The Wandering Jew — Volume 07 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Wandering Jew — Volume 07.

“Come in, then,” said the old man, with some anxiety.  The marshal and his father disappeared at the turn of the avenue.

Angela had been struck with amazement at seeing this brilliant General, who was entitled “your grace,” salute an old workman in a blouse as his father; and, looking at Agricola with a confused air she said to him:  “What, M. Agricola! this old workman—­”

“Is the father of Marshal Duke de Ligny—­the friend—­yes, I may say the friend,” added Agricola, with emotion, “of my father, who for twenty years served under him in war.’

“To be placed so high, and yet to be so respectful and tender to his father!” said Angela.  “The marshal must have a very noble heart; but why does he let his father remain a workman?”

“Because Father Simon will not quit his trade and the factory for anything in the world.  He was born a workman, and he will die a workman, though he is the father of a duke and marshal of France.”

[29] See Adolphe Bobierre “On Air and Health,” Paris, 1844.


The secret.

When the very natural astonishment which the arrival of Marshal Simon had caused in Angela had passed away, Agricola said to her with a smile:  “I do not wish to take advantage of this circumstance, Mdlle.  Angela, to spare you the account of the secret, by which all the wonders of our Common Dwelling-house are brought to pass.”

“Oh!  I should not have let you forget your promise, M. Agricola,” answered Angela, “what you have already told me interests me too much for that.”

“Listen, then.  M. Hardy, like a true magician, has pronounced three cabalistic words:  Association—­community—­fraternity.  We have understood the sense of these words, and the wonders you have seen have sprung from them, to our great advantage; and also, I repeat, to the great advantage of M. Hardy.”

“It is that which appears so extraordinary, M. Agricola.”

“Suppose, mademoiselle, that M. Hardy, instead of being what he is, had only been a cold-hearted speculator, looking merely to the profit, and saying to himself:  ’To make the most of my factory, what is needed?  Good work—­great economy in the raw material—­full employment of the workman’s time; in a word, cheapness of manufacture, in order to produce cheaply—­excellence of the thing produced, in order to sell dear.’”

“Truly, M. Agricola, no manufacturer could desire more.”

“Well, mademoiselle, these conditions might have been fulfilled, as they have been, but how?  Had M. Hardy only been a speculator, he might have said:  ’At a distance from my factory, my workmen might have trouble to get there:  rising earlier, they will sleep less; it is a bad economy to take from the sleep so necessary to those who toil.  When they get feeble, the work suffers for it; then the inclemency of the seasons makes it worse; the workman arrives wet, trembling with cold, enervated before he begins to work—­and then, what work!’”

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The Wandering Jew — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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