The Wandering Jew — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 02.

On a sudden this doomed man, who could no longer weep or smile, started with a shudder.  No physical pain could reach him, and yet he pressed his hand hastily to his heart, as though he had experienced a cruel pang.  “Oh!” cried he; “I feel it.  This hour, many of those whom I love—­the descendants of my dear sister—­suffer, and are in great peril.  Some in the centre of India—­some in America—­some here in Germany.  The struggle recommences, the detestable passions are again awake.  Oh, thou that hearest me—­thou, like myself wandering and accursed—­Herodias! help me to protect them!  May my invocation reach thee, in those American solitudes where thou now lingerest—­and may we arrive in time!”

Thereon an extraordinary event happened.  Night was come.  The man made a movement; precipitately, to retrace his steps—­but an invisible force prevented him, and carried him forward in the opposite direction.

At this moment, the storm burst forth in its murky majesty.  One of those whirlwinds, which tear up trees by the roots and shake the foundations of the rocks, rushed over the hill rapid and loud as thunder.

In the midst of the roaring of the hurricane, by the glare of the fiery flashes, the man with the black mark on his brow was seen descending the hill, stalking with huge strides among the rocks, and between trees bent beneath the efforts of the storm.

The tread of this man was no longer slow, firm, and steady—­but painfully irregular, like that of one impelled by an irresistible power, or carried along by the whirl of a frightful wind.  In vain he extended his supplicating hands to heaven.  Soon he disappeared in the shades of night, and amid the roar of the tempest.

[2] It is known that, according to the legend, the Wandering Jew was a shoemaker at Jerusalem.  The Saviour, carrying his cross, passed before the house of the artisan, and asked him to be allowed to rest an instant on the stone bench at his door.  “Go on! go on!” said the Jew harshly, pushing him away.  “Thou shalt go on till the end of time,” answered the Saviour, in a stern though sorrowful tone.  For further details, see the eloquent and learned notice by Charles Magnin, appended to the magnificent poem “Ahasuerus,” by Ed. Quinet.—­E.  S.

[3] According to a legend very little known, for we are indebted to the kindness of M. Maury, the learned sub-librarian of the Institute, Herodias was condemned to wander till the day of judgement, for having asked for the death of John the Baptist—­E.  S.

CHAPTER XVII

The ajoupa.

While Rodin despatched his cosmopolite correspondence, from his retreat in the Rue du Milieu des Ursins, in Paris—­while the daughters of General Simon, after quitting as fugitives the White Falcon, were detained prisoners at Leipsic along with Dagobert—­other scenes, deeply interesting to these different personages, were passing, almost as it were at the same moment, at the other extremity of the world, in the furthermost parts of Asia—­that is to say, in the island of Java, not far from the city of Batavia, the residence of M. Joshua Van Dael, one of the correspondents of Rodin.

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The Wandering Jew — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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