The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,533 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Complete.

M. Hardy had reached the summit of the hill.  At that moment the conflagration, repressed for a short time, burst forth with redoubled fury from the Common Dwelling-house, which it had now reached.  A bright streak, at first white, then red, then copper-colored, illuminated the distant horizon.  M. Hardy looked at it with a sort of incredulous, almost idiotic stupor.  Suddenly, an immense column of flame shot up in the thick of a cloud of smoke, accompanied by a shower of sparks, and streamed towards the sky, casting a bright reflection over all the country, even to M. Hardy’s feet.  The violence of the north wind, driving the flames in waves before it, soon brought to the ears of M. Hardy the hurried clanging of the alarm-bell of the burning factory.

[35] We wish it to be understood, that the necessities of our story alone have made the Wolves the assailants.  While endeavoring to paint the evils arising the abuse of the spirit of association, we do not wish to ascribe a character of savage hostility to one sect rather than to the other to the Wolves more than to the Devourers.  The Wolves, a club of united stone-cutters, are generally industrious, intelligent workmen, whose situation is the more worthy of interest, as not only their labors, conducted with mathematical precision, are of the rudest and most wearisome kind, but they are likewise out of work during three or four months of the year, their profession being, unfortunately, one of those which winter condemns to a forced cessation.  A number of Wolves, in order to perfect themselves in their trade, attend every evening a course of linear geometry, applied to the cutting of stone, analogous to that given by M. Agricole Perdignier, for the benefit of carpenters.  Several working stone-cutters sent an architectural model in plaster to the last exhibition.

CHAPTER VI.

The go-between.

A few days have elapsed since the conflagration of M. Hardy’s factory.  The following scene takes place in the Rue Clovis, in the house where Rodin had lodged, and which was still inhabited by Rose-Pompon, who, without the least scruple, availed herself of the household arrangements of her friend Philemon.  It was about noon, and Rose-Pompon, alone in the chamber of the student, who was still absent, was breakfasting very gayly by the fireside; but how singular a breakfast! what a queer fire! how strange an apartment!

Imagine a large room, lighted by two windows without curtains—­for as they looked on empty space, the lodger had fear of being overlooked.  One side of this apartment served as a wardrobe, for there was suspended Rose-Pompon’s flashy costume of debardeur, not far from the boat-man’s jacket of Philemon, with his large trousers of coarse, gray stuff, covered with pitch (shiver my timbers!), just as if this intrepid mariner had bunked in the forecastle of a frigate, during a voyage round the globe. 

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The Wandering Jew — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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