When Bishop Myriel arrived in town he was accompanied by his younger sister, Mademoiselle Baptistine, and their maid, Madame Malgoire.
Their new home, The Bishop’s Palace, was built of stone, spacious and beautiful. It was nicely complemented by a garden planted with magnificent trees.
The palace was located next to a hospital. The hospital was a long, narrow one story building with a small garden.
Three days after his arrival in Digne the bishop paid a visit to the hospital. Before his neighborly call was over, he invited the hospital director to drop by his palace for a visit.
“ Monsieur, ” he said to the director, “ How many patients do you have? ”
“ Twenty-six, monseigneur. ”
The bishop ran his eyes over the hall, seemingly taking measure and making calculations.
“ It will hold twenty beds, ” he said to himself, then raising his voice, he said:
“ Listen, Monsieur Director, to what I have to say. There is evidently a mistake here. There are twenty-six of you in five or six small rooms; there are only three of us, and space for sixty. There is a mistake, I tell you. You have my house and I have yours.
Restore mine to me; you are at home.”
The next day twenty-six poor invalids were installed in the bishop’s palace and the bishop was in the hospital.
In a short time donations of money began to come in. Those who had and those who had not knocked at the bishop’s door ; some came to receive alms and others to bestow them. In less than a year he had become the treasurer of all the benevolent and the dispenser to all needy. Large sums of money passed through his hands. Nevertheless, he changed in no way his style of life, nor added the least luxury to his simple fare. The poor people of the district always called him Monsieur Bienvenu.
By 1815 he had reached his 76th year, but he did not appear to be more than sixty. He was not tall. He frequently took long walks and he had a firm step. He was good humoured and everyone felt at ease in his presence. From his whole person joy seemed to radiate. His ruddy and fresh complexion and his white teeth, all of which were well preserved and which he showed when he laughed gave him an open and easy air. People regarded him as warm and gentle. He was a thoughtful person and respected by all who knew him.
Prayer, alms, consoling the afflicted, gardening, study and work filled up each day of his life. The bishop’s day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words and good actions.
Each fine evening he spent an hour or two in his garden meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sitting there alone he compared the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts which fall from the unknown.
What more was needed by this old man who divided the leisure hours of his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the daytime, and contemplation at night? A little garden to walk, and immensity to reflect upon. A few flowers on the earth, and all the stars in the sky.
The sweat, the heat, his long walk, and the dust, added an indescribable meanness to his tattered appearance.
His hair was shorn, but bristly, for it had begun to grow a little, and seemingly had not been cut for sometime.
When he reached the corner of the rue Poichevert he turned to the left and went towards the mayor’s office. He went in, and a quarter of an hour afterward he came out.
There was then in Digne a good inn called La Croix de Colbas.
The traveler turned his steps towards this inn, which was the best in the place, and went at once to the kitchen. All the ranges were fuming, and a great fire was burning briskly in the chimney place. Mine host, who was at the same time head cook, was going from the fireplace to the saucepans, very busy superintending an excellent dinner for some wagoners who were laughing and talking noisily in the next room.
A fat marmot, flanked by white partridges and goose, was turning on a long spit before the fire; upon the ranges were cooking two large carps from Lake Laucet, and a trout from Lake Alloz.
The host, hearing the door open, and a newcomer enter, said, without raising his eyes from his ranges:
“ What will monsieur have? ”
“ Something to eat and lodging ”
“ Nothing more easy, ” said mine host, but on turning his head and taking an observation of the traveler, he added: “ For pay. ”
The man drew from his pocket a large leather purse, and answered:
“ I have money. ”
“ Then, ” said mine host, “ I am at your service ”
The man put his purse back into his pocket, took off his knapsack and put it down hard by the door, and holding his stick in his hand, sat down on a low stool by the fire.
However, as the host passed backward and forward, he kept a careful eye on the traveler.
“ Is dinner almost ready? ” said the man.
“ Directly, ” said mine host.
While the newcomer was warming himself with his back turned, the worthy innkeeper,
Jacquin Labarre, took a pencil from his pocket, and then tore off the corner of an old paper which he pulled from a little table near the window. On the margin he wrote a line or two. Folded it, and handed the scrap of paper to a child. The innkeeper whispered a word to the boy and he ran off in the direction of the mayor’s office.
The traveler saw nothing of this
He asked a second time: “ Is dinner ready? ”
“ Yes, in a few moments, ” said the host.
The boy came back with the paper. The host unfolded it hurriedly, as one who is expecting an answer. He seemed to read with attention, then throwing his head on one side, thought for a moment. Then he took a step towards the traveler, who seemed drowned in troublous thought.
“ Monsieur, ” said he, “ I cannot receive you. I have no room.”
“ Well,” responded the man, “ a corner in the garret, a bed of straw. We will see about that after dinner. ”
“ I cannot give you any dinner. ”
This declaration, made in a measured but firm tone, appeared serious to the traveler.
He got up.
“ Ah, bah! But I am dying with hunger. ”
“ I have nothing, ” said the host.
The man burst into a laugh, and turned toward the fireplace and the ranges.
“ Nothing! And all that? ”
“ All that is engaged. ”
The man sat down again and said, without raising his voice:
“ I am at an inn. I am hungry, and I shall stay. ”
The host bent down his ear, and said in a voice that made him tremble:
At these words the traveler, who was bent over, poking some embers in the fire with the ironshod end of his stick, turned suddenly around, and opened his mouth as if to reply, when the host, looking steadily at him, added in the same lone tone: “ Stop, no more of that. It is my custom to be polite to all. Go! ”
The man bowed his head, picked up his knapsack, and went out.
He took the principal street; he walked at random, slinking near the houses like a sad and humiliated man; he did not once turn around. If he had turned, he would have seen the innkeeper of the Croix de Colbas, standing in his doorway with all his guests, and the passers-by gathered about him, speaking excitedly, and pointing him out, and from the looks of fear and distrust which were exchanged, he would have guessed that before long his arrival would be the talk of the whole town.
He walked along in this way some time, going by chance down streets unknown to him, and forgetting fatigue, as is the case in sorrow.
Suddenly he felt a pang of hunger; night was at hand.
He walked along in this way some time, going by chance down the streets unknown to him, and forgetting the fatigue, as is the case of sorrow.Suddenly he felt a pang of hunger; night was at hand.
Some children who had followed him from the Croix de Colbas threw sticks at him. He turned angrily and threatened them with his stick, and they scattered like a flock of birds.
He passed the prison; an iron chain hung from the door attached to a bell. He rang.
The grating opened.
“ Monsieur Turnkey, ” said he, talking off his cap respectfully,
“ Will you open and let me stay here tonight ? ”
A voice answered:
“ A prison is not a tavern; get yourself arrested and we will open. ”
The grating closed.
Night came on apace; the cold Alpine winds were blowing.
He began to tramp again, taking his way out of town, hoping to find some tree or haystack beneath which he could shelter himself. He walked on for some time, his head bowed down. When he thought he was far away from all human habitation, he raised his eyes, and looked about him inguiringly. He was in a field; before him was a low hillock covered with stubble.
The sky was very dark; it was not simply the darkness of night, but there were very low clouds, which seemed to rest upon the hills, and covered the whole heavens.
There was nothing in the field nor upon the hill but one ugly tree, a few steps from the traveler, which seemed to be twisting and contorting itself.
He retraced his steps; the gates of Digne were closed. He passed through a breach and entered the town.
It was about eight o’clock in the evening. As he did not know the streets, he walked at hazard.
On passing by the cathedral square, he shook his fist at the church.
At the corner of this square stands a printing office. Exhausted with fatigue, and hoping for nothing better, he lay down on a stone bench in front of this printing office.
Just then an old woman came out of the church. She saw the man lying there in the dark and said:
“ What are you doing there my friend ? ”
He replied harshly, and with anger in his tone:
“ You see my good woman, I am going to sleep. “
The good woman, who really merited the name, was Madame la Marquise de R___ .
“ Upon the bench ? ” said she. “ You cannot pass the night so. You must be cold and hungry. They should give you lodging for charity. ”
“ I have knocked at every door. ”
“ Well, what then ? ”
“ Everybody has driven me away. ”
The good woman touched the man’s arm and pointed out to him, on the other side of the square, a little low house beside the bishop’s palace.
“ You have knocked at every door ? ” she asked.
“ Yes. “
“ Have you knocked at that one there ? ”
“ Knock there. ”
That evening after his walk in the town, the Bishop of Digne remained quite late in his room.
He was busy with his great work on Duty, which unfortunately is left incomplete.
At eight o’clock he was still at work, when Madame Malgoire, as usual, came in to take the silver from the panel near the bed. A moment after, the bishop, knowing that the table was laid, and that his sister was perhaps waiting, closed his book and went into the living room.
Madame Malgoire had just finished placing the plates.
While she was arranging the table, she was talking with Mademoiselle Baptistine.
The lamp was on the table, which was near the fireplace, where a good fire was burning.
One can readily fancy these two women, both past their sixtieth year: Madame Magloire, small, fat, and quick in her movements; Mademoiselle Baptistine, sweet, thin, fragile, a little taller than her brother. Madame Malgoire had the air of a peasant, and Mademoiselle Baptistine that of a lady.
Just as the bishop entered, Madame Malgoire was speaking with some warmth. She was talking to mademoiselle upon a familiar subject, and one to which the bishop was quite accustomed. It was a discussion on the means of fastening the front door.
It seems that while Madame Malgoire was out making provision for supper, she had heard the news in sundry places. There was talk that an ill-favored runaway, a suspicious vagabond, had arrived and was lurking somewhere in the town, and that some unpleasant adventures might befall those who should come home late at night. Then Mademoiselle Baptistine ventured to say timidly:
“ Brother, do you hear what Madame Malgoire says ? ”
“ I heard something of it indistinctly, ” said the bishop. Then turning his chair half around, putting his hands on his knees, and raising toward the old servant his cordial and good-humoured face, which the firelight shone upon, he said: “ Well, well ! What is the matter ? Are we in any great danger ? ”
Then Madame Malgoire began her story again, unconsciously exaggerating it a little.
It appeared that a barefooted gypsy man, a sort of a dangerous beggar, was in the town. He had gone for lodging to Jacquin Labarre, who had refused to receive him; he had been seen to enter the town by the Boulevard Gassendi, and to roam through the street at dusk.
A man with a knapsack and a rope, and a terrible-looking face.
“ Indeed ! ” said the bishop.
She continued: “ Yes, monseigneur; it is true. There will something happen tonight in the town; everyone says so. And I say, monseigneur, and mademoiselle says also - ”
“ Me ? ” interrupted the sister. “ I say nothing. ”
Madame Malgoire went on as if she had not heard this protestation:
“ We say that this house is not safe at all, and if monseigneur will permit me, I will go and tell Paulin Musebois, the locksmith, to come and put the old bolts in the door again; they are there, and it will take but a minute. I say we must have bolts, were it only for tonight, for I say that a door which opens by a latch on the outside to the first comer, nothing could be more horrible , and then monseigneur has the habit of always saying ‘Come in, ’even at midnight. But, my goodness ! There is no need even to ask leave- ”
At this moment there was a violent knock on the door.
“ Come in ! “said the bishop.
The door opened.
It opened quickly, quite wide, as if pushed by someone boldly and with energy.
A man entered.
That man, who we know already; it was the traveler we have seen wandering about in search of a lodging.
He came in, took one step, and paused, leaving the door open behind him. He had his knapsack on his back, his stick in his hand, and a rough, hard, tired, and fierce look in his eyes, as seen by the firelight. He was hideous. It was an apparition of ill omen.
Madame Malgoire had not even the strength to scream. She stood trembling with her mouth open.
Mademoiselle Baptistine turned, saw the man enter, and started up half alarmed; then, slowly turning back again toward the fire, she looked at her brother, and her face resumed its usual calmness and serenity.
The bishop looked upon the man with a tranquil eye.
As he was opening his mouth to speak, doubtless to ask the stranger what he wanted, the man, leaning with both hands on his club, glanced from one to another in turn, and without waiting for the bishop to speak, said in a loud voice;
“ See here! My name is Jean Valjean, I am a convict; I have been nineteen years in the galleys. Four days ago I was set free, and started for Pontarlier, which is my destination; during those four days I have walked from Toulon. Today I have walked twelve leagues.
When I reached this place this evening I went to an inn, and they sent me away on account of my yellow passport, which I had shown at the mayor’s office, as was necessary. I went to the prison, and the turnkey would not let me in. I went into the fields to sleep beneath the stars: there were no stars; I thought it would rain, and there was not good God to stop the drops, so I came back to the town to get the shelter of some good doorway. There in the square I lay down upon a stone; a good woman showed me your house, and said: “ Knock there! “ I have knocked. What is this place? Are you an inn? I have money; my savings, one hundred and nine francs and fifteen sous which I have earned in the galleys by my work for nineteen years. I will pay. What do I care? I have money. I am tired-twelve leagues on foot, and I am so hungry. Can I stay? ”
“ Madame Malgoire, “ said the bishop, ” put on another plate.”
The man took three steps, and came near the lamp which stood on the table. “Stop,” he exclaimed, as if he had not been understood, “not that, did you understand me? I am a galley slave-a convict-I am just from the galleys. There is my passport, yellow as you see.
That is enough to have me kicked out wherever I go. There you have it! Everybody has thrust me out; will you receive me? Is this an inn? Can you give me something to eat, and a place to sleep? Have you a stable?”
“Madame Malgoire, ” said the bishop, “put some sheets on the bed in the alcove. ”
Madame Malgoire went out to fulfill her orders.
The bishop turned to the man.
“Monsieur, sit down and warm yourself; we are going to have supper presently, and your bed will be made ready while you sup. ”
At last the man quite understood; his face, the expression of which till then had been gloomy and hard, now expressed stupefaction, doubt, and joy, and became absolutely wonderful.
He began to stutter like a madman.
“True? What! You will keep me? You won’t drive me away? A convict! You call me monsieur and don’t say “Get out, dog! “ as everybody else does. You are really willing that I should stay?
You are good people! Besides I have money; I will pay well. I beg your pardon, Monsieur Innkeeper, what is your name? I will pay all you say. You are a fine man. You are an innkeeper, an’t you? ”
“ I am a priest who lives here, ” said the bishop.
“ A priest, ” said the man. “ Oh, noble priest! Then you do not ask any money? You are the cure’, an’t you? The cure’ of this big church? Yes, that’s it. How stupid I am; I didn’t notice your cap.”
While speaking, he had deposited his knapsack and stick in the corner, replaced his passport in his pocket, and sat down. Mademoiselle Baptistine looked at him pleasantly.
“ You are humane, Monsieur Cure’; you don’t despise me. A good priest is a good thing.
Then you don’t want me to pay you? ”
“ No,” said the bishop, “keep your money.”
The bishop shut the door.
Madame Malgoire brought in a plate and set it on the table.
“ Madame Malgoire,” said the bishop, “ put this plate as near the fire as you can.” Then turning towards his guest, he added:
“ The night wind is raw in the Alps; you must be cold, monsieur.”
Every time he said this word monsieur, with his gently solemn, and heartily hospitable voice, the man’s countenance lighted up. “ Monsieur ” to a convict is a glass of water to a man dying of thirst at sea.
“ The lamp,” said the bishop, “ gives a very poor light.”
Madame Malgoire understood him, and going to his bed-chamber, took from the mantel the two candlesticks, lighted the candles, and placed them on the table.
“Monsieur Cure’,” said the man, “ you are good; you don’t despise me. You take me into your house; you light your candles for me, and I haven’t hid from you where I come from, and how miserable I am.”
The bishop, who was sitting near him, touched his hand gently and said: “ You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house; it is the house of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty; be welcome. And do not thank me;do not tell me that I take you into my house. This is the home of no man, except him who needs an asylum. I tell you, you are a traveler, that you are more at home here than I; whatever is here is yours.
What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me, I knew it.”
The man opened his eyes in astonishment.
“ Really? You knew my name? ”
“ Yes,” answered the bishop, “ Your name is My Brother.”
“ Stop, stop, Monsieur Cure’, “ exclaimed the man. ” I was famished when I came in, but you are so kind that now I don’t know what I am; that is all gone.”
The bishop looked at him again and said:
“ You have seen much suffering? ”
“ Oh, the red blouse, the ball and chain, the plank to sleep on, the heat, the cold, the galley’s crew, the lash, the double chain for nothing, the dungeon for a word-even when sick in bed, the chain. The dogs, the dogs are happier! Nineteen years! And I am forty-six, and now a yellow passport. That is all.”
“Yes,” answered the bishop, “ you have left a place of suffering. But listen, there will be more joy in heaven over the tears of a repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred good men. If you are leaving that sorrowful place with hate and anger against men, you are worthy of compassion; if you leave it with good will, gentleness and peace, you are better than any of us.”
Meantime Madame Magloire had served up supper; it consisted of soup made of water, oil, bread, and salt, a little pork, a scrap of mutton, a few figs, a green cheese, and a large loaf of rye bread. She had, without asking, added to the usual dinner of the bishop a bottle of fine old Mauves Wine.
The bishop’s countenance was lighted up with this expression of pleasure, peculiar to hospital natures.
“ To supper! ” he said briskly, as was his habit when he had a guest. He seated the man at his right. Mademoiselle Baptistine, perfectly quiet and natural, took her place at his left.
The bishop said the blessing, and then served the soup himself, according to the usual custom. The man fell to, eating greedily.
Suddenly the bishop said: “ It seems to me something is lacking on the table. ”
The fact was that Madame Malgoire had set out only the three plates that were necessary.
Now it was the custom of the house, when the bishop had anyone to supper, to set all six of the silver plates on the table, an innocent display. This graceful appearance of luxury was a sort of childlikeness which was full of charm in this gentle but austere household, which elevated poverty to dignity.
Madame Malgoire understood the remark; without a word she went out, and a moment afterward the three plates for which the bishop had asked were shining on the cloth, symmetrically arranged before each of the three guests.
CONCLUSION OF UNITS I-III
After having said good-night to his sister, Monseigneur Bienvenue took one of the silver candlesticks from the table, handed the other to his guest, and said to him:
“ Monsieur, I will show you to your room.”
The man followed him.
The house was so arranged that one could reach the alcove in the oratory only by passing through the bishop’s sleeping chamber. Just as they were passing through this room Madame Magloire was putting up the silver in the cupboard at the head of the bed.
It was the last thing she did every night before going to bed.
The bishop left his guest in the alcove, before a clean white bed. The man set down the candlestick upon a small table.
“ Come, “said the bishop, “ a good night’s rest to you; tomorrow morning, before you go, you shall have a cup of warm milk from our cows. ”
“ Thank-you, Monsieur L’Abbe’,” said the man.
Scarcely had he pronounced these words of peace, when suddenly he made a singular motion which would have chilled the two good women of the house with horror, had they witnessed it. He turned abruptly toward the old man, crossed his arms, and casting a wild look upon his host, exclaimed in a harsh voice;
“ Ah, now, indeed! You lodge me in your house, as near you as that! ”
He checked himself, and added, with a laugh, in which there was something horrible:
“ Have you reflected upon it? Who tells you that I am not a murderer? ”
The bishop responded:
“ God will take care of that.”
Then with gravity, moving his lips like one praying or talking to himself, he raised two fingers of his right hand and blessed the man, who, however, did not bow, and without turning his head or looking behind him, went into his chamber.
A few moments afterwards all in the little house slept.
Toward the middle of the night, Jean Valjean awoke.
Jean Valjean was born of a poor peasant family of Brie. In his childhood he had not been taught to read; when he was grown up, he chose the occupation of a pruner at Faverolles.
Jean Valjean was of a thoughtful disposition. He had lost his parents when very young.
His mother died of malpractice in a milk fever; his father, a pruner before him, was killed by a fall from a tree. Jean Valjean now had one relative left, his sister, a widow with seven children, girls and boys. This sister had brought up Jean Valjean, and, as long as her husband lived, she had taken care of her younger brother. Her husband died, leaving the eldest of these children eight, the youngest one year old. Jean Valjean had just reached his twenty-fifth year; he took the father’s place, and, in his turn, supported the sister who reared him. This he did naturally, as a duty. His youth was spent in rough and ill-recompensed labor: he never was known to have a sweetheart; he had not time to be in love.
At night he came in weary and ate his soup without saying a word. While he was eating, his sister, Mere Jeanne, frequently took from his bowl the best of his meal: a bit of meat, a slice of pork, the heart of the cabbage, to give to one of her children. He went on eating, his head bent down nearly into the soup, his long hair falling over his dish, hiding his eyes; he did not seem to notice anything that was done.
He earned in the pruning season eighteen sous a day; after that he hired out as a reaper, workman, teamster or laborer.
He did whatever he could find to do. His sister worked also, but what could she do with seven little children? It was a sad group, which misery was grasping and closing upon, little by little. There was a very severe winter; Jean had no work; the family had no bread; literally, no bread, and seven children.
One Sunday night, Maubert Isabeau, the baker on the Place de l’Eglise, in Faverolles, was just going to bed when he heard a violent blow against the barred window of his shop. He got down in time to see an arm thrust through the aperture made by the blow of a fist on the glass. The arm seized a loaf of bread and took it out. Isabeau rushed out; the thief used his legs valiantly; Isabeau pursued him and caught him.The thief had thrown away the bread, but his arm was still bleeding. It was Jean Valjean.
All that happened in 1795. Jean Valjean was brought before the tribunals of the time for “ burglary at night, in an inhabited house.” He was found guilty. Valjean was sentenced to five years in the galleys.
He was taken to Toulon, at which place he arrived after a journey of twenty-seven days,on a cart, the chain still about his neck. At Toulon he was dressed in a red blouse, all his past life was effaced, even to his name. He was no longer 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 handfuls of leaves of the young tree when it is sawn at the trunk?
Near the end of the fourth year, his chance of liberty came for Jean Valjean. His comrades helped him as they always do in that dreary place, and he escaped. He wandered two days through the fields. During the evening of the second day, he was retaken; he had neither eaten nor slept for thirty-six hours. The maritime tribunal extended his sentence three years for this attempt, which made eight. In the sixth year his turn of escape came again; he tried it, but failed again. He did not answer at roll call, and the alarm cannon was fired. At night the people in the vicinity discovered him hidden beneath the keel of a vessel on the stocks; he resisted the galley guard which seized him. Escape and resistence. This the provisions of the special code punished him by an addition of five years, two with the double chain. Thirteen years. The tenth year his turn came around again; He made another attempt with no better success. Three years for this new attempt. Sixteen years. And finally, I think it was in the thirteenth year, he made yet another, and was retaken after an absence of only four hours. Nineteen years. In October, 1815, he was set at large; he had entered in 1796 for having broken a pane of glass, and taken a loaf of bread.
Jean Valjean entered the galleys sobbing and shuddering: he went out hardened; he entered in despair; he went out sullen.
What had been the life of this soul?
Let us endeavor to tell.
He was, as we have said, ignorant, but he was not an imbecile.
Never, since his infancy, since his mother, since his sister, never had he been greeted with a friendly word or a kind regard. Through suffering on suffering he came little by little to the conviction that life was a war, and that in that war he was the vanquished. He had no weapon but his hate. He resolved to sharpen it in the galleys and to take it with him when he went out.
There was at Toulon a school for the prisoners conducted by some not very skillful friars, the most essential branches were taught to such of these poor men who were willing. He was one of the willing ones. He went to school at forty and learned to read, write, and cipher.
Jean Valjean was not, we have seen, of an evil nature. His heart was still right when he arrived at the galleys. While there he condemned society, and felt that he had become wicked; he condemned Providence, and felt that he became impious.
We must not omit one circumstance, which is, that in physical strength he far surpassed all the other inmates of the prison. At hard work, at twisting a cable, or turning a windlass, Jean Valjean was equal to four men. At one time, while the balcony of the City Hall of Toulon was undergoing repairs, one of Puget’s admirable caryatids ( figures of women in long robes, serving as supportive columns ) slipped from its place, and was about to fall, when Jean Valjean, who happened to be there, held it up on his shoulders until the workmen came.
His suppleness surpassed his strength and skill combined-the science of the muscles. A mysterious system of statics is practiced throughout daily by prisoners, who are eternally envying the birds and flies. To scale a wall, and to find a foothold where you could hardly see a projection was play for Jean Valjean. Given an angle in a wall, with the tension of his back and knees, with elbow and hands braced against the rough face of the stone, he would ascend, as if by magic, to a third story. Sometimes he climbed up in this manner to the roof of the galleys.
He talked but little, and never laughed. Some extreme emotion was required to draw from him, once or twice a year, that lugubrious ( mournful ) sound of the convict, which is like the echo of a demon’s laugh. To those who saw him, he seemed to be absorbed in continually looking upon something terrible.
He was absorbed, in fact.
Sometimes in the midst of his work in the galleys he would stop, and begin to think. His reason, more nature, and, at the same, perturbed more than formerly, would revolt.
All that had happened to him would appear absurd; all that surrounded him. He would say to himself:
“ It is all a dream. ” He would look at the jailer standing a few steps from him; the jailer would seem to be a phantom; All at once this phantom would give him a blow with a stick.
For him the eternal world had scarcely an existence. It would be almost true to say that for Jean Valjean there was no sun, no beautiful summer days, no radiant sky, no fresh April dawn. Some dim window light was all that shone in his soul. The beginning as well as the end of all his thoughts was hatred of human law, that hatred which, if it be not checked in its growth by some providential event, becomes, in a certain time, hatred of society, then hatred of the human race, and then hatred of creation, and reveals itself by a vague and incessant desire to injure some living being , it matters not who. So the passport was right which described Jean Valjean as “ a very dangerous man. ” From year to year his soul was withered more and more slowly, but fatally. With his withered heart, he had a dry eye. When he left the galleys, he had not shed a tear for nineteen years.
As the cathedral clock struck two, Jean Valjean awoke. He had slept something more than four hours. His fatigue had passed away. He was not accustomed to give many hours to repose.
He opened his eyes, and looked for a moment into the obscurity about him; then he closed them to go to sleep again.
When many diverse sensations have disturbed the day, when the mind is preoccupied, we can fall asleep once, but not a second time. Sleep comes at first much more readily than it comes again. Such was the case with Jean Valjean. He could not get to sleep again, and so he began to think.
He was in one of those moods in which the ideas we have in our minds are perturbed.
Many thoughts came to him, but there was one which continually presented itself, and which drove away all others. What that thought was, we shall tell directly. He had noticed the six silver plates and the large ladle that Madame Malgoire had put on the table.
Those six silver plates took possession of him. There they were, within a few steps.
At the very moment that he passed through the middle room to reach the one he was now in, the old servant was placing them in a little cupboard at the head of the bed. He had marked that cupboard well on the right, coming from the dining room. They were solid, and old silver. With the big ladle, they would bring at least two hundred francs.
His mind wavered a whole hour, and a long one, in fluctuation and in struggle. The clock struck three. He opened his eyes, rose up hastily in bed, reached out his arm and felt his haversack, which he had put into the corner of the alcove; then he thrust out his legs and placed his feet on the ground, and found himself, he knew not how, seated on his bed.
He continued in this situation, and would perhaps have remained there until daybreak, if the clock had not struck the quarter of the half hour. The clock seemed to say to him: “ Come along! ”
He rose to his feet, hesitated for a moment longer, and listened; all was still in the house; he walked straight and cautiously toward the window, which he could discern.
The night was not very dark; there was a full moon, across which large clouds were driving before the wind. This produced alternations of light and shade, outdoors eclipses and illuminations, and indoors a kind of glimmer. On reaching the window, Jean Valjean examined it. It had no bars, opened into the garden, and was fastened, according to the fashion of the country, with a little wedge only. He opened it, but as the cold, keen air rushed into the room, he closed it again immediately. He looked into the garden with that absorbed look which studies rather than sees. The garden was enclosed with a white wall, quite low, and readily scaled. Beyond, against the sky, he distinguished the tops of trees at equal distances apart, which showed that this wall separated the garden from an avenue or a lane planted with trees.
When he had taken this observation, he turned like a man whose mind is made up, went to his alcove, took his haversack, opened it, fumbled in it, took out something which he laid upon the bed, put his shoes into one of his pockets, tied up his bundle, swung it upon his shoulders, put on his cap and pulled the vizor down over his eyes, felt for his stick, and went and put it in the corner of the window, then returned to the bed, and resolutely took up the object which he had laid on it. It looked like a short iron bar, pointed at one end like a spear.
It would have been hard to distinguish in the darkness for what use this peace of iron had been made. Could it be a lever? Could it be a club?
In the daytime, it would have been seen to be nothing but a miner’s drill. At that time, the convicts were sometimes employed in quarrying stone on the high hills that surround Toulon, and they often had miners’ tools in their possessions. Miners’ drills are of solid iron, terminating at the lower end in a point, by means of which they are sunk into the rock.
He took the drill in his right hand, and holding his breath, with stealthy steps, he moved toward the door of the next room, which was the bishop’s as we know. On reaching the door, he found it unlatched. The bishop had not closed it.
Jean Valjean listened. Not a sound.
He pushed the door.
He pushed it lightly with the end of his finger, with the stealthy and timorous carefulness of a cat. The door yielded to the pressure with a silent, imperceptible movement, which made the opening a little wider.
He waited a moment, and then pushed the door again more boldly. This time a rusty hinge suddenly sent out into the darkness a harsh and prolonged creak.
He stood still, petrified like a pillar of salt, not daring to stir. Some minutes passed. The door was wide open; he ventured a look into the room. Nothing had moved. He listened.
Nothing was stirring in the house. The noise of the rusty hinge had wakened nobody.
The first danger was over, but still he felt within him a frightful tumult. Nevertheless he did not flinch. Not even when he thought he was lost had he flinched. His only thought was to make an end of it quickly. He took one step and was in the room.
A deep calm filled the chamber. Jean Valjean advanced, carefully avoiding the furniture. At the further end of the room he could hear the equal and quiet breathing of the sleeping bishop.
Suddenly he stopped; he was near the bed, he had reached it sooner than he thought. For nearly a half hour a great cloud had darkened the sky. At the moment when Jean Valjean paused before the bed the cloud broke as if purposely, and a ray of moonlight, crossing the high window, suddenly lighted up the bishop’s face. He slept tranquilly. He was almost entirely dressed, though in bed, on account of the cold nights of the Lower Alps, with a dark woolen garment which covered his arms to the wrists. His head had fallen on the pillow in the unstudied attitude of slumber; over the side of the bed hung his hand, ornamented with the pastoral ring, and which had done so many good deeds, so many pious acts. His entire countenance was lit up with a vague expression of content, hope and happiness. It was more than a smile and almost a radiance. On his forehead rested the indescribable reflection of an unseen light. The souls of the upright in sleep have vision of a mysterious heaven.
A reflection from this heaven shone upon the bishop.
The moon in the sky, nature drowsing, the garden without a pulse, the quiet house, the hour, the moment, the silence, added something strangely solemn and unutterable to the venerable repose of this man, and enveloped his white locks with his closed eyes with a serene and majestic glory, his face where all was hope and confidence-this old man’s head and infant’s slumber.
There was something of divinity almost in this man.
Jean Valjean was in the shadow with the iron drill in his hand, erect, motionless, terrified, at this radiant figure. He had never seen anything comparable to it. This confidence filled him with fear. The moral world has no greater spectacle than this: a troubled and restless conscience on the verge of committing and evil deed, contemplating the sleep of a good man.
In a few moments he raised his left hand slowly to his forehead and took off his hat; then, letting his hand fall with the same slowness, Jean Valjean resumed his contemplations, his cap in his left hand, his club in his right, and his hair bristling on his fierce looking head.
Under this frightful gaze the bishop still slept in profoundest peace.
The crucifix above the mantlepiece was dimly visible in the moonlight, apparently extending its arms towards both, with a benediction for one and a pardon for the other.
Suddenly Jean Valjean put on his cap, then passed quickly, without looking at the bishop, along the bed, straight to the cupboard, which he perceived near its head; he raised the drill to force the lock; the key was in it; he opened it; the first thing he saw was the basket of silver; he took it, crossed the room with hasty stride, careless of noise, reached the door, entered the oratory, took his stick, stepped out, put the silver in his knapsack, threw away the basket, ran across the garden, leaped over the wall like a tiger, and fled.
The next day at sunrise, Monseigneur Bienvenue was walking in the garden. Madame Malgoire ran toward him quite beside herself.
“ Monseigneur, the man has gone! The silver is stolen! ”
While she was uttering this exclamation her eyes fell on an angle of the garden where she saw traces of an escalade. A capstone of the wall had been thrown down.
“ See, there is where he got out; he jumped into Cochefilet Lane. The abominable fellow! He has stolen our silver! ”
The bishop was silent for a moment; then raising his serious eyes, he said mildly to Madame Magloire:
“ Now first, did this silver belong to us ? ”
Madame Magloire did not answer ; after a moment the bishop continued:
“ Madame Magloire, I have for a long time wrongfully withheld this silver; it belonged to the poor. Who was this man? A poor man evidently. ”
“ Alas! Alas! “ returned Madame Magloire. ” It is not on my account or mademoiselle’s; it is all the same to us. But it is on yours, monseigneur. What is monsieur going to eat from now ? ”
The bishop looked at her with amazement:
“ How so! Have we no tin plates ? ”
Madame Magloire shrugged her shoulders.
“ Tin smells. ”
“ Well. then, iron plates. ”
Madame Magloire made an expressive gesture.
“ Iron Tastes ”
“ Well, ” said the bishop, “ then wooden plates. ”
In a few minutes he was breakfasting at the same table at which Jean Valjean sat the night before. While breakfasting, Monseigneur Bienvenue pleasantly remarked to his sister who said nothing, and Madame Magloire who was grumbling to herself, that there was really no need even of a wooden spoon or fork to dip a piece of bread into a cup of milk.
Just as the brother and sister were rising from the table, there was a knock at the door.
“ Come in, ” said the bishop.
The door opened. A strange, fierce group appeared on the threshold. Three men were holding a fourth by the collar. The three men were gendarmes; the fourth Jean Valjean.
A brigadier of gendarmes, who appeared to head the group, was near the door. He advanced toward the bishop, giving a military salute.
“ Monseigneur- ” said he.
At this word Jean Valjean, who was sullen and seemed entirely cast down, raised his head with a stupified air.
“ Monseigneur ! ” he murmured. “ Then it is not the cure’ ! ”
“ Silence ! ” said a gendarme. “ It is monseigneur, the bishop. ”
In the meantime Monseigneur Bienvenu had approached as quickly as his great age permitted.
“ Ah, there you are ! ” said he, looking toward Jean Valjean.
“ I am glad to see you. But I gave you the candlesticks also, which are silver like the rest, and would bring two hundred francs. Why did you not take them along with your plates ? ”
Jean Valjean opened his eyes and looked at the bishop with an expression which no human tongue could describe.
“ Monseigneur, ” said the brigadier, “ then what this man said was true ? We met him.
He was going like a man who was running away, and we arrested him in order to see. He had this silver. ”
“ And he told you, ” interrupted the bishop, with a smile, “ that it had been given to him by a good old priest with whom he had passed the night. I see it all.
And you brought him back here? It is all a mistake. ”
“ If that is so, ” said the brigadier, “ we can let him go ”
“ Certainly, ” replied the bishop.
The gendarmes released Jean Valjean, who shrank back.
“ Is it true that they let me go? ” he said in a voice almost inarticulate, as if he were speaking in his sleep.
“ Yes! You can go. Do you not understand? ” said a gendarme.
“ My friend,” said the bishop, “ before you go away, here are your candlesticks; take them.”
He went to the mantlepiece, took the two candlesticks, and brought them to Jean Valjean. The two women beheld the action without a word, or gesture, or look, that might disturb the bishop.
Jean Valjean was trembling in every limb. He took the two candlesticks mechanically, and with a wild appearance.
“ Now, ” said the bishop, “ go in peace.”
Then turning to the gendarmes, he said:
“ Messieurs, you can retire. ” The gendarmes withdrew.
Jean Valjean felt like a man who is just about to faint.
The bishop approached him, and said in a low voice:
“ Forget not, never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man. ”
Jean Valjean, who had no recollection of this promise, stood confounded. The bishop had laid much stress upon these words as he uttered them. He continued solemnly;
“ Jean Valjean, my brother, you belong no longer to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I am buying for you, I withdraw it from dark thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God! ”
JEAN VALJEAN went out of the city as if he were escaping. He made all haste to get into the open country, taking the first lanes and bypaths that offered without noticing that he was every moment retracing his steps. He wandered thus all the morning. He had eaten nothing, but he felt no hunger. He was the prey of a multitude of new sensations. He felt somewhat angry, he knew not against whom.
Although the season was well advanced, there were yet here and there a few late flowers in the hedges, the odor of which, as it met him in his walk, recalled the memories of his childhood. These memories were almost insupportable, it was so long since they had occurred to him. Unspeakable thoughts thus gathered in his mind the whole day.
As the sun was sinking towards the horizon, lengthening the shadow on the ground of the smallest pebble, Jean Valjean was seated behind a thicket in a large reddish plain, an absolute desert. There was no horizon but the Alps. Not even the steeple of a village church. Jean Valjean may have been three leagues from D—--- A bypath which crossed the plain passed a few steps from the thicket.
In the midst of this meditation he heard a joyous sound. He turned his head, and saw coming along the path a little Savoyard, a dozen years old, singing, with his hurdy-gurdy at his side and his marmot box on his back.
One of those pleasant and gay youngsters who go from place to place with their knees sticking through their trousers.
Always singing, the boy stopped from time to time and played at tossing up some pieces of money that he had in his hand, probably his whole fortune. Among them there was one forty-sous piece.
The boy stopped by the side of the thicket without seeing Jean Valjean and tossed up his handful of souls, until this time he had skillfully caught the whole of them upon the back of his hand.
This time the forty-sous piece escaped him and rolled toward the thicket near Jean Valjean.
Jean Valjean put his foot upon it.
The boy, however, had followed the piece with his eye and had seen where it went .
He was not frightened and walked straight to the man. It was an entirely solitary place.
Far as the eye could reach there was no one on the plain or in the path. Nothing could be heard but the faint cries of a flock of birds of passage that were flying across the sky at an immense height. The child turned his back to the sun, which made his hair like threads of gold, and flushed the savage face of Jean Valjean with a lurid glow.
“ Monsieur,” said the little Savoyard, with that childish confidence which is made up of ignorance and innocence, “my piece?”
“ What is your name? ” said Jean Valjean.
“ Petit Gervais, monsieur. ”
“ Get out, ” said Jean Valjean.
“ Monsieur, ” continued the boy, “ give me my piece.”
Jean Valjean dropped his head and did not answer.
The child began again:
“ My piece, monsieur! ”
Jean Valjean did not appear to understand. The boy took him by the collar of his blouse and shook him and at the same time he made an effort to move the big, ironsoled shoe which was placed upon his treasure.
“ I want my piece ! My forty-sous piece! ”
The child began to cry. Jean Valjean raised his head. He still kept his seat. His look was troubled. He looked upon the boy with an air of wonder, then reached out his hand. He still kept his seat. His look was troubled. He looked upon the boy with an air of wonder, then reached out his hand toward his stick and exclaimed in a terrible voice,“ Who is there? Ah! You here yet? ” And rising hastily to his feet, without releasing the piece of money, he added: “ You’d better take care of your self! ”
The boy looked at him in terror, then began to tremble from head to foot, and after a few seconds of stupor, took to flight and ran with all his might without daring to turn his head or to utter a cry.
At a little distance, however, he stopped for want of breath, and Jean Valjean in his reverie heard him sobbing.
In a few minutes the boy was gone.
The sun had gone down.
The shadows were deepening around Jean Valjean. He had not eaten during the day; probably he had some fever.
He had remained standing, and had not changed his attitude since the child fled. His breathing was at long and unequal intervals. His eyes were fixed on a spot ten or twelve steps before him, and seemed to be studying with profound attention the form of an old piece of blue crockery that was lying in the grass. All at once he shivered; he began to feel the cold night air.
He pulled his cap down over his forehead, sought mechanically to fold and button his blouse around him, stepped forward and stooped to pick up his stick.
At that instant he perceived the forty-sous piece which his foot had half buried in the ground, and which glistened among the pebbles. It was like an electric shock. “ What is that? ” said he, between his teeth. He drew back a step or two, then stopped without the power to withdraw his gaze from this point which his foot had covered the instant before, as if the thing that glistened there in the obscurity had been an eye fixed upon him. After a few minutes, he sprung convulsively toward the piece of money, seized it, and, rising, looked away over the plain, straining his eyes towards all points of the horizon, standing and trembling like a frightened deer which is seeking a place of refuge.
He saw nothing. Night was falling, the plain was cold and bare, thick purple mists were rising in the glimmering twilight.
He said: “ Oh! ” and began to walk rapidly in the direction in which the child had gone. After some thirty steps, he stopped, looked about, and saw nothing.
Then he called with his might: “ Petit Gervais! Petit Gervais! ”
And then he listened.
There was no answer.
The country was desolate and gloomy. On all sides was space. There was nothing about him but a shadow in which his gaze was lost and a silence in which his voice was lost.
A biting norther was blowing, which gave a kind of dismal life to everything about him.
The bushes shook their little thin arms with an incredible fury. One would have said that they were threatening and pursuing somebody.
He began to walk again, then quickened his pace to a run and from time to time stopped and called out in that solitude, in almost desolate and terrible voice:
“ Petit Gervais! Petit Gervais! ”
Surely, if the child had heard him, he would have been frightened and would have hid himself.
But doubtless the boy was already far away.
Jean Valjean began to run again in the direction which he had first taken.
He went on in this wise for a considerable distance, looking around, calling and shouting, but met nobody else. Two or three times he left the path to look at what seemed to be somebody lying down or crouching; it was only low bushes or rocks.
Finally, at a place where three paths met, he stopped. The moon had risen. He strained his eyes in the distance, and called out once more: “ Petit Gervais! ” but with a feeble, and almost inarticulate voice. That was his last effort. His knees suddenly bent under him, as if an invisible power overwhelmed him at a blow, with the weight of his bad conscience; he fell exhausted upon a great stone, his hands clenched in his hair and his face on his knees, and exclaimed:
“ What a wretch I am ! ”
Then his heart swelled, and he burst into tears. It was the first time he had wept in nineteen years.
Jean Valjean wept long. He shed hot tears, he wept bitterly, with more weakness than a woman, with more terror than a child.
While he wept, the light grew brighter and brighter in his mind-an extraordinary light, a light at once transporting and terrible. His past life, his first offence, his long expiation, his brutal exterior, his hardened interior, his release made glad by so many schemes of vengeance, what had happened to him at the bishop’s , his last action, this theft of forty sous from a child, a crime meaner and the more monstrous that it came after the bishop’s pardon, all this returned and appeared to him, clearly, but in a light that he had never seen before. He beheld his life, and it seemed to him that he was looking upon Satan by the light of paradise.
How long did he weep thus? What did he do after weeping ? Where did he go ? Nobody ever knew. It is known simply that, on that very night, the stage driver who drove at that time on the Grenoble route, and arrived at D—--about three o’clock in the morning, saw, as he passed through the bishop’s street, a man in the attitude of prayer, kneel upon the pavement in the shadow, before the door of Monseigneur Bienvenu.
To Entrust Is Sometimes
THERE was, during the first quarter of the present century, at Montfermeil, near París, a sort of chophouse; it is not there now. It was kept by a man and his wife, named Thénardier, and was situated in the Lane Boulanger. Above the door, nailed against the wall, was a board, upon which something was painted that looked like a man carrying on his back another man wearing the heavy epaulettes of a general, gift and with large silver starts; red blotches typified blood; the remainder of the picture was smoke, and probably represented a battle. Beneath was this inscription: To THE SERGEANT OF WATERLOO.
Nothing is commoner than a cart of wagon before the door of an inn; nevertheless the vehicle , or more properly speaking, the fragment of a vehicle which obstructed the street in front of the Sergeant of Waterloo one evening in the spring of 1818 certainly would have attracted by its bulk the attention of any painter who may have been passing.
Why was this vehicle in this place in the street, one may ask? First to obstruct the lane, and then to complete its work of rust.
The middle of the chain was hanging quite near the ground, under the axle, and upon the bend, as on a swinging rope, two little girls were seated that evening in exquisite grouping, the smaller, eighteen months old, in the lap of the larger, who was two-and-a-half years old.
A handkerchief carefully knotted kept them from falling.
A mother. Looking upon this frightful chain, had said; “Ah! This is a plaything for my children!”
The mother, a woman whose appearance was rather forbidding, but touching at this moment, was seated on the sill of the inn, swinging the two children by a long string, while she brooded them with her eyes for fear of accident with that animal but heavenly expression peculiar to maternity. At each vibration the hideous links uttered a creaking noise like an angry cry, the little ones were in ecstasies, as the setting sun mingled in the joy,
Suddenly the mother heard a voice say quite near to her ear: “You have two pretty children there, madame.”
A woman was before her at a little distance; she also had a child, which she bore in her arms.
She was carrying in addition a large carpetbag, which seemed heavy.
This woman’s child was one of the divinest beings that can be imagined: a little girl of two or three years. She might have entered the lists with the other little ones coquetry of attire; she wore a headdress of fine linen; ribbons at her shoulders and Valenciennes lace on her cap. The folds of her skirt were raised enough to show her plump fine white leg; she was charmingly rosy and beautiful. The pretty little creature gave one a desire to bite her cherry cheeks. We can say nothing of her eyes except that they must have been very large, and were fringed with superb lashes. She was asleep.
She was sleeping in the absolutely confiding slumber peculiar to her age. A mother’s arms are made of tenderness, and sweet sleep blessed the child who lies therein.
As to the mother, she seemed poor and sad; she had the appearance of a workingwoman who is seeking to return to the life of a peasant. She was young and pretty? It was possible but in that garb beauty could not be displayed. Her hair, one blond mesh of which had fallen, seemed very thick, but it was severely fastened up beneath an ugly, close, narrow nun’s headdress, tied under the chin. Laughing shows fine teeth when one has them, but she did not laugh. Her eyes seemed not to have been tearless for a long time. She was pale, and looked very weary, and somewhat sick. She gazed upon her child, sleeping in her arms, with that peculiar look which only a mother possesses who nurses her own child. Her form was clumsily masked by a large blue handkerchief folded across her bosom. Her hands were tanned and spotted with freckles, the forefinger hardened and pricked with the needle;she wore a coarse brown delaine mantle, a calico dress, and large heavy shoes.
It was one of those beings which are brought forth from the heart of the people . Sprung from the most unfathomable depths of social darkness, she bore on her brow the mark of the anonymous and unknown. She was born at M—--sur m—--- Who were her parents? None could tell; she had never known either father or mother. She was called Fantine–Why so? Because she had never been known by any other name.
She could have no family name, for she had no family;she could have no baptismal name, for then there was no church.
She was named after the pleasure of the first passer-by who found her, a mere infant, straying barefoot in the streets. She received a name as she received the water from the clouds on her head when it rained. She was called Little Fantine. No-body knew anything more of her. Such was the manner in which this human being had come into life. At the age of ten, Fantine left the city and went to service among the farmers of the suburbs. At fifteen, she came to Paris, to “ seek her fortune ”. Fantine was beautiful and remained pure as long as she could.She was a pretty blonde with fine teeth. She had gold and pearls for her dowry: but the gold was on her head and the pearls in her mouth.
She worked to live, then, also to live, for the heart too has its hunger, she loved.
To him it was an amour; to her a passion. The streets of the Latin Quarter which swarn with students and grisettes, saw the beginning of this dream. In short, the eclogue took place, and the poor girl had a child.
The father of her child gone—alas, such partings are irrevocable –She found herself absolutely isolated, with the habit of labor lost, and the taste for pleasure acquired. She had committed a fault, but, in the depths of her nature, we know dwelt modesty and virtue. She had a vague feeling that she was on the eve of falling into distress, of slipping into the street.
She must have courage; she had it, and bore up bravely.
The idea occurred to her of returning to her native village M—--sur m—---; there perhaps someone would know her, and give her work. Yes, but she must hide her fault. And she had a confused glimpse of the possible necessities of a separation still more painful than the first. Her heart ached, but she took her resolution. It will be seen that Fantine possessed the stern courage of life. At twenty-two years of age, on a fine spring morning, she left Paris, carrying her child on her back. He who had seen the two passing must have pitied them. The woman had nothing in the world but this child, and this child had nothing in the world but this woman. Fantine had nursed her child –that had weakened her chest somewhat—and she coughed slightly.
Toward noon, after having, for the sake of rest, traveled from time to time at a cost of three or four cents a league, in what they called then the Petites Voitures of the environs of Paris, Fantine reached Montfermeil, and stood in the Lane Boulanger.
As she was passing by the Thénardier chophouse, the two little children sitting in delight on their monstrous swings had a sort of dazzling effect upon her, and she paused before this joyous vision.
There are charms. These two little girls were one for this mother.
She beheld them with emotion. The presence of angels is a herald of paradise. She thought she saw about this inn the mysterious Here of Providence. These children were evidently happy; she gazed upon them, she admired them, so much affected that at the moment when the mother was taking breath between the verses of her song, she could not help saying what we have been reading. “ You have two pretty children there, madame.”
The most ferocious animals are disarmed by caresses to their young.