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

The reader may new judge what ravages such a thought, when fixed and incessant, must have made on these young, loving, timid, and simple hearts.  Haw could the orphans be on their guard against such anonymous communications, which spoke with reverence of all they loved, and seemed every day justified by the conduct of their father?  Already victims of numerous plots, and hearing that they were surrounded by enemies, we can understand, how faithful to the advice of their unknown friend, they forbore to confide to Dagobert these letters, in which he was so justly appreciated.  The object of the proceeding was very plain.  By continually harassing the marshal on all sides, and persuading him of the coldness of his children, the conspirators might naturally hope to conquer the hesitation which had hitherto prevented his again quitting his daughters to embark in a dangerous enterprise.  To render the marshal’s life so burdensome that he would desire to seek relief from his torments in airy project of daring and generous chivalry, was one of the ends proposed by Rodin—­and, as we have seen, it wanted neither logic nor possibility.

After having read the letter, the two remained for a moment silent and dejected.  Then Rose, who held the paper in her hand, started up suddenly, approached the chimneypiece, and threw the letter into the fire, saying, with a timid air:  “We must burn it quickly, or perhaps some great danger will ensue.”

“What greater misfortune can happen to us,” said Blanche, despondingly, “than to cause such sorrow to our father?  What can be the reason of it?”

“Perhaps,” said Rose, whose tears were slowly trickling down her cheek, “he does not find us what he could have desired.  He may love us well as the children of our poor mother, but we are not the daughters he had dreamed of.  Do you understand me, sister?”

“Yes, yes—­that is perhaps what occasioned all his sorrow.  We are so badly informed, so wild, so awkward, that he is no doubt ashamed of us; and, as he loves us in spite of all, it makes him suffer.”

“Alas! it is not our fault.  Our dear mother brought us up in the deserts of Siberia as well as she could.”

“Oh! father himself does not reproach us with it; only it gives him pain.”

“Particularly if he has friends whose daughters are very beautiful, and possessed of all sorts of talents.  Then he must bitterly regret that we are not the same.”

“Dost remember when he took us to see our cousin, Mdlle.  Adrienne, who was so affectionate and kind to us, that he said to us, with admiration:  ’Did you notice her, my children?  How beautiful she is, and what talent, what a noble heart, and therewith such grace and elegance!’”

“Oh, it is very true!  Mdlle. de Cardoville is so beautiful, her voice is so sweet and gentle, that, when we saw and heard her, we fancied that all our troubles were at an end.”

“And it is because of such beauty, no doubt, that our father, comparing us with our cousin and so many other handsome young ladies, cannot be very proud of us.  And he, who is so loved and honored, would have liked to have been proud of his daughters.”

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