The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,953 pages of information about The Wandering Jew — Complete.

An affecting spectacle indeed is that of a young maiden, whose modest brow flushes with the first fires of a secret passion.  Does not the Creator of all things animate the body as well as the soul, with a spark of divine energy?  Should He not be religiously glorified in the intellect as in the senses, with which He has so paternally endowed His creatures?  They are impious blasphemers who seek to stifle the celestial senses, instead of guiding and harmonizing them in their divine flight.  Suddenly, Mdlle. de Cardoville started, raised her head, opened her eyes as if awakening from a dream, withdrew abruptly from the sculptures, and walked several times up and down the room in an agitated manner, pressing her burning hands to her forehead.  Then, falling, as it were, exhausted on her seat, her tears flowed in abundance.  The most bitter grief was visible in her features, which revealed the fatal struggle that was passing within her.  By degrees, her tears ceased.  To this crisis of painful dejection succeeded a species of violent scorn and indignation against herself, which were expressed by these words that escaped her:  “For the first time in my life, I feel weak and cowardly.  Oh yes! cowardly—­very cowardly!”

The sound of a door opening and closing, roused Mdlle. de Cardoville from her bitter reflections.  Georgette entered the room, and said to her mistress:  “Madame, can you receive the Count de Montbron?”

Adrienne, too well-bred to exhibit before her women the sort of impatience occasioned by this unseasonable visit, said to Georgette:  “You told M. de Montbron that I was at home?”

“Yes, Madame.”

“Then beg him to walk in.”  Though Mdlle. de Cardoville felt at that moment much vexed at the arrival of Montbron, let us hasten to say, that she entertained for him an almost filial affection, and a profound esteem, though, by a not unfrequent contrast, she almost always differed from him in opinion.  Hence arose, when Mdlle. de Cardoville had nothing to disturb her mind, the most gay and animated discussions, in which M. de Montbron, notwithstanding his mocking and sceptical humor, his long experience, his rare knowledge of men and things, his fashionable training, in a word, had not always the advantage, and even acknowledged his defeat gayly enough.  Thus, to give an idea of the differences of the count and Adrienne, before, as he would say laughingly, he had made himself her accomplice, he had always opposed (from other motives than those alleged by Madame de Saint-Dizier) Adrienne’s wish to live alone and in her own way; whilst Rodin, on the contrary, by investing the young girl’s resolve on this subject with an ideal grandeur of intention, had acquired a species of influence over her.  M. de Montbron, now upwards of sixty years of age, had been a most prominent character during the Directory, Consulate, and the Empire.  His prodigal style of living, his wit, his gayety, his duels, his amours,

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