The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

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

“If I had not made up my mind to come here to-day, almost in despair, what would have happened?”

“I cannot tell; I should perhaps have died, for I am wounded mortally here”—­she pressed her hand to her heart.  “But what might have been death to me, will now be life.”

“It was horrible,” said the count, shuddering.  “Such a passion, buried in your own breast, proud as you are—­”

“Yes, proud—­but not self-conceited.  When I learned his love for another, and that the impression which I fancied I had made on him at our first interview had been immediately effaced, I renounced all hope, without being able to renounce my love.  Instead of shunning his image, I surrounded myself with all that could remind me of him.  In default of happiness, there is a bitter pleasure in suffering through what we love.”

“I can now understand your Indian library.”

Instead of answering the count, Adrienne took from the stand one of the freshly-cut volumes, and, bringing it to M. de Montbron, said to him, with a smile and a celestial expression of joy and happiness:  “I was wrong—­I am vain.  Just read this—­aloud, if you please.  I tell you that I can wait for to-morrow.”  Presenting the book to the count, she pointed out one passage with the tip of her charming finger.  Then she sank down upon the couch, and, in an attitude of deep attention, with her body bent forward, her hands crossed upon the cushion, her chin resting upon her hands, her large eyes fixed with a sort of adoration on the Indian Bacchus, that was just opposite to her, she appeared by this impassioned contemplation to prepare herself to listen to M. de Montbron.

The latter, much astonished, began to read, after again looking at Adrienne, who said to him, in her most coaxing voice, “Very slowly, I beg of you.”

M. de Montbron then read the following passage from the journal of a traveller in India:  “’When I was at Bombay, in 1829, I constantly heard amongst the English there, of a young hero, the son of—­’”

The count having paused a second, by reason of the barbarous spelling of the name of Djalma’s father, Adrienne immediately said to him, in her soft voice:  “The son of Kadja-sing.”

“What a memory!” said the count, with a smile.  And he resumed:  “’A young hero, the son of Kadja-sing, king of Mundi.  On his return from a distant and sanguinary expedition amongst the mountains against this Indian king, Colonel Drake was filled with enthusiasm for this son of Kadja-sing, known as Djalma.  Hardly beyond the age of childhood, this young prince has in the course of this implacable war given proofs of such chivalrous intrepidity, and of so noble a character, that his father has been surnamed the Father of the Generous.’”

“That is a touching custom,” said the count.  “To recompense the father, as it were, by giving him a surname in honor of his son, is a great idea.  But how strange you should have met with this book!” added the count, in surprise.  “I can understand; there is matter here to inflame the coolest head.”

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