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About The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899 | View Entire Issue (July 8, 1898)
THE WANDERING JEW.
nr m ukwk Ni k.
Marshall Pierre Simon, Duke d Eigy. wa9 a
man of tall stature, plainly dressed in a Hue
frock-coat, buttoned up to the throat, with a red
ribbon tied to the button-hole. You could not
have wished to see a more frank, honest aud chiv
alrous cast of countenance than the marshal's.
He had broad forehead, an aquiline nose, a well
formed chin, and a complexion bronzed by ex
posure to the Indian sun. His hair cut very
short, ,was inclined to grey about the temples;
but his eyebrows were still as black as his large,
hanging moustache. His walk was free and
bold, and his decided movements showed his
military impetuosity. A man of the people, a
man of war and action, the frank cordiality of
his address invited friendliness and sympathy.
As enlightened as he was intrepid, as generous
as he was sincere, his manly, plebeian pride was
the most remarkable part of his character. As
others are proud of their high birth, so was he of
his obscure origin, because it was ennobled by the
qualities of his father, the rigid republican, the
intelligent and laborious artisan, who, for the
space of forty years, had been the example and
the glory of his fellow-workmen. In accepting
with gratitude the aristocratic title which the
Emperor had bestowed upon him, Tierre Simon
acted with that dolicacy which recieves from a
friendly liand a perfectly useless gift, and esti
mates it according to the intention of the giver.
The religious venoration of Fierre Simon for the
Emperor had never been blind, in proportion as
his devotion and love for his idol were instruc
tive and necessary, his admiration was serious,
and founded upon reason. Far from resembling
those swashbucklers who love fighting for its
own sake, Marshal Simon not only admired his
hero as the greatest captain in the world, but he
admired him, above all, because he knew that
the Emperor had only accepted war in the hope
of one day being able to dictate universal peace;
for if peace obtained by glory and strength is
great, fruitful and magnificent, peace yielded by
weakness and cowardice is sterile, disastrous, and
dishonoring. The son of a workman, Pierre Si
mon still further admired the Emporer, because
the imperial garvenu had always known how to
make that popular heart beat nobly, and, remem
bering the people, from the masses of whom he
first arose, had invited them fraternally to share
in regal and aristocratic pomp.
When Marshal Simon entered the room, his
countenance was much agitated. At sight of
Dagobert, a flash of joy illumined his features;
he rushed towards the soldier, extending his
arms, and exclaimed, "My friendl my old
friend I "
Dagobert answered this affectionate salute with
silent emotion. Then the marshal, disengaging
himself from his arms, and fixing his moist eyes
upon him, said to him in so agitated a voice that
his lips trembled, " Well, didst arrive in time for
the 13th of February?"
" Yes, general; but everything is postponed for
And my wife? my child? " At this ques
tion Dagobert shuddered, hung down his head,
and was silent.
"They are not, then, here?" asked Simon, with
more surprise than uneasiness. " They told me
they were not at your house, but that I should
find you here and I came immediately. Are
they not with you? "
"General," said Dagobert, becoming deadly
pale; " general " Drying the drops of cold
sweat that stood upon his forehead, he was una
ble to articulate a word, for his voice was checked
in his parched thioat.
" You frigh'en me! " exclaimed Pierre Simon,
becoming pale as the soldier, and seizing him by
At this Adrienne advanced, with a counten
ance full of grief and sympathy; seeing the cruel
embarrassment of Dagobert, she wished to come
to his assistance, and she said to Pierre Simon,
in a mild but agitated voice, "Marshall, I am
Mdlle. de Cardoville a relation of your dear
Tierre Simon turned round suddenly, as much
struck with the dazzling beauty of Adrienne as
with the words she had just pronounced. He
stammered out in his surprise. " You, madame
a relation of my children! "
lie laid a stress on the last words, and looked
at Dagobert in a kind of stupor.
"Yes, marshal your children," hastily replied
Adrienne; "and the love of those charming twin
"Twin sisters 1" cried Pierre Simon, interrupt
ing Mdlle. de Cardoville, with an outburst of joy
impossible to describe. " Two daughters instead
of one! Oh t what happiness for their mother!
Pardon me, madame, fr being so impolite," he
continued; "and so little grateful for what you
toll me. But you will understand it; I have been
seventeen years without seeing my wife; I come,
and I fiud three loved being, instead of two.
Thanks, madame: would I could express all the
gratitude I owe you! You are our relation: this
is no doubt your house; my wife aud children
are with you. Is it so? You think that my
sudden appearance might be prejudicial to them?
I will wait but, madame, you, that I am certain
are good as fairpity my impatience will make
haste to prepare them to receive me "
More and more agitated, Dagobert avoided the
marshal's gaze, and trembled like a leaf. Adri
enne cast down her eyes without answering. Her
heart sunk within her, at thought of dealing the
terrible blow to Marshal Simon.
The latter, astonished at this silence, looking
at Adrienne, then at the soldier, became first un
easy, and at last alarmed. " Dagobert ! " he ex
claimed, "something is concealed from me 1 "
"General!" stammered the soldier, "I assure
"Madame!" cried Tierre Simon, "I conjure
you, in pity, speak to me frankly! my anxiety
is horrible. My first fears return upon me.
What is it? Are my wife and daughters ill?
Are they in danger? Oh! speak! speak! "
"Your daughters, marshal," said Adrienne,
"have been rather unwell, since their long jour
ney but they are in no danger"
"Oh!, heaven! it is my wife!"
"Have courage, sir!" said Mdlle. de Cardoville,
sadly. " Alas! you must seek consolation in the
affection of the two angels that remain to you."
"General!" said Dagobert, in a firm, grave
tone, "I returned from Siberia alone with your
"And their mother ! their motherl" cried Si
mon, in a voice of despair.
" I set out with the two orphans the day after
her death," said the soldier.
" Dead? " exclaimed Pierre Simon, overwhelmed
by the stroke; " dead ? " A mournful silence was
the only answer. The marshal staggered beneath
this unexpected shock, leaned on the back of a
chair for support, and then, sinking into the
seat, concealed his face in his hands. For some
minutes nothing was heard but stifled sobs, for
not only had Pierre Simon idolized his wife, but
by one of those singular compromises, that a
man long cruelly tried sometimes makes with
destiny, Pierre Simon, with the fatalism of lov
ing souls, thought he had a right to reckon upon
happiness after so many years of suffering, and
had not for a moment doubted that he should
find his wife and child a double consolation re
served to him after going through so much. Very
different from certain people, whom the habit of
misfortune renders less exacting, Simon had
reckoned upon happiness as complete as had
been his miserv. His wife and child were the
sole, indispensable conditions of this felicity, and
had the mother survived her daughters, she
would have no more replaced Ihem in his eyes
than they did her. Weakness or avarice of the
heart, so it was; we insist upon this singularity,
because the consequences of these incessant and
painful regrets exercised a great influence on the
future life of Marshal Simon. Adrienne and
Dagobert had respected the overwhelming grief
of this unfortunate man. When he had given
free course to his tears, he raised his manly coun-
tenance, now of marble paleness, drew his hand
across his blood-shot eyes, rose, and said to Adri
enne, "Pardon me, madame; I could not conquer
my first emotion. Permit me to retire. I have
cruel details to ask my worthy friend who only
quitted my wife at the last moment. Have the
kindness to let me see my children my poor
orphans! " And the marshal's voice again
"Marshal," said Mdlle. de Cardoville, "just
now we were expecting your dear children; un
fortunately, we have been deceived in our hopes."
Pierre Simon first looked at Adrienne without
answering, as if he had not heard or understood
" But console yourself," resumed the young
girl; " we have yet no reason to despair."
"To despair?" repeated the marshal, rneehaui
cally, looking by turns at Mdlle. de Cardoville
and Dagobert; "to despair? of what, in heaven's
" Of seeing your children, marshal," said Adri
enne; "the presence of their father will facilitate
' TK cr.orf.li' " rif1 TMprro Rimrm "Thpn
my daughters are not here?"
"No, sir," said Adrienne, at length; "they
have been taken from the affectionate care of the
excellent man who brought them from Russia, to
be removed to a convent."
"Wretch! " cried Pierre Simon, advancing to
wards Dagobert, with a menacing and terrible
aspect; " you shall answer to me for all ! "
Oh, sir, do not blame him!" cried Mdlle. de
General," said Dagobert, in a tone of mourn
ful resignation, " I merit your anger. It is my
uult. Forced to absent myself from Pans, I
entrusted the children to my wife; her confessor
turned her head, and persuaded her that your
daughters would be better in a convent than at
our house. She believed him, and let them be
conveyed there. Now, they say at the con
vent, that they do not know where they are.
This is the truth; do what you will with me; I
lave only to silently endure."
" This is infamous! " cried Pierre Simon, point
ng to Dagobert, with a gesture of despairing in
dignation. "In whom can a man confide, if lie
has deceived me? Oh, my God!"
"Stay, marshal! do not blame him," repeated
Mdlle. de Cardoville; " do not think so! He has
risked life and honor to rescue your children
from the convent. He is not the only one who
las failed in this attempt. Just now, a magis
trate despite his character, authority was not
more successful. His firmness towards the su
perior, his minute search of the convent, were all
n vain. Up to this time, it has been impossible
to find these unfortunate children.
" But where's this convent! " cried Marshal Si
mon, raising his head, his face all pale and agi
tated with grief and rage. " here is it? Do
these vermin know what a father is, deprived of
lis children? " At the moment when Marshal
Simon, turning towards Dagobert, pronounced
these words, Rodin, holding Rose and Blanche
by the hand, appeared at the open door of the
chamber. On hearing the marshals exclama
tion, he started with surprise, and a flash of dia
bolical joy lit up his grim countenance for he
had not expected to meet Pierre Simon so oppor
Mdlle. de Cardoville was the first to perceive
the presence of Rodin. She exclaimed, as she
hastened towards him: "Oh! I was not deceived.
He is still our providence."
"My poor children!" said Rodin, in a low
voice, to the young girls, as he pointed to Pierre
Simon, "this is your father! "
"Sir! "cried Adrienne, following close upon
Rose and Blanche. " Yur children are here !
As Simon turned round abruptly, his two
daughters threw themselves into his arms. Here
was a long silence, broken only by sobs, and
kisses, and exclamations of joy.
Come forward, at least, and enjoy the good
you have done! " said Mdlle. de Cardoville, dry
ing her eyes, and turning towards Rodin, who,
leaning against the door, seemed to contemplate
this scene with deep emotion.
Dagobert, at sight of Rodin bringing back the
children, was at first struck with stupor, and un
able to move a step; but, hearing the words of
Adrienne, and yielding to a burst of almost in
sane gratitude, he threw himself on his knees be-
fore the jesuit, joined his hands together, and
exclaimed in a broken voice: "You have saved
me, by bringing these children."
"Oh, bless you, sir!" said Mother Bunch,
yielding to the general current.
My good friends, this is too much, said Ro
din, as if his emotions were beyond his strength;
this is really too much for me. Excuse me to
the marshal, and tell him that I am repaid by
the sight of his happiness."
" Pray, sir," said Adrienne, " let the marshal
t least have the opportunity to see and know
"Oh, remain! you that have saved us all!"
cYied Dagobert, trying to stop Rodin.
"Providence, you know, my dear young jady,
does not trouble itself about the good that is
done, but the good that remains to do," said Ro
din, with an accent of playful kindness. " Must
I not think of Prince Djalma? My task is not
finished, and moments are precious. Come," he
added, disengaging himself gently from Dago
bert' s hold, "come the day has been as good a
one as I had hoped. The Abbe d'Aigrigny is
unmasked; you are free, my dear young lady;
you have recovered your cross, my brave soldier;
Mother Bunch is sure of a protectress; the mar
shal has found his children. I have my share
in all these joys; it is a full share my heart is
satisfied. Adieu, my friends, till we meet again."
So saying, Rodin waved his hand affectionately
to Adrienne, Dagobert, and the hunchback, and
withdrew, waving his hand with a look of delight
on Marshal Simon, who, seated between his
daughters, held them in his arms, and covered
them with tears and kisses, remaining quite in
different to all that was passing around him.
An hour after this scene, Mdlle. de Cardoville
and the sempstress, Maishal Simon, his two
daughters, and Dagobert quitted Dr. Baleinier's
and we repeat, that the laws which apply to thf J
superintendence of lunatic asylums appear to
us insufficient. Pacts that have recently tran
spired before the courts, and other facts that
have been privately communicated to u?,e uiem
ly prove this insufficiency- Doubtless, magis
trates have full power to visit lunatic asylums.
They are even required to make such visits.
But we know, from the best authority, that the
numerous and pressing occupations of magis
trates, whose number is out of proportion with
the labor imposed upn them, render these in
spections so rare, that they are, so to speak, illu
sory. It ap- aars, therefore, to us advisable to
institute a system of inspections, at least twice a
month, specially designed for lunatic asylums,
and entrusted to a physician and a magistrate, so
that every complaint may be submitted to a dou
ble examination. Doubtless, the law is sufficient
when its ministers are fully informed; but how
many formalities, how many difficulties must be
gone through, before they can be so particularly
when the unfortunate creature who needs their
assistaace, already suspected, isolated and im
prisoned, has no friend to come forward in de
fence, and demand, in his or her name, the pro
tection the authorities! Is it not imperative,
therefore, on the civil power, to meet these ne
cessities by a periodical and well-organized system
What we here say of lunatic asylums will apply
with still greater force to conve-ts for women,
seminaries, and houses inhabited by religious "
bodies. Recent and notorious facts, with which
all France has rung, have unfortunately proved
that violence, forcible detention, barbarous usage,
abduction of minors, and illegal imprisonment,
accompanied by torture, are occurrences which,
if not frequent, are at least possible in religious
houses. It required singular accidents, auda
cious and cynical brutalities, to bring these
detestable actions to public knowledge. How
many other victims have been, and perhaps still
are, entombed in thoses large silent mansions,
where no profane look may penetrate, and which,
through the privileges of the clergy, escape the
superintendence of the civil power. Is it not
deplorable that these dwellings should not also
be subject to periodical inspection, by visitors
consisting, if it be desired, of a priest, a magis
trate, and some delegate of the municipal author
ities? If nothing takes place but what is legal,
humane, and charitable, in these establishments,
which have all the character, and incur all the
responsibility, of public institutions, why this
resistance, this furious indignation of the church
party, when any mention is made of touching
what they call their privileges? There is some
thing higher than the constitutions' devised at
Rome, we mean the law of France the common
law which grants to all protection, but which,
in return, exacts from all respect and obedience.
In terminating this episode, a few words by
way of moral, with regard to lunatic asylums and
I convents may not be out of place. We have said
THE EAST INDIAN IN PARIS.
Since three days, Mdlle. de Cardoville had left
Dr. Baleinier's. The following scene took place
in a little dwelling in the Rue Blanche, to which
Djalma had been conducted in the name of his
unknown protector. Fancy to yourself a pretty,
circular apartment, hung with Indian drapery,
with purple figures on a grey ground, just re
lieved by a few threads of gold. The ceiling, to
wards the centre, is concealed by similar hang
ings, tied together by a thick, silken cord; the
two ends of this cord, unequal in length, termi
nated, instead of tassels, in two tiny Indian lamps
of gold filigree-work, marvellously finished. By
one of those ingenious combinations, so common
in barbarous contries, these lamps served also to
burn perfumes. Plates of blue crystal, let in be
tween the openings of the arabeseques, and il
luminated by the interior light, shone with so
limpid an azure, that the golden lamps seemed
starred with transparant sapphires. Light clouds
of whitish vapor rose incesantly from these
lamps, and spread all around their balmy ordor.
Daylight was only admitted to this room (it
was about two o'clock in the afternoon) through
a little greenhouse, on the other side of a door of
plateglass, made to slide into the thickness of
the wall, by means of a groove. A Chinese shade
was arranged so as to hide or replace this glass
at pleasure. Some dwarf palm trees, plantains,
and other Indian productions, with thick leaves
of a metalic green, arranged in clusters in this
conservatory, formed, as it were, the background
to two large variegated bushes of exotic flowers,
which were separated by a narrow path, paved
with yellow and blue Japanese tiles, running to
the foot of the glass. The daylight, already much
dimmed by the leaves through which it passed,
took a hue of singular mildness as it mingled
with the azure lustre of the perfumed lamps, and
the crimson brightness of the fire in the tall
chimney of oriental porphyry. In the semi
obscurity of this apartment, impregnated with
sweet odors and the aromatic vapor of Persian
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