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The Wandering Jew — Volume 06 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 06.
analyzed her tastes or instincts.  She had followed them, because they were inoffensive and charming.  How happy and proud she then was sure to be to hear a man of superior mind not only praise these tendencies, for which she had been heretofore so severely blamed, but congratulate her upon them, as upon something great, noble, and divine!  If Rodin had only addressed himself to Adrienne’s self-conceit, he would have failed in his perfidious designs, for she had not the least spark of vanity.  But he addressed himself to all that was enthusiastic and generous in her heart; that which he appeared to encourage and admire in her was really worthy of encouragement and admiration.  How could she fail to be the dupe of such language, concealing though it did such dark and fatal projects?

Struck with the Jesuit’s rare intelligence, feeling her curiosity greatly excited by some mysterious words that he had purposely uttered, hardly explaining to herself the strange influence which this pernicious counsellor already exercised over her, and animated by respectful compassion for a man of his age and talents placed in so precarious a position, Adrienne said to him, with all her natural cordiality, “A man of your merit and character, sir, ought not to be at the mercy of the caprice of circumstances.  Some of your words have opened a new horizon before me; I feel that, on many points, your counsels may be of the greatest use to me.  Moreover, in coming to fetch me from this house, and in devoting yourself to the service of other persons of my family, you have shown me marks of interest which I cannot forget without ingratitude.  You have lost a humble but secure situation.  Permit me—­”

“Not a word more, my dear young lady,” said Rodin, interrupting Mdlle. de Cardoville, with an air of chagrin.  “I feel for you the deepest sympathy; I am honored by having ideas in common with you; I believe firmly that some day you will have to ask advice of the poor old philosopher; and, precisely because of all that, I must and ought to maintain towards you the most complete independence.”

“But, sir, it is I that would be the obliged party, if you deigned to accept what I offer.”

“Oh, my dear young lady,” said Rodin, with a smile:  “I know that your generosity would always know how to make gratitude light and easy; but, once more, I cannot accept anything from you.  One day, perhaps, you will know why.”

“One day?”

“It is impossible for me to tell you more.  And then, supposing I were under an obligation to you, how could I tell you all that was good and beautiful in your actions?  Hereafter, if you are somewhat indebted to me for my advice, so much the better; I shall be the more ready to blame you, if I find anything to blame.”

“In this way, sir, you would forbid me to be grateful to you.”

“No, no,” said Rodin, with apparent emotion.  “Oh, believe me! there will come a solemn moment, in which you may repay all, in a manner worthy of yourself and me.”

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