The Wandering Jew — Volume 11 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about The Wandering Jew — Volume 11.

It was about ten o’clock in the morning.  The persons who had watched during the night by the sick people, in the hospital established in the Rue du Mont-Blanc, were about to be relieved by other voluntary assistants.

“Well, gentlemen,” said one of those newly arrived, “how are we getting on?  Has there been any decrease last night in the number of the sick?”

“Unfortunately, no; but the doctors think the contagion has reached its height.”

Then there is some hope of seeing it decrease.”

“And have any of the gentlemen, whose places we come to take, been attacked by the disease?”

“We came eleven strong last night; we are only nine now.”

“That is bad.  Were these two persons taken off rapidly?”

“One of the victims, a young man of twenty-five years of age, a cavalry officer on furlough, was struck as it were by lightning.  In less than a quarter of an hour he was dead.  Though such facts are frequent, we were speechless with horror.”

“Poor young man!”

“He had a word of cordial encouragement and hope for every, one.  He had so far succeeded in raising the spirits of the patients, that some of them who were less affected by the cholera than by the fear of it, were able to quit the hospital nearly well.”

“What a pity!  So good a young man!  Well, he died gloriously; it requires as much courage as on the field of battle.”

“He had only one rival in zeal and courage, and that is a Young priest, with an angelic countenance, whom they call the Abbe Gabriel.  He is indefatigable; he hardly takes an hour’s rest, but runs from one to the other, and offers himself to everybody.  He forgets nothing.  The consolation; which he offers come from the depths of his soul, and are not mere formalities in the way of his profession.  No, no, I saw him weep over a poor woman, whose eyes he had closed after a dreadful agony.  Oh, if all priests were like him!”

“No doubt, a good priest is most worthy of respect.  But! who is the other victim of last night?”

“Oh! his death was frightful.  Do not speak of it.  I have still the horrible scene before my eyes.”

“A sudden attack of cholera?”

“If it had only been the contagion, I should not so shudder at the remembrance.”

“What then did he die of?”

“It is a string of horrors.  Three days ago, they brought here a man, who was supposed to be only attacked with cholera.  You have no doubt heard speak of this personage.  He is the lion-tamer, that drew all Paris to the Porte-Saint-Martin.”

“I know the man you mean.  Called Morok.  He performed a kind of play with a tame panther.”

“Exactly so; I was myself present at a similar scene, which a stranger, an Indian, in consequence of a wager, was said at the time, jumped upon the stage and killed the panther.”

“Well, this Morok, brought here as a cholera-patient, and indeed with all the symptoms of the contagion, soon showed signs of a still more frightful malady.”

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The Wandering Jew — Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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