“I tell you, my lord, on seeing your hand, as delicate as theirs, but which has been so often bathed in hostile blood, they will wish to caress it; and they will kiss it again, when they think that, in our forests, with loaded rifle, and a poniard between your teeth, you smiled at the roaring of a lion or panther for whom you lay in wait.”
“But I am a savage—a barbarian.”
“And for that very reason you will have them at your feet. They will feel themselves both terrified and charmed by all the violence and fury, the rage of jealousy, the passion and the love, to which a man of your blood, your youth, your ardor must be subject. To-day mild and tender, to-morrow fierce and suspicious, another time ardent and passionate, such you will be—and such you ought to be, if you wish to win them. Yes; let a kiss of rage be heard between two kisses: let a dagger glitter in the midst of caresses, and they will fall before you, palpitating with pleasure, love, and fear—and you will be to them, not a man, but a god.”
“Dost think so?” cried Djalma, carried away in spite of himself by the Thug’s wild eloquence.
“You know, you feel, that I speak the truth,” cried the latter, extending his arm towards the young Indian.
“Why, yes!” exclaimed Djalma, his eyes sparkling, his nostrils swelling, as he moved about the apartment with savage bounds. “I know not if I possess my reason, or if I am intoxicated, but it seems to me that you speak truth. Yes, I feel that they will love me with madness and fury, because my love will be mad and furious they will tremble with pleasure and fear, because the very thought of it makes me tremble with delight and terror. Slave, it is true; there is something exciting and fearful in such a love!” As he spoke forth these words, Djalma was superb in his impetuous sensuality. It is a rare thing to see a young man arrive in his native purity, at the age in which are developed, in all their powerful energy, those admirable instincts of love, which God has implanted in the heart of his creatures, and which, repressed, disguised, or perverted, may unseat the reason, or generate mad excesses and frightful crimes—but which, directed towards a great and noble passion, may and must, by their very violence, elevate man, through devotion and tenderness, to the limits of the ideal.
“Oh! this woman—this woman, before whom I am to tremble—and who, in turn, must tremble before me—where is she?” cried Djalma, with redoubled excitement. “Shall I ever find her?”
“One is a good deal, my lord,” replied Faringhea, with his sardonic coolness; “he who looks for one woman, will rarely succeed in this country; he who seeks women, is only at a loss to choose.”