By Victor Hugo
Translated by Isabel F. Hapgood

Beloved Books Edition


So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century--the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light--are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world;-in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use. HAUTEVILLE HOUSE, 1862.


In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D---- He was an old man of about seventyfive years of age; he had occupied the see of D---since 1806. Although this detail has no connection whatever with the real substance of what we are about to relate, it will not be superfluous, if merely for the sake of exactness in all points, to mention here the various rumors and remarks which had been in circulation about him from the very moment when he arrived in the diocese. True or false, that which is said of men often occupies as important a place in their lives, and above all in their destinies, as that which they do. M. Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Parliament of Aix; hence he belonged to the nobility of the bar. It was said that his father, destining him to be the heir of his own post, had married him at a very early age, eighteen or twenty, in accordance with a custom which is rather widely prevalent in parliamentary families. In spite of this marriage, however, it was said that Charles Myriel created a great deal of talk. He was well formed, though rather short in stature, elegant, graceful, intelligent; the whole of the first portion of his life had been devoted to the world and to gallantry. The Revolution came; events succeeded each other with precipitation; the parliamentary families, decimated, pursued, hunted down, were dispersed. M. Charles Myriel emigrated to Italy at the very beginning of the Revolution. There his wife died of a malady of the chest, from which she had long suffered. He had no children. What took place next in the fate of M. Myriel? The ruin of the French society of the olden days, the fall of his own family, the tragic spectacles of '93, which were, perhaps, even more alarming to the emigrants who viewed them from a distance, with the magnifying powers of terror,--did these cause the ideas of renunciation and solitude to germinate in him? Was he, in the midst of these distractions, these affections which absorbed his life, suddenly smitten with one of those mysterious and terrible blows which sometimes overwhelm, by striking to his heart, a man whom public catastrophes would not shake, by striking at his existence and his fortune? No one could have told: all that was known was, that when he returned from Italy he was a priest.

In 1804, M. Myriel was the Curé of B---- [Brignolles]. He was already advanced in years, and lived in a very retired manner. About the epoch of the coronation, some petty affair connected with his curacy--just what, is not precisely known--took him to Paris. Among other powerful persons to whom he went to solicit aid for his parishioners was M. le Cardinal Fesch. One day, when the Emperor had come to visit his uncle, the worthy Curé, who was waiting in the anteroom, found himself present when His Majesty passed. Napoleon, on finding himself observed with a certain curiosity by this old man, turned round and said abruptly:-"Who is this good man who is staring at me?" "Sire," said M. Myriel, "you are looking at a good man, and I at a great man. Each of us can profit by it." That very evening, the Emperor asked the Cardinal the name of the Curé, and some time afterwards M. Myriel was utterly astonished to learn that he had been appointed Bishop of D---What truth was there, after all, in the stories which were invented as to the early portion of M. Myriel's life? No one knew. Very few families had been acquainted with the Myriel family before the Revolution. M. Myriel had to undergo the fate of every newcomer in a little town, where there are many mouths which talk, and very few heads which think. He was obliged to undergo it although he was a bishop, and because he was a bishop. But after all, the rumors with which his name was connected were rumors only,--noise, sayings, words; less than words--palabres, as the energetic language of the South expresses it. However that may be, after nine years of episcopal power and of residence in D----, all the stories and subjects of conversation which engross petty towns and petty people at the outset had fallen into profound oblivion. No one would have dared to mention them; no one would have dared to recall them. M. Myriel had arrived at D---- accompanied by an elderly spinster, Mademoiselle Baptistine, who was his sister, and ten years his junior. Their only domestic was a female servant of the same age as Mademoiselle Baptistine, and named

Madame Magloire, who, after having been the servant of M. le Curé, now assumed the double title of maid to Mademoiselle and housekeeper to Monseigneur. Mademoiselle Baptistine was a long, pale, thin, gentle creature; she realized the ideal expressed by the word "respectable"; for it seems that a woman must needs be a mother in order to be venerable. She had never been pretty; her whole life, which had been nothing but a succession of holy deeds, had finally conferred upon her a sort of pallor and transparency; and as she advanced in years she had acquired what may be called the beauty of goodness. What had been leanness in her youth had become transparency in her maturity; and this diaphaneity allowed the angel to be seen. She was a soul rather than a virgin. Her person seemed made of a shadow; there was hardly sufficient body to provide for sex; a little matter enclosing a light; large eyes forever drooping;--a mere pretext for a soul's remaining on the earth. Madame Magloire was a little, fat, white old woman, corpulent and bustling; always out of breath,--in the first place, because of her activity, and in the next, because of her asthma. On his arrival, M. Myriel was installed in the episcopal palace with the honors required by the Imperial decrees, which class a bishop immediately after a major-general. The mayor and the president paid the first call on him, and he, in turn, paid the first call on the general and the prefect. The installation over, the town waited to see its bishop at work.

The episcopal palace of D---- adjoins the hospital. The episcopal palace was a huge and beautiful house, built of stone at the beginning of the last century by M. Henri Puget, Doctor of Theology of the Faculty of Paris, Abbé of Simore, who had been Bishop of D---- in 1712. This palace was a genuine seignorial residence. Everything about it had a grand air,--the apartments of the Bishop, the drawing-rooms, the chambers, the principal courtyard, which was very large, with walks encircling it under arcades in the old Florentine fashion, and gardens planted with magnificent trees. In the dining-room, a long and superb gallery which was situated on the ground-floor and opened on the gardens, M. Henri Puget had entertained in state, on July 29, 1714, My Lords Charles Brulart de Genlis, archbishop; Prince d'Embrun; Antoine de Mesgrigny, the capuchin, Bishop of Grasse; Philippe de Vendome, Grand Prior of France, Abbé of Saint Honore de Lerins; Francois de Berton de Crillon, bishop, Baron de Vence; Cesar de Sabran de Forcalquier, bishop, Seignor of Glandeve; and Jean Soanen, Priest of the Oratory, preacher in ordinary to the king, bishop, Seignor of Senez. The portraits of these seven reverend personages decorated this apartment; and this memorable date, the 29th of July, 1714, was there engraved in letters of gold on a table of white marble. The hospital was a low and narrow building of a single story, with a small garden. Three days after his arrival, the Bishop visited the hospital. The visit ended, he had the director requested to be so good as to come to his house. "Monsieur the director of the hospital," said he to him, "how many sick people have you at the present moment?" "Twenty-six, Monseigneur." "That was the number which I counted," said the Bishop. "The beds," pursued the director, "are very much crowded against each other."

"That is what I observed." "The halls are nothing but rooms, and it is with difficulty that the air can be changed in them." "So it seems to me." "And then, when there is a ray of sun, the garden is very small for the convalescents." "That was what I said to myself." "In case of epidemics,--we have had the typhus fever this year; we had the sweating sickness two years ago, and a hundred patients at times,--we know not what to do." "That is the thought which occurred to me." "What would you have, Monseigneur?" said the director. "One must resign one's self." This conversation took place in the gallery diningroom on the ground-floor. The Bishop remained silent for a moment; then he turned abruptly to the director of the hospital. "Monsieur," said he, "how many beds do you think this hall alone would hold?" "Monseigneur's stupefied director. dining-room?" exclaimed the

The Bishop cast a glance round the apartment, and seemed to be taking measures and calculations with his eyes. "It would hold full twenty beds," said he, as though speaking to himself. Then, raising his voice:-"Hold, Monsieur the director of the hospital, I will tell you something. There is evidently a mistake here. There are thirty-six of you, in five or six small rooms. There are three of us here, and we have room for sixty. There is some mistake, I tell you; you have my house, and I have yours. Give me back my house; you are at home here." On the following day the thirty-six patients were installed in the Bishop's palace, and the Bishop was settled in the hospital. M. Myriel had no property, his family having been ruined by the Revolution. His sister was in receipt of a

yearly income of five hundred francs, which sufficed for her personal wants at the vicarage. M. Myriel received from the State, in his quality of bishop, a salary of fifteen thousand francs. On the very day when he took up his abode in the hospital, M. Myriel settled on the disposition of this sum once for all, in the following manner. We transcribe here a note made by his own hand:-NOTE ON THE REGULATION OF MY HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES.
For the little seminary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,500 livres Society of the mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 " For the Lazarists of Montdidier . . . . . . . . . . 100 " Seminary for foreign missions in Paris . . . . . . 200 " Congregation of the Holy Spirit . . . . . . . . . . 150 " Religious establishments of the Holy Land . . . . . 100 " Charitable maternity societies . . . . . . . . . . 300 " Extra, for that of Arles . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 " Work for the amelioration of prisons . . . . . . . 400 " Work for the relief and delivery of prisoners . . . 500 " To liberate fathers of families incarcerated for debt 1,000 " Addition to the salary of the poor teachers of the diocese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,000 " Public granary of the Hautes-Alpes . . . . . . . . 100 " Congregation of the ladies of D----, of Manosque, and of Sisteron, for the gratuitous instruction of poor girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,500 " For the poor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000 " My personal expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 " -----Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,000 "

M. Myriel made no change in this arrangement during the entire period that he occupied the see of D---- As has been seen, he called it regulating his household expenses. This arrangement was accepted with absolute submission by Mademoiselle Baptistine. This holy woman regarded Monseigneur of D---- as at one and the same time her brother and her bishop, her friend according to the flesh and her superior according to the Church. She simply loved and venerated him. When he spoke, she bowed; when he acted, she yielded her adherence. Their only servant, Madame Magloire, grumbled a little. It will be observed that Monsieur the Bishop had reserved for himself only one thousand livres, which, added to the pension of Mademoiselle Baptistine, made fifteen hundred francs a year. On these fifteen hundred francs these two old women and the old man subsisted.

And when a village curate came to D----, the Bishop still found means to entertain him, thanks to the severe economy of Madame Magloire, and to the intelligent administration of Mademoiselle Baptistine. One day, after he had been in D---- about three months, the Bishop said:-"And still I am quite cramped with it all!" "I should think so!" exclaimed Madame Magloire. "Monseigneur has not even claimed the allowance which the department owes him for the expense of his carriage in town, and for his journeys about the diocese. It was customary for bishops in former days." "Hold!" cried the Bishop, "you are quite right, Madame Magloire." And he made his demand. Some time afterwards the General Council took this demand under consideration, and voted him an annual sum of three thousand francs, under this heading: Allowance to M. the Bishop for expenses of carriage, expenses of posting, and expenses of pastoral visits. This provoked a great outcry among the local burgesses; and a senator of the Empire, a former member of the Council of the Five Hundred which favored the 18 Brumaire, and who was provided with a magnificent senatorial office in the vicinity of the town of D----, wrote to M. Bigot de Preameneu, the minister of public worship, a very angry and confidential note on the subject, from which we extract these authentic lines:-"Expenses of carriage? What can be done with it in a town of less than four thousand inhabitants? Expenses of journeys? What is the use of these trips, in the first place? Next, how can the posting be accomplished in these mountainous parts? There are no roads. No one travels otherwise than on horseback. Even the bridge between Durance and Chateau-Arnoux can barely support ox-teams. These priests are all thus, greedy and avaricious. This man played the good priest when he first came. Now he does like the rest; he must have a carriage and a posting-chaise, he must have luxuries, like the bishops of the olden days. Oh, all this priesthood! Things will not go well, M. le Comte, until the Emperor has freed us from these black-capped rascals. Down with the Pope! [Matters were getting

embroiled with Rome.] For my part, I am for Caesar alone." Etc., etc. On the other hand, this affair afforded great delight to Madame Magloire. "Good," said she to Mademoiselle Baptistine; "Monseigneur began with other people, but he has had to wind up with himself, after all. He has regulated all his charities. Now here are three thousand francs for us! At last!" That same evening the Bishop wrote out and handed to his sister a memorandum conceived in the following terms:-EXPENSES OF CARRIAGE AND CIRCUIT.
For furnishing meat soup to the patients in the hospital. 1,500 livres For the maternity charitable society of Aix . . . . . . . 250 " For the maternity charitable society of Draguignan . . . 250 " For foundlings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 " For orphans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 " ----Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000 "

Such was M. Myriel's budget. As for the chance episcopal perquisites, the fees for marriage bans, dispensations, private baptisms, sermons, benedictions, of churches or chapels, marriages, etc., the Bishop levied them on the wealthy with all the more asperity, since he bestowed them on the needy. After a time, offerings of money flowed in. Those who had and those who lacked knocked at M. Myriel's door,--the latter in search of the alms which the former came to deposit. In less than a year the Bishop had become the treasurer of all benevolence and the cashier of all those in distress. Considerable sums of money passed through his hands, but nothing could induce him to make any change whatever in his mode of life, or add anything superfluous to his bare necessities. Far from it. As there is always more wretchedness below than there is brotherhood above, all was given away, so to speak, before it was received. It was like water on dry soil; no matter how much money he received, he never had any. Then he stripped himself.

The usage being that bishops shall announce their baptismal names at the head of their charges and their pastoral letters, the poor people of the country-side had selected, with a sort of affectionate instinct, among the names and prenomens of their bishop, that which had a meaning for them; and they never called him anything except Monseigneur Bienvenu [Welcome]. We will follow their example, and will also call him thus when we have occasion to name him. Moreover, this appellation pleased him. "I like that name," said he. "Bienvenu makes up for the Monseigneur." We do not claim that the portrait herewith presented is probable; we confine ourselves to stating that it resembles the original.

The Bishop did not omit his pastoral visits because he had converted his carriage into alms. The diocese of D---- is a fatiguing one. There are very few plains and a great many mountains; hardly any roads, as we have just seen; thirty-two curacies, forty-one vicarships, and two hundred and eighty-five auxiliary chapels. To visit all these is quite a task. The Bishop managed to do it. He went on foot when it was in the neighborhood, in a tilted spring-cart when it was on the plain, and on a donkey in the mountains. The two old women accompanied him. When the trip was too hard for them, he went alone. One day he arrived at Senez, which is an ancient episcopal city. He was mounted on an ass. His purse, which was very dry at that moment, did not permit him any other equipage. The mayor of the town came to receive him at the gate of the town, and watched him dismount from his ass, with scandalized eyes. Some of the citizens were laughing around him. "Monsieur the Mayor," said the Bishop, "and Messieurs Citizens, I perceive that I shock you. You think it very arrogant in a poor priest to ride an animal which was used by Jesus Christ. I have done so from necessity, I assure you, and not from vanity." In the course of these trips he was kind and indulgent, and talked rather than preached. He never went far in search of his arguments and his examples. He quoted to the inhabitants of one district the example of a neighboring district. In the cantons where they were harsh to the poor, he said: "Look at the people of Briancon! They have conferred on the poor, on widows and orphans, the right to have their meadows mown three days in advance of every one else. They rebuild their houses for them gratuitously when they are ruined. Therefore it is a country which is blessed by God. For a whole century, there has not been a single murderer among them." In villages which were greedy for profit and harvest, he said: "Look at the people of Embrun! If, at the harvest season, the father of a family has his son away on service in the army, and his daughters at service in the town, and if he is ill and incapacitated, the cure recommends him to the prayers of the congregation;

and on Sunday, after the mass, all the inhabitants of the village--men, women, and children--go to the poor man's field and do his harvesting for him, and carry his straw and his grain to his granary." To families divided by questions of money and inheritance he said: "Look at the mountaineers of Devolny, a country so wild that the nightingale is not heard there once in fifty years. Well, when the father of a family dies, the boys go off to seek their fortunes, leaving the property to the girls, so that they may find husbands." To the cantons which had a taste for lawsuits, and where the farmers ruined themselves in stamped paper, he said: "Look at those good peasants in the valley of Queyras! There are three thousand souls of them. Mon Dieu! it is like a little republic. Neither judge nor bailiff is known there. The mayor does everything. He allots the imposts, taxes each person conscientiously, judges quarrels for nothing, divides inheritances without charge, pronounces sentences gratuitously; and he is obeyed, because he is a just man among simple men." To villages where he found no schoolmaster, he quoted once more the people of Queyras: "Do you know how they manage?" he said. "Since a little country of a dozen or fifteen hearths cannot always support a teacher, they have school-masters who are paid by the whole valley, who make the round of the villages, spending a week in this one, ten days in that, and instruct them. These teachers go to the fairs. I have seen them there. They are to be recognized by the quill pens which they wear in the cord of their hat. Those who teach reading only have one pen; those who teach reading and reckoning have two pens; those who teach reading, reckoning, and Latin have three pens. But what a disgrace to be ignorant! Do like the people of Queyras!" Thus he discoursed gravely and paternally; in default of examples, he invented parables, going directly to the point, with few phrases and many images, which characteristic formed the real eloquence of Jesus Christ. And being convinced himself, he was persuasive.

His conversation was gay and affable. He put himself on a level with the two old women who had passed their lives beside him. When he laughed, it was the laugh of a schoolboy. Madame Magloire liked to call him Your Grace [Votre Grandeur]. One day he rose from his arm-chair, and went to his library in search of a book. This book was on one of the upper shelves. As the bishop was rather short of stature, he could not reach it. "Madame Magloire," said he, "fetch me a chair. My greatness [grandeur] does not reach as far as that shelf." One of his distant relatives, Madame la Comtesse de Lo, rarely allowed an opportunity to escape of enumerating, in his presence, what she designated as "the expectations" of her three sons. She had numerous relatives, who were very old and near to death, and of whom her sons were the natural heirs. The youngest of the three was to receive from a grandaunt a good hundred thousand livres of income; the second was the heir by entail to the title of the Duke, his uncle; the eldest was to succeed to the peerage of his grandfather. The Bishop was accustomed to listen in silence to these innocent and pardonable maternal boasts. On one occasion, however, he appeared to be more thoughtful than usual, while Madame de Lo was relating once again the details of all these inheritances and all these "expectations." She interrupted herself impatiently: "Mon Dieu, cousin! What are you thinking about?" "I am thinking," replied the Bishop, "of a singular remark, which is to be found, I believe, in St. Augustine,--'Place your hopes in the man from whom you do not inherit.'" At another time, on receiving a notification of the decease of a gentleman of the country-side, wherein not only the dignities of the dead man, but also the feudal and noble qualifications of all his relatives, spread over an entire page: "What a stout back Death has!" he exclaimed. "What a strange burden of titles is cheerfully imposed on him, and how much wit must men have, in order thus to press the tomb into the service of vanity!" He was gifted, on occasion, with a gentle raillery, which almost always concealed a serious meaning. In

the course of one Lent, a youthful vicar came to D----, and preached in the cathedral. He was tolerably eloquent. The subject of his sermon was charity. He urged the rich to give to the poor, in order to avoid hell, which he depicted in the most frightful manner of which he was capable, and to win paradise, which he represented as charming and desirable. Among the audience there was a wealthy retired merchant, who was somewhat of a usurer, named M. Geborand, who had amassed two millions in the manufacture of coarse cloth, serges, and woollen galloons. Never in his whole life had M. Geborand bestowed alms on any poor wretch. After the delivery of that sermon, it was observed that he gave a sou every Sunday to the poor old beggar-women at the door of the cathedral. There were six of them to share it. One day the Bishop caught sight of him in the act of bestowing this charity, and said to his sister, with a smile, "There is M. Geborand purchasing paradise for a sou." When it was a question of charity, he was not to be rebuffed even by a refusal, and on such occasions he gave utterance to remarks which induced reflection. Once he was begging for the poor in a drawing-room of the town; there was present the Marquis de Champtercier, a wealthy and avaricious old man, who contrived to be, at one and the same time, an ultraroyalist and an ultra-Voltairian. This variety of man has actually existed. When the Bishop came to him, he touched his arm, "You must give me something, M. le Marquis." The Marquis turned round and answered dryly, "I have poor people of my own, Monseigneur." "Give them to me," replied the Bishop. One day he preached the following sermon in the cathedral:-"My very dear brethren, my good friends, there are thirteen hundred and twenty thousand peasants' dwellings in France which have but three openings; eighteen hundred and seventeen thousand hovels which have but two openings, the door and one window; and three hundred and forty-six thousand cabins besides which have but one opening, the door. And this arises from a thing which is called the tax on doors and windows. Just put poor families, old women and little children, in those buildings, and behold the fevers and maladies which result! Alas! God gives air to men; the law sells it to them. I do not blame the law, but I bless God. In the department of the Isere, in the Var, in the two departments of the Alpes, the Hautes,

and the Basses, the peasants have not even wheelbarrows; they transport their manure on the backs of men; they have no candles, and they burn resinous sticks, and bits of rope dipped in pitch. That is the state of affairs throughout the whole of the hilly country of Dauphine. They make bread for six months at one time; they bake it with dried cow-dung. In the winter they break this bread up with an axe, and they soak it for twenty-four hours, in order to render it eatable. My brethren, have pity! behold the suffering on all sides of you!" Born a Provencal, he easily familiarized himself with the dialect of the south. He said, "En be! moussu, ses sage?" as in lower Languedoc; "Onte anaras passa?" as in the Basses-Alpes; "Puerte un bouen moutu embe un bouen fromage grase," as in upper Dauphine. This pleased the people extremely, and contributed not a little to win him access to all spirits. He was perfectly at home in the thatched cottage and in the mountains. He understood how to say the grandest things in the most vulgar of idioms. As he spoke all tongues, he entered into all hearts. Moreover, he was the same towards people of the world and towards the lower classes. He condemned nothing in haste and without taking circumstances into account. He said, "Examine the road over which the fault has passed." Being, as he described himself with a smile, an exsinner, he had none of the asperities of austerity, and he professed, with a good deal of distinctness, and without the frown of the ferociously virtuous, a doctrine which may be summed up as follows:-"Man has upon him his flesh, which is at once his burden and his temptation. He drags it with him and yields to it. He must watch it, cheek it, repress it, and obey it only at the last extremity. There may be some fault even in this obedience; but the fault thus committed is venial; it is a fall, but a fall on the knees which may terminate in prayer. "To be a saint is the exception; to be an upright man is the rule. Err, fall, sin if you will, but be upright. "The least possible sin is the law of man. No sin at all is the dream of the angel. All which is terrestrial is subject to sin. Sin is a gravitation."

When he saw everyone exclaiming very loudly, and growing angry very quickly, "Oh! oh!" he said, with a smile; "to all appearance, this is a great crime which all the world commits. These are hypocrisies which have taken fright, and are in haste to make protest and to put themselves under shelter." He was indulgent towards women and poor people, on whom the burden of human society rest. He said, "The faults of women, of children, of the feeble, the indigent, and the ignorant, are the fault of the husbands, the fathers, the masters, the strong, the rich, and the wise." He said, moreover, "Teach those who are ignorant as many things as possible; society is culpable, in that it does not afford instruction gratis; it is responsible for the night which it produces. This soul is full of shadow; sin is therein committed. The guilty one is not the person who has committed the sin, but the person who has created the shadow." It will be perceived that he had a peculiar manner of his own of judging things: I suspect that he obtained it from the Gospel. One day he heard a criminal case, which was in preparation and on the point of trial, discussed in a drawing-room. A wretched man, being at the end of his resources, had coined counterfeit money, out of love for a woman, and for the child which he had had by her. Counterfeiting was still punishable with death at that epoch. The woman had been arrested in the act of passing the first false piece made by the man. She was held, but there were no proofs except against her. She alone could accuse her lover, and destroy him by her confession. She denied; they insisted. She persisted in her denial. Thereupon an idea occurred to the attorney for the crown. He invented an infidelity on the part of the lover, and succeeded, by means of fragments of letters cunningly presented, in persuading the unfortunate woman that she had a rival, and that the man was deceiving her. Thereupon, exasperated by jealousy, she denounced her lover, confessed all, proved all. The man was ruined. He was shortly to be tried at Aix with his accomplice. They were relating the matter, and each one was expressing enthusiasm over the cleverness of the magistrate. By bringing jealousy into play, he had caused the truth to burst forth in wrath,

he had educed the justice of revenge. The Bishop listened to all this in silence. When they had finished, he inquired,-"Where are this man and woman to be tried?" "At the Court of Assizes." He went on, "And where will the advocate of the crown be tried?" A tragic event occurred at D---- A man was condemned to death for murder. He was a wretched fellow, not exactly educated, not exactly ignorant, who had been a mountebank at fairs, and a writer for the public. The town took a great interest in the trial. On the eve of the day fixed for the execution of the condemned man, the chaplain of the prison fell ill. A priest was needed to attend the criminal in his last moments. They sent for the cure. It seems that he refused to come, saying, "That is no affair of mine. I have nothing to do with that unpleasant task, and with that mountebank: I, too, am ill; and besides, it is not my place." This reply was reported to the Bishop, who said, "Monsieur le Curé is right: it is not his place; it is mine." He went instantly to the prison, descended to the cell of the "mountebank," called him by name, took him by the hand, and spoke to him. He passed the entire day with him, forgetful of food and sleep, praying to God for the soul of the condemned man, and praying the condemned man for his own. He told him the best truths, which are also the most simple. He was father, brother, friend; he was bishop only to bless. He taught him everything, encouraged and consoled him. The man was on the point of dying in despair. Death was an abyss to him. As he stood trembling on its mournful brink, he recoiled with horror. He was not sufficiently ignorant to be absolutely indifferent. His condemnation, which had been a profound shock, had, in a manner, broken through, here and there, that wall which separates us from the mystery of things, and which we call life. He gazed incessantly beyond this world through these fatal breaches, and beheld only darkness. The Bishop made him see light. On the following day, when they came to fetch the unhappy wretch, the Bishop was still there. He followed him, and exhibited himself to the eyes of the crowd in his purple camail and with his episcopal cross

upon his neck, side by side with the criminal bound with cords. He mounted the tumbril with him, he mounted the scaffold with him. The sufferer, who had been so gloomy and cast down on the preceding day, was radiant. He felt that his soul was reconciled, and he hoped in God. The Bishop embraced him, and at the moment when the knife was about to fall, he said to him: "God raises from the dead him whom man slays; he whom his brothers have rejected finds his Father once more. Pray, believe, enter into life: the Father is there." When he descended from the scaffold, there was something in his look which made the people draw aside to let him pass. They did not know which was most worthy of admiration, his pallor or his serenity. On his return to the humble dwelling, which he designated, with a smile, as his palace, he said to his sister, "I have just officiated pontifically." Since the most sublime things are often those which are the least understood, there were people in the town who said, when commenting on this conduct of the Bishop, "It is affectation." This, however, was a remark which was confined to the drawing-rooms. The populace, which perceives no jest in holy deeds, was touched, and admired him. As for the Bishop, it was a shock to him to have beheld the guillotine, and it was a long time before he recovered from it. In fact, when the scaffold is there, all erected and prepared, it has something about it which produces hallucination. One may feel a certain indifference to the death penalty, one may refrain from pronouncing upon it, from saying yes or no, so long as one has not seen a guillotine with one's own eyes: but if one encounters one of them, the shock is violent; one is forced to decide, and to take part for or against. Some admire it, like de Maistre; others execrate it, like Beccaria. The guillotine is the concretion of the law; it is called vindicte; it is not neutral, and it does not permit you to remain neutral. He who sees it shivers with the most mysterious of shivers. All social problems erect their interrogation point around this chopping-knife. The scaffold is a vision. The scaffold is not a piece of carpentry; the scaffold is not a machine; the scaffold is not an inert bit of mechanism constructed of wood, iron and cords.

It seems as though it were a being, possessed of I know not what sombre initiative; one would say that this piece of carpenter's work saw, that this machine heard, that this mechanism understood, that this wood, this iron, and these cords were possessed of will. In the frightful meditation into which its presence casts the soul the scaffold appears in terrible guise, and as though taking part in what is going on. The scaffold is the accomplice of the executioner; it devours, it eats flesh, it drinks blood; the scaffold is a sort of monster fabricated by the judge and the carpenter, a spectre which seems to live with a horrible vitality composed of all the death which it has inflicted. Therefore, the impression was terrible and profound; on the day following the execution, and on many succeeding days, the Bishop appeared to be crushed. The almost violent serenity of the funereal moment had disappeared; the phantom of social justice tormented him. He, who generally returned from all his deeds with a radiant satisfaction, seemed to be reproaching himself. At times he talked to himself, and stammered lugubrious monologues in a low voice. This is one which his sister overheard one evening and preserved: "I did not think that it was so monstrous. It is wrong to become absorbed in the divine law to such a degree as not to perceive human law. Death belongs to God alone. By what right do men touch that unknown thing?" In course of time these impressions weakened and probably vanished. Nevertheless, it was observed that the Bishop thenceforth avoided passing the place of execution. M. Myriel could be summoned at any hour to the bedside of the sick and dying. He did not ignore the fact that therein lay his greatest duty and his greatest labor. Widowed and orphaned families had no need to summon him; he came of his own accord. He understood how to sit down and hold his peace for long hours beside the man who had lost the wife of his love, of the mother who had lost her child. As he knew the moment for silence he knew also the moment for speech. Oh, admirable consoler! He sought not to efface sorrow by forgetfulness, but to magnify and dignify it by hope. He said:-"Have a care of the manner in which you turn towards the dead. Think not of that which perishes.

Gaze steadily. You will perceive the living light of your well-beloved dead in the depths of heaven." He knew that faith is wholesome. He sought to counsel and calm the despairing man, by pointing out to him the resigned man, and to transform the grief which gazes upon a grave by showing him the grief which fixes its gaze upon a star.

The private life of M. Myriel was filled with the same thoughts as his public life. The voluntary poverty in which the Bishop of D---- lived, would have been a solemn and charming sight for any one who could have viewed it close at hand. Like all old men, and like the majority of thinkers, he slept little. This brief slumber was profound. In the morning he meditated for an hour, then he said his mass, either at the cathedral or in his own house. His mass said, he broke his fast on rye bread dipped in the milk of his own cows. Then he set to work. A Bishop is a very busy man: he must every day receive the secretary of the bishopric, who is generally a canon, and nearly every day his vicars-general. He has congregations to reprove, privileges to grant, a whole ecclesiastical library to examine,--prayer-books, diocesan catechisms, books of hours, etc.,--charges to write, sermons to authorize, cures and mayors to reconcile, a clerical correspondence, an administrative correspondence; on one side the State, on the other the Holy See; and a thousand matters of business. What time was left to him, after these thousand details of business, and his offices and his breviary, he bestowed first on the necessitous, the sick, and the afflicted; the time which was left to him from the afflicted, the sick, and the necessitous, he devoted to work. Sometimes he dug in his garden; again, he read or wrote. He had but one word for both these kinds of toil; he called them gardening. "The mind is a garden," said he. Towards mid-day, when the weather was fine, he went forth and took a stroll in the country or in town, often entering lowly dwellings. He was seen walking alone, buried in his own thoughts, his eyes cast down, supporting himself on his long cane, clad in his wadded purple garment of silk, which was very warm, wearing purple stockings inside his coarse shoes, and surmounted by a flat hat which allowed three golden tassels of large bullion to droop from its three points. It was a perfect festival wherever he appeared. One would have said that his presence had something

warming and luminous about it. The children and the old people came out to the doorsteps for the Bishop as for the sun. He bestowed his blessing, and they blessed him. They pointed out his house to any one who was in need of anything.

Here and there he halted, accosted the little boys and girls, and smiled upon the mothers. He visited the poor so long as he had any money; when he no longer had any, he visited the rich. As he made his cassocks last a long while, and did not wish to have it noticed, he never went out in the town without his wadded purple cloak. This inconvenienced him somewhat in summer. On his return, he dined. The dinner resembled his breakfast. At half-past eight in the evening he supped with his sister, Madame Magloire standing behind them and serving them at table. Nothing could be more frugal than this repast. If, however, the Bishop had one of his cures to supper, Madame Magloire took advantage of the opportunity to serve Monseigneur with some excellent fish from the lake, or with some fine game from the mountains. Every cure furnished the pretext for a good meal: the Bishop did not interfere. With that exception, his ordinary diet consisted only of vegetables boiled in water, and oil soup. Thus it was

said in the town, when the Bishop does not indulge in the cheer of a cure, he indulges in the cheer of a trappist. After supper he conversed for half an hour with Mademoiselle Baptistine and Madame Magloire; then he retired to his own room and set to writing, sometimes on loose sheets, and again on the margin of some folio. He was a man of letters and rather learned. He left behind him five or six very curious manuscripts; among others, a dissertation on this verse in Genesis, In the beginning, the spirit of God floated upon the waters. With this verse he compares three texts: the Arabic verse which says, The winds of God blew; Flavius Josephus who says, A wind from above was precipitated upon the earth; and finally, the Chaldaic paraphrase of Onkelos, which renders it, A wind coming from God blew upon the face of the waters. In another dissertation, he examines the theological works of Hugo, Bishop of Ptolemais, greatgrand-uncle to the writer of this book, and establishes the fact, that to this bishop must be attributed the divers little works published during the last century, under the pseudonym of Barleycourt. Sometimes, in the midst of his reading, no matter what the book might be which he had in his hand, he would suddenly fall into a profound meditation, whence he only emerged to write a few lines on the pages of the volume itself. These lines have often no connection whatever with the book which contains them. We now have under our eyes a note written by him on the margin of a quarto entitled Correspondence of Lord Germain with Generals Clinton, Cornwallis, and the Admirals on the American station. Versailles, Poincot, book-seller; and Paris, Pissot, bookseller, Quai des Augustins. Here is the note:-"Oh, you who are! "Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians calls you liberty; Baruch calls you Immensity; the Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names."

Toward nine o'clock in the evening the two women retired and betook themselves to their chambers on the first floor, leaving him alone until morning on the ground floor. It is necessary that we should, in this place, give an exact idea of the dwelling of the Bishop of D----

The house in which he lived consisted, as we have said, of a ground floor, and one story above; three rooms on the ground floor, three chambers on the first, and an attic above. Behind the house was a garden, a quarter of an acre in extent. The two women occupied the first floor; the Bishop was lodged below. The first room, opening on the street, served him as diningroom, the second was his bedroom, and the third his oratory. There was no exit possible from this oratory, except by passing through the bedroom, nor from the bedroom, without passing through the dining-room. At the end of the suite, in the oratory, there was a detached alcove with a bed, for use in cases of hospitality. The Bishop offered this bed to country curates whom business or the requirements of their parishes brought to D---The pharmacy of the hospital, a small building which had been added to the house, and abutted on the garden, had been transformed into a kitchen and cellar. In addition to this, there was in the garden a stable, which had formerly been the kitchen of the hospital, and in which the Bishop kept two cows. No matter what the quantity of milk they gave, he invariably sent half of it every morning to the sick people in the hospital. "I am paying my tithes," he said. His bedroom was tolerably large, and rather difficult to warm in bad weather. As wood is extremely dear at D----, he hit upon the idea of having a compartment of boards constructed in the cow-shed. Here he passed his evenings during seasons of severe cold: he called it his winter salon. In this winter salon, as in the dining-room, there was no other furniture than a square table in white wood, and four straw-seated chairs. In addition to this the dining-room was ornamented with an antique sideboard, painted pink, in water colors. Out of a similar sideboard, properly draped with white napery and imitation lace, the Bishop had constructed the altar which decorated his oratory. His wealthy penitents and the sainted women of D---had more than once assessed themselves to raise the money for a new altar for Monseigneur's oratory; on

each occasion he had taken the money and had given it to the poor. "The most beautiful of altars," he said, "is the soul of an unhappy creature consoled and thanking God." In his oratory there were two straw prie-Dieu, and there was an arm-chair, also in straw, in his bedroom. When, by chance, he received seven or eight persons at one time, the prefect, or the general, or the staff of the regiment in garrison, or several pupils from the little seminary, the chairs had to be fetched from the winter salon in the stable, the prie-Dieu from the oratory, and the arm-chair from the bedroom: in this way as many as eleven chairs could be collected for the visitors. A room was dismantled for each new guest. It sometimes happened that there were twelve in the party; the Bishop then relieved the embarrassment of the situation by standing in front of the chimney if it was winter, or by strolling in the garden if it was summer. There was still another chair in the detached alcove, but the straw was half gone from it, and it had but three legs, so that it was of service only when propped against the wall. Mademoiselle Baptistine had also in her own room a very large easy-chair of wood, which had formerly been gilded, and which was covered with flowered pekin; but they had been obliged to hoist this bergere up to the first story through the window, as the staircase was too narrow; it could not, therefore, be reckoned among the possibilities in the way of furniture. Mademoiselle Baptistine's ambition had been to be able to purchase a set of drawing-room furniture in yellow Utrecht velvet, stamped with a rose pattern, and with mahogany in swan's neck style, with a sofa. But this would have cost five hundred francs at least, and in view of the fact that she had only been able to lay by forty-two francs and ten sous for this purpose in the course of five years, she had ended by renouncing the idea. However, who is there who has attained his ideal? Nothing is more easy to present to the imagination than the Bishop's bedchamber. A glazed door opened on the garden; opposite this was the bed,--a hospital bed of iron, with a canopy of green serge; in the shadow of the bed, behind a curtain, were the utensils

of the toilet, which still betrayed the elegant habits of the man of the world: there were two doors, one near the chimney, opening into the oratory; the other near the bookcase, opening into the dining-room. The bookcase was a large cupboard with glass doors filled with books; the chimney was of wood painted to represent marble, and habitually without fire. In the chimney stood a pair of firedogs of iron, ornamented above with two garlanded vases, and flutings which had formerly been silvered with silver leaf, which was a sort of episcopal luxury; above the chimney-piece hung a crucifix of copper, with the silver worn off, fixed on a background of threadbare velvet in a wooden frame from which the gilding had fallen; near the glass door a large table with an inkstand, loaded with a confusion of papers and with huge volumes; before the table an arm-chair of straw; in front of the bed a prieDieu, borrowed from the oratory. Two portraits in oval frames were fastened to the wall on each side of the bed. Small gilt inscriptions on the plain surface of the cloth at the side of these figures indicated that the portraits represented, one the Abbé of Chaliot, bishop of Saint Claude; the other, the Abbé Tourteau, vicar-general of Agde, abbe of Grand-Champ, order of Citeaux, diocese of Chartres. When the Bishop succeeded to this apartment, after the hospital patients, he had found these portraits there, and had left them. They were priests, and probably donors--two reasons for respecting them. All that he knew about these two persons was, that they had been appointed by the king, the one to his bishopric, the other to his benefice, on the same day, the 27th of April, 1785. Madame Magloire having taken the pictures down to dust, the Bishop had discovered these particulars written in whitish ink on a little square of paper, yellowed by time, and attached to the back of the portrait of the Abbé of Grand-Champ with four wafers. At his window he had an antique curtain of a coarse woollen stuff, which finally became so old, that, in order to avoid the expense of a new one, Madame Magloire was forced to take a large seam in the very middle of it. This seam took the form of a cross. The Bishop often called attention to it: "How delightful that is!" he said. All the rooms in the house, without exception, those on the ground floor as well as those on the first floor,

were white-washed, which is a fashion in barracks and hospitals. However, in their latter years, Madame Magloire discovered beneath the paper which had been washed over, paintings, ornamenting the apartment of Mademoiselle Baptistine, as we shall see further on. Before becoming a hospital, this house had been the ancient parliament house of the Bourgeois. Hence this decoration. The chambers were paved in red bricks, which were washed every week, with straw mats in front of all the beds. Altogether, this dwelling, which was attended to by the two women, was exquisitely clean from top to bottom. This was the sole luxury which the Bishop permitted. He said, "That takes nothing from the poor." It must be confessed, however, that he still retained from his former possessions six silver knives and forks and a soup-ladle, which Madame Magloire contemplated every day with delight, as they glistened splendidly upon the coarse linen cloth. And since we are now painting the Bishop of D---- as he was in reality, we must add that he had said more than once, "I find it difficult to renounce eating from silver dishes." To this silverware must be added two large candlesticks of massive silver, which he had inherited from a great-aunt. These candlesticks held two wax candles, and usually figured on the Bishop's chimneypiece. When he had any one to dinner, Madame Magloire lighted the two candles and set the candlesticks on the table. In the Bishop's own chamber, at the head of his bed, there was a small cupboard, in which Madame Magloire locked up the six silver knives and forks and the big spoon every night. But it is necessary to add, that the key was never removed. The garden, which had been rather spoiled by the ugly buildings which we have mentioned, was composed of four alleys in cross-form, radiating from a tank. Another walk made the circuit of the garden, and skirted the white wall which enclosed it. These alleys left behind them four square plots rimmed with box. In three of these, Madame Magloire cultivated vegetables; in the fourth, the Bishop had planted some flowers; here and there stood a few fruit-trees. Madame Magloire had once remarked, with a sort of gentle malice: "Monseigneur, you who turn everything

to account, have, nevertheless, one useless plot. It would be better to grow salads there than bouquets." "Madame Magloire," retorted the Bishop, "you are mistaken. The beautiful is as useful as the useful." He added after a pause, "More so, perhaps." This plot, consisting of three or four beds, occupied the Bishop almost as much as did his books. He liked to pass an hour or two there, trimming, hoeing, and making holes here and there in the earth, into which he dropped seeds. He was not as hostile to insects as a gardener could have wished to see him. Moreover, he made no pretensions to botany; he ignored groups and consistency; he made not the slightest effort to decide between Tournefort and the natural method; he took part neither with the buds against the cotyledons, nor with Jussieu against Linnaeus. He did not study plants; he loved flowers. He respected learned men greatly; he respected the ignorant still more; and, without ever failing in these two respects, he watered his flowerbeds every summer evening with a tin watering-pot painted green. The house had not a single door which could be locked. The door of the dining-room, which, as we have said, opened directly on the cathedral square, had formerly been ornamented with locks and bolts like the door of a prison. The Bishop had had all this ironwork removed, and this door was never fastened, either by night or by day, with anything except the latch. All that the first passerby had to do at any hour, was to give it a push. At first, the two women had been very much tried by this door, which was never fastened, but Monsieur de D---- had said to them, "Have bolts put on your rooms, if that will please you." They had ended by sharing his confidence, or by at least acting as though they shared it. Madame Magloire alone had frights from time to time. As for the Bishop, his thought can be found explained, or at least indicated, in the three lines which he wrote on the margin of a Bible, "This is the shade of difference: the door of the physician should never be shut, the door of the priest should always be open." On another book, entitled Philosophy of the Medical Science, he had written this other note: "Am not I a physician like them? I also have my patients, and then, too, I have some whom I call my unfortunates." Again he wrote: "Do not inquire the name of him who asks a shelter of you. The very man who is

embarrassed by his name is the one who needs shelter." It chanced that a worthy cure, I know not whether it was the cure of Couloubroux or the cure of Pompierry, took it into his head to ask him one day, probably at the instigation of Madame Magloire, whether Monsieur was sure that he was not committing an indiscretion, to a certain extent, in leaving his door unfastened day and night, at the mercy of any one who should choose to enter, and whether, in short, he did not fear lest some misfortune might occur in a house so little guarded. The Bishop touched his shoulder, with gentle gravity, and said to him, "Nisi Dominus custodierit domum, in vanum vigilant qui custodiunt eam," Unless the Lord guard the house, in vain do they watch who guard it. Then he spoke of something else. He was fond of saying, "There is a bravery of the priest as well as the bravery of a colonel of dragoons,-only," he added, "ours must be tranquil."

It is here that a fact falls naturally into place, which we must not omit, because it is one of the sort which show us best what sort of a man the Bishop of D---was. After the destruction of the band of Gaspard Bes, who had infested the gorges of Ollioules, one of his lieutenants, Cravatte, took refuge in the mountains. He concealed himself for some time with his bandits, the remnant of Gaspard Bes's troop, in the county of Nice; then he made his way to Piedmont, and suddenly reappeared in France, in the vicinity of Barcelonette. He was first seen at Jauziers, then at Tuiles. He hid himself in the caverns of the Joug-de-l'Aigle, and thence he descended towards the hamlets and villages through the ravines of Ubaye and Ubayette. He even pushed as far as Embrun, entered the cathedral one night, and despoiled the sacristy. His highway robberies laid waste the country-side. The gendarmes were set on his track, but in vain. He always escaped; sometimes he resisted by main force. He was a bold wretch. In the midst of all this terror the Bishop arrived. He was making his circuit to Chastelar. The mayor came to meet him, and urged him to retrace his steps. Cravatte was in possession of the mountains as far as Arche, and beyond; there was danger even with an escort; it merely exposed three or four unfortunate gendarmes to no purpose. "Therefore," said the Bishop, "I intend to go without escort." "You do not really exclaimed the mayor. mean that, Monseigneur!"

"I do mean it so thoroughly that I absolutely refuse any gendarmes, and shall set out in an hour." "Set out?" "Set out." "Alone?" "Alone." "Monseigneur, you will not do that!"

"There exists yonder in the mountains," said the Bishop, "a tiny community no bigger than that, which I have not seen for three years. They are my good friends, those gentle and honest shepherds. They own one goat out of every thirty that they tend. They make very pretty woollen cords of various colors, and they play the mountain airs on little flutes with six holes. They need to be told of the good God now and then. What would they say to a bishop who was afraid? What would they say if I did not go?" "But the brigands, Monseigneur?" "Hold," said the Bishop, "I must think of that. You are right. I may meet them. They, too, need to be told of the good God." "But, Monseigneur, there is a band of them! A flock of wolves!" "Monsieur le maire, it may be that it is of this very flock of wolves that Jesus has constituted me the shepherd. Who knows the ways of Providence?" "They will rob you, Monseigneur." "I have nothing." "They will kill you." "An old goodman of a priest, who passes along mumbling his prayers? Bah! To what purpose?" "Oh, mon Dieu! what if you should meet them!" "I should beg alms of them for my poor." "Do not go, Monseigneur. In the name of Heaven! You are risking your life!" "Monsieur le maire," said the Bishop, "is that really all? I am not in the world to guard my own life, but to guard souls." They had to allow him to do as he pleased. He set out, accompanied only by a child who offered to serve as a guide. His obstinacy was bruited about the country-side, and caused great consternation. He would take neither his sister nor Madame Magloire. He traversed the mountain on mule-back, encountered no one, and arrived safe and sound at the residence of his "good friends," the shepherds. He remained there for a fortnight, preaching, administering the sacrament, teaching, exhorting.

When the time of his departure approached, he resolved to chant a Te Deum pontifically. He mentioned it to the cure. But what was to be done? There were no episcopal ornaments. They could only place at his disposal a wretched village sacristy, with a few ancient chasubles of threadbare damask adorned with imitation lace. "Bah!" said the Bishop. "Let us announce our Te Deum from the pulpit, nevertheless, Monsieur le Curé. Things will arrange themselves." They instituted a search in the churches of the neighborhood. All the magnificence of these humble parishes combined would not have sufficed to clothe the chorister of a cathedral properly. While they were thus embarrassed, a large chest was brought and deposited in the presbytery for the Bishop, by two unknown horsemen, who departed on the instant. The chest was opened; it contained a cope of cloth of gold, a mitre ornamented with diamonds, an archbishop's cross, a magnificent crosier,--all the pontifical vestments which had been stolen a month previously from the treasury of Notre Dame d'Embrun. In the chest was a paper, on which these words were written, "From Cravatte to Monseigneur Bienvenu." "Did not I say that things would come right of themselves?" said the Bishop. Then he added, with a smile, "To him who contents himself with the surplice of a curate, God sends the cope of an archbishop." "Monseigneur," murmured the cure, throwing back his head with a smile. "God--or the Devil." The Bishop looked steadily at the cure, and repeated with authority, "God!" When he returned to Chastelar, the people came out to stare at him as at a curiosity, all along the road. At the priest's house in Chastelar he rejoined Mademoiselle Baptistine and Madame Magloire, who were waiting for him, and he said to his sister: "Well! was I in the right? The poor priest went to his poor mountaineers with empty hands, and he returns from them with his hands full. I set out bearing only my faith in God; I have brought back the treasure of a cathedral." That evening, before he went to bed, he said again: "Let us never fear robbers nor murderers. Those are

Let us pray. but that our brother may not fall into sin on our account. One month of his year resembled one hour of his day. It consisted of very handsome things. "The question is. not for ourselves. Let us confine ourselves to prayer. against his fellowman. it only remained to impart a new direction to the theft. turning to his sister: "Sister. Only. never a precaution on the part of the priest. The great dangers lie within ourselves. and which is couched in these terms. such incidents were rare in his life. Let us fear ourselves. vices are the real murderers. and things which were very well adapted to be stolen for the benefit of the unfortunate. to decide whether this should be turned over to the cathedral or to the hospital. That which his fellow does. but generally he passed his life in doing the same things at the same moment." ." However. a rather obscure note was found among the Bishop's papers. we should be embarrassed by any inquiry in that direction.dangers from without. Prejudices are the real robbers. Half of the adventure was completed. However. petty dangers. Stolen they had already been elsewhere. when we think that a danger is approaching us. We relate those of which we know. and to cause it to take a short trip in the direction of the poor." Then. which may bear some relation to this matter. very tempting things. God permits. What matters it what threatens our head or our purse! Let us think only of that which threatens our soul. we make no assertions on this point. As to what became of "the treasure" of the cathedral of Embrun.

. I have a philosophy of my own. who had made his own way. his relations. On some semi-official occasion or other. I have all the philosophers in my library gilded on the edges. let's have a discussion. exclaimed:-"Egad. He was an old attorney. I do not recollect what. "I declare to you. good sides. good windfalls." "Good devils even. the senator. having wisely seized upon. and which are called conscience. in reality. who listened to him. softened by success." replied the Bishop. You are on the bed of purple. so one lies on it. We are two augurs. his sons-in-law. Myriel were to dine with the prefect." "And you are right. who was slightly exhilarated. It is hard for a senator and a bishop to look at each other without winking. Everything else seemed to him very stupid. and went on:-"Let us be good fellows. senator. good opportunities. Naigeon are no rascals. Bishop. and just sufficiently educated to think himself a disciple of Epicurus. sworn faith.CHAPTER VIII--PHILOSOPHY AFTER DRINKING The senator above mentioned was a clever man. only a product of Pigault-Lebrun. and even to his friends. though still perfectly dignified. Myriel himself. Pyrrhon. not a bad man by any means. in life. "that the Marquis d'Argens. Count. duty: he had marched straight to his goal. while he was. and M. who rendered all the small services in his power to his sons." continued the senator. and at the "Crotchets of that good old fellow the Bishop. "As one makes one's philosophy. He laughed willingly and pleasantly over infinite and eternal things. At dessert. I am going to make a confession to you." He even sometimes laughed at him with an amiable authority in the presence of M." said the Bishop." The senator was encouraged. without once flinching in the line of his advancement and his interest. Count*** [this senator] and M. heedless of those things which present obstacles. justice." "Like yourself. He was intelligent. Hobbes." interposed the Bishop.

That man has another future elsewhere. Ah! sacrifice and renunciation are recommended to me. why? Sacrifice. What the deuce! let us go to the bottom of it! We must scent out the truth. not one single word of it. Let us tell the truth. who preaches renunciation and sacrifice to the last extremity. if one sees no further than the end of other people's noses? Let us live merrily. Ah! what a charming promise! trust to it. with blue wings on our shoulder-blades. Have a handful of dust seized by a shadowhand. over the just and the unjust. 'Tis the counsel of an avaricious man to beggars. Immortality. over the fas and the nefas. on high. which torments me! Hurrah for Zero which leaves me in peace! Between you and me. What is the advantage of being at the top. Bishop. anywhere. and more bigoted than Voltaire. a believer in God at bottom. and make confession to my pastor. then. for Needham's eels prove that God is useless. below. dig in the earth for it. Then you grow strong. Down with that great All. Do come to my assistance: is it not . and seize it. Voltaire made sport of Needham. Suppose the drop to be larger and the spoonful bigger. Then what is the good of the Eternal Father? The Jehovah hypothesis tires me. Life is all. A drop of vinegar in a spoonful of flour paste supplies the fiat lux. if you can. whose reasoning is hollow. Why? Because I shall have to render an account of my actions. Let us go into it thoroughly. Bishop. as it behooves me to do. let us have a superior philosophy. to what end? I do not see one wolf immolating himself for the happiness of another wolf. is a chance. you have the world. I must take heed to everything I do. there is vegetation. and he was wrong. he is an ideologist.The senator resumed:-"I hate Diderot. Then it gives you exquisite joys. I am. a waiting for dead men's shoes. Let us stick to nature. and who have raised the veil of Isis: there is no such thing as either good or evil. I don't believe. Let us get to the bottom of it. When? After death. It is good for nothing but to produce shallow people. I will admit to you that I have good sense. we who are initiated. if you like! What a fine lot Adam has! We are souls. and a revolutionist. and in order to empty my sack. Man is the eel. and you laugh. I am square on the bottom. Renunciation. a declaimer. We are at the top. and we shall be angels. I am not enthusiastic over your Jesus. What a fine dream! After my death it will be a very clever person who can catch me. Let us seek the real. I must cudgel my brains over good and evil.

Such is my wisdom. Whither will enjoyment lead me? To nothingness. Legends. What am I to do on this earth? The choice rests with me: suffer or enjoy. This is the vanishing-point. My choice is made. Of course. Total liquidation. go whither I push thee. the Pantheon for some of us: all falls into the great hole. I tell you that I have a philosophy of my own. That is the least he can have. Did I exist before my birth? No. They gobble it down. God. Ah! when one does have it. He who has nothing else has the good. I laugh at the idea of there being any one who has anything to tell me on that subject. you have been Vincent de Paul--it makes no difference. ta! What twaddle all these paradises are! God is a nonsensical monster. the stars." The Bishop clapped his hands. our tomorrow is the night. one is no longer a dupe. I don't let myself be taken in with that nonsense. I am a nought. one does not stupidly allow one's self to be exiled like Cato. Death is death. and miserable wretches. Jehovah for men. I call myself Monsieur le Comte Nought. believe me. "What an excellent and really marvellous thing is this materialism! Not every one who wants it can have it.Tertullian who says that the blessed shall travel from star to star? Very well. knife-grinders. They spread it on their dry bread. Bishop. Be the dupe of the infinite! I'm not such a fool. above all things. We shall be the grasshoppers of the stars. are provided for them to swallow. I oppose no objection to that. nor stoned like . Shall I exist after death? No. No. we shall see God. "That's talking!" he exclaimed. In truth. but I shall have enjoyed myself. and I have my philosophers. Make use of your I while you have it. bugaboo for children. After which. What am I? A little dust collected in an organism. chimeras. Fables of nurses. egad! but I may whisper it among friends. there must be something for those who are down. the grave-digger is there. I shall eat. End. paradise. besides. immortality. Finis. Inter pocula. but I shall have suffered. You have been Sardanapalus. It is better to be the tooth than the grass. ta. And then. Then live your life. I would not say that in the Moniteur. One must eat or be eaten. Whither will suffering lead me? To nothingness. To sacrifice the world to paradise is to let slip the prey for the shadow.--for the barefooted beggars. The good God is good for the populace. Ta. senator. That is the truth. Beyond the tomb there is nothing but equal nothingness. but I reserve Monsieur Naigeon for myself. the soul.

accessible to the rich alone. a philosophy of your own. But you are good-natured princes. and unearthed by special seekers. This philosophy has been extracted from the depths. sinecures. How agreeable that is! I do not say that with reference to you. it is impossible for me to refrain from congratulating you. and you do not think it a bad thing that belief in the good God should constitute the philosophy of the people. dignities. Those who have succeeded in procuring this admirable materialism have the joy of feeling themselves irresponsible. refined. good for all sauces.Stephen. and which seasons the voluptuousness of life admirably. nor burned alive like Jeanne d'Arc.--places. very much as the goose stuffed with chestnuts is the truffled turkey of the poor. You great lords have." . senator. and of thinking that they can devour everything without uneasiness. savory capitulations of conscience. whether well or ill acquired. and for yourselves. Nevertheless.--and that they shall enter the tomb with their digestion accomplished. useful treacheries. which is exquisite. so you say. power. lucrative recantations.

the name of which escapes me. 16. D----. and which we use for spreading out the linen after washing. In short. eighteen square. Madam Magloire has discovered. There were things beneath. would not discredit a chateau in the style of yours. This letter is in our possession. And the woodwork was of the era of our grandmothers. Madam Magloire has made some discoveries. which contains no furniture.CHAPTER IX--THE BROTHER AS DEPICTED BY THE SISTER In order to furnish an idea of the private establishment of the Bishop of D----. with a ceiling which was formerly painted and gilded. Dec. and Roman ladies [here occurs an . What shall I say to you? I have Romans. and of the manner in which those two sainted women subordinated their actions. without his even taking the trouble of speaking in order to explain them. and with beams. to the habits and purposes of the Bishop. under at least ten thicknesses of paper pasted on top. Madam Magloire has pulled off all the paper. which without being good are very tolerable. the friend of her childhood. Just imagine. their feminine instincts even. 18--. But my room is the one you ought to see. while washing and dusting the ceilings and walls. This was covered with a cloth while this was the hospital. we cannot do better than transcribe in this place a letter from Mademoiselle Baptistine to Madame the Vicomtess de Boischevron. some paintings. now our two chambers hung with antique paper whitewashed over. which are easily alarmed. their thoughts. but there is another reason besides. My drawing-room. MY GOOD MADAM: Not a day passes without our speaking of you. is fifteen feet in height. as in yours. The subject is Telemachus being knighted by Minerva in some gardens. where the Roman ladies repaired on one single night. It is our established custom.

He exposes himself to all sorts of dangers. and the whole train. nor night. That is his sort of bravery. and the whole revarnished. He fears neither suspicious roads nor dangerous encounters. One must know how to understand him. He gives all he has to the poor and sick. and we really must do something for those who are in need. You see that these are great treats. She has also found in a corner of the attic two wooden pier-tables of ancient fashion. but it is much better to give the money to the poor. he travels in winter. he says that a bishop ought to be so. he was thought to be dead. and my chamber will be a regular museum. even at night. My brother is so good. The country is trying in the winter. Just imagine! the door of our house is never fastened. I am always very happy. and said. "This is the way I have been robbed!" And then he opened a trunk . he walks in the water. We are almost comfortably lighted and warmed. but was perfectly well. They asked us two crowns of six francs each to regild them. He was absent for a fortnight. Madam Magloire has cleaned it all off. and they are very ugly besides. My brother has ways of his own. and I should much prefer a round table of mahogany. Last year he went quite alone into a country of robbers. and he does not like to have us even seem to notice it. He fears nothing. He goes out in the rain. He does not wish me or Madame Magloire feel any fear for him. He would not take us. he says. On his return nothing had happened to him. We are very much cramped. this summer she is going to have some small injuries repaired. When he talks. Whoever chooses to enter finds himself at once in my brother's room.illegible word].

all the jewels of the cathedral of Embrun. This suffices me. we tremble together. My brother has no longer any need of saying a word to me. I carry off Madam Magloire. The devil may pass through it. If the devil were to enter this house. which the thieves had given him. taking care. so that no one might hear me. he is terrible. I pray for him and fall asleep. and we fall asleep. I could not refrain from scolding him a little. and that he has memories. They really are a very ancient Norman family of the . I am at ease." Now I have ended by getting used to it. But now the habit has been acquired. I understand him without his speaking. he would be allowed to do so. what is there for us to fear in this house? There is always some one with us who is stronger than we. You are aware that he knows everything. When he returned on that occasion. and we abandon ourselves to the care of Providence. I make a sign to Madam Magloire that she is not to oppose him. but the good God dwells here. It has cost Madam Magloire more trouble than it did me to accustom herself to what she terms his imprudences. After all. because I know that if anything were to happen to him. it would be the end of me. because he is still a very good royalist. At first I used to say to myself. not to speak except when the carriage was making a noise. I should go to the good God with my brother and my bishop. That is the way one has to do with a man who possesses grandeur of soul. however. I enter my chamber. I have interrogated my brother with regard to the information which you desire on the subject of the Faux family.full of jewels. He risks himself as he sees fit. We pray together. "There are no dangers which will stop him.

The souvenir which she sent through you reached me safely. my paper is at an end. BAPTISTINE. His daughter. in spite of the gentle and candid air which never deserted him. Farewell. A thousand good wishes. and lieutenant-general of the army. and Faoucq. a Jean de Faux. and magnificent. without seeming to have even a suspicion of the fact. and was commander of a regiment. married Adrien-Charles de Gramont. she has done well in not wasting the few moments which she passes with you in writing to me. Five hundred years ago there was a Raoul de Faux. and he said. The Bishop of D----. As for your dear Sylvanie. Monsieur the Cardinal. "Hu!" As will be perceived from this letter. That is all that I desire. The last was Guy-EtienneAlexandre. sometimes did things that were grand. "What has he got on his knees?" He is a charming child! His little brother is dragging an old broom about the room. but . and it makes me very happy. She is well. They trembled. these two women understood how to mould themselves to the Bishop's ways with that special feminine genius which comprehends the man better than he comprehends himself. and saying. like a carriage. and loves me. who were gentlemen. and this forces me to leave you. Sometimes Madame Magloire essayed a remonstrance in advance. P. recommend us to the prayers of your sainted relative. It is written Faux. and one of whom was a seigneur de Rochefort. and yet I grow thinner every day. Good Madame. Your grand nephew is charming. Marie-Louise. peer of France.S. bold. My health is not so very bad. but they let him alone. works as you would wish. colonel of the French guards. and a Thomas de Faux. and something in the light horse of Bretagne. Do you know that he will soon be five years old? Yesterday he saw some one riding by on horseback who had on knee-caps. Fauq. son of the Duke Louis de Gramont.generalship of Caen.

that certain cares may be put under constraint. then they were nothing more than two shadows in the house. I will not say his thought. so perfect was his simplicity. in any action once entered upon. with an admirable delicacy of instinct. when he was not even conscious of it himself in all probability. nor afterwards. they understood. At certain moments. They never interfered with him by so much as a word or sign. Baptistine said. they disappeared. without his having occasion to mention it. They understood. as we have just read. but his nature. They served him passively.never at the time. They confided him to God. Moreover. even when believing him to be in peril. to such a degree that they no longer watched over him. and if obedience consisted in disappearing. that her brother's end would prove her own. they vaguely felt that he was acting as a bishop. Madame Magloire did not say this. . Thus. but she knew it.

An example. His name was G---Member of the Convention. in some hidden turn of a very wild valley.a man lived quite alone. He dwelt at a distance of three-quarters of an hour from the city. on the return of the legitimate princes? They need not have cut off his head. was a former member of the Convention. if you please. There were no neighbors. clemency must be exercised. but almost. he was an atheist. He was a quasi-regicide. and when they said "citizen. the path which led thither had disappeared under a growth of grass. He had there. far from any road. no one knew exactly where. As he had not voted for the death of the king. He had been a terrible man. Besides. far from any hamlet. This man. we will state at once. a lair. a hole.a vulture after all? Yes. not even passers-by. like all the rest of those people.CHAPTER X--THE BISHOP IN THE PRESENCE OF AN UNKNOWN LIGHT At an epoch a little later than the date of the letter cited in the preceding pages. etc. and had been able to remain in France. a sort of field. In the country near D---. agreed. How did it happen that such a man had not been brought before a provost's court. in short. it was said. He had not voted for the death of the king. The locality was spoken of as though it had been the dwelling of a hangman. G---.A member of the Convention--can you imagine such a thing? That existed from the time when people called each other thou. Was G---. Nevertheless. he had not been included in the decrees of exile.was mentioned with a sort of horror in the little world of D---. Since he had dwelt in that valley. but a good banishment for life. was even more hazardous than his trip across the mountains infested with bandits. if the whole town was to be believed. Gossip of the geese about the vulture. if he were to be judged by the element of ferocity in this solitude of his." This man was almost a monster. and from time to time he gazed at the horizon at a point where a clump of trees marked the valley of the . the Bishop meditated on the subject. he did a thing which.

Finally. With a certain beating of the heart. made his way through a fence of dead boughs. who served the member of the Convention in his hovel. he shared the general impression. The Bishop took his staff. Sometimes he set out in that direction." And he added. on account of his too threadbare cassock. he recognized the fact that he was near the lair.former member of the Convention. and almost repulsive. Still. . he caught sight of the cavern.--"Thank God!" some added. the arm-chair of the peasants. entered a neglected paddock. with that sentiment which borders on hate. and behind lofty brambles. as we have mentioned. at the extremity of the waste land. He strode over a ditch." But. and clean. and suddenly. then he returned. at bottom. "There is a soul yonder which is lonely. had come in quest of a doctor. took a few steps with a good deal of boldness. that the old wretch was dying. without his being clearly conscious of the fact himself. put on his cloak. small. and which is so well expressed by the word estrangement. and had almost touched the horizon when the Bishop arrived at the excommunicated spot. poor. Near the door. deep in his own mind. that paralysis was gaining on him. and set out. appeared to him after a moment's reflection. and he said. It was a very low hut. should the scab of the sheep cause the shepherd to recoil? No. the rumor one day spread through the town that a sort of young shepherd. let us avow it. this idea. and because of the evening breeze which was sure to rise soon. with a vine nailed against the outside. there was a white-haired man. smiling at the sun. "I owe him a visit. But what a sheep! The good Bishop was perplexed. and the old member of the Convention inspired him. impossible. The sun was setting. and that he would not live over night. For. which seemed natural at the first blush. as strange. leaped a hedge. in an old wheel-chair.

." "Monsieur." said he. Are you the man whom the people call Monseigneur Welcome?" "I am. You certainly do not seem to me to be ill. but the Bishop did not take it.Near the seated man stood a young boy. The Bishop confined himself to the remark:-"I am pleased to see that I have been misinformed." The old man resumed with a half-smile "In that case. only my feet were cold." "Bienvenu Myriel? I have heard that name. sir?" The Bishop answered:-"My name is Bienvenu Myriel. Who are you. the old man spoke: "Thank you. "I am going to recover. the shepherd lad. The sun is beautiful." He paused." The member of the Convention extended his hand to the Bishop. and then said:-"I shall die three hours hence. I shall stop." And his smile quitted the sun to rest upon the child. "This is the first time since I have been here." he said. and his face expressed the sum total of the surprise which a man can still feel after a long life. is it not? I had myself wheeled out here to take a last look at things. While the Bishop was watching him. He was offering the old man a jar of milk." Then he continued:-"I am something of a doctor. now I feel it mounting to my waist. sir. I know in what fashion the last hour draws on." "Enter. "that any one has entered here. you are my bishop?" "Something of that sort." replied the old man. the old man turned his head. the chill has ascended to my knees. Yesterday. when it reaches the heart. At the sound which he made in walking. "I need nothing. The Bishop stepped forward. to-day.

the member of the Convention had been surveying him with a modest cordiality. This man. I shall die by starlight. had been one of the powerful ones of the earth. in which one could have distinguished. thou wert awake all last night. Meanwhile. was so fond of laughing at "His Grace. common enough to doctors and priests. You have done well to come and look at a man who is on the point of death. this member of the Convention. the Bishop felt in a mood to be severe. It is well that there should be witnesses at that moment. and added." The child entered the hut. What does it matter. as though speaking to himself:-"I shall die while he sleeps. The old man followed him with his eyes. on his side. which. He did not think he discerned God in this manner of dying. probably. possibly. So be it. but I know that I shall hardly live three hours." He was assailed by a fancy for peevish familiarity. in connection with any other man. bordered on a fault. in his opinion. it does not fatigue me. as it did not have its course in sympathy. this representative of the people.You can talk to me. One has one's caprices. for these petty contradictions of great hearts must be indicated like the rest: he. although he generally restrained his curiosity. let us say the whole. but which was not habitual with him." was rather shocked at not being addressed as Monseigneur." The Bishop was not touched as it seems that he should have been. would have served his conscience as a matter of reproach. after all? Dying is a simple affair. and he was almost tempted to retort "citizen. The Bishop. could not refrain from examining the member of the Convention with an attention which. thou art tired. The two slumbers may be good neighbors. One has no need of the light for that. I should have liked to last until the dawn. that humility which is so fitting when one is on the verge of returning to dust. after all. It will be night then." The old man turned to the shepherd lad:-"Go to thy bed. A member of the Convention produced on him somewhat the effect of . who on occasion. for the first time in his life.

Azrael. but his head survived with all the power of life." The old member of the Convention did not appear to notice the bitter meaning underlying the words "after all. Man should be governed only by science. Conscience is the quantity of innate science which we have within us. Though so near to his end." He replied." said he. "I congratulate you. In this old man one was conscious of a man put to the proof. sir. which is authority falsely understood. even of the law of charity. "What do you mean to say?" resumed the Bishop. his body almost upright. G---. calm. while science is authority rightly understood. The Bishop sat down.--ignorance. after all. In his clear glance. His feet were cold and dead. G----. would have turned back. It was there that the shadows held him fast. The Revolution had many of these men. there was something calculated to disconcert death. I voted for the death of that tyrant. proportioned to the epoch. in his firm tone. at this solemn moment. resembled the king in that tale of the Orient who was flesh above and marble below. There was a stone there. The exordium was abrupt. I did vote for the death of the tyrant. There was freedom in his agony.being outside the pale of the law. "You did not vote for the death of the king. "It is the same thing. the Mohammedan angel of the sepulchre. G----. and seemed full of light. his voice vibrating. in the tone which one uses for a reprimand." added the Bishop. "Do not congratulate me too much. he preserved all the gestures of health. The smile had quite disappeared from his face.seemed to be dying because he willed it so. and thought that he had mistaken the door. in the robust movement of his shoulders. was one of those octogenarians who form the subject of astonishment to the physiologist." "And conscience." It was the tone of austerity answering the tone of severity. His legs alone were motionless. That tyrant engendered royalty. "I mean to say that man has a tyrant." .

but I felt it my duty to exterminate evil. it softened spirits. the end of prostitution for woman." "You have demolished. I have aided in the overthrow of prejudices and errors. the end of night for the child. The mill is there no longer. It set free all the unknown social quantities. We have caused the fall of the old world. the French Revolution is the most important step of the human race since the advent of Christ. I voted for that. I admit: we demolished the ancient regime in deeds." The Bishop could not refrain from murmuring:-"Yes? '93!" The member of the Convention straightened himself up in his chair with an almost lugubrious solemnity. the wind is still there. but I distrust a demolition complicated with wrath. so far as a dying man is capable of exclamation:-- . concord. was concerned. enlightened. that is to say. I voted the end of the tyrant. after that fatal return of the past. and the old world. the dawn. but sublime. The crumbling away of prejudices and errors causes light. through its upsetting upon the human race. customs must be modified. In any case. and the wrath of right is an element of progress.' I did not think that I had the right to kill a man.Monseigneur Bienvenu listened in some astonishment to this language. appeased. In voting for the Republic. joy which has disappeared! Alas! The work was incomplete. I voted for fraternity. and exclaimed. Bishop. It may be of use to demolish." "Right has its wrath. Incomplete. an urn of joy. I said 'no. which is called 1814. The member of the Convention resumed:-"So far as Louis XVI. it caused the waves of civilization to flow over the earth. and in spite of whatever may be said." "Mixed joy. which was very new to him. has become. the end of slavery for man." said the Bishop. that vase of miseries. It was a good thing. "You may say troubled joy. we were not able to suppress it entirely in ideas. it calmed. The French Revolution is the consecration of humanity. To destroy abuses is not sufficient. it may be. and to-day.

for the sole crime of having been the brother of Cartouche. Monsieur. His scourge. Christ loved them. You are putting the thunderbolt on its trial. until death ensued. "Louis XVII." Bishop. you love not the crudities of the true. "I like not this "Cartouche? Louis XV. He seized a rod and cleared out the Temple. The Bishop almost regretted having come. is its own crown. Monsieur Priest. A cloud had been forming for the space of fifteen hundred years. He replied:-"The judge speaks in the name of justice. "Louis XVII. that something within him had suffered extinction. Is it for the royal child? I demand time for reflection." said the conjunction of names. confessing it."Ah. there you go.. To me. full of lightnings. for the sole crime of having been grandson of Louis XV. '93! I was expecting that word. without. which is nothing but a more lofty justice. is no less painful than the grandson of Louis XV. regarding the member of the Convention steadily the while." And he added. an innocent child. perhaps. It would not have embarrassed him to bring together the Dauphin of Barabbas and the Dauphin of Herod. 'Sinite parvulos. Nevertheless. was a harsh speaker of truths. When he cried. the priest speaks in the name of pity. For whom do you mourn? is it for the innocent child? very good.! let us see. he put a good face on the matter. A thunderbolt should commit no error. at the end of fifteen hundred years it burst. and yet he felt vaguely and strangely shaken. martyred in the tower of the Temple." The Bishop felt.?" The conventionary stretched forth his hand and grasped the Bishop's arm. The conventionary resumed:-"Ah." "Monsieur. the brother of Cartouche. It is as august in rags as in fleurs de lys.? To which of the two do you object?" A momentary silence ensued. an innocent child who was hung up by the armpits in the Place de Greve. Innocence has no need to be a highness. in that case I mourn with you.' he made no distinction between the little children. Innocence." .

a prince of the church. "Yes. They have been suffering longer. who eat moor-hens on Friday. the people.? I know you not. but that signifies nothing: clever men have so many ways of imposing on that honest goodman. Shall we weep for all the innocent. and our tears must begin before Louis XVII."You have mentioned Louis XVII. sir. we must go back further than '93.fifteen thousand francs settled income. why have you just questioned me and talked to me about Louis XVII." continued the conventionary G---. And hold! that is not all. "I persist. a lackey behind. never setting foot outside. By the way. "Equally!" exclaimed conventionary G----. and seeing no one but that child who helps me. one of those gilded men with heraldic bearings and revenues. who make good cheer. But in that case. all martyrs. Ever since I have been in these parts I have dwelt in this enclosure alone. I tell you. as I have told you. It was almost an explosion. who strut about. you have left it yonder. let it be on the side of the people. You have told me that you are the Bishop. that is to say. I repeat my question. I will weep with you over the children of kings. who have vast prebends. to me. a lackey before.--the bishopric of D---. Who are you? You are a bishop. total. and very badly pronounced. and appealed to the Bishop with a gaze full of all the forces of the death agony. the lowly as well as the exalted? I agree to that. and who roll in their carriages in the ." "I weep for all. The conventionary was the first to break it. Let us come to an understanding. in a gala coach." said the Bishop in a low voice. I must admit. but that affords me no information as to your moral personality. twenty-five thousand francs. I did not hear the sound of your carriage."That is true. no doubt. ten thousand in perquisites. who have liveries. the people have been suffering a long while. behind the coppice at the fork of the roads. it is true." said the Bishop. In short.--who have kitchens." Another silence ensued. Your name has reached me in a confused manner. and who have palaces. all children. as one does mechanically when one interrogates and judges. I do not know you. either. "and if the balance must incline. provided that you will weep with me over the children of the people. He raised himself on one elbow. took a bit of his cheek between his thumb and his forefinger.

as though to sweep away a cloud. how my twenty-five thousand francs income." he said. you have this like the rest.name of Jesus Christ who went barefoot! You are a prelate." said the Bishop. You are at my house. servants. you are my guest. and that '93 was not inexorable. and the Bishop's to be humble." The conventionary passed his hand across his brow. You discuss my ideas. It was the conventionary's turn to be arrogant. how my good table and the moor-hens which I eat on Friday. it is well. yes. sir. To whom do I speak? Who are you?" The Bishop hung his head and replied. "Vermis sum-I am a worm." said the Bishop. "What think you of Marat clapping his hands at the guillotine?" "What think you of Bossuet chanting the Te Deum over the dragonnades?" . I owe you courtesy. "Let us return to the explanation which you have asked of me. this does not enlighten me upon the intrinsic and essential value of the man who comes with the probable intention of bringing wisdom to me. sir. G---. I have just committed a wrong. all the sensualities of life. But explain to me how my carriage. "Before replying to you.--revenues. but good taste dictates that I shall not make use of them. horses.resumed." "A worm of the earth in a carriage?" growled the conventionary. The Bishop resumed mildly:-"So be it. you enjoy it. and it becomes me to confine myself to combating your arguments. which is a few paces off behind the trees yonder. "I beseech you to pardon me. how my palace and my lackeys prove that clemency is not a duty. Where were we? What were you saying to me? That '93 was inexorable?" "Inexorable. palace. and like the rest." "I thank you. Your riches and your pleasures are advantages which I hold over you in the debate. but this says either too much or too little. I promise you to make no use of them in the future. good table.

is an immense human affirmation. there was a perfect lucidity of soul in his eyes. '93 is. but that it has progressed. a mother and a nurse. under Louis the Great. moreover. archduchess and queen.--that the human race has been treated harshly. but he was offended by this mode of alluding to Bossuet. but I am also sorry for that poor Huguenot woman. this fact is recognized. to a stake. naked to the waist." . if you please? Duchene senior is ferocious. was bound. but what name do you give to Montrevel? Fouquier-Tainville is a rascal. its wrath will be absolved by the future. but it attained its mark with the directness of a point of steel. the brutalities of progress are called revolutions. and they sometimes feel vaguely wounded by the want of respect of logic. What say you to that torture of Tantalus as applied to a mother? Bear this well in mind sir: the French Revolution had its reasons for existence. The conventionary began to pant. sir? Carrier is a bandit. beheld that breast and cried and agonized. but Saulx-Tavannes. taken as a whole. I am willing. Sir. sir. but what epithet will you allow me for the elder Letellier? Jourdan-Coupe-Tete is a monster. which. From its most terrible blows there comes forth a caress for the human race. but what of the whole monarchy. He went on:-"Let me say a few words more in this and that direction. in 1685. but not so great a one as M. the asthma of the agony which is mingled with the last breaths interrupted his voice. its result is the world made better. her breast swelled with milk and her heart with anguish. I have too much the advantage. the little one. sir. the executioner said to the woman. who.The retort was a harsh one. I am sorry for Marie Antoinette. alas! a rejoinder. I abridge. You think it inexorable. still. I am dying." And ceasing to gaze at the Bishop. while with a nursing infant. When they are over. no reply occurred to him. Apart from the Revolution. sir. 'Abjure!' giving her her choice between the death of her infant and the death of her conscience. I stop. the Marquis de Louvois. the conventionary concluded his thoughts in these tranquil words:-"Yes. The Bishop quivered under it. but what is your opinion as to Lamoignon-Baville? Maillard is terrible. hungry and pale. and the child kept at a distance. The best of minds will have their fetiches.

and bent over the dying man. as though he beheld some one. it would not exist. he gazed at those closed eyes. the last resource of Monseigneur Bienvenu's resistance. wherein appeared nearly all the harshness of the beginning:-"Progress should believe in God. time pressed. it would not be infinite. he took that wrinkled. came forth this reply. while his eyes were plunged in the depths:-"O thou! O ideal! Thou alone existest!" The Bishop experienced an indescribable shock. and he said. When he had spoken. A gravity mingled with gloom was imprinted on his countenance. He was seized with a fit of trembling. One remained. however. There is. almost in a stammer. After a pause. aged and ice-cold hand in his. It was evident that he had just lived through in a moment the few hours which had been left to him. The supreme moment was approaching. it was as a priest that he had come: from extreme coldness he had passed by degrees to extreme emotion." The former representative of the people made no reply. and with the shiver of ecstasy.The conventionary doubted not that he had successively conquered all the inmost intrenchments of the Bishop. his eyes closed. Do you not think that it would be regrettable if we had met in vain?" The conventionary opened his eyes again. That I of the infinite is God. Good cannot have an impious servitor. If the infinite had no person. He looked towards heaven. quite low. He who is an atheist is but a bad leader for the human race. The Bishop understood this. an I. He is there. That which he had said brought him nearer to him who is in death." The dying man had pronounced these last words in a loud voice. "This hour is the hour of God. in other words. person would be without limit. the heavenward and said:-old man raised a finger "The infinite is. and in his glance a tear gathered slowly. and from this intrenchment. . The effort had exhausted him. then. When the eyelid was full. and to himself. the tear trickled down his livid cheek.

deeply absorbed in thoughts which cannot be known to us."Bishop. study. I proclaimed and confessed them. He had just expired. and I have sometimes resisted progress without pity. without hating any one myself. He passed the whole night in prayer. a convent of Urbanists. cursed. scorned. And I accept this isolation of hatred. For many years past. the vaults of the treasury were encumbered with specie to such a degree that we were forced to shore up the walls. blackened. "I have passed my life in meditation. tyrannies existed. I defended it. which I saved in 1793. with a slowness which probably arose more from his dignity of soul than from the failing of his strength. I have comforted the suffering. I combated them. I have always upheld the march forward of the human race. Our territory was invaded. I have succored the oppressed." said the Bishop. The Bishop returned home. I offered my breast." said he. at the very spot where the Merovingian kings had their summer palace. but it was to bind up the wounds of my country. After which. When the Bishop raised his head again. And there is at Peteghem. I have been one of the masters of the state. protected my own adversaries. jeered at. to the poor ignorant masses I present the visage of one damned. I was not rich. I was sixty years of age when my country called me and commanded me to concern myself with its affairs. pursued. And he knelt down. On the following morning some bold and curious persons attempted to speak to him . rights and principles existed. I dined in Dead Tree Street. the Abbéy of Sainte Claire en Beaulieu. and all the good that I was able. What is it that you have come to ask of me?" "Your blessing. men of your profession. I have. France was menaced. the face of the conventionary had become august. Now I am eighty-six years old. I with my white hair have been conscious that many people think they have the right to despise me. and contemplation. forward towards the light. when the occasion offered. proscribed. I destroyed them. I am on the point of death. I am poor. Abuses existed. it is true. persecuted. at twenty-two sous. I was hunted down. I obeyed. which were on the point of bursting beneath the weight of gold and silver. in Flanders. I tore the cloth from the altar. I have done my duty according to my powers.

Any allusion to "that old wretch of a G----" caused him to fall into a singular preoccupation.about member of the Convention G----." . All those revolutionists are backsliders. did not count for something in his approach to perfection. he contented himself with pointing heavenward. addressed this sally to him. This "pastoral visit" naturally furnished an occasion for a murmur of comment in all the little local coteries. From that moment he redoubled his tenderness and brotherly feeling towards all children and sufferers. and the reflection of that grand conscience upon his." replied the Bishop. people are inquiring when Your Greatness will receive the red cap!"--"Oh! oh! that's a coarse color. "It is lucky that those who despise it in a cap revere it in a hat." One day a dowager of the impertinent variety who thinks herself spiritual. No one could say that the passage of that soul before his. "Was the bedside of such a dying man as that the proper place for a bishop? There was evidently no conversion to be expected. "Monseigneur. Then why go there? What was there to be seen there? He must have been very curious indeed to see a soul carried off by the devil.

I produced on them the effect of an open door. when he found himself at the house of one of his most notable colleagues: "What beautiful clocks! What beautiful carpets! What beautiful liveries! They must be a great trouble. with conventionary G----. 1811. Bishop of a mountain diocese. it is said that he chanced to remark one evening. Myriel was one of the ninety-five bishops who attended it. This synod was held at Notre-Dame. and assembled for the first time on the 15th of June. then. under the presidency of Cardinal Fesch. M." On another occasion he said. which rendered him still more gentle." The fact is that he displeased them. perhaps. it appeared that he imported among these eminent personages. M. But he was present only at one sitting and at three or four private conferences. Myriel was summoned by Napoleon to the synod of the bishops of France and Italy convened at Paris.CHAPTER XI--A RESTRICTION We should incur a great risk of deceiving ourselves. and he replied: "I embarrassed them.He was interrogated as to this speedy return." His meeting. this is. Some time after the elevation of M. the place to indicate very briefly what his attitude was in the events of that epoch. The arrest of the Pope took place. supposing that Monseigneur Bienvenu ever dreamed of having an attitude. go back a few years. as every one knows." or a "patriotic cure. The outside air penetrated to them through me. I am only a poor peasant bishop. on this occasion. Let us. left behind it in his mind a sort of astonishment. "What would you have? Those gentlemen are princes. ideas which altered the temperature of the assembly. on the night of the 5th to the 6th of July. Among other strange things. He very soon returned to D---. living so very close to nature. Although Monseigneur Bienvenu was far from being a politician. were we to conclude from this that Monseigneur Welcome was "a philosophical bishop. the Emperor had made him a baron of the Empire. I would not have all . That is all. which may almost be designated as his union. in rusticity and deprivation. in company with many other bishops. 1809. Myriel to the episcopate.

and since we do not wish to conceal anything. one a general. Nevertheless. The priest must keep close to the poor. He was harsh for a time towards the former. nor a drop of sweat. what the Bishop of D---. the other a prefect. He took very little part in the theological quarrels of the moment. Beginning with 1813. and maintained silence on questions in which Church and State were implicated. This hatred would involve the hatred of the arts. no doubt. An opulent priest is a contradiction. by the way. Since we are making a portrait. like the dust of labor? Is it possible to imagine a man near a brazier who is not warm? Can one imagine a workman who is working near a furnace. and this poverty. It must not be supposed. luxury is wrong. except in connection with representations and ceremonies. can one come in contact incessantly night and day with all this distress.those superfluities. however. He refused to see him. Now. he had two brothers. but if he had been strongly pressed. the general had put himself at the head of twelve hundred men and had pursued the Emperor as though the latter had been a person . that the hatred of luxury is not an intelligent hatred. nor blackened nails. in the bishop especially. Besides his sister.thought. holding a command in Provence at the epoch of the disembarkation at Cannes. Mademoiselle Baptistine. in churchmen. it seems that he would have been found to be an ultramontane rather than a gallican. all these misfortunes. It seems to reveal habits which have very little that is charitable about them. because. nor a speck of ashes on his face? The first proof of charity in the priest. as he passed through on his return from the island of Elba. that he shared what we call the "ideas of the century" on certain delicate points. he gave in his adherence to or applauded all hostile manifestations. without having about one's own person a little of that misery. and who has neither a singed hair. we are forced to add that he was glacial towards Napoleon in his decline. is poverty. and he abstained from ordering public prayers for the Emperor in his diocese during the Hundred Days. crying incessantly in my ears: 'There are people who are hungry! There are people who are cold! There are poor people! There are poor people!'" Let us remark. This is. He wrote to both with tolerable frequency.

whom one is desirous of allowing to escape. His correspondence with the other brother, the ex-prefect, a fine, worthy man who lived in retirement at Paris, Rue Cassette, remained more affectionate. Thus Monseigneur Bienvenu also had his hour of party spirit, his hour of bitterness, his cloud. The shadow of the passions of the moment traversed this grand and gentle spirit occupied with eternal things. Certainly, such a man would have done well not to entertain any political opinions. Let there be no mistake as to our meaning: we are not confounding what is called "political opinions" with the grand aspiration for progress, with the sublime faith, patriotic, democratic, humane, which in our day should be the very foundation of every generous intellect. Without going deeply into questions which are only indirectly connected with the subject of this book, we will simply say this: It would have been well if Monseigneur Bienvenu had not been a Royalist, and if his glance had never been, for a single instant, turned away from that serene contemplation in which is distinctly discernible, above the fictions and the hatreds of this world, above the stormy vicissitudes of human things, the beaming of those three pure radiances, truth, justice, and charity. While admitting that it was not for a political office that God created Monseigneur Welcome, we should have understood and admired his protest in the name of right and liberty, his proud opposition, his just but perilous resistance to the all-powerful Napoleon. But that which pleases us in people who are rising pleases us less in the case of people who are falling. We only love the fray so long as there is danger, and in any case, the combatants of the first hour have alone the right to be the exterminators of the last. He who has not been a stubborn accuser in prosperity should hold his peace in the face of ruin. The denunciator of success is the only legitimate executioner of the fall. As for us, when Providence intervenes and strikes, we let it work. 1812 commenced to disarm us. In 1813 the cowardly breach of silence of that taciturn legislative body, emboldened by catastrophe, possessed only traits which aroused indignation. And it was a crime to applaud, in 1814, in the presence of those marshals who betrayed; in the presence of that senate which passed from one dunghill to another, insulting after having deified; in the presence of that idolatry which was loosing its footing and spitting on its idol,--it was a

duty to turn aside the head. In 1815, when the supreme disasters filled the air, when France was seized with a shiver at their sinister approach, when Waterloo could be dimly discerned opening before Napoleon, the mournful acclamation of the army and the people to the condemned of destiny had nothing laughable in it, and, after making all allowance for the despot, a heart like that of the Bishop of D----, ought not perhaps to have failed to recognize the august and touching features presented by the embrace of a great nation and a great man on the brink of the abyss. With this exception, he was in all things just, true, equitable, intelligent, humble and dignified, beneficent and kindly, which is only another sort of benevolence. He was a priest, a sage, and a man. It must be admitted, that even in the political views with which we have just reproached him, and which we are disposed to judge almost with severity, he was tolerant and easy, more so, perhaps, than we who are speaking here. The porter of the town-hall had been placed there by the Emperor. He was an old noncommissioned officer of the old guard, a member of the Legion of Honor at Austerlitz, as much of a Bonapartist as the eagle. This poor fellow occasionally let slip inconsiderate remarks, which the law then stigmatized as seditious speeches. After the imperial profile disappeared from the Legion of Honor, he never dressed himself in his regimentals, as he said, so that he should not be obliged to wear his cross. He had himself devoutly removed the imperial effigy from the cross which Napoleon had given him; this made a hole, and he would not put anything in its place. "I will die," he said, "rather than wear the three frogs upon my heart!" He liked to scoff aloud at Louis XVIII. "The gouty old creature in English gaiters!" he said; "let him take himself off to Prussia with that queue of his." He was happy to combine in the same imprecation the two things which he most detested, Prussia and England. He did it so often that he lost his place. There he was, turned out of the house, with his wife and children, and without bread. The Bishop sent for him, reproved him gently, and appointed him beadle in the cathedral. In the course of nine years Monseigneur Bienvenu had, by dint of holy deeds and gentle manners, filled the town of D----with a sort of tender and filial reverence. Even his conduct towards Napoleon had been accepted and tacitly pardoned, as it were, by the

people, the good and weakly flock who adored their emperor, but loved their bishop.

A bishop is almost always surrounded by a full squadron of little abbes, just as a general is by a covey of young officers. This is what that charming Saint Francois de Sales calls somewhere "les pretres blancsbecs," callow priests. Every career has its aspirants, who form a train for those who have attained eminence in it. There is no power which has not its dependents. There is no fortune which has not its court. The seekers of the future eddy around the splendid present. Every metropolis has its staff of officials. Every bishop who possesses the least influence has about him his patrol of cherubim from the seminary, which goes the round, and maintains good order in the episcopal palace, and mounts guard over monseigneur's smile. To please a bishop is equivalent to getting one's foot in the stirrup for a subdiaconate. It is necessary to walk one's path discreetly; the apostleship does not disdain the canonship. Just as there are bigwigs elsewhere, there are big mitres in the Church. These are the bishops who stand well at Court, who are rich, well endowed, skilful, accepted by the world, who know how to pray, no doubt, but who know also how to beg, who feel little scruple at making a whole diocese dance attendance in their person, who are connecting links between the sacristy and diplomacy, who are abbes rather than priests, prelates rather than bishops. Happy those who approach them! Being persons of influence, they create a shower about them, upon the assiduous and the favored, and upon all the young men who understand the art of pleasing, of large parishes, prebends, archidiaconates, chaplaincies, and cathedral posts, while awaiting episcopal honors. As they advance themselves, they cause their satellites to progress also; it is a whole solar system on the march. Their radiance casts a gleam of purple over their suite. Their prosperity is crumbled up behind the scenes, into nice little promotions. The larger the diocese of the patron, the fatter the curacy for the favorite. And then, there is Rome. A bishop who understands how to become an archbishop, an archbishop who knows how to become a cardinal, carries you with him as conclavist; you enter a court of papal jurisdiction, you receive the pallium, and behold! you are an auditor, then a papal chamberlain, then monsignor, and from a

Grace to an Eminence is only a step, and between the Eminence and the Holiness there is but the smoke of a ballot. Every skull-cap may dream of the tiara. The priest is nowadays the only man who can become a king in a regular manner; and what a king! the supreme king. Then what a nursery of aspirations is a seminary! How many blushing choristers, how many youthful abbes bear on their heads Perrette's pot of milk! Who knows how easy it is for ambition to call itself vocation? in good faith, perchance, and deceiving itself, devotee that it is. Monseigneur Bienvenu, poor, humble, retiring, was not accounted among the big mitres. This was plain from the complete absence of young priests about him. We have seen that he "did not take" in Paris. Not a single future dreamed of engrafting itself on this solitary old man. Not a single sprouting ambition committed the folly of putting forth its foliage in his shadow. His canons and grand-vicars were good old men, rather vulgar like himself, walled up like him in this diocese, without exit to a cardinalship, and who resembled their bishop, with this difference, that they were finished and he was completed. The impossibility of growing great under Monseigneur Bienvenu was so well understood, that no sooner had the young men whom he ordained left the seminary than they got themselves recommended to the archbishops of Aix or of Auch, and went off in a great hurry. For, in short, we repeat it, men wish to be pushed. A saint who dwells in a paroxysm of abnegation is a dangerous neighbor; he might communicate to you, by contagion, an incurable poverty, an anchylosis of the joints, which are useful in advancement, and in short, more renunciation than you desire; and this infectious virtue is avoided. Hence the isolation of Monseigneur Bienvenu. We live in the midst of a gloomy society. Success; that is the lesson which falls drop by drop from the slope of corruption. Be it said in passing, that success is a very hideous thing. Its false resemblance to merit deceives men. For the masses, success has almost the same profile as supremacy. Success, that Menaechmus of talent, has one dupe,--history. Juvenal and Tacitus alone grumble at it. In our day, a philosophy which is almost official has entered into its service, wears the livery of success, and performs the service of its antechamber. Succeed: theory. Prosperity argues capacity. Win in the lottery, and behold! you are a clever man. He who triumphs is venerated. Be born with a silver spoon in

your mouth! everything lies in that. Be lucky, and you will have all the rest; be happy, and people will think you great. Outside of five or six immense exceptions, which compose the splendor of a century, contemporary admiration is nothing but shortsightedness. Gilding is gold. It does no harm to be the first arrival by pure chance, so long as you do arrive. The common herd is an old Narcissus who adores himself, and who applauds the vulgar herd. That enormous ability by virtue of which one is Moses, Aeschylus, Dante, Michael Angelo, or Napoleon, the multitude awards on the spot, and by acclamation, to whomsoever attains his object, in whatsoever it may consist. Let a notary transfigure himself into a deputy: let a false Corneille compose Tiridate; let a eunuch come to possess a harem; let a military Prudhomme accidentally win the decisive battle of an epoch; let an apothecary invent cardboard shoe-soles for the army of the Sambre-and-Meuse, and construct for himself, out of this cardboard, sold as leather, four hundred thousand francs of income; let a pork-packer espouse usury, and cause it to bring forth seven or eight millions, of which he is the father and of which it is the mother; let a preacher become a bishop by force of his nasal drawl; let the steward of a fine family be so rich on retiring from service that he is made minister of finances,--and men call that Genius, just as they call the face of Mousqueton Beauty, and the mien of Claude Majesty. With the constellations of space they confound the stars of the abyss which are made in the soft mire of the puddle by the feet of ducks.

We are not obliged to sound the Bishop of D---- on the score of orthodoxy. In the presence of such a soul we feel ourselves in no mood but respect. The conscience of the just man should be accepted on his word. Moreover, certain natures being given, we admit the possible development of all beauties of human virtue in a belief that differs from our own. What did he think of this dogma, or of that mystery? These secrets of the inner tribunal of the conscience are known only to the tomb, where souls enter naked. The point on which we are certain is, that the difficulties of faith never resolved themselves into hypocrisy in his case. No decay is possible to the diamond. He believed to the extent of his powers. "Credo in Patrem," he often exclaimed. Moreover, he drew from good works that amount of satisfaction which suffices to the conscience, and which whispers to a man, "Thou art with God!" The point which we consider it our duty to note is, that outside of and beyond his faith, as it were, the Bishop possessed an excess of love. In was in that quarter, quia multum amavit,--because he loved much--that he was regarded as vulnerable by "serious men," "grave persons" and "reasonable people"; favorite locutions of our sad world where egotism takes its word of command from pedantry. What was this excess of love? It was a serene benevolence which overflowed men, as we have already pointed out, and which, on occasion, extended even to things. He lived without disdain. He was indulgent towards God's creation. Every man, even the best, has within him a thoughtless harshness which he reserves for animals. The Bishop of D---- had none of that harshness, which is peculiar to many priests, nevertheless. He did not go as far as the Brahmin, but he seemed to have weighed this saying of Ecclesiastes: "Who knoweth whither the soul of the animal goeth?" Hideousness of aspect, deformity of instinct, troubled him not, and did not arouse his indignation. He was touched, almost softened by them. It seemed as though he went thoughtfully away to seek beyond the bounds of life which is apparent, the cause, the explanation, or the excuse for them. He seemed at times to be asking God to commute these penalties. He examined without wrath, and with the eye of a linguist who is deciphering

a palimpsest, that portion of chaos which still exists in nature. This revery sometimes caused him to utter odd sayings. One morning he was in his garden, and thought himself alone, but his sister was walking behind him, unseen by him: suddenly he paused and gazed at something on the ground; it was a large, black, hairy, frightful spider. His sister heard him say:-"Poor beast! It is not its fault!" Why not mention these almost divinely childish sayings of kindness? Puerile they may be; but these sublime puerilities were peculiar to Saint Francis d'Assisi and of Marcus Aurelius. One day he sprained his ankle in his effort to avoid stepping on an ant. Thus lived this just man. Sometimes he fell asleep in his garden, and then there was nothing more venerable possible. Monseigneur Bienvenu had formerly been, if the stories anent his youth, and even in regard to his manhood, were to be believed, a passionate, and, possibly, a violent man. His universal suavity was less an instinct of nature than the result of a grand conviction which had filtered into his heart through the medium of life, and had trickled there slowly, thought by thought; for, in a character, as in a rock, there may exist apertures made by drops of water. These hollows are uneffaceable; these formations are indestructible. In 1815, as we think we have already said, he reached his seventy-fifth birthday, but he did not appear to be more than sixty. He was not tall; he was rather plump; and, in order to combat this tendency, he was fond of taking long strolls on foot; his step was firm, and his form was but slightly bent, a detail from which we do not pretend to draw any conclusion. Gregory XVI., at the age of eighty, held himself erect and smiling, which did not prevent him from being a bad bishop. Monseigneur Welcome had what the people term a "fine head," but so amiable was he that they forgot that it was fine. When he conversed with that infantile gayety which was one of his charms, and of which we have already spoken, people felt at their ease with him, and joy seemed to radiate from his whole person. His fresh and ruddy complexion, his very white teeth, all of which he had preserved, and which were displayed by his smile, gave him that open and easy air which cause the remark to be made of a man, "He's a good fellow"; and

of an old man, "He is a fine man." That, it will be recalled, was the effect which he produced upon Napoleon. On the first encounter, and to one who saw him for the first time, he was nothing, in fact, but a fine man. But if one remained near him for a few hours, and beheld him in the least degree pensive, the fine man became gradually transfigured, and took on some imposing quality, I know not what; his broad and serious brow, rendered august by his white locks, became august also by virtue of meditation; majesty radiated from his goodness, though his goodness ceased not to be radiant; one experienced something of the emotion which one would feel on beholding a smiling angel slowly unfold his wings, without ceasing to smile. Respect, an unutterable respect, penetrated you by degrees and mounted to your heart, and one felt that one had before him one of those strong, thoroughly tried, and indulgent souls where thought is so grand that it can no longer be anything but gentle. As we have seen, prayer, the celebration of the offices of religion, alms-giving, the consolation of the afflicted, the cultivation of a bit of land, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, renunciation, confidence, study, work, filled every day of his life. Filled is exactly the word; certainly the Bishop's day was quite full to the brim, of good words and good deeds. Nevertheless, it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented his passing an hour or two in his garden before going to bed, and after the two women had retired. It seemed to be a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for slumber by meditation in the presence of the grand spectacles of the nocturnal heavens. Sometimes, if the two old women were not asleep, they heard him pacing slowly along the walks at a very advanced hour of the night. He was there alone, communing with himself, peaceful, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the ether, moved amid the darkness by the visible splendor of the constellations and the invisible splendor of God, opening his heart to the thoughts which fall from the Unknown. At such moments, while he offered his heart at the hour when nocturnal flowers offer their perfume, illuminated like a lamp amid the starry night, as he poured himself out in ecstasy in the midst of the universal radiance of creation, he could not have told himself, probably, what was passing in his spirit; he felt something take its flight from him, and something descend into him. Mysterious exchange of the abysses of the soul with the abysses of the universe!

He thought of the grandeur and presence of God; of the future eternity, that strange mystery; of the eternity past, a mystery still more strange; of all the infinities, which pierced their way into all his senses, beneath his eyes; and, without seeking to comprehend the incomprehensible, he gazed upon it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by him. He considered those magnificent conjunctions of atoms, which communicate aspects to matter, reveal forces by verifying them, create individualities in unity, proportions in extent, the innumerable in the infinite, and, through light, produce beauty. These conjunctions are formed and dissolved incessantly; hence life and death. He seated himself on a wooden bench, with his back against a decrepit vine; he gazed at the stars, past the puny and stunted silhouettes of his fruit-trees. This quarter of an acre, so poorly planted, so encumbered with mean buildings and sheds, was dear to him, and satisfied his wants. What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure of his life, where there was so little leisure, between gardening in the daytime and contemplation at night? Was not this narrow enclosure, with the heavens for a ceiling, sufficient to enable him to adore God in his most divine works, in turn? Does not this comprehend all, in fact? and what is there left to desire beyond it? A little garden in which to walk, and immensity in which to dream. At one's feet that which can be cultivated and plucked; over head that which one can study and meditate upon: some flowers on earth, and all the stars in the sky.

One last word. Since this sort of details might, particularly at the present moment, and to use an expression now in fashion, give to the Bishop of D---- a certain "pantheistical" physiognomy, and induce the belief, either to his credit or discredit, that he entertained one of those personal philosophies which are peculiar to our century, which sometimes spring up in solitary spirits, and there take on a form and grow until they usurp the place of religion, we insist upon it, that not one of those persons who knew Monseigneur Welcome would have thought himself authorized to think anything of the sort. That which enlightened this man was his heart. His wisdom was made of the light which comes from there. No systems; many works. Abstruse speculations contain vertigo; no, there is nothing to indicate that he risked his mind in apocalypses. The apostle may be daring, but the bishop must be timid. He would probably have felt a scruple at sounding too far in advance certain problems which are, in a manner, reserved for terrible great minds. There is a sacred horror beneath the porches of the enigma; those gloomy openings stand yawning there, but something tells you, you, a passer-by in life, that you must not enter. Woe to him who penetrates thither! Geniuses in the impenetrable depths of abstraction and pure speculation, situated, so to speak, above all dogmas, propose their ideas to God. Their prayer audaciously offers discussion. Their adoration interrogates. This is direct religion, which is full of anxiety and responsibility for him who attempts its steep cliffs. Human meditation has no limits. At his own risk and peril, it analyzes and digs deep into its own bedazzlement. One might almost say, that by a sort of splendid reaction, it with it dazzles nature; the mysterious world which surrounds us renders back what it has received; it is probable that the contemplators are contemplated. However that may be, there are on earth men who--are they men?-perceive distinctly at the verge of the horizons of revery the heights of the absolute, and who have the terrible vision of the infinite mountain. Monseigneur

Welcome was one of these men; Monseigneur Welcome was not a genius. He would have feared those sublimities whence some very great men even, like Swedenborg and Pascal, have slipped into insanity. Certainly, these powerful reveries have their moral utility, and by these arduous paths one approaches to ideal perfection. As for him, he took the path which shortens,--the Gospel's. He did not attempt to impart to his chasuble the folds of Elijah's mantle; he projected no ray of future upon the dark groundswell of events; he did not see to condense in flame the light of things; he had nothing of the prophet and nothing of the magician about him. This humble soul loved, and that was all. That he carried prayer to the pitch of a superhuman aspiration is probable: but one can no more pray too much than one can love too much; and if it is a heresy to pray beyond the texts, Saint Theresa and Saint Jerome would be heretics. He inclined towards all that groans and all that expiates. The universe appeared to him like an immense malady; everywhere he felt fever, everywhere he heard the sound of suffering, and, without seeking to solve the enigma, he strove to dress the wound. The terrible spectacle of created things developed tenderness in him; he was occupied only in finding for himself, and in inspiring others with the best way to compassionate and relieve. That which exists was for this good and rare priest a permanent subject of sadness which sought consolation. There are men who toil at extracting gold; he toiled at the extraction of pity. Universal misery was his mine. The sadness which reigned everywhere was but an excuse for unfailing kindness. Love each other; he declared this to be complete, desired nothing further, and that was the whole of his doctrine. One day, that man who believed himself to be a "philosopher," the senator who has already been alluded to, said to the Bishop: "Just survey the spectacle of the world: all war against all; the strongest has the most wit. Your love each other is nonsense."--"Well," replied Monseigneur Welcome, without contesting the point, "if it is nonsense, the soul should shut itself up in it, as the pearl in the oyster." Thus he shut himself up, he lived there, he was absolutely satisfied with it, leaving on one side the prodigious questions which attract and terrify, the fathomless perspectives of abstraction, the

precipices of metaphysics--all those profundities which converge, for the apostle in God, for the atheist in nothingness; destiny, good and evil, the way of being against being, the conscience of man, the thoughtful somnambulism of the animal, the transformation in death, the recapitulation of existences which the tomb contains, the incomprehensible grafting of successive loves on the persistent I, the essence, the substance, the Nile, and the Ens, the soul, nature, liberty, necessity; perpendicular problems, sinister obscurities, where lean the gigantic archangels of the human mind; formidable abysses, which Lucretius, Manou, Saint Paul, Dante, contemplate with eyes flashing lightning, which seems by its steady gaze on the infinite to cause stars to blaze forth there. Monseigneur Bienvenu was simply a man who took note of the exterior of mysterious questions without scrutinizing them, and without troubling his own mind with them, and who cherished in his own soul a grave respect for darkness.


Early in the month of October, 1815, about an hour before sunset, a man who was travelling on foot entered the little town of D----The few inhabitants who were at their windows or on their thresholds at the moment stared at this traveller with a sort of uneasiness. It was difficult to encounter a wayfarer of more wretched appearance. He was a man of medium stature, thickset and robust, in the prime of life. He might have been forty-six or forty-eight years old. A cap with a drooping leather visor partly concealed his face, burned and tanned by sun and wind, and dripping with perspiration. His shirt of coarse yellow linen, fastened at the neck by a small silver anchor, permitted a view of his hairy breast: he had a cravat twisted into a string; trousers of blue drilling, worn and threadbare, white on one knee and torn on the other; an old gray, tattered blouse, patched on one of the elbows with a bit of green cloth sewed on with twine; a tightly packed soldier knapsack, well buckled and perfectly new, on his back; an enormous, knotty stick in his hand; iron-shod shoes on his stockingless feet; a shaved head and a long beard. The sweat, the heat, the journey on foot, the dust, added I know not what sordid quality to this dilapidated whole. His hair was closely cut, yet bristling, for it had begun to grow a little, and did not seem to have been cut for some time. No one knew him. He was evidently only a chance passer-by. Whence came he? From the south; from the seashore, perhaps, for he made his entrance into D---by the same street which, seven months previously, had witnessed the passage of the Emperor Napoleon on his way from Cannes to Paris. This man must have been walking all day. He seemed very much fatigued. Some women of the ancient market town which is situated below the city had seen him pause beneath the trees of the boulevard Gassendi, and drink at the fountain which stands at the end of the promenade. He must have been very thirsty: for the children who followed him saw him stop again for a drink, two hundred paces further on, at the fountain in the market-place.

On arriving at the corner of the Rue Poichevert, he turned to the left, and directed his steps toward the town-hall. He entered, then came out a quarter of an hour later. A gendarme was seated near the door, on the stone bench which General Drouot had mounted on the 4th of March to read to the frightened throng of the inhabitants of D----the proclamation of the Gulf Juan. The man pulled off his cap and humbly saluted the gendarme. The gendarme, without replying to his salute, stared attentively at him, followed him for a while with his eyes, and then entered the town-hall. There then existed at D---- a fine inn at the sign of the Cross of Colbas. This inn had for a landlord a certain Jacquin Labarre, a man of consideration in the town on account of his relationship to another Labarre, who kept the inn of the Three Dauphins in Grenoble, and had served in the Guides. At the time of the Emperor's landing, many rumors had circulated throughout the country with regard to this inn of the Three Dauphins. It was said that General Bertrand, disguised as a carter, had made frequent trips thither in the month of January, and that he had distributed crosses of honor to the soldiers and handfuls of gold to the citizens. The truth is, that when the Emperor entered Grenoble he had refused to install himself at the hotel of the prefecture; he had thanked the mayor, saying, "I am going to the house of a brave man of my acquaintance"; and he had betaken himself to the Three Dauphins. This glory of the Labarre of the Three Dauphins was reflected upon the Labarre of the Cross of Colbas, at a distance of five and twenty leagues. It was said of him in the town, "That is the cousin of the man of Grenoble." The man bent his steps towards this inn, which was the best in the country-side. He entered the kitchen, which opened on a level with the street. All the stoves were lighted; a huge fire blazed gayly in the fireplace. The host, who was also the chief cook, was going from one stew-pan to another, very busily superintending an excellent dinner designed for the wagoners, whose loud talking, conversation, and laughter were audible from an adjoining apartment. Any one who has travelled knows that there is no one who indulges in better cheer than wagoners. A fat marmot, flanked by white partridges and heather-cocks, was turning on a long spit before the fire; on the stove, two huge carps

from Lake Lauzet and a trout from Lake Alloz were cooking. The host, hearing the door open and seeing a newcomer enter, said, without raising his eyes from his stoves:-"What do you wish, sir?" "Food and lodging," said the man. "Nothing easier," replied the host. At that moment he turned his head, took in the traveller's appearance with a single glance, and added, "By paying for it." The man drew a large leather purse from the pocket of his blouse, and answered, "I have money." "In that case, we are at your service," said the host. The man put his purse back in his pocket, removed his knapsack from his back, put it on the ground near the door, retained his stick in his hand, and seated himself on a low stool close to the fire. D---- is in the mountains. The evenings are cold there in October. But as the host went back and forth, he scrutinized the traveller. "Will dinner be ready soon?" said the man. "Immediately," replied the landlord. While the newcomer was warming himself before the fire, with his back turned, the worthy host, Jacquin Labarre, drew a pencil from his pocket, then tore off the corner of an old newspaper which was lying on a small table near the window. On the white margin he wrote a line or two, folded it without sealing, and then intrusted this scrap of paper to a child who seemed to serve him in the capacity both of scullion and lackey. The landlord whispèred a word in the scullion's ear, and the child set off on a run in the direction of the town-hall. The traveller saw nothing of all this. Once more he inquired, "Will dinner be ready soon?" "Immediately," responded the host. The child returned. He brought back the paper. The host unfolded it eagerly, like a person who is expecting a reply. He seemed to read it attentively, then tossed his head, and remained thoughtful for a moment. Then

he took a step in the direction of the traveller, who appeared to be immersed in reflections which were not very serene. "I cannot receive you, sir," said he. The man half rose. "What! Are you afraid that I will not pay you? Do you want me to pay you in advance? I have money, I tell you." "It is not that." "What then?" "You have money--" "Yes," said the man. "And I," said the host, "have no room." The man resumed tranquilly, "Put me in the stable." "I cannot." "Why?" "The horses take up all the space." "Very well!" retorted the man; "a corner of the loft then, a truss of straw. We will see about that after dinner." "I cannot give you any dinner." This declaration, made in a measured but firm tone, struck the stranger as grave. He rose. "Ah! bah! But I am dying of hunger. I have been walking since sunrise. I have travelled twelve leagues. I pay. I wish to eat." "I have nothing," said the landlord. The man burst out laughing, and turned towards the fireplace and the stoves: "Nothing! and all that?" "All that is engaged." "By whom?" "By messieurs the wagoners." "How many are there of them?" "Twelve."

"There is enough food there for twenty." "They have engaged the whole of it and paid for it in advance." The man seated himself again, and said, without raising his voice, "I am at an inn; I am hungry, and I shall remain." Then the host bent down to his ear, and said in a tone which made him start, "Go away!" At that moment the traveller was bending forward and thrusting some brands into the fire with the ironshod tip of his staff; he turned quickly round, and as he opened his mouth to reply, the host gazed steadily at him and added, still in a low voice: "Stop! there's enough of that sort of talk. Do you want me to tell you your name? Your name is Jean Valjean. Now do you want me to tell you who you are? When I saw you come in I suspected something; I sent to the town-hall, and this was the reply that was sent to me. Can you read?" So saying, he held out to the stranger, fully unfolded, the paper which had just travelled from the inn to the town-hall, and from the town-hall to the inn. The man cast a glance upon it. The landlord resumed after a pause. "I am in the habit of being polite to every one. Go away!" The man dropped his head, picked up the knapsack which he had deposited on the ground, and took his departure. He chose the principal street. He walked straight on at a venture, keeping close to the houses like a sad and humiliated man. He did not turn round a single time. Had he done so, he would have seen the host of the Cross of Colbas standing on his threshold, surrounded by all the guests of his inn, and all the passers-by in the street, talking vivaciously, and pointing him out with his finger; and, from the glances of terror and distrust cast by the group, he might have divined that his arrival would speedily become an event for the whole town. He saw nothing of all this. People who are crushed do not look behind them. They know but too well the evil fate which follows them.

Thus he proceeded for some time, walking on without ceasing, traversing at random streets of which he knew nothing, forgetful of his fatigue, as is often the case when a man is sad. All at once he felt the pangs of hunger sharply. Night was drawing near. He glanced about him, to see whether he could not discover some shelter. The fine hostelry was closed to him; he was seeking some very humble public house, some hovel, however lowly. Just then a light flashed up at the end of the streets; a pine branch suspended from a cross-beam of iron was outlined against the white sky of the twilight. He proceeded thither. It proved to be, in fact, a public house. The public house which is in the Rue de Chaffaut. The wayfarer halted for a moment, and peeped through the window into the interior of the low-studded room of the public house, illuminated by a small lamp on a table and by a large fire on the hearth. Some men were engaged in drinking there. The landlord was warming himself. An iron pot, suspended from a crane, bubbled over the flame. The entrance to this public house, which is also a sort of an inn, is by two doors. One opens on the street, the other upon a small yard filled with manure. The traveller dare not enter by the street door. He slipped into the yard, halted again, then raised the latch timidly and opened the door. "Who goes there?" said the master. "Some one who wants supper and bed." "Good. We furnish supper and bed here." He entered. All the men who were drinking turned round. The lamp illuminated him on one side, the firelight on the other. They examined him for some time while he was taking off his knapsack. The host said to him, "There is the fire. The supper is cooking in the pot. Come and warm yourself, comrade." He approached and seated himself near the hearth. He stretched out his feet, which were exhausted with fatigue, to the fire; a fine odor was emitted by the pot.

All that could be distinguished of his face, beneath his cap, which was well pulled down, assumed a vague appearance of comfort, mingled with that other poignant aspect which habitual suffering bestows. It was, moreover, a firm, energetic, and melancholy profile. This physiognomy was strangely composed; it began by seeming humble, and ended by seeming severe. The eye shone beneath its lashes like a fire beneath brushwood. One of the men seated at the table, however, was a fishmonger who, before entering the public house of the Rue de Chaffaut, had been to stable his horse at Labarre's. It chanced that he had that very morning encountered this unprepossessing stranger on the road between Bras d'Asse and--I have forgotten the name. I think it was Escoublon. Now, when he met him, the man, who then seemed already extremely weary, had requested him to take him on his crupper; to which the fishmonger had made no reply except by redoubling his gait. This fishmonger had been a member half an hour previously of the group which surrounded Jacquin Labarre, and had himself related his disagreeable encounter of the morning to the people at the Cross of Colbas. From where he sat he made an imperceptible sign to the tavern-keeper. The tavern-keeper went to him. They exchanged a few words in a low tone. The man had again become absorbed in his reflections. The tavern-keeper returned to the fireplace, laid his hand abruptly on the shoulder of the man, and said to him:-"You are going to get out of here." The stranger turned round and replied gently, "Ah! You know?--" "Yes." "I was sent away from the other inn." "And you are to be turned out of this one." "Where would you have me go?" "Elsewhere." The man took his stick and his knapsack and departed.

As he went out, some children who had followed him from the Cross of Colbas, and who seemed to be lying in wait for him, threw stones at him. He retraced his steps in anger, and threatened them with his stick: the children dispersed like a flock of birds. He passed before the prison. At the door hung an iron chain attached to a bell. He rang. The wicket opened. "Turnkey," said he, removing his cap politely, "will you have the kindness to admit me, and give me a lodging for the night?" A voice replied:-"The prison is not an inn. Get yourself arrested, and you will be admitted." The wicket closed again. He entered a little street in which there were many gardens. Some of them are enclosed only by hedges, which lends a cheerful aspect to the street. In the midst of these gardens and hedges he caught sight of a small house of a single story, the window of which was lighted up. He peered through the pane as he had done at the public house. Within was a large whitewashed room, with a bed draped in printed cotton stuff, and a cradle in one corner, a few wooden chairs, and a double-barrelled gun hanging on the wall. A table was spread in the centre of the room. A copper lamp illuminated the tablecloth of coarse white linen, the pewter jug shining like silver, and filled with wine, and the brown, smoking soup-tureen. At this table sat a man of about forty, with a merry and open countenance, who was dandling a little child on his knees. Close by a very young woman was nursing another child. The father was laughing, the child was laughing, the mother was smiling. The stranger paused a moment in revery before this tender and calming spectacle. What was taking place within him? He alone could have told. It is probable that he thought that this joyous house would be hospitable, and that, in a place where he beheld so much happiness, he would find perhaps a little pity. He tapped on the pane with a very small and feeble knock. They did not hear him.

He tapped again. He heard the woman say, "It seems to me, husband, that some one is knocking." "No," replied the husband. He tapped a third time. The husband rose, took the lamp, and went to the door, which he opened. He was a man of lofty stature, half peasant, half artisan. He wore a huge leather apron, which reached to his left shoulder, and which a hammer, a red handkerchief, a powder-horn, and all sorts of objects which were upheld by the girdle, as in a pocket, caused to bulge out. He carried his head thrown backwards; his shirt, widely opened and turned back, displayed his bull neck, white and bare. He had thick eyelashes, enormous black whiskers, prominent eyes, the lower part of his face like a snout; and besides all this, that air of being on his own ground, which is indescribable. "Pardon me, sir," said the wayfarer, "Could you, in consideration of payment, give me a plate of soup and a corner of that shed yonder in the garden, in which to sleep? Tell me; can you? For money?" "Who are you?" demanded the master of the house. The man replied: "I have just come from PuyMoisson. I have walked all day long. I have travelled twelve leagues. Can you?--if I pay?" "I would not refuse," said the peasant, "to lodge any respectable man who would pay me. But why do you not go to the inn?" "There is no room." "Bah! Impossible. This is neither a fair nor a market day. Have you been to Labarre?" "Yes." "Well?" The traveller replied with embarrassment: "I do not know. He did not receive me." "Have you been to What's-his-name's, in the Rue Chaffaut?"

The stranger's embarrassment increased; stammered, "He did not receive me either."


The peasant's countenance assumed an expression of distrust; he surveyed the newcomer from head to feet, and suddenly exclaimed, with a sort of shudder:-"Are you the man?--" He cast a fresh glance upon the stranger, took three steps backwards, placed the lamp on the table, and took his gun down from the wall. Meanwhile, at the words, Are you the man? the woman had risen, had clasped her two children in her arms, and had taken refuge precipitately behind her husband, staring in terror at the stranger, with her bosom uncovered, and with frightened eyes, as she murmured in a low tone, "Tso-maraude."1 All this took place in less time than it requires to picture it to one's self. After having scrutinized the man for several moments, as one scrutinizes a viper, the master of the house returned to the door and said:-"Clear out!" "For pity's sake, a glass of water," said the man. "A shot from my gun!" said the peasant. Then he closed the door violently, and the man heard him shoot two large bolts. A moment later, the window-shutter was closed, and the sound of a bar of iron which was placed against it was audible outside. Night continued to fall. A cold wind from the Alps was blowing. By the light of the expiring day the stranger perceived, in one of the gardens which bordered the street, a sort of hut, which seemed to him to be built of sods. He climbed over the wooden fence resolutely, and found himself in the garden. He approached the hut; its door consisted of a very low and narrow aperture, and it resembled those buildings which roadlaborers construct for themselves along the roads. He thought without doubt, that it was, in fact, the dwelling of a road-laborer; he was suffering from cold and hunger, but this was, at least, a shelter from the cold. This sort of dwelling is not usually occupied at night. He threw himself flat on his face, and crawled into the hut. It was warm there, and he found a tolerably good bed of straw. He lay, for a moment, stretched out on

this bed, without the power to make a movement, so fatigued was he. Then, as the knapsack on his back was in his way, and as it furnished, moreover, a pillow ready to his hand, he set about unbuckling one of the straps. At that moment, a ferocious growl became audible. He raised his eyes. The head of an enormous dog was outlined in the darkness at the entrance of the hut. It was a dog's kennel. He was himself vigorous and formidable; he armed himself with his staff, made a shield of his knapsack, and made his way out of the kennel in the best way he could, not without enlarging the rents in his rags. He left the garden in the same manner, but backwards, being obliged, in order to keep the dog respectful, to have recourse to that manoeuvre with his stick which masters in that sort of fencing designate as la rose couverte. When he had, not without difficulty, repassed the fence, and found himself once more in the street, alone, without refuge, without shelter, without a roof over his head, chased even from that bed of straw and from that miserable kennel, he dropped rather than seated himself on a stone, and it appears that a passer-by heard him exclaim, "I am not even a dog!" He soon rose again and resumed his march. He went out of the town, hoping to find some tree or haystack in the fields which would afford him shelter. He walked thus for some time, with his head still drooping. When he felt himself far from every human habitation, he raised his eyes and gazed searchingly about him. He was in a field. Before him was one of those low hills covered with close-cut stubble, which, after the harvest, resemble shaved heads. The horizon was perfectly black. This was not alone the obscurity of night; it was caused by very lowhanging clouds which seemed to rest upon the hill itself, and which were mounting and filling the whole sky. Meanwhile, as the moon was about to rise, and as there was still floating in the zenith a remnant of the brightness of twilight, these clouds formed at the summit of the sky a sort of whitish arch, whence a gleam of light fell upon the earth.

The earth was thus better lighted than the sky, which produces a particularly sinister effect, and the hill, whose contour was poor and mean, was outlined vague and wan against the gloomy horizon. The whole effect was hideous, petty, lugubrious, and narrow. There was nothing in the field or on the hill except a deformed tree, which writhed and shivered a few paces distant from the wayfarer. This man was evidently very far from having those delicate habits of intelligence and spirit which render one sensible to the mysterious aspects of things; nevertheless, there was something in that sky, in that hill, in that plain, in that tree, which was so profoundly desolate, that after a moment of immobility and revery he turned back abruptly. There are instants when nature seems hostile. He retraced his steps; the gates of D---- were closed. D----, which had sustained sieges during the wars of religion, was still surrounded in 1815 by ancient walls flanked by square towers which have been demolished since. He passed through a breach and entered the town again. It might have been eight o'clock in the evening. As he was not acquainted with the streets, he recommenced his walk at random. In this way he came to the prefecture, then to the seminary. As he passed through the Cathedral Square, he shook his fist at the church. At the corner of this square there is a printing establishment. It is there that the proclamations of the Emperor and of the Imperial Guard to the army, brought from the Island of Elba and dictated by Napoleon himself, were printed for the first time. Worn out with fatigue, and no longer entertaining any hope, he lay down on a stone bench which stands at the doorway of this printing office. At that moment an old woman came out of the church. She saw the man stretched out in the shadow. "What are you doing there, my friend?" said she. He answered harshly and angrily: "As you see, my good woman, I am sleeping." The good woman, who was well worthy the name, in fact, was the Marquise de R----

"On this bench?" she went on. "I have had a mattress of wood for nineteen years," said the man; "to-day I have a mattress of stone." "You have been a soldier?" "Yes, my good woman, a soldier." "Why do you not go to the inn?" "Because I have no money." "Alas!" said Madame de R----, "I have only four sous in my purse." "Give it to me all the same." The man took the four sous. Madame de R---continued: "You cannot obtain lodgings in an inn for so small a sum. But have you tried? It is impossible for you to pass the night thus. You are cold and hungry, no doubt. Some one might have given you a lodging out of charity." "I have knocked at all doors." "Well?" "I have been driven away everywhere." The "good woman" touched the man's arm, and pointed out to him on the other side of the street a small, low house, which stood beside the Bishop's palace. "You have knocked at all doors?" "Yes." "Have you knocked at that one?" "No." "Knock there."

That evening, the Bishop of D----, after his promenade through the town, remained shut up rather late in his room. He was busy over a great work on Duties, which was never completed, unfortunately. He was carefully compiling everything that the Fathers and the doctors have said on this important subject. His book was divided into two parts: firstly, the duties of all; secondly, the duties of each individual, according to the class to which he belongs. The duties of all are the great duties. There are four of these. Saint Matthew points them out: duties towards God (Matt. vi.); duties towards one's self (Matt. v. 29, 30); duties towards one's neighbor (Matt. vii. 12); duties towards animals (Matt. vi. 20, 25). As for the other duties the Bishop found them pointed out and prescribed elsewhere: to sovereigns and subjects, in the Epistle to the Romans; to magistrates, to wives, to mothers, to young men, by Saint Peter; to husbands, fathers, children and servants, in the Epistle to the Ephesians; to the faithful, in the Epistle to the Hebrews; to virgins, in the Epistle to the Corinthians. Out of these precepts he was laboriously constructing a harmonious whole, which he desired to present to souls. At eight o'clock he was still at work, writing with a good deal of inconvenience upon little squares of paper, with a big book open on his knees, when Madame Magloire entered, according to her wont, to get the silver-ware from the cupboard near his bed. A moment later, the Bishop, knowing that the table was set, and that his sister was probably waiting for him, shut his book, rose from his table, and entered the dining-room. The dining-room was an oblong apartment, with a fireplace, which had a door opening on the street (as we have said), and a window opening on the garden. Madame Magloire was, in fact, just putting the last touches to the table. As she performed this service, she was conversing with Mademoiselle Baptistine. A lamp stood on the table; the table was near the fireplace. A wood fire was burning there.

One can easily picture to one's self these two women, both of whom were over sixty years of age. Madame Magloire small, plump, vivacious; Mademoiselle Baptistine gentle, slender, frail, somewhat taller than her brother, dressed in a gown of puce-colored silk, of the fashion of 1806, which she had purchased at that date in Paris, and which had lasted ever since. To borrow vulgar phrases, which possess the merit of giving utterance in a single word to an idea which a whole page would hardly suffice to express, Madame Magloire had the air of a peasant, and Mademoiselle Baptistine that of a lady. Madame Magloire wore a white quilted cap, a gold Jeannette cross on a velvet ribbon upon her neck, the only bit of feminine jewelry that there was in the house, a very white fichu puffing out from a gown of coarse black woollen stuff, with large, short sleeves, an apron of cotton cloth in red and green checks, knotted round the waist with a green ribbon, with a stomacher of the same attached by two pins at the upper corners, coarse shoes on her feet, and yellow stockings, like the women of Marseilles. Mademoiselle Baptistine's gown was cut on the patterns of 1806, with a short waist, a narrow, sheath-like skirt, puffed sleeves, with flaps and buttons. She concealed her gray hair under a frizzed wig known as the baby wig. Madame Magloire had an intelligent, vivacious, and kindly air; the two corners of her mouth unequally raised, and her upper lip, which was larger than the lower, imparted to her a rather crabbed and imperious look. So long as Monseigneur held his peace, she talked to him resolutely with a mixture of respect and freedom; but as soon as Monseigneur began to speak, as we have seen, she obeyed passively like her mistress. Mademoiselle Baptistine did not even speak. She confined herself to obeying and pleasing him. She had never been pretty, even when she was young; she had large, blue, prominent eyes, and a long arched nose; but her whole visage, her whole person, breathed forth an ineffable goodness, as we stated in the beginning. She had always been predestined to gentleness; but faith, charity, hope, those three virtues which mildly warm the soul, had gradually elevated that gentleness to sanctity. Nature had made her a lamb, religion had made her an angel. Poor sainted virgin! Sweet memory which has vanished! Mademoiselle Baptistine has so often narrated what passed at the episcopal residence that evening, that

there are many people now living who still recall the most minute details. At the moment when the Bishop entered, Madame Magloire was talking with considerable vivacity. She was haranguing Mademoiselle Baptistine on a subject which was familiar to her and to which the Bishop was also accustomed. The question concerned the lock upon the entrance door. It appears that while procuring some provisions for supper, Madame Magloire had heard things in divers places. People had spoken of a prowler of evil appearance; a suspicious vagabond had arrived who must be somewhere about the town, and those who should take it into their heads to return home late that night might be subjected to unpleasant encounters. The police was very badly organized, moreover, because there was no love lost between the Prefect and the Mayor, who sought to injure each other by making things happen. It behooved wise people to play the part of their own police, and to guard themselves well, and care must be taken to duly close, bar and barricade their houses, and to fasten the doors well. Madame Magloire emphasized these last words; but the Bishop had just come from his room, where it was rather cold. He seated himself in front of the fire, and warmed himself, and then fell to thinking of other things. He did not take up the remark dropped with design by Madame Magloire. She repeated it. Then Mademoiselle Baptistine, desirous of satisfying Madame Magloire without displeasing her brother, ventured to say timidly:-"Did you hear what Madame Magloire is saying, brother?" "I have heard something of it in a vague way," replied the Bishop. Then half-turning in his chair, placing his hands on his knees, and raising towards the old servant woman his cordial face, which so easily grew joyous, and which was illuminated from below by the firelight,--"Come, what is the matter? What is the matter? Are we in any great danger?" Then Madame Magloire began the whole story afresh, exaggerating it a little without being aware of the fact. It appeared that a Bohemian, a bare-footed vagabond, a sort of dangerous mendicant, was at that moment in the town. He had presented himself at Jacquin Labarre's to obtain lodgings, but the latter had

not been willing to take him in. He had been seen to arrive by the way of the boulevard Gassendi and roam about the streets in the gloaming. A gallows-bird with a terrible face. "Really!" said the Bishop. This willingness to interrogate encouraged Madame Magloire; it seemed to her to indicate that the Bishop was on the point of becoming alarmed; she pursued triumphantly:-"Yes, Monseigneur. That is how it is. There will be some sort of catastrophe in this town to-night. Every one says so. And withal, the police is so badly regulated" (a useful repetition). "The idea of living in a mountainous country, and not even having lights in the streets at night! One goes out. Black as ovens, indeed! And I say, Monseigneur, and Mademoiselle there says with me--" "I," interrupted his sister, "say nothing. What my brother does is well done." Madame Magloire continued as though there had been no protest:-"We say that this house is not safe at all; that if Monseigneur will permit, I will go and tell Paulin Musebois, the locksmith, to come and replace the ancient locks on the doors; we have them, and it is only the work of a moment; for I say that nothing is more terrible than a door which can be opened from the outside with a latch by the first passer-by; and I say that we need bolts, Monseigneur, if only for this night; moreover, Monseigneur has the habit of always saying 'come in'; and besides, even in the middle of the night, O mon Dieu! there is no need to ask permission." At that moment there came a tolerably violent knock on the door. "Come in," said the Bishop.

It opened wide with a rapid movement, as though some one had given it an energetic and resolute push. A man entered. We already know the man. It was the wayfarer whom we have seen wandering about in search of shelter. He entered, advanced a step, and halted, leaving the door open behind him. He had his knapsack on his shoulders, his cudgel in his hand, a rough, audacious, weary, and violent expression in his eyes. The fire on the hearth lighted him up. He was hideous. It was a sinister apparition. Madame Magloire had not even the strength to utter a cry. She trembled, and stood with her mouth wide open. Mademoiselle Baptistine turned round, beheld the man entering, and half started up in terror; then, turning her head by degrees towards the fireplace again, she began to observe her brother, and her face became once more profoundly calm and serene. The Bishop fixed a tranquil eye on the man. As he opened his mouth, doubtless to ask the newcomer what he desired, the man rested both hands on his staff, directed his gaze at the old man and the two women, and without waiting for the Bishop to speak, he said, in a loud voice:-"See here. My name is Jean Valjean. I am a convict from the galleys. I have passed nineteen years in the galleys. I was liberated four days ago, and am on my way to Pontarlier, which is my destination. I have been walking for four days since I left Toulon. I have travelled a dozen leagues to-day on foot. This evening, when I arrived in these parts, I went to an inn, and they turned me out, because of my yellow passport, which I had shown at the town-hall. I had to do it. I went to an inn. They said to me, 'Be off,' at both places. No one would take me. I went to the prison; the jailer would not admit me. I went into a dog's kennel; the dog bit me and chased me off, as though he had

been a man. One would have said that he knew who I was. I went into the fields, intending to sleep in the open air, beneath the stars. There were no stars. I thought it was going to rain, and I re-entered the town, to seek the recess of a doorway. Yonder, in the square, I meant to sleep on a stone bench. A good woman pointed out your house to me, and said to me, 'Knock there!' I have knocked. What is this place? Do you keep an inn? I have money--savings. One hundred and nine francs fifteen sous, which I earned in the galleys by my labor, in the course of nineteen years. I will pay. What is that to me? I have money. I am very weary; twelve leagues on foot; I am very hungry. Are you willing that I should remain?" "Madame Magloire," said the Bishop, "you will set another place." The man advanced three paces, and approached the lamp which was on the table. "Stop," he resumed, as though he had not quite understood; "that's not it. Did you hear? I am a galley-slave; a convict. I come from the galleys." He drew from his pocket a large sheet of yellow paper, which he unfolded. "Here's my passport. Yellow, as you see. This serves to expel me from every place where I go. Will you read it? I know how to read. I learned in the galleys. There is a school there for those who choose to learn. Hold, this is what they put on this passport: 'Jean Valjean, discharged convict, native of'-that is nothing to you--'has been nineteen years in the galleys: five years for house-breaking and burglary; fourteen years for having attempted to escape on four occasions. He is a very dangerous man.' There! Every one has cast me out. Are you willing to receive me? Is this an inn? Will you give me something to eat and a bed? Have you a stable?" "Madame Magloire," said the Bishop, "you will put white sheets on the bed in the alcove." We have already explained the character of the two women's obedience. Madame Magloire retired to execute these orders. The Bishop turned to the man. "Sit down, sir, and warm yourself. We are going to sup in a few moments, and your bed will be prepared while you are supping." At this point the man suddenly comprehended. The expression of his face, up to that time sombre and

harsh, bore the imprint of stupefaction, of doubt, of joy, and became extraordinary. He began stammering like a crazy man:-"Really? What! You will keep me? You do not drive me forth? A convict! You call me sir! You do not address me as thou? 'Get out of here, you dog!' is what people always say to me. I felt sure that you would expel me, so I told you at once who I am. Oh, what a good woman that was who directed me hither! I am going to sup! A bed with a mattress and sheets, like the rest of the world! a bed! It is nineteen years since I have slept in a bed! You actually do not want me to go! You are good people. Besides, I have money. I will pay well. Pardon me, monsieur the inn-keeper, but what is your name? I will pay anything you ask. You are a fine man. You are an inn-keeper, are you not?" "I am," replied the Bishop, "a priest who lives here." "A priest!" said the man. "Oh, what a fine priest! Then you are not going to demand any money of me? You are the cure, are you not? the cure of this big church? Well! I am a fool, truly! I had not perceived your skull-cap." As he spoke, he deposited his knapsack and his cudgel in a corner, replaced his passport in his pocket, and seated himself. Mademoiselle Baptistine gazed mildly at him. He continued: "You are humane, Monsieur le Curé; you have not scorned me. A good priest is a very good thing. Then you do not require me to pay?" "No," said the Bishop; "keep your money. How much have you? Did you not tell me one hundred and nine francs?" "And fifteen sous," added the man. "One hundred and nine francs fifteen sous. And how long did it take you to earn that?" "Nineteen years." "Nineteen years!" The Bishop sighed deeply. The man continued: "I have still the whole of my money. In four days I have spent only twenty-five sous, which I earned by helping unload some wagons at Grasse. Since you are an abbe, I will tell you that we

had a chaplain in the galleys. And one day I saw a bishop there. Monseigneur is what they call him. He was the Bishop of Majore at Marseilles. He is the cure who rules over the other cures, you understand. Pardon me, I say that very badly; but it is such a far-off thing to me! You understand what we are! He said mass in the middle of the galleys, on an altar. He had a pointed thing, made of gold, on his head; it glittered in the bright light of midday. We were all ranged in lines on the three sides, with cannons with lighted matches facing us. We could not see very well. He spoke; but he was too far off, and we did not hear. That is what a bishop is like." While he was speaking, the Bishop had gone and shut the door, which had remained wide open. Madame Magloire returned. She brought a silver fork and spoon, which she placed on the table. "Madame Magloire," said the Bishop, "place those things as near the fire as possible." And turning to his guest: "The night wind is harsh on the Alps. You must be cold, sir." Each time that he uttered the word sir, in his voice which was so gently grave and polished, the man's face lighted up. Monsieur to a convict is like a glass of water to one of the shipwrecked of the Medusa. Ignominy thirsts for consideration. "This lamp gives a very bad light," said the Bishop. Madame Magloire understood him, and went to get the two silver candlesticks from the chimney-piece in Monseigneur's bed-chamber, and placed them, lighted, on the table. "Monsieur le Curé," said the man, "you are good; you do not despise me. You receive me into your house. You light your candles for me. Yet I have not concealed from you whence I come and that I am an unfortunate man." The Bishop, who was sitting close to him, gently touched his hand. "You could not help telling me who you were. This is not my house; it is the house of Jesus Christ. This door does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry and thirsty; you are welcome. And do not thank me; do not say that I receive you in my house. No one is at home here,

except the man who needs a refuge. I say to you, who are passing by, that you are much more at home here than I am myself. Everything here is yours. What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me you had one which I knew." The man opened his eyes in astonishment. "Really? You knew what I was called?" "Yes," replied the Bishop, "you are called my brother." "Stop, Monsieur le Curé," exclaimed the man. "I was very hungry when I entered here; but you are so good, that I no longer know what has happened to me." The Bishop looked at him, and said,-"You have suffered much?" "Oh, the red coat, the ball on the ankle, a plank to sleep on, heat, cold, toil, the convicts, the thrashings, the double chain for nothing, the cell for one word; even sick and in bed, still the chain! Dogs, dogs are happier! Nineteen years! I am forty-six. Now there is the yellow passport. That is what it is like." "Yes," resumed the Bishop, "you have come from a very sad place. Listen. There will be more joy in heaven over the tear-bathed face of a repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred just men. If you emerge from that sad place with thoughts of hatred and of wrath against mankind, you are deserving of pity; if you emerge with thoughts of good-will and of peace, you are more worthy than any one of us." In the meantime, Madame Magloire had served supper: soup, made with water, oil, bread, and salt; a little bacon, a bit of mutton, figs, a fresh cheese, and a large loaf of rye bread. She had, of her own accord, added to the Bishop's ordinary fare a bottle of his old Mauves wine. The Bishop's face at once assumed that expression of gayety which is peculiar to hospitable natures. "To table!" he cried vivaciously. As was his custom when a stranger supped with him, he made the man sit on his right. Mademoiselle Baptistine, perfectly peaceable and natural, took her seat at his left.

The Bishop asked a blessing; then helped the soup himself, according to his custom. The man began to eat with avidity. All at once the Bishop said: "It strikes me there is something missing on this table." Madame Magloire had, in fact, only placed the three sets of forks and spoons which were absolutely necessary. Now, it was the usage of the house, when the Bishop had any one to supper, to lay out the whole six sets of silver on the table-cloth--an innocent ostentation. This graceful semblance of luxury was a kind of child's play, which was full of charm in that gentle and severe household, which raised poverty into dignity. Madame Magloire understood the remark, went out without saying a word, and a moment later the three sets of silver forks and spoons demanded by the Bishop were glittering upon the cloth, symmetrically arranged before the three persons seated at the table.

Now, in order to convey an idea of what passed at that table, we cannot do better than to transcribe here a passage from one of Mademoiselle Baptistine's letters to Madame Boischevron, wherein the conversation between the convict and the Bishop is described with ingenious minuteness. ". . . This man paid no attention to any one. He ate with the voracity of a starving man. However, after supper he said: "'Monsieur le Curé of the good God, all this is far too good for me; but I must say that the carters who would not allow me to eat with them keep a better table than you do.' "Between ourselves, the remark rather shocked me. My brother replied:-"'They are more fatigued than I.' "'No,' returned the man, 'they have more money. You are poor; I see that plainly. You cannot be even a curate. Are you really a cure? Ah, if the good God were but just, you certainly ought to be a cure!' "'The good God is more than just,' said my brother. "A moment later he added:-"'Monsieur Jean Valjean, is it to Pontarlier that you are going?' "'With my road marked out for me.' "I think that is what the man said. Then he went on:-"'I must be on my way by daybreak to-morrow. Travelling is hard. If the nights are cold, the days are hot.' "'You are going to a good country,' said my brother. 'During the Revolution my family was ruined. I took refuge in Franche-Comte at first, and there I lived for some time by the toil of my hands. My will was good. I found plenty to occupy me. One has only to choose. There are paper mills, tanneries, distilleries, oil factories, watch factories on a large scale, steel mills,

copper works, twenty iron foundries at least, four of which, situated at Lods, at Chatillon, at Audincourt, and at Beure, are tolerably large.' "I think I am not mistaken in saying that those are the names which my brother mentioned. Then he interrupted himself and addressed me:-"'Have we not some relatives in those parts, my dear sister?' "I replied,-"'We did have some; among others, M. de Lucenet, who was captain of the gates at Pontarlier under the old regime.' "'Yes,' resumed my brother; 'but in '93, one had no longer any relatives, one had only one's arms. I worked. They have, in the country of Pontarlier, whither you are going, Monsieur Valjean, a truly patriarchal and truly charming industry, my sister. It is their cheese-dairies, which they call fruitieres.' "Then my brother, while urging the man to eat, explained to him, with great minuteness, what these fruitieres of Pontarlier were; that they were divided into two classes: the big barns which belong to the rich, and where there are forty or fifty cows which produce from seven to eight thousand cheeses each summer, and the associated fruitieres, which belong to the poor; these are the peasants of mid-mountain, who hold their cows in common, and share the proceeds. 'They engage the services of a cheese-maker, whom they call the grurin; the grurin receives the milk of the associates three times a day, and marks the quantity on a double tally. It is towards the end of April that the work of the cheese-dairies begins; it is towards the middle of June that the cheese-makers drive their cows to the mountains.' "The man recovered his animation as he ate. My brother made him drink that good Mauves wine, which he does not drink himself, because he says that wine is expensive. My brother imparted all these details with that easy gayety of his with which you are acquainted, interspersing his words with graceful attentions to me. He recurred frequently to that comfortable trade of grurin, as though he wished the man to understand, without advising him directly and harshly, that this would afford him a refuge. One thing struck me. This man was what I have told you. Well, neither during

supper, nor during the entire evening, did my brother utter a single word, with the exception of a few words about Jesus when he entered, which could remind the man of what he was, nor of what my brother was. To all appearances, it was an occasion for preaching him a little sermon, and of impressing the Bishop on the convict, so that a mark of the passage might remain behind. This might have appeared to any one else who had this, unfortunate man in his hands to afford a chance to nourish his soul as well as his body, and to bestow upon him some reproach, seasoned with moralizing and advice, or a little commiseration, with an exhortation to conduct himself better in the future. My brother did not even ask him from what country he came, nor what was his history. For in his history there is a fault, and my brother seemed to avoid everything which could remind him of it. To such a point did he carry it, that at one time, when my brother was speaking of the mountaineers of Pontarlier, who exercise a gentle labor near heaven, and who, he added, are happy because they are innocent, he stopped short, fearing lest in this remark there might have escaped him something which might wound the man. By dint of reflection, I think I have comprehended what was passing in my brother's heart. He was thinking, no doubt, that this man, whose name is Jean Valjean, had his misfortune only too vividly present in his mind; that the best thing was to divert him from it, and to make him believe, if only momentarily, that he was a person like any other, by treating him just in his ordinary way. Is not this indeed, to understand charity well? Is there not, dear Madame, something truly evangelical in this delicacy which abstains from sermon, from moralizing, from allusions? and is not the truest pity, when a man has a sore point, not to touch it at all? It has seemed to me that this might have been my brother's private thought. In any case, what I can say is that, if he entertained all these ideas, he gave no sign of them; from beginning to end, even to me he was the same as he is every evening, and he supped with this Jean Valjean with the same air and in the same manner in which he would have supped with M. Gedeon le Provost, or with the curate of the parish. "Towards the end, when he had reached the figs, there came a knock at the door. It was Mother Gerbaud, with her little one in her arms. My brother kissed the child on the brow, and borrowed fifteen sous which I had about me to give to Mother Gerbaud. The man was not paying much heed to anything then. He

was no longer talking, and he seemed very much fatigued. After poor old Gerbaud had taken her departure, my brother said grace; then he turned to the man and said to him, 'You must be in great need of your bed.' Madame Magloire cleared the table very promptly. I understood that we must retire, in order to allow this traveller to go to sleep, and we both went up stairs. Nevertheless, I sent Madame Magloire down a moment later, to carry to the man's bed a goat skin from the Black Forest, which was in my room. The nights are frigid, and that keeps one warm. It is a pity that this skin is old; all the hair is falling out. My brother bought it while he was in Germany, at Tottlingen, near the sources of the Danube, as well as the little ivory-handled knife which I use at table. "Madame Magloire returned immediately. We said our prayers in the drawing-room, where we hang up the linen, and then we each retired to our own chambers, without saying a word to each other."

After bidding his sister good night, Monseigneur Bienvenu took one of the two silver candlesticks from the table, handed the other to his guest, and said to him,-"Monsieur, I will conduct you to your room." The man followed him. As might have been observed from what has been said above, the house was so arranged that in order to pass into the oratory where the alcove was situated, or to get out of it, it was necessary to traverse the Bishop's bedroom. At the moment when he was crossing this apartment, Madame Magloire was putting away the silverware in the cupboard near the head of the bed. This was her last care every evening before she went to bed. The Bishop installed his guest in the alcove. A fresh white bed had been prepared there. The man set the candle down on a small table. "Well," said the Bishop, "may you pass a good night. To-morrow morning, before you set out, you shall drink a cup of warm milk from our cows." "Thanks, Monsieur l' Abbé," said the man. Hardly had he pronounced these words full of peace, when all of a sudden, and without transition, he made a strange movement, which would have frozen the two sainted women with horror, had they witnessed it. Even at this day it is difficult for us to explain what inspired him at that moment. Did he intend to convey a warning or to throw out a menace? Was he simply obeying a sort of instinctive impulse which was obscure even to himself? He turned abruptly to the old man, folded his arms, and bending upon his host a savage gaze, he exclaimed in a hoarse voice:-"Ah! really! You lodge me in your house, close to yourself like this?" He broke off, and added with a laugh in which there lurked something monstrous:--

"Have you really reflected well? How do you know that I have not been an assassin?" The Bishop replied:-"That is the concern of the good God." Then gravely, and moving his lips like one who is praying or talking to himself, he raised two fingers of his right hand and bestowed his benediction on the man, who did not bow, and without turning his head or looking behind him, he returned to his bedroom. When the alcove was in use, a large serge curtain drawn from wall to wall concealed the altar. The Bishop knelt before this curtain as he passed and said a brief prayer. A moment later he was in his garden, walking, meditating, contemplating, his heart and soul wholly absorbed in those grand and mysterious things which God shows at night to the eyes which remain open. As for the man, he was actually so fatigued that he did not even profit by the nice white sheets. Snuffing out his candle with his nostrils after the manner of convicts, he dropped, all dressed as he was, upon the bed, where he immediately fell into a profound sleep. Midnight struck as the Bishop returned from his garden to his apartment. A few minutes later all were asleep in the little house.

CHAPTER VI--JEAN VALJEAN Towards the middle of the night Jean Valjean woke.
Jean Valjean came from a poor peasant family of Brie. He had not learned to read in his childhood. When he reached man's estate, he became a tree-pruner at Faverolles. His mother was named Jeanne Mathieu; his father was called Jean Valjean or Vlajean, probably a sobriquet, and a contraction of viola Jean, "here's Jean." Jean Valjean was of that thoughtful but not gloomy disposition which constitutes the peculiarity of affectionate natures. On the whole, however, there was something decidedly sluggish and insignificant about Jean Valjean in appearance, at least. He had lost his father and mother at a very early age. His mother had died of a milk fever, which had not been properly attended to. His father, a tree-pruner, like himself, had been killed by a fall from a tree. All that remained to Jean Valjean was a sister older than himself,--a widow with seven children, boys and girls. This sister had brought up Jean Valjean, and so long as she had a husband she lodged and fed her young brother. The husband died. The eldest of the seven children was eight years old. The youngest, one. Jean Valjean had just attained his twenty-fifth year. He took the father's place, and, in his turn, supported the sister who had brought him up. This was done simply as a duty and even a little churlishly on the part of Jean Valjean. Thus his youth had been spent in rude and ill-paid toil. He had never known a "kind woman friend" in his native parts. He had not had the time to fall in love. He returned at night weary, and ate his broth without uttering a word. His sister, mother Jeanne, often took the best part of his repast from his bowl while he was eating,--a bit of meat, a slice of bacon, the heart of the cabbage,--to give to one of her children. As he went on eating, with his head bent over the table and almost into his soup, his long hair falling about his bowl and concealing his eyes, he had the air of perceiving nothing and allowing it. There was at Faverolles, not far from the Valjean thatched cottage, on the other side of the lane, a farmer's wife named Marie-Claude; the Valjean children, habitually

famished, sometimes went to borrow from MarieClaude a pint of milk, in their mother's name, which they drank behind a hedge or in some alley corner, snatching the jug from each other so hastily that the little girls spilled it on their aprons and down their necks. If their mother had known of this marauding, she would have punished the delinquents severely. Jean Valjean gruffly and grumblingly paid Marie-Claude for the pint of milk behind their mother's back, and the children were not punished. In pruning season he earned eighteen sous a day; then he hired out as a hay-maker, as laborer, as neatherd on a farm, as a drudge. He did whatever he could. His sister worked also but what could she do with seven little children? It was a sad group enveloped in misery, which was being gradually annihilated. A very hard winter came. Jean had no work. The family had no bread. No bread literally. Seven children! One Sunday evening, Maubert Isabeau, the baker on the Church Square at Faverolles, was preparing to go to bed, when he heard a violent blow on the grated front of his shop. He arrived in time to see an arm passed through a hole made by a blow from a fist, through the grating and the glass. The arm seized a loaf of bread and carried it off. Isabeau ran out in haste; the robber fled at the full speed of his legs. Isabeau ran after him and stopped him. The thief had flung away the loaf, but his arm was still bleeding. It was Jean Valjean. This took place in 1795. Jean Valjean was taken before the tribunals of the time for theft and breaking and entering an inhabited house at night. He had a gun which he used better than any one else in the world, he was a bit of a poacher, and this injured his case. There exists a legitimate prejudice against poachers. The poacher, like the smuggler, smacks too strongly of the brigand. Nevertheless, we will remark cursorily, there is still an abyss between these races of men and the hideous assassin of the towns. The poacher lives in the forest, the smuggler lives in the mountains or on the sea. The cities make ferocious men because they make corrupt men. The mountain, the sea, the forest, make savage men; they develop the fierce side, but often without destroying the humane side. Jean Valjean was pronounced guilty. The terms of the Code were explicit. There occur formidable hours in

our civilization; there are moments when the penal laws decree a shipwreck. What an ominous minute is that in which society draws back and consummates the irreparable abandonment of a sentient being! Jean Valjean was condemned to five years in the galleys. On the 22d of April, 1796, the victory of Montenotte, won by the general-in-chief of the army of Italy, whom the message of the Directory to the Five Hundred, of the 2d of Floreal, year IV., calls Buona-Parte, was announced in Paris; on that same day a great gang of galley-slaves was put in chains at Bicêtre. Jean Valjean formed a part of that gang. An old turnkey of the prison, who is now nearly eighty years old, still recalls perfectly that unfortunate wretch who was chained to the end of the fourth line, in the north angle of the courtyard. He was seated on the ground like the others. He did not seem to comprehend his position, except that it was horrible. It is probable that he, also, was disentangling from amid the vague ideas of a poor man, ignorant of everything, something excessive. While the bolt of his iron collar was being riveted behind his head with heavy blows from the hammer, he wept, his tears stifled him, they impeded his speech; he only managed to say from time to time, "I was a tree-pruner at Faverolles." Then still sobbing, he raised his right hand and lowered it gradually seven times, as though he were touching in succession seven heads of unequal heights, and from this gesture it was divined that the thing which he had done, whatever it was, he had done for the sake of clothing and nourishing seven little children. He set out for Toulon. He arrived there, after a journey of twenty-seven days, on a cart, with a chain on his neck. At Toulon he was clothed in the red cassock. All that had constituted his life, even to his name, was effaced; he was no longer even Jean Valjean; he was number 24,601. What became of his sister? What became of the seven children? Who troubled himself about that? What becomes of the handful of leaves from the young tree which is sawed off at the root? It is always the same story. These poor living beings, these creatures of God, henceforth without support, without guide, without refuge, wandered away at random,--who even knows?--each in his own direction perhaps, and little by little buried themselves in that cold mist which engulfs solitary destinies; gloomy shades, into which disappear in succession so many

unlucky heads, in the sombre march of the human race. They quitted the country. The clock-tower of what had been their village forgot them; the boundary line of what had been their field forgot them; after a few years' residence in the galleys, Jean Valjean himself forgot them. In that heart, where there had been a wound, there was a scar. That is all. Only once, during all the time which he spent at Toulon, did he hear his sister mentioned. This happened, I think, towards the end of the fourth year of his captivity. I know not through what channels the news reached him. Some one who had known them in their own country had seen his sister. She was in Paris. She lived in a poor street Rear Saint-Sulpice, in the Rue du Gindre. She had with her only one child, a little boy, the youngest. Where were the other six? Perhaps she did not know herself. Every morning she went to a printing office, No. 3 Rue du Sabot, where she was a folder and stitcher. She was obliged to be there at six o'clock in the morning--long before daylight in winter. In the same building with the printing office there was a school, and to this school she took her little boy, who was seven years old. But as she entered the printing office at six, and the school only opened at seven, the child had to wait in the courtyard, for the school to open, for an hour--one hour of a winter night in the open air! They would not allow the child to come into the printing office, because he was in the way, they said. When the workmen passed in the morning, they beheld this poor little being seated on the pavement, overcome with drowsiness, and often fast asleep in the shadow, crouched down and doubled up over his basket. When it rained, an old woman, the portress, took pity on him; she took him into her den, where there was a pallet, a spinning-wheel, and two wooden chairs, and the little one slumbered in a corner, pressing himself close to the cat that he might suffer less from cold. At seven o'clock the school opened, and he entered. That is what was told to Jean Valjean. They talked to him about it for one day; it was a moment, a flash, as though a window had suddenly been opened upon the destiny of those things whom he had loved; then all closed again. He heard nothing more forever. Nothing from them ever reached him again; he never beheld them; he never met them again; and in the continuation of this mournful history they will not be met with any more.

Towards the end of this fourth year Jean Valjean's turn to escape arrived. His comrades assisted him, as is the custom in that sad place. He escaped. He wandered for two days in the fields at liberty, if being at liberty is to be hunted, to turn the head every instant, to quake at the slightest noise, to be afraid of everything,--of a smoking roof, of a passing man, of a barking dog, of a galloping horse, of a striking clock, of the day because one can see, of the night because one cannot see, of the highway, of the path, of a bush, of sleep. On the evening of the second day he was captured. He had neither eaten nor slept for thirty-six hours. The maritime tribunal condemned him, for this crime, to a prolongation of his term for three years, which made eight years. In the sixth year his turn to escape occurred again; he availed himself of it, but could not accomplish his flight fully. He was missing at roll-call. The cannon were fired, and at night the patrol found him hidden under the keel of a vessel in process of construction; he resisted the galley guards who seized him. Escape and rebellion. This case, provided for by a special code, was punished by an addition of five years, two of them in the double chain. Thirteen years. In the tenth year his turn came round again; he again profited by it; he succeeded no better. Three years for this fresh attempt. Sixteen years. Finally, I think it was during his thirteenth year, he made a last attempt, and only succeeded in getting retaken at the end of four hours of absence. Three years for those four hours. Nineteen years. In October, 1815, he was released; he had entered there in 1796, for having broken a pane of glass and taken a loaf of bread. Room for a brief parenthesis. This is the second time, during his studies on the penal question and damnation by law, that the author of this book has come across the theft of a loaf of bread as the point of departure for the disaster of a destiny. Claude Gaux had stolen a loaf; Jean Valjean had stolen a loaf. English statistics prove the fact that four thefts out of five in London have hunger for their immediate cause. Jean Valjean had entered the galleys sobbing and shuddering; he emerged impassive. He had entered in despair; he emerged gloomy. What had taken place in that soul?

Let us try to say it. It is necessary that society should look at these things, because it is itself which creates them. He was, as we have said, an ignorant man, but he was not a fool. The light of nature was ignited in him. Unhappiness, which also possesses a clearness of vision of its own, augmented the small amount of daylight which existed in this mind. Beneath the cudgel, beneath the chain, in the cell, in hardship, beneath the burning sun of the galleys, upon the plank bed of the convict, he withdrew into his own consciousness and meditated. He constituted himself the tribunal. He began by putting himself on trial. He recognized the fact that he was not an innocent man unjustly punished. He admitted that he had committed an extreme and blameworthy act; that that loaf of bread would probably not have been refused to him had he asked for it; that, in any case, it would have been better to wait until he could get it through compassion or through work; that it is not an unanswerable argument to say, "Can one wait when one is hungry?" That, in the first place, it is very rare for any one to die of hunger, literally; and next, that, fortunately or unfortunately, man is so constituted that he can suffer long and much, both morally and physically, without dying; that it is therefore necessary to have patience; that that would even have been better for those poor little children; that it had been an act of madness for him, a miserable, unfortunate wretch, to take society at large violently by the collar, and to imagine that one can escape from misery through theft; that that is in any case a poor door through which to escape from misery through which infamy enters; in short, that he was in the wrong. Then he asked himself-Whether he had been the only one in fault in his fatal history. Whether it was not a serious thing, that he, a laborer, out of work, that he, an industrious man, should have lacked bread. And whether, the fault once committed and confessed, the chastisement had not

been ferocious and disproportioned. Whether there had not been more abuse on the part of the law, in respect to the penalty, than there had been on the part of the culprit in respect to his fault. Whether there had not been an excess of weights in one balance of the scale, in the one which contains expiation. Whether the over-weight of the penalty was not equivalent to the annihilation of the crime, and did not result in reversing the situation, of replacing the fault of the delinquent by the fault of the repression, of converting the guilty man into the victim, and the debtor into the creditor, and of ranging the law definitely on the side of the man who had violated it. Whether this penalty, complicated by successive aggravations for attempts at escape, had not ended in becoming a sort of outrage perpetrated by the stronger upon the feebler, a crime of society against the individual, a crime which was being committed afresh every day, a crime which had lasted nineteen years. He asked himself whether human society could have the right to force its members to suffer equally in one case for its own unreasonable lack of foresight, and in the other case for its pitiless foresight; and to seize a poor man forever between a defect and an excess, a default of work and an excess of punishment. Whether it was not outrageous for society to treat thus precisely those of its members who were the least well endowed in the division of goods made by chance, and consequently the most deserving of consideration. These questions put and answered, he judged society and condemned it. He condemned it to his hatred. He made it responsible for the fate which he was suffering, and he said to himself that it might be that one day he should not hesitate to call it to account. He declared to himself that there was no equilibrium between the harm which he had caused and the harm which was being done to him; he finally arrived at the conclusion that his punishment was not, in truth, unjust, but that it most assuredly was iniquitous. Anger may be both foolish and absurd; one can be irritated wrongfully; one is exasperated only when there is some show of right on one's side at bottom. Jean Valjean felt himself exasperated.

And besides, human society had done him nothing but harm; he had never seen anything of it save that angry face which it calls Justice, and which it shows to those whom it strikes. Men had only touched him to bruise him. Every contact with them had been a blow. Never, since his infancy, since the days of his mother, of his sister, had he ever encountered a friendly word and a kindly glance. From suffering to suffering, he had gradually arrived at the conviction that life is a war; and that in this war he was the conquered. He had no other weapon than his hate. He resolved to whet it in the galleys and to bear it away with him when he departed. There was at Toulon a school for the convicts, kept by the Ignorantin friars, where the most necessary branches were taught to those of the unfortunate men who had a mind for them. He was of the number who had a mind. He went to school at the age of forty, and learned to read, to write, to cipher. He felt that to fortify his intelligence was to fortify his hate. In certain cases, education and enlightenment can serve to eke out evil. This is a sad thing to say; after having judged society, which had caused his unhappiness, he judged Providence, which had made society, and he condemned it also. Thus during nineteen years of torture and slavery, this soul mounted and at the same time fell. Light entered it on one side, and darkness on the other. Jean Valjean had not, as we have seen, an evil nature. He was still good when he arrived at the galleys. He there condemned society, and felt that he was becoming wicked; he there condemned Providence, and was conscious that he was becoming impious. It is difficult not to indulge in meditation at this point. Does human nature thus change utterly and from top to bottom? Can the man created good by God be rendered wicked by man? Can the soul be completely made over by fate, and become evil, fate being evil? Can the heart become misshapen and contract incurable deformities and infirmities under the oppression of a disproportionate unhappiness, as the vertebral column beneath too low a vault? Is there not in every human soul, was there not in the soul of Jean Valjean in particular, a first spark, a divine element,

incorruptible in this world, immortal in the other, which good can develop, fan, ignite, and make to glow with splendor, and which evil can never wholly extinguish? Grave and obscure questions, to the last of which every physiologist would probably have responded no, and that without hesitation, had he beheld at Toulon, during the hours of repose, which were for Jean Valjean hours of revery, this gloomy galley-slave, seated with folded arms upon the bar of some capstan, with the end of his chain thrust into his pocket to prevent its dragging, serious, silent, and thoughtful, a pariah of the laws which regarded the man with wrath, condemned by civilization, and regarding heaven with severity. Certainly,--and we make no attempt to dissimulate the fact,--the observing physiologist would have beheld an irremediable misery; he would, perchance, have pitied this sick man, of the law's making; but he would not have even essayed any treatment; he would have turned aside his gaze from the caverns of which he would have caught a glimpse within this soul, and, like Dante at the portals of hell, he would have effaced from this existence the word which the finger of God has, nevertheless, inscribed upon the brow of every man,--hope. Was this state of his soul, which we have attempted to analyze, as perfectly clear to Jean Valjean as we have tried to render it for those who read us? Did Jean Valjean distinctly perceive, after their formation, and had he seen distinctly during the process of their formation, all the elements of which his moral misery was composed? Had this rough and unlettered man gathered a perfectly clear perception of the succession of ideas through which he had, by degrees, mounted and descended to the lugubrious aspects which had, for so many years, formed the inner horizon of his spirit? Was he conscious of all that passed within him, and of all that was working there? That is something which we do not presume to state; it is something which we do not even believe. There was too much ignorance in Jean Valjean, even after his misfortune, to prevent much vagueness from still lingering there. At times he did not rightly know himself what he felt. Jean Valjean was in the shadows; he suffered in the shadows; he hated in the shadows; one might have said that he hated in advance of himself. He dwelt habitually in this shadow, feeling his way like a blind man and a dreamer. Only, at intervals, there suddenly

came to him, from without and from within, an access of wrath, a surcharge of suffering, a livid and rapid flash which illuminated his whole soul, and caused to appear abruptly all around him, in front, behind, amid the gleams of a frightful light, the hideous precipices and the sombre perspective of his destiny. The flash passed, the night closed in again; and where was he? He no longer knew. The peculiarity of pains of this nature, in which that which is pitiless--that is to say, that which is brutalizing--predominates, is to transform a man, little by little, by a sort of stupid transfiguration, into a wild beast; sometimes into a ferocious beast. Jean Valjean's successive and obstinate attempts at escape would alone suffice to prove this strange working of the law upon the human soul. Jean Valjean would have renewed these attempts, utterly useless and foolish as they were, as often as the opportunity had presented itself, without reflecting for an instant on the result, nor on the experiences which he had already gone through. He escaped impetuously, like the wolf who finds his cage open. Instinct said to him, "Flee!" Reason would have said, "Remain!" But in the presence of so violent a temptation, reason vanished; nothing remained but instinct. The beast alone acted. When he was recaptured, the fresh severities inflicted on him only served to render him still more wild. One detail, which we must not omit, is that he possessed a physical strength which was not approached by a single one of the denizens of the galleys. At work, at paying out a cable or winding up a capstan, Jean Valjean was worth four men. He sometimes lifted and sustained enormous weights on his back; and when the occasion demanded it, he replaced that implement which is called a jack-screw, and was formerly called orgueil [pride], whence, we may remark in passing, is derived the name of the Rue Montorgueil, near the Halles [Fishmarket] in Paris. His comrades had nicknamed him Jean the Jack-screw. Once, when they were repairing the balcony of the town-hall at Toulon, one of those admirable caryatids of Puget, which support the balcony, became loosened, and was on the point of falling. Jean Valjean, who was present, supported the caryatid with his shoulder, and gave the workmen time to arrive. His suppleness even exceeded his strength. Certain convicts who were forever dreaming of escape, ended

by making a veritable science of force and skill combined. It is the science of muscles. An entire system of mysterious statics is daily practised by prisoners, men who are forever envious of the flies and birds. To climb a vertical surface, and to find points of support where hardly a projection was visible, was play to Jean Valjean. An angle of the wall being given, with the tension of his back and legs, with his elbows and his heels fitted into the unevenness of the stone, he raised himself as if by magic to the third story. He sometimes mounted thus even to the roof of the galley prison. He spoke but little. He laughed not at all. An excessive emotion was required to wring from him, once or twice a year, that lugubrious laugh of the convict, which is like the echo of the laugh of a demon. To all appearance, he seemed to be occupied in the constant contemplation of something terrible. He was absorbed, in fact. Athwart the unhealthy perceptions of an incomplete nature and a crushed intelligence, he was confusedly conscious that some monstrous thing was resting on him. In that obscure and wan shadow within which he crawled, each time that he turned his neck and essayed to raise his glance, he perceived with terror, mingled with rage, a sort of frightful accumulation of things, collecting and mounting above him, beyond the range of his vision,--laws, prejudices, men, and deeds,--whose outlines escaped him, whose mass terrified him, and which was nothing else than that prodigious pyramid which we call civilization. He distinguished, here and there in that swarming and formless mass, now near him, now afar off and on inaccessible table-lands, some group, some detail, vividly illuminated; here the galley-sergeant and his cudgel; there the gendarme and his sword; yonder the mitred archbishop; away at the top, like a sort of sun, the Emperor, crowned and dazzling. It seemed to him that these distant splendors, far from dissipating his night, rendered it more funereal and more black. All this--laws, prejudices, deeds, men, things--went and came above him, over his head, in accordance with the complicated and mysterious movement which God imparts to civilization, walking over him and crushing him with I know not what peacefulness in its cruelty and inexorability in its indifference. Souls which have fallen to the bottom of all possible misfortune, unhappy men lost in the lowest of those limbos at

which no one any longer looks, the reproved of the law, feel the whole weight of this human society, so formidable for him who is without, so frightful for him who is beneath, resting upon their heads. In this situation Jean Valjean meditated; and what could be the nature of his meditation? If the grain of millet beneath the millstone had thoughts, it would, doubtless, think that same thing which Jean Valjean thought. All these things, realities full of spectres, phantasmagories full of realities, had eventually created for him a sort of interior state which is almost indescribable. At times, amid his convict toil, he paused. He fell to thinking. His reason, at one and the same time riper and more troubled than of yore, rose in revolt. Everything which had happened to him seemed to him absurd; everything that surrounded him seemed to him impossible. He said to himself, "It is a dream." He gazed at the galley-sergeant standing a few paces from him; the galley-sergeant seemed a phantom to him. All of a sudden the phantom dealt him a blow with his cudgel. Visible nature hardly existed for him. It would almost be true to say that there existed for Jean Valjean neither sun, nor fine summer days, nor radiant sky, nor fresh April dawns. I know not what vent-hole daylight habitually illumined his soul. To sum up, in conclusion, that which can be summed up and translated into positive results in all that we have just pointed out, we will confine ourselves to the statement that, in the course of nineteen years, Jean Valjean, the inoffensive tree-pruner of Faverolles, the formidable convict of Toulon, had become capable, thanks to the manner in which the galleys had moulded him, of two sorts of evil action: firstly, of evil action which was rapid, unpremeditated, dashing, entirely instinctive, in the nature of reprisals for the evil which he had undergone; secondly, of evil action which was serious, grave, consciously argued out and premeditated, with the false ideas which such a misfortune can furnish. His deliberate deeds passed through three successive phases, which natures of a certain stamp can alone traverse,--reasoning, will, perseverance. He had for moving causes his habitual wrath, bitterness of soul, a profound sense of

indignities suffered, the reaction even against the good, the innocent, and the just, if there are any such. The point of departure, like the point of arrival, for all his thoughts, was hatred of human law; that hatred which, if it be not arrested in its development by some providential incident, becomes, within a given time, the hatred of society, then the hatred of the human race, then the hatred of creation, and which manifests itself by a vague, incessant, and brutal desire to do harm to some living being, no matter whom. It will be perceived that it was not without reason that Jean Valjean's passport described him as a very dangerous man. From year to year this soul had dried away slowly, but with fatal sureness. When the heart is dry, the eye is dry. On his departure from the galleys it had been nineteen years since he had shed a tear.

The vessel. He gives vent to desperate cries from out of the depths. he swims. frightful and unknown vegetations seize him. Under foot he has nothing but what flees and crumbles. The billows. he makes an effort. that he forms part of the foam. draw him to them. It seems as though all that water were hate. he had his part of breath and of sunlight. What a spectre is that retreating sail! He gazes and gazes at it frantically. combats the inexhaustible. is the ship? Yonder. . to drown him. confused openings half devour him. encompass him hideously.CHAPTER VIII--BILLOWS AND SHADOWS A man overboard! What matters it? The vessel does not halt. the enormity plays with his agony. He tries to defend himself. It retreats. Barely visible in the pale shadows of the horizon. he rises again to the surface. It passes on. he catches glimpses of precipices filled with night. Nevertheless. he drinks in the bitterness. all is at an end. The wind blows. he tries to sustain himself. torn and lashed by the wind. is wholly absorbed in its own workings. That sombre ship has a path which it is forced to pursue. his miserable head is but a speck amid the immensity of the waves. Where. knot about his feet. He was there but just now. then. all the tongues of water dash over his head. the passengers and sailors do not even see the drowning man. he calls. the cowardly ocean attacks him furiously. he is conscious that he is becoming an abyss. his petty strength all exhausted instantly. the waves toss him from one to another. it diminishes in size. The man disappears. Now. he went and came along the deck with the rest. he is not heard. he struggles. then reappears. trembling under the hurricane. a populace of waves spits upon him. he has fallen. what has taken place? He has slipped. every time that he sinks. he was one of the crew. he was a living man. He is in the tremendous sea. he stretches out his arms. the tossings of the abyss bear him away. He. he plunges. it grows dim.

and from one knows not what frightful region beyond. solitude. His hands contract convulsively. Night descends. He witnesses. There are no more men. but what can they do for him? They sing and fly and float. he feels under him the monstrous billows of the invisible. whirlwinds. and he. losses of men and of souls on the way! Ocean into which falls all that the law lets slip! Disastrous absence of help! Oh. the stormy and nonsentient tumult. all the foam overwhelms him. The bottomless cold paralyzes him. the immense madness of the sea. he resists not. Around him darkness. he has been swimming for hours. useless stars! What is to be done? The desperate man gives up. Winds. he stiffens himself. he twists himself.The wind blows in gusts. implacable march of human societies! Oh. moral death! . has vanished. Beneath him the depths. he hears noises strange to man. he shouts. the ocean and the sky. There are birds in the clouds. which seem to come from beyond the limits of the earth. the imperturbable tempest obeys only the infinite. he chooses the alternative of death. He implores the expanse. he is weary. Nothing on the horizon. He thinks of the gloomy adventures of the corpse in the limitless shadow. the other is a shroud. nothing in heaven. fog. he abandons his grip. that distant thing in which there were men. In him horror and fatigue. He beseeches the tempest. the undefined curling of those wild waters. the waves. Where is God? He shouts. He feels himself buried in those two infinities. just as there are angels above human distresses. the reef. He raises his eyes and beholds only the lividness of the clouds. Oh. and then he tosses forevermore in the lugubrious dreary depths of engulfment. that ship. he lets himself go. his strength is exhausted. he is alone in the formidable twilight gulf. clouds. they close. and grasp nothingness. amid his death-pangs. they are deaf. Help! Help! He still shouts on. Not a point of support. gusts. at one and the same time: the one is a tomb. the seaweed. he rattles in the death agony. he sinks. He is tortured by this madness.

Who shall resuscitate it? . The soul. may become a corpse. The sea is the immensity of wretchedness. going down stream in this gulf.The sea is the inexorable social night into which the penal laws fling their condemned.

Let us say the word--robbed. He set to work. robust. Business was pressing. He very speedily perceived what sort of liberty it is to which a yellow passport is provided. some men engaged in unloading bales. he presented himself to the owner of the distillery and requested to be paid. He was told. He had understood nothing of this. A little while before he had questioned one of the workmen as to the amount which they earned each day at this occupation. which entailed a diminution of about eighty francs. suddenly penetrated within him. but handed him fifteen sous. during his sojourn in the galleys. Jean Valjean resumed his labor. the master seemed pleased. he did his best. But it was not long before this ray paled. adroit. It is but just to add that he had forgotten to include in his calculations the forced repose of Sundays and festival days during nineteen years. On the day following his liberation. At all events. Thou art free! the moment seemed improbable and unprecedented. a ray of the true light of the living. a gendarme passed.CHAPTER IX--NEW TROUBLES When the hour came for him to take his departure from the galleys. when Jean Valjean heard in his ear the strange words. in front of an orange-flower distillery." He persisted. He had believed in a new life. Jean Valjean had been dazzled by the idea of liberty. He objected. and demanded his papers. While he was at work. "That is enough for thee. which had been counted out to him on his departure. as he was forced to set out again on the following day. at Grasse. He was intelligent. he had been told thirty sous. a ray of vivid light. observed him. The owner did not utter a word. he saw. It was necessary to show him the yellow passport. they were accepted. The master looked him straight between the eyes. He had calculated that his earnings. That done. and had thought himself wronged. When evening arrived. He offered his services." . and said to him "Beware of the prison. ought to amount to a hundred and seventy-one francs. his hoard had been reduced by various local levies to the sum of one hundred and nine francs fifteen sous. And this was encompassed with much bitterness.

by diminishing his hoard. That is what happened to him at Grasse. One gets free from the galleys.There. but not from the sentence. again. Liberation is not deliverance. had robbed him wholesale. Now it was the individual who was robbing him at retail. We have seen in what manner he was received at D---- . Society. he considered that he had been robbed. the State.

--From the ladle one could get at least two hundred francs. but not a second time. His fatigue had passed away. He could not get to sleep again. Sleep comes more easily than it returns.--He had taken careful note of this cupboard. as you entered from the dining-room. although he had not undressed. This is what happened to Jean Valjean. and he fell to thinking.--Double what he had earned in nineteen years. then he closed them again. with the intention of going to sleep once more. He was at one of those moments when the thoughts which one has in one's mind are troubled. becoming disproportionately large. the old servant-woman had been in the act of placing them in a little cupboard near the head of the bed. What woke him was that his bed was too good. We will mention this thought at once: he had observed the six sets of silver forks and spoons and the ladle which Madame Magloire had placed on the table.--On the right. There was a sort of dark confusion in his brain. Those six sets of silver haunted him. He opened his eyes and stared into the gloom which surrounded him. then suddenly disappearing. as in a muddy and perturbed pool.--They were solid. and which drove away all others. one falls asleep once. He was accustomed not to devote many hours to repose. but there was one which kept constantly presenting itself afresh.--It is true that he would have . Many thoughts occurred to him. and.--They were there. Jean Valjean awoke. He had slept more than four hours. His memories of the olden time and of the immediate present floated there pell-mell and mingled confusedly.CHAPTER X--THE MAN AROUSED As the Cathedral clock struck two in the morning.--A few paces distant. the sensation was too novel not to disturb his slumbers. losing their proper forms.--And old silver. It was nearly twenty years since he had slept in a bed.--Just as he was traversing the adjoining room to reach the one in which he then was. when various matters preoccupy the mind. When many varied sensations have agitated the day.

drew himself up abruptly into a sitting posture. also. The night was not very dark. Three o'clock struck. This twilight. alternate shadow and gleams of light. removed his shoes and placed them softly on the mat beside the bed. then bright openings of the clouds. which he had thrown down on a corner of the alcove. which would have been suggestive of something sinister for any one who had seen him thus in the dark. and listened. stretched out his arm and felt of his knapsack. the thoughts which we have above indicated moved incessantly through his brain. across which coursed large clouds driven by the wind. and whose trousers had been upheld by a single suspender of knitted cotton. resembled the sort of livid light which falls through an air-hole in a cellar. and thus found himself. This created. Throughout this hideous meditation. there was a full moon.earned more if "the administration had not robbed him. intermittent on account of the clouds. outdoors. and with the mechanical persistence of revery. to the window. with short steps. before which the passersby come and go. the only person awake in that house where all were sleeping. On arriving at the window. He remained for a time thoughtfully in this attitude. . The checkered pattern of that suspender recurred incessantly to his mind. and placed his feet on the floor. whom he had known in the galleys. seated on his bed. then he hung his legs over the edge of the bed. and in a manner oppressed him. entered. sufficient to enable a person to see his way. then he resumed his thoughtful attitude. All of a sudden he stooped down. It seemed to him that that stroke said to him. without knowing why. of which he caught a glimpse." His mind wavered for a whole hour in fluctuations with which there was certainly mingled some struggle. and became motionless once more. "Come on!" He rose to his feet. and then he thought. re-entered. eclipses. even until daybreak. hesitated still another moment. withdrew. and would have so remained indefinitely. then he walked straight ahead. almost without knowing it. all was quiet in the house. and indoors a sort of twilight. had not the clock struck one--the half or quarter hour. He remained in this situation. He opened his eyes again. of a convict named Brevet.

by means of which they are stuck into the rock. put his shoes into one of his pockets. went and placed it in the angle of the window. at the extremity. It would have been difficult to distinguish in that darkness for what employment that bit of iron could have been designed. possibly it was a club. he executed a movement like that of a man who has made up his mind. pulled out of it something which he placed on the bed. felt for his cudgel. and resolutely seized the object which he had deposited there. In the daytime it would have been possible to recognize it as nothing more than a miner's candlestick. threw the knapsack on his shoulders. but as a rush of cold and piercing air penetrated the room abruptly. according to the fashion of the country. It had no grating. occupied by the Bishop. he directed his steps to the door of the adjoining room. he closed it again immediately.Jean Valjean examined it. then returned to the bed. drew the visor down over his eyes. On arriving at this door. He opened it. spaced at regular intervals. grasped his knapsack. sometimes employed in quarrying stone from the lofty hills which environ Toulon. . he perceived tops of trees. Having taken this survey. The Bishop had not closed it. The garden was enclosed by a tolerably low white wall. pointed like a pike at one end. as we already know. and it was not rare for them to have miners' tools at their command. it opened in the garden and was fastened. He scrutinized the garden with that attentive gaze which studies rather than looks. easy to climb. Far away. holding his breath and trying to deaden the sound of his tread. only by a small pin. fumbled in it. strode to his alcove. Perhaps it was a lever. Convicts were. opened it. at that period. shut the whole thing up again. which indicated that the wall separated the garden from an avenue or lane planted with trees. put on his cap. He took the candlestick in his right hand. It resembled a short bar of iron. These miners' candlesticks are of massive iron. terminated at the lower extremity by a point. he found it ajar.

He halted. shuddering. and barred the entrance. It seemed impossible to him that the horrible clamor of that irritated hinge should not have disturbed the entire household. This time a badly oiled hinge suddenly emitted amid the silence a hoarse and prolonged cry. and warn and to wake those who were asleep. The door yielded to this pressure. at any cost. more energetic than the two preceding. Jean Valjean recognized the difficulty. He decided on his course of action. The noise of the hinge rang in his ears with something of the piercing and formidable sound of the trump of the Day of Judgment. and had shouted. which formed an embarrassing angle with it. Jean Valjean shuddered. then gave the door a second and a bolder push. and that it was barking like a dog to arouse every one. the old man would rise at once. He waited a moment. with the furtive and uneasy gentleness of a cat which is desirous of entering. He heard the arteries in his temples beating like two forge hammers. It was necessary. He pushed it gently with the tip of his finger. In the fantastic exaggerations of the first moment he almost imagined that that hinge had just become animated. and it seemed to him that his breath issued from his breast with the roar of the wind issuing from a cavern. and gave the door a third push. bewildered. pushed by him. had taken the alarm. The opening was now large enough to allow him to pass. He gave the door a push. like the shock of an earthquake.CHAPTER XI--WHAT HE DOES Jean Valjean listened. lightly. Not a sound. to enlarge the aperture still further. people would come to their . and fell back from the tips of his toes upon his heels. and had suddenly assumed a terrible life. It continued to yield in silence. But near the door there stood a little table. and made an imperceptible and silent movement. the two old women would shriek out. the door. which enlarged the opening a little.

He remained where he was. but there still reigned a frightful tumult within him. Several minutes elapsed. Nothing was moving in the house.assistance. He lay in his bed almost completely dressed. his hand. This room was in a state of perfect calm. He could hear. It was more than a smile. adorned with the pastoral ring. and which at that hour were only shadowy corners and whitish spots. At the moment when Jean Valjean paused in front of the bed. in the careless attitude of repose. He suddenly came to a halt. open folios. He bore upon his brow . he did not retreat. Nature sometimes mingles her effects and her spectacles with our actions with sombre and intelligent appropriateness. and a ray of light. and the gendarmerie on hand. Even when he had thought himself lost. petrified like the statue of salt. and almost a radiance. and of felicity. Nothing had stirred there. traversing the long window. He was near the bed. His whole face was illumined with a vague expression of satisfaction. as though she desired to make us reflect. taking care not to knock against the furniture. He ventured to peep into the next room. not daring to make a movement. was hanging over the edge of the bed. For the last half-hour a large cloud had covered the heavens. in a garment of brown wool. Nevertheless. This first danger was past. He had arrived there sooner than he had thought for. The noise made by the rusty hinge had not awakened any one. he had not drawn back. a prie-Dieu. and whence had fallen so many good deeds and so many holy actions. His head was thrown back on the pillow. which in the daylight were papers scattered on a table. in less than a quarter of an hour the town would be in an uproar. which covered his arms to the wrists. He lent an ear. of hope. on account of the cold of the Basses-Alps. at the extremity of the room. Jean Valjean advanced with precaution. He was sleeping peacefully. For a moment he thought himself lost. Here and there vague and confused forms were distinguishable. He took a step and entered the room. the even and tranquil breathing of the sleeping Bishop. suddenly illuminated the Bishop's pale face. volumes piled upon a stool. this cloud parted. The door had fallen wide open. His only thought now was to finish as soon as possible. an arm-chair heaped with clothing. as though on purpose.

those closed eyes. that garden without a quiver. that face in which all was hope and all was confidence. That heaven was his conscience. Never had he beheld anything like this. the sleeping Bishop seemed as in a glory. and stood motionless. at the same time. the silence. It was. who was thus august. that head of an old man. and enveloped in a sort of serene and majestic aureole that white hair. that house which was so calm. added some solemn and unspeakable quality to the venerable repose of this man. with his iron candlestick in his hand. frightened by this luminous old man. for that heaven was within him. The soul of the just contemplates in sleep a mysterious heaven. upon that inward radiance. a luminous transparency. That moon in the sky. that slumbering nature. There was something almost divine in this man. At the moment when the ray of moonlight superposed itself. and that slumber of an infant. the moment. gentle and veiled in an ineffable half-light.the indescribable reflection of a light which was invisible. so to speak. without being himself aware of it. . It remained. the hour. Jean Valjean was in the shadow. however. This confidence terrified him. A reflection of that heaven rested on the Bishop.

the key was there. straight to the cupboard. What was evident was.The moral world has no grander spectacle than this: a troubled and uneasy conscience. with a benediction for one and pardon for the other. he seized it. It was a sort of haggard astonishment. and that was all. contemplating the slumber of the just. and Jean Valjean fell to meditating once more. which seemed to be extending its arms to both of them. In order to attempt to form an idea of it. traversed the chamber with long strides. and with a neighbor like himself. he opened it. his hair bristling all over his savage head. which he saw near the head. That slumber in that isolation. But what was the nature of this emotion? His eye never quitted the old man. Even on his visage it would have been impossible to distinguish anything with certainty. and he took off his cap. that he was touched and astounded. which has arrived on the brink of an evil action. the first thing which presented itself to him was the basket of silverware. He seemed prepared to crush that skull or to kiss that hand. then his arm fell back with the same deliberation. The only thing which was clearly to be inferred from his attitude and his physiognomy was a strange indecision. without taking any precautions and . But what was his thought? It would have been impossible to divine it. One would have said that he was hesitating between the two abysses. without glancing at the Bishop. it is necessary to think of the most violent of things in the presence of the most gentle. not even himself. he raised his iron candlestick as though to force the lock. Suddenly Jean Valjean replaced his cap on his brow. his club in his right hand. then stepped rapidly past the bed. his cap in his left hand. No one could have told what was passing within him. of which he was vaguely but imperiously conscious. He gazed at it.--the one in which one loses one's self and that in which one saves one's self. The gleam of the moon rendered confusedly visible the crucifix over the chimney-piece. had about it something sublime. The Bishop continued to sleep in profound peace beneath that terrifying gaze. At the expiration of a few minutes his left arm rose slowly towards his brow.

and fled. threw away the basket. bestrode the window-sill of the ground-floor. gained the door. . opened the window. leaped over the wall like a tiger.without troubling himself about the noise. crossed the garden. seized his cudgel. re-entered the oratory. put the silver into his knapsack.

where traces of the wall having been scaled were visible. and returned to the Bishop. "does your Grace know where the basket of silver is?" "Yes. "Monseigneur. with all the vivacity of an alert old woman. Monseigneur!" she exclaimed. He presented it to Madame Magloire. good God! It is stolen! That man who was here last night has stolen it. He jumped over into Cochefilet Lane. "so it is the silver which troubles you? I don't know where it is. Ah. The Bishop had just bent down. "I did not know what had become of it." "Well!" said she. Madame Magloire ran up to him in utter consternation." In a twinkling. then he raised his grave eyes. The coping of the wall had been torn away." The Bishop had just picked up the basket in a flowerbed." returned the Bishop. was that silver ours?" . "Here it is. He rose up at Madame Magloire's cry. and said gently to Madame Magloire:-"And. "Stay! yonder is the way he went. entered the alcove. "Monseigneur. the abomination! He has stolen our silver!" The Bishop remained silent for a moment. and was sighing as he examined a plant of cochlearia des Guillons. "Nothing in it! And the silver?" "Ah. in the first place.CHAPTER XII--THE BISHOP WORKS The next morning at sunrise Monseigneur Bienvenu was strolling in his garden. her eyes fell upon a corner of the garden." "Great. which the basket had broken as it fell across the bed. the man is gone! The silver has been stolen!" As she uttered this exclamation. "Jesus the Lord be blessed!" she resumed." replied the Bishop. Madame Magloire had rushed to the oratory.

"Come in.Madame Magloire was speechless." "Iron forks and spoons. even of wood. and to Madame Magloire. that one really does not need either fork or spoon. Who was that man? A poor man. come! Are there no such things as pewter forks and spoons?" Madame Magloire shrugged her shoulders." A few moments later he was breakfasting at the very table at which Jean Valjean had sat on the previous evening. nor for Mademoiselle's. "to take in a man like that! and to lodge him close to one's self! And how fortunate that he did nothing but steal! Ah. A singular and violent group made its appearance on the threshold. The three men were gendarmes. I have for a long time detained that silver wrongfully. who said nothing. then. ." said the Bishop." "Alas! Jesus!" returned Madame Magloire. there came a knock at the door. It belonged to the poor." Madame Magloire made an expressive grimace. "It is not for my sake. What is Monseigneur to eat with now?" The Bishop gazed at her with an air of amazement. "Ah. As he ate his breakfast." "Very well. "Iron has a taste. the other was Jean Valjean. It makes no difference to us. then the Bishop went on:-"Madame Magloire. mon Dieu! it makes one shudder to think of it!" As the brother and sister were about to rise from the table. evidently. "wooden ones then. as she went and came. Monseigneur Welcome remarked gayly to his sister. But it is for the sake of Monseigneur. The door opened. in order to dip a bit of bread in a cup of milk. "A pretty idea. truly. "Pewter has an odor. Three men were holding a fourth man by the collar." said the Bishop." said Madame Magloire to herself. Another silence ensued. who was grumbling under her breath.

"He is Monseigneur the Bishop. "Monseigneur--" said he. "Monseigneur!" he murmured. in an almost inarticulate voice. Well. had "Ah! here you are!" he exclaimed. looking at Jean Valjean. He was walking like a man who is running away. who recoiled. Jean Valjean. Monseigneur Bienvenu advanced as quickly as his great age permitted. At this word. We stopped him to look into the matter. He had this silver--" "And he told you. raised his head with an air of stupefaction." "In that case." replied the Bishop." said the brigadier of gendarmes. and stared at the venerable Bishop with an expression which no human tongue can render any account of. "that it had been given to him by a kind old fellow of a priest with whom he had passed the night? I see how the matter stands. but how is this? I gave you the candlesticks too. "Is it true that I am to be released?" he said. "So he is not the cure?" "Silence!" said the gendarme." interposed the Bishop with a smile. "we can let him go?" "Certainly. He entered and advanced to the Bishop. was standing near the door. making a military salute. who seemed to be in command of the group. "Monseigneur." replied the brigadier. "I am glad to see you. "so what this man said is true. . who was dejected and seemed overwhelmed. then? We came across him. Why did you not carry them away with your forks and spoons?" Jean Valjean opened his eyes wide.A brigadier of gendarmes. And you have brought him back here? It is a mistake. and for which you can certainly get two hundred francs. and as though he were talking in his sleep. which are of silver like the rest. The gendarmes released Jean Valjean." In the meantime.

He resumed with solemnity:-"Jean Valjean. but to good. here are your candlesticks. dost thou not understand?" said one of the gendarmes." said the Bishop. The Bishop drew near to him. you no longer belong to evil. never forget." resumed the Bishop. It is never fastened with anything but a latch."Yes. By the way. He took the two candlesticks mechanically. "before you go. took the two silver candlesticks. Take them. and with a bewildered air. without a look which could disconcert the Bishop. The two women looked on without uttering a word. without a gesture. Jean Valjean was like a man on the point of fainting. my brother. my friend. and I give it to God. who had no recollection of ever having promised anything. it is not necessary to pass through the garden. and brought them to Jean Valjean. either by day or by night." He stepped to the chimney-piece. gentlemen. "My friend. I withdraw it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition. You can always enter and depart through the street door." Jean Valjean. thou art released. and said in a low voice:-"Do not forget." Then. that you have promised to use this money in becoming an honest man. It is your soul that I buy from you." . "Now." The gendarmes retired. Jean Valjean was trembling in every limb. turning to the gendarmes:-"You may retire. when you return. "go in peace. The Bishop had emphasized the words when he uttered them. remained speechless.

He asked himself what would replace this. taking whatever roads and paths presented themselves to him. He turned his head and saw a little Savoyard. Not even the spire of a distant village. He was the prey of a throng of novel sensations. he did not know against whom it was directed. and that things should not have happened in this way. which would have contributed not a little to render his rags terrifying to any one who might have encountered him. casting long shadows athwart the soil from every pebble. In the middle of this meditation. whose odor as he passed through them in his march recalled to him memories of his childhood. it was so long since they had recurred to him. He perceived with dismay that the sort of frightful calm which the injustice of his misfortune had conferred upon him was giving way within him.CHAPTER XIII--LITTLE GERVAIS Jean Valjean left the town as though he were fleeing from it. his . coming up the path and singing. without perceiving that he was incessantly retracing his steps. As the sun declined to its setting. there were still a few late flowers in the hedge-rows here and there. He could not have told whether he was touched or humiliated. Jean Valjean might have been three leagues distant from D---. Unutterable thoughts assembled within him in this manner all day long. which was absolutely deserted. He was conscious of a sort of rage. without having eaten anything and without feeling hungry. Although the season was tolerably far advanced. about ten years of age. Jean Valjean sat down behind a bush upon a large ruddy plain. This state of mind fatigued him.A path which intersected the plain passed a few paces from the bush. a joyous sound became audible. These memories were almost intolerable to him. At times he would have actually preferred to be in prison with the gendarmes. it would have agitated him less. There was nothing on the horizon except the Alps. There came over him at moments a strange emotion which he resisted and to which he opposed the hardness acquired during the last twenty years of his life. He set out at a very hasty pace through the fields. He wandered thus the whole morning.

" Jean Valjean dropped his head." said Jean Valjean. The spot was absolutely solitary. who go from land to land affording a view of their knees through the holes in their trousers. and went rolling towards the brushwood until it reached Jean Valjean. The child was standing with his back to the sun. As far as the eye could see there was not a person on the plain or on the path. which. In the meantime. He showed no astonishment. with that childish confidence which is composed of ignorance and innocence. the lad halted in his march from time to time." . up to that time. which cast threads of gold in his hair and empurpled with its blood-red gleam the savage face of Jean Valjean. probably. without perceiving Jean Valjean. sir." "What is your name?" said Jean Valjean. and played at knuckle-bones with some coins which he had in his hand--his whole fortune. "My money. and his marmot-box on his back." "Go away. The only sound was the tiny." said the little Savoyard. "my money. Among this money there was one forty-sou piece. This time the forty-sou piece escaped him. "Little Gervais. The child halted beside the bush. "Sir. the child had looked after his coin and had caught sight of him. and tossed up his handful of sous." resumed the child. feeble cries of a flock of birds of passage. he had caught with a good deal of adroitness on the back of his hand. "Sir. but walked straight up to the man. which was traversing the heavens at an immense height. Jean Valjean set his foot upon it. The child began again.hurdy-gurdy on his hip. Without stopping his song. sir. One of those gay and gentle children. "give me back my money. and made no reply.

Jean Valjean raised his head. lack of breath forced him to halt after a certain distance.Jean Valjean's eyes remained fixed on the earth. At the end of a few moments the child had disappeared. and Jean Valjean heard him sobbing. His eyes were troubled. and after a few moments of stupor he set out. Nevertheless. At the same time he made an effort to displace the big iron-shod shoe which rested on his treasure. sir. if you please! Take your foot away. "my white piece! my silver!" It seemed as though Jean Valjean did not hear him. in a sort of amazement. then began to tremble from head to foot. then he stretched out his hand towards his cudgel and cried in a terrible voice. He still remained seated. "I want my piece of money! my piece of forty sous!" The child wept. running at the top of his speed. He had eaten nothing all day. will you take your foot away? Take your foot away. his foot still resting on the silver piece. it is probable that he was feverish. The child grasped him by the collar of his blouse and shook him. "My piece of money!" cried the child. He had remained standing and had not changed his attitude after the child's flight. and "Come now. The sun had set. if you please!" Then irritated. without daring to turn his neck or to utter a cry. though he becoming almost menacing:-was so small. and rising abruptly to his feet. or we'll see!" "Ah! It's still you!" said Jean Valjean. The shadows were descending around Jean Valjean. in the midst of his own revery. "Who's there?" "I." replied the child. sir. The breath heaved his . "Little Gervais! I! Give me back my forty sous. he added:-"Will you take yourself off!" The frightened child looked at him. He gazed at the child.

and a silence which engulfed his voice. At the expiration of a few moments he darted convulsively towards the silver coin. seized it. There was no reply. He settled his cap more firmly on his brow. the plain was cold and vague. Night was falling. great banks of violet haze were rising in the gleam of the twilight. All at once he shivered. He was encompassed by space. "Ah!" and set out rapidly in the direction in which the child had disappeared. fixed ten or twelve paces in front of him. He recoiled three paces. Then he shouted with all his might:-"Little Gervais! Little Gervais!" He paused and waited. and straightened himself up again and began to gaze afar off over the plain. which his foot had half ground into the earth. as he stood there erect and shivering. then halted. The bushes .chest at long and irregular intervals. His gaze. without being able to detach his gaze from the spot which his foot had trodden but an instant before. At that moment he caught sight of the forty-sou piece. He saw nothing. advanced a step and stopped to pick up his cudgel. "What is this?" he muttered between his teeth. He said. sought mechanically to cross and button his blouse. looked about him and saw nothing. seemed to be scrutinizing with profound attention the shape of an ancient fragment of blue earthenware which had fallen in the grass. like a terrified wild animal which is seeking refuge. An icy north wind was blowing. and imparted to things around him a sort of lugubrious life. as though the thing which lay glittering there in the gloom had been an open eye riveted upon him. It was as though he had received a galvanic shock. at the same time casting his eyes towards all points of the horizon. he had just begun to feel the chill of evening. There was nothing around him but an obscurity in which his gaze was lost. The landscape was gloomy and deserted. and which was shining among the pebbles. After about thirty paces he paused.

"One named Little Gervais?" "I have seen no one. I am a thief. and a hurdy-gurdy. Then he added. "Monsieur le Curé." he said. I think. have me arrested. you know?" "I have not seen him. and gave them to the priest. Monsieur le Curé.shook their thin little arms with incredible fury. he was a little lad." "Little Gervais? There are no villages here? Can you tell me?" "If he is like what you say. But the child was no doubt already far away. my friend. . wildly:-"Monsieur l' Abbé." Jean Valjean seized two more coins of five francs each with violence." said the priest." He drew two five-franc pieces from his money-bag and handed them to the priest. He set out on his march again. We know nothing of them. and from time to time he halted and shouted into that solitude." The priest put spurs to his horse and fled in haste. he would have been alarmed and would have taken good care not to show himself. Such persons pass through these parts. this is for your poor people. have you seen a child pass?" "No. with a marmot. One would have said that they were threatening and pursuing some one. he is a little stranger. "For your poor. He stepped up to him and said:-"Monsieur le Curé. if the child had heard him. about ten years old. much alarmed. then he began to run. One of those Savoyards. "Little Gervais! Little Gervais!" Assuredly. with a voice which was the most formidable and the most disconsolate that it was possible to hear. He encountered a priest on horseback.

. The moon had risen. but he met no one. a colossal and final struggle. "I am a wretch!" Then his heart burst. It was the first time that he had wept in nineteen years. He was indistinctly conscious that the pardon of this priest was the greatest assault and the most formidable attack which had moved him yet. When Jean Valjean left the Bishop's house. which is the fortress of evil within us. "Little Gervais!" but in a feeble and almost inarticulate voice. and which pleased him. in the direction which he had first taken. without even awakening an echo. quite thrown out of everything that had been his thought hitherto. calling. "Little Gervais! Little Gervais! Little Gervais!" His shout died away in the mist. He murmured yet once more. and he cried. that his obduracy was finally settled if he resisted this clemency. he was. as we have seen. and that a struggle. his legs gave way abruptly under him. his fists clenched in his hair and his face on his knees. he should be obliged to renounce that hatred with which the actions of other men had filled his soul through so many years. Two or three times he ran across the plain towards something which conveyed to him the effect of a human being reclining or crouching down." This recurred to his mind unceasingly. I buy your soul.Jean Valjean set out on a run. and he began to cry. that this time it was necessary to conquer or to be conquered. It was his last effort. as though an invisible power had suddenly overwhelmed him with the weight of his evil conscience. on a large stone. At length. I take it away from the spirit of perversity. shouting. "You have promised me to become an honest man. he stopped. it turned out to be nothing but brushwood or rocks nearly on a level with the earth. He sent his gaze into the distance and shouted for the last time. had been begun between his viciousness and the goodness of that man. I give it to the good God. at a spot where three paths intersected each other. He could not yield to the evidence of what was going on within him. gazing. He hardened himself against the angelic action and the gentle words of the old man. he fell exhausted. that if he yielded. In this way he traversed a tolerably long distance. To this celestial kindness he opposed pride.

nevertheless. that there no longer remained a middle course for him. that if he were not henceforth the best of men. acquired force? It was that. does form the education of the intelligence.--a remnant of impulse. the Bishop had hurt his soul. or fall lower than the convict. who should suddenly see the sun rise. was that he was no longer the same man. and it was also. In this state of mind he had encountered little Gervais. as too vivid a light would have hurt his eyes on emerging from the dark. to mount higher than the Bishop. as it were. The future life. a result of what is called in statics. rather than saw them. he must become a monster? Here. the convict had been dazzled and blinded. He no longer knew where he really was. it is doubtful whether Jean Valjean was in a condition to disentangle all that we have here indicated. was this the last effect and the supreme effort. by virtue. all pure and radiant. that it was no longer in his power to make it as though the Bishop had not spoken to him and had not touched him. the possible life which offered itself to him henceforth. in a confused way? Misfortune certainly. so to speak. even less than that. of the evil thoughts which he had brought away from the galleys. Like an owl. and had robbed him of his forty sous. On emerging from that black and deformed thing which is called the galleys. did he have a distinct perception of what might result to him from his adventure at D----? Did he understand all those mysterious murmurs which warn or importune the spirit at certain moments of life? Did a voice whisper in his ear that he had just passed the solemn hour of his destiny. filled him with tremors and anxiety. that everything about him was changed. . that which he did not doubt. That which was certain. some questions must be put.In the presence of these lights. If these ideas occurred to him. As he walked thus with haggard eyes. Why? He certainly could not have explained it. Let us say it simply. which we have already put to ourselves elsewhere: did he catch some shadow of all this in his thought. that if he wished to remain evil. that if he wished to become good be must become an angel. he proceeded like a man who is intoxicated. again. perhaps. as it were. he would be the worst. and they only succeeded in throwing him into an unutterable and almost painful state of emotion. he but caught glimpses of. that it behooved him now. as we have said.

First of all. then. had simply placed his foot upon that money. he halted in despair. It was because. while the intelligence was struggling amid so many novel and hitherto unheard-of thoughts besetting it. and acted on his soul. by habit and instinct. However that may be. all bewildered.--in stealing the money from that child. and dispersed it.--strange phenomenon.it was not he who stole. placed on one side the thick obscurity. Jean Valjean recoiled with anguish and uttered a cry of terror. who. and on the other the light. he tried to find the child in order to return his money to him. as certain chemical reagents act upon a troubled mixture by precipitating one element and clarifying the other. he had done a thing of which he was no longer capable. it was the beast. like one who seeks to save himself. it was not the man. When intelligence re-awakened and beheld that action of the brute. when he recognized the fact that this was impossible. even before examining himself and reflecting. it abruptly traversed that chaos which he bore in his mind. and one which was possible only in the situation in which he found himself. this last evil action had a decisive effect on him. in the state in which it then was. At the .

and as if he had. and he was already separated from himself to such a degree. Jean Valjean. he recognized the fact that it possessed a human form and that this torch was the Bishop. his knapsack filled with stolen objects on his back. that he seemed to himself to be no longer anything more than a phantom.moment when he exclaimed "I am a wretch!" he had just perceived what he was. as the Bishop grew great and resplendent in his eyes. After a certain time he was no longer anything more than a shade. athwart this hallucination. One no longer beholds the object which one has before one. he filled the whole soul of this wretched man with a magnificent radiance. Nothing less than the first was required to soften the second. . the figures which one has in one's own mind. his blouse on his hips. with his thoughts filled with abominable projects. so to speak. He actually saw that Jean Valjean. daylight penetrated more and more clearly into his soul. All at once he disappeared. face to face. a light at once ravishing and terrible. in flesh and blood. as we have remarked. that sinister face. and he was horrified by him. was in the nature of a vision. The Bishop alone remained. and at the same time. he sobbed with more weakness than a woman. before him. He had almost reached the point of asking himself who that man was. in proportion as his revery continued. This. his first fault. cudgel in hand. with more fright than a child. made him in some sort a visionary. so did Jean Valjean grow less and vanish. the hideous galley-convict. then.--the Bishop and Jean Valjean. On scrutinizing this light which appeared to his conscience with more attention. with his resolute and gloomy visage. Thus he contemplated himself. he perceived in a mysterious depth a sort of light which he at first took for a torch. there before him. As he wept. His past life. Jean Valjean wept for a long time. which are peculiar to this sort of ecstasies. as though apart from one's self. and one sees. By one of those singular effects. an extraordinary light. His brain was going through one of those violent and yet perfectly calm moments in which revery is so profound that it absorbs reality. He wept burning tears. Excess of unhappiness had. His conscience weighed in turn these two men thus placed before it.

but with a clearness which he had never hitherto witnessed. a crime all the more cowardly. and it seemed horrible to him. In the meantime a gentle light rested over this life and this soul. a man in the attitude of prayer. what had happened to him at the Bishop's. It seemed to him that he beheld Satan by the light of Paradise. and who arrived at D---. that theft of forty sous from a child. as he traversed the street in which the Bishop's residence was situated. He examined his life. and it seemed frightful to him. his soul. the last thing that he had done. his internal hardness. kneeling on the pavement in the shadow. in front of the door of Monseigneur Welcome. . How many hours did he weep thus? What did he do after he had wept? Whither did he go! No one ever knew. The only thing which seems to be authenticated is that that same night the carrier who served Grenoble at that epoch.about three o'clock in the morning. saw. and all the more monstrous since it had come after the Bishop's pardon.--all this recurred to his mind and appeared clearly to him.his long expiation. rejoicing in manifold plans of vengeance. his external brutishness. his dismissal to liberty.


with the laugh of the two augurs. rotting amid the grass. Legitimacy had just asserted itself by cutting off the hand. Napoleon was at St. In 1817 Pelligrini sang. in his costume of a peer of France. Delalot was a personage. In 1817. In 1817 fashion swallowed up little boys of from four to six years of age in vast caps of morocco leather with eartabs resembling Esquimaux mitres. the Duke d'Angoulême. the mass of federation in the Champ de Mars. entitled the twenty-second of his reign.CHAPTER I--THE YEAR 1817 1817 is the year which Louis XVIII. All the hairdressers' shops. Bruguiere de Sorsum was celebrated. Mademoiselle Bigottini danced. The French army was dressed in white. of Pleignier. he was having his old coats turned. the regiments were called legions. on the 14th of July. and the Abbé Louis. painted blue. two great cylinders of wood might have been seen lying in the rain. Potier reigned. with his red ribbon and his long nose and the majesty of profile peculiar to a man who has performed a brilliant action. with a certain royal assurance which was not wanting in pride. grand chamberlain. from which the gilding was falling. laughed as they looked at each other. and since England refused him green cloth. 1814. The brilliant action performed by M. 1790. It was the candid time at which Count Lynch sat every Sunday as church-warden in the church-warden's pew of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. on the 12th of March. Helena. with traces of eagles and bees. were besmeared with azure and decked with fleurs-de-lys. These were the columns which two years before had upheld the Emperor's platform in the Champ de Mai. then the head. Odry did not yet exist. The Prince de Talleyrand. Louis had served it in the capacity of deacon. M. appointed minister of finance. in the side-alleys of this same Champ de Mars. hoping for powder and the return of the royal bird. he had surrendered the city a little too promptly to M. instead of numbers they bore the names of departments.. Two or three of these columns had disappeared in these . Madame Saqui had succeeded to Forioso. after the mode of the Austrian. Talleyrand had said it as bishop. Hence his peerage. It is the year in which M. and of Tolleron. both of them had celebrated. They were blackened here and there with the scorches of the bivouac of Austrians encamped near Gros-Caillou. Lynch was this: being mayor of Bordeaux. There were still Prussians in France. of Carbonneau.

On the platform of the octagonal tower of the Hotel de Cluny. Napoleon Bonaparte. Louis XVIII. Claire d'Albe and Malek-Adel were masterpieces. Madame Cottin was proclaimed the chief writer of the epoch. much preoccupied while annotating Horace with the corner of his fingernail. and had warmed the large hands of the Imperial troops. for the Duc d'Angoulême. The Field of May had this remarkable point: that it had been held in the month of June and in the Field of March (Mars). served as a shop for a cooper. two things were popular: the Voltaire-Touquet and the snuff-box a la Charter. the naval astronomer under Louis XVI. on account of the lack of news from that fatal frigate.bivouac fires. The Duchesse de Duras read to three or four friends her unpublished Ourika. The palace of Thermes. In the Council of Ministers the question was agitated whether vignettes representing slack-rope performances. in the interim.--Napoleon and Mathurin Bruneau. The N's were scratched off the Louvre. The bridge of Austerlitz had abdicated. the little shed of boards. who had thrown his brother's head into the fountain of the Flower-Market.. In his shadow could be seen germinating that future advocate-general of Broe. They had begun to feel anxious at the Naval Department. and makers of wooden shoes who have become dauphins. otherwise the monarchical principle would have received a wound. 1817. and was entitled the bridge of the King's Garden [du Jardin du Roi]. Colonel Selves was going to Egypt to become SolimanPasha. The Happiness procured through Study. In this year. The most recent Parisian sensation was the crime of Dautun.. A royal ordinance erected Angoulême into a naval school. was still to be seen. which adorned Franconi's advertising . named d'Arlincourt. had two anxieties. until there should be a false Marchangy. which had served as an observatory to Messier. The French Academy had given for its prize subject. a double enigma. The Institute had the academician. Bellart was officially eloquent. which was destined to cover Chaumareix with infamy and Gericault with glory. named Marchangy. it was evident that the city of Angoulême had all the qualities of a seaport. dedicated to the sarcasms of Paul-Louis Courier. M. which disguised the bridge of Austerlitz and the Jardin des Plantes at one stroke. in the Rue de La Harpe. heroes who have become emperors. in sky-blue satin. There was a false Chateaubriand. stricken from its list of members. The Medusa. being lord high admiral. in her boudoir furnished by X.

or to say the voters. L'Epingle Noire was already plotting in his own quarter. to say the enemies. having. This is no new fact. The Duc de Berri. The Yellow Dwarf was transferred into Mirror. and which attracted throngs of street urchins. The leaders of the Right said at grave conjunctures. Now David. No one is ignorant of the fact that letters sent to an exile by post very rarely reached him. directed the little private concerts of the Marquise de Sasenaye in the Rue Ville l'Eveque.posters. with words by Edmond Geraud. had just been married to a princess of Sicily. Delaverderie was conferring with Trogoff. the word Redivivus was carved on the pedestal that awaited the statue of Henry IV. M. Piet. Arnault had no longer any wit. of what was to become later on "The Conspiracy of the Bord de l'Eau"--of the waterside. The Constitutionnel was constitutional. a good sort of fellow. against the Cafe Valois. surnamed "The Immortal Author of the Charter. Soult had won no battles. in the Rue Therese. to say Napoleon. 4." On the platform of the PontNeuf. That t made the good middle-class people laugh heartily at the expense of the great writer. The body-guard hissed Mademoiselle Mars. Canuel. it struck the royalist journals as amusing.. Their form was restricted. David had no longer any talent. "We must write to Bacot. The Cafe Lemblin stood up for the Emperor. the author of Agnese. M. prostituted journalists. with a square face and a wart on his cheek. or to say the allies. insulted the exiles of 1815. Decazes." MM. shown some displeasure at not receiving letters which had been written to him. who was liberal to . should be tolerated. Carnot was no longer honest. Paer. which upheld the Bourbons. but their liberty was great. or to say Buonaparte. already surveyed from the shadow by Louvel. La Minerve called Chateaubriand Chateaubriant. and De Chappedelaine were preparing the sketch. it is true that Napoleon had no longer any genius. All sensible people were agreed that the era of revolution had been closed forever by King Louis XVIII. as the police made it their religious duty to intercept them. O'Mahoney. No. The grand newspapers were all very small. and they derided the prescribed man well on this occasion. in a Belgian publication. Madame de Stael had died a year previously. M. Descartes complained of it in his exile. In journals which sold themselves. the regicides. was making the rough draft of his privy assembly to consolidate the monarchy. What separated two men more than an abyss was to say. All the young girls were singing the Hermit of Saint-Avelle. to some extent with Monsieur's approval.

The collegians. and this verse was composed on him:-"Even when Loyson steals. The general opinion was that M. upon whose pediment the removal of the letters still allowed THEATRE OF THE EMPRESS to be plainly read. Criticism. Fabvier was factious. decorated on the collar with a golden fleur-de-lys. the Duc d'Orleans. the Duc de Berri." said the ingenious editor. with the following title: Works of Voltaire. de Trinquelague would do on such or such an occasion. with his eyes fixed on a mirror. de Feletez signed himself A. People took part for or against Cugnet de Montarlot.a degree. administered the diocese of Lyons. de Pins. fought each other apropos of the King of Rome. Lyceums called themselves colleges. The Liberal. published an edition of Voltaire. who made a better appearance in his uniform of a colonel-general of hussars than M. had The Two Philiberts played at the Odeon. the portrait. everywhere exhibited. Pelicier. with a madras kerchief knotted over his gray hair. of the French Academy. who belonged to the Academy. a complete set of dentist's instruments spread out before him. . which the comedian Moliere had not been able to do. M. preferred Lafon to Talma. The city of Paris was having the dome of the Invalides regilded at its own expense. Divorce was abolished. de Salaberry was not satisfied. Bavoux was revolutionary." As Cardinal Fesch refused to resign. of M. in his uniform of colonel-general of dragoons--a serious inconvenience. clad in footed trousers. his secretary. one feels that he has paws. Serious men asked themselves what M. and slippers. which were charming. Pilorge. M. Chateaubriand stood every morning at his window at No.. The quarrel over the valley of Dappes was begun between Switzerland and France by a memoir from Captain. The comedian Picard. assuming an authoritative tone. afterwards General Dufour. Charles Nodier wrote Therese Aubert. Clausel de Coussergues. cleaning his teeth. "That will attract purchasers. Charles Loyson would be the genius of the century. reigned. M. M. while he dictated The Monarchy according to the Charter to M. envy was beginning to gnaw at him--a sign of glory. Saint-Simon. Archbishop of Amasie. Clausel de Montals differed on divers points from M. M. The counter-police of the chateau had denounced to her Royal Highness Madame. 27 Rue Saint-Dominique. Hoffmann signed himself Z.

David d'Angers was trying to work in marble. the distinguished author of numerous academicians. ex-senator. the mining aperture made by Blucher to blow up the bridge had been stopped up. Delaveau for prefect of police. in the royalist polemics. tried to please bigoted reaction by reconciling fossils with texts and by making mastodons flatter Moses. M. M. the new stone with which. on seeing the Comte d'Artois enter Notre Dame. whom the future will recall. to a private gathering of seminarists in the blind alley of Feuillantines. the reformer of the Institute by a coup d'etat. who. was still recognizable on account of its whiteness. and threatened each other with their fists on the subject of the divinity of Jesus Christ. a note to a poem by Millevoye introduced him to France in these terms: a certain Lord Baron. The Faubourg Saint-Germain and the pavilion de Marsan wished to have M. could not succeed in becoming one himself. named Felicite-Robert. Justice summoned to its bar a man who. Lord Byron was beginning to make his mark. A thing which smoked and clattered on the Seine with the noise of a swimming dog went and came beneath the windows of the Tuileries. a sort of plaything. it was a piece of mechanism which was not good for much. from the Pont Royal to the Pont Louis XV. became Lamennais. The Parisians stared indifferently at this useless thing." The locution of which we have made use--passed to the state of--has been condemned as a neologism by M..ignored. at a latter date. The Abbé Gregoire. There was a celebrated Fourier at the Academy of Science. had said aloud: "Sapristi! I regret the time when I saw . of an unknown priest. ex-conventionary. an utopia--a steamboat. made a thousand efforts to have pomme de terre [potato] pronounced parmentiere. the praiseworthy cultivator of the memory of Parmentier. in terms of praise. The Abbé Caron was speaking. on account of his piety. was erecting his sublime dream. the idle dream of a dream-ridden inventor. and succeeded therein not at all. Under the third arch of the Pont de Jena. Royer Collard. Dupuytren and Recamier entered into a quarrel in the amphitheatre of the School of Medicine. ordinances. had passed. Cuvier. after having created them. and batches of members. ex-bishop. Francois de Neufchateau. with one eye on Genesis and the other on nature. whom posterity has forgotten. de Vaublanc. and in some garret an obscure Fourier. the two years previously. to the state of "Infamous Gregoire.

men who had gone over to the enemy on the eve of battle made no secret of their recompense." . in the brazenness of their well-paid turpitude. It is of the physiognomy of the years that the physiognomy of the centuries is composed. in the cynicism of riches and dignities. exhibited their devotion to the monarchy in the most barefaced manner. This is what floats up confusedly.--there are no trivial facts in humanity. for the year 1817. the infinity would overwhelm it. these details. Traitors showed themselves unbuttoned.Bonaparte and Talma enter the Bel Sauvage. and strutted immodestly in the light of day. pell-mell. and is now forgotten." A seditious utterance.--are useful. arm in arm. History neglects nearly all these particulars. which are wrongly called trivial. Nevertheless. In this year of 1817 four young Parisians arranged "a fine farce. deserters from Ligny and Quatre-Bras. and cannot do otherwise. nor little leaves in vegetation. Six months in prison.

every one has seen such faces. more heedless. one says Parisian: to study in Paris is to be born in Paris. another from Limoges. neither wise nor ignorant. perfumed and radiant. neither good nor bad. of Toulouse. one from Toulouse. Fameuil. elegance was Scandinavian and Caledonian. Dahlia. who was still in her first illusions. Zephine. but they were students. and one was called the old. the last. Blachevelle. the second. the third from Cahors. Arthurs did not yet exist. an abridgment of Josephine. and Fantine were four ravishing young women. the next. the three first were more experienced. Oscar advances. the old one was twenty-three. each of them had his mistress. at that epoch. sunny hair. Tholomyes had Fantine. of Montauban. neither geniuses nor fools. I shall behold him! People had just emerged from Ossian. called the Blonde. of Cahors. and especially Favourite. Listolier adored Dahlia. Not to conceal anything. One of the four was called the young. and in their souls that flower of honesty which survives the first fall in woman. and the first of the Arthurs. Oscar. somewhat disturbed by intrigues. for. Zephine. could not have said as much. Blachevelle loved Favourite.CHAPTER II--A DOUBLE QUARTETTE These Parisians came. of Limoges. who had taken for her nickname the name of a flower. Dahlia. These Oscars bore the names. handsome. There had already been more than . These young men were insignificant. but still retaining on their faces something of the serenity of toil. four specimens of humanity taken at random. Wellington. the pure English style was only to prevail later. so named because she had been in England. and the fourth from Montauban. because she was the youngest of them. Burn for him the perfumes of Araby! exclaimed romance. and more emancipated into the tumult of life than Fantine the Blonde. had but just won the battle of Waterloo. one of Felix Tholomyes. with that charming April which is called twenty years. because of her beautiful. and not yet entirely divorced from their needles. still a little like working-women. Favourite. Listolier. They were four Oscars. Naturally. and when one says student. Fameuil idolized Zephine.

"You do not know me. She had had an establishment of her own very early in life. She met her father from time to time. This professor. and ate and drank. he had fallen in love in consequence of this accident. Alas! what if the Jungfrau were hungry? Favourite having been in England." Then the old woman opened the sideboard. and the beautiful daughters of the people have both of them whispering in their ear. Goodness and philosophy are two distinct things. when he was a young man. breakfasted. Zephine." "I am your mother. after making all due allowances for these little irregular households. was admired by Dahlia and Zephine. she had conquered Fameuil by her roguish and caressing little way of saying "Yes. Such loves are always accompanied by such friendships. . a brutal man and a braggart. and he bowed to her. each on its own side. Poverty and coquetry are two fatal counsellors. who went out to give lessons in spite of his age. though hardly begun. had entered her apartments. Favourite. the proof of this is that. had one day seen a chambermaid's gown catch on a fender. one scolds and the other flatters. dined. Mamemoiselle?" "No. and Gustave in the third. and supped for four. Her father was an old unmarried professor of mathematics. and had said to her. Hence the falls which they accomplish. sir. These badly guarded souls listen. This cross and pious old mother never spoke to Favourite. It was having rosy nails that were too pretty which had drawn Dahlia to Listolier. How could she make such nails work? She who wishes to remain virtuous must not have pity on her hands.one episode in their romance. the young girls were friends." The young men were comrades. and the stones which are thrown at them. where she spoke ill of her daughter. to others perhaps. One morning an old woman with the air of a devotee. had a mattress which she owned brought in. They are overwhelmed with splendor of all that is immaculate and inaccessible. The result had been Favourite. and went down to the porter's quarters for company. and the lover who had borne the name of Adolph in the first chapter had turned out to be Alphonse in the second. to idleness. As for Zephine. and installed herself. remained hours without uttering a word.

Why Fantine? She had never borne any other name. At fifteen she came to Paris "to seek her fortune. also. She loved Tholomyes. a sole love. Fantine quitted the town and went to service with some farmers in the neighborhood. The streets of the Latin quarter. Good! some one will exclaim. She received the name as she received the water from the clouds upon her brow when it rained. She had no family name. She alone. and remained pure as long as she could. Of what parents? Who can say? She had never known father or mother. filled with throngs of students and grisettes. when a very small child. No one knew more than that. She bore the name which pleased the first random passer-by. Though she had emerged from the most unfathomable depths of social shadow. was not called "thou" by a single one of them. from the dregs of the people. She was called Fantine. with fine teeth. She had gold and pearls for her dowry. the Church no longer existed.--she loved. She was born at M. . but in such a way as constantly to encounter him again. of all the four. then. This human creature had entered life in just this way. She was called little Fantine.--for the heart. She worked for her living. Fantine had long evaded Tholomyes in the mazes of the hill of the Pantheon. no baptismal name." Fantine was beautiful. passion for her. a faithful love. she had no family. We will confine ourselves to saying that the love of Fantine was a first love. There is a way of avoiding which resembles seeking. She was a lovely blonde. In short. and her pearls were in her mouth. sur M. and Tholomyes? Solomon would reply that love forms a part of wisdom. but her gold was on her head. while Fantine was a good girl. Fantine was one of those beings who blossom. saw the beginning of their dream. At the age of ten. who had encountered her. she bore on her brow the sign of the anonymous and the unknown.and Dahlia were philosophical young women. At the epoch of her birth the Directory still existed. has its hunger. running bare-legged in the street. the eclogue took place. An amour for him. still for the sake of her living. where so many adventurers twine and untwine. so to speak.

four thousand francs! a splendid scandal on Mount SainteGenevieve. let us discuss the question. Yellow face. when will you bring forth your surprise?' At the same time our parents keep writing to us. Tholomyes was a fast man of thirty. beat a retreat in good order. and he had the beginning of a bald spot. Dahlia. he was the leader. and Fameuil formed a sort of group of which Tholomyes was the head. Zephine. he had an income of four thousand francs. which was packing up for departure long before its time. and he had been attacked by a watering in one eye. perform thy miracle. 'Faccia gialluta. gayety was kindled. Pressure on both sides. and the remainder of their confidential colloquy was lost in shadow. of which he himself said with sadness." A smoky tap-room presented itself. that a vast and enthusiastic grin broke out upon the four mouths simultaneously. it seems to me. His youth.' so our beauties say to me incessantly. Listolier. and no one saw anything but fire. to me in particular. Being thus ironical and bald. and Favourite have been teasing us for nearly a year to give them a surprise." Thereupon. His digestion was mediocre. 'Tholomyes. The moment has arrived. he replaced his teeth with buffooneries. But in proportion as his youth disappeared. the knee at forty. bursting with laughter.Blachevelle. He had had a piece rejected at the Vaudeville. Iron is an English word. They are forever talking about it to us. with the gesture of an oracle. and Blachevelle exclaimed. He was dilapidated but still in flower. Is it possible that irony is derived from it? One day Tholomyes took the three others aside. In addition to this he doubted everything to the last degree. and said to them:-"Fantine. We have promised them solemnly that we would. Tholomyes lowered his voice and articulated something so mirthful. they entered. his weeping eye laughed incessantly. . Tholomyes was the antique old student. and badly preserved. the skull at thirty. his health with irony. just as the old women in Naples cry to Saint Januarius. He was wrinkled and toothless. fa o miracolo. He made a few verses now and then. "That is an idea. he was rich. his hair with mirth. It was he who possessed the wit. which is a vast force in the eyes of the weak.

The result of these shades was a dazzling pleasure party which took place on the following Sunday. . the four young men inviting the four young girls.

Favourite. The suburbs of Paris are no longer the same. a shower. bright. people speak of Fecamp nowadays as they spoke of Saint-Cloud in those days. From time to time they bestowed little taps on the young men. "This must be very beautiful when there is water!" They breakfasted at the Tete-Noir. On the preceding day. they gambled for macaroons at the roulette establishment of the Pont de Sevres. looked at the dry cascade and exclaimed. The four couples conscientiously went through with all the country follies possible at that time. and crying. whoever you may be. forty-five years ago. and were perfectly happy. the physiognomy of what may be called circumparisian life has changed completely in the last half-century. down a slope all wet with rain. there is the railway car. laughing." That is why they rose at five o'clock in the morning. bought reed-pipes at Neuilly. where there was the cuckoo. ate apple tarts everywhere. they ascended Diogenes' lantern. "Ah. on account of the charming head which is coming on behind you? Have you slid. with . picked bouquets at Pateaux. there is now the steamboat. they treated themselves to a game of ring-throwing under the quincunx of trees of the grand fountain. Matutinal intoxication of life! adorable years! the wings of the dragonfly quiver. and it was a warm. although Favourite had said as they set out. where there was a tenderboat. my new boots! what a state they are in!" Let us say at once that that merry obstacle. Oh. The vacation was beginning. summer day. Then they went to SaintCloud by the coach. had written the following to Tholomyes in the name of the four: "It is a good hour to emerge from happiness. with a beloved woman holding your hand. The Paris of 1862 is a city which has France for its outskirts. where Castaing had not yet been. the only one who knew how to write. The young girls rustled and chatted like warblers escaped from their cage.CHAPTER III--FOUR AND FOUR It is hard nowadays to picture to one's self what a pleasure-trip of students and grisettes to the country was like. was lacking in the case of this good-humored party. It was a perfect delirium. do you not remember? Have you rambled through the brushwood. holding aside the branches.

a good fellow who had an Eleonore. with veneration. she was a joy to behold. a strange thing called a cigar in his mouth. with its long white strings. Blondeau. in her hand rather than on her head. as he treated himself to everything. stalked distractedly over bushes. Listolier and Fameuil.a magisterial and maternal tone. then famous. ran on in front under the great green boughs. with straps of braided copper wire.-laughter. they assumed English poses.--a sign of rain. dominating the group. as later on. the one aged three and twenty. Favourite. saw them pass about ten o'clock in the morning." as he thought of the Graces. and completed each other. A good old classic poet. "There is one too many of them. and the hair of the tender sex began to droop dolefully. and exclaimed. which was . Her splendid teeth had evidently received an office from God. but one felt the force of government in him. He was very gay. M. le Chevalier de Labouisse. "What trousers! What energy!" As for Fantine. "That Tholomyes is astounding!" said the others. and clinging to each other. melancholy was dawning for women. explained to Fantine the difference that existed between M. and. Byronism dawned for men. on his arm on Sundays. his principal ornament was a pair of trousers of elephant-leg pattern of nankeen. the old one. Nothing was sacred to him. imitation India shawl of Ternaux's manufacture. whom chance had made beautiful in such a way that they set each off when they were together. he smoked. Blachevelle seemed to have been created expressly to carry Favourite's single-bordered. never left each other. Tholomyes followed. Zephine and Dahlia. Her thick blond hair. Delvincourt and M. more from an instinct of coquetry than from friendship. as he strolled that day beneath the chestnut-trees of Saint-Cloud. and presided over this merry-making with the spirit of a young female faun. the first keepsakes had just made their appearance. jumped the ditches. Zephine and Dahlia had their hair dressed in rolls. he carried a stout rattan worth two hundred francs in his hand. there was dictation in his joviality. Blachevelle's friend. "The slugs are crawling in the paths. who were engaged in discussing their professors. She preferred to carry her little hat of sewed straw." All four were madly pretty. children.

blond Fantine's canezou. wore low-necked dresses without disguise. mysterious priests of the beautiful who silently confront everything with perfection. with the sea-green eyes. its indiscretion. and which it was necessary to fasten up incessantly. a cheek that was young and fresh. The three others. without being too conscious of it. as in the antique masks of Erigone. and that sort of muslin spencer. heavy lids. white. signifies fine weather. would have caught a glimpse in this little working-woman. have awarded the prize for coquetry to this canezou. whose ribbons traced an X on her fine. sculptural and exquisite--such was Fantine. seemed made for the flight of Galatea under the willows.inclined to wave. Brilliant of face. perhaps. in the contest for the prize of modesty. Her rosy lips babbled enchantingly. This . Those rare dreamers. presided over by the Vicomtesse de Cette. heat. shoulders modelled as though by Coustou. There was something indescribably harmonious and striking about her entire dress. pronounced after the fashion of the Canebiere. concealing and displaying at one and the same time. a gayety cooled by dreaminess. a white skin which. a Marseilles invention. as we have already said. open-worked stockings. but by the side of these audacious outfits. canezou. This does happen. and beneath these feminine adornments and these ribbons one could divine a statue. Fantine was beautiful. She wore a gown of mauve barege. at times. joy. through the transparency of her Parisian grace. here and there allowed the azure branching of the veins to be seen. with eyes of a deep blue. are very graceful and enticing. little reddish brown buskins. the wisest. which in summer. The most ingenious is. and the famous Court of Love. with its transparencies. would. and its reticence. a strong and supple nape of the neck. delicate of profile. less timid. wrists and ankles admirably formed. and which easily uncoiled. the robust throat of the Juno of AEgina. feet arched and small. beneath flower-adorned hats. shadowy lashes drooped discreetly over the jollity of the lower part of the face as though to call a halt. a corruption of the words quinze aout. but her long. and midday. of the ancient sacred euphony. visible through the muslin. whose name. with a voluptuous dimple in the middle. had an air of encouraging the audacious. The corners of her mouth voluptuously turned up. seemed an alluring godsend of decency. and in that statue a soul.

fine fingers of the vestal virgin who stirs the ashes of the sacred fire with a golden pin. Fantine had the long. and her love affair. her chin. so be it. she had that imperceptible and charming fold. her nose. which makes Barberousse fall in love with a Diana found in the treasures of Iconia. Her brow. Style is the form of the ideal. We have said that Fantine was joy. that which breathed from her athwart all the intoxication of her age. Fantine was innocence floating high over fault. as we shall have more than ample opportunity to see. she was also modesty. white. This sudden and sometimes severely accentuated gravity resembled the disdain of a goddess. To an observer who studied her attentively. Love is a fault. was an invincible expression of reserve and modesty. and there was nothing more singular and disturbing than to see gayety become so suddenly extinct there. and meditation succeed to cheerfulness without any transition state. rhythm is its movement. the season. a mysterious sign of chastity. . in the very characteristic interval which separates the base of the nose from the upper lip. Although she would have refused nothing to Tholomyes. This chaste astonishment is the shade of difference which separates Psyche from Venus. She was beautiful in the two ways--style and rhythm. her face in repose was supremely virginal. presented that equilibrium of outline which is quite distinct from equilibrium of proportion. a sort of serious and almost austere dignity suddenly overwhelmed her at certain times.daughter of the shadows was thoroughbred. and from which harmony of countenance results. She remained a little astonished.

the breath of the Seine rustled the leaves vaguely. and to be laughing. all are subjects of this fairy. those cherries torn from one mouth by another. and there is in the air the brilliance of an apotheosis--what a transfiguration effected by love! Notaries' clerks are gods. wetting their pink. the pursuits through the grass. And in this community of Paradise. bees pillaged the jasmines. those jargons which are melodies. the courtiers and townspeople. Such things are joys. the branches gesticulated in the wind. plucking convolvulus. from one end to the other. as they used to say in olden times. singing. the trees. the flowers. Philosophers. the birds.CHAPTER IV--THOLOMYES IS SO MERRY THAT HE SINGS A SPANISH DITTY That day was composed of dawn.--all this blazes forth and takes its place among the celestial glories. the kisses of all. The patrician and the knife-grinder. Beautiful women waste themselves sweetly." said Favourite to her. There was once a fairy who created the fields and forests expressly for those in love. the duke and the peer. And the little cries. Hence the popularity of spring among thinkers. mingled with the sun. and the sterile oats. were resplendent. The flower-beds of Saint-Cloud perfumed the air. the limb of the law. fresh. wild.--in that eternal hedge-school of lovers. talking. a whole bohemia of butterflies swooped down upon the yarrow. These passages of happy couples are a profound appeal to life and nature. the clover. the waists embraced on the fly. and who was in love. They laugh and hunt. the fields. The four merry couples. in the august park of the King of France there was a pack of vagabonds. open-work stockings in the tall grass. . those adorations which burst forth in the manner of pronouncing a syllable. to some extent. dancing. and which will last as long as there are hedges and scholars. with the exception of Fantine. which is forever beginning anew. chasing butterflies. running. who was hedged about with that vague resistance of hers composed of dreaminess and wildness. all received. without malice. "You always have a queer look about you. They think that this will never come to an end. and make a caress and light spring forth from everything. All nature seemed to be having a holiday.

tried the mysterious little effects of the famous cabinet of mirrors. this gave the shrub the air of a head of hair studded with flowers. It was an odd and charming shrub with a long stem. "I offer you asses!" and having agreed upon a price with the owner of the asses. they returned by way of Vanvres and Issy. painters. At Issy an incident occurred. A tuas piernas. and d'Urfe mingles druids with them. were covered with a million tiny white rosettes. They passed the gates. Lancret. All my soul doth come. Porque ensenas. to a melancholy chant. bristling and leafless and as fine as threads. who was somewhat of a Spaniard.poets. one after the other. After breakfast the four couples went to what was then called the King's Square to see a newly arrived plant from India. For instruction meet I receive at thy feet" Fantine alone refused to swing. at that time owned by Bourguin the contractor. . happened to be wide open. was attracting all Paris to Saint-Cloud. Es en mi ojos. sang. The truly national park. with a good deal of acrimony. whose numerous branches. whose name escapes our memory at this moment. As he swung these beauties. The departure for Cythera! exclaims Watteau. at that epoch. the wanton trap worthy of a satyr become a millionaire or of Turcaret metamorphosed into a Priapus. so greatly are they dazzled by it." muttered Favourite. who have flitted away into the azure sky. They had stoutly shaken the swing attached to the two chestnut-trees celebrated by the Abbé de Bernis. amid peals of laughter. "I don't like to have people put on airs like that. contemplates his bourgeois. the old ballad gallega. After viewing the shrub. and which. probably inspired by some lovely maid dashing in full flight upon a rope between two trees:-"Soy de Badajoz. observe these ecstasies and know not what to make of it. And Love is my name. Toulouse being the cousin of Tolosa. Toda mi alma. Diderot stretches out his arms to all these love idyls. visited the manikin anchorite in his grotto. To my eyes in flame. Amor me llama. producing folds in the fluttering skirts which Greuze would have found to his taste. There was always an admiring crowd about it. Tholomyes exclaimed. the Toulousan Tholomyes. the painter of plebeians. "Badajoz is my home.

said Favourite. They had been up since five o'clock that morning. on Sunday fatigue does not work." replied Tholomyes.After leaving the asses there was a fresh delight. and proceeding from Passy on foot they reached the barrier of l'Etoile. they crossed the Seine in a boat. From time to time Favourite exclaimed:-"And the surprise? I claim the surprise. About three o'clock the four couples. but bah! there is no such thing as fatigue on Sunday. as the reader will remember. were sliding down the Russian mountains. frightened at their happiness." "Patience. . a singular edifice which then occupied the heights of Beaujon. and whose undulating line was visible above the trees of the Champs Elysees.

whose sign could then be seen in the Rue de Rivoli. The Place de la Concorde. was choked with happy promenaders. once more. near Delorme Alley. A large but ugly room. somewhat weary at last. the quay and the river. "They made beneath the table A noise. Bombarda. floated over the dome of the Tuileries. A squadron of magnificent body-guards. dishes. glasses. Carriages were going and coming. which had not yet wholly disappeared from button-holes in the year 1817. The sun was setting. were nothing but light and dust. were descending the Avenue de Neuilly. at the other the four couples seated round a merry confusion of platters. their appetites were satisfied. amid the . which had become the Place Louis XV. with an alcove and a bed at the end (they had been obliged to put up with this accommodation in view of the Sunday crowd). filled with sunshine and with people. the two things of which glory is composed. upon one of them a triumphant mountain of bouquets. two tables. they began to think about dinner. had reached at half-past four in the afternoon. Here and there choruses of little girls threw to the winds. Many wore the silver fleur-de-lys suspended from the whitewatered ribbon. a magnificent August sunlight lightly touching the panes. very little order on the table. two windows whence they could survey beyond the elms. with their clarions at their head. begun at five o'clock in the morning. The horses of Marly. mingled with the hats of men and women. jugs of beer mingled with flasks of wine. showing faintly rosy in the setting sun. This was the state which the shepherd idyl. and bottles.CHAPTER V--AT BOMBARDA'S The Russian mountains having been exhausted. a branch establishment which had been set up in the Champs-Elysees by that famous restaurant-keeper. some disorder beneath it. and the radiant party of eight. the white flag." says Moliere. were prancing in a cloud of gold. became stranded in Bombarda's public house. a clatter of the feet that was abominable. The Champs-Elysees. those neighing marbles.

that does happen. The Parisian is to the Frenchman what the Athenian was to the Greek: no . There is nothing to be feared on the part of the populace of Paris the capital. Moreover. it is not in Paris. in Sunday array. It was a time of undisputed peace and profound royalist security. They are as heedless and as indolent as cats. who formed into circles and applauded." Groups of dwellers in the suburbs. their laughter was audible. Sire. like the bourgeois. however. and in that lies the miracle wrought by the populace of Paris. It is not dangerous." "Give us back our father from Ghent. terminated with these lines:-"Taking all things into consideration. and as though to serve as pendant to the Minerva Aptera of the Piraeus. on the subject of the suburbs of Paris. some journeyman printers had on paper caps. It is remarkable that the stature of this population should have diminished in the last fifty years. it was the epoch when a special and private report of Chief of Police Angeles to the King. and the populace of the suburbs is still more puny than at the time of the Revolution. there stood on the public square in Corinth the colossal bronze figure of a cat. Give us back our father. sometimes even decorated with the fleur-de-lys. In their eyes it was liberty incarnate. In short. it is not so much of "an amiable rabble" as it is thought.passersby. and which had for its refrain:-"Rendez-nous notre père de Gand. scattered over the large square and the Marigny square. it is an amiable rabble." Prefects of the police do not deem it possible that a cat can transform itself into a lion. The populace is restless in the provinces. others were engaged in drinking. Sire. the cat so despised by Count Angles possessed the esteem of the republics of old. It would take all of two of them to make one of your grenadiers. were playing at rings and revolving on the wooden horses. there is nothing to be feared from these people. which was destined to strike the Hundred Days with lightning. The ingenuous police of the Restoration beheld the populace of Paris in too "rose-colored" a light. These are very pretty men. Rendez-nous notre père. Every thing was radiant. the then celebrated Bourbon air.

it is his delight. we will return to our four couples. and his breath will become a tempest. mixed with arms. this man of the faubourgs will grow in stature. thanks to the suburban man of Paris. he enlists. you will have Austerlitz. he will produce the 10th of August. Give him a pike. no one is more frankly frivolous and lazy than he. he is ready for any sort of cool deed. make him sing the Marseillaise. and his gaze will be terrible.. was drawing to its close. no one can better assume the air of forgetfulness. give him a gun. he tears up the pavements. The dinner. It is. He is Napoleon's stay and Danton's resource. let him not be trusted nevertheless. . and there will issue forth from that slender chest enough wind to disarrange the folds of the Alps. his blouse drapes itself like the folds of a chlamys. and you will see! As long as he has for refrain nothing but la Carmagnole. When the hour strikes. is epic. he is worthy of admiration in every sort of fury. that the Revolution. Take care! he will make of the first Rue Grenetat which comes to hand Caudine Forks. Proportion his song to his nature. This note jotted down on the margin of Angles' report. this little man will arise. is it a question of liberty. but when there is glory at the end of it. as we have said. he only overthrows Louis XVI. and he will free the world. conquers Europe. Is it a question of country. Beware! his hair filled with wrath.one sleeps more soundly than he. He sings.

in an ecstasy. the chat of love is a cloud. said in a low voice to Favourite. as high as he can mount. As soon as he comes in. you are splitting my head!' So he goes up to rat-ridden garrets. seizing her fork again. I love the little fellow opposite me in my house. There he goes with his shouting. and closed both eyes proudly. Favourite. my dear. Fameuil and Dahlia were humming." replied Favourite in the same tone. it is as impossible to reproduce one as the other. . Listolier blowing a wooden trumpet which he had purchased at Saint-Cloud. do you know him? One can see that he is an actor by profession. Dahlia. I would scream to the police! Ah! I should not restrain myself. Tholomyes was drinking. the chat at table is smoke. Favourite resumed:-"Yes. I would spring after you. not at all! Rabble!" Blachevelle threw himself back in his chair. if I were to cease to love you?" "I!" cried Favourite.CHAPTER VI--A CHAPTER IN WHICH THEY ADORE EACH OTHER Chat at table. Fantine smiling. "Ah! Do not say that even in jest! If you were to cease to love me. amid the uproar:-"So you really idolize him deeply. as she ate. that Blachevelle of yours?" "I? I detest him. that young man. I should rend you. to black holes. He is very nice. his mother says to him: 'Ah! mon Dieu! my peace of mind is gone. I would scratch you. the chat of love. "He is avaricious. I would have you arrested. I would throw you into the water." Blachevelle smiled with the voluptuous self-conceit of a man who is tickled in his self-love. I love actors. But. Favourite gazed tenderly at Blachevelle and said:-"Blachevelle." This called forth a question from Blachevelle:-"What would you do. and there he sets to singing. Zephine was laughing. I adore you.

and then went on:-"I am sad. Blachevelle is very stingy. I have the spleen. and I will eat them. here we are dining in a room with a bed in it.declaiming. Ah! he is very nice. the wind does not abate. Ah! he is very nice. you see. He idolizes me so. Dahlia. that one day when he saw me making batter for some pancakes. one does not know what to eat. I tell Blachevelle that I adore him--how I lie! Hey! How I do lie!" Favourite paused. the wind irritates me.' It is only artists who can say such things as that. and that disgusts me with life. how do I know what? so that he can be heard down stairs! He earns twenty sous a day at an attorney's by penning quibbles. there are hardly any green peas in the market. Never mind. butter is so dear! and then you see it is horrible. He is the son of a former precentor of Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas. I am in a fair way to go out of my head over that little fellow. It has done nothing but rain all summer." . make your gloves into fritters. he said to me: 'Mamselle. as the English say.

" said Blachevelle." he exclaimed. it gets frozen. that is to say. Let us eat with meditation. Too much improvisation empties the mind in a stupid way. No haste. "contemplate my calmness [mon calme]. Everything which falls in that way is not necessarily worthy of enthusiasm and respect. if it makes haste. "Leave us in peace. Tholomyes. the rest talked together tumultuously all at once. gentlemen! Grimod de la Reynière agrees with Talleyrand. if we wish to be brilliant. gentlemen." remarked Blachevelle. The Marquis de Montcalm was at that time a celebrated royalist. The jest falls. Listolier. with the accent of a man who had recovered his empire. it was no longer anything but noise. Bombance." retorted Tholomyes. This mediocre play upon words produced the effect of a stone in a pool. and the mind after producing a piece of stupidity plunges into the . "Down with the tyrant!" said Fameuil. "Friends. "Let us not talk at random nor too fast. "Bombarda. Excess of zeal kills the grace and the mirth of good dinners. no matter where. "Let us reflect. Tholomyes intervened. "We are sober. Running beer gathers no froth. and Bambochel!" cried "Sunday exists. All the frogs held their peace.CHAPTER VII--THE WISDOM OF THOLOMYES In the meantime. "Come to yourselves. Let us not hurry." resumed Fameuil. let us make haste slowly. No zeal. Excess of zeal ruins peach-trees and apricot-trees. it is done for. "Tholomyes." "You are the Marquis of that. Consider the springtime." A hollow sound of rebellion rumbled through the group." added Listolier. while some sang. The pun is the dung of the mind which soars. Let us mingle majesty with the feast. This pun which has fallen from the skies must not be received with too much stupor." cried Tholomyes.

for I have sustained a thesis in Latin upon the manner in which torture was administered at Rome at the epoch when Munatius Demens was quaestor of the Parricide. even to dinners. and perhaps outside of humanity." Favourite listened with profound attention. gayety. Peter. for I have succeeded to some extent in my study of the law. Jesus Christ made a pun on St. Happy is he who. I speak well. I have the prudence of Amphiaraus and the baldness of Caesar. has a stomach which must not be filled too full. one must set one's own fantasy to the violin. ladies. AEschylus on Polynices. no zeal. because I am going to be a doctor. have made puns. self-control must be exercised when the matter becomes urgent. nothing more. for I know the difference between the question put and the question pending. All the most august. at a given moment. Indigestion is charged by the good God with preaching morality to stomachs. Cleopatra on Octavius.azure depths. . Gluttony chastises the glutton. the most charming of humanity. the bolt must be drawn on appetite. even to rebuses. That once conceded. brothers. Have some confidence in me. and that had it not been for it. I repeat. Est modus in rebus. and carry one's self to the post. when the hour strikes. I repeat. "There must be a limit. do not indulge in them to excess. apparently it does not follow that it is absolutely necessary that I should be an imbecile. even in witticisms. I recommend you to moderation in your desires. You are fond of apple turnovers. and abdicates like Sylla or Origenes. no excess. good sense and art are requisite. Even in the matter of turnovers. jollities. And observe that Cleopatra's pun preceded the battle of Actium. Far be it from me to insult the pun! I honor it in proportion to its merits. A whitish speck flattened against the rock does not prevent the condor from soaring aloft. And remember this: each one of our passions. I return to my exhortation. no one would have remembered the city of Toryne. a Greek name which signifies a ladle. no hubbub. In all things the word finis must be written in good season. according to the verdict of my examinations. Listen to me. even love. Moses on Isaac. the most sublime. or plays on words. takes a heroic resolve. Gula punit Gulax. to effect his own arrest. It is true that my name is Felix Tholomyes. The sage is the man who knows how. There must be a limit.

excessive exercise. it errs gayly. She detests the serpent from professional jealousy. twenty-five. Bacche. caballeros. O Zephine. "Woman. Ladies. to do without the nuptial bed. the application of a plate of lead. "you are drunk!" "Pardieu. the almude of the Canaries. it means prosper. sleep not. the cantaro of Alicante. make a mistake in your neighbor if you see fit."Felix. you would be charming were you not all askew." resumed Tholomyes. and to brave love? Nothing more simple. and potions of nymphaeas." "Tholomyes!" cried Blachevelle. take the advice of a friend." "I prefer a woman. my friends. that is Spanish. I idolize you all. season this with a strict diet. the boot of Tzar Peter. girdles of herbs. twenty-six. twelve. hard labor. like cask. Long live that Tzar who was great." said Tholomyes. senoras. face more than irregular. canam! Pardon me ladies." Tholomyes went on:-"Quirites. It is not made for that. drag blocks. refilling his glass. is this: like people." resumed Blachevelle. thirty. hold vigil. And the proof of it. "Glory to wine! Nunc te. A love affair is not made to crouch down and brutalize itself like an English serving-maid who has callouses on her knees from scrubbing. and fomentations of oxycrat. It is Latin. which was still greater! Ladies. You have the air of a pretty face upon which some one has sat down by . drink emulsions of poppies and agnus castus. The arrobe of Castile contains sixteen litres. gentlemen. "Then be gay. and add thereto cold baths. and long live his boot." said she. lotions made with the subacetate of lead. error is human. The property of love is to err. our gentle love. It has been said. gorge yourself with nitrous beverages. Here is the receipt: lemonade. "what a pretty word! I love that name. The serpent is the shop over the way. error is love. O Josephine. Do you wish never to feel the prick. work yourself to death." said Listolier. I say. he rose. Woe to him who yields himself to the unstable heart of woman! Woman is perfidious and disingenuous. the cuartin of the Balearic Isles." responded Tholomyes. starve yourself. "I agree to that. "distrust her. And.

I am called Felix. who was surnamed the painter of the lips. Thou deservest the letters-patent of the beautiful woman. were I in your place. I am all illusion. he espied a beautiful girl with white stockings well drawn up. Words are liars. whoever we may be. you are a woman from the beauteous Orient. But bah! what am I saying? I am wasting my words. As for Favourite. she is a dreamer. distrust names. beauty begins with thee. O nymphs and muses! one day when Blachevelle was crossing the gutter in the Rue Guerin-Boisseau. marriage is a graft. Miss Dahlia. It would be a mistake to write to Liege 2 for corks. you eat too much sugar. it is thou who hast created her. youth. thoughtful. maid worthy of being called Marguerite or Pearl. a second piece of advice: do not marry. and Blachevelle fell in love. thou hast Ionian lips. but. with her eyes fixed on heaven. avoid that risk. who has strayed into the life of a grisette. heed me well. and that is nibbling sugar. that blond maid of Chimeras! as for the rest.mistake. O Fantine. O woman. and woman should have wit. I say nothing of Fantine. remember this. a musing. know this: I. there was never a creature worthy of the name. sweet morning light. Well. I would call myself Rosa. O Favourite. Listen! before thee. You have but one fault. but who takes refuge in illusions. and to Pau for gloves. wanders in a garden where there are more birds than are in existence. and who sings and prays and gazes into the azure without very well knowing what she sees or what she is doing. Thou wert made to receive the apple like Venus. That Greek alone would have been worthy to paint thy mouth. sugar is a . O Fantine. pensive person. it takes well or ill. Girls are incurable on the subject of marriage. my beauties. You were speaking of my name a little while ago.' because I pass from poetry to prose. she is a phantom possessed of the form of a nymph and the modesty of a nun. Let us not blindly accept the indications which they afford us. I cease to address you as 'thou. but let us. but she does not even hear me. The one he loved was Favourite. There was a Greek painter named Euphorion. That touched me. Now. O nibbling sex. They may delude us. O Favourite. which displayed her legs. Tholomyes. This prologue pleased him. everything about her is freshness. A flower should smell sweet. Ladies. your pretty little white teeth adore sugar. I have just referred to Eve. or to eat it like Eve. and who. and I am not happy. suavity. and all that we wise men can say will not prevent the waistcoat-makers and the shoe-stitchers from dreaming of husbands studded with diamonds. so be it.

William carried off the Saxon women. it sucks the liquids of the blood through the veins. I turn to the men: gentlemen. and began again:-- . Then. make conquest. one of those studio songs composed of the first words which come to hand. because no priest was he. and then the solidification of the blood. But this good Clermont could not be Made pope. All the invasions of history have been determined by petticoats. as destitute of sense as the gesture of the tree and the sound of the wind. and for my own part. Sugar is the most desiccating of all salts. supported by Listolier and Fameuil. the enemy has it. hence death. he emptied his glass. The man who is not loved soars like a vulture over the mistresses of other men. and you will live. you are in need of everything. Tholomyes." This was not calculated to calm Tholomyes' improvisation. Everywhere where there is a pretty woman hostility is open. and are dissipated and take their flight with them. rob each other of your well-beloved without remorse. refilled it. hence tubercles in the lungs. do not crunch sugar. And then their agent. With all their money back returned. filled. whose wrath burned. which have their birth in the vapor of pipes." said Blachevelle. At the same moment Blachevelle. That is why diabetes borders on consumption. war to the death! a pretty woman is a casus belli. struck up to a plaintive air. rhymed richly and not at all.salt." Tholomyes paused. This is the couplet by which the group replied to Tholomyes' harangue:-"The father turkey-cocks so grave Some money to an agent gave. No quarter. In love there are no friends. Chassez across. All salts are withering. I throw the sublime proclamation of Bonaparte to the army of Italy: "Soldiers. Woman is man's right. Romulus carried off the Sabines. That master good Clermont-Tonnerre Might be made pope on Saint Johns' day fair. Caesar carried off the Roman women. a pretty woman is flagrant misdemeanor. "Take breath. hence the coagulation. to all those unfortunate men who are widowers.

Fantine!" He made a mistake and embraced Favourite. and of the Allee de l'Observatoire! O pensive infantry soldiers! O all those charming nurses who. Let us complete our course of law by folly and eating! Indigestion and the digest. What a festival everywhere! The nightingale is a gratuitous Elleviou."Down with wisdom! Forget all that I have said. O creation! The world is a great diamond. I am happy. the female! Joy in the depths! Live. be merry. Let Justinian be the male. . All is beautiful. Embrace me. Summer. amuse themselves! The pampas of America would please me if I had not the arcades of the Odeon. The birds are astonishing. I propose a toast to mirth. I salute thee! O Luxembourg! O Georgics of the Rue Madame. and Feasting. My soul flits away into the virgin forests and to the savannas. Let us be neither prudes nor prudent men nor prudhommes. while they guard the children. The flies buzz in the sun. The sun has sneezed out the humming bird.

It is more Asiatic. there are mirrors [glaces] on the walls. silver is more valuable than bone. you must know. All is not at an end on earth since we can still talk nonsense." exclaimed Zephine.CHAPTER VIII--THE DEATH OF A HORSE "The dinners are better at Bombarda's. "Tholomyes. ladies. Look at the room downstairs." "Except for those who have a silver chin." said Favourite. which was visible from Bombarda's windows. There are still human beings here below who know how to open and close the surprise box of the paradox merrily. This decree pronounced. Now. This. and went on:-"I consent to live." declared Blachevelle. which you are drinking with so tranquil an air is Madeira wine. "Listolier and I were having a discussion just now. The handles are of silver at Bombarda's and of bone at Edon's. One affirms. He was looking at the dome of the Invalides. The unexpected bursts forth from the syllogism." "A discussion is a good thing." "I prefer them [glaces." "We were disputing about philosophy. "There is more luxury. ices] on my plate. Blachevelle persisted:-"Look at the knives. but one doubts. One lies. from the vineyard of . Descartes or Spinoza?" "Desaugiers. "a quarrel is better." exclaimed Fameuil. That is fine." replied Tholomyes." said Tholomyes. Edon's than at "I prefer Bombarda to Edon. but one laughs. A pause ensued. he took a drink." "Well?" "Which do you prefer. For that I return thanks to the immortal gods. We lie." observed Tholomyes.

ladies? Although she lived at an epoch when women had. she was the goddess prostitute. ladies! there were Bombardas in Greece and in Egypt. for. says Solomon. Aspasia was a creature in whom two extremes of womanhood met. the worn-out. This incident attracted a crowd. Socrates plus Manon Lescaut. Attention while you drink! three hundred and seventeen fathoms! and Monsieur Bombarda. Choux. oh. once started. fresher than the dawn. which was dragging a very heavy cart. Aspasia was created in case a mistress should be needed for Prometheus. exhausted beast had refused to proceed any further. backed . It was a Beauceron mare. as yet. would have found some difficulty in stopping. Alas! always the same. which is three hundred and seventeen fathoms above the level of the sea. the magnificent eating-house keeper. Apuleius tells us of them. had not a horse fallen down upon the quay just at that moment. no soul. Who is your favorite author?" "Ber--" "Quin?" "No. a soul of a rosy and purple hue. more ardent hued than fire. old and thin. Do you know what Aspasia was. and Carabine mounts with Carabin into the bark at Saint-Cloud. One last word. and one fit for the knacker. nothing more unpublished by the creator in creation! Nil sub sole novum. and Thygelion of Chaeronea if he could bring me a Greek courtesan." And Tholomyes continued:-"Honor to Bombarda! He would equal Munophis of Elephanta if he could but get me an Indian dancinggirl. and nothing new." Again Fameuil interrupted him:-"Tholomyes. as Aspasia embarked with Pericles upon the fleet at Samos. Hardly had the cursing and indignant carter had time to utter with proper energy the sacramental word. On arriving in front of Bombarda's. she was a soul. amor omnibus idem. says Virgil." Tholomyes. gives you those three hundred and seventeen fathoms for four francs and fifty centimes. Matin (the jade). The shock caused the cart and the orator to come to a dead halt.Coural das Freiras. your opinions fix the law.

now! the surprise?" "Exactly. On hearing the hubbub made by the passersby. How can one be such a pitiful fool as that!" At that moment Favourite. Wait for us a moment. looked resolutely at Tholomyes and said:-"Come. Et." "It begins with a kiss. L'espace d'un matin!" "Poor horse!" sighed Fantine." murmured Fantine. "we are waiting for you." added Tholomyes." said she." said Blachevelle.up with a pitiless cut of the whip. folding her arms and throwing her head back. rosse. Favourite clapped her hands on their departure. Each gravely bestowed a kiss on his mistress's brow. with their fingers on their lips. And Dahlia exclaimed:-"There is Fantine on the point of crying over horses. the hour for giving these ladies a surprise has struck. when the jade fell. ladies." replied Tholomyes. elle a vécu ce que vivant les rosses. "Don't be too long. never to rise again. Tholomyes' merry auditors turned their heads." . The moment has arrived. "It is beginning to be amusing already. "On the brow. and Tholomyes took advantage of the opportunity to bring his allocution to a close with this melancholy strophe:-"Elle etait de ce monde ou coucous et carrosses 3 Ont le même destin. "Gentlemen. then all four filed out through the door.

chatting. they leaned two by two on the window-sills. rushed through the crowd with all the sparks of a forge. tarpaulins." said Favourite. and disappeared in that dusty Sunday throng which makes a weekly invasion into the Champs-Elysees. From moment to moment. which they could see through the branches of the large trees. "I want it to be of gold. and an air of fury. This uproar delighted the young girls. Favourite exclaimed:-"What a row! One would say that it was a pile of chains flying away. with dust for smoke. halted for a moment. "For my part. which they could only see with difficulty through the thick elms. craning out their heads. The latter turned round. "I thought the diligence never stopped. painted yellow and black. and which diverted them greatly. some huge vehicle. noisily harnessed. and talking from one window to the other. It was the hour for the departure of the mail-coaches and diligences. This surprised Fantine. full of heads which immediately disappeared. "What are they going to bring us?" said Zephine." said Dahlia. "That's odd!" said she. grinding the pavements.CHAPTER IX--A MERRY END TO MIRTH When the young girls were left alone. rendered shapeless by trunks. heavily loaded. smiled. made signs to them. The majority followed the quay and went through the Passy Barrier. "Don't be long!" cried Fantine. and valises. then set out again at a gallop. Nearly all the stage-coaches for the south and west passed through the Champs-Elysees." Their attention was soon distracted by the movements on the shore of the lake. They saw the young men emerge from the Cafe Bombarda arm in arm. "It will certainly be something pretty." ." It chanced that one of these vehicles. changing all the pavingstones into steels.

"This Fantine is surprising." joined in Dahlia." said the waiter. Suppose a case: I am a traveller. 'I will go on in advance. but this is what is written on it--" "THIS IS THE SURPRISE. All at once Favourite made a movement. you shall pick me up on the quay as you pass. and takes me." She tore the letter open hastily. sees me. my dear. The waiter replied:-"It is a paper that those gentlemen left for these ladies. these old folks implore us. these good men and these good women . "Stop!" said she. They are called fathers and mothers by the civil code. He held in his hand something which resembled a letter." said she. these parents groan." "Why did you not bring it at once?" "Because. That is done every day. It was. "and the surprise?" "Yes. the waiter who had served them at dinner entered. I am coming to take a look at her out of curiosity. in fact.' The diligence passes. by the way. She is dazzled by the simplest things. "Well.Favourite shrugged her shoulders. As Fantine concluded this sigh. and read [she knew how to read]:-"OUR BELOVED:-"You must know that we have parents. like a person who is just waking up. which is puerile and honest. "What is that?" demanded Favourite. "the famous surprise?" "They are a very long time about it!" said Fantine. halts." In this manner a certain time elapsed. You do not know life. opened it. I say to the diligence. "the gentlemen ordered me not to deliver it to the ladies for an hour. Parents--you do not know much about such things. "there is no address. Now. a letter." Favourite snatched the paper from the waiter's hand.

to respectability. It is necessary for the good of the country that we should be. prefects. Tholomyes!" exclaimed "death Dahlia to and And they burst out laughing." retorted Favourite. FELIX THOLOMYES. as Bossuet says." said Dahlia. all the same. LISTOLIER. We are sacrificing ourselves. We are pulling up our stakes. "That must have been Blachevelle's idea. "Postscriptum. If this letter lacerates you. Fantine laughed with the rest. five fiery horses will be bearing us to our papas and mammas. Mourn for us in haste.call us prodigal sons. and long live Tholomyes!" "Long live Zephine. No sooner is he gone than he is loved. O our little beauties! We return to society. like the rest of the world. they desire our return. That is evident." The four young women looked at each other. "In that case. to duty. "Well!" she exclaimed." resumed Favourite. Adieu. We bear you no grudge for that. "It makes me in love with him. The dinner is paid for. . fathers of families. "it was one of Tholomyes' ideas." "No. At the hour when you read this." said Zephine. indeed. This is an adventure. "it's a very pretty farce. Venerate us. "For the space of nearly two years we have made you happy. Favourite was the first to break the silence. FAMUEIL. and offer to kill calves for us. Blachevelle. "Signed: BLACHEVELLE. The Toulouse diligence tears us from the abyss. at full trot. and councillors of state. Being virtuous. do the same by it. rural police." "It is very droll. at the rate of three leagues an hour. and the abyss is you. we are gone. and replace us with speed. we obey them. We are going. We flee in the arms of Lafitte and on the wings of Caillard.

and the poor girl had a child. she wept. she had given herself to this Tholomyes as to a husband.An hour later. . It was her first love affair. when she had returned to her room. as we have said.


Below ran this inscription: AT THE SIGN OF SERGEANT OF WATERLOO (Au Sargent de Waterloo). The ruts of the road had bestowed on the wheels. This fore-carriage was composed of a massive iron axletree with a pivot. would certainly have attracted. the fragment of a vehicle. the vehicle. and probably represented a battle. red spots represented blood. and it seemed to have been detached from some monster. the axle. Upon this board was painted something which resembled a man carrying another man on his back. Nevertheless. and which serve to transport thick planks and the trunks of trees. a layer of mud. and which was supported by two huge wheels. not the beams. Caliban. but the mastodons and mammoths which it might have served to harness. and misshapen. to speak more accurately.CHAPTER I--ONE MOTHER MEETS ANOTHER MOTHER There was. it had the air of the galleys. The wood was disappearing under mud. with large silver stars. and the shaft. It was the fore-carriage of one of those trucks which are used in wooded tracts of country. near Paris. a huge chain. Under the axletree hung. the rest of the picture consisted of smoke. . a sort of cook-shop which no longer exists. at Montfermeil. It was situated in Boulanger Lane. It seemed like the gun-carriage of an enormous cannon. Homer would have bound Polyphemus with it. the fellies. which it was its office to transport. tolerably like that with which people are fond of ornamenting cathedrals. This cook-shop was kept by some people named Thenardier. which encumbered the street in front of the cook-shop of the Sergeant of Waterloo. and the iron beneath rust. worthy of some Goliath of a convict. the hub. during the first quarter of this century. the attention of any painter who had passed that way. and Shakespeare. This chain suggested. a hideous yellowish daubing hue. the latter wearing the big gilt epaulettes of a general. like drapery. one evening in the spring of 1818. into which was fitted a heavy shaft. The whole thing was compact. by its mass. but of cyclopean and superhuman galleys. husband and wife. overwhelming. Over the door there was a board nailed flat against the wall. or. Nothing is more common than a cart or a truck at the door of a hostelry.

watching them carefully. the other. which resembled a cry of rage. the other. At every backward and forward swing the hideous links emitted a strident sound. Above and around these two delicate heads. for fear of accidents. the mother." The two children. like the entrance of a cavern. cleverly knotted about them. A mother had caught sight of that frightful chain. by the way. two little girls.Why was that fore-carriage of a truck in that place in the street? In the first place. There is a throng of institutions in the old social order. black with rust. all made of happiness and steeped in light. in exquisite interlacement. rose in a vault. A few paces apart. which one comes across in this fashion as one walks about outdoors. to encumber the street. one would have said that they were two roses amid old iron. and nothing could be more charming than this caprice of chance which had made of a chain of Titans the swing of cherubim. was swinging the two children by means of a long cord. the child of eighteen months displayed her pretty little bare stomach with the chaste indecency of childhood. and had said. crouching down upon the threshold of the hostelry. as in the rope of a swing. the younger in the arms of the other. As she rocked her little ones. in order that it might finish the process of rusting. next. and which have no other reasons for existence than the above. on that particular evening. A handkerchief. with that animal and celestial expression which is peculiar to maternity. eighteen months. their fresh cheeks were full of laughter. One had chestnut hair. were radiant with pleasure. the gigantic fore-carriage. one about two years and a half old. not a very prepossessing woman. and in the loop. prevented their falling out. the little girls were in ecstasies. The centre of the chain swung very near the ground in the middle. almost terrible. who were dressed prettily and with some elegance. Their innocent faces were two delighted surprises. all entangled in curves and wild angles. there were seated and grouped. brown. their eyes were a triumph. "Come! there's a plaything for my children. the mother hummed in a discordant voice a romance then celebrated:-- . the setting sun mingled in this joy. though touching at that moment. a blossoming shrub which grew near wafted to the passers-by perfumes which seemed to emanate from them.

as she was beginning the first couplet of the romance. It was a girl. so far as the coquetry of her dress was concerned. A woman stood before her." Her song. nunlike cap. Her hair. in them children sleep profoundly. She was asleep. then she turned her head. This woman's child was one of the most divine creatures that it is possible to behold. but in that attire it was not apparent. she wore a cap of fine linen. Madame. She could have entered into competition with the two other little ones. but was severely concealed beneath an ugly. a few paces distant. a golden lock of which had escaped. She was young. and the contemplation of her daughters. seemed very thick. two or three years of age. prevented her hearing and seeing what was going on in the street. except that they must be very large. The arms of mothers are made of tenderness. The folds of her skirt were raised so as to permit a view of her white. Was she handsome? Perhaps. ribbons on her bodice. her appearance was sad and poverty-stricken. and that they had magnificent lashes. She was dressed like a workingwoman who is inclined to turn into a peasant again. and dimpled leg. a large carpet-bag. continuing her romance."It must be. A smile displays beautiful teeth when one has them." "To the fair and tender Imogene--" replied the mother. She was admirably rosy and healthy. and Valenciennes lace on her cap. The little beauty inspired a desire to take a bite from the apples of her cheeks. She slept with that slumber of absolute confidence peculiar to her age. She was carrying. but she did not smile. In the meantime. firm. which she carried in her arms. This woman also had a child. tied under the chin. tight. in addition. Of her eyes nothing could be known. some one had approached her. said a warrior. As for the mother. Her eyes did not seem to have been dry for a very long . which seemed very heavy. and suddenly she heard a voice saying very near her ear:-"You have two beautiful children there. close.

as they looked at her child: "Who takes those children seriously! One only shrugs one's shoulders over such children!" Then she thought of Tholomyes. the bond once broken on the side of the men. it was evident that she still retained her beauty. a linen gown. Her hands were sunburnt and all dotted with freckles. full of bells. which resembled the beginning of irony. Fantine heard the gossips say. was folded into a fichu. it melts and leaves the branch quite black. She had no resource. She gazed upon her daughter asleep in her arms with the air peculiar to a mother who has nursed her own child." What had taken place during those ten months? It can be divined. such as the Invalides use.--alas! such ruptures are irrevocable. she had a public letter-writer indite an epistle to Tholomyes. and concealed her figure clumsily. she had neglected to keep her market open. she wore a cloak of coarse brown woollen stuff. minus the habit of work and plus the taste for pleasure. then a second. she had a very weary and rather sickly appearance. As for her toilette. The father of her child gone. but difficult to recognize. and coarse shoes. that they had been friends. on scrutinizing her attentively. Fantine had remained alone. and of music. A melancholy fold. Ten months had elapsed since the "pretty farce. Tholomyes replied to none of them. Fantine barely knew how to read. her forefinger was hardened and lacerated with the needle. in her childhood she had only been taught to sign her name. and perfumed with lilacs had vanished like that beautiful and dazzling hoar-frost which is mistaken for diamonds in the sunlight. and did not know how to write. She was pale. straightened circumstances. After abandonment. it was loosed between the women.--she found herself absolutely isolated. which seemed made of mirth. A large blue handkerchief. who had shrugged his shoulders over . It was Fantine. Nevertheless. it was now closed to her. Drawn away by her liaison with Tholomyes to disdain the pretty trade which she knew. of folly. Fantine had immediately lost sight of Favourite. wrinkled her right cheek. there no longer existed any reason for such a thing.time. Zephine and Dahlia. then a third. It was Fantine. that aerial toilette of muslin and ribbons. they would have been greatly astonished had any one told them a fortnight later.

occurred to her. in what was then known as the Petites Voitures des Environs de Paris. the "little suburban coach service. twenty years later. wealthy and influential. and a holy one it was. she had only about eighty francs left. that. some one might possibly know her and give her work. She had committed a fault. but the foundation of her nature. no one but this woman. a wise elector. was modesty and virtue. he was a great provincial lawyer. as will be remembered. Any one who had seen these two pass would have had pity on them. had dressed herself in linen. There. Courage was necessary. and who did not take that innocent being seriously. under King Louis Philippe. in all the world. but it would be necessary to conceal her fault. had dazzled her in a manner. she possessed it. and this had tired her chest. the only vanity which was left to her. and her heart grew gloomy toward that man. in the alley Boulanger. and all her laces on her daughter. and she had halted in front of that vision of joy. and held herself firm. on a beautiful spring morning. her little debts paid. he was still a man of pleasure. Felix Tholomyes. she quitted Paris. the two little girls. and had put all her silks. nothing but her child. At the age of twenty-two. The idea of returning to her native town of M. Towards the middle of the day. As she passed the Thenardier hostelry. in all the world. as we shall see. after having. Fantine. but she took her resolution. But what was she to do? She no longer knew to whom to apply. Fantine had nursed her child. which produced for her two hundred francs. yes. blissful in the monster swing. sur M." Fantine found herself at Montfermeil. from time to time.his child. and a very severe juryman. and of gliding into a worse state. . and she coughed a little. and the child had. Let us confine ourselves to saying. for the sake of resting herself. travelled. In a confused way she perceived the necessity of a separation which would be more painful than the first one. all her ornaments. She had already valiantly renounced finery. bearing her child on her back. She was vaguely conscious that she was on the verge of falling into distress. all her ribbons. for three or four sous a league. had the fierce bravery of life. We shall have no further occasion to speak of M. She sold all that she had. This woman had. Her heart contracted.

She thought that." The most ferocious creatures are disarmed by caresses bestowed on their young. she herself being seated on the threshold. with slight modifications. she resumed humming between her teeth:-"It must be so. in such emotion that at the moment when their mother was recovering her breath between two couplets of her song." Then. and disturbed what caused what we have to relate to vanish. I am a knight.Charms exist. above this inn. might have frightened the traveller at the outset. her lofty stature and her frame of a perambulating colossus suitable for fairs. her mind still running on her romance. She was a simpering. These two little creatures were evidently happy. And I am off to Palestine. She was still young. and what was odd. she was barely thirty. The presence of angels is an announcement of Paradise. She gazed at them. she could not refrain from addressing to her the remark which we have just read:-"You have two pretty children. thin and angular--the type of the soldier's wife in all its unpleasantness. troubled her confidence. she beheld the mysterious HERE of Providence. She gazed at them in much emotion." said the mother of the two little girls. with a languishing air. which she owed to her perusal of romances. The mother raised her head and thanked her. Old romances produce that effect when rubbed against the imagination of cook-shop woman. and bade the wayfarer sit down on the bench at the door. These two little girls were a charm to this mother. "We keep this inn. but masculine creature. she admired them. The two women began to chat. A person who is seated instead of standing erect--destinies hang upon such a thing as that. The traveller told her story." This Madame Thenardier was a sandy-complexioned woman. If this crouching woman had stood upright. Madame. "My name is Madame Thenardier. .

that the little one had walked a little. The child opened her eyes. and that she had been obliged to take her up. The child's name was Euphrasie. and looked at-what? Nothing. and that they know us to be men. "What is your little one's name?" "Cosette. and although the mother held fast to her. the goodness of the mother is written in the gayety of the child. she had seized a scrap of wood which served her for a shovel. but not much. which was an immense pleasure. Then the child began to laugh. great blue eyes like her mother's. But out of Euphrasie the mother had made Cosette by that sweet and graceful instinct of mothers ." Children become acquainted quickly at that age. that she had left Paris that morning on foot. read Euphrasie. all three of you. All at once she caught sight of the two others in the swing.That she was a working-woman. in her own native parts. The grave-digger's business becomes a subject for laughter when performed by a child." For Cosette. stopped short. Mother Thenardier released her daughters. as she was carrying her child. that her work in Paris had failed her. and put out her tongue. The two women pursued their chat. because she was so young. and the jewel had fallen asleep. in sign of admiration. and at the expiration of a minute the little Thenardiers were playing with the new-comer at making holes in the ground. made them descend from the swing. she had got into the Villemomble coach when she met it. and that she was on her way to seek it elsewhere. At this word she bestowed on her daughter a passionate kiss. which is a mystery of their luminous innocence in the presence of our twilight of virtue. The new-comer was very gay. and felt fatigued. and energetically dug a cavity big enough for a fly. she slipped to the ground with the unconquerable energy of a little being which wished to run. that from Villemomble she had come to Montfermeil on foot. with that serious and sometimes severe air of little children. One would say that they feel themselves to be angels. that her husband was dead. that. and said:-"Now amuse yourselves. which woke her.

and said:-"Will you keep my child for me?" The Thenardier made one of those movements of surprise which signify neither assent nor refusal. It is a sort of derivative which disarranges and disconcerts the whole science of etymologists. "one would swear that they were three sisters!" This remark was probably the spark which the other mother had been waiting for. so pretty. People are ridiculous in the country. Cosette's mother continued:-"You see. We have known a grandmother who succeeded in turning Theodore into Gnon. one would have said that there were three heads in one aureole." Here a man's voice called from the depths of the cook-shop:-- . She seized the Thenardier's hand. "How old is she?" "She is going on three. My work will not permit it. that will make three sisters.' And then. so clean. the three little girls were grouped in an attitude of profound anxiety and blissfulness. it will not be long before I return. It was the good God who caused me to pass your inn. looked at her fixedly. I said: 'Here is a good mother. That is just the thing. I cannot take my daughter to the country. an event had happened. and so happy. Their radiant brows touched each other. it overwhelmed me. "I will give you six francs a month. When I caught sight of your little ones. Will you keep my child for me?" "I must see about it. and Francoise into Sillette. a big worm had emerged from the ground.and of the populace which changes Josepha into Pepita." In the meantime." "That is the age of my eldest. With a child one can find no situation. "How easily children get acquainted at once!" exclaimed Mother Thenardier. and they were afraid." replied the Thenardier. and they were in ecstasies over it.

gave up her money and left her child. and silk gowns like a lady." said the mother." struck in the man's voice again. fastened her carpet-bag once more. for preliminary "Total. now reduced in volume by the removal of the outfit. and came back with the remark:-- . I shall earn money there." said the mother. The bargain was concluded." "Six times Thenardier." "I will pay it." The man's voice resumed:-"The little one has an outfit?" "That is my husband." said the mother." "You must hand it over. And six months paid in advance. and as soon as I have a little I will return for my darling." said he. "That's good. said a warrior." said the Thenardier. "And fifteen francs in addition expenses. with these figures:-"It must be. seven makes forty-two. I shall have enough left to reach the country. "Of course she has an outfit." said Madame Thenardier. the poor treasure. "Of course I shall give it to you. fifty-seven francs."Not for less than seven francs. It is here.--I understood perfectly that it was your husband. and light henceforth and set out on the following morning. The mother passed the night at the inn.--And a beautiful outfit." said the "I will give it. everything by the dozen. And she hummed vaguely." added the man's voice. too! a senseless outfit. but they are despairs! A neighbor of the Thenardiers met this mother as she was setting out. "I have eighty francs. "It would be very queer if I were to leave my daughter quite naked!" The master's face appeared. in my carpet-bag. People arrange such departures tranquilly. intending to return soon. by travelling on foot.

"I have just seen a woman crying in the street so that it was enough to rend your heart. Do you know that I should have had a bailiff and a protest after me? You played the mouse-trap nicely with your young ones." said the woman. ." "Without suspecting it. the man said to the woman:-"That will serve to pay my note for one hundred and ten francs which falls due to-morrow." When Cosette's mother had taken her departure. I lacked fifty francs.

retrograding in life rather than advancing. of the sort of hideous progress which is accomplished in the direction of evil. There was in the woman a substratum of the brute. This Thenardier. was troublesome for a physiognomist. but the cat rejoices even over a lean mouse. They were of those dwarfed natures which. for one feels that they are dark in both directions. Thenardier.CHAPTER II--FIRST SKETCH OF TWO UNPREPOSSESSING FIGURES The mouse which had been caught was a pitiful specimen. in particular. and in the man the material for a blackguard. which is between the class called "middle" and the class denominated as "inferior. employing experience to augment their deformity. and of intelligent people who have descended in the scale. Who were these Thenardiers? Let us say a word or two of them now. One can only look at some men to distrust them. had been a soldier--a sergeant. The shadow which they bear in their glance denounces them. This man and woman possessed such souls. There exist crablike souls which are continually retreating towards the darkness. one obtains a glimpse of sombre secrets in their past and of sombre mysteries in their future. he said. These beings belonged to that bastard class composed of coarse people who have been successful. without possessing the generous impulse of the workingman nor the honest order of the bourgeois. From merely hearing them utter a word or seeing them make a gesture. Both were susceptible. growing incessantly worse. and becoming more and more impregnated with an ever-augmenting blackness. There is something of the unknown about them. easily become monstrous. if he himself was to be believed. if a dull fire chances to warm them up. We will complete the sketch later on." and which combines some of the defects of the second with nearly all the vices of the first. He had probably . in the highest degree. They are uneasy in the rear and threatening in front. One can no more answer for what they have done than for what they will do.

He had painted it himself. so far as sentimentalism was concerned. and from Madame de Lafayette to Madame Barthelemy-Hadot. she owed the fact that she merely bore the name of Azelma. having fallen from Mademoiselle de Scuderi to Madame Bournon-Malarme. when very young. the poor little thing came near being called Gulnare. In them she drowned what brains she possessed. This had given her. but. is . She lived on them. was no longer anything but Lodoiska. began to grow gray. and "in what concerns the sex. for he knew how to do a little of everything. and even a little later. arranged in a romantically drooping fashion. a ruffian lettered to the extent of the grammar. and badly. still noble. and even ravaging the suburbs to some extent. but ever more and more vulgar. we will remark by the way. given to the perusal of Pigault-Lebrun. as for the younger. and had even conducted himself with tolerable valor. The sign of his hostelry was in allusion to one of his feats of arms. This displacement. or Jacques. after having been Clelie. vicious woman. everything was not ridiculous and superficial in that curious epoch to which we are alluding. unmitigated lout. it would seem. which places the "elegant" name on the plebeian and the rustic name on the aristocrat. when her hair. when the Magaera began to be developed from the Pamela. However. Later on. Alfred. By the side of this romantic element which we have just indicated there is the social symptom. It is not rare for the neatherd's boy nowadays to bear the name of Arthur. I know not to what diversion. or Alphonse. coarse and fine at one and the same time. Madame Thenardier was just intelligent enough to read this sort of books. a sort of pensive attitude towards her husband. The result was that her eldest daughter was named Eponine. was setting the loving hearts of the portresses of Paris aflame.been through the campaign of 1815. Now. It was at the epoch when the ancient classical romance which. We shall see later on how much truth there was in this. and for the vicomte--if there are still any vicomtes--to be called Thomas. who had dabbled in stupid romances. and which may be designated as the anarchy of baptismal names. a scamp of a certain depth. one cannot read nonsense with impunity. His wife was twelve or fifteen years younger than he was. effected by a romance of Ducray-Dumenil. the female Thenardier was nothing but a coarse." as he said in his jargon--a downright. Pierre.

.--the French Revolution. The irresistible penetration of the new inspiration is there as everywhere else. Beneath this apparent discord there is a great and a profound thing.nothing else than an eddy of equality.

in rags. This woman. Little as was the space occupied by Cosette. As she had no longer any clothes. who had established herself. The year was not completed when Thenardier said: "A fine favor she is doing us. in sooth! What does she expect us to do with her seven francs?" and he wrote to demand twelve francs. the cat and the dog were her habitual table-companions. sur M. On the following month they were again in need of money. the Thenardiers grew accustomed to look on the little girl merely as a child whom they were caring for out of charity. Moreover. a little worse than the cat. Thanks to the traveller's fifty-seven francs." At the expiration of the first six months the mother sent seven francs for the seventh month. and that that little child diminished the air which her daughters breathed. at M. They fed her on what all the rest had left--a little better than the dog. and pawned it at the pawnbroker's for sixty francs. or. and forwarded the twelve francs. The mother. it seemed to her as though it were taken from her own." submitted. whom they had persuaded into the belief that her child was happy. that is to say. as we shall see later on. As soon as that sum was spent. Certain natures cannot love on the one hand without hating on the other. "and was coming on well. caused to be written. and continued her remittances with tolerable regularity from month to month. It is sad to think that the love of a mother can possess villainous aspects. "Cosette is doing wonderfully well. wrote. Mother Thenardier loved her two daughters passionately. The mother. The woman took Cosette's outfit to Paris. Cosette ate with them under the table. from a wooden bowl similar to theirs. which caused her to hate the stranger. that she might have news of her child. a letter every month. they dressed her in the cast-off petticoats and chemises of the Thenardier brats. The cook-shop was in a bad way.CHAPTER III--THE LARK It is not all in all sufficient to be wicked in order to prosper. Thenardier had been able to avoid a protest and to honor his signature. had a load of . The Thenardiers replied invariably. like many women of her sort.. and they treated her accordingly. more correctly.

idolized as they were. then another.caresses and a burden of blows and injuries to dispense each day. before she was even five years old. and so did her wretchedness. that is all. Five years old! the reader will say. from . who should not have understood anything of this world or of God. Cosette could not make a motion which did not draw down upon her head a heavy shower of violent blows and unmerited chastisement. scolded. saying that "the creature" was growing and "eating. The sweet. I must have an increase. People in the village said:-"Those Thenardiers are good people. but the stranger did them the service to divert the blows to herself. "or I'll fire her brat right into the middle of her secrets. beaten. Social suffering begins at all ages. exacted fifteen francs a month. that the child was probably a bastard. Children at that age are only copies of their mother. having learned. "Let her not bother me. Have we not recently seen the trial of a man named Dumollard." and threatening to send her away. incessantly punished. In the meanwhile. as soon as she began to develop a little. who. They are not rich. an orphan turned bandit. A year passed. who lived in a ray of dawn! Madame Thenardier was vicious with Cosette. As long as Cosette was little." he exclaimed. Alas! it is true. Her daughters received nothing but caresses. If she had not had Cosette. Thenardier. ill-used. she became the servant of the household. that is not probable. From year to year the child grew. it is certain that her daughters. feeble being. Eponine and Azelma were vicious. and seeing beside her two little creatures like herself. it is impossible to say by what obscure means." The mother paid the fifteen francs. that is to say. and yet they are bringing up a poor child who was abandoned on their hands!" They thought that Cosette's mother had forgotten her. would have received the whole of it. and that the mother could not acknowledge it. she was the scape-goat of the two other children. The size is smaller.

it seemed as though one beheld in them a still larger amount of sadness. to sweep the rooms. "The sly creature. the street. Some months she was in arrears. sweeping the street before daylight.." said the Thenardiers. was now thin and pale. and a tear in her great eyes. "worked for his living and stole"? Cosette was made to run on errands. so pretty and rosy on her arrival in that house. shivering in the winter in her old rags of linen. as the official documents state. since the mother. and misery had made her ugly. Nothing remained to her except her beautiful eyes. which inspired pain. because. she would not have recognized her child. to even carry burdens. Cosette. Injustice had made her peevish. who was still at M. full of holes. . large as they were. sur M. not yet six years old. the courtyard. being alone in the world. The Thenardiers considered themselves all the more authorized to behave in this manner. She had an indescribably uneasy look. to wash the dishes. with an enormous broom in her tiny red hands.the age of five. It was a heart-breaking thing to see this poor child. If this mother had returned to Montfermeil at the end of these three years. had become irregular in her payments.

had taken a fancy to bestow this name on this trembling. and shivering little creature. The populace. who are fond of these figures of speech. who was awake every morning before any one else in the house or the village. Only the little lark never sang. no bigger than a bird.She was called the Lark in the neighborhood. . frightened. and was always in the street or the fields before daybreak.


to sell at a lower . sur M. This very small change had effected a revolution. This very small change had. and. was in 1818. which reacted on the manufacture. M. This. About two years previously one of those industrial facts which are the grand events of small districts had taken place. This detail is important. an advantage to the consumer. in the third place. seemed to have abandoned her child? Where was she? What was she doing? After leaving her little Cosette with the Thenardiers. we should almost say.CHAPTER I--THE HISTORY OF A PROGRESS IN BLACK GLASS TRINKETS And in the meantime. her native town had prospèred. At the moment when Fantine returned to M. it will be remembered. a benefit to the country.. on account of the high price of the raw material. sur M. sur M. she had continued her journey. which had rendered it possible in the first place. had changed its aspect. to underline it. for bracelets in particular. a stranger. From time immemorial. for slides of soldered sheet-iron. in fact. and had reached M. prodigiously reduced the cost of the raw material. and we regard it as useful to develop it at length. had established himself in the town. in the second place. slides of sheet-iron simply laid together. While Fantine had been slowly descending from wretchedness to wretchedness. gum-lac for resin. sur M. M. what had become of that mother who according to the people at Montfermeil. an unheard-of transformation had taken place in the production of "black goods. This industry had always vegetated. and had been inspired with the idea of substituting. had had for its special industry the imitation of English jet and the black glass trinkets of Germany. to improve the workmanship. Fantine had quitted her province ten years before. to raise the price of manufacture. in this manufacture." Towards the close of 1815 a man.

price. the appearance. knapsack on back and thorn club in hand. and had made every one about him rich. Afterwards they had learned his name. developed by method and thought. on a December evening. a large fire had broken out in the town-hall. nothing was known. It was rumored that he had come to town with very little money. It was from this slender capital. while trebling the profit. a few hundred francs at the most. and the fortune of the whole countryside. that he had drawn his own fortune. and the language of a workingman. This man had rushed into the flames and saved. . which is better. of the beginning of his career. He was a stranger in the Department. which is good. He was called Father Madeleine. Of his origin. On his arrival at M. at the risk of his own life. Thus three results ensued from one idea. just at nightfall. sur M. very little. he had only the garments. two children who belonged to the captain of the gendarmerie. this is why they had forgotten to ask him for his passport. In less than three years the inventor of this process had become rich. enlisted in the service of an ingenious idea. sur M.. It appears that on the very day when he made his obscure entry into the little town of M. which was a benefit to the manufacturer.

There was no pocket so obscure that it had not a little money in it. On this point he was inflexible. who had a preoccupied air. but a singular thing in a simple man of business. in which there were two vast workrooms. of the women pure morals. and the other for women. everything had languished in the country. one for the men. his coming had been a boon.CHAPTER II--MADELEINE He was a man about fifty years of age. sur M. which consumes a good deal of black jet. that at the end of the second year he was able to erect a large factory. He was all the more firmly set on this severity. but before reserving these six . sur M. almost rivalled London and Berlin in this branch of commerce. Father Madeleine gave employment to every one. Father Madeleine's profits were such. in the midst of this activity of which he was the cause and the pivot. opportunities for corruption abounded. and was sure of finding employment and bread. As we have said. and of all. no dwelling so lowly that there was not some little joy within it. now everything lived with a healthy life of toil. He had separated the workrooms in order to separate the sexes. Be an honest woman. Any one who was hungry could present himself there. it did not seem as though that were his chief care.. In 1820 he was known to have a sum of six hundred and thirty thousand francs lodged in his name with Laffitte. He appeared to be thinking much of others. and who was good. probity. Slack seasons and wretchedness were unknown. sur M. However. He exacted but one thing: Be an honest man. That was all that could be said about him. Before Father Madeleine's arrival. Spain. M. and his presence was a godsend. and so that the women and girls might remain discreet. It was the only thing in which he was in a manner intolerant. A strong circulation warmed everything and penetrated everywhere. had become a rather important centre of trade. Father Madeleine required of the men good will. Father Madeleine made his fortune. being a garrison town. made enormous purchases there each year. Thanks to the rapid progress of the industry which he had so admirably re-constructed. M. and little of himself. since M.

he founded six beds there. "He is an ambitious man. he took a Jesuit confessor. soon began to grow uneasy over this religion. He allotted a salary from his own funds to the two instructors. a miserable hovel. whose creature and friend he had been. M. he established there a free dispensary. known under the name of Fouche. mayor of . At first. and a fund for aiding old and infirm workmen. and even practised his religion to a certain degree. The hospital was badly endowed. and resolved to outdo him. and shared the religious ideas of a father of the Oratoire. he had spent more than a million for the town and its poor. He went regularly to low mass every Sunday. Nevertheless. which made twelve." When they saw him enriching the country before he enriched himself." He created at his own expense an infant school. The local deputy. The poor profited by this terror as well as the good God. As his factory was a centre. when they watched his beginnings. The lower town. the good souls said. Ambition was at that time. He indulged in gentle raillery at God with closed doors. who nosed out all rivalry everywhere. a new quarter. and one day he said to some one who expressed surprise. the other for boys." This seemed all the more probable since the man was religious. a thing then almost unknown in France. "The two prime functionaries of the state are the nurse and the schoolmaster. sur M. a salary twice as large as their meagre official salary. Father Madeleine was to be appointed by the King. in which there were a good many indigent families. for the honorable deputy also founded two beds in the hospital. had but one school. rose rapidly around him. on the representations of the prefect and in consideration of the services rendered by him to the country. This deputy had been a member of the legislative body of the Empire. one for girls. a thing which was very favorably viewed at that epoch. in which he lived. "He's a jolly fellow who means to get rich. which was falling to ruin: he constructed two. But when he beheld the wealthy manufacturer Madeleine going to low mass at seven o'clock. and went to high mass and to vespers. in 1819 a rumor one morning circulated through the town to the effect that. Duc d'Otrante. the good souls said. is divided into the upper and the lower town. a race to the steeple. in the direct acceptation of the word.hundred and thirty thousand francs. he perceived in him a possible candidate.

" seized with delight on this opportunity which all men desire." When they saw him repulse society." When he was seen to decline honors. which. "He is a brute. "He is a man of business." an he in he When they saw him making money. and that was what was most adapted to make him smile. "He is ignorant man. In proportion as he mounted. He would not know how to behave society. he was called. Well. He refused. and he endured this adoration with a sort of melancholy gravity. his workmen and the children continued to call him Father Madeleine. Several days later the appointment appeared in the Moniteur. and he received invitations in the town. sur M. "He is an adventurer. throve. His workmen. adored him. Monsieur Madeleine. was in an uproar. so it was the cross that he wanted! Father Madeleine refused the cross. sur M. The prim little drawing-rooms on M. had at first been closed to the artisan. the King appointed the inventor a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. in town. sur M. they said. of no education. opened both leaves of their folding-doors to the millionnaire. No one knows where came from. When he was known to be rich." . when the jury made their report. Those who had pronounced this new-comer to be "an ambitious fellow. In this same year of 1819 the products of the new process invented by Madeleine figured in the industrial exhibition.M. "Society" claimed him for its own. of course. The good souls got out of their predicament by saying. A fresh excitement in the little town. in particular. the poor owed him everything. they said. It has not been absolutely proved that knows how to read." We have seen that the country owed much to him. to exclaim. They made a thousand advances to him. The rumor was well founded. On the following day Father Madeleine refused. This time the good gossips had no trouble. they said. he was so useful and he was so gentle that people had been obliged to honor and respect him. "people in society" bowed to him. invitations rained down upon him. he is some sort of an adventurer. "There! what did we say!" All M. "He is an ambitious man. Decidedly this man was an enigma.." When they saw him scattering his money about. they said. "After all.

In 1820. in an angry way: "A good mayor is a useful thing. but the prefect resisted his refusal. that the King again appointed him mayor of the town. Father Madeleine had become Monsieur Madeleine. It was noticed that the thing which seemed chiefly to bring him to a decision was the almost irritated apostrophe addressed to him by an old woman of the people. He again declined. all the notabilities of the place came to implore him. who called to him from her threshold. the people in the street besought him. sur M. Is he drawing back before the good which he can do?" This was the third phase of his ascent.. the services which he had rendered to the district were so dazzling. the urging was so vigorous that he ended by accepting. . Monsieur Madeleine became Monsieur le Maire. five years after his arrival in M. the opinion of the whole country round about was so unanimous.

he escaped quickly. since he knew all sorts of useful secrets. have lived a country life. and how to chase away weevils by hanging up orviot in bloom everywhere. or stopped a runaway bull by the horns. He habitually wore a hat with a wide brim. In proportion as leisure came to him with fortune. a serious eye. He fulfilled his duties as mayor.CHAPTER III--SUMS DEPOSITED WITH LAFFITTE On the other hand. and more gentle with every passing year. He liked to carry a gun with him on his strolls. more choice. He avoided polite attentions. the thoughtful visage of a philosopher. He spoke to but few people. but they were empty on his return. the ragged brats ran joyously after him. He never shot at a little bird. with an open book before him. he gave. it was thought that he was still prodigiously strong. sur M. by sprinkling it and the granary and inundating the cracks in the floor with a solution of common salt. his shooting was something so infallible as to inspire terror. and a long coat of coarse cloth. He loved books. Although he was no longer young. which he read. in the past. ever since his arrival at M. he seemed to take advantage of it to cultivate his mind. He had gray hair.. among the grass and in the houses. he smiled to relieve himself of the necessity of talking. books are cold but safe friends. which he taught to the peasants. his language had grown more polished. buttoned to the chin. the sunburned complexion of a laborer. he lived in solitude. but he rarely made use of it. and surrounded him like a swarm of gnats. He had a well-selected little library. The women said of him. lifted a horse. He always had his pockets full of money when he went out. When he did happen to do so. in order to get rid of the necessity for smiling. with that exception. He never killed an inoffensive animal. He taught them how to destroy scurf on wheat. . It was thought that he must. When he passed through a village. He always took his meals alone. It had been observed that. He offered his assistance to any one who was in need of it. released a wheel clogged in the mud. "What a good-natured bear!" His pleasure consisted in strolling in the fields. he remained as simple as on the first day. but. on the walls and the ceilings.

which were uprooted and already dried. Chopped up. with the priests groaning around a coffin. nettles are good for poultry. tares. because of his great gentleness. and all parasitic growths which destroy the wheat. with families dressed in black. it has filaments and fibres like hemp and flax. it would be a good thing to know how to make use of them. at night. my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. gives gloss to the hair of animals. simply by the odor of a guinea-pig which he placed in it. mixed with fodder. He defended a rabbit warren against rats. no culture. pounded. he ascended staircases furtively. he entered: he sought out funerals as other men seek christenings. it is neglected and it becomes hurtful. the nettle could be made useful. foxtail. Only the seed falls as it is ripe. One day he saw some country people busily engaged in pulling up nettles. when it is older. With the exercise of a little care. And what is required for the nettle? A little soil. produces a beautiful yellow coloring-matter. There are only bad cultivators. The seed of the nettle. concealing his agency in them as a man conceals himself because of evil actions. He performed a multitude of good actions." The children loved him because he knew how to make charming little trifles of straw and cocoanuts. blight. and it is difficult to collect it. sometimes even forced. That is all. and said: "They are dead. When the nettle is young. When he saw the door of a church hung in black. the root. the leaf makes an excellent vegetable. he mingled with the friends clad in mourning. It is exterminated. during . He seemed to like to give to his thoughts for text these funereal psalmodies filled with the vision of the other world. it is an excellent hay. How many men resemble the nettle!" He added. he listened with a sort of aspiration towards all the mysteries of the infinite. With his eyes fixed on heaven. He penetrated houses privately. no care. they are good for horned cattle. after a pause: "Remember this. Moreover. Widowhood and the grief of others attracted him. those sad voices which sing on the verge of the obscure abyss of death. mixed with salt. A poor wretch on returning to his attic would find that his door had been opened. Nettle cloth is as good as linen cloth.He had "recipes" for exterminating from a field. which can be cut twice. Nevertheless. he examined the plants.

so that one of the elegant and malicious young women of M. and the first thing he beheld was a piece of gold lying forgotten on some piece of furniture. like all furniture of that sort." Some people maintained that he was a mysterious person. sur M. came to him one day. They could see nothing remarkable about it. sign a receipt. It was also whispèred about that he had "immense" sums deposited with Laffitte. pray show us your chamber." They were well punished for their curiosity. and asked: "Monsieur le Maire. and introduced them instantly into this "grotto. a mysterious retreat. M. to six hundred and thirty or forty thousand francs. a tomb. which was a regular anchorite's cell. "these two or three millions" were reducible. There is a happy man who has not a contented air. as we have said. with this peculiar feature. and hung with paper worth twelve sous. people continued to say that no one ever got into the room. The poor man made a clamor over it: some malefactor had been there! He entered. . and carry off his two or three millions in ten minutes. it was added. "for they were hall-marked. so that.his absence. The room was very simply furnished in mahogany. It is said to be a grotto." He smiled. Nevertheless. and that it was a hermit's cave. and that no one ever entered his chamber. furnished with winged hour-glasses and enlivened by cross-bones and skulls of dead men! This was much talked of. The "malefactor" who had been there was Father Madeleine." an observation full of the type of wit of petty towns. Madeleine could make his appearance at Laffitte's any morning. which was rather ugly. The people said: "There is a rich man who has not a haughty air. that they were always at his immediate disposal. except two candlesticks of antique pattern which stood on the chimney-piece and appeared to be silver. a hole. In reality. He was affable and sad.

And this soul. a sister. The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved. gropingly. a daughter. is a woman. To have continually at one's side a woman. Does he lack anything? No.to supply here a detail which the papers omitted--had been blind for many years before his death. never to be left. "Since she consecrates the whole of her time to me." who had died in the odor of sanctity at the age of eighty-two. to lean upon . surnamed "Monseigneur Bienvenu. that to be blind and to be loved.--few felicities equal this. where nothing is complete. who is there because you need her and because she cannot do without you. it is because I possess the whole of her heart". this conviction the blind man possesses. in fact. to be able to incessantly measure one's affection by the amount of her presence which she bestows on us. to manifest at each instant one's personal attraction. to become in one's obscurity. of this speech.CHAPTER IV--M. And what love! A love wholly constituted of virtue! There is no blindness where there is certainty. Bishop of D----. the star around which this angel gravitates. MADELEINE IN MOURNING At the beginning of 1820 the newspapers announced the death of M. loved in spite of one's self. to hear her come and go. Let us remark by the way. to know that we are indispensable to a person who is necessary to us. it is hers: a mouth lightly touches your brow. to feel one's self all the more powerful because of one's infirmity. is. to have that sweet weakness aiding you. retire. Myriel. A hand sustains you. a charming being. The Bishop of D---. and content to be blind. return. to regard the rustle of a gown as the sound of wings. sing. to be able to verify the fidelity of one being amid the eclipse of the world. and to say to ourselves. it is hers. found and tested. and through one's obscurity. and to think that one is the centre of these steps. Soul seeks soul. To be served in distress is to be caressed. one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness upon this earth. it is her mouth: you hear a breath very near you. speak. to behold her thought in lieu of her face. One does not lose the sight when one has love. from her worship to her pity. To have everything of her. loved for one's own sake-let us say rather. and finds it. as his sister was beside him.

it is but to return again. but one feels that one is adored. by the more numerous courtesies of the old women and the more plentiful smiles of the young ones. Madeleine's credit greatly. One would not exchange that shadow for all brightness! The angel soul is there. and procured for him." . she vanishes like a dream. Nothings. "It is because I was a servant in his family in my youth. Madeleine. It seemed to throw a light on M. who was curious by right of seniority. M. with gayety. le Maire is doubtless a cousin of the late Bishop of D----?" He said. Madame. ventured to ask him. a ruler in that petty great world. which are enormous in that void. "you are wearing mourning for him. The announcement of his death was reprinted by the local journal of M. This mourning was noticed in the town. and to be able to take it in one's arms. On the following day. And there are a thousand little cares. if she departs. and with crape on his hat. The most ineffable accents of the feminine voice employed to lull you. sur M. and reappears like reality. Madeleine perceived the advancement which he had obtained." He replied. "No. this raised M. One feels warmth approaching. one is a radiance amid the night. It is a paradise of shadows. celestial flower.--what bliss! The heart. to touch Providence with one's hands. It was concluded that some relationship existed between him and the venerable Bishop. Madeleine's origin. "He has gone into mourning for the Bishop of D----" said the drawing-rooms. and commented on." "But. instantly and at one blow. and supplying the vanished universe to you. and behold! she is there.that immovable reed. uninterruptedly there. the probable relative of a bishop." resumed the dowager. The microscopic Faubourg Saint-Germain of the place meditated raising the quarantine against M. undergoes a mysterious blossoming. with ecstasy. "M. a certain consideration in the noble world of M. One overflows with serenity. that obscure. M.--God made tangible. It was from this paradise that Monseigneur Welcome had passed to the other. Madeleine appeared clad wholly in black. One is caressed with the soul. One evening. One sees nothing. sur M.

the mayor had him summoned.Another thing which was remarked. The little Savoyards told each other about it: a great many of them passed that way. inquired his name. was. . and gave him money. that every time that he encountered in the town a young Savoyard who was roaming about the country and seeking chimneys to sweep.

which does not hesitate. though pure and upright. and with good reason. he reconciled enemies. and which. respect became complete. and which never belies itself. whatever Father Madeleine did. unanimous. Madeleine was passing along a street. which fatally separates one nature from another nature. calm. It was like an epidemic of veneration. Madeleine. Madeleine. intractable. and in the course of time. all this opposition subsided. clad in an iron-gray frock-coat. and followed him with his eyes until he disappeared. absolutely escaped this contagion.in 1815. and towards 1821 the moment arrived when the word "Monsieur le Maire" was pronounced at M. in fact. with folded arms and a slow shake of the .CHAPTER V--VAGUE FLASHES ON THE HORIZON Little by little. He put an end to differences. and. clear in its obscurity. secretly warns the man-dog of the presence of the man-cat. like all instincts. sur M. as though there existed in certain men a veritable bestial instinct. a man of lofty stature. in virtue of a sort of law which all those who rise must submit to. he prevented lawsuits. There had at first been exercised against M. which feels no disquiet. People came from a distance of ten leagues around to consult M. then merely malicious remarks. then even this entirely disappeared. in the arrondissement. in whatever manner destinies are arranged. stubborn to all counsels of the intelligence and to all the dissolvents of reason. It seemed as though he had for a soul the book of the natural law. cordial. It frequently happened that when M. surrounded by the blessings of all. turned round abruptly behind him. imperious. which creates antipathies and sympathies. Every one took him for the judge. blackening and calumnies. and wearing a battered hat. and the man-fox of the presence of the manlion. then they grew to be nothing more than illnature. One single man in the town. affectionate. remained his opponent as though a sort of incorruptible and imperturbable instinct kept him on the alert and uneasy. which in the course of six or seven years gradually took possession of the whole district. It seems. which does not hold its peace. with almost the same accent as "Monseigneur the Bishop" had been pronounced in D---. infallible. armed with a heavy cane.

God shows them to us in order to induce us to reflect. I am not his dupe. Certain police officers have a peculiar physiognomy. sur M. This. he exercised the unpleasant but useful functions of an inspector.head. all animals exist in man. after all? I certainly have seen him somewhere. Animals are nothing else than the figures of our virtues and our vices. that is to say. God has bestowed on them intelligence. we should be able to see distinctly that strange thing that each one individual of the human race corresponds to some one of the species of the animal creation. Javert possessed this physiognomy minus the baseness. It is our conviction that if souls were visible to the eyes. that from the oyster to the eagle. and his upper lip raised in company with his lower to his nose. At M. straying before our eyes. sur M. Sometimes even several of them at a time. is of course from the restricted point of view of the terrestrial life which is apparent. of whatever sort it may be. and Father Madeleine had become Monsieur Madeleine. His name was Javert. the possibility of education. God has not made them capable of education in the full sense of the word. when well done. hardly perceived by the thinker. In any case. Social education. He had not seen Madeleine's beginnings. our souls being realities and having a goal which is appropriate to them. the fortune of the great manufacturer was already made. a sort of significant grimace which might be translated by: "What is that man. even when only seen by a rapid glimpse. Comte Angeles. and . and that each one of them is in a man. can always draw from a soul. Chabouillet. grave with a gravity which was almost menacing. and he belonged to the police. be it said. then prefect of police at Paris." This person. the visible phantoms of our souls. Only since animals are mere shadows. from the pig to the tiger. Javert owed the post which he occupied to the protection of M. arrest the spectator's attention. the utility which it contains. When Javert arrived at M. and we could easily recognize this truth. which is complicated with an air of baseness mingled with an air of authority. the secretary of the Minister of State. was one of those men who. what is the use? On the contrary.

otherwise. As for the rest. and around his nose there formed a flattened and savage fold. "human face. let us come to an understanding as to the words. he had no choice except between these two classes. During his youth he had been employed in the convict establishments of the South. as he grew up. he succeeded there. He entered the police. with two deep nostrils. as on the muzzle of a wild beast. When Javert laughed. Give to this dog-son of a wolf a human face. that in every man there is one of the animal species of creation. let us pass on. Now. Before proceeding further. he had very little skull and a great deal of jaw. his hair concealed his forehead and fell over his eyebrows. with us. As he grew up. Javert. at the same time. towards which enormous whiskers ascended on his cheeks. whose husband was in the galleys. and the result will be Javert. and probity. central . of a fortune-teller. for a moment. Javert had been born in prison. between his eyes there was a permanent. One felt ill at ease when he saw these two forests and these two caverns for the first time.-those who attack it and those who guard it. serious. he thought that he was outside the pale of society.--and his laugh was rare and terrible. Having made this reservation. he would devour the other little ones. he was conscious of an indescribable foundation of rigidity. when he laughed.without prejudging the profound question of the anterior or ulterior personality of the beings which are not man. The peasants of Asturias are convinced that in every litter of wolves there is one dog. The human face of Javert consisted of a flat nose. was a watchdog." which we have just applied to Javert. if the reader will admit. At forty years of age he was an inspector. it will be easy for us to say what there was in Police Officer Javert. The visible I in nowise authorizes the thinker to deny the latent I. and he despaired of ever re-entering it.--his thin lips parted and revealed to view not only his teeth. complicated with an inexpressible hatred for the race of bohemians whence he was sprung. He observed that society unpardoningly excludes two classes of men. he was a tiger. which is killed by the mother because. but his gums. regularity.

if the latter had escaped from the galleys. if she had broken her ban. of authenticating. He enveloped in a blind and profound faith every one who had a function in the state. and disgust every one who had once crossed the legal threshold of evil. which at that epoch seasoned with lofty cosmogony those things which were called the ultra newspapers. but he rendered them almost bad. are only forms of rebellion. He had introduced a straight line into what is the most crooked thing in the world. like fanatics. by dint of exaggerating them. This man was composed of two very simple and two very good sentiments. chastity. hatred of rebellion. he possessed the conscience of his usefulness. And. Woe to the man who fell into his hands! He would have arrested his own father. Brutus in Vidocq. would not have failed to declare that Javert was a symbol. isolation." He fully shared the opinion of those extreme minds which attribute to human law I know not what power of making. He was absolute. Javert's whole person was expressive of the man who spies and who withdraws himself from observation. like an imprint of wrath. he said. aversion. cold and piercing. comparatively. demons. his mouth pursed up and terrible. from the prime minister to the rural policeman. a life of privation. austere. serious. a melancholy dreamer." On the other hand. robbery. murder. On the one hand.-respect for authority. the religion of his functions. with never a diversion. humble and haughty. His glance was like a gimlet. Nothing good can come from them.frown. the magistrate is never the wrong. he said. "These men are irremediably lost. a pitiless lying in wait. and in his eyes. "The functionary can make no mistake. as the Spartans understood Sparta. his air that of ferocious command. a marble informer. a ferocious honesty. withal. His brow was not visible. And he would have done it with that sort of inward satisfaction which is conferred by virtue. his gaze was obscure. and would have denounced his mother. and who place a Styx at the base of society. abnegation. He covered with scorn. He was stoical. and he was a spy as other men are priests. and admitted no exceptions. The mystical school of Joseph de Maistre. if the reader will have it so. it disappeared beneath his hat: his eyes were not visible. or. It was implacable duty. all crimes. the police understood. His whole life hung on these two words: watchfulness and supervision. since they were lost under .

all the anterior traces which Father Madeleine might have left elsewhere.his eyebrows: his chin was not visible. "I think I have him!" Then he remained pensive for three days. a baleful glance. and a monstrous cudgel. Madeleine. there was suddenly seen to emerge from all this shadow. Once he chanced to say. he read. they were drawn up in his sleeves: and his cane was not visible. that some one had gleaned certain information in a certain district about a family which had disappeared. for it was plunged in his cravat: his hands were not visible. he carried it under his coat. It seemed that the thread which he thought he held had broken. a threatening chin. Such was this formidable man. In his leisure moments. and uttered not a word. Therein lay his connection with humanity. this caused him to be not wholly illiterate. the face of Javert petrified them at sight. as he did all the rest of the world. When he was pleased with himself. he had no vices. he neither sought nor avoided him. This could be recognized by some emphasis in his speech. But when the occasion presented itself. that he had secretly investigated. as from an ambuscade. he bore that embarrassing and almost oppressive gaze without appearing to notice it. Madeleine had finally perceived the fact. It was divined. He seemed to know. . He treated Javert with ease and courtesy. and into which there enters as much instinct as will. Vagrants. The name of Javert routed them by its mere utterance. which were far from frequent. he permitted himself a pinch of snuff. As we have said. enormous hands. The reader will have no difficulty in understanding that Javert was the terror of that whole class which the annual statistics of the Ministry of Justice designates under the rubric. although he hated books. from some words which escaped Javert. An eye full of suspicion and conjecture. but it seemed to be of no importance to him. Javert was like an eye constantly fixed on M. He did not even put a question to Javert. and he sometimes said in covert words. as he was talking to himself. a narrow and angular forehead. with that curiosity which belongs to the race. M.

there can be nothing really infallible in a human creature. it would be superior to intelligence. Javert was evidently somewhat disconcerted by the perfect naturalness and tranquillity of M. It was on the following occasion. and defeated. his strange manner appeared to produce an impression on M. and this furnishes the necessary corrective for the too absolute sense which certain words might present. Otherwise.Moreover. nevertheless. Madeleine. thrown off the track. and the peculiarity of instinct is that it can become confused. . Madeleine. One day. and the beast would be found to be provided with a better light than man.

"How long will it take to get it?" "They have gone for the nearest. on every occasion. and he had done all he could. It was impossible to disengage him otherwise than by lifting the vehicle off of him. This Fauchelevent was one of the few enemies whom M. Javert." . a wrong shake. Fauchelevent. his horse having tumbled down. but in vain. an exnotary and a peasant who was almost educated. The cart was quite heavily laden. where there is a farrier. he heard a noise. Fauchelevent had seen this simple workman grow rich. had a business which was beginning to be in a bad way. The horse had two broken legs and could not rise. The fall had been so unlucky that the whole weight of the vehicle rested on his breast. sur M. Father Fauchelevent was rattling in the throat in the most lamentable manner. was being ruined. arrived. Madeleine had at that time. and saw a group some distance away. to injure Madeleine. When Madeleine arrived in the neighborhood. it will take a good quarter of an hour. "Who will be good and save the old man?" M. M. aid awkwardly given. who had come up at the moment of the accident. An unmethodical effort." answered the peasant. to Flachot's place. had sent for a jack-screw. Then bankruptcy had come. while he. and neither family nor children. a lawyer. He approached. Madeleine turned towards those present:-"Is there a jack-screw to be had?" "One has been sent for. Madeleine was passing through an unpaved alley of M. might kill him. Madeleine respectfully. The old man was caught in the wheels. An old man named Father Fauchelevent had just fallen beneath his cart. but it makes no difference. he had turned carter. and as the old man had nothing left but a cart and a horse. People stood aside "Help!" cried old Fauchelevent.CHAPTER VI--FATHER FAUCHELEVENT One morning M. They had tried.. to drag him out. This had filled him with jealousy.

emphasizing every word that he uttered:-"Monsieur Madeleine. "It is not the will which is lacking. One of them muttered: "A man would need to be devilish strong. who were staring at him." Then." ." began Madeleine again. "twenty louis." said a voice." The same silence. and recognized Javert. The persons present dropped their eyes. Madeleine." resumed Madeleine. "there is still room enough under the cart to allow a man to crawl beneath it and raise it with his back. and the poor man can be taken out. and crushing the old carter's breast more and more. Javert went on:-"It is strength. he went on. Madeleine turned round. I have never known but one man capable of doing what you ask. It was evident that his ribs would be broken in five minutes more. M. And then he runs the risk of getting crushed!" "Come. He had not noticed him on his arrival." said Madeleine. gazing fixedly at M. "It is impossible to wait another quarter of an hour. The cart was sinking deeper into the earth every moment. Is there any one here who has stout loins and heart? There are five louis d'or to be earned!" Not a man in the group stirred. "We must!" "But it will be too late then! Don't you see that the cart is sinking?" "Well!" "Listen."A quarter of an hour!" exclaimed Madeleine. One would have to be a terrible man to do such a thing as lift a cart like that on his back." said Madeleine to the peasants. "Ten louis. Only half a minute. It had rained on the preceding night. the soil was soaked.

then. and he was that convict. and smiled sadly. he was underneath the vehicle. The wheels had continued to sink. no one who wishes to earn twenty louis and save the life of this poor old man?" No one stirred. "Father Madeleine.Madeleine shuddered. the wheels half emerged from the . come out!" Old Fauchelevent himself said to him. and shrieked:-"I am strangling! My ribs are breaking! a screw! something! Ah!" Madeleine glanced about him." Madeleine turned pale. They shouted to him. Meanwhile. with an air of indifference. Then. almost flat on his stomach beneath that terrible weight. without saying a word. Javert added. the cart continued to sink slowly." "Ah! It is crushing me!" cried the old man. moment of expectation and silence They beheld Madeleine. "Is there. the cart rose slowly. go away! You see that I am fated to die! Leave me! You will get yourself crushed also!" Madeleine made no reply. met Javert's falcon eye still fixed upon him. and before the crowd had even had time to utter a cry. he fell on his knees. looked at the motionless peasants. Madeleine raised his head. "Monsieur Madeleine. Suddenly the enormous mass was seen to quiver. but without removing his eyes from Madeleine:-"He was a convict. Father Fauchelevent rattled in the throat. make two vain efforts to bring his knees and his elbows together." "Ah!" said Madeleine. A terrible ensued. and it had become almost impossible for Madeleine to make his way from under the vehicle. Javert resumed:-"I have never known but one man who could take the place of a screw. All the spectators were panting. "In the galleys at Toulon.

The cart was raised by twenty arms. All wept. "Make haste! Help!" It was Madeleine. . who had just made a final effort. though dripping with perspiration. As for him.ruts. The devotion of a single man had given force and courage to all. and he fixed his tranquil eye on Javert. The old man kissed his knees and called him the good God. who was still staring at him. He was pale. Madeleine rose. His clothes were torn and covered with mud. Old Fauchelevent was saved. They heard a stifled voice crying. They rushed forwards. he bore upon his countenance an indescribable expression of happy and celestial suffering.

but his knee remained stiff. This prosperity created at M. and this led to this arrondissement being frequently cited from all the rest by M. Madeleine clothed in the scarf which gave him authority over the town.. de Villele. Some time afterwards. got the good man a place as gardener in a female convent in the Rue Saint-Antoine in Paris. then Minister of Finance. the taxes are paid easily and cost the state nothing. From that time forth he avoided him as much as he possibly could. and which was served by two sisters of charity." The cart was broken. The first time that Javert beheld M. besides the visible signs which we have mentioned. he addressed him with profound respect. sur M. It may be said. and the state expends a great deal of money in the charges for compelling and collection. When work is abundant.--the cost of collecting the taxes. Father Madeleine had him conveyed to an infirmary which he had established for his workmen in the factory building itself. On the following morning the old man found a thousand-franc bank-note on his nightstand. when the country is rich and happy. When the population suffers. This never deceives. that there is one infallible thermometer of the public misery and riches. sur M. In the course of seven years the expense of collecting the taxes had diminished three-fourths in the arrondissement of M. and the horse was dead. and he could not do otherwise than meet the mayor. M. Fauchelevent recovered. When the requirements of the service imperatively demanded it. on the recommendation of the sisters of charity and of his priest. the tax-payer resists imposts through penury. . with these words in Father Madeleine's writing: "I purchase your horse and cart. by Father Madeleine had. M. he exhausts and oversteps his respite. he felt the sort of shudder which a watch-dog might experience on smelling a wolf in his master's clothes. Madeleine was appointed mayor. when there is no commerce. another symptom which was none the less significant for not being visible. Madeleine. when work is lacking.CHAPTER VII--FAUCHELEVENT BECOMES A GARDENER IN PARIS Fauchelevent had dislocated his kneepan in his fall.

the problem was solved. She presented herself there. she could not be very skilful at it. The trade was entirely new to Fantine.Such was the condition of the country when Fantine returned thither. but it was sufficient. Fortunately. . No one remembered her. and was admitted to the women's workroom. and she therefore earned but little by her day's work. she was earning her living. Madeleine's factory was like the face of a friend. the door of M.

As she only knew how to sign her name. they will make the drivers of hackney-coaches and lackeys tipsy. and this was noticed. which are. they will bribe errand-porters. As she was not able to say that she was married she took good care. of no consequence whatever to them. that Fantine "wrote letters" and that "she had ways about her. buy a waiting-maid. as the reader has seen. moreover. she felt joyful for a moment." There is no one for spying on people's actions like those who are not concerned in them. take more trouble. than would be required for ten good actions. her beautiful hair. under alley-way doors at night. She hired a little room and furnished on credit on the strength of her future work-a lingering trace of her improvident ways. They will follow up such and such a man or woman for whole days. At first. waste more time. when she has a "whole stationer's shop full of it?" etc. in cold and rain. in the women's workroom. she was obliged to write through a public letter-writer. without receiving any other payment for their curiosity than curiosity. spend more money. they will do sentry duty for hours at a time on the corners of the streets. and that gratuitously. she forgot many things. So-and-So never hang his key on its nail on Tuesday? Why does he always take the narrow streets? Why does Madame always descend from her hackney-coach before reaching her house? Why does she send out to purchase six sheets of note paper. There exist beings who. for their own pleasure. To live honestly by her own labor. what mercy from heaven! The taste for work had really returned to her. took pleasure in surveying in it her youth. she paid the Thenardiers promptly. Why does that gentleman never come except at nightfall? Why does Mr. suborn a porter. It began to be said in an undertone. not to mention her little girl. she thought only of Cosette and of the possible future. for the sake of obtaining the key to these enigmas. her fine teeth. . as we have seen. She bought a lookingglass.CHAPTER VIII--MADAME VICTURNIEN EXPENDS THIRTY FRANCS ON MORALITY When Fantine saw that she was making her living. She wrote often. and was almost happy.

And often these secrets once known. and by pure instinct. and that she paid the carriage on the letter. it was discovered that Fantine had a child. bring on catastrophies. talked to the Thenardiers. The public writer. These were the moments when she was thinking of her child. Their conversation. she had married a monk who had fled . gossip of the anteroom. and re-enforced the mask of ugliness with the mask of age. in '93. the ruin of families. A pure passion for seeing. the guardian and door-keeper of every one's virtue. "She must be a pretty sort of a woman. A sad thing. to the great joy of those who have "found out everything. and broken lives. A pure itch for talking. In addition. and penetrating into things.Why? For no reason. Madame Victurnien was fifty-six. these enigmas illuminated by the light of day." without any interest in the matter. failures. the chat of the drawing-room. Monsieur Thenardier." The gossip who did this thing was a gorgon named Madame Victurnien. inn-keeper at Montfermeil. was made to talk in the wine-shop. to wipe away a tear. Breaking the gloomy bonds of the past is a mournful task. A quavering voice. and said on her return: "For my five and thirty francs I have freed my mind. perhaps. they need a great amount of combustibles. Certain persons are malicious solely through a necessity for talking. a good old man who could not fill his stomach with red wine without emptying his pocket of secrets. many a one was jealous of her golden hair and of her white teeth." An old gossip was found. So Fantine was watched. is like those chimneys which consume wood rapidly. of the man whom she had loved. It was observed that she wrote twice a month at least. these mysteries made public. It was remarked that in the workroom she often turned aside. duels. in the midst of the rest. also. who made the trip to Montfermeil. I have seen the child. knowing. They managed to obtain the address: Monsieur. This old dame had once been young--astonishing fact! In her youth. In short. and their combustibles are furnished by their neighbors. a whimsical mind.

Fantine had been at the factory for more than a year. she was in debt for her rent and furniture. and returned to her room. At the Restoration she had turned bigot. and that with so much energy that the priests had forgiven her her monk. . So her fault was now known to every one. This was the very month when the Thenardiers. and had dismissed her because he was just. when. whose widow she was. Fifty francs was not sufficient to cancel this debt. rough. She no longer felt strong enough to say a word. to leave the neighborhood. She was a nettle in which the rustle of the cassock was visible. The superintendent ordered her to leave the shop on the instant. and passed from the Bernardines to the Jacobins. So this Madame Victurnien went to Montfermeil. She could not leave the neighborhood. She stammered a few supplicating words. all this in memory of her monk. peevish. after having demanded twelve francs instead of six. She was advised to see the mayor." All this took time. Overcome with shame. She bowed before the decision. She had a small property. and who had ruled over her masterfully and bent her to his will. she quitted the shop. She was dry. almost venomous. "I have seen the child. and requested her.from his cloister in a red cap. Besides. even more than with despair. the superintendent of the workroom handed her fifty francs from the mayor. told her that she was no longer employed in the shop. She was in high favor at the episcopal palace of Arras. she did not dare. in the mayor's name. and returned with the remark. had just exacted fifteen francs instead of twelve. which she bequeathed with much ostentation to a religious community. captious. Fantine was only a moderately good workwoman. one morning. sharp. Fantine was overwhelmed. The mayor had given her fifty francs because he was good.

full of the charity which consists in giving. No one would have her. she went from house to house. As regards the fifty francs. with nothing but her bed. kept only necessaries. Madeleine relied wholly on her. condemned. there is the . and the conviction that she was doing right." She divided the fifty francs between the landlord and the furnituredealer. The secondhand dealer. Madeleine had intrusted to her for charitable purposes. and earned twelve sous a day. said to her.--a truly respectable person. At the head of this room he had placed an elderly spinster. "You are young and pretty. Back of living on little. It was with this full power. She began to make coarse shirts for soldiers of the garrison. that the superintendent had instituted the suit. she had given them from a fund which M. whom she owed for her rent. and of which she rendered no account. equitable. I will have you arrested as a thief. However." The householder. Madeleine was in the habit of almost never entering the women's workroom. and executed Fantine. and found herself without work. whom the priest had provided for him.CHAPTER IX--MADAME VICTURNIEN'S SUCCESS So the monk's widow was good for something. and for giving assistance to the workwomen. firm. returned to the latter three-quarters of his goods. you can pay. judged. M. without a trade. The best men are often obliged to delegate their authority. to whom she was in debt for her furniture--and what furniture!--said to her. and still about fifty francs in debt. upright. taught her the art of living in misery. Madeleine had heard nothing of all this. M. Fantine tried to obtain a situation as a servant in the neighborhood. It was at this point that she began to pay the Thenardiers irregularly. Life is full of just such combinations of events. But M. Her daughter cost her ten. but not having in the same degree that charity which consists in understanding and in forgiving. She could not leave town. the old woman who lighted her candle for her when she returned at night. and he had full confidence in this superintendent. "If you leave.

knowing how to write just sufficiently to sign herself Marguerite. how to save one's candle. can get out of a sou. It seems as though an unfortunate woman were utterly bare beneath the sarcasm and the curiosity of . by taking one's meals by the light of the opposite window.--all this will support me. by only sleeping five hours. was a sainted spinster named Marguerite. and even towards the rich. she divined that people turned round behind her. and believing in God. and working all the rest of the time at my sewing. and regained a little courage. trouble on the other. who have grown old in privation and honesty. Fantine learned how to live without fire entirely in the winter." It would have been a great happiness to have her little girl with her in this distress. how to give up a bird which eats a half a farthing's worth of millet every two days. how to make a coverlet of one's petticoat. It ends by being a talent. and a petticoat of one's coverlet. There are many such virtuous people in this lower world. the second is black. When she was in the street. some day they will be in the world above. she was in debt to the Thenardiers! How could she pay them? And the journey! How pay for that? The old woman who had given her lessons in what may be called the life of indigence. At this epoch she said to a neighbor. She thought of having her come. Well. poor and charitable towards the poor. Fantine had been so ashamed that she had not dared to go out. the cold and bitter scorn of the passers-by penetrated her very flesh and soul like a north wind. then. who was pious with a true piety. which is science. every one stared at her and no one greeted her. No one knows all that certain feeble creatures. I shall always manage to nearly earn my bread. Fantine acquired this sublime talent. And. "Bah! I say to myself. when one is sad.living on nothing. one eats less. This life has a morrow. sufferings. uneasiness. But what then! Make her share her own destitution! And then. These are the two chambers. At first. and pointed at her. a little bread on one hand. the first is dark.

and this obscurity is a garment. At the expiration of two or three months she shook off her shame. with a bitter smile. She went and came. as she had accustomed herself to indigence. Excess of toil wore out Fantine." had been "put back in her proper place. and began to go about as though there were nothing the matter. Gradually she decided on her course. "It is all the same to me. at least. The happiness of the evil-minded is black. from her window. no one knows you. She sometimes said to her neighbor. and it flowed about her like floss silk.all in small towns. "thanks to her. and the little dry cough which troubled her increased." she said." and congratulated herself. Madame Victurnien sometimes saw her passing. . when she combed her beautiful hair in the morning with an old broken comb. In Paris. noticed the distress of "that creature" who. she experienced a moment of happy coquetry. Oh! how she would have liked to betake herself to Paris! Impossible! She was obliged to accustom herself to disrepute. Marguerite. "Just feel how hot my hands are!" Nevertheless. and was conscious that she was becoming brazen-faced. bearing her head well up.

Her creditors harrassed her. and in which she was still pretty. One day they wrote to her that her little Cosette was entirely naked in that cold weather. A frightful season! Winter changes the water of heaven and the heart of man into a stone. no noonday. "What splendid hair!" exclaimed the barber. twilight. Her admirable golden hair fell to her knees. The whole day is a cavern. it is impossible to see clearly at it. she began to hate every one about her. The poor Lark continued to shiver. and that her mother must send at least ten francs for this. by dint of repeating to herself that it . They gave the petticoat to Eponine. Fantine earned too little. I have clothed her with my hair. who were not promptly paid. fogs. This petticoat made the Thenardiers furious. the window is gray." She put on little round caps which concealed her shorn head. that she needed a woollen skirt. yet. Short days. and pulled out her comb. but winter came again. "Ten francs. That evening she went into a barber's shop at the corner of the street. Fantine thought: "My child is no longer cold." "Cut it off. less work. and whose carriage ruined her. She received the letter. Winter: no warmth. no light. Her debts had increased." She purchased a knitted petticoat and sent it to the Thenardiers. When she saw that she could no longer dress her hair. the summer passed. and crushed it in her hands all day long. wrote to her constantly letters whose contents drove her to despair.CHAPTER X--RESULT OF THE SUCCESS She had been dismissed towards the end of the winter. The Thenardiers. She had long shared the universal veneration for Father Madeleine. The sun has the air of a beggar. the evening joining on to the morning. It was the money that they wanted. "How much will you give me for it?" said she. Dark thoughts held possession of Fantine's heart. The sky is but a vent-hole.

and we can no longer pay for them. they call it. and most of all." and she laughed. a sort of mendicant musician. Expensive drugs are required. a lazy beggar." Nevertheless she went to a dormer window in the staircase and read the letter once more. when the workpeople were at the door. Then she descended the stairs and emerged. out of bravado and with rage in her heart. She adored her child. she affected to laugh and sing. Her cough did not leave her. she saw a great many people collected around a carriage of eccentric shape. "What makes you so gay?" She replied: "A fine piece of stupidity that some country people have written to me. This is ruining us. They demand forty francs of me. a man whom she did not love. the more radiant shone that little angel at the bottom of her heart. The lower she descended. and who abandoned her as she had taken him. who . that he was the cause of her unhappiness. in disgust." She took a lover. the first who offered. If you do not send us forty francs before the week is out. Some one met her and said to her. One day she received from the Thenardiers a letter couched in the following terms: "Cosette is ill with a malady which is going the rounds of the neighborhood. An old workwoman who once saw her laughing and singing in this fashion said. she came to hate him also.was he who had discharged her. you peasants!" As she crossed the square. who beat her." She burst out laughing. upon the top of which stood a man dressed in red. the little one will be dead. the darker everything grew about her. running and leaping and still laughing. "There's a girl who will come to a bad end. truly. "When I get rich. When she passed the factory in working hours. He was a miserable scamp. and she had sweats on her back. A miliary fever. I will have my Cosette with me. and said to her old neighbor: "Ah! they are good! Forty francs! the idea! That makes two napoleons! Where do they think I am to get them? These peasants are stupid. So much for you. She said.

" She remained thoughtful. which contained slang for the populace and jargon for respectable people. "Two napoleons." "What are my palettes?" asked Fantine. and began her work. "Here's a lucky girl!" Fantine fled and stopped her ears that she might not hear the hoarse voice of the man shouting to her: "Reflect. who are laughing. "that makes forty francs. "are the front teeth. but my teeth! Ah! what a monster of a man! I should prefer to throw myself head first on the pavement from the fifth story! He told me that he should be at the Tillac d'Argent this evening. He was a quack dentist on his rounds. laughing girl. they may prove of service." "How horrible!" exclaimed Fantine. "Two napoleons!" grumbled a toothless old woman who was present. my beauty! two napoleons. the two upper ones. Fantine mingled in the group." "That makes forty francs. and began to laugh with the rest at the harangue. . At the expiration of a quarter of an hour she left her sewing and went to read the Thenardiers' letter once more on the staircase. who was offering to the public full sets of teeth." said Fantine. I will give you a gold napoleon apiece for them. you will find me there.was holding forth. you girl there. powders and elixirs." replied the dental professor. and related the occurrence to her good neighbor Marguerite: "Can you understand such a thing? Is he not an abominable man? How can they allow such people to go about the country! Pull out my two front teeth! Why." "Yes. The tooth-puller espied the lovely. "The palettes. and suddenly exclaimed: "You have beautiful teeth. If your heart bids you. if you want to sell me your palettes. opiates." "And what did he offer?" asked Marguerite. I should be horrible! My hair will grow again. She was furious." Fantine returned home. come this evening to the inn of the Tillac d'Argent.

older since the "Jesus!" said Marguerite." . "it is a disease." answered the old spinster. and in this manner used only one candle for the two. That evening she went out. Fantine left the room and went to read her letter once more on the staircase. when Marguerite entered Fantine's room before daylight. who was at work beside her:-"What is a miliary fever? Do you know?" "Yes. She had not lain down." "Does it require many drugs?" "Oh! terrible drugs. Her candle had burned all night. The next morning. Her cap had fallen on her knees." Then she looked at Fantine. and exclaimed:-"Lord! the candle is all burned out! Something has happened." "Do people die of it?" "They may." "Then it attacks children?" "Children in particular.--she found Fantine seated on her bed. Fantine?" "Nothing. My child will not die of that frightful malady. where the inns are situated. and was almost entirely consumed.--for they always worked together. petrified at this tremendous wastefulness. "Quite the contrary. she said to Marguerite. pale and frozen. Fantine had grown ten years preceding night." "How does one get it?" "It is a malady that one gets without knowing how." said Marguerite. Marguerite halted on the threshold. and was seen to turn her steps in the direction of the Rue de Paris." replied Fantine.On her return. for lack of succor. who turned toward her her head bereft of its hair. "what is the matter with you. I am content.

forgotten. As the heels wore out. a rag which she called her coverlet. she no longer mended her linen. which was old and worn out. A final sign. A little rosebush which she had. She deeply hated Father Madeleine. with scraps of calico which tore at the slightest movement. It was a bloody smile. Whether from lack of time or from indifference. The poor occupant can reach the end of his chamber as he can the end of his destiny. A reddish saliva soiled the corners of her lips. with dirty caps. This was evident from the perpendicular wrinkles. She passed many a night weeping and thinking. she dragged her stockings down into her shoes. she found them again on her staircase. in one corner." replied Fantine. Her eyes were very bright. The candle illuminated her countenance. After all it was a ruse of the Thenardiers to obtain money. "Ah! Jesus God!" cried Marguerite. Cosette was not ill. She patched her bodice. She had no longer a bed. The two teeth had been extracted. She had lost her shame. and in which the various levels of the water remained long marked by these circles of ice. had dried up. and a seatless chair still remained. next the roof. one of those attics whose extremity forms an angle with the floor. and she had a black hole in her mouth. but a contractor for the . and she felt a steady pain in her shoulder towards the top of the left shoulder-blade. The people to whom she was indebted made "scenes" and gave her no peace. "Why. She found them in the street. she pointed out to the spinster two napoleons which were glittering on the table. She had long since quitted her cell on the second floor for an attic with only a latch to fasten it. She coughed a great deal. and knocks you on the head every instant. it is a fortune! Where did you get those louis d'or?" "I got them. She sent the forty francs to Montfermeil.So saying. which froze in winter. but made no complaint. In the other corner was a butter-pot to hold water. a mattress on the floor. she lost her coquetry. She went out. Fantine threw her mirror out of the window. only by bending over more and more. She sewed seventeen hours a day. At the same time she smiled.

Seventeen hours of toil. which reduced the daily earnings of working-women to nine sous. suddenly made prices fall. otherwise he would turn little Cosette out of doors. "A hundred francs. "let us sell what is left. who had taken back nearly all his furniture. into the cold and the streets. The secondhand dealer.work of prisons. About the same time. said to her incessantly. . and nine sous a day! Her creditors were more pitiless than ever. Thenardier wrote to her that he had waited with decidedly too much amiability and that he must have a hundred francs at once." The unfortunate girl became a woman of the town. and something of the wild beast developed in her. convalescent as she was from her heavy illness. who made the prisoners work at a discount. good God! She felt that she was being hunted. "But in what trade can one earn a hundred sous a day?" "Come!" said she. you hussy?" What did they want of her. "When will you pay me. and die if she chose. and that she might do what she liked with herself." thought Fantine.

She passes. Alas! What are all these fates. and it is called prostitution. This is a mistake. Whoever touches her feels cold. She has become marble in becoming mire. but it is an error to imagine that fate can be exhausted. She is resigned. suffered everything. she believes it to be so. permeate it. She has felt everything. she ignores you. It weighs upon the woman. From hunger. as death resembles sleep. destitution. society accepts. driven on pell-mell? Whither are they going? Why are they thus? He who knows that sees the whole of the shadow. At least. and that one has reached the bottom of anything whatever. She no longer avoids anything. nothing is left to Fantine of that which she had formerly been. but it does not. maternity. Life and the social order have said their last word for her.CHAPTER XI--CHRISTUS NOS LIBERAVIT What is this history of Fantine? It is society purchasing a slave. mourned everything. A dolorous bargain. cold. All has happened to her that will happen to her. upon grace. she is the severe and dishonored figure. lost everything. The sacred law of Jesus Christ governs our civilization. Let all the clouds fall upon her. but it weighs only upon the woman. From whom? From misery. borne everything. beauty. that is to say. it is said that slavery has disappeared from European civilization. weakness. as yet. At the point in this melancholy drama which we have now reached. He is alone. It still exists. and all the ocean sweep over her! What matters it to her? She is a sponge that is soaked. This is not one of the least of man's disgraces. with that resignation which resembles indifference. she endures you. experienced everything. A soul for a morsel of bread. Misery offers. His name is God. isolation. .


" if they were poorer. three vests of different colors. and a mistress who eats the dishes on the table. If they were richer. and there was at M. and some knaves. smoke. worn one on top of the other--the red and blue inside. but always uneven. despise women. who hiss actresses at the theatre to prove that they are persons of taste. and who think themselves gentlemen in the dram-shop. and do no great harm. who say. Over all. a double row of silver buttons set close to each other and running up to the shoulder." They are simply men without employment. serve no use. never work. "They are dandies. parasites. my peasants. BAMATABOIS'S INACTIVITY There is in all small towns. number of lines. hunt. ornamented on the two seams with an indefinite. varying from one to eleven--a limit which was never exceeded. and Paris through the medium of Pont-A-Mousson. dreamers. admire tragedy. play billiards. a big cravat. Felix Tholomyes. wear out their old boots. "My fields. who stick at a sou. drink. At that period a dandy was composed of a tall collar. a little folly. would have been one of these men. hair worn in a tuft. and conversation set off by puns of Potier. who would be rustics in a drawing-room. These are beings of the great neuter species: impotent men. a watch with trinkets. stare at travellers as they descend from the diligence. an enormous cane. live at the cafe. of a short-waisted olive coat. have a dog which eats the bones under the table. my woods". one would say. a class of young men who nibble away an income of fifteen hundred francs with the same air with which their prototypes devour two hundred thousand francs a year in Paris. "They are idlers. dine at the inn. sur M. with a codfish tail. Add to this. had he remained in his own province and never beheld Paris. high shoes with little irons on the heels. grow old as dullards. yawn. Among these unemployed there are bores. quarrel with the officers of the garrison to prove that they are men of war. in particular. the bored. cyphers. a little wit. a tall hat with a narrow brim. copy London through Paris.CHAPTER XII--M. and a pair of trousers of a lighter shade of olive. M. exaggerate the fashions. spurs . smell of tobacco. who have a little land. one would say.

and was. These insults." for he wore a morillo. and hurled herself upon the man. and stifling his laugh. 1823. in front of the officers' cafe. and nevertheless continued her promenade in silence. together with a puff from his cigar. The provincial dandy wore the longest of spurs and the fiercest of mustaches. towards the first of January. This dandy was smoking. Bamatabois. indeed. It was the period of the conflict of the republics of South America with the King of Spain. did not even glance at him. "How ugly you are!--Will you get out of my sight?--You have no teeth!" etc. which were called bolivars. The woman uttered a roar. warmly enveloped in one of those large cloaks which completed the fashionable costume in cold weather. At that epoch mustaches indicated the bourgeois. one of these unemployed. gave a leap like a panther. after that which is related in the preceding pages. with neck uncovered and flowers in her hair. picked up a handful of snow from the pavement. decorated spectre which went and came through the snow. like the condemned soldier who returns under the rods. . a melancholy. It was Fantine. for he was decidedly fashionable. liberals wore hats with wide brims. The woman. burying her nails in his face.. he bestowed on her. Eight or ten months. poured forth in a voice roughened by brandy. with the most frightful words which could fall from the guard-room into the gutter. whirled round. a "right thinker. made him no reply. and were called morillos. then. Each time that the woman passed in front of him. proceed in hideous wise from a mouth which lacked its two front teeth. of Bolivar against Morillo. such as. bent down. and taking advantage of a moment when her back was turned. moreover. was amusing himself by tormenting a creature who was prowling about in a ball-dress. and thrust it abruptly into her back. did. The small effect which he produced no doubt piqued the lounger. on a snowy evening. he crept up behind her with the gait of a wolf. which brought her every five minutes within reach of this sarcasm. some apostrophe which he considered witty and mirthful. between her bare shoulders. Narrow-brimmed hats were royalist. etc. and with a sombre regularity. and spurs the pedestrian. This gentleman was known as M. one of these dandies.and a mustache.

and said to her. minus hair and teeth. which was covered with mud. passers-by collected. whom there was some difficulty in recognizing as a man and a woman: the man struggling. his hat on the ground. and she trembled with a quiver of terror. She had recognized Javert. Her eyes were glassy. Suddenly a man of lofty stature emerged vivaciously from the crowd.At the noise thus produced. livid with wrath. horrible. The dandy took advantage of the incident to make his escape. was formed around this whirlwind composed of two beings. hooting and applauding. the officers ran out in throngs from the cafe. "Follow me!" The woman raised her head. . and a large and merry circle. seized the woman by her satin bodice. her furious voice suddenly died away. bareheaded. howling. she turned pale instead of livid. the woman striking out with feet and fists.

Supreme misery an occasion for obscenity. On entering. his redoubtable discretionary power. Fantine fell down in a corner. The cloud of spectators followed. He summoned all the ideas which could possibly exist in his mind. but subject to all the scruples of a severe conscience. the more shocked he felt. and set out with long strides towards the police station. to the great disappointment of the curious. warmed by a stove. At that moment he was conscious that his police agent's stool was a tribunal. Curiosity is a sort of gluttony. The latter do what they please.CHAPTER XIII--THE SOLUTION OF SOME QUESTIONS CONNECTED WITH THE MUNICIPAL POLICE Javert thrust aside the spectators. punish them. entered with Fantine. He was entering judgment. Javert seated himself. which is situated at the extremity of the square. To see is to devour. and confiscate at their will those two sorry things which they entitle their industry and their liberty. She yielded mechanically. motionless and mute. dragging the wretched woman after him. and craned their necks in front of the thick glass of the station-house. and guarded by a detachment. with a glazed and grated door opening on the street. Javert was impassive. Nevertheless. and began to write. Javert opened the door. He judged and condemned. which was a low room. in a paroxysm of delight. jesting. and shut the door behind him. his grave face betrayed no emotion whatever. he was seriously and deeply preoccupied. The more he examined the deed of this woman. drew a sheet of stamped paper from his pocket. On arriving at the police station. It was evident that he had just . crouching down like a terrified dog. in their effort to see. The sergeant of the guard brought a lighted candle to the table. as seems good to them. This class of women is consigned by our laws entirely to the discretion of the police. around the great thing which he was doing. It was one of those moments when he was exercising without control. who raised themselves on tiptoe. Neither he nor she uttered a word. broke the circle.

good Monsieur Inspector! is there not some person here who saw it and can tell you that this is quite true? Perhaps I did wrong to get angry. "You are to have six months of it. "I beseech your mercy. whom I do not know. Monsieur Javert. he had been saying impertinent things to me for a long time: 'You are ugly! you have no teeth!' I know well that I have no longer those teeth. for this once. One gives way to vivacity. When he had finished he signed the paper. and doing no harm to any one? I am rather ill. 'The gentleman is amusing himself. Has any one the right to put snow down our backs when we are walking along peaceably. put snow in my back. he. the bourgeois. yonder. Do me the favor to-day. without rising. Oh. do you know that. in the street. "Take three men and conduct this creature to jail. in the person of a freeholder and an elector. He wrote in silence. If you had seen the beginning. Javert. I assure you that I was not in the wrong. It was at that moment that he put the snow down my back. Hold! you do not know that . as he handed it to him. turning to Fantine. among the muddy boots of all those men. and said to the sergeant of the guard. folded it." Then. And then. Monsieur Javert. when some one puts something cold down your back just when you are not expecting it! I did wrong to spoil that gentleman's hat. "Six months in which to earn seven sous a day! But what will become of Cosette? My daughter! my daughter! But I still owe the Thenardiers over a hundred francs.' I was honest with him. "Monsieur Javert. society. with clasped hands. I said to myself. insulted and attacked by a creature who was outside all pales. and then. my God! It makes no difference to me whether I ask his pardon. Why did he go away? I would ask his pardon. I swear to you by the good God that I was not to blame! That gentleman. I did nothing. Monsieur Inspector?" She dragged herself across the damp floor. "Six months! six months of prison!" she exclaimed. as you see. You know that one is not master of one's self at the first moment. and taking great strides on her knees." said she. I did not speak to him. He had just beheld." The unhappy woman shuddered. A prostitute had made an attempt on the life of a citizen. He had seen that. you would have seen.witnessed the commission of a crime.

my little angel of the Holy Virgin! what will become of her. but seven sous is one's earnings. short cough. or my little girl will be sent to me. The soldiers seized her by the arms. I must pay one hundred francs. stammering softly with a voice of agony. When I was happy. Have pity on me. Don't put me in prison! You see. wringing her hands. At that moment Fantine had become beautiful once more. in the very heart of the winter. and tenderly kissed the police agent's coat. A few moments earlier a man had entered. a great deal of linen. but it cannot be done at that age. rent in twain. "the Eternal Father in person could do nothing more. What I do is so vile! Oh. poor creature? I will tell you: it is the Thenardiers. my good Monsieur Javert. They want money. Monsieur Javert!" She spoke thus. "Mercy!" Javert turned his back. it was out of misery." she understood that her fate was sealed. peasants.in prison one can earn only seven sous a day. Have you entirely finished? You will get six months. From time to time she paused. . which transfigures the unhappy. If she were older. It is not cowardliness and gluttony that have made me what I am. my God! I cannot have her with me. there is a little girl who will be turned out into the street to get along as best she may. she might earn her living. Oh. but a heart of wood cannot be softened. but it benumbs the senses. it was only necessary to glance into my closets. She would have softened a heart of granite. and you must have pity on such a being. I do not love it. I am not a bad woman at bottom. Now march! The Eternal Father in person could do nothing more. Great sorrow is a divine and terrible ray. murmuring. He shut the door. "Come!" said Javert. it is not the government's fault. "I have heard you out. If I have drunk brandy. inn-keepers. and such people are unreasonable. and coughing with a dry. and listened to Fantine's despairing supplications. her neck bare. and just fancy. blinded with tears. shaken with sobs. She sank down. and it would have been evident that I was not a coquettish and untidy woman. I had linen." At these solemn words. but no one had paid any heed to him. my Cosette! Oh. leaned his back against it.

the most violent emotions which he had ever undergone in all his life. She rose to her feet with one bound. like a spectre springing from the earth. To see a woman of the town spit in the mayor's face was a thing so monstrous that. in his most daring flights of fancy. as though talking to herself:-- . On the other hand. and began to speak in a low voice. with a bewildered air. at the very bottom of his thought. and as to what this mayor might be. le Maire!" Then she burst into a laugh." Javert felt that he was on the verge of going mad. he emerged from the shadow. she glanced about her. Mayor--" The words "Mr. who would not rise. He experienced at that moment. and said:-"One moment. "Set this woman at liberty. Mr." he underwent a sort of intoxication of amazement. she cried:-"Ah! so it is you who are M. blow upon blow and almost simultaneously. walked straight up to M. that magistrate. Madeleine before any one could prevent her. He remained mute.At the instant when the soldiers laid their hands upon the unfortunate woman. and then he. and said:-"Inspector Javert. and spit in his face." Javert raised his eyes and recognized M. calmly wipe his face and say. and. Mayor" produced a curious effect upon Fantine. thought and word failed him equally. set this woman at liberty. He removed his hat. he would have regarded it as a sacrilege to believe it possible. and clung to the damper of the stove. if you please. But when he beheld that mayor. caught a glimpse of I know not what simple explanation of this prodigious attack. Madeleine. like a person who is reeling. Madeleine wiped his face. thrust aside the soldiers with both arms. saluting him with a sort of aggrieved awkwardness:-"Excuse me. M. with horror. he made a hideous comparison as to what this woman was. and gazing intently at him. She raised her bare arm. the sum total of possible astonishment had been exceeded in his case. Nevertheless. The words had produced no less strange an effect on Fantine.

was it not? Make inquiries. After that I stamped on that gentleman's hat in front of the officers' cafe. and that is. he fumbled in his waistcoat. and I was actually forced to become a bad woman. Madeleine listened to her with profound attention. who gossip in the workroom. you fellows. addressing the soldiers:-"Say. In the first place. but he had spoiled my whole dress with snow. is the cause of all. you see: you are earning twelve sous at shirt-making. If that is not a horror. While she was speaking. you came here to . I did not hear aright. and all this misery followed. he turned me out! all because of a pack of rascally women. and it has made it smoke. Monsieur Javert. what is? To dismiss a poor girl who is doing her work honestly! Then I could no longer earn enough. I had my little Cosette. and who are much happier. turned towards him:-"Was I speaking to you?" Then. my good Monsieur Javert. I have unintentionally touched the damper of the stove. That monster of a mayor. they will tell you that I am perfectly honest. Then one has to become whatever one can. I will explain it to you. Ah! my God! I beg your pardon. I am paying my rent now."At liberty! I am to be allowed to go! I am not to go to prison for six months! Who said that? It is not possible that any one could have said that. there is one improvement which these gentlemen of the police ought to make. Now you understand how it is that that blackguard of a mayor caused all the mischief. It cannot have been that monster of a mayor! Was it you. Monsieur Javert. He said to Fantine. drew out his purse and opened it. who was looking at Javert only. He put it back in his pocket. and everywhere I behold women who are far more wicked than I. O Monsieur Javert! it was you who gave orders that I am to be set free. speak to my landlord. We women have but one silk dress for evening wear. the price falls to nine sous. see here! I will tell you about it. As for me. who said that I was to be set free? Oh. and you will let me go. It was empty. "How much did you say that you owed?" Fantine. did you see how I spit in his face? Ah! you old wretch of a mayor. that old blackguard of a mayor. Just imagine. You see that I did not do wrong deliberately-truly. to prevent prison contractors from wronging poor people. and it is not enough to live on." M.

But to-day. I am afraid of Monsieur Javert. you come. He raised his head with an expression of sovereign authority. since you are a good man. One step more and she would be in the street. white throat and looked smilingly at him. and then as I told you. feel. cast athwart this scene like some displaced statue. Monsieur Javert! They may do whatever they please to me now. almost to the height of her knee. Javert up to that moment had remained erect. with his eyes fixed on the ground. I have a cough. motionless. and that makes the officers laugh. don't be afraid--it is here. Mr. you say that I am to be set at liberty. it is perfectly simple: a man amuses himself by putting snow down a woman's back. it is necessary to be just. don't do it again. she placed Javert's coarse hand on her delicate. for six months in prison would prevent my supporting my child. but on reflection. I am afraid of my good Monsieur Javert!" So saying. dropped the folds of her skirt. and we--well. I was not expecting that snow from the gentleman at all." She laid her hand on the latch of the door. saying to the soldiers in a low voice. Inspector. you hussy!' Oh! I won't do it again. I cried because it hurt me. Inspector. one must divert themselves in some way. but I'm not afraid of you.frighten me. and the doctor tells me. which is waiting to be put away somewhere. you see. you. an . and stepped towards the door. you see. I seem to have a burning ball in my stomach. I understand that you are just. give me your hand. Mr. and with a friendly nod:-"Children. Monsieur l'Inspecteur has said that I am to be released. I will not stir. her voice was caressing. you lead off the woman who is in the wrong. 'Take care of yourself. it is for the sake of the little one. The sound of the latch roused him. and I am going. we are here for them to amuse themselves with. which had been pushed up as she dragged herself along." She no longer wept. she turned to the inspector again:-"And yet. you are certainly obliged to preserve order.' Here. I am not well. 'Only. of course! And then. All at once she rapidly adjusted her disordered garments. in fact.

in view of the enormities of which he had been a witness for the past two hours. law. as we have just heard. in this prodigious extremity. when M. did he say to himself. order. Fantine trembled at the sound of Javert's voice." . I. was personified in him." "Why not?" said M. and say to him. that the police spy should transform himself into a magistrate. It was evident that Javert must have been exasperated beyond measure before he would permit himself to apostrophize the sergeant as he had done. Had he reached the point of forgetting the mayor's presence? Had he finally declared to himself that it was impossible that any "authority" should have given such an order. nor dared so much as to breathe freely. At the sound of Madeleine's voice she turned around. and a look of despair. cold. and let go of the latch as a thief relinquishes the article which he has stolen. pale. "This miserable woman has insulted a citizen. and from that moment forth she uttered no word. morality. without intending it? Or. that cannot be. his whole body agitated by an imperceptible quiver and an unprecedented occurrence.expression all the more alarming in proportion as the authority rests on a low level." said Madeleine. after the mayor's suggestion that Fantine should be set at liberty. Javert? However that may be. Mayor. Madeleine uttered that word. but her glance strayed from Madeleine to Javert. and from Javert to Madeleine in turn. government. that the policeman should become a dispenser of justice. that it was indispensable that the small should be made great. "don't you see that that jade is walking off! Who bade you let her go?" "I. Madeleine. with downcast eyes but a firm voice:-"Mr. society in its entirety. atrocious in the man of no estate. and that. Police Inspector Javert was seen to turn toward the mayor. and that the mayor must certainly have said one thing by mistake for another. ferocious in the wild beast. according to which was speaking. that it was necessary to recur to supreme resolutions. "Sergeant!" he cried. with blue lips.

" At this decisive word. My duty demands that this woman shall serve six months in prison. Madeleine." "I beg Monsieur le Maire's pardon." said M. "the highest law is conscience."Inspector Javert." "That concerns me. who is an elector and the proprietor of that handsome house with a balcony. she will not serve a single day. The insult is not to him but to the law. "listen. I confine myself." "I am obeying my duty. but he will permit me to remark that I am within the bounds of my authority. Mr. but in a tone of voice that was still profoundly respectful:-"I am sorry to oppose Monsieur le Maire." Javert retorted:-"This wretch has just insulted Monsieur le Maire. and I feel no hesitation in explaining matters to you. and I shall detain this woman Fantine. Madeleine. Javert ventured to fix a searching look on the mayor and to say. You are an honest man. This woman flung herself on Monsieur Bamatabnois. and I made inquiries and learned everything. I know what I am doing. Madeleine replied gently:-"Heed this well." replied the mayor. it was the townsman who was in the wrong and who should have been arrested by properly conducted police. I think." "And I." "Inspector Javert. to the question of the gentleman. I can do what I please about it. which forms the corner of the esplanade. since Monsieur le Maire desires it. do not know what I see." . I have heard this woman. in a calm and conciliating tone." "Then content yourself with obeying. Mayor. there were still groups of people standing about. Such things as there are in the world! In any case." M. Monsieur le Maire. and concerns me. "My own insult belongs to me. this is a question of police regulations in the streets. Here is the true state of the case: I was passing through the square just as you were leading this woman away. three stories high and entirely of cut stone. it is for the first time in my life." replied M. I was present.

the other was leading her back towards the light. eleven. 1799. She had just seen herself a subject of dispute between two opposing powers.Then M. "But. Javert received the blow erect. She had seen two men who held in their hands her liberty. She listened in bewilderment. these two men had appeared to her like two giants. the other like her good angel. in combat before her very eyes. like a Russian soldier. her soul. strange to say. she trembled. her child. Madeleine folded his arms. Mr. she also was the prey to a strange confusion. her life. that which made her shudder from head to foot was the fact that this angel. he had saved her! Had she. Mayor--" "I refer you to article eighty-one of the law of the 13th of December. then. the one spoke like her demon. I order that this woman shall be set at liberty. Nevertheless. In this conflict." said M. one of these men was drawing her towards darkness. Fantine stood aside from the door and stared at him in amazement as he passed. I am the judge. According to the terms of articles nine. fifteen. that mayor whom she had so long regarded as the author of all her woes. in regard to arbitrary detention. and. He bowed to the very earth before the mayor and left the room. and sixty-six of the code of criminal examination. full in the face. and said in a severe voice which no one in the town had heard hitherto:-"The matter to which you refer is one connected with the municipal police. in his breast." "Monsieur le Maire. been mistaken? Must she change her whole soul? She did not know. she looked on ." "But--" "Leave the room. viewed through the exaggerations of terror. permit me--" "Not another word. this liberator. was the very man whom she abhorred. Madeleine. that Madeleine! And at the very moment when she had insulted him in so hideous a fashion. The angel had conquered the demon." Javert ventured to make a final effort.

or you shall go to her. I will send for your child. confidence and love. I believe that it is true. I will give all the money you require. and something warm and ineffable. To have Cosette! To leave this life of infamy. she knelt in front of M. Madeleine she felt the frightful shades of hatred crumble and melt within her.--and I do not doubt it. She stared stupidly at this man who was talking to her. like a serious man who does not wish to weep and who finds some difficulty in speaking:-"I have heard you. indescribable. respectable with Cosette. or where you please. "Oh! Oh! Oh!" Her limbs gave way beneath her. I knew nothing about what you have mentioned. You shall live here. and at every word uttered by M. and could only give vent to two or three sobs. Then she fainted. dawn in her heart.in affright." This was more than Fantine could bear. rich. I was even ignorant of the fact that you had left my shop. which was both joy. You shall not work any longer if you do not like. happy. And listen! I declare to you that if all is as you say. I undertake the care of your child and yourself. Why did you not apply to me? But here. I will pay your debts. in Paris. and I feel that it is true. . M. You shall be honest and happy once more. Madeleine. and before he could prevent her he felt her grasp his hand and press her lips to it. When Javert had taken his departure. Madeleine turned to her and said to her in a deliberate voice. Oh! poor woman. To live free. to see all these realities of paradise blossom of a sudden in the midst of her misery.--you have never ceased to be virtuous and holy in the sight of God.


He had been waiting for Fantine to awake. It is nothing. I have slept.CHAPTER I--THE BEGINNING OF REPOSE M. however. She heard some one breathing close to her bed. who put her to bed. M. Madeleine standing there and looking at something over her head." And he added in his own mind. It is not their fault they do not know how to go to work . At last she said timidly:-"What are you doing?" M. He went on:-"You have suffered much. She gazed at him for a long time without daring to interrupt him. "For the martyr here below. A burning fever had come on. felt of her pulse. responding to the first question which she had put to him as though he had just heard it:-"I was praying to the martyr there on high. she fell asleep. towards midday. Oh! do not complain. and supplication. On the morrow." He answered. She followed its direction. Fantine awoke. At length." M. It is thus that men are transformed into angels. He took her hand. His gaze was full of pity. poor mother. Madeleine had Fantine removed to that infirmary which he had established in his own house. "I think that I am better. Madeleine had passed the night and the morning in making inquiries. and saw that it was fixed on a crucifix which was nailed to the wall. He knew all now." she replied. Thenceforth. He knew Fantine's history in all its heart-rending details. Madeleine had been there for an hour. She passed a part of the night in delirium and raving. He seemed to her to be clothed in light. He confided her to the sisters. Madeleine was transfigured in Fantine's eyes. anguish. and replied:-"How do you feel?" "Well. she drew aside the curtain and saw M. He was absorbed in a sort of prayer. you now have the dowry of the elect.

It was only a question of a trifling substitution of names. M. Madeleine immediately sent three hundred francs more." He sighed deeply. telling them to pay themselves from that sum. As the affair in the station-house had been bruited about.--one for the doctor. and the superscription ran: To Monsieur Chabouillet. three hundred francs.. Fantine did not recover. and to fetch the child instantly to M. had not been ill. He sent them three hundred francs." "Christi!" said Thenardier. This lark is going to turn into a milch cow." He replied with a very well drawn-up bill for five hundred and some odd francs. Fantine owed them one hundred and twenty francs. and who recognized Javert's handwriting on the cover. I see through it. "let's not give up the child. At the foot of the memorandum Thenardier wrote. Secretary of Monsieur le Prefet of Police. thought that he was sending in his resignation. sur M. Cosette. This dazzled Thenardier. "The devil!" said the man to his wife. That same night. But she smiled on him with that sublime smile in which two teeth were lacking. It was addressed to Paris. where her sick mother required her presence. The next morning be posted it himself at the office of M. The sisters had at first only received and nursed "that woman" with repugnance. the other for the apothecary who had attended and physicked Eponine and Azelma through two long illnesses. In this memorandum two indisputable items figured up over three hundred francs. sur M. Madeleine made haste to write to the Thenardiers. Received on account. the post-mistress and some other persons who saw the letter before it was sent off. She still remained in the infirmary. and wrote. It was necessary to begin there. "don't let's allow the child to go.otherwise. M. Those who have seen the bas-reliefs of Rheims will recall the inflation of the lower lip of the wise virgins as they survey the foolish . "Make haste to bring Cosette. Javert wrote a letter. You see this hell from which you have just emerged is the first form of heaven. as we have already said. Some ninny has taken a fancy to the mother." In the meantime.

One day the sisters heard her say amid her fever: "I have been a sinner. I am expecting her. I should not have liked to have my Cosette with me. She knows nothing at all. my sisters. M. as a consequence of which the malady which had been smouldering within her for many years was violently developed at last. I shall gaze at her. On the contrary. At that time people were beginning to follow the fine Laennec's fine suggestions in the study and treatment of chest maladies.virgins. While I was leading a bad life. it will be a sign that God has pardoned me. The doctor sounded Fantine's chest and shook his head. and that is why God pardons me. She said all kinds of humble and gentle things. It was for her sake that I did evil. but when I have my child beside me. her condition seemed to become more grave from week to week. perhaps. "Oh!" she said. But in a few days Fantine disarmed them. Madeleine went to see her twice a day. it will do me good to see that innocent creature. That handful of snow applied to her bare skin between her shoulderblades had brought about a sudden suppression of perspiration. I could not have borne her sad." M." may arrive at any And the mother's pale face grew radiant. She moment. . At that age the wings have not fallen off. "how happy I am going to be!" We have just said that she did not recover her health. Madeleine said to the doctor:-"Well?" "Has she not a child which she desires to see?" said the doctor. the sisters felt it with the double force contributed by religion. She is an angel. you see. astonished eyes. I shall feel the benediction of the good God when Cosette is here. and the mother in her provoked tenderness. and each time she asked him:-"Shall I see my Cosette soon?" He answered:-"To-morrow. The ancient scorn of the vestals for the ambubajae is one of the most profound instincts of feminine dignity.

the black vein of destiny constantly reappears in it. Cosette was not quite well enough to take a journey in the winter. You will be paid for all the little things. "FANTINE. Madeleine shuddered." In the meantime a serious incident occurred. That that would restore your health. "I shall send some one to fetch Cosette!" said Father Madeleine."Yes. "he is right! But what do those Thenardiers mean by keeping my Cosette from me! Oh! she is coming. And then. there still remained some petty but pressing debts in the neighborhood. Madeleine forced himself to smile. "He said that your child was to be brought speedily. and they were collecting the bills for them. I will go myself.. Carve as we will the mysterious block of which our life is made. etc. At last I behold happiness close beside me!" In the meantime Thenardier did not "let go of the child." He wrote the following letter to Fantine's dictation. and made her sign it:-"MONSIEUR THENARDIER:-You will deliver Cosette to this person. "If necessary." and gave a hundred insufficient reasons for it." "Oh!" she rejoined." "Well! Make haste and get it here!" M. Fantine inquired:-"What did the doctor say?" M. . etc. I have the honor to salute you with respect.

Javert had nothing in his soul which he had not also in his countenance. sincere. He did not disturb himself on Javert's account. Javert had avoided him more than ever since the affair of the police-station. his eyes fixed on the docket which he was turning over and annotating. and the corporal. whose back was turned to him. in case he should decide to take the trip to Montfermeil. this unspotted police agent--if any physiognomist had known his secret and long-cherished aversion for M. this spy who was incapable of a lie. He could not help thinking of poor Fantine. austere. but went on annotating this docket. and it suited him to be glacial in his manner. Javert bestowed a respectful salute on the mayor. this singular composite of the Roman. he was subject to abrupt changes of opinion. "What has taken place?" It was evident to any one acquainted with that clear. His physiognomy had never been more peculiar and startling. pen in hand. Madeleine. Madeleine could not refrain from a disagreeable impression on hearing this name. Madeleine had retained his seat near the fire. Javert advanced two or three paces into the study. occupied in arranging in advance some pressing matters connected with the mayor's office. "Admit him. and which contained the trials of the commission on highways for the infraction of police regulations. the monk. and who had made a lengthy study of this savage in the service of civilization. and had examined Javert at that moment. and ferocious conscience. If any physiognomist who had been familiar with Javert. Madeleine had not seen him. and halted. The mayor did not look at him. the Spartan. Like violent people in general. he would have said to himself. Madeleine was in his study. his conflict with the mayor on the subject of Fantine. On entering he bowed to . when he was informed that Police Inspector Javert was desirous of speaking with him. honest. M. that Javert had but just gone through some great interior struggle. upright. without breaking the silence. Javert entered.CHAPTER II--HOW JEAN MAY BECOME CHAMP One morning M. and M." he said.

which did not. a culpable act has been committed. At last the mayor laid down his pen and turned half round. Mr. Mayor. "Well! What is it? What is the matter. then raised his voice with a sort of sad solemnity. Madeleine with a look in which there was neither rancor. he waited without uttering a word. in genuine humility and tranquil resignation. and there he stood. perfectly erect. serious." . "This is the matter. His whole person breathed lowliness and firmness and an indescribable courageous despondency. without making a movement. Mr. nor distrust. as impenetrable and simple as granite. Madeleine. and an expression which was half-way between that of a soldier in the presence of his officer and a criminal in the presence of his judge. in an attitude almost of discipline. anger. and in the gravest manner. towards a magistrate. Javert?" Javert remained silent for an instant as though collecting his ideas. however. "You?" "I. no longer bore any trace of anything but a melancholy depression. he halted a few paces in the rear of the mayor's arm-chair." "What act?" "An inferior agent of the authorities has failed in respect.M. calm. until it should please the mayor to turn round. All the sentiments as well as all the memories which one might have attributed to him had disappeared. preclude simplicity. with the cold. "I. Mayor." said Javert. as it is my duty to do. with eyes cast down. hat in hand. I have come to bring the fact to your knowledge." "And who is the magistrate who has reason to complain of the agent?" "You. ingenuous roughness of a man who has never been gentle and who has always been patient. That face." "Who is the agent?" asked M.

I ought to be punished. with justice. Javert. Madeleine." The mayor turned livid." "Informed against me!" "At the Prefecture of Police in Paris." Javert sighed from the very bottom of his chest. and unjustly. I must be turned out. still coldly and sadly:-"Mr. That is well. Madeleine opened his mouth in amazement. Mayor." M. now! Why?" exclaimed M. so it be. Madeleine. you were severe with me the other day. who had not raised his eyes. "Mr. burst out laughing now:-"As a mayor who had encroached on the province of the police?" "As an ex-convict. I was furious. Javert went on. then. but that does not suffice.M. six weeks ago. who was not in the habit of laughing much oftener than Javert himself. "Turned out. went on:-- ." "Come." said Javert." "You shall understand. I do not understand. "What nonsense is this? What is the meaning of this? What culpable act have you been guilty of towards me? What have you done to me? What are your wrongs with regard to me? You accuse yourself. Be so to-day. Mayor. I have come to request you to instigate the authorities to dismiss me. you wish to be superseded--" "Turned out. and I informed against you. Handing in one's resignation is honorable. Mayor. and resumed. Javert interrupted him:-"You will say that I might have handed in my resignation. I have failed in my duty. with a severe air and his eyes still cast down." M. Mayor." And after a pause he added:-"Mr. Madeleine sat erect in his arm-chair. Mr. in consequence of the scene over that woman.

your skill in marksmanship. Father Champmathieu was arrested for the theft of some cider apples from-- . He was a very wretched creature. inquiries which you had caused to be made at Faverolles. the adventure with old Fauchelevant. Madeleine was holding dropped from his hand. when I was adjutantguard of convicts at Toulon. I fancied.--I hardly know what all. the strength of your loins."I thought it was so. Lately. a resemblance." "A certain--What did you say the name was?" "Jean Valjean.--absurdities! But. It seems that there was in the neighborhood near Ailly-le-Haut-Clocher an old fellow who was called Father Champmathieu. on a public highway on the person of a little Savoyard. In short. He was a convict whom I was in the habit of seeing twenty years ago. gazed fixedly at Javert. I denounced you at the Prefecture!" M. no one knows how. I did this thing! Wrath impelled me." "I am forced to do so. accompanied with violence." "Well?" "Well. at all events. last autumn. as it appears. On leaving the galleys. since the real Jean Valjean has been found. He disappeared eight years ago. he raised his head. Mayor." "It is lucky that you recognize the fact. Mr. Madeleine. robbed a bishop." The sheet of paper which M. I had had an idea for a long time. which you drag a little. resumed with an air of perfect indifference:-"And what reply did you receive?" "That I was mad. No one paid any attention to him. who had taken up the docket again several moments before this. your leg. they were right. I took you for a certain Jean Valjean. No one knows what such people subsist on. this Jean Valjean. and said with his indescribable accent:-"Ah!" Javert continued:-"This is the way it is. and he has been sought. then he committed another theft.

There all trace of him was lost. Parbleu! You understand. The thing was well ventilated for me. they are dust. and to have had a daughter. A long time afterwards he was seen again in Auvergne. who is detained for I know not what. Inquiries were made . Mr. Mayor. it was twenty years ago. branches of trees broken. and nothing was found.' says Brevet. You know that among those classes a family often disappears. In this prison at Arras there is an exconvict named Brevet. my good man! You are Jean Valjean!' 'Jean Valjean! who's Jean Valjean?' Champmathieu feigns astonishment. Now. a wall scaled. notably at Faverolles. where the departmental prison is situated. You follow me. I know that man! He is a fagot!4 Take a good look at me.' Champmathieu denies it. there is no longer any one at Faverolles who knew Jean Valjean. but that has not been proved. The case is investigated. where he is said to have been a wheelwright. Another fact. on emerging from the galleys. who was a laundress. we were there together. He still had the branch of apple-tree in his hand. The scamp is locked up. before going to the galleys for theft. as the beginning of the story dates thirty years back. and have called himself Jean Mathieu? He goes to Auvergne. What more natural to suppose than that. do you not? Inquiries were made at Faverolles. And then. "The jail being in a bad condition. a theft had been committed. Search was made.Well. no sooner had Champmathieu arrived than Brevet exclaims: 'Eh! Why. This Valjean's Christian name was Jean. no matter. When such people are not mud. The local pronunciation turns Jean into Chan--he is called Chan Mathieu. because of good behavior. My Champmathieu was arrested. a pruner of trees in various localities. what was Jean Valjean? A pruner of trees. Our man offers no opposition. and who has been appointed turnkey of the house. The family of Jean Valjean is no longer there. Where? At Faverolles. and his mother's surname was Mathieu. But here is where Providence intervened. thirty years ago. then in Paris. and behold him transformed into Champmathieu. 'Don't play the innocent dodge. he should have taken his mother's name for the purpose of concealing himself. the examining magistrate finds it convenient to transfer Champmathieu to Arras. This is what they discovered: This Champmathieu had been. Up to this point it was merely an affair of a misdemeanor. It is not known where they have gone. 'You are Jean Valjean! You have been in the galleys of Toulon.

when I thought that I had that same Jean Valjean here. and are sentenced for life. The same age. there are only two convicts in existence who have seen Jean Valjean. the same air. I do not see how I could have thought otherwise. I recognized him also. I beg your pardon. in short. that haughty man. he has his previous conviction against . in the power of the authorities. they are Cochepaille and Chenildieu. but that man is Jean Valjean. Madeleine. his melancholy as ever:-face incorruptible.--the same height. Champmathieu is conducted to me--" "Well?" interposed M. and bade him "leave the room. he sends for me. They do not hesitate.at Toulon. Mayor.--he is fifty-four. the truth is the truth. the same man. mechanically taking pinches of powdered wood for blotting ink from the wooden bowl which stood on the table. and as "Mr. If he is Jean Valjean. They are taken from the galleys and confronted with the pretended Champmathieu. Mayor.--M. I am sorry. I was told that I had lost my reason. as he addressed these grave and supplicating words to the man."--Javert. It was precisely at this moment that I forwarded my denunciation to the Prefecture in Paris. was unconsciously full of simplicity and dignity. and he added:-"And even now that I have seen the real Jean Valjean. Besides Brevet. it's a bad business. Javert replied. he is Jean Valjean for them as well as for Brevet. Mr." M. with that mournful laugh which comes from profound conviction. and that Jean Valjean is at Arras. Mayor. I write to the examining judge." Javert. Madeleine made no other reply to his prayer than the abrupt question:-"And what does this man say?" "Ah! Indeed. "O! Sure!" He stood there thoughtfully for a moment. Madeleine resumed in. You can imagine whether this surprised me. who six weeks before had humiliated him in the presence of the whole stationhouse. it is he. Mr. a very low voice:-"You are sure?" Javert began to laugh.

et cetera. Charcellay. But he has not the appearance of understanding. and you will prepare documents. It is no longer a question of correctional police. The man is a brute. And then. Any other man would have felt that things were getting hot for him. for a convict it is a crime. all these details interest me but little. he would not be Jean Valjean. Robbing and housebreaking--it is all there. He has been recognized by four persons. you will verify the infractions of police regulations which have been reported to me in the Rue Guibourg. and I won't depart from that!' He has an astonished air. for a man it is a misdemeanor. 'I am Champmathieu. it is the galleys for life. it is a matter for the Court of Assizes. like a busy man. Javert. it is far better. to purloin apples. Rue Montre-de-Champigny." M. who sells herbs at the corner of the Rue Saint-Saulve. Are you not to be absent? Did you not tell me that you were going to Arras on that matter in a week or ten days?" . he would cry out--the kettle sings before the fire. is there not? Yes. the old scamp will be condemned. and was turning over the leaves tranquilly. I shall go there to give my testimony. I have been summoned. to break a branch. I hope. He turned to Javert:-"That will do. You will then go to M. who will return. he says. But Jean Valjean is a sly dog. You will tell her that she must enter her complaint against carter Pierre Chesnelong. Javert. In truth. and is undermining the foundations of his house.him. He complained that there is a gutter on the adjoining house which discharges rain-water on his premises. he would struggle. and Rue du Garraud-Blanc. The case has been taken to the Assizes at Arras. reading and writing by turns. The proofs are there. We are wasting our time. at Madame Renee le Bosse's. he pretends to be stupid. and we have pressing business on hand. for any one but Jean Valjean. you will betake yourself at once to the house of the woman Buseaupied. But I am giving you a great deal of work. It is no longer a matter of a few days in prison. is a mischievous trick in a child. and taken up his docket. there is the affair with the little Savoyard. who came near crushing this woman and her child. After that. He must be punished. That is the way I recognized him. The deuce! there is plenty to dispute in the matter. To climb a wall. Madeleine had turned to his desk again. at Widow Doris's. Oh! the rogue is clever! But it makes no difference.

Mayor. Madeleine. "So far as exaggeration is concerned." Javert gazed at M. That is nothing. I am not exaggerating. Madeleine. Madeleine rose." said M. you deserve promotion instead of degradation. you are a man of honor. "And how long will the case last?" "One day. This is the way I reason: I have suspected you unjustly. Mayor. "Javert. Moreover. But I shall not wait for the sentence. Mr. Javert. Madeleine made an imperceptible movement." "That is well. "Excuse me. I wish you to retain your post. Mayor." "On what day. in whose depths his not very enlightened but pure and rigid conscience seemed visible. at the most. And he dismissed Javert with a wave of the hand." "I repeat. You exaggerate your fault. Madeleine with his candid eyes. Mayor." said he." M. and I esteem you. this is an offence which concerns me. then?" "Why. Mr. The judgment will be pronounced to-morrow evening at latest. and that I am to set out by diligence to-night. Javert did not withdraw." But Javert. I cannot grant you that." "What is it?" "That I must be dismissed. which is certain." M. I thought that I had said to Monsieur le Maire that the case was to be tried to-morrow. and said in a tranquil voice:-"Mr." replied M. It is our right . Madeleine. continued:-heeding his own thought only. "Mr. there is still something of which I must remind you. "What is it now?" demanded M. I shall return here as soon as my deposition has been taken."Sooner than that. "that the matter concerns me.

and not myself! Why. despairing. an agent of the authorities! If one of my subordinates had done what I have done. Well? Stop. When I have subdued malefactors. Good God! it is very easy to be kind. I should not have been kind to you. I have arms. if I were not severe towards myself. Come! if you had been what I thought you. Mr. when I have proceeded with vigor against rascals. Mayor. although suspicion directed above ourselves is an abuse. honest man. a mayor. Mayor. in a fit of rage. and said in a wild voice:-- . And he offered him his hand. I. and have expelled him. not I! You would have seen! Mr. 'If you flinch. which lent indescribable grandeur to this singular. discharged. it makes no difference to me. the police agent against the mayor. I have caught myself in a fault. I should be a blackguard! Those who say. the difficulty lies in being just. Madeleine. you may rest at your ease!' I have flinched. yet convinced tone. I have often said to myself. the good of the service demands an example. I must treat myself as I would treat any other man." said M. one word more. I will till the soil. if I ever catch you in fault. humble." All this was uttered in a proud. That is just. But without proofs. That is the sort of kindness which disorganizes society. with the object of wreaking my vengeance. the man who is down against the man who is up in the world. very serious. I have often been severe in the course of my life towards others. I do not desire that you should treat me kindly. you. Now. a respectable man. I have denounced you as a convict. Ought I to spare myself more than others? No! What! I should be good for nothing but to chastise others. cashiered. Mayor. Javert recoiled. I have done well. Mr. Mr. I have insulted authority in your person. The kindness which consists in upholding a woman of the town against a citizen.to cherish suspicion. a magistrate! That is serious. Mayor. So much the worse! Come. "We shall see. your kindness roused sufficient bad blood in me when it was directed to others. I should have declared him unworthy of the service. is what I call false kindness. I want none of it for myself. I simply require the discharge of Inspector Javert. all the justice that I have done would become injustice. 'That blackguard of a Javert!' would be in the right. expelled! That is well.

"Excuse me. and directed his steps towards the door." Then he bowed profoundly. and with eyes still "Mr. . Madeleine remained thoughtfully listening to the firm. yes." he said. M." He added between his teeth:-"A police spy. There he downcast:-wheeled round. but this must not be. which died away on the pavement of the corridor. "I shall continue to serve until I am superseded. from the moment when I have misused the police. Mayor. I am no more than a police spy. sure step. A mayor does not offer his hand to a police spy." He withdrew. Mr. Mayor.


Sister Perpetue was an ordinary villager. On the afternoon following the visit of Javert. was crabbed with the dying. sugared the potion according to the bigotry or the hypocrisy of the invalid. which we preserve out of respect for the truth. who had entered the service of God as one enters any other service. like all sisters of charity. droned. Beside Sister Perpetue. Vincent de Paul has divinely traced the features of the Sister of Charity in these admirable words. grumbled. for chapel . was bold. She was a nun as other women are cooks. in which he mingles as much freedom as servitude: "They shall have for their convent only the house of the sick. But the small portion of them which became known left such a memory in that town that a serious gap would exist in this book if we did not narrate them in their most minute details. Among these details the reader will encounter two or three improbable circumstances. sur M. The two nuns who performed the services of nurse in the infirmary. roughly. for cell only a hired room. almost flung God in their faces. Madeleine went to see Fantine according to his wont. bore the names of Sister Perpetue and Sister Simplice. These rustics are utilized for the rough work of devotion. the fund of ignorance common to the village and the cloister is a preparation ready at hand. honest. and places the boor at once on the same footing as the monk: a little more amplitude in the smock. The transition from a drover to a Carmelite is not in the least violent. Sister Perpetue was a robust nun from Marines near Pontoise.CHAPTER I--SISTER SIMPLICE The incidents the reader is about to peruse were not all known at M. Lazariste ladies. The monastic orders gladly accept this heavy peasant earthenware. who chattered her patois. Sister Simplice was white. with a waxen pallor. M. the one turns into the other without much effort. and it becomes a frock. she was the taper beside the candle. treated her patients abruptly. stoned their death agony with prayers mumbled in a rage. Before entering Fantine's room. a sister of charity in a coarse style. which is easily fashioned into a Capuchin or an Ursuline. and ruddy. he had Sister Simplice summoned. This type is not so very rare.

This delicacy accommodated itself to the serge gown. is the saint who preferred to allow both her breasts to be torn off rather than to say that she had been born at Segesta when she had been born at Syracuse--a lie which would have saved her. she said just what was necessary. for gratings only the fear of God. never to have said. She was almost renowned in the congregation for this imperturbable veracity. The result was the whiteness which we have mentioned--a whiteness which covered even her lips and her eyes with radiance. for any interest whatever. well-bred. so she did. and as she thought. silence in her speech. She was so gentle that she appeared fragile. innocent lie. Her smile was white. and it seemed as though she would never grow old. Satan has two names. Simplice of Sicily. She did not. Sister Simplice. and who had never lied. he is called Satan and Lying. The Abbé Sicard speaks of Sister Simplice in a letter to the deaf-mute Massieu. austere. we all bear upon our candor the crack of the little. That is what she thought. Never to have lied. She was a person--we dare not say a woman--who was gentle. was Sister Simplice's distinctive trait. for enclosure only obedience. not a grain of dust. on her entrance into the order. and she possessed a tone of voice which would have equally edified a confessional or enchanted a drawing-room. There was. the sacred truth. To lie a little is not possible: he who lies. Let us emphasize one detail. for cloister only the streets of the town and the wards of the hospitals.only their parish church. even in indifference. as we know. innocent lie--does such a thing exist? To lie is the absolute form of evil. any single thing which was not the truth. but she was more solid than granite. She touched the unhappy with fingers that were charmingly pure and fine. for veil only modesty. she had taken the name of Simplice by special choice. her glance was white. it was the accent of her virtue. had had two faults which she had gradually corrected: she had a taste for dainties. lies the whole lie. There was not a single spider's web. However pure and sincere we may be." This ideal was realized in the living person of Sister Simplice: she had never been young. and she liked to receive letters. on the glass window of that conscience. No one could have told Sister Simplice's age. On entering the order of Saint Vincent de Paul. cold. She never read anything but a book of prayers . To lie is the very face of the demon. finding in this harsh contact a continual reminder of heaven and of God. This patron saint suited this soul. so to speak. Little lie.

but she understood the book. in coarse type. to Fantine's great delight. Madeleine's appearance every day as one awaits a ray of warmth and joy." She had a great deal of fever that day. and the clerk observed him attentively examining a road map of France which hung in his study. This pious woman had conceived an affection for Fantine. M. Madeleine was the same as usual with Fantine. As soon as she saw M. She did not understand Latin. It was noticed that there was a moment when his countenance became very sombre. Madeleine took Sister Simplice apart and recommended Fantine to her in a singular tone. he approached Fantine. and she had devoted herself almost exclusively to her care. But this was explained when it became known that the doctor had bent down to his ear and said to him.printed in Latin." M. "I only live when Monsieur le Maire is here. probably feeling a latent virtue there. which the sister recalled later on. He urged every one repeatedly not to allow the invalid to want for anything. . On leaving the sister. Fantine awaited M." Then he returned to the town-hall. "She is losing ground fast. He wrote a few figures on a bit of paper with a pencil. Only he remained an hour instead of half an hour. Madeleine she asked him:-"And Cosette?" He replied with a smile:-"Soon. She said to the sisters.

the shortest way was to take the little-frequented street in which was situated the parsonage of the parish in which M." "The deuce!" said the Fleming. who let out "horses and cabriolets as desired. and after the lapse of a few seconds. French Scaufflaire. respectable." "And how long can he rest at the end of his journey?" "He must be able to set out again on the next day if necessary." "To traverse the same road?" . it was said. Madeleine found Master Scaufflaire at home. he placed it gently." he inquired. At the moment when M. engaged in stitching a harness over. instead of allowing the knocker to fall abruptly. "Twenty leagues!" "Yes. and resumed his way with a sort of haste which had not been apparent previously. a worthy. to a Fleming named Master Scaufflaer." "Hitched to a cabriolet?" "Yes. and this person noticed this: After the mayor had passed the priest's house he halted. and retraced his steps to the door of the parsonage. The cure was. "have you a good horse?" "Mr. M. then he paused again and stopped short." said the Fleming. then turned about. and sensible man. stood motionless. "all my horses are good. He laid his hand quickly on the knocker and lifted it. as though in thought." In order to reach this Scaufflaire. Madeleine resided. Mayor. which had an iron knocker.CHAPTER II--THE PERSPICACITY OF MASTER SCAUFFLAIRE From the town-hall he betook himself to the extremity of the town. "Master Scaufflaire. Madeleine arrived in front of the parsonage there was but one passer-by in the street. What do you mean by a good horse?" "I mean a horse which can travel twenty leagues in a day.

The figures were 5." "Some one will be by. nineteen and a half. "I have just what you want. Carry? No. he goes like the wind." "Mr."Yes. He is full of fire. he is as gentle as a girl." returned the Fleming." "Does Monsieur le Maire know how to drive?" "Yes. he will eat. as well say twenty leagues.' We must suppose that is what he said to himself. It does not suit his ideas to be a saddle-horse." "State them. I harnessed him to a carriage. you will give him half an hour's breathing spell midway of the road. Bah! He reared. 8 1/2. he is a small beast from Lower Boulonnais." he said. "total. he laid everybody flat on the ground. Mayor. That is what he wanted. for I have noticed that in inns the oats are more often drunk by the stable men than eaten by the horses. He showed it to the Fleming. and in less than eight hours. I bought him." "And he will accomplish the trip?" "Your twenty leagues all at a full trot." "In the first place. "You see." "Well. Ah! indeed he must not be mounted. he kicked. Monsieur le Maire will travel alone and without baggage." "In the second place--is the cabriolet for Monsieur le Maire?" "Yes." "The deuce! the deuce! And it is twenty leagues?" M." . Madeleine drew from his pocket the paper on which he had pencilled some figures. in order not to overload the horse?" "Agreed. But here are the conditions. He was thought to be vicious. Every one has his ambition. 6. They wanted to make a saddle-horse of him at first. 'Draw? Yes. sir. and some one must be by while he is eating to prevent the stable boy of the inn from stealing his oats. and no one knew what to do with him. My little white horse--you may have seen him pass occasionally.

Madeleine preserved silence. Master Scaufflaire continued:-"That it may rain?" M. scratching a speck in the wood of the table with his thumb-nail." "It is light. The days of rest to be paid for also--not a farthing less." "I am to have thirty francs a day." "That makes no difference to me." "Fourthly. for such a journey a cabriolet would be too heavy." "I consent to that. he resumed with that careless air which the Flemings understand so well how to mingle with their shrewdness:-"But this is what I am thinking of now: Monsieur le Maire has not told me where he is going." "Of course. he will be obliged to take the trouble himself of seeing that the oats are not stolen. Madeleine raised his head and said:-"The tilbury and the horse will be in front of my door to-morrow morning at half-past four o'clock. Where is Monsieur le Maire going?" He had been thinking of nothing else since the beginning of the conversation. and would fatigue the horse. then." "Has Monsieur le Maire reflected that we are in the middle of winter?" M." "That is understood. and the beast's food to be at Monsieur le Maire's expense. . but it has no cover." M. but he did not know why he had not dared to put the question. Monsieur le Maire. "Here is the pay for two days in advance. The Fleming resumed:-"That it is very cold?" M." replied Scaufflaire. Madeleine drew three napoleons from his purse and laid them on the table. Monsieur le Maire must consent to travel in a little tilbury that I own."But as Monsieur le Maire will have no one with him. Madeleine did not reply.

" M. The Fleming remained "utterly stupid. Monsieur le Maire. "I don't believe it. it was the mayor once more. The Fleming called his wife. Monsieur le Maire." "Here it is. "So be it." said the Fleming. and it lay on the chimney-piece. "at what sum do you estimate the value of the horse and tilbury which you are to let to me." said the wife. Besides the horse and tilbury together were worth but a hundred crowns. "He is going to Paris. Madeleine. You shall give me back the sum at my return. and related the affair to her." as he himself said some time afterwards. Master Scaufflaire experienced a frightful regret that he had not said a thousand francs."Are your horse's forelegs good?" said M. "Monsieur Scaufflaire. and this time he did not return. Madeleine had forgotten the paper with the figures on it. with a broad smile." replied M. then left the room. Madeleine. Are there many descends between here and the place whither you are going?" "Do not forget to be at my door at precisely half-past four o'clock to-morrow morning.--the one bearing the other?" "The one dragging the other." said he. Madeleine laid a bank-bill on the table. "Yes." said the husband. M. Monsieur le Maire. At what value do you estimate your horse and cabriolet?" "Five hundred francs. You must hold him in a little when going down hill. The . and he took his departure. The mayor had been gone two or three minutes when the door opened again. but I wish to guarantee you in any case. "Where the devil could Monsieur le Maire be going?" They held counsel together. Well?" "Does Monsieur le Maire wish to purchase them or me?" "No. He still wore the same impassive and preoccupied air.

eight and a half from Saint-Pol to Arras. Madeleine's only servant. usually. which indicated that the window was wide open. noticed that the latter's light was extinguished at half-past eight." Meanwhile. at the same time. from the direction of the rays. who was. but went to bed and to sleep. then the step began again. and then shut again. He is going to Arras. eight and a half? That must designate the posting relays. Madeleine's step. and staring. and he had wished to avoid it. and she mentioned it to the cashier when he came home." He turned to his wife:-"I have found out. there was no noise in M. . adding:-"Is Monsieur le Maire ill? I thought he had a rather singular air. the portress of the factory. A moment later the cashier heard a noise which resembled that of a cupboard being opened. Madeleine's chamber. Madeleine's chamber until he rose in the morning. it could only come from the window of M. as though it came rather from a fire which had been lighted than from a candle. six. as though some one were walking in the room above him. Madeleine's chamber. The cashier fell asleep again. Nevertheless. M. M." "What?" "It is five leagues from here to Hesdin. Towards midnight he woke up with a start. as though the parsonage door had been a temptation for him. He listened more attentively. and through his window-panes he saw the reddish gleam of a lighted window reflected on the opposite wall. He paid no heed to the portress's words. six from Hesdin to Saint-Pol. since he liked to go to bed early. The fact that this window was open in such cold weather was surprising. The reflection wavered. which was a very simple act. and recognized M. Madeleine had returned home. He ascended to his room. quite awake now." This cashier occupied a room situated directly under M. it was a footstep pacing back and forth. He had taken the longest way to return from Master Scaufflaire's. This struck him as strange. "Five. and there he shut himself up.Fleming picked it up and studied it. The shadow of the window-frame was not shown. He listened. then a piece of furniture was disarranged. The cashier sat up in bed. in his sleep he had heard a noise above his head. then a pause ensued.

This is what had taken place in M. Madeleine's room. The window was still open. but now it was pale and peaceful.An hour or two later he waked again. like the reflection of a lamp or of a candle. The reflection was still visible on the wall. The same step was still passing slowly and regularly back and forth overhead. .

gaze into that soul. it is the pandemonium of sophisms.CHAPTER III--A TEMPEST IN A SKULL The reader has. Let us enter. it is the inmost recesses of the soul. were it only in connection with the basest of men. and more infinite. were it only with reference to a single man. more mysterious. it can fix itself on no other thing which is more formidable. visionary circles. skirmishes of dragons and hydras and swarms of phantoms. a totally different man. of lusts. and of temptations. We have but little to add to what the reader already knows of what had happened to Jean Valjean after the adventure with Little Gervais. gaze into that obscurity. are in progress. What a solemn thing is this infinity which every man bears within him. at certain hours. Penetrate. and which he measures with despair against the caprices of his brain and the actions of his life! Alighieri one day met with a sinister-looking door. past the livid face of a human being who is engaged in reflection. What the Bishop had wished to make of him. more complicated. nevertheless. We have already gazed into the depths of this conscience. and look behind. already divined that M. as in Dante. battles of giants. There is a spectacle more grand than the sea. would be to blend all epics into one superior and definitive epic. no doubt. The eye of the spirit can nowhere find more dazzling brilliance and more shadow than in man. it is heaven: there is a spectacle more grand than heaven. the furnace of dreams. Conscience is the chaos of chimeras. Here is one before us. the lair of ideas of which we are ashamed. We do so not without emotion and trepidation. before which he hesitated. as in Milton. There is nothing more terrible in existence than this sort of contemplation. From that moment forth he was. To make the poem of the human conscience. the moment has now come when we must take another look into it. Madeleine is no other than Jean Valjean. it is the battlefield of the passions. like those recorded in Homer. as we have seen. There. upon whose threshold we hesitate. beneath that external silence. that he carried .

came to M. it was a transfiguration.. as we have already remarked. however. he was struck with stupor. Madeleine did not hesitate to sacrifice the first to the second--his security to his virtue. following the example of all those who have been wise. crept from town to town. and as though intoxicated with the sinister eccentricity of his destiny. he had preserved the Bishop's candlesticks. worn mourning for him. collected information regarding the families at Faverolles. they counselled him to the same things. they conflicted. in spite of all his reserve and all his prudence. and. they turned him towards the gloom. and through this stupor he felt that shudder which . that his first duty was not towards himself. reassured and hopeful. He understood this confusedly but profoundly at the very first words pronounced by Javert. Sometimes. engaged in so serious a struggle. it must be confessed. Thus. he lived in peace. as though he thought.--to conceal his name and to sanctify his life. they conspired to regulate the conduct of his life. both were equally absorbing and imperative and ruled his slightest actions. sold the Bishop's silver. to escape men and to return to God. the man whom all the country of M. they rendered him kindly and simple. sur M. as the reader will remember. sur M. sur M. It was more than a transformation. At the same time. These two thoughts were so closely intertwined in his mind that they formed but a single one there.out. and saved old Fauchelevent's life. holy. succeeded in rendering himself safe from seizure and inaccessible. accomplished what we have related. nothing just like this had yet presented itself. established at M. having henceforth only two thoughts. and just. conceived the idea which we have mentioned. summoned and interrogated all the little Savoyards who passed that way. At the moment when that name. In that case. Never had the two ideas which governed the unhappy man whose sufferings we are narrating. traversed France. when the latter entered his study. which he had buried beneath so many layers. despite the disquieting insinuations of Javert. In general. was so strangely articulated. He succeeded in disappearing.. It seemed. thenceforth. reserving only the candlesticks as a souvenir. happy in feeling his conscience saddened by the past and the first half of his existence belied by the last. called M.

he said to himself that being. no doubt. and recoiled before heroism. and without having the least in the world made up his mind to this trip. and he said to himself. that great danger. stifled his emotions. He took no "preservative measures. telling himself that he must behave thus. beyond the shadow of any suspicion. a whirlwind within. in the midst of a penitence admirably begun. after the Bishop's holy words. He felt shadows filled with thunders and lightnings descending upon his head. and resumed his calmness as a warrior picks up his buckler. He remained in this state during the rest of the day. if this man had not flinched for an instant. at first. As he listened to Javert.precedes great shocks. Everything was still confused. to take that Champmathieu out of prison and place himself there. to run and denounce himself. He repaired to Fantine's bed of suffering. He was carried away. He bent like an oak at the approach of a storm. there could be nothing out of the way in being a witness to what was to take place. Then it passed away. as usual. generous instinct. . He had a vague feeling that he might be obliged to go to Arras. and he engaged the tilbury from Scaufflaire in order to be prepared in any event. like a soldier at the approach of an assault. We must render an account of the things which went on in this soul. that would have been beautiful. and prolonged his visit. by the instinct of self-preservation. at the bottom of which lay heaven. took into consideration Javert's presence. a profound tranquillity without. as he was. he rallied all his ideas in haste. after so many years of repentance and abnegation. shook off thought as to what he had to do. It would be beautiful. and recommend her well to the sisters. postponed all decision with the firmness of terror. the first thought which occurred to him was to go. except that he had received a great blow. His trouble was so great that he could not perceive the form of a single idea distinctly. "We will see! We will see!" He repressed this first. through a kindly instinct. and we can only tell what there was there. this was as painful and as poignant as an incision in the living flesh. in case he should be obliged to be absent himself. but it was not thus. and jostling together in his brain. but had continued to walk with the same step towards this yawning precipice. and he could have told nothing about himself." as they may be called. even in the presence of so terrible a conjecture.

and so far from suspecting anything! What was I doing yesterday at this hour? What is there in this incident? What will the end be? What is to be done?" This was the torment in which he found himself. and began to meditate in the dark. There were no stars in the sky. His brain had lost its power of retaining ideas. Then he took possession of himself: he set his elbows on the table. it It seemed to him as though he might be seen.--his conscience. A moment later embarrassed him. He was barricading himself against possibilities. "Where do I stand? Am not I dreaming? What have I heard? Is it really true that I have seen that Javert. he extinguished his light. moved by some inexplicable impulse of anxiety. By whom? Alas! That on which he desired to close the door had already entered. and bolted his door. the candle extinguished. that which he desired to blind was staring him in the face. and that he spoke to me in that manner? Who can that Champmathieu be? So he resembles me! Is it possible? When I reflect that yesterday I was so tranquil. that is to say. he had a feeling of security and of solitude. and from which he sought to draw proof and resolution. His conscience. they passed like waves. he thought himself impregnable. He went to the window and threw it wide open. he deluded himself at first. he felt himself invisible. the bolt once drawn. and found it unprecedented. He returned and seated himself at the table. . His head was burning. God. He feared lest something more should enter. On returning to his room.He dined with a good deal of appetite. so unprecedented that in the midst of his revery he rose from his chair. Nevertheless. and he clutched his brow in both hands to arrest them. leaned his head on his hand. He examined the situation. he communed with himself. Nothing but anguish extricated itself from this tumult which overwhelmed his will and his reason.

--not the whole situation. and that. that this prodigious incident would have no other result. and God had permitted these wild fancies to become real things! His revery continued to grow clearer. Jean Valjean. He shuddered at the very thought that this was possible. when that formidable light. than that of rendering his existence at once clearer and more impenetrable. would suddenly blaze forth above his head. Well. all that he had made up to that day had been nothing but a hole in which to bury his name. would suddenly emerge from the darkness and rise in front of him. vague outlines began to take form and to fix themselves in his meditation. capable of dissipating the mystery in which he had enveloped himself. however. he had said to himself. so far as he was concerned. the good and worthy citizen Monsieur Madeleine would emerge more honored. critical and extraordinary as was this situation. This only caused an increase of his stupor. and he was able to catch a glimpse with precision of the reality. also. that on the day when that name made its reappearance it would cause his new life to vanish from about him. and that that name would not menace him. that this rent veil would but increase the mystery. He came more and more to an understanding of his position. He began by recognizing the fact that. That which he had always feared most of all in his hours of self-communion. more peaceful. out of his confrontation with the phantom of Jean Valjean. when the hideous words. during his sleepless nights. he would have tossed his head and regarded the words as those of a madman. . Independently of the severe and religious aim which he had assigned to his actions. all this was precisely what had just come to pass. that that light would but produce an obscurity more dense. he was completely master of it. but some of the details. if so it seemed good to him. Assuredly. if any one had said to him at such moments that the hour would come when that name would ring in his ears. that this earthquake would solidify his edifice. Gradually. was to ever hear that name pronounced. that that would be the end of all things for him. all that accumulation of impossibilities was a fact. and more respected than ever--if any one had told him that.The first hour passed in this manner. and--who knows?-perhaps even his new soul within him.

absolutely turned from the trail: henceforth he is . and behold that door is walled up forever! That Javert. a man unknown to him. and which may be called an outburst of inward laughter. never to rise again. should fall into it: he had only let things take their course. erect. that frightful hunting-dog. "Well. that the theft from little Gervais had led him back to it. which had divined me--good God! and which followed me everywhere. he had a substitute. that terrible instinct which seemed to have divined me. at this moment. and he acknowledged this to himself: That his place was empty in the galleys. holding back all in vain. I had but one partly open door through which my past might invade my life. "what am I afraid of? What is there in all that for me to think about? I am safe. it was still awaiting him. on the very brink of the abyss. whom destiny had mistaken for him. and of despair. Madeleine. that there suddenly took place in him that indescribable movement. of joy. all is over. which no man feels more than two or three times in the course of his life. he had nothing more to fear. being present in the galleys in the person of that Champmathieu. The light became complete." All this was so strange and so violent. and then he said to himself. always making a point at me. a sort of convulsion of the conscience which stirs up all that there is doubtful in the heart. that do what he would. that this vacant place would await him. and that. He hastily relighted his candle. which is composed of irony. "that. himself or that other man. as regards himself. is thrown off the scent.It seemed to him that he had but just waked up from some inexplicable dream. engaged elsewhere. falls once. shivering. it was necessary that some one. in order that the gulf might close once more. and that he found himself slipping down a declivity in the middle of the night. like the stone of the sepulchre. and whom she was thrusting into the gulf in his stead. and draw him on until he filled it. He distinctly perceived in the darkness a stranger. present in society under the name of M. that it appeared that a certain Champmathieu had that ill luck. who has been annoying me so long. that this was inevitable and fatal. provided that he did not prevent men from sealing over the head of that Champmathieu this stone of infamy which. what then?" he said to himself.

that a little happiness has been attached to the penance which I have undergone. the guilty man calls it remorse. and began to pace the room: "Come. Have I the right to disarrange what it has arranged? What do I ask now? Why should I meddle? It does not concern me. he rose from his chair. he resumed the gloomy dialogue in which it was he who spoke and he who listened. what! I am not satisfied: but what more do I want? The goal to which I have aspired for so many years.--I have now attained. and to ask his advice. do what he would. Quite the reverse. this is evidently what he would have said to me: It is settled. a little while ago. he will leave me in peace. bending over what may be called his own abyss. After the expiration of a few moments. let things take their course. God upheaves the soul as he does the ocean. that I may do good. I can do nothing against the will of God. and why does God will it? In order that I may continue what I have begun. the dream of my nights. if it does bring harm to some one. One can no more prevent thought from recurring to an idea than one can the sea from returning to the shore: the sailor calls it the tide.satisfied. that it may be said at last. and I count for nothing in it! Ah! but where is the misfortune in this? Upon my honor. evidently. it is God who wills it. let the good God do as he likes!" Thus did he address himself in the depths of his own conscience. yielding to that mysterious power which said to him: "Think!" as it said to another condemned man. that I may one day be a grand and encouraging example. and listened to that which he would have preferred not to hear. to see me. I do not understand why I was afraid. he has his Jean Valjean. Who knows? it is even probable that he will wish to leave town! And all this has been brought about without any aid from me. the object of my prayers to Heaven. it is because it wishes it so to be. my resolve is taken!" but he felt no joy. "let us think no more about it. people would think.--security. that some catastrophe had happened to me! After all. and to that virtue to which I have returned. saying that which he would have preferred to ignore." said he. that is not my fault in the least: it is Providence which has done it all. "March on!" . two thousand years ago. to enter the house of that good cure. Really.

which was the true one--to save. which he had always desired.Before proceeding further. He continued to question himself. it is in this sense only that the words so often employed in this chapter. He spit it out with disgust. in short. to let the good God do as he liked. one speaks to one's self. to do nothing. let us insist upon one necessary observation. to lend himself to it through his silence. that alone. talks to one's self. there is no living being who has not done it. and the most odious of thieves! He was robbing another of his . The realities of the soul are none the less realities because they are not visible and palpable. he exclaimed. he said." He confessed to himself that all that he had just arranged in his mind was monstrous. sneaking." was simply horrible. and when it returns from conscience to thought. but what object? To conceal his name? To deceive the police? Was it for so petty a thing that he had done all that he had done? Had he not another and a grand object. hideous crime! For the first time in eight years. and in order to make ourselves fully understood. cowardly. abject. there is a great tumult. exclaims to one's self without breaking the external silence. He asked himself severely what he had meant by this. must be understood. which the Bishop had enjoined upon him--to shut the door on his past? But he was not shutting it! great God! he was re-opening it by committing an infamous action! He was becoming a thief once more. to become honest and good once more. So he asked himself where he stood. not to hinder it. everything about us talks except the mouth. not his person. It may even be said that the word is never a more magnificent mystery than when it goes from thought to conscience within a man. "My object is attained!" He declared to himself that his life really had an object. He interrogated himself upon that "settled resolve. It is certain that people do talk to themselves. but his soul. to allow this error of fate and of men to be carried out. to be a just man? Was it not that above all. was to do everything! that this was hypocritical baseness in the last degree! that it was a base. that "to let things take their course. the wretched man had just tasted the bitter savor of an evil thought and of an evil action.

existence. and on the envelope it might have been read. out of duty. but that the Bishop saw his face. Any one who had seen him during the execution of these various acts. He flung in the fire a bundle of bills which he had against petty and embarrassed tradesmen. as though there . that death beneath the open sky. his whole life was useless. morally murdering. There was no longer any need of saying. his peace. which is called the galleys. to surrender himself to save that man. Banker. verified them. in truth. with all his virtues. to resume his own name. To Monsieur Laffitte. Alas! that was the greatest of sacrifices. into which there entered such grave thought. but that the Bishop beheld his conscience." He uttered these words aloud. Rue d'Artois. his life. would have had no suspicion of what was going on within him. that henceforth Mayor Madeleine. the most poignant of victories. He drew from his secretary a pocket-book which contained several bank-notes and the passport of which he had made use that same year when he went to the elections." said he. without perceiving that he was speaking aloud. deliver the false Jean Valjean. He was inflicting on him that frightful living death. "What is the use?" He felt that the Bishop was there. "Well. that men beheld his mask. "let us decide upon this. Sad fate! he would enter into sanctity only in the eyes of God when he returned to infamy in the eyes of men. that men saw his life. struck down with so melancholy an error. So he must go to Arras. He took his books. and to close forever that hell whence he had just emerged. that the Bishop was gazing fixedly at him. that was. that the Bishop was present all the more because he was dead. let us do our duty. let us save this man. Only occasionally did his lips move. He wrote and sealed a letter. and put them in order. Paris. the last step to take. This must be done! He had done nothing if he did not do all this. to fall back there in appearance was to escape from it in reality. but it must be done. and denounce the real one. would be abominable to him. On the other hand. at other times he raised his head and fixed his gaze upon some point of the wall. He was murdering. to become once more. his place in the sunshine. and that the convict Jean Valjean would be pure and admirable in his sight. all his penitence was wasted. a wretched man. had there been any one in his chamber at the moment. to achieve his resurrection. He was becoming an assassin. the convict Jean Valjean.

He was filled with terror. They had now attained colossal statures. together with the pocket-book. which flamed before his eyes and changed its place as he altered the direction of his glance:-"Go! Tell your name! Denounce yourself!" In the same way he beheld. up to that time. gradually resumed possession of him. this Champmathieu was not interesting. For the first time they appeared to him as absolutely distinct. written in luminous letters. and he perceived the distance which separated them. and that Champmathieu marked the second. that the first was self-devotion. that the one said. and began his walk once more. formed the double rule of his soul. allayed for an instant. They were antagonistic. but it seemed to him that the good thought was getting the upper hand. and that the other said. that one emanated from the light. and it seemed to him that he beheld within himself. He saw them in conflict. Laffitte. good. my neighbor. and that the other was personality.existed at that point something which he wished to elucidate or interrogate. He continued to see his duty clearly. the two ideas which had. One moment he said to himself that he was. After the grand crisis. necessarily. that. taking the matter too keenly. as though they had passed before him in visible forms. perhaps. When he had finished the letter to M. and the other from darkness. after all. while the other might become bad. He felt that he was on the brink of the second decisive crisis of his conscience and of his destiny. he put it into his pocket. He recognized the fact that one of these ideas was. but they continued to fortify him in his resolution.--the concealment of his name. His revery had not swerved from its course. But the fever. in the midst of the darkness and the lights. in that infinity of which we were recently speaking. myself. a goddess and a giant contending. the sanctification of his life. A thousand thoughts traversed his mind. they grew before the eyes of his spirit. the grand test. . and that he had actually been guilty of theft. In proportion as he meditated. that the Bishop had marked the first phase of his new life.

perhaps.. and pitiless shame. indeed. sur M. of indifferent matters. if he accomplished his sacrifice. And who knows? Did he steal? Has it been proved? The name of Jean Valjean overwhelms him." In another instant the thought had occurred to him that. his consideration. and. and he smiled bitterly as he remembered that the theft of the forty sous from little Gervais put him in the position of a man guilty of a second offence after conviction. or holiness within and infamy without. and that they would have mercy on him. Do not the attorneys for the Crown always proceed in this manner? He is supposed to be a thief because he is known to be a convict. And what would be the taste of all these holy things when bound up with this hideous thing? while. But this supposition vanished very quickly. the heroism of his deed might. his charity. the green cap. his good name. his virtue. . in spite of himself. according to the precise terms of the law. He turned aside from all illusions. he must make his choice: virtue without and abomination within. be taken into consideration. He told himself that he must do his duty. his popularity. that means a month in prison. would render him liable to penal servitude for life. would be seasoned with a crime. He began to think of other things. detached himself more and more from earth. his wealth. his good works. if he remained at M. that. and what he had done for the district. and his honest life for the last seven years. The stirring up of these lugubrious ideas did not cause his courage to fail. that perhaps he should not be more unhappy after doing his duty than after having avoided it. in any case. the iron necklet. but his brain grow weary. when he denounced himself. the post. that his destiny was thus allotted. the deference and veneration paid to him. a celestial idea would be mingled with the galleys. It is a long way from that to the galleys. that this affair would certainly come up. At length he told himself that it must be so. stolen a few apples. unceasing toil.He answered himself: "If this man has. and sought strength and consolation elsewhere. and seems to dispense with proofs. that he had not authority to alter the arrangements made on high. that if he allowed things to take their own course.

"I had resolved to inform against myself. midnight sounded first from the parish church. he still paced to and fro. it is proper for me to hold my tongue or to denounce myself. Fantine. he finally succeeded in doing this. He was cold. I have created ease. this Champmathieu is released. to be a despicable and respected magistrate. "and what about that poor woman?" Here a fresh crisis declared itself. In the meantime he had relapsed into his stupor. it did not occur to him to close the window. upon which was written the name. Antoine-Albin de Romainville. What if I were to think a little about others? The highest holiness is to think of others. he lighted a small fire. to conceal my person or to save my soul. he had seen in an ironmonger's shop an ancient clock for sale. the I effaced. he thought of Fantine. he counted the twelve strokes of the two clocks. I am put back in the galleys. "Hold!" said he. let us examine the matter. The I excepted. that is well-and what then? What is going on here? Ah! here is a country. it is I who have placed the brand on the hearth and meat in the pot. a few days previously. produced the effect of an unexpected ray of light. and compared the sounds of the two bells. everywhere where there is a smoking chimney." And then. both men and women. aged grandsires. but it is egotism all the same. all these I provide with their living. an industry. it is I. . the I forgotten.The veins in his temples throbbed violently. he recalled in this connection the fact that. good God! all this is egotism." he said to himself. come. children. these are diverse forms of egotism. workers. then from the town-hall. all of a sudden. "Ah! yes. he was obliged to make a tolerably vigorous effort to recall what had been the subject of his thoughts before midnight had struck. it is always I and nothing but I: but. or an infamous and venerable convict. poor people! All this I have created. by appearing thus abruptly in his revery. a town. here are factories. what would be the result of all this? What if I denounce myself? I am arrested. it seemed to him as though everything about him were undergoing a change of aspect: he exclaimed:-"Ah! but I have hitherto considered no one but myself.

perhaps. no one knows whom. farms rise where there was nothing. prostitution. industries are aroused and animated. everything dies: and this woman. factories and shops are multiplied. fecundated. if I denounce myself. a hundred families. this man is going to the galleys. who possesses so many merits in spite of her fall. a trifle exaggerated. What! because it would have pleased me to play the grand and generous. the idea! for the sake of saving from a punishment. ah. . stimulated. this is abominable! And without the mother even having seen her child once more. the soul is lacking. the cause of all whose misery I have unwittingly been! And that child whom I meant to go in search of. who has suffered so much. families. in reparation for the evil which I have done her? If I disappear. do I not also owe something to this woman." After putting this question to himself. and he answered himself calmly:-"Well. he seemed to undergo a momentary hesitation and trepidation. credit. this is melodrama. I go on: in ten years I shall have made ten millions. but it did not last long. and with wretchedness debauchery. it is true. villages spring up where there were only farms before. a thousand families. lacking me.circulation. but what the deuce! he has stolen! There is no use in my saying that he has not been guilty of theft. I have nothing of my own. whom I have promised to her mother. for he has! I remain here. the district becomes populated. are happy. theft. I scatter them over the country. If I do not denounce myself? come. he paused. that is what will take place. because I should have thought of no one but myself. the prosperity of all goes on augmenting. murder. I take myself off. after all. what is that to me? It is not for myself that I am doing it. vivified. a good-for-nothing. wretchedness disappears. all crimes: and this poor mother rears her child. the child becomes what it can. all vices disappear. evidently. I have elevated. before me there was nothing. let us see how it will be if I do not denounce myself. and behold a whole country rich and honest! Ah! I was a fool! I was absurd! what was that I was saying about denouncing myself? I really must pay attention and not be precipitate about anything. what happens? The mother dies. a whole country-side must perish! a poor woman must die in the hospital! a poor little girl must die in the street! like dogs. informed with life. enriched the whole country-side. but just at bottom. a thief.

almost without the child's having known her mother. I am on the right road. truths are found only in the depths of thought. those peoples are rascals. which save a guilty man and sacrifice the innocent. "this is right. blue with cold at this moment in the den of those Thenardiers. Diamonds are found only in the dark places of the earth. and Madeleine I remain. for the good of others. in that alone there is virtue. after having descended into these depths. and all that for the sake of an old wretch of an applethief who. it turns out that some one is Jean Valjean at the present moment. if it halts and descends on a head. it is a fatal name which was floating abroad in the night. and which sacrifice a whole population. and I was about to commit that unspeakable folly! Let us put it at the worst: suppose that there is a wrong action on my part in this. I must end by holding fast to something. this evil action which compromises my soul alone. I am Madeleine. let him look out for himself. and said:-- . let us no longer vacillate. this is for the interest of all. most assuredly. and that my conscience will reproach me for it some day. this time." He rose and resumed his march. and I was going to neglect my duty towards all these poor creatures. children. let us no longer hang back. not for my own. if not for that. he had at last found one of these diamonds. fine scruples. after having long groped among the darkest of these shadows. and who will not be more unhappy in the galleys than in his hovel. one of these truths. and who is. I have the solution. which save an old vagabond who has only a few years to live at most." he thought. let things take their course. no doubt. that does not concern me. "Yes. This poor little Cosette who has no one in the world but me. I do not know that man. and I was going off to denounce myself. and he was dazzled as he gazed upon it. and that he now held it in his hand." He looked into the little mirror which hung above his chimney-piece. I no longer know anything. so much the worse for that head. my resolve is taken. It seemed to him. to accept. Woe to the man who is Jean Valjean! I am no longer he. mothers. has deserved the galleys for something else. indeed. he seemed to be content. wives. that. in that lies self-sacrifice. these reproaches which weigh only on myself.

there are still threads which attach me to that Jean Valjean. but he had concealed all that came from the galleys. in this very room there are objects which would betray me. into the fire. and he had allowed the candlesticks which came from the Bishop to be seen. so hidden was it in the most sombre tones of the design which covered the wall-paper. Those who had seen Jean Valjean at the epoch when he passed through D----in October."Hold! it has relieved me to come to a decision. "Come!" he said. an old knapsack. in order to remind himself continually of his starting-point. drew out his purse. then he stopped short. an old pair of trousers. rags. . without bestowing so much as a glance on the things which he had so religiously and so perilously preserved for so many years. dumb things which would bear witness against me. knapsack. I am quite another man now. a secret receptacle opened. and a huge thorn cudgel shod with iron at both ends. then. they must be broken. and flung them all. in this hidingplace there were some rags--a blue linen blouse. could easily have recognized all the pieces of this miserable outfit. opened it. he took the whole in his arms at once. and took out a small key. with a quick and abrupt movement." He proceeded a few paces further." He fumbled in his pocket. as though he feared that it would open in spite of the bolt which fastened it. a sort of false cupboard constructed in the angle between the wall and the chimney-piece. He had preserved them as he had preserved the silver candlesticks. it is settled. all these things must disappear. cudgel. 1815. he inserted the key in a lock whose aperture could hardly be seen. "I must not flinch before any of the consequences of the resolution which I have once adopted. He cast a furtive glance towards the door.

but paced back and forth with the same step. tremulous glow. it revealed something which sparkled in the ashes. . He did not look at the fire. Everything was on fire. red. which he pushed in front of it. All at once his eye fell on the two silver candlesticks. and with redoubled precautions. the room and the opposite wall were lighted up with a fierce. he concealed the door behind a heavy piece of furniture. together with the hideous rags which it contained. They must be destroyed also.--no doubt the forty-sou piece stolen from the little Savoyard. henceforth unnecessary. which shone vaguely on the chimney-piece. through the glow." He seized the two candlesticks. After the lapse of a few seconds. As the knapsack was consumed. since it was now empty. one could have readily recognized a coin. "the whole of Jean Valjean is still in them.He closed the false cupboard again. "Hold!" he thought. By bending over. the thorn cudgel snapped and threw out sparks to the middle of the chamber.

resolved. Ah. remain honorable and honored. He felt a sense of real comfort. "Complete what you are about! Destroy these candlesticks! Annihilate this souvenir! Forget the Bishop! Forget everything! Destroy this Champmathieu. fixed. which will talk very loud. and only the malediction will ascend to God. done nothing. perhaps. and which will bless you. during this time. That is good! Be an honest man yourself. wretch!" The perspiration streamed from his brow. who is about to be taken for you. A minute more. that's it! finish!" said the voice. virtuous.There was still fire enough to allow of their being put out of shape. and converted into a sort of unrecognizable bar of metal. and who will drag your chain in the galleys. But that within him which had spoken had not finished. which will make a great noise. He stirred the live coals with one of the candlesticks. "Yes. "How good warmth is!" said he. who will finish his days in abjectness and horror. there will be a man who will wear your red blouse. and admired. live happy. who has. while you are here in the midst of joy and light. who will bear your name in ignominy. nourish the indigent. do! That is right! Applaud yourself! So it is settled. He bent over the hearth and warmed himself for a moment. remain Monsieur le Maire. agreed: here is an old man who does not know what is wanted of him. whose whole misfortune lies in your name. Yes. At that moment it seemed to him that he heard a voice within him shouting: "Jean Valjean! Jean Valjean!" His hair rose upright: he became like a man who is listening to some terrible thing. who will be condemned. rear the orphan. and. and only one which no one will hear. The voice continued:-"Jean Valjean. infamous man! All those benedictions will fall back before they reach heaven. and they were both in the fire. there will be around you many voices." . and which will curse you in the dark. an innocent man. upon whom your name weighs like a crime. it is well arranged thus. Well! listen. enrich the town. He fixed a haggard eye on the candlesticks.

It seemed to him that it had detached itself from him. It sometimes seems. that he glanced around the room in a sort of terror. Then he resumed. with a laugh which resembled that of an idiot:-"How stupid I am! There can be no one!" There was some one. at first. "Is there any one here?" he demanded aloud. had gradually become startling and formidable. What a fatality! What conjunction that that Champmathieu should have been taken for him. as though people moved about for the purpose of asking advice of everything that they may encounter by change of place. in utter bewilderment. He now recoiled in equal terror before both the resolutions at which he had arrived in turn. He should have to bid farewell to that existence which was so good. he should never more experience the sweetness of having . but the person who was there was of those whom the human eye cannot see. to strengthen his position! There was a moment when he reflected on the future. to the respect of all. The two ideas which counselled him appeared to him equally fatal. and awoke him with a start.This voice. feeble at first. and which had proceeded from the most obscure depths of his conscience. he should never more bestow alms on the little children. which troubled the dreams of the sleeping man beneath him. He placed the candlesticks on the chimney-piece. great God! Deliver himself up! With immense despair he faced all that he should be obliged to leave. all that he should be obliged to take up once more. he should never more hear the birds sing in the month of May. and that it was now speaking outside of him. After the lapse of a few minutes he no longer knew his position. on supreme occasions. He thought that he heard the last words so distinctly. This tramping to and fro soothed and at the same time intoxicated him. to be overwhelmed by precisely the means which Providence seemed to have employed. to liberty. to honor. so radiant. Denounce himself. so pure. He should never more stroll in the fields. Then he resumed his monotonous and lugubrious tramp. and he now heard it in his very ear.

after having been what he was! If he were only young again! but to be addressed in his old age as "thou" by any one who pleased. to receive the galleysergeant's cudgellings. the cell. sur M. to be searched by the convict-guard. they assumed a kind of stupefied and mechanical quality which is peculiar to despair. the red waistcoat. He walked like a little child who is permitted to toddle alone. the iron necklet. overwhelmed with lassitude. the ladder staircase of the galleys beneath the sergeant's whip. who would be told: "That man yonder is the famous Jean Valjean. with the two verses of a song which he had heard in the past. what misery! Can destiny. Oh. to wear iron-bound shoes on his bare feet. The name of Romainville recurred incessantly to his mind. that little chamber! Everything seemed charming to him at that moment. Great God! instead of that. he should quit that house which he had built. the camp bed all those horrors which he knew so well! At his age. then. their green caps drawn over their eyes. be as malicious as an intelligent being. to remount. His ideas began to grow confused once more. and become as monstrous as the human heart? And do what he would.". the convict gang. where young lovers go to pluck lilacs in the month of April. fatigue. the chain on his ankle. Never again should he read those books. his old portress. and at night. dripping with perspiration. two by two. he always fell back upon the heartrending dilemma which lay at the foundation of his revery: "Should he remain in paradise and become a demon? Should he return to hell and become an angel?" What was to be done? Great God! what was to be done? The torment from which he had escaped with so much difficulty was unchained afresh within him. to have to stretch out his leg night and morning to the hammer of the roundsman who visits the gang. would never more bring him his coffee in the morning. He thought that Romainville was a little grove near Paris. never more should he write on that little table of white wood. who was mayor of M. . He wavered outwardly as well as inwardly. the only servant whom he kept.glances of gratitude and love fixed upon him. to submit to the curiosity of strangers.

something in him must die.--the agony of his happiness. fallen prostrate with fatigue: Ought he to denounce himself? Ought he to hold his peace? He could not manage to see anything distinctly. into smoke.At intervals. in a manner. The vague aspects of all the courses of reasoning which had been sketched out by his meditations quivered and vanished. to whatever course of action he made up his mind. one after the other. as he combated his lassitude. He tried to put to himself. the problem over which he had. or the agony of his virtue. Thus did this unhappy soul struggle in its anguish. and that of necessity. He only felt that. . and without his being able to escape the fact. and definitely. that he was entering a sepulchre on the right hand as much as on the left. the mysterious Being in whom are summed up all the sanctities and all the sufferings of humanity had also long thrust aside with his hand. the terrible cup which appeared to Him dripping with darkness and overflowing with shadows in the depths all studded with stars. Eighteen hundred years before this unfortunate man. He was no further advanced than at the beginning. for the last time. Alas! all his resolution had again taken possession of him. that he was passing through a death agony. he made an effort to recover the mastery of his mind. while the olive-trees quivered in the wild wind of the infinite.

the history of this night would be incomplete if we were to omit it: it is the gloomy adventure of an ailing soul. Here it is. In his hand he held a switch which was as supple as a vine-shoot and as heavy as iron. who had always worked with her window open from the time when she came to live on the street. "We were conversing and we met some passers-by. bore no relation to the situation. a vast. I must say. when he at length allowed himself to drop into his chair.' . It did not seem to me to be daylight nor yet night. and whom I now hardly remember. but it made an impression on him. "My brother said to me. It is one of the papers in his own handwriting which he has bequeathed to us. gloomy plain. where there was no grass. "The Dream I had that Night. almost uninterruptedly. We saw a man passing close to us.CHAPTER IV--FORMS ASSUMED BY SUFFERING DURING SLEEP Three o'clock in the morning had just struck. except by its painful and heart-rending character. and mounted on a horse which was earth color. This horseman passed and said nothing to us. This dream. the brother of my childish years. I never think. He was entirely nude. 'Let us take to the hollow road. like the majority of dreams. This nightmare struck him so forcibly that he wrote it down later on. we could see his skull and the veins on it. of the hue of ashes. There he fell asleep and had a dream. and he had been walking thus for five hours. "There were no trees in the plain. On the envelope we find this line inscribed. As we talked we felt cold because of that open window. We think that we have here reproduced the thing in strict accordance with the text. Of whatever nature this dream may be. the brother of whom. We were talking of a neighbor of ours in former days. "I was walking with my brother. The man had no hair." "I was in a plain.

I entered the second. all the doors were open. All the streets were deserted. The garden was deserted. I received no reply when I spoke: I perceived that my brother was no longer with me. Behind the door of this chamber a man was standing erect against the wall. I quitted the house and entered the garden. But behind each angle of the walls. I said to this Man:-"'What country is this? Where am I?' The man made no reply. I inquired of this man. "I entered a village which I espied. They had strange heads. "After the lapse of some time I turned back and saw a great crowd coming up behind me. They did not seem to be in a hurry. In an instant this crowd had overtaken and surrounded me. (Why Romainville?)5 "The first street that I entered was deserted. yet they walked faster than I did. "The house had a garden. 'What garden is this? Where am I?' The man did not answer. I saw the door of a house open. and I entered. Everything was dirt-colored. Behind the first tree I found a man standing upright. I said to this man. behind each door. "The first chamber was deserted. walking through the chambers or strolling in the gardens. Not a single living being was passing in the streets."There existed a hollow way wherein one saw neither a single shrub nor a spear of moss. even the sky. I recognized all the men whom I had seen in that town. The faces of these men were earthen in hue. "Then the first one whom I had seen and questioned on entering the town said to me:-- . and perceived that it was a town. a man was standing erect against the wall. These men watched me pass. I entered a second street. 'Whose house is this? Where am I?' The man replied not. They made no noise as they walked. Only one was to be seen at a time. After proceeding a few paces. behind each tree. Behind the angle formed by the two streets. "I strolled into the village. I reflected that it must be Romainville. stood a silent man. "I left the town and began to ramble about the fields.

which had been left open on their hinges. and cried in a terrible voice:-"Who is there?" Some one said:-"I. Monsieur le Maire. "Who is coming here so early in the morning?" At that moment there came a light tap on the door of his chamber. It was still black night. and I perceived that there was no one near me. The fire was out. The candle was nearing its end. "Hold!" said he. As his thoughts were still half immersed in the mists of sleep. Below him he perceived two red stars. There were no stars in the sky even yet. a second sound similar to the first roused him thoroughly. he went to the window. By the light which they cast he was able to distinguish the form of this vehicle."'Whither are you going! Do you not know that you have been dead this long time?' "I opened my mouth to reply." He woke. resounded from the earth. He was icy cold. He shuddered from head to foot. A wind which was chill like the breeze of dawn was rattling the leaves of the window. "Well!" he replied. It was a tilbury harnessed to a small white horse. He rose. harsh noise. They are on earth now." But this confusion vanished. "what is it?" . From his window the yard of the house and the street were visible." He recognized the voice of the old woman who was his portress. which made him drop his eyes. "there are no stars in the sky. A sharp. "What vehicle is this?" he said to himself. The noise which he had heard was the trampling of the horse's hoofs on the pavement. he looked and recognized the fact that these two stars were the lanterns of a carriage. whose rays lengthened and shortened in a singular manner through the darkness.

"Monsieur le Maire. and from around the wick he took some of the burning wax. "The coachman says that he has come for Monsieur le Maire." "M. as though a flash of lightning had passed in front of his face." "What is that to me?" "The cabriolet is here." he resumed. Monsieur le Maire. which he rolled between his fingers. "M." . He examined the flame of the candle with a stupid air. Scaufflaire?" That name sent a shudder over him. Scaufflaire!" If the old woman could have seen him at that moment. She even ventured to uplift her voice once more:-"What am I to say. The old woman waited for him. Monsieur le Maire?" "Say that it is well." said he." "What tilbury?" "Did not Monsieur le Maire order a tilbury?" "No. and that I am coming down. A tolerably long silence ensued." "What coachman?" "M. she would have been frightened. it is just five o'clock in the morning." "What cabriolet?" "The tilbury. "Ah! yes. Scaufflaire's coachman.

but the traveller paid no heed and pursued his road at full gallop. He was driving at random. and having but two seats. offensive axles which keep other vehicles at a distance. which was going in the opposite direction. which have no counterparts nowadays. after the mail from Paris had passed. by the Hesdin road. an immense oblong coffer. Why was he hastening? He did not know. termites. no doubt. The wheel of the tilbury received quite a violent shock. These vehicles. upholstered inside with fawncolored leather. The man thus hastening on was the one whom we have just seen struggling in convulsions which are certainly deserving of pity. and which may still be seen on the road in Germany. was placed behind the vehicle and formed a part of it. sur M. Whither? To Arras. they resembled the insects which are called. But they travelled at a very rapid rate. but he might have been going elsewhere as well. and the cabriolet yellow. collided at the corner of a street. The wheels were armed with those long. and which. sur M. "That man is in a devilish hurry!" said the postman. a man enveloped in a mantle. a little before five o'clock in the morning. and in which there was but one person. and climbing up some road to the horizon. I think.CHAPTER V--HINDRANCES The posting service from Arras to M. arrived at M. though with but little corselet. That night the wagon which was descending to M. and he shuddered. straight ahead. At times he was conscious of it. had something distorted and hunchbacked about them. These mail-wagons were twowheeled cabriolets. hung on springs. drag a great train behind them. Whither was he going? He could not have told. No one could . was still operated at this period by small mail-wagons of the time of the Empire. one for the postboy. and when one saw them passing in the distance. The postman shouted to the man to stop. The post-wagon which set out from Arras at one o'clock every night. just as it was entering the town. He plunged into the night as into a gulf. sur M. the other for the traveller. Something urged him forward. This coffer was painted black. something drew him on. The despatch box. with a little tilbury harnessed to a white horse.

At bottom. and that Brevet. the town of M. he felt something within him draw back. that Chenildieu. and even trot which accomplishes two leagues and a half an hour. his conscience would probably be greatly relieved to allow him to go to the galleys in his stead. which was proceeding at that fine. to tell the whole truth.have told what was taking place within him. he had resolved on nothing. after all. and that there is nothing so headstrong as suppositions and conjectures. he would have preferred not to go to Arras. he was going thither. whatever the result was to be. In proportion as the cabriolet advanced. no doubt. that he must know what took place. None of the actions of his conscience had been decisive. but they certainly would not recognize him. decided nothing. At daybreak he was in the open country. that accordingly there was no danger. into that obscure cavern of the unknown? However. That it was. however bad it might be. that Javert would indeed be there. in his own hand. formed no plan. a dark moment. He was. Why was he going to Arras? He repeated what he had already said to himself when he had hired Scaufflaire's cabriolet: that. more than ever. regular. Nevertheless. that. every one will understand it. that this was even prudent. he whipped up his horse. As he meditated. that Cochepaille.--bah! what an idea! that Javert was a hundred leagues from suspecting the truth. What man is there who has not entered. there was no reason why he should not see with his own eyes. that. he stared at all the chilly figures of a . old convicts who had known him. He clung to this thought. lay far behind him. that one made mountains out of everything from a distance. when he should have seen that Champmathieu. at least once in his life. and judge of matters for himself. that no decision could be arrived at without having observed and scrutinized. at any rate. sur M. he held his destiny. He watched the horizon grow white. done nothing. some wretch. that all conjectures and all suppositions were fixed on Champmathieu. as he had been at the first moment. that he was master of it. but that he should emerge from it.

which has too much head. to allow the horse a breathing spell. "Are you going far in this condition?" said the man. but which has a broad chest. and had not a drop of sweat on his loins. These things are charming when one is joyous. "Five leagues. the wheels on the road. these black silhouettes of trees and of hills added some gloomy and sinister quality to the violent state of his soul. but without seeing them. He replied. the bells on the harness. Each time that he passed one of those isolated dwellings which sometimes border on the highway. The stableman who brought the oats suddenly bent down and examined the left wheel. was silent for a moment. The horse belonged. and by means of a sort of penetration which was almost physical. with an air of not having roused himself from his revery:-"Why?" "Have you come from a great distance?" went on the man. but without his being aware of it. He did not get out of the tilbury." "Ah!" "Why do you say. 'Ah?'" The man bent down once more. It was broad daylight when he arrived at Hesdin. as Scaufflaire had said. fine legs. and lugubrious when one is sad. to that small race of the Boulonnais. and not enough neck and shoulders. but a robust and healthy race. He halted in front of the inn. monotonous noise. produced a gentle. a large crupper.winter's dawn as they passed before his eyes. and to have him given some oats. The excellent beast had travelled five leagues in two hours. and solid hoofs--a homely. The morning has its spectres as well as the evening. He did not see them. with his eyes fixed on the wheel. "And yet there are people there within who are sleeping!" The trot of the horse. then he rose erect and said:-- . thin. too much belly. he said to himself.

then. was standing on his own threshold." "When can I set out again?" "To-morrow. the wheelwright." . "Can you repair this wheel immediately?" "Yes. "My friend. sir. my friend?" "I say that it is a miracle that you should have travelled five leagues without you and your horse rolling into some ditch on the highway. sir." "Do me the service to go and fetch him. "What is that you say." "I will pay whatever you ask." He sprang out of the tilbury. so that the nut no longer held firm. He came." he said to the stableman. I must set out again in an hour at the latest. Just see here!" The wheel really had suffered serious damage." "Impossible. though this wheel has travelled five leagues. Hey! Master Master Bourgaillard. Are you in a hurry. it certainly will not travel another quarter of a league." "Well. sir?" "In a very great hurry. sir. examined the wheel and made a grimace like a surgeon when the latter thinks a limb is broken." "To-morrow!" "There is a long day's work on it. in two hours." "He is only Bourgaillard!" a step from here. The shock administered by the mail-wagon had split two spokes and strained the hub." "Impossible."Because. "is there a wheelwright here?" "Certainly.

Monsieur will not be able to start before tomorrow morning. I might let that to you." "Not all wheels fit all axles." "Have you not a wheel that you can sell me? Then I could start again at once." . it would require two horses." "I have no wheel on hand that would fit your cabriolet. sir. "You treat the cabriolets that people let you so well! If I had one. for what matters it to me? But the bourgeois must not see it pass--and then." "In that case. then. and who only uses it on the thirty-sixth of the month--never." "What! not even a spring-cart? I am not hard to please." "It is useless. He shrugged his shoulders. There is." "We live in a poor country. I would not let it to you!" "Well. that is to say. Two wheels make a pair. sir." "Have you a cabriolet that you can let me have?" The wheelwright had seen at the first glance that the tilbury was a hired vehicle. "an old calash under the shed yonder." "I have none. which belongs to a bourgeois of the town. sir. Two wheels cannot be put together hap-hazard."Impossible to-day." added the wheelwright." "The matter cannot wait until to-morrow. sell me a pair of wheels. as you see. in truth." "Try. What if you were to replace this wheel instead of repairing it?" "How so?" "You are a wheelwright?" "Certainly." "A spare wheel?" "Yes. I have nothing to sell but cartwheels. it is a calash. Two new spokes and a hub must be made. nevertheless. who gave it to me to take care of. We are but a poor country here. sell it to me.

Monsieur will have to wait three or four hours at the least at every relay. And. by taking post-horses. or for a thousand." "Where is Monsieur going?" "To Arras. Monsieur cannot reach Arras before to-morrow." "Come then. But you will not find one for sale nor to let. I will go on horseback."I will take two post-horses." "Then--" "But I can surely hire a horse in the village?" "A horse to travel to Arras at one stretch?" "Yes. from the post as well as elsewhere. the horses are in the fields." "There is one thing to be said about that. they drive at a walk. for five hundred francs. But will this horse bear the saddle?" "That is true. The relays are badly served. you remind me of that. The season for ploughing is just beginning. Some one can surely sell me a saddle in the neighborhood. There are many hills to ascend. heavy teams are required." ." "Without doubt." "That would require such a horse as does not exist in these parts." "Well. you see. You would have to buy it to begin with. then. and horses are seized upon everywhere. We are on a cross-road. because no one knows you. he will not bear it. of course." "And Monsieur wishes to reach there to-day?" "Yes." "By taking two post-horses?" "Why not?" "Does it make any difference whether Monsieur arrives at four o'clock to-morrow morning?" "Certainly not. by taking post-horses--Monsieur has his passport?" "Yes. Unharness the cabriolet.

with a toss of the head. not with the hub. "No. too. and set out on your journey to-morrow. It was evident that Providence was intervening. That it was it who had broken the wheel of the tilbury and who was stopping him on the road."What am I to do?" "The best thing is to let me repair the wheel like an honest man. he had been deterred neither by the season." "What! It will take you a day to mend this wheel?" "A day. If he went no further. that was no fault of his. he had just made every possible effort to continue the journey." "The deuce!" "Is there not a mail-wagon which runs to Arras? When will it pass?" "To-night." "Is there another wheelwright?" The stableman and the wheelwright replied in concert." "What if the spokes were to be tied together with ropes?" "That could be done with the spokes. and the felly is in a bad state. he had nothing with which to reproach himself. the one going as well as the one coming." He felt an immense joy. but the act of Providence. and a good long one." "If you set two men to work?" "If I set ten men to work. He had not yielded to this sort of first summons. nor fatigue. Both the posts pass at night. It was no longer his fault. . he had loyally and scrupulously exhausted all means. It was not the act of his own conscience. It did not concern him further. nor by the expense." "Is there any one in this village who lets out teams?" "No." "To-morrow will be too late.

While he was questioning the wheelwright. and that now he had nothing to do but retrace his steps quietly. some people who were passing back and forth halted around them. He said himself that he had done all he could. At the moment when the traveller.He breathed again." "Certainly there is. "my boy tells me that you wish to hire a cabriolet. to whom no one had paid any heed. If his conversation with the wheelwright had taken place in a chamber of the inn. and it is probable that we should not have had to relate any of the occurrences which the reader is about to peruse. He thought that he beheld the hand which had relaxed its grasp reappear in the darkness behind him. no one would have heard him. After listening for a few minutes. after the inward deliberation which we have just described. ready to seize him once more. It seemed to him that God was for him now. things would have rested there. detached himself from the group and ran off. He answered:-"Yes. but this conversation had taken place in the street. my good woman. He was accompanied by an old woman. Any colloquy in the street inevitably attracts a crowd. . resolved to retrace his steps. It seemed to him that the hand of iron which had held his heart in its grasp for the last twenty hours had just released him. He breathed freely and to the full extent of his lungs for the first time since Javert's visit. it would have had no witnesses." These simple words uttered by an old woman led by a child made the perspiration trickle down his limbs. I am in search of a cabriolet which I can hire. "Monsieur. a young lad." And he hastened to add:-"But there is none in the place. this child returned. and was manifesting Himself." said the woman. There are always people who ask nothing better than to become spectators. "Where?" interpolated the wheelwright." said the old woman.

it rests flat on the axle. and resumed the road which he had been travelling since morning. a moment previously. He paid what was asked. The fatal hand had grasped him again. he heard a voice shouting to him: "Stop! Stop!" He halted the cart with a vigorous movement which contained a feverish and convulsive element resembling hope." "Well?" "You have not given me anything." etc.. Why should he feel joy at turning back? After all. The wheelwright and the stableman. The old woman really had in her shed a sort of basket spring-cart. "it was I who got the cart for you. this ramshackle old vehicle. left the tilbury with the wheelwright to be repaired. he admitted that he had felt. He examined this joy with a sort of wrath. "Monsieur. He shuddered. No one was forcing him to it. whatever it was. a certain joy in the thought that he should not go whither he was now proceeding. a regular ramshackle old stage-wagon. it is an actual fact that the seats were suspended inside it by leather thongs. the gentleman would make a great mistake if he trusted himself to it. and found it absurd. It was the old woman's little boy. At the moment when the cart moved off." . "It was a frightful old trap. this thing. it would not go much further than the tilbury. he was taking this trip of his own free will." replied the old woman. As he left Hesdin. climbed into it. And assuredly nothing would happen except what he should choose. in despair at the prospect of the traveller escaping their clutches. intending to reclaim it on his return. the rain came into it. All this was true. etc. interfered. ran on its two wheels and could go to Arras. the wheels were rusted and eaten with moisture." said the latter."At my house. but this trap. had the white horse put to the cart.

he said to this man:-"Why is their bread so bitter here?" The carter was a German and did not understand him. He took nearly four hours to go from Hesdin to SaintPol. cheerful face." A big Flemish servant-maid placed his knife and fork in all haste. The inn-keeper's wife came to the stable. The cart was very heavy. . "I must start again. and did not touch it again. she led him to the public room where there were tables covered with waxed cloth.He who gave to all so readily thought this demand exorbitant and almost odious. "you shall have nothing. the roads were bad. And then. "I had not breakfasted. he seized the bread. He wanted to make it good. he thought of sad and confusing things. you scamp?" said he. He had lost a great deal of time at Hesdin. "Does not Monsieur wish to breakfast?" "Come. as he had promised Scaufflaire. it was no longer the tilbury. and in addition. I even have a good appetite." He whipped up his horse and set off at full speed. that is true. four hours for five leagues. took a mouthful. "Make haste!" said he. A carter was eating at another table. I am in a hurry." he thought. he stood beside the manger while the horse was eating. there were many ascents." His breakfast was served." He followed the woman. At Saint-Pol he had the horse unharnessed at the first inn he came to and led to the stable. "That is what ailed me. but it was the month of February. who had a rosy. "Ah! it's you. and pulled for two. he looked at the girl with a sensation of comfort. The little horse was courageous. and then slowly replaced it on the table. there had been rain.

the thatched roofs. we stretch out our hands to grasp what is passing. we are old.He returned to the stable and remained near the horse. the dark and bright intervals are intermingled." . this is a sort of contemplation which sometimes suffices to the soul. we hasten. all at once. he watched the trees." The poor beast was. we look. a laborer. What is more melancholy and more profound than to see a thousand objects for the first and the last time? To travel is to be born and to die at every instant. which is only five leagues from Arras. and. after a dazzling moment. he did not halt at Tinques. "Are you going to Arras?" added the road-mender. Twilight was falling when the children who were coming out of school beheld this traveller enter Tinques. the tilled fields pass by. perhaps. an eclipse. and the way in which the landscape." "If you go on at that rate you will not arrive very early. raised his head and said to him:-"That horse is very much fatigued. and asked the laborer:-"How far is it from here to Arras?" "Nearly seven good leagues. all is black. we distinguish an obscure door. who was mending the road with stones. in fact. he did make comparisons between the shifting horizon and our human existence: all the things of life are perpetually fleeing before us. What did he do during this journey? Of what was he thinking? As in the morning. and almost relieves it from thought. and we see a veiled and unknown person unharnessing amid the shadows. in the vaguest region of his mind." He stopped his horse. broken at every turn of the road. as he emerged from the village. which has been drawing us halts. An hour later he had quitted Saint-Pol and was directing his course towards Tinques. it is true that the days were still short. the gloomy horse of life. vanished. "Yes. we feel a shock. each event is a turn in the road. going at a walk.

" "You do not belong in these parts?" "No. he said to the postilion:-"Keep at a trot. you will cross the river. and you shall have a double fee. that is the road to Mont-Saint-Eloy which leads to Arras. retraced his steps. They turned into the cross-road. "so you don't know that the road is under repair? You will find it barred a quarter of an hour further on. "shall I give you a piece of advice? your horse is tired. and. and I shall lose my way. but go to the inn all the same. Still." "Ah!" returned the road-mender. there is a good inn there. the stable-boy will guide you through the cross-roads." "And." "I must be there this evening. when you reach Camblin. the whiffle-tree broke. besides. sleep there." In one of the jolts. stop! sir." "But it is night. he passed the same spot again." said the postilion." resumed the road-mender. it is all cross-roads. "I don't know how to harness my horse now. he felt that he had lost time. was seated on the shaft of the cariole. the way became frightfully bad. you will turn to the right. leading to Carency. the cart lurched from one rut to the other. sir. and get an extra horse. return to Tinques. Night had fully come. there is no way to proceed further. but this time at full speed. "There's the whiffle-tree broken. who called himself a postilion. if you wish to return and . with a good horse to aid. you can reach Arras tomorrow. a stable-boy." He followed the road-mender's advice." "Really?" "You will take the road on the left. half an hour later. this road is very bad at night." "That is different."How is that? the posting guide only says five leagues and a quarter.

he asked the boy:-"What time is it?" "Seven o'clock. we have but three leagues still to go. How many things shiver beneath these vast breaths of the night! He was stiff with cold. we shall reach Arras at eight. that he should. that he did not know so much as the hour of the trial. and it seemed but yesterday. he vaguely recalled his other nocturnal trip in the vast plain in the neighborhood of D----. have informed himself of that. he had eaten nothing since the night before. crisp fogs crept over the hills and wrenched themselves away like smoke: there were whitish gleams in the clouds. everything that could be seen assumed attitudes of terror. eight years previously. The hour struck from a distant tower. four or five depositions. ordinarily. that it could not be a long affair." He replied. he for the first time indulged in this reflection. that the theft of the apples would be very brief. as of some one moving furniture. a strong breeze which blew in from the sea produced a sound in all quarters of the horizon. thinking it odd the while that it had not occurred to him sooner: that all this trouble which he was taking was. and very little for the lawyers to say. sir. This caused another loss of twenty minutes." He cut a branch from a tree and made a whiffle-tree of it. low-hanging. that he should arrive after all was over. that he was foolish to go thus straight ahead without knowing whether he would be of any service or not. "Have you a bit of rope and a knife?" "Yes. that there would then remain only a question of identity. perhaps. but they set out again at a gallop. the sittings of the Court of Assizes began at nine o'clock in the morning. black. sir. then he sketched out some calculations in his mind: that. useless.sleep at Tinques. . we could be in Arras early to-morrow morning. at least. The plain was gloomy." At that moment.

. they had crossed the river and left Mont-Saint-Eloy behind them.The postilion whipped up the horses. The night grew more profound.

and her last joy. inquired whether the mayor had made his appearance at the infirmary. in a low voice. I should like to see M. Alas! how illness improvises old-age! At mid-day the physician returned. Madeleine usually came to see the invalid at three o'clock. Madeleine arrived. As exactness is kindness. and her golden hair was growing out sprinkled with gray. she who could. All the morning she was melancholy. she replied invariably. murmuring the while. teeth from which the gums had receded. "Well." Some months before this. M. she was delirious. This creature of five and twenty had a wrinkled brow. and laid plaits in her sheets. now she was the spectre of herself. a clayey skin. her cough was frightful. frail limbs. gave some directions. at the approach of a certain dark hour. . They seemed almost extinguished at intervals. in general. hardly turn over. and shook his head. at the moment when Fantine had just lost her last modesty. Fantine sat up in bed. Physical suffering had completed the work of moral suffering. she had had dreams: in the morning. Each time that Sister Simplice asked her how she felt. he assumed an alarmed look. pinched nostrils. a leaden complexion. calculations which seemed to be calculations of distances. she asked the nun more than ten times. Fantine began to be restless. her fever had doubled in intensity. flabby cheeks. she was the shadow of herself. a bony neck. sister?" Three o'clock struck. said but little. her last shame. At the third stroke. Madeleine. She had passed a very bad night. and ordered that he should be informed as soon as M. In the course of twenty minutes. then lighted up again and shone like stars. when the doctor paid his visit. It seems as though. the light of heaven fills those who are quitting the light of earth. "What time is it. About half-past two.CHAPTER VI--SISTER SIMPLICE PUT TO THE PROOF But at that moment Fantine was joyous. he was exact. Her eyes were hollow and staring. prominent shoulder-blades.

"Yestere'en the Virgin Mary came near my stove. She smiled now and then. then fell back again. motionless and apparently holding her breath. In the meantime. but she uttered no name. she blamed no one. She said nothing. Fantine was staring at the tester of her bed. This is what Fantine was singing:-"Lovely things we will buy As we stroll the faubourgs through. 'Here. in a broidered mantle clad. corn-flowers are blue. I love my love. very low and gently. She seemed to be endeavoring to recall something. herself was surprised at M. fleshless hands in a sort of convulsive clasp. buy thread. buy a needle. Roses are pink. The clock struck a quarter past three. Then the sister heard her say. She remained thus for a quarter of an hour. the door did not open. every time the clock struck. All at once she began to sing in a voice as feeble as a breath. her eyes riveted on the door. The nun listened. One would have said that something dark was descending upon her. she made no complaint. The sister dared not speak to her. buy linen.joined her yellow.' "Lovely things we will buy . no one came. Fantine started up and looked towards the door. Her thought was clearly perceptible." Sister Simplice Madeleine's delay. She was livid and her lips were blue. No one entered. since I am going away to-morrow. but began to plait the sheets once more. Then Fantine turned and looked at the door. and said to me. then an hour. Fantine fell back on her pillow. "He is wrong not to come to-day. Half an hour passed. and the nun heard her utter one of those profound sighs which seem to throw off dejection. corn-flowers are blue. But she coughed in a melancholy way. Five o'clock struck. Haste to the city. hide 'neath my veil the child whom you one day begged from me.

and if he would not come to the infirmary soon. that no one knew what road he had taken. Make of it. accustomed as she was to austerities. Fantine did not seem to hear it. The sister. even a nun. whether the mayor had returned." This song was an old cradle romance with which she had. corn-flowers are blue. felt a tear spring to her eyes. She sang it in so sad a voice. in former days. spoiling not. Roses are pink. what is to be done?'--'Then make of it a winding-sheet in which to bury me. without even a driver. what shall I do with this linen fine?'--'Make of it clothes for thy new-born babe. "Dear Holy Virgin. and corn-flowers are blue. and to so sweet an air.'--'Madame. soiling not. that he had gone alone. I prefer the child thou hast granted me. I love my love. God may give me his loveliest star. in a little tilbury harnessed to a white horse. Sister Simplice sent a serving-maid to inquire of the portress of the factory. "'Wash this linen. beside my stove I have set a cradle with ribbons decked.'--'Where?'--'In the stream.' "Roses are pink and corn-flowers are blue. that others asserted that they had met him on the road to Paris. which I will embroider and fill with flowers. That when he . corn-flowers are blue. 'Madame. the child is no longer here. that it was enough to make any one.As we stroll the faubourgs through. Fantine was still motionless and seemed absorbed in her own thoughts.' "Lovely things we will buy As we stroll the faubourgs through. a petticoat fair with its bodice fine. that the mayor had set out that morning before six o'clock. lulled her little Cosette to sleep. She no longer seemed to pay attention to anything about her. The girl returned in a few minutes. weep. and which had never recurred to her mind in all the five years during which she had been parted from her child. The servant informed Sister Simplice in a very low tone. that people said he had been seen to turn into the road to Arras. cold as the weather was. The clock struck six. I love my love.

"Say that he is busy with the city council. had raised herself to her knees in bed. and was listening. and that this was a serious matter in Fantine's present state. without changing her attitude. "Answer me!" cried Fantine. with her shrivelled hands resting on the bolster. without doubt. the sister interrogating. they wheeled round in affright. with their backs turned to Fantine's bed.went away he had been very gentle. for it was a lie that the maid had proposed to her." Fantine. The servant stammered:-"The portress told me that he could not come today. sad eyes to Fantine. Fantine. my child." Sister Simplice blushed faintly. and her head thrust through the opening of the curtains. All at once she cried:-"You are speaking of M. the servant conjecturing." said the sister. While the two women were whispering together. "lie down again. which unite the free movements of health with the frightful emaciation of death. Madeleine! Why are you talking so low? What is he doing? Why does he not come?" Her voice was so abrupt and hoarse that the two women thought they heard the voice of a man. and said. it seemed to her that the mere communication of the truth to the invalid would." . You are whispering it to each other there." "Be calm. and that he had merely told the portress not to expect him that night. the sister raised her calm. with the feverish vivacity of certain organic maladies. Her flush did not last long. as usual. deal her a terrible blow. On the other hand. I want to know it. continued in a loud voice. "Monsieur le Maire has gone away. and with an accent that was both imperious and heart-rending:-"He cannot come? Why not? You know the reason." The servant-maid hastened to say in the nun's ear.

Soon. Stop! this morning I . sister! I am extremely happy.Fantine raised herself and crouched on her heels in the bed: her eyes sparkled. helped the nun to arrange her pillow. and which Sister Simplice had given her. and the latter was pained to feel that perspiration. with the nun's assistance. and kissed the little silver cross which she wore on her neck. can they? they will give back Cosette. Montfermeil is a little to the left as you come thence." She lay down again. indescribable joy beamed from that melancholy face. When her prayer was finished. you know! he made me sign a letter so that she could be taken from the Thenardiers. "try to rest now. she had ridiculous hands when she was only a year old. just think! he has gone to Montfermeil to get my little Cosette. "My child." Then she raised her arms to heaven. Madeleine is good. you will see! If you only knew what pretty little rosy fingers she had! In the first place. Do not make signs to me that I must not talk. the authorities will not allow them to keep the child since they have received their pay. my good sister. "Sister. but her name is really Euphrasie. I am very happy: the good God is good. and then. I will do anything you wish. "He set out this morning for Paris." Fantine took the sister's hand in her moist hands. but. you cannot imagine how much attached one gets to children. I am doing well. M." she said." said the sister. "I am willing to lie down again. she is seven years old. and her white face became ineffable. I am even quite hungry. it is very wrong to talk loudly. they cannot say anything. in fact. "Gone!" she cried. it is nearly five years since I saw her last. for they have been paid. her lips moved. she was praying in a low voice. "he has gone to get Cosette. I was naughty just now. I know that well. she will have very beautiful hands. when I spoke to him of Cosette. she is quite a young lady. you see. I am going to see Cosette again. I am not ill at all any more. soon? He wants to give me a surprise. he need not even go through Paris. she will be so pretty. Do you remember how he said to me yesterday. like this! she must be a big girl now. I call her Cosette. I beg your pardon for having spoken so loud. and do not talk any more.

be good. "Well. he thought Fantine was asleep. Oh. The sister drew the curtains together again. how good M. she was all rosy now. "Oh. for you are going to have your child. good sister of the good God. who had no idea of distances. I could dance if any one wished it. and. hoping that she would fall into a doze. to-morrow morning. not hearing any sound. will he not? tomorrow will be a festival day. without even moving her head. that I am no longer ill. he had on his cloak. but the diligences go very quickly! he will be here tomorrow with Cosette: how far is it from here to Montfermeil?" The sister. mind me. her whole face was one smile." Fantine laid her head on her pillow and said in a low voice: "Yes." "To-morrow! to-morrow!" said Fantine. she spoke in a lively and natural voice. le Maire is to go! it is very cold! it is true. that I should see Cosette again soon. without stirring. you must remind me to put on my little cap that has lace on it. at least? he will be here to-morrow. he opened the curtains a little. "She will be allowed to sleep beside me in a little bed." And then." A person who had seen her a quarter of an hour previously would not have understood the change. What a place that Montfermeil is! I took that journey on foot once. and I had a sort of idea come across me. she laughed softly. sir?" . "now that you are happy. Between seven and eight o'clock the doctor came.was looking at the dust on the chimney-piece. it was very long for me." resumed the nun. and do not talk any more. like that. She said to him. lie down again. by the light of the taper. Mon Dieu! how wrong it is not to see one's children for years! One ought to reflect that life is not eternal. and she said nothing more. replied. she began to stare all about her with wide-open eyes and a joyous air. "I shall see Cosette to-morrow! you see. entered softly. I am mad. sister. and approached the bed on tiptoe. the joy of a mother is almost infantile. will she not. Sister Simplice is right. he saw Fantine's big eyes gazing at him. now and then she talked. every one here is right. I think that he will be here to-morrow.

who believed that the mayor had gone to Montfermeil. I know well that this is an organic disease. and that all painful emotions should be avoided. who knows? there are crises so astounding. I am cured. her little gentle breathing will do me good. She stretched out her arm. "Doctor. and she explained matters to him. I can hear her asleep. le Maire has gone to get that mite of a child?" The doctor recommended silence. and exclaimed with a laugh:-"Ah. that M. that it was possible. after all. and that in their doubt they had not thought it well to undeceive the invalid." The doctor was surprised. Cosette will arrive to-morrow. worn-out creature. I shall be able to say good morning to her. a sort of life had suddenly supervened and reanimated this poor. he said to the sister:-"She is doing better. and. that her guess was correct: the doctor approved. and she went on:-"You see." "Give me your hand. the pressure on her chest had decreased. great joy has been known to arrest maladies. As he took his departure. Madeleine was absent for a day or two. in case the fever should increase again during the night. you did not know it. and when I cannot sleep at night. "did the sister tell you that M. her pulse had regained its strength." said the doctor. she was better. if good luck willed that the mayor should actually arrive to-morrow with the child. a calming potion. He returned to Fantine's bed. and in an advanced state." . but all those things are such mysteries: we may be able to save her." she went on. poor kitten. when she wakes up in the morning. She added:-"See! there is just room.The doctor thought that she was delirious. hold! in truth." The doctor took Sister Simplice aside. he prescribed an infusion of pure chinchona.

"Does Monsieur wish a bed? Does Monsieur require supper?" He made a sign of the head in the negative. sur M. responded with an abstracted air to the attentions of the people of the inn. but at bottom.CHAPTER VII--THE TRAVELLER ON HIS ARRIVAL TAKES PRECAUTIONS FOR DEPARTURE It was nearly eight o'clock in the evening when the cart." ." The hostess conducted him to the office. "do not fail to be here ready to start at precisely one o'clock in the morning. then he opened the door of a billiard-room which was situated on the ground floor. and leaned his elbows on a table." that Monsieur's horse is Here he broke his silence. by the mailwagon. "Monsieur. "The stableman says extremely fatigued. he was not sorry. the man whom we have been following up to this moment alighted from it. he engaged it and paid for it. sat down there. sent back the extra horse. he had taken fourteen hours for the journey which he had counted on making in six. "Will not the horse be in a condition to set out again to-morrow morning?" "Oh. he did himself the justice to acknowledge that it was not his fault. which we left on the road. entered the portecochère of the Hotel de la Poste in Arras. and with his own hands led the little white horse to the stable. the seat beside the post-boy chanced to be vacant. sir. and inquired whether there was any way of returning that same night to M." said the clerk. Monsieur! he must rest for two days at least. The landlady of the hotel entered." He inquired:-"Is not the posting-station located here?" "Yes. he showed his passport.

sir. who was an oldish man. sir?" replied the bourgeois. "well. M. the bourgeois said to him:-"If Monsieur desires to witness a case. The sittings generally close at six o'clock. he decided to apply to this man. "where is the court-house. it is rather late. as though he feared lest some one should hear the question which he was about to put. for the court-house is undergoing repairs just at this moment. There is light there. I happen to be going in the direction of the court-house. he left the hotel and began to wander about the town. you have arrived in season. Do you see those four windows? That is the Court of Assizes. A citizen was passing along with a lantern.This done. "Upon my word. however. After some hesitation. the streets were dark. sir. the man pointed out to him four long windows all lighted up. that is to say. in the front of a vast and gloomy building. but he seemed bent upon not asking the way of the passers-by. not without having first glanced behind and in front of him. and he walked on at random." "Is it there that the Assizes are held?" he asked. de Conzie. you are in luck." "You do not belong in town. who was bishop in '82. if you please." When they arrived on the grand square. He crossed the little river Crinchon. and the courts are holding their sittings provisionally in the prefecture." On the way. and found himself in a labyrinth of narrow alleys where he lost his way. built a grand hall there. The matter must have been greatly protracted. It is in this grand hall that the court is held. "Certainly. so they are not through. the prefecture of to-day was the bishop's palace before the Revolution. in the direction of the hotel of the prefecture. follow me. you see. Do you take an interest in this affair? Is it a criminal case? Are you a witness?" He replied:-"I have not come on any business. I only wish to speak to one of the lawyers." . and they are holding an evening session. "Monsieur." said he. He was not acquainted with Arras.

sir. in a voice so weak that it was barely audible:-"Then his identity was established?" . All these groups seem to the passing and thoughtful observer so many sombre hives where buzzing spirits construct in concert all sorts of dark edifices. intermingled with lawyers in their gowns. murmuring together in low voices." said the lawyer. and a few minutes later he was in a hall containing many people. illuminated by a single lamp. was the old hall of the episcopal palace. "Stop." said the bourgeois. It is rare that charity and pity are the outcome of these words. "It is finished." He continued. which was closed at that moment. A double-leaved door. This spacious hall. Condemnations pronounced in advance are more likely to be the result. and served as the large hall of the palace of justice. I know no one here." "To penal servitude?" "For life." He conformed to the bourgeois's directions. Has judgment been pronounced?" "Of course. The obscurity was such that he did not fear to accost the first lawyer whom he met. It is always a heart-breaking thing to see these congregations of men robed in black. "Finished!" This word was repeated in such accents that the lawyer turned round."That is different. were whispering together here and there. You have only to ascend the grand staircase. separated it from the large apartment where the court was sitting. here is the door where the sentry stands. "What stage have they reached. sir?" he asked. "Excuse me sir. and where groups. on the threshold of the halls of justice. perhaps you are a relative?" "No. Nothing else was possible.

the infanticide was proved. "I really think that there is not. He drew near to many groups and listened to what they were saying. There's a bandit's phiz for you! I'd send him to the galleys on the strength of his face alone. "Why. you might make an effort. pierced his heart like needles of ice and like blades of fire. The matter was very simple. and when the hearing is resumed." The lawyer left him. he breathed freely once more. and now they had reached the convict. In the course of a few moments he had experienced. but he could not have told whether what he felt was pain or pleasure." "Is there any way of getting into the court-room. The woman had murdered her child." This man had stolen apples. They had begun with the infanticide. the president had appointed for the same day two short and simple cases. When he saw that nothing was settled." "What other case?" "Oh! this one is a clear case also. in turn. the jury threw out the question of premeditation. But since it is all over. The Limosin woman. It is about a sort of blackguard. a man arrested for a second offence." "So it was a woman?" said he. all possible emotions. that he had already been . almost intermingled with each other. the hearing has been suspended. what had been proved was. but that did not appear to be entirely proved. Some people have gone out. and she was condemned for life. a convict who has been guilty of theft. almost simultaneously. The words of this indifferent spectator had." "Where is the entrance?" "Through yonder large door. the "return horse. sir?" said he."What identity?" replied the lawyer. "There was no identity to be established. how comes it that the hall is still lighted?" "For another case. There is a great crowd. I don't know his name exactly. the old offender. which was begun about two hours ago. However. The docket of the session was very heavy. Of what are you speaking?" "Nothing. certainly.

drew out his pocket-book. then he ascended the stairs once more with great strides. An usher stood at the door communicating with the hall of the Assizes. The door is closed. and upon that leaf he wrote rapidly. The violent conflict which had been going on within him since the preceding evening was not yet ended. traversed the antechamber. and every moment he encountered some new phase of it. walked straight up to the usher. made his way through the crowd. but the lawyer's plea. and the speech of the public prosecutor were still to come. No one can enter now. "What! It will not be opened when the hearing is resumed? Is not the hearing suspended?" "The hearing has just been begun again. he was a brilliant fellow who wrote verses. as though hesitating at every step. sur M. to tell the truth. Mayor of M. sir?" "It will not be opened at all." replied the usher. the usher turned his back. He retired with bowed head. took from it a pencil. "but the door will not be opened again. the attorney-general was very clever. this line: M. it could not be finished before midnight. and slowly descended the stairs. the man's examination and the depositions of the witnesses had been completed." "Why?" "Because the hall is full." The usher added after a pause: "There are. The man would probably be condemned. On reaching the landing-place.in the galleys at Toulon. However. He inquired of this usher:-"Will the door be opened soon." "What! There is not room for one more?" "Not another one. by the light of the street lantern. ." So saying. It was that which lent a bad aspect to his case. It is probable that he was holding counsel with himself. he leaned his back against the balusters and folded his arms. All at once he opened his coat. and never missed his culprits. but Monsieur le Président only admits public functionaries to them. two or three extra places behind Monsieur le Président. Madeleine." replied the usher.. tore out a leaf.

and obeyed. and said in an authoritative manner:-"Take this to Monsieur le Président. .handed him the paper." The usher took the paper. cast a glance upon it.

with a quick and deferential movement. who was presiding over this session of the Assizes at Arras. For the space of seven years his reputation for virtue had filled the whole of Bas Boulonnais. When the usher. enjoyed a sort of celebrity. Madeleine was pronounced with veneration. The Councillor of the Royal Court of Douai. it had eventually passed the confines of a small district and had been spread abroad through two or three neighboring departments. Everywhere the name of M. Besides the service which he had rendered to the chief town by resuscitating the black jet industry." The unhappy man whose history we are relating had remained near the door of the hall. Arras and Douai envied the happy little town of M. with this name which was so profoundly and universally honored. which was not indebted to him for some benefit. was acquainted. in the same place and the same attitude in which the usher had left him. "Admit him. It was thus that he had." the Président. its mayor. At the same time. saying. and as he chanced to be near the light. bent over the back of the Président's arm-chair and handed him the paper on which was inscribed the line which we have just perused. there was not one out of the hundred and forty communes of the arrondissement of M. sur M. supported with his credit and his funds the linen factory at Boulogne. the flax-spinning industry at Frevent. in common with the rest of the world. He had even at need contrived to aid and multiply the industries of other arrondissements. . and who was now bowing to the earth before him. and the hydraulic manufacture of cloth at Boubers-sur-Canche. "Will Monsieur do me the honor to follow me?" It was the same usher who had turned his back upon him but a moment previously. seized a pen and wrote a few words at the bottom of the paper and returned it to the usher. the mayor of M. In the midst of his revery he heard some one saying to him. he could read it. sur M. the usher handed him the paper. discreetly opening the door which connected the council-chamber with the courtroom. He unfolded it. adding: "The gentleman desires to be present at the trial.CHAPTER VIII--AN ENTRANCE BY FAVOR Although he did not suspect the fact. sur M. when occasion offered.

would have imagined. He read it without paying any attention to it.. He was in the very place where the judges deliberated and condemned. The last words of the usher who had just quitted him still rang in his ears: "Monsieur. but he was not conscious of it. that the threads of thought snap within the brain. The usher had left him alone. The supreme moment had arrived. and he read it two or three times. wondering that it should be that chamber and that it should be he. you have only to turn the copper handle of yonder door. he was worn out by the jolts of the cart. doubtless. He stared at the wall. and which contained. which was soon to ring with his name. that this letter struck him as very curious. and dated."The Président of the Court of Assizes presents his respects to M. under glass. and in which Pache forwarded to the commune the list of ministers and deputies held in arrest by them. you are now in the council-chamber. no doubt. He followed the usher. placed upon a table with a green cloth. then he looked at himself. It seemed to him that he felt nothing. Any spectator who had chanced to see him at that moment. and which his fate was at that moment traversing. lighted by two wax candles. behind the Président's chair. and you will find yourself in the court-room. Madeleine." He crushed the paper in his hand as though those words contained for him a strange and bitter aftertaste. With stupid tranquillity he surveyed this peaceful and terrible apartment. A few minutes later he found himself alone in a sort of wainscoted cabinet of severe aspect. and who had watched him. He sought to collect his faculties. mayor of Paris and minister." These words were mingled in his thoughts with a vague memory of narrow corridors and dark staircases which he had recently traversed. an ancient autograph letter of Jean Nicolas Pache. He had eaten nothing for four and twenty hours. for he did not take his eyes from it. the 9th of June. . of the year II. It is chiefly at the moment when there is the greatest need for attaching them to the painful realities of life. through an error. He approached a black frame which was suspended on the wall. where so many lives had been broken. but could not.

It seemed as though some one had overtaken him in his flight and was leading him back. broken by steps and gratings. The first thing he caught sight of was the knob of the door. went to it. He re-entered the council-chamber. caught sight of the door through which he had entered in front of him. remained fixed on that brass handle. shone like a . and which does so well convey. His glance. then grew terrified. At length he bowed his head. Then. and passed out. perchance. "Alas!" A quarter of an hour passed thus. trembling with cold and with something else. a long. sighed with agony. He was out of breath. he meditated. dropped his arms. He was no longer in that chamber. not a sound in front. The same silence reigned. which is intended to convey. and little by little became impregnated with fear. not a sound behind him. opened it. he straightened himself up with a shiver. and he fled as though pursued. lighted here and there by lanterns similar to the night taper of invalids. and retraced his steps. he had meditated all the day: he heard within him but one voice. he still listened.and unconsciously. He had almost forgotten that door. which said. the corridor through which he had approached. and his eyes fell upon the brass knob of the door which separated him from the Court of Assizes. narrow corridor. He breathed. there alone in the darkness. As he dreamed. calm at first. The stone was cold. he turned round. which was round and of polished brass. "Pardieu! who compels me to this?" Then he wheeled briskly round. He was thinking of Fantine and Cosette. He walked slowly. and there was the same darkness around him. too. He had meditated all night long. When he had turned many angles in this corridor. and as though crushed. making all sorts of angles. the perspiration lay ice-cold on his brow. Beads of perspiration burst forth among his hair and trickled down upon his temples. At a certain moment he made that indescribable gesture of a sort of authority mingled with rebellion. he listened. This knob. he leaned against the wall. he was outside in a corridor. paused there. he staggered.

he would have heard the sound of the adjoining hall like a sort of confused murmur. Suddenly. but he did not listen. without himself knowing how it happened.terrible star for him. He was in the court-room. and he did not hear. . Had he listened. he found himself near the door. He could not take his eyes from it. he grasped the knob convulsively. He gazed at it as a lamb might gaze into the eye of a tiger. From time to time he advanced a step and approached the door. the door opened.

a ragged crowd. he saw him. with his bristling hair. in threadbare robes. tap-room lamps which emitted more smoke than light. who were gnawing their nails or closing their eyelids. At the one end of the hall. ugliness. where all the apparatus of a criminal case. No one in all that throng paid any attention to him. but exactly similar in attitude and aspect. soldiers with hard but honest faces. as though they had known beforehand where that figure was. just as it was on the day when he entered D----. now full of silence. This man was the man. He did not seek him. and that grand divine thing which is called justice. was in process of development. his eyes went thither naturally. a dirty ceiling. sat a man between two gendarmes. full of hatred. grown old. concealing his soul in that hideous mass of frightful . He thought he was looking at himself. and from all this there was disengaged an austere and august impression. ancient. on this bench. with that wild and uneasy eye. in the stretch of wall on the Président's left. with abstracted air. of course. sadness. suspended from nails in the wainscot. now full of uproar. for one there felt that grand human thing which is called the law. closed the door mechanically behind him. and remained standing. with its petty and mournful gravity in the midst of the throng. illuminated by several candles. tables covered with serge that was yellow rather than green. with that blouse. lawyers in all sorts of attitudes. darkness. all glances were directed towards a single point. were judges. at the other end. contemplating what he saw. spotted woodwork. on the tables candles in brass candlesticks. a wooden bench placed against a small door. It was a vast and badly lighted apartment. the one where he was.CHAPTER IX--A PLACE WHERE CONVICTIONS ARE IN PROCESS OF FORMATION He advanced a pace. not absolutely the same in face. doors blackened by handmarks.

unheard-of vision. and. and real men of flesh and blood: it was all over. Under his very eyes. and exclaimed in the deepest recesses of his soul. they were real gendarmes and real judges. Madeleine at M. whither the duties of his office had called him more than once. of soldiers. he was watching. they existed. it was no longer an effort of his memory. "Never!" And by a tragic play of destiny which made all his ideas tremble. they moved. he had bowed to him.. Everything was there.. with all that there is formidable in reality. all were the same. and rendered him nearly mad. he shut his eyes. All this was yawning before him. he had encountered those fatal things once more. He said to himself with a shudder. all these he had already beheld once. a throng of cruelly curious heads. At the sound made by the opening door. who had seen M. something which the courts had lacked at the time of . he had a sort of representation of the most horrible moment of his life. the hour of the night. gendarmes. it was another self of his that was there! all called that man who was being tried Jean Valjean. a mirage of his thought. twenty-seven years before. He was horrified by it. "Good God! shall I become like that again?" This creature seemed to be at least sixty. enacted by his spectre. sur M. sur M. and frightened about him. clerks.thoughts which he had spent nineteen years in collecting on the floor of the prison. stupid. the Président had turned his head. recognized him and saluted him also: he had hardly perceived it. and of spectators. he beheld the monstrous aspects of his past reappear and live once more around him. the apparatus was the same. in days gone by. people had drawn aside to make way for him. there was something indescribably coarse. only above the Président's head there hung a crucifix. there they were. the attorney-general. a real crowd. he was the victim of a sort of hallucination. the faces of the judges. Judges. understanding that the personage who had just entered was the mayor of M.

either profoundly stupid or profoundly subtle. when his identity shall have been judicially established. called the Pierron orchard. light had abounded throughout the entire debate. but did not see him. At the moment of this entrance. whom justice has long been in search of. There was a chair behind him. terrified at the thought that he might be seen. gradually bending beneath the weight of a terrible likeness. when he was seated. M. This man. He looked for Javert. the seat of the witnesses was hidden from him by the clerk's table. on the person of a child." In the face of this accusation. he dropped into it. on emerging from the galleys at Toulon. a crime provided for by article 383 of the Penal Code. a malefactor named Jean Valjean. which stood on the judge's desk. the affair had lasted for three hours: for three hours that crowd had been watching a strange man. later on he will be judged for the old crime. accompanied by violence. a stealer of fruit. he had fully regained consciousness of the reality of things. the defendant's lawyer had just finished his plea. he attained that phase of composure where it is possible to listen. a miserable specimen of humanity. the hall was sparely lighted. broken in the orchard of a neighbor. gradually he recovered. committed a highway robbery. he took advantage of a pile of cardboard boxes. a bandit. as we have just said. the accused . the right to try him for which we reserve hereafter. and then. the accusation said: "We have in our grasp not only a marauder. He has just committed a fresh theft. in our hands. Who was this man? an examination had been made. as the reader already knows. in the face of the unanimity of the witnesses. and who. Bamatabois was one of the jurors. we have here. a miscreant of the most dangerous description. and they were unanimous. eight years ago. an ex-convict. to conceal his face from the whole room. The attention of all was excited to the highest pitch. an old offender who has broken his ban. condemn him for the fresh deed. he could now see without being seen.his condemnation: God had been absent when he had been judged. it is a case of a second offence. a Savoyard named Little Gervais. was a vagabond who had been found in a field carrying a branch laden with ripe apples. witnesses had been heard.

with more anxiety than he did himself. a theatre. the monarch.--an awkward matter couched in fine style. etc. in that provincial tongue which has long constituted the eloquence of the bar. the General Commandant of the province. is no longer spoken except by the official orators of magistracy. besides the galleys. the pupils in the seminary. the arguments. he made signs and gestures which were meant to convey No. there was something both terrible and puzzling in this case: the drama was not only melancholy. from head to foot. a possible death penalty. these tender levities. the reigning family. replied with embarrassment. a tongue in which a husband is called a consort. accordingly. or else he stared at the ceiling: he spoke with difficulty. was a denial. at Paris as well as at Romorantin or at Montbrison. The lawyer had. which descended ever closer over his head. it was a question of the most menacing future for him. the august blood of our kings. having become classic. but Benigne Bossuet himself was obliged to allude to a chicken in the midst of a funeral oration. and the entire crowd surveyed. who.appeared to be astonished more than anything else. or did he not understand at all? these were questions which divided the crowd. to whom it is suited on account of its grave sonorousness and its majestic stride. a sainted pontiff. errors imputed to newspapers. and which was formerly employed by all advocates. etc. the grand age. and a woman a spouse. the temple of Melpomene. there was even a glimpse of a possibility afforded. a musical solemnity. the illustrious warrior. Monseigneur the Bishop. begun with an explanation as to the theft of the apples. the eloquent interpreter of public prosecution. and which to-day. the king.. Paris. the centre of art and civilization. and like a stranger in the midst of this society which was seizing fast upon him. in case his identity were established. the age of Louis XIV. the imposture which distills its venom through the columns of those organs. but his whole person. the accents which we have just listened to. that sentence freighted with calamity. Who was this man? what was the nature of his apathy? was it imbecility or craft? Did he understand too well. and seemed to divide the jury. a concert. nevertheless.. the district-attorney. and the affair of Little Gervais were to end thereafter in condemnation. the likeness increased every moment. and he . The counsel for the defence had spoken tolerably well. it was also obscure. he was an idiot in the presence of all these minds ranged in order of battle around him.

But what proof was there that that thief had been Champmathieu? One thing only. had brutalized him. no doubt. the theft and his character of convict. it did not enter into the case. well attested. The lawyer did not deny that that character appeared to be. the name of Champmathieu might well have had its origin in Jean Mathieu. to this testimony. The prisoner.extricated himself from the situation in stately fashion. An admission upon this last point would certainly have been better. did that prove that he was the thief of the apples? that was a presumption at the most. all that was true. the denial of an interested party. and his counsel. Jean Valjean. positively and without hesitation. the accused had resided at Faverolles. that he would save everything by admitting nothing. Where was there any proof to the contrary? No doubt that branch had been broken off and concealed after the scaling of the wall. in his character of counsel. if the identity of Jean Valjean appeared to them to be evident. It was an error. not a proof. the counsel could oppose nothing but the denial of his client. He had been taken with that branch (which the lawyer preferred to call a bough) in his possession. The lawyer wound up by beseeching the jury and the court. then thrown away by the alarmed marauder. had not been seen scaling that wall nor breaking that branch by any one." was obliged to admit it. there was no doubt that there had been a thief in the case. four witnesses recognize Champmathieu. but the accused had obstinately refused. His character as an ex-convict. the counsel had advised him to do this. to apply to him the police penalties which are provided for a criminal who has ." He obstinately denied everything.--in short. the counsel need not discuss it. thinking. to these signs. Longcontinued wretchedness in the galleys. long misery outside the galleys. unhappily. it was true. His client. persisted in calling Champmathieu. and had picked it up. and would have won for him the indulgence of his judges. but he said that he had found it broken off and lying on the ground. He defended himself badly. the accused had exercised the calling of a tree-pruner there. as that convict. but ought not the paucity of this intelligence to be taken into consideration? This man was visibly stupid. The lawyer established the fact that the theft of the apples had not been circumstantially proved. but supposing that he was the convict Jean Valjean. had adopted "a bad system of defence. "in good faith. etc. was that a reason for condemning him? As for the affair with Little Gervais. whom he.

. the convicts Brevet. Chenildieu. which had been bestowed upon it by the critics of the Quotidienne and the Oriflamme. etc. beggar. Javert. the upright inspector of police. without means of existence..broken his ban. etc. four witnesses recognize him--Javert. the climbing the wall. he attributed. Having exhausted these considerations. He was violent and florid. The advocate had seemed to admit that the prisoner was Jean Valjean. vagabond. inured by his past life to culpable deeds. The model for this sort of description is contained in the tale of Theramene. a few paces from a wall that had been scaled. He reached the accused through all the concessions made by his lawyer. still holding in his hand the object stolen. to which we will not recur. the theft.. and Cochepaille. denies everything. and not the frightful chastisement which descends upon the convict guilty of a second offence.. as district-attorneys usually are. Who was this Jean Valjean? Description of Jean Valjean: a monster spewed forth. caught upon the highway in the very act of theft. to the influence of this perverse literature the crime of Champmathieu. This point had been conceded to the accusation and could no longer be disputed. He congratulated the counsel for the defence on his "loyalty. What does he offer in opposition to . The audience and the jury "shuddered. Here. the district-attorney resumed with an oratorical turn calculated to raise the enthusiasm of the journal of the prefecture to the highest pitch on the following day: And it is such a man. So this man was Jean Valjean.. or rather. denies even his own identity! In addition to a hundred other proofs. etc. and but little reformed by his sojourn in the galleys. etc. who denies the crime. and three of his former companions in infamy. but which every day renders great services to judicial eloquence." and skilfully took advantage of this loyalty. by means of a clever autonomasia which went back to the sources and causes of crime. etc. to speak more correctly. of Jean Valjean. it is such a man. as was proved by the crime committed against Little Gervais. not without some probability.. etc. The district-attorney answered the counsel for the defence. etc. the district-attorney thundered against the immorality of the romantic school. which is not useful to tragedy. etc.. then dawning under the name of the Satanic school. He took note of this. he passed on to Jean Valjean himself." The description finished.

He ended by making his reserves on the affair of Little Gervais and demanding a severe sentence. but craft. at those "energetic" moments of the prosecutor's speech. Two or three times the spectators who were nearest to him heard him say in a low voice." then replied as best he could. but he weakened. He was evidently surprised that a man could talk like that. etc. At that time. began by complimenting Monsieur l'Avocat-General on his "admirable speech. with a sort of amazement in which some admiration was assuredly blended. Baloup. The counsel for the defence rose. etc." The district-attorney directed the attention of the jury to this stupid attitude. gentlemen of the jury. a habit of deceiving justice. . he moved his head slowly from right to left and from left to right in the sort of mute and melancholy protest with which he had contented himself since the beginning of the argument. when eloquence which cannot contain itself overflows in a flood of withering epithets and envelops the accused like a storm. From time to time. as the reader will remember. the ground was evidently slipping away from under his feet. and which set forth in all its nakedness the "profound perversity" of this man. which denoted not imbecility. it was penal servitude for life.this overwhelming unanimity? His denial. What obduracy! You will do justice.. While the district-attorney was speaking. "That is what comes of not having asked M. evidently deliberate. skill. the accused listened to him open-mouthed.

also. workmen are so mean! When a man is no longer young. they say it wastes time. In the wheelwright's trade one works always in the open air. "Have you anything to add to your defence?" The man did not appear to understand. in courtyards. She had trouble. And then. tumbling over each other. At forty a man is done for. and all at once. The masters took advantage of my age--and then I had my daughter. In winter one gets so cold that one beats one's arms together to warm one's self. it is all the same. you see.-incoherent. There are people who .CHAPTER X--THE SYSTEM OF DENIALS The moment for closing the debate had arrived. old beast! I was not earning more than thirty sous a day. the jury. stared at the audience. he began to speak. That I have been a wheelwright in Paris. The Président had the accused stand up. impetuous. I was in a bad state. It sufficed for us two. all day long up to her waist in a tub. and that it was with Monsieur Baloup. as he stood there. you must still wash. He seemed to understand. his counsel. but the masters don't like it.--as though they were all pressing forward to issue forth at once. in snow. under sheds when the masters are good. the gendarmes. from the manner in which the words escaped from his mouth. It seemed. The Président repeated the question. they call him nothing but an old bird. and addressed to him the customary question. pell-mell. fixing his glance upon the district-attorney. He made a motion like a man who is just waking up. She earned a little also. I was fifty-three. This time the man heard it. It is a hard trade. They paid me as little as possible. He said:-"This is what I have to say. when it freezes. cast his eyes about him. Handling iron when there is ice between the paving-stones is hard work. who was a laundress at the river. the court. That wears a man out quickly One is old while he is still quite young in that trade. laid his monstrous fist on the rim of woodwork in front of his bench. took another look. never in closed workshops. When the wind cuts your face. It was like an eruption. twisting in his hands a terrible cap which he had. because space is required. in rain.

have not much linen. raised his voice. you are not so cold. yes! how stupid I am! Paris is a gulf. She is dead. He stared at the public. and was not to be found. That penetrates. but there is that hot steam. The sort of affirmations which he seemed to fling out before him at random came like hiccoughs. I don't know what is wanted of me. and may induce vital results. perceiving that they were laughing. Prisoner. and wait until late. In the first place. You are not in the tub there. and remained standing. did you or did you not climb the wall of the Pierron . There. We have not been very happy. Her husband beat her. She came home at seven o'clock in the evening. He had said these things in a loud. had been summoned in vain. formerly a master-wheelwright. Go see at M. I tell you. in your own interests. hoarse voice. who did not go to the ball. Baloup does. if you do not wash. you have your petticoats all damp above and below. She has also worked at the laundry of the Enfants-Rouges. I remember one ShroveTuesday when she went to bed at eight o'clock. As it is enclosed. and rinse in a basin behind you. and went to bed at once. and who was very peaceable. you have only to ask. and to each he added the gesture of a wood-cutter who is splitting wood. The gravest presumptions rest upon you. she was so tired. which is terrible. Ah. It was inauspicious. with whom the accused stated that he had served. where the water comes through faucets. The planks are badly joined. you lose your custom. he enjoined him to listen to what he was about to say. he began to laugh himself. He reminded "the gentlemen of the jury" that "the sieur Baloup. an attentive and benevolent man. I summon you for the last time to explain yourself clearly on two points. The Président. Baloup's. and which ruins your eyes. and water drops on you from everywhere. with a sort of irritated and savage ingenuousness. and not understanding why. I am telling the truth. He had become bankrupt. Once he paused to salute some one in the crowd." The man ceased speaking." Then turning to the accused. and. rapid. Who knows Father Champmathieu there? But M. She was a good girl. When he had finished. you wash at the faucet in front of you. the audience burst into a laugh. and added: "You are in a position where reflection is necessary. and after all.

which was the name of his mother. that you went to Auvergne. and of the theft of ripe apples from the Pierron orchard. that you are the convict. are you the discharged convict. It is evident that you have been guilty of entering.orchard. commit the crime of breaking in and theft? In the second place. and who knows what answer he is going to make. concealed first under the name of Jean Mathieu. in a severe voice. You are not answering anything that has been asked of you. that you were born at Faverolles. Jean Valjean. Your embarrassment condemns you. and said:-"In the first place--" Then he stared at his cap." The prisoner had finally resumed his seat. He opened his mouth. "pay attention. "Prisoner. It is evident that your name is not Champmathieu. that is to say. he arose abruptly when the district-attorney had finished. like a man who has thoroughly understood." said the district-attorney. The gentlemen of the jury will form their own opinion. where you were a pruner of trees. Jean Valjean--yes or no?" The prisoner shook his head with a capable air. and exclaimed:-- . and steal the apples. stared at the ceiling. and held his peace. break the branch. turned towards the Président.

and Police-Inspector Javert. and nothing sprang from the sand any more but the little blades of grass at the wayside. I was coming from Ailly. I have no education."You are very wicked. I am a man who does not have something to eat every day.--we demand that it shall please you and that it shall please the court to summon once more into this place the convicts Brevet. I have been in prison. more than that I cannot say. they are villagers. and says to me in a low voice. Well! can't a man have been in Auvergne. I have been with M. I was walking through the country after a shower. and question them for the last . I am a poor man. I found a broken branch with apples on the ground. Pardi. You say. When I was a child. but who will not succeed in so doing. I have been at Faverolles. and Chenildieu. that would be too convenient.--we shall attend to that. You are very clever to tell me where I was born. 'Come. Baloup. I know nothing different. Baloup. that is where they wrong me. he addressed the Président:-"Monsieur le Président. and they have been dragging me about for the last three months. or at Faverolles. those are my baptismal names. now they call me old fellow. take that as you like. which had made the whole country yellow: even the ponds were overflowed. I have been in Auvergne. I have stolen nothing. I picked up the branch without knowing that it would get me into trouble. who would like to pass himself off as an idiot. in view of the confused but exceedingly clever denials of the prisoner. there! Why is everybody pursuing me so furiously?" The district-attorney had remained standing. Jean Mathieu! I don't know those persons. nudges my elbow. I worked for M. Jean Valjean. who is a good fellow. they tell me. I could not find words for it at first. people talk against me. I don't know myself: it's not everybody who has a house in which to come into the world. they called me young fellow. 'Answer!' The gendarme. Boulevard de l'Hopital. I have not stolen. I picked up from the ground things that were lying there. You worry me with your nonsense. that you are! This what I wanted to say. I have had a settled residence. answer!' I don't know how to explain. I think that my father and mother were people who strolled along the highways. Cochepaille. because they do not see this. without having been in the galleys? I tell you that I have not stolen. and that I am Father Champmathieu. my name is Champmathieu.

"that Police-Inspector Javert.'" This extremely precise statement appeared to produce a vivid impression on the public and on the jury. The ex-convict Brevet wore the black and gray waistcoat of the central prisons. we have accorded him permission. I think it my duty to remind the gentlemen of the jury of what he said here a few hours ago. that in default of Javert. The two sometimes go . Besides the theft from Little Gervais. The name of this man is not Champmathieu. Javert is an estimable man.I often saw him at the time when I was adjutant of the galleyguard at the prison in Toulon. and Cochepaille should be heard once more and solemnly interrogated. and.time as to the identity of the prisoner with the convict Jean Valjean. the three witnesses Brevet. left the court-room and the town as soon as he had made his deposition. The usher. who had a sort of business man's face." "That is true. Chenildieu. Président. and is very vicious and much to be feared. These are the terms of his deposition: 'I do not even stand in need of circumstantial proofs and moral presumptions to give the lie to the prisoner's denial. Brevet was a person sixty years of age. The district-attorney concluded by insisting. I repeat that I recognize him perfectly. I suspect him of a theft committed in the house of His Grace the late Bishop of D---." "I would remind the district-attorney. and from the Pierron orchard." said the Président. The audience was in suspense. with the consent of the district-attorney and of the counsel for the prisoner. It is only with extreme regret that he was released at the expiration of his term. and all breasts heaved as though they had contained but one soul. he is an ex-convict named Jean Valjean. I recognize him perfectly. Mr. a moment later. who does honor by his rigorous and strict probity to inferior but important functions. accompanied by a gendarme ready to lend him armed assistance. "In the absence of sieur Javert. He made five or six attempts to escape. He underwent nineteen years of penal servitude for theft. introduced the convict Brevet. the door of the witnesses' room opened. and the air of a rascal." responded the districtattorney. The Président transmitted the order to an usher. recalled by his duties to the capital of a neighboring arrondissement.

there is still time to retract if you think you have been mistaken. "Yes. this man." The chaplains bore good testimony as to his religious habits. In prison. who had a sort of sickly feebleness about all his limbs and his whole person." said the Président. recall your souvenirs. yellow. Mr. "He tries to make himself of use." "Take your seat. brisk. It is to this sentiment that I appeal at this decisive hour.together. He was a man of whom his superiors said. Président. and you cannot take an oath. whom a word from you may ruin. His companions in the galleys had nicknamed him I-deny-God (Je-nie Dieu. He was a small man of about fifty. "Nevertheless. he was sly at the galleys: I recognize him positively. and I stick to it. on the other hand." Brevet dropped his eyes." continued the Président.--reflect before replying to me: consider on the one hand. that man is Jean Valjean. prisoner. remain standing. he had become something in the nature of a turnkey." Chenildieu was brought in. and tell us on your soul and conscience. and left in 1815. Chenildieu). feverish. "you have undergone an ignominious sentence. He was serving out his sentence at the galleys of Toulon." said the Président. brazen-faced. He has the air of a brute now. Rise. and an immense force in his glance. It must not be forgotten that this passed under the Restoration. "even in the man whom the law has degraded. I was the first to recognize him. which a word from you may enlighten. but it must be because age has brutalized him. "Prisoner.--and I hope it does. there may remain. If it still exists in you. as was indicated by his red cassock and his green cap. whither fresh misdeeds had led him. "Brevet. take a good look at the accused. The instant is solemn. Brevet. when the divine mercy permits it. a sentiment of honor and of equity. frail. I left a year later. Jean Valjean?" Brevet looked at the prisoner. who entered at Toulon in 1796. if you persist in recognizing this man as your former companion in the galleys. justice. a prisoner for life. then turned towards the court. wrinkled. . whence he had been brought for this case.

as he had asked the other two.--a murmur which increased and lasted longer each time that a fresh declaration was added to the proceeding. Chenildieu burst out laughing. the gendarmes. So you are sulking. He had guarded the flocks among the mountains. and from a shepherd he had slipped into a brigand. At the moment when he reminded him of his infamy which deprived him of the right to take an oath. his neighbors. without hesitation or trouble. "He is Jean Valjean. The Président tried to touch him with some grave and pathetic words." said the Président. at the first. and asked him as he had asked Brevet. he cried. with that astounded face which was. He was one of those wretched men whom nature has sketched out for wild beasts. "He was even called Jean-the-Screw. in recognizing the man who was standing before him. and asked him. if he persisted. because he was so strong. according to the accusation. if he persisted in recognition of the prisoner. Chenildieu raised his head and looked the crowd in the face. and was dressed in red. was a peasant from Lourdes. and on whom society puts the finishing touches as convicts in the galleys. had raised in the audience a murmur of bad augury for the prisoner. he's a nice one!" after the second. "Famous!" . as if I didn't recognize him! We were attached to the same chain for five years. well. he said. a little louder." said Cochepaille. "Pardieu. He was another convict for life. The usher brought in Cochepaille. had heard him mutter between his teeth: "Ah. who had come from the galleys. with an air that was almost that of satisfaction. Cochepaille was no less savage and seemed even more stupid than the prisoner. The Président invited him to reflection." Each of these affirmations from these three men. old fellow?" "Go take your seat. his principal means of defence. "Good!" at the third. and a half-bear of the Pyrenees. evidently sincere and in good faith. The prisoner had listened to them.The Président addressed him in nearly the same words which he had used to Brevet. like Chenildieu.

"Ushers. and exclaimed in concert:-"M. the district-attorney. and was communicated to the jury." said the Président. had just risen. the Président.The Président addressed him:-"Have you heard. twenty persons. so lamentable and terrible was it." At that moment there was a movement just beside the Président. a voice was heard crying:-"Brevet! Chenildieu! Cochepaille! look here!" All who heard that voice were chilled. Bamatabois. "enforce silence! I am going to sum up the arguments. M. it was evident that the man was lost. recognized him. had pushed open the half-door which separated the tribunal from the audience. A man. prisoner? What have you to say?" He replied:-"I say. 'Famous!'" An uproar broke out among the audience. placed among the privileged spectators who were seated behind the court. and was standing in the middle of the hall. Madeleine!" . all eyes were turned to the point whence it had proceeded.

which had still been gray on his arrival in Arras. "Do you not recognize me?" said he. they could not believe that that tranquil man had been the one to give that terrible outcry. the man who stood there appeared so calm that they did not understand at first. Even before the Président and the district-attorney could utter a word. This indecision only lasted a few seconds. Madeleine. his coat was carefully buttoned. He is not the man whom you are in search of. and he trembled slightly. the voice had been so heart-rending. in fact. Brevet.CHAPTER XI--CHAMPMATHIEU MORE AND MORE ASTONISHED It was he. before the ushers and the gendarmes could make a gesture. The clerk's lamp illumined his countenance." Not a mouth breathed. the first commotion of astonishment had been followed by a silence like that of the grave. Cochepaille. In the meantime. made a military salute. All three remained speechless. he was very pale. it is I: I am Jean Valjean. had advanced towards the witnesses Cochepaille. at that moment. M. who was intimidated. those within the hall experienced that sort of religious terror which seizes the masses when something grand has been done. and Chenildieu. there was a momentary hesitation in the audience. his hair. and indicated by a sign of the head that they did not know him. All heads were raised: the sensation was indescribable. he . the face of the Président was stamped with sympathy and sadness. have me arrested. the man whom all still called. there was no disorder in his clothing. M. Madeleine turned towards the jury and the court. He held his hat in his hand. was now entirely white: it had turned white during the hour he had sat there. Président. and said in a gentle voice:-"Gentlemen of the jury. They asked themselves whether he had indeed uttered that cry. he had exchanged a rapid sign with the district-attorney and a few low-toned words with the assistant judges. order the prisoner to be released! Mr.

who is on high. if there is a physician in the audience. and I am telling you the truth. you will hear it one of these days. Madeleine did not allow the district-attorney to finish. I will not narrate the story of my life to you. Perhaps it was not altogether his fault." M. I am that miserable criminal. you were on the point of committing a great error. release this man! I am fulfilling a duty. there are many things which I cannot tell. and as they now ring in the ears of those who heard them nearly forty years ago:-"I thank you. I concealed myself under another name. we join the Président in requesting him to attend to M. they were right in telling you that Jean Valjean was a very vicious wretch. You all know. Mr. but I am not mad. you shall see. it is true. he interrupted him in accents full of suavity and authority. the galleys make the convict what he is. immediately after the trial by one of the witnesses to this scene. God. Madeleine. here they are literally. I have become rich. I robbed Monseigneur the Bishop. you see. I was stupid. a sort of idiot. I have become a mayor. I am the only one here who sees the matter clearly. I have tried to re-enter the ranks of the honest. It seems that that is not to be done. like yourselves. mayor of M. it is true that I robbed Little Gervais. reflect upon that. sur M. the very strange and unexpected incident which disturbs the audience inspires us. These are the words which he uttered. for here I am: but I have done my best. and that suffices. only with a sentiment which it is unnecessary for us to express. the infamy from which I have tried to escape is an injurious thing. Madeleine. I was a poor peasant. the galleys wrought a change in me. as they were written down.addressed the public. looks down on what I am doing at this moment. and asked in accents which all understood:-"Is there a physician present?" The district-attorney took the word:-"Gentlemen of the jury. if you please. Before going to the galleys. and to conduct him to his home. You can take me. the honorable M. honorable judges! a man who has been so greatly humbled as I have has neither any remonstrances to make to Providence. District-Attorney. nor any advice to give to society.. In short. but. by reputation at least. with very little intelligence. Listen. I .

all eyes were focused on him and on his bare arm. seven years ago. But. the fortysou piece which I stole. you have. He turned to the three convicts. March 1. the date is that of the landing of the Emperor at Cannes. and surveyed him from head to foot with a frightened air. at least. you who conferred on yourself the name of 'Jenie-Dieu. The unhappy man turned to the spectators and the judges with a smile which still rends the hearts of all who saw it whenever they think of it.' your whole right shoulder bears a deep burn. I recognize you. nevertheless. you say. F." said Chenildieu. You will find at my house.. condemn this man! What! these men do not recognize me! I wish Javert were here. it was also a smile of despair. Do not. Brevet?" He paused. is this true?" "It is true. do you remember. indulgence and kindness saved me. among the ashes in the fireplace. I became a firebrand. 1815. because you one day laid your shoulder against the chafing-dish full of coals. pull up your sleeve!" Cochepaille pushed up his sleeve. he would recognize me. near the bend in your left arm. pardon me. 'M. in order to efface the three letters T. and said:-"Do you remember the knitted suspenders with a checked pattern which you wore in the galleys?" Brevet gave a start of surprise. Good God! the district-attorney shakes his head. I have nothing farther to add. there was the date. Later on. from little Gervais. hesitated for an instant." Nothing can reproduce the sombre and kindly melancholy of tone which accompanied these words. He addressed himself to Cochepaille:-"Cochepaille. P. Madeleine has gone mad!' you do not believe me! that is distressing. and said:-"Well. answer. as severity had ruined me. a date stamped in blue letters with burnt powder. He continued:-"Chenildieu. A gendarme held a light close to it. .became vicious: I was a block of wood. you cannot understand what I am saying. take me. which are still visible. It was a smile of triumph.

no one. the counsel for the defence that he was there to defend. that no authority intervened. could have explained what he felt. The district-attorney knows who I am. The appearance of this man had sufficed to suffuse with light that matter which had been so obscure but a moment previously. At that moment there was about him that divine something which causes multitudes to stand aside and make way for a man." he said. he can have me arrested when he likes. No one. Mr. Not a voice was raised. the hesitations. District-Attorney. It was evident that they had Jean Valjean before their eyes." He directed his steps towards the door. there was nothing but staring eyes and sympathizing hearts. It was a striking circumstance that no question was put. nor gendarmes. understood instantly and at a single glance the simple and magnificent history of a man who was delivering himself up so that another man might not be condemned in his stead. but it is certain that he found the door open when he reached it. "I shall withdraw. I have many things to do. as by a sort of electric revelation. It was an impression which vanished speedily. The details. not an arm extended to hinder him."You see plainly. little possible oppositions. said to himself that he was witnessing the splendid outburst of a grand light: all felt themselves inwardly dazzled. but which was irresistible at the moment." Then he addressed the audience:-- . It was never known who opened the door. All stood aside." In that chamber there were no longer either judges. No one recalled any longer the part that each might be called upon to play. accusers. the district-attorney forgot he was there for the purpose of prosecuting. the Président that he was there to preside. The peculiarity of sublime spectacles is. "that I am Jean Valjean. were swallowed up in that vast and luminous fact. That was clear. On arriving there he turned round and said:-"I am at your command. probably." resumed Jean Valjean. "I do not wish to disturb the court further. that they capture all souls and turn witnesses into spectators. He traversed the crowd slowly. since you do not arrest me. without any further explanation: the whole crowd. probably. he knows whither I am going.

and comprehending nothing of this vision. I should have preferred not to have had this occur. and the door closed behind him as it had opened. do you not? Good God! When I think of what I was on the point of doing. for those who do certain sovereign things are always sure of being served by some one in the crowd. all who are present--consider me worthy of pity. . the verdict of the jury freed the said Champmathieu from all accusations. I consider that I am to be envied." He withdrew. and Champmathieu. went off in a state of stupefaction."All of you. Nevertheless. being at once released. Less than an hour after this. thinking that all men were fools.


"All that is good. Mr. "but now. What shall we say to her?" He reflected for a moment. "Is it you. she will see you and will not see her child. Madeleine's face. Sister Simplice. The worthy sister had been in the laboratory of the infirmary but a few moments. "you were right not to undeceive her. who had been watching with her. because she thought that the mayor had gone to Montfermeil to get her child. but we have been very uneasy. on account of the dimness which the half-light of dawn spreads over all objects. availed herself of this slumber to go and prepare a new potion of chinchona. "God will inspire us." "Yes. MADELEINE CONTEMPLATES HIS HAIR The day had begun to dawn. Mayor?" she exclaimed. half aloud. . The sister dared not question the mayor. and that she was better now. and scrutinizing things very closely. filled with happy visions. M. Suddenly she raised her head and uttered a faint shriek. It was broad daylight in the room." responded the sister. Mr. "But we cannot tell a lie." said he. Mayor. Madeleine stood before her." said he. he had just entered silently. He replied in a low voice:-"How is that poor woman?" "Not so bad just now. The light fell full on M. bending over her drugs and phials. Fantine had passed a sleepless and feverish night. but she perceived plainly from his air that he had not come from there." murmured the sister. The sister chanced to raise her eyes to it." She explained to him what had passed: that Fantine had been very ill the day before. at daybreak she fell asleep.CHAPTER I--IN WHAT MIRROR M.

and when the child arrived. sir!" she exclaimed. hardly venturing to put the question. The sister felt chilled by something strange of which she caught a glimpse in all this. "Of course. I must see her." He made some remarks about a door which shut badly. and the noise of which might awaken the sick . be in haste. Madeleine seemed to reflect for a few moments. but Monsieur le Maire may enter. she is asleep. Sister Simplice had no mirror." which communicated an obscure and singular sense to the words of the mayor's speech." "If she were not to see Monsieur le Maire until that time. then he said with his calm gravity:-"No." The nun did not appear to notice this word "perhaps. but it will take two or three days at least. M. and said:-"Well!" He uttered the word indifferently. She rummaged in a drawer. "she would not know that Monsieur le Maire had returned. looked at his hair." went on the sister. "what has happened to you? Your hair is perfectly white!" "White!" said he. sister. Madeleine took the mirror. We should not have to enact a lie. timidly. and as though his mind were on something else. she would naturally think Monsieur le Maire had just come with the child. and pulled out the little glass which the doctor of the infirmary used to see whether a patient was dead and whether he no longer breathed. She replied. perhaps. and it would be easy to inspire her with patience. I may." M."Good God. He inquired:-"Can I see her?" "Is not Monsieur le Maire going to have her child brought back to her?" said the sister. lowering her eyes and her voice respectfully:-"In that case.

The branch trembles when a hand approaches it to pluck a flower. They were both still there in the same attitude--she sleeping. Madeleine remained for some time motionless beside that bed. with his finger on his lips. gazing in turn upon the sick woman and the crucifix. though they could not be seen. To see her thus. He stood beside the bed. palpitated. and which transfigured her in her sleep. She resembled rather something on the point of soaring away than something on the point of dying. and which breaks the hearts of mothers when they are watching through the night beside their sleeping child who is condemned to death. he praying. her hair was gray and his was white. after the lapse of two months. Her breath issued from her breast with that tragic sound which is peculiar to those maladies. The sister had not entered with him. only now. and said quietly. and seems to both withdraw and to offer itself at one and the same time. which could be felt as they rustled. She opened her eyes. She was asleep. as though there were some one in the chamber whom he must enjoin to silence. her cheeks were crimson. Her pallor had become whiteness. as he had done two months before. approached the bed and drew aside the curtains. then he entered Fantine's chamber. on the day when he had come for the first time to see her in that asylum.woman. with a smile:-"And Cosette?" . her long golden lashes. The human body has something of this tremor when the instant arrives in which the mysterious fingers of Death are about to pluck the soul. the only beauty of her youth and her virginity which remained to her. M. though they remained closed and drooping. one would never have dreamed that she was an invalid whose life was almost despaired of. all ready to open wide and bear her away. Her whole person was trembling with an indescribable unfolding of wings. But this painful respiration hardly troubled a sort of ineffable serenity which overspread her countenance. saw him.

"Not yet. Why did not you place her on my bed against the moment of my waking?" He made some mechanical reply which he was never afterwards able to recall. that he found not a word of reply. You were in a glory. I tell you that I am cured! What an ass that doctor is! The idea! I want to see my child!" "You see. The sight of your child would agitate you and do you harm. "bring her to me!" Touching illusion of a mother! Cosette was. "how excited you become. I have seen you for a long. still the little child who is carried. and he now made his appearance. So long as you are in this state I shall oppose your having your child. and you had around you all sorts of celestial forms.CHAPTER II--FANTINE HAPPY She made no movement of either surprise or of joy." Fantine's eyes beamed and filled her whole face with light. but I saw you. "tell me where Cosette is. "Calm yourself. the doctor had been warned. Madeleine. long time. with such a complete absence of disquiet and of doubt." said the doctor." said the doctor. it is . for her. It is not enough to see her. "your child is here. She continued:-"I knew that you were there. with so much certainty. I have been following you with my eyes all night long. That simple question. Fortunately. "not just now. He came to the aid of M. I was asleep. my child. "And Cosette?" was put with so profound a faith." He raised his glance to the crucifix." she resumed." said the doctor. She clasped her hands with an expression which contained all that is possible to prayer in the way of violence and tenderness. "But. You still have some fever. she was joy itself." She interrupted him impetuously:-"But I am cured! Oh. You must be cured first. "Oh!" she exclaimed.

And did she have white linen? Did those Thenardiers keep her clean? How have they fed her? Oh! if you only knew how I have suffered. to please these ladies here. A child sees one thing to-day and another thing to-morrow. she was making a visible effort to be calm and "very good. I am well. Now. I understand you. seeing her so peaceable. She turned towards him. you fear the emotion. Did she stand the journey well? Alas! she will not recognize me.'" M. but I am going to behave as though I were ill. I have no longer any fever. I really beg your pardon. Formerly I should never have spoken as I have just done. Do you know? If she were brought to me now. and persons who smiled at me.necessary that you should live for her. they might make no difficulty about bringing Cosette to her. I am happy. All night long I have seen white things. I have not taken my eyes from her since yesterday evening. When it is seen that I am very calm. in order that. I know well that I am about to be happy. I should talk to her very gently. so many misfortunes have happened to me. but I swear to you that it would not have harmed me to see my daughter. and thinks of nothing any longer. "I beg your pardon. Oh. who has been brought to me expressly from Montfermeil? I am not angry. it is all past. She must have forgotten me by this time. 'She must have her child. Monsieur le Maire? Is not my daughter beautiful? You must have been very cold in that diligence! Could she ." as she expressed it in the feebleness of illness which resembles infancy. putting such questions as that to myself during all the time of my wretchedness. Monsieur le Maire? Oh! how good you were to go and get her for me! Only tell me how she is. and not stir. they will say. he shall bring me Cosette. how I should like to see her! Do you think her pretty. poor darling! Children have no memories. I am perfectly conscious that there is nothing the matter with me any more. Madeleine was sitting on a chair beside the bed. I will wait as long as you like. "Did you have a pleasant trip. that I sometimes do not know what I am saying. Madeleine. They are like birds. Is it not quite natural that I should desire to see my daughter." The poor mother bowed her head. I will bring her to you myself. I have been seeing her. When Monsieur le Docteur pleases. That is all. But while she controlled herself she could not refrain from questioning M. When you are reasonable. doctor.

It was one of those accidents which are always occurring. then her face clouded over. It was this little girl whom Fantine heard singing. and M. The child--a little girl--was going and coming. Madeleine was still holding her hand. in a low ." M. I hear her!" She stretched out her arm to enjoin silence about her. Fantine did not murmur." he said. "Oh!" she resumed. "Cosette is beautiful. and began to listen with rapture. The doctor. it could be so if you chose!" He took her hand. and you are throwing your arms out from under the clothes. held her breath. Are the Thenardiers prosperous? There are not many travellers in their parts. "it is my Cosette! I recognize her voice. and that makes you cough. Tell me." In fact. and gazing at her with anxiety. Madeleine heard her say. You shall see her soon. fits of coughing interrupted Fantine at nearly every word. Alas! in what are the plays of children not intermingled. laughing. Fantine listened for a while longer. you are the master.not be brought for just one little instant? She might be taken away directly afterwards. the voice died away. and which seem to form a part of the mysterious stage-setting of mournful scenes. she feared that she had injured by her too passionate lamentations the confidence which she was desirous of inspiring. "Cosette is well." The child retreated as it had come. is it not? People go there on pleasure parties in summer. That inn of theirs is a sort of a cookshop. it was evident that he had come to tell her things before which his mind now hesitated. but calm yourself. and she began to talk of indifferent things. running to warm herself. There was a child playing in the yard--the child of the portress or of some work-woman. Sister Simplice remained alone with them. But in the midst of this pause Fantine exclaimed:-"I hear her! mon Dieu. having finished his visit. you are talking with too much vivacity. singing at the top of her voice. retired. "Montfermeil is quite pretty.

I will watch her. Madeleine has promised it to me. In five years she will have a white veil. and this caused him to raise his head mechanically. she had raised herself to a sitting posture. her thin shoulder emerged from her chemise. All at once she ceased speaking. . She continued to talk to herself. and openwork stockings. He turned. two." But the smiling background of her thoughts came to the front again. on something alarming at the other extremity of the room. which had been radiant but a moment before. and with the other made him a sign to look behind him. his mind absorbed in reflection which had no bottom. M. He listened to her words as one listens to the sighing of the breeze. Ah! when will she take her first communion?" She began to reckon on her fingers. she no longer breathed. She must know her letters by this time. with her head resting on the pillow: "How happy we are going to be! We shall have a little garden the very first thing. She removed one hand from his arm.voice: "How wicked that doctor is not to allow me to see my daughter! That man has an evil countenance. with his eyes on the ground. rendered large with terror. O my good sister. three. Fantine?" She made no reply. "what ails you. she did not remove her eyes from the object which she seemed to see. that he has. I will make her spell. she will look like a little woman. and beheld Javert. My daughter will play in the garden. He had released Fantine's hand. Fantine had become terrible. "Good God!" he exclaimed. Then she will take her first communion. was ghastly. and she seemed to have fixed her eyes. She will run over the grass after butterflies. her face. you do not know how foolish I become when I think of my daughter's first communion!" She began to laugh. four--she is seven years old. She no longer spoke. "One.

to declare that his convictions had not been in the least modified by that curious incident. Thence the lawyer had drawn some epiphonemas. Nevertheless. Immediately after Champmathieu had been set at liberty. The counsel for the defence had some difficulty in refuting this harangue and in establishing that. that is to say. And then. then to enter the infirmary and see Fantine. unfortunately. the Président did not offer many objections.. sur M. take its course. and to demand. Justice must. He regained his inn just in time to set out again by the mail-wagon. However. and of the jury. They conferred "as to the necessity of seizing the person of M. who was evidently the real Jean Valjean. when the district-attorney. written with his own hand. the Président. of the public. not very fresh.CHAPTER III--JAVERT SATISFIED This is what had taken place.. after all. the condemnation of that Champmathieu. the district-attorney shut himself up with the Président. The half-hour after midnight had just struck when M. and his first care had been to post a letter to M. upon judicial errors. had taken the word to deplore the mad deed of the honorable mayor of M. is the district-attorney's. on the minutes of his report to the attorney-general. etc. in the meantime. had joined the counsel for the defence. Madeleine. in which he had engaged his place. he took Madeleine. the district-attorney was bent on having a Jean Valjean. in consequence of the revelations of M." This phrase. he had hardly quitted the audience hall of the Court of Assizes. of the court. sur M.. and as he had no longer Champmathieu.. Laffitte. in which there was a great deal of of. of the real Jean Valjean. recovering from his first shock. Madeleine quitted the Hall of Assizes in Arras. etc. A little before six o'clock in the morning he had arrived at M. and that the jury had before their eyes now only an innocent man. in his summing up. when all was said. le Maire of M. The districtattorney's persistence was visibly at variance with the sentiments of every one. which would be explained thereafter. sur M. His first emotion having passed off. although the Président . the aspect of the matter had been thoroughly altered. and in a few minutes the jury had thrown Champmathieu out of the case.

" Any one who did not know Javert. and who had examined him attentively at the moment. The district-attorney forwarded it to M. He had come in a simple way. He was cool. in this day's session of the court. it was indispensable that there should have taken place in him one of those emotions which may be designated as internal earthquakes. grave. signed by the district-attorney. he was. could have divined nothing of what had taken place. That he should have set the buckle of his stock awry. Any one who was thoroughly acquainted with him. who. and he had just mounted the stairs with his habitual deliberation. and not Bonaparte. immediately after having given his deposition. would have shuddered. was couched in these words: "Inspector Javert will apprehend the body of the Sieur Madeleine. and he had been shocked to hear the Mayor of M. his gray hair was perfectly smooth upon his temples. at full speed. who. rigid with the buttons of his coat. calm. was recognized as the liberated convict. The messenger himself was a very clever member of the police.was a kindly and a tolerably intelligent man.. and would have thought his air the most ordinary in the world. who never had a wrinkle in his duty or in his uniform. The order for his arrest was accordingly despatched. at the same time. The buckle of his leather stock was under his left ear instead of at the nape of his neck. by a special messenger. had made a requisition on the neighboring post for a corporal and . Javert was a complete character. say the Emperor. and who had chanced to see him at the moment when he penetrated the antechamber of the infirmary. sur M. and entrusted its execution to Police Inspector Javert. sur M. informed Javert of what had taken place at Arras. mayor of M. methodical with malefactors. This betrayed unwonted agitation. Jean Valjean. a devoted and almost an ardent royalist. sur M. in two words. Javert was just getting out of bed when the messenger handed him the order of arrest and the command to produce the prisoner. The order of arrest. sur M. The reader knows that Javert had returned to M. when alluding to the landing at Cannes.

The humiliation of having. he had authority. for a few moments. the legal conscience. Properly speaking. personified justice. saw him. at an infinite distance. was effaced by pride at having so well and accurately divined in the first place. the public prosecution. he. he did not enter. had had Fantine's room pointed out to him by the portress. accustomed as she was to seeing armed men inquiring for the mayor. Javert was in heaven at that moment. and made M. Thus he remained for nearly a minute. mounted to the surface. which was hidden behind him. could be seen. It was the visage of a demon who has just found his damned soul. lost the scent. Javert turned the handle. All the demonstrations of horror which a satisfied face can afford were there. he was protecting order. On arriving at Fantine's chamber. his hat on his head and his left hand thrust into his coat. The depths having been stirred up. and of having indulged. without approaching him. Madeleine turn round. which was buttoned up to the chin. he was . reason. all the stars. and entered. Behind him and around him. Javert's content shone forth in his sovereign attitude. had left the soldiers in the courtyard. He stood erect in the half-open door.four soldiers. In the bend of his elbow the leaden head of his enormous cane. The instant that Madeleine's glance encountered Javert's glance. without moving from his post. he was avenging society. The deformity of triumph overspread that narrow brow. and of having for so long cherished a just instinct. and truth in their celestial function of crushing out evil. pushed the door open with the gentleness of a sick-nurse or a police spy. No human sentiment can be as terrible as joy. the case judged. All at once Fantine raised her eyes. Javert. Without putting the thing clearly to himself. became terrible. but with a confused intuition of the necessity of his presence and of his success. without stirring. in some slight degree. who was utterly unsuspicious. in an error with regard to Champmathieu. without his presence being perceived. Javert. light. The satisfaction of at last getting hold of Jean Valjean caused all that was in his soul to appear in his countenance. he was causing the law to yield up its thunders.

happy and indignant.lending a helping hand to the absolute. remain grand: their majesty. perdition. Javert in his formidable happiness was to be pitied. but which. There existed in his victory a remnant of defiance and of combat. Nothing could be so poignant and so terrible as this face. conviction. The honest. he flaunted abroad in open day the superhuman bestiality of a ferocious archangel. though frightful. the majesty peculiar to the human conscience. clings to them in the midst of horror. he held his heel upon crime. candor.--error. The terrible shadow of the action which he was accomplishing caused the vague flash of the social sword to be visible in his clenched fist. Without himself suspecting the fact. brilliant. . vice. wherein was displayed all that may be designated as the evil of the good. he was radiant. sincerity. as is every ignorant man who triumphs. Probity. and there was an incontestable grandeur in this monstrous Saint Michael. are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed. he exterminated. he was standing erect in the midst of a glory. hell. he smiled. even when hideous. they are virtues which have one vice. pitiless joy of a fanatic in the full flood of his atrocity preserves a certain lugubriously venerable radiance. haughty. had nothing ignoble about him. the sense of duty. Erect. Javert. rebellion.

but the only thing which she did not doubt was that he had come to get her. This arrest was not a beginning." Javert replied:-"Be quick about it!" There lay in the inflection of voice which accompanied these words something indescribably fierce and frenzied. he exhibited no warrant of arrest. he did not enter into the matter. and with which he was accustomed to draw wretches violently to him. without being able to throw him. it is not for you that he is come. and shrieked in her anguish:-"Monsieur Madeleine. Javert did not say." No orthography can do justice to the accent with which it was uttered: it was no longer a human word: it was a roar. she hid her face in both hands. He said to Fantine in the gentlest and calmest of voices:-"Be at ease. but an end. he hurled at Jean Valjean a glance which he threw out like a grappling-hook. she felt her life quitting her. and said:-"I know what you want. "Be quick about it!" he said "Bequiabouit.CHAPTER IV--AUTHORITY REASSERTS ITS RIGHTS Fantine had not seen Javert since the day on which the mayor had torn her from the man. Her ailing brain comprehended nothing. He did not proceed according to his custom. who was not to be laid hands upon. a wrestler in the dark whom he had had in his grasp for the last five years. In his eyes. Jean Valjean was a sort of mysterious combatant. He confined himself to saying. . "Be quick about it!" As he spoke thus. She could not endure that terrible face. he did not advance a single step." Then he addressed Javert. save me!" Jean Valjean--we shall henceforth not speak of him otherwise--had risen.

"There is no longer any Monsieur le Maire here!" Jean Valjean made no attempt to disengage the hand which grasped the collar of his coat." said Jean Valjean. seize the mayor by the collar. Then she beheld a most unprecedented thing. "Monsieur le Maire!" shrieked Fantine. She shuddered. what had she to fear? Javert advanced to the middle of the room." "Aloud! Say it aloud!" replied Javert. He said:-"Javert--" Javert interrupted him: "Call me Mr. "I should like to say a word to you in private. and cried:-"See here now! Art thou coming?" The unhappy woman glanced about her. she saw the mayor bow his head. Fantine opened her eyes once more. But the mayor was there. To whom could that abject use of "thou" be addressed? To her only. At Javert's exclamation." "Monsieur. Javert had. She beheld Javert." . No one was present excepting the nun and the mayor. a thing so unprecedented that nothing equal to it had appeared to her even in the blackest deliriums of fever. Javert burst out laughing with that frightful laugh which displayed all his gums. It seemed to her that the world was coming to an end. Inspector. the police spy.It was this glance which Fantine had felt penetrating to the very marrow of her bones two months previously. "people are in the habit of talking aloud to me. grasped Jean Valjean by the collar." Jean Valjean went on in a lower tone:-"I have a request to make of you--" "I tell you to speak loud. in fact.

"My child!" she cried. opening her hands convulsively. supporting herself on her stiffened arms and on both hands: she gazed at Jean Valjean. she gazed at the nun. and added. it is high time!" He stared intently at Fantine." Jean Valjean turned towards him and said very rapidly and in a very low voice:-"Grant me three days' grace! three days in which to go and fetch the child of this unhappy woman. then! Answer me. once more taking into his grasp Jean Valjean's cravat. a convict named Jean Valjean! And I have him in my grasp! That's what there is!" Fantine raised herself in bed with a bound. There is a thief. her teeth chattered. a rattle proceeded from the depths of her throat. "Come now. "to go and fetch my child! She is not here. she stretched out her arms in her agony. she opened her mouth as though to speak. I did not think you such a fool! You ask me to give you three days in which to run away! You say that it is for the purpose of fetching that creature's child! Ah! Ah! That's good! That's really capital!" Fantine was seized with a fit of trembling. she gazed at Javert. I will pay whatever is necessary. and where women of the town are cared for like countesses! Ah! But we are going to change all that. You shall accompany me if you choose. "And now there's the other one! Will you hold your tongue. you hussy? It's a pretty sort of a place where convicts are magistrates."But you alone should hear it--" "What difference does that make to me? I shall not listen. . and fumbling about her like a drowning person. where is Cosette? I want my child! Monsieur Madeleine! Monsieur le Maire!" Javert stamped his foot. shirt and collar:-"I tell you that there is no Monsieur Madeleine and that there is no Monsieur le Maire. then suddenly fell back on her pillow." "You are making sport of me!" cried Javert. a brigand. sister.

and began to contemplate the motionless body of Fantine. Jean Valjean laid his hand upon the detaining hand of Javert. which lay extended there. and his brow on his hand. in a voice that was barely audible:-"I advise you not to disturb me at this moment. march on instantly. She was dead.Her head struck the head-board of the bed and fell forwards on her breast. who was dead? . walked slowly up to Fantine's couch. "I am not here to listen to argument. then he said to Javert:-"You have murdered that woman. in a fury. absorbed. grasped his cane by the small end. Jean Valjean. and leaned against the door-post. which was in a decidedly decrepit state. and that is. that Javert trembled. mute. sightless eyes." "Let's have an end of this!" shouted Javert. armed with his bar of iron. and spoke to her in a low voice. He remained thus. in a twinkling wrenched off the head-piece. When he arrived there he turned and said to Javert. Javert retreated towards the door. without removing his eyes from Jean Valjean. evidently with no further thought of anything connected with this life. grasped the principal rod like a bludgeon. which was already in a dilapidated condition. Jean Valjean stepped up to this bed. so he remained. who was reproved. Let us economize all that. and opened it as he would have opened the hand of a baby. It did occur to him to summon the guard." One thing is certain. or you'll get the thumb-screws!" In the corner of the room stood an old iron bedstead. After a few moments of this meditation he bent towards Fantine. and glanced at Javert. with gaping mouth and staring. the guard is below. What did he say to her? What could this man. Jean Valjean rested his elbow on the knob at the head of the bed. an easy matter to muscles like his. but Jean Valjean might avail himself of that moment to effect his escape. and which served the sisters as a camp-bed when they were watching with the sick. Upon his face and in his attitude there was nothing but inexpressible pity. say to that woman.

and kissed it. she distinctly beheld an ineffable smile dawn on those pale lips. filled with the amazement of the tomb. he closed her eyes. Did the dead woman hear them? There are some touching illusions which are. that signifies entrance into the great light. "Now. Fantine's hand was hanging over the side of the bed. the sole witness of the incident." . Fantine's face seemed strangely illuminated at that moment. often said that at the moment that Jean Valjean whispèred in Fantine's ear. Jean Valjean took Fantine's head in both his hands. lifted it gently. perhaps.What words were those? No one on earth heard them." said he. The point as to which there exists no doubt is. and arranged it on the pillow as a mother might have done for her child. "I am at your disposal. Then he rose. That done. and in those dim eyes. then he tied the string of her chemise. Death. Jean Valjean knelt down before that hand. and smoothed her hair back under her cap. that Sister Simplice. sublime realities. and turned to Javert.

Madeleine?" "Yes. Madeleine vanished from M. or rather. too affected." nearly every one deserted him. sur M. Only three or four persons in all the town remained faithful to his memory. sur M." "Bah! M." The "drawing-rooms" remarks of this nature. a subscriber to the Drapeau Blanc. particularly abounded in One old lady. All day long conversations like the following were to be heard in all quarters of the town:-"You don't know? He was a liberated convict!" "Who?" "The mayor. On the evening of that day the worthy old woman was sitting in her lodge. The factory had been closed all day. the street was deserted. made the following remark.CHAPTER V--A SUITABLE TOMB Javert deposited Jean Valjean in the city prison. Bejean. We are sorry that we cannot conceal the fact. Madeleine occasioned a sensation. That man was too good." "Well! I suspected as much." "Until he is transferred!" "He is to be transferred!" "Where is he to be taken?" "He will be tried at the Assizes for a highway robbery which he committed long ago. Bonapartists!" It will be a lesson to the It was thus that the phantom which had been called M." "Really?" "His name was not Madeleine at all. He refused the cross. he had a frightful name." It is just to add that the details of what had taken place at Arras were not yet known. and he was nothing but a "convict from the galleys. that at the single word. the depth of which it is impossible to fathom:-"I am not sorry. "He was a convict. The old portress who had served him was among the number. in the city prison. still in a thorough fright. Bojean. he bestowed sous on all the little scamps he came across. The arrest of M." "Ah! Good God!" "He has been arrested. There was no one in the house but the . too perfect. I always thought there was some evil history back of all that. while waiting to be transferred." "Arrested!" "In prison. the carriage gate was bolted. In less than two hours all the good that he had done had been forgotten. Boujean. and absorbed in sad reflections. an extraordinary commotion in M.

as she said herself. It was M. she had a seizure. "Hold! My good God Jesus! And I hung his key on the nail!" At that moment the small window in the lodge opened. go and find Sister Simplice for me. I am going up to my room. took from a drawer the key of M. It was only at the expiration of two hours that she roused herself from her revery. and exclaimed. .two nuns. who were watching beside the body of Fantine. and stood there with gaping mouth. and a shriek which she confined to her throat. The poor. Then she sat down again on her chair. as though she was expecting him." she cried at last. then she hung the key on the nail whence he was accustomed to take it. Madeleine's chamber. and the flat candlestick which he used every evening to go up to his quarters. the conclusion of her sentence would have been lacking in respect towards the beginning. Sister Perpetue and Sister Simplice. The portress raised her eyes. "Good God. "I thought you were--" She stopped. I broke a bar of one of the windows. and set the candlestick on one side. the good portress rose mechanically. He finished her thought. that arm. Monsieur le Maire. good old woman bad done all this without being conscious of it. I let myself drop from the top of a roof. Madeleine was accustomed to return home. Towards the hour when M. She knew that hand. and here I am. Madeleine. and became absorbed in thought once more. the sleeve of that coat. a hand passed through. "I was there. when she related the adventure afterwards. "In prison. It was several seconds before she could speak. She is with that poor woman. seized the key and the candlestick." The old woman obeyed in all haste. and lighted the taper at the candle which was burning there. no doubt. Jean Valjean was still Monsieur le Maire to her." said he.

opened his door with very little noise. He took a sheet of paper. which he tore in pieces. but he must have been searched. at his chair. and the coin in such a way that they were the first things to be seen on entering the room. it will be recollected that his window could be seen from the street. This point was never explained. which I mentioned at the Court of Assizes. . and while he was wrapping up the Bishop's candlesticks. The portress had "done up" his room. and his latch-key must have been taken from him. On arriving at the top. then returned for his candle and re-entered his room." said he. In the strips of linen thus prepared he wrapped the two silver candlesticks. on which he wrote: "These are the two tips of my iron-shod cudgel and the fortysou piece stolen from Little Gervais. he was quite sure that she would guard him better than he should guard himself. only she had picked out of the ashes and placed neatly on the table the two iron ends of the cudgel and the fortysou piece which had been blackened by the fire.He gave her no orders. went and closed his window and his shutters by feeling. at his bed which had not been disturbed for three days. "Come in. at his table. From a cupboard he pulled out one of his old shirts. he nibbled at a piece of black bread." and he arranged this piece of paper. This was proved by the crumbs which were found on the floor of the room when the authorities made an examination later on. It was probably the prisonbread which he had carried with him in his flight. No one ever found out how he had managed to get into the courtyard without opening the big gates. There came two taps at the door. the bits of iron. He betrayed neither haste nor agitation. He cast a glance about him. It was a useful precaution. He ascended the staircase leading to his chamber. and always carried about him. It was Sister Simplice. he left his candle on the top step of his stairs. a pass-key which opened a little side-door. He had. No trace of the disorder of the night before last remained.

nevertheless. they wring human nature from our very bowels. and that would disturb her. it would only end in their arresting me in that room. She succeeded in saying. The emotions of that day had turned the nun into a woman once more. The chamber was so arranged that the door in opening masked the corner of the wall on the right. I swear to you by the good God. The rest is for the poor. They heard a tumult of ascending footsteps." said he. Sister Simplice fell on her knees near the table. He will be so good as to pay out of it the expenses of my trial. "I am pursued. nor all the evening. and the old portress saying in her loudest and most piercing tones:-"My good sir." said he. She had wept. She read:-"I beg Monsieur le Curé to keep an eye on all that I leave behind me." They recognized Javert's voice. which he handed to the nun. but she only managed to stammer a few inarticulate sounds." He had hardly finished when a loud noise became audible on the staircase. "You can read it. Jean Valjean blew out the light and placed himself in this angle." The sister tried to speak. "Sister. however:-"Does not Monsieur le Maire desire to take a last look at that poor. She cast a glance upon it.She was pale. . Jean Valjean had just finished writing a few lines on a paper. and of the funeral of the woman who died yesterday. her eyes were red. The peculiar feature of the violences of destiny is. and force it to reappear on the surface." The paper was not folded. you will give this to Monsieur le Curé." A man responded:-"But there is a light in that room. and that I have not even left the door. unhappy woman?" "No. and she was trembling. that however polished or cool we may be. saying. that not a soul has entered this house all day. the candle which she carried trembled in her hand.

during which the poor portress felt as though she should faint. the very air he breathed. and gave but very little light." resumed Javert. a nun was a creature who never sins. The nun did not raise her eyes. who had never told a lie in her life. you have not seen him?" The sister replied:-- . "you will excuse me if I persist." said he. She was praying.The door opened. In his eyes. and held her in special veneration in consequence. The sister raised her eyes and answered:-"Yes. his first movement was to retire. with a single door which never opened except to allow the truth to pass through." "Then. It will be remembered that the fundamental point in Javert. "Sister. Javert entered. Javert caught sight of the nun and halted in amazement. "are you alone in this room?" A terrible moment ensued. we are in search of him--that Jean Valjean. his element. Javert knew it. This was impregnable. was veneration for all authority. the ecclesiastical authority was the chief of all. it is my duty. you have not seen a certain person--a man--this evening? He has escaped. His second movement was to remain and to venture on at least one question. they were souls walled in from this world. who never makes a mistake. The candle was on the chimney-piece. superficial and correct on this point as on all others. and admitted of neither objection nor restriction. This was Sister Simplice. The whispers of many men and the protestations of the portress were audible in the corridor. of course. a priest was a mind. On perceiving the sister. But there was also another duty which bound him and impelled him imperiously in the opposite direction. he was religious. In his eyes.

she was subjected to the promiscuousness of ashes. sur M. in the light. So Fantine was buried in the free corner of the cemetery which belongs to anybody and everybody. one after the other. Where had he obtained that blouse? No one ever found out. O sainted maid! you left this world many years ago. Perhaps that was the one. Her grave resembled her bed. She was thrown into the public grave. But an aged workman had died in the infirmary of the factory a few days before. promptly. We all have a mother. marching amid trees and mists. God knows where to find the soul again. "FANTINE"] . the virgins. without hesitation. and reduced it to that strictly necessary form known as the pauper's grave. Who was concerned. One last word about Fantine. [THE END OF VOLUME I. among the first bones that came to hand. An hour later. in reserving as much money as possible from what Jean Valjean had left for the poor. and where the poor are lost. that he was carrying a bundle. that he was dressed in a blouse. and he retired with a deep bow. may this lie be counted to your credit in paradise! The sister's affirmation was for Javert so decisive a thing that he did not even observe the singularity of that candle which had but just been extinguished. leaving behind him nothing but his blouse. Fantine was given back to that mother. after all? A convict and a woman of the town. That is why he had a very simple funeral for Fantine."No. was rapidly departing from M.--the earth." said Javert. That man was Jean Valjean. as a person does when sacrificing herself. and your brothers. a man. "Pardon me. in the direction of Paris." She lied. It has been established by the testimony of two or three carters who met him. you have rejoined your sisters. Fortunately. and which was still smoking on the table. The cure thought that he was doing right. Fantine was laid in the shade. the angels. and perhaps he really was. She had lied twice in succession.




with a rectilinear impost. He was pursuing a broad paved road. bearing on its front this sign: At the Four Winds (Aux Quatre Vents). flanked by two flat medallions. is dispersed over the meadows on the other. a traveller. with bricks set in contrast.CHAPTER I--WHAT IS MET WITH ON THE WAY FROM NIVELLES Last year (1861). After traversing a hundred paces. and produce something in the nature of enormous waves. lime smoking in a square hole. and a ladder suspended along an old penthouse with straw partitions. The wayfarer struck into this. On the right. the person who is telling this story. In the west he perceived the slate-roofed tower of Brainel'Alleud. which fills the valley on one side of the road. He had just left behind a wood upon an eminence. A severe facade rose above this door. At one corner of the inn. A young girl was weeding in a field. raise the road and let it fall again. The clump of sparsely planted but very green trees. A quarter of a league further on. Echabeau. which undulated between two rows of trees. beside a pool in which a flotilla of ducks was navigating. over the hills which succeed each other. Private Cafe. such as a parish festival. and directing his course towards La Hulpe. he found himself before a large door of arched stone. He was on foot. close to the road. was an inn. a wall. surmounted by a pointed gable. was coming from Nivelles. a large bundle of hoppoles. by the side of a sort of mouldy gibbet bearing the inscription Ancient Barrier No. where a huge yellow poster.. almost touched the . with a four-wheeled cart at the door. a heap of dried brushwood near a flourishing hedge. a public house. and at the angle of the cross-road. and disappears gracefully and as in order in the direction of Braine-l'Alleud. which has the form of a reversed vase. on a beautiful May morning. He had passed Lillois and Bois-Seigneur-Isaac. where there is water which passes beneath an arch made through the embankment of the road. skirting a wall of the fifteenth century. a badly paved path plunged into the bushes. in the sombre style of Louis XIV. probably of some outside spectacle. perpendicular to the facade. he arrived at the bottom of a little valley. 4. a plough. was fluttering in the wind.

and went off to look over the tops of the hedges. He walked on a few paces. higher up in the door. The two decrepit leaves which barred it were ornamented with an old rusty knocker." said the peasant woman. in disorder. he perceived a sort of little elevation. grew all the flowers of May. at the foot of the pier of the door. At this moment the leaves of the door parted. In the meadow before the door lay three harrows.door. The traveller straightened himself up. which seems to proceed rather from the nests than from the wind. . in the stone on the left. is the hole of a big iron bullet as large as an egg. resembling the hollow of a sphere. and flanked it with an abrupt right angle. The wayfarer bent over and examined a rather large circular excavation. was carolling in a distracted manner in a large tree. "Hougomont." "What is the name of this place?" inquired the wayfarer." she said to him. probably a lover. and a peasant woman emerged. And she added:-"That which you see there. "It was a French cannon-ball which made that. The sun was charming. the branches had that soft shivering of May. near a nail. On the horizon through the trees. He was on the battle-field of Waterloo. through which. and on this elevation something which at that distance resembled a lion. The bullet did not pierce the wood. She saw the wayfarer. and perceived what he was looking at. A brave little bird. The door was closed.

In a wall near the arcade opens another arched door. and the northern door. which commands it only a gun's length away. perhaps. encountered at Waterloo. comprising buildings and enclosures. elbowed an ancient calash under the porch. Napoleon sent his brother Jerome against Hougomont. Cooke's four companies of guards there held out for seven hours against the fury of an army. the first resistance. and a turkey spreading its tail. The first thing which struck him in this paddock was a door of the sixteenth century. Sire of Somerel. Guilleminot. This manor was built by Hugo. have given him the world likewise.--this was a funereal spot. Hougomont viewed on the map. one angle of which is nicked out. which here simulates an arcade. it is no longer anything but a farm. could he but have seized it. beside this door. Hougomont has two doors. it is a huge dog.CHAPTER II--HOUGOMONT Hougomont. Chickens are scattering its dust abroad with their beaks. some pickaxes. which that great wood-cutter of Europe. . the conquest of which was one of Napoleon's dreams. permitting a glimpse of the trees of an orchard. of the time of Henry IV. with its flagstone and its iron reel. a blossoming peartree trained in espalier against the wall of the chapel-behold the court. It was a chateau. the first knot under the blows of his axe. a manurehole. as a geometrical plan. A growl is audible. and entered the courtyard.--the southern door. called Napoleon. that of the chateau. who shows his teeth and replaces the English. belonging to the farm. the same who endowed the sixth chaplaincy of the Abbéy of Villiers. presents a sort of irregular rectangle. Hougomont is Hugomons. For the antiquary. and Bachelu hurled themselves against it. the divisions of Foy. everything else having fallen prostrate around it. guarded by this wall. This corner of earth. the beginning of the obstacle. would. some carts. some shovels. It is this angle which contains the southern door. a chicken jumping. The English behaved admirably there. A monumental aspect often has its birth in ruin. an old well.. a chapel surmounted by a small bell-tower. The traveller pushed open the door.

A bit of the north door. Buildings which have since been pulled down then formed redans and angles. For a long time. the stones fall. its horror is visible there. It is a simple door for carts. one wing of the chateau. The storm of the combat still lingers in this courtyard. the confusion of the fray was petrified there. The chateau served for a dungeon. built of stone below. stands halfopen at the bottom of the paddock. one might say. from the depths of the cellars. the reply to the grape-shot was a conflagration. from the summits of the garrets. all sorts of imprints of bloody hands were visible on the door-posts. such as exist in all farms. Bauduin's brigade was not strong enough to force Hougomont on the north. The French. but without taking it. it lives and it dies there. and which has had a piece applied to it to replace the panel suspended on the wall. quivering trees seem to be making an effort to flee. hangs suspended to the wall. the French made their way in. through all the air-holes.--disembowelled. which was beaten in by the French. The farm buildings border the courtyard on the south. it was only yesterday. This courtyard was more built up in 1815 than it is to-day. Kellermann's balls were exhausted on this heroic section of wall. the breaches cry aloud.--from behind the walls. It consists of four planks nailed to two cross-beams. through all the casements. The northern door. but could not stand their ground. The walls are in the death agony. with the two large leaves made of rustic planks: beyond lie the meadows. Beside the chapel. the chapel for a block-house.nearly the entire corps of Reille was employed against it. on which the scars of the attack are visible. The English barricaded themselves there. It was there that Bauduin was killed. of brick above which closes in the courtyard on the north. The dispute over this entrance was furious. the holes are wounds. it is cut squarely in the wall. the only ruin now remaining of the manor of Hougomont. through every crack in the stones. There men exterminated each other. the drooping. and the brigade of Soye could not do more than effect the beginning of a breach on the south. and miscarried. broken by the French. fired on from every point. . rises in a crumbling state.--fetched fagots and set fire to walls and men.

through windows garnished with bars of iron. a door opposite the altar. The mass has not been said there since the carnage. the other is wounded at its base.--a sign of wrath. Four whitewashed walls. in one corner. These consisted of large slabs of blue stone. Nevertheless. decapitated. cracked from the ground floor to the very roof. the spiral of the staircase. set fire to it. the floor was burned. the altar has been left there--an altar of unpolished wood. Half a score of steps still cling to the wall. . All the rest resembles a jaw which has been denuded of its teeth. the head of the infant Jesus has been carried off by a large ball. was less fortunate than the Christ. on the first is cut the figure of a trident. The walls are covered with inscriptions. A massacre took place in the chapel. which form a heap among the nettles. of which only the blackened stumps are now to be seen. and is clothed with verdure in April. had cut off the lower steps. the door was burned. of the fifteenth century. The fire preyed upon his feet. it was a perfect furnace. and were then dislodged. the dismantled chambers of the main building of brick are visible. is singular.In the ruined wing. which has recovered its calm. There are French names with exclamation points. The staircase has two stories. The wall was freshly whitewashed in 1849. on the ground.--a miracle. over the door a large wooden crucifix. the English. the wooden Christ was not burned. There are two old trees there: one is dead. The flames filled this building. These inaccessible steps are solid in their niches. The infant Jesus. and massed on its upper steps. Since 1815 it has taken to growing through the staircase. The interior. appears like the inside of a broken shell. The nations insulted each other there. Near the feet of Christ this name is to be read: Henquinez. Then these others: Conde de Rio Maior Marques y Marquesa de Almagro (Habana). an old window-frame with the glass all broken to pieces--such is the chapel. besieged on the staircase. according to the assertion of the people of the neighborhood. the English guards were in ambush in these rooms. The French. then it stopped. below the crucifix a square air-hole stopped up with a bundle of hay. two small arched windows. who were masters of the chapel for a moment. placed against a background of roughhewn stone. Near the altar there is nailed up a wooden statue of Saint Anne.

" and concealed himself in the cellar. feeble voices were heard calling from the well. With too much haste perhaps. Three walls. Were they all dead? Legend says they were not. Why is water not drawn there? Because it is full of skeletons. The wall at the bottom has a sort of shapeless loophole. Three hundred dead bodies were cast into it. The English discovered him there. On emerging from the chapel. square tower. part brick. On the 18th of June. and simulating a small. One inquires. 1815. The typhus is a concomitant of triumph. After the engagement. This well is isolated in the middle of the courtyard. such as old boles of burned trees. It seems that on the night succeeding the interment. This well was deep. possibly the hole made by a shell. part stone. The fourth side is open. and folded like the leaves of a screen. surround it on all sides. "to guard the chateau. Guillaume van Kylsom remained at Hougomont. this corpse was Sub-Lieutenant Legros. by administering blows with the flats of their swords. . He was a peasant who lived at Hougomont. and it was turned into a sepulchre. They were thirsty. which mark the site of these poor bivouacs trembling in the depths of the thickets. Death has a fashion of harassing victory. this Guillaume brought them water. Why is there no bucket and pulley to this? It is because water is no longer drawn there. Many drank there their last draught.It was at the door of this chapel that the corpse was picked up which held an axe in its hand. The last person who drew water from the well was named Guillaume van Kylsom. his family fled and concealed themselves in the woods. and the combatants forced this frightened man to serve them. They tore him from his hiding-place. a well is visible on the left. they were in haste to bury the dead bodies. It is there that the water was drawn. It was from this well that he drew it. and was gardener there. This well where drank so many of the dead was destined to die itself. and she causes the pest to follow glory. There are two in this courtyard. for many days and nights. The forest surrounding the Abbéy of Villiers sheltered these unfortunate people who had been scattered abroad. There are at this day certain traces recognizable. This little tower had a platform.

and then flies away. beside a pretty Gothic lockplate. on the left. There is no longer either pail. and from time to time a bird of the neighboring forests comes thither to drink. . I went there in my mother's arms. the old gardener. This well has not in front of it that large blue slab which forms the table for all wells in Belgium. but there is still the stone basin which served the overflow. a wall. the third is a wood. We glued our ears to the earth to hear. in three acts. and went boum! boum!" A door opening from the courtyard on the left led into the orchard. there is an iron handle with trefoils placed slanting. The first part is a garden. with balustrade with a double curve. the buildings of the chateau and the farm. chain. Upon this door. on the right. a hedge. the eye is lost in a deep cylinder of brick which is filled with a heaped-up mass of shadows. who was older. I was three years old. one might almost say. My sister. The iron supports of the well on the right form a cross. is still inhabited. A woman with gray hair said to us: "I was there. It slopes downwards. was terrified and wept.of which only the beams remain. a wall. They carried us off to the woods. The rain-water collects there. On leaning over. a French sapper hewed off his hand with an axe. I imitated the cannon. The orchard is terrible. choked with a wild growth of vegetation. At the moment when the Hanoverian lieutenant. It is in three parts. against which lean five or six shapeless fragments of knotty and petrified wood which resemble huge bones. Wilda. The family who occupy the house had for their grandfather Guillaume van Kylsom. The slab has here been replaced by a cross-beam. One house in this ruin. so we were told. and at the end. The door of this house opens on the courtyard. and terminated by a monumental terrace of cut stone. or pulley. is planted with gooseberry bushes. dead long since. These three parts have a common enclosure: on the side of the entrance. the wall at the bottom is of stone. grasped this handle in order to take refuge in the farm. One enters the garden first. The base of the walls all about the well is concealed in a growth of nettles. the farmhouse. the second is an orchard. The wall on the right is of brick.

on which linen is drying. One broken baluster is placed on the pediment like a fractured leg. further down than the orchard. hunted down and caught like bears in their dens. crossed it.It was a seignorial garden in the first French style which preceded Le Notre. traverse the spaces between the trees and force the passer-by to bend his head. fifteen hundred men fell in less than an hour. one of which was armed with carbines. The infantry men. properly speaking. seven hundred strong. are there still. six against two hundred. The pilasters are surmounted by globes which resemble cannon-balls of stone. replying from below. They fought hand to hand amid the trees. pierced by the English at irregular heights. is gnawed by grape-shot. the thirty-eight loopholes firing at once a shower of grapeshot and balls. As they had no ladders. There. It has its buttercups and its daisies. to-day it is ruins and briars. the rest lie prostrate in the grass. cords of hair. Forty-three balusters can still be counted on their sockets. Thirty-eight loopholes. accepted the combat with two Hanoverian companies. the cart-horses browse there. within the limits of those few square fathoms. took a quarter of an hour to die. one walks over this uncultivated land. One mounts a few steps and passes from the garden into the orchard. All this grass has been soaked in blood. the grass is tall there. was overwhelmed there. and Soye's brigade was broken against it. Thus Waterloo began. having made their way thither. Nevertheless. in the month of May. like others. against which Kellermann's two batteries were trained. This orchard is sentient. The outside of the wall. It was in this garden. the French came up. the orchard was taken. with the English guards behind it. The wall is hidden on the outside by a tall hedge. as the principal attack came from that quarter. In front of the sixth are placed two English tombs of granite. and one's foot . There are loopholes only in the south wall. A battalion of Nassau. and being unable to escape. that six light-infantry men of the 1st. the French scaled it with their nails. Almost all bear scratches of bullets. intrepid and with no shelter save the currant-bushes. thinking that they had to deal only with a hedge. The wall seems ready to renew the combat. and found the wall both an obstacle and an ambuscade. The Hanoverians lined this balustrade and fired from above.

and at the end of it is a wood full of violets. its wound dressed with a bandage of straw and of clayey loam. decimated. give me three francs. Duplat. the English Guards mutilated.6 The skeletons of dead trees abound in this orchard. Crows fly through their branches. the regiment of Nassau and the regiment of Brunswick destroyed. Duplat killed. Beneath a great tree in the neighborhood fell the German general. a rivulet formed of English blood. besides the forty from Reille's corps. killed. carnage. burned. French blood. Bauduin.--and all this so that a peasant can say to-day to the traveller: Monsieur. three thousand men in that hovel of Hougomont alone cut down. conflagration. German blood mingled in fury. descended from a French family which fled on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. with their throats cut. and if you like. shot.dives into mole-holes. There is not one which has not had its bullet or its biscayan. I will explain to you the affair of Waterloo! . An aged and falling apple-tree leans far over to one side. a well crammed with corpses. massacre. slashed to pieces. twenty French battalions. In the middle of the grass one observes an uprooted tree-bole which lies there all verdant. Foy wounded. Nearly all the apple-trees are falling with age. Major Blackmann leaned against it to die. Blackmann killed.

The artillery had to wait until it became a little firmer before they could manoeuvre. and felt the effects of this. he relied all the more on his artillery. Suppose the soil dry. because he had numbers on his side. 1815. All that Providence required in order to make Waterloo the end of Austerlitz was a little more rain. Napoleon had two hundred and forty. The foundation of this wonderful captain was the man who. On the 18th of June. Wellington had only one hundred and fifty-nine mouths of fire. and the artillery capable of moving.--that is one of the story-teller's rights. and a cloud traversing the sky out of season sufficed to make a world crumble. to pulverize regiments. to strike.CHAPTER III--THE EIGHTEENTH OF JUNE. He treated the strategy of the hostile general like a citadel. strike incessantly.--and put ourselves once more in the year 1815. All his plans of battle were arranged for projectiles. the fate of Europe would have been different.--for him everything lay in this. the action would have begun at six o'clock in the morning. The battle would have been won and . The key to his victory was to make the artillery converge on one point. more or less. said: Such a one of our balls killed six men. united with genius. A redoubtable method. A few drops of water. and one which. 1815. He overwhelmed the weak point with grape-shot. he joined and dissolved battles with cannon. strike. to crush and disperse masses. rendered this gloomy athlete of the pugilism of war invincible for the space of fifteen years. and that gave Blucher time to come up. 1815 Let us turn back. To beat in squares. to break lines.--and he intrusted this task to the cannon-ball. and even a little earlier than the epoch when the action narrated in the first part of this book took place. in the report to the Directory on Aboukir. Why? Because the ground was wet. The battle of Waterloo could not be begun until halfpast eleven o'clock. There was something of the sharpshooter in his genius. decided the downfall of Napoleon. Napoleon was an artillery officer. and made a breach in it. If it had not rained in the night between the 17th and the 18th of June.

suffering from an eclipse? Did he go into a frenzy in order to disguise his weakened powers from himself? Did he begin to waver under the delusion of a breath of adventure? Had he become--a grave matter in a general--unconscious of peril? Is there an age. could no longer divine the snare. and the Englishman into the sea. three hours before the change of fortune in favor of the Prussians. All this was contained in that battle. the soul as well as the body? Did the veteran make himself disastrously felt in the leader? In a word. was this genius. to seize Brussels. by the confession of all. as many historians of note have thought. to carry MontSaint-Jean. when genius grows short-sighted? Old age has no hold on the geniuses of the ideal. according to Napoleon. to hurl the German into the Rhine. to make a breach in the enemy. What amount of blame attaches to Napoleon for the loss of this battle? Is the shipwreck due to the pilot? Was it the evident physical decline of Napoleon that complicated this epoch by an inward diminution of force? Had the twenty years of war worn out the blade as it had worn the scabbard. His plan of battle was. a masterpiece. . pointed them out with a sovereign finger. for the Dantes and Michael Angelos to grow old is to grow in greatness. Afterwards people would see. to drive the British half back on Hal. from the summit of his chariot of lightning. who may be called the giants of action. and the Prussian half on Tongres. no longer discern the crumbling brink of abysses? Had he lost his power of scenting out catastrophes? He who had in former days known all the roads to triumph. to cut them in two. is it to grow less for the Hannibals and the Bonapartes? Had Napoleon lost the direct sense of victory? Had he reached the point where he could no longer recognize the reef. to make two shattered fragments of Wellington and Blucher. and who. had he now reached that state of sinister amazement when he could lead his tumultuous legions harnessed to it. to the precipice? Was he seized at the age of forty-six with a supreme madness? Was that titanic charioteer of destiny no longer anything more than an immense dare-devil? We do not think so.ended at two o'clock. To go straight to the centre of the Allies' line. in this class of material great men.

Of course. the populace. we do not here pretend to furnish a history of the battle of Waterloo. one of the scenes of the foundation of the story which we are relating is connected with this battle. we leave the historians at loggerheads. and finished in a masterly manner. we are but a distant witness. we judge like that ingenious judge. we have no right to oppose. a seeker bending over that soil all made of human flesh. but this history is not our subject. in the name of science. and from another point of view by a whole pleiad of historians. taking appearances for realities. from one point of view by Napoleon. perchance. a passer-by on the plain.7 As for us. in our opinion. a chain of accidents dominated the two leaders at Waterloo. a collection of facts which contain illusions. and when it becomes a question of destiny. . this history. has been finished. no doubt. moreover. we possess neither military practice nor strategic ability which authorize a system. that mysterious culprit.

is the forest of Soignes. He who quits the field is beaten. a crosspath encountered at the right moment. each rise commands the next rise. the involuntary symbol of the supreme heroism of the Imperial Guard. At the centre of this chord is the precise point where the final word of the battle was pronounced. The wings of the two armies extended to the right and left of the two roads to Genappe and Nivelles. As for the plain itself. the tie of the A is the hollow road to Ohain from Brainel'Alleud. a chance turn in the landscape. on the ground. an unevenness in the ground. a ravine. a grove. mentally. and of studying deeply the slightest relief in the ground. The two generals had attentively studied the plain of Mont-Saint-Jean. Wellington. and prevent its retreat. the right limb is the road to Genappe. a capital A. with the sagacity of . Reille facing Hill. where Wellington is. Behind the tip of the A. where Reille is stationed with Jerome Bonaparte. It is a question of seizing the opponent round the waist. The top of the A is Mont-Saint-Jean. the right tip is the Belle-Alliance. Two hostile troops on a field of battle are two wrestlers. and there end in the forest. the lower left tip is Hougomont. The left limb of the A is the road to Nivelles. is the plateau of Mont-SaintJean. for the lack of a hovel under whose cover they can draw up. between the two limbs and the tie. hence the necessity devolving on the responsible leader. an angle of the wall offers them a rest to the shoulder. now called the plain of Waterloo.CHAPTER IV--A Those persons who wish to gain a clear idea of the battle of Waterloo have only to place. let the reader picture to himself a vast undulating sweep of ground. The dispute over this plateau constituted the whole battle. In the preceding year. They clutch at everything: a bush is a point of support. and all the undulations mount towards Mont-Saint-Jean. behind the plateau of MontSaint-Jean. The triangle included in the top of the A. The one seeks to trip up the other. can stay the heel of that colossus which is called an army. of examining the most insignificant clump of trees. d'Erlon facing Picton. where Napoleon was. a regiment yields its ground. It was there that the lion has been placed.

Upon this spot. . upon the heights of Rossomme. saluted with acclamations by some. It is almost superfluous here to sketch the appearance of Napoleon on horseback. and for this duel. it often casts a shadow in places where people had hitherto beheld rays. severely regarded by others. at daybreak. the sword of Marengo. but to-day history and daylight have arrived.foresight. silver spurs. Babylon violated lessens Alexander. the white revers concealing the star of the Legion of Honor. his leather trousers. The English army was stationed above. glass in hand. Napoleon the bad post. It is a misfortune for a man to leave behind him the night which bears his form. that green uniform. that. That calm profile under the little threecornered hat of the school of Brienne. That light called history is pitiless. tyranny follows the tyrant. on the 18th of June. the French army below. had examined it as the possible seat of a great battle. and precisely because it is wholly light.--that whole figure of the last of the Caesars is present to all imaginations. All the world has seen him before we can show him. Jerusalem murdered lessens Titus. Hessian boots over silk stockings. 1815. That figure stood for a long time wholly in the light. the white horse with the saddle-cloth of purple velvet bearing on the corners crowned N's and eagles. Hence arises a truer measure in the definitive judgments of nations. his great coat hiding his epaulets. and which always veils the truth for a longer or shorter time. from the same man it constructs two different phantoms. on June 18. it possesses this peculiar and divine quality. Wellington had the good post. the corner of red ribbon peeping from beneath his vest. and the shadows of the despot contend with the brilliancy of the leader. this arose from a certain legendary dimness evolved by the majority of heroes. pure light as it is. Rome enchained lessens Caesar. and the one attacks the other and executes justice on it.

Colville. The action was begun furiously. It was no longer the rendezvous of Austerlitz. as reinforcements. the English general. The affair began late. now at another. aiming it now at one point. In order to do that it was necessary that the sun should come out and dry the soil. the circingles of the horses were dripping with liquid mud. the plan was to draw Wellington thither. than the Emperor would have wished. and Ney pushed forward the right wing of the French against the left wing of the English. particularly in the valleys. but still more so for the English than for the French. only four more companies of guards and one battalion from Brunswick. menacing to both armies. like a pistol. and it had been his wish to wait until the horse batteries could move and gallop freely. perhaps. with more fury. in the direction of Papelotte would have been impossible. hesitating. as we have already explained. The attack on Hougomont was something of a feint. at some points the gear of the artillery carriages was buried up to the axles. of the battle. could confine himself to despatching thither. instead of massing his troops there. the water had accumulated here and there in the hollows of the plain as if in casks. uncertain. If the wheat and rye trampled down by this cohort of transports on the march had not filled in the ruts and strewn a litter beneath the wheels. At the same time Napoleon attacked the centre by hurling Quiot's brigade on La Haie-Sainte. a beginning which was troubled. But the sun did not make its appearance. all movement. This plan would have succeeded if the four companies of the English guards and the brave Belgians of Perponcher's division had not held the position solidly. Napoleon. and Wellington. . and noted that it was thirty-five minutes past eleven. which rested on Papelotte. was in the habit of keeping all his artillery well in hand. When the first cannon was fired. It had rained all night. by the left wing of the French resting on Hougomont.CHAPTER V--THE QUID OBSCURUM OF BATTLES Every one is acquainted with the first phase of this battle. and to make him swerve to the left. the earth had been cut up by the downpour. looked at his watch.

During the action the plans of the two leaders enter into each other and . their inexperience extricated them intrepidly from the dilemma. Each historian traces. to cut off the road to Brussels.The attack of the right wing of the French on Papelotte was calculated. the great white gaiters of our grenadiers. the middle portion of this battle is almost indistinct. There was in the English infantry. white circular pads on the slopes of their shoulders for epaulets. cross-belts. Quid obscurum. paraphernalia of war almost unknown to-day. These young soldiers were valiant in the presence of our redoubtable infantry. to overthrow the English left. La Haie-Sainte was carried. A certain amount of tempest is always mingled with a battle. With the exception of a few incidents this attack succeeded Papelotte was taken. pictures. the shock of armed masses has an incalculable ebb. thence on Braine-l'Alleud. Twilight reigns over it. A detail to be noted. not strategic lines--what Salvator Rosa requires. heavy shakos garlanded with torsades. There is in this day an obscure interval. cartridgeboxes for grenades. not what is suited to the needs of Gribeauval. they performed particularly excellent service as skirmishers: the soldier skirmisher. the Scotch with their bare knees and plaids. to turn Wellington back on Hougomont. the Hanoverian light-horse with their oblong casques of leather. from midday to four o'clock. so to speak. and participates in the sombreness of the hand-to-hand conflict. We perceive vast fluctuations in that fog. These recruits displayed some of the French ingenuity and fury. to some extent. becomes. with brass hands and red horse-tails. the English soldiers with great. the almost black infantry of Brunswick mingled with the scarlet infantry of England. a great many raw recruits. pendant colbacks. particularly in Kempt's brigade. thence on Hal. This displeased Wellington. After the taking of La Haie-Sainte the battle wavered. in fact. This novice of an infantry had dash. hussar dolmans. floating sabre-taches. nothing easier. to force MontSaint-Jean. Whatever may be the combinations of the generals. his own general. quid divinum. to bar the passage against possible Prussians. red boots with a thousand wrinkles. a dizzy mirage. left somewhat to himself. the particular feature which pleases him amid this pell-mell.

and disperses into innumerable detailed feats. seek it. the sombre folds advance and retreat. there is required one of those powerful painters who have chaos in their brushes. lies at three o'clock. and disperses these tragic multitudes. This. Vandermeulen. absolutely. distends. What is a fray? an oscillation? The immobility of a mathematical plan expresses a minute. is particularly applicable to Waterloo. the battalions are like smoke." The historian has. the fronts of the armies waver. not a day. to borrow the expression of Napoleon himself. It becomes necessary to pour out more soldiers than one would like. the evident right to sum up the whole. in this case. which. the form of that horrible cloud which is called a battle. however conscientious he may be. In order to depict a battle. . Such a point of the field of battle devours more combatants than such another. all these reefs are continually moving in front of each other. and it is not given to any one narrator. Where the infantry stood the artillery arrives. exact at noon. The line of battle waves and undulates like a thread. the open spots change place. hurls back. That is what confers on Folard the right to contradict Polybius. Rembrandt is better than Vandermeulen. at a certain moment in the afternoon the battle came to a point. Nevertheless. "belong rather to the biography of the regiments than to the history of the army. the cavalry rushes in where the artillery was. Geometry is deceptive. the regiments form capes and gulfs as they enter and withdraw. Let us add.become mutually thrown out of shape. a sort of wind from the sepulchre pushes forward. He cannot do more than seize the principal outlines of the struggle. that there is a certain instant when the battle degenerates into a combat. which is true of all great armed encounters. a series of expenditures which are the unforeseen. just as more or less spongy soils soak up more or less quickly the water which is poured on them. It has disappeared. the hurricane alone is trustworthy. becomes specialized. There was something there. the trails of blood gush illogically. to fix.

desperate and intrepid. Of the German battalion which defended it. except five. shouted to the Hollando-Belgians: "Nassau! Brunswick! Never retreat!" Hill. the fifth and the sixth. for Wellington. had been annihilated. La Haie-Sainte was taken. The Prince of Orange. the foremost boxer in England. Many flags had been lost. Ponsonby had fallen. Ponsonby's great dragoons had been hacked to pieces. only forty-two men survived. Mater slain. Hougomont injured. It occupied the plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean. but was on fire. he summoned Chasse. and one from the battalion of Lunenburg. A sergeant of the English Guards. Picton of the left wing. That valiant cavalry had bent beneath the lancers of Bro and beneath the cuirassiers of Travers. Baring had been dislodged. one from Alten's division. La Haie-Sainte taken. was strongly posted. Gordon was dead. six hundred remained. Hill of the right wing. The Scotch Grays no longer existed. which was tolerably steep then. Hougomont and La Haie-Sainte. had been killed there by a little French drummer-boy. riddled by seven lance-thrusts. carried by a prince of the house of Deux-Ponts. rather concave. Picton. Wellington reinforced it. Alten put to the sword. there now existed but one rallying-point. two bases of action. out of twelve hundred horses. all the officers. with a bullet through the head. reputed invulnerable by his companions.CHAPTER VI--FOUR O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON Towards four o'clock the condition of the English army was serious. very dense. the centre. At the very moment when the English had captured from the French the flag of the 105th of the line. having been weakened. were either dead or captured. had come up to the support of Wellington. Picton was dead. who was at Merle-Braine. the French had killed the English general. That point still held firm. and in front of it the slope.--Hamilton wounded. The Prince of Orange was in command of the centre. out of three lieutenant-colonels. The centre of the English army. It rested on that stout stone . Marsh was dead. who was at Braine-l'Alleud. and very compact. The battle had. Three thousand combatants had been massacred in that barn. two lay on the earth. He summoned thither Hill. having behind it the village. Two divisions. Hougomont still held out.

and Ompteda's Germans. An army could not retreat thither without dissolving. was so well done. embattled the shrubs. It was the remaining half of the justly celebrated English cavalry. Kielmansegg's Hanoverians. An enormous battery was masked by sacks of earth at the spot where there now stands what is called the "Museum of Waterloo. armed with carabines. he gave as reinforcements and aids. To his English. the infantry of Brunswick. was concealed in the tall wheat. thrust the throat of a cannon between two branches. and intersected by the ponds of Groenendael and Boitsfort.--though it is disputed by others. and which marks the intersection of the roads--a pile of the sixteenth century. had discovered nothing of it. Somerset remained. incontestably authorized by war. It was at the season when the grain is tall. made embrasures in the hawthorn-trees. This punic labor. behind a rise in the ground. that Haxo. then adjoining the field of battle. Wellington had. plus Clinton's division. who had been despatched by the Emperor at nine o'clock in the morning to reconnoitre the enemy's batteries.--would have been a disorganized flight. All about the plateau the English had cut the hedges here and there. to the guards of Maitland. on the edge of the plateau a battalion of Kempt's brigade. according to many a man versed in the art. The artillery would have been lost among the morasses. This placed twenty-six battalions under his hand. which permits traps. and one of Wincke's brigades taken from the left wing. to the brigades of Mitchell. There artillery was ambushed in the brushwood. the regiments would have broken up immediately there. The retreat. The right wing. was thrown back on the centre. . Nassau's contingent. fourteen hundred horse strong. Ponsonby destroyed. To this centre. The peril of this position lay in the forest of Soignes. to the regiments of Halkett. the centre of the Anglo-Dutch army was well posted. and so robust that the cannon-balls rebounded from it without injuring it. Wellington added one of Chasse's brigades taken from the right wing. Thus assured and buttressed. Somerset's Dragoon Guards. as Charras says.dwelling which at that time belonged to the domain of Nivelles. and had returned and reported to Napoleon that there were no obstacles except the two barricades which barred the road to Nivelles and to Genappe. the 95th." Besides this.

would have been almost a redoubt. This work was not finished. which an Englishman. and carried off." The day was evidently turning out ill. can retreat be thought of? Think of old England!" Towards four o'clock. was ranged behind a very low garden wall. Wellington drew back. uneasy but impassive. "The beginning of retreat!" cried Napoleon. of Salamanca: "Boys. pointing to a shell which had burst. "To hold this spot to the last man. of Vittoria. Suddenly nothing was visible on the crest of the plateau except the artillery and the sharpshooters. Wellington shouted to his old companions of Talavera. Lord Hill. which. the English front hid itself. the rest had disappeared: the regiments. and there remained the whole day in the same attitude. The bullets rained about him. if completed. His aide-de-camp. now intersected by the back road of the farm of Mont-Saint-Jean. cut down. backed up with a coating of bags of sand and a large slope of earth. To Clinton he said laconically. which is still in existence. purchased later on for two hundred francs. said to him: "My lord. an enthusiastic vandal. retreated into the bottom." replied Wellington.The battery. dislodged by the shells and the French bullets. . beneath an elm. Gordon. there had been no time to make a palisade for it. the English line drew back. what are your orders in case you are killed?" "To do like me. was on horseback. a little in advance of the old mill of MontSaint-Jean. a retrograde movement took place. Wellington was coldly heroic. Wellington. fell at his side.

Pompey was not destined to weep on that occasion. he thought at the moment that it was a retreat on the part of Wellington. to whom he had assigned a day on the field of Waterloo. The rain redoubled in violence. and remained for some time motionless. At half-past two. halting here and there to talk to the sentinels. near the wood of Hougomont. it had seemed to him that fate. in company with Bertrand. Bertrand. Our joys are composed of shadow. The greatest favorites of destiny make mistakes. They were no longer in accord. He took not a moment for sleep. satisfied at the sight of the long line of the English camp-fires illuminating the whole horizon from Frischemont to Braine-l'Alleud. "We are in accord. in storm and rain. that profound soul masked by marble beamed blindly. and cried. but it is certain that Caesar laughed. "That little Englishman needs a lesson.CHAPTER VII--NAPOLEON IN A GOOD HUMOR The Emperor. The man who had been gloomy at Austerlitz was gay at Waterloo. said the legionaries of the Fulminatrix Legion. when he pointed out to the Grand-Marshal the enthusiastic peasant of the Gulf Juan. had never been in a better humor than on that day. . the communes in the neighborhood of Rossomme. was exact to the appointment. and this fatalist was heard to cast into the darkness this mysterious saying. I will take prisoners the six thousand English who have just arrived at Ostend. the thunder rolled while the Emperor was speaking. gazing at the lightning and listening to the thunder. Pompeius flebit. he regained the animation which he had shown at his landing on the first of March. every instant of that night was marked by a joy for him. He traversed the line of the principal outposts. His impenetrability had been smiling ever since the morning. Ridet Caesar. "Well. He said: "It is the rear-guard of the English getting under way for the purpose of decamping." said Napoleon." He conversed expansively. he heard the tread of a column on the march. While exploring on horseback at one o'clock on the preceding night. The supreme smile is God's alone. he stopped his horse. On the 18th of June. here is a reinforcement already!" On the night of the 17th to the 18th of June he rallied Wellington." Napoleon was mistaken. though ill and discommoded on horseback by a local trouble.

seated himself. embedded in the soft roads. "Wellington will not be so simple as to wait for Your Majesty. with a truss of straw for a carpet." In the morning he dismounted in the mud on the slope which forms an angle with the Plancenoit road. had a kitchen table and a peasant's chair brought to him from the farm of Rossomme. This did not prevent Napoleon from exclaiming cheerfully to Ney.At half-past three o'clock in the morning. he lost one illusion. with a face of an archbishop. Nothing was stirring. During breakfast. which was on its way to take up a position in the village of Ohain. a peasant was brought in to him by the scouts. who said. at the extreme left. it was said that Wellington had been to a ball two nights before." says Gourgaud. It was he who called his grenadiers "his grumblers". he pinched their ears. this peasant had served as guide to a brigade of English cavalry." At eight o'clock the Emperor's breakfast was brought to him. the only noise was in the heavens. probably Vivian's brigade." says Fleury de Chaboulon. and that the English army was ready for battle." In consequence of the rains during the night. He invited many generals to it. The silence on earth was profound." That was his way. and Soult. had not been able to arrive by morning. "The ball takes place to-day. and spread out on the table the chart of the battle-field. however. the transports of provisions. saying to Soult as he did so. At five o'clock. which were more peculiar than witty. "I prefer to overthrow them rather than to drive them back." The Emperor jested with Ney. in Brussels. they were wet and fasting. two Belgian deserters reported to him that they had just quitted their regiment. "The Emperor did nothing but play pranks on us. "So much the better!" exclaimed Napoleon. not a bivouac-fire had been extinguished. "He abounded in pleasantries. "We have ninety chances out of a hundred. officers who had been despatched to reconnoitre announced to him that the enemy was not making any movement. "A pretty checker-board. "He was fond of jesting." says Benjamin Constant. the English army was asleep. said. a rough man of war. At four o'clock. the soldiers had had no sleep. During the mysterious trip from the island of Elba to . These gayeties of a giant are worthy of insistence. at the Duchess of Richmond's. he pulled their mustaches." is the remark of one of them. "A merry humor was at the foundation of his character.

"the figure of six V's. and answered for himself. Reille." A few moments after the formation of the battlearray. on the open sea. Le Zephyr. Napoleon indulged in many fits of this laughter during the breakfast at Waterloo. having encountered the brig L'Inconstant. had taken up its position and ranged itself in six lines." Sure of the issue." . which was situated at the intersection of the Nivelles and the Genappe roads. laughingly seized the speaking-trumpet. and of bayonets on the horizon. which he had appointed to barricade MontSaint-Jean as soon as the village should be carried. "Magnificent! Magnificent!" Between nine o'clock and half-past ten the whole army. to repeat the Emperor's expression. had deployed--the divisions in two lines. and said to him. the Emperor was touched. perceiving on his left. joyous. who still wore in his hat the white and amaranthine cockade sown with bees. then two generals seated themselves on the truss of straw. a sea of casques. and twice exclaimed. in the midst of that profound silence. at the instant when the French army. mighty. as they passed before him. the artillery between the brigades. the Emperor tapped Haxo on the shoulder. which precedes engagements. incredible as it may appear." A man who laughs like that is on familiar terms with events. with rolls on the drums and the blasts of trumpets. detached by his orders from the corps of Erlon. of sabres. "The Emperor is well.France. he said. At nine o'clock. as he beheld the three batteries of twelve-pounders. and the Emperor dictated to them the order of battle. which he had adopted at the isle of Elba. forming. he encouraged with a smile. the French brig of war. on the 27th of February. the Emperor. and destined to begin the action by taking Mont-Saint-Jean. like that which heralds the beginning of a storm. massing themselves. as they beat the march. with their superb horses. and Lobau. the music at their head. "It is a pity. at a spot where there now stands a large tomb. those admirable Scotch Grays. ranged in echelons and set in motion in five columns. After breakfast he meditated for a quarter of an hour. the company of sappers of the first corps. vast. General. and having asked the news of Napoleon from L'Inconstant. All this serenity had been traversed by but a single word of haughty pity. pen in hand and their paper on their knees. "There are four and twenty handsome maids. on which Napoleon was concealed.

a shell of sixty pounds. and selected for his post of observation a contracted elevation of turf to the right of the road from Genappe to Brussels. The third station. rises to-day. Scabra rubigine. Wellington. A few years ago." He who writes these lines has himself found. advanced beyond Rossomme. still charged. old sword-blades. it is shameful! You'll get yourself killed with a ball in the back. its real relief has been taken away. it is a rather elevated knoll. between La Belle-Alliance and La Haie-Sainte. in the friable soil of this knoll. and old fragments of iron which parted like elder-twigs between the fingers. is on the left. by the oxidization of six and forty years. 1815. Every one is aware that the variously inclined undulations of the plains. a hostile and terrified peasant. on turning over the sand. he had over his head the shriek of the bullets and of the heavy artillery. is on the right. were picked up at the spot where his horse' feet stood. when he beheld Waterloo once more. disintegrated. Lacoste. the other. There is no French tomb. It was at this last post that the Emperor said to his guide. the one adopted at seven o'clock in the evening. no longer finds her bearings there. and who turned round at every discharge of canister and tried to hide behind Napoleon: "Fool. and with its fuse broken off level with the bomb. exclaimed. It has been disfigured for the sake of glorifying it. the English tomb. and shapeless projectiles. The elevation of this escarpment can still be measured by the height of the two knolls of the two great sepulchres which enclose the road from Genappe to Brussels: one. are no longer what they were on June 18. eaten up with rust. but which was almost an escarpment on the side of the highway to Genappe. and behind which the guard was massed on a slope of the plain. By taking from this mournful field the wherewithal to make a monument to it. two years later. who was attached to the saddle of a hussar. which was his second station during the battle. "They have altered my field of battle!" Where the great pyramid of earth. surmounted by the lion. Around this knoll the balls rebounded from the pavements of the road. which still exists. disconcerted. and history. there was a hillock which descended in an easy slope towards the Nivelles road. the remains of the neck of a bomb. The . up to Napoleon himself. the German tomb. is formidable. was unearthed. As at Brienne.Then he mounted his horse. Mouldy cannon-balls. where the engagement between Napoleon and Wellington took place.

February. the rains had still farther increased this acclivity. as is stated on another stone cross. but stuck fast in the mire. it was abrupt and difficult of approach. being too steep. as is proved by a stone cross which stands near the cemetery. These villages. crumbled away here and there. and still is. . under driving rains. was crushed there. Its two slopes have been appropriated for the monumental hillock. situated in the bottom of the valley. a trench throughout the greater portion of its course. Braine-l'Alleud is a Belgian village. Thanks to the thousands upon thousands of cartloads of earth employed in the hillock one hundred and fifty feet in height and half a mile in circumference. Along the crest of the plateau ran a sort of trench whose presence it was impossible for the distant observer to divine. the plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean is now accessible by an easy slope. Accidents happened here.whole of that plain is a sepulchre for France. and which gives the name of the dead. in 1783. particularly in winter. Mathieu Nicaise. it is now on a level with the plain. In 1815. which traverses the plain along its undulating level. and the date of the accident. but whose overturned pedestal is still visible on the grassy slope to the left of the highway between La HaieSainte and the farm of Mont-Saint-Jean. the mud complicated the problem of the ascent. The road was so narrow at the Braine-l'Alleud entrance that a passer-by was crushed by a cart. are connected by a road about a league and a half in length. and the men not only slipped back. by a slide from the slope. 1637. 1815. What was this trench? Let us explain. Merchant of Brussels. a hollow trench. this road cut the crest of the plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean between the two highways from Genappe and Nivelles. as at the present day. sometimes a dozen feet in depth. it was then a hollow way. and whose banks. the top of which has disappeared in the process of clearing the ground. which makes a ravine of this road in some places. This road was. both of them concealed in curves of the landscape. particularly on the side of La HaieSainte. Ohain is another. Monsieur Bernard Debrye. On the 18th of June. and often enters and buries itself in the hills like a furrow. which was the centre of the combat.8 It was so deep on the table-land of Mont-SaintJean that a peasant. The slope there is so steep that the English cannon could not see the farm. only. On the day of battle.

a trench at the summit of the escarpment. . terrible.On the day of battle. this hollow road whose existence was in no way indicated. that is to say. was invisible. a rut concealed in the soil. bordering the crest of Mont-Saint-Jean.

Marcognet's division caught between the infantry and the cavalry. the flag of the 105th taken. on the morning of Waterloo. arranged in ranks twenty-seven deep and with a frontage of two hundred. the side-battery suddenly unmasked on their flank. the flag of the 45th captured. the plan of battle conceived by him was. the frightful holes made in these masses by the cannon-balls. the killing of Bauduin. Bourgeois. the uselessness of Pire's demonstration on Braine-l'Alleud. put to the sword by Ponsonby. that black Prussian hussar stopped by runners of the flying column of three hundred light cavalry on the scout between Wavre and Plancenoit. Quiot repulsed. the small effect of the bombs falling in the English lines. in spite of the Comte d'Erlon. as we have seen. fifteen squadrons. He was right. . the Prince of Saxe-Weimar holding and guarding. so that the canister was turned into a splash.CHAPTER VIII--THE EMPEROR PUTS A QUESTION TO THE GUIDE LACOSTE So. the miring of the batteries. Ney's strange mistake in massing. attacking columns disorganized. its very various changes. that Hercules graduated at the Polytechnic School. men delivered over to grape-shot. the alarming things that had been said by prisoners. Donzelot. and there embedding themselves in the rain-soaked soil. and only succeeding in producing volcanoes of mud. Napoleon was content. really admirable. the tenacity of La HaieSainte. the disabling of Foy. wounded at the moment when he was beating in with an axe the door of La Haie-Sainte under the downright fire of the English barricade which barred the angle of the road from Genappe to Brussels. Guilleminot's fatal heedlessness when he had neither petard nor powder sacks. the left wing badly cut into. the fifteen unescorted pieces overwhelmed in a hollow way by Uxbridge. his battery of seven pieces spiked. and Durutte compromised. instead of echelonning the four divisions of the first corps.--the resistance of Hougomont. The battle once begun. Lieutenant Vieux. all that cavalry. both Frischemont and Smohain. almost exterminated. the unexpected wall against which Soye's brigade was shattered. the right wing of the English badly alarmed. shot down at the very muzzle of the guns amid the grain by Best and Pack.

he examined the slopes. the path. had hardly troubled his gaze and had not overshadowed that face of imperial certainty.Grouchy's delay. At the moment when Wellington retreated. Napoleon shuddered. He pondered. His guard. swept his glass for the last time over all the points of the field of battle. and Fontainebleau behind one. he was not alarmed if the beginnings did go astray. Wellington. meditating on this terrible turn of fortune. Napoleon thought himself protected in good and tolerated in evil. Thou wilt not dare.--two large . and he treated destiny as his equal: he seemed to say to fate. he knew how to wait. eighteen hundred men overthrown in a still shorter time about La Haie-Sainte. watched him from below with a sort of religion. standing behind him with grounded arms. noted the declivities. Nevertheless. fifteen hundred men killed in the orchard of Hougomont in less than an hour. ciphers mattered little to him. the square of rye. victory. it was Crecy. when one has Beresina. but hiding itself. it seems as though one might distrust Waterloo. The man of Marengo was wiping out Agincourt. Leipzig. supposing himself to be out of the question. scrutinized the clumps of trees. provided that they furnished the total. The Emperor half rose in his stirrups. So the Emperor. A mysterious frown becomes perceptible in the depths of the heavens. The lightning of victory flashed from his eyes. one might almost say a complicity. He suddenly beheld the table-land of MontSaint-Jean cleared. he seemed to be counting each bush. Napoleon was accustomed to gaze steadily at war. he never added up the heartrending details. and the van of the English army disappear. It was rallying. Composed half of light and half of shadow. a connivance.--all these stormy incidents passing like the clouds of battle before Napoleon. Malplaquet. which was equivalent to the invulnerability of antiquity. He had. since he thought himself the master and the possessor at the end. or thought that he had. of events in his favor. driven into a corner at the forest of Soignes and destroyed--that was the definitive conquest of England by France. and Ramillies avenged. cipher by cipher. Poitiers. He gazed with some intentness at the English barricades of the two highways.

The guide made a negative sign with his head.abatis of trees. . Near this barricade he observed the old chapel of Saint Nicholas. All that remained to do was to complete this retreat by crushing him. which was probably perfidious. painted white. Napoleon was one of those geniuses from whom thunder darts. Napoleon turning round abruptly. He had just found his clap of thunder. and that on the road to Nivelles where gleamed the Dutch bayonets of Chasse's brigade. despatched an express at full speed to Paris to announce that the battle was won. he bent down and spoke in a low voice to the guide Lacoste. which stands at the angle of the cross-road near Brainel'Alleud. that on the road to Genappe above La Haie-Sainte. the only ones out of all the English artillery which commanded the extremity of the field of battle. Wellington had drawn back. armed with two cannon. He gave orders to Milhaud's cuirassiers to carry the table-land of Mont-Saint-Jean. The Emperor straightened himself up and fell to thinking.

standards and trumpets flung to the breeze. and they had behind them to support them Lefebvre-Desnouettes's division. reappeared on the other side of the valley. All their cavalry. and the lancers of the guard of eight hundred and eighty lances. They wore casques without horse-tails. Being two divisions. and cuirasses of beaten iron. Then a formidable spectacle was seen. Delort's division was . formed in columns by divisions. and taken up their position for battle in that powerful second line. with braying of trumpets and all the music playing "Let us watch o'er the Safety of the Empire.CHAPTER IX--THE UNEXPECTED There were three thousand five hundred of them. in the intervals between the musketry and the artillery." they had come in a solid column. still compact and in close ranks. through a storm of grape-shot which burst upon them. Ney drew his sword and placed himself at their head. by a simultaneous movement and like one man. the hill of La Belle Alliance. mounting at a full trot. then emerging from that shadow. There were six and twenty squadrons of them. They ascended. so to speak. when. the terrible muddy slope of the table-land of MontSaint-Jean. so cleverly arranged by Napoleon. and long sabre-swords. imperturbable. Wathier's division held the right. the light cavalry of the Guard. grave. with upraised swords. The enormous squadrons were set in motion. and deployed in two ranks between the roads to Genappe and Frischemont. their colossal trampling was audible. plunged into the terrible depths in which so many men had already fallen. eleven hundred and ninety-seven men.--the one hundred and six picked gendarmes. which. with one of their batteries on their flank. with the precision of a brazen battering-ram which is effecting a breach. there were two columns of them. They formed a front a quarter of a league in extent. disappeared there in the smoke. with horse-pistols in their holsters. descended. They were giant men. at nine o'clock. had. having on its extreme left Kellermann's cuirassiers and on its extreme right Milhaud's cuirassiers. two wings of iron. That morning the whole army had admired them. on colossal horses. Aide-de-camp Bernard carried them the Emperor's orders. another in their centre. threatening.

trumpets. It traversed the battle like a prodigy. All at once. On arriving at the culminating point of the crest. with seven in the first line. They did not see the cuirassiers. invulnerable. ungovernable. There ensued a most terrible silence. Something parallel to this vision appeared. six in the second. shouting. motionless. on the English left. those Titans with human heads and equestrian chests who scaled Olympus at a gallop. then. over all. brandishing sabres. the head of the column of cuirassiers reared up with a frightful clamor. in the shadow of the masked battery. They heard the swelling noise of three thousand horse. taking aim at that which was on the point of appearing. and it was like the appearance of an earthquake. and standards.--twenty-six battalions rode to meet twenty-six battalions. a stormy heaving of the cruppers of horses amid the cannons and the flourish of trumpets. horrible. mute. the old hippanthropes. A confusion of helmets. the cuirasses like the scales on the hydra. two battalions to the square. sublime--gods and beasts. They could be seen through a vast cloud of smoke which was rent here and there. but Ney was again present. on our right. Murat was lacking here. "Vive l'Empèreur!" All this cavalry debouched on the plateau.on the left. the English infantry. It seemed as though that mass had become a monster and had but one soul. It seemed as though two immense adders of steel were to be seen crawling towards the crest of the table-land. of sabres. a tragic incident. and the cuirassiers did not see them. no doubt. and three thousand heads with gray mustaches. Odd numerical coincidence. waited. a long file of uplifted arms. appeared above the crest. all at once. Behind the crest of the plateau. a terrible and disciplined tumult. in the ancient Orphic epics. the alternate and symmetrical tramp of their hoofs at full trot. which told of the centaurs. formed into thirteen squares. Each column undulated and swelled like the ring of a polyp. in two lines. the clang of the sabres and a sort of grand and savage breathing. utterly given over to fury and their course of extermination of . and casques. Nothing like it had been seen since the taking of the great redoubt of the Muskowa by the heavy cavalry. These narrations seemed to belong to another age. the jingling of the cuirasses. the stocks of their guns to their shoulders. of cries. They listened to the rise of this flood of men. calm.

and the third pushed on the second. horses and riders rolled there pell-mell. the inexorable ravine could only yield when filled. the horses reared and fell backward. all four feet in the air. the second file pushed the first into it. This began the loss of the battle. had scrutinized the ground. directly under the horses' feet. grinding each other. the cuirassiers had just caught sight of a trench. but had not been able to see that hollow road. . Napoleon. and put on the alert by the little white chapel which marks its angle of junction with the Nivelles highway. to the guide Lacoste.--the whole column being no longer anything more than a projectile. A local tradition. We might almost affirm that Napoleon's catastrophe originated in that sign of a peasant's head.--a trench between them and the English. Let us note in passing that it was Dubois's sorely tried brigade which. two fathoms deep between its double slopes. yawning. It was a terrible moment. had captured the flag of the Lunenburg battalion. The guide had answered No. says that two thousand horses and fifteen hundred men were buried in the hollow road of Ohain. Other fatalities were destined to arise. The ravine was there. It was the hollow road of Ohain.--the force which had been acquired to crush the English crushed the French. forming but one mass of flesh in this gulf: when this trench was full of living men. slid down. which did not even form a wrinkle on the surface of the plateau. making a charge to one side. landed on their haunches. crushing and overwhelming the riders. Almost a third of Dubois's brigade fell into that abyss. an hour previously. before giving the order for this charge of Milhaud's cuirassiers. This figure probably comprises all the other corpses which were flung into this ravine the day after the combat.the squares and cannon. which evidently exaggerates matters. the rest marched over them and passed on. unexpected. nevertheless. and there being no means of retreat. Warned. he had probably put a question as to the possibility of an obstacle.

Bonaparte victor at Waterloo. there are mysterious groanings of the shades. Napoleon had been denounced in the infinite and his fall had been decided on. The ill will of events had declared itself long before. Probably the principles and the elements. The moment had arrived for the incorruptible and supreme equity to alter its plan.--this would be mortal to civilization were it to last. Because of God. world depend. in which there was no longer any room for Napoleon. These plethoras of all human vitality concentrated in a single head. over-filled cemeteries. had complained. to which the abyss lends an ear. Another series of facts was in preparation. Waterloo is not a battle. When the earth is suffering from too heavy a burden. The excessive weight of this man in human destiny disturbed the balance. that does not come within the law of the nineteenth century. Why? Because of Wellington? Because of Blucher? No. it is a change of front on the part of the Universe. It was time that this vast man should fall. on which the regular gravitations of the moral. . This individual alone counted for more than a universal group. mothers in tears. the world mounting to the brain of one man. Smoking blood.--these are formidable pleaders. as of the material.Was it possible that Napoleon should have won that battle? We answer No. He embarrassed God.

leaped over the bayonets and fell. as though he had a presentiment of an ambush.--such was the attack. The bayonets plunged into the bellies of these centaurs. when diminished in number. The disaster of the hollow road had decimated. the front of the square parted. swords in their teeth pistols in fist. . They belonged to that class of men who. with bridles loose. That cold infantry remained impassive. Files of men disappeared. Sixty cannons and the thirteen squares darted lightning point-blank on the cuirassiers. The cuirassiers had not had even the time for a halt. desperately assaulted. The English battalions. There are moments in battles in which the soul hardens the man until the soldier is changed into a statue. strode across the ranks. Then it was terrible. All the faces of the English squares were attacked at once. in the midst of these four living wells. The first rank knelt and received the cuirassiers on their bayonets. the cuirassiers made breaches in the squares. Their great horses reared. Wathier's column alone had suffered in the disaster. and closed again.CHAPTER X--THE PLATEAU OF MONT-SAINT-JEAN The battery was unmasked at the same moment with the ravine. The cannon-balls ploughed furrows in these cuirassiers. gigantic. ground to dust under the horses. increase in courage. The cuirassiers replied by crushing them. The intrepid General Delort made the military salute to the English battery. the second ranks shot them down. The whole of the flying artillery of the English had reentered the squares at a gallop. behind the second rank the cannoneers charged their guns. A frenzied whirl enveloped them. but not discouraged them. At full speed. did not stir. Delort's column. had arrived whole. permitted the passage of an eruption of grapeshot. and when all this flesh turns into granite. which Ney had deflected to the left. The cuirassiers hurled themselves on the English squares.

Inexhaustible in the matter of grape-shot. closed up their ranks without flinching. Somerset had Dornberg with the German light-horse. he would have won the battle. In addition to this. The cuirassiers. being in the air. they were craters. These Scotchmen died thinking of Ben Lothian. the cuirassiers attacked on the flank and in front. These squares were no longer battalions. Trip with the Belgian carabineers. in profound inattention. Their valor was something indescribable. Somerset meant fourteen hundred dragoons of the guard. was almost annihilated at the very first shock. filled with the reflections of the forests and the lakes. before and in the rear. had to face all sides. wasted by this mad cavalry. and thought of his cavalry. On the right. The form of this combat was monstrous. It was necessary that it should be so. with his pibroch under his arm. All at once. Each square was a volcano attacked by a cloud. they were a tempest. lava contended with lightning. they created explosions in their assailants' midst. put an end to the song by killing the singer. The sword of a cuirassier. some Hanoverian battalions yielded. the most exposed of all. What mattered it to them? They were a whirlwind. while men were being exterminated around him. behind them Somerset. The English cavalry was at their back. found themselves assailed. The bagpipe-player in the centre dropped his melancholy eyes. relatively few in number. Wellington perceived it. played the Highland airs. which hewed down the bagpipes and the arm which bore it. those cuirassiers were no longer cavalry. had almost the whole English army against them. they had behind them the battery. Before them two squares. Nevertheless. by infantry and cavalry. and seated on a drum. The square on the extreme right. but they multiplied themselves so that each man of them was equal to ten.hence a hideousness of wounds which has probably never been seen anywhere else. as did the Greeks recalling Argos. and on his left. The squares. who had been the assailants. or they could never have been wounded . the cuirassiers. This forgetfulness was his great and fatal mistake. Had Napoleon at that same moment thought of his infantry. which was still thundering. and still further diminished by the catastrophe of the ravine. lt was formed of the 75th regiment of Highlanders.

Wellington. The cuirassiers quitted the cavalry to return to the infantry. In an instant the fourteen hundred dragoon guards numbered only eight hundred. Which of the two will be the first to fall? The conflict on the plateau continued. at the very point where the four roads . a fury. There were a dozen assaults. The squares still held firm. who had seen Talavera and Badajoz. and captured from the English regiments six flags. One of their cuirasses. The plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean was captured. He said in an undertone. took or spiked sixty pieces of ordnance.9 is in the collection of the Waterloo Museum. or. recaptured. is expending all his blood. each of whom. that on the day after the battle. the whole of that formidable rout collared each other without releasing the other. This strange battle was like a duel between two raging. wounded men. For such Frenchmen nothing less than such Englishmen was needed. to put it more exactly. a dizzy transport of souls and courage.in the back. captured again. admired heroically. pierced on the shoulder by a ball from a biscayan. Ney had four horses killed under him. which three cuirassiers and three chasseurs of the Guard bore to the Emperor. a cuirassier and his horse were found dead among the woodwork of the scales for vehicles at Mont-Saint-Jean. Half the cuirassiers remained on the plateau. One thing is certain. This extraordinary cavalry petrified Clinton. Fuller. Wellington's situation had grown worse. in front of the farm of La Belle Alliance. their lieutenantcolonel. Ney rushed up with the lancers and Lefebvre-Desnouettes's light-horse. "Sublime!" The cuirassiers annihilated seven squares out of thirteen. it was a shadow. a hurricane of lightning swords. threequarters vanquished. still fighting and still resisting. The English army was profoundly shaken. fell dead. What had become of the cuirassiers? No one could have told. It was no longer a hand-tohand conflict. This conflict lasted two hours. There is no doubt that. had they not been enfeebled in their first shock by the disaster of the hollow road the cuirassiers would have overwhelmed the centre and decided the victory.

Ney demanded infantry from Napoleon. and England had the worse of it in that bloody scale. The furious onsets of those great squadrons with cuirasses of iron and breasts of steel had ground the infantry to nothing. Dnop. the English army was in the worse case of the two. was almost destroyed. hardly anything was left of those Dutch grenadiers. intermingled with Spaniards in our ranks in 1811. Delancey killed. on the French side. demanded reinforcements. The crisis was at hand. and in fact it remained. Alten's division. and Brussels meet and intersect each other. The second regiment . since the centre was not broken through. Ney had only the crest and the slope. in 1815. a singular coincidence which paints the exhaustion of the two armies. Genappe. But the weakening of the English seemed irremediable." replied Wellington. with the English. Wellington held the village and the culminating plain. Van Meeren killed. who had his leg buried on the following day. Ompteda killed. The bleeding of that army was horrible. Delort. "he must let himself be killed!" Almost at that same moment. Kempt. Wellington felt that he was yielding. One of the men who picked up the body still lives at Mont-Saint-Jean. no one held it. The loss in officers was considerable. l'Heritier. "There are none. to a great extent. As every one was in possession of the plateau. Barne wounded. fought against Napoleon. The cuirassiers had not succeeded. and Blancard were disabled. rallied to the English standard. "Infantry! Where does he expect me to get it? Does he think I can make it?" Nevertheless. on the left wing. Lord Uxbridge. the intrepid Belgians of Van Kluze's brigade strewed the rye-fields all along the Nivelles road. and Napoleon exclaimed. A few men clustered round a flag marked the post of a regiment. He was eighteen years old at that time. La Hulpe. Colbert. His name is Dehaze. in that tussle of the cuirassiers. had his knee shattered. who. They seemed rooted in that fatal soil on both sides. on the side of the English there was Alten wounded. This horseman had pierced the English lines. fought against Wellington. Travers. already so roughly handled at La Haie-Sainte.from Nivelles. such and such a battalion was commanded only by a captain or a lieutenant. the whole of Wellington's staff decimated. If. and who.

according to the testimony of eye-witnesses who are still alive. ammunition-wagons. who were present at the battle in the English staff. which flanked the left wing. rushed headlong thither. who was destined to be tried later on and cashiered. The Dutch. With the exception of the feeble reserve echelonned behind the ambulance established at the farm of Mont-Saint-Jean. and had fled to the forest of Soignes.of foot-guards had lost five lieutenant-colonels. thought the Duke lost. cried. but his lips blanched. the Austrian commissioner. on perceiving that the French were gaining ground and approaching the forest. The Iron Duke remained calm. and Louis XVIII. sowing defeat all the way to Brussels. the first battalion of the 30th infantry had lost 24 officers and 1. This panic was such that it attacked the Prince de Conde at Mechlin. mowed down by the French cavalry. 18 officers killed. four captains. These facts are attested by Siborne. goes so far as to say that the Anglo-Dutch army was reduced to thirtyfour thousand men. for a distance of nearly two leagues in the direction of Brussels. At five o'clock Wellington drew out his watch. a whole regiment. and he was heard to murmur these sinister words. Vincent. the roads were encumbered with fugitives. exaggerating the disaster. Wellington had no cavalry left. 450 soldiers killed. "Blucher. and three ensigns.200 soldiers. at Ghent. Alava. The Hanoverian hussars of Cumberland. . the baggage-wagons. the wagons filled with wounded. the 79th Highlanders had lost 24 officers wounded. A number of batteries lay unhorsed. The transports. the Spanish commissioner. had turned bridle in the presence of the fray. and of Vivian's and Vandeleur's brigades. Here comes the change of face in this giant drama. and Pringle. "Alarm!" From Vert-Coucou to Groentendael. with Colonel Hacke at its head. or night!" It was at about that moment that a distant line of bayonets gleamed on the heights in the direction of Frischemont.

Now the Prussian general. and Blucher would not have found Wellington on his feet. have been different. it was Saint Helena that was seen. the Prussian army would have come out upon a ravine impassable for artillery. the throne of the world was expected. he had been obliged to pass the Dyle on the narrow bridge of Wavre. "The battle was lost. Death instead of life. A GOOD GUIDE TO BULOW The painful surprise of Napoleon is well known. Had the action been begun two hours earlier. Blucher's lieutenant. and had been obliged to wait until the conflagration was extinguished. The ruts were up to the hubs of the cannons. so the caissons and ammunition-wagons could not pass between two rows of burning houses. on the extreme horizon. and had set out at daybreak. which seems to me to be troops. and Blucher would have fallen on the battle won by Napoleon. something which had attracted his attention. Napoleon would have won the battle of Waterloo. By any other route than that below Plancenoit. Grouchy hoped for. moreover. as early as mid-day. The Emperor had been the first. He had said. and his divisions stuck fast in the mire.CHAPTER XI--A BAD GUIDE TO NAPOLEON. the form of the nineteenth century might. and Bulow would not have arrived. had advised him to debouch from the forest above Frischemont." It was time that Bulow should arrive. He had bivouacked at Dion-le-Mont. "I see yonder a cloud. as will be seen. declares that one hour's delay. been very much delayed. but the roads were impassable. Moreover. Muffling. Blucher arriving. He had. perhaps. It was mid-day before Bulow's vanguard had been able to reach Chapelle-Saint-Lambert. Such are these immense risks proportioned to an infinite which we cannot comprehend. it would have been over at four o'clock. "Soult. . If the little shepherd who served as guide to Bulow. to descry with his field-glass. instead of below Plancenoit. Fate has these turns. the street leading to the bridge had been fired by the French." Then he asked the Duc de Dalmatie.

Hiller. answered. that the cloud did not move. the cavalry of Prince William of Prussia debouched from the forest of Paris. . and he had received orders to concentrate his forces before entering into line. He was obliged to wait for the body of the army corps. and Ryssel deployed before Lobau's corps. The Emperor detached Domon's division of light cavalry to reconnoitre in that quarter. levelling his glass. perceiving Wellington's peril. and could accomplish nothing. Blucher ordered Bulow to attack. Bulow had not moved. "Four or five thousand men." A little later. and the Prussian cannon-balls began to rain even upon the ranks of the guard in reserve behind Napoleon." But it remained motionless in the mist. but at five o'clock. All the glasses of the staff had studied "the cloud" pointed out by the Emperor. Plancenoit was in flames. His vanguard was very feeble. in fact. Sire. Some said: "It is trees. Hacke. and uttered these remarkable words: "We must give air to the English army. evidently Grouchy." The truth is.what do you see in the direction of Chapelle-SaintLambert?" The marshal. the divisions of Losthin.

with their large plaques bearing the eagle appeared. at that very moment. Durutte dislodged from Papelotte. Roguet. eighty-six mouths of fire thundering simultaneously. sprang up. tranquil. believing themselves to be vanquished. Friant. a fresh battle precipitating itself on our dismantled regiments at nightfall. retreated. all hurled themselves forwards. with wings outspread. Zieten's cavalry led by Blucher in person. athwart the elms on the Nivelles road.CHAPTER XII--THE GUARD Every one knows the rest. Mallet. and allowed the grand and sinister glow of the setting sun to pass through. the whole English line resuming the offensive and thrust forward. "Vive l'Empèreur!" History records nothing more touching than that agony bursting forth in acclamations. the English grape-shot and the Prussian grape-shot aiding each other. All of a sudden. Each battalion of the Guard was commanded by a general for this final catastrophe. the extermination. the Guard entering the line in the midst of this terrible crumbling of all things. in the midst of that combat. in line. Pirch the first coming up with Bulow. Poret de Morvan. they thought they beheld twenty victories entering the field of battle. The sky had been overcast all day long. disaster on the flank. Conscious that they were about to die. They had seen it rise at Austerlitz. Lobau caught on the flank. disaster in front. "Up. the French driven back. lying flat behind the hedges. and the final carnage began. Michel. symmetrical. When the tall caps of the grenadiers of the Guard. Marcognet swept from the plateau of Ohain. Donzelot and Quiot retreating. they shouted. and aim straight!" The red regiment of English guards.--the irruption of a third army. were there. In the darkness. and in the vast shock of the rout it heard the desperate flight which had taken the place of the "Vive . the enemy felt a respect for France.--it was eight o'clock in the evening--the clouds on the horizon parted. a cloud of grape-shot riddled the tricolored flag and whistled round our eagles. and those who were the conquerors. the gigantic breach made in the French army. the battle broken to pieces. Guards. the Imperial Guard felt the army losing ground around it. Harlet. but Wellington shouted.

he did not die. a broken sword in his hand. There were none who hesitated. his eyes aflame. foaming at the mouth. At Drouet d'Erlon he hurled this question. thou wert reserved for French bullets! . The soldier in that troop was as much of a hero as the general. offered himself to all blows in that tempest. "Come and see how a Marshal of France dies on the field of battle!" But in vain. bewildered. He was haggard and angry. more crushed.l'Empèreur!" and. Perspiring. his plaque with the great eagle dented by a bullet. Ney. losing more men at every step that it took. He had his fifth horse killed under him there. bemired. no timid men in its ranks. he shouted: "So there is nothing for me! Oh! I should like to have all these English bullets enter my bowels!" Unhappy man. he said. it continued to advance. great with all the grandeur of accepted death. Not a man was missing in that suicide. "Are you not going to get yourself killed?" In the midst of all that artillery engaged in crushing a handful of men. bleeding. magnificent. with uniform unbuttoned. one of his epaulets half cut off by a sword-stroke from a horseguard. with flight behind it.

the hills. is precipitated. All the mouths which in the morning had shouted. they hardly recognize him. others walk over the dead and the living. and without hat. who led the Emperor's squadrons to the charge. stopping both English and French. Morand before Pirch. Napoleon gallops past the line of fugitives. in vain does he expend in a last effort his last serviceable squadrons. Horses lash out. the plains. shouting. and Rylandt. Best. or sword. Arms are lost. transports overturned. Ney borrows a horse. Papelotte. He strives to detain the army. cravat. squadrons and battalions break and disperse against each other. Guyot. The army yielded suddenly on all sides at once.CHAPTER XIII--THE CATASTROPHE The rout behind the Guard was melancholy. threatens. he recalls it to its duty. Pack. hews. he clings to the rout. clog the road and occasion massacres. Domon and Subervic before Prince William of Prussia. like the tremendous foam of battle. The Prussian cavalry. floats. the valleys. are drawn into the tide. exterminates. Men are crushed. The cry "Treachery!" was followed by a cry of "Save yourselves who can!" An army which is disbanding is like a thaw. Lobau before Bulow. The disintegration is unprecedented. cracks. rolls. places himself across the Brussels road. the worst of hand-to-hand conflicts is the defeat. the woods. encumbered by this invasion of forty thousand men. slashes. Lobau at one extremity. Plancenoit. Shouts despair. leaps upon it. harangues. He is overwhelmed. Kellermann before Vandeleur. flies. falls beneath the feet of the English dragoons. urges. A dizzy multitude fills the roads. with all four wheels in the air. he insults it. knapsacks and guns flung among the . In vain does Napoleon erect walls from what is left to him of his Guard. splits. falls. the paths. friends kill each other in order to escape. "Long live Marshal Ney!" Two of Durutte's regiments go and come in affright as though tossed back and forth between the swords of the Uhlans and the fusillade of the brigades of Kempt. the bridges. jostles. "Long live the Emperor!" remain gaping. entreats them. All yields. kills.-Hougomont. the cannons flee. the soldiers of the artillery-train unharness the caissons and use the horses to make their escape. newly arrived. and Reille at the other. dashes forwards. Quiot retreats before Vivian. The soldiers fly from him. trampled down. La Haie-Sainte. hastens.

hemmed in at the doorway of an inn at Genappe.rye. traversed Thuin. That volley of grape-shot can be seen to-day imprinted on the ancient gable of a brick building on the right of the road at a few minutes' distance before you enter Genappe. to draw up in line. Those who had conquered Europe have fallen prone on the earth. and only halted at the frontier. traversed Frasnes. who took the sword and slew the prisoner. Alas! and who. Some one. and Lobau was taken. Lions converted into goats. The force which is mightier than man produced that day. the general of the Young Guard. Let us inflict punishment. That day the perspective of the human race underwent a change. feeling the present shadow of a terrible presence. that they were not more entirely the conquerors. This ferocity put the finishing touch to the disaster. then. Zieten putting France to the sword at its leisure. At Genappe. was fleeing in that manner? The Grand Army. Blucher ordered extermination. traversed Charleroi. It is the day of destiny. The disappearance of the great man was necessary to the advent of the great century. The victory was completed by the assassination of the vanquished. Hence the terrified wrinkle of those brows. since we are history: old Blucher disgraced himself. no more officers. an effort was made to wheel about. but at the first volley of Prussian canister. all took to flight again. hence all those great souls surrendering their swords. this terror. The entrance to the village was barricaded. with nothing left to say nor to do. no more generals. Lobau rallied three hundred men. took the responsibility on himself. The pursuit was stupendous. The Prussians threw themselves into Genappe. Duhesme. a person to whom one replies not. Hoc erat in fatis.--is that causeless? No. This vertigo. The panic of heroes can be . to present a battle front. traversed Gosselies. Such was the flight. passages forced at the point of the sword. traversed Quatre-Bras. no doubt. surrendered his sword to a huzzar of death. an inexpressible terror. Roguet had set the lugubrious example of threatening with death any French grenadier who should bring him a Prussian prisoner. no more comrades. The desperate route traversed Genappe. furious. this downfall into ruin of the loftiest bravery which ever astounded history. Blucher outdid Roguet. The shadow of an enormous right is projected athwart Waterloo. Waterloo is the hinge of the nineteenth century.

In the battle of Waterloo there is something more than a cloud. there is something of the meteor. and with wild eye was returning alone to Waterloo. It was Napoleon. gloomy. . who. had just dismounted. Bernard and Bertrand seized by the skirt of his coat and detained a man. the immense somnambulist of this dream which had crumbled. in a meadow near Genappe.explained. dragged to that point by the current of the rout. essaying once more to advance. At nightfall. sinister. had passed the bridle of his horse over his arm. God has passed by. pensive. haggard.

formed a circle round their . a sort of sacred terror. in the depths of the battle. advanced upon them and gazed at them. when the heap of corpses was larger than the group of survivors. like the eyes of tigers at night. Each regiment. Wagram. It was commanded by an obscure officer named Cambronne. towards nine o'clock in the evening. around those men dying so sublimely. They had taken up position for this final action. continually contracting its four walls. death also. Ulm. isolated from the rest. These combatants had around them something in the nature of a swarm of spectres.CHAPTER XIV--THE LAST SQUARE Several squares of the Guard. became silent. now shattered in every part. Night came. as rocks in running water. which the heroes saw constantly through the smoke. the colossal death's-head. this square fought on. In that fatal valley. allowed themselves to be enveloped therein. At each discharge. the white sky viewed through wheels and guncarriages. and having no bond with the army. listened in the darkness to that gloomy and ever-decreasing thunder. were no longer anything but clubs. There. they awaited that double shadow. Jena. It replied to the grape-shot with a fusillade. silhouettes of men on horseback. Friedland. under a frightful density of projectiles. when their guns. died with them. held their own until night. and. the square diminished and replied. when nothing was left of their flag but a rag. there reigned among the conquerors. died alone. This furnished a sort of respite. at the foot of that declivity which the cuirassiers had ascended. the bullets all gone. When this legion had been reduced to a handful. those gloomy squares endured their death-throes in formidable fashion. taking breath. The fugitives pausing breathless for a moment in the distance. under the converging fires of the victorious hostile cavalry. invincible. vanquished. one of them was left at the foot of the plateau of MontSaint-Jean. and the English artillery. some on the heights of Rossomme. the black profiles of cannon. At twilight. others on the plain of MontSaint-Jean. abandoned. now inundated by the masses of the English. motionless amid this stream of the defeat. terrible. the matches all lighted. Through the shades of twilight they could hear the pieces being loaded.

" {EDITOR'S COMMENTARY: Another edition of this book has the word "Merde!" in lieu of the ----. "-----. with emotion. an English general. Maitland according to others. Colville according to some. and then. shouted to them.above. all the lintstocks of the English batteries approached the cannons. brave Frenchmen!" Cambronne replied. holding the supreme moment suspended above these men.} .heads. "Surrender.

in despair at five. to act so as to stand upright though fallen.--Cambronne. to the sunken road of Ohain. The winner of the battle of Waterloo was not Napoleon. To thunder forth such a reply at the lightning-flash that kills you is to conquer! Thus to answer the Catastrophe. Now. to finish Leonidas with Rabellais. To make that reply and then perish. to Blucher's arrival. 'Tis like the breaking of a heart under a weight of scorn. and it was not this man's fault if he survived after he was shot. who took no part in the engagement. to make the lowest of words the most lofty by entwining with it the glory of France. what could be grander? For being willing to die is the same as to die. who was put to flight. to Grouchy's delay. nor Wellington. to hurl such a challenge to the midnight rainstorm. thus to speak to Fate. let us violate this injunction. nor Blucher. among those giants there was one Titan. to drown in two syllables the European coalition.CHAPTER XV--CAMBRONNE If any French reader object to having his susceptibilities offended. The winner of Waterloo was Cambronne. to offer kings privies which the Caesars once knew. then. to give this pedestal to the future lion. to lose the field and preserve history.--this is immense! It was an insult such as a thunder-cloud might hurl! It reaches the grandeur of AEschylus! Cambronne's reply produces the effect of a violent break. to the treacherous wall of Hougomont. to be Irony itself in the tomb. one would have to refrain from repeating in his presence what is perhaps the finest reply that a Frenchman ever made. insolently to end Waterloo with Mardigras. 'Tis the overflow of agony bursting forth. At our own risk and peril. to have the laugh on your side after such a carnage. Who . to set the crown on this victory by a word impossible to speak. This would enjoin us from consigning something sublime to History. giving way at four o'clock.

the English voice responded. a falsehood in a catastrophe. and only Cambronne remains. they have just crushed Napoleon. from all those brazen mouths belched a last terrible gush of grape-shot. rolled .--life! How could he restrain himself? Yonder are all the kings of Europe. and the froth is the word. It is heard. this desperate soldier stands erect. their cannon stand with yawning mouths. realizes that here is a falsehood. He will protest. This challenge of titanic scorn Cambronne hurls not only at Europe in the name of the Empire. vaguely white in the light of the rising moon. is to be the conqueror! The spirit of mighty days at that portentous moment made its descent on that unknown man.--that would be a trifle: he hurls it at the past in the name of the Revolution. "Fire!" The batteries flamed. and they shake. and one of them sings the song supreme. the hill trembled. In face of this mean and mighty victory. and so doubly agonizing. to invent such an expression. the general's flushed with victory. Borne down by numbers. by brute matter. and at the moment when his rage is bursting forth because of it. and back of the hundred thousand a million. This Cambronne. and the other utters the frightful cry. the match is lighted. An emanation from the divine whirlwind leaps forth and comes sweeping over these men.conquered? Wellington? No! Had it not been for Blucher. Then he seeks for the appropriate word as one seeks for a sword. they have a hundred thousand victorious soldiers. a vast volume of smoke. Danton seems to be speaking! Kleber seems to be bellowing! At that word from Cambronne.--to use that word. he finds in his soul an expression: "Excrement!" We repeat it. His mouth froths.--only this earthworm is left to protest. this man spending his last hour. and Cambronne is recognized as possessed by the ancient spirit of the Titans. they grind down under their heels the Imperial guards. he was lost. this unknown soldier. in face of this victory which counts none victorious." under the visitation of a breath from on high. to do thus. Blucher could not have finished. he is offered this mockery. the Jupiter's darting thunderbolts. by superior force. Cambronne invents the word for Waterloo as Rouget invents the "Marseillaise. this infinitesimal of war. but he establishes its triviality. and the grand army. He grants its overwhelming immensity. and he does more than spit upon it. Was it Blucher? No! If Wellington had not begun.

out. it was thus that the French legions. on the spot where nowadays Joseph. . amid the gloomy grain. expired on Mont-Saint-Jean. the Guard was dead. on the soil watered with rain and blood. passes whistling. That formidable remnant had been annihilated. The four walls of the living redoubt lay prone. who drives the post-wagon from Nivelles. here and there. and cheerfully whipping up his horse at four o'clock in the morning. and hardly was there discernible. greater than the Roman legions. even a quiver in the bodies. and when the smoke dispersed. there was no longer anything there.

others lisp. For Napoleon it was a panic. nor France is contained in a scabbard. Neither that illustrious England nor that august Germany enter into the problem of Waterloo. nations are great. the part played by men amounts to nothing. and in that aurora England and Germany have a magnificent radiance. thank God! their . independently of the lugubrious feats of the sword. If we take Waterloo from Wellington and Blucher. to the vast stupefaction of kings. especially in our day. Their honor. the commentaries involved. Neither England. Muffling cuts it up into three changes. It is as obscure to those who won it as to those who lost it. though we hold another judgment than his on some points. The bulletins are confused. All the other historians suffer from being somewhat dazzled. The elevation of level which they contribute to civilization is intrinsic with them. it proceeds from themselves and not from an accident. the defeat of war. Look at the reports. At this epoch when Waterloo is only a clashing of swords. drew all the kingdoms after it--the fall of force. do we thereby deprive England and Germany of anything? No. Wellington understands nothing in regard to it. England has Byron. Civilized people. Charras alone. Germany has Schiller.CHAPTER XVI--QUOT LIBRAS IN DUCE? The battle of Waterloo is an enigma. Their specific gravity in the human species results from something more than a combat. It is only barbarous peoples who undergo rapid growth after a victory. stamped with superhuman necessity. a crumbling of the military monarchy which. and in this dazzled state they fumble about. They are majestic because they think. nor Germany. seized with his haughty glance the characteristic outlines of that catastrophe of human genius in conflict with divine chance.10 Blucher sees nothing in it but fire. are neither elevated nor abased by the good or bad fortune of a captain. above Blucher. A vast dawn of ideas is the peculiarity of our century. Some stammer. in fact. In this event. above Wellington. Jomini divides the battle of Waterloo into four moments. It was a day of lightning brilliancy. Thank Heaven. That is the temporary vanity of torrents swelled by a storm. The aggrandizement which they have brought to the nineteenth century has not Waterloo as its source.

but disgraced. a more extraordinary comparison. and which strikes like the lightning. is the strangest encounter in history. Napoleon was waiting for Grouchy. On both sides some one was awaited. who is fond of antitheses. The drum holds its peace. can put in the lottery of battles. precision. their intelligence. therefore. forced to obey. and beaten him superbly. divination. foresight. Napoleon was its Michael Angelo. reason takes the word.dignity. military oddity. had encountered him in Italy. a prodigious art in disdainful impetuosity. the forest. Bonaparte. Let us. heroes and conquerors. they are opposites. an assured retreat. intuition. Waterloo. What is Waterloo? A victory? No. The quine 11 won by Europe. and to God that which is due to God. The old owl had fled before the young vulture. a flaming glance. executed according to rule. elevating but perturbing it. war regulated. Often a battle is lost and progress is conquered. strategy. It was the exact calculator who succeeded. They are not enemies. reserves spared. speak of Waterloo coldly from both sides. their genius. Wellington is classic war taking its revenge. It was not worth while to place a lion there. and in a manner. moreover. associated with destiny. which takes advantage of the ground. tactics. the despot going even so far as to tyrannize over the field of battle. The old tactics had been not only struck as by lightning. Never did God. the hill. he did not come. genius was vanquished by calculation. he came. Let us render to chance that which is due to chance. Wellington expected Blucher. watch in hand. There is less glory and more liberty. all the mysteries of a profound soul. an indescribable something which gazes like an eagle. an imperturbable method. on the other. and on this occasion. It is a game in which he who loses wins. which preserve the equilibrium of battalions. at his dawning. are not numbers which those gamblers. Napoleon and Wellington. the stream. make a more striking contrast. prudence. The winning number in the lottery. the plain. summoned. nothing voluntarily left to chance. Who was that Corsican of six and twenty? What signified that . On one side. absolute regularity. faith in a star mingled with strategic science. with an obstinate coolness. the ancient classic courage. Wellington was the Bareme of war. paid by France. carnage. geometry. superhuman instinct.

1815. the superb thing about England there. that rancor had the last word. those battalions of Rylandt. those Highlanders playing the pibroch under the shower of grape-shot. hence. Destiny consented to this irony. again in front of him. who almost without taking breath. without cannon. it was her army. who. On the 18th of June. 1815. pulverized. Montebello. It was not her captain. that his army. and absurdly won victories in the impossible? Whence had issued that fulminating convict. and of the exchequer against genius. won by a captain of the second. the army which fought on the 18th of June. without provisions. almost without an army. the English resolution. That which must be admired in the battle of Waterloo. was herself. Wellington is nothing but a hero like many another. Mantua. those Horse Guards. with a mere handful of men against masses. those utterly raw recruits. to get Wurmser. hurled himself on Europe combined. upsetting Beaulieu on Alvinzi. those regiments of Maitland and of Mitchell. Wurmser on Beaulieu. Waterloo is a battle of the first order. and as it lost its footing. with everything against him. A triumph of the mediocres which is sweet to the majority. Napoleon found Wurmser. without shoes. oddly ungrateful. and beneath Lodi. the implacable rancor of the old Caesarism against the new. nothing in his favor. declares in a letter to Lord Bathurst. and with the same set of combatants in hand. that cavalry of Ponsonby and Somerset. Those Scotch Grays. was a "detestable army.splendid ignoramus. of the regular sword against the flaming sword. Montenotte. Wellington. one after the other." What does that sombre intermingling of bones buried beneath the furrows of Waterloo think of that? England has been too modest in the matter of Wellington. In his decline. it wrote: Waterloo. Melas on Wurmser. the English blood. that infantry of Pack and Kempt. is England. In fact. without ammunition. who hardly knew . Arcola. no offence to her. To make Wellington so great is to belittle England. it sufficed to blanch the hair of Wellington. Mack on Melas? Who was this novice in war with the effrontery of a luminary? The academical military school excommunicated him. the English firmness. the five armies of the emperor of Germany. the younger.

let us say it plainly. it was more of a massacre than of a battle at Waterloo. The iron soldier is worth as much as the Iron Duke. surpassed by none in power and glory. At the . A nocturnal rain. Grouchy deaf to the cannon. Wellington was tenacious. to the English people. It will be remembered. and the following proportion established: Loss of men: at Austerlitz. the feudal illusion. Bulow's guide enlightening him. the hollow road of Ohain. forty-four per cent. At Wagram. saved the army. it is to England that the trophy is due. the wall of Hougomont. it appears. could not be mentioned by Lord Paglan. it willingly subordinates itself and takes a lord for its head. Waterloo is the one which has the smallest front for such a number of combatants.--the whole of this cataclysm is wonderfully conducted. Napoleon three-quarters of a league. thirty per cent. She still cherishes. it allows itself to be disdained. it allows itself to be flogged. As for us. Napoleon's guide deceiving him. French. Austrians. And as a people. instead of the figure of a man. in an encounter of the nature of Waterloo. and we are not seeking to lessen it: but the least of his foot-soldiers and of his cavalry would have been as solid as he. fourteen per cent. Austrians. French. seventy-two thousand combatants on each side. Of all pitched battles. Wellington. But this great England will be angry at what we are saying here. all our glorification goes to the English soldier. Russians.--that is what was grand. The column of Waterloo would be more just. As a workman. fourteen. On the whole. as the English military hierarchy does not permit any hero below the grade of an officer to be mentioned in the reports. This people. as a soldier. is the marvellous cleverness of chance.how to handle a musket holding their own against Essling's and Rivoli's old troops. in that lay his merit. to the English army. She believes in heredity and hierarchy. That which we admire above all. If trophy there be. The following calculation has been made. it bore on high the statue of a people. thirteen per cent. after her own 1688 and our 1789. and not as a people. that at the battle of Inkermann a sergeant who had. half a league. if. From this denseness the carnage arose. regards itself as a nation.

French. Mont-Saint-Jean. a sort of visionary mist arises from it. one hundred and fortyfour thousand combatants. and if a traveller strolls there. thirty-one. the frightened dreamer beholds the flash of sabres. fourteen. Russians. the vague clamor of the battle phantom. . if he listens. Hougomont. forty-four. the hallucination of the catastrophe takes possession of him. all those terrible heights. that other skeleton is Wellington. To-day the field of Waterloo has the calm which belongs to the earth. Papelotte. and there is fury even in the clouds and in the shadows. moreover. the Allies. thirteen per cent. the impassive support of man.Moskowa. the battle-field resumes its reality. The frightful 18th of June lives again. that skeleton Napoleon. the death rattle in the depths of a tomb. thirty-seven per cent. appear confusedly crowned with whirlwinds of spectres engaged in exterminating each other. the tremendous interchange of thunders. Russians and Prussians. those lights are cuirassiers. Total for Waterloo. French. those shadows are grenadiers. the false monumental hillock disappears. forty-one per cent. sixty thousand dead. all this no longer exists. the flare of bombs. and the ravines are empurpled. if he dreams like Virgil in the fatal plains of Philippi. lines of infantry undulate over the plain. Frischemont. he hears. fifty-six per cent. if he watches. At Bautzen. as it were. and the trees quiver. the gleam of bayonets. Plancenoit. French. furious gallops traverse the horizon. the lion vanishes in air. At night. At Waterloo. and it resembles all plains. and yet it clashes together and combats still.

it is always cropping up afresh: before Waterloo. and it is already fulfilling it to-day. call it To-morrow. It is because revolution cannot be really conquered. It does not become disconcerted. If you wish to gain an idea of what revolution is. the Hohenzollerns. that the Empire having been despotic. to the great regret of the conquerors. It is Europe against France. To us. That such an eagle should emerge from such an egg is certainly unexpected.CHAPTER XVII--IS WATERLOO TO BE CONSIDERED GOOD? There exists a very respectable liberal school which does not hate Waterloo. who was only a soldier. Waterloo bears divine right on its crupper. in Louis XVIII. and that a constitutional order was the unwilling result of Waterloo. It makes use of the gouty man as well as of the conqueror. It employs Wellington to make of Foy. the Nassaus. Bonaparte places a postilion on the throne of Naples. and Vienna against Paris. in Bonaparte overthrowing the old thrones. Foy falls at Hougomont and rises again in the tribune. and that being providential and absolutely fatal. 1789. the Romanoffs. Waterloo is but the stupefied date of liberty. of the gouty man . and the good old tottering invalid of Father Elysee. the Hapsburgs with the Bourbons. at Saint-Ouen countersigns the declaration of the rights of man. was forced to be liberal. Tomorrow fulfils its work irresistibly. and if you wish to acquire an idea of the nature of progress. There is no such thing as a bad tool for that workman. and a sergeant on the throne of Sweden. of the conqueror without. an orator. It is true. after Waterloo. The solidarity of the Brunswicks. but adjusts to its divine work the man who has bestridden the Alps. Thus does progress proceed. Berlin. call it Progress. The final extinction of that vast people which had been in eruption for twenty-six years--such was the dream. it is Petersburg. the kingdom by the natural reaction of things. Waterloo is intentionally a counter-revolutionary victory. It always reaches its goal strangely. it is the monarchies clearing the decks in opposition to the indomitable French rioting. 1815. Louis XVIII. granting and conforming to the charter. it is the statu quo against the initiative. it is the 14th of July. attacked through the 20th of March. employing inequality to demonstrate equality. We do not belong to it. If one places one's self at the culminating point of view of the question.

" On arriving in Paris. hovered over France as over its prey.within. it returned to the stammer of a charter. it felt those ashes which scorched its feet. and incontestably. It was the counter-revolution which murmured that infamous word "dismemberment. by a corresponding phenomenon. that which triumphantly inscribed on that pedestal the date "June 18. it is said. The century that Waterloo was intended to arrest has pursued its march. that which. On the 18th of June. In short. that which triumphed at Waterloo. 1815". that which smiled in Wellington's rear. The slashers have finished. Napoleon was involuntarily revolutionary. and it changed its mind. That sinister victory was vanquished by liberty. that which encouraged Blucher. The counter-revolution was involuntarily liberal. it beheld the crater close at hand. from the heights of the plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean. that which brought him all the marshals' staffs of Europe. as he put the flying army to the sword. 1815. it was the turn of the thinkers. in the same manner as. . by cutting short the demolition of European thrones by the sword. the mounted Robespierre was hurled from his saddle. was the counter-revolution. Of intentional liberty there is none. Waterloo. Let us behold in Waterloo only that which is in Waterloo. including. the staff of a marshal of France. had no other effect than to cause the revolutionary work to be continued in another direction. that which joyously trundled the barrows full of bones to erect the knoll of the lion.

extricated itself from its predicament with the statue of the Duc d'Angoulême. This disappearance of night produces the effect of an eclipse. The flag on the dome of the Tuileries was white. Louis XVIII. It had diffused over the earth all the light which tyranny can give a sombre light. The Empire was bewept. Hartwell's pine table took its place in front of the fleur-de-lys-strewn throne of Louis XIV. and halted short. We will say more. The device non pluribus impar re-appeared on the stone rays representing a sun upon the front of the barracks on the Quai d'Orsay. it may be. there was now a red house. soon fell to panting. The exile reigned. The Corsican became the antithesis of the Bearnese. The circling dances of the 8th of July effaced the enthusiasms of the 20th of March. a terrible pauper's grave in 1793. Compared to the true daylight. all laden with badly borne victories. it is night. Austerlitz having become antiquated. since the bones of Louis XVI. the Empire had been glory in person. only the barbarism of 1815. and Marie Antoinette lay in that dust. Trestaillon was celebrated. Europe adopted the white cockade. One of the most undisputed forms of the health of society in the nineteenth century was established over France. thrown out of its element among these novelties. as in the days of the barbarians.CHAPTER XVIII--A RECRUDESCENCE OF DIVINE RIGHT End of the dictatorship. Again we behold the abyss. A whole European system crumbled away. an obscure light. Bouvines and Fontenoy were mentioned as though they had taken place on the preceding day. In the moat of Vincennes a sepulchral shaft sprang from the earth. Where there had been an Imperial Guard. If glory lies in the sword converted into a sceptre. The Arc du Carrousel. and over the continent. which must be called by its pet name of the counter-revolution. of Marengo and Arcola.--let us acknowledge the fact. was not long breathed. recalling the fact that the Duc . The cemetery of the Madeleine. a little ashamed. The Empire sank into a gloom which resembled that of the Roman world as it expired. The altar and the throne fraternized majestically. was covered with jasper and marble.--and bewept by heroic eyes. re-entered Paris.

fictions became constitutional. tranquilly bestowed his blessing on the fall as he had bestowed it on the elevation." said a passer-by to a veteran of Marengo and Waterloo. were varnished over with liberalism. and not that!" This 1815 was a sort of lugubrious April. On its brow it bore the star. Ancient unhealthy and poisonous realities were covered with new appearances. and the past. who had performed the coronation very near this death. and the master of Europe was put in a cage. "He dead!" cried the soldier. Singular fact! people were. prejudices. There was a Holy Alliance. The populace. made its entry. At Schoenbrunn there was a little shadow. In presence and in face of that antique Europe reconstructed. the fatal field of Waterloo had said in advance. which the Emperor had rallied. Something enormous remained long empty through Napoleon's disappearance." Imagination distrusted this man. Defeat had rendered the . because. The glowing eyes of all young generations were turned on it. and the kings resumed their thrones. Belle-Alliance. The future. Pope Pius VII. at one and the same time. It was the serpent's change of skin. "Go this way. The depths of Europe were full of darkness after Waterloo. Napoleon. superstitions and mental reservations. the ideal had received the strange name of ideology! It is a grave imprudence in a great man to turn the future into derision. aged four. "you don't know him. whom it was seditious to call the King of Rome. and the old regime became the new regime. even when overthrown. Under this reign of splendid matter. A lie wedded 1789. however. The kings placed themselves in this void. with Article 14 in the heart. the features of a new France were sketched out. And these things took place. the right divine was masked under a charter. Beautiful Alliance. and all the shadows and all the light of the earth changed place. sought him with its glance.. Where is he? What is he doing? "Napoleon is dead. in love with the future. Ancient Europe profited by it to undertake reforms. Liberty. that food for cannon which is so fond of the cannoneer.d'Enghien had perished in the very month when Napoleon was crowned. a shepherd said to a Prussian in the forest. on the afternoon of a certain summer's day. Man had been rendered both greater and smaller by Napoleon. Liberty.

all that cloud. The kings reigned. and Europe called this the Restoration. but ill at their ease. This is what Waterloo was. That is what explains and excuses Bonapartist liberalism.vanquished greater. with the rock of Saint Helena on the horizon. that war. While Napoleon was passing through the death struggle at Longwood. But what matters it to the Infinite? all that tempest. Those who had triumphed were alarmed. England had him guarded by Hudson Lowe." This terror was the result of the quantity of revolution which was contained in him. This phantom caused the old world to tremble. . then that peace? All that darkness did not trouble for a moment the light of that immense Eye before which a grub skipping from one blade of grass to another equals the eagle soaring from belfry to belfry on the towers of Notre Dame. and France had him watched by Montchenu. The Congress of Vienna made the treaties in 1815. Bonaparte fallen seemed more lofty than Napoleon erect. Alexander called him "my sleeplessness. and something of their peace was shed abroad over the world. His folded arms became a source of uneasiness to thrones. the sixty thousand men who had fallen on the field of Waterloo were quietly rotting.

We are not of the number of those who flatter war.CHAPTER XIX--THE BATTLE-FIELD AT NIGHT Let us return--it is a necessity in this book--to that fatal battle-field. bears off all the honor. and lay half a league from the scene of action. Waterloo took no part. furtive hand is that which is slipped into the pocket of victory? What pickpockets are they who ply their trade in the rear of glory? Some philosophers-Voltaire among the number--affirm that it is precisely those persons have made the glory. Its light favored Blucher's ferocious pursuit. and aided the massacre. it has also. La Belle-Alliance beheld the embrace of the two conquerors. Wellington went to the village of Waterloo to draw up his report to Lord Bathurst. and Waterloo. After the last cannon-shot had been fired. we acknowledge. The English occupied the encampment of the French. War has frightful beauties which we have not concealed. Mont-Saint-Jean was cannonaded. The dawn which follows a battle always rises on naked corpses. these names are hardly known. One of the most surprising is the prompt stripping of the bodies of the dead after the victory. which worked not in the battle. delivered up that disastrous mass to the eager Prussian cavalry. Hougomont was burned. there is no relief corps. The Prussians. let loose on the retreating rout. it is the usual sign of victory to sleep in the bed of the vanquished. those who are erect pillage those who are prone on the earth. If ever the sic vos non vobis was applicable. La Haie-Sainte was taken by assault. it certainly is to that village of Waterloo. It is the same men. On the 18th of June the moon was full. Papelotte was burned. betrayed the traces of the fugitives. Plancenoit was burned. some hideous features. the plain of Mont-Saint-Jean remained deserted. they say. The . when the occasion presents itself. pushed forward. Such tragic favors of the night do occur sometimes during catastrophes. They established their bivouac beyond Rossomme. Who does this? Who thus soils the triumph? What hideous. we tell the truth about it.

For our own part. The detestable maxim. Live on the enemy! produced this leprosy. Hoche and Marceau had no stragglers. Every army has a rear-guard. Bat-like creatures. that the Marquis of Fervacques. out of the question. Nevertheless.--we are not speaking of the present. Turenne was so good that he allowed the Palatinate to be delivered over to fire and blood. It was by one of these wretches. One thing is certain. who take no part in the fighting. that generally after conquerors follow thieves. The marauders in the train of an army were more or less in number. he gave orders that any one caught in the act should . One has assuredly the right. then spoke French and followed the English. The rascal sprang from this marauding. and stealing things which they sell again. armies on the march in days gone by. great in other directions. sometimes accompanied by their wives.hero of the day is the vampire of the night. was traitorously slain and robbed on the battle-field itself. Turenne was adored by his soldiers because he tolerated pillage. Wellington had few. There are reputations which are deceptive. and we do him the justice to mention it. on the night from the 18th to the 19th of June. especially the contemporary soldier. to strip a corpse a bit when one is the author of that corpse. after all. interloping sutlers. was responsible for those beings. which is." No army. it seems to us impossible that the same hand should pluck laurels and purloin the shoes from a dead man. and it is that which must be blamed. which a strict discipline alone could heal. deceived by his Picard jargon. all the sorts of vespertillos that that twilight called war engenders. half brigands and lackeys. pretended invalids. wearers of uniforms. soldiers' servants. they spoke Italian and followed the Germans.--dragged all this behind them. the dead were robbed. formidable limpers. in the course of the night which followed the victory of Cerisoles. no nation. evil permitted constitutes part of goodness. according as the chief was more or less severe. have been so popular. and taking him for one of our own men. But let us leave the soldier. Wellington was rigid. marauders. trotting along in little carts. beggars offering themselves as guides to officers. one does not always know why certain generals. so that in the special language they are called "stragglers. we do not think so. a Spanish straggler who spoke French.

moved the shrubbery. and which ancient Norman legends call the Alleurs. The marauders stole in one corner of the battlefield while others were being shot in another. He had no sack. A breath. behind the hovel which adjoins the highway to Nivelles. hidden. his mysterious and rapid gestures. a sort of woman seated on coffers and packages. upheld by their bark. as it were. disturbed something silent and motionless on the ground. Towards midnight. and come to rifle Waterloo. caused him to resemble those twilight larvae which haunt ruins. neither peasant nor soldier. climbing in the direction of the hollow road of Ohain. less a man than a ghoul attracted by the scent of the dead bodies having theft for his victory. or rather.--neither English nor French. He was clad in a blouse that was something like a great coat. then rose and fled. harnessed to a famished nag which was cropping the grass across its bit as it halted. branches of trees broken by grape-shot. he walked forwards and gazed behind him. almost a respiration. His sliding motion. swayed gently in the breeze of night. In the fields. at the angle of the road from Mont-Saint-Jean to Braine l'Alleud. and in the wagon. but evidently he had large pockets under his coat. Quivers which resembled the departure of souls ran through the grass. Who was this man? The night probably knew more of him than the day. . Not a cloud in the zenith.be shot. a man was prowling about. produce these A glance capable of piercing all that mist deeply would have perceived at some distance a sort of little sutler's wagon with a fluted wicker hood. he was uneasy and audacious. Perhaps there was some connection between that wagon and that prowler. his attitudes. bent over abruptly. What matters it if the earth be red! the moon remains white. From time to time he halted. The darkness was serene. but not fallen. In the distance the coming and going of patrols and the general rounds of the English camp were audible. but rapine is tenacious. To all appearance he was one of those whom we have just described. these are the indifferences of the sky. The moon was sinister over this plain. scrutinized the plain around him as though to see whether he were observed. Certain nocturnal wading birds silhouettes among the marshes.

horses on top of one. since one's bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness. If there is anything terrible. and there overflowed in a large pool in front of the abatis of trees which barred the way. to be crushed. branches. to yell. to have children. to struggle in vain. flowers. to see the sun. not to be able to catch hold of anything. to rush towards a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one. as they extended in an immense semicircle over the hills along the horizon. and reached the brim like a well-filled bushel of barley. to sink into an abyss. to feel in one's breast lungs which breathe. inextricably heaped up. to have the light--and all at once. for the corpses had levelled the road with the plain. to see ears of wheat. a heart which beats. to bite horses' shoes in one's rage. one in the west. It will be remembered that it was at the opposite point. The blood ran even to the Nivelles highway. where that lamentable disaster had uttered its death-rattle. The edges of the hollow road were encumbered with horses and riders. in less than a minute. A heap of dead bodies in the upper part. the other in the east. in the direction of the Genappe road. like a necklace of rubies with two carbuncles at the extremities. at a spot which is still pointed out. all was silence now. The heart is terrified at the thought of what that death must have been to so many brave men. two great flames which were joined by the cordon of bivouac fires of the English. to laugh valiantly. 1815. to speak. to crush. to feel one's sword useless. think. forming. Terrible entanglement! There was no longer any slope. The thickness of the layer of bodies was proportioned to . a river of blood in the lower part--such was that road on the evening of the 18th of June. to be beneath. to feel a heel which makes one's eyes start from their sockets. "But just a little while ago I was a living man!" There. in the space of a shout. to roll. to possess health and joy. to be in full possession of virile force.Hougomont and La Haie-Sainte continued to burn. and to say to one's self. to have a wife. to writhe. leaves. We have described the catastrophe of the road of Ohain. men beneath one. love. it is this: to live. if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams. to have a mother. to fall. that the destruction of the cuirassiers had taken place. hope. a will which reasons. to stifle.

seized the hand. All at once he paused. he remained in a stooping and frightened attitude. Effort is quickly exhausted in the grave. "it's only a dead body. with his back turned to the heap of dead. scanning the horizon on his knees. illumined by the moon. which rested on the earth." said he. He did not precisely rise. and had seized the skirt of his coat. which had closed. this man burst into a laugh. An honest man would have been terrified. That hand had on its finger something sparkling. and a few moments later he was dragging . "is that dead fellow alive? Let's see. he gave a terrible start. and his head peering above the edge of the hollow road. Then coming to a decision. at the point where it became level. The nocturnal prowler whom we have just shown to the reader was going in that direction." said the prowler. an open hand. the layer of corpses was thinner. He was searching that vast tomb. The jackal's four paws suit some actions. which was a ring of gold. Towards the middle. pushed aside everything that was in his way. He walked with his feet in the blood. he rose to his feet. The man bent over.the depth of the hollow road. projected from beneath that heap of men. and when he rose there was no longer a ring on the hand. "Come. grasped the arm. At that moment. pulled out the body. He passed the dead in some sort of hideous review. where Delort's division had passed. with the whole upper portion of his body supported on his two forefingers. He felt some one clutch him from behind. I prefer a spook to a gendarme. remained in a crouching attitude for a moment. at the point where the pile of dead came to an end. "Well now." He bent down again. in the hollow road. He gazed about. He wheeled round." But the hand weakened and released him. fumbled among the heap. A few paces in front of him. freed the head. it was the open hand.

" It was already done. through the shadows of hollow road. if that word is permissible here. discovered a watch there." answered the prowler. The prowler executed the required feint. the freshness of the night. had roused him from his lethargy. and. The officer went on:-"Look in my pockets. the air which he could inhale freely. A furious sword-cut had scarred his face. The abruptness of the movements of the man who was manipulating him. some patrol was probably approaching. Next he searched his waistcoat. an officer. the officer opened his eyes. for the death agony was still in his voice:-"Who won the battle?" "The English. man. by some happy chance." he said feebly. When he had arrived at this stage of succor which he was administering to this dying man. "Thanks. He was a cuirassier. he did not appear to have any broken limbs. found a purse and pocketed it. A sound of footsteps was audible in the plain. a large gold epaulette peeped from beneath the cuirass. which disappeared into one of the gulfs which he had beneath his great coat. where nothing was discernible but blood. and said:-- . you will find a watch and a purse. Then he felt of the officer's fob. this officer no longer possessed a helmet. His eyes were still closed. On his cuirass he wore the silver cross of the Legion of Honor. Take them.the lifeless. He raised his head. and took possession of it. The prowler made no reply. the dead had been vaulted above him in such a manner as to preserve him from being crushed. The prowler tore off this cross. However. or at least the unconscious. The officer murmured. and even an officer of considerable rank.

" said the officer." "What is your rank?" "Sergeant. My name is Pontmercy. I belonged to the French army." "What is your name?" "Thenardier. and detained him. Now get out of the scrape yourself." said the officer. Who are you?" The prowler answered rapidly." . I must leave you. and in a low voice:-"Like yourself. with the movement of a man who is taking his departure."There is nothing there." "I shall not forget that name." "I have been robbed. "Some one is coming. "You have saved my life. they would shoot me. "and do you remember mine. You should have had them. If they were to catch me. The officer raised his arm feebly." The steps of the patrol became more and more distinct. I have saved your life." said the prowler. "I am sorry for that.


in this town he had established a considerable . thanks to the new methods. and by perfectly legitimate means. No one has been able to discover where Jean Valjean has concealed this money since his return to prison at Toulon.430 Jean Valjean had been recaptured. we will admit. Madeleine.CHAPTER I--NUMBER 24. named Jean Valjean. and who bore the name of M. has just appeared before the Court of Assizes of the Var. Laffitte. acquired in his business. that at that epoch the Gazette des Tribunaux was not yet in existence. Madeleine was no other than an ex-convict who had broken his ban. condemned in 1796 for theft. of the same date. in recognition of his services. Jean Valjean has been recommitted to prison. A former convict. the manufacture of jet and of black glass trinkets.601 BECOMES NUMBER 9. We borrow the first from the Drapeau Blanc. The second article. A man. and had succeeded in getting himself appointed mayor of one of our small northern towns. moreover. resuscitated some years ago an ancient local industry. had. and which he had. he had changed his name. who was a stranger in the Department. This wretch had succeeded in escaping the vigilance of the police. which enters a little more into detail. The reader will be grateful to us if we pass rapidly over the sad details. It appears that previous to his arrest he had succeeded in withdrawing from the hands of M. These articles are rather summary. We will confine ourselves to transcribing two paragraphs published by the journals of that day. 1823. sur M. An arrondissement of the Pas de Calais has just been the theatre of an event quite out of the ordinary course. He had been appointed mayor. who had been liberated. It must be remembered. is an extract from the Journal de Paris. a sum of over half a million which he had lodged there. The police discovered that M. and named Jean Valjean. and that of the arrondissement as well. a few months after the surprising events which had taken place at M. He had made his fortune in the business. under circumstances calculated to attract attention. It bears the date of July 25.

This sum has been estimated at six or seven hundred thousand francs. sur M.commerce. Jean Valjean was immediately taken to the prison at Toulon. He is said to have profited by this interval of three or four days of liberty. He has at last been unmasked and arrested. found means to escape. . on the person of one of those honest children who. However that may be. and it has not been possible to lay hands on it. in immortal verse. However. about eight years ago. has deigned to commute his penalty to that of penal servitude for life. but three or four days after his flight the police laid their hands on him once more. the prosperity of M. Arrive from Savoy every year. . Madeleine. Jean Valjean changed his number in the galleys. ". and that Jean Valjean was a member of a band of robbers in the south. The reader has not forgotten that Jean Valjean had religious habits at M. he has hidden it in some place known to himself alone. in his inexhaustible clemency. who is endowed with Herculean strength. It was proved by the skilful and eloquent representative of the public prosecutor. This criminal refused to lodge an appeal. He was called 9. that the theft was committed in complicity with others. The king. This scoundrel. to withdraw a considerable sum deposited by him with one of our leading bankers. with gentle hands. the said Jean Valjean has just been brought before the Assizes of the Department of the Var as accused of highway robbery accompanied with violence. do clear Those long canals choked up with soot. Jean Valjean was pronounced guilty and was condemned to the death penalty in consequence. as the patriarch of Ferney has said. He had for his concubine a woman of the town. If the indictment is to be trusted. thanks to the indefatigable zeal of the public prosecutor. sur M.430. And who. in Paris itself. presented this commutation as a triumph of the priestly party. at the very moment when he was entering one of those little vehicles which run between the capital and the village of Montfermeil (Seine-et-Oise). and we will mention it at once in order that we may not be obliged to recur to the subject. all . among others the Constitutional." This bandit refused to defend himself. who died of a shock at the moment of his arrest. vanished with M. Some papers.

the spirit of combat succeeded to the spirit of organization. Madeleine had reigned over all and directed all. bitterness to cordiality. The state itself perceived that some one had been crushed somewhere. lacking him.. M. There was no longer a centre. hatred of one another to the benevolence of the founder towards all. bankruptcy arrived. M. than each pulled things to himself. No sooner had he fallen. his buildings fell to ruin. and which history has noted only once. de Villele called attention to the fact in the rostrum. for lucre instead of the general good. that egotistical division of great existences which have fallen. Thenceforth. sur M. in the month of February. the threads which M. After this fall. Envious rivalries arose. salaries were reduced. Less than four years after the judgment of the Court of Assizes establishing the identity of Jean Valjean and M. the methods were adulterated. All had vanished. for lack of orders. Some of them quitted the country. the products were debased. And then there was nothing more for the poor. in the human community. sur M. the market diminished. for the benefit of the galleys. everything was done on a small scale. and M. that fatal dismemberment of flourishing things which is accomplished every day. instead of on a grand scale. the cost of collecting taxes had doubled in the arrondissement of M. .that he had foreseen during his night of fever and hesitation was realized. obscurely. Madeleine. Lieutenants are crowned kings. others abandoned the trade. because it occurred after the death of Alexander. his workmen were scattered. there took place at M. superintendents improvise manufacturers out of themselves. the workshops stood still. everywhere there was competition and animosity. Madeleine's vast workshops were shut. Madeleine had set were tangled and broken. 1827. confidence was killed. there actually was a soul lacking.

wearing wooden shoes. a singular occurrence which took place at about the same epoch. instead of a cap or hat. to wait until he has dug his hole. because a popular superstition in the vicinity of Paris is like an aloe in Siberia. . The first is to approach the man and speak to him. that. and whose teeth. which is all the more curious and all the more precious. Finally. Here. but is cutting grass for his cows. clad in trousers and a blouse of linen. to open it once more and to seize the "treasure" which the black man has necessarily placed there. then to run with great speed to the trench. thanks to the perspective of evening. that he is not digging any hole whatever. and to flee at the best speed of one's legs. a black man with the air of a carter or a woodchopper. and that what had been taken for horns is nothing but a dung-fork which he is carrying on his back. and which is not lacking in coincidence with certain conjectures of the indictment. The second way is to watch him. has selected the forest as a hiding-place for his treasures. POSSIBLY Before proceeding further. which at all events. not to look at him. One then dies within the year. There are three ways of profiting by such an encounter. The man returns home and dies within the week. from time immemorial. As all three methods are attended with their special inconveniences. In this case one dies within the month. in fact. then. There exists in the region of Montfermeil a very ancient superstition. until he has filled it and has gone away. that he appears black because it is nightfall. in secluded nooks of the forest. and recognizable by the fact. the last method is not to speak to the black man. it will be to the purpose to narrate in some detail. the second. seemed to spring from his head.CHAPTER II--IN WHICH THE READER WILL PERUSE TWO VERSES. he has two immense horns on his head. Goodwives affirm that it is no rarity to encounter at nightfall. in Montfermeil. Then it is seen that the man is simply a peasant. We are among those who respect everything which is in the nature of a rare plant. This man is habitually engaged in digging a hole. This ought. is the superstition of Montfermeil: it is thought that the devil. WHICH ARE OF THE DEVIL'S COMPOSITION. to render him recognizable.

digs. who are tempted by every chance. and since the devil does not appear to have had the wit to invent powder before Roger Bacon's time. This is what Tryphon's verses seem to announce to the indiscreet and curious:-"Fodit. named Tryphon has left on this subject. had "peculiar ways" in the forest. burns out his candle. opened the holes excavated by the black man. a skeleton. which an evil Norman monk. At least. lapides. This Tryphon is buried at the Abbéy of Saint-Georges de Bocherville. enormous efforts are made. he wets his shirt. which has evidently served the devil. et in fossa thesauros condit opaca. when he lays his hand on the "treasure. and cards before the time of Charles VI. it was remarked in that village that a certain old road-laborer. if the tradition is to be believed." what does he find? What is the devil's treasure? A sou. if only for a month. Tryphon does not record these two finds. a very short time after the epoch when it seemed to the prosecuting attorney that the liberated convict Jean Valjean during his flight of several days had been prowling around Montfermeil. Moreover. since Tryphon lived in the twelfth century. As. nihilque. named Boulatruelle. So bold men. as we are assured. a man sweats. nummas. and toads spawn on his grave. Now. sometimes a crown-piece. sometimes nothing. and tried to rob the devil. a stone. one is sure to lose all that one possesses! and as for the powder in the horn. People thereabouts thought they knew that this . sometimes a spectre folded in four like a sheet of paper in a portfolio. among others that of possessing a treasure. The success of the operation appears to be but moderate. sometimes an old pack of cards greasy and worn. if one plays at cards. Accordingly. it possesses the property of making your gun burst in your face. and when he arrives at the bottom of the hole. Such trenches are ordinarily extremely deep. have quite frequently. is the one most generally adopted. cadaver. simulacra. near Rouen. breaks his mattock. a bit of a sorcerer." It seems that in our day there is sometimes found a powder-horn with bullets.presents some advantages. and in particular the two enigmatical lines in barbarous Latin. a bleeding body. toils all night--for it must be done at night.

too prompt in removing his cap to every one. however. he is cunning enough to pocket Lucifer's hoard. were still curious. The goodwives who passed took him at first for Beelzebub. He was subjected to certain police supervision. and he resumed his regular occupation of roadmending. and people gossiped of something else. Boulatruelle had taken to quitting his task of stone-breaking and care of the road at a very early hour. and he had the appearance of being in search of something. and trembling and smiling in the presence of the gendarmes.Boulatruelle had been in the galleys. and were not in the least reassured thereby. too humble. The only thing in his favor was that he was a drunkard. and. or will the devil catch Boulatruelle?" The old women made a great many signs of the cross. This Boulatruelle was a man who was viewed with disfavor by the inhabitants of the district as too respectful. This is what people thought they had noticed:-Of late. and sometimes he was digging holes. and to betaking himself to the forest with his pickaxe. who was . "Will Boulatruelle catch the devil. He was encountered towards evening in the most deserted clearings. suspected of lying in ambush at verge of copses at nightfall. and that there was some mystery in what he was doing. and is on the search. then they recognized Boulatruelle. in the wildest thickets. as he could find work nowhere. they said. the administration employed him at reduced rates as a road-mender on the cross-road from Gagny to Lagny. It was said in the village: "It is clear that the devil has appeared. These encounters seemed to cause Boulatruelle a lively displeasure. In the meantime. The most "puzzled" were the school-master and Thenardier. Some persons. surmising that in all this there was probably no fabulous treasure of the legends. In sooth." The Voltairians added. It was evident that he sought to hide. and that the road-mender had half discovered the secret. but some fine windfall of a more serious and palpable sort than the devil's bank-bills. the proprietor of the tavern. Boulatruelle has seen him.--probably affiliated to robber bands. Boulatruelle's manoeuvres in the forest ceased.

it was only after the expiration of seven or eight minutes that the idea of following that "person" had occurred to him. Boulatruelle. knew well. and had not disdained to ally himself with Boulatruelle. he might have supposed that they were probably the shovel and pick of Father Six-Fours. Boulatruelle obstinately refused to reveal his name. "Eh! Good God! no one knows who has been there or will be there. but said very little.everybody's friend. and would have thought no more about it. as he was hidden by a large tree." said Thenardier. the person was already in the thicket. without being seen himself. This person carried a package--something square. Then he had adopted the course of watching for him at the edge of the woods. However. and got the old road-mender to drinking. as one might say. for example. at daybreak. concealed. at a nook of the forest in the underbrush. Boulatruelle drank an enormous amount." Two or three hours later. and Boulatruelle had not been able to catch up with him. he saw. They made an effort. and in masterly proportions. the thirst of a gormandizer with the discretion of a judge. and whom he. But. and that Boulatruelle would not have resisted the water test. Translation by Thenardier: A comrade of the galleys." One evening the schoolmaster affirmed that in former times the law would have instituted an inquiry as to what Boulatruelle did in the forest." directing his steps towards the densest part of the wood. Boulatruelle had seen this person . "It was moonlight." said Thenardier. on the evening of that day. Surprise on the part of Boulatruelle. But it was too late. Nevertheless. night had descended. "a person who did not belong in those parts. However. and that the latter would have been forced to speak. a shovel and a pickaxe. and that he would have been put to the torture in case of need. "Let us put him to the wine test. by dint of returning to the charge and of comparing and putting together the few obscure words which he did allow to escape him. like a large box or a small trunk. He combined with admirable art. "He has been in the galleys. the water-carrier. this is what Thenardier and the schoolmaster imagined that they had made out:-One morning. when Boulatruelle was on his way to his work. he had been surprised to see.

and had found neither shovel nor pick. and on perceiving that he was recognized." . sounded. who said. and that he would probably knock him over the head on recognizing him. he was sure that the devil had come. had dug a hole with his pick. Hence his researches. searched the entire forest and the thicket. the coffer was too small to contain a body. He had "ferreted out" nothing. carrying no longer the coffer. Now. In vain. but a shovel and pick. because he said to himself that the other man was three times as strong as he was. No one in Montfermeil thought any more about it. and had dug wherever the earth appeared to him to have been recently turned up. and armed with a pickaxe. There were only a few brave gossips. he had hastened to the thicket in the morning. Touching effusion of two old comrades on meeting again. From this he had drawn the inference that this person.emerge from the brushwood. But the shovel and pick had served as a ray of light to Boulatruelle. and had not dreamed of accosting him. buried the coffer. and reclosed the hole with his shovel. "You may be certain that the mender on the Gagny road did not take all that trouble for nothing. Boulatruelle had allowed the person to pass. once in the forest. Boulatruelle had explored. therefore it contained money.

formalities of roadsteads and citadels.--for the sea had handled it roughly. of the ship Orion. and for the purpose of repairing some damages. which vanish in smoke. This vessel. twenty-two. total. compressing in a triumphal attitude that was somewhat contradicted by his peaceable air. which it returned. that is to say. an apparent return to our national traditions. to the great terror of dowagers. complicated by servitude and by subjection to the cabinets of the North.--produced a fine effect as it entered the roads. It has been calculated that what with salvos. that comes to nine hundred thousand francs a day. performing an act devolving on the elder. sunrises and sunsets. in the course of four and twenty hours.. le Duc d'Angoulême. the civilized world. The year 1823 was what the Restoration called "the epoch of the Spanish war. It flew some colors which procured for it the regulation salute of eleven guns. etc. royal and military politenesses. under the name of . saluted every day by all fortresses and all ships of war. and a quantity of peculiarities." This war contained many events in one. shot for shot. and which then formed a part of the Mediterranean squadron. battered as it was. the branch of France succoring and protecting the branch of Madrid. after heavy weather. All this time the poor were dying of hunger. 1823. M. This is a mere detail. three hundred millions a year. A grand family affair for the house of Bourbon. At six francs the shot. which was employed later at Brest as a school-ship. one hundred and fifty thousand useless shots. discharged all over the earth. the inhabitants of Toulon beheld the entry into their port. courteous exchanges of uproar. signals of etiquette. the sansculottes resuscitated. in that same year. openings and closings of ports. surnamed by the liberal sheets the hero of Andujar. the ancient and very powerful terrorism of the Holy Office at variance with the chimerical terrorism of the liberals.CHAPTER III--THE ANKLE-CHAIN MUST HAVE UNDERGONE A CERTAIN PREPARATORY MANIPULATION TO BE THUS BROKEN WITH A BLOW FROM A HAMMER Towards the end of October.

afterwards Charles Albert. hostile leaders sold. beside the son of France as generalissimo. frowned in 1823 at the easy surrender of citadels. called to the French idea. but aged. the Prince de Carignan. and one which it is also proper to insist upon here. soldiers hesitating. the whole effect was suspicious. the taking of the Trocadero. From a still more serious point of view. and under the white cockade. which wounded the military spirit of France. in addition to this. it appears as though generals and not battles had been won. which was making the tour of the world. It is the nature of France to prefer to have Rostopchine rather than Ballesteros in front of her. but after all. as in every mine which is surprised and invaded. principles slaughtered by cannonades. enraged the democratic spirit. on whom Saragossa had fallen in formidable ruin. Some feats of arms were serious. the trumpets of this war give back a cracked sound. It was an enterprise of . in short. cities besieged by millions. no military perils. monarchy opposing an obstacle to progress described as anarchy. the spirit of liberty and of novelty brought to its senses by bayonets. enrolling himself in that crusade of kings against people as a volunteer. made by the princes descended from Louis XIV. and began to regret Palafox. little honor won. in which the Bank of France could be read in the folds of the flag. It seemed evident that certain Spanish officers charged with resistance yielded too easily.descamisados. after eight years of repose. monks mingled with our troops. A debasing war. saddened. and yet possible explosions. and the conquering soldier returned humiliated. Such was this war. with grenadier epaulets of red worsted. Its sad fate was to recall neither the grand war nor grand politics. the soldiers of the Empire setting out on a fresh campaign. Soldiers of the war of 1808. we repeat. as the white standard had been thirty years earlier at Coblentz. and conducted by generals who had been under Napoleon. France undoing by her arms that which she had done by her mind. a European halt.. glory for no one. the tricolored standard waved abroad by a heroic handful of Frenchmen. among others. the theories of '89 roughly interrupted in the sap. history approves of France for making a difficulty about accepting this false triumph. this war. the idea of corruption was connected with the victory. shame for some. was a fine military action. but little bloodshed.

in their innocence. having re-established elrey netto in Spain. an outrage on the French Revolution. They took it for a success. by foul means. despite humanity. The Spanish campaign became in their counsels an argument for force and for adventures by right Divine. either in the shadow of a machineel tree. Blind is he who will not see! It was Bonaparte who said it. The war of 1823. everything that armies do is by foul means. might well have re-established the absolute king at home. It is not permitted to fall asleep. a squadron had been cruising in the Mediterranean. That is a solar fact. France. Thus is war. to such a degree that they introduced the immense enfeeblement of a crime into their establishment as an element of strength.inthralment. The words passive obedience indicate this. It is because it is great. with the exception of wars of liberation. the son of democracy. During the operations of the army commanded by the prince generalissimo. at the same time. They fell into the alarming error of taking the obedience of the soldier for the consent of the nation. We have just stated that the Orion belonged to this fleet. In that campaign. not to stifle it. It was France who committed this monstrous violence. An army is a strange masterpiece of combination where force results from an enormous sum of impotence. As for the Bourbons. The presence of a vessel of war in a port has something about it which attracts and engages a crowd. the war of 1823 was fatal to them. the object of the French soldier. Such confidence is the ruin of thrones. and that accidents of the sea had brought it into port at Toulon. France is made to arouse the soul of nations. 1830 had its germ in 1823. A hideous contradiction. and the crowd loves what is great. They went astray. The spirit of the ambush entered into their politics. was then. was the conquest of a yoke for others. made by humanity against humanity. explained. for. an outrage on the generous Spanish nation. . All the revolutions of Europe since 1792 are the French Revolution: liberty darts rays from France. Let us return to the ship Orion. They did not perceive the danger that lies in having an idea slain to order. nor in the shadow of an army.

its lanterns supply the place of the stars. against immensity. . Its breath pours out through its hundred and twenty cannons as through enormous trumpets. as it were. which counsels it and always shows it the north.--and it must do battle with all three. to catch the wind in the clouds. and its diameter at its base is three feet. against the water.--solid. it has its cordage and its canvas. of the heaviest and the lightest of possible matter. its iron. steam. against the wind. The English mainmast rises to a height of two hundred and seventeen feet above the water-line. in the ports of Brest or Toulon. then in its infancy. has since added new miracles to that prodigy which is called a war vessel. and eight feet in depth. of the simple sailing-vessel. constitute the ship of the line. If one wishes to form an idea of all those gigantic proportions which. at the same time. The simple pile of chains on a ship of a hundred guns is four feet high. And moreover. It has eleven claws of iron with which to seize the granite on the bottom of the sea. And how much wood is required to make this ship? Three thousand cubic metres. The vessels in process of construction are under a bell-glass there. It is a floating forest. and lead. for example. ours employs chains. brass. Thus. The ocean seeks to lead it astray in the alarming sameness of its billows. The navy of our fathers employed cables. twenty feet in breadth. that great column of wood which stretches out on the earth as far as the eye can reach is the main-mast. liquid. it is only a question here of the military vessel of forty years ago. and replies proudly to the thunder. it is sixty fathoms long. let this be borne in mind. At the present time. the mixed vessel with a screw is a surprising machine. wood. its light. This colossal beam is a yard. taken as a whole. against the shadows. propelled by three thousand square metres of canvas and by an engine of two thousand five hundred horsepower. Taking it from its root in the stocks to its tip in the clouds. In the blackest nights. and fluid. A ship of the line is composed. its compass. a needle. and more wings and more antennae than winged insects. but the vessel has its soul. against the rocks. for it deals at one and the same time with three forms of substance. one has only to enter one of the sixstory covered construction stocks.A ship of the line is one of the most magnificent combinations of the genius of man with the powers of nature.

The hull had received no damage on the starboard. the ancient vessel of Christopher Columbus and of De Ruyter is one of the masterpieces of man. when the wind bends that mast four hundred feet tall. but this cleaning had affected the bolts of the keel: in the neighborhood of the Balearic Isles the sides had been strained and had opened. whose business consisted in staring at the Orion. It anchored near the Arsenal. and. which weighs tens of thousands. but some of the planks had been unnailed here and there. when all that power and all that majesty are engulfed in a power and majesty which are superior. Hence in the ports curious people abound around these marvellous machines of war and of navigation. when that anchor. nevertheless. according to custom. and it reigns. sluices. it floats. in the course of its previous cruises thick layers of barnacles had collected on its keel to such a degree as to deprive it of half its speed. and the jetties of the port of Toulon were covered with a multitude of idlers and loungers. is twisted in the jaws of the waves like a fisherman's hook in the jaws of a pike. when those monstrous cannons utter plaintive and futile roars. from morning until night. as they say in Paris. There comes an hour. without being able to explain perfectly to themselves why. It is as inexhaustible in force as is the Infinite in gales. in order to have the barnacles scraped off.Not to mention these new marvels. as the plating in those days was not of sheet iron. and damaged the foretop-gallantshrouds. the Orion had run back to Toulon. A violent equinoctial gale had come up. Every day. when the gale breaks that sixty-foot yard like a straw. the vessel had sprung a leak. accordingly. which the hurricane bears forth into the void and into night. it had gone into the dry dock the year before this. in consequence of these injuries. it was fully equipped. the quays. Every time that immense force is displayed to culminate in an immense feebleness it affords men food for thought. then it had put to sea again. it is precise in the immense vagueness of the billows. to permit of air entering the hold. The Orion was a ship that had been ailing for a long time. and repairs were begun. . it stores up the wind in its sails. which had first staved in a grating and a porthole on the larboard side.

One morning the crowd which was gazing at it witnessed an accident. all fishermen of the coast. There are . the unfortunate topman was losing his strength. recently levied for the service. like a stone in a sling. dared to attempt it. on his way he seized the footrope. The crew was busy bending the sails. the topman. the man swayed back and forth at the end of that rope. who had to take the upper corner of the main-top-sail on the starboard. from instant to instant. he did not shout. not one of the sailors. the multitude thronging the Arsenal quay uttered a cry. then with the other. In the meantime. lost his balance. first with one hand. and remained hanging from it: the sea lay below him at a dizzy depth. heads were turned aside that his fall might not be seen. every effort which he made to re-ascend served but to augment the oscillations of the foot-rope. but his exhaustion was visible in every limb. for fear of exhausting his strength. his arms were contracted in horrible twitchings. All were awaiting the minute when he should release his hold on the rope. the man fell around the yard. his anguish could not be discerned on his face. and. the man's head overbalanced his body. the shock of his fall had imparted to the foot-rope a violent swinging motion. It was incurring a frightful risk to go to his assistance. he was seen to waver. with his hands outstretched towards the abyss.

a gust of wind carried away his cap. and allowed the other end to hang down. hastened to the officer of the watch. only here the spider brought life. it was only later on that the incident was recalled. this man was dressed in red. not death. and. during which the breeze swayed the topman at the extremity of a thread. and the exhausted and despairing man would have allowed himself to fall into . at an affirmative sign from the officer he had broken the chain riveted to his ankle with one blow of a hammer. A convict employed on board with a detachment from the galleys had. All at once a man was seen climbing into the rigging with the agility of a tiger-cat.--instead of one man suspended over the gulf. In the meantime. he had asked the officer's permission to risk his life to save the topman. On arriving on a level with the top. in fact. seemed centuries to those who were looking on. In a twinkling he was on the yard. at the instant.moments when a bit of rope. the same tremor contracted every brow. then he had caught up a rope. one minute more. all mouths held their breath as though they feared to add the slightest puff to the wind which was swaying the two unfortunate men. he paused for a few seconds and appeared to be measuring it with his eye.--and the anguish was indescribable. not a word. One would have said it was a spider coming to seize a fly. these seconds. a pole. He was seen to run out along the yard: on arriving at the point. hand over hand. not a cry. he was a life convict. and allowed a perfectly white head to be seen: he was not a young man. Ten thousand glances were fastened on this group. he wore a green cap. at the very first instant. the convict raised his eyes to heaven and advanced a step: the crowd drew a long breath. he fastened the rope which he had brought to it. there were two. while all the sailors were trembling and drawing back. then he began to descend the rope. and had dashed into the rigging: no one noticed. in the midst of the consternation and the hesitation of the crew. he was a convict. At last. the convict had succeeded in lowering himself to a position near the sailor. the branch of a tree. and it is a terrible thing to see a living being detach himself from it and fall like a ripe fruit. and then. It was high time. is life itself. with what ease that chain had been broken.

The frigate Algesiras was anchored alongside the Orion. The body has not yet been found. The fall was perilous. and to drag the sailor up after him. it is supposed that it is entangled among the piles of the Arsenal point: this man was committed under the number 9. he held him there a moment to allow him to recover his strength. anxiety again took possession of all souls.the abyss. all eyes were following him. In vain. in the meantime. Four men flung themselves hastily into a boat. On the following day the Toulon newspaper printed these lines:-"Nov. In order to reach them the more speedily. while he was working with the other. he dropped into the rigging. All at once the crowd uttered a loud shout: the convict had fallen into the sea. or that his head turned. The search was continued until the evening: they did not even find the body. a convict belonging to the detachment on board of the Orion." . At that moment the crowd broke into applause: old convict-sergeants among them wept. whether it was that he was fatigued. "Pardon for that man!" He. and all voices were heard to cry with a sort of tender rage. Yesterday. the crowd cheered them on. and women embraced each other on the quay. and his name was Jean Valjean. 17. as though he had fallen into a cask of oil: they sounded. where he left him in the hands of his comrades. fell into the sea and was drowned. they thought they saw him hesitate and stagger. At a certain moment fear assailed them. walking on the yard himself to the cap. and from there to the main-top. on his return from rendering assistance to a sailor. he was seen to climb back on the yard. and the poor convict had fallen between the two vessels: it was to be feared that he would slip under one or the other of them.430. the man had not risen to the surface. and ran along one of the lower yards. 1823. had immediately begun to make his descent to rejoin his detachment. The convict had moored him securely with the cord to which he clung with one hand. At last. they dived. then he grasped him in his arms and carried him. he had disappeared in the sea without leaving a ripple.


and who earned about eight sous a day in his enterprise of supplying Montfermeil with water. Some pleasure-houses of the last century were to be met with there. to be sure. Retired cloth-merchants and rusticating attorneys had not discovered it as yet. The large houses. This constituted the terror of the poor creature whom the reader has probably not forgotten. that peasant rustic life which is so bounteous and so easy. paid half a farthing a bucketful to a man who made a business of it. found drinking-water only at a little spring half-way down the slope. but this good man only worked until seven o'clock in the evening in summer. In 1823 there were at Montfermeil neither so many white houses nor so many wellsatisfied citizens: it was only a village in the forest. and night once come and the shutters on the ground floor once closed. their balconies in twisted iron. It was necessary to fetch it from a considerable distance. and their long windows. At the present day it is a tolerably large town.--little Cosette.CHAPTER I--THE WATER QUESTION AT MONTFERMEIL Montfermeil is situated between Livry and Chelles. which was not on the road to anywhere: there people lived. on account of the elevation of the plateau. he who had no water to drink went to fetch it for himself or did without it. and five in winter. about a quarter of an hour from Montfermeil. which were recognizable by their grand air. but Montfermeil was none the less a village. It will be remembered that Cosette was useful . and on Sundays with beaming bourgeois. The other end. only. on the southern edge of that lofty table-land which separates the Ourcq from the Marne. which surrounds the church and which lies in the direction of Chelles. and cheaply. it was a peaceful and charming place. Thus each household found it hard work to keep supplied with water. the end of the village towards Gagny drew its water from the magnificent ponds which exist in the woods there. ornamented all the year through with plaster villas. of which the Thenardier tavern formed a part. the aristocracy. near the road to Chelles. whose tiny panes cast all sorts of varying shades of green on the white of the closed shutters. water was rare there.

but little light and a great deal of noise. I believe that naturalists call this bird Caracara Polyborus. under protection of the same tolerance. clad in rags and coming no one knew whence. In this capacity she it was who ran to fetch water when it was required. were seated at table. there had been neither snow nor frost up to that time. took great care that water should never be lacking in the house. and they made the child serve them.--tables. had constructed their stalls on the Church Square. carters. as the reader will perhaps remember. Christmas of the year 1823 was particularly brilliant at Montfermeil. who had retired to the village. the Thenardiers' hostelry was situated. So the child. we ought even to add that. and a band of itinerant merchants. and communicated to that tranquil little district a noisy and joyous life. drinkers. On Christmas eve itself. by two objects which were then fashionable in the bourgeois class: to wit. The date of the year 1823 was indicated. nevertheless. and peddlers. and which have a tricolored cockade for an eye. drinking and smoking around four or five candles in the public room of Thenardier's hostelry. among the curiosities displayed in the square. exhibited to the peasants of Montfermeil in 1823 one of those horrible Brazilian vultures. the reason for which we have read in preceding chapters. In order to play the part of a faithful historian. pewter jugs. went to see this creature with great devotion. the Thenardiers kept Cosette. it belongs to the order of the Apicides. These people filled the inns and drinking-shops. a number of men. smokers. The female . there was a menagerie. Some mountebanks from Paris had obtained permission of the mayor to erect their booths in the principal street of the village. bottles. in which frightful clowns. So when the mother ceased to pay altogether. and to the family of the vultures. and even extended them into Boulanger Alley.to the Thenardiers in two ways: they made the mother pay them. where. such as our Royal Museum did not possess until 1845. a kaleidoscope and a lamp of ribbed tin. The beginning of the winter had been mild. The mountebanks gave out that the tricolored cockade was a unique phenomenon made by God expressly for their menagerie. This room resembled all drinking-shop rooms. Some good old Bonapartist soldiers. who was greatly terrified at the idea of going to the spring at night. She took the place of a servant in their house.

The flour is no fault of ours. hempseed. It cuts better. like the following. the wine turns oily as soon as spring comes.Thenardier was attending to the supper. It makes no difference with that grass. It yields before the iron. were audible amid the uproar:-"About Nanterre and Suresnes the vines have flourished greatly. especially in Breton wheat." Etc. seated on the crossbar of the kitchen table near the chimney. was saying:-"It does no harm to have the grass wet. which was roasting in front of a clear fire. who was seated at table with a landed proprietor who was fixing on a price for some meadow work to be performed in the spring. le Duc d'Angoulême. which abound in certain wheat. The grapes must be gathered while green. I am not fond of grinding Breton wheat. fox-tail." "But the grapes cannot be ripe?" "In those parts the grapes should not be ripe. not to mention pebbles. vetches. When ten pieces were reckoned on there have been twelve. They have yielded a great deal of juice under the press." In a space between two windows a mower. Your grass is young and very hard to cut still. Cosette was in her usual place. strictly local parentheses. And then people complain of the flour. fennel. She was in rags. and by the firelight she was engaged in knitting woollen stockings destined for the young Thenardiers. and a host of other weeds. there are tares. her bare feet were thrust into wooden shoes." Etc. A very young kitten was playing about among the chairs. Besides political conversations which had for their principal subjects the Spanish war and M. sir." "Then it is very thin wine?" "There are wines poorer even than these. It's terribly tender. Or a miller would call out:-"Are we responsible for what is in the sacks? We find in them a quantity of small seed which we cannot sift out. her husband was drinking with his customers and talking politics. They are in the wrong. Laughter and chatter were audible in the adjoining . You can judge of the bad dust that makes in grinding. and which we are obliged to send through the millstones. any more than long-sawyers like to saw beams with nails in them. Dew is a good thing.

" Thenardier would say.room. . but she did not love him. In the chimney-corner a cat-o'-nine-tails was hanging on a nail. "Your son is squalling. "he bothers me. The mother had nursed him." And the neglected child continued to shriek in the dark." "Bah!" the mother would reply. rang through the noise of the dram-shop. which was somewhere in the house.--"she did not know why. It was a little boy who had been born to the Thenardiers during one of the preceding winters."--and who was a little more than three years old." she said. from two fresh children's voices: it was Eponine and Azelma. When the persistent clamor of the brat became too annoying. At intervals the cry of a very young child. "do go and see what he wants. "the result of the cold.

blond. dotted with red blotches. the moment has arrived for making the circuit of this couple. by way of precaution. a mouse in the service of an elephant." One of her teeth projected when her face was in repose. feeble man.--made the beds. and people. the cooking. He had the glance of a pole-cat and the bearing of a man of letters. She was an ideal market-porter dressed in woman's clothes. she belonged. and was almost polite to everybody. "That is a gendarme". Cosette was her only servant. who contort themselves at fairs with paving-stones hanging from their hair. furniture. fat. one said. and considering it under all its aspects. She swore splendidly. "That is a carter". presented the appearance of a skimmer. "That is the hangman. When one heard her speak. ever since her first appearance. Madame Thenardier was approaching her forties. and which made the affected lady peep through the ogress at times. Her big face. she boasted of being able to crack a nut with one blow of her fist. which is equivalent to fifty in a woman. one said. angular. Everything trembled at the sound of her voice. one said. angular. and everything else. when one saw her handle Cosette. bony. thin. the idea would never have occurred to any one to say of her. did the washing. Thenardier had just passed his fiftieth birthday. so that there existed a balance of age between husband and wife." This Thenardier female was like the product of a wench engrafted on a fishwife. to the race of those colossal wild women. he smiled habitually. and agile. "That is a woman.--tall. He greatly resembled the portraits of the Abbé Delille. She did everything about the house. even to the beggar to whom he refused half a farthing. square. red.CHAPTER II--TWO COMPLETE PORTRAITS So far in this book the Thenardiers have been viewed only in profile. as we have said. His cunning began here.--window panes. Our readers have possibly preserved some recollection of this Thenardier woman. Thenardier was a small. pale. She had a beard. His . who had a sickly air and who was wonderfully healthy. when one saw her drink. in a very queer way. Except for the romances which she had read. enormous.

a tattered conscience entails a fragmentary life. and. composed of purses and watches. It will be perceived that he exaggerated it a trifle. There were certain names which he often pronounced to support whatever things he might be saying. he was a great swindler. . He smoked a big pipe. "some quibus. and having. some Fleming from Lille. and under his blouse an old black coat. No one had ever succeeded in rendering him drunk. Parny. in Flanders. a Frenchman in Paris. he was in the habit of relating with exuberance. beating about the country. apparently at the stormy epoch of June 18. Raynal. This campaign ended. at Waterloo." Thence arose for his wall the flaring sign. He wore a blouse. stealing from others. The species does exist. in the midst of the grapeshot. being a sergeant in the 6th or the 9th light something or other. in the rear of troops on the march. A filousophe [philosophe]. and a Bonapartist. who had been dangerously wounded. in a rickety cart. He made pretensions to literature and to materialism. selling to some. the reader is already acquainted with that." In addition. We believe that he had simply studied in Holland for an inn-keeper. a Belgian at Brussels. with wife and children. a classic." He was a liberal. adventure. He had subscribed for the Champ d'Asile. Thenardier belonged to that variety of marauding sutlers of which we have spoken. did not amount to a large total. "a general. as he said. He declared that he had "a system. a scientific thief." he had come to Montfermeil and set up an inn there. being comfortably astride of both frontiers. Ebb and flow. how. It was said in the village that he had studied for the priesthood. of gold rings and silver crosses. with an instinct for always attaching himself to the victorious army. singularly enough. gathered in harvest-time in furrows sown with corpses. and did not carry this sutler turned eatinghouse-keeper very far. This rascal of composite order was. and. and for his inn the name which it bore in the neighborhood.coquetry consisted in drinking with the carters. and travelling like a family man. of "the cabaret of the Sergeant of Waterloo. was the leven of his existence. he had alone. covered with his body and saved from death. This quibus. As for his prowess at Waterloo. 1815. in all probability.--Voltaire. It will be remembered that he pretended to have served in the army. wandering. and in the presence of a squadron of death-dealing hussars. Saint Augustine.

according to circumstances. She was not even the mistress. which caused his wife to dispense with them. hypocrisy enters into it. was a scamp of a temperate sort. recalls the barracks. on occasion. It seemed to her that that thin and yellow little man must be an object coveted by all. Thenardier was cunning. Thenardier. he was terrible. an astute and wellbalanced man. who are accustomed to screw up their eyes to gaze through marine glasses. who was. silent or talkative. as a legitimate grievance. Thenardier was a statesman. He had something of the look of sailors. the bankruptcies. he created. but practised eyes sometimes spied out orthographical errors in it. Nevertheless. the schoolmaster had noticed that he pronounced improperly.12 He composed the travellers' tariff card in a superior manner. greedy." A mistake. and by a sign of the cross. And since he was one of those people who are continually avenging their wrongs. and the calamities of their lives. the mastodon . above all. and at such times. He allowed it to be thought that he was an educated man. A word was sufficient for him. She worked. the seminary. since he was enraged with the human race in general. on catching sight of Madame Thenardier. who accuse everything that passes before them of everything which has befallen them. This is the worst species. He was a fine talker. the sum total of the deceptions. and who are always ready to cast upon the first person who comes to hand. capable of wrath to quite the same degree as his wife. He did not disdain his servants. as he bore within him a deep furnace of hatred. sometimes a sign. and always highly intelligent. and clever. accompanied by an oath.Thenardier had that peculiar rectilinear something about his gestures which. Every new-comer who entered the tavern said. The husband was both master and mistress. Thenardier was attentive and penetrating. but this was very rare. "There is the master of the house. He directed everything by a sort of invisible and constant magnetic action. It is not that Thenardier was not. This giantess was jealous.--when all this leaven was stirred up in him and boiled forth from his mouth and eyes. slothful. Woe to the person who came under his wrath at such a time! In addition to his other qualities.

Thenardier was a sort of special and sovereign being in Madame Thenardier's eyes. hence the absolute empire of the man over that woman. In this same year. and does not extend to an entire class. in Switzerland or in the Pyrenees this penniless scamp would have become a millionaire. There was an unknown quantity about Thenardier. if she had ever had a disagreement as to any detail with "Monsieur Thenardier. 1823. there was contemplation in Madame Thenardier's submission to her husband.--she would not have blamed her husband in public on any subject whatever. This woman was a formidable creature who loved no one except her children. Whatever may have been the obstinate injustice of destiny in this case. She was possessed of virtues after her own kind. as we shall see. She would never have committed "before strangers" that mistake so often committed by women. A theatre worthy of this great talent was lacking. It will be understood that the word inn-keeper is here employed in a restricted sense. At certain moments she beheld him like a lighted candle. and this rendered him anxious. "exposing the crown. that thing which is a virtue among barbarous peoples and an object of . Thenardier was ruining himself at Montfermeil." Although their concord had only evil as its result. and. and which is called in parliamentary language.--how to enrich himself."--which was an inadmissible hypothesis. Viewed on its dwarfed and grotesque side. She was a mother because she was mammiferous. That mountain of noise and of flesh moved under the little finger of that frail despot. But her maternity stopped short with her daughters. at others she felt him like a claw. the adoration of mind by matter. Thenardier was burdened with about fifteen hundred francs' worth of petty debts. for certain ugly features have a cause in the very depths of eternal beauty. with the most profundity and in the most modern fashion.obeyed. by the way. this was that grand and universal thing. Thenardier was one of those men who understand best. though she did not thoroughly realize it. if ruin is possible to zero. He did not succeed in this. but an inn-keeper must browse where fate has hitched him. and who did not fear any one except her husband. The man had but one thought. did not extend to boys.

dirty sheets. "The duty of the inn-keeper. "is to sell to the first comer. repose. and weak as she was. washed. The ideal of oppression was realized by this sinister household. subjected to their double pressure. Cosette was between them. he was an admirable poacher. the chimney-corner. which he inserted into his wife's mind. by five hundred thousand devils. The man and the woman each had a different method: Cosette was overwhelmed with blows--this was the woman's. The poor child passively held her peace. to pick the child clean. the featherbed. violently. and to put a price on it. the armchair. the mattress and the truss of straw. dusted. Such were these two beings. Cosette ran up stairs and down. fire. lice. a servant." he said to her one day. and to honestly lighten heavy ones. the chair. stews. did the coarse work. His theories as a landlord sometimes burst forth in lightning flashes. and. a fierce mistress and venomous master. rubbed. light. even for the flies which his dog eats!" This man and this woman were ruse and rage wedded--a hideous and terrible team. swept. which was particularly dangerous.--hospitality. and quoted for his skill in shooting. panted. to pluck the woman. took no heed of yesterday nor of to-morrow. and a smile. to make the traveller pay for everything. the stool. It was something like the fly serving the spiders. the ottoman. she went barefooted in winter--that was the man's doing. and lived in a fit of anger. While the husband pondered and combined. and where she lay trembling. The Thenardier hostelry was like a spider's web. all in a minute. moved heavy articles. the window shut.merchandise among civilized peoples. to empty small purses. . ran. to quote the window open. to know how much the shadow uses up the mirror. Besides. He had a certain cold and tranquil laugh. to stop passers-by. and in a low voice. in which Cosette had been caught. Madame Thenardier thought not of absent creditors. to shelter travelling families respectfully: to shave the man. like a creature who is at the same time being ground up in a mill and pulled to pieces with pincers. fluttered about. There was no mercy for her. He had professional aphorisms.

What takes place within these souls when they have but just quitted God. find themselves thus. very small and in the midst of men all naked! . at the very dawn of life.

which caused the latter to remark from time to time. Cosette was meditating sadly. "How ugly she is with her fist-blow on her eye!" Cosette was thinking that it was dark. she had already suffered so much that she reflected with the lugubrious air of an old woman. But there came a moment when the child trembled. but for a quarter of an hour she felt her heart leaping in her bosom like a big snow-flake. although she was only eight years old. "Well. "It's as black as an oven!" or. and wished it were the next morning. very dark. for. the child had raised her head and was following all the woman's movements. Madame Thenardier raised the cover of a stew-pan which was boiling on the stove. She counted the minutes that passed in this manner.CHAPTER III--MEN MUST HAVE WINE. that the pitchers and caraffes in the chambers of the travellers who had arrived must have been filled and that there was no more water in the cistern. Any one who had asked for a glass of water among all those glasses of wine would have appeared a savage to all these men. "One must needs be a cat to go about the streets without a lantern at this hour!" And Cosette trembled." Cosette applied herself to her work once more. She was somewhat reassured because no one in the Thenardier establishment drank much water. "this will be enough. A thin stream of water trickled from the faucet. and exclaimed. "Bah!" resumed Madame Thenardier. AND HORSES MUST HAVE WATER Four new travellers had arrived. then seized a glass and briskly approached the cistern. Thirsty people were never lacking there. The child did not breathe." said she. but their thirst was of the sort which applies to the jug rather than to the pitcher. "there is no more water!" A momentary silence ensued. . and half filled the glass. Her eye was black in consequence of a blow from Madame Thenardier's fist. She turned the faucet. From time to time one of the drinkers looked into the street. examining the half-filled glass.

yes. it has. almost under the drinkers' feet. Cosette had emerged from under the table. Cosette lied." exclaimed the pedler. "In truth. he drank out of a bucket. "Are you coming?" shrieked Madame Thenardier." said the pedler.All at once one of the pedlers who lodged in the hostelry entered. "there is no water." It was not true. feebly. "There's a brat as big as my fist who tells lies as big as the house. a whole bucketful. in a rage. and I spoke to him. and said in a harsh voice:-"My horse has not been watered. "this won't do at all. "I tell you that it has not. now! Where's that other beast?" She bent down and discovered Cosette cowering at the other end of the table. and it was I who took the water to him." "But." The Thenardier threw the street door wide open:-- . let my horse be watered. and let that be the end of it!" Cosette crept under the table again. you little jade! He has a way of blowing when he has had no water. it must be. which I know well. "I tell you that he has not been watered. and which was hardly audible:-"And he drank heartily." said Madame Thenardier." "Yes. go and water that horse. and added in a voice rendered hoarse with anguish." retorted the pedler. Madame. The Thenardier resumed:-"Mademoiselle Dog-lack-name." Then glancing about her:-"Well. sir!" said she." "Come. Cosette crawled out of the sort of hole in which she had hidden herself. "if the beast has not been watered." Cosette persisted." said Cosette. "the horse has had a drink. that is fair!" said Madame Thenardier. "Oh.

and tasted what was in the stewpan. and put it in that pocket. then!" Cosette dropped her head. This bucket was bigger than she was. pepper. I think I should have done better to strain my onions. Here's a fifteen-sou piece. Then she stood motionless. Cosette went out." Then she rummaged in a drawer which contained sous. Mam'selle Toad. grumbling the while:-"There's plenty in the spring. "Get along with you!" screamed the Thenardier. ." Cosette had a little pocket on one side of her apron. go and get some."Well. The Thenardier returned to her stove. bucket in hand. There never was such a malicious creature as that. you will get a big loaf from the baker. she took the coin without saying a word. "See here. with a wooden spoon. She seemed to be waiting for some one to come to her rescue. "on your way back. and the child could have set down in it at her ease. the open door before her. The door closed behind her. and went for an empty bucket which stood near the chimney-corner. and shallots." she added.

which appeared in a sort of chimerical halo to that unhappy little being so profoundly engulfed in gloomy and chilly misery. which. With the sad and innocent sagacity of childhood. Cosette measured the abyss which separated her from that doll. She had not yet beheld that doll close to. on the sly. Eponine and Azelma had passed hours in contemplating it. with candles burning in paper funnels. extended. The poor child paused in amazement. happiness. The more she looked. established precisely opposite the Thenardiers' door. as the schoolmaster. towards the lady. then seated at the table at the Thenardiers' observed. melancholy and overcome as she was. All that day. or at least a princess. as far as the hostelry of the Thenardiers. and Cosette herself had ventured to cast a glance at it. that beautiful smooth hair. riches. In the first row. without a mother being found in Montfermeil sufficiently rich or sufficiently extravagant to give it to her child. She said to herself that one must be a queen. nearly two feet high. as the reader will remember. She gazed at that beautiful pink dress. not a star was visible in the sky. bucket in hand." In compensation. produced "a magical effect. the merchant had placed on a background of white napkins. was a toy-shop all glittering with tinsel. an immense doll. and magnificent objects of tin. the more dazzled she grew. She thought she was gazing at paradise. this marvel had been displayed to the wonderment of all passers-by under ten years of age. which . These booths were all illuminated. and she thought. who was dressed in a robe of pink crepe. At the moment when Cosette emerged. because the citizens would soon pass on their way to the midnight mass. she could not refrain from lifting her eyes to that wonderful doll. with gold wheat-ears on her head. and far forwards. The last of these stalls.CHAPTER IV--ENTRANCE ON THE SCENE OF A DOLL The line of open-air booths starting at the church. to have a "thing" like that. splendor. as she called it. which had real hair and enamel eyes. it was a vision. The whole shop seemed a palace to her: the doll was not a doll. glass. "How happy that doll must be!" She could not take her eyes from that fantastic stall. it is true. It was joy. There were other dolls behind the large one.

you little monster!" The Thenardier had cast a glance into the street. All at once the Thenardier's coarse voice recalled her to reality: "What. In this adoration she forgot everything. Cosette fled. . you silly jade! you have not gone? Wait! I'll give it to you! I want to know what you are doing there! Get along. who was pacing back and forth in front of his shop. dragging her pail. even the errand with which she was charged. The merchant. and taking the longest strides of which she was capable. and had caught sight of Cosette in her ecstasy. produced on her somewhat the effect of being the Eternal Father.seemed to her to be fairies and genii.

muttering between her teeth: "Where can that child be going? Is it a werewolf child?" Then the woman recognized Cosette. she proceeded with tolerable boldness. From time to time she caught the flicker of a candle through the crack of a shutter--this was light and life. it was to the spring in the forest in the direction of Chelles that Cosette was obliged to go for her water. as it were.CHAPTER V--THE LITTLE ONE ALL ALONE As the Thenardier hostelry was in that part of the village which is near the church. the denser the darkness became. who turned around on seeing her. the lighted stalls illuminated the road.--a gesture peculiar to children when terrified and undecided what to do." said she. and heard the beasts walking on the grass. as a certain emotion overcame her. But in proportion as she advanced. it was the open fields. So long as she was in Boulanger Lane and in the neighborhood of the church. Cosette paused. However. and stood still. Black and desert space was before her. she made as much motion as possible with the handle of the bucket as she walked along. where there were spectres. her pace slackened mechanically. "Well. where there was no longer any one. So long as she had the houses or even the walls only on both sides of her path. and she distinctly saw spectres moving in the trees. Only. "it's the Lark!" In this manner Cosette traversed the labyrinth of tortuous and deserted streets which terminate in the village of Montfermeil on the side of Chelles. It was no longer Montfermeil. She gazed in despair at that darkness. She set her bucket on the ground. and began slowly to scratch her head. there were people there. where there were beasts. The poor child found herself in the dark. She took a good look. There was no one in the streets. it became impossible to proceed further than the last house. This made a noise which afforded her company. It had been hard to advance further than the last stall. but soon the last light from the last stall vanished. thrust her hand into her hair. she did encounter a woman. and it reassured her. The further she went. possibly. She plunged into it. When she had passed the corner of the last house. Then she . She did not glance at the display of a single other merchant.

She went straight before her in desperation. Cosette knew the way. She resumed her path to the spring. She only paused in her course when her breath failed her. an atom. What was she to do? What was to become of her? Where was she to go? In front of her was the spectre of the Thenardier. It was before the Thenardier that she recoiled. about two feet deep. and plunged the bucket in the water. A remnant of instinct guided her vaguely. Cosette did not take time to breathe. hyena mouth. through having gone over it many times in daylight. It was very dark. for fear of seeing things in the branches and in the brushwood. The child cast a melancholy glance before her and behind her. "Bah!" said she. she entered the forest at a run. The immensity of night was facing this tiny creature. Now it was the Thenardier who appeared to her. but she did not halt in her advance. She emerged from the village. fear had lent her audacity. crimped grasses which are called Henry IV. hollowed out by the water in a clayey soil. she no longer saw. and which usually served to support her. It was only seven or eight minutes' walk from the edge of the woods to the spring. In this manner she reached the spring. with her hideous. It was a narrow. clung to it. She felt with her left hand in the dark for a young oak which leaned over the spring. and wrath flashing in her eyes. Strange to say. bent down. found one of its branches. A brook ran out of it. On the one hand. on the other. surrounded with moss and with those tall. She no longer thought.seized her bucket again. no longer looking at or listening to anything. with a tranquil little noise. As she ran she felt like crying. natural basin. she did not get lost. "I will tell him that there was no more water!" And she resolutely re-entered Montfermeil. But she did not turn her eyes either to right or to left.'s frills. and paved with several large stones. . and began to run. behind her all the phantoms of the night and of the forest. but she was in the habit of coming to this spring. all shadow. The nocturnal quivering of the forest surrounded her completely. Hardly had she gone a hundred paces when she paused and began to scratch her head again.

Some bits of dry heather. there is anxiety even for the stoutest of hearts. When the eye sees black. She dropped on the grass. That done. The fifteen-sou piece fell into the water. there were none of the vague. gloomily empurpled. Man requires light. in the sooty opacity. While thus bent over. and which terrified her. Overhead the sky was covered with vast black clouds. and had the air of fleeing in terror before something which was coming after. The agitated water in the bucket beside her was describing circles which resembled tin serpents. Jupiter was setting in the depths. and remained crouching there. The mist. The forest was dark. Whoever buries himself in the opposite of day feels his heart contract. which were like masses of smoke. with which she was unfamiliar. then she opened them again. Great boughs uplifted themselves in frightful wise. She drew out the bucket nearly full. the heart sees trouble. She would have liked to set out again at once.She was in a state of such violent excitement that her strength was trebled. No one walks alone in the forest at night . The child stared with bewildered eyes at this great star. she perceived that she was worn out with fatigue. flew rapidly by. tossed by the breeze. She shut her eyes. One would have called it a luminous wound. not a leaf was moving. She was forced to sit down. very near the horizon and was traversing a dense layer of mist which imparted to it a horrible ruddy hue. and set it on the grass. The tragic mask of shadow seemed to bend vaguely over the child. The nettles seemed to twist long arms furnished with claws in search of prey. she did not notice that the pocket of her apron had emptied itself into the spring. magnified the star. The planet was. The darkness was bewildering. Slender and misshapen bushes whistled in the clearings. fresh gleams of summertide. but because she could not do otherwise. On all sides there were lugubrious stretches. In an eclipse in the night. Cosette neither saw nor heard it fall. in fact. but the effort required to fill the bucket had been such that she found it impossible to take a step. A cold wind was blowing from the plain. without knowing why. The tall grasses undulated like eels under the north wind.

Shadows and trees--two formidable densities. she began to count aloud. One is conscious of something hideous.--to flee at full speed through the forest. one knows not what vague and intangible thing. taciturn profiles which vanish when one advances. and so on up to ten. she began again. she rose. alarming torsos of trees. the lugubrious reflected in the funereal. which she had wet in drawing the water. her eye grew wild.-against all this one has no protection. when she had finished. either in space or in one's own brain. one. to the windows. Forests are apocalypses. like the dreams of sleeping flowers. livid pools. long handfuls of quivering plants. and. across the fields to the houses. by a sort of instinct. There is no hardihood which does not shudder and which does not feel the vicinity of anguish. but which terrified her. a natural and unconquerable terror. Her hands. her terror. she thought she felt that she should not be able to refrain from returning there at the same hour on the morrow. two. yet desirous of doing so. things grown haggard. Then. to the lighted candles. three. this restored her to a true perception of the things about her. A chimerical reality appears in the indistinct depths. There are no words to express the strangeness of that shiver which chilled her to the very bottom of her heart. had returned: she had but one thought now. Cosette was conscious that she was seized upon by that black enormity of nature. obscure dishevelments. Without understanding her sensations. The inconceivable is outlined a few paces distant from you with a spectral clearness. in order to escape from that singular state which she did not understand. it was no longer terror alone which was gaining possession of her. as though one's soul were becoming amalgamated with the darkness. felt cold. One is afraid to glance behind him. The cavities of night. bendings of mysterious branches.without trembling. and the beating of the wings of a tiny soul produces a sound of agony beneath their monstrous vault. four. There are fierce attitudes on the horizon. irritated tufts. This penetration of the shadows is indescribably sinister in the case of a child. unknown but possible beings. One beholds floating. One inhales the effluvia of the great black void. . the sepulchral immensity of silence. Her glance fell upon the water which stood before her. it was something more terrible even than terror. she shivered.

picked up her bucket again. so afraid was she of the Thenardier. it was heavy. and each time that she did so. then lifted the handle of the bucket again. And her mother. and resumed her march. In spite of diminishing the length of her stops. she was a child of eight: no one but God saw that sad thing at the moment. the cold water which splashed from the pail fell on her bare legs.such was the fright which the Thenardier inspired in her. On arriving near an old chestnut-tree with which she was acquainted. far from all human sight. she was forced to halt from time to time. she could hardly lift the pail. made a last halt. even at a distance: it was her custom to imagine the Thenardier always present. and of walking as long as possible between them. no doubt. then she summoned up all her strength. However. in winter. at night. the weight of the bucket strained and stiffened her thin arms. and that the Thenardier would beat her. "O my God! my God!" . She walked bent forward. and she went on very slowly. She took breath for an instant. The iron handle completed the benumbing and freezing of her wet and tiny hands. with drooping head. that she dared not flee without that bucket of water: she seized the handle with both hands. and had not yet emerged from the forest. in order that she might get well rested. This took place in the depths of a forest. she could not make much headway in that manner. and courageously resumed her march. she was worn out with fatigue. She panted with a sort of painful rattle. she was forced to set it on the ground once more. she reflected with anguish that it would take her more than an hour to return to Montfermeil in this manner. like an old woman. alas! For there are things that make the dead open their eyes in their graves. but the poor little desperate creature could not refrain from crying. longer than the rest. In this manner she advanced a dozen paces. but she dared not weep. proceeding a little further this time. After some seconds of repose she set out again. sobs contracted her throat. but the bucket was full. but again she was obliged to pause. This anguish was mingled with her terror at being alone in the woods at night.

She raised her head. straight and erect. had just seized the handle. There are instincts for all the encounters of life. . which seemed to her enormous. and lifted it vigorously. it was a man who had come up behind her. A large black form. without uttering a word. had seized the handle of the bucket which she was carrying.At that moment she suddenly became conscious that her bucket no longer weighed anything at all: a hand. and whose approach she had not heard. This man. was walking beside her through the darkness. The child was not afraid.

at the most modest houses on that dilapidated border of the faubourg Saint-Marceau. He wore a very old and very well brushed round hat. cut from some hedge. where everything breathed depression and weariness of life.CHAPTER VI--WHICH POSSIBLY PROVES BOULATRUELLE'S INTELLIGENCE On the afternoon of that same Christmas Day. This stick had been carefully trimmed. a color that was not in the least eccentric at that epoch. by preference. There was in the depth of his glance an indescribable melancholy serenity. he would have hardly been thought fifty. and his countenance. worn perfectly threadbare. This man. made from red wax: it was a cudgel. worn gray at the knee. and he seemed to halt. and which was humble. black breeches. and it had received a coral-like head. Judging from his firm tread. a man had walked for rather a long time in the most deserted part of the Boulevard de l'Hopital in Paris. a coarse coat. We shall see further on that this man had. In his left hand he carried a little bundle tied up in a handkerchief. from the singular vigor which stamped all his movements. of an ochre yellow. returned from the emigration. a large waistcoat with pockets of a venerable cut. hired a chamber in that isolated quarter. and it seemed to be a cane. 1823. This is a very rare mixture which inspires intelligent hearts with that double respect which one feels for the man who is very poor. stockings of black worsted. He would have been taken for more than sixty years of age. and for the man who is very worthy. and would have disposed in his favor any one who observed him attentively. in his right he leaned on a sort of a cudgel. He would have been pronounced a preceptor in some good family. his wrinkled brow. his livid lips.--extreme wretchedness combined with extreme cleanliness. The wrinkles on his brow were well placed. realized the type of what may be called the well-bred mendicant. . His lip contracted with a strange fold which seemed severe. in his attire. as in all his person. This man had the air of a person who is seeking lodgings. the most had been made of its knots. in fact. and had an air that was not too threatening. from his perfectly white hair. and thick shoes with copper buckles.

there he is returning to the Tuileries. Outside of Paris. therefore. but this without any affectation. in the midst of naked swords. when he re-entered the city. produced a certain effect in the streets of Paris.There are but few passers-by on that boulevard. besides. two great epaulets with bullion fringe floating over a bourgeois coat. pacific and severe. the royal carriage and cavalcade was seen to pass at full speed along the Boulevard de l'Hopital. the cross of Saint Louis. and ruddy face. and others drew up in line. a huge belly." This infallible passage of the king at the same hour was. Towards two o'clock. a brow freshly powdered a l'oiseau royal. and they returned it in kind. went nearly every day to Choisy-le-Roi: it was one of his favorite excursions. King Louis XVIII. the silver plaque of the Saint-Esprit. he put on his hat and saluted rarely. hard. crafty eye. the whole success which he produced is contained in this remark of an inhabitant of the faubourg to his comrade. the cross of the Legion of Honor. "It is two o'clock." And some rushed forward. "That big fellow yonder is the government. and a wide blue ribbon: it was the king. as he was not able to walk. all covered with gilding. he stared coldly at the people. This impotent king had a taste for a fast gallop. The man seemed to avoid them rather than to seek them. he wished to run: that cripple would gladly have had himself drawn by the lightning. the smile of an educated man. the daily event of the Boulevard de l'Hopital. he held his hat decked with white ostrich plumes on his knees enwrapped in high English gaiters. This served in lieu of a watch or clock to the poor women of the quarter who said. It was rapid but majestic. particularly in the winter. The promenader in the yellow coat evidently did not belong in the quarter. In the rear angle on the right there was visible on tufted cushions of white satin a large. almost invariably. a proud. At that epoch. and probably did not belong in . His massive couch. There was hardly time to cast a glance upon it. with great branches of lilies painted on the panels. firm. He passed. the appearance and disappearance of Louis XVIII. When he appeared for the first time in the Saint-Marceau quarter. thundered noisily along. the Golden Fleece. for a passing king always creates a tumult.

he passed in front of the theatre of the Porte Saint-Martin. took equal note of him: one of them received an order to follow him. debouched on the boulevard. he appeared surprised and almost alarmed. the royal carriage. opposite the king. When. struck him. though this did not prevent M. not without turning round many a time to assure himself that he was not being followed. before setting out. Minister of State. This poster. When the man in the yellow coat had thrown the agent off his track. An instant later he was in the blind alley of La Planchette. But the man plunged into the deserted little streets of the faubourg. le Comte d'Angles. There was no one but himself in this cross-lane. summoned by the coachman. the coachman cast a glance at the traveller's shabby dress. as captain of the guard on duty that day. At a quarter-past four. "Yonder is an evil-looking man. where the office of the coach for Lagny was then situated. The man inquired:-"Have you a place?" "Only one--beside coachman. he redoubled his pace. he halted to read it. le Duc de Havre from spying him out. M. and the travellers. who were clearing the king's route. This coach set out at half-past four. "I will take it. for he was ignorant as to this detail. He said to his Majesty. after having made the turn of the Salpetriere. were hastily climbing the lofty iron ladder of the vehicle." "Climb up. at two o'clock. and he entered the Plat d'Etain [the Pewter Platter]. was seated in the carriage. He drew up hastily behind the corner of the wall of an enclosure. when night was fully come. at the me on the box." Members of the police. The horses were harnessed. Prefect of Police. the agent lost trace of him. as is stated in a report addressed that same evening to M.Paris." said the ." Nevertheless. where The Two Convicts was being played that day. le Duc de Havre. and as twilight was beginning to fall. for. that is to say. surrounded by a squadron of the body-guard all covered with silver lace. illuminated by the theatre lanterns. although he was walking rapidly.

He took his bundle and his cudgel and jumped down from the vehicle. Thus they passed Gournay and Neuilly-sur-Marne. and made him pay his fare. When the coach set out for Lagny a few minutes later. "is a man who does not belong here. all the houses are shut. and he goes only as far as Chelles. The coachman turned to the inside travellers." said the man. and he is not to be found. like a person who was acquainted with the country and had been there before. but he had gone with great strides through the dark. The traveller paid to Lagny. "Yes. They started." said he. to give his horses a breathing spell. He had not the air of owning a sou. It is night. The man did not appear to be thinking of that. "Are you going as far as Lagny?" demanded the coachman. The coachman took to whistling and swearing at his horses. but he does not consider money. he pays to Lagny. He did not enter the inn. but the traveller only replied in monosyllables. it did not encounter him in the principal street of Chelles. The coachman wrapped himself up in his cloak. down the principal street of Chelles. for I do not know him. It was cold. "There. The coachman drew up in front of the carters' inn installed in the ancient buildings of the Royal Abbéy.diminutive size of his bundle. So he has dived through the earth. When they had passed the barrier. then he had turned to the right before reaching the church. Towards six o'clock in the evening they reached Chelles. . the coachman tried to enter into conversation. into the cross-road leading to Montfermeil." said the man. An instant later he had disappeared." The man had not plunged into the earth. he does not enter the inn. "I get down here.

step by step. He went up to this tree and passed his hand over the bark of the trunk.He followed this road rapidly. He concealed himself precipitately in a ditch. which was an ash. he took his bearings. laden with an . and resumed his march through the forest. Not more than two or three stars were visible in the sky. as we have already said. as though seeking and following a mysterious road known to himself alone. as though seeking to recognize and count all the warts. The precaution was nearly superfluous. and entered the forest with long strides. and examined them attentively through the mists of night. At last he arrived. like a person who is trying to assure himself that the soil has not recently been disturbed. It is at this point that the ascent of the hill begins. advancing. at a clearing where there was a great heap of whitish stones. then taking it up and setting out again. As he walked through the thicket in the direction of Montfermeil. He raised himself on tiptoe and touched this band of zinc. there was a chestnut-tree. suffering from a peeling of the bark. It was the man who had just met Cosette. He drew near. and began a careful examination of all the trees. Then he trod about for awhile on the ground comprised in the space between the tree and the heap of stones. There came a moment when he appeared to lose himself. covered with those excrescences which are the warts of vegetation. Opposite this tree. he had espied that tiny shadow moving with a groan. as though he were passing them in review. he heard people coming. At the spot where it is intersected by the ancient tree-bordered road which runs from Gagny to Lagny. The man did not return to the road to Montfermeil. He stepped up briskly to these stones. stood a few paces distant from the pile of stones. and he paused in indecision. That done. to which a band of zinc had been nailed by way of dressing. it was a very dark December night. by dint of feeling his way inch by inch. for. depositing a burden on the ground. and perceived that it was a very young child. A large tree. he struck across the fields to the right. and there waited until the passers-by were at a distance. however. Once in the forest he slackened his pace.

enormous bucket of water. and silently grasped the handle of the bucket. . Then he approached the child.

" "I don't know." And after a silence she went on:-"I think that I never had any. He spoke in a voice that was grave and almost bass. "It really is very heavy. she added:-"I don't think so. Other people have mothers." "Give it to me. as we have said. sir. he set the bucket on the ground." answered the child." said the man. "My child. sir." "Are you going far?" "A good quarter of an hour's walk from here. what you are carrying is very heavy for you. little one?" "Eight. The man accosted her.CHAPTER VII--COSETTE SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE STRANGER IN THE DARK Cosette. Before the man had time to speak again. The man walked along beside her." Cosette raised her head and replied:-"Yes." The man said nothing for a moment. was not frightened. "I will carry it for you." The man halted. then he remarked abruptly:-"So you have no mother." he muttered between his teeth. Then he added:-"How old are you." "And have you come from far like this?" "From the spring in the forest. bent down and placed both hands on the child's . I have none." Cosette let go of the bucket-handle.

Cosette followed him without difficulty." said the child. She had never been taught to turn to Providence and to pray. if you know where that is. "Cosette. with a sort of tranquillity and an indescribable confidence. little one?" "At Montfermeil. Show me the way. nevertheless." "That is where we are going?" "Yes. seized the bucket. then began again:-"Who sent you at such an hour to get water in the forest?" "It was Madame Thenardier. "What is your name?" said the man." "The inn?" said the man. The man resumed:-- . and which mounted towards heaven. Cosette's thin and sickly face was vaguely outlined by the livid light in the sky. and set out again." "We are on the way there. sir." He paused. The man walked tolerably fast. then he removed his hands from Cosette's shoulders. After a moment he inquired:-"Where do you live." The man resumed. but in which there was." said the child. "Well. in a voice which he strove to render indifferent. She no longer felt any fatigue. a singular tremor:-"What does your Madame Thenardier do?" "She is my mistress.shoulders. Several minutes elapsed." The man seemed to have received an electric shock. nevertheless. He looked at her once more. I am going to lodge there to-night. "She keeps the inn. she felt within her something which resembled hope and joy. making an effort to look at her and to see her face in the dark. From time to time she raised her eyes towards the man.

sir." . no longer than that. I amuse myself. I have only a little lead sword. sir. which was not visible because of the darkness. "they have beautiful dolls. they amuse themselves. They play. They let me alone." This was the way the child simplified the romantic names so dear to the female Thenardier."Is there no servant in Madame Thenardier's house?" "No. Ponine and Zelma will not let me play with their dolls." "What little girls?" "Ponine and Zelma." "And you?" "I? I work. but I have not many playthings. all full of affairs. "Who are Ponine and Zelma?" "They are Madame Thenardier's young ladies. things with gold in them." Another pause ensued." "Are you alone there?" "Yes. and replied gently:-"Yes." "All day long?" "Yes. sir. in which hung a tear." "And what do those girls do?" "Oh!" said the child. too. as you would say. sir." "All day long?" The child raised her great eyes." "How do you amuse yourself?" "In the best way I can. her daughters. Cosette lifted up her voice:-"That is to say. when I have finished my work and they let me." After an interval of silence she went on:-"Sometimes. there are two little girls.

asked Cosette:-"So there is a fair going on here?" "No. on perceiving all the open-air booths. Cosette timidly touched his arm:-"Monsieur?" "What. she will beat me." said the child. sir. "And it will not cut?" "Yes. Cosette guided the stranger through the streets. and now preserved a gloomy silence." They reached the village.The child held up her tiny finger. the man. sir. An instant later they were at the tavern door. When they had left the church behind them. . it is Christmas. They passed the bakeshop. The man had ceased to ply her with questions. "it cuts salad and the heads of flies." The man handed her the bucket. but Cosette did not think of the bread which she had been ordered to fetch." As they approached the tavern. my child?" "We are quite near the house." "Well?" "Will you let me take my bucket now?" "Why?" "If Madame sees that some one has carried it for me.

and eagerly sought the new-comer with her eyes. The husband replied by that imperceptible movement of the forefinger. my good man.CHAPTER VIII--THE UNPLEASANTNESS OF RECEIVING INTO ONE'S HOUSE A POOR MAN WHO MAY BE A RICH MAN Cosette could not refrain from casting a sidelong glance at the big doll. and. which. but I have no room left. The Thenardier cast a second glance at him. caused the amiable grimace to vanish. trembling all over. I will pay as though I occupied a room. paid particular attention to his frock-coat. and an inspection of the stranger's costume and baggage. tossing her head. She resumed dryly:-"Enter. the Thenardier exclaimed:-"Ah! see here. and screwing up her eyes. and to his hat. This gesture." said Cosette." "Put me where you like. raising his hand to his hat. you little wretch! good mercy." replied the man. Wealthy travellers are not so polite. wrinkling her nose. "here's a gentleman who wants a lodging. Madame. she consulted her husband." The Thenardier speedily replaced her gruff air by her amiable grimace. I am very sorry." . "This is the gentleman?" said she. The door opened. backed up by an inflation of the lips. and the gruff mien to reappear. a change of aspect common to tavern-keepers. signifies in such cases: A regular beggar. but you've taken your time! The hussy has been amusing herself!" "Madame. "in the attic. "Yes. which was a little battered." said the man. who was still drinking with the carters." The "good man" entered. which the Thenardier passed in review with one glance. "Ah! so it's you. then she knocked. The Thenardier appeared with a candle in her hand. in the stable. my good man. Thereupon. which was still displayed at the toy-merchant's. which was absolutely threadbare.

she had acquired the habit of pressing her knees one against the other. All she had on was hole-ridden linen." added her husband. "it ruins a house to have such people in it. Cosette was thin and pale. then!" "Forty sous!" said a carter. observed the child with peculiar attention. on which Cosette made haste to place a bottle of wine and a glass."Forty sous. to the Thenardier woman." The fire which illuminated her at that moment brought into relief all the angles of her bones. were almost put out with weeping. who had barely moistened his lips in the wine which he had poured out for himself. and which inspired horror in winter. her mien. her attitude. sunken in a sort of shadow. Her entire clothing was but a rag which would have inspired pity in summer. The hollows in her neck were enough to make one weep. If she had been happy. but she seemed to be hardly six. The man. the charge is only twenty sous!" "It is forty in his case." In the meantime. Her large eyes. Cosette resumed her place under the kitchen table. "I don't lodge poor folks for less. she was nearly eight years old. "ruined with chilblains. Her skin was visible here and there and everywhere black and blue spots could be descried. laying his bundle and his cudgel on a bench." "That's true. The corners of her mouth had that curve of habitual anguish which is seen in condemned persons and desperately sick people. the man. As she was always shivering. agreed. the sound of her voice. "why. The merchant who had demanded the bucket of water took it to his horse himself. as her mother had divined. Cosette was ugly. in the same tone. Her naked legs were thin and red. not a scrap of woollen. and rendered her thinness frightfully apparent. gently." retorted the Thenardier. she might have been pretty. Her hands were." "Forty sous. had seated himself at a table. in a low tone. and her knitting. We have already given a sketch of that sombre little figure. the . This child's whole person." "Very well. which marked the places where the Thenardier woman had touched her.

" "I'll find out to-morrow whether that is true. "Madame. Cosette did not dare to approach the fire and dry herself. allowed her only the breath that was absolutely necessary." "Well?" "He did not open the door. so to speak. withdrew her heels under her petticoat." said the Thenardier. emerged with great haste from beneath the table.--fear. and at times so tragic. the baker's shop was shut. her slightest gesture. In the depths of her eyes there was an astonished nook where terror lurked. admitting of no possible variation except an increase. fear drew her elbows close to her hips. Her fear was such. She lied. "and if you are telling me a lie. the Thenardier exclaimed:-"By the way. and had become what might be called the habit of her body. As we have stated. Fear was diffused all over her. that it seemed at certain moments as though she were on the verge of becoming an idiot or a demon.intervals which she allowed to elapse between one word and the next. she was covered with it. The expression in the glance of that child of eight years was habitually so gloomy. expressed and betrayed one sole idea. her silence. wet as she was. "Have I the time?" said the Thenardier." "I did knock. Madame. her glance. that on her arrival. but sat silently down to her work again. I'll lead you . according to her custom whenever the Thenardier uplifted her voice. All at once. she had never known what it is to pray. She had completely forgotten the bread. The man in the yellow coat never took his eyes from Cosette. she had never set foot in a church." "You should have knocked. made her occupy as little space as possible. where's that bread?" Cosette. She had recourse to the expedient of children who live in a constant state of fear.

The fifteen-sou piece was not there. give me back my fifteen-sou piece. "did you hear me?" Cosette turned her pocket inside out. the man in the yellow coat had been fumbling in the fob of his waistcoat. The Thenardier raised her arm.a pretty dance. come now. And he held out a silver coin to the Thenardier. "but just now I caught sight of something which had fallen from this little one's apron pocket." said the man." Cosette plunged her hand into the pocket of her apron. Madame. "or do you want to rob me of it?" At the same time. and rolled aside. "Have you lost that fifteen-sou piece?" screamed the Thenardier. Besides. she stretched out her arm towards the cat-o'-nine-tails which hung on a nail in the chimney-corner. and turned green. Madame. In the meantime. within the angle of the chimney. hoarsely." At the same time he bent down and seemed to be searching on the floor for a moment. that's it. here it is. Perhaps this is it. the other travellers were drinking or playing cards. What could have become of that money? The unhappy little creature could not find a word to say. straightening himself up. there was nothing in it. In the meantime. "Pardon me. with anguish." said Madame Thenardier. She was petrified. endeavoring to gather up and conceal her poor half-nude limbs. "Ah. without any one having noticed his movements. This formidable gesture restored to Cosette sufficient strength to shriek:-"Mercy. ." he went on. Cosette contracted herself into a ball. "Yes. Madame! I will not do so any more!" The Thenardier took down the whip. "Exactly. and were not paying attention to anything." said she.

Besides this. which they turned over and . the other with long black braids hanging down her back. a door had opened. and Eponine and Azelma entered. in the noise which they made. they were on the throne. for it was a twenty-sou piece. tying their ribbons afresh. in their gayety. Will he even pay me for his lodging? It's very lucky. They were two really pretty little girls. "Ah! there you are. When they entered. the one with shining chestnut tresses. and healthy. He appeared to be absorbed in thought. the Thenardier said to them in a grumbling tone which was full of adoration. would you like some supper?" the Thenardier inquired of the traveller. She put the coin in her pocket. There was a hint of winter. Light emanated from these two little beings. They had a doll. and then releasing them with that gentle manner of shaking off which is peculiar to mothers. both vivacious. but a sort of stupefied confidence was mingled with it." In the meantime. "What sort of a man is that?" she muttered between her teeth. He made no reply. They were warmly clad." and her large eyes. "What frights they are!" They went and seated themselves in the chimneycorner. and very charming. rosy. more bourgeois than peasant in looks. and confined herself to casting a fierce glance at the child. but the Thenardier found it to her advantage. but with so much maternal art that the thickness of the stuffs did not detract from the coquetry of arrangement. plump. accompanied with the remark. all the same. In their toilettes. there was sovereignty. began to take on an expression such as they had never worn before. and a delight to the eye. Thus far it was only an innocent amazement. though the springtime was not wholly effaced. "By the way. which were riveted on the traveller. "Don't let this ever happen again!" Cosette returned to what the Thenardier called "her kennel. He hasn't a sou to pay for a supper. that it did not occur to him to steal the money that was on the floor. you children!" Then drawing them. smoothing their hair. she exclaimed. "He's some frightfully poor wretch.It was not it. one after the other to her knees. neat.

She retorted with acrimony:-"She must work. the Thenardier. without quitting his chair." he said. But that a man with such a hat should permit himself such a desire. but they already represented the whole society of man. to make use of the expression which all children will understand. All at once. she was paying attention to the little ones at their play. Stockings for my little girls. envy on the one side. "let her play!" Such a wish expressed by a traveller who had eaten a slice of mutton and had drunk a couple of bottles of wine with his supper. and watched their play with a melancholy air. a real doll. "Ah! I've caught you at it!" she cried. in a gentle voice which contrasted strangely with his beggarly garments and his porter's shoulders. and that a man with such a coat should permit himself to have a will. Madame. disdain on the other. "So that's the way you work! I'll make you work to the tune of the whip. but it seemed none the less admirable to Cosette. From time to time Cosette raised her eyes from her knitting. if you please. who had been going back and forth in the room. These three little girls did not yet reckon up four and twenty years between them. so to speak.over on their knees with all sorts of joyous chatter. I don't feed her to do nothing. very old. perceived that Cosette's mind was distracted. and who had not the air of being frightfully poor. instead of working. was something which Madame Thenardier did not intend to tolerate." The stranger turned to the Thenardier. Eponine and Azelma did not look at Cosette. and much broken. who had never had a doll in her life. who have none. that I will. She was the same as a dog to them." "What is she making?" went on the stranger. would have been equivalent to an order. "Bah." . with an almost timid air. and who are absolutely barefoot just now. The Thenardier deigned to reply:-"Stockings. and that. The doll of the Thenardier sisters was very much faded. since she eats.

" said the Thenardier. you will be allowed to have that pair of stockings for five francs. "Thirty sous at least. Madame? May I play?" "Play!" said the Thenardier. ." Then he turned to Cosette. sir. and her face assumed an expression of hatred. that he abandoned his glass and hastened up. In the meantime. and continued:-"When will she have finished this pair of stockings?" "She has at least three or four good days' work on them still. She "Is it true. "Good heavens!" exclaimed a carter who was listening. with a loud laugh. We can refuse nothing to travellers. my child. ventured to ask:-Cosette was trembling. in a terrible voice." replied the man. "I will buy that pair of stockings. "Now I own your work. in her curt and pèremptory fashion." "You must pay on the spot. "A real hind wheel! and not counterfeit!" Thenardier approached and silently put the coin in his pocket. She bit her lips. "Yes. examining it." he added. "I will pay for them." The carter was so much touched by the five-franc piece. "But it's true!" he cried. "and. if such is your fancy. play. The Thenardier had no reply to make. the lazy creature!" "And how much will that pair of stockings be worth when she has finished them?" The Thenardier cast a glance of disdain on him.The man looked at Cosette's poor little red feet." "Will you sell them for five francs?" went on the man. I should think so! five balls!" Thenardier thought it time to strike in. drawing a five-franc piece from his pocket. and laying it on the table. "five francs! the deuce.

In the meantime. Cosette. sister. had dressed up her sword. she cries. She twists. she is warm. That done. and Eponine. but had not left her seat. While performing this serious and difficult work she was saying to her sister in that sweet and adorable language of children." said Cosette. Madame. And while her mouth thanked the Thenardier. her whole little soul thanked the traveller. Cosette had dropped her knitting. like the splendor of the butterfly's wing. she laid it in her arms. Gradually. they had just got hold of the cat." replied Thenardier. Thenardier accompanied and encouraged them. Madame. let us play with her. As birds make nests out of everything. you will perceive her whiskers. was swathing the little cat. I will come to see you. and that will surprise you. 'Ah! Mon Dieu!' and I will say to you: 'Yes. While Eponine and Azelma were bundling up the cat. and then you will see her tail and it will amaze you. She shall be my little girl."Thanks. sister. and to laugh at it until the ceiling shook. this doll is more amusing than the other. She picked up some old rags and her little lead sword from a box behind her. in a sovereign manner. vanishes when one essays to fix it fast. on her side. They had thrown their doll on the ground. "You see. to lull it to sleep. Little girls are made like that just at present. whose grace. it is my little girl. so children make a doll out of anything which comes to hand. and sang to it softly. Cosette always moved as little as possible. I will be a lady. See. Thenardier had resumed his drinking.'" Azelma listened admiringly to Eponine. And you will say to me. They had just executed a very important operation. and you shall look at her. who was the elder. Eponine and Azelma paid no attention to what was going on. in spite of its mewing and its contortions. his wife whispèred in his ear:-"Who can this yellow man be?" "I have seen millionaires with coats like that. in a quantity of clothes and red and blue scraps. the drinkers had begun to sing an obscene song. . And then you will see her ears.

Monsieur. "I am willing that the child should play." she thought. So Cosette had made herself a doll out of the sword. to teach. as you see. You see." said she." she pursued. and fell into his revery once more. "Oh! mon Dieu! no. the child grows into a young girl. the big girl into a woman. but it is good for once. The first child is the continuation of the last doll. there are such queer rich men!" She came and set her elbows on the table. and have received no reply these six months." During the whole of this conversation Cosette. While dreaming and chattering. to imagine that something is some one. A little girl without a doll is almost as unhappy. to dress." "Then this child is not yours?" demanded the man. "You see. Laffitte. a sort of imbecile child. the Thenardier had addressed him only as brave homme or bonhomme. To care for. "she abandoned her child. At this word. to clothe. to lull to sleep." "Ah!" said the man. she must needs work. making tiny outfits. as a woman without children. "Her mother didn't amount to much. "My husband is right. to rock. "perhaps it is M. It must be that her mother is dead. and corsages and bodices. the young girl into a big girl. the man turned. as though warned by some instinct that she was under . "Monsieur. one of the most charming instincts of feminine childhood.--therein lies the whole woman's future. to deck. because you are generous. she has a large head. to dandle. and baby clothes. to undress." added the Thenardier.The doll is one of the most imperious needs and. sir. she has nothing. assuming a sweetish air that was even more repulsive to behold than her fierce mien. She must have water on the brain. I do not oppose it. while sewing little gowns. We do what we can for her. up to that time. and quite as impossible. for we are not rich. Madame Thenardier approached the yellow man. we have written in vain to her native place. at the same time. scold a little. to redress. sir! she is a little beggar whom we have taken in through charity.

Thenardier. who was slowly devouring his meagre supper. she sang in a low voice. which was reflected from her fixed eyes.discussion. All at once. from her post under the table. in which the Virgin and the infant Jesus were introduced. "the millionaire. the drinkers. all three-quarters intoxicated. which they had abandoned for the cat and had left on the floor a few paces from the kitchen table. and the child under the table was singing hers. An instant later she was in her place again. were repeating their unclean refrain with redoubled gayety. had not taken her eyes from the Thenardier's face. and. Ponine and Zelma were playing with the cat." consented at last to take supper. she listened vaguely. "What does Monsieur wish?" "Bread and cheese. made sure once more that no one was watching her. and cast her eyes slowly round the room. The happiness of playing with a doll was so rare for her that it contained all the violence of voluptuousness. which only half met her needs. she caught a few words here and there. the yellow man. . he is a beggar" thought Madame The drunken men were still singing their song. then she slipped quickly up to the doll and seized it. She had begun to rock the sort of baby which she had made. seated motionless. it was a highly spiced and wanton song." said the man. "Decidedly. "My mother is dead! my mother is dead! my mother is dead!" On being urged afresh by the hostess. No one had seen her. she had just turned round and caught sight of the little Thenardiers' doll. Cosette. She had not a moment to lose. gazed at the fire. and only turned so as to cast a shadow on the doll which she held in her arms. as she rocked it. Madame Thenardier was whispering to her husband and counting over some money. not a glance was fixed on her. The Thenardier went off to take part in the shouts of laughter. the travellers were eating or drinking or singing. Meanwhile. except the traveller. Cosette paused. Then she dropped the swaddled sword. she crept out from under the table on her hands and knees.

and. Madame Thenardier's countenance assumed that peculiar expression which is composed of the terrible mingled with the trifles of life. On this occasion. Cosette. That pink and shining foot. Cosette had dared to take their doll! Eponine rose. she ran to her mother. she turned round.This joy lasted about a quarter of an hour." A czarina who should see a muzhik trying on her imperial son's blue ribbon would wear no other face. and began to tug at her skirt. then. she wrung them. Cosette took the doll and laid it gently on the floor with a sort of veneration. no longer saw or heard anything. absorbed in the ecstasies of possession. Cosette had overstepped all bounds. wounded pride exasperated her wrath still further." The two little girls paused in stupefaction. who said to Eponine. without taking her eyes from it. and which has caused this style of woman to be named megaeras. "look there!" And she pointed to Cosette. what is terrible to relate of a child of that age. nor the loss of the money. "Look! sister. she clasped her hands. "Let me alone!" said her mother. But with all the precautions that Cosette had taken she did not perceive that one of the doll's legs stuck out and that the fire on the hearth lighted it up very vividly. then--not one of the emotions of the day. without releasing the cat. nor even the sad words which she . nor the weight of the bucket of water. neither the trip to the forest. and. "what do you want?" "Mother. mingled with despair. She shrieked in a voice rendered hoarse with indignation:-"Cosette!" Cosette started as though the earth had trembled beneath her. "Cosette!" repeated the Thenardier." said the child. Cosette had laid violent hands on the doll belonging to "these young ladies. suddenly struck the eye of Azelma. projecting from the shadow. nor the sight of the whip.

then she slowly retreated. and he set it upright in front of Cosette. Cosette raised her eyes. and hid herself at the extreme end. the Thenardier profited by his absence to give Cosette a hearty kick under the table. "well. "Will you stop your noise?" screamed the Thenardier. he carried in both hands the fabulous doll which we have mentioned. she stared at him. the man re-appeared. and stepped out. which made the child utter loud cries. pointing to the corpus delicti which lay at Cosette's feet. the traveller had risen to his feet. The door opened again. "It is for you".had heard Madame Thenardier utter had been able to wring this from her--she wept. she gazed at the man approaching her with that doll as she might have gazed at the sun. As soon as he had gone. what if she did play with that doll?" "She touched it with her dirty hands!" pursued the Thenardier. "Don't you see?" said the Thenardier. Meanwhile. lighted up by fire-pots and candles so splendidly that it was visible like an illumination through the window of the drinking-shop. "That beggar. "What is the matter?" he said to the Thenardier. and which all the village brats had been staring at ever since the morning. permitted herself to touch the children's doll!" "has "All this noise for that!" said the man. . she stared at the doll. she burst out sobbing. under the table in a corner of the wall. The man went straight to the street door." replied the Thenardier. what of it?" resumed the man. opened it. saying:-"Here." It must be supposed that in the course of the hour and more which he had spent there he had taken confused notice through his revery of that toy shop. "with her frightful hands!" Here Cosette redoubled her sobs. this is for you. she heard the unprecedented words. "Well.

he seemed to be scenting out the man. No nonsense. . that they possess no transition state. up to a certain point. in a voice that strove to be sweet. a solemn silence reigned through the whole room. but her eyes began to fill. Cosette. What she felt at that moment was a little like what she would have felt if she had been abruptly told. The tavern-keeper stared alternately at the doll and at the traveller. with a caressing air. recommenced her conjectures: "Who is that old fellow? Is he a poor man? Is he a millionaire? Perhaps he is both." The face of the male Thenardier presented that expressive fold which accentuates the human countenance whenever the dominant instinct appears there in all its bestial force." Cosette gazed at the marvellous doll in a sort of terror. a thief." said the Thenardier. it is yours. my little Cosette. "Take it. The Thenardier. with strange beams of joy. lightning would dart from it. as he would have scented out a bag of money. Her face was still flooded with tears. and Azelma were like statues also. "Well. This did not last longer than the space of a flash of lightning. This was true. you are the Queen of France. He stepped up to his wife and said to her in a low voice:-"That machine costs at least thirty francs. "Little one. "The gentleman has given you a doll. "aren't you going to take your doll?" Cosette ventured to emerge from her hole. for she said to herself that the Thenardier would scold and beat her. she had the appearance of no longer daring to breathe. Eponine. she no longer wept. the very drinkers had paused." said Thenardier. and which was composed of the bitter honey of malicious women. petrified and mute." It seemed to her that if she touched that doll. Madame Thenardier. Down on your belly before that man!" Gross natures have this in common with naive natures.She no longer cried. that is to say. like the sky at daybreak.

and ecstatic. then seated herself on the floor in front of her. these emotions were more . terrified. sir?" said Cosette. Habituated as she was to dissimulation through endeavoring to copy her husband in all his actions. and placed the "lady's" hand in her tiny hand." returned the child. It was now the turn of Eponine and Azelma to gaze at Cosette with envy." she resumed. "Is it true? Is the 'lady' mine?" The stranger's eyes seemed to be full of tears. my child. it was necessary to control herself. Cosette. Cosette placed Catherine on a chair. at once despairing. "it is yours. However. was the person whom the Thenardier hated worse than any one in the world at that moment. "may I put her on a chair?" "Yes. He nodded to Cosette. The gentleman has given it to you. "Madame. without uttering a word. this unknown individual. and began to stare at the floor. "Pardi!" cried the Thenardier. All at once she wheeled round and seized the doll in a transport. the attraction carried the day. and remained motionless. Madame?" No words can render that air. as though that of the "lady" scorched her." she said. He appeared to have reached that point of emotion where a man does not speak for fear lest he should weep." said the stranger. We are forced to add that at that moment she stuck out her tongue immoderately." "Truly. in an attitude of contemplation. This stranger. "Play. "I shall call her Catherine. She ended by drawing near and murmuring timidly as she turned towards Madame Thenardier:-"May I." replied the Thenardier.Nevertheless. It was an odd moment when Cosette's rags met and clasped the ribbons and fresh pink muslins of the doll. "Oh! I am playing. Cosette hastily withdrew her hand. who had the air of a visit which Providence was making on Cosette.

but he had not said a word since Cosette had left the room. If the old fellow is a philanthropist. She exchanged with her husband words which were all the more furious because she dared not utter them aloud. "if that amuses him! It amuses you to have the little one work. had withdrawn a little.than she could endure. From time to time the Thenardier went to the other end of the room where her husband was. and who lavished gigantic dolls on dirty little brats in wooden shoes." she added with a maternal air. All the other travellers. what is that to you? If he is an imbecile. carrying Catherine in her arms. the drinkers had taken their departure. The man had placed his elbows on the table. the chimes had ceased. the fire extinct. the stranger still remained in the same place and the same attitude. From time to time he changed the elbow on which he leaned. with a sort of respectful awe. it amuses him to have her play." replied Thenardier. so long as he has money?" The language of a master. then she asked the man's permission to send Cosette off also. the public room was deserted. both pedlers and carters. "for she has worked hard all day. it does not concern you. They were staring at him from a distance. and resumed his thoughtful attitude. Many hours passed. was certainly a magnificent fellow. so I would! A little more and he will be saying Your Majesty to her. What are you worrying for. as though to the Duchess de Berry! Is there any sense in it? Is he mad. who drew "hind-wheels" from his pocket with so much ease. This poorly dressed man. as she said. that mysterious old fellow?" "Why! it is perfectly simple. the drinking-shop was closed. and the reasoning of an innkeeper. then. to relieve her soul. He's all right. . That was all. She made haste to send her daughters to bed. and had ceased singing. and one to be feared. Cosette went off to bed. "Old beast! What has he got in his belly. to come and upset us in this manner! To want that little monster to play! to give away forty-franc dolls to a jade that I would sell for forty sous. A traveller can do what he pleases when he pays for it. The midnight mass was over. neither of which admitted of any reply.

from the date of the number to the printer's name. Where is your stable?" "Sir!" exclaimed Thenardier. which was of rare splendor. The worthy inn-keeper had perused the Courrier Francais at least three times. a chamber in which one reposes costs twenty francs. with a smile. "Well!" said the stranger. all furnished in mahogany. out of curiosity. These words possess the mysterious and admirable property of swelling the bill on the following day. To repose smacked of luxury and respect. and creaked his chair. spit. "Is he asleep?" thought Thenardier." He took the candle. Not a movement on the man's part. Thenardier fidgeted. she declared herself vanquished. The stranger did not stir. "you are right. A chamber where one sleeps costs twenty sous. This is only entered three or four times a year." said the tavernkeeper. A good hour passed thus. with a low bedstead. The man was not asleep. "I'm going to bed. Do as you like. "It is really our bridal chamber. had remained in the room. blew his nose. and began to read the Courrier Francais. sir. coughed. lighted a candle. and ventured to say:-"Is not Monsieur going to his repose?" Not going to bed would have seemed to him excessive and familiar. curtained with red calico. When two o'clock in the morning struck. "I will conduct you." Her husband seated himself at a table in the corner. the man picked up his bundle and cudgel." said the man. and said to her husband. "My wife and I occupy another. politeness and "Is he going to pass the night in that fashion?" grumbled the Thenardier. abruptly. At last Thenardier took off his cap. "What is this?" said the traveller. but nothing could arouse him. ." "I should have liked the stable quite as well. stepped gently up to him.The Thenardiers alone. and Thenardier conducted him to a chamber on the first floor.

When the traveller turned round. but she was not asleep. and a few moments later their candle was extinguished. sir. Thenardier had withdrawn discreetly. blew out the other. A very good fire was flickering on the hearth. stood a woman's head-dress in silver wire and orange flowers. "And what is this?" resumed the stranger. he had found this chamber decorated in just this manner. "That. As for the traveller." Thenardier replied coldly:-"How you do go on!" They exchanged no further words. On the chimney-piece. "There really was a time. he threw himself into an arm-chair and remained for some time buried in thought." said Thenardier. His wife was in bed. "is my wife's wedding bonnet. when that monster was a maiden?" Thenardier lied. however. He lighted two perfectly fresh wax candles which figured on the chimney-piece. When he had leased this paltry building for the purpose of converting it into a tavern. and had purchased the furniture and obtained the orange flowers at second hand." The traveller surveyed the object with a glance which seemed to say. without venturing to wish him a good night. took one of the two candles. as he did not wish to treat with disrespectful cordiality a man whom he proposed to fleece royally the following morning. with the idea that this would cast a graceful shadow on "his spouse. Then he removed his shoes. . The landlord once gone. then. The inn-keeper retired to his room. he had deposited his cudgel and his bundle in a corner. I'm going to turn Cosette out of doors to-morrow." and would result in what the English call respectability for his house.Thenardier pretended not to hear this unamiable remark. the host had disappeared. under a glass globe. When she heard her husband's step she turned over and said to him:-"Do you know.

At the further extremity. This recess was nothing else than the space under the steps. and half hidden. dark room. Cosette was in a profound sleep. No sheets. The stranger stepped into it. there was not even ashes. He followed this sound. in order that she might not be so cold. in which the little boy who had cried all the evening lay asleep. there to await in the . Behind these beds. In this bed Cosette was sleeping. There. was a bed-if one can call by the name of bed a straw pallet so full of holes as to display the straw. nevertheless. wide open. in the midst of all sorts of old papers and potsherds. The man approached and gazed down upon her. Against her breast was pressed the doll. very white beds. They belonged to Eponine and Azelma. coquettish in shape and unequal in size. He traversed a corridor and came upon a staircase. and came to a sort of triangular recess built under the staircase.opened the door. glittered in the dark. she was fully dressed. He was on the point of retreating when his eye fell upon the fireplace--one of those vast tavern chimneys where there is always so little fire when there is any fire at all. In the winter she did not undress. It was two tiny children's shoes. and quitted the room. through a glass door. but there was something which attracted the stranger's gaze. From time to time she gave vent to a deep sigh as though she were on the point of waking. gazing about him like a person who is in search of something. he saw two small. among dust and spiders' webs. There was no fire in this one. stood an uncurtained wicker cradle. This was placed on the floor. or rather formed by the staircase itself. whose large eyes. Beside her bed there was only one of her wooden shoes. and she strained the doll almost convulsively in her arms. and which are so cold to look at. The traveller recalled the graceful and immemorial custom in accordance with which children place their shoes in the chimney on Christmas eve. and a coverlet so tattered as to show the pallet. There he heard a very faint and gentle sound like the breathing of a child. A door which stood open near Cosette's pallet permitted a view of a rather large. The stranger conjectured that this chamber connected with that of the Thenardier pair.

and was on the point of withdrawing. that is to say. Cosette. which can always be deceived yet never discouraged. had placed her shoe on the hearth-stone also. with that touching trust of childhood. and each of them had set one of her shoes on the hearth. he caught sight of another object. and in each he saw a brand-new and shining ten-sou piece. There was nothing in this wooden shoe. . The stranger fumbled in his waistcoat. had already paid her visit. Hope in a child who has never known anything but despair is a sweet and touching thing. and recognized a wooden shoe. in the darkest corner of the hearth. The man straightened himself up. The traveller bent over them. a frightful shoe of the coarsest description. when far in. half dilapidated and all covered with ashes and dried mud. Then he regained his own chamber with the stealthy tread of a wolf. their mother. bent over and placed a louis d'or in Cosette's shoe.darkness some sparkling gift from their good fairy. He looked at it. The fairy. Eponine and Azelma had taken care not to omit this. It was Cosette's sabot.

. on the other. . seated beside a candle in the public room of the tavern. . Service was written servisse. . Thenardier. but it is too much. 1 " ---------Total . "Twenty-three francs!" cried the woman. ." Thenardier laughed coldly. . . . . . . . . and half bent over him. . . . . . . was following him with her eyes. . . He will not pay it. . . . . . . . "Monsieur Thenardier. . His wife. . . who was thinking of the doll bestowed on Cosette in the presence of her daughters. as usual. On the one hand. with an enthusiasm which was mingled with some hesitation. . . 5 " Fire . Thenardier produced the following masterpiece:-BILL OF THE GENTLEMAN IN No. . Supper . . . . Like all great artists. . . . . It was the accent of Castlereagh auditing France's bill at the Congress of Vienna. They exchanged not a word. pen in hand. . After the lapse of a good quarter of an hour. . . it was the Lark sweeping the stairs. . . 10 " Candle . he certainly owes that. . 23 francs. and said:-"He will pay. 1. . Chamber . . . the religious admiration with which one watches the birth and development of a marvel of the human mind." murmured the wife. . was making out the bill for the traveller with the yellow coat. 4 " Service . A noise was audible in the house. . . . . . .CHAPTER IX--THENARDIER AND HIS MANOEUVRES On the following morning. you are right. . ." . standing beside him. . . . . . . . . . . . . "It is just. and some erasures. . "Peuh!" he exclaimed. . 3 francs. two hours at least before day-break. Thenardier was dissatisfied. . there was profound meditation.

she was twisting the bill about in her hands with an embarrassed air. and making creases in it with her nails." "So Monsieur has no business in Montfermeil?" . A moment later he added:-"I owe full fifteen hundred francs!" He went and seated himself in the chimney-corner.--timidity and scruples. meditating. I am going." resumed his wife. He replied:-"Yes. with his feet among the warm ashes. To present such a bill to a man who had so completely the air "of a poor wretch" seemed difficult to her. The traveller appeared to be preoccupied and absent-minded. visible only to his wife. her husband paced the room." Then he went out. and replied between two puffs:-"You will hand that bill to the man. "you don't forget that I'm going to turn Cosette out of doors to-day? The monster! She breaks my heart with that doll of hers! I'd rather marry Louis XVIII. Madame. That which was asserted in this manner must needs be so. His wife did not insist. "Ah! by the way. "is Monsieur leaving us already?" As she spoke thus. Thenardier instantly reappeared behind him and remained motionless in the half-open door. Hardly had he left the room when the traveller entered. Her hard face presented a shade which was not habitual with it. "Up so early?" said Madame Thenardier.This laugh was the supreme assertion of certainty and authority. She set about arranging the table. than keep her another day in the house!" Thenardier lighted his pipe. The yellow man carried his bundle and his cudgel in his hand.

stupefied at not witnessing another sort of explosion. We earn nothing and we have to pay out a great deal. I was passing through." "What child?" "Why. We have so many expenses. the hundredths! Monsieur is aware that the government demands a terrible deal of money. The man unfolded the paper and glanced at it. you know! Cosette--the Lark. the little one. Monsieur. I have no need to bring up other people's children. and in which there lingered a tremor:-"What if one were to rid you of her?" "Who? Cosette?" "Yes. as she is called hereabouts!" "Ah!" said the man. the door and window tax. we have so few bourgeois in the neighborhood! All the people are poor. in that voice which he strove to render indifferent. Just see. that child is costing us our very eyes. I have my daughters. "Madame. now and then. She continued."No. If we had not. Madame. you see. "is business good here in Montfermeil?" "So so. we do not ask charity." he added. and we cannot bestow it. That is all. we should not get along at all. What do I owe you. You see. The Thenardier silently handed him the folded bill." he resumed. times are so hard! and then. but his thoughts were evidently elsewhere. The license. some rich and generous travellers like Monsieur. And then. the imposts. She went on:-"How stupid these peasants are with their nicknames! She has more the air of a bat than of a lark. sir." The landlady's red and violent face brightened up hideously. in a dreary and lamentable tone:-"Oh! Monsieur." replied the Thenardier. ." The man resumed.

I must discuss that matter a little with the gentleman. my dear sir. sir. sugar her. She replied. lead her off. and repeated:-"Twenty-three francs?" There was in the enunciation of these words." said he." resumed Thenardier." "Really! You will take her away?" "I will take her away. thus repeated. with assurance:-"Good gracious." "Immediately?" "Immediately. and said:-"Monsieur owes twenty-six sous. coldly. She was conscious that a great actor was making his . "I will pay you what I owe you." "Twenty-six sous!" exclaimed his wife. Call the child. "and six sous for his supper." "Cosette!" screamed the Thenardier. it is twenty-three francs. wife."Ah! sir. an accent between an exclamation and an interrogation point. take her." Madame Thenardier was dazzled as with the shock caused by unexpected lightning flashes of talent. keep her. How much is it?" He cast a glance on the bill. and could not restrain a start of surprise:-"Twenty-three francs!" He looked at the landlady. yes. "Go and get the child. "In the meantime. and the blessings of the good holy Virgin and of all the saints of paradise be upon you!" "Agreed. "Twenty sous for the chamber." The stranger laid five five-franc pieces on the table. Leave us. At that moment Thenardier advanced to the middle of the room. stuff her with truffles. drink her." pursued the man. As for the child. eat her. carry her away. The Thenardier had had time to prepare herself for the shock.

The latter continued:-fixed on "Excuse me. uttered not a word in reply." The stranger kept his eye intently Thenardier. I do not reason. You understand. it is true that she has her faults. it is true that we are not rich.entrance on the stage. I saw her first when she was a tiny thing. I should not wish to lose sight of her. I speak frankly. I adore the child. as true as you are an honest man. and left the room. you have the air of a very good man. she is just the same as our own child. I should like to know with whom she is living. I have brought her up. sir. I think a great deal of that child. like that. it is true that I have paid out over four hundred francs for drugs for just one of her illnesses! But one must do something for the good God's sake. I shall miss that child. I am a good sort of a beast. but one does not give away one's child to a passer-by. and his face assumed a singular expression of good-fellowship and simplicity.--if it were for her happiness. I love that little girl. Thenardier offered the traveller a chair. As soon as they were alone. but she loves her also. It is true that she costs us money. I am right. I should like to know what becomes of her. She has neither father nor mother. "What child?" Thenardier continued:-"How strange it is. What money is that? Take back your hundred-sou piece. I am. my wife is quick-tempèred. "Eh! our little Cosette! Are you not intending to take her away from us? Well. You see. I want to keep her to babble about the house. You understand: suppose that I were to let her go and to sacrifice myself. The traveller seated himself. am I not? Still. . I have bread enough for her and for myself. "what I have to say to you is this. so that I could go to see her from time to time." The stranger gazed intently at him. one conceives an affection for a person." said he. that I adore that child. In truth." "Whom do you mean?" demanded the stranger. Thenardier remained standing. one grows attached. But one must find out that. I will not consent to it. "Sir. I don't say--you are rich.

watching him like a cat. He had pondered it all night long. he comprehended it with his clear and sagacious promptitude. and had spied upon him as though he had been paid for so doing. You will not know my name. there are things which are not possible. If you were to take her away. and which irritated him. I shall take her away. both on his own account. firm voice:-"Monsieur Thenardier. at least. I do not even know your name. one asserts it. What was it. and my intention is that she shall never set eyes on you again so long as she lives. and she departs. replied in a grave. Who was this man? Why this interest? Why this hideous costume. Be that as . Thenardier comprehended that he had to deal with a very strong person. Even before the stranger had so clearly manifested his interest in Cosette. like demons. some trifle in the way of a passport. This man evidently had no right over Cosette. he had devoted the whole of the time to observing the stranger. I break the thread which binds her foot. He had watched him. see some petty scrap of paper.so that she may know that her good foster-father is alive. He had caught the old man's deep glances returning constantly to the child. for the pleasure of the thing. but he saw nothing. recognize the presence of a superior God by certain signs. and studying him like a mathematician. you will not know where she is. then? Thenardier lost himself in conjectures. I should say: 'Well. and the Lark. Was he her grandfather? Then why not make himself known at once? When one has a right. If I take Cosette away. Not a movement. While drinking with the carters. and singing coarse songs on the preceding evening. one does not require a passport to travel five leagues from Paris. what has become of her?' One must. Does that suit you? Yes or no?" Since geniuses. you know!" The stranger. when he had so much money in his purse? Questions which he put to himself without being able to solve them. smoking. In short. on the part of the man in the yellow great-coat had escaped him. and that is the end of the matter. you will not know my residence. Thenardier had divined his purpose. as the saying goes. He caught glimpses of everything. He could not be Cosette's father. to the very depths of the conscience. still surveying him with that gaze which penetrates. not a gesture. It was like an intuition. and through instinct. that he is watching over her.

sure that there was some secret in the case. Still. She was happy. Ever since the preceding evening. that the latter had some interest in remaining in the shadow. He did as great leaders do at the decisive moment. and who was so rich . as though she had stolen it. he reassured her. he became conscious that he was weak. when he perceived from the stranger's clear and firm retort. drew out three bank-bills. but the joy which she experienced was full of fear. even in her sleep." The stranger took from his side pocket an old pocketbook of black leather.it may. on whose effigy the little Prussian queue had replaced the laurel wreath." said he. she had been thinking in her little childish mind of that man who seemed to be so poor and so sad. above all she was stupefied. He had expected nothing of the sort. opened it. Her destiny began to intoxicate her. she felt that it really was hers. "Sir. The doll frightened her. She trembled vaguely in the presence of this magnificence. which he laid on the table. He decided that the moment had arrived for proceeding straightforward. She did not know what a gold piece was. she hid it quickly in her pocket. He rallied his ideas. she guessed whence her gift had come. His conjectures were put to the rout. Cosette had run to get her shoe. Such magnificent and beautiful things did not appear real. The stranger alone did not frighten her. amid all her amazement. she had never seen one. "I am in need of fifteen hundred francs. he abruptly unmasked his batteries. what had Cosette been doing? On waking up. it was one of those perfectly new twenty-franc pieces of the Restoration. Thenardier was one of those men who take in a situation at a glance. In it she had found the gold piece. Then he placed his large thumb on the notes and said to the innkeeper:-"Go and fetch Cosette." While this was taking place. Cosette was dazzled. on entering into conversation with the man. It was not a Napoleon. He weighed everything in the space of a second. which they know that they alone recognize. he felt himself strong. On the contrary. and quickly at that. that this mysterious personage was mysterious in so simple a way. the gold piece frightened her.

had never known what it was to take refuge under a mother's shadow and under a wing. She was no longer alone. That louis. distracted her thoughts. "come An instant later Cosette entered the public room. almost gently. Cosette was no longer afraid of the Thenardier. This bundle contained a little woollen gown. which she had about her. "My child. What was quite unprecedented. The stranger took up the bundle which he had brought and untied it. shoes--a complete outfit for a girl of seven years. She hastily set about her regular morning duties. occupied in gazing at that star which was blazing at the bottom of her pocket. She dared not touch it. forgetful of her broom and of the entire universe. As she swept the staircase. and go and dress yourself quickly. a petticoat. It was during one of these periods of contemplation that the Thenardier joined her. "Cosette. in the very apron pocket whence the fifteen-sou piece had fallen on the night before. and carrying a pink doll in her arms. as far back as her memory ran. All was black." said the man. a kerchief. now it seemed to her she was clothed. there was some one there. less happy than the most insignificant swallow of heaven." said. pass along the road to Paris. the poor child had shivered and trembled. if the truth must be told. that is to say. but she spent five minutes in gazing at it. an apron. Cosette. with her tongue hanging out. Everything had changed for her since she had met that good man in the forest. a fustian bodice. she neither struck her nor said an insulting word to her. now it was warm." she immediately. For the last five years." Daylight was appearing when those of the inhabitants of Montfermeil who had begun to open their doors beheld a poorly clad old man leading a little girl dressed in mourning.and so kind. woollen stockings. "take these. She had always been exposed completely naked to the sharp wind of adversity. She had gone in search of Cosette at her husband's orders. Formerly her soul had seemed cold. she paused. . remained standing there motionless. They were going in the direction of Livry.

With whom? She did not know. she bent down and glanced at it. as Cosette was no longer in rags. many did not recognize her. All that she understood was that she was leaving the Thenardier tavern behind her. No one knew the man. Poor. Whither? She knew not. She felt something as though she were beside the good God. No one had thought of bidding her farewell.It was our man and Cosette. repressed up to that hour! whose heart had been Cosette walked along gravely. then she looked at the good man. She had put her louis in the pocket of her new apron. She was leaving that hated and hating house. nor had she thought of taking leave of any one. From time to time. and gazing at the sky. Cosette was going away. gentle creature. . with her large eyes wide open.

many mysteries lay concealed under it." said he. "I am an animal. and ran out in all haste. "I am a fool. all that was singular. and saw nothing. She had expected great results. First he gave twenty sous. "Is that all?" said she. . he calculated that he ought to be able to see the old man and the child. one must know how to subject them to pressure. the Lark and the man had been seen going in the direction of Livry. The secrets of the wealthy are sponges of gold. The blow told. of whom he made inquiries. put him on the track again. but he made a mistake and turned to the right first. thrust them into his pocket. that bundle of clothes prepared beforehand for the child. He followed these hints." He folded up the three bank-bills. Thenardier allowed a full quarter of an hour to elapse. He would have given fifteen thousand francs. as was her wont. then fifty francs. in sooth. and I am an animal. "You are right. all with equal readiness. One does not let mysteries out of one's hand when one has once grasped them. then fifteen hundred francs. then he took her aside and showed her the fifteen hundred francs. But I shall overtake him." And then. All these thoughts whirled through his brain.CHAPTER X--HE WHO SEEKS TO BETTER HIMSELF MAY RENDER HIS SITUATION WORSE Madame Thenardier had allowed her husband to have his own way." said he. When one leaves Montfermeil and reaches the turn which the road takes that runs to Livry. When the man and Cosette had taken their departure. walking with great strides. On arriving there. Give me my hat. it can be seen stretching out before one to a great distance across the plateau. and talking to himself the while:-"That man is evidently a million dressed in yellow. Some neighbors. It was the first time since they had set up housekeeping that she had dared to criticise one of the master's acts. He looked as far as his vision reached. then five francs.

In a calm and even situation. with the sagacity of a fox scenting a covey of partridges. and have fallen a-dreaming in the presence of this hideous masterpiece. and reached that turf alley which nearly makes the circuit of the hill. Some passers-by informed him that the man and child of whom he was in search had gone towards the forest in the direction of Gagny. They were far in advance of him. and he walked fast. a good bourgeois. He hastened in that direction. Thenardier possessed all that is required to make--we will not say to be--what people have agreed to call an honest trader. of the hat on which he had already erected so many conjectures. and with almost an air of certainty. and who disappear without our finding them out. Satan must have occasionally crouched down in some corner of the hovel in which Thenardier dwelt." And he pursued his road. and then. he was well acquainted with the country. certain shocks arriving to bring his under-nature to the surface. but a child walks slowly. because destiny has only exhibited one side of them. over the top of the brushwood." said he to himself.He made fresh inquiries. when he had passed the ponds and had traversed in an oblique direction the large clearing which lies on the right of the Avenue de Bellevue. "I ought to have taken my gun. It is the fate of many men to live thus half submerged. All at once he paused and dealt himself a blow on his forehead like a man who has forgotten some essential point and who is ready to retrace his steps. Thenardier recognized . he had all the requisites for a blackguard. Thenardier was one of those double natures which sometimes pass through our midst without our being aware of the fact. it was that man's hat. he caught sight. After a momentary hesitation:-"Bah!" he thought. The brushwood was not high. and covers the arch of the ancient aqueduct of the Abbéy of Chelles. He was a shopkeeper in whom there was some taint of the monster. At the same time certain circumstances being given. In truth. "they will have time to make their escape. but he had wasted time. walking rapidly straight ahead.

" The man. Thenardier was not mistaken. sir." he said. signed by her mother. The man raised his eyes. but the head of her doll was visible. he handed the stranger the three bankbills. she belongs to her mother. the traveller cast a glance about him: the spot was absolutely deserted. 'But her mother is dead. this child does not belong to me. I am an honest man. he is going to bribe me!" Before opening the pocket-book. The man was sitting there. sir. quite breathless.' Good. I can only resign her to her mother. "but here are your fifteen hundred francs. fumbled in his pocket. you see. and Thenardier beheld the pocket-book of bank-bills make its appearance once more.the fact that the man and Cosette were sitting there. "Pardon. excuse me. that is clear." Cosette shuddered. I am. "What is the meaning of this?" Thenardier replied respectfully:-"It means. I have considered the matter. He replied. . and enunciating every syllable distinctly:-"You are go-ing to take back Co-sette?" "Yes. I have not the right to give her to you." So saying. "Good!" thought he. I will tell you. and letting Cosette get somewhat rested. sir. You will say to me. to the effect that I am to hand the child over to the person therein mentioned. The inn-keeper walked round the brushwood and presented himself abruptly to the eyes of those whom he was in search of. It was her mother who confided her to me. and pressed close to the old man. The child could not be seen on account of her small size. In fact. in that case I can only give the child up to the person who shall bring me a writing. that I shall take back Cosette. "let us hold firm. gazing to the very bottom of Thenardier's eyes the while. without making any reply. The tavern-keeper shivered with joy.

"however. Since then nine months have elapsed. "This signature is fairly well imitated. You had received ." The man rose to his feet. he experienced two violent vexations. which makes one hundred and thirty-five francs. the vexation of renouncing the bribery which he had hoped for. FANTINE. The man opened his pocket-book once more and drew from it. you sent her a bill of five hundred francs." Thenardier retreated in tolerably good order." he growled between his teeth.there was not a soul either in the woods or in the valley. at fifteen francs a month. SUR M." he said. In February. "MONSIEUR THENARDIER:-You will deliver Cosette to this person. the mother reckoned that she owed you one hundred and twenty francs. let it go!" Then he essayed a desperate effort. There was no reply to make.. "It is well. the man added:-"You may keep this paper as your receipt. the price agreed upon. which he unfolded and presented fully open to the innkeeper. 1823. Thenardier recognized it. You will be paid for all the little things. sir. read!" Thenardier took the paper and read:-"M. but a simple little paper. I have the honor to salute you with respect. March 25. not the handful of bills which Thenardier expected. filliping the dust from his thread-bare sleeve:-"Monsieur Thenardier. and three hundred francs at the beginning of March. you received three hundred francs at the end of February. It certainly was Fantine's signature. and the vexation of being beaten. A great deal is owing to me." "You know that signature?" resumed the man. saying:-"You are right. in January last. but I must be paid for all those little things. "since you are the person.

"Who is this devil of a man?" he thought. The man plunged into the forest with the child. He walked slowly." He took Cosette by his left hand. bringing his eyes back to his own person. so that Thenardier did not lose them from sight. Audacity had succeeded with him once." said he. and a consolation. and his great fists. with drooping head. the fifteen hundred francs." The stranger said tranquilly:-"Come. "Monsieur-I-don't-know-your-name. an irony in the shape of the paper signed Fantine. and he set out to follow them at a distance. While they were walking away. and with his right he picked up his cudgel." Thenardier's sensations were those of the wolf at the moment when he feels himself nipped and seized by the steel jaw of the trap. "I want to know where he is going. Then. ." he said resolutely. "I shall take back Cosette if you do not give me a thousand crowns. that makes thirty-five still owing you. I have just given you fifteen hundred francs. The man led Cosette off in the direction of Livry and Bondy. Thenardier scrutinized his huge shoulders. in an attitude of reflection and sadness." he said to himself. leaving the inn-keeper motionless and speechless. "since I was going hunting!" However. The winter had thinned out the forest. which was lying on the ground. He did what the wolf does: he shook himself. which were a little rounded. and this time casting aside all respectful ceremony. Two things were left on his hands. "I really must have been exceedingly stupid not to have thought to bring my gun. the inn-keeper did not give up. they fell upon his feeble arms and his thin hands. Cosette. although he kept at a good distance.one hundred francs too much. Thenardier noted the enormous size of the cudgel and the solitude of the spot.

and he redoubled his pace. and looked to see if he was being followed. Thenardier retraced his steps. where they could both hide themselves. This time he gazed at him with so sombre an air that Thenardier decided that it was "useless" to proceed further. All at once he caught sight of Thenardier. It was in vain that Thenardier sought to conceal himself in the branches.The man turned round from time to time. he wheeled round. . "The deuce!" said Thenardier. The man cast upon him an uneasy glance. He plunged suddenly into the brushwood with Cosette. All at once the man turned round once more. he saw the inn-keeper. When the man had reached the densest part of the thicket. Thus they continued for two or three hundred paces. The innkeeper set out again in pursuit. The thickness of the undergrowth forced him to draw nearer to them. then elevated his head and continued his course. he could not prevent the man seeing him.

was discovered. near Briancon. in the Hautes-Alpes. whose branchings are untraceable. when he threw himself into it. then to procure a lodging.CHAPTER XI--NUMBER 9. he had made a mysterious trip thither. On the evening of the day when Jean Valjean rescued Cosette from the claws of the Thenardiers. His first care on arriving in Paris had been to buy mourning clothes for a little girl of from seven to eight years of age. or somewhere in that neighborhood. It was a fumbling and uneasy flight. and in the environs of Perigueux at Brunies. He felt reassured and almost at peace. He swam under water until he reached a vessel at anchor. We have just seen him at Montfermeil. Then he directed his course towards Grand-Villard. he was thought to be dead. However. some trace of his passage into Ain. He found his first refuge at Pradeaux. he was not ironed. There. When he fell into the sea. near the market of Chavailles. canton of La Chapelle-Gonaguet. one of the journals which chronicled the fact fell into his hands. At Paris. Then Jean Valjean.--a mole's track. at the spot called Grange-deDoumec.430 REAPPEARS.--a lucrative specialty. near Beausset. Later on. he had betaken himself to Montfermeil. at Accons. in the territory of Civrieux. during his preceding escape. That done. It will be remembered that already. and reached the shore a little way from Cape Brun. AND COSETTE WINS IT IN THE LOTTERY Jean Valjean was not dead. like all the sorry fugitives who are seeking to evade the vigilance of the law and social fatality. He found means of hiding himself in this boat until night. A small country-house in the neighborhood of Balaguier was at that time the dressing-room of escaped convicts. of which the law had gathered an inkling. as he did not lack money. At night he swam off again. pursued an obscure and undulating itinerary. he procured clothing. as though he had really been dead. as we have seen. he . to which a boat was moored. in the Pyrenees. and this still further increased the obscurity which had gathered about him. or rather. He reached Paris.

and together they directed their steps through the darkness.returned to Paris. He took her on his back. Cosette. which took him to the esplanade of the Observatoire. The day had been strange and filled with emotions for Cosette. they had changed carriages frequently. laid her head on Jean Valjean's shoulder. took Cosette by the hand. without letting go of Catherine. they had travelled short distances on foot. They had eaten some bread and cheese purchased in isolated taverns. behind hedges. There he got out. She made no complaint. paid the coachman. but she was weary. with the child. He re-entered it at nightfall. and there fell asleep. towards the Boulevard de l'Hopital. .-through the deserted streets which adjoin the Ourcine and the Glaciere. and Jean Valjean perceived it by the way she dragged more and more on his hand as she walked. by way of the Barrier Monceaux. There he entered a cabriolet.


it was not the city. low. and the grass grew in them. then a field in which tan-bark mills rose like gigantic beaver huts. a frightful and decrepit building. hence its apparent diminutiveness.CHAPTER I--MASTER GORBEAU Forty years ago. on which ran the inscription in large letters: POST NO BILLS. there could be seen. with a heap of stumps. and between two garden walls. with a little black door in mourning. It presented its side and gable to the public road. and who had mounted to the Barriere d'Italie by way of the boulevard. it was a boulevard of the great city. might have been the lattice of a lordly mansion. What was it. at the first glance. which were covered with flowers in the spring. if he consented even to pass beyond the Rue du PetitBanquier. a mean building. The first detail that struck the observer was. a street of Paris. then? It was an inhabited spot where there was no one. more gloomy by day than a cemetery. There. if he risked himself outside the four decrepit walls of this Marche-aux-Chevaux. if it had been carved out of dressed stone instead of being in rough masonry. This hovel was only one story high. for there were houses and streets. then. It was no longer solitude. it was a desert place where there was some one. while the window. The rambler. then a long. and which was. barking. . as large as a cathedral. at that epoch. seemed as small as a thatched hovel.--this daring rambler would have reached little known latitudes at the corner of the Rue des Vignes-Saint-Marcel. Nearly the whole of the house was hidden. it was not a village. for the streets had ruts like highways. and shavings. in the most deserted spot. which. that the door could never have been anything but the door of a hovel. It was the old quarter of the Marche-aux-Chevaux. a rambler who had ventured into that unknown country of the Salpetriere. utterly dilapidated wall. sawdust. laden with mosses. reached a point where it might be said that Paris disappeared. on which stood a large dog. Only the door and one window could be seen. more wild at night than the forest. in reality. it was not the country. after leaving on his right a garden protected by high walls. for there were passers-by. near a factory. the houses were too lofty. then an enclosure encumbered with timber.

Number 52. traversed according as the crevices lay in the roof or in the door. so that what began as a blind ended as a shutter. and above the scantling the same hand had daubed the number 50. It opened directly on a steep staircase of lofty steps. the inside replied. and with a frame in large square panes. which served both as wicket and air-hole when the door was closed. "Number 50". of the same width as itself. dislocated and unpasted. threatened passers-by rather than screened the occupants. This door with an unclean. muddy. with different miens beneath the same rags. "no. the one having always been a mendicant. The staircase led to a very vast edifice which resembled a shed which had been converted into a house. and the other having once been a gentleman. Where was one? Above the door it said. garnished with Venetian blinds. chalky. and this window with an honest though dilapidated air. melancholy. which could be seen from the street. sepulchral. running straight up like a ladder and disappearing in the darkness between two walls. wan. only these large panes were suffering from various wounds. An . on which opened to right and left sorts of compartments of varied dimensions which were inhabitable under stress of circumstances. produced the effect of two incomplete beggars walking side by side. thus beheld on the same house. These chambers received their light from the vague waste grounds in the neighborhood. The horizontal slats were missing here and there and had been naively replaced with boards nailed on perpendicularly. a long corridor. plasterstained. so that one hesitated. disagreeable. The top of the shapeless bay into which this door shut was masked by a narrow scantling in the centre of which a triangular hole had been sawed. All this was dark." No one knows what dust-colored figures were suspended like draperies from the triangular opening. The window was large. which were both concealed and betrayed by an ingenious paper bandage. This edifice had. for its intestinal tube. sufficiently elevated. by cold rays or by icy winds.The door was nothing but a collection of worm-eaten planks roughly bound together by cross-beams which resembled roughly hewn logs. And the blinds. On the inside of the door the figures 52 had been traced with a couple of strokes of a brush dipped in ink. dusty steps. and rather more like stalls than cells.

and hit upon the expedient of applying to the king. embarrassed by the jests. at about the height of a man from the ground. and prick slippery dates into their memories with a pin. about 1770. Etc. sur un dossier perché. As a whole. It seems as though man's lodging partook of his ephemeral character. both devoutly kneeling.13 Tenait dans son bec une saisie exécutoire. Lui fit à peu près cette histoire: Hé! bonjour. the other Renard (Fox). A portion of this building has recently been demolished. and the Cardinal de la Roche-Aymon on the other. during the last century.interesting and picturesque peculiarity of this sort of dwelling is the enormous size of the spiders. in verses that limped a little:-- Maître Corbeau. The two names had been forestalled by La Fontaine. To the left of the entrance door. they made the most of it. know that there was in Paris. A parody was immediately put in circulation in the galleries of the court-house. Maître Renard. Their petition was presented to Louis XV. and God's house of his eternity. in his Majesty's presence. Collectors of petty details. who become herbalists of anecdotes. on the boulevard side. one Corbeau (Raven). The postmen called the house Number 50-52. par l'odeur alléché. on the one hand. were each engaged in putting on. it was not over a hundred years old. The opportunity was too fine for the lawyers. resolved to get rid of their names. on the same day when the Papal Nuncio. and finding the bearing of their heads interfered with by the shouts of laughter which followed them. The two honest practitioners. Let us explain whence this appellation was derived. a slipper on the bare feet of . A hundred years is youth in a church and age in a house. From what still remains of it one can form a judgment as to what it was in former days. two attorneys at the Chatelet named. a small window which had been walled up formed a square niche full of stones which the children had thrown there as they passed by. but it was known in the neighborhood as the Gorbeau house.

where Ulbach stabbed the goat-girl of Ivry to the sound of thunder. as in the melodramas. prisoners condemned to death re-entered Paris on the day of their execution. that expedient of the philanthropist to conceal the scaffold. The king. that. In 1823 the city wall was still in existence. and which ended squarely in the exterior wall of Paris. which was green or muddy according to the season. Opposite this house. and to call himself Prenard.Madame du Barry. continued to laugh. The barrier was close at hand. who had just got out of bed. and bestowed on these limbs of the law their former names. that miserable and shameful Place de Grove of a shop-keeping and bourgeois society. and you arrive at the abominable pollarded elms of the Barriere Saint-Jacques. a street then without houses. about 1829. all he obtained was leave to place a P in front of his R. called "The assassination of the Fontainebleau barrier. a frightful enigma which has never been unriddled. and you come upon that fatal Rue Croulebarbe. rose a great elm which was three-quarters dead. planted with unhealthy trees. under the Empire and the Restoration. He was even the author of the monumental window. It was through it that. was committed that mysterious assassination. An odor of copperas issued in puffs from the roofs of the neighboring factory. Take a few steps. a melancholy problem which has never been elucidated. almost directly facing it opens the Rue de la Barrière des Gobelins. among the trees of the boulevard. A few paces more. Hence the edifice bore the name of the Gorbeau house." whose authors justice was never able to discover. so that the second name bore almost as much resemblance as the first. It was the road to Bicêtre. this Maitre Gorbeau had been the proprietor of the building numbered 5052 on the Boulevard de l'Hopital. according to local tradition. unpaved. or nearly so. By the kings command. Now. It was there. Maitre Corbeau was permitted to add a tail to his initial letter and to call himself Gorbeau. which recoiled before the death penalty. Maitre Renard was less lucky. passed gayly from the two bishops to the two lawyers. This barrier itself evoked gloomy fancies in the mind. . who was laughing.

The passer-by cannot refrain from recalling the innumerable traditions of the place which are connected with the gibbet. like morsels of the infinite. As far as the eye could see. flat constructions. was the spot which even to-day is so unattractive. The solitude of this spot. everywhere about stood hovels. ancient walls blackened like cerecloths. at the moment when the daylight is vanishing. had something terrible about it. a glimpse of whose dome could be seen. hideous. It is because symmetry is ennui. resembling barracks or monasteries. when the darkness is deep and starless. and the melancholy sadness of right angles. The place was unpleasant. which was. or when the moon and the wind are making openings in the clouds and losing themselves in the shadows. new white walls like winding-sheets. between the madness of women and the madness of men. and Bicêtre. where stood the building Number 50-52. everywhere parallel rows of trees. and that is a hell where one is bored. Despair yawns. and ennui is at the very foundation of grief. Bourgeois houses only began to spring up there twenty-five years later. where so many crimes have been committed. Something more terrible than a hell where one suffers may be imagined. one was conscious of being between the Salpetriere. cold rows. Nevertheless.neither daring to abolish it with grandeur. the city wall. regular. this boulevard suddenly becomes frightful. at the hour when the twilight breeze tears from the elms their last russet leaves. that is to say. whose outskirts one was fairly touching. The ensemble was glacial. as it were. and which has always been horrible. seven and thirty years ago. that bit of the Boulevard de l'Hopital might have formed the entrance to it. predestined. Leaving aside this Place Saint-Jacques. all the confused forms of the darkness . not a fold. The black lines sink inwards and are lost in the shades. probably the most mournful spot on that mournful boulevard. buildings erected on a line. In addition to the gloomy thoughts which assailed one there. long. Not an unevenness of the ground. one could perceive nothing but the abattoirs. nor to uphold it with authority. rubbish. Nothing oppresses the heart like symmetry. especially in winter. If such a hell existed. not a caprice in the architecture. at nightfall. and the fronts of a few factories. One almost had a presentiment of meeting with traps in that darkness.

Wherever it is placed on the borders of a capital. at the breath of these monstrous horses of civilization which devour coal and vomit fire. in the wildest nooks. the sidewalks begin to crawl and to grow longer. on benches mouldy with rain. It seems as though. One morning.seemed suspicious. Even at that time any one who was desirous of seeing it had to make haste.--black pots of bitumen were seen smoking there. for there are things which are odd when said that are rigorously exact. as it does to-day. it is certain that the frequent passage of vehicles enlarges streets. was tending even then to transformation. and just as it is true to say that in large cities the sun makes the southern fronts of houses to vegetate and grow. a railway station is the death of a suburb and the birth of a city. seemed graves: by day it was ugly. Each day some detail of the whole effect was disappearing. this quarter. in the evening melancholy. which had a superannuated rather than an antique air. at twilight. Since the Orleans railway has invaded the region of the Salpetriere. here and there. In this old provincial quarter. even where there are as yet no pedestrians. The old houses crumble and new ones rise. and the long. In summer. narrow streets which adjoin the moats Saint-Victor and the Jardin des Plantes tremble. as they are violently traversed three or four times each day by those currents of coach fiacres and omnibuses which. at the rattle of these powerful machines. a few old women seated at the foot of the elm. one saw. . the pavement shows itself. the ancient. 1845. by night it was sinister. The symptoms of a new life are evident. These good old women were fond of begging. to engulf the ancient dwellings of men and to allow new ones to spring forth. and that Paris had entered the suburb of Saint-Marceau. around these great centres of the movements of a people. full of germs. hollow square. on that day it might be said that civilization had arrived in the Rue de l'Ourcine. in a given time. the earth.-a memorable morning in July. trembled and yawned. However. of which one caught a glimpse between each tree. For the last twenty years the station of the Orleans railway has stood beside the old faubourg and distracted it. crowd back the houses to the right and the left.


and whose embers were visible. as he had done on the previous evening. and several chairs. he began to scrutinize Cosette's face with a gaze full of ecstasy. had fallen asleep without knowing with whom she was. Nine months before he had kissed the hand of the mother. He fumbled in his waistcoat pocket. he had chosen this desert place to construct his nest. was a kind of moderately spacious attic. The little girl. Jean Valjean carried the child to this bed and laid her down there without waking her. closed it again carefully. The chamber which he entered. All this was prepared beforehand on the table. religious sentiment filled his heart. who had also just fallen asleep. a table. and continued to sleep without knowing where she was. furnished with a mattress laid on the floor. lt was broad daylight. At the top of the stairs he drew from his pocket another key. and. and which he closed again instantly. At the extreme end there was a dressingroom with a folding bed. and ascended the staircase. A wan ray of the December sun penetrated the window of the attic and lay upon the ceiling in long threads of light and shade. Jean Valjean bent down and kissed that child's hand. piercing. entered. opened the door. with that tranquil confidence which belongs only to extreme strength and extreme weakness. Like wild birds. All at once a heavily laden carrier's cart. He knelt beside Cosette's bed.CHAPTER II--A NEST FOR OWL AND A WARBLER It was in front of this Gorbeau house that Jean Valjean halted. He struck a match and lighted a candle. with which he opened another door. which was passing along the boulevard. stood in one corner. and the child still slept. in which the expression of kindness and tenderness almost amounted to aberration. drew out a sort of a pass-key. A lantern on the boulevard cast a vague light into this poor room. still carrying Cosette. a stove in which a fire was burning. shook the frail . The same sad.

Where was she? Was Paris very large? Was Madame Thenardier very far away? Was she to go back? etc. she put a hundred questions to Jean Valjean. but she felt free. waking with a start. and took possession of her. "Ah! mon Dieu. and beheld the smiling countenance of Jean Valjean. "How pretty it is here!" It was a frightful hole. "Play!" said Jean Valjean. . like a clap of thunder. my broom!" said she. as she played. without troubling herself to understand anything. "Must I sweep?" she resumed at last. and. her eyes still half shut with the heaviness of sleep. Cosette. Monsieur. madame!" cried Cosette. being themselves by nature joy and happiness. She opened her eyes wide now.. extending her arms towards the corner of the wall. was inexpressibly happy with that doll and that kind man. etc. "Good morning. "here I am! here I am!" And she sprang out of bed." Children accept joy and happiness instantly and familiarly. Cosette caught sight of Catherine at the foot of her bed. and made it quiver from top to bottom. "Yes. The day passed thus.bed. "Ah! so it is true!" said the child. All at once she exclaimed.

In the prison he had been vicious. gloomy. for twentyfive years he had been alone in the world. and Cosette eight years of age. all that might have been love in the whole course of his life flowed together into a sort of ineffable light. become another being. and delivered her. The heart of that ex-convict was full of virginity. on her side. lover. chaste. at daybreak. unknown to herself. It was the second white apparition which he had encountered. where she lay sleeping. had also. and rushed towards that child. with a perfectly new heart! Only. friend. Cosette caused the dawn of love to rise. he had made every effort to find them. for that great and singular movement of a heart which begins to love is a very obscure and a very sweet thing. He suffered all the pangs of a mother. he had forgotten them. He approached the bed. The Bishop had caused the dawn of virtue to rise on his horizon. Jean Valjean had never loved anything. His sister and his sister's children had left him only a vague and far-off memory which had finally almost completely vanished. and not having been able to find them. he felt his heart moved within him. husband. had fallen into an abyss. poor little thing! She was so . All the passion and affection within him awoke. Cosette. carried her off. as he was five and fifty. ignorant. He had never been father. and shy. When he saw Cosette. and he knew not what it meant. if he had ever had any. he watched there motionless.CHAPTER III--TWO MISFORTUNES MAKE ONE PIECE OF GOOD FORTUNE On the following morning. Poor old man. Jean Valjean was still by Cosette's bedside. the other tender emotions of his youth. The early days passed in this dazzled state. and trembled with joy. when he had taken possession of her. Human nature is made thus. Some new thing had come into his soul. waiting for her to wake.

and Cosette was the orphan: this situation caused Jean Valjean to become Cosette's father after a celestial fashion. had set a profound gulf between Jean Valjean and Cosette. but a reality. At the mysterious moment when their hands touched. One. they recognized each other as necessary to each other. which cling to everything. She had loved the dog. from the very first day. and embraced each other closely. The novelty of the earth and of life counts for something here. Taking the words in their most comprehensive and absolute sense. separated from every one by the walls of the tomb. she had not succeeded. of childhood. in fact. Thus. And in truth. other children. the mysterious impression produced on Cosette in the depths of the forest of Chelles by the hand of Jean Valjean grasping hers in the dark was not an illusion. and he had died. It was not her fault. alike in sorrow. differing in age. after which nothing and nobody would have anything to do with her. she thought Jean Valjean handsome. It is a sad thing to say. Like all children. of joy. When these two souls perceived each other. we may say that. We all have in our past a delightful garret. alas! it was the possibility. her heart was cold. Jean Valjean was the widower. at eight years of age. and we have already intimated it.little when her mother left her. their children. it was not the faculty of loving that she lacked. who resemble young shoots of the vine. Nature. These are the effects of the dawn. The entrance of that man into the destiny of that child had been the advent of God. . Nothing is so charming as the coloring reflection of happiness on a garret. as Jean Valjean's instinct sought a child. completed the other. Cosette's instinct sought a father. a difference of fifty years. just as she thought the hovel pretty. She felt that which she had never felt before--a sensation of expansion. All had repulsed her.--the Thenardiers. Destiny suddenly united and wedded with its irresistible power these two uprooted existences. destiny filled in this gulf. that. To meet was to find each other. they were welded together. all her sentient and thinking powers loved this kind man. The man no longer produced on her the effect of being old or poor. that she no longer remembered her. she had tried to love.

and kissed it. a sort of dilapidated penthouse. It sometimes happened that Jean Valjean clasped her tiny red hand. ornamented with the name of the principal lodger. he . He had represented himself to her as a gentleman of means who had been ruined by Spanish bonds. The chamber with a dressing-room. no neighbors' glances were to be feared from across the way or at the side. The ground-floor of Number 50-52. The first story contained. Children have their morning song as well as birds. did not know the meaning of this. and which formed the diaphragm of the building. Week followed week. and sang from daybreak. as he made the child spell. only one of which was occupied by the old woman who took charge of Jean Valjean's housekeeping. The poor child. Cosette laughed. and had commissioned the old woman to furnish the chamber and dressing-room. There he seemed perfectly secure. She had emerged from misery. and she was entering into life. as we have said. all the rest was uninhabited. who was coming there to live with his little daughter. and no communication existed between it and the first story. which he occupied with Cosette. as it were. and ran away in confusion. Jean Valjean had undertaken to teach her to read. who had let him the lodging on Christmas eve. these two beings led a happy life in that hovel. It was separated by the flooring. It was this good woman who had lighted the fire in the stove. as we have seen. Sometimes. It was this old woman. was the one whose window opened on the boulevard. At times she became serious and stared at her little black gown. who was used to being beaten. which had neither traps nor stairs. He had paid her six months in advance. and prepared everything on the evening of their arrival.Moreover. This being the only window in the house. chattered. Jean Valjean had chosen his refuge well. and in reality intrusted with the functions of portress. Cosette was no longer in rags. all cracked with chilblains. she was in mourning. numerous chambers and several attics. served as a wagon-house for market-gardeners.

The best of us are not exempt from egotistical thoughts. and he became absorbed in revery. the will of some one who was not man. appeared to him to be full of interest. he no longer reproached any one in thought. Life. though sure to reappear later on luminous and triumphant. at the point where Jean Valjean had arrived when he began to love Cosette.remembered that it was with the idea of doing evil that he had learned to read in prison. Then the ex-convict smiled with the pensive smile of the angels. men seemed to him good and just. and to let her play. but. Who knows whether Jean Valjean had not been on the eve of growing discouraged and of falling once more? He loved and grew strong again. At times. She called him father. Good thoughts have their abysses as well as evil ones. and knew no other name for him. after all. this constituted nearly the whole of Jean Valjean's existence. He felt in it a premeditation from on high. He protected her. this time for having done right. illuminated by Cosette as by a charming light. and in listening to her prattle. and public authority as personified in Javert. To teach Cosette to read. she could walk . disgust and lassitude were overpowering him. He had returned to prison. He passed hours in watching her dressing and undressing her doll. He saw a whole future stretching out before him. he saw no reason why he should not live to be a very old man. This is only a personal opinion. now that this child loved him. This idea had ended in teaching a child to read. and he made her pray. Thanks to him. henceforth. he reflected with a sort of joy that she would be ugly. it is by no means clear to us that he did not need this encouragement in order that he might persevere in well-doing. Alas! he walked with no less indecision than Cosette. even the memory of the Bishop probably suffered a temporary eclipse. to utter our whole thought. which unfortunately only exhibited one side of the truth. he had quaffed fresh bitterness. but. and she strengthened him. And then he talked of her mother. that sacred memory was growing dim. He had just viewed the malice of men and the misery of society under a new aspect--incomplete aspects. the fate of woman as summed up in Fantine.

and she was his prop.through life. Oh. he could continue in virtue. thanks to her. He was that child's stay. unfathomable and divine mystery of the balances of destiny! .

a cross-looking creature. and his old hat. without his suspecting the fact. which is the nearest church. he walked for an hour or two. She preferred an hour with him to all her rapturous tete-a-tetes with Catherine. his black breeches. When he did not take Cosette with him. There remained to her from her past. Jean Valjean accepted the sou with a deep bow. He held her hand as they walked. which rendered her talkative. They lived soberly. but the child's delight was to go out with the good man. put a piece of money into his hand. He began to be known in the neighborhood under the name of the beggar who gives alms. who was thoroughly permeated. who . It also happened occasionally that he encountered some poor wretch asking alms. She had questioned Cosette. he was taken for a poor man. This had its disadvantages. In the street. Every evening. then he looked behind him to make sure that no one was observing him. two teeth. he had merely had the glass door leading to Cosette's dressing-room replaced by a solid door. sometimes alone. but like people in very moderate circumstances.--which she was continually knocking against each other. often with Cosette. she remained with the old woman. so far as her neighbors were concerned. often a silver coin. It sometimes happened that kind-hearted women turned back to bestow a sou on him. He liked to go to SaintMedard.CHAPTER IV--THE REMARKS OF THE PRINCIPAL TENANT Jean Valjean was prudent enough never to go out by day. He still wore his yellow coat. and entering churches at nightfall. It turned out that Cosette was a very gay little person. Jean Valjean had made no alterations in the furniture as it was the first day. The old woman attended to the housekeeping and cooking and went to market. scrutinized Jean Valjean a great deal. seeking the most deserted side alleys of the boulevard. stealthily approached the unfortunate man. The old principal lodger. She was a little deaf. and said sweet things to her. always having a little fire. the other below.--one above. at twilight. with the inquisitiveness peculiar to envious persons. and walked rapidly away.

A few days later. entering one of the uninhabited compartments of the hovel. and was able to observe him without being seen. The old woman saw him fumble in his pocket and draw thence a case. and thread. which was directly opposite him. adding that it was his quarterly income. putting things in order. Jean Valjean accosted her. which he had received the day before. which he unfolded. the fact that it was a bank-bill for a thousand francs. It was the second or third only that she had seen in the course of her existence. and the government bank certainly is not open at that hour. The old woman recognized. Cosette was occupied in admiring the wood as it was sawed. She fled in alarm. no doubt. with an air which struck the old gossip as peculiar. That thousand-franc note. A moment later. in the corridor. in his shirt-sleeves. More thousand-franc bank-bills. by way of greater security. Each pocket of this coat had the air of being in a manner provided against unexpected accidents. and thought she observed in the skirts and revers thicknesses of paper. and examined it. The good woman felt of it carefully. through a crack in the door. The old woman was in the chamber. commented on and multiplied. with terror. scissors." The old woman went to get the bill changed. a very large knife. and--a suspicious circumstance--several wigs of various colors. since she knew nothing herself except that she had come from Montfermeil. The lining had been sewed up again. "Where?" thought the old woman. no doubt! She also noticed that there were all sorts of things in the pockets. and from the opening he took a bit of yellowish paper. and scissors which she had seen. and asked her to go and get this thousand-franc bill changed for him. Jean Valjean had his back turned towards this door. Not only the needles. but a big pocket-book.had not been able to tell her anything. then he began to rip the lining of one of the skirts of his coat. this spy saw Jean Valjean. and mentioned her surmises. produced a vast amount of terrified discussion among the gossips of the Rue des Vignes Saint-Marcel. She was alone. . She followed him with the step of an old cat. "He did not go out until six o'clock in the evening. thread. it chanced that Jean Valjean was sawing some wood. The old woman caught sight of the coat hanging on a nail. One morning.

Thus the inhabitants of the house reached the last days of winter. .

all of a sudden. when he had not Cosette with him. in order to force him to raise his head a second time. He experienced the same impression that one would have on finding one's self. Jean Valjean stepped up to him and placed his customary alms in his hand. which was enveloped in a rag. Jean Valjean was seized with a shudder. terrified. daring neither to breathe. The beggar had the same figure. stared intently at Jean Valjean. beneath the lantern which had just been lighted. in the dark. That night. and on whom Jean Valjean was fond of bestowing charity. the same appearance as he had every day. "I am mad! I am dreaming! Impossible!" And he returned profoundly troubled. He recoiled. not of the placid and beaming visage of the old beadle. . that the face which he thought he had seen was the face of Javert. "Bah!" said Jean Valjean.--restrained Jean Valjean from uttering a word. to speak. according to his custom. staring at the beggar who had dropped his head. on thinking the matter over. The man seemed engaged in prayer. The mendicant raised his eyes suddenly. This movement was like a flash of lightning. but of a well-known and startling face. petrified. by the light of the street lantern. with a tiger. He was an ex-beadle of seventy-five.CHAPTER V--A FIVE-FRANC PIECE FALLS ON THE GROUND AND PRODUCES A TUMULT Near Saint-Medard's church there was a poor man who was in the habit of crouching on the brink of a public well which had been condemned. face to face. He hardly dared to confess. and no longer appeared to know that he was there. Sometimes he spoke to him. an instinct--possibly the mysterious instinct of selfpreservation. He never passed this man without giving him a few sous. and was much bent over. Those who envied this mendicant said that he belonged to the police. the same rags. One evening. he regretted not having questioned the man. who was constantly mumbling his prayers. nor to flee. then dropped his head quickly. It seemed to him that he had just caught sight. to remain. he saw the beggar in his usual place. At this strange moment. as Jean Valjean was passing by. even to himself.

. with his back towards the door. A few days afterwards." said Jean Valjean. The old woman. handing him a sou. and engaged in making Cosette spell aloud. It might possibly be the old woman. Jean Valjean blew out his candle.--he was in his room. resolutely. he turned round. Nevertheless. motionless. as he raised his eyes towards the door of his chamber. seated on the chair from which he had not stirred.On the following day. Jean Valjean made a sign t