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.

Pausing suddenly, Faringhea hid his face in his hands, and heaved a deep drawn sigh.  His features expressed a mixture of hate, rage, and despair, at once so terrible and so painful, that Djalma, more and more affected, exclaimed, as he seized the other’s hand:  “Calm this fury, and listen to the voice of friendship!  It will disperse this evil influence.  Speak to me!”

“No, no! it is too dreadful!”

“Speak, I bid thee.”

“No! leave the wretch to his despair!”

“Do you think me capable of that?” said Djalma, with a mixture of mildness and dignity, which seemed to make an impression on the half caste.

“Alas!” replied he, hesitating; “do you wish to hear more, my lord?”

“I wish to hear all.”

“Well, then!  I have not told you all—­for, at the moment of making this confession, shame and the fear of ridicule kept me back.  You asked me what reason I had to believe myself betrayed.  I spoke to you of vague suspicions, refusals, coldness.  That is not all—­this evening—­”

“Go on!”

“This evening—­she made an appointment—­with a man that she prefers to me.”

“Who told you so?”

“A stranger who pitied my blindness.”

“And suppose the man deceived you—­or deceives himself?”

“He has offered me proofs of what he advances.”

“What proofs?”

“He will enable me this evening to witness the interview.  ‘It may be,’ said he, ’that this appointment may have no guilt in it, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary.  Judge for yourself, have courage, and your cruel indecision will be at an end.’”

“And what did you answer?”

“Nothing, my lord.  My head wandered as it does now and I came to you for advice.”

Then, making a gesture of despair, he proceeded with a savage laugh:  “Advice?  It is from the blade of my kand-jiar that I should ask counsel!  It would answer:  ‘Blood! blood!’”

Faringhea grasped convulsively the long dagger attached to his girdle.  There is a sort of contagion in certain forms of passion.  At sight of Faringhea’s countenance, agitated by jealous fury, Djalma shuddered—­for he remembered the fit of insane rage, with which he had been possessed, when the Princess de Saint-Dizier had defied Adrienne to contradict her, as to the discovery of Agricola Baudoin in her bed-chamber.  But then, reassured by the lady’s proud and noble bearing, Djalma had soon learned to despise the horrible calumny, which Adrienne had not even thought worthy of an answer.  Still, two or three times, as the lightning will flash suddenly across the clearest sky, the remembrance of that shameful accusation had crossed the prince’s mind, like a streak of fire, but had almost instantly vanished, in the serenity and happiness of his ineffable confidence in Adrienne’s heart.  These memories, however, whilst they saddened the mind of Djalma, only made him more compassionate with regard to Faringhea, than he might have been without this strange coincidence between the position of the half-caste and his own.  Knowing, by his own experience, to what madness a blind fury may be carried, and wishing to tame the half-caste by affectionate kindness, Djalma said to him in a grave and mild tone:  “I offered you my friendship.  I will now act towards you a friend.”

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