selves, have left behind it endless regrets?"

"It is true, lady," answered the other,
"I was wrong the dizziness of despair had



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