The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,533 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Complete.
but which at least mitigated for a few moments the excessive pains they suffered, and restored some faint glimmer of perception to their obscured and troubled senses.  At this moment, Gabriel was leaning over the bed with a look of inexpressible grief.  With breaking heart, and face bathed in tears, he thought of the strange destiny, which thus made him a witness of the death of these girls, his relations, whom but a few months before he had rescued from the horrors of the tempest.  In spite of his firmness of soul, the missionary could not help shuddering as he reflected on the fate of the orphans, the death of Jacques Rennepont, and the fearful devices by which M. Hardy, retired to the cloistered solitude of St. Herein, had become a member of the Society of Jesus almost in dying.  The missionary said to himself, that already four members of the Rennepont family—­his family—­had been successively struck down by some dreadful fate; and he asked himself with alarm, how it was that the detestable interests of the Society of Loyola should be served by a providential fatality?  The astonishment of the young missionary would have given place to the deepest horror, could he have known the part that Rodin and his accomplices had taken, both in the death of Jacques Rennepont, by exciting, through Morok, the evil propensities of the artisan, and in the approaching end of Rose and Blanche, by converting, through the Princess de Saint-Dizier, the generous inspirations of the orphans into suicidal heroism.

Roused for a moment from the painful stupor in which they had been plunged, Rose and Blanche half-opened their large eyes, already dull and faded.  Then, more and more bewildered they both gazed fixedly at the angelic countenance of Gabriel.

“Sister,” said Rose, in a faint voice, “do you see the archangel—­as in our dreams, in Germany?”

“Yes—­three days ago—­he appeared to us.”

“He is come to fetch us.”

“Alas! will our death save our poor mother from purgatory?”

“Angel! blessed angel! pray God for our mother—­and for us!” Until now, stupefied with amazement and sorrow, almost suffocated with sobs, Gabriel had not been able to utter a word.  But at these words of the orphans, he exclaimed:  “Dear children, why doubt of your mother’s salvation?  Oh! never did a purer soul ascend to its Creator.  Your mother?  I know from my adopted father, that her virtues and courage were the admiration of all who knew her.  Oh! believe me; God has blessed her.”

“Do you hear, sister?” cried Rose, as a ray of celestial joy illumined for an instant the livid faces of the orphans.  “God has blessed our mother.”

“Yes, yes,” resumed Gabriel; “banish these gloomy ideas.  Take courage, poor children!  You must not die.  Think of your father.”

“Our father?” said Blanche, shuddering; and she continued, with a mixture of reason and wild excitement, which would have touched the soul of the most indifferent:  “Alas! he will not find us on his return.  Forgive us, father! we did not think to do any harm.  We wished, like you, to do something generous—­to help our governess.”

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