El Verdugo

El Verdugo


(1 Review)
El Verdugo by Honoré de Balzac





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El Verdugo


(1 Review)
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley

Book Excerpt

sweet death would seem to me if given by you! Think! I should be spared the odious touch of an executioner. You would save me from all the woes that await me--and, oh! dear Juanito! you would not have me belong to any one--therefore--"

Her velvet eyes cast gleams of fire at Victor, as if to rouse in the heart of Juanito his hatred of the French.

"Have courage," said his brother Felipe; "otherwise our race, our almost royal race, must die extinct."

Suddenly Clara rose, the group that had formed about Juanito separated, and the son, rebellious with good reason, saw before him his old father standing erect, who said in solemn tones,--

"Juanito, I command you to obey."

The young count remained immovable. Then his father knelt at his feet. Involuntarily Clara, Felipe, and Manuelo imitated his action. They all stretched out their hands to him, who was to save the family from extinction, and each seemed to echo the words of the father.

"My son, can it be that you would fail in Spanish energy and t

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In one of their innumerable wars, a French brigade is occupying a Spanish seaside town to prevent insurrection. On the night the story opens, the citizens of the town slaughter the troops, with only the leader escaping. He returns with more troops, led by a general. The general decides to make an example of the town.

The title means, "the executioner." He is not the person you might think.

The translation is quite well done, the story gives the impression of being written in English. The descriptions are good and the plotting is relentless.