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The Brass Bell or, The Chariot of Death   By: (1804-1857)

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First Page:

THE BRASS BELL

OR

THE CHARIOT OF DEATH

A Tale of Caesar's Gallic Invasion

By EUGENE SUE

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH BY

SOLON DE LEON

NEW YORK LABOR NEWS COMPANY, 1907

NEW EDITION 1916

COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY THE

NEW YORK LABOR NEWS CO.

PREFACE TO THE TRANSLATION

The Brass Bell ; or, The Chariot of Death is the second of Eugene Sue's monumental serial known under the collective title of The Mysteries of the People; or History of a Proletarian Family Across the Ages .

The first story The Gold Sickle; or, Hena, the Virgin of the Isle of Sen fittingly preludes the grand drama conceived by the author. There the Gallic people are introduced upon the stage of history in the simplicity of their customs, their industrious habits, their bravery, lofty yet childlike such as they were at the time of the Roman invasion by Caesar, 58 B. C. The present story is the thrilling introduction to the class struggle, that starts with the conquest of Gaul, and, in the subsequent seventeen stories, is pathetically and instructively carried across the ages, down to the French Revolution of 1848.

D. D. L.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Preface to the Translation

Chapter 1. The Conflagration 1

Chapter 2. In the Lion's Den 8

Chapter 3. Gallic Virtue 24

Chapter 4. The Trial 35

Chapter 5. Into the Shallows 41

Chapter 6. The Eve of Battle 52

Chapter 7. The Battle of Vannes 59

Chapter 8. After the Battle 80

Chapter 9. Master and Slave 88

Chapter 10. The Last Call to Arms 102

Chapter 11. The Slaves' Toilet 107

Chapter 12. Sold into Bondage 115

Chapter 13. The Booth across the Way 126

FOOTNOTES

CHAPTER I.

THE CONFLAGRATION.

The call to arms, sounded by the druids of the forest of Karnak and by the Chief of the Hundred Valleys against the invading forces of the first Caesar, had well been hearkened to.

The sacrifice of Hena, the Virgin of the Isle of Sen, seemed pleasing to Hesus. All the peoples of Brittany, from North to South, from East to West, rose to combat the Romans. The tribes of the territory of Vannes and Auray, those of the Mountains of Ares, and many others, assembled before the town of Vannes, on the left bank, close to the mouth of the river which empties into the great bay of Morbihan. This redoubtable position where all the Gallic forces were to meet, was situated ten leagues from Karnak, and had been chosen by the Chief of the Hundred Valleys, who had been elected Commander in Chief of the army.

Leaving behind them their fields, their herds, and their dwellings, the tribes were here assembled, men and women, young and old, and were encamped round about the town of Vannes. Here also were Joel, his family, and his tribe.

Albinik the mariner, together with his wife Meroë left the camp towards sunset, bent on an errand of many days' march. Since her marriage with Albinik, Meroë; was the constant, companion of his voyages and dangers at sea, and like him, she wore the seaman's costume. Like him she knew at a pinch how to put her hand to the rudder, to ply the oar or the axe, for stout was her heart, and strong her arm.

In the evening, before leaving the Gallic army, Meroë dressed herself in her sailor's garments a short blouse of brown wool, drawn tight with a leather belt, large broad breeches of white cloth, which fell below her knees, and shoes of sealskin. She carried on her left shoulder her short, hooded cloak, and on her flowing hair was a leathern bonnet. By her resolute air, the agility of her step, the perfection of her sweet and virile countenance, one might have taken Meroë for one of those young men whose good looks make maidens dream of marriage. Albinik also was dressed as a mariner. He had flung over his back a sack with provisions for the way... Continue reading book >>




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