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.

The same apprehensions occurred involuntarily to the Jesuit’s mind as he tried, by useless efforts, to escape from the embraces of the Italian emissary; and he could not help muttering to himself, “This one-eyed fellow is a great deal too fond.  I hope there is no poison under his Judas-kisses.”  At last, little Father Caboccini, being quite out of breath, was obliged to relinquish his hold on Rodin’s neck, who, readjusting his dirty collar, and his old cravat and waistcoat, somewhat in disorder in consequence of this hurricane of caresses, said in a gruff tone, “Your humble servant, father, but you need not kiss quite so hard.”

Without making any answer to this reproach, the little father riveted his one eye upon Rodin with an expression of enthusiasm, and exclaimed, whilst he accompanied his words with petulant gestures, “At lazt I zee te zuperb light of our zacred Company, and can zalute him from my heart—­vonse more, vonse more.”

As the little father had already recovered his breath, and was about to rush once again into Rodin’s arms, the latter stepped back hastily, and held out his arm to keep him off, saying, in allusion to the illogical metaphor employed by Father Caboccini, “First of all, father, one does not embrace a light—­and then I am not a light—­I am a humble and obscure laborer in the Lord’s vineyard.”

The Roman replied with enthusiasm (we shall henceforth translate his gibberish), “You are right, father, we cannot embrace a light, but we can prostrate ourselves before it, and admire its dazzling brightness.”

So saying, Caboccini was about to suit the action to the word, and to prostrate himself before Rodin, had not the latter prevented this mode of adulation by seizing the Roman by the arm and exclaiming, “This is mere idolatry, father.  Pass over my qualities, and tell me what is the object of your journey.”

“The object, my dear father, fills me with joy and happiness.  I have endeavored to show you my affection by my caresses, for my heart is overflowing.  I have hardly been able to restrain myself during my journey hither, for my heart rushed to meet you.  The object transports, delights, enchants me—­”

“But what enchants you?” cried Rodin, exasperated by these Italian exaggerations.  “What is the object?”

“This rescript of our very reverend and excellent General will inform you, my clear father.”

Caboccini drew from his pocket-book a folded paper, with three seals, which he kissed respectfully, and delivered to Rodin, who himself kissed it in his turn, and opened it with visible anxiety.  While he read it the countenance of the Jesuit remained impassible, but the pulsation of the arteries on his temples announced his internal agitation.  Yet he put the letter coolly into his pocket, and looking at the Roman, said to him, “Be it as our excellent General has commanded!”

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