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Notre-Dame de Paris

Also known as:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

by Victor Hugo


A few years agowhile visiting orratherrummaging about
Notre-Damethe author of this book foundin an obscure
nook of one of the towersthe following wordengraved by
hand upon the wall:-


These Greek capitalsblack with ageand quite deeply
graven in the stonewith I know not what signs peculiar
to Gothic caligraphy imprinted upon their forms and upon
their attitudesas though with the purpose of revealing that
it had been a hand of the Middle Ages which had inscribed
them thereand especially the fatal and melancholy meaning
contained in themstruck the author deeply.

He questioned himself; he sought to divine who could have
been that soul in torment which had not been willing to quit
this world without leaving this stigma of crime or unhappiness
upon the brow of the ancient church.

Afterwardsthe wall was whitewashed or scraped downI
know not whichand the inscription disappeared. For it is
thus that people have been in the habit of proceeding with
the marvellous churches of the Middle Ages for the last two
hundred years. Mutilations come to them from every quarter
from within as well as from without. The priest whitewashes
themthe archdeacon scrapes them down; then the
populace arrives and demolishes them.

Thuswith the exception of the fragile memory which the
author of this book here consecrates to itthere remains
to-day nothing whatever of the mysterious word engraved
within the gloomy tower of Notre-Dame--nothing of the
destiny which it so sadly summed up. The man who wrote
that word upon the wall disappeared from the midst of the
generations of man many centuries ago; the wordin its turn
has been effaced from the wall of the church; the church
willperhapsitself soon disappear from the face of the

It is upon this word that this book is founded.





I. The Grand Hall
II. Pierre Gringoire
III. Monsieur the Cardinal
IV. Master Jacques Coppenole
V. Quasimodo
VI. Esmeralda

I. From Charybdis to Scylla
II. The Place de Grève
III. Kisses for Blows
IV. The Inconveniences of Following a Pretty Woman through
the Streets in the Evening
V. Result of the Dangers
VI. The Broken Jug
VII. A Bridal Night

I. Notre-Dame
II. A Bird's-eye View of Paris

I. Good Souls
II. Claude Frollo
III. Immanis Pecoris CustosImmanior Ipse
IV. The Dog and his Master
V. More about Claude Frollo
VI. Unpopularity

I. Abbas Beati Martini
II. This will Kill That

I. An Impartial Glance at the Ancient Magistracy
II. The Rat-hole
III. History of a Leavened Cake of Maize
IV. A Tear for a Drop of Water
V. End of the Story of the Cake



Three hundred and forty-eight yearssix monthsand nineteen
days ago to-daythe Parisians awoke to the sound of all
the bells in the triple circuit of the citythe universityand
the town ringing a full peal.

The sixth of January1482is nothowevera day of which
history has preserved the memory. There was nothing notable
in the event which thus set the bells and the bourgeois
of Paris in a ferment from early morning. It was neither an
assault by the Picards nor the Burgundiansnor a hunt led
along in processionnor a revolt of scholars in the town of
Laasnor an entry of "our much dread lordmonsieur the
king nor even a pretty hanging of male and female thieves
by the courts of Paris. Neither was it the arrival, so frequent
in the fifteenth century, of some plumed and bedizened embassy.
It was barely two days since the last cavalcade of
that nature, that of the Flemish ambassadors charged with
concluding the marriage between the dauphin and Marguerite
of Flanders, had made its entry into Paris, to the great annoyance
of M. le Cardinal de Bourbon, who, for the sake of pleasing the
king, had been obliged to assume an amiable mien
towards this whole rustic rabble of Flemish burgomasters, and
to regale them at his Hôtel de Bourbon, with a very pretty
moralityallegorical satireand farce while a driving rain
drenched the magnificent tapestries at his door.

What put the whole population of Paris in commotion as
Jehan de Troyes expresses it, on the sixth of January, was
the double solemnity, united from time immemorial, of the
Epiphany and the Feast of Fools.

On that day, there was to be a bonfire on the Place de
Grève, a maypole at the Chapelle de Braque, and a mystery at
the Palais de Justice. It had been cried, to the sound of the
trumpet, the preceding evening at all the cross roads, by the
provost's men, clad in handsome, short, sleeveless coats of
violet camelot, with large white crosses upon their breasts.

So the crowd of citizens, male and female, having closed
their houses and shops, thronged from every direction, at
early morn, towards some one of the three spots designated.

Each had made his choice; one, the bonfire; another, the
maypole; another, the mystery play. It must be stated, in
honor of the good sense of the loungers of Paris, that the
greater part of this crowd directed their steps towards the
bonfire, which was quite in season, or towards the mystery
play, which was to be presented in the grand hall of the
Palais de Justice (the courts of law), which was well roofed
and walled; and that the curious left the poor, scantily flowered
maypole to shiver all alone beneath the sky of January,
in the cemetery of the Chapel of Braque.

The populace thronged the avenues of the law courts in
particular, because they knew that the Flemish ambassadors,
who had arrived two days previously, intended to be present
at the representation of the mystery, and at the election of

the Pope of the Fools, which was also to take place in the
grand hall.

It was no easy matter on that day, to force one's way into
that grand hall, although it was then reputed to be the largest
covered enclosure in the world (it is true that Sauval had not
yet measured the grand hall of the Château of Montargis).
The palace place, encumbered with people, offered to the
curious gazers at the windows the aspect of a sea; into which
five or six streets, like so many mouths of rivers, discharged
every moment fresh floods of heads. The waves of this
crowd, augmented incessantly, dashed against the angles of
the houses which projected here and there, like so many
promontories, into the irregular basin of the place. In the
centre of the lofty Gothic* façade of the palace, the grand
staircase, incessantly ascended and descended by a double
current, which, after parting on the intermediate landing-place,
flowed in broad waves along its lateral slopes,--the grand
staircase, I say, trickled incessantly into the place, like a
cascade into a lake. The cries, the laughter, the trampling
of those thousands of feet, produced a great noise and a great
clamor. From time to time, this noise and clamor redoubled;
the current which drove the crowd towards the grand staircase
flowed backwards, became troubled, formed whirlpools.
This was produced by the buffet of an archer, or the horse of
one of the provost's sergeants, which kicked to restore order;
an admirable tradition which the provostship has bequeathed
to the constablery, the constablery to the ~maréchaussée~, the
~maréchaussée~ to our ~gendarmeri~ of Paris.

* The word Gothic, in the sense in which it is generally employed,
is wholly unsuitable, but wholly consecrated. Hence we accept it
and we adopt it, like all the rest of the world, to characterize
the architecture of the second half of the Middle Ages, where the
ogive is the principle which succeeds the architecture of the first
period, of which the semi-circle is the father.
Thousands of good, calm, bourgeois faces thronged the windows,
the doors, the dormer windows, the roofs, gazing at the
palace, gazing at the populace, and asking nothing more; for
many Parisians content themselves with the spectacle of the
spectators, and a wall behind which something is going on
becomes at once, for us, a very curious thing indeed.

If it could be granted to us, the men of 1830, to mingle in
thought with those Parisians of the fifteenth century, and to
enter with them, jostled, elbowed, pulled about, into that
immense hall of the palace, which was so cramped on that
sixth of January, 1482, the spectacle would not be devoid of
either interest or charm, and we should have about us only
things that were so old that they would seem new.

With the reader's consent, we will endeavor to retrace in
thought, the impression which he would have experienced in
company with us on crossing the threshold of that grand hall,
in the midst of that tumultuous crowd in surcoats, short,
sleeveless jackets, and doublets.

And, first of all, there is a buzzing in the ears, a dazzlement
in the eyes. Above our heads is a double ogive vault, panelled
with wood carving, painted azure, and sown with golden
fleurs-de-lis; beneath our feet a pavement of black and white

marble, alternating. A few paces distant, an enormous pillar,
then another, then another; seven pillars in all, down the
length of the hall, sustaining the spring of the arches of the
double vault, in the centre of its width. Around four of
the pillars, stalls of merchants, all sparkling with glass and
tinsel; around the last three, benches of oak, worn and polished
by the trunk hose of the litigants, and the robes of the
attorneys. Around the hall, along the lofty wall, between the
doors, between the windows, between the pillars, the interminable
row of all the kings of France, from Pharamond down:
the lazy kings, with pendent arms and downcast eyes; the
valiant and combative kings, with heads and arms raised
boldly heavenward. Then in the long, pointed windows,
glass of a thousand hues; at the wide entrances to the hall,
rich doors, finely sculptured; and all, the vaults, pillars,
walls, jambs, panelling, doors, statues, covered from top to
bottom with a splendid blue and gold illumination, which, a
trifle tarnished at the epoch when we behold it, had almost
entirely disappeared beneath dust and spiders in the year of
grace, 1549, when du Breul still admired it from tradition.

Let the reader picture to himself now, this immense, oblong
hall, illuminated by the pallid light of a January day, invaded
by a motley and noisy throng which drifts along the walls,
and eddies round the seven pillars, and he will have a confused
idea of the whole effect of the picture, whose curious
details we shall make an effort to indicate with more precision.

It is certain, that if Ravaillac had not assassinated Henri
IV., there would have been no documents in the trial of
Ravaillac deposited in the clerk's office of the Palais de Justice,
no accomplices interested in causing the said documents
to disappear; hence, no incendiaries obliged, for lack of better
means, to burn the clerk's office in order to burn the documents,
and to burn the Palais de Justice in order to burn the
clerk's office; consequently, in short, no conflagration in 1618.
The old Palais would be standing still, with its ancient grand
hall; I should be able to say to the reader, Go and look at
it and we should thus both escape the necessity,--I of
making, and he of reading, a description of it, such as it is.
Which demonstrates a new truth: that great events have
incalculable results.

It is true that it may be quite possible, in the first place,
that Ravaillac had no accomplices; and in the second, that if
he had any, they were in no way connected with the fire of
1618. Two other very plausible explanations exist: First,
the great flaming star, a foot broad, and a cubit high, which
fell from heaven, as every one knows, upon the law courts,
after midnight on the seventh of March; second, Théophile's

Sure'twas but a sorry game
When at ParisDame Justice
Through having eaten too much spice
Set the palace all aflame."

Whatever may be thought of this triple explanationpolitical
physicaland poeticalof the burning of the law courts in
1618the unfortunate fact of the fire is certain. Very little
to-day remainsthanks to this catastrophe--thanksabove
allto the successive restorations which have completed what

it spared--very little remains of that first dwelling of the
kings of France--of that elder palace of the Louvrealready
so old in the time of Philip the Handsomethat they sought
there for the traces of the magnificent buildings erected by
King Robert and described by Helgaldus. Nearly everything
has disappeared. What has become of the chamber of the
chancellerywhere Saint Louis consummated his marriage?
the garden where he administered justiceclad in a coat of
camelot, a surcoat of linsey-woolsey, without sleeves, and a
sur-mantle of black sandal, as he lay upon the carpet with
Joinville?Where is the chamber of the Emperor Sigismond?
and that of Charles IV.? that of Jean the Landless?
Where is the staircasefrom which Charles VI. promulgated
his edict of pardon? the slab where Marcel cut the throats of
Robert de Clermont and the Marshal of Champagnein the
presence of the dauphin? the wicket where the bulls of
Pope Benedict were tornand whence those who had brought
them departed decked outin derisionin copes and mitres
and making an apology through all Paris? and the grand
hallwith its gildingits azureits statuesits pointed arches
its pillarsits immense vaultall fretted with carvings? and
the gilded chamber? and the stone lionwhich stood at the
doorwith lowered head and tail between his legslike the
lions on the throne of Solomonin the humiliated attitude
which befits force in the presence of justice? and the beautiful
doors? and the stained glass? and the chased ironwork
which drove Biscornette to despair? and the delicate woodwork
of Hancy? What has timewhat have men done with
these marvels? What have they given us in return for all
this Gallic historyfor all this Gothic art? The heavy flattened
arches of M. de Brossethat awkward architect of the
Saint-Gervais portal. So much for art; andas for history
we have the gossiping reminiscences of the great pillarstill
ringing with the tattle of the Patru.

It is not much. Let us return to the veritable grand hall
of the veritable old palace. The two extremities of this
gigantic parallelogram were occupiedthe one by the famous
marble tableso longso broadand so thick thatas the
ancient land rolls--in a style that would have given Gargantua
an appetite--saysuch a slice of marble as was never
beheld in the world; the other by the chapel where Louis XI.
had himself sculptured on his knees before the Virginand
whither he caused to be broughtwithout heeding the two
gaps thus made in the row of royal statuesthe statues of
Charlemagne and of Saint Louistwo saints whom he supposed
to be great in favor in heavenas kings of France.
This chapelquite newhaving been built only six yearswas
entirely in that charming taste of delicate architectureof
marvellous sculptureof fine and deep chasingwhich marks
with us the end of the Gothic eraand which is perpetuated
to about the middle of the sixteenth century in the fairylike
fancies of the Renaissance. The little open-work rose window
pierced above the portalwasin particulara masterpiece
of lightness and grace; one would have pronounced it a
star of lace.

In the middle of the hallopposite the great doora platform
of gold brocadeplaced against the walla special
entrance to which had been effected through a window in
the corridor of the gold chamberhad been erected for the
Flemish emissaries and the other great personages invited to
the presentation of the mystery play.

It was upon the marble table that the mystery was to be
enactedas usual. It had been arranged for the purpose
early in the morning; its rich slabs of marbleall scratched
by the heels of law clerkssupported a cage of carpenter's
work of considerable heightthe upper surface of which
within view of the whole hallwas to serve as the theatre
and whose interiormasked by tapestrieswas to take the
place of dressing-rooms for the personages of the piece. A
laddernaively placed on the outsidewas to serve as means
of communication between the dressing-room and the stage
and lend its rude rungs to entrances as well as to exits.
There was no personagehowever unexpectedno sudden
changeno theatrical effectwhich was not obliged to mount
that ladder. Innocent and venerable infancy of art and

Four of the bailiff of the palace's sergeantsperfunctory
guardians of all the pleasures of the peopleon days of festival
as well as on days of executionstood at the four corners
of the marble table.

The piece was only to begin with the twelfth stroke of the
great palace clock sounding midday. It was very lateno
doubtfor a theatrical representationbut they had been
obliged to fix the hour to suit the convenience of the ambassadors.

Nowthis whole multitude had been waiting since morning.
A goodly number of curiousgood people had been shivering
since daybreak before the grand staircase of the palace;
some even affirmed that they had passed the night across
the threshold of the great doorin order to make sure that
they should be the first to pass in. The crowd grew more
dense every momentandlike waterwhich rises above its
normal levelbegan to mount along the wallsto swell around
the pillarsto spread out on the entablatureson the cornices
on the window-sillson all the salient points of the architecture
on all the reliefs of the sculpture. Hencediscomfort
impatiencewearinessthe liberty of a day of cynicism and
follythe quarrels which break forth for all sorts of causes--a
pointed elbowan iron-shod shoethe fatigue of long waiting--had
alreadylong before the hour appointed for the
arrival of the ambassadorsimparted a harsh and bitter
accent to the clamor of these people who were shut infitted
into each otherpressedtrampled uponstifled. Nothing
was to be heard but imprecations on the Flemishthe provost
of the merchantsthe Cardinal de Bourbonthe bailiff of the
courtsMadame Marguerite of Austriathe sergeants with
their rodsthe coldthe heatthe bad weatherthe Bishop
of Paristhe Pope of the Foolsthe pillarsthe statuesthat
closed doorthat open window; all to the vast amusement of
a band of scholars and lackeys scattered through the mass
who mingled with all this discontent their teasing remarks
and their malicious suggestionsand pricked the general bad
temper with a pinso to speak.

Among the rest there was a group of those merry impswho
after smashing the glass in a windowhad seated themselves
hardily on the entablatureand from that point despatched
their gaze and their railleries both within and without
upon the throng in the halland the throng upon the Place.
It was easy to seefrom their parodied gesturestheir
ringing laughterthe bantering appeals which they exchanged
with their comradesfrom one end of the hall to the other
that these young clerks did not share the weariness and

fatigue of the rest of the spectatorsand that they understood
very well the art of extractingfor their own private diversion
from that which they had under their eyesa spectacle
which made them await the other with patience.

Upon my soul, so it's you, 'Joannes Frollo de Molendino!'
cried one of themto a sort of littlelight-haired
impwith a well-favored and malign countenanceclinging to
the acanthus leaves of a capital; "you are well named John
of the Millfor your two arms and your two legs have the air
of four wings fluttering on the breeze. How long have you
been here?"

By the mercy of the devil,retorted Joannes Frollo
these four hours and more; and I hope that they will be
reckoned to my credit in purgatory. I heard the eight singers
of the King of Sicily intone the first verse of seven o'clock
mass in the Sainte-Chapelle.

Fine singers!replied the otherwith voices even more
pointed than their caps! Before founding a mass for Monsieur
Saint John, the king should have inquired whether
Monsieur Saint John likes Latin droned out in a Provençal

He did it for the sake of employing those accursed singers
of the King of Sicily!cried an old woman sharply from
among the crowd beneath the window. "I just put it to
you! A thousand ~livres parisi~ for a mass! and out of the tax
on sea fish in the markets of Paristo boot!"

Peace, old crone,said a tallgrave personstopping up
his nose on the side towards the fishwife; "a mass had to be
founded. Would you wish the king to fall ill again?"

Bravely spoken, Sire Gilles Lecornu, master furrier of
king's robes!cried the little studentclinging to the

A shout of laughter from all the students greeted the
unlucky name of the poor furrier of the king's robes.

Lecornu! Gilles Lecornu!said some.

~Cornutus et hirsutus~, horned and hairy,another went on.

He! of course,continued the small imp on the capital
What are they laughing at? An honorable man is Gilles
Lecornu, brother of Master Jehan Lecornu, provost of the
king's house, son of Master Mahiet Lecornu, first porter of
the Bois de Vincennes,--all bourgeois of Paris, all married,
from father to son.

The gayety redoubled. The big furrierwithout uttering a
word in replytried to escape all the eyes riveted upon him
from all sides; but he perspired and panted in vain; like a
wedge entering the woodhis efforts served only to bury still
more deeply in the shoulders of his neighborshis large
apoplectic facepurple with spite and rage.

At length one of theseas fatshortand venerable as
himselfcame to his rescue.

Abomination! scholars addressing a bourgeois in that

fashion in my day would have been flogged with a fagot,
which would have afterwards been used to burn them.

The whole band burst into laughter.

Holà hé! who is scolding so? Who is that screech owl of
evil fortune?

Hold, I know himsaid one of them; "'tis Master
Andry Musnier."

Because he is one of the four sworn booksellers of the
university!said the other.

Everything goes by fours in that shop,cried a third;
the four nations, the four faculties, the four feasts, the four
procurators, the four electors, the four booksellers.

Well,began Jean Frollo once more we must play the
devil with them.*

* ~Faire le diable a quatre~.
Musnier, we'll burn your books.

Musnier, we'll beat your lackeys.

Musnier, we'll kiss your wife.

That fine, big Mademoiselle Oudarde.

Who is as fresh and as gay as though she were a widow.

Devil take you!growled Master Andry Musnier.

Master Andry,pursued Jean Jehanstill clinging to his
capitalhold your tongue, or I'll drop on your head!

Master Andry raised his eyesseemed to measure in an
instant the height of the pillarthe weight of the scamp
mentally multiplied that weight by the square of the velocity
and remained silent.

Jehanmaster of the field of battlepursued triumphantly:

That's what I'll do, even if I am the brother of an archdeacon!

Fine gentry are our people of the university, not to have
caused our privileges to be respected on such a day as this!
However, there is a maypole and a bonfire in the town; a
mystery, Pope of the Fools, and Flemish ambassadors in the
city; and, at the university, nothing!

Nevertheless, the Place Maubert is sufficiently large!
interposed one of the clerks established on the window-sill.

Down with the rector, the electors, and the procurators!
cried Joannes.

We must have a bonfire this evening in the Champ-Gaillard,
went on the othermade of Master Andry's books.

And the desks of the scribes!added his neighbor.

And the beadles' wands!

And the spittoons of the deans!

And the cupboards of the procurators!

And the hutches of the electors!

And the stools of the rector!

Down with them!put in little Jehanas counterpoint;
down with Master Andry, the beadles and the scribes; the
theologians, the doctors and the decretists; the procurators,
the electors and the rector!

The end of the world has come!,' muttered Master Andry,
stopping up his ears.

By the waythere's the rector! seehe is passing through
the Place cried one of those in the window.

Each rivalled his neighbor in his haste to turn towards the

Is it really our venerable rectorMaster Thibaut?" demanded
Jehan Frollo du Moulinwhoas he was clinging to
one of the inner pillarscould not see what was going on outside.

Yes, yes,replied all the othersit is really he, Master
Thibaut, the rector.

It wasin factthe rector and all the dignitaries of the
universitywho were marching in procession in front of the
embassyand at that moment traversing the Place. The students
crowded into the windowsaluted them as they passed
with sarcasms and ironical applause. The rectorwho was
walking at the head of his companyhad to support the first
broadside; it was severe.

Good day, monsieur le recteur! Holà hé! good day there!

How does he manage to be here, the old gambler? Has
he abandoned his dice?

How he trots along on his mule! her ears are not so long
as his!

Holà hé! good day, monsieur le recteur Thibaut! ~Tybalde
aleator~! Old fool! old gambler!

God preserve you! Did you throw double six often last

Oh! what a decrepit face, livid and haggard and drawn
with the love of gambling and of dice!

Where are you bound for in that fashion, Thibaut, ~Tybalde
ad dados~, with your back turned to the university, and trotting
towards the town?

He is on his way, no doubt, to seek a lodging in the Rue
Thibautodé?* cried Jehan du M. Moulin.

* ~Thibaut au des~--Thibaut of the dice.
The entire band repeated this quip in a voice of thunder
clapping their hands furiously.

You are going to seek a lodging in the Rue Thibautodé,
are you not, monsieur le recteur, gamester on the side of the

Then came the turns of the other dignitaries.

Down with the beadles! down with the mace-bearers!

Tell me, Robin Pouissepain, who is that yonder?

He is Gilbert de Suilly, ~Gilbertus de Soliaco~, the chancellor
of the College of Autun.

Hold on, here's my shoe; you are better placed than I,
fling it in his face.

~Saturnalitias mittimus ecce nuces~.

Down with the six theologians, with their white surplices!

Are those the theologians? I thought they were the
white geese given by Sainte-Geneviève to the city, for the
fief of Roogny.

Down with the doctors!

Down with the cardinal disputations, and quibblers!

My cap to you, Chancellor of Sainte-Geneviève! You
have done me a wrong. 'Tis true; he gave my place in the
nation of Normandy to little Ascanio Falzapada, who comes
from the province of Bourges, since he is an Italian.

That is an injustice,said all the scholars. "Down with
the Chancellor of Sainte-Geneviève!"

Ho hé! Master Joachim de Ladehors! Ho hé! Louis
Dahuille! Ho he Lambert Hoctement!

May the devil stifle the procurator of the German nation!

And the chaplains of the Sainte-Chapelle, with their gray
~amices; cum tunices grisis~!

~Seu de pellibus grisis fourratis~!

Holà hé! Masters of Arts! All the beautiful black copes!
all the fine red copes!

They make a fine tail for the rector.

One would say that he was a Doge of Venice on his way
to his bridal with the sea.

Say, Jehan! here are the canons of Sainte-Geneviève!

To the deuce with the whole set of canons!

Abbé Claude Choart! Doctor Claude Choart! Are you in
search of Marie la Giffarde?

She is in the Rue de Glatigny.

She is making the bed of the king of the debauchees.
She is paying her four deniers* ~quatuor denarios~."

* An old French coinequal to the two hundred and
fortieth part of a pound.
~Aut unum bombum~.

Would you like to have her pay you in the face?

Comrades! Master Simon Sanguin, the Elector of Picardy,
with his wife on the crupper!

~Post equitem seclet atra eura~--behind the horseman sits
black care.

Courage, Master Simon!

Good day, Mister Elector!

Good night, Madame Electress!

How happy they are to see all that!sighed Joannes de
Molendinostill perched in the foliage of his capital.

Meanwhilethe sworn bookseller of the universityMaster
Andry Musnierwas inclining his ear to the furrier of the
king's robesMaster Gilles Lecornu.

I tell you, sir, that the end of the world has come. No
one has ever beheld such outbreaks among the students! It is
the accursed inventions of this century that are ruining
everything,--artilleries, bombards, and, above all, printing,
that other German pest. No more manuscripts, no more
books! printing will kill bookselling. It is the end of the
world that is drawing nigh.

I see that plainly, from the progress of velvet stuffs,
said the fur-merchant.

At this momentmidday sounded.

Ha!exclaimed the entire crowdin one voice.

The scholars held their peace. Then a great hurly-burly
ensued; a vast movement of feethandsand heads; a general
outbreak of coughs and handkerchiefs; each one arranged
himselfassumed his postraised himself upand grouped
himself. Then came a great silence; all necks remained
outstretchedall mouths remained openall glances were
directed towards the marble table. Nothing made its appearance
there. The bailiff's four sergeants were still therestiff
motionlessas painted statues. All eyes turned to the estrade
reserved for the Flemish envoys. The door remained closed
the platform empty. This crowd had been waiting since daybreak

for three things: noondaythe embassy from Flandersthe
mystery play. Noonday alone had arrived on time.

On this occasionit was too much.

They waited onetwothreefive minutesa quarter of an
hour; nothing came. The dais remained emptythe theatre
dumb. In the meantimewrath had succeeded to impatience.
Irritated words circulated in a low tonestillit is true.
The mystery! the mystery!they murmuredin hollow
voices. Heads began to ferment. A tempestwhich was
only rumbling in the distance as yetwas floating on the
surface of this crowd. It was Jehan du Moulin who struck
the first spark from it.

The mystery, and to the devil with the Flemings!he
exclaimed at the full force of his lungstwining like a serpent
around his pillar.

The crowd clapped their hands.

The mystery!it repeatedand may all the devils take

We must have the mystery instantly,resumed the student;
or else, my advice is that we should hang the bailiff
of the courts, by way of a morality and a comedy.

Well said,cried the peopleand let us begin the hanging
with his sergeants.

A grand acclamation followed. The four poor fellows
began to turn paleand to exchange glances. The crowd
hurled itself towards themand they already beheld the
frail wooden railingwhich separated them from itgiving
way and bending before the pressure of the throng.

It was a critical moment.

To the sack, to the sack!rose the cry on all sides.

At that momentthe tapestry of the dressing-roomwhich
we have described abovewas raisedand afforded passage to a
personagethe mere sight of whom suddenly stopped the crowd
and changed its wrath into curiosity as by enchantment.

Silence! silence!

The personagebut little reassuredand trembling in every
limbadvanced to the edge of the marble table with a vast
amount of bowswhichin proportion as he drew nearermore
and more resembled genuflections.

In the meanwhiletranquillity had gradually been restored.
A1l that remained was that slight murmur which always rises
above the silence of a crowd.

Messieurs the bourgeois,said heand mesdemoiselles
the ~bourgeoises~, we shall have the honor of declaiming and
representing, before his eminence, monsieur the cardinal, a
very beautiful morality which has for its title, 'The Good
Judgment of Madame the Virgin Mary.' I am to play Jupiter.
His eminence is, at this moment, escorting the very
honorable embassy of the Duke of Austria; which is detained,

at present, listening to the harangue of monsieur the
rector of the university, at the gate Baudets. As soon as his
illustrious eminence, the cardinal, arrives, we will begin.

It is certainthat nothing less than the intervention of
Jupiter was required to save the four unfortunate sergeants
of the bailiff of the courts. If we had the happiness of having
invented this very veracious taleand of beingin consequence
responsible for it before our Lady Criticismit is not against
us that the classic precept~Nec deus intersit~could be invoked.
Moreoverthe costume of Seigneur Jupiterwas very handsome
and contributed not a little towards calming the crowdby
attracting all its attention. Jupiter was clad in a coat of
mailcovered with black velvetwith gilt nails; and had it
not been for the rougeand the huge red beardeach of which
covered one-half of his face--had it not been for the roll of
gilded cardboardspangledand all bristling with strips of
tinselwhich he held in his handand in which the eyes
of the initiated easily recognized thunderbolts--had not his
feet been flesh-coloredand banded with ribbons in Greek
fashionhe might have borne comparisonso far as the severity
of his mien was concernedwith a Breton archer from
the guard of Monsieur de Berry.



Neverthelessas be harangued themthe satisfaction and
admiration unanimously excited by his costume were dissipated
by his words; and when he reached that untoward conclusion:
As soon as his illustrious eminence, the cardinal,
arrives, we will begin,his voice was drowned in a thunder
of hooting.

Begin instantly! The mystery! the mystery immediately!
shrieked the people. And above all the voicesthat
of Johannes de Molendino was audiblepiercing the uproar
like the fife's derisive serenade: "Commence instantly!"
yelped the scholar.

Down with Jupiter and the Cardinal de Bourbon!vociferated
Robin Poussepain and the other clerks perched in the window.

The morality this very instant!repeated the crowd;
this very instant! the sack and the rope for the comedians,
and the cardinal!

Poor Jupiterhaggardfrightenedpale beneath his rouge
dropped his thunderbolttook his cap in his hand; then he
bowed and trembled and stammered: "His eminence--the
ambassadors--Madame Marguerite of Flanders--." He did not
know what to say. In truthhe was afraid of being hung.

Hung by the populace for waitinghung by the cardinal for
not having waitedhe saw between the two dilemmas only an
abyss; that is to saya gallows.

Luckilysome one came to rescue him from his embarrassment

and assume the responsibility.

An individual who was standing beyond the railingin the
free space around the marble tableand whom no one had yet
caught sight ofsince his longthin body was completely sheltered
from every visual ray by the diameter of the pillar
against which he was leaning; this individualwe saytall
gauntpallidblondstill youngalthough already wrinkled
about the brow and cheekswith brilliant eyes and a smiling
mouthclad in garments of black sergeworn and shining
with ageapproached the marble tableand made a sign to the
poor sufferer. But the other was so confused that he did not
see him. The new comer advanced another step.

Jupiter,said hemy dear Jupiter!

The other did not hear.

At lastthe tall blonddriven out of patienceshrieked
almost in his face-

Michel Giborne!

Who calls me?said Jupiteras though awakened with a start.

I,replied the person clad in black.

Ah!said Jupiter.

Begin at once,went on the other. "Satisfy the populace;
I undertake to appease the bailiffwho will appease monsieur
the cardinal."

Jupiter breathed once more.

Messeigneurs the bourgeois,he criedat the top of his
lungs to the crowdwhich continued to hoot himwe are
going to begin at once.

~Evoe Jupiter! Plaudite cives~! All hail, Jupiter! Applaud,
citizens!shouted the scholars.

Noel! Noel! good, good,shouted the people.

The hand clapping was deafeningand Jupiter had already
withdrawn under his tapestrywhile the hall still trembled
with acclamations.

In the meanwhilethe personage who had so magically
turned the tempest into dead calmas our old and dear Corneille
puts ithad modestly retreated to the half-shadow of
his pillarand wouldno doubthave remained invisible there
motionlessand mute as beforehad he not been plucked by
the sleeve by two young womenwhostanding in the front
row of the spectatorshad noticed his colloquy with Michel

Master,said one of themmaking him a sign to approach.
Hold your tongue, my dear Liénarde,said her neighbor
prettyfreshand very bravein consequence of being dressed
up in her best attire. "He is not a clerkhe is a layman;
you must not say master to himbut messire."

Messire,said Liénarde.

The stranger approached the railing.

What would you have of me, damsels?he askedwith alacrity.

Oh! nothing,replied Liénardein great confusion; "it
is my neighborGisquette la Genciennewho wishes to speak
with you."

Not so,replied Gisquetteblushing; "it was Liénarde
who called you master; I only told her to say messire."

The two young girls dropped their eyes. The manwho
asked nothing better than to enter into conversationlooked
at them with a smile.

So you have nothing to say to me, damsels?

Oh! nothing at all,replied Gisquette.

Nothing,said Liénarde.

The talllight-haired young man retreated a step; but the
two curious maidens had no mind to let slip their prize.

Messire,said Gisquettewith the impetuosity of an
open sluiceor of a woman who has made up her mind
do you know that soldier who is to play the part of Madame
the Virgin in the mystery?

You mean the part of Jupiter?replied the stranger.

Hé! yes,said Liénardeisn't she stupid? So you know

Michel Giborne?replied the unknown; "yesmadam."

He has a fine beard!said Liénarde.

Will what they are about to say here be fine?inquired

Very fine, mademoiselle,replied the unknownwithout
the slightest hesitation.

What is it to be?said Liénarde.

'The Good Judgment of Madame the Virgin,'--a morality,
if you please, damsel.

Ah! that makes a difference,responded Liénarde.

A brief silence ensued--broken by the stranger.

It is a perfectly new morality, and one which has never
yet been played.

Then it is not the same one,said Gisquettethat was
given two years ago, on the day of the entrance of monsieur
the legate, and where three handsome maids played the

Of sirens,said Liénarde.

And all naked,added the young man.

Liénarde lowered her eyes modestly. Gisquette glanced at
her and did the same. He continuedwith a smile-

It was a very pleasant thing to see. To-day it is a morality
made expressly for Madame the Demoiselle of Flanders.

Will they sing shepherd songs?inquired Gisquette.

Fie!said the strangerin a morality? you must not
confound styles. If it were a farce, well and good.

That is a pity,resumed Gisquette. "That dayat the
Ponceau Fountainthere were wild men and womenwho
fought and assumed many aspectsas they sang little motets
and bergerettes."

That which is suitable for a legate,returned the stranger
with a good deal of drynessis not suitable for a princess.

And beside them,resumed Liénardeplayed many brass
instruments, making great melodies.

And for the refreshment of the passers-by,continued
Gisquettethe fountain spouted through three mouths,
wine, milk, and hippocrass, of which every one drank who

And a little below the Ponceau, at the Trinity,pursued
Liénardethere was a passion performed, and without
any speaking.

How well I remember that!exclaimed Gisquette; "God
on the crossand the two thieves on the right and the left."
Here the young gossipsgrowing warm at the memory of
the entrance of monsieur the legateboth began to talk at

And, further on, at the Painters' Gate, there were other
personages, very richly clad.

And at the fountain of Saint-Innocent, that huntsman,
who was chasing a hind with great clamor of dogs and hunting-horns.

And, at the Paris slaughter-houses, stages, representing
the fortress of Dieppe!

And when the legate passed, you remember, Gisquette?
they made the assault, and the English all had their
throats cut.

And against the gate of the Châtelet, there were very fine

And on the Port au Change, which was all draped above!

And when the legate passed, they let fly on the bridge
more than two hundred sorts of birds; wasn't it beautiful,

It will be better to-day,finally resumed their interlocutor
who seemed to listen to them with impatience.

Do you promise us that this mystery will be fine?said

Without doubt,he replied; then he addedwith a certain
emphasis--"I am the author of itdamsels."

Truly?said the young girlsquite taken aback.

Truly!replied the poetbridling a little; "that isto
saythere are two of us; Jehan Marchandwho has sawed the
planks and erected the framework of the theatre and the
woodwork; and Iwho have made the piece. My name is
Pierre Gringoire."

The author of the "Cid" could not have said "Pierre Corneille"
with more pride.

Our readers have been able to observethat a certain
amount of time must have already elapsed from the moment
when Jupiter had retired beneath the tapestry to the instant
when the author of the new morality had thus abruptly
revealed himself to the innocent admiration of Gisquette
and Liénarde. Remarkable fact: that whole crowdso
tumultuous but a few moments beforenow waited amiably
on the word of the comedian; which proves the eternal truth
still experienced every day in our theatresthat the best
means of making the public wait patiently is to assure them
that one is about to begin instantly.

Howeverscholar Johannes had not fallen asleep.

Holà hé!he shouted suddenlyin the midst of the peaceable
waiting which had followed the tumult. "JupiterMadame the
Virginbuffoons of the devil! are you jeering at us?
The piece! the piece! commence or we will commence again!"

This was all that was needed.

The music of high and low instruments immediately became
audible from the interior of the stage; the tapestry was
raised; four personagesin motley attire and painted faces
emerged from itclimbed the steep ladder of the theatreand
arrived upon the upper platformarranged themselves in a
line before the publicwhom they saluted with profound reverences;
then the symphony ceased.

The mystery was about to begin.

The four personagesafter having reaped a rich reward
of applause for their reverencesbeganin the midst of
profound silencea prologuewhich we gladly spare the
reader. Moreoveras happens in our own daythe public
was more occupied with the costumes that the actors wore
than with the roles that they were enacting; andin truth
they were right. All four were dressed in parti-colored robes
of yellow and whitewhich were distinguished from each other
only by the nature of the stuff; the first was of gold and silver
brocade; the secondof silk; the thirdof wool; the fourth
of linen. The first of these personages carried in his right
hand a sword; the secondtwo golden keys; the thirda pair
of scales; the fourtha spade: andin order to aid sluggish
minds which would not have seen clearly through the transparency
of these attributesthere was to be readin large
black letterson the hem of the robe of brocadeMY NAME

IS NOBILITY; on the hem of the silken robeMY NAME IS
CLERGY; on the hem of the woolen robeMY NAME IS MERCHANDISE;
on the hem of the linen robeMY NAME IS LABOR.
The sex of the two male characters was briefly indicated to
every judicious spectatorby their shorter robesand by the
cap which they wore on their heads; while the two female
charactersless briefly cladwere covered with hoods.

Much ill-will would also have been requirednot to
comprehendthrough the medium of the poetry of the prologuethat
Labor was wedded to Merchandiseand Clergy to Nobility
and that the two happy couples possessed in common a magnificent
golden dolphinwhich they desired to adjudge to the
fairest only. So they were roaming about the world seeking
and searching for this beautyandafter having successively
rejected the Queen of Golcondathe Princess of Trebizonde
the daughter of the Grand Khan of Tartaryetc.Labor and
ClergyNobility and Merchandisehad come to rest upon the
marble table of the Palais de Justiceand to utterin the
presence of the honest audienceas many sentences and
maxims as could then be dispensed at the Faculty of Arts
at examinationssophismsdeterminancesfiguresand acts
where the masters took their degrees.

All this wasin factvery fine.

Neverthelessin that throngupon which the four allegories
vied with each other in pouring out floods of metaphors
there was no ear more attentiveno heart that palpitated
morenot an eye was more haggardno neck more outstretched
than the eyethe earthe neckand the heart of
the authorof the poetof that brave Pierre Gringoirewho
had not been able to resista moment beforethe joy of telling
his name to two pretty girls. He had retreated a few
paces from thembehind his pillarand there he listened
lookedenjoyed. The amiable applause which had greeted the
beginning of his prologue was still echoing in his bosom
and he was completely absorbed in that species of ecstatic
contemplation with which an author beholds his ideas fall
one by onefrom the mouth of the actor into the vast silence
of the audience. Worthy Pierre Gringoire!

It pains us to say itbut this first ecstasy was speedily
disturbed. Hardly had Gringoire raised this intoxicating cup of
joy and triumph to his lipswhen a drop of bitterness was
mingled with it.

A tattered mendicantwho could not collect any coinslost
as he was in the midst of the crowdand who had not probably
found sufficient indemnity in the pockets of his neighbors
had hit upon the idea of perching himself upon some conspicuous
pointin order to attract looks and alms. He had
accordinglyhoisted himselfduring the first verses of the
prologuewith the aid of the pillars of the reserve galleryto
the cornice which ran round the balustrade at its lower edge;
and there he had seated himselfsoliciting the attention and
the pity of the multitudewith his rags and a hideous sore
which covered his right arm. Howeverhe uttered not a word.

The silence which he preserved allowed the prologue to
proceed without hindranceand no perceptible disorder would
have ensuedif ill-luck had not willed that the scholar Joannes
should catch sightfrom the heights of his pillarof the
mendicant and his grimaces. A wild fit of laughter took

possession of the young scampwhowithout caring that he
was interrupting the spectacleand disturbing the universal
composureshouted boldly-

Look! see that sickly creature asking alms!

Any one who has thrown a stone into a frog pondor fired a
shot into a covey of birdscan form an idea of the effect produced
by these incongruous wordsin the midst of the general
attention. It made Gringoire shudder as though it had been
an electric shock. The prologue stopped shortand all heads
turned tumultuously towards the beggarwhofar from being
disconcerted by thissawin this incidenta good opportunity
for reaping his harvestand who began to whine in
a doleful wayhalf closing his eyes the while--"Charity

Well--upon my soul,resumed Joannesit's Clopin
Trouillefou! Holà he, my friend, did your sore bother you
on the leg, that you have transferred it to your arm?
So sayingwith the dexterity of a monkeyhe flung a bit of
silver into the gray felt hat which the beggar held in his
ailing arm. The mendicant received both the alms and the sarcasm
without wincingand continuedin lamentable tones-

Charity, please!

This episode considerably distracted the attention of the
audience; and a goodly number of spectatorsamong them
Robin Poussepainand all the clerks at their headgayly
applauded this eccentric duetwhich the scholarwith his
shrill voiceand the mendicant had just improvised in the
middle of the prologue.

Gringoire was highly displeased. On recovering from his
first stupefactionhe bestirred himself to shoutto the four
personages on the stageGo on! What the devil!--go on!
--without even deigning to cast a glance of disdain upon the
two interrupters.

At that momenthe felt some one pluck at the hem of his
surtout; he turned roundand not without ill-humorand
found considerable difficulty in smiling; but he was obliged
to do sonevertheless. It was the pretty arm of Gisquette la
Genciennewhichpassed through the railingwas soliciting
his attention in this manner.

Monsieur,said the young girlare they going to continue?

Of course,replied Gringoirea good deal shocked by the

In that case, messire,she resumedwould you have the
courtesy to explain to me--

What they are about to say?interrupted Gringoire.
Well, listen.

No,said Gisquettebut what they have said so far.

Gringoire startedlike a man whose wound has been probed
to the quick.

A plague on the stupid and dull-witted little girl!he

mutteredbetween his teeth.

From that moment forthGisquette was nothing to him.

In the meantimethe actors had obeyed his injunctionand
the publicseeing that they were beginning to speak again
began once more to listennot without having lost many
beauties in the sort of soldered joint which was formed
between the two portions of the piece thus abruptly cut
short. Gringoire commented on it bitterly to himself.
Neverthelesstranquillity was gradually restoredthe scholar held
his peacethe mendicant counted over some coins in his hat
and the piece resumed the upper hand.

It wasin facta very fine workand one whichas it seems
to usmight be put to use to-dayby the aid of a little
rearrangement. The expositionrather long and rather empty
that is to sayaccording to the ruleswas simple; and Gringoire
in the candid sanctuary of his own conscienceadmired
its clearness. As the reader may surmisethe four allegorical
personages were somewhat weary with having traversed the
three sections of the worldwithout having found suitable
opportunity for getting rid of their golden dolphin. Thereupon
a eulogy of the marvellous fishwith a thousand delicate
allusions to the young betrothed of Marguerite of Flanders
then sadly cloistered in at Amboiseand without a suspicion
that Labor and ClergyNobility and Merchandise had just
made the circuit of the world in his behalf. The said dauphin
was then youngwas handsomewas stoutandabove
all (magnificent origin of all royal virtues)he was the son of
the Lion of France. I declare that this bold metaphor is
admirableand that the natural history of the theatreon a
day of allegory and royal marriage songsis not in the least
startled by a dolphin who is the son of a lion. It is precisely
these rare and Pindaric mixtures which prove the poet's enthusiasm.
the poet might have developed this beautiful idea in something
less than two hundred lines. It is true that the mystery
was to last from noon until four o'clockin accordance
with the orders of monsieur the provostand that it was
necessary to say something. Besidesthe people listened

All at oncein the very middle of a quarrel between Mademoiselle
Merchandise and Madame Nobilityat the moment when Monsieur Labor
was giving utterance to this wonderful line-

In forest ne'er was seen a more triumphant beast;

the door of the reserved gallery which had hitherto remained
so inopportunely closedopened still more inopportunely; and
the ringing voice of the usher announced abruptlyHis
eminence, Monseigneur the Cardinal de Bourbon.



Poor Gringoire! the din of all the great double petards of
the Saint-Jeanthe discharge of twenty arquebuses on

Neverthelessin order to play the part of

supportsthe detonation of that famous serpentine of the Tower
of Billywhichduring the siege of Parison Sundaythe
twenty-sixth of September1465killed seven Burgundians at
one blowthe explosion of all the powder stored at the gate
of the Templewould have rent his ears less rudely at that
solemn and dramatic momentthan these few wordswhich
fell from the lips of the usherHis eminence, Monseigneur
the Cardinal de Bourbon.

It is not that Pierre Gringoire either feared or disdained
monsieur the cardinal. He had neither the weakness nor the
audacity for that. A true eclecticas it would be expressed
nowadaysGringoire was one of those firm and loftymoderate
and calm spiritswhich always know how to bear themselves
amid all circumstances (~stare in dimidio rerum~)and who
are full of reason and of liberal philosophywhile still setting
store by cardinals. A rarepreciousand never interrupted
race of philosophers to whom wisdomlike another
Ariadneseems to have given a clew of thread which they
have been walking along unwinding since the beginning of
the worldthrough the labyrinth of human affairs. One finds
them in all agesever the same; that is to sayalways according
to all times. Andwithout reckoning our Pierre Gringoire
who may represent them in the fifteenth century if we
succeed in bestowing upon him the distinction which he
deservesit certainly was their spirit which animated Father
du Breulwhen he wrotein the sixteenththese naively sublime
wordsworthy of all centuries: "I am a Parisian by
nationand a Parrhisian in languagefor ~parrhisia~ in Greek
signifies liberty of speech; of which I have made use even
towards messeigneurs the cardinalsuncle and brother to
Monsieur the Prince de Contyalways with respect to their
greatnessand without offending any one of their suitewhich
is much to say."

There was then neither hatred for the cardinalnor disdain
for his presencein the disagreeable impression produced
upon Pierre Gringoire. Quite the contrary; our poet had
too much good sense and too threadbare a coatnot to
attach particular importance to having the numerous allusions
in his prologueandin particularthe glorification of the
dauphinson of the Lion of Francefall upon the most eminent
ear. But it is not interest which predominates in the noble
nature of poets. I suppose that the entity of the poet may
be represented by the number ten; it is certain that a chemist
on analyzing and pharmacopolizing itas Rabelais sayswould
find it composed of one part interest to nine parts of

Nowat the moment when the door had opened to admit
the cardinalthe nine parts of self-esteem in Gringoire
swollen and expanded by the breath of popular admiration
were in a state of prodigious augmentationbeneath which
disappearedas though stifledthat imperceptible molecule of
which we have just remarked upon in the constitution of
poets; a precious ingredientby the waya ballast of
reality and humanitywithout which they would not touch
the earth. Gringoire enjoyed seeingfeelingfingeringso to
speak an entire assembly (of knavesit is truebut what matters
that ?) stupefiedpetrifiedand as though asphyxiated in
the presence of the incommensurable tirades which welled up
every instant from all parts of his bridal song. I affirm that
he shared the general beatitudeand thatquite the reverse of
La Fontainewhoat the presentation of his comedy of the

Florentine,askedWho is the ill-bred lout who made
that rhapsody?Gringoire would gladly have inquired of his
neighborWhose masterpiece is this?

The reader can now judge of the effect produced upon him
by the abrupt and unseasonable arrival of the cardinal.

That which he had to fear was only too fully realized.
The entrance of his eminence upset the audience. All heads
turned towards the gallery. It was no longer possible to
hear one's self. "The cardinal! The cardinal!" repeated
all mouths. The unhappy prologue stopped short for the
second time.

The cardinal halted for a moment on the threshold of
the estrade. While he was sending a rather indifferent
glance around the audiencethe tumult redoubled. Each
person wished to get a better view of him. Each man vied
with the other in thrusting his head over his neighbor's

He wasin factan exalted personagethe sight of whom was
well worth any other comedy. CharlesCardinal de Bourbon
Archbishop and Comte of LyonPrimate of the Gaulswas
allied both to Louis XI.through his brotherPierreSeigneur
de Beaujeuwho had married the king's eldest daughterand
to Charles the Bold through his motherAgnes of Burgundy.
Nowthe dominating traitthe peculiar and distinctive trait
of the character of the Primate of the Gaulswas the spirit
of the courtierand devotion to the powers that be. The
reader can form an idea of the numberless embarrassments
which this double relationship had caused himand of all
the temporal reefs among which his spiritual bark had been
forced to tackin order not to suffer shipwreck on either
Louis or Charlesthat Scylla and that Charybdis which had
devoured the Duc de Nemours and the Constable de Saint-Pol.
Thanks to Heaven's mercyhe had made the voyage
successfullyand had reached home without hindrance. But
although he was in portand precisely because he was in
porthe never recalled without disquiet the varied haps of
his political careerso long uneasy and laborious. Thushe
was in the habit of saying that the year 1476 had been
white and blackfor him--meaning therebythat in the
course of that year he had lost his motherthe Duchesse de
la Bourbonnaisand his cousinthe Duke of Burgundyand
that one grief had consoled him for the other.

Neverthelesshe was a fine man; he led a joyous cardinal's
lifeliked to enliven himself with the royal vintage of Challuau
did not hate Richarde la Garmoise and Thomasse la
Saillardebestowed alms on pretty girls rather than on old
women--and for all these reasons was very agreeable to the
populace of Paris. He never went about otherwise than surrounded
by a small court of bishops and abbés of high lineage
gallantjovialand given to carousing on occasion; and more
than once the good and devout women of Saint Germain
d' Auxerrewhen passing at night beneath the brightly illuminated
windows of Bourbonhad been scandalized to hear the
same voices which had intoned vespers for them during the
day carollingto the clinking of glassesthe bacchic proverb of
Benedict XII.that pope who had added a third crown to the
Tiara--~Bibamus papaliter~.

It was this justly acquired popularityno doubtwhich preserved

him on his entrance from any bad reception at the
hands of the mobwhich had been so displeased but a moment
beforeand very little disposed to respect a cardinal on
the very day when it was to elect a pope. But the Parisians
cherish little rancor; and thenhaving forced the beginning
of the play by their authoritythe good bourgeois had got the
upper hand of the cardinaland this triumph was sufficient
for them. Moreoverthe Cardinal de Bourbon was a handsome
man--he wore a fine scarlet robewhich he carried off
very well--that is to sayhe had all the women on his side
andconsequentlythe best half of the audience. Assuredly
it would be injustice and bad taste to hoot a cardinal for having
come late to the spectaclewhen he is a handsome man
and when he wears his scarlet robe well.

He enteredthenbowed to those present with the hereditary
smile of the great for the peopleand directed his course
slowly towards his scarlet velvet arm-chairwith the air of
thinking of something quite different. His cortege--what
we should nowadays call his staff--of bishops and abbés
invaded the estrade in his trainnot without causing redoubled
tumult and curiosity among the audience. Each
man vied with his neighbor in pointing them out and naming
themin seeing who should recognize at least one of them:
this onethe Bishop of Marseilles (Alaudetif my memory
serves me right);--this onethe primicier of Saint-Denis;--this
oneRobert de LespinasseAbbé of Saint-Germain des
Présthat libertine brother of a mistress of Louis XI.; all
with many errors and absurdities. As for the scholarsthey
swore. This was their daytheir feast of foolstheir saturnalia
the annual orgy of the corporation of Law clerks and of
the school. There was no turpitude which was not sacred on
that day. And then there were gay gossips in the crowd--Simone
QuatrelivresAgnes la Gadineand Rabine Piédebou.
Was it not the least that one could do to swear at one's ease
and revile the name of God a littleon so fine a dayin such
good company as dignitaries of the church and loose women?
So they did not abstain; andin the midst of the uproarthere
was a frightful concert of blasphemies and enormities of all
the unbridled tonguesthe tongues of clerks and students
restrained during the rest of the yearby the fear of the hot
iron of Saint Louis. Poor Saint Louis! how they set him at
defiance in his own court of law! Each one of them selected
from the new-comers on the platforma blackgraywhite
or violet cassock as his target. Joannes Frollo de Molendin
in his quality of brother to an archdeaconboldly
attacked the scarlet; he sang in deafening toneswith his
impudent eyes fastened on the cardinal~Cappa repleta

All these details which we here lay bare for the edification
of the readerwere so covered by the general uproarthat
they were lost in it before reaching the reserved platforms;
moreoverthey would have moved the cardinal but littleso
much a part of the customs were the liberties of that day.
Moreoverhe had another cause for solicitudeand his mien
as wholly preoccupied with itwhich entered the estrade
the same time as himself; this was the embassy from

Not that he was a profound politiciannor was he borrowing
trouble about the possible consequences of the marriage of
his cousin Marguerite de Bourgoyne to his cousin Charles
Dauphin de Vienne; nor as to how long the good understanding

which had been patched up between the Duke of Austria
and the King of France would last; nor how the King of
England would take this disdain of his daughter. All that
troubled him but little; and he gave a warm reception every
evening to the wine of the royal vintage of Chaillotwithout
a suspicion that several flasks of that same wine (somewhat
revised and correctedit is trueby Doctor Coictier)cordially
offered to Edward IV. by Louis XI.wouldsome fine morning
rid Louis XI. of Edward IV. "The much honored embassy
of Monsieur the Duke of Austria brought the cardinal
none of these cares, but it troubled him in another direction.
It was, in fact, somewhat hard, and we have already hinted
at it on the second page of this book,--for him, Charles de
Bourbon, to be obliged to feast and receive cordially no one
knows what bourgeois;--for him, a cardinal, to receive
aldermen;--for him, a Frenchman, and a jolly companion, to
receive Flemish beer-drinkers,--and that in public! This
was, certainly, one of the most irksome grimaces that he had
ever executed for the good pleasure of the king.

So he turned toward the door, and with the best grace in
the world (so well had he trained himself to it), when the
usher announced, in a sonorous voice, Messieurs the Envoys
of Monsieur the Duke of Austria." It is useless to add that
the whole hall did the same.

Then arrivedtwo by twowith a gravity which made a
contrast in the midst of the frisky ecclesiastical escort of
Charles de Bourbonthe eight and forty ambassadors of Maximilian
of Austriahaving at their head the reverend Father
in GodJehanAbbot of Saint-BertinChancellor of the
Golden Fleeceand Jacques de GoySieur DaubyGrand Bailiff
of Ghent. A deep silence settled over the assemblyaccompanied
by stifled laughter at the preposterous names and all
the bourgeois designations which each of these personages
transmitted with imperturbable gravity to the usherwho then
tossed names and titles pell-mell and mutilated to the crowd
below. There were Master Loys Roelofalderman of the city
of Louvain; Messire Clays d'Etueldealderman of Brussels;
Messire Paul de BaeustSieur de VoirmizellePresident of
Flanders; Master Jehan Coleghensburgomaster of the city
of Antwerp; Master George de la Moerefirst alderman of the
kuere of the city of Ghent; Master Gheldolf van der Hage
first alderman of the ~parchous~ of the said town; and the
Sieur de Bierbecqueand Jehan Pinnockand Jehan Dymaerzelle
etc.etc.etc.; bailiffsaldermenburgomasters; burgomasters
aldermenbailiffs--all stiffaffectedly graveformal
dressed out in velvet and damaskhooded with caps of black
velvetwith great tufts of Cyprus gold thread; good Flemish
headsafter allsevere and worthy facesof the family which
Rembrandt makes to stand out so strong and grave from the
black background of his "Night Patrol "; personages all of
whom borewritten on their browsthat Maximilian of Austria
had done well in "trusting implicitly as the manifest
ran, in their sensevalorexperienceloyaltyand good

There was one exceptionhowever. It was a subtleintelligent
crafty-looking facea sort of combined monkey and diplomat
phizbefore whom the cardinal made three steps and a
profound bowand whose nameneverthelesswas only
Guillaume Rym, counsellor and pensioner of the City of

Few persons were then aware who Guillaume Rym was. A
rare genius who in a time of revolution would have made a
brilliant appearance on the surface of eventsbut who in the
fifteenth century was reduced to cavernous intriguesand to
living in mines,as the Duc de Saint-Simon expresses it.
Neverthelesshe was appreciated by the "miner" of Europe;
he plotted familiarly with Louis XI.and often lent a hand to
the king's secret jobs. All which things were quite unknown
to that throngwho were amazed at the cardinal's politeness
to that frail figure of a Flemish bailiff.



While the pensioner of Ghent and his eminence were
exchanging very low bows and a few words in voices still
lowera man of lofty staturewith a large face and broad
shoulderspresented himselfin order to enter abreast with
Guillaume Rym; one would have pronounced him a bull-dog
by the side of a fox. His felt doublet and leather jerkin
made a spot on the velvet and silk which surrounded him.
Presuming that he was some groom who had stolen inthe
usher stopped him.

Hold, my friend, you cannot pass!

The man in the leather jerkin shouldered him aside.

What does this knave want with me?said hein stentorian
toneswhich rendered the entire hall attentive to this
strange colloquy. "Don't you see that I am one of them?"

Your name?demanded the usher.

Jacques Coppenole.

Your titles?

Hosier at the sign of the 'Three Little Chains,' of Ghent.

The usher recoiled. One might bring one's self to announce
aldermen and burgomastersbut a hosier was too much. The
cardinal was on thorns. All the people were staring and
listening. For two days his eminence had been exerting his
utmost efforts to lick these Flemish bears into shapeand to
render them a little more presentable to the publicand this
freak was startling. But Guillaume Rymwith his polished
smileapproached the usher.

Announce Master Jacques Coppenole, clerk of the aldermen
of the city of Ghent,he whisperedvery low.

Usher,interposed the cardinalaloudannounce Master
Jacques Coppenole, clerk of the aldermen of the illustrious
city of Ghent.

This was a mistake. Guillaume Rym alone might have
conjured away the difficultybut Coppenole had heard the


No, cross of God?he exclaimedin his voice of thunder
Jacques Coppenole, hosier. Do you hear, usher? Nothing
more, nothing less. Cross of God! hosier; that's fine enough.
Monsieur the Archduke has more than once sought his ~gant~*
in my hose.

* Got the first idea of a timing.
Laughter and applause burst forth. A jest is always understood
in Parisandconsequentlyalways applauded.

Let us add that Coppenole was of the peopleand that the
auditors which surrounded him were also of the people. Thus
the communication between him and them had been prompt
electricandso to speakon a level. The haughty air of the
Flemish hosierby humiliating the courtiershad touched in
all these plebeian souls that latent sentiment of dignity still
vague and indistinct in the fifteenth century.

This hosier was an equalwho had just held his own before
monsieur the cardinal. A very sweet reflection to poor fellows
habituated to respect and obedience towards the underlings
of the sergeants of the bailiff of Sainte-Genevièvethe
cardinal's train-bearer.

Coppenole proudly saluted his eminencewho returned the
salute of the all-powerful bourgeois feared by Louis XI.
Thenwhile Guillaume Ryma "sage and malicious man as
Philippe de Comines puts it, watched them both with a smile
of raillery and superiority, each sought his place, the cardinal
quite abashed and troubled, Coppenole tranquil and haughty,
and thinking, no doubt, that his title of hosier was as good as
any other, after all, and that Marie of Burgundy, mother to
that Marguerite whom Coppenole was to-day bestowing in
marriage, would have been less afraid of the cardinal than of
the hosier; for it is not a cardinal who would have stirred up
a revolt among the men of Ghent against the favorites of the
daughter of Charles the Bold; it is not a cardinal who could
have fortified the populace with a word against her tears and
prayers, when the Maid of Flanders came to supplicate her
people in their behalf, even at the very foot of the scaffold;
while the hosier had only to raise his leather elbow, in order
to cause to fall your two heads, most illustrious seigneurs,
Guy d'Hymbercourt and Chancellor Guillaume Hugonet.

Nevertheless, all was over for the poor cardinal, and he was
obliged to quaff to the dregs the bitter cup of being in such


ad company.

The reader has, probably, not forgotten the impudent beggar
who had been clinging fast to the fringes of the cardinal's
gallery ever since the beginning of the prologue. The arrival
of the illustrious guests had by no means caused him to relax
his hold, and, while the prelates and ambassadors were packing
themselves into the stalls--like genuine Flemish herrings--he
settled himself at his ease, and boldly crossed his legs
on the architrave. The insolence of this proceeding was
extraordinary, yet no one noticed it at first, the attention of
all being directed elsewhere. He, on his side, perceived nothing
that was going on in the hall; he wagged his head with

the unconcern of a Neapolitan, repeating from time to time,
amid the clamor, as from a mechanical habit, Charity
please!" Andassuredlyhe wasout of all those present
the only one who had not deigned to turn his head at the
altercation between Coppenole and the usher. Nowchance
ordained that the master hosier of Ghentwith whom the
people were already in lively sympathyand upon whom all
eyes were riveted--should come and seat himself in the front
row of the gallerydirectly above the mendicant; and people
were not a little amazed to see the Flemish ambassadoron
concluding his inspection of the knave thus placed beneath
his eyesbestow a friendly tap on that ragged shoulder. The
beggar turned round; there was surpriserecognitiona lighting
up of the two countenancesand so forth; thenwithout
paying the slightest heed in the world to the spectatorsthe
hosier and the wretched being began to converse in a low
toneholding each other's handsin the meantimewhile the
rags of Clopin Trouillefouspread out upon the cloth of gold
of the daisproduced the effect of a caterpillar on an orange.

The novelty of this singular scene excited such a murmur
of mirth and gayety in the hallthat the cardinal was not
slow to perceive it; he half bent forwardandas from the
point where he was placed he could catch only an imperfect
view of Trouillerfou's ignominious doublethe very naturally
imagined that the mendicant was asking almsanddisgusted
with his audacityhe exclaimed: "Bailiff of the Courtstoss
me that knave into the river!"

Cross of God! monseigneur the cardinal,said Coppenole
without quitting Clopin's handhe's a friend of mine.

Good! good!shouted the populace. From that moment
Master Coppenole enjoyed in Paris as in Ghentgreat favor
with the people; for men of that sort do enjoy it,says
Philippe de Comineswhen they are thus disorderly.
The cardinal bit his lips. He bent towards his neighbor
the Abbé of Saint Geneviéveand said to him in a low
tone--"Fine ambassadors monsieur the archduke sends hereto
announce to us Madame Marguerite!"

Your eminence,replied the abbéwastes your politeness
on these Flemish swine. ~Margaritas ante porcos~, pearls
before swine.

Say rather,retorted the cardinalwith a smile~Porcos
ante Margaritam~, swine before the pearl.

The whole little court in cassocks went into ecstacies over
this play upon words. The cardinal felt a little relieved; he
was quits with Coppenolehe also had had his jest applauded.

Nowwill those of our readers who possess the power of
generalizing an image or an ideaas the expression runs in
the style of to-daypermit us to ask them if they have formed
a very clear conception of the spectacle presented at this
momentupon which we have arrested their attentionby the
vast parallelogram of the grand hall of the palace.

In the middle of the hallbacked against the western wall
a large and magnificent gallery draped with cloth of goldinto
which enter in processionthrough a smallarched doorgrave
personagesannounced successively by the shrill voice of an
usher. On the front benches were already a number of venerable

figuresmuffled in erminevelvetand scarlet. Around
the dais--which remains silent and dignified--belowopposite
everywherea great crowd and a great murmur. Thousands
of glances directed by the people on each face upon the
daisa thousand whispers over each name. Certainlythe
spectacle is curiousand well deserves the attention of the
spectators. But yonderquite at the endwhat is that sort
of trestle work with four motley puppets upon itand more
below? Who is that man beside the trestlewith a black
doublet and a pale face? Alas! my dear readerit is Pierre
Gringoire and his prologue.

We have all forgotten him completely.

This is precisely what he feared.

From the moment of the cardinal's entranceGringoire had
never ceased to tremble for the safety of his prologue. At
first he had enjoined the actorswho had stopped in suspense
to continueand to raise their voices; thenperceiving that
no one was listeninghe had stopped them; andduring the
entire quarter of an hour that the interruption lastedhe had
not ceased to stampto flounce aboutto appeal to Gisquette
and Liénardeand to urge his neighbors to the continuance
of the prologue; all in vain. No one quitted the cardinal
the embassyand the gallery--sole centre of this vast circle
of visual rays. We must also believeand we say it with
regretthat the prologue had begun slightly to weary the
audience at the moment when his eminence had arrived
and created a diversion in so terrible a fashion. After all
on the gallery as well as on the marble tablethe spectacle
was the same: the conflict of Labor and Clergyof Nobility
and Merchandise. And many people preferred to see them
alivebreathingmovingelbowing each other in flesh and
bloodin this Flemish embassyin this Episcopal court
under the cardinal's robeunder Coppenole's jerkinthan
painteddecked outtalking in verseandso to speakstuffed
beneath the yellow amid white tunics in which Gringoire had
so ridiculously clothed them.

Neverthelesswhen our poet beheld quiet reestablished
to some extenthe devised a stratagem which might have
redeemed all.

Monsieur,he saidturning towards one of his neighbors
a finebig manwith a patient facesuppose we begin

What?said his neighbor.

Hé! the Mystery,said Gringoire.

As you like,returned his neighbor.

This semi-approbation sufficed for Gringoireandconducting
his own affairshe began to shoutconfounding himself
with the crowd as much as possible: "Begin the mystery
again! begin again!"

The devil!said Joannes de Molendinowhat are they
jabbering down yonder, at the end of the hall?(for Gringoire
was making noise enough for four.) "Saycomrades
isn't that mystery finished? They want to begin it all over
again. That's not fair!"

No, no!shouted all the scholars. "Down with the
mystery! Down with it!"

But Gringoire had multiplied himselfand only shouted
the more vigorously: "Begin again! begin again!"

These clamors attracted the attention of the cardinal.

Monsieur Bailiff of the Courts,said he to a tallblack
manplaced a few paces from himare those knaves in a
holy-water vessel, that they make such a hellish noise?

The bailiff of the courts was a sort of amphibious magistrate
a sort of bat of the judicial orderrelated to both the
rat and the birdthe judge and the soldier.

He approached his eminenceand not without a good deal
of fear of the latter's displeasurehe awkwardly explained to
him the seeming disrespect of the audience: that noonday
had arrived before his eminenceand that the comedians had
been forced to begin without waiting for his eminence.

The cardinal burst into a laugh.

On my faith, the rector of the university ought to have
done the same. What say you, Master Guillaume Rym?

Monseigneur,replied Guillaume Rymlet us be content
with having escaped half of the comedy. There is at least
that much gained.

Can these rascals continue their farce?asked the bailiff.

Continue, continue,said the cardinalit's all the same
to me. I'll read my breviary in the meantime.

The bailiff advanced to the edge of the estradeand cried
after having invoked silence by a wave of the hand-

Bourgeois, rustics, and citizens, in order to satisfy those
who wish the play to begin again, and those who wish it
to end, his eminence orders that it be continued.

Both parties were forced to resign themselves. But the
public and the author long cherished a grudge against the

So the personages on the stage took up their partsand
Gringoire hoped that the rest of his workat leastwould be
listened to. This hope was speedily dispelled like his other
illusions; silence had indeedbeen restored in the audience
after a fashion; but Gringoire had not observed that at the
moment when the cardinal gave the order to continuethe
gallery was far from fulland that after the Flemish envoys
there had arrived new personages forming part of the cortege
whose names and ranksshouted out in the midst of his dialogue
by the intermittent cry of the usherproduced considerable
ravages in it. Let the reader imagine the effect in the
midst of a theatrical pieceof the yelping of an usherflinging
in between two rhymesand often in the middle of a line
parentheses like the following-

Master Jacques Charmolue, procurator to the king in the

Ecclesiastical Courts!

Jehan de Harlay, equerry guardian of the office of chevalier
of the night watch of the city of Paris!

Messire Galiot de Genoilhac, chevalier, seigneur de Brussac,
master of the king's artillery!

Master Dreux-Raguier, surveyor of the woods and forests
of the king our sovereign, in the land of France, Champagne
and Brie!

Messire Louis de Graville, chevalier, councillor, and
chamberlain of the king, admiral of France, keeper of the
Forest of Vincennes!

Master Denis le Mercier, guardian of the house of the
blind at Paris!etc.etc.etc.

This was becoming unbearable.

This strange accompanimentwhich rendered it difficult to
follow the piecemade Gringoire all the more indignant because
he could not conceal from himself the fact that the interest
was continually increasingand that all his work required
was a chance of being heard.

It wasin factdifficult to imagine a more ingenious and
more dramatic composition. The four personages of the
prologue were bewailing themselves in their mortal embarrassment
when Venus in person(~vera incessa patuit dea~) presented
herself to themclad in a fine robe bearing the heraldic
device of the ship of the city of Paris. She had come herself
to claim the dolphin promised to the most beautiful. Jupiter
whose thunder could be heard rumbling in the dressing-room
supported her claimand Venus was on the point of carrying
it off--that is to saywithout allegoryof marrying monsieur
the dauphinwhen a young child clad in white damaskand
holding in her hand a daisy (a transparent personification of
Mademoiselle Marguerite of Flanders) came to contest it with

Theatrical effect and change.

After a disputeVenusMargueriteand the assistants
agreed to submit to the good judgment of time holy Virgin.
There was another good partthat of the king of Mesopotamia;
but through so many interruptionsit was difficult to
make out what end he served. All these persons had ascended
by the ladder to the stage.

But all was over; none of these beauties had been felt nor
understood. On the entrance of the cardinalone would have
said that an invisible magic thread had suddenly drawn all
glances from the marble table to the galleryfrom the southern
to the western extremity of the hall. Nothing could disenchant
the audience; all eyes remained fixed thereand the
new-comers and their accursed namesand their facesand their
costumesafforded a continual diversion. This was very
distressing. With the exception of Gisquette and Liénardewho
turned round from time to time when Gringoire plucked them
by the sleeve; with the exception of the bigpatient neighbor
no one listenedno one looked at the poordeserted morality
full face. Gringoire saw only profiles.

With what bitterness did he behold his whole erection of
glory and of poetry crumble away bit by bit! And to think
that these people had been upon the point of instituting a
revolt against the bailiff through impatience to hear his work!
now that they had it they did not care for it. This same
representation which had been begun amid so unanimous an
acclamation! Eternal flood and ebb of popular favor! To
think that they had been on the point of hanging the bailiff's
sergeant! What would he not have given to be still at that
hour of honey!

But the usher's brutal monologue came to an end; every
one had arrivedand Gringoire breathed freely once more;
the actors continued bravely. But Master Coppenolethe
hosiermust needs rise of a suddenand Gringoire was forced
to listen to him deliveramid universal attentionthe
following abominable harangue.

Messieurs the bourgeois and squires of Paris, I don't
know, cross of God! what we are doing here. I certainly do
see yonder in the corner on that stage, some people who appear
to be fighting. I don't know whether that is what you
call a mystery but it is not amusing; they quarrel with their
tongues and nothing more. I have been waiting for the first
blow this quarter of an hour; nothing comes; they are cowards
who only scratch each other with insults. You ought to
send for the fighters of London or Rotterdam; and, I can tell
you! you would have had blows of the fist that could be
heard in the Place; but these men excite our pity. They
ought at least, to give us a moorish dance, or some other
mummer! That is not what was told me; I was promised a feast
of fools, with the election of a pope. We have our pope of
fools at Ghent also; we're not behindhand in that, cross of
God! But this is the way we manage it; we collect a crowd
like this one here, then each person in turn passes his head
through a hole, and makes a grimace at the rest; time one who
makes the ugliest, is elected pope by general acclamation;
that's the way it is. It is very diverting. Would you like to
make your pope after the fashion of my country? At all
events, it will be less wearisome than to listen to chatterers.
If they wish to come and make their grimaces through the
hole, they can join the game. What say you, Messieurs les
bourgeois? You have here enough grotesque specimens of
both sexes, to allow of laughing in Flemish fashion, and there
are enough of us ugly in countenance to hope for a fine grinning

Gringoire would have liked to retort; stupefactionrage
indignationdeprived him of words. Moreoverthe suggestion
of the popular hosier was received with such enthusiasm
by these bourgeois who were flattered at being called
squires,that all resistance was useless. There was nothing
to be done but to allow one's self to drift with the torrent.
Gringoire hid his face between his two handsnot being so
fortunate as to have a mantle with which to veil his head
like Agamemnon of Timantis.



In the twinkling of an eyeall was ready to execute Coppenole's
idea. Bourgeoisscholars and law clerks all set to
work. The little chapel situated opposite the marble table
was selected for the scene of the grinning match. A pane
broken in the pretty rose window above the doorleft free a
circle of stone through which it was agreed that the competitors
should thrust their heads. In order to reach itit was
only necessary to mount upon a couple of hogsheadswhich
had been produced from I know not whereand perched one
upon the otherafter a fashion. It was settled that each
candidateman or woman (for it was possible to choose a female
pope)shouldfor the sake of leaving the impression of his
grimace fresh and completecover his face and remain concealed
in the chapel until the moment of his appearance. In less than
an instantthe chapel was crowded with competitorsupon whom
the door was then closed.

Coppenolefrom his postordered alldirected allarranged
all. During the uproarthe cardinalno less abashed than
Gringoirehad retired with all his suiteunder the pretext of
business and vesperswithout the crowd which his arrival had
so deeply stirred being in the least moved by his departure.
Guillaume Rym was the only one who noticed his eminence's
discomfiture. The attention of the populacelike the sun
pursued its revolution; having set out from one end of the
halland halted for a space in the middleit had now reached
the other end. The marble tablethe brocaded gallery had each
had their day; it was now the turn of the chapel of Louis XI.
Henceforththe field was open to all folly. There was no one
there nowbut the Flemings and the rabble.

The grimaces began. The first face which appeared at the
aperturewith eyelids turned up to the redsa mouth open
like a mawand a brow wrinkled like our hussar boots of the
Empireevoked such an inextinguishable peal of laughter
that Homer would have taken all these louts for gods.
Neverthelessthe grand hall was anything but Olympusand
Gringoire's poor Jupiter knew it better than any one else. A
second and third grimace followedthen another and another;
and the laughter and transports of delight went on increasing.
There was in this spectaclea peculiar power of intoxication
and fascinationof which it would be difficult to convey to the
reader of our day and our salons any idea.

Let the reader picture to himself a series of visages presenting
successively all geometrical formsfrom the triangle
to the trapeziumfrom the cone to the polyhedron; all human
expressionsfrom wrath to lewdness; all agesfrom the
wrinkles of the new-born babe to the wrinkles of the aged
and dying; all religious phantasmagoriesfrom Faun to Beelzebub;
all animal profilesfrom the maw to the beakfrom
the jowl to the muzzle. Let the reader imagine all these
grotesque figures of the Pont Neufthose nightmares petrified
beneath the hand of Germain Pilonassuming life and breath
and coming in turn to stare you in the face with burning
eyes; all the masks of the Carnival of Venice passing in succession
before your glass--in a worda human kaleidoscope.

The orgy grew more and more Flemish. Teniers could have
given but a very imperfect idea of it. Let the reader picture
to himself in bacchanal formSalvator Rosa's battle. There
were no longer either scholars or ambassadors or bourgeois or

men or women; there was no longer any Clopin Trouillefou
nor Gilles Lecornunor Marie Quatrelivresnor Robin Poussepain.
All was universal license. The grand hall was no
longer anything but a vast furnace of effrontry and joviality
where every mouth was a cryevery individual a posture;
everything shouted and howled. The strange visages which
camein turnto gnash their teeth in the rose windowwere
like so many brands cast into the brazier; and from the whole
of this effervescing crowdthere escapedas from a furnace
a sharppiercingstinging noisehissing like the wings of a

Ho hé! curse it!

Just look at that face!

It's not good for anything.

Guillemette Maugerepuis, just look at that bull's muzzle;
it only lacks the horns. It can't be your husband.


Belly of the pope! what sort of a grimace is that?

Hola hé! that's cheating. One must show only one's face.

That damned Perrette Callebotte! she's capable of that!

Good! Good!

I'm stifling!

There's a fellow whose ears won't go through!Etc.etc.

But we must do justice to our friend Jehan. In the midst
of this witches' sabbathhe was still to be seen on the top of
his pillarlike the cabin-boy on the topmast. He floundered
about with incredible fury. His mouth was wide openand
from it there escaped a cry which no one heardnot that it
was covered by the general clamorgreat as that was but
because it attainedno doubtthe limit of perceptible sharp
soundsthe thousand vibrations of Sauveuror the eight
thousand of Biot.

As for Gringoirethe first moment of depression having
passedhe had regained his composure. He had hardened
himself against adversity.---"Continue!" he had said for the
third timeto his comediansspeaking machines; then as he
was marching with great strides in front of the marble table
a fancy seized him to go and appear in his turn at the aperture
of the chapelwere it only for the pleasure of making a
grimace at that ungrateful populace.--"But nothat would
not be worthy of us; novengeance! let us combat until the
end he repeated to himself; the power of poetry over
people is great; I will bring them back. We shall see which
will carry the daygrimaces or polite literature."

Alas! he had been left the sole spectator of his piece.
It was far worse than it had been a little while before. He
no longer beheld anything but backs.

I am mistaken. The bigpatient manwhom he had already
consulted in a critical momenthad remained with his face

turned towards the stage. As for Gisquette and Liénarde
they had deserted him long ago.

Gringoire was touched to the heart by the fidelity of his
only spectator. He approached him and addressed himshaking
his arm slightly; for the good man was leaning on the
balustrade and dozing a little.

Monsieur,said GringoireI thank you!

Monsieur,replied the big man with a yawnfor what?

I see what wearies you,resumed the poet; "'tis all this
noise which prevents your hearing comfortably. But be at
ease! your name shall descend to posterity! Your name
if you please?"

Renauld Chateau, guardian of the seals of the Châtelet of
Paris, at your service.

Monsieur, you are the only representive of the muses
here,said Gringoire.

You are too kind, sir,said the guardian of the seals at
the Châtelet.

You are the only one,resumed Gringoirewho has listened
to the piece decorously. What do you think of it?

He! he!replied the fat magistratehalf arousedit's
tolerably jolly, that's a fact.

Gringoire was forced to content himself with this eulogy;
for a thunder of applausemingled with a prodigious acclamation
cut their conversation short. The Pope of the Fools had
been elected.

Noel! Noel! Noel!* shouted the people on all sides.
That wasin facta marvellous grimace which was beaming
at that moment through the aperture in the rose window.
After all the pentagonalhexagonaland whimsical faceswhich
had succeeded each other at that hole without realizing the
ideal of the grotesque which their imaginationsexcited by
the orgyhad constructednothing less was needed to win their
suffrages than the sublime grimace which had just dazzled the
assembly. Master Coppenole himself applaudedand Clopin
Trouillefouwho had been among the competitors (and God
knows what intensity of ugliness his visage could attain)
confessed himself conquered: We will do the same. We
shall not try to give the reader an idea of that tetrahedral
nosethat horseshoe mouth; that little left eye obstructed
with a redbushybristling eyebrowwhile the right eye disappeared
entirely beneath an enormous wart; of those teeth
in disarraybroken here and therelike the embattled parapet
of a fortress; of that callous lipupon which one of these
teeth encroachedlike the tusk of an elephant; of that forked
chin; and above allof the expression spread over the whole;
of that mixture of maliceamazementand sadness. Let the
reader dream of this wholeif he can.

* The ancient French hurrah.

The acclamation was unanimous; people rushed towards
the chapel. They made the lucky Pope of the Fools come
forth in triumph. But it was then that surprise and admiration
attained their highest pitch; the grimace was his face.

Or ratherhis whole person was a grimace. A huge head
bristling with red hair; between his shoulders an enormous
humpa counterpart perceptible in front; a system of thighs
and legs so strangely astray that they could touch each other
only at the kneesandviewed from the frontresembled the
crescents of two scythes joined by the handles; large feetmonstrous
hands; andwith all this deformityan indescribable
and redoubtable air of vigoragilityand courage--strange
exception to the eternal rule which wills that force as well as
beauty shall be the result of harmony. Such was the pope
whom the fools had just chosen for themselves.

One would have pronounced him a giant who had been
broken and badly put together again.

When this species of cyclops appeared on the threshold of
the chapelmotionlesssquatand almost as broad as he was
tall; squared on the baseas a great man says; with his doublet
half redhalf violetsown with silver bellsandabove all
in the perfection of his uglinessthe populace recognized him
on the instantand shouted with one voice-

'Tis Quasimodo, the bellringer! 'tis Quasimodo, the hunchback
of Notre-Dame! Quasimodo, the one-eyed! Quasimodo, the
bandy-legged! Noel! Noel!

It will be seen that the poor fellow had a choice of surnames.

Let the women with child beware!shouted the scholars.

Or those who wish to be,resumed Joannes.

The women didin facthide their faces.

Oh! the horrible monkey!said one of them.

As wicked as he is ugly,retorted another.

He's the devil,added a third.

I have the misfortune to live near Notre-Dame; I hear
him prowling round the eaves by night.

With the cats.

He's always on our roofs.

He throws spells down our chimneys.

The other evening, he came and made a grimace at me
through my attic window. I thought that it was a man.
Such a fright as I had!

I'm sure that he goes to the witches' sabbath. Once he
left a broom on my leads.

Oh! what a displeasing hunchback's face!

Oh! what an ill-favored soul!


The menon the contrarywere delighted and applauded.
Quasimodothe object of the tumultstill stood on the
threshold of the chapelsombre and graveand allowed them
to admire him.

One scholar (Robin PoussepainI think)came and laughed
in his faceand too close. Quasimodo contented himself with
taking him by the girdleand hurling him ten paces off amid
the crowd; all without uttering a word.

Master Coppenolein amazementapproached him.

Cross of God! Holy Father! you possess the handsomest
ugliness that I have ever beheld in my life. You would
deserve to be pope at Rome, as well as at Paris.

So sayinghe placed his hand gayly on his shoulder. Quasimodo
did not stir. Coppenole went on-

You are a rogue with whom I have a fancy for carousing,
were it to cost me a new dozen of twelve livres of Tours.
How does it strike you?

Quasimodo made no reply.

Cross of God!said the hosierare you deaf?

He wasin truthdeaf.

Neverthelesshe began to grow impatient with Coppenole's
behaviorand suddenly turned towards him with so formidable
a gnashing of teeththat the Flemish giant recoiledlike
a bull-dog before a cat.

Then there was created around that strange personagea
circle of terror and respectwhose radius was at least fifteen
geometrical feet. An old woman explained to Coppenole that
Quasimodo was deaf.

Deaf!said the hosierwith his great Flemish laugh.
Cross of God! He's a perfect pope!

He! I recognize him,exclaimed Jehanwho hadat
lastdescended from his capitalin order to see Quasimodo at
closer quartershe's the bellringer of my brother, the archdeacon.
Good-day, Quasimodo!

What a devil of a man!said Robin Poussepain still all
bruised with his fall. "He shows himself; he's a hunchback.
He walks; he's bandy-legged. He looks at you; he's one-eyed.
You speak to him; he's deaf. And what does this Polyphemus do
with his tongue?"

He speaks when he chooses,said the old woman; "he became
deaf through ringing the bells. He is not dumb."

That he lacks,remarks Jehan.

And he has one eye too many,added Robin Poussepain.

Not at all,said Jehan wisely. "A one-eyed man is far

less complete than a blind man. He knows what he lacks."

In the meantimeall the beggarsall the lackeysall the cutpurses
joined with the scholarshad gone in procession to
seekin the cupboard of the law clerks' companythe cardboard
tiaraand the derisive robe of the Pope of the Fools. Quasimodo
allowed them to array him in them without wincingand
with a sort of proud docility. Then they made him seat
himself on a motley litter. Twelve officers of the fraternity
of fools raised him on their shoulders; and a sort of bitter
and disdainful joy lighted up the morose face of the cyclops
when he beheld beneath his deformed feet all those heads of
handsomestraightwell-made men. Then the ragged and
howling procession set out on its marchaccording to custom
around the inner galleries of the Courtsbefore making the
circuit of the streets and squares.



We are delighted to be able to inform the readerthat during
the whole of this sceneGringoire and his piece had stood
firm. His actorsspurred on by himhad not ceased to spout
his comedyand he had not ceased to listen to it. He had
made up his mind about the tumultand was determined to
proceed to the endnot giving up the hope of a return of
attention on the part of the public. This gleam of hope acquired
fresh lifewhen he saw QuasimodoCoppenoleand the
deafening escort of the pope of the procession of fools quit
the hall amid great uproar. The throng rushed eagerly after
them. "Good he said to himself, there go all the mischiefmakers."
Unfortunatelyall the mischief-makers constituted
the entire audience. In the twinkling of an eyethe grand
hall was empty.

To tell the trutha few spectators still remainedsome scattered
others in groups around the pillarswomenold menor
childrenwho had had enough of the uproar and tumult. Some
scholars were still perched astride of the window-sillsengaged
in gazing into the Place.

Well,thought Gringoirehere are still as many as are
required to hear the end of my mystery. They are few in
number, but it is a choice audience, a lettered audience.

An instant latera symphony which had been intended to
produce the greatest effect on the arrival of the Virginwas
lacking. Gringoire perceived that his music had been carried
off by the procession of the Pope of the Fools. "Skip it said
he, stoically.

He approached a group of bourgeois, who seemed to him to
be discussing his piece. This is the fragment of conversation
which he caught,-

You knowMaster Cheneteauthe Hôtel de Navarrewhich
belonged to Monsieur de Nemours?"

Yes, opposite the Chapelle de Braque.

Well, the treasury has just let it to Guillaume Alixandre,
historian, for six hivres, eight sols, parisian, a year.

How rents are going up!

Come,said Gringoire to himselfwith a sighthe others
are listening.

Comrades,suddenly shouted one of the young scamps
from the windowLa Esmeralda! La Esmeralda in the

This word produced a magical effect. Every one who was
left in the hall flew to the windowsclimbing the walls in
order to seeand repeatingLa Esmeralda! La Esmeralda?
At the same timea great sound of applause was heard from

What's the meaning of this, of the Esmeralda?said
Gringoirewringing his hands in despair. "Ahgood heavens!
it seems to be the turn of the windows now."

He returned towards the marble tableand saw that the
representation had been interrupted. It was precisely at
the instant when Jupiter should have appeared with his
thunder. But Jupiter was standing motionless at the foot of
the stage.

Michel Giborne!cried the irritated poetwhat are you
doing there? Is that your part? Come up!

Alas!said Jupitera scholar has just seized the ladder.

Gringoire looked. It was but too true. All communication
between his plot and its solution was intercepted.

The rascal,he murmured. "And why did he take that ladder?"

In order to go and see the Esmeralda,replied Jupiter
piteously. "He said'Comehere's a ladder that's of no
use!' and he took it."

This was the last blow. Gringoire received it with resignation.

May the devil fly away with you!he said to the comedian
and if I get my pay, you shall receive yours.

Then he beat a retreatwith drooping headbut the last
in the fieldlike a general who has fought well.

And as he descended the winding stairs of the courts: "A
fine rabble of asses and dolts these Parisians!" he muttered
between his teeth; "they come to hear a mystery and don't
listen to it at all! They are engrossed by every oneby
Chopin Trouillefouby the cardinalby Coppenoleby Quasimodo
by the devil! but by Madame the Virgin Marynot at
all. If I had knownI'd have given you Virgin Mary; you
ninnies! And I! to come to see faces and behold only backs!
to be a poetand to reap the success of an apothecary! It is
true that Homerus begged through the Greek townsand that
Naso died in exile among the Muscovites. But may the devil
flay me if I understand what they mean with their Esmeralda!

What is that wordin the first place?--'tis Egyptian!"




Night comes on early in January. The streets were already
dark when Gringoire issued forth from the Courts. This
gloom pleased him; he was in haste to reach some obscure
and deserted alleyin order there to meditate at his easeand
in order that the philosopher might place the first dressing
upon the wound of the poet. Philosophymoreoverwas his
sole refugefor he did not know where he was to lodge for the
night. After the brilliant failure of his first theatrical
venturehe dared not return to the lodging which he occupied in
the Rue Grenier-sur-l'Eauopposite to the Port-au-Foinhaving
depended upon receiving from monsieur the provost for
his epithalamiumthe wherewithal to pay Master Guillaume
Doulx-Sirefarmer of the taxes on cloven-footed animals in
Paristhe rent which he owed himthat is to saytwelve sols
parisian; twelve times the value of all that he possessed in
the worldincluding his trunk-hosehis shirtand his cap.
After reflecting a momenttemporarily sheltered beneath the
little wicket of the prison of the treasurer of the Sainte-
Chappelleas to the shelter which he would select for the
nighthaving all the pavements of Paris to choose fromhe
remembered to have noticed the week previously in the Rue
de la Savaterieat the door of a councillor of the parliament
a stepping stone for mounting a muleand to have said to
himself that that stone would furnishon occasiona very
excellent pillow for a mendicant or a poet. He thanked
Providence for having sent this happy idea to him; butas he
was preparing to cross the Placein order to reach the tortuous
labyrinth of the citywhere meander all those old sister
streetsthe Rues de la Barilleriede la Vielle-Draperiede la
Savateriede la Juiverieetc.still extant to-daywith their
nine-story houseshe saw the procession of the Pope of the
Foolswhich was also emerging from the court houseand
rushing across the courtyardwith great criesa great flashing
of torchesand the music which belonged to himGringoire.
This sight revived the pain of his self-love; he fled. In the
bitterness of his dramatic misadventureeverything which
reminded him of the festival of that day irritated his wound
and made it bleed.

He was on the point of turning to the Pont Saint-Michel;
children were running about here and there with fire lances
and rockets.

Pest on firework candles!said Gringoire; and he fell

back on the Pont au Change. To the house at the head of the
bridge there had been affixed three small bannersrepresenting
the kingthe dauphinand Marguerite of Flandersand
six little pennons on which were portrayed the Duke of Austria
the Cardinal de BourbonM. de Beaujeuand Madame
Jeanne de Franceand Monsieur the Bastard of Bourbonand
I know not whom else; all being illuminated with torches.
The rabble were admiring.

Happy painter, Jehan Fourbault!said Gringoire with a
deep sigh; and he turned his back upon the bannerets and
pennons. A street opened before him; he thought it so dark
and deserted that he hoped to there escape from all the rumors
as well as from all the gleams of the festival. At the end of
a few moments his foot came in contact with an obstacle; he
stumbled and fell. It was the May trusswhich the clerks of
the clerks' law court had deposited that morning at the door
of a president of the parliamentin honor of the solemnity of
the day. Gringoire bore this new disaster heroically; he
picked himself upand reached the water's edge. After leaving
behind him the civic Tournelle* and the criminal tower
and skirted the great walls of the king's gardenon that
unpaved strand where the mud reached to his ankleshe
reached the western point of the cityand considered for some
time the islet of the Passeur-aux-Vacheswhich has disappeared
beneath the bronze horse of the Pont Neuf. The islet
appeared to him in the shadow like a black massbeyond the
narrow strip of whitish water which separated him from it.
One could divine by the ray of a tiny light the sort of hut in
the form of a beehive where the ferryman of cows took refuge
at night.

* A chamber of the ancient parliament of Paris.
Happy ferryman!thought Gringoire; "you do not
dream of gloryand you do not make marriage songs! What
matters it to youif kings and Duchesses of Burgundy marry?
You know no other daisies (~marguerites~) than those which
your April greensward gives your cows to browse upon; while
Ia poetam hootedand shiverand owe twelve sousand
the soles of my shoes are so transparentthat they might
serve as glasses for your lantern! Thanksferrymanyour
cabin rests my eyesand makes me forget Paris!"

He was roused from his almost lyric ecstacyby a big
double Saint-Jean crackerwhich suddenly went off from the
happy cabin. It was the cow ferrymanwho was taking his
part in the rejoicings of the dayand letting off fireworks.

This cracker made Gringoire's skin bristle up all over.

Accursed festival!he exclaimedwilt thou pursue me
everywhere? Oh! good God! even to the ferryman's!

Then he looked at the Seine at his feetand a horrible
temptation took possession of him:

Oh!said heI would gladly drown myself, were the
water not so cold!

Then a desperate resolution occurred to him. It wassince
he could not escape from the Pope of the Foolsfrom Jehan

Fourbault's banneretsfrom May trussesfrom squibs and
crackersto go to the Place de Grève.

At least,he said to himselfI shall there have a firebrand
of joy wherewith to warm myself, and I can sup on
some crumbs of the three great armorial bearings of royal
sugar which have been erected on the public refreshment-stall
of the city.



There remains to-day but a very imperceptible vestige of
the Place de Grève, such as it existed then; it consists in the
charming little turret, which occupies the angle north of the
Place, and which, already enshrouded in the ignoble plaster
which fills with paste the delicate lines of its sculpture, would
soon have disappeared, perhaps submerged by that flood of
new houses which so rapidly devours all the ancient façades
of Paris.

The persons who, like ourselves, never cross the Place de
Grève without casting a glance of pity and sympathy on that
poor turret strangled between two hovels of the time of Louis
XV., can easily reconstruct in their minds the aggregate of
edifices to which it belonged, and find again entire in it
the ancient Gothic place of the fifteenth century.

It was then, as it is to-day, an irregular trapezoid, bordered
on one side by the quay, and on the other three by a series of
lofty, narrow, and gloomy houses. By day, one could admire
the variety of its edifices, all sculptured in stone or wood, and
already presenting complete specimens of the different domestic
architectures of the Middle Ages, running back from
the fifteenth to the eleventh century, from the casement
which had begun to dethrone the arch, to the Roman semicircle,
which had been supplanted by the ogive, and which
still occupies, below it, the first story of that ancient house de
la Tour Roland, at the corner of the Place upon the Seine, on
the side of the street with the Tannerie. At night, one could
distinguish nothing of all that mass of buildings, except the
black indentation of the roofs, unrolling their chain of acute
angles round the place; for one of the radical differences
between the cities of that time, and the cities of the present
day, lay in the façades which looked upon the places and
streets, and which were then gables. For the last two centuries
the houses have been turned round.

In the centre of the eastern side of the Place, rose a heavy
and hybrid construction, formed of three buildings placed in
juxtaposition. It was called by three names which explain
its history, its destination, and its architecture: The House
of the Dauphin because Charles V., when Dauphin, had
inhabited it; The Marchandise because it had served as
town hall; and The Pillared House" (~domus ad piloria~)because
of a series of large pillars which sustained the three
stories. The city found there all that is required for a city
like Paris; a chapel in which to pray to God; a ~plaidoyer~or

pleading roomin which to hold hearingsand to repelat
needthe King's people; and under the roofan ~arsenac~ full
of artillery. For the bourgeois of Paris were aware that it is
not sufficient to pray in every conjunctureand to plead for the
franchises of the cityand they had always in reservein the
garret of the town halla few good rusty arquebuses. The
Grève had then that sinister aspect which it preserves to-day
from the execrable ideas which it awakensand from the
sombre town hall of Dominique Bocadorwhich has replaced
the Pillared House. It must be admitted that a permanent
gibbet and a pillorya justice and a ladder,as they were
called in that dayerected side by side in the centre of the
pavementcontributed not a little to cause eyes to be turned
away from that fatal placewhere so many beings full of life
and health have agonized; wherefifty years laterthat fever
of Saint Vallier was destined to have its birththat terror of
the scaffoldthe most monstrous of all maladies because it
comes not from Godbut from man.

It is a consoling idea (let us remark in passing)to think
that the death penaltywhich three hundred years ago still
encumbered with its iron wheelsits stone gibbetsand all its
paraphernalia of torturepermanent and riveted to the pavement
the Grèvethe Hallesthe Place Dauphinethe Cross
du Trahoirthe Marché aux Pourceauxthat hideous Montfauçon
the barrier des Sergentsthe Place aux Chatsthe
Porte Saint-DenisChampeauxthe Porte Baudetsthe Porte
Saint Jacqueswithout reckoning the innumerable ladders of
the provoststhe bishop of the chaptersof the abbotsof the
priorswho had the decree of life and death--without reckoning
the judicial drownings in the river Seine; it is consoling
to-dayafter having lost successively all the pieces of its
armorits luxury of tormentits penalty of imagination and
fancyits torture for which it reconstructed every five years
a leather bed at the Grand Châteletthat ancient suzerain of
feudal society almost expunged from our laws and our cities
hunted from code to codechased from place to placehas no
longerin our immense Parisany more than a dishonored
corner of the Grève--than a miserable guillotinefurtive
uneasyshamefulwhich seems always afraid of being caught
in the actso quickly does it disappear after having dealt its



When Pierre Gringoire arrived on the Place de Grèvehe
was paralyzed. He had directed his course across the Pont
aux Meuniersin order to avoid the rabble on the Pont au
Changeand the pennons of Jehan Fourbault; but the wheels
of all the bishop's mills had splashed him as he passedand
his doublet was drenched; it seemed to him besidesthat the
failure of his piece had rendered him still more sensible to
cold than usual. Hence he made haste to draw near the bonfire
which was burning magnificently in the middle of the
Place. But a considerable crowd formed a circle around it.

Accursed Parisians!he said to himself (for Gringoire

like a true dramatic poetwas subject to monologues) "there
they are obstructing my fire! NeverthelessI am greatly in
need of a chimney corner; my shoes drink in the waterand
all those cursed mills wept upon me! That devil of a Bishop
of Pariswith his mills! I'd just like to know what use a
bishop can make of a mill! Does he expect to become a
miller instead of a bishop? If only my malediction is needed
for thatI bestow it upon him! and his cathedraland his
mills! Just see if those boobies will put themselves out!
Move aside! I'd like to know what they are doing there!
They are warming themselvesmuch pleasure may it give
them! They are watching a hundred fagots burn; a fine

On looking more closelyhe perceived that the circle was
much larger than was required simply for the purpose of
getting warm at the king's fireand that this concourse of
people had not been attracted solely by the beauty of the
hundred fagots which were burning.

In a vast space left free between the crowd and the firea
young girl was dancing.

Whether this young girl was a human beinga fairyor an
angelis what Gringoiresceptical philosopher and ironical
poet that he wascould not decide at the first momentso
fascinated was he by this dazzling vision.

She was not tallthough she seemed soso boldly did her
slender form dart about. She was swarthy of complexion
but one divined thatby dayher skin must possess that
beautiful golden tone of the Andalusians and the Roman
women. Her little foottoowas Andalusianfor it was both
pinched and at ease in its graceful shoe. She dancedshe
turnedshe whirled rapidly about on an old Persian rug
spread negligently under her feet; and each time that her
radiant face passed before youas she whirledher great black
eyes darted a flash of lightning at you.

All around herall glances were rivetedall mouths open;
andin factwhen she danced thusto the humming of the
Basque tambourinewhich her two purerounded arms raised
above her headslenderfrail and vivacious as a waspwith
her corsage of gold without a foldher variegated gown puffing
outher bare shouldersher delicate limbswhich her
petticoat revealed at timesher black hairher eyes of flame
she was a supernatural creature.

In truth,said Gringoire to himselfshe is a salamander,
she is a nymph, she is a goddess, she is a bacchante of the
Menelean Mount!

At that momentone of the salamander's braids of hair
became unfastenedand a piece of yellow copper which was
attached to itrolled to the ground.

Hé, no!said heshe is a gypsy!

All illusions had disappeared.

She began her dance once more; she took from the ground
two swordswhose points she rested against her browand
which she made to turn in one directionwhile she turned in
the other; it was a purely gypsy effect. Butdisenchanted

though Gringoire wasthe whole effect of this picture was not
without its charm and its magic; the bonfire illuminated
with a red flaring lightwhich trembledall aliveover the
circle of faces in the crowdon the brow of the young girl
and at the background of the Place cast a pallid reflection
on one side upon the ancientblackand wrinkled façade of
the House of Pillarson the otherupon the old stone

Among the thousands of visages which that light tinged
with scarletthere was one which seemedeven more than all
the othersabsorbed in contemplation of the dancer. It was
the face of a manausterecalmand sombre. This man
whose costume was concealed by the crowd which surrounded
himdid not appear to be more than five and thirty years of
age; neverthelesshe was bald; he had merely a few tufts of
thingray hair on his temples; his broadhigh forehead had
begun to be furrowed with wrinklesbut his deep-set eyes
sparkled with extraordinary youthfulnessan ardent lifea
profound passion. He kept them fixed incessantly on the
gypsyandwhile the giddy young girl of sixteen danced and
whirledfor the pleasure of allhis revery seemed to become
more and more sombre. From time to timea smile and a
sigh met upon his lipsbut the smile was more melancholy
than the sigh.

The young girlstopped at lengthbreathlessand the people
applauded her lovingly.

Djali!said the gypsy.

Then Gringoire saw come up to hera pretty little white
goatalertwide-awakeglossywith gilded hornsgilded
hoofsand gilded collarwhich he had not hitherto perceived
and which had remained lying curled up on one corner of the
carpet watching his mistress dance.

Djali!said the dancerit is your turn.

Andseating herselfshe gracefully presented her tambourine
to the goat.

Djali,she continuedwhat month is this?

The goat lifted its fore footand struck one blow upon
the tambourine. It was the first month in the yearin

Djali,pursued the young girlturning her tambourine
roundwhat day of the month is this?

Djali raised his little gilt hoofand struck six blows on the

Djali,pursued the Egyptianwith still another movement
of the tambourinewhat hour of the day is it?

Djali struck seven blows. At that momentthe clock of
the Pillar House rang out seven.

The people were amazed.

There's sorcery at the bottom of it,said a sinister voice
in the crowd. It was that of the bald manwho never removed

his eyes from the gypsy.

She shuddered and turned round; but applause broke forth
and drowned the morose exclamation.

It even effaced it so completely from her mindthat she
continued to question her goat.

Djali, what does Master Guichard Grand-Remy, captain of
the pistoliers of the town do, at the procession of Candlemas?

Djali reared himself on his hind legsand began to bleat
marching along with so much dainty gravitythat the entire
circle of spectators burst into a laugh at this parody of the
interested devoutness of the captain of pistoliers.

Djali,resumed the young girlemboldened by her growing
successhow preaches Master Jacques Charmolue, procurator
to the king in the ecclesiastical court?

The goat seated himself on his hind quartersand began
to bleatwaving his fore feet in so strange a mannerthat
with the exception of the bad Frenchand worse Latin
Jacques Charmolue was there complete--gestureaccentand

And the crowd applauded louder than ever.

Sacrilege! profanation!resumed the voice of the bald man.

The gypsy turned round once more.

Ah!said she'tis that villanous man!Thenthrusting
her under lip out beyond the uppershe made a little
poutwhich appeared to be familiar to herexecuted a pirouette
on her heeland set about collecting in her tambourine the
gifts of the multitude.

Big blankslittle blankstarges* and eagle liards showered
into it.

* A blank: an old French coin; six blanks were worth two sous
and a half; targean ancient coin of Burgundya farthing.
All at onceshe passed in front of Gringoire. Gringoire
put his hand so recklessly into his pocket that she halted.
The devil!said the poetfinding at the bottom of his
pocket the realitythat isto saya void. In the meantime
the pretty girl stood theregazing at him with her big eyes
and holding out her tambourine to him and waiting. Gringoire
broke into a violent perspiration.

If he had all Peru in his pockethe would certainly have
given it to the dancer; but Gringoire had not Peruand
moreoverAmerica had not yet been discovered.

Happilyan unexpected incident came to his rescue.

Will you take yourself off, you Egyptian grasshopper?
cried a sharp voicewhich proceeded from the darkest corner
of the Place.

The young girl turned round in affright. It was no longer
the voice of the bald man; it was the voice of a woman
bigoted and malicious.

Howeverthis crywhich alarmed the gypsydelighted a
troop of children who were prowling about there.

It is the recluse of the Tour-Roland,they exclaimed
with wild laughterit is the sacked nun who is scolding!
Hasn't she supped? Let's carry her the remains of the city

All rushed towards the Pillar House.

In the meanwhileGringoire had taken advantage of the
dancer's embarrassmentto disappear. The children's shouts
had reminded him that healsohad not suppedso he ran to
the public buffet. But the little rascals had better legs than
he; when he arrivedthey had stripped the table. There
remained not so much as a miserable ~camichon~ at five sous
the pound. Nothing remained upon the wall but slender
fleurs-de-lismingled with rose bushespainted in 1434 by
Mathieu Biterne. It was a meagre supper.

It is an unpleasant thing to go to bed without supperit is
a still less pleasant thing not to sup and not to know where
one is to sleep. That was Gringoire's condition. No supper
no shelter; he saw himself pressed on all sides by necessity
and he found necessity very crabbed. He had long ago discovered
the truththat Jupiter created men during a fit of
misanthropyand that during a wise man's whole lifehis
destiny holds his philosophy in a state of siege. As for
himselfhe had never seen the blockade so complete; he heard
his stomach sounding a parleyand he considered it very much
out of place that evil destiny should capture his philosophy
by famine.

This melancholy revery was absorbing him more and more
when a songquaint but full of sweetnesssuddenly tore him
from it. It was the young gypsy who was singing.

Her voice was like her dancinglike her beauty. It was
indefinable and charming; something pure and sonorous
aerialwingedso to speak. There were continual outbursts
melodiesunexpected cadencesthen simple phrases strewn
with aerial and hissing notes; then floods of scales which
would have put a nightingale to routbut in which harmony
was always present; then soft modulations of octaves which
rose and felllike the bosom of the young singer. Her beautiful
face followedwith singular mobilityall the caprices of
her songfrom the wildest inspiration to the chastest dignity.
One would have pronounced her now a mad creaturenow a

The words which she sang were in a tongue unknown to
Gringoireand which seemed to him to be unknown to herself
so little relation did the expression which she imparted to her
song bear to the sense of the words. Thusthese four lines
in her mouthwere madly gay-

~Un cofre de gran riqueza
Hallaron dentro un pilar
Dentro delnuevas banderas

Con figuras de espantar~.*

* A coffer of great richness
In a pillar's heart they found
Within it lay new banners
With figures to astound.

And an instant afterwardsat the accents which she imparted
to this stanza-

~Alarabes de cavallo
Sin poderse menear
Con espadasy los cuellos
Ballestas de buen echar~

Gringoire felt the tears start to his eyes. Neverthelessher
song breathed joymost of alland she seemed to sing like a
birdfrom serenity and heedlessness.

The gypsy's song had disturbed Gringoire's revery as the
swan disturbs the water. He listened in a sort of rapture
and forgetfulness of everything. It was the first moment in
the course of many hours when he did not feel that he suffered.

The moment was brief.

The same woman's voicewhich had interrupted the gypsy's
danceinterrupted her song.

Will you hold your tongue, you cricket of hell?it cried
still from the same obscure corner of the place.

The poor "cricket" stopped short. Gringoire covered up his ears.

Oh!he exclaimedaccursed saw with missing teeth, which
comes to break the lyre!

Meanwhilethe other spectators murmured like himself;
To the devil with the sacked nun!said some of them.
And the old invisible kill-joy might have had occasion to
repent of her aggressions against the gypsy had their attention
not been diverted at this moment by the procession of
the Pope of the Foolswhichafter having traversed many
streets and squaresdebouched on the Place de Grèvewith
all its torches and all its uproar.

This processionwhich our readers have seen set out from
the Palais de Justicehad organized on the wayand had been
recruited by all the knavesidle thievesand unemployed vagabonds
in Paris; so that it presented a very respectable aspect
when it arrived at the Grève.

First came Egypt. The Duke of Egypt headed iton horseback
with his counts on foot holding his bridle and stirrups
for him; behind themthe male and female Egyptians
pell-mellwith their little children crying on their shoulders;
all--dukecountsand populace--in rags and tatters. Then
came the Kingdom of Argot; that is to sayall the thieves of
Francearranged according to the order of their dignity; the
minor people walking first. Thus defiled by fourswith the

divers insignia of their gradesin that strange facultymost of
them lamesome cripplesothers one-armedshop clerkspilgrim
~hubins~bootblacksthimble-riggersstreet arabsbeggars
the blear-eyed beggarsthievesthe weaklyvagabonds
merchantssham soldiersgoldsmithspassed masters of
pickpocketsisolated thieves. A catalogue that would weary
Homer. In the centre of the conclave of the passed masters
of pickpocketsone had some difficulty in distinguishing the
King of Argotthe grand coësreso calledcrouching in a
little cart drawn by two big dogs. After the kingdom of the
Argotierscame the Empire of Galilee. Guillaume Rousseau
Emperor of the Empire of Galileemarched majestically in
his robe of purplespotted with winepreceded by buffoons
wrestling and executing military dances; surrounded by his
macebearershis pickpockets and clerks of the chamber of
accounts. Last of all came the corporation of law clerks
with its maypoles crowned with flowersits black robesits
music worthy of the orgyand its large candles of yellow
wax. In the centre of this crowdthe grand officers of the
Brotherhood of Fools bore on their shoulders a litter more
loaded down with candles than the reliquary of Sainte-Geneviève
in time of pest; and on this litter shone resplendent
with crosiercopeand mitrethe new Pope of the Foolsthe
bellringer of Notre-DameQuasimodo the hunchback.

Each section of this grotesque procession had its own music.
The Egyptians made their drums and African tambourines
resound. The slang mennot a very musical racestill clung
to the goat's horn trumpet and the Gothic rubebbe of the
twelfth century. The Empire of Galilee was not much more
advanced; among its music one could hardly distinguish some
miserable rebecfrom the infancy of the artstill imprisoned
in the ~re-la-mi~. But it was around the Pope of the Fools that
all the musical riches of the epoch were displayed in a magnificent
discord. It was nothing but soprano rebecscounter-tenor
rebecsand tenor rebecsnot to reckon the flutes and
brass instruments. Alas! our readers will remember that this
was Gringoire's orchestra.

It is difficult to convey an idea of the degree of proud and
blissful expansion to which the sad and hideous visage of
Quasimodo had attained during the transit from the Palais de
Justiceto the Place de Grève. It was the first enjoyment of
self-love that he had ever experienced. Down to that dayhe
had known only humiliationdisdain for his conditiondisgust
for his person. Hencedeaf though he washe enjoyedlike
a veritable popethe acclamations of that throngwhich he
hated because he felt that he was hated by it. What mattered
it that his people consisted of a pack of foolscripples
thievesand beggars? it was still a people and he was its
sovereign. And he accepted seriously all this ironical
applauseall this derisive respectwith which the crowd mingled
it must be admitteda good deal of very real fear. For the
hunchback was robust; for the bandy-legged fellow was agile;
for the deaf man was malicious: three qualities which temper

We are far from believinghoweverthat the new Pope of
the Fools understood both the sentiments which he felt and
the sentiments which he inspired. The spirit which was
lodged in this failure of a body hadnecessarilysomething
incomplete and deaf about it. Thuswhat he felt at the moment
was to himabsolutely vagueindistinctand confused.
Only joy made itself feltonly pride dominated. Around that

sombre and unhappy facethere hung a radiance.

It wasthennot without surprise and alarmthat at the
very moment when Quasimodo was passing the Pillar House
in that semi-intoxicated statea man was seen to dart from
the crowdand to tear from his handswith a gesture of anger
his crosier of gilded woodthe emblem of his mock popeship.

This manthis rash individualwas the man with the bald
browwhoa moment earlierstanding with the gypsy's
group had chilled the poor girl with his words of menace and
of hatred. He was dressed in an eccleslastical costume. At
the moment when he stood forth from the crowdGringoire
who had not noticed him up to that timerecognized him:
Hold!he saidwith an exclamation of astonishment.
Eh! 'tis my master in Hermes, Dom Claude Frollo, the
archdeacon! What the devil does he want of that old one-
eyed fellow? He'll get himself devoured!

A cry of terror arosein fact. The formidable Quasimodo
had hurled himself from the litterand the women turned
aside their eyes in order not to see him tear the archdeacon

He made one bound as far as the priestlooked at himand
fell upon his knees.

The priest tore off his tiarabroke his crozierand rent his
tinsel cope.

Quasimodo remained on his kneeswith head bent and hands
clasped. Then there was established between them a strange
dialogue of signs and gesturesfor neither of them spoke.
The priesterect on his feetirritatedthreateningimperious;
Quasimodoprostratehumblesuppliant. Andnevertheless
it is certain that Quasimodo could have crushed the priest
with his thumb.

At length the archdeacongiving Quasimodo's powerful
shoulder a rough shakemade him a sign to rise and follow him.

Quasimodo rose.

Then the Brotherhood of Foolstheir first stupor having
passed offwished to defend their popeso abruptly dethroned.
The Egyptiansthe men of slangand all the fraternity of
law clerksgathered howling round the priest.

Quasimodo placed himself in front of the priestset in play
the muscles of his athletic fistsand glared upon the assailants
with the snarl of an angry tiger.

The priest resumed his sombre gravitymade a sign to Quasimodo
and retired in silence.

Quasimodo walked in front of himscattering the crowd as
he passed.

When they had traversed the populace and the Placethe
cloud of curious and idle were minded to follow them. Quasimodo
then constituted himself the rearguardand followed
the archdeaconwalking backwardssquatsurlymonstrous
bristlinggathering up his limbslicking his boar's tusks
growling like a wild beastand imparting to the crowd immense

vibrationswith a look or a gesture.

Both were allowed to plunge into a dark and narrow street
where no one dared to venture after them; so thoroughly did
the mere chimera of Quasimodo gnashing his teeth bar the

Here's a marvellous thing,said Gringoire; "but where
the deuce shall I find some supper?"



Gringoire set out to follow the gypsy at all hazards. He
had seen heraccompanied by her goattake to the Rue de la
Coutellerie; he took the Rue de la Coutellerie.

Why not?he said to himself.

Gringoirea practical philosopher of the streets of Paris
had noticed that nothing is more propitious to revery than
following a pretty woman without knowing whither she is
going. There was in this voluntary abdication of his freewill
in this fancy submitting itself to another fancywhich
suspects it nota mixture of fantastic independence and blind
obediencesomething indescribableintermediate between slavery
and libertywhich pleased Gringoire--a spirit essentially
compoundundecidedand complexholding the extremities of
all extremesincessantly suspended between all human propensities
and neutralizing one by the other. He was fond of comparing
himself to Mahomet's coffinattracted in two different
directions by two loadstonesand hesitating eternally
between the heights and the depthsbetween the vault and the
pavementbetween fall and ascentbetween zenith and nadir.

If Gringoire had lived in our daywhat a fine middle course
he would hold between classicism and romanticism!

But he was not sufficiently primitive to live three hundred
yearsand 'tis a pity. His absence is a void which is but too
sensibly felt to-day.

Moreoverfor the purpose of thus following passers-by (and
especially female passers-by) in the streetswhich Gringoire
was fond of doingthere is no better disposition than ignorance
of where one is going to sleep.

So he walked alongvery thoughtfullybehind the young
girlwho hastened her pace and made her goat trot as she
saw the bourgeois returning home and the taverns--the only
shops which had been open that day--closing.

After all,he half thought to himselfshe must lodge
somewhere; gypsies have kindly hearts. Who knows?--

And in the points of suspense which he placed after this reticence
in his mindthere lay I know not what flattering ideas.

Meanwhilefrom time to timeas he passed the last groups
of bourgeois closing their doorshe caught some scraps of
their conversationwhich broke the thread of his pleasant

Now it was two old men accosting each other.

Do you know that it is cold, Master Thibaut Fernicle?
(Gringoire had been aware of this since the beginning of the

Yes, indeed, Master Boniface Disome! Are we going to
have a winter such as we had three years ago, in '80, when
wood cost eight sous the measure?

Bah! that's nothing, Master Thibaut, compared with the
winter of 1407, when it froze from St. Martin's Day until
Candlemas! and so cold that the pen of the registrar of the
parliament froze every three words, in the Grand Chamber!
which interrupted the registration of justice.

Further on there were two female neighbors at their windows
holding candleswhich the fog caused to sputter.

Has your husband told you about the mishap, Mademoiselle
la Boudraque?

No. What is it, Mademoiselle Turquant?

The horse of M. Gilles Godin, the notary at the Châtelet,
took fright at the Flemings and their procession, and overturned
Master Philippe Avrillot, lay monk of the Célestins.



A bourgeois horse! 'tis rather too much! If it had been
a cavalry horse, well and good!

And the windows were closed. But Gringoire had lost the
thread of his ideasnevertheless.

Fortunatelyhe speedily found it againand he knotted it
together without difficultythanks to the gypsythanks to
Djaliwho still walked in front of him; two finedelicateand
charming creatureswhose tiny feetbeautiful formsand
graceful manners he was engaged in admiringalmost confusing
them in his contemplation; believing them to be both
young girlsfrom their intelligence and good friendship; regarding
them both as goats--so far as the lightnessagilityand
dexterity of their walk were concerned.

But the streets were becoming blacker and more deserted
every moment. The curfew had sounded long agoand it was
only at rare intervals now that they encountered a passer-by
in the streetor a light in the windows. Gringoire had
become involvedin his pursuit of the gypsyin that inextricable
labyrinth of alleyssquaresand closed courts which
surround the ancient sepulchre of the Saints-Innocentsand
which resembles a ball of thread tangled by a cat. "Here
are streets which possess but little logic!" said Gringoire
lost in the thousands of circuits which returned upon themselves

incessantlybut where the young girl pursued a road
which seemed familiar to herwithout hesitation and with
a step which became ever more rapid. As for himhe
would have been utterly ignorant of his situation had he not
espiedin passingat the turn of a streetthe octagonal mass
of the pillory of the fish marketsthe open-work summit of
which threw its blackfretted outlines clearly upon a window
which was still lighted in the Rue Verdelet.

The young girl's attention had been attracted to him for the
last few moments; she had repeatedly turned her head towards
him with uneasiness; she had even once come to a standstill
and taking advantage of a ray of light which escaped from a
half-open bakery to survey him intentlyfrom head to footthen
having cast this glanceGringoire had seen her make that little
pout which he had already noticedafter which she passed on.

This little pout had furnished Gringoire with food for
thought. There was certainly both disdain and mockery in
that graceful grimace. So he dropped his headbegan to
count the paving-stonesand to follow the young girl at a little
greater distancewhenat the turn of a streetwhich had
caused him to lose sight of herhe heard her utter a piercing cry.

He hastened his steps.

The street was full of shadows. Neverthelessa twist of
tow soaked in oilwhich burned in a cage at the feet of the
Holy Virgin at the street cornerpermitted Gringoire to make
out the gypsy struggling in the arms of two menwho were
endeavoring to stifle her cries. The poor little goatin great
alarmlowered his horns and bleated.

Help! gentlemen of the watch!shouted Gringoireand
advanced bravely. One of the men who held the young girl
turned towards him. It was the formidable visage of Quasimodo.

Gringoire did not take to flightbut neither did he advance
another step.

Quasimodo came up to himtossed him four paces away on
the pavement with a backward turn of the handand plunged
rapidly into the gloombearing the young girl folded across
one arm like a silken scarf. His companion followed himand
the poor goat ran after them allbleating plaintively.

Murder! murder!shrieked the unhappy gypsy.

Halt, rascals, and yield me that wench!suddenly shouted
in a voice of thundera cavalier who appeared suddenly from
a neighboring square.

It was a captain of the king's archersarmed from head to
footwith his sword in his hand.

He tore the gypsy from the arms of the dazed Quasimodo
threw her across his saddleand at the moment when the terrible
hunchbackrecovering from his surpriserushed upon
him to regain his preyfifteen or sixteen archerswho followed
their captain closelymade their appearancewith their
two-edged swords in their fists. It was a squad of the king's
policewhich was making the roundsby order of Messire
Robert d'Estoutevilleguard of the provostship of Paris.

Quasimodo was surroundedseizedgarroted; he roaredhe
foamed at the mouthhe bit; and had it been broad daylight
there is no doubt that his face alonerendered more hideous by
wrathwould have put the entire squad to flight. But by night
he was deprived of his most formidable weaponhis ugliness.

His companion had disappeared during the struggle.

The gypsy gracefully raised herself upright upon the officer's
saddleplaced both hands upon the young man's shoulders
and gazed fixedly at him for several secondsas though
enchanted with his good looks and with the aid which he had
just rendered her. Then breaking silence firstshe said to
himmaking her sweet voice still sweeter than usual--

What is your name, monsieur le gendarme?

Captain Phoebus de Châteaupers, at your service, my beauty!
replied the officerdrawing himself up.

Thanks,said she.

And while Captain Phoebus was turning up his moustache
in Burgundian fashionshe slipped from the horselike an
arrow falling to earthand fled.

A flash of lightning would have vanished less quickly.

Nombrill of the Pope!said the captaincausing Quasimodo's
straps to be drawn tighterI should have preferred to keep
the wench.

What would you have, captain?said one gendarme. "The
warbler has fledand the bat remains."



Gringoirethoroughly stunned by his fallremained on
the pavement in front of the Holy Virgin at the street corner.
Little by littlehe regained his senses; at firstfor several
minuteshe was floating in a sort of half-somnolent revery
which was not without its charmin which aeriel figures of
the gypsy and her goat were coupled with Quasimodo's heavy
fist. This state lasted but a short time. A decidedly vivid
sensation of cold in the part of his body which was in contact
with the pavementsuddenly aroused him and caused his spirit
to return to the surface.

Whence comes this chill?he said abruptlyto himself.
He then perceived that he was lying half in the middle of the

That devil of a hunchbacked cyclops!he muttered between
his teeth; and he tried to rise. But he was too much
dazed and bruised; he was forced to remain where he was.
Moreoverhis hand was tolerably free; he stopped up his nose
and resigned himself.

The mud of Paris,he said to himself--for decidedly he
thought that he was sure that the gutter would prove his
refuge for the night; and what can one do in a refugeexcept
dream?--"the mud of Paris is particularly stinking; it must
contain a great deal of volatile and nitric salts. That
moreoveris the opinion of Master Nicholas Flameland of the

The word "alchemists" suddenly suggested to his mind the
idea of Archdeacon Claude Frollo. He recalled the violent
scene which he had just witnessed in part; that the gypsy was
struggling with two menthat Quasimodo had a companion;
and the morose and haughty face of the archdeacon passed
confusedly through his memory. "That would be strange!"
he said to himself. And on that fact and that basis he began
to construct a fantastic edifice of hypothesisthat card-castle
of philosophers; thensuddenly returning once more to
realityCome! I'm freezing!he ejaculated.

The place wasin factbecoming less and less tenable.
Each molecule of the gutter bore away a molecule of heat
radiating from Gringoire's loinsand the equilibrium between
the temperature of his body and the temperature of the brook
began to be established in rough fashion.

Quite a different annoyance suddenly assailed him. A group
of childrenthose little bare-footed savages who have always
roamed the pavements of Paris under the eternal name of
~gamins~and whowhen we were also children ourselvesthrew
stones at all of us in the afternoonwhen we came out of
schoolbecause our trousers were not torn--a swarm of these
young scamps rushed towards the square where Gringoire lay
with shouts and laughter which seemed to pay but little heed
to the sleep of the neighbors. They were dragging after them
some sort of hideous sack; and the noise of their wooden
shoes alone would have roused the dead. Gringoire who was
not quite dead yethalf raised himself.

Ohé, Hennequin Dandéche! Ohè, Jehan Pincebourde!
they shouted in deafening tonesold Eustache Moubon, the
merchant at the corner, has just died. We've got his straw
pallet, we're going to have a bonfire out of it. It's the turn
of the Flemish to-day!

And beholdthey flung the pallet directly upon Gringoire
beside whom they had arrivedwithout espying him. At the
same timeone of them took a handful of straw and set off
to light it at the wick of the good Virgin.

S'death!growled Gringoiream I going to be too warm now?

It was a critical moment. He was caught between fire and
water; he made a superhuman effortthe effort of a counterfeiter
of money who is on the point of being boiledand who
seeks to escape. He rose to his feetflung aside the straw
pallet upon the street urchinsand fled.

Holy Virgin!shrieked the children; "'tis the merchant's ghost!"

And they fled in their turn.

The straw mattress remained master of the field. Belleforet
Father Le Jugeand Corrozet affirm that it was picked
up on the morrowwith great pompby the clergy of the

quarterand borne to the treasury of the church of Saint
Opportunewhere the sacristaneven as late as 1789earned a
tolerably handsome revenue out of the great miracle of the
Statue of the Virgin at the corner of the Rue Mauconseil
which hadby its mere presenceon the memorable night between
the sixth and seventh of January1482exorcised the
defunct Eustache Moubonwhoin order to play a trick on
the devilhad at his death maliciously concealed his soul in
his straw pallet.



After having run for some time at the top of his speed
without knowing whitherknocking his head against many a
street cornerleaping many a guttertraversing many an alley
many a courtmany a squareseeking flight and passage through
all the meanderings of the ancient passages of the Hallesexploring
in his panic terror what the fine Latin of the maps calls ~tota
viacheminum et viaria~our poet suddenly halted for lack
of breath in the first placeand in the secondbecause
he had been collaredafter a fashionby a dilemma which
had just occurred to his mind. "It strikes meMaster Pierre
Gringoire he said to himself, placing his finger to his brow,
that you are running like a madman. The little scamps are
no less afraid of you than you are of them. It strikes me
I saythat you heard the clatter of their wooden shoes
fleeing southwardwhile you were fleeing northward. Now
one of two thingseither they have taken flightand the
palletwhich they must have forgotten in their terroris
precisely that hospitable bed in search of which you have been
running ever since morningand which madame the Virgin
miraculously sends youin order to recompense you for having
made a morality in her honoraccompanied by triumphs and
mummeries; or the children have not taken flightand in
that case they have put the brand to the palletand that is
precisely the good fire which you need to cheerdryand warm
you. In either casegood fire or good bedthat straw pallet
is a gift from heaven. The blessed Virgin Marie who stands
at the corner of the Rue Mauconseilcould only have made
Eustache Moubon die for that express purpose; and it is folly
on your part to flee thus zigzaglike a Picard before a
Frenchmanleaving behind you what you seek before you;
and you are a fool!"

Then he retraced his stepsand feeling his way and searching
with his nose to the wind and his ears on the alerthe
tried to find the blessed pallet againbut in vain. There was
nothing to be found but intersections of housesclosed courts
and crossings of streetsin the midst of which he hesitated
and doubted incessantlybeing more perplexed and entangled
in this medley of streets than he would have been even in the
labyrinth of the Hôtel des Tournelles. At length he lost
patienceand exclaimed solemnly: "Cursed be cross roads!
'tis the devil who has made them in the shape of his pitchfork!"

This exclamation afforded him a little solaceand a sort of
reddish reflection which he caught sight of at that momentat

the extremity of a long and narrow lanecompleted the elevation
of his moral tone. "God be praised!" said heThere
it is yonder! There is my pallet burning.And comparing
himself to the pilot who suffers shipwreck by night~Salve~,
he added piously~salve, maris stella~!

Did he address this fragment of litany to the Holy Virgin
or to the pallet? We are utterly unable to say.

He had taken but a few steps in the long streetwhich
sloped downwardswas unpavedand more and more muddy
and steepwhen he noticed a very singular thing. It was
not deserted; here and there along its extent crawled certain
vague and formless massesall directing their course towards
the light which flickered at the end of the streetlike those
heavy insects which drag along by nightfrom blade to blade
of grasstowards the shepherd's fire.

Nothing renders one so adventurous as not being able to
feel the place where one's pocket is situated. Gringoire
continued to advanceand had soon joined that one of the forms
which dragged along most indolentlybehind the others. On
drawing nearhe perceived that it was nothing else than a
wretched legless cripple in a bowlwho was hopping along on
his two hands like a wounded field-spider which has but two
legs left. At the moment when he passed close to this species
of spider with a human countenanceit raised towards
him a lamentable voice: "~La buona manciasignor! la buona

* Alms.
Deuce take you,said Gringoireand me with you, if I
know what you mean!

And he passed on.

He overtook another of these itinerant massesand examined
it. It was an impotent manboth halt and crippled
and halt and crippled to such a degree that the complicated
system of crutches and wooden legs which sustained himgave
him the air of a mason's scaffolding on the march. Gringoire
who liked noble and classical comparisonscompared him in
thought to the living tripod of Vulcan.

This living tripod saluted him as he passedbut stopping
his hat on a level with Gringoire's chinlike a shaving dish
while he shouted in the latter's ears: "~Senor cabelleropara
comprar un pedaso de pan~!"*

* Give me the means to buy a bit of breadsir.
It appears,said Gringoirethat this one can also talk;
but 'tis a rude language, and he is more fortunate than I if
he understands it.Thensmiting his browin a sudden
transition of ideas: "By the waywhat the deuce did they
mean this morning with their Esmeralda?"

He was minded to augment his pacebut for the third time
something barred his way. This something orrathersome

one was a blind mana little blind fellow with a bearded
Jewish facewhorowing away in the space about him with a
stickand towed by a large dogdroned through his nose with
a Hungarian accent: "~Facitote caritatem~!"

Well, now,said Gringoirehere's one at last who speaks
a Christian tongue. I must have a very charitable aspect,
since they ask alms of me in the present lean condition of my
purse. My friend,and he turned towards the blind man
I sold my last shirt last week; that is to say, since you
understand only the language of Cicero: ~Vendidi hebdomade
nuper transita meam ultimam chemisan~.

That saidhe turned his back upon the blind manand pursued
his way. But the blind man began to increase his stride
at the same time; andbehold! the cripple and the legless
manin his bowlcame up on their side in great hasteand
with great clamor of bowl and crutchesupon the pavement.
Then all threejostling each other at poor Gringoire's heels
began to sing their song to him-

~Caritatem~!chanted the blind man.

~La buona mancia~!chanted the cripple in the bowl.

And the lame man took up the musical phrase by repeating:
~Un pedaso de pan~!

Gringoire stopped up his ears. "Ohtower of Babel!" he

He set out to run. The blind man ran! The lame man
ran! The cripple in the bowl ran!

And thenin proportion as he plunged deeper into the
streetcripples in bowlsblind men and lame menswarmed
about himand men with one armand with one eyeand the
leprous with their soressome emerging from little streets
adjacentsome from the air-holes of cellarshowlingbellowing
yelpingall limping and haltingall flinging themselves
towards the lightand humped up in the mirelike snails after
a shower.

Gringoirestill followed by his three persecutorsand not
knowing very well what was to become of himmarched along
in terror among themturning out for the lamestepping over
the cripples in bowlswith his feet imbedded in that ant-hill
of lame menlike the English captain who got caught in the
quicksand of a swarm of crabs.

The idea occurred to him of making an effort to retrace his
steps. But it was too late. This whole legion had closed in
behind himand his three beggars held him fast. So he
proceededimpelled both by this irresistible floodby fear
and by a vertigo which converted all this into a sort of
horrible dream.

At last he reached the end of the street. It opened upon
an immense placewhere a thousand scattered lights flickered
in the confused mists of night. Gringoire flew thither
hoping to escapeby the swiftness of his legsfrom the three
infirm spectres who had clutched him.

~Onde vas, hombre~?(Where are you goingmy man?)

cried the crippleflinging away his crutchesand running after
him with the best legs that ever traced a geometrical step upon
the pavements of Paris.

In the meantime the legless manerect upon his feet
crowned Gringoire with his heavy iron bowland the blind
man glared in his face with flaming eyes!

Where am I?said the terrified poet.

In the Court of Miracles,replied a fourth spectrewho
had accosted them.

Upon my soul,resumed GringoireI certainly do behold the
blind who see, and the lame who walk, but where is the Saviour?

They replied by a burst of sinister laughter.

The poor poet cast his eyes about him. It wasin truth
that redoubtable Cour des Miracleswhither an honest man
had never penetrated at such an hour; the magic circle where
the officers of the Châtelet and the sergeants of the provostship
who ventured thitherdisappeared in morsels; a city of
thievesa hideous wart on the face of Paris; a sewerfrom
which escaped every morningand whither returned every
night to crouchthat stream of vicesof mendicancy and
vagabondage which always overflows in the streets of capitals;
a monstrous hiveto which returned at nightfallwith
their bootyall the drones of the social order; a lying hospital
where the bohemianthe disfrocked monkthe ruined
scholarthe ne'er-do-wells of all nationsSpaniardsItalians
Germans--of all religionsJewsChristiansMahometans
idolaterscovered with painted soresbeggars by daywere
transformed by night into brigands; an immense dressing-room
in a wordwhereat that epochthe actors of that
eternal comedywhich theftprostitutionand murder play
upon the pavements of Parisdressed and undressed.

It was a vast placeirregular and badly pavedlike all the
squares of Paris at that date. Firesaround which swarmed
strange groupsblazed here and there. Every one was going
comingand shouting. Shrill laughter was to be heardthe
wailing of childrenthe voices of women. The hands and
heads of this throngblack against the luminous background
outlined against it a thousand eccentric gestures. At times
upon the groundwhere trembled the light of the fires
mingled with largeindefinite shadowsone could behold a dog
passingwhich resembled a mana man who resembled a dog.
The limits of races and species seemed effaced in this cityas
in a pandemonium. Menwomenbeastsagesexhealth
maladiesall seemed to be in common among these people;
all went togetherthey mingledconfoundedsuperposed;
each one there participated in all.

The poor and flickering flames of the fire permitted Gringoire
to distinguishamid his troubleall around the immense
placea hideous frame of ancient houseswhose wormeaten
shrivelledstunted façadeseach pierced with one or two
lighted attic windowsseemed to himin the darknesslike
enormous heads of old womenranged in a circlemonstrous
and crabbedwinking as they looked on at the Witches' Sabbath.

It was like a new worldunknownunheard ofmisshapen

Gringoiremore and more terrifiedclutched by the three
beggars as by three pairs of tongsdazed by a throng of other
faces which frothed and yelped around himunhappy Gringoire
endeavored to summon his presence of mindin order
to recall whether it was a Saturday. But his efforts were
vain; the thread of his memory and of his thought was
broken; anddoubting everythingwavering between what he
saw and what he felthe put to himself this unanswerable

If I exist, does this exist? if this exists, do I exist?

At that momenta distinct cry arose in the buzzing throng
which surrounded himLet's take him to the king! let's
take him to the king!

Holy Virgin!murmured Gringoirethe king here must be
a ram.

To the king! to the king!repeated all voices.

They dragged him off. Each vied with the other in laying
his claws upon him. But the three beggars did not loose their
hold and tore him from the resthowlingHe belongs to us!

The poet's already sickly doublet yielded its last sigh in
this struggle.

While traversing the horrible placehis vertigo vanished.
After taking a few stepsthe sentiment of reality returned to
him. He began to become accustomed to the atmosphere of
the place. At the first moment there had arisen from his
poet's headorsimply and prosaicallyfrom his empty
stomacha mista vaporso to speakwhichspreading
between objects and himselfpermitted him to catch a glimpse
of them only in the incoherent fog of nightmare--in those
shadows of dreams which distort every outlineagglomerating
objects into unwieldy groupsdilating things into chimeras
and men into phantoms. Little by littlethis hallucination
was succeeded by a less bewildered and exaggerating view.
Reality made its way to the light around himstruck his eyes
struck his feetand demolishedbit by bitall that frightful
poetry with which he hadat firstbelieved himself to be
surrounded. He was forced to perceive that he was not
walking in the Styxbut in mudthat he was elbowed not by
demonsbut by thieves; that it was not his soul which was
in questionbut his life (since he lacked that precious
conciliatorwhich places itself so effectually between the
bandit and the honest man--a purse). In shorton examining the
orgy more closelyand with more coolnesshe fell from the
witches' sabbath to the dram-shop.

The Cour des Miracles wasin factmerely a dram-shop;
but a brigand's dram-shopreddened quite as much with blood
as with wine.

The spectacle which presented itself to his eyeswhen his
ragged escort finally deposited him at the end of his tripwas
not fitted to bear him back to poetryeven to the poetry of
hell. It was more than ever the prosaic and brutal reality of
the tavern. Were we not in the fifteenth centurywe would
say that Gringoire had descended from Michael Angelo to

Around a great fire which burned on a largecircular flagstone
the flames of which had heated red-hot the legs of a
tripodwhich was empty for the momentsome wormeaten
tables were placedhere and therehaphazardno lackey of a
geometrical turn having deigned to adjust their parallelism
or to see to it that they did not make too unusual angles.
Upon these tables gleamed several dripping pots of wine and
beerand round these pots were grouped many bacchic visages
purple with the fire and the wine. There was a man
with a huge belly and a jovial facenoisily kissing a woman
of the townthickset and brawny. There was a sort of sham
soldiera "naquois as the slang expression runs, who was
whistling as he undid the bandages from his fictitious wound,
and removing the numbness from his sound and vigorous
knee, which had been swathed since morning in a thousand
ligatures. On the other hand, there was a wretched fellow,
preparing with celandine and beef's blood, his leg of God
for the next day. Two tables further on, a palmer, with his
pilgrim's costume complete, was practising the lament of the
Holy Queen, not forgetting the drone and the nasal drawl.
Further on, a young scamp was taking a lesson in epilepsy
from an old pretender, who was instructing him in the art of
foaming at the mouth, by chewing a morsel of soap. Beside
him, a man with the dropsy was getting rid of his swelling,
and making four or five female thieves, who were disputing
at the same table, over a child who had been stolen that evening,
hold their noses. All circumstances which, two centuries
later, seemed so ridiculous to the court as Sauval says,
that they served as a pastime to the kingand as an introduction
to the royal ballet of Nightdivided into four parts
and danced on the theatre of the Petit-Bourbon." "Never
adds an eye witness of 1653, have the sudden metamorphoses
of the Court of Miracles been more happily presented.
Benserade prepared us for it by some very gallant verses."

Loud laughter everywhereand obscene songs. Each one
held his own coursecarping and swearingwithout listening
to his neighbor. Pots clinkedand quarrels sprang up at
the shock of the potsand the broken pots made rents in
the rags.

A big dogseated on his tailgazed at the fire. Some
children were mingled in this orgy. The stolen child wept and
cried. Anothera big boy four years of ageseated with
legs danglingupon a bench that was too high for himbefore
a table that reached to his chinand uttering not a word. A
thirdgravely spreading out upon the table with his finger
the melted tallow which dripped from a candle. Last of all
a little fellow crouching in the mudalmost lost in a cauldron
which he was scraping with a tileand from which he was
evoking a sound that would have made Stradivarius swoon.

Near the fire was a hogsheadand on the hogshead a beggar.
This was the king on his throne.

The three who had Gringoire in their clutches led him in
front of this hogsheadand the entire bacchanal rout fell
silent for a momentwith the exception of the cauldron
inhabited by the child.

Gringoire dared neither breathe nor raise his eyes.

~Hombre, quita tu sombrero~!said one of the three

knavesin whose grasp he wasandbefore he had
comprehended the meaningthe other had snatched his hat--a
wretched headgearit is truebut still good on a sunny day or
when there was but little rain. Gringoire sighed.

Meanwhile the king addressed himfrom the summit of his

Who is this rogue?

Gringoire shuddered. That voicealthough accentuated by
menacerecalled to him another voicewhichthat very morning
had dealt the deathblow to his mysteryby drawling
nasallyin the midst of the audienceCharity, please!
He raised his head. It was indeed Clopin Trouillefou.

Clopin Trouillefouarrayed in his royal insigniawore
neither one rag more nor one rag less. The sore upon his
arm had already disappeared. He held in his hand one of
those whips made of thongs of white leatherwhich police
sergeants then used to repress the crowdand which were
called ~boullayes~. On his head he wore a sort of headgear
bound round and closed at the top. But it was difficult to
make out whether it was a child's cap or a king's crownthe
two things bore so strong a resemblance to each other.

Meanwhile Gringoirewithout knowing whyhad regained
some hopeon recognizing in the King of the Cour des Miracles
his accursed mendicant of the Grand Hall.

Master,stammered he; "monseigneur--sire--how
ought I to address you?" he said at lengthhaving reached
the culminating point of his crescendoand knowing neither
how to mount highernor to descend again.

Monseigneur, his majesty, or comrade, call me what you
please. But make haste. What have you to say in your
own defence?

In your own defence?thought Gringoirethat displeases
me.He resumedstutteringI am he, who this morning--

By the devil's claws!interrupted Clopinyour name,
knave, and nothing more. Listen. You are in the presence
of three powerful sovereigns: myself, Clopin Trouillefou,
King of Thunes, successor to the Grand Coësre, supreme
suzerain of the Realm of Argot; Mathias Hunyadi Spicali,
Duke of Egypt and of Bohemia, the old yellow fellow whom
you see yonder, with a dish clout round his head; Guillaume
Rousseau, Emperor of Galilee, that fat fellow who is not
listening to us but caressing a wench. We are your judges.
You have entered the Kingdom of Argot, without being an
~argotier~; you have violated the privileges of our city. You
must be punished unless you are a ~capon~, a ~franc-mitou~ or a
~rifodé~; that is to say, in the slang of honest folks,--a thief,
a beggar, or a vagabond. Are you anything of that sort?
Justify yourself; announce your titles.

Alas!said GringoireI have not that honor. I am
the author--

That is sufficient,resumed Trouillefouwithout permitting
him to finish. "You are going to be hanged. 'Tis a
very simple mattergentlemen and honest bourgeois! as you

treat our people in your abodeso we treat you in ours! The
law which you apply to vagabondsvagabonds apply to you.
'Tis your fault if it is harsh. One really must behold the
grimace of an honest man above the hempen collar now and
then; that renders the thing honorable. Comefrienddivide
your rags gayly among these damsels. I am going to have
you hanged to amuse the vagabondsand you are to give them
your purse to drink your health. If you have any mummery
to go through withthere's a very good God the Father in that
mortar yonderin stonewhich we stole from Saint-Pierre aux
Boeufs. You have four minutes in which to fling your soul at
his head."

The harangue was formidable.

Well said, upon my soul! Clopin Trouillefou preaches
like the Holy Father the Pope!exclaimed the Emperor of
Galileesmashing his pot in order to prop up his table.

Messeigneurs, emperors, and kings,said Gringoire coolly
(for I know not howfirmness had returned to himand he
spoke with resolution)don't think of such a thing; my
name is Pierre Gringoire. I am the poet whose morality was
presented this morning in the grand hall of the Courts.

Ah! so it was you, master!said Clopin. "I was there
~xête Dieu~! Well! comradeis that any reasonbecause
you bored us to death this morningthat you should not
be hung this evening?"

I shall find difficulty in getting out of it,said Gringoire
to himself. Neverthelesshe made one more effort: "I don't
see why poets are not classed with vagabonds said he.
VagabondAesopus certainly was; Homerus was a beggar;
Mercurius was a thief--"

Clopin interrupted him: "I believe that you are trying to
blarney us with your jargon. Zounds! let yourself be hung
and don't kick up such a row over it!"

Pardon me, monseigneur, the King of Thunes,replied
Gringoiredisputing the ground foot by foot. "It is worth
trouble--One moment!--Listen to me--You are not going
to condemn me without having heard me"--

His unlucky voice wasin factdrowned in the uproar which
rose around him. The little boy scraped away at his cauldron
with more spirit than ever; andto crown allan old woman
had just placed on the tripod a frying-pan of greasewhich
hissed away on the fire with a noise similar to the cry of a
troop of children in pursuit of a masker.

In the meantimeClopin Trouillefou appeared to hold a
momentary conference with the Duke of Egyptand the
Emperor of Galileewho was completely drunk. Then he
shouted shrilly: "Silence!" andas the cauldron and the
frying-pan did not heed himand continued their duethe
jumped down from his hogsheadgave a kick to the boiler
which rolled ten paces away bearing the child with ita kick
to the frying-panwhich upset in the fire with all its grease
and gravely remounted his thronewithout troubling himself
about the stifled tears of the childor the grumbling of the
old womanwhose supper was wasting away in a fine white flame.

Trouillefou made a signand the dukethe emperorand
the passed masters of pickpocketsand the isolated robbers
came and ranged themselves around him in a horseshoeof
which Gringoirestill roughly held by the bodyformed the
centre. It was a semicircle of ragstatterstinselpitchforks
axeslegs staggering with intoxicationhugebare armsfaces
sordiddulland stupid. In the midst of this Round Table of
beggaryClopin Trouillefou--as the doge of this senateas
the king of this peerageas the pope of this conclave-dominated;
first by virtue of the height of his hogsheadand
next by virtue of an indescribablehaughtyfierceand formidable
airwhich caused his eyes to flashand corrected in his
savage profile the bestial type of the race of vagabonds. One
would have pronounced him a boar amid a herd of swine.

Listen,said he to Gringoirefondling his misshapen chin
with his horny hand; "I don't see why you should not be
hung. It is true that it appears to be repugnant to you; and
it is very naturalfor you bourgeois are not accustomed to it.
You form for yourselves a great idea of the thing. After all
we don't wish you any harm. Here is a means of extricating
yourself from your predicament for the moment. Will you
become one of us?"

The reader can judge of the effect which this proposition
produced upon Gringoirewho beheld life slipping away from
himand who was beginning to lose his hold upon it. He
clutched at it again with energy.

Certainly I will, and right heartily,said he.

Do you consent,resumed Clopinto enroll yourself among the
people of the knife?

Of the knife, precisely,responded Gringoire.

You recognize yourself as a member of the free bourgeoisie?*
added the King of Thunes.

* A high-toned sharper.
Of the free bourgeoisie.

Subject of the Kingdom of Argot?

Of the Kingdom of Argot*.

* Thieves.
A vagabond?

A vagabond.

In your soul?

In my soul.

I must call your attention to the fact,continued the
kingthat you will be hung all the same.

The devil!said the poet.

Only,continued Clopin imperturbablyyou will be hung
later on, with more ceremony, at the expense of the good city
of Paris, on a handsome stone gibbet, and by honest men.
That is a consolation.

Just so,responded Gringoire.

There are other advantages. In your quality of a high-toned
sharper, you will not have to pay the taxes on mud, or
the poor, or lanterns, to which the bourgeois of Paris are

So be it,said the poet. "I agree. I am a vagabonda
thiefa sharpera man of the knifeanything you please; and
I am all that alreadymonsieurKing of Thunesfor I am a
philosopher; ~et omnia in philosophiaomnes in philosopho
continentur~--all things are contained in philosophyall men in
the philosopheras you know."

The King of Thunes scowled.

What do you take me for, my friend? What Hungarian
Jew patter are you jabbering at us? I don't know Hebrew.
One isn't a Jew because one is a bandit. I don't even steal
any longer. I'm above that; I kill. Cut-throat, yes;
cutpurse, no.

Gringoire tried to slip in some excuse between these curt
wordswhich wrath rendered more and more jerky.

I ask your pardon, monseigneur. It is not Hebrew; 'tis Latin.

I tell you,resumed Clopin angrilythat I'm not a Jew,
and that I'll have you hung, belly of the synagogue, like that
little shopkeeper of Judea, who is by your side, and whom I
entertain strong hopes of seeing nailed to a counter one of
these days, like the counterfeit coin that he is!

So sayinghe pointed his finger at the littlebearded Hungarian
Jew who had accosted Gringoire with his ~facitote caritatem~
and whounderstanding no other language beheld with
surprise the King of Thunes's ill-humor overflow upon him.

At length Monsieur Clopin calmed down.

So you will be a vagabond, you knave?he said to our poet.

Of course,replied the poet.

Willing is not all,said the surly Clopin; "good will
doesn't put one onion the more into the soupand 'tis good
for nothing except to go to Paradise with; nowParadise and
the thieves' band are two different things. In order to be
received among the thieves* you must prove that you are
good for somethingand for that purposeyou must search the

* L'argot.
I'll search anything you like,said Gringoire.

Clopin made a sign. Several thieves detached themselves
from the circleand returned a moment later. They brought
two thick poststerminated at their lower extremities in
spreading timber supportswhich made them stand readily
upon the ground; to the upper extremity of the two posts
they fitted a cross-beamand the whole constituted a very
pretty portable gibbetwhich Gringoire had the satisfaction of
beholding rise before himin a twinkling. Nothing was lacking
not even the ropewhich swung gracefully over the cross-beam.

What are they going to do?Gringoire asked himself
with some uneasiness. A sound of bellswhich he heard at
that momentput an end to his anxiety; it was a stuffed
manikinwhich the vagabonds were suspending by the neck
from the ropea sort of scarecrow dressed in redand so
hung with mule-bells and larger bellsthat one might have
tricked out thirty Castilian mules with them. These thousand
tiny bells quivered for some time with the vibration of the
ropethen gradually died awayand finally became silent
when the manikin had been brought into a state of immobility
by that law of the pendulum which has dethroned the water
clock and the hour-glass.
Then Clopinpointing out to Gringoire a rickety old stool
placed beneath the manikin--
Climb up there.

Death of the devil!objected Gringoire; "I shall break
my neck. Your stool limps like one of Martial's distiches;
it has one hexameter leg and one pentameter leg."

Climb!repeated Clopin.

Gringoire mounted the stooland succeedednot without
some oscillations of head and armsin regaining his centre of

Now,went on the King of Thunestwist your right
foot round your left leg, and rise on the tip of your left foot.

Monseigneur,said Gringoireso you absolutely insist
on my breaking some one of my limbs?

Clopin tossed his head.

Hark ye, my friend, you talk too much. Here's the gist
of the matter in two words: you are to rise on tiptoe, as I
tell you; in that way you will be able to reach the pocket of
the manikin, you will rummage it, you will pull out the purse
that is there,--and if you do all this without our hearing
the sound of a bell, all is well: you shall be a vagabond.
All we shall then have to do, will be to thrash you soundly
for the space of a week.

~Ventre-Dieu~! I will be careful,said Gringoire. "And
suppose I do make the bells sound?"

Then you will be hanged. Do you understand?

I don't understand at all,replied Gringoire.

Listen, once more. You are to search the manikin, and
take away its purse; if a single bell stirs during the operation,
you will be hung. Do you understand that?

Good,said Gringoire; "I understand that. And then?"

If you succeed in removing the purse without our hearing
the bells, you are a vagabond, and you will be thrashed for
eight consecutive days. You understand now, no doubt?

No, monseigneur; I no longer understand. Where is the
advantage to me? hanged in one case, cudgelled in the other?

And a vagabond,resumed Clopinand a vagabond; is
that nothing? It is for your interest that we should beat
you, in order to harden you to blows.

Many thanks,replied the poet.

Come, make haste,said the kingstamping upon his
caskwhich resounded like a huge drum! Search the manikin
and let there be an end to this! I warn you for the last
timethat if I hear a single bellyou will take the place of
the manikin."

The band of thieves applauded Clopin's wordsand arranged
themselves in a circle round the gibbetwith a laugh so pitiless
that Gringoire perceived that he amused them too much
not to have everything to fear from them. No hope was
left for himaccordinglyunless it were the slight chance
of succeeding in the formidable operation which was imposed
upon him; he decided to risk itbut it was not without first
having addressed a fervent prayer to the manikin he was
about to plunderand who would have been easier to move
to pity than the vagabonds. These myriad bellswith their
little copper tonguesseemed to him like the mouths of so
many aspsopen and ready to sting and to hiss.

Oh!he saidin a very low voiceis it possible that my
life depends on the slightest vibration of the least of these
bells? Oh!he addedwith clasped handsbells, do not
ring, hand-bells do not clang, mule-bells do not quiver!

He made one more attempt upon Trouillefou.

And if there should come a gust of wind?

You will be hanged,replied the otherwithout hesitation.

Perceiving that no respitenor reprievenor subterfuge was
possiblehe bravely decided upon his course of action; he
wound his right foot round his left legraised himself on his
left footand stretched out his arm: but at the moment
when his hand touched the manikinhis bodywhich was now
supported upon one leg onlywavered on the stool which had
but three; he made an involuntary effort to support himself
by the manikinlost his balanceand fell heavily to the
grounddeafened by the fatal vibration of the thousand bells
of the manikinwhichyielding to the impulse imparted by
his handdescribed first a rotary motionand then swayed
majestically between the two posts.

Malediction!he cried as he felland remained as though
deadwith his face to the earth.

Meanwhilehe heard the dreadful peal above his headthe
diabolical laughter of the vagabondsand the voice of

Trouillefou saying-

Pick me up that knave, and hang him without ceremony.
He rose. They had already detached the manikin to make
room for him.

The thieves made him mount the stoolClopin came to him
passed the rope about his neckandtapping him on the

Adieu, my friend. You can't escape now, even if you
digested with the pope's guts.

The word "Mercy!" died away upon Gringoire's lips. He
cast his eyes about him; but there was no hope: all were

Bellevigne de l'Etoile,said the King of Thunes to an
enormous vagabondwho stepped out from the ranksclimb
upon the cross beam.

Bellevigne de l'Etoile nimbly mounted the transverse beam
and in another minuteGringoireon raising his eyesbeheld
himwith terrorseated upon the beam above his head.

Now,resumed Clopin Trouillefouas soon as I clap my
hands, you, Andry the Red, will fling the stool to the ground
with a blow of your knee; you, François Chante-Prune, will
cling to the feet of the rascal; and you, Bellevigne, will fling
yourself on his shoulders; and all three at once, do you

Gringoire shuddered.

Are you ready?said Clopin Trouillefou to the three
thieveswho held themselves in readiness to fall upon
Gringoire. A moment of horrible suspense ensued for the poor
victimduring which Clopin tranquilly thrust into the fire
with the tip of his footsome bits of vine shoots which the
flame had not caught. "Are you ready?" he repeatedand
opened his hands to clap. One second more and all would
have been over.

But he pausedas though struck by a sudden thought.

One moment!said he; "I forgot! It is our custom not
to hang a man without inquiring whether there is any woman
who wants him. Comradethis is your last resource. You
must wed either a female vagabond or the noose."

This law of the vagabondssingular as it may strike the
readerremains to-day written out at lengthin ancient English
legislation. (See _Burington's Observations_.)

Gringoire breathed again. This was the second time that
he had returned to life within an hour. So he did not dare
to trust to it too implicitly.

Holà!cried Clopinmounted once more upon his cask
holà! women, females, is there among you, from the sorceress
to her cat, a wench who wants this rascal? Holà, Colette
la Charonne! Elisabeth Trouvain! Simone Jodouyne!
Marie Piédebou! Thonne la Longue! Bérarde Fanouel! Michelle
Genaille! Claude Ronge-oreille! Mathurine Girorou!--Holà!

Isabeau-la-Thierrye! Come and see! A man for nothing!
Who wants him?

Gringoireno doubtwas not very appetizing in this miserable
condition. The female vagabonds did not seem to be
much affected by the proposition. The unhappy wretch
heard them answer: "No! no! hang him; there'll be the more
fun for us all!"

Neverthelessthree emerged from the throng and came to
smell of him. The first was a big wenchwith a square face.
She examined the philosopher's deplorable doublet attentively.
His garment was wornand more full of holes than a stove for
roasting chestnuts. The girl made a wry face. "Old rag!" she
mutteredand addressing GringoireLet's see your cloak!
I have lost it,replied Gringoire. "Your hat?" "They took
it away from me." "Your shoes?" "They have hardly any
soles left." "Your purse?" "Alas!" stammered GringoireI
have not even a sou.Let them hang you, then, and say 'Thank
you!'retorted the vagabond wenchturning her back on him.

The second--oldblackwrinkledhideouswith an ugliness
conspicuous even in the Cour des Miraclestrotted round Gringoire.
He almost trembled lest she should want him. But she
mumbled between her teethHe's too thin,and went off.

The third was a young girlquite freshand not too ugly.
Save me!said the poor fellow to herin a low tone. She
gazed at him for a moment with an air of pitythen dropped
her eyesmade a plait in her petticoatand remained in indecision.
He followed all these movements with his eyes; it
was the last gleam of hope. "No said the young girl, at
length, no! Guillaume Longuejoue would beat me." She
retreated into the crowd.

You are unlucky, comrade,said Clopin.

Then rising to his feetupon his hogshead. "No one wants
him he exclaimed, imitating the accent of an auctioneer, to
the great delight of all; no one wants him? oncetwice
three times!" andturning towards the gibbet with a sign of
his handGone!

Bellevigne de l'EtoileAndry the RedFrançois Chante-Prune
stepped up to Gringoire.

At that moment a cry arose among the thieves: "La Esmeralda!
La Esmeralda!"

Gringoire shudderedand turned towards the side whence the
clamor proceeded.

The crowd openedand gave passage to a pure and dazzling

It was the gypsy.

La Esmeralda!said Gringoirestupefied in the midst of
his emotionsby the abrupt manner in which that magic word
knotted together all his reminiscences of the day.

This rare creature seemedeven in the Cour des Miracles
to exercise her sway of charm and beauty. The vagabonds
male and femaleranged themselves gently along her pathand

their brutal faces beamed beneath her glance.

She approached the victim with her light step. Her pretty
Djali followed her. Gringoire was more dead than alive. She
examined him for a moment in silence.

You are going to hang this man?she said gravelyto Clopin.

Yes, sister,replied the King of Thunesunless you will
take him for your husband.

She made her pretty little pout with her under lip. "I'll take
him said she.

Gringoire firmly believed that he had been in a dream ever
since morning, and that this was the continuation of it.

The change was, in fact, violent, though a gratifying one.
They undid the noose, and made the poet step down from the
stool. His emotion was so lively that he was obliged to sit down.

The Duke of Egypt brought an earthenware crock, without
uttering a word. The gypsy offered it to Gringoire: Fling
it on the ground said she.

The crock broke into four pieces.

Brother then said the Duke of Egypt, laying his hands
upon their foreheads, she is your wife; sisterhe is your
husband for four years. Go."



A few moments later our poet found himself in a tiny
arched chambervery cosyvery warmseated at a table
which appeared to ask nothing better than to make some loans
from a larder hanging near byhaving a good bed in prospect
and alone with a pretty girl. The adventure smacked of
enchantment. He began seriously to take himself for a personage
in a fairy tale; he cast his eyes about him from time
to time to timeas though to see if the chariot of fireharnessed
to two-winged chimeraswhich alone could have so
rapidly transported him from Tartarus to Paradisewere still
there. At timesalsohe fixed his eyes obstinately upon the
holes in his doubletin order to cling to realityand not lose
the ground from under his feet completely. His reason
tossed about in imaginary spacenow hung only by this

The young girl did not appear to pay any attention to him;
she went and camedisplaced a stooltalked to her goatand
indulged in a pout now and then. At last she came and
seated herself near the tableand Gringoire was able to
scrutinize her at his ease.

You have been a childreaderand you wouldperhapsbe
very happy to be one still. It is quite certain that you have

notmore than once (and for my partI have passed whole
daysthe best employed of my lifeat it) followed from
thicket to thicketby the side of running wateron a sunny
daya beautiful green or blue dragon-flybreaking its flight
in abrupt anglesand kissing the tips of all the branches.
You recollect with what amorous curiosity your thought and
your gaze were riveted upon this little whirlwindhissing
and humming with wings of purple and azurein the midst
of which floated an imperceptible bodyveiled by the very
rapidity of its movement. The aerial being which was dimly
outlined amid this quivering of wingsappeared to you chimerical
imaginaryimpossible to touchimpossible to see.
But whenat lengththe dragon-fly alighted on the tip of a
reedandholding your breath the whileyou were able to examine
the longgauze wingsthe long enamel robethe two
globes of crystalwhat astonishment you feltand what fear
lest you should again behold the form disappear into a shade
and the creature into a chimera! Recall these impressions
and you will readily appreciate what Gringoire felt on
contemplatingbeneath her visible and palpable formthat
Esmeralda of whomup to that timehe had only caught a
glimpseamidst a whirlwind of dancesongand tumult.

Sinking deeper and deeper into his revery: "So this
he said to himself, following her vaguely with his eyes, is
la Esmeralda! a celestial creature! a street dancer! so much
and so little! 'Twas she who dealt the death-blow to my
mystery this morning'tis she who saves my life this
evening! My evil genius! My good angel! A pretty woman
on my word! and who must needs love me madly to have
taken me in that fashion. By the way said he, rising
suddenly, with that sentiment of the true which formed the
foundation of his character and his philosophy, I don't
know very well how it happensbut I am her husband!"

With this idea in his head and in his eyeshe stepped up
to the young girl in a manner so military and so gallant
that she drew back.

What do you want of me?said she.

Can you ask me, adorable Esmeralda?replied Gringoire
with so passionate an accent that he was himself astonished
at it on hearing himself speak.

The gypsy opened her great eyes. "I don't know what
you mean."

What!resumed Gringoiregrowing warmer and warmer
and supposing thatafter allhe had to deal merely with a
virtue of the Cour des Miracles; "am I not thinesweet friend
art thou not mine?"

Andquite ingenuouslyhe clasped her waist.

The gypsy's corsage slipped through his hands like the skin
of an eel. She bounded from one end of the tiny room to the
otherstooped downand raised herself againwith a little
poniard in her handbefore Gringoire had even had time to
see whence the poniard came; proud and angrywith swelling
lips and inflated nostrilsher cheeks as red as an api
apple* and her eyes darting lightnings. At the same time
the white goat placed itself in front of herand presented to
Gringoire a hostile frontbristling with two pretty horns

gilded and very sharp. All this took place in the twinkling
of an eye.

* A small dessert applebright red on one side and greenishwhite
on the other.
The dragon-fly had turned into a waspand asked nothing
better than to sting.

Our philosopher was speechlessand turned his astonished
eyes from the goat to the young girl. "Holy Virgin!" he
said at lastwhen surprise permitted him to speakhere are
two hearty dames!

The gypsy broke the silence on her side.

You must be a very bold knave!

Pardon, mademoiselle,said Gringoirewith a smile. "But
why did you take me for your husband?"

Should I have allowed you to be hanged?

So,said the poetsomewhat disappointed in his amorous
hopes. "You had no other idea in marrying me than to save
me from the gibbet?"

And what other idea did you suppose that I had?

Gringoire bit his lips. "Come said he, I am not yet so
triumphant in Cupidoas I thought. But thenwhat was the
good of breaking that poor jug?"

Meanwhile Esmeralda's dagger and the goat's horns were
still upon the defensive.

Mademoiselle Esmeralda,said the poetlet us come to
terms. I am not a clerk of the court, and I shall not go to
law with you for thus carrying a dagger in Paris, in the teeth
of the ordinances and prohibitions of M. the Provost.
Nevertheless, you are not ignorant of the fact that Noel
Lescrivain was condemned, a week ago, to pay ten Parisian sous,
for having carried a cutlass. But this is no affair of mine, and
I will come to the point. I swear to you, upon my share of
Paradise, not to approach you without your leave and permission,
but do give me some supper.

The truth isGringoire waslike M. Despreauxnot very
voluptuous.He did not belong to that chevalier and musketeer
specieswho take young girls by assault. In the matter
of loveas in all other affairshe willingly assented to
temporizing and adjusting terms; and a good supperand an amiable
tête-a-tête appeared to himespecially when he was hungry
an excellent interlude between the prologue and the catastrophe
of a love adventure.

The gypsy did not reply. She made her disdainful little
grimacedrew up her head like a birdthen burst out laughing
and the tiny poniard disappeared as it had comewithout
Gringoire being able to see where the wasp concealed its sting.

A moment laterthere stood upon the table a loaf of rye

breada slice of baconsome wrinkled apples and a jug of
beer. Gringoire began to eat eagerly. One would have said
to hear the furious clashing of his iron fork and his
earthenware platethat all his love had turned to appetite.

The young girl seated opposite himwatched him in silence
visibly preoccupied with another thoughtat which she smiled
from time to timewhile her soft hand caressed the intelligent
head of the goatgently pressed between her knees.

A candle of yellow wax illuminated this scene of voracity
and revery.

Meanwhilethe first cravings of his stomach having been
stilledGringoire felt some false shame at perceiving that
nothing remained but one apple.

You do not eat, Mademoiselle Esmeralda?

She replied by a negative sign of the headand her pensive
glance fixed itself upon the vault of the ceiling.

What the deuce is she thinking of?thought Gringoire
staring at what she was gazing at; "'tis impossible that it can
be that stone dwarf carved in the keystone of that archwhich
thus absorbs her attention. What the deuce! I can bear the

He raised his voiceMademoiselle!

She seemed not to hear him.

He repeatedstill more loudlyMademoiselle Esmeralda!

Trouble wasted. The young girl's mind was elsewhereand
Gringoire's voice had not the power to recall it. Fortunately
the goat interfered. She began to pull her mistress gently
by the sleeve.

What dost thou want, Djali?said the gypsyhastilyas though
suddenly awakened.

She is hungry,said Gringoirecharmed to enter into conversation.
Esmeralda began to crumble some breadwhich Djali ate gracefully
from the hollow of her hand.

MoreoverGringoire did not give her time to resume her
revery. He hazarded a delicate question.

So you don't want me for your husband?

The young girl looked at him intentlyand saidNo.

For your lover?went on Gringoire.

She poutedand repliedNo.

For your friend?pursued Gringoire.

She gazed fixedly at him againand saidafter a momentary

This "perhaps so dear to philosophers, emboldened Gringoire.

Do you know what friendship is?" he asked.

Yes,replied the gypsy; "it is to be brother and sister; two
souls which touch without minglingtwo fingers on one hand."

And love?pursued Gringoire.

Oh! love!said sheand her voice trembledand her eye
beamed. "That is to be two and to be but one. A man and a
woman mingled into one angel. It is heaven."

The street dancer had a beauty as she spoke thusthat
struck Gringoire singularlyand seemed to him in perfect
keeping with the almost oriental exaltation of her words.
Her purered lips half smiled; her serene and candid brow
became troubledat intervalsunder her thoughtslike a mirror
under the breath; and from beneath her longdroopingblack
eyelashesthere escaped a sort of ineffable lightwhich gave
to her profile that ideal serenity which Raphael found at
the mystic point of intersection of virginitymaternity
and divinity.

NeverthelessGringoire continued-

What must one be then, in order to please you?

A man.

And I--said hewhat, then, am I?

A man has a hemlet on his head, a sword in his hand, and
golden spurs on his heels.

Good,said Gringoirewithout a horse, no man. Do
you love any one?

As a lover?--


She remained thoughtful for a momentthen said with a
peculiar expression: "That I shall know soon."

Why not this evening?resumed the poet tenderly. "Why
not me?"

She cast a grave glance upon him and said-

I can never love a man who cannot protect me.

Gringoire coloredand took the hint. It was evident that
the young girl was alluding to the slight assistance which he
had rendered her in the critical situation in which she had
found herself two hours previously. This memoryeffaced by
his own adventures of the eveningnow recurred to him. He
smote his brow.

By the way, mademoiselle, I ought to have begun there.
Pardon my foolish absence of mind. How did you contrive
to escape from the claws of Quasimodo?

This question made the gypsy shudder.

Oh! the horrible hunchback,said shehiding her face in

her hands. And she shuddered as though with violent cold.

Horrible, in truth,said Gringoirewho clung to his idea;
but how did you manage to escape him?

La Esmeralda smiledsighedand remained silent.

Do you know why he followed you?began Gringoire again
seeking to return to his question by a circuitous route.

I don't know,said the young girland she added hastily
but you were following me also, why were you following me?

In good faith,responded GringoireI don't know either.

Silence ensued. Gringoire slashed the table with his knife.
The young girl smiled and seemed to be gazing through the
wall at something. All at once she began to sing in a barely
articulate voice-

~Quando las pintadas aves

Mudas estany la tierra~--*

* When the gay-plumaged birds grow wearyand the earth--
She broke off abruptlyand began to caress Djali.

That's a pretty animal of yours,said Gringoire.

She is my sister,she answered.

Why are you called 'la Esmeralda?'asked the poet.

I do not know.

But why?

She drew from her bosom a sort of little oblong bagsuspended
from her neck by a string of adrézarach beads. This
bag exhaled a strong odor of camphor. It was covered with
green silkand bore in its centre a large piece of green glass
in imitation of an emerald.

Perhaps it is because of this,said she.

Gringoire was on the point of taking the bag in his hand.
She drew back.

Don't touch it! It is an amulet. You would injure the
charm or the charm would injure you.

The poet's curiosity was more and more aroused.

Who gave it to you?

She laid one finger on her mouth and concealed the amulet
in her bosom. He tried a few more questionsbut she
hardly replied.

What is the meaning of the words, 'la Esmeralda?'

I don't know,said she.

To what language do they belong?

They are Egyptian, I think.

I suspected as much,said Gringoireyou are not a
native of France?

I don't know.

Are your parents alive?

She began to singto an ancient air-~
Mon père est oiseau
Ma mère est oiselle.

Je passe l'eau sans nacelle
Je passe l'eau sans bateau
Ma mère est oiselle

Mon père est oiseau~.*

* My father is a birdmy mother is a bird. I cross the
water without a barqueI cross the water without a boat.
My mother is a birdmy father is a bird.
Good,said Gringoire. "At what age did you come to France?"

When I was very young.

And when to Paris?

Last year. At the moment when we were entering the
papal gate I saw a reed warbler flit through the air, that was
at the end of August; I said, it will be a hard winter.

So it was,said Gringoiredelighted at this beginning of
a conversation. "I passed it in blowing my fingers. So
you have the gift of prophecy?"

She retired into her laconics again.

Is that man whom you call the Duke of Egypt, the chief
of your tribe?


But it was he who married us,remarked the poet timidly.

She made her customary pretty grimace.

I don't even know your name.

My name? If you want it, here it is,--Pierre Gringoire.

I know a prettier one,said she.

Naughty girl!retorted the poet. "Never mindyou shall
not provoke me. Waitperhaps you will love me more when
you know me better; and thenyou have told me your story
with so much confidencethat I owe you a little of mine. You
must knowthenthat my name is Pierre Gringoireand that

I am a son of the farmer of the notary's office of Gonesse.
My father was hung by the Burgundiansand my mother
disembowelled by the Picardsat the siege of Paristwenty years
ago. At six years of agethereforeI was an orphanwithout
a sole to my foot except the pavements of Paris. I do not
know how I passed the interval from six to sixteen. A fruit
dealer gave me a plum herea baker flung me a crust there;
in the evening I got myself taken up by the watchwho threw
me into prisonand there I found a bundle of straw. All this
did not prevent my growing up and growing thinas you see.
In the winter I warmed myself in the sununder the porch of
the Hôtel de Sensand I thought it very ridiculous that the
fire on Saint John's Day was reserved for the dog days. At
sixteenI wished to choose a calling. I tried all in succession.
I became a soldier; but I was not brave enough. I became a
monk; but I was not sufficiently devout; and then I'm a bad
hand at drinking. In despairI became an apprentice of the
woodcuttersbut I was not strong enough; I had more of
an inclination to become a schoolmaster; 'tis true that I did
not know how to readbut that's no reason. I perceived at
the end of a certain timethat I lacked something in every
direction; and seeing that I was good for nothingof my own
free will I became a poet and rhymester. That is a trade
which one can always adopt when one is a vagabondand it's
better than stealingas some young brigands of my acquaintance
advised me to do. One day I met by luckDom Claude
Frollothe reverend archdeacon of Notre-Dame. He took an
interest in meand it is to him that I to-day owe it that I am a
veritable man of letterswho knows Latin from the ~de Officiis~
of Cicero to the mortuology of the Celestine Fathersand a
barbarian neither in scholasticsnor in politicsnor in rhythmics
that sophism of sophisms. I am the author of the Mystery
which was presented to-day with great triumph and a great
concourse of populacein the grand hall of the Palais de Justice.
I have also made a book which will contain six hundred
pageson the wonderful comet of 1465which sent one man
mad. I have enjoyed still other successes. Being somewhat
of an artillery carpenterI lent a hand to Jean Mangue's great
bombardwhich burstas you knowon the day when it was
testedon the Pont de Charentonand killed four and twenty
curious spectators. You see that I am not a bad match in
marriage. I know a great many sorts of very engaging tricks
which I will teach your goat; for exampleto mimic the
Bishop of Paristhat cursed Pharisee whose mill wheels
splash passers-by the whole length of the Pont aux Meuniers.
And then my mystery will bring me in a great deal of coined
moneyif they will only pay me. And finallyI am at your
ordersI and my witsand my science and my lettersready
to live with youdamselas it shall please youchastely or
joyously; husband and wifeif you see fit; brother and sister
if you think that better."

Gringoire ceasedawaiting the effect of his harangue on the
young girl. Her eyes were fixed on the ground.

'Phoebus,'she said in a low voice. Thenturning towards
the poet'Phoebus',--what does that mean?

Gringoirewithout exactly understanding what the connection
could be between his address and this questionwas not
sorry to display his erudition. Assuming an air of importance
he replied-

It is a Latin word which means 'sun.'

Sun!she repeated.

It is the name of a handsome archer, who was a god,
added Gringoire.

A god!repeated the gypsyand there was something pensive and
passionate in her tone.

At that momentone of her bracelets became unfastened
and fell. Gringoire stooped quickly to pick it up; when he
straightened upthe young girl and the goat had disappeared.
He heard the sound of a bolt. It was a little doorcommunicating
no doubtwith a neighboring cellwhich was being
fastened on the outside.

Has she left me a bed, at least?said our philosopher.

He made the tour of his cell. There was no piece of furniture
adapted to sleeping purposesexcept a tolerably long
wooden coffer; and its cover was carvedto boot; which
afforded Gringoirewhen he stretched himself out upon ita
sensation somewhat similar to that which Micromégas would
feel if he were to lie down on the Alps.

Come!said headjusting himself as well as possibleI
must resign myself. But here's a strange nuptial night. 'Tis
a pity. There was something innocent and antediluvian about
that broken crock, which quite pleased me.




The church of Notre-Dame de Paris is still no doubta
majestic and sublime edifice. Butbeautiful as it has been
preserved in growing oldit is difficult not to sighnot to
wax indignantbefore the numberless degradations and mutilations
which time and men have both caused the venerable monument
to sufferwithout respect for Charlemagnewho laid its
first stoneor for Philip Augustuswho laid the last.

On the face of this aged queen of our cathedralsby the
side of a wrinkleone always finds a scar. ~Tempus edax
homo edacior*~; which I should be glad to translate thus:
time is blindman is stupid.

* Time is a devourer; manmore so.

If we had leisure to examine with the readerone by one
the diverse traces of destruction imprinted upon the old
churchtime's share would be the leastthe share of men the
mostespecially the men of artsince there have been individuals
who assumed the title of architects during the last two

Andin the first placeto cite only a few leading examples
there certainly are few finer architectural pages than this
façadewheresuccessively and at oncethe three portals
hollowed out in an arch; the broidered and dentated cordon
of the eight and twenty royal niches; the immense central
rose windowflanked by its two lateral windowslike a
priest by his deacon and subdeacon; the frail and lofty gallery
of trefoil arcadeswhich supports a heavy platform above its
fineslender columns; and lastlythe two black and massive
towers with their slate penthousesharmonious parts of a
magnificent wholesuperposed in five gigantic stories;--develop
themselves before the eyein a mass and without confusion
with their innumerable details of statuarycarvingand
sculpturejoined powerfully to the tranquil grandeur of the
whole; a vast symphony in stoneso to speak; the colossal work
of one man and one peopleall together one and complexlike
the Iliads and the Romanceroswhose sister it is; prodigious
product of the grouping together of all the forces of an epoch
whereupon each stoneone sees the fancy of the workman
disciplined by the genius of the artist start forth in a
hundred fashions; a sort of human creationin a word
powerful and fecund as the divine creation of which it seems
to have stolen the double character--varietyeternity.

And what we here say of the façade must be said of the
entire church; and what we say of the cathedral church of
Parismust be said of all the churches of Christendom in the
Middle Ages. All things are in place in that artself-created
logicaland well proportioned. To measure the great toe of
the foot is to measure the giant.

Let us return to the façade of Notre-Dameas it still
appears to uswhen we go piously to admire the grave and
puissant cathedralwhich inspires terrorso its chronicles
assert: ~quoe mole sua terrorem incutit spectantibus~.

Three important things are to-day lacking in that façade:
in the first placethe staircase of eleven steps which formerly
raised it above the soil; nextthe lower series of statues
which occupied the niches of the three portals; and lastly the
upper seriesof the twenty-eight most ancient kings of France
which garnished the gallery of the first storybeginning with
Childebertand ending with Phillip Augustusholding in his
hand "the imperial apple."

Time has caused the staircase to disappearby raising the
soil of the city with a slow and irresistible progress; but
while thus causing the eleven steps which added to the majestic
height of the edificeto be devouredone by oneby the
rising tide of the pavements of Paris--time has bestowed
upon the church perhaps more than it has taken awayfor it
is time which has spread over the façade that sombre hue of
the centuries which makes the old age of monuments the
period of their beauty.

But who has thrown down the two rows of statues? who
has left the niches empty? who has cutin the very middle of

the central portalthat new and bastard arch? who has dared
to frame therein that commonplace and heavy door of carved
woodà la Louis XV.beside the arabesques of Biscornette?
The menthe architectsthe artists of our day.

And if we enter the interior of the edificewho has overthrown
that colossus of Saint Christopherproverbial for magnitude
among statuesas the grand hall of the Palais de Justice
was among hallsas the spire of Strasbourg among spires?
And those myriads of statueswhich peopled all the spaces
between the columns of the nave and the choirkneeling
gendarmesin stonein marblein goldin silverin
copperin wax even--who has brutally swept them away?
It is not time.

And who substituted for the ancient gothic altarsplendidly
encumbered with shrines and reliquariesthat heavy marble
sarcophaguswith angels' heads and cloudswhich seems a
specimen pillaged from the Val-de-Grâce or the Invalides?
Who stupidly sealed that heavy anachronism of stone in the
Carlovingian pavement of Hercandus? Was it not Louis
XIV.fulfilling the request of Louis XIII.?

And who put the coldwhite panes in the place of those
windows high in color, which caused the astonished eyes
of our fathers to hesitate between the rose of the grand portal
and the arches of the apse? And what would a sub-chanter
of the sixteenth century sayon beholding the beautiful
yellow washwith which our archiepiscopal vandals have
desmeared their cathedral? He would remember that it
was the color with which the hangman smeared "accursed"
edifices; he would recall the Hôtel du Petit-Bourbonall
smeared thuson account of the constable's treason. "Yellow
after allof so good a quality said Sauval, and so well
recommendedthat more than a century has not yet caused
it to lose its color." He would think that the sacred place
had become infamousand would flee.

And if we ascend the cathedralwithout mentioning a thousand
barbarisms of every sort--what has become of that
charming little bell towerwhich rested upon the point of
intersection of the cross-roofsand whichno less frail and no
less bold than its neighbor (also destroyed)the spire of the
Sainte-Chapelleburied itself in the skyfarther forward than
the towersslenderpointedsonorouscarved in open work.
An architect of good taste amputated it (1787)and considered
it sufficient to mask the wound with that largeleaden
plasterwhich resembles a pot cover.

'Tis thus that the marvellous art of the Middle Ages has
been treated in nearly every countryespecially in France.
One can distinguish on its ruins three sorts of lesionsall
three of which cut into it at different depths; firsttime
which has insensibly notched its surface here and thereand
gnawed it everywhere; nextpolitical and religious revolution
whichblind and wrathful by naturehave flung themselves
tumultuously upon ittorn its rich garment of carving
and sculptureburst its rose windowsbroken its necklace of
arabesques and tiny figurestorn out its statuessometimes
because of their mitressometimes because of their crowns;
lastlyfashionseven more grotesque and foolishwhichsince
the anarchical and splendid deviations of the Renaissance
have followed each other in the necessary decadence of

architecture. Fashions have wrought more harm than revolutions.
They have cut to the quick; they have attacked the very
bone and framework of art; they have cutslasheddisorganized
killed the edificein form as in the symbolin its
consistency as well as in its beauty. And then they have
made it over; a presumption of which neither time nor
revolutions at least have been guilty. They have audaciously
adjustedin the name of "good taste upon the wounds of
gothic architecture, their miserable gewgaws of a day, their
ribbons of marble, their pompons of metal, a veritable leprosy
of egg-shaped ornaments, volutes, whorls, draperies, garlands,
fringes, stone flames, bronze clouds, pudgy cupids, chubbycheeked
cherubim, which begin to devour the face of art in
the oratory of Catherine de Medicis, and cause it to expire,
two centuries later, tortured and grimacing, in the boudoir of
the Dubarry.

Thus, to sum up the points which we have just indicated,
three sorts of ravages to-day disfigure Gothic architecture.
Wrinkles and warts on the epidermis; this is the work of
time. Deeds of violence, brutalities, contusions, fractures;
this is the work of the revolutions from Luther to Mirabeau.
Mutilations, amputations, dislocation of the joints,
restorations"; this is the GreekRomanand barbarian
work of professors according to Vitruvius and Vignole. This
magnificent art produced by the Vandals has been slain by the
academies. The centuriesthe revolutionswhich at least
devastate with impartiality and grandeurhave been joined by a
cloud of school architectslicensedswornand bound by oath;
defacing with the discernment and choice of bad tastesubstituting
the ~chicorées~ of Louis XV. for the Gothic lacefor the greater
glory of the Parthenon. It is the kick of the ass at the dying
lion. It is the old oak crowning itselfand whichto heap the
measure fullis stungbittenand gnawed by caterpillars.

How far it is from the epoch when Robert Cenaliscomparing
Notre-Dame de Paris to the famous temple of Diana at
Ephesus*so much lauded by the ancient pagans*which Erostatus
*has* immortalizedfound the Gallic temple "more excellent
in lengthbreadthheightand structure."*

* _Histoire Gallicane_liv. II. Periode III. fo. 130p. 1.
Notre-Dame is notmoreoverwhat can be called a complete
definiteclassified monument. It is no longer a Romanesque
church; nor is it a Gothic church. This edifice is
not a type. Notre-Dame de Paris has notlike the Abbey of
Tournusthe grave and massive framethe large and round
vaultthe glacial barenessthe majestic simplicity of the
edifices which have the rounded arch for their progenitor. It
is notlike the Cathedral of Bourgesthe magnificentlight
multiformtuftedbristling efflorescent product of the pointed
arch. Impossible to class it in that ancient family of sombre
mysterious churcheslow and crushed as it were by the round
archalmost Egyptianwith the exception of the ceiling; all
hieroglyphicsall sacerdotalall symbolicalmore loaded in
their ornamentswith lozenges and zigzagsthan with flowers
with flowers than with animalswith animals than with men;
the work of the architect less than of the bishop; first
transformation of artall impressed with theocratic and military
disciplinetaking root in the Lower Empireand stopping
with the time of William the Conqueror. Impossible to place

our Cathedral in that other family of loftyaerial churches
rich in painted windows and sculpture; pointed in form
bold in attitude; communal and bourgeois as political
symbols; freecapriciouslawlessas a work of art; second
transformation of architectureno longer hieroglyphic
immovable and sacerdotalbut artisticprogressiveand popular
which begins at the return from the crusadesand ends with
Louis IX. Notre-Dame de Paris is not of pure Romanesque
like the first; nor of pure Arabian racelike the second.

It is an edifice of the transition period. The Saxon architect
completed the erection of the first pillars of the nave
when the pointed archwhich dates from the Crusadearrived
and placed itself as a conqueror upon the large Romanesque
capitals which should support only round arches. The pointed
archmistress since that timeconstructed the rest of the
church. Neverthelesstimid and inexperienced at the start
it sweeps outgrows largerrestrains itselfand dares no
longer dart upwards in spires and lancet windowsas it did
later onin so many marvellous cathedrals. One would say
that it were conscious of the vicinity of the heavy
Romanesque pillars.

Howeverthese edifices of the transition from the Romanesque
to the Gothicare no less precious for study than the
pure types. They express a shade of the art which would be
lost without them. It is the graft of the pointed upon the
round arch.

Notre-Dame de Paris isin particulara curious specimen
of this variety. Each faceeach stone of the venerable
monumentis a page not only of the history of the countrybut
of the history of science and art as well. Thusin order to
indicate here only the principal detailswhile the little Red
Door almost attains to the limits of the Gothic delicacy
of the fifteenth centurythe pillars of the naveby their
size and weightgo back to the Carlovingian Abbey of
Saint-Germain des Prés. One would suppose that six centuries
separated these pillars from that door. There is no one
not even the hermeticswho does not find in the symbols of
the grand portal a satisfactory compendium of their science
of which the Church of Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie was
so complete a hieroglyph. Thusthe Roman abbeythe
philosophers' churchthe Gothic artSaxon artthe heavy
round pillarwhich recalls Gregory VII.the hermetic symbolism
with which Nicolas Flamel played the prelude to Luther
papal unityschismSaint-Germain des PrésSaint-Jacques
de la Boucherie--all are mingledcombinedamalgamated in
Notre-Dame. This central mother church isamong the
ancient churches of Parisa sort of chimera; it has the head
of onethe limbs of anotherthe haunches of anothersomething
of all.

We repeat itthese hybrid constructions are not the least
interesting for the artistfor the antiquarianfor the historian.
They make one feel to what a degree architecture is a primitive
thingby demonstrating (what is also demonstrated by
the cyclopean vestigesthe pyramids of Egyptthe gigantic
Hindoo pagodas) that the greatest products of architecture
are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the
offspring of a nation's effortthan the inspired flash of a man
of genius; the deposit left by a whole people; the heaps
accumulated by centuries; the residue of successive evaporations
of human society--in a wordspecies of formations.

Each wave of time contributes its alluviumeach race
deposits its layer on the monumenteach individual brings
his stone. Thus do the beaversthus do the beesthus do
men. The great symbol of architectureBabelis a hive.

Great edificeslike great mountainsare the work of centuries.
Art often undergoes a transformation while they are pending
~pendent opera interrupta~; they proceed quietly in accordance
with the transformed art. The new art takes the monument where
it finds itincrusts itself thereassimilates it to itself
develops it according to its fancyand finishes it if it can.
The thing is accomplished without troublewithout effort
without reaction--following a natural and tranquil law. It
is a graft which shoots upa sap which circulatesa vegetation
which starts forth anew. Certainly there is matter here for many
large volumesand often the universal history of humanity in the
successive engrafting of many arts at many levelsupon the same
monument. The manthe artistthe individualis effaced in these
great masseswhich lack the name of their author; human intelligence
is there summed up and totalized. Time is the architectthe nation
is the builder.

Not to consider here anything except the Christian architecture
of Europethat younger sister of the great masonries
of the Orientit appears to the eyes as an immense formation
divided into three well-defined zoneswhich are superposed
the one upon the other: the Romanesque zone*the
Gothic zonethe zone of the Renaissancewhich we would
gladly call the Greco-Roman zone. The Roman layerwhich
is the most ancient and deepestis occupied by the round
archwhich reappearssupported by the Greek columnin
the modern and upper layer of the Renaissance. The pointed
arch is found between the two. The edifices which belong
exclusively to any one of these three layers are perfectly
distinctuniformand complete. There is the Abbey of
Jumiégesthere is the Cathedral of Reimsthere is the
Sainte-Croix of Orleans. But the three zones mingle and
amalgamate along the edgeslike the colors in the solar
spectrum. Hencecomplex monumentsedifices of gradation and
transition. One is Roman at the baseGothic in the middle
Greco-Roman at the top. It is because it was six hundred
years in building. This variety is rare. The donjon keep
of d'Etampes is a specimen of it. But monuments of two
formations are more frequent. There is Notre-Dame de Parisa
pointed-arch edificewhich is imbedded by its pillars in that
Roman zonein which are plunged the portal of Saint-Denis
and the nave of Saint-Germain des Prés. There is the charming
half-Gothic chapter-house of Bochervillewhere the
Roman layer extends half way up. There is the cathedral of
Rouenwhich would be entirely Gothic if it did not bathe
the tip of its central spire in the zone of the Renaissance.**

* This is the same which is calledaccording to locality
climateand racesLombardSaxonor Byzantine. There are
four sister and parallel architectureseach having its special
characterbut derived from the same originthe round arch.
~Facies non omnibus una
No diversa tamenqualem~etc.

Their faces not all alikenor yet differentbut such as the
faces of sisters ought to be.

** This portion of the spirewhich was of woodworkis precisely
that which was consumed by lightningin 1823.

Howeverall these shadesall these differencesdo not
affect the surfaces of edifices only. It is art which has
changed its skin. The very constitution of the Christian
church is not attacked by it. There is always the same
internal woodworkthe same logical arrangement of parts.
Whatever may be the carved and embroidered envelope of a
cathedralone always finds beneath it--in the state of a
germand of a rudiment at the least--the Roman basilica.
It is eternally developed upon the soil according to the same
law. There areinvariablytwo naveswhich intersect in a
crossand whose upper portionrounded into an apseforms
the choir; there are always the side aislesfor interior
processionsfor chapels--a sort of lateral walks or promenades
where the principal nave discharges itself through the spaces
between the pillars. That settledthe number of chapels
doorsbell towersand pinnacles are modified to infinity
according to the fancy of the centurythe peopleand art.
The service of religion once assured and provided for
architecture does what she pleases. Statuesstained glassrose
combines all these imaginings according to the arrangement
which best suits her. Hencethe prodigious exterior
variety of these edificesat whose foundation dwells so much
order and unity. The trunk of a tree is immovable; the
foliage is capricious.



We have just attempted to restorefor the reader's benefit
that admirable church of Notre-Dame de Paris. We have
briefly pointed out the greater part of the beauties which it
possessed in the fifteenth centuryand which it lacks to-day;
but we have omitted the principal thing--the view of Paris
which was then to be obtained from the summits of its towers.

That wasin fact--whenafter having long groped one's
way up the dark spiral which perpendicularly pierces the
thick wall of the belfriesone emergedat last abruptlyupon
one of the lofty platforms inundated with light and air--that
wasin facta fine picture which spread outon all sides at
oncebefore the eye; a spectacle ~sui generis~of which those
of our readers who have had the good fortune to see a Gothic
city entirecompletehomogeneous--a few of which still
remainNuremberg in Bavaria and Vittoria in Spain--can
readily form an idea; or even smaller specimensprovided
that they are well preserved--Vitré in BrittanyNordhausen
in Prussia.

The Paris of three hundred and fifty years ago--the Paris
of the fifteenth century--was already a gigantic city. We
Parisians generally make a mistake as to the ground which
we think that we have gainedsince Paris has not increased
much over one-third since the time of Louis XI. It has

certainly lost more in beauty than it has gained in size.

Paris had its birthas the reader knowsin that old island
of the City which has the form of a cradle. The strand of
that island was its first boundary wallthe Seine its first
moat. Paris remained for many centuries in its island state
with two bridgesone on the norththe other on the south;
and two bridge headswhich were at the same time its
gates and its fortresses--the Grand-Châtelet on the right
bankthe Petit-Châtelet on the left. Thenfrom the date of
the kings of the first raceParisbeing too cribbed and
confined in its islandand unable to return thithercrossed
the water. Thenbeyond the Grandbeyond the Petit-Châtelet
a first circle of walls and towers began to infringe upon the
country on the two sides of the Seine. Some vestiges of this
ancient enclosure still remained in the last century; to-day
only the memory of it is leftand here and there a tradition
the Baudets or Baudoyer gatePorte Bagauda.

Little by littlethe tide of housesalways thrust from the
heart of the city outwardsoverflowsdevourswears away
and effaces this wall. Philip Augustus makes a new dike for
it. He imprisons Paris in a circular chain of great towers
both lofty and solid. For the period of more than a century
the houses press upon each otheraccumulateand raise their
level in this basinlike water in a reservoir. They begin to
deepen; they pile story upon story; they mount upon each
other; they gush forth at the toplike all laterally compressed
growthand there is a rivalry as to which shall thrust
its head above its neighborsfor the sake of getting a little
air. The street glows narrower and deeperevery space is
overwhelmed and disappears. The houses finally leap the
wall of Philip Augustusand scatter joyfully over the plain
without orderand all askewlike runaways. There they
plant themselves squarelycut themselves gardens from the
fieldsand take their ease. Beginning with 1367the city
spreads to such an extent into the suburbsthat a new wall
becomes necessaryparticularly on the right bank; Charles V.
builds it. But a city like Paris is perpetually growing. It is
only such cities that become capitals. They are funnelsinto
which all the geographicalpoliticalmoraland intellectual
water-sheds of a countryall the natural slopes of a people
pour; wells of civilizationso to speakand also sewerswhere
commerceindustryintelligencepopulation--all that is sap
all that is lifeall that is the soul of a nationfilters and
amasses unceasinglydrop by dropcentury by century.

So Charles V.'s wall suffered the fate of that of Philip
Augustus. At the end of the fifteenth centurythe Faubourg
strides across itpasses beyond itand runs farther. In the
sixteenthit seems to retreat visiblyand to bury itself deeper
and deeper in the old cityso thick had the new city already
become outside of it. Thusbeginning with the fifteenth
centurywhere our story finds usParis had already outgrown
the three concentric circles of walls whichfrom the time of
Julian the Apostateexistedso to speakin germ in the
Grand-Châtelet and the Petit-Châtelet. The mighty city had
crackedin successionits four enclosures of wallslike a
child grown too large for his garments of last year. Under
Louis XI.this sea of houses was seen to be pierced at
intervals by several groups of ruined towersfrom the ancient
walllike the summits of hills in an inundation--like
archipelagos of the old Paris submerged beneath the new.

Since that time Paris has undergone yet another transformation
unfortunately for our eyes; but it has passed only one
more wallthat of Louis XV.that miserable wall of mud and
spittleworthy of the king who built itworthy of the poet
who sung it-

~Le mur murant Paris rend Paris murmurant~.*

* The wall walling Paris makes Paris murmur.
In the fifteenth centuryParis was still divided into three
wholly distinct and separate townseach having its own
physiognomyits own specialtyits mannerscustomsprivileges
and history: the Citythe Universitythe Town. The City
which occupied the islandwas the most ancientthe smallest
and the mother of the other twocrowded in between them
like (may we be pardoned the comparison) a little old woman
between two large and handsome maidens. The University
covered the left bank of the Seinefrom the Tournelle to the
Tour de Neslepoints which correspond in the Paris of to-day
the one to the wine marketthe other to the mint. Its wall
included a large part of that plain where Julian had built his
hot baths. The hill of Sainte-Geneviève was enclosed in it.
The culminating point of this sweep of walls was the Papal
gatethat is to saynear the present site of the Pantheon.
The Townwhich was the largest of the three fragments of
Parisheld the right bank. Its quaybroken or interrupted
in many placesran along the Seinefrom the Tour de Billy
to the Tour du Bois; that is to sayfrom the place where the
granary stands to-dayto the present site of the Tuileries.
These four pointswhere the Seine intersected the wall of the
capitalthe Tournelle and the Tour de Nesle on the rightthe
Tour de Billy and the Tour du Bois on the leftwere called
pre-eminentlythe four towers of Paris.The Town encroached
still more extensively upon the fields than the University.
The culminating point of the Town wall (that of Charles V.)
was at the gates of Saint-Denis and Saint-Martinwhose situation
has not been changed.

As we have just saideach of these three great divisions of
Paris was a townbut too special a town to be completea city
which could not get along without the other two. Hence three
entirely distinct aspects: churches abounded in the City; palaces
in the Town; and collegesin the University. Neglecting
here the originalitiesof secondary importance in old
Parisand the capricious regulations regarding the public
highwayswe will sayfrom a general point of viewtaking
only masses and the whole groupin this chaos of communal
jurisdictionsthat the island belonged to the bishopthe right
bank to the provost of the merchantsthe left bank to the
Rector; over all ruled the provost of Parisa royal not
a municipal official. The City had Notre-Dame; the Townthe
Louvre and the Hôtel de Ville; the Universitythe Sorbonne.
The Town had the markets (Halles); the citythe Hospital;
the Universitythe Pré-aux-Clercs. Offences committed by
the scholars on the left bank were tried in the law courts on
the islandand were punished on the right bank at Montfauçon;
unless the rectorfeeling the university to be strong and
the king weakintervened; for it was the students' privilege
to be hanged on their own grounds.

The greater part of these privilegesit may be noted in

passingand there were some even better than the abovehad
been extorted from the kings by revolts and mutinies. It is
the course of things from time immemorial; the king only
lets go when the people tear away. There is an old charter
which puts the matter naively: apropos of fidelity: ~Civibus
fidelitas in regesquoe tamen aliquoties seditionibus
interryptamulta peperit privileyia~.

In the fifteenth centurythe Seine bathed five islands within
the walls of Paris: Louviers islandwhere there were then
treesand where there is no longer anything but wood; l'ile
aux Vachesand l'ile Notre-Dameboth desertedwith the
exception of one houseboth fiefs of the bishop--in the
seventeenth centurya single island was formed out of these
twowhich was built upon and named l'ile Saint-Louis--
lastly the Cityand at its pointthe little islet of the cow
tenderwhich was afterwards engulfed beneath the platform
of the Pont-Neuf. The City then had five bridges: three on
the rightthe Pont Notre-Dameand the Pont au Changeof
stonethe Pont aux Meuniersof wood; two on the leftthe
Petit Pontof stonethe Pont Saint-Michelof wood; all
loaded with houses.

The University had six gatesbuilt by Philip Augustus;
there werebeginning with la Tournellethe Porte Saint-
Victorthe Porte Bordellethe Porte Papalethe Porte Saint-
Jacquesthe Porte Saint-Michelthe Porte Saint-Germain.
The Town had six gatesbuilt by Charles V.; beginning with
the Tour de Billy they were: the Porte Saint-Antoinethe Porte
du Templethe Porte Saint-Martinthe Porte Saint-Denisthe
Porte Montmartrethe Porte Saint-Honoré. All these gates
were strongand also handsomewhich does not detract from
strength. A largedeep moatwith a brisk current during
the high water of winterbathed the base of the wall round
Paris; the Seine furnished the water. At nightthe gates
were shutthe river was barred at both ends of the city with
huge iron chainsand Paris slept tranquilly.

From a bird's-eye viewthese three burgsthe Citythe
Townand the Universityeach presented to the eye an
inextricable skein of eccentrically tangled streets. Nevertheless
at first sightone recognized the fact that these three
fragments formed but one body. One immediately perceived three
long parallel streetsunbrokenundisturbedtraversingalmost
in a straight lineall three citiesfrom one end to the other;
from North to Southperpendicularlyto the Seinewhich
bound them togethermingled theminfused them in each
otherpoured and transfused the people incessantlyfrom one
to the otherand made one out of the three. The first of
these streets ran from the Porte Saint-Martin: it was called
the Rue Saint-Jacques in the UniversityRue de la Juiverie in
the CityRue Saint-Martin in the Town; it crossed the water
twiceunder the name of the Petit Pont and the Pont Notre-
Dame. The secondwhich was called the Rue de la Harpe on
the left bankRue de la Barillerié in the islandRue Saint-
Denis on the right bankPont Saint-Michel on one arm of
the SeinePont au Change on the otherran from the Porte
Saint-Michel in the Universityto the Porte Saint-Denis in
the Town. Howeverunder all these namesthere were but
two streetsparent streetsgenerating streets--the two
arteries of Paris. All the other veins of the triple city
either derived their supply from them or emptied into them.

Independently of these two principal streetspiercing Paris

diametrically in its whole breadthfrom side to sidecommon
to the entire capitalthe City and the University had also
each its own great special streetwhich ran lengthwise by
themparallel to the Seinecuttingas it passedat right
anglesthe two arterial thoroughfares. Thusin the Town
one descended in a straight line from the Porte Saint-Antoine
to the Porte Saint-Honoré; in the University from the Porte
Saint-Victor to the Porte Saint-Germain. These two great
thoroughfares intersected by the two firstformed the canvas
upon which reposedknotted and crowded together on every
handthe labyrinthine network of the streets of Paris. In
the incomprehensible plan of these streetsone distinguished
likewiseon looking attentivelytwo clusters of great streets
like magnified sheaves of grainone in the Universitythe
other in the Townwhich spread out gradually from the
bridges to the gates.

Some traces of this geometrical plan still exist to-day.

Nowwhat aspect did this whole presentwhenas viewed
from the summit of the towers of Notre-Damein 1482?
That we shall try to describe.

For the spectator who arrivedpantingupon that pinnacle
it was first a dazzling confusing view of roofschimneys
streetsbridgesplacesspiresbell towers. Everything
struck your eye at once: the carved gablethe pointed roofthe
turrets suspended at the angles of the walls; the stone pyramids
of the eleventh centurythe slate obelisks of the fifteenth; the
roundbare tower of the donjon keep; the square and fretted
tower of the church; the great and the littlethe massive and
the aerial. The eye wasfor a long timewholly lost in this
labyrinthwhere there was nothing which did not possess its
originalityits reasonits geniusits beauty--nothing which
did not proceed from art; beginning with the smallest house
with its painted and carved frontwith external beamselliptical
doorwith projecting storiesto the royal Louvrewhich
then had a colonnade of towers. But these are the principal
masses which were then to be distinguished when the eye
began to accustom itself to this tumult of edifices.

In the first placethe City.--"The island of the City as
Sauval says, who, in spite of his confused medley, sometimes
has such happy turns of expression,--the island of the city
is made like a great shipstuck in the mud and run aground
in the currentnear the centre of the Seine."

We have just explained thatin the fifteenth centurythis
ship was anchored to the two banks of the river by five
bridges. This form of a ship had also struck the heraldic
scribes; for it is from thatand not from the siege by the
Normansthat the ship which blazons the old shield of Paris
comesaccording to Favyn and Pasquier. For him who understands
how to decipher themarmorial bearings are algebra
armorial bearings have a tongue. The whole history of the
second half of the Middle Ages is written in armorial
bearings--the first half is in the symbolism of the Roman
churches. They are the hieroglyphics of feudalismsucceeding
those of theocracy.

Thus the City first presented itself to the eyewith its stern
to the eastand its prow to the west. Turning towards the
prowone had before one an innumerable flock of ancient
roofsover which arched broadly the lead-covered apse of the

Sainte-Chapellelike an elephant's haunches loaded with its
tower. Only herethis tower was the most audaciousthe
most openthe most ornamented spire of cabinet-maker's work
that ever let the sky peep through its cone of lace. In front
of Notre-Dameand very near at handthree streets opened
into the cathedral square--a fine squarelined with ancient
houses. Over the south side of this place bent the wrinkled
and sullen façade of the Hôtel Dieuand its roofwhich seemed
covered with warts and pustules. Thenon the right and the
leftto east and westwithin that wall of the Citywhich was
yet so contractedrose the bell towers of its one and twenty
churchesof every dateof every formof every sizefrom the
low and wormeaten belfry of Saint-Denis du Pas (~Carcer
Glaueini~) to the slender needles of Saint-Pierre aux Boeufs
and Saint-Landry.

Behind Notre-Damethe cloister and its Gothic galleries
spread out towards the north; on the souththe half-Roman
palace of the bishop; on the eastthe desert point of the
Terrain. In this throng of houses the eye also distinguished
by the lofty open-work mitres of stone which then crowned
the roof itselfeven the most elevated windows of the palace
the Hôtel given by the cityunder Charles Juvénal des
Ursins; a little farther onthe pitch-covered sheds of the
Palus Market; in still another quarter the new apse of Saint-
Germain le Vieuxlengthened in 1458with a bit of the Rue
aux Febves; and thenin placesa square crowded with
people; a pilloryerected at the corner of a street; a fine
fragment of the pavement of Philip Augustusa magnificent
flagginggrooved for the horses' feetin the middle of the
roadand so badly replaced in the sixteenth century by the
miserable cobblestonescalled the "pavement of the League;" a
deserted back courtyardwith one of those diaphanous staircase
turretssuch as were erected in the fifteenth centuryone
of which is still to be seen in the Rue des Bourdonnais.
Lastlyat the right of the Sainte-Chapelletowards the west
the Palais de Justice rested its group of towers at the edge
of the water. The thickets of the king's gardenswhich
covered the western point of the Citymasked the Island du
Passeur. As for the waterfrom the summit of the towers of
Notre-Dame one hardly saw iton either side of the City; the
Seine was hidden by bridgesthe bridges by houses.

And when the glance passed these bridgeswhose roofs were
visibly greenrendered mouldy before their time by the vapors
from the waterif it was directed to the lefttowards the
Universitythe first edifice which struck it was a large
low sheaf of towersthe Petit-Chàteletwhose yawning gate
devoured the end of the Petit-Pont. Thenif your view ran
along the bankfrom east to westfrom the Tournelle to the
Tour de Neslethere was a long cordon of houseswith carved
beamsstained-glass windowseach story projecting over
that beneath itan interminable zigzag of bourgeois gables
frequently interrupted by the mouth of a streetand from time
to time also by the front or angle of a huge stone mansion
planted at its easewith courts and gardenswings and
detached buildingsamid this populace of crowded and narrow
houseslike a grand gentleman among a throng of rustics.
There were five or six of these mansions on the quayfrom the
house of Lorrainewhich shared with the Bernardins the
grand enclosure adjoining the Tournelleto the Hôtel de Nesle
whose principal tower ended Parisand whose pointed roofs
were in a positionduring three months of the yearto
encroachwith their black trianglesupon the scarlet disk of

the setting sun.

This side of the Seine washoweverthe least mercantile of
the two. Students furnished more of a crowd and more noise
there than artisansand there was notproperly speaking
any quayexcept from the Pont Saint-Michel to the Tour de
Nesle. The rest of the bank of the Seine was now a naked
strandthe same as beyond the Bernardins; againa throng
of housesstanding with their feet in the wateras between
the two bridges.

There was a great uproar of laundresses; they screamedand
talkedand sang from morning till night along the beach
and beat a great deal of linen therejust as in our day.
This is not the least of the gayeties of Paris.

The University presented a dense mass to the eye. From
one end to the otherit was homogeneous and compact. The
thousand roofsdenseangularclinging to each other
composednearly allof the same geometrical elementoffered
when viewed from abovethe aspect of a crystallization of the
same substance.

The capricious ravine of streets did not cut this block of
houses into too disproportionate slices. The forty-two colleges
were scattered about in a fairly equal mannerand there were
some everywhere. The amusingly varied crests of these
beautiful edifices were the product of the same art as the
simple roofs which they overshotand wereactuallyonly
a multiplication of the square or the cube of the same
geometrical figure. Hence they complicated the whole effect
without disturbing it; completedwithout overloading it.
Geometry is harmony. Some fine mansions here and there
made magnificent outlines against the picturesque attics of
the left bank. The house of Neversthe house of Romethe
house of Reimswhich have disappeared; the Hôtel de Cluny
which still existsfor the consolation of the artistand whose
tower was so stupidly deprived of its crown a few years ago.
Close to Clunythat Roman palacewith fine round arches
were once the hot baths of Julian. There were a great many
abbeysof a beauty more devoutof a grandeur more solemn
than the mansionsbut not less beautifulnot less grand.
Those which first caught the eye were the Bernardinswith
their three bell towers; Sainte-Genevièvewhose square
towerwhich still existsmakes us regret the rest; the
Sorbonnehalf collegehalf monasteryof which so admirable
a nave survives; the fine quadrilateral cloister of the Mathurins;
its neighborthe cloister of Saint-Benoitwithin whose
walls they have had time to cobble up a theatrebetween the
seventh and eighth editions of this book; the Cordelierswith
their three enormous adjacent gables; the Augustinswhose
graceful spire formedafter the Tour de Neslethe second
denticulation on this side of Parisstarting from the west.
The collegeswhich arein factthe intermediate ring between
the cloister and the worldhold the middle position in the
monumental series between the Hôtels and the abbeyswith a
severity full of elegancesculpture less giddy than the palaces
an architecture less severe than the convents. Unfortunately
hardly anything remains of these monumentswhere Gothic
art combined with so just a balancerichness and economy.
The churches (and they were numerous and splendid in the
Universityand they were graded there also in all the ages of
architecturefrom the round arches of Saint-Julian to the
pointed arches of Saint-Séverin)the churches dominated the

whole; andlike one harmony more in this mass of harmonies
they pierced in quick succession the multiple open work of
the gables with slashed spireswith open-work bell towers
with slender pinnacleswhose line was also only a magnificent
exaggeration of the acute angle of the roofs.

The ground of the University was hilly; Mount Sainte-
Geneviève formed an enormous mound to the south; and it
was a sight to see from the summit of Notre-Dame how that
throng of narrow and tortuous streets (to-day the Latin Quarter)
those bunches of houses whichspread out in every direction
from the top of this eminenceprecipitated themselves in
disorderand almost perpendicularly down its flanksnearly to
the water's edgehaving the airsome of fallingothers of
clambering up againand all of holding to one another. A
continual flux of a thousand black points which passed each
other on the pavements made everything move before the
eyes; it was the populace seen thus from aloft and afar.

Lastlyin the intervals of these roofsof these spiresof
these accidents of numberless edificeswhich bent and writhed
and jagged in so eccentric a manner the extreme line of the
Universityone caught a glimpsehere and thereof a great
expanse of moss-grown walla thickround towera crenellated
city gateshadowing forth the fortress; it was the wall of
Philip Augustus. Beyondthe fields gleamed green; beyond
fled the roadsalong which were scattered a few more suburban
houseswhich became more infrequent as they became more
distant. Some of these faubourgs were important: there were
firststarting from la Tournellethe Bourg Saint-Victorwith
its one arch bridge over the Bièvreits abbey where one could
read the epitaph of Louis le Gros~epitaphium Ludovici Grossi~
and its church with an octagonal spireflanked with four little
bell towers of the eleventh century (a similar one can be seen
at Etampes; it is not yet destroyed); nextthe Bourg Saint-
Marceauwhich already had three churches and one convent;
thenleaving the mill of the Gobelins and its four white walls
on the leftthere was the Faubourg Saint-Jacques with the
beautiful carved cross in its square; the church of Saint-
Jacques du Haut-Paswhich was then Gothicpointedcharming;
Saint-Magloirea fine nave of the fourteenth century
which Napoleon turned into a hayloft; Notre-Dame des
Champswhere there were Byzantine mosaics; lastlyafter
having left behindfull in the countrythe Monastery des
Chartreuxa rich edifice contemporary with the Palais de Justice
with its little garden divided into compartmentsand the
haunted ruins of Vauvertthe eye fellto the westupon the
three Roman spires of Saint-Germain des Prés. The Bourg
Saint-Germainalready a large communityformed fifteen or
twenty streets in the rear; the pointed bell tower of Saint-
Sulpice marked one corner of the town. Close beside it one
descried the quadrilateral enclosure of the fair of Saint-
Germainwhere the market is situated to-day; then the
abbot's pillorya pretty little round towerwell capped with
a leaden cone; the brickyard was further onand the Rue du
Fourwhich led to the common bakehouseand the mill on its
hillockand the lazar housea tiny houseisolated and half

But that which attracted the eye most of alland fixed it for
a long time on that pointwas the abbey itself. It is certain
that this monasterywhich had a grand airboth as a church and
as a seignory; that abbatial palacewhere the bishops of Paris
counted themselves happy if they could pass the night; that

refectoryupon which the architect had bestowed the airthe
beautyand the rose window of a cathedral; that elegant
chapel of the Virgin; that monumental dormitory; those vast
gardens; that portcullis; that drawbridge; that envelope of
battlements which notched to the eye the verdure of the
surrounding meadows; those courtyardswhere gleamed men at
armsintermingled with golden copes;--the whole grouped
and clustered about three lofty spireswith round arches
well planted upon a Gothic apsemade a magnificent figure
against the horizon.

Whenat lengthafter having contemplated the University
for a long timeyou turned towards the right banktowards
the Townthe character of the spectacle was abruptly altered.
The Townin fact much larger than the Universitywas also
less of a unit. At the first glanceone saw that it was divided
into many massessingularly distinct. Firstto the eastward
in that part of the town which still takes its name from the
marsh where Camulogènes entangled Caesarwas a pile of
palaces. The block extended to the very water's edge. Four
almost contiguous HôtelsJouySensBarbeauthe house of
the Queenmirrored their slate peaksbroken with slender
turretsin the Seine.

These four edifices filled the space from the Rue des
Nonaindièresto the abbey of the Celestinswhose spire gracefully
relieved their line of gables and battlements. A few miserable
greenish hovelshanging over the water in front of these
sumptuous Hôtelsdid not prevent one from seeing the fine
angles of their façadestheir largesquare windows with
stone mullionstheir pointed porches overloaded with statues
the vivid outlines of their wallsalways clear cutand all
those charming accidents of architecturewhich cause Gothic
art to have the air of beginning its combinations afresh with
every monument.

Behind these palacesextended in all directionsnow broken
fenced inbattlemented like a citadelnow veiled by great
trees like a Carthusian conventthe immense and multiform
enclosure of that miraculous Hôtel de Saint-Polwhere the
King of France possessed the means of lodging superbly two
and twenty princes of the rank of the dauphin and the Duke
of Burgundywith their domestics and their suiteswithout
counting the great lordsand the emperor when he came to
view Parisand the lionswho had their separate Hôtel at the
royal Hôtel. Let us say here that a prince's apartment was
then composed of never less than eleven large roomsfrom
the chamber of state to the oratorynot to mention the galleries
bathsvapor-bathsand other "superfluous places with
which each apartment was provided; not to mention the private
gardens for each of the king's guests; not to mention
the kitchens, the cellars, the domestic offices, the general
refectories of the house, the poultry-yards, where there were
twenty-two general laboratories, from the bakehouses to the
wine-cellars; games of a thousand sorts, malls, tennis, and riding
at the ring; aviaries, fishponds, menageries, stables, barns,
libraries, arsenals and foundries. This was what a king's
palace, a Louvre, a Hôtel de Saint-Pol was then. A city
within a city.

From the tower where we are placed, the Hôtel Saint-Pol,
almost half hidden by the four great houses of which we have
just spoken, was still very considerable and very marvellous
to see. One could there distinguish, very well, though cleverly

united with the principal building by long galleries, decked
with painted glass and slender columns, the three Hôtels which
Charles V. had amalgamated with his palace: the Hôtel du
Petit-Muce, with the airy balustrade, which formed a graceful
border to its roof; the Hôtel of the Abbe de Saint-Maur,
having the vanity of a stronghold, a great tower, machicolations,
loopholes, iron gratings, and over the large Saxon door,
the armorial bearings of the abbé, between the two mortises
of the drawbridge; the Hôtel of the Comte d' Etampes, whose
donjon keep, ruined at its summit, was rounded and notched
like a cock's comb; here and there, three or four ancient oaks,
forming a tuft together like enormous cauliflowers; gambols
of swans, in the clear water of the fishponds, all in folds
of light and shade; many courtyards of which one beheld
picturesque bits; the Hôtel of the Lions, with its low, pointed
arches on short, Saxon pillars, its iron gratings and its
perpetual roar; shooting up above the whole, the scaleornamented
spire of the Ave-Maria; on the left, the house of
the Provost of Paris, flanked by four small towers, delicately
grooved, in the middle; at the extremity, the Hôtel Saint-Pol,
properly speaking, with its multiplied façades, its successive
enrichments from the time of Charles V., the hybrid excrescences,
with which the fancy of the architects had loaded it
during the last two centuries, with all the apses of its chapels,
all the gables of its galleries, a thousand weathercocks for the
four winds, and its two lofty contiguous towers, whose conical
roof, surrounded by battlements at its base, looked like those
pointed caps which have their edges turned up.

Continuing to mount the stories of this amphitheatre of
palaces spread out afar upon the ground, after crossing a deep
ravine hollowed out of the roofs in the Town, which marked
the passage of the Rue Saint-Antoine, the eye reached the
house of Angoulême, a vast construction of many epochs,
where there were perfectly new and very white parts, which
melted no better into the whole than a red patch on a blue
doublet. Nevertheless, the remarkably pointed and lofty
roof of the modern palace, bristling with carved eaves,
covered with sheets of lead, where coiled a thousand fantastic
arabesques of sparkling incrustations of gilded bronze, that
roof, so curiously damascened, darted upwards gracefully from
the midst of the brown ruins of the ancient edifice; whose
huge and ancient towers, rounded by age like casks, sinking
together with old age, and rending themselves from top to
bottom, resembled great bellies unbuttoned. Behind rose the
forest of spires of the Palais des Tournelles. Not a view in
the world, either at Chambord or at the Alhambra, is more
magic, more aerial, more enchanting, than that thicket of
spires, tiny bell towers, chimneys, weather-vanes, winding
staircases, lanterns through which the daylight makes its way,
which seem cut out at a blow, pavilions, spindle-shaped turrets,
or, as they were then called, tournelles all differing in
form, in height, and attitude. One would have pronounced
it a gigantic stone chess-board.

To the right of the Tournelles, that truss of enormous
towers, black as ink, running into each other and tied, as it
were, by a circular moat; that donjon keep, much more pierced
with loopholes than with windows; that drawbridge, always
raised; that portcullis, always lowered,--is the Bastille.
Those sorts of black beaks which project from between the
battlements, and which you take from a distance to be cave
spouts, are cannons.

Beneath them, at the foot of the formidable edifice, behold
the Porte Sainte-Antoine, buried between its two towers.

Beyond the Tournelles, as far as the wall of Charles V.,
spread out, with rich compartments of verdure and of flowers,
a velvet carpet of cultivated land and royal parks, in the
midst of which one recognized, by its labyrinth of trees and
alleys, the famous Daedalus garden which Louis XI. had given
to Coictier. The doctor's observatory rose above the labyrinth
like a great isolated column, with a tiny house for a
capital. Terrible astrologies took place in that laboratory.

There to-day is the Place Royale.

As we have just said, the quarter of the palace, of which
we have just endeavored to give the reader some idea by
indicating only the chief points, filled the angle which Charles
V.'s wall made with the Seine on the east. The centre of
the Town was occupied by a pile of houses for the populace.
It was there, in fact, that the three bridges disgorged upon
the right bank, and bridges lead to the building of houses
rather than palaces. That congregation of bourgeois habitations,
pressed together like the cells in a hive, had a beauty of
its own. It is with the roofs of a capital as with the waves
of the sea,--they are grand. First the streets, crossed and
entangled, forming a hundred amusing figures in the block;
around the market-place, it was like a star with a thousand

The Rues Saint-Denis and Saint-Martin, with their innumerable
ramifications, rose one after the other, like trees
intertwining their branches; and then the tortuous lines,
the Rues de la Plâtrerie, de la Verrerie, de la Tixeranderie,
etc., meandered over all. There were also fine edifices which
pierced the petrified undulations of that sea of gables. At
the head of the Pont aux Changeurs, behind which one beheld
the Seine foaming beneath the wheels of the Pont aux
Meuniers, there was the Chalelet, no longer a Roman tower, as
under Julian the Apostate, but a feudal tower of the thirteenth
century, and of a stone so hard that the pickaxe could
not break away so much as the thickness of the fist in a space
of three hours; there was the rich square bell tower of Saint-
Jacques de la Boucherie, with its angles all frothing with
carvings, already admirable, although it was not finished in
the fifteenth century. (It lacked, in particular, the four
monsters, which, still perched to-day on the corners of its
roof, have the air of so many sphinxes who are propounding to
new Paris the riddle of the ancient Paris. Rault, the sculptor,
only placed them in position in 1526, and received twenty
francs for his pains.) There was the Maison-aux-Piliers, the
Pillar House, opening upon that Place de Grève of which we
have given the reader some idea; there was Saint-Gervais,
which a front in good taste" has since spoiled; Saint-Méry
whose ancient pointed arches were still almost round arches;
Saint-Jeanwhose magnificent spire was proverbial; there
were twenty other monumentswhich did not disdain to bury
their wonders in that chaos of blackdeepnarrow streets.
Add the crosses of carved stonemore lavishly scattered
through the squares than even the gibbets; the cemetery of
the Innocentswhose architectural wall could be seen in the
distance above the roofs; the pillory of the Marketswhose
top was visible between two chimneys of the Rue de la
Cossonnerie; the ladder of the Croix-du-Trahoirin its square
always black with people; the circular buildings of the wheat

mart; the fragments of Philip Augustus's ancient wall
which could be made out here and theredrowned among the
housesits towers gnawed by ivyits gates in ruinswith
crumbling and deformed stretches of wall; the quay with its
thousand shopsand its bloody knacker's yards; the Seine
encumbered with boatsfrom the Port au Foin to Port-l'Evêque
and you will have a confused picture of what the central
trapezium of the Town was like in 1482.

With these two quartersone of Hôtelsthe other of houses
the third feature of aspect presented by the city was a long
zone of abbeyswhich bordered it in nearly the whole of its
circumferencefrom the rising to the setting sunandbehind
the circle of fortifications which hemmed in Parisformed a
second interior enclosure of convents and chapels. Thus
immediately adjoining the park des Tournellesbetween the
Rue Saint-Antoine and the Vielle Rue du Templethere stood
Sainte-Catherinewith its immense cultivated landswhich
were terminated only by the wall of Paris. Between the old
and the new Rue du Templethere was the Templea sinister
group of towersloftyerectand isolated in the middle of a
vastbattlemented enclosure. Between the Rue Neuve-du-
Temple and the Rue Saint-Martinthere was the Abbey of
Saint-Martinin the midst of its gardensa superb fortified
churchwhose girdle of towerswhose diadem of bell towers
yielded in force and splendor only to Saint-Germain des
Prés. Between the Rue Saint-Martin and the Rue Saint-
Denisspread the enclosure of the Trinité.

Lastlybetween the Rue Saint-Denisand the Rue Montorgueil
stood the Filles-Dieu. On one sidethe rotting roofs
and unpaved enclosure of the Cour des Miracles could be
descried. It was the sole profane ring which was linked to
that devout chain of convents.

Finallythe fourth compartmentwhich stretched itself out
in the agglomeration of the roofs on the right bankand
which occupied the western angle of the enclosureand the
banks of the river down streamwas a fresh cluster of palaces
and Hôtels pressed close about the base of the Louvre. The
old Louvre of Philip Augustusthat immense edifice whose
great tower rallied about it three and twenty chief towersnot
to reckon the lesser towersseemed from a distance to be
enshrined in the Gothic roofs of the Hôtel d'Alençonand the
Petit-Bourbon. This hydra of towersgiant guardian of
Pariswith its four and twenty headsalways erectwith its
monstrous haunchesloaded or scaled with slatesand all
streaming with metallic reflectionsterminated with wonderful
effect the configuration of the Town towards the west.

Thus an immense blockwhich the Romans called ~iusula~or
islandof bourgeois housesflanked on the right and the left
by two blocks of palacescrownedthe one by the Louvrethe
other by the Tournellesbordered on the north by a long
girdle of abbeys and cultivated enclosuresall amalgamated
and melted together in one view; upon these thousands of
edificeswhose tiled and slated roofs outlined upon each other
so many fantastic chainsthe bell towerstattooedflutedand
ornamented with twisted bandsof the four and forty churches
on the right bank; myriads of cross streets; for boundary on
one sidean enclosure of lofty walls with square towers (that
of the University had round towers); on the otherthe Seine
cut by bridgesand bearing on its bosom a multitude of boats;
behold the Town of Paris in the fifteenth century.

Beyond the wallsseveral suburban villages pressed close
about the gatesbut less numerous and more scattered than
those of the University. Behind the Bastille there were
twenty hovels clustered round the curious sculptures of the
Croix-Faubin and the flying buttresses of the Abbey of Saint-
Antoine des Champs; then Popincourtlost amid wheat fields;
then la Courtillea merry village of wine-shops; the hamlet
of Saint-Laurent with its church whose bell towerfrom afar
seemed to add itself to the pointed towers of the Porte Saint-
Martin; the Faubourg Saint-Deniswith the vast enclosure
of Saint-Ladre; beyond the Montmartre Gatethe Grange-
Batelièreencircled with white walls; behind itwith its
chalky slopesMontmartrewhich had then almost as many
churches as windmillsand which has kept only the windmills
for society no longer demands anything but bread for the
body. Lastlybeyond the Louvrethe Faubourg Saint-
Honoréalready considerable at that timecould be seen
stretching away into the fieldsand Petit-Bretagne gleaming
greenand the Marché aux Pourceaux spreading abroadin
whose centre swelled the horrible apparatus used for boiling
counterfeiters. Between la Courtille and Saint-Laurentyour
eye had already noticedon the summit of an eminence
crouching amid desert plainsa sort of edifice which
resembled from a distance a ruined colonnademounted upon
a basement with its foundation laid bare. This was neither
a Parthenonnor a temple of the Olympian Jupiter. It was

Nowif the enumeration of so many edificessummary as
we have endeavored to make ithas not shattered in the
reader's mind the general image of old Parisas we have
constructed itwe will recapitulate it in a few words. In
the centrethe island of the Cityresembling as to form an
enormous tortoiseand throwing out its bridges with tiles for
scales; like legs from beneath its gray shell of roofs. On the
leftthe monolithic trapeziumfirmdensebristlingof the
University; on the rightthe vast semicircle of the Town
much more intermixed with gardens and monuments. The
three blockscityuniversityand townmarbled with innumerable
streets. Across allthe Seinefoster-mother Seine,
as says Father Du Breulblocked with islandsbridgesand
boats. All about an immense plainpatched with a thousand
sorts of cultivated plotssown with fine villages. On the
its round tower and its square toweretc.; on the right
twenty othersfrom Conflans to Ville-l'Evêque. On the horizon
a border of hills arranged in a circle like the rim of the
basin. Finallyfar away to the eastVincennesand its
seven quadrangular towers to the southBicêtre and its
pointed turrets; to the northSaint-Denis and its spire; to
the westSaint Cloud and its donjon keep. Such was the
Paris which the ravenswho lived in 1482beheld from the
summits of the towers of Notre-Dame.

NeverthelessVoltaire said of this citythat "before Louis possessed but four fine monuments": the dome of
the Sorbonnethe Val-de-Grâcethe modern Louvreand I
know not what the fourth was--the Luxembourgperhaps.
FortunatelyVoltaire was the author of "Candide" in spite of
thisand in spite of thishe isamong all the men who have
followed each other in the long series of humanitythe one
who has best possessed the diabolical laugh. Moreoverthis
proves that one can be a fine geniusand yet understand nothing

of an art to which one does not belong. Did not Moliere
imagine that he was doing Raphael and Michael-Angelo a very
great honorby calling them "those Mignards of their age?"

Let us return to Paris and to the fifteenth century.

It was not then merely a handsome city; it was a homogeneous
cityan architectural and historical product of the
Middle Agesa chronicle in stone. It was a city formed of
two layers only; the Romanesque layer and the Gothic layer;
for the Roman layer had disappeared long beforewith the
exception of the Hot Baths of Julianwhere it still pierced
through the thick crust of the Middle Ages. As for the
Celtic layerno specimens were any longer to be foundeven
when sinking wells.

Fifty years laterwhen the Renaissance began to mingle
with this unity which was so severe and yet so variedthe
dazzling luxury of its fantasies and systemsits debasements
of Roman round archesGreek columnsand Gothic basesits
sculpture which was so tender and so idealits peculiar taste
for arabesques and acanthus leavesits architectural paganism
contemporary with LutherPariswas perhapsstill more beautiful
although less harmonious to the eyeand to the thought.

But this splendid moment lasted only for a short time; the
Renaissance was not impartial; it did not content itself with
buildingit wished to destroy; it is true that it required the
room. Thus Gothic Paris was complete only for a moment. Saint-
Jacques de la Boucherie had barely been completed when the
demolition of the old Louvre was begun.

After thatthe great city became more disfigured every day.
Gothic Parisbeneath which Roman Paris was effacedwas effaced in
its turn; but can any one say what Paris has replaced it?

There is the Paris of Catherine de Medicis at the Tuileries;*--the
Paris of Henri the Hôtel de Villetwo edifices
still in fine taste;--the Paris of Henri the Place
Royale: façades of brick with stone cornersand slated roofs
tri-colored houses;--the Paris of Louis the Val-de-
Grace: a crushed and squat architecturewith vaults like
basket-handlesand something indescribably pot-bellied in the
columnand thickset in the dome;--the Paris of Louis XIV.
in the Invalides: grandrichgildedcold;--the Paris of Louis Saint-Sulpice: volutesknots of ribbonclouds
vermicelli and chiccory leavesall in stone;--the Paris of Louis the Pantheon: Saint Peter of Romebadly copied (the
edifice is awkwardly heaped togetherwhich has not amended
its lines);--the Paris of the Republicin the School of
Medicine: a poor Greek and Roman tastewhich resembles the
Coliseum or the Parthenon as the constitution of the year III.
resembles the laws of Minos--it is called in architecture
the Messidor** taste;--the Paris of Napoleon in the Place
Vendome: this one is sublimea column of bronze made of
cannons;--the Paris of the Restorationat the Bourse: a
very white colonnade supporting a very smooth frieze; the
whole is square and cost twenty millions.

* We have seen with sorrow mingled with indignationthat it
is the intention to increaseto recastto make overthat is
to sayto destroy this admirable palace. The architects of our
day have too heavy a hand to touch these delicate works of the

Renaissance. We still cherish a hope that they will not dare.
Moreoverthis demolition of the Tuileries nowwould be not
only a brutal deed of violencewhich would make a drunken vandal
blush--it would be an act of treason. The Tuileries is not simply
a masterpiece of the art of the sixteenth centuryit is a page
of the history of the nineteenth. This palace no longer belongs
to the kingbut to the people. Let us leave it as it is. Our
revolution has twice set its seal upon its front. On one of its
two façadesthere are the cannon-balls of the 10th of August;
on the otherthe balls of the 29th of July. It is sacred.
ParisApril 11831. (Note to the fifth edition.)

** The tenth month of the French republican calendarfrom the
19th of June to the 18th of July.

To each of these characteristic monuments there is attached
by a similarity of tastefashionand attitudea certain
number of houses scattered about in different quarters and which
the eyes of the connoisseur easily distinguishes and furnishes
with a date. When one knows how to lookone finds the
spirit of a centuryand the physiognomy of a kingeven in
the knocker on a door.

The Paris of the present day has thenno general physiognomy. It
is a collection of specimens of many centuriesand the finest have
disappeared. The capital grows only in housesand what houses!
At the rate at which Paris is now proceedingit will renew itself
every fifty years.

Thus the historical significance of its architecture is being
effaced every day. Monuments are becoming rarer and rarer
and one seems to see them gradually engulfedby the flood
of houses. Our fathers had a Paris of stone; our sons will
have one of plaster.

So far as the modern monuments of new Paris are concerned
we would gladly be excused from mentioning them. It is
not that we do not admire them as they deserve. The
Sainte-Geneviève of M. Soufflot is certainly the finest Savoy
cake that has ever been made in stone. The Palace of the
Legion of Honor is also a very distinguished bit of pastry.
The dome of the wheat market is an English jockey capon a
grand scale. The towers of Saint-Sulpice are two huge clarinets
and the form is as good as any other; the telegraphcontorted
and grimacingforms an admirable accident upon their roofs.
Saint-Roch has a door whichfor magnificenceis comparable only
to that of Saint-Thomas d'Aquin. It hasalsoa crucifixion in
high reliefin a cellarwith a sun of gilded wood. These things
are fairly marvellous. The lantern of the labyrinth of the Jardin
des Plantes is also very ingenious.

As for the Palace of the Boursewhich is Greek as to its
colonnadeRoman in the round arches of its doors and windows
of the Renaissance by virtue of its flattened vaultit is
indubitably a very correct and very pure monument; the proof
is that it is crowned with an atticsuch as was never seen in
Athensa beautifulstraight linegracefully broken here and
there by stovepipes. Let us add that if it is according to
rule that the architecture of a building should be adapted to
its purpose in such a manner that this purpose shall be
immediately apparent from the mere aspect of the buildingone
cannot be too much amazed at a structure which might be
indifferently--the palace of a kinga chamber of communes

a town-halla collegea riding-schoolan academya
warehousea court-housea museuma barracksa sepulchrea
templeor a theatre. Howeverit is an Exchange. An edifice
ought to bemoreoversuitable to the climate. This one
is evidently constructed expressly for our cold and rainy skies.
It has a roof almost as flat as roofs in the Eastwhich involves
sweeping the roof in winterwhen it snows; and of course
roofs are made to be swept. As for its purposeof which we
just spokeit fulfils it to a marvel; it is a bourse in France
as it would have been a temple in Greece. It is true that the
architect was at a good deal of trouble to conceal the clock
facewhich would have destroyed the purity of the fine lines
of the façade; buton the other handwe have that colonnade
which circles round the edifice and under whichon days of
high religious ceremonythe theories of the stock-brokers and
the courtiers of commerce can be developed so majestically.

These are very superb structures. Let us add a quantity
of fineamusingand varied streetslike the Rue de Rivoli
and I do not despair of Paris presenting to the eyewhen
viewed from a balloonthat richness of linethat opulence
of detailthat diversity of aspectthat grandiose something
in the simpleand unexpected in the beautifulwhich
characterizes a checker-board.

Howeveradmirable as the Paris of to-day may seem to
youreconstruct the Paris of the fifteenth centurycall it up
before you in thought; look at the sky athwart that surprising
forest of spirestowersand belfries; spread out in the
centre of the citytear away at the point of the islandsfold
at the arches of the bridgesthe Seinewith its broad green
and yellow expansesmore variable than the skin of a serpent;
project clearly against an azure horizon the Gothic profile of
this ancient Paris. Make its contour float in a winter's mist
which clings to its numerous chimneys; drown it in profound
night and watch the odd play of lights and shadows in that
sombre labyrinth of edifices; cast upon it a ray of light which
shall vaguely outline it and cause to emerge from the fog the
great heads of the towers; or take that black silhouette
againenliven with shadow the thousand acute angles of the
spires and gablesand make it start out more toothed than a
shark's jaw against a copper-colored western sky--and
then compare.

And if you wish to receive of the ancient city an impression
with which the modern one can no longer furnish youclimb--on
the morning of some grand festivalbeneath the rising sun of
Easter or of Pentecost--climb upon some elevated pointwhence
you command the entire capital; and be present at the wakening
of the chimes. Beholdat a signal given from heavenfor it
is the sun which gives itall those churches quiver
simultaneously. First come scattered strokesrunning from
one church to anotheras when musicians give warning that
they are about to begin. Thenall at oncebehold!--for it
seems at timesas though the ear also possessed a sight of its
own--beholdrising from each bell towersomething like a
column of sounda cloud of harmony. Firstthe vibration of
each bell mounts straight upwardspure andso to speak
isolated from the othersinto the splendid morning sky; then
little by littleas they swell they melt togethermingle
are lost in each otherand amalgamate in a magnificent concert.
It is no longer anything but a mass of sonorous vibrations
incessantly sent forth from the numerous belfries; floats
undulatesboundswhirls over the cityand prolongs far beyond

the horizon the deafening circle of its oscillations.

Neverthelessthis sea of harmony is not a chaos; great and
profound as it isit has not lost its transparency; you behold
the windings of each group of notes which escapes from the
belfries. You can follow the dialogueby turns grave and
shrillof the treble and the bass; you can see the octaves
leap from one tower to another; you watch them spring forth
wingedlightand whistlingfrom the silver bellto fall
broken and limping from the bell of wood; you admire in their
midst the rich gamut which incessantly ascends and re-ascends
the seven bells of Saint-Eustache; you see light and rapid
notes running across itexecuting three or four luminous
zigzagsand vanishing like flashes of lightning. Yonder is
the Abbey of Saint-Martina shrillcracked singer; here the
gruff and gloomy voice of the Bastille; at the other end
the great tower of the Louvrewith its bass. The royal
chime of the palace scatters on all sidesand without
relaxationresplendent trillsupon which fallat regular
intervalsthe heavy strokes from the belfry of Notre-Dame
which makes them sparkle like the anvil under the hammer. At
intervals you behold the passage of sounds of all forms which
come from the triple peal of Saint-Germaine des Prés. Then
againfrom time to timethis mass of sublime noises opens
and gives passage to the beats of the Ave Mariawhich bursts
forth and sparkles like an aigrette of stars. Belowin the
very depths of the concertyou confusedly distinguish the
interior chanting of the churcheswhich exhales through the
vibrating pores of their vaulted roofs.

Assuredlythis is an opera which it is worth the trouble of
listening to. Ordinarilythe noise which escapes from Paris
by day is the city speaking; by nightit is the city breathing;
in this caseit is the city singing. Lend an earthen
to this concert of bell towers; spread over all the murmur
of half a million menthe eternal plaint of the riverthe
infinite breathings of the windthe grave and distant quartette
of the four forests arranged upon the hillson the horizon
like immense stacks of organ pipes; extinguishas in a half
shadeall that is too hoarse and too shrill about the central
chimeand say whether you know anything in the world more
rich and joyfulmore goldenmore dazzlingthan this tumult
of bells and chimes;--than this furnace of music--than
these ten thousand brazen voices chanting simultaneously in
the flutes of stonethree hundred feet high--than this city
which is no longer anything but an orchestra--than this
symphony which produces the noise of a tempest.



Sixteen years previous to the epoch when this story takes
placeone fine morningon Quasimodo Sundaya living creature
had been depositedafter massin the church of Notre-
Dameon the wooden bed securely fixed in the vestibule on
the leftopposite that great image of Saint Christopher
which the figure of Messire Antoine des Essartschevalier
carved in stonehad been gazing at on his knees since 1413
when they took it into their heads to overthrow the saint and
the faithful follower. Upon this bed of wood it was customary
to expose foundlings for public charity. Whoever cared
to take them did so. In front of the wooden bed was a copper
basin for alms.

The sort of living being which lay upon that plank on the
morning of Quasimodoin the year of the Lord1467appeared
to excite to a high degreethe curiosity of the numerous
group which had congregated about the wooden bed. The
group was formed for the most part of the fair sex. Hardly
any one was there except old women.

In the first rowand among those who were most bent over
the bedfour were noticeablewhofrom their gray ~cagoule~
a sort of cassockwere recognizable as attached to some devout
sisterhood. I do not see why history has not transmitted to
posterity the names of these four discreet and venerable
damsels. They were Agnes la HermeJehanne de la Tarme
Henriette la GaultièreGauchère la Violetteall four widows
all four dames of the Chapel Etienne Haudrywho had quitted
their house with the permission of their mistressand in
conformity with the statutes of Pierre d'Aillyin order to
come and hear the sermon.

Howeverif these good Haudriettes werefor the moment
complying with the statutes of Pierre d'Aillythey certainly
violated with joy those of Michel de Bracheand the Cardinal
of Pisawhich so inhumanly enjoined silence upon them.

What is this, sister?said Agnes to Gauchèregazing at
the little creature exposedwhich was screaming and writhing
on the wooden bedterrified by so many glances.

What is to become of us,said Jehanneif that is the
way children are made now?

I'm not learned in the matter of children,resumed Agnes
but it must be a sin to look at this one.

'Tis not a child, Agnes.

'Tis an abortion of a monkey,remarked Gauchère.

'Tis a miracle,interposed Henriette la Gaultière.

Then,remarked Agnesit is the third since the Sunday
of the ~Loetare~: for, in less than a week, we had the miracle
of the mocker of pilgrims divinely punished by Notre-Dame
d'Aubervilliers, and that was the second miracle within
a month.

This pretended foundling is a real monster of abomination,
resumed Jehanne.

He yells loud enough to deafen a chanter,continued Gauchère.

Hold your tongue, you little howler!

To think that Monsieur of Reims sent this enormity
to Monsieur of Paris,added la Gaultièreclasping
her hands.

I imagine,said Agnes la Hermethat it is a beast, an
animal,--the fruit of--a Jew and a sow; something not Christian,
in short, which ought to be thrown into the fire or into
the water.

I really hope,resumed la Gaultièrethat nobody will
apply for it.

Ah, good heavens!exclaimed Agnes; "those poor nurses
yonder in the foundling asylumwhich forms the lower end of
the lane as you go to the riverjust beside Monseigneur the
bishop! what if this little monster were to be carried to them
to suckle? I'd rather give suck to a vampire."

How innocent that poor la Herme is!resumed Jehanne; "don't
you seesisterthat this little monster is at least four years
oldand that he would have less appetite for your breast than
for a turnspit."

The "little monster" we should find it difficult
ourselves to describe him otherwisewasin factnot a new-born
child. It was a very angular and very lively little mass
imprisoned in its linen sackstamped with the cipher of Messire
Guillaume Chartierthen bishop of Pariswith a head
projecting. That head was deformed enough; one beheld only a
forest of red hairone eyea mouthand teeth. The eye
weptthe mouth criedand the teeth seemed to ask only to
be allowed to bite. The whole struggled in the sackto the
great consternation of the crowdwhich increased and was
renewed incessantly around it.

Dame Aloise de Gondelauriera rich and noble womanwho
held by the hand a pretty girl about five or six years of
ageand dragged a long veil aboutsuspended to the golden horn
of her headdresshalted as she passed the wooden bedand gazed
for a moment at the wretched creaturewhile her charming little
daughterFleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurierspelled out with her
tinypretty fingerthe permanent inscription attached to the
wooden bed: "Foundlings."

Really,said the dameturning away in disgustI thought that
they only exposed children here.

She turned her backthrowing into the basin a silver florin
which rang among the liardsand made the poor goodwives of
the chapel of Etienne Haudry open their eyes.

A moment laterthe grave and learned Robert Mistricolle
the king's protonotarypassedwith an enormous missal under
one arm and his wife on the other (Damoiselle Guillemette la
Mairesse)having thus by his side his two regulators--spiritual
and temporal.

Foundling!he saidafter examining the object; "found
apparentlyon the banks of the river Phlegethon."

One can only see one eye,observed Damoiselle Guillemette;
there is a wart on the other.

It's not a wart,returned Master Robert Mistricolleit
is an egg which contains another demon exactly similar, who
bears another little egg which contains another devil, and
so on.

How do you know that?asked Guillemette la Mairesse.

I know it pertinently,replied the protonotary.

Monsieur le protonotare,asked Gauchèrewhat do you
prognosticate of this pretended foundling?

The greatest misfortunes,replied Mistricolle.

Ah! good heavens!said an old woman among the spectators
and that besides our having had a considerable pestilence
last year, and that they say that the English are going
to disembark in a company at Harfleur.

Perhaps that will prevent the queen from coming to Paris
in the month of September,interposed another; "trade is so
bad already."

My opinion is,exclaimed Jehanne de la Tarmethat it
would be better for the louts of Paris, if this little magician
were put to bed on a fagot than on a plank.

A fine, flaming fagot,added the old woman.

It would be more prudent,said Mistricolle.

For several minutesa young priest had been listening to
the reasoning of the Haudriettes and the sentences of the
notary. He had a severe facewith a large browa profound
glance. He thrust the crowd silently asidescrutinized the
little magician,and stretched out his hand upon him. It was
high timefor all the devotees were already licking their chops
over the "fineflaming fagot."

I adopt this child,said the priest.

He took it in his cassock and carried it off. The spectators
followed him with frightened glances. A moment laterhe had
disappeared through the "Red Door which then led from the
church to the cloister.

When the first surprise was over, Jehanne de la Tarme
bent down to the ear of la Gaultière,-

I told you sosister--that young clerkMonsieur Claude
Frollois a sorcerer."



In factClaude Frollo was no common person.

He belonged to one of those middle-class families which
were called indifferentlyin the impertinent language of the
last centurythe high ~bourgeoise~ or the petty nobility. This
family had inherited from the brothers Paclet the fief of
Tirechappewhich was dependent upon the Bishop of Parisand
whose twenty-one houses had been in the thirteenth century
the object of so many suits before the official. As possessor
of this fiefClaude Frollo was one of the twenty-seven
seigneurs keeping claim to a manor in fee in Paris and its
suburbs; and for a long timehis name was to be seen inscribed
in this qualitybetween the Hôtel de Tancarvillebelonging
to Master François Le Rezand the college of Toursin the
records deposited at Saint Martin des Champs.

Claude Frollo had been destined from infancyby his parents
to the ecclesiastical profession. He had been taught to
read in Latin; he had been trained to keep his eyes on the
ground and to speak low. While still a childhis father had
cloistered him in the college of Torchi in the University.
There it was that he had grown upon the missal and the

Moreoverhe was a sadgraveserious childwho studied
ardentlyand learned quickly; he never uttered a loud cry in
recreation hourmixed but little in the bacchanals of the Rue
du Fouarredid not know what it was to ~dare alapas et capillos
laniare~and had cut no figure in that revolt of 1463which
the annalists register gravelyunder the title of "The sixth
trouble of the University." He seldom rallied the poor
students of Montaigu on the ~cappettes~ from which they derived
their nameor the bursars of the college of Dormans on their
shaved tonsureand their surtout parti-colored of bluish-green
blueand violet cloth~azurini coloris et bruni~as says the
charter of the Cardinal des Quatre-Couronnes.

On the other handhe was assiduous at the great and the
small schools of the Rue Saint Jean de Beauvais. The first
pupil whom the Abbé de Saint Pierre de Valat the moment
of beginning his reading on canon lawalways perceivedglued
to a pillar of the school Saint-Vendregesileopposite his
rostrumwas Claude Frolloarmed with his horn ink-bottlebiting
his penscribbling on his threadbare kneeandin winter
blowing on his fingers. The first auditor whom Messire Miles
d'Isliersdoctor in decretalssaw arrive every Monday morning
all breathlessat the opening of the gates of the school
of the Chef-Saint-Deniswas Claude Frollo. Thusat sixteen
years of agethe young clerk might have held his ownin
mystical theologyagainst a father of the church; in canonical
theologyagainst a father of the councils; in scholastic
theologyagainst a doctor of Sorbonne.

Theology conqueredhe had plunged into decretals. From
the "Master of Sentences he had passed to the Capitularies
of Charlemagne;" and he had devoured in successionin his
appetite for sciencedecretals upon decretalsthose of
TheodoreBishop of Hispalus; those of BouchardBishop of
Worms; those of YvesBishop of Chartres; next the decretal
of Gratianwhich succeeded the capitularies of Charlemagne;
then the collection of Gregory IX.; then the Epistle of
~Superspecula~of Honorius III. He rendered clear and
familiar to himself that vast and tumultuous period of civil law
and canon law in conflict and at strife with each otherin the
chaos of the Middle Ages--a period which Bishop Theodore
opens in 618and which Pope Gregory closes in 1227.

Decretals digestedhe flung himself upon medicineon the
liberal arts. He studied the science of herbsthe science of
unguents; he became an expert in fevers and in contusions
in sprains and abcesses. Jacques d' Espars would have
received him as a physician; Richard Hellainas a surgeon.
He also passed through all the degrees of licentiatemaster
and doctor of arts. He studied the languagesLatinGreek
Hebrewa triple sanctuary then very little frequented. His
was a veritable fever for acquiring and hoardingin the matter
of science. At the age of eighteenhe had made his way
through the four faculties; it seemed to the young man that
life had but one sole object: learning.

It was towards this epochthat the excessive heat of the
summer of 1466 caused that grand outburst of the plague
which carried off more than forty thousand souls in the
vicomty of Parisand among othersas Jean de Troyes states
Master Arnoul, astrologer to the king, who was a very
fine man, both wise and pleasant.The rumor spread in the
University that the Rue Tirechappe was especially devastated by
the malady. It was there that Claude's parents residedin
the midst of their fief. The young scholar rushed in great
alarm to the paternal mansion. When he entered ithe found
that both father and mother had died on the preceding day.
A very young brother of hiswho was in swaddling clothes
was still alive and crying abandoned in his cradle. This was
all that remained to Claude of his family; the young man
took the child under his arm and went off in a pensive mood.
Up to that momenthe had lived only in science; he now
began to live in life.

This catastrophe was a crisis in Claude's existence.
Orphanedthe eldesthead of the family at the age of nineteen
he felt himself rudely recalled from the reveries of school to
the realities of this world. Thenmoved with pityhe was
seized with passion and devotion towards that childhis
brother; a sweet and strange thing was a human affection
to himwho had hitherto loved his books alone.

This affection developed to a singular point; in a soul so
newit was like a first love. Separated since infancy from
his parentswhom he had hardly known; cloistered and immured
as it werein his books; eager above all things to study
and to learn; exclusively attentive up to that timeto his
intelligence which broadened in scienceto his imagination
which expanded in letters--the poor scholar had not yet had
time to feel the place of his heart.

This young brotherwithout mother or fatherthis little
child which had fallen abruptly from heaven into his arms
made a new man of him. He perceived that there was something
else in the world besides the speculations of the Sorbonne
and the verses of Homer; that man needed affections; that
life without tenderness and without love was only a set
of dryshriekingand rending wheels. Onlyhe imaginedfor
he was at the age when illusions are as yet replaced only by
illusionsthat the affections of blood and family were the sole
ones necessaryand that a little brother to love sufficed to fill
an entire existence.

He threw himselfthereforeinto the love for his little
Jehan with the passion of a character already profound
ardentconcentrated; that poor frail creatureprettyfair

hairedrosyand curly--that orphan with another orphan
for his only supporttouched him to the bottom of his heart;
and grave thinker as he washe set to meditating upon Jehan
with an infinite compassion. He kept watch and ward over
him as over something very fragileand very worthy of care.
He was more than a brother to the child; he became a mother
to him.

Little Jehan had lost his mother while he was still at the
breast; Claude gave him to a nurse. Besides the fief of
Tirechappehe had inherited from his father the fief of
Moulinwhich was a dependency of the square tower of Gentilly;
it was a mill on a hillnear the château of Winchestre
(Bicêtre). There was a miller's wife there who was nursing a
fine child; it was not far from the universityand Claude
carried the little Jehan to her in his own arms.

From that time forthfeeling that he had a burden to bear
he took life very seriously. The thought of his little brother
became not only his recreationbut the object of his studies.
He resolved to consecrate himself entirely to a future for
which he was responsible in the sight of Godand never to
have any other wifeany other child than the happiness and
fortune of his brother. Thereforehe attached himself more
closely than ever to the clerical profession. His meritshis
learninghis quality of immediate vassal of the Bishop of
Paristhrew the doors of the church wide open to him. At
the age of twentyby special dispensation of the Holy See
he was a priestand served as the youngest of the chaplains
of Notre-Dame the altar which is calledbecause of the late
mass which is said there~altare pigrorum~.

Thereplunged more deeply than ever in his dear books
which he quitted only to run for an hour to the fief of Moulin
this mixture of learning and austerityso rare at his agehad
promptly acquired for him the respect and admiration of the
monastery. From the cloisterhis reputation as a learned man
had passed to the peopleamong whom it had changed a little
a frequent occurrence at that timeinto reputation as a sorcerer.

It was at the moment when he was returningon Quasimodo
dayfrom saying his mass at the Altar of the Lazywhich was
by the side of the door leading to the nave on the rightnear
the image of the Virginthat his attention had been attracted
by the group of old women chattering around the bed for

Then it was that he approached the unhappy little creature
which was so hated and so menaced. That distressthat
deformitythat abandonmentthe thought of his young brother
the idea which suddenly occurred to himthat if he were to
diehis dear little Jehan might also be flung miserably on the
plank for foundlings--all this had gone to his heart
simultaneously; a great pity had moved in himand he had
carried off the child.

When he removed the child from the sackhe found it greatly
deformedin very sooth. The poor little wretch had a wart on
his left eyehis head placed directly on his shouldershis
spinal column was crookedhis breast bone prominentand his
legs bowed; but he appeared to be lively; and although it was
impossible to say in what language he lispedhis cry indicated
considerable force and health. Claude's compassion increased
at the sight of this ugliness; and he made a vow in his heart

to rear the child for the love of his brotherin order that
whatever might be the future faults of the little Jehanhe
should have beside him that charity done for his sake. It
was a sort of investment of good workswhich he was effecting
in the name of his young brother; it was a stock of good works
which he wished to amass in advance for himin case the little
rogue should some day find himself short of that cointhe only
sort which is received at the toll-bar of paradise.

He baptized his adopted childand gave him the name of
Quasimodoeither because he desired thereby to mark the day
when he had found himor because he wished to designate by
that name to what a degree the poor little creature was
incompleteand hardly sketched out. In factQuasimodo
blindhunchbackedknock-kneedwas only an "almost."



Nowin 1482Quasimodo had grown up. He had become a
few years previously the bellringer of Notre-Damethanks to
his father by adoptionClaude Frollo--who had become archdeacon
of Josasthanks to his suzerainMessire Louis de Beaumont--who
had become Bishop of Parisat the death of Guillaume Chartier in
1472thanks to his patronOlivier Le Daimbarber to Louis XI.
king by the grace of God.

So Quasimodo was the ringer of the chimes of Notre-Dame.

In the course of time there had been formed a certain
peculiarly intimate bond which united the ringer to the church.
Separated forever from the worldby the double fatality of
his unknown birth and his natural deformityimprisoned from
his infancy in that impassable double circlethe poor wretch
had grown used to seeing nothing in this world beyond the
religious walls which had received him under their shadow.
Notre-Dame had been to him successivelyas he grew up and
developedthe eggthe nestthe housethe countrythe

There was certainly a sort of mysterious and pre-existing
harmony between this creature and this church. Whenstill
a little fellowhe had dragged himself tortuously and by jerks
beneath the shadows of its vaultshe seemedwith his human
face and his bestial limbsthe natural reptile of that humid
and sombre pavementupon which the shadow of the Romanesque
capitals cast so many strange forms.

Later onthe first time that he caught holdmechanically
of the ropes to the towersand hung suspended from them
and set the bell to clangingit produced upon his adopted
fatherClaudethe effect of a child whose tongue is unloosed
and who begins to speak.

It is thus thatlittle by littledeveloping always in
sympathy with the cathedralliving theresleeping therehardly
ever leaving itsubject every hour to the mysterious impress
he came to resemble ithe incrusted himself in itso to speak

and became an integral part of it. His salient angles fitted
into the retreating angles of the cathedral (if we may be
allowed this figure of speech)and he seemed not only its
inhabitant but more than thatits natural tenant. One might
almost say that he had assumed its formas the snail takes on
the form of its shell. It was his dwellinghis holehis envelope.
There existed between him and the old church so profound an
instinctive sympathyso many magnetic affinitiesso many
material affinitiesthat he adhered to it somewhat as a
tortoise adheres to its shell. The rough and wrinkled cathedral
was his shell.

It is useless to warn the reader not to take literally all the
similes which we are obliged to employ here to express the
singularsymmetricaldirectalmost consubstantial union of a
man and an edifice. It is equally unnecessary to state to what
a degree that whole cathedral was familiar to himafter so
long and so intimate a cohabitation. That dwelling was
peculiar to him. It had no depths to which Quasimodo had not
penetratedno height which he had not scaled. He often
climbed many stones up the frontaided solely by the uneven
points of the carving. The towerson whose exterior
surface he was frequently seen clamberinglike a lizard gliding
along a perpendicular wallthose two gigantic twinsso
loftyso menacingso formidablepossessed for him neither
vertigonor terrornor shocks of amazement.

To see them so gentle under his handso easy to scaleone
would have said that he had tamed them. By dint of leaping
climbinggambolling amid the abysses of the gigantic cathedral
he had becomein some sorta monkey and a goatlike
the Calabrian child who swims before he walksand plays with
the sea while still a babe.

Moreoverit was not his body alone which seemed fashioned
after the Cathedralbut his mind also. In what condition
was that mind? What bent had it contractedwhat form
had it assumed beneath that knotted envelopein that savage
life? This it would be hard to determine. Quasimodo had
been born one-eyedhunchbackedlame. It was with great
difficultyand by dint of great patience that Claude Frollo had
succeeded in teaching him to talk. But a fatality was
attached to the poor foundling. Bellringer of Notre-Dame at
the age of fourteena new infirmity had come to complete
his misfortunes: the bells had broken the drums of his ears;
he had become deaf. The only gate which nature had left
wide open for him had been abruptly closedand forever.

In closingit had cut off the only ray of joy and of light
which still made its way into the soul of Quasimodo. His
soul fell into profound night. The wretched being's misery
became as incurable and as complete as his deformity. Let us
add that his deafness rendered him to some extent dumb.
Forin order not to make others laughthe very moment that
he found himself to be deafhe resolved upon a silence which
he only broke when he was alone. He voluntarily tied that
tongue which Claude Frollo had taken so much pains to unloose.
Henceit came aboutthat when necessity constrained
him to speakhis tongue was torpidawkwardand like a door
whose hinges have grown rusty.

If now we were to try to penetrate to the soul of Quasimodo
through that thickhard rind; if we could sound the depths
of that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us

to look with a torch behind those non-transparent organs
to explore the shadowy interior of that opaque creatureto
elucidate his obscure cornershis absurd no-thoroughfaresand
suddenly to cast a vivid light upon the soul enchained at the
extremity of that cavewe shouldno doubtfind the unhappy
Psyche in some poorcrampedand ricketty attitudelike
those prisoners beneath the Leads of Venicewho grew old
bent double in a stone box which was both too low and too
short for them.

It is certain that the mind becomes atrophied in a defective
body. Quasimodo was barely conscious of a soul cast in his
own imagemoving blindly within him. The impressions of
objects underwent a considerable refraction before reaching
his mind. His brain was a peculiar medium; the ideas which
passed through it issued forth completely distorted. The
reflection which resulted from this refraction wasnecessarily
divergent and perverted.

Hence a thousand optical illusionsa thousand aberrations
of judgmenta thousand deviationsin which his thought
strayednow madnow idiotic.

The first effect of this fatal organization was to trouble the
glance which he cast upon things. He received hardly any
immediate perception of them. The external world seemed
much farther away to him than it does to us.

The second effect of his misfortune was to render him malicious.

He was maliciousin factbecause he was savage; he was
savage because he was ugly. There was logic in his natureas
there is in ours.

His strengthso extraordinarily developedwas a cause of
still greater malevolence: "~Malus puer robustus~ says

This justice must, however be rendered to him. Malevolence
was not, perhaps, innate in him. From his very first
steps among men, he had felt himself, later on he had seen
himself, spewed out, blasted, rejected. Human words were,
for him, always a raillery or a malediction. As he grew up,
he had found nothing but hatred around him. He had caught
the general malevolence. He had picked up the weapon with
which he had been wounded.

After all, he turned his face towards men only with
reluctance; his cathedral was sufficient for him. It was peopled
with marble figures,--kings, saints, bishops,--who at least
did not burst out laughing in his face, and who gazed upon
him only with tranquillity and kindliness. The other statues,
those of the monsters and demons, cherished no hatred for
him, Quasimodo. He resembled them too much for that.
They seemed rather, to be scoffing at other men. The saints
were his friends, and blessed him; the monsters were his
friends and guarded him. So he held long communion with
them. He sometimes passed whole hours crouching before
one of these statues, in solitary conversation with it. If any
one came, he fled like a lover surprised in his serenade.

And the cathedral was not only society for him, but the
universe, and all nature beside. He dreamed of no other
hedgerows than the painted windows, always in flower; no

other shade than that of the foliage of stone which spread
out, loaded with birds, in the tufts of the Saxon capitals; of
no other mountains than the colossal towers of the church; of
no other ocean than Paris, roaring at their bases.

What he loved above all else in the maternal edifice, that
which aroused his soul, and made it open its poor wings,
which it kept so miserably folded in its cavern, that which
sometimes rendered him even happy, was the bells. He
loved them, fondled them, talked to them, understood them.
From the chime in the spire, over the intersection of the aisles
and nave, to the great bell of the front, he cherished a
tenderness for them all. The central spire and the two towers
were to him as three great cages, whose birds, reared by
himself, sang for him alone. Yet it was these very bells which
had made him deaf; but mothers often love best that child
which has caused them the most suffering.

It is true that their voice was the only one which he could
still hear. On this score, the big bell was his beloved. It
was she whom he preferred out of all that family of noisy
girls which bustled above him, on festival days. This bell
was named Marie. She was alone in the southern tower, with
her sister Jacqueline, a bell of lesser size, shut up in a smaller
cage beside hers. This Jacqueline was so called from the
name of the wife of Jean Montagu, who had given it to the
church, which had not prevented his going and figuring without
his head at Montfauçon. In the second tower there were
six other bells, and, finally, six smaller ones inhabited the
belfry over the crossing, with the wooden bell, which rang
only between after dinner on Good Friday and the morning of
the day before Easter. So Quasimodo had fifteen bells in his
seraglio; but big Marie was his favorite.

No idea can be formed of his delight on days when the
grand peal was sounded. At the moment when the archdeacon
dismissed him, and said, Go!" he mounted the spiral
staircase of the clock tower faster than any one else could
have descended it. He entered perfectly breathless into the
aerial chamber of the great bell; he gazed at her a moment
devoutly and lovingly; then he gently addressed her and
patted her with his handlike a good horsewhich is about
to set out on a long journey. He pitied her for the trouble
that she was about to suffer. After these first caresseshe
shouted to his assistantsplaced in the lower story of the
towerto begin. They grasped the ropesthe wheel creaked
the enormous capsule of metal started slowly into motion.
Quasimodo followed it with his glance and trembled. The
first shock of the clapper and the brazen wall made the
framework upon which it was mounted quiver. Quasimodo
vibrated with the bell.

Vah!he criedwith a senseless burst of laughter. However
the movement of the bass was acceleratedandin proportion
as it described a wider angleQuasimodo's eye opened
also more and more widelyphosphoric and flaming. At
length the grand peal began; the whole tower trembled;
woodworkleadscut stonesall groaned at oncefrom the
piles of the foundation to the trefoils of its summit. Then
Quasimodo boiled and frothed; he went and came; he trembled
from head to foot with the tower. The bellfurious
running riotpresented to the two walls of the tower
alternately its brazen throatwhence escaped that tempestuous
breathwhich is audible leagues away. Quasimodo stationed

himself in front of this open throat; he crouched and rose
with the oscillations of the bellbreathed in this overwhelming
breathgazed by turns at the deep placewhich swarmed
with peopletwo hundred feet below himand at that enormous
brazen tongue which camesecond after secondto howl
in his ear.

It was the only speech which he understoodthe only sound
which broke for him the universal silence. He swelled out
in it as a bird does in the sun. All of a suddenthe frenzy
of the bell seized upon him; his look became extraordinary;
he lay in wait for the great bell as it passedas a spider lies
in wait for a flyand flung himself abruptly upon itwith
might and main. Thensuspended above the abyssborne to
and fro by the formidable swinging of the bellhe seized the
brazen monster by the ear-lapspressed it between both knees
spurred it on with his heelsand redoubled the fury of the
peal with the whole shock and weight of his body. Meanwhile
the tower trembled; he shrieked and gnashed his teeth
his red hair rose erecthis breast heaving like a bellowshis
eye flashed flamesthe monstrous bell neighedpantingbeneath
him; and then it was no longer the great bell of Notre-
Dame nor Quasimodo: it was a dreama whirlwinda tempest
dizziness mounted astride of noise; a spirit clinging to a flying
cruppera strange centaurhalf manhalf bell; a sort of
horrible Astolphusborne away upon a prodigious hippogriff
of living bronze.

The presence of this extraordinary being causedas it were
a breath of life to circulate throughout the entire cathedral.
It seemed as though there escaped from himat least according
to the growing superstitions of the crowda mysterious
emanation which animated all the stones of Notre-Dameand
made the deep bowels of the ancient church to palpitate. It
sufficed for people to know that he was thereto make them
believe that they beheld the thousand statues of the galleries
and the fronts in motion. And the cathedral did indeed seem
a docile and obedient creature beneath his hand; it waited on
his will to raise its great voice; it was possessed and filled
with Quasimodoas with a familiar spirit. One would have
said that he made the immense edifice breathe. He was
everywhere about it; in facthe multiplied himself on all
points of the structure. Now one perceived with affright at
the very top of one of the towersa fantastic dwarf climbing
writhingcrawling on all foursdescending outside above the
abyssleaping from projection to projectionand going to
ransack the belly of some sculptured gorgon; it was Quasimodo
dislodging the crows. Againin some obscure corner of
the church one came in contact with a sort of living chimera
crouching and scowling; it was Quasimodo engaged in thought.
Sometimes one caught sightupon a bell towerof an enormous
head and a bundle of disordered limbs swinging furiously
at the end of a rope; it was Quasimodo ringing vespers
or the Angelus. Often at night a hideous form was seen
wandering along the frail balustrade of carved lacework
which crowns the towers and borders the circumference of
the apse; again it was the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Then
said the women of the neighborhoodthe whole church took
on something fantasticsupernaturalhorrible; eyes and
mouths were openedhere and there; one heard the dogsthe
monstersand the gargoyles of stonewhich keep watch night
and daywith outstretched neck and open jawsaround the
monstrous cathedralbarking. Andif it was a Christmas
Evewhile the great bellwhich seemed to emit the death

rattlesummoned the faithful to the midnight masssuch an
air was spread over the sombre façade that one would have
declared that the grand portal was devouring the throngand
that the rose window was watching it. And all this came
from Quasimodo. Egypt would have taken him for the god
of this temple; the Middle Ages believed him to be its
demon: he was in fact its soul.

To such an extent was this disease that for those who know
that Quasimodo has existedNotre-Dame is to-day deserted
inanimatedead. One feels that something has disappeared
from it. That immense body is empty; it is a skeleton; the
spirit has quitted itone sees its place and that is all. It is
like a skull which still has holes for the eyesbut no
longer sight.



Neverthelessthere was one human creature whom Quasimodo
excepted from his malice and from his hatred for others
and whom he loved even moreperhapsthan his cathedral:
this was Claude Frollo.

The matter was simple; Claude Frollo had taken him in
had adopted himhad nourished himhad reared him. When
a little ladit was between Claude Frollo's legs that he was
accustomed to seek refugewhen the dogs and the children
barked after him. Claude Frollo had taught him to talkto
readto write. Claude Frollo had finally made him the
bellringer. Nowto give the big bell in marriage to Quasimodo
was to give Juliet to Romeo.

Hence Quasimodo's gratitude was profoundpassionate
boundless; and although the visage of his adopted father
was often clouded or severealthough his speech was habitually
curtharshimperiousthat gratitude never wavered
for a single moment. The archdeacon had in Quasimodo
the most submissive slavethe most docile lackeythe most
vigilant of dogs. When the poor bellringer became deaf
there had been established between him and Claude Frolloa
language of signsmysterious and understood by themselves
alone. In this manner the archdeacon was the sole human
being with whom Quasimodo had preserved communication.
He was in sympathy with but two things in this world: Notre-
Dame and Claude Frollo.

There is nothing which can be compared with the empire of
the archdeacon over the bellringer; with the attachment of
the bellringer for the archdeacon. A sign from Claude and
the idea of giving him pleasure would have sufficed to make
Quasimodo hurl himself headlong from the summit of Notre-
Dame. It was a remarkable thing--all that physical strength
which had reached in Quasimodo such an extraordinary
developmentand which was placed by him blindly at the disposition
of another. There was in itno doubtfilial devotion
domestic attachment; there was also the fascination of one
spirit by another spirit. It was a poorawkwardand clumsy

organizationwhich stood with lowered head and supplicating
eyes before a lofty and profounda powerful and superior
intellect. Lastlyand above allit was gratitude. Gratitude
so pushed to its extremest limitthat we do not know to what
to compare it. This virtue is not one of those of which the
finest examples are to be met with among men. We will say
thenthat Quasimodo loved the archdeacon as never a dog
never a horsenever an elephant loved his master.



In 1482Quasimodo was about twenty years of age; Claude
Frolloabout thirty-six. One had grown upthe other had
grown old.

Claude Frollo was no longer the simple scholar of the college
of Torchthe tender protector of a little childthe
young and dreamy philosopher who knew many things and
was ignorant of many. He was a priestausteregrave
morose; one charged with souls; monsieur the archdeacon of
Josasthe bishop's second acolytehaving charge of the
two deaneries of Montlhéryand Châteaufortand one hundred
and seventy-four country curacies. He was an imposing and
sombre personagebefore whom the choir boys in alb and
in jacket trembledas well as the machicots*and the brothers
of Saint-Augustine and the matutinal clerks of Notre-Dame
when he passed slowly beneath the lofty arches of the choir
majesticthoughtfulwith arms folded and his head so bent
upon his breast that all one saw of his face was his large
bald brow.

* An official of Notre-Damelower than a beneficed clergyman
higher than simple paid chanters.
Dom Claude Frollo hadhoweverabandoned neither science
nor the education of his young brotherthose two occupations
of his life. But as time went onsome bitterness had
been mingled with these things which were so sweet. In the
long runsays Paul Diacrethe best lard turns rancid. Little
Jehan Frollosurnamed (~du Moulin~) "of the Mill" because of
the place where he had been rearedhad not grown up in the
direction which Claude would have liked to impose upon him.
The big brother counted upon a piousdocilelearnedand
honorable pupil. But the little brotherlike those young trees
which deceive the gardener's hopes and turn obstinately to the
quarter whence they receive sun and airthe little brother did
not grow and did not multiplybut only put forth fine bushy
and luxuriant branches on the side of lazinessignoranceand
debauchery. He was a regular deviland a very disorderly
onewho made Dom Claude scowl; but very droll and very
subtlewhich made the big brother smile.

Claude had confided him to that same college of Torchi
where he had passed his early years in study and meditation;
and it was a grief to him that this sanctuaryformerly edified

by the name of Frolloshould to-day be scandalized by it.
He sometimes preached Jehan very long and severe sermons
which the latter intrepidly endured. After allthe young
scapegrace had a good heartas can be seen in all comedies.
But the sermon overhe none the less tranquilly resumed his
course of seditions and enormities. Now it was a ~bejaune~ or
yellow beak (as they called the new arrivals at the university)
whom he had been mauling by way of welcome; a precious
tradition which has been carefully preserved to our own day.
Againhe had set in movement a band of scholarswho had
flung themselves upon a wine-shop in classic fashionquasi
~classico excitati~had then beaten the tavern-keeper "with
offensive cudgels and joyously pillaged the tavern, even to
smashing in the hogsheads of wine in the cellar. And then
it was a fine report in Latin, which the sub-monitor of Torchi
carried piteously to Dom Claude with this dolorous marginal
comment,--~Rixa; prima causa vinum optimum potatum~. Finally,
it was said, a thing quite horrible in a boy of sixteen, that
his debauchery often extended as far as the Rue de Glatigny.

Claude, saddened and discouraged in his human affections,
by all this, had flung himself eagerly into the arms of learning,
that sister which, at least does not laugh in your face, and
which always pays you, though in money that is sometimes a
little hollow, for the attention which you have paid to her.
Hence, he became more and more learned, and, at the same
time, as a natural consequence, more and more rigid as a
priest, more and more sad as a man. There are for each of
us several parallelisms between our intelligence, our habits,
and our character, which develop without a break, and break
only in the great disturbances of life.

As Claude Frollo had passed through nearly the entire
circle of human learning--positive, exterior, and
permissible--since his youth, he was obliged, unless he came
to a halt, ~ubi defuit orbis~, to proceed further and seek other
aliments for the insatiable activity of his intelligence. The
antique symbol of the serpent biting its tail is, above all,
applicable to science. It would appear that Claude Frollo had
experienced this. Many grave persons affirm that, after having
exhausted the ~fas~ of human learning, he had dared to penetrate
into the ~nefas~. He had, they said, tasted in succession all
the apples of the tree of knowledge, and, whether from hunger or
disgust, had ended by tasting the forbidden fruit. He had taken
his place by turns, as the reader has seen, in the conferences of
the theologians in Sorbonne,--in the assemblies of the doctors of
art, after the manner of Saint-Hilaire,--in the disputes of the
decretalists, after the manner of Saint-Martin,--in the
congregations of physicians at the holy water font of Notre-
Dame, ~ad cupam Nostroe-Dominoe~. All the dishes permitted
and approved, which those four great kitchens called
the four faculties could elaborate and serve to the understanding,
he had devoured, and had been satiated with them before
his hunger was appeased. Then he had penetrated further,
lower, beneath all that finished, material, limited knowledge;
he had, perhaps, risked his soul, and had seated himself in the
cavern at that mysterious table of the alchemists, of the
astrologers, of the hermetics, of which Averroès, Gillaume de
Paris, and Nicolas Flamel hold the end in the Middle Ages;
and which extends in the East, by the light of the sevenbranched
candlestick, to Solomon, Pythagoras, and Zoroaster.

That is, at least, what was supposed, whether rightly or not.
It is certain that the archdeacon often visited the cemetery

of the Saints-Innocents, where, it is true, his father and
mother had been buried, with other victims of the plague of
1466; but that he appeared far less devout before the cross
of their grave than before the strange figures with which the
tomb of Nicolas Flamel and Claude Pernelle, erected just beside
it, was loaded.

It is certain that he had frequently been seen to pass along
the Rue des Lombards, and furtively enter a little house
which formed the corner of the Rue des Ecrivans and the Rue
Marivault. It was the house which Nicolas Flamel had
built, where he had died about 1417, and which, constantly
deserted since that time, had already begun to fall in
ruins,--so greatly had the hermetics and the alchemists of all
countries wasted away the walls, merely by carving their names
upon them. Some neighbors even affirm that they had once seen,
through an air-hole, Archdeacon Claude excavating, turning over,
digging up the earth in the two cellars, whose supports had been
daubed with numberless couplets and hieroglyphics by Nicolas
Flamel himself. It was supposed that Flamel had buried the
philosopher's stone in the cellar; and the alchemists, for the
space of two centuries, from Magistri to Father Pacifique, never
ceased to worry the soil until the house, so cruelly ransacked
and turned over, ended by falling into dust beneath their feet.

Again, it is certain that the archdeacon had been seized
with a singular passion for the symbolical door of Notre-
Dame, that page of a conjuring book written in stone, by
Bishop Guillaume de Paris, who has, no doubt, been damned
for having affixed so infernal a frontispiece to the sacred poem
chanted by the rest of the edifice. Archdeacon Claude had
the credit also of having fathomed the mystery of the colossus
of Saint Christopher, and of that lofty, enigmatical statue
which then stood at the entrance of the vestibule, and which
the people, in derision, called Monsieur Legris." Butwhat
every one might have noticed was the interminable hours
which he often employedseated upon the parapet of the area
in front of the churchin contemplating the sculptures of the
front; examining now the foolish virgins with their lamps
reversednow the wise virgins with their lamps upright; again
calculating the angle of vision of that raven which belongs to
the left frontand which is looking at a mysterious point inside
the churchwhere is concealed the philosopher's stoneif it be
not in the cellar of Nicolas Flamel.

It waslet us remark in passinga singular fate for the
Church of Notre-Dame at that epoch to be so belovedin two
different degreesand with so much devotionby two beings so
dissimilar as Claude and Quasimodo. Beloved by onea sort
of instinctive and savage half-manfor its beautyfor its
staturefor the harmonies which emanated from its magnificent
ensemble; beloved by the othera learned and passionate
imaginationfor its mythfor the sense which it contains
for the symbolism scattered beneath the sculptures of its
front--like the first text underneath the second in a
palimpsest--in a wordfor the enigma which it is eternally
propounding to the understanding.

Furthermoreit is certain that the archdeacon had
established himself in that one of the two towers which looks
upon the Grèvejust beside the frame for the bellsa very
secret little cellinto which no onenot even the bishop
entered without his leaveit was said. This tiny cell had
formerly been made almost at the summit of the tower

among the ravens' nestsby Bishop Hugo de Besançon* who
had wrought sorcery there in his day. What that cell
containedno one knew; but from the strand of the Terrain
at nightthere was often seen to appeardisappearand
reappear at brief and regular intervalsat a little dormer
window opening upon the back of the towera certain red
intermittentsingular light which seemed to follow the panting
breaths of a bellowsand to proceed from a flamerather than
from a light. In the darknessat that heightit produced a
singular effect; and the goodwives said: "There's the
archdeacon blowing! hell is sparkling up yonder!"

* Hugo II. de Bisuncio1326-1332.
There were no great proofs of sorcery in thatafter allbut
there was still enough smoke to warrant a surmise of fireand
the archdeacon bore a tolerably formidable reputation. We
ought to mention howeverthat the sciences of Egyptthat
necromancy and magiceven the whitesteven the most innocent
had no more envenomed enemyno more pitiless denunciator
before the gentlemen of the officialty of Notre-Dame.
Whether this was sincere horroror the game played by the
thief who shoutsstop thief!at all eventsit did not prevent
the archdeacon from being considered by the learned heads of
the chapteras a soul who had ventured into the vestibule of
hellwho was lost in the caves of the cabalgroping amid the
shadows of the occult sciences. Neither were the people
deceived thereby; with any one who possessed any sagacity
Quasimodo passed for the demon; Claude Frollofor the
sorcerer. It was evident that the bellringer was to serve the
archdeacon for a given timeat the end of which he would
carry away the latter's soulby way of payment. Thus the
archdeaconin spite of the excessive austerity of his lifewas
in bad odor among all pious souls; and there was no devout
nose so inexperienced that it could not smell him out to
be a magician.

And ifas he grew olderabysses had formed in his science
they had also formed in his heart. That at leastis what one
had grounds for believing on scrutinizing that face upon
which the soul was only seen to shine through a sombre cloud.
Whence that largebald brow? that head forever bent? that
breast always heaving with sighs? What secret thought
caused his mouth to smile with so much bitternessat the
same moment that his scowling brows approached each other
like two bulls on the point of fighting? Why was what hair
he had left already gray? What was that internal fire which
sometimes broke forth in his glanceto such a degree that his
eye resembled a hole pierced in the wall of a furnace?

These symptoms of a violent moral preoccupationhad
acquired an especially high degree of intensity at the epoch
when this story takes place. More than once a choir-boy had
fled in terror at finding him alone in the churchso strange
and dazzling was his look. More than oncein the choirat
the hour of the officeshis neighbor in the stalls had heard
him mingle with the plain song~ad omnem tonum~unintelligible
parentheses. More than once the laundress of the Terrain
charged "with washing the chapter" had observednot
without affrightthe marks of nails and clenched fingers
on the surplice of monsieur the archdeacon of Josas.

Howeverhe redoubled his severityand had never been
more exemplary. By profession as well as by characterhe
had always held himself aloof from women; he seemed to hate
them more than ever. The mere rustling of a silken petticoat
caused his hood to fall over his eyes. Upon this score he was
so jealous of austerity and reservethat when the Dame de
Beaujeuthe king's daughtercame to visit the cloister of
Notre-Damein the month of December1481he gravely
opposed her entrancereminding the bishop of the statute of
the Black Bookdating from the vigil of Saint-Barthélemy
1334which interdicts access to the cloister to "any woman
whateverold or youngmistress or maid." Upon which the
bishop had been constrained to recite to him the ordinance of
Legate Odowhich excepts certain great dames~aliquoe
magnates mulieresquoe sine scandalo vitari non possunt~.
And again the archdeacon had protestedobjecting that the
ordinance of the legatewhich dated back to 1207was anterior
by a hundred and twenty-seven years to the Black Bookand
consequently was abrogated in fact by it. And he had refused
to appear before the princess.

It was also noticed that his horror for Bohemian women and
gypsies had seemed to redouble for some time past. He had
petitioned the bishop for an edict which expressly forbade
the Bohemian women to come and dance and beat their tambourines
on the place of the Parvis; and for about the same length of
timehe had been ransacking the mouldy placards of the
officialtyin order to collect the cases of sorcerers and
witches condemned to fire or the ropefor complicity in crimes
with ramssowsor goats.



The archdeacon and the bellringeras we have already
saidwere but little loved by the populace great and smallin
the vicinity of the cathedral. When Claude and Quasimodo
went out togetherwhich frequently happenedand when
they were seen traversing in companythe valet behind the
masterthe coldnarrowand gloomy streets of the block of
Notre-Damemore than one evil wordmore than one ironical
quavermore than one insulting jest greeted them on their
wayunless Claude Frollowhich was rarely the casewalked
with head upright and raisedshowing his severe and almost
august brow to the dumbfounded jeerers.

Both were in their quarter like "the poets" of whom
Régnier speaks-

All sorts of persons run after poets,
As warblers fly shrieking after owls.

Sometimes a mischievous child risked his skin and bones for
the ineffable pleasure of driving a pin into Quasimodo's hump.
Againa young girlmore bold and saucy than was fitting
brushed the priest's black robesinging in his face the sardonic

dittyniche, niche, the devil is caught.Sometimes a group
of squalid old cronessquatting in a file under the shadow of
the steps to a porchscolded noisily as the archdeacon and the
bellringer passedand tossed them this encouraging welcome
with a curse: "Hum! there's a fellow whose soul is made like
the other one's body!" Or a band of schoolboys and street
urchinsplaying hop-scotchrose in a body and saluted him
classicallywith some cry in Latin: "~Eia! eia! Claudius
cum claudo~!"

But the insult generally passed unnoticed both by the priest
and the bellringer. Quasimodo was too deaf to hear all these
gracious thingsand Claude was too dreamy.




Dom Claude's fame had spread far and wide. It procured
for himat about the epoch when he refused to see Madame de
Beaujeua visit which he long remembered.

It was in the evening. He had just retiredafter the office
to his canon's cell in the cloister of Notre-Dame. This cell
with the exceptionpossiblyof some glass phialsrelegated
to a cornerand filled with a decidedly equivocal powder
which strongly resembled the alchemist's "powder of projection
presented nothing strange or mysterious. There were,
indeed, here and there, some inscriptions on the walls, but they
were pure sentences of learning and piety, extracted from
good authors. The archdeacon had just seated himself, by the
light of a three-jetted copper lamp, before a vast coffer
crammed with manuscripts. He had rested his elbow upon the
open volume of _Honorius d'Autun_, ~De predestinatione et libero
arbitrio~, and he was turning over, in deep meditation, the
leaves of a printed folio which he had just brought, the
sole product of the press which his cell contained. In the
midst of his revery there came a knock at his door. Who's
there?" cried the learned manin the gracious tone of a
famished dogdisturbed over his bone.

A voice without repliedYour friend, Jacques Coictier.
He went to open the door.

It wasin factthe king's physician; a person about fifty
years of agewhose harsh physiognomy was modified only by a
crafty eye. Another man accompanied him. Both wore long
slate-colored robesfurred with minevergirded and closed
with caps of the same stuff and hue. Their hands were
concealed by their sleevestheir feet by their robestheir eyes
by their caps.

God help me, messieurs!said the archdeaconshowing
them in; "I was not expecting distinguished visitors at such
an hour." And while speaking in this courteous fashion he
cast an uneasy and scrutinizing glance from the physician to
his companion.

'Tis never too late to come and pay a visit to so considerable
a learned man as Dom Claude Frollo de Tirechappe,replied
Doctor Coictierwhose Franche-Comté accent made all his
phrases drag along with the majesty of a train-robe.

There then ensued between the physician and the archdeacon
one of those congratulatory prologues whichin accordance
with customat that epoch preceded all conversations
between learned menand which did not prevent them from
detesting each other in the most cordial manner in the world.
Howeverit is the same nowadays; every wise man's mouth
complimenting another wise man is a vase of honeyed gall.

Claude Frollo's felicitations to Jacques Coictier bore reference
principally to the temporal advantages which the worthy
physician had found means to extractin the course of his
much envied careerfrom each malady of the kingan operation
of alchemy much better and more certain than the pursuit
of the philosopher's stone.

In truth, Monsieur le Docteur Coictier, I felt great joy
on learning of the bishopric given your nephew, my reverend
seigneur Pierre Verse. Is he not Bishop of Amiens?

Yes, monsieur Archdeacon; it is a grace and mercy of God.

Do you know that you made a great figure on Christmas
Day at the bead of your company of the chamber of accounts,
Monsieur President?

Vice-President, Dom Claude. Alas! nothing more.

How is your superb house in the Rue Saint-André des
Arcs coming on? 'Tis a Louvre. I love greatly the apricot
tree which is carved on the door, with this play of words:
'A L'ABRI-COTIER--Sheltered from reefs.'

Alas! Master Claude, all that masonry costeth me dear.
In proportion as the house is erected, I am ruined.

Ho! have you not your revenues from the jail, and the
bailiwick of the Palais, and the rents of all the houses,
sheds, stalls, and booths of the enclosure? 'Tis a fine breast
to suck.

My castellany of Poissy has brought me in nothing this year.

But your tolls of Triel, of Saint-James, of Saint-Germainen-Laye
are always good.

Six score livres, and not even Parisian livres at that.

You have your office of counsellor to the king. That is fixed.

Yes, brother Claude; but that accursed seigneury of Poligny,
which people make so much noise about, is worth not sixty gold
crowns, year out and year in.

In the compliments which Dom Claude addressed to Jacques
Coictierthere was that sardonicalbitingand covertly
mocking accentand the sad cruel smile of a superior and
unhappy man who toys for a momentby way of distractionwith
the dense prosperity of a vulgar man. The other did not
perceive it.

Upon my soul,said Claude at lengthpressing his hand
I am glad to see you and in such good health.

Thanks, Master Claude.

By the way,exclaimed Dom Claudehow is your royal patient?

He payeth not sufficiently his physician,replied the
doctorcasting a side glance at his companion.

Think you so, Gossip Coictier,said the latter.

These wordsuttered in a tone of surprise and reproach
drew upon this unknown personage the attention of the
archdeacon whichto tell the truthhad not been diverted from
him a single moment since the stranger had set foot across
the threshold of his cell. It had even required all the
thousand reasons which he had for handling tenderly Doctor
Jacques Coictierthe all-powerful physician of King Louis XI.
to induce him to receive the latter thus accompanied. Hence
there was nothing very cordial in his manner when Jacques
Coictier said to him-

By the way, Dom Claude, I bring you a colleague who has
desired to see you on account of your reputation.

Monsieur belongs to science?asked the archdeaconfixing
his piercing eye upon Coictier's companion. He found
beneath the brows of the stranger a glance no less piercing
or less distrustful than his own.

He wasso far as the feeble light of the lamp permitted
one to judgean old man about sixty years of age and of
medium staturewho appeared somewhat sickly and broken in
health. His profilealthough of a very ordinary outlinehad
something powerful and severe about it; his eyes sparkled
beneath a very deep superciliary archlike a light in the
depths of a cave; and beneath his cap which was well drawn
down and fell upon his noseone recognized the broad expanse
of a brow of genius.

He took it upon himself to reply to the archdeacon's question-

Reverend master,he said in a grave toneyour renown
has reached my ears, and I wish to consult you. I am but a
poor provincial gentleman, who removeth his shoes before
entering the dwellings of the learned. You must know my
name. I am called Gossip Tourangeau.

Strange name for a gentleman,said the archdeacon to himself.

Neverthelesshe had a feeling that he was in the presence
of a strong and earnest character. The instinct of his own
lofty intellect made him recognize an intellect no less lofty
under Gossip Tourangeau's furred capand as he gazed at
the solemn facethe ironical smile which Jacques Coictier's

presence called forth on his gloomy facegradually
disappeared as twilight fades on the horizon of night.
Stern and silenthe had resumed his seat in his great
armchair; his elbow rested as usualon the tableand his brow
on his hand. After a few moments of reflectionhe motioned
his visitors to be seatedandturning to Gossip Tourangeau
he said-

You come to consult me, master, and upon what science?

Your reverence,replied TourangeauI am ill, very ill.
You are said to be great AEsculapius, and I am come to ask
your advice in medicine.

Medicine!said the archdeacontossing his head. He
seemed to meditate for a momentand then resumed: "Gossip
Tourangeausince that is your nameturn your headyou will
find my reply already written on the wall."

Gossip Tourangeau obeyedand read this inscription engraved
above his head: "Medicine is the daughter of dreams.--JAMBLIQUE."

MeanwhileDoctor Jacques Coictier had heard his
companion's question with a displeasure which Dom Claude's
response had but redoubled. He bent down to the ear of
Gossip Tourangeauand said to himsoftly enough not to be
heard by the archdeacon: "I warned you that he was mad.
You insisted on seeing him."

'Tis very possible that he is right, madman as he is, Doctor
Jacques,replied his comrade in the same low toneand with
a bitter smile.

As you please,replied Coictier dryly. Thenaddressing
the archdeacon: "You are clever at your tradeDom Claude
and you are no more at a loss over Hippocrates than a
monkey is over a nut. Medicine a dream! I suspect that the
pharmacopolists and the master physicians would insist upon
stoning you if they were here. So you deny the influence of
philtres upon the bloodand unguents on the skin! You deny
that eternal pharmacy of flowers and metalswhich is called
the worldmade expressly for that eternal invalid called man!"

I deny,said Dom Claude coldlyneither pharmacy nor the
invalid. I reject the physician.

Then it is not true,resumed Coictier hotlythat gout
is an internal eruption; that a wound caused by artillery is to
be cured by the application of a young mouse roasted; that
young blood, properly injected, restores youth to aged veins;
it is not true that two and two make four, and that
emprostathonos follows opistathonos.

The archdeacon replied without perturbation: "There are
certain things of which I think in a certain fashion."

Coictier became crimson with anger.

There, there, my good Coictier, let us not get angry,said
Gossip Tourangeau. "Monsieur the archdeacon is our friend."

Coictier calmed downmuttering in a low tone-

After all, he's mad.

~Pasque-dieu~, Master Claude,resumed Gossip Tourangeau
after a silenceYou embarrass me greatly. I had two things
to consult you upon, one touching my health and the other
touching my star.

Monsieur,returned the archdeaconif that be your
motive, you would have done as well not to put yourself out
of breath climbing my staircase. I do not believe in Medicine.
I do not believe in Astrology.

Indeed!said the manwith surprise.

Coictier gave a forced laugh.

You see that he is mad,he saidin a low toneto Gossip
Tourangeau. "He does not believe in astrology."

The idea of imagining,pursued Dom Claudethat every
ray of a star is a thread which is fastened to the head of
a man!

And what then, do you believe in?exclaimed Gossip Tourangeau.

The archdeacon hesitated for a momentthen he allowed a
gloomy smile to escapewhich seemed to give the lie to his
response: "~Credo in Deum~."

~Dominum nostrum~,added Gossip Tourangeaumaking the
sign of the cross.

Amen,said Coictier.

Reverend master,resumed TourangeauI am charmed
in soul to see you in such a religious frame of mind. But
have you reached the point, great savant as you are, of no
longer believing in science?

No,said the archdeacongrasping the arm of Gossip
Tourangeauand a ray of enthusiasm lighted up his gloomy
eyesno, I do not reject science. I have not crawled so
long, flat on my belly, with my nails in the earth, through the
innumerable ramifications of its caverns, without perceiving
far in front of me, at the end of the obscure gallery, a light,
a flame, a something, the reflection, no doubt, of the dazzling
central laboratory where the patient and the wise have found
out God.

And in short,interrupted Tourangeauwhat do you
hold to be true and certain?


Coictier exclaimedPardieu, Dom Claude, alchemy has its
use, no doubt, but why blaspheme medicine and astrology?

Naught is your science of man, naught is your science of
the stars,said the archdeaconcommandingly.

That's driving Epidaurus and Chaldea very fast,replied
the physician with a grin.

Listen, Messire Jacques. This is said in good faith. I
am not the king's physician, and his majesty has not

given me the Garden of Daedalus in which to observe the
constellations. Don't get angry, but listen to me. What
truth have you deduced, I will not say from medicine, which
is too foolish a thing, but from astrology? Cite to me the
virtues of the vertical boustrophedon, the treasures of the
number ziruph and those of the number zephirod!

Will you deny,said Coictierthe sympathetic force of
the collar bone, and the cabalistics which are derived from it?

An error, Messire Jacques! None of your formulas end in
reality. Alchemy on the other hand has its discoveries. Will
you contest results like this? Ice confined beneath the earth
for a thousand years is transformed into rock crystals. Lead
is the ancestor of all metals. For gold is not a metal, gold is
light. Lead requires only four periods of two hundred years
each, to pass in succession from the state of lead, to the state
of red arsenic, from red arsenic to tin, from tin to silver. Are
not these facts? But to believe in the collar bone, in the full
line and in the stars, is as ridiculous as to believe with the
inhabitants of Grand-Cathay that the golden oriole turns into
a mole, and that grains of wheat turn into fish of the carp

I have studied hermetic science!exclaimed Coictier
and I affirm--

The fiery archdeacon did not allow him to finish: "And I
have studied medicineastrologyand hermetics. Here alone
is the truth." (As he spoke thushe took from the top of the
coffer a phial filled with the powder which we have mentioned
above)here alone is light! Hippocrates is a dream; Urania
is a dream; Hermes, a thought. Gold is the sun; to make
gold is to be God. Herein lies the one and only science.
I have sounded the depths of medicine and astrology, I tell
you! Naught, nothingness! The human body, shadows! the
planets, shadows!

And he fell back in his armchair in a commanding and
inspired attitude. Gossip Touraugeau watched him in silence.
Coictier tried to grinshrugged his shoulders imperceptibly
and repeated in a low voice-

A madman!

And,said Tourangeau suddenlythe wondrous result,-have
you attained it, have you made gold?

If I had made it,replied the archdeaconarticulating his
words slowlylike a man who is reflectingthe king of
France would be named Claude and not Louis.

The stranger frowned.

What am I saying?resumed Dom Claudewith a smile
of disdain. "What would the throne of France be to me when
I could rebuild the empire of the Orient?"

Very good!said the stranger.

Oh, the poor fool!murmured Coictier.

The archdeacon went onappearing to reply now only to
his thoughts-

But no, I am still crawling; I am scratching my face and
knees against the pebbles of the subterranean pathway. I
catch a glimpse, I do not contemplate! I do not read, I
spell out!

And when you know how to read!demanded the stranger
will you make gold?

Who doubts it?said the archdeacon.

In that case Our Lady knows that I am greatly in need of
money, and I should much desire to read in your books. Tell
me, reverend master, is your science inimical or displeasing to
Our Lady?

Whose archdeacon I am?Dom Claude contented himself with
replyingwith tranquil hauteur.

That is true, my master. Well! will it please you to initiate
me? Let me spell with you.

Claude assumed the majestic and pontifical attitude of a Samuel.

Old man, it requires longer years than remain to you, to
undertake this voyage across mysterious things. Your head
is very gray! One comes forth from the cavern only with
white hair, but only those with dark hair enter it. Science
alone knows well how to hollow, wither, and dry up human
faces; she needs not to have old age bring her faces already
furrowed. Nevertheless, if the desire possesses you of putting
yourself under discipline at your age, and of deciphering
the formidable alphabet of the sages, come to me; 'tis well,
I will make the effort. I will not tell you, poor old man, to
go and visit the sepulchral chambers of the pyramids, of
which ancient Herodotus speaks, nor the brick tower of
Babylon, nor the immense white marble sanctuary of the Indian
temple of Eklinga. I, no more than yourself, have seen the
Chaldean masonry works constructed according to the sacred
form of the Sikra, nor the temple of Solomon, which is
destroyed, nor the stone doors of the sepulchre of the kings
of Israel, which are broken. We will content ourselves with
the fragments of the book of Hermes which we have here.
I will explain to you the statue of Saint Christopher, the
symbol of the sower, and that of the two angels which are
on the front of the Sainte-Chapelle, and one of which holds
in his hands a vase, the other, a cloud--

Here Jacques Coictierwho had been unhorsed by the
archdeacon's impetuous repliesregained his saddleand
interrupted him with the triumphant tone of one learned man
correcting another--"~Erras amice Claudi~. The symbol is
not the number. You take Orpheus for Hermes."

'Tis you who are in error,replied the archdeacongravely.
Daedalus is the base; Orpheus is the wall; Hermes is the
edifice,--that is all. You shall come when you will,he
continuedturning to TourangeauI will show you the little
parcels of gold which remained at the bottom of Nicholas
Flamel's alembic, and you shall compare them with the gold
of Guillaume de Paris. I will teach you the secret virtues
of the Greek word, ~peristera~. But, first of all, I will make
you read, one after the other, the marble letters of the alphabet,
the granite pages of the book. We shall go to the portal

of Bishop Guillaume and of Saint-Jean le Rond at the Sainte-
Chapelle, then to the house of Nicholas Flamel, Rue Manvault,
to his tomb, which is at the Saints-Innocents, to his two
hospitals, Rue de Montmorency. I will make you read the
hieroglyphics which cover the four great iron cramps on the
portal of the hospital Saint-Gervais, and of the Rue de la
Ferronnerie. We will spell out in company, also, the façade
of Saint-Come, of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Ardents, of Saint Martin,
of Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie--.

For a long timeGossip Tourangeauintelligent as was his glance
had appeared not to understand Dom Claude. He interrupted.

~Pasque-dieu~! what are your books, then?

Here is one of them,said the archdeacon.

And opening the window of his cell he pointed out with
his finger the immense church of Notre-Damewhichoutlining
against the starry sky the black silhouette of its two towers
its stone flanksits monstrous haunchesseemed an enormous
two-headed sphinxseated in the middle of the city.

The archdeacon gazed at the gigantic edifice for some time
in silencethen extending his right handwith a sightowards
the printed book which lay open on the tableand his left
towards Notre-Dameand turning a sad glance from the book
to the church--"Alas he said, this will kill that."

Coictierwho had eagerly approached the bookcould not
repress an exclamation. "Hébut nowwhat is there so
formidable in this: 'GLOSSA IN EPISTOLAS D. PAULI~Norimbergoe
Antonius Koburger~1474.' This is not new. 'Tis a book of
Pierre Lombardthe Master of Sentences. Is it because it is

You have said it,replied Claudewho seemed absorbed
in a profound meditationand stood restinghis forefinger
bent backward on the folio which had come from the famous
press of Nuremberg. Then he added these mysterious words:
Alas! alas! small things come at the end of great things; a
tooth triumphs over a mass. The Nile rat kills the crocodile,
the swordfish kills the whale, the book will kill the edifice.

The curfew of the cloister sounded at the moment when
Master Jacques was repeating to his companion in low tones
his eternal refrainHe is mad!To which his companion
this time repliedI believe that he is.

It was the hour when no stranger could remain in the
cloister. The two visitors withdrew. "Master said Gossip
Tourangeau, as he took leave of the archdeacon, I love wise
men and great mindsand I hold you in singular esteem.
Come to-morrow to the Palace des Tournellesand inquire for
the Abbé de Sainte-Martinof Tours."

The archdeacon returned to his chamber dumbfounded
comprehending at last who Gossip Tourangeau wasand recalling
that passage of the register of Sainte-Martinof Tours:-~
Abbas beati MartiniSCILICET REX FRANCIAEest canonicus de
consuetudine et habet parvam proebendam quam habet sanctus
Venantiuset debet sedere in sede thesaurarii~.

It is asserted that after that epoch the archdeacon had

frequent conferences with Louis XI.when his majesty came
to Parisand that Dom Claude's influence quite overshadowed
that of Olivier le Daim and Jacques Coictierwhoas was his
habitrudely took the king to task on that account.



Our lady readers will pardon us if we pause for a moment
to seek what could have been the thought concealed beneath
those enigmatic words of the archdeacon: "This will kill
that. The book will kill the edifice."

To our mindthis thought had two faces. In the first place
it was a priestly thought. It was the affright of the priest in
the presence of a new agentthe printing press. It was the
terror and dazzled amazement of the men of the sanctuaryin
the presence of the luminous press of Gutenberg. It was
the pulpit and the manuscript taking the alarm at the printed
word: something similar to the stupor of a sparrow which
should behold the angel Legion unfold his six million wings.
It was the cry of the prophet who already hears emancipated
humanity roaring and swarming; who beholds in the future
intelligence sapping faithopinion dethroning beliefthe world
shaking off Rome. It was the prognostication of the philosopher
who sees human thoughtvolatilized by the pressevaporating
from the theocratic recipient. It was the terror of
the soldier who examines the brazen battering ramand says:--"The
tower will crumble." It signified that one power was about to
succeed another power. It meantThe press will kill the church.

But underlying this thoughtthe first and most simple one
no doubtthere was in our opinion anothernewer onea corollary
of the firstless easy to perceive and more easy to contest
a view as philosophical and belonging no longer to the
priest alone but to the savant and the artist. It was a
presentiment that human thoughtin changing its formwas
about to change its mode of expression; that the dominant
idea of each generation would no longer be written with the
same matterand in the same manner; that the book of stone
so solid and so durablewas about to make way for the book
of papermore solid and still more durable. In this
connection the archdeacon's vague formula had a second sense.
It meantPrinting will kill architecture.

In factfrom the origin of things down to the fifteenth century
of the Christian erainclusivearchitecture is the great
book of humanitythe principal expression of man in his
different stages of developmenteither as a force or as
an intelligence.

When the memory of the first races felt itself overloaded
when the mass of reminiscences of the human race became
so heavy and so confused that speech naked and flyingran
the risk of losing them on the waymen transcribed them on
the soil in a manner which was at once the most visiblemost
durableand most natural. They sealed each tradition beneath
a monument.

The first monuments were simple masses of rockwhich the
iron had not touched,as Moses says. Architecture began like
all writing. It was first an alphabet. Men planted a stone
uprightit was a letterand each letter was a hieroglyphand
upon each hieroglyph rested a group of ideaslike the capital
on the column. This is what the earliest races did everywhere
at the same momenton the surface of the entire world. We
find the "standing stones" of the Celts in Asian Siberia; in
the pampas of America.

Later onthey made words; they placed stone upon stone
they coupled those syllables of graniteand attempted some
combinations. The Celtic dolmen and cromlechthe Etruscan
tumulusthe Hebrew galgalare words. Someespecially the
tumulusare proper names. Sometimes evenwhen men had
a great deal of stoneand a vast plainthey wrote a phrase.
The immense pile of Karnac is a complete sentence.

At last they made books. Traditions had brought forth
symbolsbeneath which they disappeared like the trunk of a
tree beneath its foliage; all these symbols in which humanity
placed faith continued to growto multiplyto intersectto
become more and more complicated; the first monuments
no longer sufficed to contain themthey were overflowing in
every part; these monuments hardly expressed now the primitive
traditionsimple like themselvesnaked and prone upon
the earth. The symbol felt the need of expansion in the edifice.
Then architecture was developed in proportion with human
thought; it became a giant with a thousand heads and
a thousand armsand fixed all this floating symbolism in an
eternalvisiblepalpable form. While Daedaluswho is force
measured; while Orpheuswho is intelligencesang;--the pillar
which is a letter; the arcadewhich is a syllable; the pyramid
which is a word--all set in movement at once by a law of
geometry and by a law of poetrygrouped themselvescombined
amalgamateddescendedascendedplaced themselves
side by side on the soilranged themselves in stories in the
skyuntil they had written under the dictation of the general
idea of an epochthose marvellous books which were also
marvellous edifices: the Pagoda of Eklingathe Rhamseion of
Egyptthe Temple of Solomon.

The generating ideathe wordwas not only at the foundation
of all these edificesbut also in the form. The temple
of Solomonfor examplewas not alone the binding of the
holy book; it was the holy book itself. On each one of its
concentric wallsthe priests could read the word translated and
manifested to the eyeand thus they followed its transformations
from sanctuary to sanctuaryuntil they seized it in its last
tabernacleunder its most concrete formwhich still belonged to
architecture: the arch. Thus the word was enclosed in an
edificebut its image was upon its envelopelike the human
form on the coffin of a mummy.

And not only the form of edificesbut the sites selected for
themrevealed the thought which they representedaccording
as the symbol to be expressed was graceful or grave.
Greece crowned her mountains with a temple harmonious to
the eye; India disembowelled hersto chisel therein those
monstrous subterranean pagodasborne up by gigantic rows of
granite elephants.

Thusduring the first six thousand years of the worldfrom

the most immemorial pagoda of Hindustanto the cathedral
of Colognearchitecture was the great handwriting of the
human race. And this is so truethat not only every religious
symbolbut every human thoughthas its page and its monument
in that immense book.

All civilization begins in theocracy and ends in democracy.
This law of liberty following unity is written in architecture.
Forlet us insist upon this pointmasonry must not be thought
to be powerful only in erecting the temple and in expressing
the myth and sacerdotal symbolism; in inscribing in hieroglyphs
upon its pages of stone the mysterious tables of the
law. If it were thus--as there comes in all human society a
moment when the sacred symbol is worn out and becomes
obliterated under freedom of thoughtwhen man escapes from
the priestwhen the excrescence of philosophies and systems
devour the face of religion--architecture could not reproduce
this new state of human thought; its leavesso crowded on the
facewould be empty on the back; its work would be mutilated;
its book would he incomplete. But no.

Let us take as an example the Middle Ageswhere we see
more clearly because it is nearer to us. During its first
periodwhile theocracy is organizing Europewhile the Vatican
is rallying and reclassing about itself the elements of a
Rome made from the Rome which lies in ruins around the
Capitolwhile Christianity is seeking all the stages of society
amid the rubbish of anterior civilizationand rebuilding with
its ruins a new hierarchic universethe keystone to whose
vault is the priest--one first hears a dull echo from that
chaosand thenlittle by littleone seesarising from beneath
the breath of Christianityfrom beneath the hand of the
barbariansfrom the fragments of the dead Greek and Roman
architecturesthat mysterious Romanesque architecturesister
of the theocratic masonry of Egypt and of Indiainalterable
emblem of pure catholicismunchangeable hieroglyph of the
papal unity. All the thought of that day is writtenin fact
in this sombreRomanesque style. One feels everywhere in
it authorityunitythe impenetrablethe absoluteGregory
VII.; always the priestnever the man; everywhere caste
never the people.

But the Crusades arrive. They are a great popular
movementand every great popular movementwhatever may be
its cause and objectalways sets free the spirit of liberty
from its final precipitate. New things spring into life every
day. Here opens the stormy period of the JacqueriesPragueries
and Leagues. Authority waversunity is divided.
Feudalism demands to share with theocracywhile awaiting
the inevitable arrival of the peoplewho will assume the part
of the lion: ~Quia nominor leo~. Seignory pierces through
sacerdotalism; the commonalitythrough seignory. The face
of Europe is changed. Well! the face of architecture is
changed also. Like civilizationit has turned a pageand the
new spirit of the time finds her ready to write at its dictation.
It returns from the crusades with the pointed archlike the
nations with liberty.

Thenwhile Rome is undergoing gradual dismemberment
Romanesque architecture dies. The hieroglyph deserts the
cathedraland betakes itself to blazoning the donjon keep
in order to lend prestige to feudalism. The cathedral itself
that edifice formerly so dogmaticinvaded henceforth by the
bourgeoisieby the communityby libertyescapes the priest and

falls into the power of the artist. The artist builds it after
his own fashion. Farewell to mysterymythlaw. Fancy
and capricewelcome. Provided the priest has his basilica
and his altarhe has nothing to say. The four walls belong
to the artist. The architectural book belongs no longer to the
priestto religionto Rome; it is the property of poetryof
imaginationof the people. Hence the rapid and innumerable
transformations of that architecture which owns but three
centuriesso striking after the stagnant immobility
of the Romanesque architecturewhich owns six or seven.
Neverthelessart marches on with giant strides. Popular genius
amid originality accomplish the task which the bishops formerly
fulfilled. Each race writes its line upon the bookas it
passes; it erases the ancient Romanesque hieroglyphs on the
frontispieces of cathedralsand at the most one only sees
dogma cropping out here and therebeneath the new symbol
which it has deposited. The popular drapery hardly permits
the religious skeleton to be suspected. One cannot even form
an idea of the liberties which the architects then takeeven
toward the Church. There are capitals knitted of nuns and
monksshamelessly coupledas on the hall of chimney pieces
in the Palais de Justicein Paris. There is Noah's adventure
carved to the last detailas under the great portal of Bourges.
There is a bacchanalian monkwith ass's ears and glass in
handlaughing in the face of a whole communityas on the
lavatory of the Abbey of Bocherville. There exists at that
epochfor thought written in stonea privilege exactly
comparable to our present liberty of the press. It is
the liberty of architecture.

This liberty goes very far. Sometimes a portala façade
an entire churchpresents a symbolical sense absolutely foreign
to worshipor even hostile to the Church. In the thirteenth
centuryGuillaume de Parisand Nicholas Flamelin the
fifteenthwrote such seditious pages. Saint-Jacques de la
Boucherie was a whole church of the opposition.

Thought was then free only in this manner; hence it never
wrote itself out completely except on the books called edifices.
Thoughtunder the form of edificecould have beheld itself
burned in the public square by the hands of the executioner
in its manuscript formif it had been sufficiently imprudent
to risk itself thus; thoughtas the door of a churchwould
have been a spectator of the punishment of thought as
a book. Having thus only this resourcemasonryin order to
make its way to the lightflung itself upon it from all quarters.
Hence the immense quantity of cathedrals which have
covered Europe--a number so prodigious that one can hardly
believe it even after having verified it. All the material
forcesall the intellectual forces of society converged towards
the same point: architecture. In this mannerunder the pretext
of building churches to Godart was developed in its
magnificent proportions.

Then whoever was born a poet became an architect.
Geniusscattered in the massesrepressed in every quarter

under feudalism as under a ~testudo~ of brazen bucklersfinding
no issue except in the direction of architecture--gushed
forth through that artand its Iliads assumed the form of
cathedrals. All other arts obeyedand placed themselves under
the discipline of architecture. They were the workmen of the
great work. The architectthe poetthe mastersummed up
in his person the sculpture which carved his façadespainting

which illuminated his windowsmusic which set his bells to
pealingand breathed into his organs. There was nothing
down to poor poetry--properly speakingthat which
persisted in vegetating in manuscripts--which was not forced
in order to make something of itselfto come and frame itself
in the edifice in the shape of a hymn or of prose; the same
partafter allwhich the tragedies of AEschylus had played
in the sacerdotal festivals of Greece; Genesisin the temple
of Solomon.

Thusdown to the time of Gutenbergarchitecture is the
principal writingthe universal writing. In that granite
bookbegun by the Orientcontinued by Greek and Roman
antiquitythe Middle Ages wrote the last page. Moreover
this phenomenon of an architecture of the people following
an architecture of castewhich we have just been observing
in the Middle Agesis reproduced with every analogous
movement in the human intelligence at the other great
epochs of history. Thusin order to enunciate here only
summarilya law which it would require volumes to develop:
in the high Orientthe cradle of primitive timesafter
Hindoo architecture came Phoenician architecturethat opulent
mother of Arabian architecture; in antiquityafter Egyptian
architectureof which Etruscan style and cyclopean monuments
are but one varietycame Greek architecture (of which the
Roman style is only a continuation)surcharged with the
Carthaginian dome; in modern timesafter Romanesque
architecture came Gothic architecture. And by separating there
three series into their component partswe shall find in the
three eldest sistersHindoo architectureEgyptian architecture
Romanesque architecturethe same symbol; that is to
saytheocracycasteunitydogmamythGod: and for
the three younger sistersPhoenician architectureGreek
architectureGothic architecturewhatevernevertheless
may be the diversity of form inherent in their naturethe same
signification also; that is to saylibertythe peopleman.

In the HinduEgyptianor Romanesque architectureone
feels the priestnothing but the priestwhether he calls
himself BrahminMagianor Pope. It is not the same in the
architectures of the people. They are richer and less sacred.
In the Phoenicianone feels the merchant; in the Greekthe
republican; in the Gothicthe citizen.

The general characteristics of all theocratic architecture are
immutabilityhorror of progressthe preservation of traditional
linesthe consecration of the primitive typesthe constant
bending of all the forms of men and of nature to the
incomprehensible caprices of the symbol. These are dark
bookswhich the initiated alone understand how to decipher.
Moreoverevery formevery deformity evenhas there a
sense which renders it inviolable. Do not ask of Hindoo
EgyptianRomanesque masonry to reform their designor
to improve their statuary. Every attempt at perfecting is
an impiety to them. In these architectures it seems as
though the rigidity of the dogma had spread over the
stone like a sort of second petrifaction. The general
characteristics of popular masonryon the contraryare progress
originalityopulenceperpetual movement. They are already
sufficiently detached from religion to think of their beauty
to take care of itto correct without relaxation their parure
of statues or arabesques. They are of the age. They have
something humanwhich they mingle incessantly with the
divine symbol under which they still produce. Henceedifices

comprehensible to every soulto every intelligenceto
every imaginationsymbolical stillbut as easy to understand
as nature. Between theocratic architecture and this there is
the difference that lies between a sacred language and a
vulgar languagebetween hieroglyphics and artbetween
Solomon and Phidias.

If the reader will sum up what we have hitherto briefly
very brieflyindicatedneglecting a thousand proofs and also
a thousand objections of detailbe will be led to this: that
architecture wasdown to the fifteenth centurythe chief
register of humanity; that in that interval not a thought which
is in any degree complicated made its appearance in the
worldwhich has not been worked into an edifice; that every
popular ideaand every religious lawhas had its monumental
records; that the human race hasin shorthad no important
thought which it has not written in stone. And why?
Because every thoughteither philosophical or religiousis
interested in perpetuating itself; because the idea which has
moved one generation wishes to move others alsoand leave
a trace. Nowwhat a precarious immortality is that of the
manuscript! How much more soliddurableunyieldingis a
book of stone! In order to destroy the written worda torch
and a Turk are sufficient. To demolish the constructed word
a social revolutiona terrestrial revolution are required.
The barbarians passed over the Coliseum; the delugeperhaps
passed over the Pyramids.

In the fifteenth century everything changes.

Human thought discovers a mode of perpetuating itself
not only more durable and more resisting than architecture
but still more simple and easy. Architecture is dethroned.
Gutenberg's letters of lead are about to supersede Orpheus's
letters of stone.

*The book is about to kill the edifice*.

The invention of printing is the greatest event in history.
It is the mother of revolution. It is the mode of expression
of humanity which is totally renewed; it is human thought
stripping off one form and donning another; it is the complete
and definitive change of skin of that symbolical serpent which
since the days of Adam has represented intelligence.

In its printed formthought is more imperishable than
ever; it is volatileirresistibleindestructible. It is mingled
with the air. In the days of architecture it made a mountain
of itselfand took powerful possession of a century and
a place. Now it converts itself into a flock of birdsscatters
itself to the four windsand occupies all points of air and
space at once.

We repeatwho does not perceive that in this form it is
far more indelible? It was solidit has become alive.
It passes from duration in time to immortality. One can
demolish a mass; bow can one extirpate ubiquity? If a flood
comesthe mountains will have long disappeared beneath the
waveswhile the birds will still be flying about; and if a
single ark floats on the surface of the cataclysmthey will
alight upon itwill float with itwill be present with it at
the ebbing of the waters; and the new world which emerges
from this chaos will beholdon its awakeningthe thought of
the world which has been submerged soaring above itwinged

and living.

And when one observes that this mode of expression is not
only the most conservativebut also the most simplethe
most convenientthe most practicable for all; when one
reflects that it does not drag after it bulky baggageand
does not set in motion a heavy apparatus; when one compares
thought forcedin order to transform itself into an edifice
to put in motion four or five other arts and tons of golda
whole mountain of stonesa whole forest of timber-worka
whole nation of workmen; when one compares it to the thought
which becomes a bookand for which a little papera little
inkand a pen suffice--how can one be surprised that human
intelligence should have quitted architecture for printing?
Cut the primitive bed of a river abruptly with a canal
hollowed out below its leveland the river will desert
its bed.

Behold howbeginning with the discovery of printing
architecture withers away little by littlebecomes lifeless
and bare. How one feels the water sinkingthe sap departing
the thought of the times and of the people withdrawing from
it! The chill is almost imperceptible in the fifteenth
century; the press isas yettoo weakandat the most
draws from powerful architecture a superabundance of life. But
practically beginning with the sixteenth centurythe malady of
architecture is visible; it is no longer the expression of society;
it becomes classic art in a miserable manner; from being
GallicEuropeanindigenousit becomes Greek and Roman;
from being true and modernit becomes pseudo-classic. It is
this decadence which is called the Renaissance. A magnificent
decadencehoweverfor the ancient Gothic geniusthat
sun which sets behind the gigantic press of Mayencestill
penetrates for a while longer with its rays that whole hybrid
pile of Latin arcades and Corinthian columns.

It is that setting sun which we mistake for the dawn.

Neverthelessfrom the moment when architecture is no
longer anything but an art like any other; as soon as it is no
longer the total artthe sovereign artthe tyrant art--it
has no longer the power to retain the other arts. So they
emancipate themselvesbreak the yoke of the architectand take
themselves offeach one in its own direction. Each one of
them gains by this divorce. Isolation aggrandizes everything.
Sculpture becomes statuarythe image trade becomes painting
the canon becomes music. One would pronounce it an empire
dismembered at the death of its Alexanderand whose provinces
become kingdoms.

Hence RaphaelMichael AngeloJean GoujonPalestrina
those splendors of the dazzling sixteenth century.

Thought emancipates itself in all directions at the same time
as the arts. The arch-heretics of the Middle Ages had already
made large incisions into Catholicism. The sixteenth century
breaks religious unity. Before the invention of printing
reform would have been merely a schism; printing converted
it into a revolution. Take away the press; heresy is enervated.
Whether it be Providence or FateGutenburg is the precursor
of Luther.

Neverthelesswhen the sun of the Middle Ages is completely
setwhen the Gothic genius is forever extinct upon

the horizonarchitecture grows dimloses its colorbecomes
more and more effaced. The printed bookthe gnawing worm
of the edificesucks and devours it. It becomes baredenuded
of its foliageand grows visibly emaciated. It is pettyit
is poorit is nothing. It no longer expresses anythingnot
even the memory of the art of another time. Reduced to itself
abandoned by the other artsbecause human thought is abandoning
itit summons bunglers in place of artists. Glass replaces
the painted windows. The stone-cutter succeeds the sculptor.
Farewell all sapall originalityall lifeall intelligence.
It drags alonga lamentable workshop mendicantfrom copy to
copy. Michael Angelowhono doubtfelt even in the sixteenth
century that it was dyinghad a last ideaan idea of
despair. That Titan of art piled the Pantheon on the
Parthenonand made Saint-Peter's at Rome. A great work
which deserved to remain uniquethe last originality of
architecturethe signature of a giant artist at the bottom of
the colossal register of stone which was closed forever. With
Michael Angelo deadwhat does this miserable architecture
which survived itself in the state of a spectredo? It takes
Saint-Peter in Romecopies it and parodies it. It is a mania.
It is a pity. Each century has its Saint-Peter's of Rome; in
the seventeenth centurythe Val-de-Grâce; in the eighteenth
Sainte-Geneviève. Each country has its Saint-Peter's of
Rome. London has one; Petersburg has another; Paris has
two or three. The insignificant testamentthe last dotage of
a decrepit grand art falling back into infancy before it dies.

Ifin place of the characteristic monuments which we have
just describedwe examine the general aspect of art from the
sixteenth to the eighteenth centurywe notice the same
phenomena of decay and phthisis. Beginning with François II.
the architectural form of the edifice effaces itself more and
moreand allows the geometrical formlike the bony structure
of an emaciated invalidto become prominent. The fine
lines of art give way to the cold and inexorable lines of
geometry. An edifice is no longer an edifice; it is a
polyhedron. Meanwhilearchitecture is tormented in her
struggles to conceal this nudity. Look at the Greek pediment
inscribed upon the Roman pedimentand vice versa. It is still
the Pantheon on the Parthenon: Saint-Peter's of Rome. Here
are the brick houses of Henri IV.with their stone corners;
the Place Royalethe Place Dauphine. Here are the churches
of Louis XIII.heavysquatthicksetcrowded together
loaded with a dome like a hump. Here is the Mazarin
architecturethe wretched Italian pasticcio of the Four Nations.
Here are the palaces of Louis XIV.long barracks for courtiers
stiffcoldtiresome. Herefinallyis Louis XV.with
chiccory leaves and vermicelliand all the wartsand all the
fungiwhich disfigure that decrepittoothlessand coquettish
old architecture. From François II. to Louis XV.the evil
has increased in geometrical progression. Art has no longer
anything but skin upon its bones. It is miserably perishing.

Meanwhile what becomes of printing? All the life which
is leaving architecture comes to it. In proportion as
architecture ebbsprinting swells and grows. That capital
of forces which human thought had been expending in edifices
it henceforth expends in books. Thusfrom the sixteenth
century onwardthe pressraised to the level of decaying
architecturecontends with it and kills it. In the seventeenth
century it is already sufficiently the sovereignsufficiently
triumphantsufficiently established in its victoryto
give to the world the feast of a great literary century. In

the eighteenthhaving reposed for a long time at the Court
of Louis seizes again the old sword of Lutherputs it
into the hand of Voltaireand rushes impetuously to the
attack of that ancient Europewhose architectural expression
it has already killed. At the moment when the eighteenth
century comes to an endit has destroyed everything.
In the nineteenthit begins to reconstruct.

Nowwe askwhich of the three arts has really represented
human thought for the last three centuries? which translates
it? which expresses not only its literary and scholastic
vagariesbut its vastprofounduniversal movement? which
constantly superposes itselfwithout a breakwithout a gap
upon the human racewhich walks a monster with a thousand
legs?--Architecture or printing?

It is printing. Let the reader make no mistake; architecture
is dead; irretrievably slain by the printed book--slain
because it endures for a shorter time--slain because it costs
more. Every cathedral represents millions. Let the reader
now imagine what an investment of funds it would require to
rewrite the architectural book; to cause thousands of edifices
to swarm once more upon the soil; to return to those epochs
when the throng of monuments was suchaccording to the
statement of an eye witnessthat one would have said that
the world in shaking itself, had cast off its old garments in
order to cover itself with a white vesture of churches.~Erat
enim ut si mundusipse excutiendo semetrejecta vetustate
candida ecclesiarum vestem indueret~. (GLABER RADOLPHUS.)

A book is so soon madecosts so littleand can go so far!
How can it surprise us that all human thought flows in this
channel? This does not mean that architecture will not
still have a fine monumentan isolated masterpiecehere and
there. We may still have from time to timeunder the reign
of printinga column made I supposeby a whole army from
melted cannonas we had under the reign of architecture
Iliads and RomancerosMahabâhrataand Nibelungen Lieds
made by a whole peoplewith rhapsodies piled up and melted
together. The great accident of an architect of genius may
happen in the twentieth centurylike that of Dante in the
thirteenth. But architecture will no longer be the social art
the collective artthe dominating art. The grand poemthe
grand edificethe grand work of humanity will no longer be
built: it will be printed.

And henceforthif architecture should arise again accidentally
it will no longer be mistress. It will be subservient
to the law of literaturewhich formerly received the
law from it. The respective positions of the two arts will be
inverted. It is certain that in architectural epochsthe poems
rare it is trueresemble the monuments. In IndiaVyasa is
branchingstrangeimpenetrable as a pagoda. In Egyptian
Orientpoetry has like the edificesgrandeur and tranquillity
of line; in antique Greecebeautyserenitycalm; in
Christian Europethe Catholic majestythe popular naivete
the rich and luxuriant vegetation of an epoch of renewal.
The Bible resembles the Pyramids; the Iliadthe Parthenon;
HomerPhidias. Dante in the thirteenth century is the last
Romanesque church; Shakespeare in the sixteenththe last
Gothic cathedral.

Thusto sum up what we have hitherto saidin a fashion
which is necessarily incomplete and mutilatedthe human

race has two bookstwo registerstwo testaments: masonry
and printing; the Bible of stone and the Bible of paper. No
doubtwhen one contemplates these two Bibleslaid so broadly
open in the centuriesit is permissible to regret the visible
majesty of the writing of granitethose gigantic alphabets
formulated in colonnadesin pylonsin obelisksthose sorts
of human mountains which cover the world and the pastfrom
the pyramid to the bell towerfrom Cheops to Strasburg.
The past must be reread upon these pages of marble. This
bookwritten by architecturemust be admired and perused
incessantly; but the grandeur of the edifice which printing
erects in its turn must not be denied.

That edifice is colossal. Some compiler of statistics has
calculatedthat if all the volumes which have issued from the
press since Gutenberg's day were to be piled one upon another
they would fill the space between the earth and the moon;
but it is not that sort of grandeur of which we wished to
speak. Neverthelesswhen one tries to collect in one's mind
a comprehensive image of the total products of printing down
to our own daysdoes not that total appear to us like an
immense constructionresting upon the entire worldat which
humanity toils without relaxationand whose monstrous crest
is lost in the profound mists of the future? It is the anthill
of intelligence. It is the hive whither come all imaginations
those golden beeswith their honey.

The edifice has a thousand stories. Here and there one
beholds on its staircases the gloomy caverns of science which
pierce its interior. Everywhere upon its surfaceart causes
its arabesquesrosettesand laces to thrive luxuriantly before
the eyes. Thereevery individual workhowever capricious
and isolated it may seemhas its place and its projection.
Harmony results from the whole. From the cathedral of
Shakespeare to the mosque of Byrona thousand tiny bell
towers are piled pell-mell above this metropolis of universal
thought. At its base are written some ancient titles of
humanity which architecture had not registered. To the left
of the entrance has been fixed the ancient bas-reliefin white
marbleof Homer; to the rightthe polyglot Bible rears its
seven heads. The hydra of the Romancero and some other
hybrid formsthe Vedas and the Nibelungen bristle further on.

Neverthelessthe prodigious edifice still remains incomplete.
The pressthat giant machinewhich incessantly pumps all
the intellectual sap of societybelches forth without pause
fresh materials for its work. The whole human race is on the
scaffoldings. Each mind is a mason. The humblest fills his
holeor places his stone. Retif dè le Bretonne brings his hod
of plaster. Every day a new course rises. Independently of
the original and individual contribution of each writerthere
are collective contingents. The eighteenth century gives the
_Encyclopedia_the revolution gives the _Moniteur_. Assuredly
it is a construction which increases and piles up in endless
spirals; there also are confusion of tonguesincessant
activityindefatigable laboreager competition of all
humanityrefuge promised to intelligencea new Flood against
an overflow of barbarians. It is the second tower of Babel
of the human race.




A very happy personage in the year of grace 1482was the
noble gentleman Robert d'EstoutevillechevalierSieur de
BeyneBaron d'Ivry and Saint Andry en la Marchecounsellor
and chamberlain to the kingand guard of the provostship of
Paris. It was already nearly seventeen years since he had
received from the kingon November 71465the comet
year* that fine charge of the provostship of Pariswhich was
reputed rather a seigneury than an office. ~Dignitas~says
Joannes Loemnoeus~quoe cum non exigua potestate politiam
concernenteatque proerogativis multis et juribus conjuncta
est~. A marvellous thing in '82 was a gentleman bearing the
king's commissionand whose letters of institution ran back
to the epoch of the marriage of the natural daughter of Louis

XI. with Monsieur the Bastard of Bourbon.
* This comet against which Pope Calixtusuncle of Borgia
ordered public prayersis the same which reappeared in 1835.
The same day on which Robert d'Estouteville took the place
of Jacques de Villiers in the provostship of ParisMaster
Jehan Dauvet replaced Messire Helye de Thorrettes in the
first presidency of the Court of ParliamentJehan Jouvenel
des Ursins supplanted Pierre de Morvilliers in the office of
chancellor of FranceRegnault des Dormans ousted Pierre
Puy from the charge of master of requests in ordinary of the
king's household. Nowupon how many heads had the presidency
the chancellorshipthe mastership passed since Robert
d'Estouteville had held the provostship of Paris. It had been
granted to him for safekeeping,as the letters patent said;
and certainly he kept it well. He had clung to ithe had
incorporated himself with ithe had so identified himself
with it that he had escaped that fury for change which
possessed Louis XI.a tormenting and industrious kingwhose
policy it was to maintain the elasticity of his power by
frequent appointments and revocations. More than this; the
brave chevalier had obtained the reversion of the office for his
sonand for two years alreadythe name of the noble man
Jacques d'Estoutevilleequerryhad figured beside his at the
head of the register of the salary list of the provostship of
Paris. A rare and notable favor indeed! It is true that
Robert d'Estouteville was a good soldierthat he had loyally
raised his pennon against "the league of public good and
that he had presented to the queen a very marvellous stag in
confectionery on the day of her entrance to Paris in 14...
Moreover, he possessed the good friendship of Messire Tristan
l'Hermite, provost of the marshals of the king's household.
Hence a very sweet and pleasant existence was that of Messire
Robert. In the first place, very good wages, to which
were attached, and from which hung, like extra bunches of

grapes on his vine, the revenues of the civil and criminal
registries of the provostship, plus the civil and criminal
revenues of the tribunals of Embas of the Châtelet, without
reckoning some little toll from the bridges of Mantes and of
Corbeil, and the profits on the craft of Shagreen-makers of
Paris, on the corders of firewood and the measurers of salt.
Add to this the pleasure of displaying himself in rides about
the city, and of making his fine military costume, which
you may still admire sculptured on his tomb in the abbey
of Valmont in Normandy, and his morion, all embossed at
Montlhéry, stand out a contrast against the parti-colored
red and tawny robes of the aldermen and police. And then,
was it nothing to wield absolute supremacy over the sergeants
of the police, the porter and watch of the Châtelet, the two
auditors of the Châtelet, ~auditores castelleti~, the sixteen
commissioners of the sixteen quarters, the jailer of the Châtelet,
the four enfeoffed sergeants, the hundred and twenty mounted
sergeants, with maces, the chevalier of the watch with his
watch, his sub-watch, his counter-watch and his rear-watch?
Was it nothing to exercise high and low justice, the right
to interrogate, to hang and to draw, without reckoning petty
jurisdiction in the first resort (~in prima instantia~, as the
charters say), on that viscomty of Paris, so nobly appanaged
with seven noble bailiwicks? Can anything sweeter be imagined
than rendering judgments and decisions, as Messire Robert
d'Estouteville daily did in the Grand Châtelet, under the large
and flattened arches of Philip Augustus? and going, as he
was wont to do every evening, to that charming house situated
in the Rue Galilee, in the enclosure of the royal palace, which
he held in right of his wife, Madame Ambroise de Lore, to
repose after the fatigue of having sent some poor wretch to
pass the night in that little cell of the Rue de Escorcherie
which the provosts and aldermen of Paris used to make their
prison; the same being eleven feet longseven feet and four
inches wideand eleven feet high?"*

* Comptes du domaine1383.
And not only had Messire Robert d'Estouteville his special
court as provost and vicomte of Paris; but in addition he
had a shareboth for eye and toothin the grand court of the
king. There was no head in the least elevated which had not
passed through his hands before it came to the headsman. It
was he who went to seek M. de Nemours at the Bastille Saint
Antoinein order to conduct him to the Halles; and to conduct
to the Grève M. de Saint-Polwho clamored and resisted
to the great joy of the provostwho did not love monsieur the

Hereassuredlyis more than sufficient to render a life
happy and illustriousand to deserve some day a notable page
in that interesting history of the provosts of Pariswhere
one learns that Oudard de Villeneuve had a house in the Rue
des Boucheriesthat Guillaume de Hangest purchased the
great and the little Savoythat Guillaume Thiboust gave the
nuns of Sainte-Geneviève his houses in the Rue Clopinthat
Hugues Aubriot lived in the Hôtel du Pore-Epicand other
domestic facts.

Neverthelesswith so many reasons for taking life patiently
and joyouslyMessire Robert d'Estouteville woke up on the
morning of the seventh of January1482in a very surly and

peevish mood. Whence came this ill temper? He could not
have told himself. Was it because the sky was gray? or was
the buckle of his old belt of Montlhéry badly fastenedso
that it confined his provostal portliness too closely? had he
beheld ribald fellowsmarching in bands of fourbeneath his
windowand setting him at defiancein doublets but no shirts
hats without crownswith wallet and bottle at their side?
Was it a vague presentiment of the three hundred and seventy
livressixteen souseight farthingswhich the future King
Charles VII. was to cut off from the provostship in the
following year? The reader can take his choice; wefor
our partare much inclined to believe that he was in a bad
humorsimply because he was in a bad humor.

Moreoverit was the day after a festivala tiresome day
for every oneand above all for the magistrate who is charged
with sweeping away all the filthproperly and figuratively
speakingwhich a festival day produces in Paris. And then
he had to hold a sitting at the Grand Châtelet. Nowwe
have noticed that judges in general so arrange matters that
their day of audience shall also be their day of bad humor
so that they may always have some one upon whom to vent
it convenientlyin the name of the kinglawand justice.

Howeverthe audience had begun without him. His lieutenants
civilcriminaland privatewere doing his work
according to usage; and from eight o'clock in the morning
some scores of bourgeois and ~bourgeoises~heaped and crowded
into an obscure corner of the audience chamber of Embas du
Châteletbetween a stout oaken barrier and the wallhad been
gazing blissfully at the varied and cheerful spectacle of civil
and criminal justice dispensed by Master Florian Barbedienne

auditor of the Châteletlieutenant of monsieur the provostin
a somewhat confused and utterly haphazard manner.

The hall was smalllowvaulted. A table studded with
fleurs-de-lis stood at one endwith a large arm-chair of carved
oakwhich belonged to the provost and was emptyand a stool
on the left for the auditorMaster Florian. Below sat the
clerk of the courtscribbling; opposite was the populace; and
in front of the doorand in front of the table were many
sergeants of the provostship in sleeveless jackets of violet
camletwith white crosses. Two sergeants of the Parloir-
aux-Bourgeoisclothed in their jackets of Toussainthalf red
half bluewere posted as sentinels before a lowclosed door
which was visible at the extremity of the hallbehind the
table. A single pointed windownarrowly encased in the
thick wallilluminated with a pale ray of January sun two
grotesque figures--the capricious demon of stone carved as
a tail-piece in the keystone of the vaulted ceilingand the
judge seated at the end of the hall on the fleurs-de-lis.

Imaginein factat the provost's tableleaning upon his
elbows between two bundles of documents of caseswith his
foot on the train of his robe of plain brown clothhis face
buried in his hood of white lamb's skinof which his brows
seemed to be of a pieceredcrabbedwinkingbearing
majestically the load of fat on his cheeks which met under his
chinMaster Florian Barbedienneauditor of the Châtelet.

Nowthe auditor was deaf. A slight defect in an auditor.
Master Florian delivered judgmentnone the lesswithout
appeal and very suitably. It is certainly quite sufficient

for a judge to have the .air of listening; and the venerable
auditor fulfilled this conditionthe sole one in justiceall
the better because his attention could not be distracted by
any noise.

Moreoverhe had in the audiencea pitiless censor of his
deeds and gesturesin the person of our friend Jehan Frollo
du Moulinthat little student of yesterdaythat "stroller
whom one was sure of encountering all over Paris, anywhere
except before the rostrums of the professors.

Stay he said in a low tone to his companion, Robin
Poussepain, who was grinning at his side, while he was
making his comments on the scenes which were being unfolded
before his eyes, yonder is Jehanneton du Buisson. The
beautiful daughter of the lazy dog at the Marché-Neuf!--Upon
my soulhe is condemning herthe old rascal! he has no more
eyes than ears. Fifteen sousfour farthingsparisian
for having worn two rosaries! 'Tis somewhat dear. ~Lex
duri carminis~. Who's that? Robin Chief-de-Ville
hauberkmaker. For having been passed and received master of
the said trade! That's his entrance money. He! two gentlemen
among these knaves! Aiglet de SoinsHutin de Mailly
Two equerries~Corpus Christi~! Ah! they have been playing
at dice. When shall I see our rector here? A hundred livres
parisianfine to the king! That Barbedienne strikes like a
deaf man--as he is! I'll be my brother the archdeaconif
that keeps me from gaming; gaming by daygaming by night
living at playdying at playand gaming away my soul after
my shirt. Holy Virginwhat damsels! One after the other
my lambs. Ambroise LécuyereIsabeau la PaynetteBérarde
Gironin! I know them allby Heavens! A fine! a fine!
That's what will teach you to wear gilded girdles! ten sous
parisis! you coquettes! Oh! the old snout of a judge! deaf
and imbecile! Oh! Florian the dolt! Oh! Barbedienne the
blockhead! There he is at the table! He's eating the
plaintiffhe's eating the suitshe eatshe chewshe crams
he fills himself. Fineslost goodstaxesexpensesloyal
chargessalariesdamagesand interestsgehennaprisonand
jailand fetters with expenses are Christmas spice cake and
marchpanes of Saint-John to him! Look at himthe pig!--Come!
Good! Another amorous woman! Thibaud-la-Thibaude
neither more nor less! For having come from the Rue
Glatigny! What fellow is this? Gieffroy Mabonnegendarme
bearing the crossbow. He has cursed the name of the
Father. A fine for la Thibaude! A fine for Gieffroy! A
fine for them both! The deaf old fool! he must have mixed
up the two cases! Ten to one that he makes the wench pay
for the oath and the gendarme for the amour! Attention
Robin Poussepain! What are they going to bring in? Here
are many sergeants! By Jupiter! all the bloodhounds of the
pack are there. It must be the great beast of the hunt--a
wild boar. And 'tis oneRobin'tis one. And a fine one too!
~Hercle~! 'tis our prince of yesterdayour Pope of the Fools
our bellringerour one-eyed manour hunchbackour grimace!
'Tis Quasimodo!"

It was he indeed.

It was Quasimodoboundencircledropedpinionedand
under good guard. The squad of policemen who surrounded
him was assisted by the chevalier of the watch in person
wearing the arms of France embroidered on his breast
and the arms of the city on his back. There was nothing

howeverabout Quasimodoexcept his deformitywhich could
justify the display of halberds and arquebuses; he was
gloomysilentand tranquil. Only now and then did his
single eye cast a sly and wrathful glance upon the bonds
with which he was loaded.

He cast the same glance about himbut it was so dull and
sleepy that the women only pointed him out to each other
in derision.

Meanwhile Master Florianthe auditorturned over
attentively the document in the complaint entered against
Quasimodowhich the clerk handed himandhaving thus
glanced at itappeared to reflect for a moment. Thanks to
this precautionwhich he always was careful to take at the
moment when on the point of beginning an examinationhe knew
beforehand the namestitlesand misdeeds of the accused
made cut and dried responses to questions foreseenand
succeeded in extricating himself from all the windings of
the interrogation without allowing his deafness to be too
apparent. The written charges were to him what the dog is to
the blind man. If his deafness did happen to betray him here
and thereby some incoherent apostrophe or some unintelligible
questionit passed for profundity with someand for
imbecility with others. In neither case did the honor of the
magistracy sustain any injury; for it is far better that a judge
should be reputed imbecile or profound than deaf. Hence he
took great care to conceal his deafness from the eyes of all
and he generally succeeded so well that he had reached the
point of deluding himselfwhich isby the wayeasier than
is supposed. All hunchbacks walk with their heads held
highall stutterers harangueall deaf people speak low. As
for himhe believedat the mostthat his ear was a little
refractory. It was the sole concession which he made on this
point to public opinionin his moments of frankness and
examination of his conscience.

Havingthenthoroughly ruminated Quasimodo's affairhe
threw back his head and half closed his eyesfor the sake of
more majesty and impartialityso thatat that momenthe was
both deaf and blind. A double conditionwithout which no
judge is perfect. It was in this magisterial attitude that he
began the examination.

Your name?

Now this was a case which had not been "provided for by
law where a deaf man should be obliged to question a
deaf man.

Quasimodo, whom nothing warned that a question had been
addressed to him, continued to stare intently at the judge,
and made no reply. The judge, being deaf, and being in no way
warned of the deafness of the accused, thought that the latter
had answered, as all accused do in general, and therefore he
pursued, with his mechanical and stupid self-possession,-

Very well. And your age?"

Again Quasimodo made no reply to this question. The judge
supposed that it had been replied toand continued-

Now, your profession?

Still the same silence. The spectators had begunmeanwhile
to whisper togetherand to exchange glances.

That will do,went on the imperturbable auditorwhen he
supposed that the accused had finished his third reply. "You
are accused before us~primo~of nocturnal disturbance;
~secundo~of a dishonorable act of violence upon the person of
a foolish woman~in proejudicium meretricis; tertio~of rebellion
and disloyalty towards the archers of the police of our lord
the king. Explain yourself upon all these points.---Clerk
have you written down what the prisoner has said thus far?"

At this unlucky questiona burst of laughter rose from the
clerk's table caught by the audienceso violentso wildso
contagiousso universalthat the two deaf men were forced
to perceive it. Quasimodo turned roundshrugging his hump
with disdainwhile Master Florianequally astonishedand
supposing that the laughter of the spectators had been
provoked by some irreverent reply from the accusedrendered
visible to him by that shrug of the shouldersapostrophized
him indignantly-

You have uttered a reply, knave, which deserves the halter.
Do you know to whom you are speaking?

This sally was not fitted to arrest the explosion of general
merriment. It struck all as so whimsicaland so ridiculous
that the wild laughter even attacked the sergeants of the Parloiaux-
Bourgeoisa sort of pikemenwhose stupidity was part
of their uniform. Quasimodo alone preserved his seriousness
for the good reason that he understood nothing of what was
going on around him. The judgemore and more irritated
thought it his duty to continue in the same tonehoping
thereby to strike the accused with a terror which should react
upon the audienceand bring it back to respect.

So this is as much as to say, perverse and thieving knave
that you are, that you permit yourself to be lacking in
respect towards the Auditor of the Châtelet, to the magistrate
committed to the popular police of Paris, charged with searching
out crimes, delinquencies, and evil conduct; with controlling
all trades, and interdicting monopoly; with maintaining the
pavements; with debarring the hucksters of chickens, poultry,
and water-fowl; of superintending the measuring of fagots and
other sorts of wood; of purging the city of mud, and the air
of contagious maladies; in a word, with attending continually
to public affairs, without wages or hope of salary! Do you
know that I am called Florian Barbedienne, actual lieutenant
to monsieur the provost, and, moreover, commissioner, inquisitor,
controller, and examiner, with equal power in provostship,
bailiwick, preservation, and inferior court of judicature?--

There is no reason why a deaf man talking to a deaf man
should stop. God knows where and when Master Florian
would have landedwhen thus launched at full speed in lofty
eloquenceif the low door at the extreme end of the room had
not suddenly openedand given entrance to the provost in
person. At his entrance Master Florian did not stop short
butmaking a half-turn on his heelsand aiming at the provost
the harangue with which he had been withering Quasimodo a
moment before-

Monseigneur,said heI demand such penalty as you
shall deem fitting against the prisoner here present, for

grave and aggravated offence against the court.

And he seated himselfutterly breathlesswiping away the
great drops of sweat which fell from his brow and drenched
like tearsthe parchments spread out before him. Messire
Robert d'Estouteville frowned and made a gesture so imperious
and significant to Quasimodothat the deaf man in some
measure understood it.

The provost addressed him with severityWhat have you
done that you have been brought hither, knave?

The poor fellowsupposing that the provost was asking his
namebroke the silence which he habitually preservedand
repliedin a harsh and guttural voiceQuasimodo.

The reply matched the question so little that the wild
laugh began to circulate once moreand Messire Robert
exclaimedred with wrath-

Are you mocking me also, you arrant knave?

Bellringer of Notre-Dame,replied Quasimodosupposing
that what was required of him was to explain to the judge
who he was.

Bellringer!interpolated the provostwho had waked up
early enough to be in a sufficiently bad temperas we have
saidnot to require to have his fury inflamed by such strange
responses. "Bellringer! I'll play you a chime of rods on
your back through the squares of Paris! Do you hearknave?"

If it is my age that you wish to know,said Quasimodo
I think that I shall be twenty at Saint Martin's day.

This was too much; the provost could no longer restrain

Ah! you are scoffing at the provostship, wretch! Messieurs
the sergeants of the mace, you will take me this knave
to the pillory of the Grève, you will flog him, and turn
him for an hour. He shall pay me for it, ~tête Dieu~! And I
order that the present judgment shall be cried, with the
assistance of four sworn trumpeters, in the seven castellanies
of the viscomty of Paris.

The clerk set to work incontinently to draw up the account
of the sentence.

~Ventre Dieu~! 'tis well adjudged!cried the little scholar
Jehan Frollo du Moulinfrom his corner.

The provost turned and fixed his flashing eyes once more on
Quasimodo. "I believe the knave said '~Ventre Dieu~' Clerk
add twelve deniers Parisian for the oathand let the vestry
of Saint Eustache have the half of it; I have a particular
devotion for Saint Eustache."

In a few minutes the sentence was drawn up. Its tenor
was simple and brief. The customs of the provostship and
the viscomty had not yet been worked over by President
Thibaut Bailletand by Roger Barmnethe king's advocate;
they had not been obstructedat that timeby that lofty
hedge of quibbles and procedureswhich the two jurisconsults

planted there at the beginning of the sixteenth century. All
was clearexpeditiousexplicit. One went straight to the
point thenand at the end of every path there was immediately
visiblewithout thickets and without turnings; the wheelthe
gibbetor the pillory. One at least knew whither one was

The clerk presented the sentence to the provostwho
affixed his seal to itand departed to pursue his round of
the audience hallin a frame of mind which seemed destined
to fill all the jails in Paris that day. Jehan Frollo and
Robin Poussepain laughed in their sleeves. Quasimodo gazed
on the whole with an indifferent and astonished air.

Howeverat the moment when Master Florian Barbedienne
was reading the sentence in his turnbefore signing itthe
clerk felt himself moved with pity for the poor wretch of a
prisonerandin the hope of obtaining some mitigation of the
penaltyhe approached as near the auditor's ear as possible
and saidpointing to QuasimodoThat man is deaf.

He hoped that this community of infirmity would awaken
Master Florian's interest in behalf of the condemned man.
Butin the first placewe have already observed that Master
Florian did not care to have his deafness noticed. In the
next placehe was so hard of hearing That he did not catch a
single word of what the clerk said to him; neverthelesshe
wished to have the appearance of hearingand repliedAh!
ah! that is different; I did not know that. An hour more of
the pillory, in that case.

And he signed the sentence thus modified.

'Tis well done,said Robin Poussepainwho cherished a
grudge against Quasimodo. "That will teach him to handle
people roughly."


The reader must permit us to take him back to the Place
de Grèvewhich we quitted yesterday with Gringoirein
order to follow la Esmeralda.

It is ten o'clock in the morning; everything is indicative of
the day after a festival. The pavement is covered with rubbish;
ribbonsragsfeathers from tufts of plumesdrops of wax
from the torchescrumbs of the public feast. A goodly
number of bourgeois are "sauntering as we say, here and
there, turning over with their feet the extinct brands of
the bonfire, going into raptures in front of the Pillar House,
over the memory of the fine hangings of the day before, and
to-day staring at the nails that secured them a last pleasure.
The venders of cider and beer are rolling their barrels among
the groups. Some busy passers-by come and go. The merchants
converse and call to each other from the thresholds of
their shops. The festival, the ambassadors, Coppenole, the
Pope of the Fools, are in all mouths; they vie with each
other, each trying to criticise it best and laugh the most.
And, meanwhile, four mounted sergeants, who have just

posted themselves at the four sides of the pillory, have
already concentrated around themselves a goodly proportion
of the populace scattered on the Place, who condemn themselves
to immobility and fatigue in the hope of a small execution.

If the reader, after having contemplated this lively and
noisy scene which is being enacted in all parts of the Place,
will now transfer his gaze towards that ancient demi-Gothic,
demi-Romanesque house of the Tour-Roland, which forms the
corner on the quay to the west, he will observe, at the angle
of the façade, a large public breviary, with rich illuminations,
protected from the rain by a little penthouse, and from thieves
by a small grating, which, however, permits of the leaves being
turned. Beside this breviary is a narrow, arched window,
closed by two iron bars in the form of a cross, and looking on
the square; the only opening which admits a small quantity
of light and air to a little cell without a door, constructed on
the ground-floor, in the thickness of the walls of the old house,
and filled with a peace all the more profound, with a silence
all the more gloomy, because a public place, the most populous
and most noisy in Paris swarms and shrieks around it.

This little cell had been celebrated in Paris for nearly three
centuries, ever since Madame Rolande de la Tour-Roland, in
mourning for her father who died in the Crusades, had caused
it to be hollowed out in the wall of her own house, in order
to immure herself there forever, keeping of all her palace
only this lodging whose door was walled up, and whose window
stood open, winter and summer, giving all the rest to the
poor and to God. The afflicted damsel had, in fact, waited
twenty years for death in this premature tomb, praying night
and day for the soul of her father, sleeping in ashes, without
even a stone for a pillow, clothed in a black sack, and
subsisting on the bread and water which the compassion of the
passers-by led them to deposit on the ledge of her window,
thus receiving charity after having bestowed it. At her death,
at the moment when she was passing to the other sepulchre,
she had bequeathed this one in perpetuity to afflicted women,
mothers, widows, or maidens, who should wish to pray much
for others or for themselves, and who should desire to inter
themselves alive in a great grief or a great penance. The
poor of her day had made her a fine funeral, with tears and
benedictions; but, to their great regret, the pious maid had
not been canonized, for lack of influence. Those among them
who were a little inclined to impiety, had hoped that the matter
might be accomplished in Paradise more easily than at Rome,
and had frankly besought God, instead of the pope, in behalf
of the deceased. The majority had contented themselves with
holding the memory of Rolande sacred, and converting her
rags into relics. The city, on its side, had founded in honor
of the damoiselle, a public breviary, which had been fastened
near the window of the cell, in order that passers-by might
halt there from time to time, were it only to pray; that prayer
might remind them of alms, and that the poor recluses, heiresses
of Madame Rolande's vault, might not die outright of
hunger and forgetfulness.

Moreover, this sort of tomb was not so very rare a thing in
the cities of the Middle Ages. One often encountered in
the most frequented street, in the most crowded and noisy
market, in the very middle, under the feet of the horses,
under the wheels of the carts, as it were, a cellar, a well, a
tiny walled and grated cabin, at the bottom of which a human
being prayed night and day, voluntarily devoted to some eternal

lamentation, to some great expiation. And all the reflections
which that strange spectacle would awaken in us to-day;
that horrible cell, a sort of intermediary link between a house
and the tomb, the cemetery and the city; that living being
cut off from the human community, and thenceforth reckoned
among the dead; that lamp consuming its last drop of oil in
the darkness; that remnant of life flickering in the grave;
that breath, that voice, that eternal prayer in a box of stone;
that face forever turned towards the other world; that eye
already illuminated with another sun; that ear pressed to the
walls of a tomb; that soul a prisoner in that body; that body
a prisoner in that dungeon cell, and beneath that double
envelope of flesh and granite, the murmur of that soul in
pain;--nothing of all this was perceived by the crowd.
The piety of that age, not very subtle nor much given to
reasoning, did not see so many facets in an act of religion.
It took the thing in the block, honored, venerated, hallowed
the sacrifice at need, but did not analyze the sufferings, and
felt but moderate pity for them. It brought some pittance to
the miserable penitent from time to time, looked through the
hole to see whether he were still living, forgot his name,
hardly knew how many years ago he had begun to die, and to
the stranger, who questioned them about the living skeleton
who was perishing in that cellar, the neighbors replied simply,
It is the recluse."

Everything was then viewed without metaphysicswithout
exaggerationwithout magnifying glasswith the naked eye.
The microscope had not yet been inventedeither for things of
matter or for things of the mind.

Moreoveralthough people were but little surprised by it
the examples of this sort of cloistration in the hearts of cities
were in truth frequentas we have just said. There were in
Paris a considerable number of these cellsfor praying to God
and doing penance; they were nearly all occupied. It is true
that the clergy did not like to have them emptysince that
implied lukewarmness in believersand that lepers were put
into them when there were no penitents on hand. Besides the
cell on the Grèvethere was one at Montfauçonone at the
Charnier des Innocentsanother I hardly know where--at
the Clichon HouseI think; others still at many spots where
traces of them are found in traditionsin default of memorials.
The University had also its own. On Mount Sainte-Geneviève
a sort of Job of the Middle Agesfor the space of thirty
yearschanted the seven penitential psalms on a dunghill
at the bottom of a cisternbeginning anew when he had
finishedsinging loudest at night~magna voce per umbras~
and to-daythe antiquary fancies that he hears his voice
as he enters the Rue du Puits-qui-parle--the street of the
Speaking Well.

To confine ourselves to the cell in the Tour-Rolandwe must
say that it had never lacked recluses. After the death of
Madame Rolandit had stood vacant for a year or two
though rarely. Many women had come thither to mourn
until their deathfor relativesloversfaults. Parisian
malicewhich thrusts its finger into everythingeven into
things which concern it the leastaffirmed that it had beheld
but few widows there.

In accordance with the fashion of the epocha Latin
inscription on the wall indicated to the learned passer-by the
pious purpose of this cell. The custom was retained until

the middle of the sixteenth century of explaining an edifice
by a brief device inscribed above the door. Thusone still
reads in Franceabove the wicket of the prison in the seignorial
mansion of Tourville~Sileto et spera~; in Irelandbeneath
the armorial bearings which surmount the grand door to
Fortescue Castle~Forte scutumsalus ducum~; in England
over the principal entrance to the hospitable mansion of the
Earls Cowper: ~Tuum est~. At that time every edifice was
a thought.

As there was no door to the walled cell of the Tour-Roland
these two words had been carved in large Roman capitals
over the window-


And this caused the peoplewhose good sense does not
perceive so much refinement in thingsand likes to translate
_Ludovico Magno_ by "Porte Saint-Denis to give to this dark,
gloomy, damp cavity, the name of The Rat-Hole." An explanation
less sublimeperhapsthan the other; buton the other hand
more picturesque.



At the epoch of this historythe cell in the Tour-Roland
was occupied. If the reader desires to know by whomhe
has only to lend an ear to the conversation of three worthy
gossipswhoat the moment when we have directed his
attention to the Rat-Holewere directing their steps
towards the same spotcoming up along the water's edge
from the Châtelettowards the Grève.

Two of these women were dressed like good ~bourgeoises~ of
Paris. Their fine white ruffs; their petticoats of linsey-
woolseystriped red and blue; their white knitted stockings
with clocks embroidered in colorswell drawn upon their
legs; the square-toed shoes of tawny leather with black soles
andabove alltheir headgearthat sort of tinsel horn
loaded down with ribbons and laceswhich the women of Champagne
still wearin company with the grenadiers of the imperial
guard of Russiaannounced that they belonged to that class
wives which holds the middle ground
between what the lackeys call a woman and what they term a
lady. They wore neither rings nor gold crossesand it was
easy to see thatin their easethis did not proceed from
povertybut simply from fear of being fined. Their companion
was attired in very much the same manner; but there was
that indescribable something about her dress and bearing
which suggested the wife of a provincial notary. One could
seeby the way in which her girdle rose above her hipsthat
she had not been long in Paris.--Add to this a plaited tucker
knots of ribbon on her shoes--and that the stripes of her
petticoat ran horizontally instead of verticallyand a
thousand other enormities which shocked good taste.

The two first walked with that step peculiar to Parisian
ladiesshowing Paris to women from the country. The
provincial held by the hand a big boywho held in his a
largeflat cake.

We regret to be obliged to addthatowing to the rigor of
the seasonhe was using his tongue as a handkerchief.

The child was making them drag him along~non passibus
Cequis~as Virgil saysand stumbling at every momentto the
great indignation of his mother. It is true that he was
looking at his cake more than at the pavement. Some serious
motiveno doubtprevented his biting it (the cake)for he
contented himself with gazing tenderly at it. But the mother
should have rather taken charge of the cake. It was cruel to
make a Tantalus of the chubby-checked boy.

Meanwhilethe three demoiselles (for the name of dames
was then reserved for noble women) were all talking at once.

Let us make haste, Demoiselle Mahiette,said the youngest
of the threewho was also the largestto the provincial
I greatly fear that we shall arrive too late; they told us at
the Châtelet that they were going to take him directly to
the pillory.

Ah, bah! what are you saying, Demoiselle Oudarde
Musnier?interposed the other Parisienne. "There are two
hours yet to the pillory. We have time enough. Have you
ever seen any one pilloriedmy dear Mahiette?"

Yes,said the provincialat Reims.

Ah, bah! What is your pillory at Reims? A miserable
cage into which only peasants are turned. A great affair,

Only peasants!said Mahietteat the cloth market in
Reims! We have seen very fine criminals there, who have
killed their father and mother! Peasants! For what do you
take us, Gervaise?

It is certain that the provincial was on the point of taking
offencefor the honor of her pillory. Fortunatelythat
discreet damoiselleOudarde Musnierturned the conversation
in time.

By the way, Damoiselle Mahiette, what say you to our
Flemish Ambassadors? Have you as fine ones at Reims?

I admit,replied Mahiettethat it is only in Paris that
such Flemings can be seen.

Did you see among the embassy, that big ambassador who
is a hosier?asked Oudarde.

Yes,said Mahiette. "He has the eye of a Saturn."

And the big fellow whose face resembles a bare belly?
resumed Gervaise. "And the little onewith small eyes
framed in red eyelidspared down and slashed up like a
thistle head?"

'Tis their horses that are worth seeing,said Oudarde

caparisoned as they are after the fashion of their country!

Ah my dear,interrupted provincial Mahietteassuming
in her turn an air of superioritywhat would you say then,
if you had seen in '61, at the consecration at Reims, eighteen
years ago, the horses of the princes and of the king's
company? Housings and caparisons of all sorts; some of
damask cloth, of fine cloth of gold, furred with sables; others
of velvet, furred with ermine; others all embellished with
goldsmith's work and large bells of gold and silver! And what
money that had cost! And what handsome boy pages rode upon them!

That,replied Oudarde drylydoes not prevent the Flemings
having very fine horses, and having had a superb supper
yesterday with monsieur, the provost of the merchants, at the
Hôtel-de-Ville, where they were served with comfits and
hippocras, and spices, and other singularities.

What are you saying, neighbor!exclaimed Gervaise.
It was with monsieur the cardinal, at the Petit Bourbon
that they supped.

Not at all. At the Hôtel-de-Ville.

Yesindeed. At the Petit Bourbon!"

It was at the Hôtel-de-Ville,retorted Oudarde sharply
and Dr. Scourable addressed them a harangue in Latin,
which pleased them greatly. My husband, who is sworn
bookseller told me.

It was at the Petit Bourbon,replied Gervaisewith no
less spiritand this is what monsieur the cardinal's
procurator presented to them: twelve double quarts of hippocras,
white, claret, and red; twenty-four boxes of double Lyons
marchpane, gilded; as many torches, worth two livres a piece;
and six demi-queues* of Beaune wine, white and claret, the
best that could be found. I have it from my husband, who is
a cinquantenier**, at the Parloir-aux Bourgeois, and who was
this morning comparing the Flemish ambassadors with those
of Prester John and the Emperor of Trebizond, who came
from Mesopotamia to Paris, under the last king, and who wore
rings in their ears.

* A Queue was a cask which held a hogshead and a half.
** A captain of fifty men.

So true is it that they supped at the Hôtel-de-Ville,
replied Oudarde but little affected by this cataloguethat
such a triumph of viands and comfits has never been seen.

I tell you that they were served by Le Sec, sergeant of the
city, at the Hôtel du Petit-Bourbon, and that that is where
you are mistaken.

At the Hôtel-de-Ville, I tell you!

At the Petit-Bourbon, my dear! and they had illuminated
with magic glasses the word hope, which is written on the
grand portal.

At the Hôtel-de-Ville! At the Hôtel-de-Ville! And
Husson-le-Voir played the flute!

I tell you, no!

I tell you, yes!

I say, no!

Plump and worthy Oudarde was preparing to retortand
the quarrel mightperhapshave proceeded to a pulling of
capshad not Mahiette suddenly exclaimed--"Look at those
people assembled yonder at the end of the bridge! There is
something in their midst that they are looking at!"

In sooth,said GervaiseI hear the sounds of a
tambourine. I believe 'tis the little Esmeralda, who plays
her mummeries with her goat. Eh, be quick, Mahiette! redouble
your pace and drag along your boy. You are come hither to
visit the curiosities of Paris. You saw the Flemings
yesterday; you must see the gypsy to-day.

The gypsy!said Mahiettesuddenly retracing her steps
and clasping her son's arm forcibly. "God preserve me from
it! She would steal my child from me! ComeEustache!"

And she set out on a run along the quay towards the Grève
until she had left the bridge far behind her. In the
meanwhilethe child whom she was dragging after her fell
upon his knees; she halted breathless. Oudarde and Gervaise
rejoined her.

That gypsy steal your child from you!said Gervaise.
That's a singular freak of yours!

Mahiette shook her head with a pensive air.

The singular point is,observed Oudardethat ~la sachette~
has the same idea about the Egyptian woman.

What is ~la sachette~?asked Mahiette.

Hé!said OudardeSister Gudule.

And who is Sister Gudule?persisted Mahiette.

You are certainly ignorant of all but your Reims, not
to know that!replied Oudarde. "'Tis the recluse of
the Rat-Hole."

What!demanded Mahiettethat poor woman to whom
we are carrying this cake?

Oudarde nodded affirmatively.

Precisely. You will see her presently at her window on
the Grève. She has the same opinion as yourself of these
vagabonds of Egypt, who play the tambourine and tell
fortunes to the public. No one knows whence comes her
horror of the gypsies and Egyptians. But you, Mahiette--why
do you run so at the mere sight of them?

Oh!said Mahietteseizing her child's round head in both
handsI don't want that to happen to me which happened to

Paquette la Chantefleurie.

Oh! you must tell us that story, my good Mahiette,said
Gervaisetaking her arm.

Gladly,replied Mahiettebut you must be ignorant of
all but your Paris not to know that! I will tell you then (but
'tis not necessary for us to halt that I may tell you the tale),
that Paquette la Chantefleurie was a pretty maid of eighteen
when I was one myself, that is to say, eighteen years ago, and
'tis her own fault if she is not to-day, like me, a good, plump,
fresh mother of six and thirty, with a husband and a son.
However, after the age of fourteen, it was too late! Well, she
was the daughter of Guybertant, minstrel of the barges at
Reims, the same who had played before King Charles VII., at
his coronation, when he descended our river Vesle from Sillery
to Muison, when Madame the Maid of Orleans was also in the
boat. The old father died when Paquette was still a mere
child; she had then no one but her mother, the sister of M.
Pradon, master-brazier and coppersmith in Paris, Rue Farm-
Garlin, who died last year. You see she was of good family.
The mother was a good simple woman, unfortunately, and
she taught Paquette nothing but a bit of embroidery and
toy-making which did not prevent the little one from growing
very large and remaining very poor. They both dwelt at
Reims, on the river front, Rue de Folle-Peine. Mark this:
For I believe it was this which brought misfortune to Paquette.
In '61, the year of the coronation of our King Louis XI.
whom God preserve! Paquette was so gay and so pretty that
she was called everywhere by no other name than la
Chantefleurie"--blossoming song. Poor girl! She had handsome
teethshe was fond of laughing and displaying them. Nowa
maid who loves to laugh is on the road to weeping; handsome teeth
ruin handsome eyes. So she was la Chantefleurie. She and
her mother earned a precarious living; they had been very
destitute since the death of the minstrel; their embroidery
did not bring them in more than six farthings a weekwhich
does not amount to quite two eagle liards. Where were the
days when Father Guybertant had earned twelve sous parisian
in a single coronationwith a song? One winter (it was
in that same year of '61)when the two women had neither
fagots nor firewoodit was very coldwhich gave la
Chantefleurie such a fine color that the men called
her Paquette!* and many called her Pàquerette!** and she was
ruined.--Eustachejust let me see you bite that cake if you
dare!--We immediately perceived that she was ruinedone Sunday
when she came to church with a gold cross about her neck.
At fourteen years of age! do you see? First it was the
young Vicomte de Cormontreuilwho has his bell tower three
leagues distant from Reims; then Messire Henri de Triancourt
equerry to the King; then less than thatChiart de
Beaulionsergeant-at-arms; thenstill descendingGuery
Aubergeoncarver to the King; thenMace de Frépusbarber
to monsieur the dauphin; thenThévenin le MoineKing's
cook; thenthe men growing continually younger and less
nobleshe fell to Guillaume Racineminstrel of the hurdy
gurdy and to Thierry de Merlamplighter. Thenpoor
Chantefleurieshe belonged to every one: she had reached
the last sou of her gold piece. What shall I say to youmy
damoiselles? At the coronationin the same year'61'twas
she who made the bed of the king of the debauchees! In the
same year!"

* Ox-eye daisy.
** Easter daisy.

Mahiette sighedand wiped away a tear which trickled from
her eyes.

This is no very extraordinary history,said Gervaiseand
in the whole of it I see nothing of any Egyptian women or

Patience!resumed Mahietteyou will see one child.--In
'66, 'twill be sixteen years ago this month, at Sainte-
Paule's day, Paquette was brought to bed of a little girl.
The unhappy creature! it was a great joy to her; she had long
wished for a child. Her mother, good woman, who had never
known what to do except to shut her eyes, her mother was
dead. Paquette had no longer any one to love in the world
or any one to love her. La Chantefleurie had been a poor
creature during the five years since her fall. She was alone,
alone in this life, fingers were pointed at her, she was hooted
at in the streets, beaten by the sergeants, jeered at by the
little boys in rags. And then, twenty had arrived: and twenty
is an old age for amorous women. Folly began to bring her
in no more than her trade of embroidery in former days; for
every wrinkle that came, a crown fled; winter became hard to
her once more, wood became rare again in her brazier, and
bread in her cupboard. She could no longer work because,
in becoming voluptuous, she had grown lazy; and she suffered
much more because, in growing lazy, she had become voluptuous.
At least, that is the way in which monsieur the cure of
Saint-Remy explains why these women are colder and hungrier
than other poor women, when they are old.

Yes,remarked Gervaisebut the gypsies?

One moment, Gervaise!said Oudardewhose attention
was less impatient. "What would be left for the end if all
were in the beginning? ContinueMahietteI entreat you.
That poor Chantefleurie!"

Mahiette went on.

So she was very sad, very miserable, and furrowed her
cheeks with tears. But in the midst of her shame, her folly,
her debauchery, it seemed to her that she should be less wild,
less shameful, less dissipated, if there were something or
some one in the world whom she could love, and who could love
her. It was necessary that it should be a child, because only
a child could be sufficiently innocent for that. She had
recognized this fact after having tried to love a thief, the
only man who wanted her; but after a short time, she perceived
that the thief despised her. Those women of love require either
a lover or a child to fill their hearts. Otherwise, they are
very unhappy. As she could not have a lover, she turned
wholly towards a desire for a child, and as she had not ceased
to be pious, she made her constant prayer to the good God
for it. So the good God took pity on her, and gave her a
little daughter. I will not speak to you of her joy; it was a
fury of tears, and caresses, and kisses. She nursed her child
herself, made swaddling-bands for it out of her coverlet, the
only one which she had on her bed, and no longer felt either
cold or hunger. She became beautiful once more, in consequence

of it. An old maid makes a young mother. Gallantry claimed
her once more; men came to see la Chantefleurie; she found
customers again for her merchandise, and out of all
these horrors she made baby clothes, caps and bibs, bodices
with shoulder-straps of lace, and tiny bonnets of satin, without
even thinking of buying herself another coverlet.--Master
Eustache, I have already told you not to eat that cake.--It
is certain that little Agnes, that was the child's name, a
baptismal name, for it was a long time since la Chantefleurie
had had any surname--it is certain that that little one
was more swathed in ribbons and embroideries than a
dauphiness of Dauphiny! Among other things, she had a pair
of little shoes, the like of which King Louis XI. certainly
never had! Her mother had stitched and embroidered them
herself; she had lavished on them all the delicacies of her
art of embroideress, and all the embellishments of a robe for
the good Virgin. They certainly were the two prettiest little
pink shoes that could be seen. They were no longer than my
thumb, and one had to see the child's little feet come out of
them, in order to believe that they had been able to get into
them. 'Tis true that those little feet were so small, so pretty,
so rosy! rosier than the satin of the shoes! When you have
children, Oudarde, you will find that there is nothing prettier
than those little hands and feet.

I ask no better,said Oudarde with a sighbut I am
waiting until it shall suit the good pleasure of M. Andry Musnier.

However, Paquette's child had more that was pretty about
it besides its feet. I saw her when she was only four months
old; she was a love! She had eyes larger than her mouth,
and the most charming black hair, which already curled. She
would have been a magnificent brunette at the age of sixteen!
Her mother became more crazy over her every day. She
kissed her, caressed her, tickled her, washed her, decked her
out, devoured her! She lost her head over her, she thanked
God for her. Her pretty, little rosy feet above all were an
endless source of wonderment, they were a delirium of joy!
She was always pressing her lips to them, and she could never
recover from her amazement at their smallness. She put
them into the tiny shoes, took them out, admired them, marvelled
at them, looked at the light through them, was curious
to see them try to walk on her bed, and would gladly have
passed her life on her knees, putting on and taking off the
shoes from those feet, as though they had been those of an
Infant Jesus.

The tale is fair and good,said Gervaise in a low tone;
but where do gypsies come into all that?

Here,replied Mahiette. "One day there arrived in
Reims a very queer sort of people. They were beggars and
vagabonds who were roaming over the countryled by their
duke and their counts. They were browned by exposure to
the sunthey had closely curling hairand silver rings in
their ears. The women were still uglier than the men. They
had blacker faceswhich were always uncovereda miserable
frock on their bodiesan old cloth woven of cords bound
upon their shoulderand their hair hanging like the tail of a
horse. The children who scrambled between their legs would
have frightened as many monkeys. A band of excommunicates.
All these persons came direct from lower Egypt to
Reims through Poland. The Pope had confessed themit was
saidand had prescribed to them as penance to roam through

the world for seven yearswithout sleeping in a bed; and so
they were called penancersand smelt horribly. It appears
that they had formerly been Saracenswhich was why they
believed in Jupiterand claimed ten livres of Tournay from
all archbishopsbishopsand mitred abbots with croziers.
A bull from the Pope empowered them to do that. They came
to Reims to tell fortunes in the name of the King of Algiers
and the Emperor of Germany. You can readily imagine that
no more was needed to cause the entrance to the town to be
forbidden them. Then the whole band camped with good
grace outside the gate of Braineon that hill where stands
a millbeside the cavities of the ancient chalk pits. And
everybody in Reims vied with his neighbor in going to see them.
They looked at your handand told you marvellous prophecies;
they were equal to predicting to Judas that he would become
Pope. Neverthelessugly rumors were in circulation in
regard to them; about children stolenpurses cutand human
flesh devoured. The wise people said to the foolish: "Don't
go there!" and then went themselves on the sly. It was an
infatuation. The fact isthat they said things fit to astonish
a cardinal. Mothers triumphed greatly over their little ones
after the Egyptians had read in their hands all sorts of
marvels written in pagan and in Turkish. One had an emperor;
anothera pope; anothera captain. Poor Chantefleurie was
seized with curiosity; she wished to know about herselfand
whether her pretty little Agnes would not become some day
Empress of Armeniaor something else. So she carried her to
the Egyptians; and the Egyptian women fell to admiring the
childand to caressing itand to kissing it with their black
mouthsand to marvelling over its little bandalas! to the
great joy of the mother. They were especially enthusiastic
over her pretty feet and shoes. The child was not yet a year
old. She already lisped a littlelaughed at her mother like a
little mad thingwas plump and quite roundand possessed a
thousand charming little gestures of the angels of paradise.

She was very much frightened by the Egyptiansand wept.
But her mother kissed her more warmly and went away enchanted
with the good fortune which the soothsayers had foretold
for her Agnes. She was to be a beautyvirtuousa queen.
So she returned to her attic in the Rue Folle-Peinevery
proud of bearing with her a queen. The next day she took
advantage of a moment when the child was asleep on her bed
(for they always slept together)gently left the door a
little way openand ran to tell a neighbor in the Rue de la
Séchesseriethat the day would come when her daughter Agnes
would be served at table by the King of England and the
Archduke of Ethiopiaand a hundred other marvels. On
her returnhearing no cries on the staircaseshe said to
herself: 'Good! the child is still asleep!' She found her door
wider open than she had left itbut she enteredpoor mother
and ran to the bed.---The child was no longer therethe
place was empty. Nothing remained of the childbut one of
her pretty little shoes. She flew out of the roomdashed
down the stairsand began to beat her head against the wall
crying: 'My child! who has my child? Who has taken my
child?' The street was desertedthe house isolated; no
one could tell her anything about it. She went about the
townsearched all the streetsran hither and thither the
whole day longwildbeside herselfterriblesnuffing at doors
and windows like a wild beast which has lost its young. She
was breathlessdishevelledfrightful to seeand there was a
fire in her eyes which dried her tears. She stopped the
passers-by and cried: 'My daughter! my daughter! my

pretty little daughter! If any one will give me back my
daughterI will he his servantthe servant of his dogand he
shall eat my heart if he will.' She met M. le Curé of Saint-
Remyand said to him: 'MonsieurI will till the earth
with my finger-nailsbut give me back my child!' It was
heartrendingOudarde; and IL saw a very hard manMaster
Ponce Lacabrethe procuratorweep. Ah! poor mother! In
the evening she returned home. During her absencea neighbor
had seen two gypsies ascend up to it with a bundle in their
armsthen descend againafter closing the door. After their
departuresomething like the cries of a child were heard in
Paquette's room. The motherburst into shrieks of laughter
ascended the stairs as though on wingsand entered.--A
frightful thing to tellOudarde! Instead of her pretty little
Agnesso rosy and so freshwho was a gift of the good Goda
sort of hideous little monsterlameone-eyeddeformedwas
crawling and squalling over the floor. She hid her eyes in
horror. 'Oh!' said she'have the witches transformed my
daughter into this horrible animal?' They hastened to carry
away the little club-foot; he would have driven her mad. It
was the monstrous child of some gypsy womanwho had given
herself to the devil. He appeared to be about four years old
and talked a language which was no human tongue; there
were words in it which were impossible. La Chantefleurie
flung herself upon the little shoeall that remained to her of
all that she loved. She remained so long motionless over it
muteand without breaththat they thought she was dead.
Suddenly she trembled all overcovered her relic with furious
kissesand burst out sobbing as though her heart were broken.
I assure you that we were all weeping also. She said: 'Oh
my little daughter! my pretty little daughter! where art
thou?'--and it wrung your very heart. I weep still when I
think of it. Our children are the marrow of our bonesyou
see.---My poor Eustache! thou art so fair!--If you only
knew how nice he is! yesterday he said to me: 'I want to be
a gendarmethat I do.' Oh! my Eustache! if I were to lose
thee!--All at once la Chantefleurie roseand set out to run
through Reimsscreaming: 'To the gypsies' camp! to the
gypsies' camp! Policeto burn the witches!' The gypsies
were gone. It was pitch dark. They could not be followed.
On the morrowtwo leagues from Reimson a heath between
Gueux and Tilloythe remains of a large fire were found
some ribbons which had belonged to Paquette's childdrops of
bloodand the dung of a ram. The night just past had been
a Saturday. There was no longer any doubt that the Egyptians
had held their Sabbath on that heathand that they had
devoured the child in company with Beelzebubas the practice
is among the Mahometans. When La Chantefleurie learned
these horrible thingsshe did not weepshe moved her lips as
though to speakbut could not. On the morrowher hair was
gray. On the second dayshe had disappeared.

'Tis in truth, a frightful tale,said Oudardeand one
which would make even a Burgundian weep.

I am no longer surprised,added Gervaisethat fear of
the gypsies should spur you on so sharply.

And you did all the better,resumed Oudardeto flee
with your Eustache just now, since these also are gypsies
from Poland.

No,said Gervais'tis said that they come from Spain
and Catalonia.

Catalonia? 'tis possible,replied Oudarde. "Pologne
CatalogueValogneI always confound those three provinces
One thing is certainthat they are gypsies."

Who certainly,added Gervaisehave teeth long enough
to eat little children. I should not be surprised if la Sméralda
ate a little of them also, though she pretends to be dainty.
Her white goat knows tricks that are too malicious for there
not to be some impiety underneath it all.

Mahiette walked on in silence. She was absorbed in that
revery which isin some sortthe continuation of a mournful
taleand which ends only after having communicated the
emotionfrom vibration to vibrationeven to the very last
fibres of the heart. NeverthelessGervaise addressed her
And did they ever learn what became of la Chantefleurie?
Mahiette made no reply. Gervaise repeated her questionand
shook her armcalling her by name. Mahiette appeared to
awaken from her thoughts.

What became of la Chantefleurie?she saidrepeating
mechanically the words whose impression was still fresh in
her ear; thenma king an effort to recall her attention to
the meaning of her wordsAh!she continued brisklyno
one ever found out.

She addedafter a pause-

Some said that she had been seen to quit Reims at nightfall
by the Fléchembault gate; others, at daybreak, by the old
Basée gate. A poor man found her gold cross hanging on the
stone cross in the field where the fair is held. It was that
ornament which had wrought her ruin, in '61. It was a gift
from the handsome Vicomte de Cormontreuil, her first lover.
Paquette had never been willing to part with it, wretched as
she had been. She had clung to it as to life itself. So, when
we saw that cross abandoned, we all thought that she was
dead. Nevertheless, there were people of the Cabaret les
Vantes, who said that they had seen her pass along the road
to Paris, walking on the pebbles with her bare feet. But,
in that case, she must have gone out through the Porte de
Vesle, and all this does not agree. Or, to speak more truly,
I believe that she actually did depart by the Porte de Vesle,
but departed from this world.

I do not understand you,said Gervaise.

La Vesle,replied Mahiettewith a melancholy smileis
the river.

Poor Chantefleurie!said Oudardewith a shiver--"drowned!"

Drowned!resumed Mahiettewho could have told
good Father Guybertant, when he passed under the bridge of
Tingueux with the current, singing in his barge, that one day
his dear little Paquette would also pass beneath that bridge,
but without song or boat.

And the little shoe?" asked Gervaise.

Disappeared with the mother,replied Mahiette.

Poor little shoe!said Oudarde.

Oudardea big and tender womanwould have been well
pleased to sigh in company with Mahiette. But Gervaise
more curioushad not finished her questions.

And the monster?she said suddenlyto Mahiette.

What monster?inquired the latter.

The little gypsy monster left by the sorceresses in
Chantefleurie's chamber, in exchange for her daughter. What
did you do with it? I hope you drowned it also.

No.replied Mahiette.

What? You burned it then? In sooth, that is more just.
A witch child!

Neither the one nor the other, Gervaise. Monseigneur the
archbishop interested himself in the child of Egypt, exorcised
it, blessed it, removed the devil carefully from its body, and
sent it to Paris, to be exposed on the wooden bed at Notre-
Dame, as a foundling.

Those bishops!grumbled Gervaisebecause they are
learned, they do nothing like anybody else. I just put
it to you, Oudarde, the idea of placing the devil among the
foundlings! For that little monster was assuredly the devil.
Well, Mahiette, what did they do with it in Paris? I am
quite sure that no charitable person wanted it.

I do not know,replied the Rémoise'twas just at that
time that my husband bought the office of notary, at Bern,
two leagues from the town, and we were no longer occupied
with that story; besides, in front of Bern, stand the two
hills of Cernay, which hide the towers of the cathedral in
Reims from view.

While chatting thusthe three worthy ~bourgeoises~ had
arrived at the Place de Grève. In their absorptionthey
had passed the public breviary of the Tour-Roland without
stoppingand took their way mechanically towards the pillory
around which the throng was growing more dense with every
moment. It is probable that the spectacle which at that
moment attracted all looks in that directionwould have made
them forget completely the Rat-Holeand the halt which
they intended to make thereif big Eustachesix years of
agewhom Mahiette was dragging along by the handhad not
abruptly recalled the object to them: "Mother said he, as
though some instinct warned him that the Rat-Hole was
behind him, can I eat the cake now?"

If Eustache had been more adroitthat is to sayless
greedyhe would have continued to waitand would only have
hazarded that simple questionMother, can I eat the cake,
now?on their return to the Universityto Master Andry
Musnier'sRue Madame la Valencewhen he had the two
arms of the Seine and the five bridges of the city between
the Rat-Hole and the cake.

This questionhighly imprudent at the moment when
Eustache put itaroused Mahiette's attention.

By the way,she exclaimedwe are forgetting the

recluse! Show me the Rat-Hole, that I may carry her
her cake.

Immediately,said Oudarde'tis a charity.

But this did not suit Eustache.

Stop! my cake!said herubbing both ears alternatively
with his shoulderswhichin such casesis the supreme sign
of discontent.

The three women retraced their stepsandon arriving in
the vicinity of the Tour-RolandOudarde said to the other two-

We must not all three gaze into the hole at once, for fear
of alarming the recluse. Do you two pretend to read the
_Dominus_ in the breviary, while I thrust my nose into the
aperture; the recluse knows me a little. I will give you
warning when you can approach.

She proceeded alone to the window. At the moment when
she looked ina profound pity was depicted on all her
featuresand her frankgay visage altered its expression
and color as abruptly as though it had passed from a ray of
sunlight to a ray of moonlight; her eye became humid; her
mouth contractedlike that of a person on the point of
weeping. A moment latershe laid her finger on her lips
and made a sign to Mahiette to draw near and look.

Mahiettemuch touchedstepped up in silenceon tiptoeas
though approaching the bedside of a dying person.

It wasin facta melancholy spectacle which presented
itself to the eyes of the two womenas they gazed through
the grating of the Rat-Holeneither stirring nor breathing.

The cell was smallbroader than it was longwith an arched
ceilingand viewed from withinit bore a considerable
resemblance to the interior of a huge bishop's mitre. On the bare
flagstones which formed the floorin one cornera woman
was sittingor rathercrouching. Her chin rested on her
kneeswhich her crossed arms pressed forcibly to her breast.
Thus doubled upclad in a brown sackwhich enveloped her
entirely in large foldsher longgray hair pulled over in
frontfalling over her face and along her legs nearly to her
feetshe presentedat the first glanceonly a strange form
outlined against the dark background of the cella sort of
dusky trianglewhich the ray of daylight falling through
the openingcut roughly into two shadesthe one sombrethe
other illuminated. It was one of those spectreshalf
lighthalf shadowsuch as one beholds in dreams and in the
extraordinary work of Goyapalemotionlesssinister
crouching over a tombor leaning against the grating of
a prison cell.

It was neither a womannor a mannor a living beingnor
a definite form; it was a figurea sort of visionin which
the real and the fantastic intersected each otherlike
darkness and day. It was with difficulty that one distinguished
beneath her hair which spread to the grounda gaunt and
severe profile; her dress barely allowed the extremity of a
bare foot to escapewhich contracted on the hardcold pavement.
The little of human form of which one caught a sight
beneath this envelope of mourningcaused a shudder.

That figurewhich one might have supposed to be riveted
to the flagstonesappeared to possess neither movementnor
thoughtnor breath. Lyingin Januaryin that thinlinen
sacklying on a granite floorwithout firein the gloom of a
cell whose oblique air-hole allowed only the cold breezebut
never the sunto enter from withoutshe did not appear to
suffer or even to think. One would have said that she had
turned to stone with the cellice with the season. Her hands
were claspedher eyes fixed. At first sight one took her for
a spectre; at the secondfor a statue.

Neverthelessat intervalsher blue lips half opened to
admit a breathand trembledbut as dead and as mechanical
as the leaves which the wind sweeps aside.

Neverthelessfrom her dull eyes there escaped a lookan
ineffable looka profoundlugubriousimperturbable look
incessantly fixed upon a corner of the cell which could
not be seen from without; a gaze which seemed to fix all
the sombre thoughts of that soul in distress upon some
mysterious object.

Such was the creature who had receivedfrom her habitation
the name of the "recluse"; andfrom her garmentthe
name of "the sacked nun."

The three womenfor Gervaise had rejoined Mahiette and
Oudardegazed through the window. Their heads intercepted
the feeble light in the cellwithout the wretched being whom
they thus deprived of it seeming to pay any attention to
them. "Do not let us trouble her said Oudarde, in a low
voice, she is in her ecstasy; she is praying."

MeanwhileMahiette was gazing with ever-increasing
anxiety at that wanwithereddishevelled headand her eyes
filled with tears. "This is very singular she murmured.

She thrust her head through the bars, and succeeded in
casting a glance at the corner where the gaze of the unhappy
woman was immovably riveted.

When she withdrew her head from the window, her countenance
was inundated with tears.

What do you call that woman?" she asked Oudarde.

Oudarde replied-

We call her Sister Gudule.

And I,returned Mahiettecall her Paquette la Chantefleurie.

Thenlaying her finger on her lipsshe motioned to the
astounded Oudarde to thrust her head through the window
and look.

Oudarde looked and beheldin the corner where the eyes of
the recluse were fixed in that sombre ecstasya tiny shoe of
pink satinembroidered with a thousand fanciful designs in
gold and silver.

Gervaise looked after Oudardeand then the three women
gazing upon the unhappy motherbegan to weep.

But neither their looks nor their tears disturbed the recluse.
Her hands remained clasped; her lips mute; her eyes fixed;
and that little shoethus gazed atbroke the heart of any one
who knew her history.

The three women had not yet uttered a single word; they
dared not speakeven in a low voice. This deep silencethis
deep griefthis profound oblivion in which everything had
disappeared except one thingproduced upon them the effect of
the grand altar at Christmas or Easter. They remained silent
they meditatedthey were ready to kneel. It seemed to them
that they were ready to enter a church on the day of Tenebrae.

At length Gervaisethe most curious of the threeand consequently
the least sensitivetried to make the recluse speak:

Sister! Sister Gudule!

She repeated this call three timesraising her voice each
time. The recluse did not move; not a wordnot a glance
not a sighnot a sign of life.

Oudardein her turnin a sweetermore caressing voice--"Sister!"
said sheSister Sainte-Gudule!

The same silence; the same immobility.

A singular woman!exclaimed Gervaiseand one not to be moved
by a catapult!

Perchance she is deaf,said Oudarde.

Perhaps she is blind,added Gervaise.

Dead, perchance,returned Mahiette.

It is certain that if the soul had not already quitted this
inertsluggishlethargic bodyit had at least retreated and
concealed itself in depths whither the perceptions of the
exterior organs no longer penetrated.

Then we must leave the cake on the window,said Oudarde;
some scamp will take it. What shall we do to rouse her?

Eustachewhoup to that moment had been diverted by a
little carriage drawn by a large dogwhich had just passed
suddenly perceived that his three conductresses were gazing
at something through the windowandcuriosity taking
possession of him in his turnhe climbed upon a stone post
elevated himself on tiptoeand applied his fatred face to the
openingshoutingMother, let me see too!

At the sound of this clearfreshringing child's voicethe
recluse trembled; she turned her head with the sharpabrupt
movement of a steel springher longfleshless hands cast
aside the hair from her browand she fixed upon the child
bitterastonisheddesperate eyes. This glance was but a
lightning flash.

Oh my God!she suddenly exclaimedhiding her head on
her kneesand it seemed as though her hoarse voice tore her
chest as it passed from itdo not show me those of others!

Good day, madam,said the childgravely.

Neverthelessthis shock hadso to speakawakened the
recluse. A long shiver traversed her frame from head to
foot; her teeth chattered; she half raised her head and said
pressing her elbows against her hipsand clasping her feet
in her hands as though to warm them-

Oh, how cold it is!

Poor woman!said Oudardewith great compassionwould you
like a little fire?

She shook her head in token of refusal.

Well,resumed Oudardepresenting her with a flagon;
here is some hippocras which will warm you; drink it.

Again she shook her headlooked at Oudarde fixedly and

Oudarde persisted--"Nosisterthat is no beverage for
January. You must drink a little hippocras and eat this
leavened cake of maizewhich we have baked for you."

She refused the cake which Mahiette offered to herand
saidBlack bread.

Come,said Gervaiseseized in her turn with an impulse
of charityand unfastening her woolen cloakhere is a cloak
which is a little warmer than yours.

She refused the cloak as she had refused the flagon and
the cakeand repliedA sack.

But,resumed the good Oudardeyou must have perceived
to some extent, that yesterday was a festival.

I do perceive it,said the recluse; "'tis two days now
since I have had any water in my crock."

She addedafter a silence'Tis a festival, I am forgotten.
People do well. Why should the world think of me, when I
do not think of it? Cold charcoal makes cold ashes.

And as though fatigued with having said so muchshe
dropped her head on her knees again. The simple and charitable
Oudardewho fancied that she understood from her last
words that she was complaining of the coldreplied innocently
Then you would like a little fire?

Fire!said the sacked nunwith a strange accent; "and
will you also make a little for the poor little one who has
been beneath the sod for these fifteen years?"

Every limb was tremblingher voice quiveredher eyes
flashedshe had raised herself upon her knees; suddenly she
extended her thinwhite hand towards the childwho was
regarding her with a look of astonishment. "Take away
that child!" she cried. "The Egyptian woman is about to
pass by."

Then she fell face downward on the earthand her forehead
struck the stonewith the sound of one stone against another

stone. The three women thought her dead. A moment later
howevershe movedand they beheld her drag herselfon her
knees and elbowsto the corner where the little shoe was.
Then they dared not look; they no longer saw her; but they
heard a thousand kisses and a thousand sighsmingled with
heartrending criesand dull blows like those of a head in
contact with a wall. Thenafter one of these blowsso violent
that all three of them staggeredthey heard no more.

Can she have killed herself?said Gervaiseventuring to
pass her head through the air-hole. "Sister! Sister Gudule!"

Sister Gudule!repeated Oudarde.

Ah! good heavens! she no longer moves!resumed Gervaise;
is she dead? Gudule! Gudule!

Mahiettechoked to such a point that she could not speak
made an effort. "Wait said she. Then bending towards
the window, Paquette!" she saidPaquette le Chantefleurie!

A child who innocently blows upon the badly ignited fuse
of a bomband makes it explode in his faceis no more
terrified than was Mahiette at the effect of that name
abruptly launched into the cell of Sister Gudule.

The recluse trembled all overrose erect on her bare feet
and leaped at the window with eyes so glaring that Mahiette
and Oudardeand the other woman and the child recoiled even
to the parapet of the quay.

Meanwhilethe sinister face of the recluse appeared pressed
to the grating of the air-hole. "Oh! oh!" she criedwith
an appalling laugh; "'tis the Egyptian who is calling me!"

At that momenta scene which was passing at the pillory
caught her wild eye. Her brow contracted with horrorshe
stretched her two skeleton arms from her celland shrieked in
a voice which resembled a death-rattleSo 'tis thou once
more, daughter of Egypt! 'Tis thou who callest me, stealer
of children! Well! Be thou accursed! accursed! accursed!



These words wereso to speakthe point of union of two
sceneswhich hadup to that timebeen developed in parallel
lines at the same momenteach on its particular theatre; one
that which the reader has just perusedin the Rat-Hole;
the otherwhich he is about to readon the ladder of the
pillory. The first had for witnesses only the three women
with whom the reader has just made acquaintance; the second
had for spectators all the public which we have seen above
collecting on the Place de Grèvearound the pillory and the

That crowd which the four sergeants posted at nine o'clock

in the morning at the four corners of the pillory had inspired
with the hope of some sort of an executionno doubtnot a
hangingbut a whippinga cropping of earssomethingin
short--that crowd had increased so rapidly that the four
policementoo closely besiegedhad had occasion to "press"
itas the expression then ranmore than onceby sound blows
of their whipsand the haunches of their horses.

This populacedisciplined to waiting for public executions
did not manifest very much impatience. It amused itself
with watching the pillorya very simple sort of monument
composed of a cube of masonry about six feet high and hollow
in the interior. A very steep staircaseof unhewn stone
which was called by distinction "the ladder led to the upper
platform, upon which was visible a horizontal wheel of solid
oak. The victim was bound upon this wheel, on his knees,
with his hands behind his back. A wooden shaft, which set
in motion a capstan concealed in the interior of the little
edifice, imparted a rotatory motion to the wheel, which always
maintained its horizontal position, and in this manner
presented the face of the condemned man to all quarters of
the square in succession. This was what was called turning"
a criminal.

As the reader perceivesthe pillory of the Grève was far
from presenting all the recreations of the pillory of the Halles.
Nothing architecturalnothing monumental. No roof to the
iron crossno octagonal lanternno frailslender columns
spreading out on the edge of the roof into capitals of acanthus
leaves and flowersno waterspouts of chimeras and monsters
on carved woodworkno fine sculpturedeeply sunk in the stone.

They were forced to content themselves with those four
stretches of rubble workbacked with sandstoneand a
wretched stone gibbetmeagre and bareon one side.

The entertainment would have been but a poor one for
lovers of Gothic architecture. It is true that nothing was
ever less curious on the score of architecture than the worthy
gapers of the Middle Agesand that they cared very little for
the beauty of a pillory.

The victim finally arrivedbound to the tail of a cartand
when he had been hoisted upon the platformwhere he could
be seen from all points of the Placebound with cords and
straps upon the wheel of the pillorya prodigious hoot
mingled with laughter and acclamationsburst forth upon the
Place. They had recognized Quasimodo.

It was hein fact. The change was singular. Pilloried on
the very place whereon the day beforehe had been saluted
acclaimedand proclaimed Pope and Prince of Foolsin the
cortege of the Duke of Egyptthe King of Thunesand the
Emperor of Galilee! One thing is certainand that isthat
there was not a soul in the crowdnot even himselfthough
in turn triumphant and the suffererwho set forth this
combination clearly in his thought. Gringoire and his
philosophy were missing at this spectacle.

Soon Michel Noiretsworn trumpeter to the kingour lord
imposed silence on the loutsand proclaimed the sentencein
accordance with the order and command of monsieur the provost.
Then he withdrew behind the cartwith his men in livery surcoats.

Quasimodoimpassibledid not wince. All resistance had
been rendered impossible to him by what was then calledin
the style of the criminal chancellerythe vehemence and
firmness of the bondswhich means that the thongs and chains
probably cut into his flesh; moreoverit is a tradition of jail
and wardenswhich has not been lostand which the handcuffs
still preciously preserve among usa civilizedgentlehumane
people (the galleys and the guillotine in parentheses).

He had allowed himself to be ledpushedcarriedlifted
boundand bound again. Nothing was to be seen upon his
countenance but the astonishment of a savage or an idiot.
He was known to be deaf; one might have pronounced him
to be blind.

They placed him on his knees on the circular plank; he
made no resistance. They removed his shirt and doublet as
far as his girdle; he allowed them to have their way. They
entangled him under a fresh system of thongs and buckles;
he allowed them to bind and buckle him. Only from time to
time he snorted noisilylike a calf whose head is hanging and
bumping over the edge of a butcher's cart.

The dolt,said Jehan Frollo of the Millto his friend
Robin Poussepain (for the two students had followed the
culpritas was to have been expected)he understands no
more than a cockchafer shut up in a box!

There was wild laughter among the crowd when they beheld
Quasimodo's humphis camel's breasthis callous and hairy
shoulders laid bare. During this gayetya man in the livery
of the cityshort of stature and robust of mienmounted the
platform and placed himself near the victim. His name
speedily circulated among the spectators. It was Master
Pierrat Torterueofficial torturer to the Châtelet.

He began by depositing on an angle of the pillory a black
hour-glassthe upper lobe of which was filled with red sand
which it allowed to glide into the lower receptacle; then he
removed his parti-colored surtoutand there became visible
suspended from his right handa thin and tapering whip of
longwhiteshiningknottedplaited thongsarmed with
metal nails. With his left handhe negligently folded back
his shirt around his right armto the very armpit.

In the meantimeJehan Frolloelevating his curly blonde
head above the crowd (he had mounted upon the shoulders of
Robin Poussepain for the purpose)shouted: "Come and
lookgentle ladies and men! they are going to peremptorily
flagellate Master Quasimodothe bellringer of my brother
monsieur the archdeacon of Josasa knave of oriental
architecturewho has a back like a domeand legs like
twisted columns!"

And the crowd burst into a laughespecially the boys and
young girls.

At length the torturer stamped his foot. The wheel began
to turn. Quasimodo wavered beneath his bonds. The amazement
which was suddenly depicted upon his deformed face
caused the bursts of laughter to redouble around him.

All at onceat the moment when the wheel in its revolution
presented to Master Pierratthe humped back of Quasimodo

Master Pierrat raised his arm; the fine thongs whistled
sharply through the airlike a handful of addersand fell
with fury upon the wretch's shoulders.

Quasimodo leaped as though awakened with a start. He
began to understand. He writhed in his bonds; a violent
contraction of surprise and pain distorted the muscles of his
facebut he uttered not a single sigh. He merely turned his
head backwardto the rightthen to the leftbalancing it as a
bull does who has been stung in the flanks by a gadfly.

A second blow followed the firstthen a thirdand another
and anotherand still others. The wheel did not cease to
turnnor the blows to rain down.

Soon the blood burst forthand could be seen trickling in a
thousand threads down the hunchback's black shoulders; and
the slender thongsin their rotatory motion which rent the
airsprinkled drops of it upon the crowd.

Quasimodo had resumedto all appearancehis first
imperturbability. He had at first triedin a quiet way and
without much outward movementto break his bonds. His eye had
been seen to light uphis muscles to stiffenhis members to
concentrate their forceand the straps to stretch. The effort
was powerfulprodigiousdesperate; but the provost's seasoned
bonds resisted. They crackedand that was all. Quasimodo
fell back exhausted. Amazement gave wayon his features
to a sentiment of profound and bitter discouragement. He
closed his single eyeallowed his head to droop upon his
breastand feigned death.

From that moment forthhe stirred no more. Nothing
could force a movement from him. Neither his bloodwhich
did not cease to flownor the blows which redoubled in fury
nor the wrath of the torturerwho grew excited himself and
intoxicated with the executionnor the sound of the horrible
thongsmore sharp and whistling than the claws of scorpions.

At length a bailiff from the Châtelet clad in blackmounted
on a black horsewho had been stationed beside the ladder
since the beginning of the executionextended his ebony wand
towards the hour-glass. The torturer stopped. The wheel
stopped. Quasimodo's eye opened slowly.

The scourging was finished. Two lackeys of the official
torturer bathed the bleeding shoulders of the patientanointed
them with some unguent which immediately closed all the
woundsand threw upon his back a sort of yellow vestment
in cut like a chasuble. In the meanwhilePierrat Torterue
allowed the thongsred and gorged with bloodto drip upon
the pavement.

All was not over for Quasimodo. He had still to undergo
that hour of pillory which Master Florian Barbedienne had so
judiciously added to the sentence of Messire Robert d'Estouteville;
all to the greater glory of the old physiological and psychological
play upon words of Jean de Cumène~Surdus absurdus~: a deaf man
is absurd.

So the hour-glass was turned over once moreand they left
the hunchback fastened to the plankin order that justice
might be accomplished to the very end.

The populaceespecially in the Middle Agesis in society
what the child is in the family. As long as it remains in its
state of primitive ignoranceof moral and intellectual minority
it can be said of it as of the child-

'Tis the pitiless age.

We have already shown that Quasimodo was generally
hatedfor more than one good reasonit is true. There was
hardly a spectator in that crowd who had not or who did not
believe that he had reason to complain of the malevolent
hunchback of Notre-Dame. The joy at seeing him appear
thus in the pillory had been universal; and the harsh punishment
which he had just sufferedand the pitiful condition in
which it had left himfar from softening the populace had
rendered its hatred more malicious by arming it with a touch
of mirth.

Hencethe "public prosecution" satisfiedas the bigwigs
of the law still express it in their jargonthe turn came of a
thousand private vengeances. Hereas in the Grand Hallthe
women rendered themselves particularly prominent. All
cherished some rancor against himsome for his maliceothers
for his ugliness. The latter were the most furious.

Oh! mask of Antichrist!said one.

Rider on a broom handle!cried another.

What a fine tragic grimace,howled a thirdand who
would make him Pope of the Fools if to-day were yesterday?

'Tis well,struck in an old woman. "This is the grimace
of the pillory. When shall we have that of the gibbet?"

When will you be coiffed with your big bell a hundred feet
under ground, cursed bellringer?

But 'tis the devil who rings the Angelus!

Oh! the deaf man! the one-eyed creature! the hunchback!
the monster!

A face to make a woman miscarry better than all the
drugs and medicines!

And the two scholarsJehan du Moulinand Robin Poussepain
sang at the top of their lungsthe ancient refrain-

~Une hart
Pour le pendard!
Un fagot
Pour le magot~!*

* A rope for the gallows bird! A fagot for the ape.
A thousand other insults rained down upon himand hoots
and imprecationsand laughterand now and thenstones.

Quasimodo was deaf but his sight was clearand the public
fury was no less energetically depicted on their visages than
in their words. Moreoverthe blows from the stones explained
the bursts of laughter.

At first he held his ground. But little by little that
patience which had borne up under the lash of the torturer
yielded and gave way before all these stings of insects. The
bull of the Asturias who has been but little moved by the
attacks of the picador grows irritated with the dogs and

He first cast around a slow glance of hatred upon the crowd.
But bound as he washis glance was powerless to drive away
those flies which were stinging his wound. Then he moved in
his bondsand his furious exertions made the ancient wheel of
the pillory shriek on its axle. All this only increased the
derision and hooting.

Then the wretched manunable to break his collarlike that
of a chained wild beastbecame tranquil once more; only at
intervals a sigh of rage heaved the hollows of his chest.
There was neither shame nor redness on his face. He was
too far from the state of societyand too near the state of
nature to know what shame was. Moreoverwith such a degree
of deformityis infamy a thing that can be felt? But
wrathhatreddespairslowly lowered over that hideous visage
a cloud which grew ever more and more sombreever more and
more charged with electricitywhich burst forth in a thousand
lightning flashes from the eye of the cyclops.

Neverthelessthat cloud cleared away for a momentat the
passage of a mule which traversed the crowdbearing a priest.
As far away as he could see that mule and that priestthe poor
victim's visage grew gentler. The fury which had contracted
it was followed by a strange smile full of ineffable sweetness
gentlenessand tenderness. In proportion as the priest
approachedthat smile became more clearmore distinctmore
radiant. It was like the arrival of a Saviourwhich the
unhappy man was greeting. But as soon as the mule was near
enough to the pillory to allow of its rider recognizing the
victimthe priest dropped his eyesbeat a hasty retreatspurred
on rigorouslyas though in haste to rid himself of humiliating
appealsand not at all desirous of being saluted and recognized
by a poor fellow in such a predicament.

This priest was Archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo.

The cloud descended more blackly than ever upon Quasimodo's brow.
The smile was still mingled with it for a timebut was bitter
discouragedprofoundly sad.

Time passed on. He had been there at least an hour and a
halflaceratedmaltreatedmocked incessantlyand almost stoned.

All at once he moved again in his chains with redoubled
despairwhich made the whole framework that bore him tremble
andbreaking the silence which he had obstinately preserved
hithertohe cried in a hoarse and furious voicewhich
resembled a bark rather than a human cryand which was
drowned in the noise of the hoots--"Drink!"

This exclamation of distressfar from exciting compassion
only added amusement to the good Parisian populace who

surrounded the ladderand whoit must be confessedtaken in
the mass and as a multitudewas then no less cruel and brutal
than that horrible tribe of robbers among whom we have
already conducted the readerand which was simply the lower
stratum of the populace. Not a voice was raised around the
unhappy victimexcept to jeer at his thirst. It is certain
that at that moment he was more grotesque and repulsive
than pitiablewith his face purple and drippinghis eye wild
his mouth foaming with rage and painand his tongue lolling
half out. It must also be stated that if a charitable soul of a
bourgeois or ~bourgeoise~in the rabblehad attempted to carry
a glass of water to that wretched creature in tormentthere
reigned around the infamous steps of the pillory such a prejudice
of shame and ignominythat it would have sufficed to repulse
the good Samaritan.

At the expiration of a few momentsQuasimodo cast a desperate
glance upon the crowdand repeated in a voice still
more heartrending: "Drink!"

And all began to laugh.

Drink this!cried Robin Poussepainthrowing in his
face a sponge which had been soaked in the gutter. "There
you deaf villainI'm your debtor."

A woman hurled a stone at his head-

That will teach you to wake us up at night with your peal
of a dammed soul.

He, good, my son!howled a cripplemaking an effort to
reach him with his crutchwill you cast any more spells on
us from the top of the towers of Notre-Dame?

Here's a drinking cup!chimed in a manflinging a
broken jug at his breast. "'Twas you that made my wife
simply because she passed near yougive birth to a child with
two heads!"

And my cat bring forth a kitten with six paws!yelped
an old cronelaunching a brick at him.

Drink!repeated Quasimodo pantingand for the third

At that moment he beheld the crowd give way. A young
girlfantastically dressedemerged from the throng. She
was accompanied by a little white goat with gilded hornsand
carried a tambourine in her hand.

Quasimodo's eyes sparkled. It was the gypsy whom he had
attempted to carry off on the preceding nighta misdeed for
which he was dimly conscious that he was being punished at
that very moment; which was not in the least the casesince
he was being chastised only for the misfortune of being deaf
and of having been judged by a deaf man. He doubted not
that she had come to wreak her vengeance alsoand to deal
her blow like the rest.

He beheld herin factmount the ladder rapidly. Wrath
and spite suffocate him. He would have liked to make the
pillory crumble into ruinsand if the lightning of his eye
could have dealt deaththe gypsy would have been reduced

to powder before she reached the platform.

She approachedwithout uttering a syllablethe victim
who writhed in a vain effort to escape herand detaching a
gourd from her girdleshe raised it gently to the parched lips
of the miserable man.

Thenfrom that eye which had beenup to that momentso
dry and burninga big tear was seen to falland roll slowly
down that deformed visage so long contracted with despair.
It was the firstin all probabilitythat the unfortunate man
had ever shed.

Meanwhilebe had forgotten to drink. The gypsy made
her little poutfrom impatienceand pressed the spout to the
tusked month of Quasimodowith a smile.

He drank with deep draughts. His thirst was burning.

When he had finishedthe wretch protruded his black lips
no doubtwith the object of kissing the beautiful hand which
had just succoured him. But the young girlwho wasperhaps
somewhat distrustfuland who remembered the violent attempt
of the nightwithdrew her hand with the frightened gesture
of a child who is afraid of being bitten by a beast.

Then the poor deaf man fixed on her a look full of reproach
and inexpressible sadness.

It would have been a touching spectacle anywhere--this
beautifulfreshpureand charming girlwho was at the
same time so weakthus hastening to the relief of so much
miserydeformityand malevolence. On the pillorythe
spectacle was sublime.

The very populace were captivated by itand began to clap
their handscrying-

Noel! Noel!

It was at that moment that the recluse caught sightfrom
the window of her boleof the gypsy on the pilloryand
hurled at her her sinister imprecation-

Accursed be thou, daughter of Egypt! Accursed! accursed!



La Esmeralda turned pale and descended from the pillory
staggering as she went. The voice of the recluse still
pursued her-

Descend! descend! Thief of Egypt! thou shalt ascend it
once more!

The sacked nun is in one of her tantrums,muttered the
populace; and that was the end of it. For that sort of woman

was feared; which rendered them sacred. People did not then
willingly attack one who prayed day and night.

The hour had arrived for removing Quasimodo. He was
unboundthe crowd dispersed.

Near the Grand PontMahiettewho was returning with her
two companionssuddenly halted-

By the way, Eustache! what did you do with that cake?

Mother,said the childwhile you were talking with
that lady in the bole, a big dog took a bite of my cake, and
then I bit it also.

What, sir, did you eat the whole of it?she went on.

Mother, it was the dog. I told him, but he would not
listen to me. Then I bit into it, also.

'Tis a terrible child!said the mothersmiling and
scolding at one and the same time. "Do you seeOudarde? He
already eats all the fruit from the cherry-tree in our orchard
of Charlerange. So his grandfather says that be will be a
captain. Just let me catch you at it againMaster Eustache.
Come alongyou greedy fellow!"

End of Volume 1.




I. The Danger of Confiding One's Secret to a Goat
II. A Priest and a Philosopher are two Different Things
III. The Bells
V. The Two Men Clothed in Black
VI. The Effect which Seven Oaths in the Open Air can Produce
VII. The Mysterious Monk
VIII. The Utility of Windows which Open on the River

I. The Crown Changed into a Dry Leaf
II. Continuation of the Crown which was Changed into a Dry Leaf
III. End of the Crown which was Changed into a Dry Leaf
IV. ~Lasciate Ogni Speranza~--Leave all hope behindye who Enter here
V. The Mother
VI. Three Human Hearts differently Constructed


I. Delirium
II. HunchbackedOne EyedLame
III. Deaf
IV. Earthenware and Crystal
V. The Key to the Red Door
VI. Continuation of the Key to the Red Door

I. Gringoire has Many Good Ideas in Succession.--Rue des Bernardins
II. Turn Vagabond
III. Long Live Mirth
IV. An Awkward Friend
V. The Retreat in which Monsieur Louis of France says his Prayers
VI. Little Sword in Pocket
VII. Chateaupers to the Rescue

I. The Little Shoe
II. The Beautiful Creature Clad in White
III. The Marriage of Pinnbus
IV. The Marriage of Quasimodo
Note added to Definitive Edition


Many weeks had elapsed.

The first of March had arrived. The sunwhich Dubartas
that classic ancestor of periphrasehad not yet dubbed
the "Grand-duke of Candles was none the less radiant and
joyous on that account. It was one of those spring days
which possesses so much sweetness and beauty, that all Paris
turns out into the squares and promenades and celebrates
them as though they were Sundays. In those days of brilliancy,
warmth, and serenity, there is a certain hour above all
others, when the façade of Notre-Dame should be admired.
It is the moment when the sun, already declining towards the
west, looks the cathedral almost full in the face. Its rays,
growing more and more horizontal, withdraw slowly from the
pavement of the square, and mount up the perpendicular
façade, whose thousand bosses in high relief they cause to
start out from the shadows, while the great central rose
window flames like the eye of a cyclops, inflamed with the
reflections of the forge.

This was the hour.

Opposite the lofty cathedral, reddened by the setting sun,
on the stone balcony built above the porch of a rich Gothic
house, which formed the angle of the square and the Rue du
Parvis, several young girls were laughing and chatting with
every sort of grace and mirth. From the length of the veil
which fell from their pointed coif, twined with pearls, to
their heels, from the fineness of the embroidered chemisette
which covered their shoulders and allowed a glimpse, according

to the pleasing custom of the time, of the swell of their fair
virgin bosoms, from the opulence of their under-petticoats
still more precious than their overdress (marvellous
refinement), from the gauze, the silk, the velvet, with which
all this was composed, and, above all, from the whiteness of
their hands, which certified to their leisure and idleness, it
was easy to divine they were noble and wealthy heiresses. They
were, in fact, Damoiselle Fleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurier and
her companions, Diane de Christeuil, Amelotte de Montmichel,
Colombe de Gaillefontaine, and the little de Champchevrier
maiden; all damsels of good birth, assembled at that moment
at the house of the dame widow de Gondelaurier, on account
of Monseigneur de Beaujeu and Madame his wife, who were
to come to Paris in the month of April, there to choose maids
of honor for the Dauphiness Marguerite, who was to be
received in Picardy from the hands of the Flemings. Now,
all the squires for twenty leagues around were intriguing for
this favor for their daughters, and a goodly number of the
latter had been already brought or sent to Paris. These four
maidens had been confided to the discreet and venerable
charge of Madame Aloise de Gondelaurier, widow of a former
commander of the king's cross-bowmen, who had retired with
her only daughter to her house in the Place du Parvis, Notre-
Dame, in Paris.

The balcony on which these young girls stood opened from
a chamber richly tapestried in fawn-colored Flanders leather,
stamped with golden foliage. The beams, which cut the ceiling
in parallel lines, diverted the eye with a thousand eccentric
painted and gilded carvings. Splendid enamels gleamed
here and there on carved chests; a boar's head in faience
crowned a magnificent dresser, whose two shelves announced
that the mistress of the house was the wife or widow of a
knight banneret. At the end of the room, by the side of a
lofty chimney blazoned with arms from top to bottom, in
a rich red velvet arm-chair, sat Dame de Gondelaurier, whose
five and fifty years were written upon her garments no less
distinctly than upon her face.

Beside her stood a young man of imposing mien, although
partaking somewhat of vanity and bravado--one of those
handsome fellows whom all women agree to admire, although
grave men learned in physiognomy shrug their shoulders at
them. This young man wore the garb of a captain of the king's
unattached archers, which bears far too much resemblance to
the costume of Jupiter, which the reader has already been
enabled to admire in the first book of this history, for us to
inflict upon him a second description.

The damoiselles were seated, a part in the chamber, a part
in the balcony, some on square cushions of Utrecht velvet
with golden corners, others on stools of oak carved in flowers
and figures. Each of them held on her knee a section of a
great needlework tapestry, on which they were working in
company, while one end of it lay upon the rush mat which
covered the floor.

They were chatting together in that whispering tone and
with the half-stifled laughs peculiar to an assembly of young
girls in whose midst there is a young man. The young man
whose presence served to set in play all these feminine selfconceits,
appeared to pay very little heed to the matter, and,
while these pretty damsels were vying with one another to
attract his attention, he seemed to be chiefly absorbed in

polishing the buckle of his sword belt with his doeskin glove.
From time to time, the old lady addressed him in a very
low tone, and he replied as well as he was able, with a sort of
awkward and constrained politeness.

From the smiles and significant gestures of Dame Aloise,
from the glances which she threw towards her daughter,
Fleur-de-Lys, as she spoke low to the captain, it was easy
to see that there was here a question of some betrothal
concluded, some marriage near at hand no doubt, between the
young man and Fleur-de-Lys. From the embarrassed coldness
of the officer, it was easy to see that on his side, at least,
love had no longer any part in the matter. His whole air was
expressive of constraint and weariness, which our lieutenants
of the garrison would to-day translate admirably as, What a
beastly bore!"

The poor damevery much infatuated with her daughter
like any other silly motherdid not perceive the officer's lack
of enthusiasmand strove in low tones to call his attention
to the infinite grace with which Fleur-de-Lys used her needle
or wound her skein.

Come, little cousin,she said to himplucking him by the
sleevein order to speak in his earLook at her, do! see her

Yes, truly,replied the young manand fell back into his
glacial and absent-minded silence.

A moment laterhe was obliged to bend down againand
Dame Aloise said to him--

Have you ever beheld a more gay and charming face than
that of your betrothed? Can one be more white and blonde?
are not her hands perfect? and that neck--does it not
assume all the curves of the swan in ravishing fashion? How
I envy you at times! and how happy you are to be a man,
naughty libertine that you are! Is not my Fleur-de-Lys
adorably beautiful, and are you not desperately in love with

Of course,he repliedstill thinking of something else.

But do say something,said Madame Aloisesuddenly
giving his shoulder a push; "you have grown very timid."

We can assure our readers that timidity was neither the
captain's virtue nor his defect. But he made an effort to do
what was demanded of him.

Fair cousin,he saidapproaching Fleur-de-Lyswhat is
the subject of this tapestry work which you are fashioning?'
Fair cousin responded Fleur-de-Lys, in an offended tone,
I have already told you three times. 'Tis the grotto of Neptune."

It was evident that Fleur-de-Lys saw much more clearly
than her mother through the captain's cold and absent-minded
manner. He felt the necessity of making some conversation.

And for whom is this Neptunerie destined?

For the Abbey of Saint-Antoine des Champs,answered
Fleur-de-Lyswithout raising her eyes.

The captain took up a corner of the tapestry.

Who, my fair cousin, is this big gendarme, who is puffing
out his cheeks to their full extent and blowing a trumpet?

'Tis Triton,she replied.

There was a rather pettish intonation in Fleur-de-Lys's--
laconic words. The young man understood that it was
indispensable that he should whisper something in her eara
commonplacea gallant complimentno matter what. Accordingly
he bent downbut he could find nothing in his imagination
more tender and personal than this--

Why does your mother always wear that surcoat with
armorial designs, like our grandmothers of the time of Charles
VII.? Tell her, fair cousin, that 'tis no longer the fashion,
and that the hinge (gond) and the laurel (laurier) embroidered
on her robe give her the air of a walking mantlepiece.
In truth, people no longer sit thus on their banners, I
assure you.

Fleur-de-Lys raised her beautiful eyesfull of reproach
Is that all of which you can assure me?she saidin a low voice.

In the meantimeDame Aloisedelighted to see them thus
bending towards each other and whisperingsaid as she toyed
with the clasps of her prayer-book--

Touching picture of love!

The captainmore and more embarrassedfell back upon the
subject of the tapestry--"'Tisin sootha charming work!"
he exclaimed.

Whereupon Colombe de Gaillefontaineanother beautiful
blondewith a white skindressed to the neck in blue damask
ventured a timid remark which she addressed to Fleur-de-Lys
in the hope that the handsome captain would reply to itMy
dear Gondelaurier, have you seen the tapestries of the Hôtel
de la Roche-Guyon?

Is not that the hotel in which is enclosed the garden of
the Lingère du Louvre?asked Diane de Christeuil with a
laugh; for she had handsome teethand consequently laughed
on every occasion.

And where there is that big, old tower of the ancient
wall of Paris,added Amelotte de Montmichela pretty fresh
and curly-headed brunettewho had a habit of sighing just as
the other laughedwithout knowing why.

My dear Colombe,interpolated Dame Aloisedo you
not mean the hotel which belonged to Monsieur de Bacqueville,
in the reign of King Charles VI.? there are indeed
many superb high warp tapestries there.

Charles VI.! Charles VI.!muttered the young captain
twirling his moustache. "Good heavens! what old things
the good dame does remember!"

Madame de Gondelaurier continuedFine tapestries, in
truth. A work so esteemed that it passes as unrivalled.

At that moment Bérangère de Champchevriera slender
little maid of seven yearswho was peering into the square
through the trefoils of the balconyexclaimedOh! look,
fair Godmother Fleur-de-Lys, at that pretty dancer who is
dancing on the pavement and playing the tambourine in the
midst of the loutish bourgeois!

The sonorous vibration of a tambourine wasin factaudible.
Some gypsy from Bohemia,said Fleur-de-Lysturning
carelessly toward the square.

Look! look!exclaimed her lively companions; and they
all ran to the edge of the balconywhile Fleur-de-Lys
rendered thoughtful by the coldness of her betrothedfollowed
them slowlyand the latterrelieved by this incidentwhich
put an end to an embarrassing conversationretreated to the
farther end of the roomwith the satisfied air of a soldier
released from duty. Neverthelessthe fair Fleur-de-Lys's was
a charming and noble serviceand such it had formerly
appeared to him; but the captain had gradually become
blase'; the prospect of a speedy marriage cooled him more
every day. Moreoverhe was of a fickle dispositionand
must we say itrather vulgar in taste. Although of very
noble birthhe had contracted in his official harness more
than one habit of the common trooper. The tavern and its
accompaniments pleased him. He was only at his ease amid
gross languagemilitary gallantriesfacile beautiesand
successes yet more easy. He hadneverthelessreceived from
his family some education and some politeness of manner;
but he had been thrown on the world too younghe had been
in garrison at too early an ageand every day the polish of a
gentleman became more and more effaced by the rough friction
of his gendarme's cross-belt. While still continuing to
visit her from time to timefrom a remnant of common
respecthe felt doubly embarrassed with Fleur-de-Lys; in the
first placebecausein consequence of having scattered his
love in all sorts of placeshe had reserved very little for her;
in the next placebecauseamid so many stiffformaland
decent ladieshe was in constant fear lest his mouthhabituated
to oathsshould suddenly take the bit in its teethand
break out into the language of the tavern. The effect can
be imagined!

Moreoverall this was mingled in himwith great pretentions
to elegancetoiletand a fine appearance. Let the
reader reconcile these things as best he can. I am simply the

He had remainedthereforefor several minutesleaning in
silence against the carved jamb of the chimneyand thinking
or not thinkingwhen Fleur-de-Lys suddenly turned and addressed
him. After allthe poor young girl was pouting
against the dictates of her heart.

Fair cousin, did you not speak to us of a little Bohemian
whom you saved a couple of months ago, while making the
patrol with the watch at night, from the hands of a dozen

I believe so, fair cousin,.said the captain.

Well,she resumedperchance 'tis that same gypsy girl
who is dancing yonder, on the church square. Come and see

if you recognize her, fair Cousin Phoebus.

A secret desire for reconciliation was apparent in this gentle
invitation which she gave him to approach herand in the
care which she took to call him by name. Captain Phoebus
de Châteaupers (for it is he whom the reader has had before
his eyes since the beginning of this chapter) slowly approached
the balcony. "Stay said Fleur-de-Lys, laying her hand tenderly
on Phoebus's arm; look at that little girl yonderdancing
in that circle. Is she your Bohemian?"

Phoebus lookedand said-

Yes, I recognize her by her goat.

Oh! in fact, what a pretty little goat!said Amelotte
clasping her hands in admiration.

Are his horns of real gold?inquired Bérangère.

Without moving from her arm-chairDame Aloise interposed
Is she not one of those gypsy girls who arrived last
year by the Gibard gate?

Madame my mother,said Fleur-de-Lys gentlythat gate
is now called the Porte d'Enfer.

Mademoiselle de Gondelaurier knew how her mother's
antiquated mode of speech shocked the captain. In facthe
began to sneerand muttered between his teeth: "Porte
Gibard! Porte Gibard! 'Tis enough to make King Charles VI.
pass by."

Godmother!exclaimed Bérangèrewhose eyesincessantly
in motionhad suddenly been raised to the summit of
the towers of Notre-Damewho is that black man up

All the young girls raised their eyes. A man wasin truth
leaning on the balustrade which surmounted the northern
towerlooking on the Grève. He was a priest. His costume
could be plainly discernedand his face resting on both his
hands. But he stirred no more than if he had been a statue.
His eyesintently fixedgazed into the Place.

It was something like the immobility of a bird of preywho
has just discovered a nest of sparrowsand is gazing at it.

'Tis monsieur the archdeacon of Josas,said Fleur-de-Lys.

You have good eyes if you can recognize him from here,
said the Gaillefontaine.

How he is staring at the little dancer!went on Diane
de Christeuil.

Let the gypsy beware!said Fleur-de-Lysfor he loves
not Egypt.

'Tis a great shame for that man to look upon her thus,
added Amelotte de Montmichelfor she dances delightfully.

Fair cousin Phoebus,said Fleur-de-Lys suddenlySince
you know this little gypsy, make her a sign to come up here.

It will amuse us.

Oh, yes!exclaimed all the young girlsclapping their hands.

Why! 'tis not worth while,replied Phoebus. "She has
forgotten meno doubtand I know not so much as her
name. Neverthelessas you wish ityoung ladiesI will
make the trial." And leaning over the balustrade of the
balconyhe began to shoutLittle one!

The dancer was not beating her tambourine at the moment.
She turned her head towards the point whence this call
proceededher brilliant eyes rested on Phoebusand she
stopped short.

Little one!repeated the captain; and he beckoned her
to approach.

The young girl looked at him againthen she blushed as
though a flame had mounted into her cheeksandtaking her
tambourine under her armshe made her way through the
astonished spectators towards the door of the house where
Phoebus was calling herwith slowtottering stepsand with
the troubled look of a bird which is yielding to the
fascination of a serpent.

A moment laterthe tapestry portière was raisedand the
gypsy appeared on the threshold of the chamberblushing
confusedbreathlessher large eyes droopingand not daring
to advance another step.

Bérangère clapped her hands.

Meanwhilethe dancer remained motionless upon the
threshold. Her appearance had produced a singular effect upon
these young girls. It is certain that a vague and indistinct
desire to please the handsome officer animated them allthat
his splendid uniform was the target of all their coquetries
and that from the moment he presented himselfthere existed
among them a secretsuppressed rivalrywhich they hardly
acknowledged even to themselvesbut which broke forth
none the lessevery instantin their gestures and remarks.
Neverthelessas they were all very nearly equal in beauty
they contended with equal armsand each could hope for the
victory.--The arrival of the gypsy suddenly destroyed this
equilibrium. Her beauty was so rarethatat the moment
when she appeared at the entrance of the apartmentit
seemed as though she diffused a sort of light which was
peculiar to herself. In that narrow chambersurrounded
by that sombre frame of hangings and woodworkshe was
incomparably more beautiful and more radiant than on the
public square. She was like a torch which has suddenly
been brought from broad daylight into the dark. The noble
damsels were dazzled by her in spite of themselves. Each
one felt herselfin some sortwounded in her beauty. Hence
their battle front (may we be allowed the expression) was
immediately alteredalthough they exchanged not a single
word. But they understood each other perfectly. Women's
instincts comprehend and respond to each other more quickly
than the intelligences of men. An enemy had just arrived;
all felt it--all rallied together. One drop of wine is
sufficient to tinge a glass of water red; to diffuse a certain
degree of ill temper throughout a whole assembly of pretty women
the arrival of a prettier woman sufficesespecially when there

is but one man present.

Hence the welcome accorded to the gypsy was marvellously
glacial. They surveyed her from head to footthen
exchanged glancesand all was said; they understood each
other. Meanwhilethe young girl was waiting to be spoken
toin such emotion that she dared not raise her eyelids.

The captain was the first to break the silence. "Upon my
word said he, in his tone of intrepid fatuity, here is a
charming creature! What think you of herfair cousin?"

This remarkwhich a more delicate admirer would have
uttered in a lower toneat least was not of a nature to
dissipate the feminine jealousies which were on the alert
before the gypsy.

Fleur-de-Lys replied to the captain with a bland affectation
of disdain;--"Not bad."

The others whispered.

At lengthMadame Aloisewho was not the less jealous
because she was so for her daughteraddressed the
dancer--"Approachlittle one."

Approach, little one!repeatedwith comical dignity
little Bérangèrewho would have reached about as high as
her hips.

The gypsy advanced towards the noble dame.

Fair child,said Phoebuswith emphasistaking several
steps towards herI do not know whether I have the
supreme honor of being recognized by you.

She interrupted himwith a smile and a look full of
infinite sweetness-

Oh! yes,said she.

She has a good memory,remarked Fleur-de-Lys.

Come, now,resumed Phoebusyou escaped nimbly the
other evening. Did I frighten you!

Oh! no,said the gypsy.

There was in the intonation of that "Oh! no uttered
after that Oh! yes an ineffable something which wounded

You left me in your steadmy beauty pursued the
captain, whose tongue was unloosed when speaking to a girl
out of the street, a crabbed knaveone-eyed and hunchbacked
the bishop's bellringerI believe. I have been told
that by birth he is the bastard of an archdeacon and a devil.
He has a pleasant name: he is called ~Quatre-Temps~ (Ember
Days)~Paques-Fleuries~ (Palm Sunday)Mardi-Gras (Shrove
Tuesday)I know not what! The name of some festival when
the bells are pealed! So he took the liberty of carrying you
offas though you were made for beadles! 'Tis too much.
What the devil did that screech-owl want with you? Hey
tell me!"

I do not know,she replied.

The inconceivable impudence! A bellringer carrying off
a wench, like a vicomte! a lout poaching on the game of
gentlemen! that is a rare piece of assurance. However, he paid
dearly for it. Master Pierrat Torterue is the harshest groom
that ever curried a knave; and I can tell you, if it will be
agreeable to you, that your bellringer's hide got a thorough
dressing at his hands.

Poor man!said the gypsyin whom these words revived the
memory of the pillory.

The captain burst out laughing.

Corne-de-boeuf! here's pity as well placed as a feather in
a pig's tail! May I have as big a belly as a pope, if--

He stopped short. "Pardon meladies; I believe that I
was on the point of saying something foolish."

Fie, sirsaid la Gaillefontaine.

He talks to that creature in her own tongue!added
Fleur-de-Lysin a low toneher irritation increasing every
moment. This irritation was not diminished when she beheld
the captainenchanted with the gypsyandmost of allwith
himselfexecute a pirouette on his heelrepeating with coarse
naïveand soldierly gallantry-

A handsome wench, upon my soul!

Rather savagely dressed,said Diane de Christeuillaughing
to show her fine teeth.

This remark was a flash of light to the others. Not being
able to impugn her beautythey attacked her costume.

That is true,said la Montmichel; "what makes you run
about the streets thuswithout guimpe or ruff?"

That petticoat is so short that it makes one tremble,
added la Gaillefontaine.

My dear,continued Fleur-de-Lyswith decided sharpness
You will get yourself taken up by the sumptuary police for
your gilded girdle.

Little one, little one;resumed la Christeuilwith an
implacable smileif you were to put respectable sleeves
upon your arms they would get less sunburned.

It wasin trutha spectacle worthy of a more intelligent
spectator than Phoebusto see how these beautiful maidens
with their envenomed and angry tongueswoundserpent-like
and glided and writhed around the street dancer. They were
cruel and graceful; they searched and rummaged maliciously
in her poor and silly toilet of spangles and tinsel. There
was no end to their laughterironyand humiliation. Sarcasms
rained down upon the gypsyand haughty condescension and
malevolent looks. One would have thought they were young
Roman dames thrusting golden pins into the breast of a
beautiful slave. One would have pronounced them elegant

grayhoundscirclingwith inflated nostrilsround a poor
woodland fawnwhom the glance of their master forbade them
to devour.

After allwhat was a miserable dancer on the public squares
in the presence of these high-born maidens? They seemed
to take no heed of her presenceand talked of her aloudto
her faceas of something uncleanabjectand yetat the
same timepassably pretty.

The gypsy was not insensible to these pin-pricks. From
time to time a flush of shamea flash of anger inflamed her
eyes or her cheeks; with disdain she made that little grimace
with which the reader is already familiarbut she remained
motionless; she fixed on Phoebus a sadsweetresigned look.
There was also happiness and tenderness in that gaze. One
would have said that she endured for fear of being expelled.

Phoebus laughedand took the gypsy's part with a mixture
of impertinence and pity.

Let them talk, little one!he repeatedjingling his golden
spurs. "No doubt your toilet is a little extravagant and wild
but what difference does that make with such a charming
damsel as yourself?"

Good gracious!exclaimed the blonde Gaillefontaine
drawing up her swan-like throatwith a bitter smile. "I see
that messieurs the archers of the king's police easily take fire
at the handsome eyes of gypsies!"

Why not?said Phoebus.

At this reply uttered carelessly by the captainlike a stray
stonewhose fall one does not even watchColombe began to
laughas well as DianeAmelotteand Fleur-de-Lysinto
whose eyes at the same time a tear started.

The gypsywho had dropped her eyes on the floor at the
words of Colombe de Gaillefontaineraised them beaming with
joy and pride and fixed them once more on Phoebus. She was
very beautiful at that moment.

The old damewho was watching this scenefelt offended
without understanding why.

Holy Virgin!she suddenly exclaimedwhat is it moving
about my legs? Ah! the villanous beast!

It was the goatwho had just arrivedin search of his
mistressand whoin dashing towards the latterhad begun
by entangling his horns in the pile of stuffs which the noble
dame's garments heaped up on her feet when she was seated.

This created a diversion. The gypsy disentangled his
horns without uttering a word.

Oh! here's the little goat with golden hoofs!exclaimed
Bérangèredancing with joy.

The gypsy crouched down on her knees and leaned her
cheek against the fondling head of the goat. One would have
said that she was asking pardon for having quitted it thus.

MeanwhileDiane had bent down to Colombe's ear.

Ah! good heavens! why did not I think of that sooner?
'Tis the gypsy with the goat. They say she is a sorceress,
and that her goat executes very miraculous tricks.

Well!said Colombethe goat must now amuse us in
its turn, and perform a miracle for us.

Diane and Colombe eagerly addressed the gypsy.

Little one, make your goat perform a miracle.

I do not know what you mean,replied the dancer.

A miracle, a piece of magic, a bit of sorcery, in short.

I do not understand.And she fell to caressing the
pretty animalrepeatingDjali! Djali!

At that moment Fleur-de-Lys noticed a little bag of
embroidered leather suspended from the neck of the goat-"
What is that?" she asked of the gypsy.

The gypsy raised her large eyes upon her and replied gravely-"
That is my secret."

I should really like to know what your secret is,thought

Meanwhilethe good dame had risen angrily--" Come
nowgypsyif neither you nor your goat can dance for us
what are you doing here?"

The gypsy walked slowly towards the doorwithout making
any reply. But the nearer she approached itthe more
her pace slackened. An irresistible magnet seemed to hold
her. Suddenly she turned her eyeswet with tearstowards
Phoebusand halted.

True God!exclaimed the captainthat's not the way
to depart. Come back and dance something for us. By the
way, my sweet love, what is your name?

La Esmeralda,said the dancernever taking her eyes
from him.

At this strange namea burst of wild laughter broke from
the young girls.

Here's a terrible name for a young lady,said Diane.

You see well enough,retorted Amelottethat she is
an enchantress.

My dear,exclaimed Dame Aloise solemnlyyour parents
did not commit the sin of giving you that name at the
baptismal font.

In the meantimeseveral minutes previouslyBérangère had
coaxed the goat into a corner of the room with a marchpane
cakewithout any one having noticed her. In an instant they
had become good friends. The curious child had detached
the bag from the goat's neckhad opened itand had emptied

out its contents on the rush matting; it was an alphabeteach
letter of which was separately inscribed on a tiny block of
boxwood. Hardly had these playthings been spread out on
the mattingwhen the childwith surprisebeheld the
goat (one of whose "miracles" this was no doubt)draw out
certain letters with its golden hoofand arrange themwith
gentle pushesin a certain order. In a moment they
constituted a wordwhich the goat seemed to have been trained
to writeso little hesitation did it show in forming itand
Bérangère suddenly exclaimedclasping her hands in admiration-

Godmother Fleur-de-Lys, see what the goat has just done!

Fleur-de-Lys ran up and trembled. The letters arranged
upon the floor formed this word-


Was it the goat who wrote that?she inquired in a
changed voice.

Yes, godmother,replied Bérangêre.

It was impossible to doubt it; the child did not know how
to write.

This is the secret!thought Fleur-de-Lys.

Meanwhileat the child's exclamationall had hastened up
the motherthe young girlsthe gypsyand the officer.

The gypsy beheld the piece of folly which the goat had
committed. She turned redthen paleand began to tremble like
a culprit before the captainwho gazed at her with a smile of
satisfaction and amazement.

Phoebus!whispered the young girlsstupefied: "'tis
the captain's name!"

You have a marvellous memory!said Fleur-de-Lysto
the petrified gypsy. Thenbursting into sobs: "Oh!" she
stammered mournfullyhiding her face in both her beautiful
handsshe is a magician!And she heard another and a
still more bitter voice at the bottom of her heartsaying-"
She is a rival!"

She fell fainting.

My daughter! my daughter!cried the terrified mother.
Begone, you gypsy of hell!

In a twinklingLa Esmeralda gathered up the unlucky
lettersmade a sign to Djaliand went out through one door
while Fleur-de-Lys was being carried out through the other.

Captain Phoebuson being left alonehesitated for a moment
between the two doorsthen he followed the gypsy.



The priest whom the young girls had observed at the top of
the North towerleaning over the Place and so attentive to the
dance of the gypsywasin factArchdeacon Claude Frollo.

Our readers have not forgotten the mysterious cell which
the archdeacon had reserved for himself in that tower. (I do
not knowby the way be it saidwhether it be not the same
the interior of which can be seen to-day through a little square
windowopening to the east at the height of a man above the
platform from which the towers spring; a bare and dilapidated
denwhose badly plastered walls are ornamented here
and thereat the present daywith some wretched yellow
engravings representing the façades of cathedrals. I presume
that this hole is jointly inhabited by bats and spidersand
thatconsequentlyit wages a double war of extermination
on the flies).

Every dayan hour before sunsetthe archdeacon ascended
the staircase to the towerand shut himself up in this cell
where he sometimes passed whole nights. That dayat the
moment whenstanding before the low door of his retreathe
was fitting into the lock the complicated little key which he
always carried about him in the purse suspended to his side
a sound of tambourine and castanets had reached his ear.
These sounds came from the Place du Parvis. The cellas we
have already saidhad only one window opening upon the rear
of the church. Claude Frollo had hastily withdrawn the key
and an instant laterhe was on the top of the towerin the
gloomy and pensive attitude in which the maidens had seen

There he stoodgravemotionlessabsorbed in one look and
one thought. All Paris lay at his feetwith the thousand spires
of its edifices and its circular horizon of gentle hills--with
its river winding under its bridgesand its people moving to
and fro through its streets--with the clouds of its smoke--with
the mountainous chain of its roofs which presses Notre-Dame in
its doubled folds; but out .of all the citythe archdeacon
gazed at one corner only of the pavementthe Place du
Parvis; in all that throng at but one figure--the gypsy.

It would have been difficult to say what was the nature of this
lookand whence proceeded the flame that flashed from it. It
was a fixed gazewhich wasneverthelessfull of trouble and
tumult. Andfrom the profound immobility of his whole
bodybarely agitated at intervals by an involuntary shiveras
a tree is moved by the wind; from the stiffness of his elbows
more marble than the balustrade on which they leaned; or
the sight of the petrified smile which contracted his face-one
would have said that nothing living was left about Claude
Frollo except his eyes.

The gypsy was dancing; she was twirling her tambourine
on the tip of her fingerand tossing it into the air as she
danced Provençal sarabands; agilelightjoyousand
unconscious of the formidable gaze which descended
perpendicularly upon her head.

The crowd was swarming around her; from time to timea

man accoutred in red and yellow made them form into a circle
and then returnedseated himself on a chair a few paces from
the dancerand took the goat's head on his knees. This man
seemed to be the gypsy's companion. Claude Frollo could not
distinguish his features from his elevated post.

From the moment when the archdeacon caught sight of this
strangerhis attention seemed divided between him and the
dancerand his face became more and more gloomy. All at
once he rose uprightand a quiver ran through his whole
body: "Who is that man?" he muttered between his teeth:
I have always seen her alone before!

Then he plunged down beneath the tortuous vault of the
spiral staircaseand once more descended. As he passed the
door of the bell chamberwhich was ajarbe saw something
which struck him; he beheld Quasimodowholeaning through
an opening of one of those slate penthouses which resemble
enormous blindsappeared also to be gazing at the Place. He
was engaged in so profound a contemplationthat he did not
notice the passage of his adopted father. His savage eye had
a singular expression; it was a charmedtender look. "This
is strange!" murmured Claude. "Is it the gypsy at whom
he is thus gazing?" He continued his descent. At the end
of a few minutesthe anxious archdeacon entered upon the
Place from the door at the base of the tower.

What has become of the gypsy girl?he saidmingling
with the group of spectators which the sound of the tambourine
had collected.

I know not,replied one of his neighborsI think that
she has gone to make some of her fandangoes in the house
opposite, whither they have called her.

In the place of the gypsyon the carpetwhose arabesques
had seemed to vanish but a moment previously by the capricious
figures of her dancethe archdeacon no longer beheld
any one but the red and yellow manwhoin order to earn a
few testers in his turnwas walking round the circlewith his
elbows on his hipshis head thrown backhis face redhis
neck outstretchedwith a chair between his teeth. To the
chair he had fastened a catwhich a neighbor had lentand
which was spitting in great affright.

Notre-Dame!exclaimed the archdeaconat the moment
when the jugglerperspiring heavilypassed in front of him
with his pyramid of chair and his catWhat is Master
Pierre Gringoire doing here?

The harsh voice of the archdeacon threw the poor fellow
into such a commotion that he lost his equilibriumtogether
with his whole edificeand the chair and the cat tumbled
pell-mell upon the heads of the spectatorsin the midst of
inextinguishable hootings.

It is probable that Master Pierre Gringoire (for it was
indeed he) would have had a sorry account to settle with the
neighbor who owned the catand all the bruised and scratched
faces which surrounded himif he had not hastened to profit
by the tumult to take refuge in the churchwhither Claude
Frollo had made him a sign to follow him.

The cathedral was already dark and deserted; the side-aisles

were full of shadowsand the lamps of the chapels began to
shine out like starsso black had the vaulted ceiling become.
Only the great rose window of the façadewhose thousand
colors were steeped in a ray of horizontal sunlightglittered
in the gloom like a mass of diamondsand threw its dazzling
reflection to the other end of the nave.

When they had advanced a few pacesDom Claude placed
his back against a pillarand gazed intently at Gringoire.
The gaze was not the one which Gringoire fearedashamed as
he was of having been caught by a grave and learned person
in the costume of a buffoon. There was nothing mocking or
ironical in the priest's glanceit was serioustranquil
piercing. The archdeacon was the first to break the silence.

Come now, Master Pierre. You are to explain many
things to me. And first of all, how comes it that you have
not been seen for two months, and that now one finds you in
the public squares, in a fine equipment in truth! Motley red
and yellow, like a Caudebec apple?

Messire,said Gringoirepiteouslyit is, in fact, an
amazing accoutrement. You see me no more comfortable in it
than a cat coiffed with a calabash. 'Tis very ill done, I am
conscious, to expose messieurs the sergeants of the watch to
the liability of cudgelling beneath this cassock the humerus
of a Pythagorean philosopher. But what would you have,
my reverend master? 'tis the fault of my ancient jerkin,
which abandoned me in cowardly wise, at the beginning of
the winter, under the pretext that it was falling into tatters,
and that it required repose in the basket of a rag-picker.
What is one to do? Civilization has not yet arrived at the
point where one can go stark naked, as ancient Diogenes
wished. Add that a very cold wind was blowing, and 'tis not
in the month of January that one can successfully attempt to
make humanity take this new step. This garment presented
itself, I took it, and I left my ancient black smock, which,
for a hermetic like myself, was far from being hermetically
closed. Behold me then, in the garments of a stage-player,
like Saint Genest. What would you have? 'tis an eclipse.
Apollo himself tended the flocks of Admetus.

'Tis a fine profession that you are engaged in!replied
the archdeacon.

I agree, my master, that 'tis better to philosophize and
poetize, to blow the flame in the furnace, or to receive it
from carry cats on a shield. So, when you addressed
me, I was as foolish as an ass before a turnspit. But
what would you have, messire? One must eat every day, and
the finest Alexandrine verses are not worth a bit of Brie
cheese. Now, I made for Madame Marguerite of Flanders,
that famous epithalamium, as you know, and the city will not
pay me, under the pretext that it was not excellent; as
though one could give a tragedy of Sophocles for four crowns!
Hence, I was on the point of dying with hunger. Happily,
I found that I was rather strong in the jaw; so I said to this
jaw,--perform some feats of strength and of equilibrium:
nourish thyself. ~Ale te ipsam~. A pack of beggars who have
become my good friends, have taught me twenty sorts of
herculean feats, and now I give to my teeth every evening the
bread which they have earned during the day by the sweat
of my brow. After all, concede, I grant that it is a sad
employment for my intellectual faculties, and that man is not

made to pass his life in beating the tambourine and biting
chairs. But, reverend master, it is not sufficient to pass
one's life, one must earn the means for life.''

Dom Claude listened in silence. All at once his deep-set
eye assumed so sagacious and penetrating an expression, that
Gringoire felt himself, so to speak, searched to the bottom of
the soul by that glance.

Very goodMaster Pierre; but how comes it that you are
now in company with that gypsy dancer?"

In faith!said Gringoire'tis because she is my wife
and I am her husband.

The priest's gloomy eyes flashed into flame.

Have you done that, you wretch!he criedseizing
Gringoire's arm with fury; "have you been so abandoned by
God as to raise your hand against that girl?"

On my chance of paradise, monseigneur,replied Gringoire
trembling in every limbI swear to you that I have
never touched her, if that is what disturbs you.

Then why do you talk of husband and wife?said the priest.
Gringoire made haste to relate to him as succinctly as possible
all that the reader already knowshis adventure in the
Court of Miracles and the broken-crock marriage. It
appearedmoreoverthat this marriage had led to no results
whateverand that each evening the gypsy girl cheated him
of his nuptial right as on the first day. "'Tis a mortification
he said in conclusion, but that is because I have had the
misfortune to wed a virgin."

What do you mean?demanded the archdeaconwho had been
gradually appeased by this recital.

'Tis very difficult to explain,replied the poet. "It is
a superstition. My wife isaccording to what an old thief
who is called among us the Duke of Egypthas told mea
foundling or a lost childwhich is the same thing. She wears
on her neck an amulet whichit is affirmedwill cause her to
meet her parents some daybut which will lose its virtue if
the young girl loses hers. Hence it follows that both of us
remain very virtuous."

So,resumed Claudewhose brow cleared more and more
you believe, Master Pierre, that this creature has not been
approached by any man?

What would you have a man do, Dom Claude, as against
a superstition? She has got that in her head. I assuredly
esteem as a rarity this nunlike prudery which is preserved
untamed amid those Bohemian girls who are so easily brought
into subjection. But she has three things to protect her:
the Duke of Egypt, who has taken her under his safeguard,
reckoning, perchance, on selling her to some gay abbé; all his
tribe, who hold her in singular veneration, like a Notre-Dame;
and a certain tiny poignard, which the buxom dame always
wears about her, in some nook, in spite of the ordinances of
the provost, and which one causes to fly out into her hands
by squeezing her waist. 'Tis a proud wasp, I can tell you!

The archdeacon pressed Gringoire with questions.

La Esmeraldain the judgment of Gringoirewas an inoffensive
and charming creatureprettywith the exception of a
pout which was peculiar to her; a naïve and passionate damsel
ignorant of everything and enthusiastic about everything;
not yet aware of the difference between a man and a woman
even in her dreams; made like that; wild especially over
dancingnoisethe open air; a sort of woman beewith
invisible wings on her feetand living in a whirlwind. She
owed this nature to the wandering life which she had always
led. Gringoire had succeeded in learning thatwhile a mere
childshe had traversed Spain and Cataloniaeven to Sicily;
he believed that she had even been taken by the caravan of
Zingariof which she formed a partto the kingdom of Algiers
a country situated in Achaiawhich country adjoinson one
side Albania and Greece; on the otherthe Sicilian Seawhich
is the road to Constantinople. The Bohemianssaid Gringoire
were vassals of the King of Algiersin his quality of chief of
the White Moors. One thing is certainthat la Esmeralda
had come to France while still very youngby way of
Hungary. From all these countries the young girl had brought
back fragments of queer jargonssongsand strange ideas
which made her language as motley as her costumehalf
Parisianhalf African. Howeverthe people of the quarters
which she frequented loved her for her gayetyher daintiness
her lively mannersher dancesand her songs. She believed
herself to be hatedin all the cityby but two personsof
whom she often spoke in terror: the sacked nun of the
Tour-Rolanda villanous recluse who cherished some secret
grudge against these gypsiesand who cursed the poor dancer
every time that the latter passed before her window; and a
priestwho never met her without casting at her looks and
words which frightened her.

The mention of this last circumstance disturbed the
archdeacon greatlythough Gringoire paid no attention to
his perturbation; to such an extent had two months sufficed
to cause the heedless poet to forget the singular details of
the evening on which he had met the gypsyand the presence
of the archdeacon in it all. Otherwisethe little dancer
feared nothing; she did not tell fortuneswhich protected
her against those trials for magic which were so frequently
instituted against gypsy women. And thenGringoire held the
position of her brotherif not of her husband. After all
the philosopher endured this sort of platonic marriage very
patiently. It meant a shelter and bread at least. Every
morninghe set out from the lair of the thievesgenerally
with the gypsy; he helped her make her collections of
targes* and little blanks** in the squares; each evening he
returned to the same roof with herallowed her to bolt herself
into her little chamberand slept the sleep of the just. A
very sweet existencetaking it all in allhe saidand well
adapted to revery. And thenon his soul and consciencethe
philosopher was not very sure that he was madly in love with
the gypsy. He loved her goat almost as dearly. It was a
charming animalgentleintelligentclever; a learned
goat. Nothing was more common in the Middle Ages than these
learned animalswhich amazed people greatlyand often led
their instructors to the stake. But the witchcraft of the
goat with the golden hoofs was a very innocent species of
magic. Gringoire explained them to the archdeaconwhom these
details seemed to interest deeply. In the majority of cases
it was sufficient to present the tambourine to the goat in

such or such a mannerin order to obtain from him the trick
desired. He had been trained to this by the gypsywho
possessedin these delicate artsso rare a talent that two
months had sufficed to teach the goat to writewith movable
lettersthe word "Phoebus."

* An ancient Burgundian coin.
** An ancient French coin.

'Phoebus!'said the priest; "why 'Phoebus'?"

I know not,replied Gringoire. "Perhaps it is a word
which she believes to be endowed with some magic and secret
virtue. She often repeats it in a low tone when she thinks
that she is alone."

Are you sure,persisted Claudewith his penetrating
glancethat it is only a word and not a name?

The name of whom?said the poet.

How should I know?said the priest.

This is what I imagine, messire. These Bohemians are
something like Guebrs, and adore the sun. Hence, Phoebus.

That does not seem so clear to me as to you, Master Pierre.

After all, that does not concern me. Let her mumble her
Phoebus at her pleasure. One thing is certain, that Djali loves
me almost as much as he does her.

Who is Djali?

The goat.

The archdeacon dropped his chin into his handand appeared
to reflect for a moment. All at once he turned abruptly
to Gringoire once more.

And do you swear to me that you have not touched her?

Whom?said Gringoire; "the goat?"

No, that woman.

My wife? I swear to you that I have not.

You are often alone with her?

A good hour every evening.

Porn Claude frowned.

Oh! oh! ~Solus cum sola non cogitabuntur orare Pater Noster~.

Upon my soul, I could say the ~Pater~, and the ~Ave Maria~,
and the ~Credo in Deum patrem omnipotentem~ without her
paying any more attention to me than a chicken to a church.

Swear to me, by the body of your mother,repeated the

archdeacon violentlythat you have not touched that creature
with even the tip of your finger.

I will also swear it by the head of my father, for the two
things have more affinity between them. But, my reverend
master, permit me a question in my turn.

Speak, sir.

What concern is it of yours?

The archdeacon's pale face became as crimson as the cheek
of a young girl. He remained for a moment without answering;
thenwith visible embarrassment-

Listen, Master Pierre Gringoire. You are not yet damned,
so far as I know. I take an interest in you, and wish you
well. Now the least contact with that Egyptian of the demon
would make you the vassal of Satan. You know that 'tis
always the body which ruins the soul. Woe to you if you
approach that woman! That is all.

I tried once,said Gringoirescratching his ear; "it was
the first day: but I got stung."

You were so audacious, Master Pierre?and the priest's
brow clouded over again.

On another occasion,continued the poetwith a smileI
peeped through the keyhole, before going to bed, and I beheld
the most delicious dame in her shift that ever made a bed
creak under her bare foot.

Go to the devil!cried the priestwith a terrible look;
andgiving the amazed Gringoire a push on the shouldershe
plungedwith long stridesunder the gloomiest arcades of the



After the morning in the pillorythe neighbors of Notre-
Dame thought they noticed that Quasimodo's ardor for
ringing had grown cool. Formerlythere had been peals for
every occasionlong morning serenadeswhich lasted from
prime to compline; peals from the belfry for a high mass
rich scales drawn over the smaller bells for a weddingfor a
christeningand mingling in the air like a rich embroidery of
all sorts of charming sounds. The old churchall vibrating
and sonorouswas in a perpetual joy of bells. One was
constantly conscious of the presence of a spirit of noise and
capricewho sang through all those mouths of brass. Now
that spirit seemed to have departed; the cathedral seemed
gloomyand gladly remained silent; festivals and funerals
had the simple pealdry and baredemanded by the ritual
nothing more. Of the double noise which constitutes a
churchthe organ withinthe bell withoutthe organ alone
remained. One would have said that there was no longer

a musician in the belfry. Quasimodo was always there
nevertheless; whatthenhad happened to him? Was it that
the shame and despair of the pillory still lingered in the
bottom of his heartthat the lashes of his tormentor's whip
reverberated unendingly in his souland that the sadness of
such treatment had wholly extinguished in him even his passion
for the bells? or was it that Marie had a rival in the heart
of the bellringer of Notre-Dameand that the great bell and
her fourteen sisters were neglected for something more amiable
and more beautiful?

It chanced thatin the year of grace 1482Annunciation
Day fell on Tuesdaythe twenty-fifth of March. That day
the air was so pure and light that Quasimodo felt some
returning affection for his bells. He therefore ascended
the northern tower while the beadle below was opening wide
the doors of the churchwhich were then enormous panels of
stout woodcovered with leatherbordered with nails of gilded
ironand framed in carvings "very artistically elaborated."

On arriving in the lofty bell chamberQuasimodo gazed for
some time at the six bells and shook his head sadlyas though
groaning over some foreign element which had interposed
itself in his heart between them and him. But when he had
set them to swingingwhen he felt that cluster of bells
moving under his handwhen he sawfor he did not hear it
the palpitating octave ascend and descend that sonorous scale
like a bird hopping from branch to branch; when the demon
Musicthat demon who shakes a sparkling bundle of strette
trills and arpeggioshad taken possession of the poor deaf
manhe became happy once morehe forgot everythingand
his heart expandingmade his face beam.

He went and camehe beat his hands togetherhe ran from
rope to ropehe animated the six singers with voice and
gesturelike the leader of an orchestra who is urging on
intelligent musicians.

Go on,said hego on, go on, Gabrielle, pour out all thy
noise into the Place, 'tis a festival to-day. No laziness,
Thibauld; thou art relaxing; go on, go on, then, art thou rusted,
thou sluggard? That is well! quick! quick! let not thy
clapper be seen! Make them all deaf like me. That's it,
Thibauld, bravely done! Guillaume! Guillaume! thou art
the largest, and Pasquier is the smallest, and Pasquier does
best. Let us wager that those who hear him will understand
him better than they understand thee. Good! good! my
Gabrielle, stoutly, more stoutly! Eli! what are you doing up
aloft there, you two Moineaux (sparrows)? I do not see you
making the least little shred of noise. What is the meaning
of those beaks of copper which seem to be gaping when they
should sing? Come, work now, 'tis the Feast of the
Annunciation. The sun is fine, the chime must be fine
also. Poor Guillaume! thou art all out of breath, my
big fellow!

He was wholly absorbed in spurring on his bellsall six of
which vied with each other in leaping and shaking their
shining hauncheslike a noisy team of Spanish mulespricked
on here and there by the apostrophes of the muleteer.

All at onceon letting his glance fall between the large
slate scales which cover the perpendicular wall of the bell
tower at a certain heighthe beheld on the square a young

girlfantastically dressedstopspread out on the ground a
carpeton which a small goat took up its postand a group of
spectators collect around her. This sight suddenly changed
the course of his ideasand congealed his enthusiasm as a
breath of air congeals melted rosin. He haltedturned his
back to the bellsand crouched down behind the projecting
roof of slatefixing upon the dancer that dreamysweetand
tender look which had already astonished the archdeacon on
one occasion. Meanwhilethe forgotten bells died away
abruptly and all togetherto the great disappointment of the
lovers of bell ringingwho were listening in good faith to the
peal from above the Pont du Changeand who went away
dumbfoundedlike a dog who has been offered a bone and
given a stone.



It chanced that upon a fine morning in this same month of
MarchI think it was on Saturday the 29thSaint Eustache's
dayour young friend the studentJehan Frollo du Moulin
perceivedas he was dressing himselfthat his breecheswhich
contained his pursegave out no metallic ring. "Poor purse
he said, drawing it from his fob, what! not the smallest
parisis! how cruelly the dicebeer-potsand Venus have
depleted thee! How emptywrinkledlimpthou art! Thou
resemblest the throat of a fury! I ask youMesser Cicero
and Messer Senecacopies of whomall dog's-earedI behold
scattered on the floorwhat profits it me to knowbetter
than any governor of the mintor any Jew on the Pont aux
Changeursthat a golden crown stamped with a crown is worth
thirty-five unzains of twenty-five sousand eight deniers
parisis apieceand that a crown stamped with a crescent is
worth thirty-six unzains of twenty-six soussix deniers
tournois apieceif I have not a single wretched black liard
to risk on the double-six! Oh! Consul Cicero! this is no
calamity from which one extricates one's self with periphrases
~quemadmodum~and ~verum enim vero~!"

He dressed himself sadly. An idea had occurred to him as
he laced his bootsbut he rejected it at first; nevertheless
it returnedand he put on his waistcoat wrong side outan
evident sign of violent internal combat. At last he dashed his
cap roughly on the floorand exclaimed: "So much the worse!
Let come of it what may. I am going to my brother! I
shall catch a sermonbut I shall catch a crown."

Then be hastily donned his long jacket with furred halfsleeves
picked up his capand went out like a man driven
to desperation.

He descended the Rue de la Harpe toward the City. As he
passed the Rue de la Huchettethe odor of those admirable
spitswhich were incessantly turningtickled his olfactory
apparatusand he bestowed a loving glance toward the
Cyclopean roastwhich one day drew from the Franciscan friar
Calatagironethis pathetic exclamation: ~Veramentequeste
rotisserie sono cosa stupenda~!* But Jehan had not the
wherewithal to buy a breakfastand he plungedwith a

profound sighunder the gateway of the Petit-Châteletthat
enormous double trefoil of massive towers which guarded the
entrance to the City.

* Trulythese roastings are a stupendous thing!
He did not even take the trouble to cast a stone in passing
as was the usageat the miserable statue of that Périnet
Leclerc who had delivered up the Paris of Charles VI. to the
Englisha crime which his effigyits face battered with
stones and soiled with mudexpiated for three centuries at
the corner of the Rue de la Harpe and the Rue de Bucias in
an eternal pillory.

The Petit-Pont traversedthe Rue Neuve-Sainte-Geneviève
crossedJehan de Molendino found himself in front of Notre-
Dame. Then indecision seized upon him once moreand he
paced for several minutes round the statue of M. Legris
repeating to himself with anguish: "The sermon is surethe
crown is doubtful."

He stopped a beadle who emerged from the cloister--"Where
is monsieur the archdeacon of Josas?"

I believe that he is in his secret cell in the tower,said
the beadle; "I should advise you not to disturb him there
unless you come from some one like the pope or monsieur the king."

Jehan clapped his hands.

~Bécliable~! here's a magnificent chance to see the famous
sorcery cell!

This reflection having brought him to a decisionhe plunged
resolutely into the small black doorwayand began the
ascent of the spiral of Saint-Gilleswhich leads to the upper
stories of the tower. "I am going to see he said to himself
on the way. By the ravens of the Holy Virgin! it must
needs be a curious thingthat cell which my reverend brother
hides so secretly! 'Tis said that he lights up the kitchens
of hell thereand that he cooks the philosopher's stone there
over a hot fire. ~Bédieu~! I care no more for the philosopher's
stone than for a pebbleand I would rather find over his furnace
an omelette of Easter eggs and baconthan the biggest
philosopher's stone in the world."'

On arriving at the gallery of slender columnshe took
breath for a momentand swore against the interminable
staircase by I know not how many million cartloads of devils;
then he resumed his ascent through the narrow door of the
north towernow closed to the public. Several moments
after passing the bell chamberhe came upon a little
landing-placebuilt in a lateral nicheand under the vault
of a lowpointed doorwhose enormous lock and strong iron
bars he was enabled to see through a loophole pierced in the
opposite circular wall of the staircase. Persons desirous of
visiting this door at the present day will recognize it by this
inscription engraved in white letters on the black wall: "J'ADORE
CORALIE1823. SIGNE UGENE." "Signé" stands in the text.

Ugh!said the scholar; "'tis hereno doubt."

The key was in the lockthe door was very close to him;
he gave it a gentle push and thrust his head through the opening.

The reader cannot have failed to turn over the admirable
works of Rembrandtthat Shakespeare of painting. Amid so
many marvellous engravingsthere is one etching in particular
which is supposed to represent Doctor Faustand which
it is impossible to contemplate without being dazzled. It
represents a gloomy cell; in the centre is a table loaded
with hideous objects; skullsspheresalembicscompasses
hieroglyphic parchments. The doctor is before this table clad
in his large coat and covered to the very eyebrows with his
furred cap. He is visible only to his waist. He has half
risen from his immense arm-chairhis clenched fists rest on
the tableand he is gazing with curiosity and terror at a large
luminous circleformed of magic letterswhich gleams from
the wall beyondlike the solar spectrum in a dark chamber.
This cabalistic sun seems to tremble before the eyeand fills
the wan cell with its mysterious radiance. It is horrible and
it is beautiful.

Something very similar to Faust's cell presented itself to
Jehan's viewwhen he ventured his head through the halfopen
door. It also was a gloomy and sparsely lighted retreat.
There also stood a large arm-chair and a large tablecompasses
alembicsskeletons of animals suspended from the ceiling
a globe rolling on the floorhippocephali mingled
promiscuously with drinking cupsin which quivered leaves
of goldskulls placed upon vellum checkered with figures and
charactershuge manuscripts piled up wide openwithout
mercy on the cracking corners of the parchment; in shortall
the rubbish of scienceand everywhere on this confusion dust
and spiders' webs; but there was no circle of luminous letters
no doctor in an ecstasy contemplating the flaming vision
as the eagle gazes upon the sun.

Neverthelessthe cell was not deserted. A man was seated
in the arm-chairand bending over the table. Jehanto whom
his back was turnedcould see only his shoulders and the
back of his skull; but he had no difficulty in recognizing that
bald headwhich nature had provided with an eternal tonsure
as though desirous of markingby this external symbolthe
archdeacon's irresistible clerical vocation.

Jehan accordingly recognized his brother; but the door
had been opened so softlythat nothing warned Dom Claude of
his presence. The inquisitive scholar took advantage of this
circumstance to examine the cell for a few moments at his
leisure. A large furnacewhich he had not at first observed
stood to the left of the arm-chairbeneath the window. The
ray of light which penetrated through this aperture made its
way through a spider's circular webwhich tastefully inscribed
its delicate rose in the arch of the windowand in the centre
of which the insect architect hung motionlesslike the hub
of this wheel of lace. Upon the furnace were accumulated
in disorderall sorts of vasesearthenware bottlesglass
retortsand mattresses of charcoal. Jehan observedwith a
sighthat there was no frying-pan. "How cold the kitchen
utensils are!" he said to himself.

In factthere was no fire in the furnaceand it seemed as
though none had been lighted for a long time. A glass mask
which Jehan noticed among the utensils of alchemyand
which served no doubtto protect the archdeacon's face when

he was working over some substance to be dreadedlay in one
corner covered with dust and apparently forgotten. Beside it
lay a pair of bellows no less dustythe upper side of which
bore this inscription incrusted in copper letters: SPIRA SPERA.

Other inscriptions were writtenin accordance with the
fashion of the hermeticsin great numbers on the walls; some
traced with inkothers engraved with a metal point. There
weremoreoverGothic lettersHebrew lettersGreek letters
and Roman letterspell-mell; the inscriptions overflowed at
haphazardon top of each otherthe more recent effacing the
more ancientand all entangled with each otherlike the
branches in a thicketlike pikes in an affray. It wasin
facta strangely confused mingling of all human philosophies
all reveriesall human wisdom. Here and there one shone
out from among the rest like a banner among lance heads.
Generallyit was a brief Greek or Roman devicesuch as the
Middle Ages knew so well how to formulate.--~Unde? Inde?--Homo
homini monstrurn-Ast'racastranomennumen.--Meya Bibklov
ueya xaxov.--Sapere aude. Fiat ubi vult~--etc.; sometimes
a word devoid of all apparent sense~Avayxoqpayia~which
possibly contained a bitter allusion to the regime of the
cloister; sometimes a simple maxim of clerical discipline
formulated in a regular hexameter ~Coelestem dominum terrestrem
dicite dominum~. There was also Hebrew jargonof which
Jehanwho as yet knew but little Greekunderstood nothing;
and all were traversed in every direction by starsby
figures of men or animalsand by intersecting triangles; and
this contributed not a little to make the scrawled wall of the
cell resemble a sheet of paper over which a monkey had
drawn back and forth a pen filled with ink.

The whole chambermoreoverpresented a general aspect
of abandonment and dilapidation; and the bad state of the
utensils induced the supposition that their owner had long
been distracted from his labors by other preoccupations.
Meanwhilethis masterbent over a vast manuscript
ornamented with fantastical illustrationsappeared to be
tormented by an idea which incessantly mingled with his
meditations. That at least was Jehan's ideawhen he heard him
exclaimwith the thoughtful breaks of a dreamer thinking

Yes, Manou said it, and Zoroaster taught it! the sun is
born from fire, the moon from the sun; fire is the soul
of the universe; its elementary atoms pour forth and flow
incessantly upon the world through infinite channels! At
the point where these currents intersect each other in the
heavens, they produce light; at their points of intersection
on earth, they produce gold. Light, gold; the same thing!
From fire to the concrete state. The difference between the
visible and the palpable, between the fluid and the solid in
the same substance, between water and ice, nothing more.
These are no dreams; it is the general law of nature. But
what is one to do in order to extract from science the secret
of this general law? What! this light which inundates my
hand is gold! These same atoms dilated in accordance with
a certain law need only be condensed in accordance with
another law. How is it to be done? Some have fancied by
burying a ray of sunlight, Averroës,--yes, 'tis Averroës,--
Averroës buried one under the first pillar on the left of the
sanctuary of the Koran, in the great Mahometan mosque of
Cordova; but the vault cannot he opened for the purpose of
ascertaining whether the operation has succeeded, until after

the lapse of eight thousand years.

The devil!" said Jehanto himself'tis a long while to
wait for a crown!

Others have thought,continued the dreamy archdeacon
that it would be better worth while to operate upon a
ray of Sirius. But 'tis exceeding hard to obtain this
ray pure, because of the simultaneous presence of other
stars whose rays mingle with it. Flamel esteemed it more
simple to operate upon terrestrial fire. Flamel! there's
predestination in the name! ~Flamma~! yes, fire. All lies
there. The diamond is contained in the carbon, gold is in the
fire. But how to extract it? Magistri affirms that there are
certain feminine names, which possess a charm so sweet and
mysterious, that it suffices to pronounce them during the
operation. Let us read what Manon says on the matter: 'Where
women are honored, the divinities are rejoiced; where they are
despised, it is useless to pray to God. The mouth of a woman
is constantly pure; it is a running water, it is a ray of
sunlight. The name of a woman should be agreeable, sweet,
fanciful; it should end in long vowels, and resemble words
of benediction.' Yes, the sage is right; in truth, Maria,
Sophia, la Esmeral--Damnation! always that thought!

And he closed the book violently.

He passed his hand over his browas though to brush away
the idea which assailed him; then he took from the table a
nail and a small hammerwhose handle was curiously painted
with cabalistic letters.

For some time,he said with a bitter smileI have failed
in all my experiments! one fixed idea possesses me, and sears
my brain like fire. I have not even been able to discover the
secret of Cassiodorus, whose lamp burned without wick and
without oil. A simple matter, nevertheless--

The deuce!muttered Jehan in his beard.

Hence,continued the priestone wretched thought is
sufficient to render a man weak and beside himself! Oh!
how Claude Pernelle would laugh at me. She who could not
turn Nicholas Flamel aside, for one moment, from his pursuit
of the great work! What! I hold in my hand the magic
hammer of Zéchiélé! at every blow dealt by the formidable
rabbi, from the depths of his cell, upon this nail, that
one of his enemies whom he had condemned, were he a thousand
leagues away, was buried a cubit deep in the earth which
swallowed him. The King of France himself, in consequence
of once having inconsiderately knocked at the door of the
thermaturgist, sank to the knees through the pavement of
his own Paris. This took place three centuries ago. Well!
I possess the hammer and the nail, and in my hands they are
utensils no more formidable than a club in the hands of a
maker of edge tools. And yet all that is required is to find
the magic word which Zéchiélé pronounced when he struck
his nail.

What nonsense!thought Jehan.

Let us see, let us try!resumed the archdeacon briskly.
Were I to succeed, I should behold the blue spark flash
from the head of the nail. Emen-Hétan! Emen-Hétan!

That's not it. Sigéani! Sigéani! May this nail open the
tomb to any one who bears the name of Phoebus! A curse
upon it! Always and eternally the same idea!

And he flung away the hammer in a rage. Then he sank
down so deeply on the arm-chair and the tablethat Jehan
lost him from view behind the great pile of manuscripts. For
the space of several minutesall that he saw was his fist
convulsively clenched on a book. SuddenlyDom Claude sprang
upseized a compass and engraved in silence upon the wall in
capital lettersthis Greek word


My brother is mad,said Jehan to himself; "it would
have been far more simple to write ~Fatum~every one is not
obliged to know Greek."

The archdeacon returned and seated himself in his armchair
and placed his head on both his handsas a sick man does
whose head is heavy and burning.

The student watched his brother with surprise. He did not
knowhe who wore his heart on his sleevehe who observed
only the good old law of Nature in the worldhe who allowed
his passions to follow their inclinationsand in whom the lake
of great emotions was always dryso freely did he let it off
each day by fresh drains--he did not know with what fury
the sea of human passions ferments and boils when all egress
is denied to ithow it accumulateshow it swellshow it
overflowshow it hollows out the heart; how it breaks in inward
sobsand dull convulsionsuntil it has rent its dikes and
burst its bed. The austere and glacial envelope of Claude
Frollothat cold surface of steep and inaccessible virtue
had always deceived Jehan. The merry scholar had never
dreamed that there was boiling lavafurious and profound
beneath the snowy brow of AEtna.

We do not know whether he suddenly became conscious of
these things; butgiddy as he washe understood that he had
seen what he ought not to have seenthat he had just surprised
the soul of his elder brother in one of its most secret
altitudesand that Claude must not be allowed to know it.
Seeing that the archdeacon had fallen back into his former
immobilityhe withdrew his head very softlyand made some
noise with his feet outside the doorlike a person who has
just arrived and is giving warning of his approach.

Enter!cried the archdeaconfrom the interior of his
cell; "I was expecting you. I left the door unlocked
expressly; enter Master Jacques!"

The scholar entered boldly. The archdeaconwho was very
much embarrassed by such a visit in such a placetrembled
in his arm-chair. "What! 'tis youJehan?"

'Tis a J, all the same,said the scholarwith his ruddy
merryand audacious face.

Dom Claude's visage had resumed its severe expression.

What are you come for?

Brother,replied the scholarmaking an effort to assume

a decentpitifuland modest mienand twirling his cap in his
hands with an innocent air; "I am come to ask of you--"


A little lecture on morality, of which I stand greatly in
need,Jehan did not dare to add aloud--"and a little money
of which I am in still greater need." This last member of
his phrase remained unuttered.

Monsieur,said the archdeaconin a cold toneI am greatly
displeased with you.

Alas!sighed the scholar.

Dom Claude made his arm-chair describe a quarter circle
and gazed intently at Jehan.

I am very glad to see you.

This was a formidable exordium. Jehan braced himself
for a rough encounter.

Jehan, complaints are brought me about you every day.
What affray was that in which you bruised with a cudgel a
little vicomte, Albert de Ramonchamp?

Oh!said Jehana vast thing that! A malicious page
amused himself by splashing the scholars, by making his
horse gallop through the mire!

Who,pursued the archdeaconis that Mahiet Fargel,
whose gown you have torn? ~Tunicam dechiraverunt~, saith
the complaint.

Ah bah! a wretched cap of a Montaigu! Isn't that it?

The complaint says ~tunicam~ and not ~cappettam~. Do you
know Latin?

Jehan did not reply.

Yes,pursued the priest shaking his headthat is the
state of learning and letters at the present day. The Latin
tongue is hardly understood, Syriac is unknown, Greek so
odious that 'tis accounted no ignorance in the most learned to
skip a Greek word without reading it, and to say, '~Groecum
est non legitur~.'

The scholar raised his eyes boldly. "Monsieur my brother
doth it please you that I shall explain in good French
vernacular that Greek word which is written yonder on the wall?"

What word?


A slight flush spread over the cheeks of the priest with
their high boneslike the puff of smoke which announces on
the outside the secret commotions of a volcano. The student
hardly noticed it.

Well, Jehan,stammered the elder brother with an effort
What is the meaning of yonder word?


Dom Claude turned pale againand the scholar pursued carelessly.

And that word below it, graved by the same hand,
'~Ayáyvela~, signifies 'impurity.' You see that people do know
their Greek.

And the archdeacon remained silent. This Greek lesson
had rendered him thoughtful.

Master Jehanwho possessed all the artful ways of a spoiled
childjudged that the moment was a favorable one in which
to risk his request. Accordinglyhe assumed an extremely
soft tone and began--

My good brother, do you hate me to such a degree as to
look savagely upon me because of a few mischievous cuffs and
blows distributed in a fair war to a pack of lads and brats,
~quibusdam marmosetis~? You see, good Brother Claude, that
people know their Latin.

But all this caressing hypocrisy did not have its usual effect
on the severe elder brother. Cerberus did not bite at the
honey cake. The archdeacon's brow did not lose a single wrinkle.

What are you driving at?he said dryly.

Well, in point of fact, this!replied Jehan bravelyI stand
in need of money.

At this audacious declarationthe archdeacon's visage
assumed a thoroughly pedagogical and paternal expression.

You know, Monsieur Jehan, that our fief of Tirecbappe,
putting the direct taxes and the rents of the nine and twenty
houses in a block, yields only nine and thirty livres, eleven
sous, six deniers, Parisian. It is one half more than in the
time of the brothers Paclet, but it is not much.

I need money,said Jehan stoically.

You know that the official has decided that our twenty-one
houses should he moved full into the fief of the Bishopric,
and that we could redeem this homage only by paying the
reverend bishop two marks of silver gilt of the price of six
livres parisis. Now, these two marks I have not yet been
able to get together. You know it.

I know that I stand in need of money,repeated Jehan
for the third time.

And what are you going to do with it?

This question caused a flash of hope to gleam before Jehan's
eyes. He resumed his daintycaressing air.

Stay, dear Brother Claude, I should not come to you, with
any evil motive. There is no intention of cutting a dash in
the taverns with your unzains, and of strutting about the
streets of Paris in a caparison of gold brocade, with a lackey,
~cum meo laquasio~. No, brother, 'tis for a good work.

What good work?demanded Claudesomewhat surprised.

Two of my friends wish to purchase an outfit for the
infant of a poor Haudriette widow. It is a charity. It will
cost three forms, and I should like to contribute to it.

What are names of your two friends?

Pierre l'Assommeur and Baptiste Croque-Oison*.

* Peter the Slaughterer; and Baptist Crack-Gosling.
Hum,said the archdeacon; "those are names as fit for
a good work as a catapult for the chief altar."

It is certain that Jehan had made a very bad choice of
names for his two friends. He realized it too late.

And then,pursued the sagacious Claudewhat sort of
an infant's outfit is it that is to cost three forms, and
that for the child of a Haudriette? Since when have the
Haudriette widows taken to having babes in swaddling-clothes?

Jehan broke the ice once more.

Eh, well! yes! I need money in order to go and see
Isabeau la Thierrye to-night; in the Val-d' Amour!

Impure wretch!exclaimed the priest.

~Avayveia~!said Jehan.

This quotationwhich the scholar borrowed with malice
perchancefrom the wall of the cellproduced a singular
effect on the archdeacon. He bit his lips and his wrath was
drowned in a crimson flush.

Begone,he said to Jehan. "I am expecting some one."

The scholar made one more effort.

Brother Claude, give me at least one little parisis to buy
something to eat.

How far have you gone in the Decretals of Gratian?
demanded Dom Claude.

I have lost my copy books.

Where are you in your Latin humanities?"

My copy of Horace has been stolen.

Where are you in Aristotle?

I' faith! brother what father of the church is it, who says
that the errors of heretics have always had for their lurking
place the thickets of Aristotle's metaphysics? A plague on
Aristotle! I care not to tear my religion on his metaphysics.

Young man,resumed the archdeaconat the king's last
entry, there was a young gentleman, named Philippe de

Comines, who wore embroidered on the housings of his horse
this device, upon which I counsel you to meditate: ~Qui non
laborat, non manducet~.

The scholar remained silent for a momentwith his finger
in his earhis eyes on the groundand a discomfited mien.

All at once he turned round to Claude with the agile quickness
of a wagtail.

So, my good brother, you refuse me a sou parisis, wherewith
to buy a crust at a baker's shop?

~Qui non laborat, non manducet~.

At this response of the inflexible archdeaconJehan hid his
head in his handslike a woman sobbingand exclaimed with
an expression of despair: "~Orororororoi~."

What is the meaning of this, sir?demanded Claudesurprised
at this freak.

What indeed!said the scholar; and he lifted to Claude
his impudent eyes into which he had just thrust his fists in
order to communicate to them the redness of tears; "'tis
Greek! 'tis an anapaest of AEschylus which expresses grief

And here he burst into a laugh so droll and violent that it
made the archdeacon smile. It was Claude's faultin fact:
why had he so spoiled that child?

Oh! good Brother Claude,resumed Jehanemboldened by
this smilelook at my worn out boots. Is there a cothurnus
in the world more tragic than these boots, whose soles are
hanging out their tongues?

The archdeacon promptly returned to his original severity.

I will send you some new boots, but no money.

Only a poor little parisis, brother,continued the suppliant
Jehan. "I will learn Gratian by heartI will believe
firmly in GodI will be a regular Pythagoras of science and
virtue. But one little parisisin mercy! Would you have
famine bite me with its jaws which are gaping in front of me
blackerdeeperand more noisome than a Tartarus or the nose
of a monk?"

Dom Claude shook his wrinkled head: "~Qui non laborat~--"

Jehan did not allow him to finish.

Well,he exclaimedto the devil then! Long live joy! I
will live in the tavern, I will fight, I will break pots and
I will go and see the wenches.And thereuponhe hurled his
cap at the walland snapped his fingers like castanets.

The archdeacon surveyed him with a gloomy air.

Jehan, you have no soul.

In that case, according to Epicurius, I lack a something
made of another something which has no name.

Jehan, you must think seriously of amending your ways.

Oh, come now,cried the studentgazing in turn at his
brother and the alembics on the furnaceeverything is
preposterous here, both ideas and bottles!

Jehan, you are on a very slippery downward road. Do
you know whither you are going?

To the wine-shop,said Jehan.

The wine-shop leads to the pillory.

'Tis as good a lantern as any other, and perchance with
that one, Diogenes would have found his man.

The pillory leads to the gallows.

The gallows is a balance which has a man at one end and
the whole earth at the other. 'Tis fine to be the man.
The gallows leads to hell.

'Tis a big fire..
Jehan, Jehan, the end will be bad.

The beginning will have been good.

At that momentthe sound of a footstep was heard on the

Silence!said the archdeaconlaying his finger on his
mouthhere is Master Jacques. Listen, Jehan,he added
in a low voice; "have a care never to speak of what you shall
have seen or heard here. Hide yourself quickly under the
furnaceand do not breathe."

The scholar concealed himself; just then a happy idea occurred
to him.

By the way, Brother Claude, a form for not breathing.

Silence! I promise.
You must give it to me.

Take it, then!said the archdeacon angrilyflinging his
purse at him.

Jehan darted under the furnace againand the door opened.


The personage who entered wore a black gown and a gloomy
mien. The first point which struck the eye of our Jehan

(whoas the reader will readily surmisehad ensconced
himself in his nook in such a manner as to enable him to
see and hear everything at his good pleasure) was the perfect
sadness of the garments and the visage of this new-corner.
There wasneverthelesssome sweetness diffused over that
facebut it was the sweetness of a cat or a judgean affected
treacherous sweetness. He was very gray and wrinkledand
not far from his sixtieth yearhis eyes blinkedhis eyebrows
were whitehis lip pendulousand his hands large. When Jehan
saw that it was only thisthat is to sayno doubt a physician
or a magistrateand that this man had a nose very far from
his moutha sign of stupidityhe nestled down in his hole
in despair at being obliged to pass an indefinite time in such
an uncomfortable attitudeand in such bad company.

The archdeaconin the meantimehad not even risen to
receive this personage. He had made the latter a sign to seat
himself on a stool near the doorandafter several moments
of a silence which appeared to be a continuation of a preceding
meditationhe said to him in a rather patronizing way
Good day, Master Jacques.

Greeting, master,replied the man in black.

There was in the two ways in which "Master Jacques"
was pronounced on the one handand the "master" by
preeminence on the otherthe difference between monseigneur
and monsieurbetween ~domine~ and ~domne~. It was evidently
the meeting of a teacher and a disciple.

Well!resumed the archdeaconafter a fresh silence
which Master Jacques took good care not to disturbhow
are you succeeding?

Alas! master,said the otherwith a sad smileI am
still seeking the stone. Plenty of ashes. But not a spark
of gold.

Dom Claude made a gesture of impatience. "I am not talking
to you of thatMaster Jacques Charmoluebut of the trial
of your magician. Is it not Marc Cenaine that you call
him? the butler of the Court of Accounts? Does he confess
his witchcraft? Have you been successful with the torture?"

Alas! no,replied Master Jacquesstill with his sad
smile; "we have not that consolation. That man is a stone.
We might have him boiled in the Marché aux Pourceauxbefore
he would say anything. Neverthelesswe are sparing nothing
for the sake of getting at the truth; he is already thoroughly
dislocatedwe are applying all the herbs of Saint John's day;
as saith the old comedian Plautus-

~'Advorsum stimuloslaminascrucesquecompedesque

Nothing answers; that man is terrible. I am at my wit's end
over him."

You have found nothing new in his house?

I' faith, yes,said Master Jacquesfumbling in his pouch;
this parchment. There are words in it which we cannot

comprehend. The criminal advocate, Monsieur Philippe
Lheulier, nevertheless, knows a little Hebrew, which he
learned in that matter of the Jews of the Rue Kantersten,
at Brussels.

So sayingMaster Jacques unrolled a parchment. "Give it
here said the archdeacon. And casting his eyes upon this
writing: Pure magicMaster Jacques!" he exclaimed.
'Emen-Hétan!' 'Tis the cry of the vampires when they
arrive at the witches' sabbath. ~Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et
in ipso~! 'Tis the command which chains the devil in hell.
~Hax, pax, max~! that refers to medicine. A formula against
the bite of mad dogs. Master Jacques! you are procurator
to the king in the Ecclesiastical Courts: this parchment
is abominable.

We will put the man to the torture once more. Here
again,added Master Jacquesfumbling afresh in his pouch
is something that we have found at Marc Cenaine's house.

It was a vessel belonging to the same family as those which
covered Dom Claude's furnace.

Ah!said the archdeacona crucible for alchemy.

I will confess to you,continued Master Jacqueswith his
timid and awkward smilethat I have tried it over the
furnace, but I have succeeded no better than with my own.

The archdeacon began an examination of the vessel.
What has he engraved on his crucible? ~Och! och~!
the word which expels fleas! That Marc Cenaine is an
ignoramus! I verily believe that you will never make gold
with this! 'Tis good to set in your bedroom in summer and
that is all!

Since we are talking about errors,said the king's
procuratorI have just been studying the figures on the
portal below before ascending hither; is your reverence quite
sure that the opening of the work of physics is there portrayed
on the side towards the Hôtel-Dieu, and that among the seven
nude figures which stand at the feet of Notre-Dame, that
which has wings on his heels is Mercurius?

Yes,replied the priest; "'tis Augustin Nypho who
writes itthat Italian doctor who had a bearded demon who
acquainted him with all things. Howeverwe will descend
and I will explain it to you with the text before us."

Thanks, master,said Charmoluebowing to the earth.
By the way, I was on the point of forgetting. When doth
it please you that I shall apprehend the little sorceress?

What sorceress?

That gypsy girl you know, who comes every day to dance
on the church square, in spite of the official's prohibition!
She hath a demoniac goat with horns of the devil, which
reads, which writes, which knows mathematics like Picatrix,
and which would suffice to hang all Bohemia. The prosecution
is all ready; 'twill soon be finished, I assure you! A
pretty creature, on my soul, that dancer! The handsomest
black eyes! Two Egyptian carbuncles! When shall we

The archdeacon was excessively pale.

I will tell you that hereafter,he stammeredin a voice
that was barely articulate; then he resumed with an effort
Busy yourself with Marc Cenaine.

Be at ease,said Charmolue with a smile; "I'll buckle
him down again for you on the leather bed when I get home.
But 'tis a devil of a man; he wearies even Pierrat Torterue
himselfwho hath hands larger than my own. As that good
Plautus saith-

'~Nudus vinctuscentum pondo
es quando pendes per pedes~.'

The torture of the wheel and axle! 'Tis the most effectual!
He shall taste it!"

Dom Claude seemed absorbed in gloomy abstraction. He
turned to Charmolue-

Master Pierrat--Master Jacques, I mean, busy yourself
with Marc Cenaine.

Yes, yes, Dom Claude. Poor man! he will have suffered
like Mummol. What an idea to go to the witches' sabbath!
a butler of the Court of Accounts, who ought to know
Charlemagne's text; ~Stryga vel masea~!--In the matter of
the little girl,--Smelarda, as they call her,--I will await
your orders. Ah! as we pass through the portal, you will explain
to me also the meaning of the gardener painted in relief, which
one sees as one enters the church. Is it not the Sower? Hé!
master, of what are you thinking, pray?

Dom Claudeburied in his own thoughtsno longer listened
to him. Charmoluefollowing the direction of his glance
perceived that it was fixed mechanically on the great spider's
web which draped the window. At that momenta bewildered
fly which was seeking the March sunflung itself
through the net and became entangled there. On the agitation
of his webthe enormous spider made an abrupt move
from his central cellthen with one boundrushed upon the
flywhich he folded together with his fore antennaewhile his
hideous proboscis dug into the victim's bead. "Poor fly!"
said the king's procurator in the ecclesiastical court; and he
raised his hand to save it. The archdeaconas though roused
with a startwithheld his arm with convulsive violence.

Master Jacques,he criedlet fate take its course!
The procurator wheeled round in affright; it seemed to
him that pincers of iron had clutched his arm. The priest's
eye was staringwildflamingand remained riveted on the
horrible little group of the spider and the fly.

Oh, yes!continued the priestin a voice which seemed
to proceed from the depths of his beingbehold here a
symbol of all. She flies, she is joyous, she is just born; she
seeks the spring, the open air, liberty: oh, yes! but let her
come in contact with the fatal network, and the spider issues
from it, the hideous spider! Poor dancer! poor, predestined
fly! Let things take their course, Master Jacques, 'tis fate!

Alas! Claude, thou art the spider! Claude, thou art the fly
also! Thou wert flying towards learning, light, the sun.
Thou hadst no other care than to reach the open air, the
full daylight of eternal truth; but in precipitating thyself
towards the dazzling window which opens upon the other
world,--upon the world of brightness, intelligence, and
science--blind fly! senseless, learned man! thou hast not
perceived that subtle spider's web, stretched by destiny betwixt
the light and thee--thou hast flung thyself headlong into it, and
now thou art struggling with head broken and mangled wings
between the iron antennae of fate! Master Jacques! Master
Jacques! let the spider work its will!

I assure you,said Charmoluewho was gazing at him
without comprehending himthat I will not touch it. But
release my arm, master, for pity's sake! You have a hand
like a pair of pincers.

The archdeacon did not hear him. "Ohmadman!" he
went onwithout removing his gaze from the window. "And
even couldst thou have broken through that formidable web
with thy gnat's wingsthou believest that thou couldst have
reached the light? Alas! that pane of glass which is further
onthat transparent obstaclethat wall of crystalharder than
brasswhich separates all philosophies from the truthhow
wouldst thou have overcome it? Ohvanity of science! how
many wise men come flying from afarto dash their heads
against thee! How many systems vainly fling themselves
buzzing against that eternal pane!"

He became silent. These last ideaswhich had gradually
led him back from himself to scienceappeared to have calmed
him. Jacques Charmolue recalled him wholly to a sense of
reality by addressing to him this question: "Comenow
masterwhen will you come to aid me in making gold? I am
impatient to succeed."

The archdeacon shook his headwith a bitter smile. "Master
Jacques read Michel Psellus' '~Dialogus de Energia et
Operatione Daemonum~_.' What we are doing is not wholly innocent."

Speak lower, master! I have my suspicions of it,said
Jacques Charmolue. "But one must practise a bit of hermetic
science when one is only procurator of the king in the
ecclesiastical courtat thirty crowns tournois a year. Only
speak low."

At that moment the sound of jaws in the act of mastication
which proceeded from beneath the furnacestruck Charmolue's
uneasy ear.

What's that?he inquired.

It was the scholarwhoill at easeand greatly bored in his
hiding-placehad succeeded in discovering there a stale crust
and a triangle of mouldy cheeseand had set to devouring the
whole without ceremonyby way of consolation and breakfast.
As he was very hungryhe made a great deal of noise
and he accented each mouthful stronglywhich startled and
alarmed the procurator.

'Tis a cat of mine,said the archdeaconquicklywho is
regaling herself under there with a mouse,

This explanation satisfied Charmolue.

In fact, master,he repliedwith a respectful smileall
great philosophers have their familiar animal. You know
what Servius saith: '~Nullus enim locus sine genio est~,--for
there is no place that hath not its spirit.'

But Dom Claudewho stood in terror of some new freak on
the part of Jehanreminded his worthy disciple that they had
some figures on the façade to study togetherand the two
quitted the cellto the accompaniment of a great "ouf!" from
the scholarwho began to seriously fear that his knee would
acquire the imprint of his chin.



~Te Deum Laudamus~!exclaimed Master Jehancreeping
out from his holethe screech-owls have departed. Och!
och! Hax! pax! max! fleas! mad dogs! the devil! I have
had enough of their conversation! My head is humming like
a bell tower. And mouldy cheese to boot! Come on! Let us
descend, take the big brother's purse and convert all these
coins into bottles!

He cast a glance of tenderness and admiration into the
interior of the precious pouchreadjusted his toiletrubbed
up his bootsdusted his poor half sleevesall gray with ashes
whistled an airindulged in a sportive pirouettelooked about
to see whether there were not something more in the cell to
takegathered up here and there on the furnace some amulet
in glass which might serve to bestowin the guise of a trinket
on Isabeau la Thierryefinally pushed open the door which his
brother had left unfastenedas a last indulgenceand which
hein his turnleft open as a last piece of maliceand
descended the circular staircaseskipping like a bird.

In the midst of the gloom of the spiral staircasehe elbowed
something which drew aside with a growl; he took it for
granted that it was Quasimodoand it struck him as so droll
that he descended the remainder of the staircase holding his
sides with laughter. On emerging upon the Placehe laughed
yet more heartily.

He stamped his foot when he found himself on the ground
once again. "Oh!" said hegood and honorable pavement
of Paris, cursed staircase, fit to put the angels of Jacob's
ladder out of breath! What was I thinking of to thrust
myself into that stone gimlet which pierces the sky; all for
the sake of eating bearded cheese, and looking at the belltowers
of Paris through a hole in the wall!

He advanced a few pacesand caught sight of the two
screech owlsthat is to sayDom Claude and Master Jacques
Charmolueabsorbed in contemplation before a carving on the
façade. He approached them on tiptoeand heard the
archdeacon say in a low tone to Charmolue: "'Twas Guillaume
de Paris who caused a Job to be carved upon this stone of the

hue of lapis-lazuligilded on the edges. Job represents the
philosopher's stonewhich must also be tried and martyrized
in order to become perfectas saith Raymond Lulle: ~Sub
conservatione formoe speciftoe salva anima~."

That makes no difference to me,said Jehan'tis I who
have the purse.

At that moment he heard a powerful and sonorous voice
articulate behind him a formidable series of oaths. "~Sang
Dieu! Ventre-.Dieu! Bédieu! Corps de Dieu! Nombril de
Belzebuth! Nom d'un pape! Come et tonnerre~."

Upon my soul!exclaimed Jehanthat can only be my
friend, Captain Phoebus!

This name of Phoebus reached the ears of the archdeacon at
the moment when he was explaining to the king's procurator
the dragon which is hiding its tail in a bathfrom which issue
smoke and the head of a king. Dom Claude startedinterrupted
himself andto the great amazement of Charmolueturned round
and beheld his brother Jehan accosting a tall officer at the
door of the Gondelaurier mansion.

It wasin factCaptain Phoebus de Châteaupers. He was
backed up against a corner of the house of his betrothed and
swearing like a heathen.

By my faith! Captain Phoebus,said Jehantaking him
by the handyou are cursing with admirable vigor.

Horns and thunder!replied the captain.

Horns and thunder yourself!replied the student. "Come
nowfair captainwhence comes this overflow of fine words?"

Pardon me, good comrade Jehan,exclaimed Phoebus
shaking his handa horse going at a gallop cannot halt
short. Now, I was swearing at a hard gallop. I have just
been with those prudes, and when I come forth, I always find
my throat full of curses, I must spit them out or strangle,
~ventre et tonnerre~!

Will you come and drink?asked the scholar.

This proposition calmed the captain.

I'm willing, but I have no money.

But I have!

Bah! let's see it!

Jehan spread out the purse before the captain's eyeswith
dignity and simplicity. Meanwhilethe archdeaconwho had
abandoned the dumbfounded Charmolue where he stoodhad
approached them and halted a few paces distantwatching
them without their noticing himso deeply were they absorbed
in contemplation of the purse.

Phoebus exclaimed: "A purse in your pocketJehan!
'tis the moon in a bucket of waterone sees it there but 'tis
not there. There is nothing but its shadow. Pardieu! let us
wager that these are pebbles!"

Jehan replied coldly: "Here are the pebbles wherewith
I pave my fob!"

And without adding another wordhe emptied the purse on a
neighboring postwith the air of a Roman saving his country.

True God!muttered Phoebustarges, big-blanks, little
blanks, mailles,* every two worth one of Tournay, farthings
of Paris, real eagle liards! 'Tis dazzling!

* An ancient copper cointhe forty-fourth part of a sou or
the twelfth part of a farthing.
Jehan remained dignified and immovable. Several liards
had rolled into the mud; the captain in his enthusiasm
stooped to pick them up. Jehan restrained him.

Fye, Captain Phoebus de Châteaupers!

Phoebus counted the coinsand turning towards Jehan with
solemnityDo you know, Jehan, that there are three and
twenty sous parisis! whom have you plundered to-night, in
the Street Cut-Weazand?

Jehan flung back his blonde and curly headand saidhalfclosing
his eyes disdainfully-

We have a brother who is an archdeacon and a fool.

~Corne de Dieu~!exclaimed Phoebusthe worthy man!

Let us go and drink,said Jehan.

Where shall we go?said Phoebus; "'To Eve's Apple.'"

No, captain, to 'Ancient Science.' An old woman sawing
a basket handle*; 'tis a rebus, and I like that.

* ~Une vielle qui scie une anse~.
A plague on rebuses, Jehan! the wine is better at 'Eve's
Apple'; and then, beside the door there is a vine in the sun
which cheers me while I am drinking.

Well! here goes for Eve and her apple,said the student
and taking Phoebus's arm. "By the waymy dear captain
you just mentioned the Rue Coupe-Gueule* That is a very
bad form of speech; people are no longer so barbarous. They

* Cut-Weazand Street.
** Cut-Throat Street.

The two friends set out towards "Eve's Apple." It is
unnecessary to mention that they had first gathered up the
moneyand that the archdeacon followed them.

The archdeacon followed themgloomy and haggard. Was
this the Phoebus whose accursed name had been mingled with
all his thoughts ever since his interview with Gringoire? He
did not know itbut it was at least a Phoebusand that magic
name sufficed to make the archdeacon follow the two heedless
comrades with the stealthy tread of a wolflistening to their
words and observing their slightest gestures with anxious
attention. Moreovernothing was easier than to hear everything
they saidas they talked loudlynot in the least concerned
that the passers-by were taken into their confidence. They
talked of duelswencheswine potsand folly.

At the turning of a streetthe sound of a tambourine
reached them from a neighboring square. Dom Claude heard
the officer say to the scholar-

Thunder! Let us hasten our steps!

Why, Phoebus?

I'm afraid lest the Bohemian should see me.

What Bohemian?

The little girl with the goat.

La Smeralda?

That's it, Jehan. I always forget her devil of a name.
Let us make haste, she will recognize me. I don't want to
have that girl accost me in the street.

Do you know her, Phoebus?

Here the archdeacon saw Phoebus sneerbend down to
Jehan's earand say a few words to him in a low voice;
then Phoebus burst into a laughand shook his head with a
triumphant air.

Truly?said Jehan.

Upon my soul!said Phoebus.

This evening?

This evening.

Are you sure that she will come?

Are you a fool, Jehan? Does one doubt such things?

Captain Phoebus, you are a happy gendarme!

The archdeacon heard the whole of this conversation. His
teeth chattered; a visible shiver ran through his whole body.
He halted for a momentleaned against a post like a drunken
manthen followed the two merry knaves.

At the moment when he overtook them once morethey
had changed their conversation. He heard them singing at
the top of their lungs the ancient refrain-

~Les enfants des Petits-Carreaux
Se font pendre cornme des veaux~*.

* The children of the Petits Carreaux let themselves be hung
like calves.


The illustrious wine shop of "Eve's Apple" was situated in
the Universityat the corner of the Rue de la Rondelle and
the Rue de la Bâtonnier. It was a very spacious and very
low hail on the ground floorwith a vaulted ceiling whose
central spring rested upon a huge pillar of wood painted yellow;
tables everywhereshining pewter jugs hanging on the walls
always a large number of drinkersa plenty of wenchesa
window on the streeta vine at the doorand over the door
a flaring piece of sheet-ironpainted with an apple and a
womanrusted by the rain and turning with the wind on an
iron pin. This species of weather-vane which looked upon
the pavement was the signboard.

Night was falling; the square was dark; the wine-shop
full of candlesflamed afar like a forge in the gloom; the
noise of glasses and feastingof oaths and quarrelswhich
escaped through the broken paneswas audible. Through the
mist which the warmth of the room spread over the window
in fronta hundred confused figures could be seen swarming
and from time to time a burst of noisy laughter broke forth
from it. The passers-by who were going about their business
slipped past this tumultuous window without glancing at it.
Only at intervals did some little ragged boy raise himself
on tiptoe as far as the ledgeand hurl into the drinking-shop
that ancientjeering hootwith which drunken men were then
pursued: "Aux Houlssaoulssaoulssaouls!"

Neverthelessone man paced imperturbably back and forth
in front of the taverngazing at it incessantlyand going no
further from it than a pikernan from his sentry-box. He was
enveloped in a mantle to his very nose. This mantle he had
just purchased of the old-clothes manin the vicinity of the
Eve's Apple,no doubt to protect himself from the cold of
the March eveningpossibly alsoto conceal his costume.
From time to time he paused in front of the dim window with
its leaden latticelistenedlookedand stamped his foot.

At length the door of the dram-shop opened. This was
what he appeared to be waiting for. Two boon companions
came forth. The ray of light which escaped from the door
crimsoned for a moment their jovial faces.

The man in the mantle went and stationed himself on the
watch under a porch on the other side of the street.

~Corne et tonnerre~!said one of the comrades. "Seven
o'clock is on the point of striking. 'Tis the hour of my

appointed meeting."

I tell you,repeated his companionwith a thick tongue
that I don't live in the Rue des Mauvaises Paroles, ~indignus
qui inter mala verba habitat~. I have a lodging in the Rue
Jean-Pain-Mollet, ~in vico Johannis Pain-Mollet~. You are
more horned than a unicorn if you assert the contrary.
Every one knows that he who once mounts astride a bear is
never after afraid; but you have a nose turned to dainties
like Saint-Jacques of the hospital.

Jehan, my friend, you are drunk,said the other.

The other replied staggeringIt pleases you to say so,
Phoebus; but it hath been proved that Plato had the profile
of a hound.

The reader hasno doubtalready recognized our two brave
friendsthe captain and the scholar. It appears that the man
who was lying in wait for them had also recognized themfor
he slowly followed all the zigzags that the scholar caused the
captain to makewho being a more hardened drinker had
retained all his self-possession. By listening to them
attentivelythe man in the mantle could catch in its
entirety the following interesting conversation-

~Corbacque~! Do try to walk straight, master bachelor;
you know that I must leave you. Here it is seven o'clock.
I have an appointment with a woman.

Leave me then! I see stars and lances of fire. You are like
the Chateau de Dampmartin, which is bursting with laughter.

By the warts of my grandmother, Jehan, you are raving
with too much rabidness. By the way, Jehan, have you any
money left?

Monsieur Rector, there is no mistake; the little butcher's
shop, ~parva boucheria~.

Jehau! my friend Jehan! You know that I made an
appointment with that little girl at the end of the Pont Saint-
Michel, and I can only take her to the Falourdel's, the old
crone of the bridge, and that I must pay for a chamber. The
old witch with a white moustache would not trust me. Jehan!
for pity's sake! Have we drunk up the whole of the curé's
purse? Have you not a single parisis left?

The consciousness of having spent the other hours well is
a just and savory condiment for the table.

Belly and guts! a truce to your whimsical nonsense! Tell
me, Jehan of the devil! have you any money left? Give
it to me, ~bédieu~!or I will search youwere you as
leprous as Joband as scabby as Caesar!"

Monsieur, the Rue Galiache is a street which hath at one
end the Rue de la Verrerie, and at the other the Rue de la

Well, yes! my good friend Jehan, my poor comrade, the
Rue Galiache is good, very good. But in the name of heaven
collect your wits. I must have a sou parisis, and the
appointment is for seven o'clock.

Silence for the rondo, and attention to the refrain,-

~Quand les rats mangeront les cas
Le roi sera seigneur d'Arras;
Quand la merqui est grande et le(e
Sera a la Saint-Jean gele(e
On verrapar-dessus la glace
Sortir ceux d'Arras de leur place~*."

* When the rats eat the catsthe king will be lord of Arras;
when the sea which is great and wideis frozen over at St.
John's tidemen will see across the icethose who dwell
in Arras quit their place.
Well, scholar of Antichrist, may you be strangled with the
entrails of your mother!exclaimed Phoebusand he gave
the drunken scholar a rough push; the latter slipped against
the walland slid flabbily to the pavement of Philip
Augustus. A remnant of fraternal pitywhich never abandons
the heart of a drinkerprompted Phoebus to roll Jehan with
his foot upon one of those pillows of the poorwhich Providence
keeps in readiness at the corner of all the street posts
of Parisand which the rich blight with the name of "a rubbishheap."
The captain adjusted Jehan's head upon an inclined
plane of cabbage-stumpsand on the very instantthe
scholar fell to snoring in a magnificent bass. Meanwhileall
malice was not extinguished in the captain's heart. "So much
the worse if the devil's cart picks you up on its passage!" he
said to the poorsleeping clerk; and he strode off.

The man in the mantlewho had not ceased to follow him
halted for a moment before the prostrate scholaras though
agitated by indecision; thenuttering a profound sighhe
also strode off in pursuit of the captain.

Welike themwill leave Jehan to slumber beneath the
open skyand will follow them alsoif it pleases the reader.

On emerging into the Rue Saint-André-des-ArcsCaptain
Phoebus perceived that some one was following him. On
glancing sideways by chancehe perceived a sort of shadow
crawling after him along the walls. He haltedit halted; he
resumed his marchit resumed its march. This disturbed
him not overmuch. "Ahbah!" he said to himselfI have
not a sou.

He paused in front of the College d'Autun. It was at this
college that he had sketched out what he called his studies
andthrough a scholar's teasing habit which still lingered in
himhe never passed the façade without inflicting on the
statue of Cardinal Pierre Bertrandsculptured to the right of
the portalthe affront of which Priapus complains so bitterly
in the satire of Horace~Olim truncus eram ficulnus~. He had
done this with so much unrelenting animosity that the
inscription~Eduensis episcopus~had become almost effaced.
Thereforehe halted before the statue according to his wont.
The street was utterly deserted. At the moment when he
was coolly retying his shoulder knotswith his nose in the
airhe saw the shadow approaching him with slow stepsso
slow that he had ample time to observe that this shadow wore
a cloak and a hat. On arriving near himit halted and

remained more motionless than the statue of Cardinal Bertrand.
Meanwhileit riveted upon Phoebus two intent eyesfull of
that vague light which issues in the night time from the pupils
of a cat.

The captain was braveand would have cared very little for
a highwaymanwith a rapier in his hand. But this walking
statuethis petrified manfroze his blood. There were then
in circulationstrange stories of a surly monka nocturnal
prowler about the streets of Parisand they recurred
confusedly to his memory. He remained for several minutes in
stupefactionand finally broke the silence with a forced laugh.

Monsieur, if you are a robber, as I hope you are, you produce
upon me the effect of a heron attacking a nutshell. I
am the son of a ruined family, my dear fellow. Try your
hand near by here. In the chapel of this college there is
some wood of the true cross set in silver.

The hand of the shadow emerged from beneath its mantle
and descended upon the arm of Phoebus with the grip of an
eagle's talon; at the same time the shadow spoke-

Captain Phoebus de Châteaupers!

Whatthe devil!" said Phoebusyou know my name!

I know not your name alone,continued the man in the
mantlewith his sepulchral voice. "You have a rendezvous
this evening."

Yes,replied Phoebus in amazement.

At seven o'clock.

In a quarter of an hour.

At la Falourdel's.


The lewd hag of the Pont Saint-Michel.

Of Saint Michel the archangel, as the Pater Noster saith.

Impious wretch!muttered the spectre. "With a woman?"

~Confiteor~,--I confess--.

Who is called--?

La Smeralda,said Phoebusgayly. All his heedlessness
had gradually returned.

At this namethe shadow's grasp shook the arm of Phoebus
in a fury.

Captain Phoebus de Châteaupers, thou liest!

Any one who could have beheld at that moment the captain's
inflamed countenancehis leap backwardsso violent that
he disengaged himself from the grip which held him
the proud air with which he clapped his hand on his swordhilt
andin the presence of this wrath the gloomy immobility

of the man in the cloak--any one who could have beheld
this would have been frightened. There was in it a touch of
the combat of Don Juan and the statue.

Christ and Satan!exclaimed the captain. "That is a
word which rarely strikes the ear of a Châteaupers! Thou
wilt not dare repeat it."

Thou liest!said the shadow coldly.

The captain gnashed his teeth. Surly monkphantom
superstitions--he had forgotten all at that moment. He no
longer beheld anything but a manand an insult.

Ah! this is well!he stammeredin a voice stifled with
rage. He drew his swordthen stammeringfor anger as well
as fear makes a man tremble: "Here! On the spot! Come
on! Swords! Swords! Blood on the pavement!"

But the other never stirred. When he beheld his adversary
on guard and ready to parry-

Captain Phoebus,he saidand his tone vibrated with
bitternessyou forget your appointment.

The rages of men like Phoebus are milk-soupswhose ebullition
is calmed by a drop of cold water. This simple remark
caused the sword which glittered in the captain's hand to
be lowered.

Captain,pursued the manto-morrow, the day after
to-morrow, a month hence, ten years hence, you will find me
ready to cut your throat; but go first to your rendezvous.

In sooth,said Phoebusas though seeking to capitulate
with himselfthese are two charming things to be
encountered in a rendezvous,--a sword and a wench; but I
do not see why I should miss the one for the sake of the
other, when I can have both.

He replaced his sword in its scabbard.

Go to your rendezvous,said the man.

Monsieur,replied Phoebus with some embarrassment
many thanks for your courtesy. In fact, there will be
ample time to-morrow for us to chop up father Adam's doublet
into slashes and buttonholes. I am obliged to you for
allowing me to pass one more agreeable quarter of an hour. I
certainly did hope to put you in the gutter, and still arrive
in time for the fair one, especially as it has a better appearance
to make the women wait a little in such cases. But you
strike me as having the air of a gallant man, and it is safer to
defer our affair until to-morrow. So I will betake myself to
my rendezvous; it is for seven o'clock, as you know.Here
Phoebus scratched his ear. "Ah. ~Corne Dieu~! I had forgotten!
I haven't a sou to discharge the price of the garret
and the old crone will insist on being paid in advance. She
distrusts me."

Here is the wherewithal to pay.

Phoebus felt the stranger's cold hand slip into his a large
piece of money. He could not refrain from taking the money

and pressing the hand.

~Vrai Dieu~!he exclaimedyou are a good fellow!

One condition,said the man. "Prove to me that I have
been wrong and that you were speaking the truth. Hide me
in some corner whence I can see whether this woman is really
the one whose name you uttered."

Oh!replied Phoebus'tis all one to me. We will take,
the Sainte-Marthe chamber; you can look at your ease from
the kennel hard by.

Come then,said the shadow.

At your service,said the captainI know not whether
you are Messer Diavolus in person; but let us be good friends
for this evening; to-morrow I will repay you all my debts,
both of purse and sword.

They set out again at a rapid pace. At the expiration of a
few minutesthe sound of the river announced to them that
they were on the Pont Saint-Michelthen loaded with houses.

I will first show you the way,said Phoebus to his companion
I will then go in search of the fair one who is awaiting
me near the Petit-Châtelet.

His companion made no reply; he had not uttered a word
since they had been walking side by side. Phoebus halted
before a low doorand knocked roughly; a light made its
appearance through the cracks of the door.

Who is there?cried a toothless voice.

~Corps-Dieu! Tête-Dieu! Ventre-Dieu~!replied the captain.

The door opened instantlyand allowed the new-corners to
see an old woman and an old lampboth of which trembled.
The old woman was bent doubleclad in tatterswith a shaking
headpierced with two small eyesand coiffed with a dish
clout; wrinkled everywhereon hands and face and neck; her
lips retreated under her gumsand about her mouth she had
tufts of white hairs which gave her the whiskered look of a cat.

The interior of the den was no less dilapitated than she;
there were chalk wallsblackened beams in the ceilinga
dismantled chimney-piecespiders' webs in all the cornersin
the middle a staggering herd of tables and lame stoolsa dirty
child among the ashesand at the back a staircaseor rather
a wooden ladderwhich ended in a trap door in the ceiling.

On entering this lairPhoebus's mysterious companion raised
his mantle to his very eyes. Meanwhilethe captainswearing
like a Saracenhastened to "make the sun shine in a
crown" as saith our admirable Régnier.

The Sainte-Marthe chamber,said he.

The old woman addressed him as monseigneurand shut up
the crown in a drawer. It was the coin which the man in the
black mantle had given to Phoebus. While her back was
turnedthe bushy-headed and ragged little boy who was playing
in the ashesadroitly approached the drawerabstracted

the crownand put in its place a dry leaf which he had plucked
from a fagot.

The old crone made a sign to the two gentlemenas she
called themto follow herand mounted the ladder in advance
of them. On arriving at the upper storyshe set her lamp on
a cofferandPhoebuslike a frequent visitor of the house
opened a door which opened on a dark hole. "Enter here
my dear fellow he said to his companion. The man in the
mantle obeyed without a word in reply, the door closed upon
him; he heard Phoebus bolt it, and a moment later descend
the stairs again with the aged hag. The light had disappeared.



Claude Frollo (for we presume that the reader, more intelligent
than Phoebus, has seen in this whole adventure no other
surly monk than the archdeacon), Claude Frollo groped about
for several moments in the dark lair into which the captain
had bolted him. It was one of those nooks which architects
sometimes reserve at the point of junction between the roof
and the supporting wall. A vertical section of this kennel, as
Phoebus had so justly styled it, would have made a triangle.
Moreover, there was neither window nor air-hole, and the slope
of the roof prevented one from standing upright. Accordingly,
Claude crouched down in the dust, and the plaster
which cracked beneath him; his head was on fire; rummaging
around him with his hands, be found on the floor a bit of
broken glass, which he pressed to his brow, and whose cool-
ness afforded him some relief.

What was taking place at that moment in the gloomy soul
of the archdeacon? God and himself could alone know.

In what order was he arranging in his mind la Esmeralda,
Phoebus, Jacques Charmolue, his young brother so beloved, yet
abandoned by him in the mire, his archdeacon's cassock, his
reputation perhaps dragged to la Falourdel's, all these adventures,
all these images? I cannot say. But it is certain that
these ideas formed in his mind a horrible group.

He had been waiting a quarter of an hour; it seemed to
him that he had grown a century older. All at once be heard
the creaking of the boards of the stairway; some one was
ascending. The trapdoor opened once more; a light reappeared.
There was a tolerably large crack in the worm-eaten
door of his den; he put his face to it. In this manner
he could see all that went on in the adjoining room. The
cat-faced old crone was the first to emerge from the trap-door,
lamp in hand; then Phoebus, twirling his moustache, then a
third person, that beautiful and graceful figure, la Esmeralda.
The priest beheld her rise from below like a dazzling
apparition. Claude trembled, a cloud spread over his eyes,
his pulses beat violently, everything rustled and whirled
around him; he no longer saw nor heard anything.

When he recovered himself, Phoebus and Esmeralda were

alone seated on the wooden coffer beside the lamp which
made these two youthful figures and a miserable pallet at
the end of the attic stand out plainly before the
archdeacon's eyes.

Beside the pallet was a window, whose panes broken like a
spider's web upon which rain has fallen, allowed a view, through
its rent meshes, of a corner of the sky, and the moon lying
far away on an eiderdown bed of soft clouds.

The young girl was blushing, confused, palpitating. Her
long, drooping lashes shaded her crimson cheeks. The officer,
to whom she dared not lift her eyes, was radiant. Mechanically,
and with a charmingly unconscious gesture, she traced
with the tip of her finger incoherent lines on the bench, and
watched her finger. Her foot was not visible. The little
goat was nestling upon it.

The captain was very gallantly clad; he had tufts of embroidery
at his neck and wrists; a great elegance at that day.

It was not without difficulty that Dom Claude managed to
hear what they were saying, through the humming of the
blood, which was boiling in his temples.

(A conversation between lovers is a very commonplace
affair. It is a perpetual I love you." A musical phrase
which is very insipid and very bald for indifferent listeners
when it is not ornamented with some ~fioriture~; but Claude
was not an indifferent listener.)

Oh!said the young girlwithout raising her eyesdo
not despise me, monseigneur Phoebus. I feel that what I am
doing is not right.

Despise you, my pretty child!replied the officer with
an air of superior and distinguished gallantrydespise you,
~tête-Dieu~! and why?

For having followed you!

On that point, my beauty, we don't agree. I ought not to
despise you, but to hate you.

The young girl looked at him in affright: "Hate me! what
have I done?"

For having required so much urging.

Alas!said she'tis because I am breaking a vow. I
shall not find my parents! The amulet will lose its virtue.
But what matters it? What need have I of father or mother now?

So sayingshe fixed upon the captain her great black eyes
moist with joy and tenderness.

Devil take me if I understand you!exclaimed Phoebus.
La Esmeralda remained silent for a momentthen a tear
dropped from her eyesa sigh from her lipsand she said--
Oh! monseigneur, I love you.

Such a perfume of chastitysuch a charm of virtue surrounded
the young girlthat Phoebus did not feel completely
at his ease beside her. But this remark emboldened him:

You love me!he said with raptureand he threw his arm
round the gypsy's waist. He had only been waiting for this

The priest saw itand tested with the tip of his finger the
point of a poniard which he wore concealed in his breast.

Phoebus,continued the Bohemiangently releasing her
waist from the captain's tenacious handsYou are good, you
are generous, you are handsome; you saved me, me who am
only a poor child lost in Bohemia. I had long been dreaming
of an officer who should save my life. 'Twas of you that I
was dreaming, before I knew you, my Phoebus; the officer of
my dream had a beautiful uniform like yours, a grand look, a
sword; your name is Phoebus; 'tis a beautiful name. I love
your name; I love your sword. Draw your sword, Phoebus,
that I may see it.

Child!said the captainand he unsheathed his sword
with a smile.

The gypsy looked at the hiltthe blade; examined the
cipher on the guard with adorable curiosityand kissed the

You are the sword of a brave man. I love my captain."
Phoebus again profited by the opportunity to impress upon
her beautiful bent neck a kiss which made the young girl
straighten herself up as scarlet as a poppy. The priest
gnashed his teeth over it in the dark.

Phoebus,resumed the gypsylet me talk to you. Pray
walk a little, that I may see you at full height, and that I
may hear your spurs jingle. How handsome you are!

The captain rose to please herchiding her with a smile of

What a child you are! By the way, my charmer, have you seen
me in my archer's ceremonial doublet?

Alas! no,she replied.

It is very handsome!

Phoebus returned and seated himself beside herbut much
closer than before.

Listen, my dear--

The gypsy gave him several little taps with her pretty
hand on his mouthwith a childish mirth and grace and gayety.

No, no, I will not listen to you. Do you love me? I want
you to tell me whether you love me.

Do I love thee, angel of my life!exclaimed the captain
half kneeling. "My bodymy bloodmy soulall are thine;
all are for thee. I love theeand I have never loved any one
but thee."

The captain had repeated this phrase so many timesin
many similar conjuncturesthat he delivered it all in one
breathwithout committing a single mistake. At this passionate

declarationthe gypsy raised to the dirty ceiling which
served for the skies a glance full of angelic happiness.

Oh!she murmuredthis is the moment when one should die!

Phoebus found "the moment" favorable for robbing her of
another kisswhich went to torture the unhappy archdeacon
in his nook. "Die!" exclaimed the amorous captainWhat
are you saying, my lovely angel? 'Tis a time for living, or
Jupiter is only a scamp! Die at the beginning of so sweet a
thing! ~Corne-de-boeuf~, what a jest! It is not that. Listen,
my dear Similar, Esmenarda--Pardon! you have so prodigiously
Saracen a name that I never can get it straight. 'Tis a thicket
which stops me short.

Good heavens!said the poor girland I thought my
name pretty because of its singularity! But since it displeases
you, I would that I were called Goton.

Ah! do not weep for such a trifle, my graceful maid!
'tis a name to which one must get accustomed, that is all.
When I once know it by heart, all will go smoothly. Listen
then, my dear Similar; I adore you passionately. I love you
so that 'tis simply miraculous. I know a girl who is
bursting with rage over it--

The jealous girl interrupted him: "Who?"

What matters that to us?said Phoebus; "do you love me?"

Oh!--said she.

Well! that is all. You shall see how I love you also.
May the great devil Neptunus spear me if I do not make you
the happiest woman in the world. We will have a pretty
little house somewhere. I will make my archers parade
before your windows. They are all mounted, and set at
defiance those of Captain Mignon. There are ~voulgiers,
cranequiniers~ and hand ~couleveiniers~*. I will take you to
the great sights of the Parisians at the storehouse of Rully.
Eighty thousand armed men, thirty thousand white harnesses, short
coats or coats of mail; the sixty-seven banners of the trades;
the standards of the parliaments, of the chamber of accounts,
of the treasury of the generals, of the aides of the mint; a
devilish fine array, in short! I will conduct you to see the
lions of the Hôtel du Roi, which are wild beasts. All women
love that.

* Varieties of the crossbow.
For several moments the young girlabsorbed in her charming
thoughtswas dreaming to the sound of his voicewithout
listening to the sense of his words.

Oh! how happy you will be!continued the captainand
at the same time he gently unbuckled the gypsy's girdle.

What are you doing?she said quickly. This "act of
violence" had roused her from her revery.

Nothing,replied PhoebusI was only saying that you
must abandon all this garb of folly, and the street corner

when you are with me.

When I am with you, Phoebus!said the young girl tenderly.

She became pensive and silent once more.

The captainemboldened by her gentlenessclasped her
waist without resistance; then began softly to unlace the
poor child's corsageand disarranged her tucker to such an
extent that the panting priest beheld the gypsy's beautiful
shoulder emerge from the gauzeas round and brown as the
moon rising through the mists of the horizon.

The young girl allowed Phoebus to have his way. She did
not appear to perceive it. The eye of the bold captain flashed.

Suddenly she turned towards him-

Phoebus,she saidwith an expression of infinite love
instruct me in thy religion.

My religion!exclaimed the captainbursting with laughter
I instruct you in my religion! ~Corne et tonnerre~! What
do you want with my religion?

In order that we may be married,she replied.

The captain's face assumed an expression of mingled surprise
and disdainof carelessness and libertine passion.

Ah, bah!said hedo people marry?

The Bohemian turned paleand her head drooped sadly on
her breast.

My beautiful love,resumed Phoebustenderlywhat
nonsense is this? A great thing is marriage, truly! one
is none the less loving for not having spit Latin into a
priest's shop!

While speaking thus in his softest voicehe approached
extremely near the gypsy; his caressing hands resumed
their place around her supple and delicate waisthis eye
flashed more and moreand everything announced that Monsieur
Phoebus was on the verge of one of those moments when
Jupiter himself commits so many follies that Homer is
obliged to summon a cloud to his rescue.

But Dom Claude saw everything. The door was made of
thoroughly rotten cask staveswhich left large apertures for
the passage of his hawklike gaze. This brown-skinnedbroadshouldered
priesthitherto condemned to the austere virginity
of the cloisterwas quivering and boiling in the presence of
this night scene of love and voluptuousness. This young and
beautiful girl given over in disarray to the ardent young man
made melted lead flow in his-veins; his eyes darted with
sensual jealousy beneath all those loosened pins. Any one who
couldat that momenthave seen the face of the unhappy man
glued to the wormeaten barswould have thought that he
beheld the face of a tiger glaring from the depths of a cage
at some jackal devouring a gazelle. His eye shone like a
candle through the cracks of the door.

All at oncePhoebuswith a rapid gestureremoved the

gypsy's gorgerette. The poor childwho had remained pale
and dreamyawoke with a start; she recoiled hastily from the
enterprising officerandcasting a glance at her bare neck
and shouldersredconfusedmute with shameshe crossed
her two beautiful arms on her breast to conceal it. Had it
not been for the flame which burned in her cheeksat the
sight of her so silent and motionlessone would have.
declared her a statue of Modesty. Her eyes were lowered.

But the captain's gesture had revealed the mysterious amulet
which she wore about her neck.

What is that?he saidseizing this pretext to approach
once more the beautiful creature whom he had just alarmed.

Don't touch it!she repliedquickly'tis my guardian.
It will make me find my family again, if I remain worthy
to do so. Oh, leave me, monsieur le capitaine! My mother!
My poor mother! My mother! Where art thou? Come to
my rescue! Have pity, Monsieur Phoebus, give me back my

Phoebus retreated amid said in a cold tone-

Oh, mademoiselle! I see plainly that you do not love me!

I do not love him!exclaimed the unhappy childand at
the same time she clung to the captainwhom she drew to a
seat beside her. "I do not love theemy Phoebus? What
art thou sayingwicked manto break my heart? Ohtake
me! take all! do what you will with meI am thine. What
matters to me the amulet! What matters to me my mother!
'Tis thou who art my mother since I love thee! Phoebus
my beloved Phoebusdost thou see me? 'Tis I. Look at me;
'tis the little one whom thou wilt surely not repulsewho
comeswho comes herself to seek thee. My soulmy lifemy
bodymy personall is one thing--which is thinemy captain.
Wellno! We will not marrysince that displeases thee; and
thenwhat am I? a miserable girl of the gutters; whilst
thoumy Phoebusart a gentleman. A fine thingtruly! A
dancer wed an officer! I was mad. NoPhoebusno; I will be
thy mistressthy amusementthy pleasurewhen thou wilt;
a girl who shall belong to thee. I was only made for that
soileddespiseddishonoredbut what matters it?--beloved.
I shall be the proudest and the most joyous of women. And
when I grow old or uglyPhoebuswhen I am no longer good
to love youyou will suffer me to serve you still. Others
will embroider scarfs for you; 'tis Ithe servantwho will
care for them. You will let me polish your spursbrush your
doubletdust your riding-boots. You will have that pity
will you notPhoebus? Meanwhiletake me! herePhoebus
all this belongs to theeonly love me! We gypsies need only
air and love."

So sayingshe threw her arms round the officer's neck; she
looked up at himsupplicatinglywith a beautiful smileand
all in tears. Her delicate neck rubbed against his cloth
doublet with its rough embroideries. She writhed on her
kneesher beautiful body half naked. The intoxicated captain
pressed his ardent lips to those lovely African shoulders.
The young girlher eyes bent on the ceilingas she leaned
backwardsquiveredall palpitatingbeneath this kiss.

All at onceabove Phoebus's head she beheld another head;

a greenlividconvulsed facewith the look of a lost soul;
near this face was a hand grasping a poniard.--It was the
face and hand of the priest; he had broken the door and he
was there. Phoebus could not see him. The young girl
remained motionlessfrozen with terrordumbbeneath that
terrible apparitionlike a dove which should raise its head
at the moment when the hawk is gazing into her nest with its
round eyes.

She could not even utter a cry. She saw the poniard descend
upon Phoebusand rise againreeking.

Maledictions!said the captainand fell.

She fainted.

At the moment when her eyes closedwhen all feeling vanished
in hershe thought that she felt a touch of fire imprinted
upon her lipsa kiss more burning than the red-hot iron of
the executioner.

When she recovered her sensesshe was surrounded by
soldiers of the watch they were carrying away the captain
bathed in his blood the priest had disappeared; the window
at the back of the room which opened on the river was
wide open; they picked up a cloak which they supposed to
belong to the officer and she heard them saying around her

'Tis a sorceress who has stabbed a captain.




Gringoire and the entire Court of Miracles were suffering
mortal anxiety. For a whole month they had not known what
had become of la Esmeraldawhich greatly pained the Duke of
Egypt and his friends the vagabondsnor what had become of
the goatwhich redoubled Gringoire's grief. One evening the
gypsy had disappearedand since that time had given no signs
of life. All search had proved fruitless. Some tormenting
bootblacks had told Gringoire about meeting her that same
evening near the Pont Saint-Michelgoing off with an officer;
but this husbandafter the fashion of Bohemiawas an
incredulous philosopherand besideshebetter than any one
elseknew to what a point his wife was virginal. He had been
able to form a judgment as to the unconquerable modesty
resulting from the combined virtues of the amulet and the
gypsyand he had mathematically calculated the resistance of
that chastity to the second power. Accordinglyhe was at
ease on that score.

Still he could not understand this disappearance. It was
a profound sorrow. He would have grown thin over ithad
that been possible. He had forgotten everythingeven his
literary tasteseven his great work~De figuris regularibus
et irregularibus~which it was his intention to have printed
with the first money which he should procure (for he had raved
over printingever since he had seen the "Didascalon" of
Hugues de Saint Victorprinted with the celebrated characters
of Vindelin de Spire).

One dayas he was passing sadly before the criminal Tournelle
he perceived a considerable crowd at one of the gates of the
Palais de Justice.

What is this?he inquired of a young man who was coming out.

I know not, sir,replied the young man. "'Tis said that
they are trying a woman who hath assassinated a gendarme.
It appears that there is sorcery at the bottom of it
the archbishop and the official have intervened in the case
and my brotherwho is the archdeacon of Josascan think
of nothing else. NowI wished to speak with himbut I
have not been able to reach him because of the throngwhich
vexes me greatlyas I stand in need of money."

Alas! sir,said GringoireI would that I could lend
you some, but, my breeches are worn to holes, and 'tis not
crowns which have done it.

He dared not tell the young man that he was acquainted
with his brother the archdeaconto whom he had not
returned after the scene in the church; a negligence which
embarrassed him.

The scholar went his wayand Gringoire set out to follow
the crowd which was mounting the staircase of the great
chamber. In his opinionthere was nothing like the spectacle
of a criminal process for dissipating melancholyso
exhilaratingly stupid are judges as a rule. The populace which
he had joined walked and elbowed in silence. After a slow and
tiresome march through a longgloomy corridorwhich wound
through the court-house like the intestinal canal of the ancient
edificehe arrived near a low dooropening upon a hall which
his lofty stature permitted him to survey with a glance over
the waving heads of the rabble.

The hall was vast and gloomywhich latter fact made it
appear still more spacious. The day was declining; the long
pointed windows permitted only a pale ray of light to enter
which was extinguished before it reached the vaulted ceiling
an enormous trellis-work of sculptured beamswhose thousand
figures seemed to move confusedly in the shadowsmany candles
were already lighted here and there on tablesand beaming
on the heads of clerks buried in masses of documents.
The anterior portion of the ball was occupied by the crowd;
on the right and left were magistrates and tables; at the end
upon a platforma number of judgeswhose rear rank sank
into the shadowssinister and motionless faces. The walls
were sown with innumerable fleurs-de-lis. A large figure of
Christ might be vaguely descried above the judgesand
everywhere there were pikes and halberdsupon whose points
the reflection of the candles placed tips of fire.

Monsieur,Gringoire inquired of one of his neighbors
who are all those persons ranged yonder, like prelates
in council?

Monsieur,replied the neighborthose on the right are
the counsellors of the grand chamber; those on the left, the
councillors of inquiry; the masters in black gowns, the messires
in red.

Who is that big red fellow, yonder above them, who is sweating?
pursued Gringoire.

It is monsieur the president.

And those sheep behind him?continued Gringoirewho
as we have seendid not love the magistracywhich arose
possiblyfrom the grudge which he cherished against the
Palais de Justice since his dramatic misadventure.

They are messieurs the masters of requests of the king's household.

And that boar in front of him?

He is monsieur the clerk of the Court of Parliament.

And that crocodile on the right?

Master Philippe Lheulier, advocate extraordinary of the king.

And that big, black tom-cat on the left?

Master Jacques Charmolue, procurator of the king in the
Ecclesiastical Court, with the gentlemen of the officialty.

Come now, monsieur, said Gringoire, pray what are all those
fine fellows doing yonder?"

They are judging.

Judging whom? I do not see the accused.

'Tis a woman, sir. You cannot see her. She has her
back turned to us, and she is hidden from us by the crowd.
Stay, yonder she is, where you see a group of partisans.

Who is the woman?asked Gringoire. "Do you know her name?"

No, monsieur, I have but just arrived. I merely assume
that there is some sorcery about it, since the official is present
at the trial.

Come!said our philosopherwe are going to see all
these magistrates devour human flesh. 'Tis as good a spectacle
as any other.

Monsieur,remarked his neighborthink you not, that
Master Jacques Charmolue has a very sweet air?

Hum!replied Gringoire. "I distrust a sweetness which
hath pinched nostrils and thin lips."

Here the bystanders imposed silence upon the two chatterers.
They were listening to an important deposition.

Messeigneurs,said an old woman in the middle of the
hallwhose form was so concealed beneath her garments that
one would have pronounced her a walking heap of rags;
Messeigneurs, the thing is as true as that I am la Falourdel,
established these forty years at the Pont Saint Michel, and
paying regularly my rents, lord's dues, and quit rents; at the
gate opposite the house of Tassin-Caillart, the dyer, which is
on the side up the river--a poor old woman now, but a pretty
maid in former days, my lords. Some one said to me lately,
'La Falourdel, don't use your spinning-wheel too much in the
evening; the devil is fond of combing the distaffs of old
women with his horns. 'Tis certain that the surly monk who
was round about the temple last year, now prowls in the City.
Take care, La Falourdel, that he doth not knock at your
door.' One evening I was spinning on my wheel, there comes
a knock at my door; I ask who it is. They swear. I open.
Two men enter. A man in black and a handsome officer. Of
the black man nothing could be seen but his eyes, two coals
of fire. All the rest was hat and cloak. They say to
me,--'The Sainte-Marthe chamber.'--'Tis my upper chamber, my
lords, my cleanest. They give me a crown. I put the crown
in my drawer, and I say: 'This shall go to buy tripe at the
slaughter-house of la Gloriette to-morrow.' We go up stairs.
On arriving at the upper chamber, and while my back is
turned, the black man disappears. That dazed me a bit. The
officer, who was as handsome as a great lord, goes down
stairs again with me. He goes out. In about the time it
takes to spin a quarter of a handful of flax, be returns with a
beautiful young girl, a doll who would have shone like the sun
had she been coiffed. She had with her a goat; a big billygoat,
whether black or white, I no longer remember. That
set me to thinking. The girl does not concern me, but the
goat! I love not those beasts, they have a beard and horns.
They are so like a man. And then, they smack of the witches,
sabbath. However, I say nothing. I had the crown. That
is right, is it not, Monsieur Judge? I show the captain and
the wench to the upper chamber, and I leave them alone;
that is to say, with the goat. I go down and set to spinning
again--I must inform you that my house has a ground floor
and story above. I know not why I fell to thinking of the
surly monk whom the goat had put into my head again, and
then the beautiful girl was rather strangely decked out. All
at once, I hear a cry upstairs, and something falls on the floor
and the window opens. I run to mine which is beneath it,
and I behold a black mass pass before my eyes and fall into
the water. It was a phantom clad like a priest. It was a
moonlight night. I saw him quite plainly. He was swimming
in the direction of the city. Then, all of a tremble, I
call the watch. The gentlemen of the police enter, and not
knowing just at the first moment what the matter was, and
being merry, they beat me. I explain to them. We go up
stairs, and what do we find? my poor chamber all blood, the
captain stretched out at full length with a dagger in his neck,
the girl pretending to be dead, and the goat all in a fright.
'Pretty work!' I say, 'I shall have to wash that floor for
more than a fortnight. It will have to be scraped; it will be
a terrible job.' They carried off the officer, poor young man,
and the wench with her bosom all bare. But wait, the worst
is that on the next day, when I wanted to take the crown to
buy tripe, I found a dead leaf in its place.

The old woman ceased. A murmur of horror ran through
the audience.

That phantom, that goat,--all smacks of magic,said one
of Gringoire's neighbors.

And that dry leaf!added another.

No doubt about it,joined in a thirdshe is a witch who
has dealings with the surly monk, for the purpose of
plundering officers.

Gringoire himself was not disinclined to regard this as
altogether alarming and probable.

Goody Falourdel,said the president majesticallyhave
you nothing more to communicate to the court?

No, monseigneur,replied the croneexcept that the
report has described my house as a hovel and stinking; which
is an outrageous fashion of speaking. The houses on the
bridge are not imposing, because there are such multitudes of
people; but, nevertheless, the butchers continue to dwell
there, who are wealthy folk, and married to very proper and
handsome women.

The magistrate who had reminded Gringoire of a crocodile rose--

Silence!said he. "I pray the gentlemen not to lose
sight of the fact that a dagger was found on the person of
the accused. Goody Falourdelhave you brought that leaf
into which the crown which the demon gave you was transformed?

Yes, monseigneur,she replied; "I found it again. Here it is."

A bailiff banded the dead leaf to the crocodilewho made a
doleful shake of the headand passed it on to the president
who gave it to the procurator of the king in the ecclesiastical
courtand thus it made the circuit of the hail.

It is a birch leaf,said Master Jacques Charmolue. "A
fresh proof of magic.

A counsellor took up the word.

Witness, two men went upstairs together in your house:
the black man, whom you first saw disappear and afterwards
swimming in the Seine, with his priestly garments, and the
officer. Which of the two handed you the crown?
The old woman pondered for a moment and then said--
The officer.

A murmur ran through the crowd.

Ah!thought Gringoire this makes some doubt in my mind.

But Master Philippe Lheulieradvocate extraordinary to the
kinginterposed once more.

I will recall to these gentlemen, that in the deposition
taken at his bedside, the assassinated officer, while declaring
that he had a vague idea when the black man accosted him
that the latter might be the surly monk, added that the
phantom had pressed him eagerly to go and make acquaintance
with the accused; and upon his, the captain's, remarking that
he had no money, he had given him the crown which the said
officer paid to la Falourdel. Hence, that crown is the money

of hell.

This conclusive observation appeared to dissipate all the
doubts of Gringoire and the other sceptics in the audience.

You have the documents, gentlemen,added the king's
advocateas he took his seat; "you can consult the testimony
of Phoebus de Châteaupers."

At that namethe accused sprang upher head rose above
the throng. Gringoire with horror recognized la Esmeralda.

She was pale; her tressesformerly so gracefully braided
and spangled with sequinshung in disorder; her lips were
blueher hollow eyes were terrible. Alas!

Phoebus!she saidin bewilderment; "where is he? O
messeigneurs! before you kill metell mefor pity sake
whether he still lives?"

Hold your tongue, woman,replied the presidentthat is
no affair of ours.

Oh! for mercy's sake, tell me if he is alive!she repeated
clasping her beautiful emaciated hands; and the sound
of her chains in contact with her dresswas heard.

Well!said the king's advocate roughlyhe is dying.
Are you satisfied?

The unhappy girl fell back on her criminal's seatspeechless
tearlesswhite as a wax figure.

The president bent down to a man at his feetwho wore a
gold cap and a black gowna chain on his neck and a wand in
his hand.

Bailiff, bring in the second accused.

All eyes turned towards a small doorwhich openedandto
the great agitation of Gringoiregave passage to a pretty goat
with horns and hoofs of gold. The elegant beast halted for a
moment on the thresholdstretching out its neck as though
perched on the summit of a rockit had before its eyes an
immense horizon. Suddenly it caught sight of the gypsy girl
and leaping over the table and the head of a clerkin two
bounds it was at her knees; then it rolled gracefully on its
mistress's feetsoliciting a word or a caress; but the accused
remained motionlessand poor Djali himself obtained not a glance.

Eh, why--'tis my villanous beast,said old Falourdel
I recognize the two perfectly!

Jacques Charmolue interfered.

If the gentlemen please, we will proceed to the
examination of the goat.He wasin factthe second criminal.
Nothing more simple in those days than a suit of sorcery
instituted against an animal. We findamong others in the
accounts of the provost's office for 1466a curious detail
concerning the expenses of the trial of Gillet-Soulart and his
sowexecuted for their demerits,at Corbeil. Everything is
therethe cost of the pens in which to place the sowthe five
hundred bundles of brushwood purchased at the port of Morsant

the three pints of wine and the breadthe last repast of the
victim fraternally shared by the executionerdown to the
eleven days of guard and food for the sowat eight deniers
parisis each. Sometimesthey went even further than animals.
The capitularies of Charlemagne and of Louis le Débonnaire
impose severe penalties on fiery phantoms which presume to
appear in the air.

Meanwhile the procurator had exclaimed: "If the demon
which possesses this goatand which has resisted all
exorcismspersists in its deeds of witchcraftif it alarms
the court with themwe warn it that we shall be forced to
put in requisition against it the gallows or the stake.
Gringoire broke out into a cold perspiration. Charmolue
took from the table the gypsy's tambourineand presenting it
to the goatin a certain mannerasked the latter-

What o'clock is it?

The goat looked at it with an intelligent eyeraised its
gilded hoofand struck seven blows.

It wasin factseven o'clock. A movement of terror ran
through the crowd.

Gringoire could not endure it.

He is destroying himself!he cried aloud; "You see
well that he does not know what he is doing."

Silence among the louts at the end of the hail!said the
bailiff sharply.

Jacques Charmolueby the aid of the same manoeuvres of
the tambourinemade the goat perform many other tricks
connected with the date of the daythe month of the year
etc.which the reader has already witnessed. Andby virtue
of an optical illusion peculiar to judicial proceedingsthese
same spectators who hadprobablymore than once applauded
in the public square Djali's innocent magic were terrified by
it beneath the roof of the Palais de Justice. The goat was
undoubtedly the devil.

It was far worse when the procurator of the kinghaving
emptied upon a floor a certain bag filled with movable letters
which Djali wore round his neckthey beheld the goat extract
with his hoof from the scattered alphabet the fatal name of
Phoebus. The witchcraft of which the captain had been the
victim appeared irresistibly demonstratedand in the eyes of
allthe gypsythat ravishing dancerwho had so often
dazzled the passers-by with her gracewas no longer anything
but a frightful vampire.

Howevershe betrayed no sign of life; neither Djali's
graceful evolutionsnor the menaces of the courtnor the
suppressed imprecations of the spectators any longer reached
her mind.

In order to arouse hera police officer was obliged to
shake her unmercifullyand the president had to raise his
voice--"Girlyou are of the Bohemian raceaddicted to deeds
of witchcraft. Youin complicity with the bewitched goat
implicated in this suitduring the night of the twenty-ninth
of March lastmurdered and stabbedin concert with the

powers of darknessby the aid of charms and underhand practices
a captain of the king's arches of the watchPhoebus de
Châteaupers. Do you persist in denying it?"

Horror!exclaimed the young girlhiding her face in her
hands. "My Phoebus! Ohthis is hell!"

Do you persist in your denial?demanded the president coldly.

Do I deny it?she said with terrible accents; and she
rose with flashing eyes.

The president continued squarely-

Then how do you explain the facts laid to your charge?

She replied in a broken voice-

I have already told you. I do not know. 'Twas a priest,
a priest whom I do not know; an infernal priest who pursues me!

That is it,retorted the judge; "the surly monk."

Oh, gentlemen! have mercy! I am but a poor girl--

Of Egypt,said the judge.

Master Jacques Charmolue interposed sweetly-

In view of the sad obstinacy of the accused, I demand the
application of the torture.

Granted,said the president.

The unhappy girl quivered in every limb. But she rose at
the command of the men with partisansand walked with a
tolerably firm steppreceded by Charmolue and the priests of
the officialitybetween two rows of halberdstowards a
medium-sized door which suddenly opened and closed again
behind herand which produced upon the grief-stricken Gringoire
the effect of a horrible mouth which had just devoured her.

When she disappearedthey heard a plaintive bleating; it
was the little goat mourning.

The sitting of the court was suspended. A counsellor having
remarked that the gentlemen were fatiguedand that it
would be a long time to wait until the torture was at an end
the president replied that a magistrate must know how to
sacrifice himself to his duty.

What an annoying and vexatious hussy,said an aged judge
to get herself put to the question when one has not supped!



After ascending and descending several steps in the

corridorswhich were so dark that they were lighted by lamps
at mid-dayLa Esmeraldastill surrounded by her lugubrious
escortwas thrust by the police into a gloomy chamber.
This chambercircular in formoccupied the ground floor of
one of those great towerswhicheven in our own century
still pierce through the layer of modern edifices with which
modern Paris has covered ancient Paris. There were no
windows to this cellar; no other opening than the entrance
which was lowand closed by an enormous iron door. Nevertheless
light was not lacking; a furnace had been constructed
in the thickness of the wall; a large fire was lighted there
which filled the vault with its crimson reflections and
deprived a miserable candlewhich stood in one cornerof
all radiance. The iron grating which served to close the
ovenbeing raised at that momentallowed only a view at
the mouth of the flaming vent-hole in the dark wallthe
lower extremity of its barslike a row of black and pointed
teethset flat apart; which made the furnace resemble one of
those mouths of dragons which spout forth flames in ancient
legends. By the light which escaped from itthe prisoner
beheldall about the roomfrightful instruments whose use
she did not understand. In the centre lay a leather mattress
placed almost flat upon the groundover which hung a strap
provided with a buckleattached to a brass ring in the mouth
of a flat-nosed monster carved in the keystone of the vault.
Tongspincerslarge ploughsharesfilled the interior of the
furnaceand glowed in a confused heap on the coals. The
sanguine light of the furnace illuminated in the chamber only
a confused mass of horrible things.

This Tartarus was called simplyThe Question Chamber.

On the bedin a negligent attitudesat Pierrat Torterue
the official torturer. His underlingstwo gnomes with square
facesleather apronsand linen breecheswere moving the
iron instruments on the coals.

In vain did the poor girl summon up her courage; on entering
this chamber she was stricken with horror.

The sergeants of the bailiff of the courts drew up in line on
one sidethe priests of the officiality on the other. A clerk
inkhornand a table were in one corner.

Master Jacques Charmolue approached the gypsy with a very
sweet smile.

My dear child,said hedo you still persist in your denial?

Yes,she repliedin a dying voice.

In that case,replied Charmolueit will be very painful
for us to have to question you more urgently than we should
like. Pray take the trouble to seat yourself on this bed.
Master Pierrat, make room for mademoiselle, and close the door.

Pierrat rose with a growl.

If I shut the door,he mutteredmy fire will go out.

Well, my dear fellow,replied Charmolueleave it open then.

Meanwhilela Esmeralda had remained standing. That
leather bed on which so many unhappy wretches had writhed

frightened her. Terror chilled the very marrow of her bones;
she stood there bewildered and stupefied. At a sign from
Charmoluethe two assistants took her and placed her in a
sitting posture on the bed. They did her no harm; but when
these men touched herwhen that leather touched hershe felt
all her blood retreat to her heart. She cast a frightened look
around the chamber. It seemed to her as though she beheld
advancing from all quarters towards herwith the intention of
crawling up her body and biting and pinching herall those
hideous implements of torturewhich as compared to the
instruments of all sorts she had hitherto seenwere like what
batscentipedesand spiders are among insects and birds.

Where is the physician?asked Charmolue.

Here,replied a black gown whom she had not before noticed.

She shuddered.

Mademoiselle,resumed the caressing voice of the procucrator
of the Ecclesiastical courtfor the third time, do you
persist in denying the deeds of which you are accused?

This time she could only make a sign with her head.

You persist?said Jacques Charmolue. "Then it grieves
me deeplybut I must fulfil my office."

Monsieur le Procureur du Roi,said Pierrat abruptly
How shall we begin?

Charmolue hesitated for a moment with the ambiguous grimace of
a poet in search of a rhyme.

With the boot,he said at last.

The unfortunate girl felt herself so utterly abandoned by
God and menthat her head fell upon her breast like an inert
thing which has no power in itself.

The tormentor and the physician approached her simultaneously.
At the same timethe two assistants began to fumble among
their hideous arsenal.

At the clanking of their frightful ironsthe unhappy child
quivered like a dead frog which is being galvanized. "Oh!"
she murmuredso low that no one heard her; "Ohmy Phoebus!"
Then she fell back once more into her immobility and
her marble silence. This spectacle would have rent any other
heart than those of her judges. One would have pronounced
her a poor sinful soulbeing tortured by Satan beneath the
scarlet wicket of hell. The miserable body which that frightful
swarm of sawswheelsand racks were about to clasp in
their clutchesthe being who was about to be manipulated by
the harsh hands of executioners and pincerswas that gentle
whitefragile creaturea poor grain of millet which human
justice was handing over to the terrible mills of torture to
grind. Meanwhilethe callous hands of Pierrat Torterue's
assistants had bared that charming legthat tiny footwhich
had so often amazed the passers-by with their delicacy and beauty
in the squares of Paris.

'Tis a shame!muttered the tormentorglancing at these graceful
and delicate forms.

Had the archdeacon been presenthe certainly would have
recalled at that moment his symbol of the spider and the fly.
Soon the unfortunate girlthrough a mist which spread before
her eyesbeheld the boot approach; she soon beheld her foot
encased between iron plates disappear in the frightful apparatus.
Then terror restored her strength.

Take that off!she cried angrily; and drawing herself upwith
her hair all dishevelled: "Mercy!"

She darted from the bed to fling herself at the feet of the
king's procuratorbut her leg was fast in the heavy block of
oak and ironand she sank down upon the bootmore crushed
than a bee with a lump of lead on its wing.

At a sign from Charmolueshe was replaced on the bedand
two coarse hands adjusted to her delicate waist the strap
which hung from the ceiling.

For the last time, do you confess the facts in the case?
demanded Charmoluewith his imperturbable benignity.

I am innocent.

Then, mademoiselle, how do you explain the circumstance laid
to your charge?

Alas, monseigneur, I do not know.

So you deny them?


Proceed,said Charmolue to Pierrat.

Pierrat turned the handle of the screw-jackthe boot was
contractedand the unhappy girl uttered one of those horrible
cries which have no orthography in any human language.

Stop!said Charmolue to Pierrat. "Do you confess?"
he said to the gypsy.

All!cried the wretched girl. "I confess! I confess! Mercy!"

She had not calculated her strength when she faced the
torture. Poor childwhose life up to that time had been so
joyousso pleasantso sweetthe first pain had conquered her!

Humanity forces me to tell you,remarked the king's procurator
that in confessing, it is death that you must expect.

I certainly hope so!said she. And she fell back upon
the leather beddyingdoubled upallowing herself to hang
suspended from the strap buckled round her waist.

Come, fair one, hold up a little,said Master Pierratraising
her. "You have the air of the lamb of the Golden Fleece
which hangs from Monsieur de Bourgogne's neck."

Jacques Charmolue raised his voice

Clerk, write. Young Bohemian maid, you confess your
participation in the feasts, witches' sabbaths, and witchcrafts

of hell, with ghosts, hags, and vampires? Answer.

Yes,she saidso low that her words were lost in her breathing.

You confess to having seen the ram which Beelzebub causes to
appear in the clouds to call together the witches' sabbath,
and which is beheld by socerers alone?


You confess to having adored the heads of Bophomet, those
abominable idols of the Templars?


To having had habitual dealings with the devil under the
form of a goat familiar, joined with you in the suit?


Lastly, you avow and confess to having, with the aid of
the demon, and of the phantom vulgarly known as the surly
monk, on the night of the twenty-ninth of March last,
murdered and assassinated a captain named Phoebus de Châteaupers?

She raised her largestaring eyes to the magistrateand
repliedas though mechanicallywithout convulsion or agitation--


It was evident that everything within her was broken.

Write, clerk,said Charmolue. Andaddressing the torturers
Release the prisoner, and take her back to the court.

When the prisoner had been "unbooted the procurator of
the ecclesiastical court examined her foot, which was still
swollen with pain. Come said he, there's no great harm
done. You shrieked in good season. You could still dance
my beauty!"

Then he turned to his acolytes of the officiality--
Behold justice enlightened at last! This is a solace,
gentlemen! Madamoiselle will bear us witness that we have
acted with all possible gentleness.



When she re-entered the audience hallpale and limping
she was received with a general murmur of pleasure. On the
part of the audience there was the feeling of impatience
gratified which one experiences at the theatre at the end of
the last entr'acte of the comedywhen the curtain rises and
the conclusion is about to begin. On the part of the judges
it was the hope of getting their suppers sooner.

The little goat also bleated with joy. He tried to run

towards his mistressbut they had tied him to the bench.

Night was fully set in. The candleswhose number had not
been increasedcast so little lightthat the walls of the hall
could not be seen. The shadows there enveloped all objects
in a sort of mist. A few apathetic faces of judges alone could
be dimly discerned. Opposite themat the extremity of the
long hailthey could see a vaguely white point standing out
against the sombre background. This was the accused.

She had dragged herself to her place. When Charmolue
had installed himself in a magisterial manner in his ownhe
seated himselfthen rose and saidwithout exhibiting too
much self-complacency at his success--"The accused has
confessed all."

Bohemian girl,the president continuedhave you avowed all
your deeds of magic, prostitution, and assassination on
Phoebus de Châteaupers.

Her heart contracted. She was heard to sob amid the darkness.

Anything you like,she replied feeblybut kill me quickly!

Monsieur, procurator of the king in the ecclesiastical
courts,said the presidentthe chamber is ready to hear you
in your charge.

Master Charmolue exhibited an alarming note bookand began to
readwith many gestures and the exaggerated accentuation of the
pleaderan oration in Latinwherein all the proofs of the suit
were piled up in Ciceronian periphrasesflanked with quotations
from Plautushis favorite comic author. We regret that we are
not able to offer to our readers this remarkable piece. The
orator pronounced it with marvellous action. Before he had
finished the exordiumthe perspiration was starting from his
browand his eyes from his bead.

All at oncein the middle of a fine periodhe interrupted
himselfand his glanceordinarily so gentle and even stupid
became menacing.

Gentlemen,he exclaimed (this time in Frenchfor it was
not in his copy book)Satan is so mixed up in this affair,
that here he is present at our debates, and making sport of
their majesty. Behold!

So sayinghe pointed to the little goatwhoon seeing
Charmolue gesticulatinghadin point of factthought it
appropriate to do the sameand had seated himself on his
haunchesreproducing to the best of his abilitywith his
forepaws and his bearded head the pathetic pantomine of the
king's procurator in the ecclesiastical court. This wasif the
reader remembersone of his prettiest accomplishments. This
incidentthis last proofproduced a great effect. The goat's
hoofs were tiedand the king's procurator resumed the thread
of his eloquence.

It was very longbut the peroration was admirable. Here
is the concluding phrase; let the reader add the hoarse voice
and the breathless gestures of Master Charmolue

~Ideo, domni, coram stryga demonstrata, crimine patente,
intentione criminis existente, in nornine sanctoe ecclesioe Nostroe

Domince Parisiensis quoe est in saisina habendi omnimodam
altam et bassam justitiam in illa hac intemerata Civitatis insula,
tenore proesentium declaremus nos requirere, primo, aliquamdam
pecuniariam indemnitatem; secundo, amendationem honorabilem
ante portalium maximum Nostroe-Dominoe, ecclesioe cathedralis;
tertio, sententiani in virtute cujus ista styrga cum sua
capella, seu in trivio vulgariter dicto~ la Grève, ~seu in insula
exeunte in fluvio Secanoe, juxta pointam juardini regalis, executatoe

* The substance of this exordium is contained in the president's
He put on his cap again and seated himself.

Eheu!sighed the broken-hearted Gringoire~bassa latinitas~--bastard

Another man in a black gown rose near the accused; he was
her lawyer.--The judgeswho were fastingbegan to grumble.

Advocate, be brief,said the president.

Monsieur the President,replied the advocatesince the
defendant has confessed the crime, I have only one word to
say to these gentlemen. Here is a text from the Salic law;
'If a witch hath eaten a man, and if she be convicted of it,
she shall pay a fine of eight thousand deniers, which amount
to two hundred sous of gold.' May it please the chamber
to condemn my client to the fine?

An abrogated text,said the advocate extraordinary of the king.

Nego, I deny it,replied the advocate.

Put it to the vote!said one of the councillors; "the
crime is manifestand it is late."

They proceeded to take a vote without leaving the room.
The judges signified their assent without giving their reasons
they were in a hurry. Their capped heads were seen uncovering
one after the otherin the gloomat the lugubrious question
addressed to them by the president in a low voice. The
poor accused had the appearance of looking at thembut her
troubled eye no longer saw.

Then the clerk began to write; then he handed a long parchment
to the president.

Then the unhappy girl heard the people movingthe pikes
clashingand a freezing voice saying to her--"Bohemian
wenchon the day when it shall seem good to
our lord the kingat the hour of noonyou will be taken in a
tumbrelin your shiftwith bare feetand a rope about your
neckbefore the grand portal of Notre-Dameand you will
there make an apology with a wax torch of the weight of
two pounds in your handand thence you will be conducted to
the Place de Grèvewhere you will be hanged and strangled
on the town gibbet; and likewise your goat; and you will pay
to the official three lions of goldin reparation of the crimes
by you committed and by you confessedof sorcery and
magicdebauchery and murderupon the person of the Sieur

Phoebus de Châteaupers. May God have mercy on your soul!"

Oh! 'tis a dream!she murmured; and she felt rough hands bearing
her away.



In the Middle Ageswhen an edifice was completethere
was almost as much of it in the earth as above it. Unless
built upon pileslike Notre-Damea palacea fortressa
churchhad always a double bottom. In cathedralsit was
in some sortanother subterranean cathedrallowdark
mysteriousblindand muteunder the upper nave which was
overflowing with light and reverberating with organs and bells
day and night. Sometimes it was a sepulchre. In palaces
in fortressesit was a prisonsometimes a sepulchre also
sometimes both together. These mighty buildingswhose
mode of formation and vegetation we have elsewhere explained
had not simply foundationsbutso to speakroots
which ran branching through the soil in chambersgalleries
and staircaseslike the construction above. Thus churches
palacesfortresseshad the earth half way up their bodies.
The cellars of an edifice formed another edificeinto which
one descended instead of ascendingand which extended
its subterranean grounds under the external piles of the
monumentlike those forests and mountains which are reversed
in the mirror-like waters of a lakebeneath the forests and
mountains of the banks.

At the fortress of Saint-Antoineat the Palais de Justice of
Parisat the Louvrethese subterranean edifices were prisons.
The stories of these prisonsas they sank into the soilgrew
constantly narrower and more gloomy. They were so many
zoneswhere the shades of horror were graduated. Dante
could never imagine anything better for his hell. These
tunnels of cells usually terminated in a sack of a lowest
dungeonwith a vat-like bottomwhere Dante placed Satan
where society placed those condemned to death. A miserable
human existenceonce interred there; farewell lightairlife
~ogni speranza~--every hope; it only came forth to the scaffold
or the stake. Sometimes it rotted there; human justice
called this "forgetting." Between men and himselfthe
condemned man felt a pile of stones and jailers weighing down
upon his head; and the entire prisonthe massive bastille
was nothing more than an enormouscomplicated lockwhich
barred him off from the rest of the world.

It was in a sloping cavity of this descriptionin the
~oubliettes~ excavated by Saint-Louisin the ~inpace~ of the
Tournellethat la Esmeralda had been placed on being condemned
to deaththrough fear of her escapeno doubtwith the colossal
court-house over her head. Poor flywho could not have
lifted even one of its blocks of stone!

AssuredlyProvidence and society had been equally unjust;
such an excess of unhappiness and of torture was not necessary
to break so frail a creature.

There she laylost in the shadowsburiedhiddenimmured.
Any one who could have beheld her in this stateafter having
seen her laugh and dance in the sunwould have shuddered.
Cold as nightcold as deathnot a breath of air in her tresses
not a human sound in her earno longer a ray of light in her
eyes; snapped in twaincrushed with chainscrouching beside
a jug and a loafon a little strawin a pool of waterwhich
was formed under her by the sweating of the prison walls;
without motionalmost without breathshe had no longer the
power to suffer; Phoebusthe sunmiddaythe open airthe
streets of Paristhe dances with applausethe sweet babblings
of love with the officer; then the priestthe old crone
the poignardthe bloodthe torturethe gibbet; all this did
indeedpass before her mindsometimes as a charming and
golden visionsometimes as a hideous nightmare; but it was
no longer anything but a vague and horrible strugglelost in
the gloomor distant music played up above groundand
which was no longer audible at the depth where the unhappy
girl had fallen.

Since she had been thereshe had neither waked nor slept.
In that misfortunein that cellshe could no longer
distinguish her waking hours from slumberdreams from reality
any more than day from night. All this was mixedbroken
floatingdisseminated confusedly in her thought. She no
longer feltshe no longer knewshe no longer thought; at
the mostshe only dreamed. Never had a living creature
been thrust more deeply into nothingness.

Thus benumbedfrozenpetrifiedshe had barely noticed
on two or three occasionsthe sound of a trap door opening
somewhere above herwithout even permitting the passage of
a little lightand through which a hand had tossed her a bit
of black bread. Neverthelessthis periodical visit of the
jailer was the sole communication which was left her with

A single thing still mechanically occupied her ear; above
her headthe dampness was filtering through the mouldy
stones of the vaultand a drop of water dropped from them
at regular intervals. She listened stupidly to the noise made
by this drop of water as it fell into the pool beside her.

This drop of water falling from time to time into that pool
was the only movement which still went on around herthe
only clock which marked the timethe only noise which
reached her of all the noise made on the surface of the earth.

To tell the wholehowevershe also feltfrom time to time
in that cesspool of mire and darknesssomething cold passing
over her foot or her armand she shuddered.

How long had she been there? She did not know. She
had a recollection of a sentence of death pronounced somewhere
against some onethen of having been herself carried
awayand of waking up in darkness and silencechilled to
the heart. She had dragged herself along on her hands.
Then iron rings that cut her anklesand chains had rattled.
She had recognized the fact that all around her was wallthat
below her there was a pavement covered with moisture and a
truss of straw; but neither lamp nor air-hole. Then she had
seated herself on that straw andsometimesfor the sake of
changing her attitudeon the last stone step in her dungeon.

For a while she had tried to count the black minutes measured
off for her by the drop of water; but that melancholy
labor of an ailing brain had broken off of itself in her
headand had left her in stupor.

At lengthone dayor one night(for midnight and midday
were of the same color in that sepulchre)she heard above her
a louder noise than was usually made by the turnkey when he
brought her bread and jug of water. She raised her head
and beheld a ray of reddish light passing through the crevices
in the sort of trapdoor contrived in the roof of the ~inpace~.

At the same timethe heavy lock creakedthe trap grated
on its rusty hingesturnedand she beheld a lanterna hand
and the lower portions of the bodies of two menthe door
being too low to admit of her seeing their heads. The light
pained her so acutely that she shut her eyes.

When she opened them again the door was closedthe lantern
was deposited on one of the steps of the staircase; a
man alone stood before her. A monk's black cloak fell to his
feeta cowl of the same color concealed his face. Nothing
was visible of his personneither face nor hands. It was a
longblack shroud standing erectand beneath which
something could be felt moving. She gazed fixedly for
several minutes at this sort of spectre. But neither he
nor she spoke. One would have pronounced them two statues
confronting each other. Two things only seemed alive in that
cavern; the wick of the lanternwhich sputtered on account
of the dampness of the atmosphereand the drop of water
from the roofwhich cut this irregular sputtering with its
monotonous splashand made the light of the lantern quiver
in concentric waves on the oily water of the pool.

At last the prisoner broke the silence.

Who are you?

A priest.

The wordsthe accentthe sound of his voice made her tremble.

The priest continuedin a hollow voice-

Are you prepared?

For what?

To die.

Oh!said shewill it be soon?


Her headwhich had been raised with joyfell back upon
her breast.

'Tis very far away yet!she murmured; "why could they not
have done it to-day?"

Then you are very unhappy?asked the priestafter a silence.

I am very cold,she replied.

She took her feet in her handsa gesture habitual with
unhappy wretches who are coldas we have already seen in the
case of the recluse of the Tour-Rolandand her teeth chattered.

The priest appeared to cast his eyes around the dungeon from beneath
his cowl.

Without light! without fire! in the water! it is horrible!

Yes,she repliedwith the bewildered air which unhappiness
had given her. "The day belongs to every onewhy do
they give me only night?"

Do you know,resumed the priestafter a fresh silence
why you are here?

I thought I knew once,she saidpassing her thin fingers
over her eyelidsas though to aid her memorybut I know
no longer.

All at once she began to weep like a child.

I should like to get away from here, sir. I am cold, I am
afraid, and there are creatures which crawl over my body.

Well, follow me.

So sayingthe priest took her arm. The unhappy girl was
frozen to her very soul. Yet that hand produced an impression
of cold upon her.

Oh!she murmured'tis the icy hand of death. Who are you?

The priest threw back his cowl; she looked. It was the
sinister visage which had so long pursued her; that demon's
head which had appeared at la Falourdel'sabove the head of
her adored Phoebus; that eye which she last had seen glittering
beside a dagger.

This apparitionalways so fatal for herand which had thus
driven her on from misfortune to misfortuneeven to torture
roused her from her stupor. It seemed to her that the sort of
veil which had lain thick upon her memory was rent away.
All the details of her melancholy adventurefrom the nocturnal
scene at la Falourdel's to her condemnation to the Tournelle
recurred to her memoryno longer vague and confused
as heretoforebut distinctharshclearpalpitatingterrible.
These souvenirshalf effaced and almost obliterated by
excess of sufferingwere revived by the sombre figure which
stood before heras the approach of fire causes letters traced
upon white paper with invisible inkto start out perfectly
fresh. It seemed to her that all the wounds of her heart
opened and bled simultaneously.

Hah!she criedwith her hands on her eyesand a convulsive
trembling'tis the priest!

Then she dropped her arms in discouragementand remained
seatedwith lowered headeyes fixed on the groundmute and
still trembling.

The priest gazed at her with the eye of a hawk which has
long been soaring in a circle from the heights of heaven over a
poor lark cowering in the wheatand has long been silently

contracting the formidable circles of his flightand has
suddenly swooped down upon his prey like a flash of lightning
and holds it panting in his talons.

She began to murmur in a low voice--

Finish! finish! the last blow!and she drew her head
down in terror between her shoulderslike the lamb awaiting
the blow of the butcher's axe.

So I inspire you with horror?he said at length.

She made no reply.

Do I inspire you with horror?he repeated.

Her lips contractedas though with a smile.

Yes,said shethe headsman scoffs at the condemned.
Here he has been pursuing me, threatening me, terrifying me
for months! Had it not been for him, my God, how happy it
should have been! It was he who cast me into this abyss!
Oh heavens! it was he who killed him! my Phoebus!

Herebursting into sobsand raising her eyes to the priest--

Oh! wretch, who are you? What have I done to you?
Do you then, hate me so? Alas! what have you against me?

I love thee!cried the priest.

Her tears suddenly ceasedshe gazed at him with the look
of an idiot. He had fallen on his knees and was devouring
her with eyes of flame.

Dost thou understand? I love thee!he cried again.

What love!said the unhappy girl with a shudder.

He resumed--

The love of a damned soul.

Both remained silent for several minutescrushed beneath
the weight of their emotions; he maddenedshe stupefied.

Listen,said the priest at lastand a singular calm had
come over him; "you shall know all I am about to tell you
that which I have hitherto hardly dared to say to myself
when furtively interrogating my conscience at those deep
hours of the night when it is so dark that it seems as though
God no longer saw us. Listen. Before I knew youyoung
girlI was happy."

So was I!she sighed feebly.

Do not interrupt me. Yes, I was happy, at least I believed
myself to be so. I was pure, my soul was filled with
limpid light. No head was raised more proudly and more
radiantly than mine. Priests consulted me on chastity; doctors,
on doctrines. Yes, science was all in all to me; it was a
sister to me, and a sister sufficed. Not but that with age
other ideas came to me. More than once my flesh had been
moved as a woman's form passed by. That force of sex and

blood which, in the madness of youth, I had imagined that I
had stifled forever had, more than once, convulsively raised
the chain of iron vows which bind me, a miserable wretch, to
the cold stones of the altar. But fasting, prayer, study, the
mortifications of the cloister, rendered my soul mistress of
my body once more, and then I avoided women. Moreover, I
had but to open a book, and all the impure mists of my brain
vanished before the splendors of science. In a few moments,
I felt the gross things of earth flee far away, and I found
myself once more calm, quieted, and serene, in the presence of
the tranquil radiance of eternal truth. As long as the demon
sent to attack me only vague shadows of women who passed
occasionally before my eyes in church, in the streets, in
the fields, and who hardly recurred to my dreams, I easily
vanquished him. Alas! if the victory has not remained with
me, it is the fault of God, who has not created man and the
demon of equal force. Listen. One day--

Here the priest paused, and the prisoner heard sighs of
anguish break from his breast with a sound of the death rattle.

He resumed,-

One day I was leaning on the window of my cell. What
book was I reading then? Oh! all that is a whirlwind in my
head. I was reading. The window opened upon a Square. I
heard a sound of tambourine and music. Annoyed at being
thus disturbed in my reveryI glanced into the Square. What
I beheldothers saw beside myselfand yet it was not a
spectacle made for human eyes. Therein the middle of the
pavement--it was middaythe sun was shining brightly--a
creature was dancing. A creature so beautiful that God
would have preferred her to the Virgin and have chosen her
for his mother and have wished to be born of her if she had
been in existence when he was made man! Her eyes were
black and splendid; in the midst of her black lockssome
hairs through which the sun shone glistened like threads
of gold. Her feet disappeared in their movements like the
spokes of a rapidly turning wheel. Around her headin her
black tressesthere were disks of metalwhich glittered in
the sunand formed a coronet of stars on her brow. Her
dress thick set with spanglesblueand dotted with a
thousand sparksgleamed like a summer night. Her brown
supple arms twined and untwined around her waistlike two
scarfs. The form of her body was surprisingly beautiful.
Oh! what a resplendent figure stood outlike something
luminous even in the sunlight! Alasyoung girlit was thou!
SurprisedintoxicatedcharmedI allowed myself to gaze
upon thee. I looked so long that I suddenly shuddered with
terror; I felt that fate was seizing hold of me."

The priest paused for a momentovercome with emotion.
Then he continued-

Already half fascinated, I tried to cling fast to something
and hold myself back from falling. I recalled the snares which
Satan had already set for me. The creature before my eyes
possessed that superhuman beauty which can come only from
heaven or hell. It was no simple girl made with a little of
our earth, and dimly lighted within by the vacillating ray of
a woman's soul. It was an angel! but of shadows and flame,
and not of light. At the moment when I was meditating
thus, I beheld beside you a goat, a beast of witches, which
smiled as it gazed at me. The midday sun gave him golden

horns. Then I perceived the snare of the demon, and I no
longer doubted that you had come from hell and that you had
come thence for my perdition. I believed it.

Here the priest looked the prisoner full in the faceand

I believe it still. Nevertheless, the charm operated little
by little; your dancing whirled through my brain; I felt the
mysterious spell working within me. All that should have
awakened was lulled to sleep; and like those who die in the
snow, I felt pleasure in allowing this sleep to draw on. All
at once, you began to sing. What could I do, unhappy
wretch? Your song was still more charming than your dancing.
I tried to flee. Impossible. I was nailed, rooted to the
spot. It seemed to me that the marble of the pavement had
risen to my knees. I was forced to remain until the end.
My feet were like ice, my head was on fire. At last you took
pity on me, you ceased to sing, you disappeared. The reflection
of the dazzling vision, the reverberation of the enchanting
music disappeared by degrees from my eyes and my ears.
Then I fell back into the embrasure of the window, more
rigid, more feeble than a statue torn from its base. The
vesper bell roused me. I drew myself up; I fled; but alas!
something within me had fallen never to rise again, something
had come upon me from which I could not flee.

He made another pause and went on-

Yes, dating from that day, there was within me a man
whom I did not know. I tried to make use of all my remedies.
The cloister, the altar, work, books,--follies! Oh, how
hollow does science sound when one in despair dashes against
it a head full of passions! Do you know, young girl, what I
saw thenceforth between my book and me? You, your shade,
the image of the luminous apparition which had one day
crossed the space before me. But this image had no longer
the same color; it was sombre, funereal, gloomy as the black
circle which long pursues the vision of the imprudent man
who has gazed intently at the sun.

Unable to rid myself of itsince I heard your song
humming ever in my headbeheld your feet dancing always
on my breviaryfelt even at nightin my dreamsyour form
in contact with my ownI desired to see you againto touch
youto know who you wereto see whether I should really
find you like the ideal image which I had retained of youto
shatter my dreamperchancewith reality. At all eventsI
hoped that a new impression would efface the firstand the
first had become insupportable. I sought you. I saw you
once more. Calamity! When I had seen you twiceI wanted
to see you a thousand timesI wanted to see you always.
Then--how stop myself on that slope of hell?--then I no
longer belonged to myself. The other end of the thread
which the demon had attached to my wings he had fastened
to his foot. I became vagrant and wandering like yourself.
I waited for you under porchesI stood on the lookout for
you at the street cornersI watched for you from the summit
of my tower. Every evening I returned to myself more
charmedmore despairingmore bewitchedmore lost!

I had learned who you were; an Egyptian, Bohemian,
gypsy, zingara. How could I doubt the magic? Listen. I
hoped that a trial would free me from the charm. A witch

enchanted Bruno d'Ast; he had her burned, and was cured. I
knew it. I wanted to try the remedy. First I tried to have
you forbidden the square in front of Notre-Dame, hoping to
forget you if you returned no more. You paid no heed to it.
You returned. Then the idea of abducting you occurred to
me. One night I made the attempt. There were two of us.
We already had you in our power, when that miserable officer
came up. He delivered you. Thus did he begin your unhappiness,
mine, and his own. Finally, no longer knowing what to
do, and what was to become of me, I denounced you to the official.

I thought that I should be cured like Bruno d'Ast. I also
had a confused idea that a trial would deliver you into my
hands; thatas a prisoner I should hold youI should have
you; that there you could not escape from me; that you had
already possessed me a sufficiently long time to give me the
right to possess you in my turn. When one does wrongone
must do it thoroughly. 'Tis madness to halt midway in the
monstrous! The extreme of crime has its deliriums of joy.
A priest and a witch can mingle in delight upon the truss of
straw in a dungeon!

Accordingly, I denounced you. It was then that I terrified
you when we met. The plot which I was weaving against
you, the storm which I was heaping up above your head, burst
from me in threats and lightning glances. Still, I hesitated.
My project had its terrible sides which made me shrink back.

Perhaps I might have renounced it; perhaps my hideous
thought would have withered in my brainwithout bearing
fruit. I thought that it would always depend upon me to
follow up or discontinue this prosecution. But every evil
thought is inexorableand insists on becoming a deed; but
where I believed myself to be all powerfulfate was more
powerful than I. Alas! 'tis fate which has seized you and
delivered you to the terrible wheels of the machine which I
had constructed doubly. Listen. I am nearing the end.

One day,--again the sun was shining brilliantly--I behold
man pass me uttering your name and laughing, who carries
sensuality in his eyes. Damnation! I followed him; you
know the rest.

He ceased.

The young girl could find but one word:

Oh, my Phoebus!

Not that name!said the priestgrasping her arm
violently. "Utter not that name! Oh! miserable wretches
that we are'tis that name which has ruined us! orrather
we have ruined each other by the inexplicable play of fate!
you are sufferingare you not? you are cold; the night makes
you blindthe dungeon envelops you; but perhaps you still
have some light in the bottom of your soulwere it only your
childish love for that empty man who played with your heart
while I bear the dungeon within me; within me there is
wintericedespair; I have night in my soul.

Do you know what I have suffered? I was present at your
trial. I was seated on the official's bench. Yes, under one of
the priests' cowls, there were the contortions of the
damned. When you were brought in, I was there; when you were

questioned, I was there.--Den of wolves!--It was my crime, it
was my gallows that I beheld being slowly reared over your
head. I was there for every witness, every proof, every plea;
I could count each of your steps in the painful path; I was
still there when that ferocious beast--oh! I had not foreseen
torture! Listen. I followed you to that chamber of anguish.
I beheld you stripped and handled, half naked, by the infamous
hands of the tormentor. I beheld your foot, that foot
which I would have given an empire to kiss and die, that
foot, beneath which to have had my head crushed I should have
felt such rapture,--I beheld it encased in that horrible boot,
which converts the limbs of a living being into one bloody
clod. Oh, wretch! while I looked on at that, I held beneath
my shroud a dagger, with which I lacerated my breast. When
you uttered that cry, I plunged it into my flesh; at a second
cry, it would have entered my heart. Look! I believe that it
still bleeds.

He opened his cassock. His breast was in factmangled as
by the claw of a tigerand on his side he had a large and
badly healed wound.

The prisoner recoiled with horror.

Oh!said the priestyoung girl, have pity upon me!
You think yourself unhappy; alas! alas! you know not what
unhappiness is. Oh! to love a woman! to be a priest! to be
hated! to love with all the fury of one's soul; to feel that one
would give for the least of her smiles, one's blood, one's vitals,
one's fame, one's salvation, one's immortality and eternity, this
life and the other; to regret that one is not a king, emperor,
archangel, God, in order that one might place a greater slave
beneath her feet; to clasp her night and day in one's dreams
and one's thoughts, and to behold her in love with the
trappings of a soldier and to have nothing to offer her but a
priest's dirty cassock, which will inspire her with fear and
disgust! To be present with one's jealousy and one's rage,
while she lavishes on a miserable, blustering imbecile,
treasures of love and beauty! To behold that body whose form
burns you, that bosom which possesses so much sweetness,
that flesh palpitate and blush beneath the kisses of another!
Oh heaven! to love her foot, her arm, her shoulder, to think
of her blue veins, of her brown skin, until one writhes for
whole nights together on the pavement of one's cell, and to
behold all those caresses which one has dreamed of, end in
torture! To have succeeded only in stretching her upon the
leather bed! Oh! these are the veritable pincers, reddened
in the fires of hell. Oh! blessed is he who is sawn between
two planks, or torn in pieces by four horses! Do you know
what that torture is, which is imposed upon you for long
nights by your burning arteries, your bursting heart, your
breaking head, your teeth-knawed hands; mad tormentors
which turn you incessantly, as upon a red-hot gridiron, to a
thought of love, of jealousy, and of despair! Young girl,
mercy! a truce for a moment! a few ashes on these live
coals! Wipe away, I beseech you, the perspiration which
trickles in great drops from my brow! Child! torture me
with one hand, but caress me with the other! Have pity,
young girl! Have pity upon me!

The priest writhed on the wet pavementbeating his head
against the corners of the stone steps. The young girl gazed
at himand listened to him.

When he ceasedexhausted and pantingshe repeated in a
low voice-

Oh my Phoebus!

The priest dragged himself towards her on his knees.

I beseech you,he criedif you have any heart, do not
repulse me! Oh! I love you! I am a wretch! When you
utter that name, unhappy girl, it is as though you crushed all
the fibres of my heart between your teeth. Mercy! If you
come from hell I will go thither with you. I have done
everything to that end. The hell where you are, shall he
paradise; the sight of you is more charming than that of God!
Oh! speak! you will have none of me? I should have thought
the mountains would be shaken in their foundations on the
day when a woman would repulse such a love. Oh! if you
only would! Oh! how happy we might be. We would flee--I
would help you to flee,--we would go somewhere, we would
seek that spot on earth, where the sun is brightest, the sky
the bluest, where the trees are most luxuriant. We would
love each other, we would pour our two souls into each other,
and we would have a thirst for ourselves which we would
quench in common and incessantly at that fountain of
inexhaustible love.

She interrupted with a terrible and thrilling laugh.

Look, father, you have blood on your fingers!

The priest remained for several moments as though petrified
with his eyes fixed upon his hand.

Well, yes!he resumed at lastwith strange gentleness
insult me, scoff at me, overwhelm me with scorn! but come,
come. Let us make haste. It is to be to-morrow, I tell you.
The gibbet on the Grève, you know it? it stands always
ready. It is horrible! to see you ride in that tumbrel! Oh
mercy! Until now I have never felt the power of my love
for you.--Oh! follow me. You shall take your time to love
me after I have saved you. You shall hate me as long as you
will. But come. To-morrow! to-morrow! the gallows! your
execution! Oh! save yourself! spare me!

He seized her armhe was beside himselfhe tried to drag
her away.

She fixed her eye intently on him.

What has become of my Phoebus?

Ah!said the priestreleasing her armyou are pitiless.

What has become of Phoebus?she repeated coldly.

He is dead!cried the priest.

Dead!said shestill icy and motionless "then why do
you talk to me of living?"

He was not listening to her.

Oh! yes,said heas though speaking to himselfhe
certainly must be dead. The blade pierced deeply. I believe

I touched his heart with the point. Oh! my very soul was at
the end of the dagger!

The young girl flung herself upon him like a raging tigress
and pushed him upon the steps of the staircase with
supernatural force.

Begone, monster! Begone, assassin! Leave me to die!
May the blood of both of us make an eternal stain upon your
brow! Be thine, priest! Never! never! Nothing shall unite
us! not hell itself! Go, accursed man! Never!

The priest had stumbled on the stairs. He silently disentangled
his feet from the folds of his robepicked up his lantern
againand slowly began the ascent of the steps which led
to the door; he opened the door and passed through it.

All at oncethe young girl beheld his head reappear; it
wore a frightful expressionand he criedhoarse with rage
and despair--

I tell you he is dead!

She fell face downwards upon the floorand there was no
longer any sound audible in the cell than the sob of the drop
of water which made the pool palpitate amid the darkness.



I do not believe that there is anything sweeter in the world
than the ideas which awake in a mother's heart at the sight
of her child's tiny shoe; especially if it is a shoe for
festivalsfor Sundayfor baptismthe shoe embroidered to the
very solea shoe in which the infant has not yet taken a step.
That shoe has so much grace and daintinessit is so impossible
for it to walkthat it seems to the mother as though she saw her
child. She smiles upon itshe kisses itshe talks to it; she
asks herself whether there can actually be a foot so tiny; and
if the child be absentthe pretty shoe suffices to place the
sweet and fragile creature before her eyes. She thinks she
sees itshe does see itcompletelivingjoyouswith its
delicate handsits round headits pure lipsits serene eyes
whose white is blue. If it is in winterit is yondercrawling
on the carpetit is laboriously climbing upon an ottomanand the
mother trembles lest it should approach the fire. If it is summer
timeit crawls about the yardin the gardenplucks up the
grass between the paving-stonesgazes innocently at the big
dogsthe big horseswithout fearplays with the shellswith
the flowersand makes the gardener grumble because he finds
sand in the flower-beds and earth in the paths. Everything
laughsand shines and plays around itlike iteven the breath
of air and the ray of sun which vie with each other in disporting
among the silky ringlets of its hair. The shoe shows all this
to the motherand makes her heart melt as fire melts wax.

But when the child is lostthese thousand images of joy
of charmsof tendernesswhich throng around the little shoe

become so many horrible things. The pretty broidered shoe
is no longer anything but an instrument of torture which
eternally crushes the heart of the mother. It is always the
same fibre which vibratesthe tenderest and most sensitive;
but instead of an angel caressing itit is a demon who is
wrenching at it.

One May morningwhen the sun was rising on one of those
dark blue skies against which Garofolo loves to place his
Descents from the Crossthe recluse of the Tour-Roland heard
a sound of wheelsof horses and irons in the Place de Grève.
She was somewhat aroused by itknotted her hair upon her
ears in order to deafen herselfand resumed her contemplation
on her kneesof the inanimate object which she had
adored for fifteen years. This little shoe was the universe
to heras we have already said. Her thought was shut up in
itand was destined never more to quit it except at death.
The sombre cave of the Tour-Roland alone knew how many bitter
imprecationstouching complaintsprayers and sobs she had
wafted to heaven in connection with that charming bauble of
rose-colored satin. Never was more despair bestowed upon a
prettier and more graceful thing.

It seemed as though her grief were breaking forth more
violently than usual; and she could be heard outside
lamenting in a loud and monotonous voice which rent the heart.

Oh my daughter!she saidmy daughter, my poor, dear
little child, so I shall never see thee more! It is over!
It always seems to me that it happened yesterday! My God!
my God! it would have been better not to give her to me
than to take her away so soon. Did you not know that our
children are part of ourselves, and that a mother who has lost
her child no longer believes in God? Ah! wretch that I am
to have gone out that day! Lord! Lord! to have taken her
from me thus; you could never have looked at me with her,
when I was joyously warming her at my fire, when she
laughed as she suckled, when I made her tiny feet creep up
my breast to my lips? Oh! if you had looked at that, my
God, you would have taken pity on my joy; you would not
have taken from me the only love which lingered, in my heart!
Was I then, Lord, so miserable a creature, that you could not
look at me before condemning me?--Alas! Alas! here is the
shoe; where is the foot? where is the rest? Where is the
child? My daughter! my daughter! what did they do with
thee? Lord, give her back to me. My knees have been
worn for fifteen years in praying to thee, my God! Is not
that enough? Give her back to me one day, one hour, one
minute; one minute, Lord! and then cast me to the demon for
all eternity! Oh! if I only knew where the skirt of your
garment trails, I would cling to it with both hands, and you
would be obliged to give me back my child! Have you no
pity on her pretty little shoe? Could you condemn a poor
mother to this torture for fifteen years? Good Virgin! good
Virgin of heaven! my infant Jesus has been taken from me,
has been stolen from me; they devoured her on a heath, they
drank her blood, they cracked her bones! Good Virgin, have
pity upon me. My daughter, I want my daughter! What is
it to me that she is in paradise? I do not want your angel, I
want my child! I am a lioness, I want my whelp. Oh! I will
writhe on the earth, I will break the stones with my forehead,
and I will damn myself, and I will curse you, Lord, if you
keep my child from me! you see plainly that my arms are all
bitten, Lord! Has the good God no mercy?--Oh! give me

only salt and black bread, only let me have my daughter to
warm me like a sun! Alas! Lord my God. Alas! Lord my
God, I am only a vile sinner; but my daughter made me pious.
I was full of religion for the love of her, and I beheld you
through her smile as through an opening into heaven. Oh!
if I could only once, just once more, a single time, put this
shoe on her pretty little pink foot, I would die blessing you,
good Virgin. Ah! fifteen years! she will be grown up now!
--Unhappy child! what! it is really true then I shall never
see her more, not even in heaven, for I shall not go there
myself. Oh! what misery to think that here is her shoe,
and that that is all!

The unhappy woman flung herself upon that shoe; her
consolation and her despair for so many yearsand her vitals
were rent with sobs as on the first day; becausefor a mother
who has lost her childit is always the first day. That grief
never grows old. The mourning garments may grow white and
threadbarethe heart remains dark.

At that momentthe fresh and joyous cries of children
passed in front of the cell. Every time that children crossed
her vision or struck her earthe poor mother flung herself into
the darkest corner of her sepulchreand one would have said
that she sought to plunge her head into the stone in order not
to hear them. This timeon the contraryshe drew herself
upright with a startand listened eagerly. One of the little
boys had just said-

They are going to hang a gypsy to-day.

With the abrupt leap of that spider which we have seen
fling itself upon a fly at the trembling of its webshe rushed
to her air-holewhich opened as the reader knowson the
Place de Grève. A ladder hadin factbeen raised up against
the permanent gibbetand the hangman's assistant was busying
himself with adjusting the chains which had been rusted
by the rain. There were some people standing about.

The laughing group of children was already far away. The
sacked nun sought with her eyes some passer-by whom she
might question. All at oncebeside her cellshe perceived a
priest making a pretext of reading the public breviarybut
who was much less occupied with the "lectern of latticed
iron than with the gallows, toward which he cast a fierce
and gloomy glance from time to time. She recognized monsieur
the archdeacon of Josas, a holy man.

Father she inquired, whom are they about to hang yonder?"

The priest looked at her and made no reply; she repeated
her question. Then he said-

I know not.

Some children said that it was a gypsy,went on the recluse.

I believe so,said the priest.

Then Paquette la Chantefleurie burst into hyena-like laughter.

Sister,said the archdeacondo you then hate the
gypsies heartily?

Do I hate them!exclaimed the recluse they are vampires,
stealers of children! They devoured my little daughter,
my child, my only child! I have no longer any heart,
they devoured it!

She was frightful. The priest looked at her coldly.

There is one in particular whom I hate, and whom I have
cursed,she resumed; "it is a young oneof the age which
my daughter would be if her mother had not eaten my daughter.
Every time that that young viper passes in front of my cell
she sets my blood in a ferment."

Well, sister, rejoice,said the priesticy as a sepulchral
statue; "that is the one whom you are about to see die."

His head fell upon his bosom and he moved slowly away.

The recluse writhed her arms with joy.

I predicted it for her, that she would ascend thither!
Thanks, priest!she cried.

And she began to pace up and down with long strides
before the grating of her windowher hair dishevelledher
eyes flashingwith her shoulder striking against the wall
with the wild air of a female wolf in a cagewho has long
been famishedand who feels the hour for her repast drawing near.



Phoebus was not deadhowever. Men of that stamp die
hard. When Master Philippe Lheulieradvocate extraordinary
of the kinghad said to poor Esmeralda; "He is dying
it was an error or a jest. When the archdeacon had repeated
to the condemned girl; He is dead the fact is that he
knew nothing about it, but that he believed it, that he
counted on it, that he did not doubt it, that he devoutly
hoped it. It would have been too hard for him to give
favorable news of his rival to the woman whom he loved.
Any man would have done the same in his place.

It was not that Phoebus's wound had not been serious, but
it had not been as much so as the archdeacon believed. The
physician, to whom the soldiers of the watch had carried him
at the first moment, had feared for his life during the space
of a week, and had even told him so in Latin. But youth
had gained the upper hand; and, as frequently happens, in
spite of prognostications and diagnoses, nature had amused
herself by saving the sick man under the physician's very
nose. It was while he was still lying on the leech's pallet
that he had submitted to the interrogations of Philippe
Lheulier and the official inquisitors, which had annoyed him
greatly. Hence, one fine morning, feeling himself better,
he had left his golden spurs with the leech as payment, and
had slipped away. This had not, however, interfered with
the progress of the affair. Justice, at that epoch, troubled

itself very little about the clearness and definiteness of a
criminal suit. Provided that the accused was hung, that was
all that was necessary. Now the judge had plenty of proofs
against la Esmeralda. They had supposed Phoebus to be
dead, and that was the end of the matter.

Phoebus, on his side, had not fled far. He had simply
rejoined his company in garrison at Queue-en-Brie, in the
Isle-de-France, a few stages from Paris.

After all, it did not please him in the least to appear in
this suit. He had a vague feeling that be should play a
ridiculous figure in it. On the whole, he did not know
what to think of the whole affair. Superstitious, and not
given to devoutness, like every soldier who is only a soldier,
when he came to question himself about this adventure, he
did not feel assured as to the goat, as to the singular fashion
in which he had met La Esmeralda, as to the no less strange
manner in which she had allowed him to divine her love, as
to her character as a gypsy, and lastly, as to the surly monk.
He perceived in all these incidents much more magic than
love, probably a sorceress, perhaps the devil; a comedy,
in short, or to speak in the language of that day, a very
disagreeable mystery, in which he played a very awkward part,
the role of blows and derision. The captain was quite put
out of countenance about it; he experienced that sort of
shame which our La Fontaine has so admirably defined,-

Ashamed as a fox who has been caught by a fowl.

Moreover, he hoped that the affair would not get noised
abroad, that his name would hardly be pronounced in it,
and that in any case it would not go beyond the courts of the
Tournelle. In this he was not mistaken, there was then no
Gazette des Tribunaux;" and as not a week passed which had
not its counterfeiter to boilor its witch to hangor its
heretic to burnat some one of the innumerable justices of Paris
people were so accustomed to seeing in all the squares the
ancient feudal Themisbare armedwith sleeves stripped up
performing her duty at the gibbetsthe laddersand the
pilloriesthat they hardly paid any heed to it. Fashionable
society of that day hardly knew the name of the victim who
passed by at the corner of the streetand it was the populace
at the most who regaled themselves with this coarse fare. An
execution was an habitual incident of the public highways
like the braising-pan of the baker or the slaughter-house of
the knacker. The executioner was only a sort of butcher of
a little deeper dye than the rest.

Hence Phoebus's mind was soon at ease on the score of the
enchantress Esmeraldaor Similaras he called herconcerning
the blow from the dagger of the Bohemian or of the surly
monk (it mattered little which to him)and as to the issue of
the trial. But as soon as his heart was vacant in that
directionFleur-de-Lys returned to it. Captain Phoebus's
heartlike the physics of that dayabhorred a vacuum.

Queue-en-Brie was a very insipid place to stay at thena
village of farriersand cow-girls with chapped handsa long
line of poor dwellings and thatched cottageswhich borders
the grand road on both sides for half a league; a tail (queue)
in shortas its name imports.

Fleur-de-Lys was his last passion but onea pretty girla
charming dowry; accordinglyone fine morningquite cured
and assuming thatafter the lapse of two monthsthe
Bohemian affair must be completely finished and forgotten
the amorous cavalier arrived on a prancing horse at the
door of the Gondelaurier mansion.

He paid no attention to a tolerably numerous rabble which
had assembled in the Place du Parvisbefore the portal of
Notre-Dame; he remembered that it was the month of May;
he supposed that it was some processionsome Pentecostsome
festivalhitched his horse to the ring at the doorand gayly
ascended the stairs to his beautiful betrothed.

She was alone with her mother.

The scene of the witchher goather cursed alphabetand
Phoebus's long absencesstill weighed on Fleur-de-Lys's heart.
Neverthelesswhen she beheld her captain entershe thought
him so handsomehis doublet so newhis baldrick so shining
and his air so impassionedthat she blushed with pleasure.
The noble damsel herself was more charming than ever. Her
magnificent blond hair was plaited in a ravishing mannershe
was dressed entirely in that sky blue which becomes fair
people so wella bit of coquetry which she had learned from
Colombeand her eyes were swimming in that languor of love
which becomes them still better.

Phoebuswho had seen nothing in the line of beautysince
he left the village maids of Queue-en-Briewas intoxicated
with Fleur-de-Lyswhich imparted to our officer so eager and
gallant an airthat his peace was immediately made. Madame
de Gondelaurier herselfstill maternally seated in her big armchair
had not the heart to scold him. As for Fleur-de-Lys's
reproachesthey expired in tender cooings.

The young girl was seated near the window still embroidering
her grotto of Neptune. The captain was leaning over the
back of her chairand she was addressing her caressing
reproaches to him in a low voice.

What has become of you these two long months, wicked man?

I swear to you,replied Phoebussomewhat embarrassed
by the questionthat you are beautiful enough to set an
archbishop to dreaming.

She could not repress a smile.

Good, good, sir. Let my beauty alone and answer my
question. A fine beauty, in sooth!

Well, my dear cousin, I was recalled to the garrison.

And where is thatif you please? and why did not you
come to say farewell?"

At Queue-en-Brie.

Phoebus was delighted with the first questionwhich helped
him to avoid the second.

But that is quite close by, monsieur. Why did you not

come to see me a single time?

Here Phoebus was rather seriously embarrassed.

Because--the service--and then, charming cousin, I have
been ill.

Ill!she repeated in alarm.

Yes, wounded!


She poor child was completely upset.

Oh! do not be frightened at that,said Phoebuscarelessly
it was nothing. A quarrel, a sword cut; what is that to you?

What is that to me?exclaimed Fleur-de-Lysraising her
beautiful eyes filled with tears. "Oh! you do not say what
you think when you speak thus. What sword cut was that?
I wish to know all."

Well, my dear fair one, I had a falling out with Mahè Fédy,
you know? the lieutenant of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and we
ripped open a few inches of skin for each other. That is all.

The mendacious captain was perfectly well aware that an
affair of honor always makes a man stand well in the eyes of a
woman. In factFleur-de-Lys looked him full in the faceall
agitated with fearpleasureand admiration. Stillshe was
not completely reassured.

Provided that you are wholly cured, my Phoebus!said
she. "I do not know your Mahè Fédybut he is a villanous
man. And whence arose this quarrel?"

Here Phoebuswhose imagination was endowed with but
mediocre power of creationbegan to find himself in a
quandary as to a means of extricating himself for his prowess.

Oh! how do I know?--a mere nothing, a horse, a remark!
Fair cousin,he exclaimedfor the sake of changing the
conversationwhat noise is this in the Cathedral Square?

He approached the window.

Oh! ~Mon Dieu~, fair cousin, how many people there are on
the Place!

I know not,said Fleur-de-Lys; "it appears that a witch
is to do penance this morning before the churchand thereafter
to be hung."

The captain was so thoroughly persuaded that la Esmeralda's
affair was concludedthat he was but little disturbed by Fleurde-
Lys's words. Stillhe asked her one or two questions.

What is the name of this witch?

I do not know,she replied.

And what is she said to have done?

She shrugged her white shoulders.

I know not.

Oh, ~mon Dieu~ Jesus!said her mother; "there are so
many witches nowadays that I dare say they burn them without
knowing their names. One might as well seek the name
of every cloud in the sky. After allone may be tranquil.
The good God keeps his register." Here the venerable dame
rose and came to the window. "Good Lord! you are right
Phoebus said she. The rabble is indeed great. There are
people on all the roofsblessed be God! Do you know
Phoebusthis reminds me of my best days. The entrance of
King Charles VII.whenalsothere were many people. I no
longer remember in what year that was. When I speak of this
to youit produces upon you the effect--does it not?--the
effect of something very oldand upon me of something very
young. Oh! the crowd was far finer than at the present day.
They even stood upon the machicolations of the Porte Sainte-
Antoine. The king had the queen on a pillionand after
their highnesses came all the ladies mounted behind all the
lords. I remember that they laughed loudlybecause beside
Amanyon de Garlandewho was very short of staturethere
rode the Sire Matefelona chevalier of gigantic sizewho had
killed heaps of English. It was very fine. A procession of
all the gentlemen of Francewith their oriflammes waving
red before the eye. There were some with pennons and some
with banners. How can I tell? the Sire de Calm with a
pennon; Jean de Châteaumorant with a banner; the Sire de
Courcy with a bannerand a more ample one than any of the
others except the Duc de Bourbon. Alas! 'tis a sad thing
to think that all that has existed and exists no longer!"

The two lovers were not listening to the venerable
dowager. Phoebus had returned and was leaning on the back
of his betrothed's chaira charming post whence his libertine
glance plunged into all the openings of Fleur-de-Lys's gorget.
This gorget gaped so convenientlyand allowed him to see so
many exquisite things and to divine so many morethat
Phoebusdazzled by this skin with its gleams of satinsaid
to himselfHow can any one love anything but a fair skin?

Both were silent. The young girl raised sweetenraptured
eyes to him from time to timeand their hair mingled in a
ray of spring sunshine.

Phoebus,said Fleur-de-Lys suddenlyin a low voicewe
are to be married three months hence; swear to me that you
have never loved any other woman than myself.

I swear it, fair angel!replied Phoebusand his passionate
glances aided the sincere tone of his voice in convincing

Meanwhilethe good mothercharmed to see the betrothed
pair on terms of such perfect understandinghad just quitted
the apartment to attend to some domestic matter; Phoebus
observed itand this so emboldened the adventurous captain
that very strange ideas mounted to his brain. Fleur-de-Lys
loved himhe was her betrothed; she was alone with him;
his former taste for her had re-awakenednot with all its freshness
but with all its ardor; after allthere is no great harm
in tasting one's wheat while it is still in the blade; I do not
know whether these ideas passed through his mindbut one

thing is certainthat Fleur-de-Lys was suddenly alarmed by
the expression of his glance. She looked round and saw that
her mother was no longer there.

Good heavens!said sheblushing and uneasyhow very warm
I am?

I think, in fact,replied Phoebusthat it cannot be far
from midday. The sun is troublesome. We need only lower
the curtains.

No, no,exclaimed the poor little thingon the contrary,
I need air.

And like a fawn who feels the breath of the pack of
houndsshe roseran to the windowopened itand rushed
upon the balcony.

Phoebusmuch discomfitedfollowed her.

The Place du Parvis Notre-Dameupon which the balcony
lookedas the reader knowspresented at that moment a
singular and sinister spectacle which caused the fright of the
timid Fleur-de-Lys to change its nature.

An immense crowdwhich overflowed into all the neighboring
streetsencumbered the Placeproperly speaking. The
little wallbreast highwhich surrounded the Placewould
not have sufficed to keep it free had it not been lined with
a thick hedge of sergeants and hackbuteersculverines in
hand. Thanks to this thicket of pikes and arquebusesthe
Parvis was empty. Its entrance was guarded by a force of
halberdiers with the armorial bearings of the bishop. The
large doors of the church were closedand formed a contrast
with the innumerable windows on the Placewhichopen to their
very gablesallowed a view of thousands of heads heaped up
almost like the piles of bullets in a park of artillery.

The surface of this rabble was dingydirtyearthy. The
spectacle which it was expecting was evidently one of the
sort which possess the privilege of bringing out and calling
together the vilest among the populace. Nothing is so hideous
as the noise which was made by that swarm of yellow caps
and dirty heads. In that throng there were more laughs than
criesmore women than men.

From time to timea sharp and vibrating voice pierced
the general clamor.

Ohé! Mahiet Baliffre! Is she to be hung yonder?

Fool! t'is here that she is to make her apology in her
shift! the good God is going to cough Latin in her face!
That is always done here, at midday. If 'tis the gallows that
you wish, go to the Grève.

I will go there, afterwards.

Tell me, la Boucanbry? Is it true that she has refused

a confessor?

It appears so, La Bechaigne.

You see what a pagan she is!

'Tis the custom, monsieur. The bailiff of the courts is
bound to deliver the malefactor ready judged for execution if
he be a layman, to the provost of Paris; if a clerk, to the
official of the bishopric.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, God!said Fleur-de-Lysthe poor creature!

This thought filled with sadness the glance which she cast
upon the populace. The captainmuch more occupied with
her than with that pack of the rabblewas amorously rumpling
her girdle behind. She turned roundentreating and smiling.

Please let me alone, Phoebus! If my mother were to return,
she would see your hand!

At that momentmidday rang slowly out from the clock of
Notre-Dame. A murmur of satisfaction broke out in the
crowd. The last vibration of the twelfth stroke had hardly
died away when all heads surged like the waves beneath a
squalland an immense shout went up from the pavement
the windowsand the roofs

There she is!

Fleur-de-Lys pressed her hands to her eyesthat she might
not see.

Charming girl,said Phoebusdo you wish to withdraw?

No,she replied; and she opened through curiositythe
eyes which she had closed through fear.

A tumbrel drawn by a stout Norman horseand all surrounded
by cavalry in violet livery with white crosseshad
just debouched upon the Place through the Rue Saint-Pierreaux-
Boeufs. The sergeants of the watch were clearing a passage
for it through the crowdby stout blows from their clubs.
Beside the cart rode several officers of justice and police
recognizable by their black costume and their awkwardness in
the saddle. Master Jacques Charmolue paraded at their head.

In the fatal cart sat a young girl with her arms tied behind
her backand with no priest beside her. She was in her shift;
her long black hair (the fashion then was to cut it off only at
the foot of the gallows) fell in disorder upon her half-bared
throat and shoulders.

Athwart that waving hairmore glossy than the plumage of
a ravena thickroughgray rope was visibletwisted and
knottedchafing her delicate collar-bones and twining round
the charming neck of the poor girllike an earthworm round
a flower. Beneath that rope glittered a tiny amulet ornamented

with bits of green glasswhich had been left to her no
doubtbecause nothing is refused to those who are about to
die. The spectators in the windows could see in the bottom
of the cart her naked legs which she strove to hide beneath
heras by a final feminine instinct. At her feet lay a little
goatbound. The condemned girl held together with her
teeth her imperfectly fastened shift. One would have said
that she suffered still more in her misery from being thus
exposed almost naked to the eyes of all. Alas! modesty is
not made for such shocks.

Jesus!said Fleur-de-Lys hastily to the captain. "Look
fair cousin'tis that wretched Bohemian with the goat."

So sayingshe turned to Phoebus. His eyes were fixed on
the tumbrel. He was very pale.

What Bohemian with the goat?he stammered.

What!resumed Fleur-de-Lysdo you not remember?

Phoebus interrupted her.

I do not know what you mean.

He made a step to re-enter the roombut Fleur-de-Lys
whose jealousypreviously so vividly aroused by this same
gypsyhad just been re-awakenedFleur-de-Lys gave him a
look full of penetration and distrust. She vaguely recalled at
that moment having heard of a captain mixed up in the trial
of that witch.

What is the matter with you?she said to Phoebusone
would say, that this woman had disturbed you.

Phoebus forced a sneer-

Me! Not the least in the world! Ah! yes, certainly!

Remain, then!she continued imperiouslyand let us
see the end.

The unlucky captain was obliged to remain. He was somewhat
reassured by the fact that the condemned girl never removed
her eyes from the bottom of the cart. It was but too
surely la Esmeralda. In this last stage of opprobrium and
misfortuneshe was still beautiful; her great black eyes
appeared still largerbecause of the emaciation of her cheeks;
her pale profile was pure and sublime. She resembled what
she had beenin the same degree that a virgin by Masaccio
resembles a virgin of Raphael--weakerthinnermore delicate.

Moreoverthere was nothing in her which was not shaken
in some sortand which with the exception of her modesty
she did not let go at willso profoundly had she been broken
by stupor and despair. Her body bounded at every jolt of
the tumbrel like a dead or broken thing; her gaze was dull and
imbecile. A tear was still visible in her eyesbut motionless
and frozenso to speak.

Meanwhilethe lugubrious cavalcade has traversed the crowd
amid cries of joy and curious attitudes. But as a faithful
historianwe must state that on beholding her so beautiful
so depressedmany were moved with pityeven among the hardest

of them.

The tumbrel had entered the Parvis.

It halted before the central portal. The escort ranged
themselves in line on both sides. The crowd became silent
andin the midst of this silence full of anxiety and solemnity
the two leaves of the grand door swung backas of themselves
on their hingeswhich gave a creak like the sound of
a fife. Then there became visible in all its lengththe
deepgloomy churchhung in blacksparely lighted with a
few candles gleaming afar off on the principal altaropened
in the midst of the Place which was dazzling with lightlike
the mouth of a cavern. At the very extremityin the gloom of
the apsea gigantic silver cross was visible against a black
drapery which hung from the vault to the pavement. The
whole nave was deserted. But a few heads of priests could
be seen moving confusedly in the distant choir stallsandat
the moment when the great door openedthere escaped from
the church a loudsolemnand monotonous chantingwhich
cast over the head of the condemned girlin gustsfragments
of melancholy psalms-

~Non timebo millia populi circumdantis me: exsurge, Domine;
salvum me fac, Deus~!

~Salvum me fac, Deus, quoniam intraverunt aquoe usque ad
animam meam~.

~Infixus sum in limo profundi; et non est substantia~."

At the same timeanother voiceseparate from the choir
intoned upon the steps of the chief altarthis melancholy

~Qui verbum meum audit, et credit ei qui misit me, habet
vitam oeternam et in judicium non venit; sed transit a morte
im vitam~*.

* "He that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me
hath eternal lifeand hath not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death to life."
This chantwhich a few old men buried in the gloom sang
from afar over that beautiful creaturefull of youth and life
caressed by the warm air of springinundated with sunlight
was the mass for the dead.

The people listened devoutly.

The unhappy girl seemed to lose her sight and her
consciousness in the obscure interior of the church. Her white
lips moved as though in prayerand the headsman's assistant
who approached to assist her to alight from the cartheard
her repeating this word in a low tone--"Phoebus."

They untied her handsmade her alightaccompanied by her
goatwhich had also been unboundand which bleated with
joy at finding itself free: and they made her walk barefoot on
the hard pavement to the foot of the steps leading to the door.
The rope about her neck trailed behind her. One would have
said it was a serpent following her.

Then the chanting in the church ceased. A great golden
cross and a row of wax candles began to move through the
gloom. The halberds of the motley beadles clanked; anda
few moments latera long procession of priests in chasubles
and deacons in dalmaticsmarched gravely towards the condemned
girlas they drawled their songspread out before her
view and that of the crowd. But her glance rested on the one
who marched at the headimmediately after the cross-bearer.

Oh!she said in a low voiceand with a shudder'tis
he again! the priest!

It was in factthe archdeacon. On his left he had the subchanter
on his rightthe chanterarmed with his official
wand. He advanced with head thrown backhis eyes fixed
and wide openintoning in a strong voice-

~De ventre inferi clamavi, et exaudisti vocem meam~.

~Et projecisti me in profundum in corde manset flumem
circumdedit me~*."

* "Out of the belly of hell cried Iand thou heardest
my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep in the
midst of the seasand the floods compassed me about."
At the moment when he made his appearance in the full
daylight beneath the lofty arched portalenveloped in an
ample cope of silver barred with a black crosshe was so pale
that more than one person in the crowd thought that one of
the marble bishops who knelt on the sepulchral stones of the
choir had risen and was come to receive upon the brink of
the tombthe woman who was about to die.

Sheno less paleno less like a statuehad hardly noticed
that they had placed in her hand a heavylighted candle of
yellow wax; she had not heard the yelping voice of the clerk
reading the fatal contents of the apology; when they told her
to respond with Amenshe responded Amen. She only recovered
life and force when she beheld the priest make a sign to her
guards to withdrawand himself advance alone towards her.

Then she felt her blood boil in her headand a remnant of
indignation flashed up in that soul already benumbed and cold.

The archdeacon approached her slowly; even in that extremity
she beheld him cast an eye sparkling with sensualityjealousy
and desireover her exposed form. Then he said aloud-

Young girl, have you asked God's pardon for your faults
and shortcomings?

He bent down to her earand added (the spectators supposed
that he was receiving her last confession): "Will you
have me? I can still save you!"

She looked intently at him: "Begonedemonor I will
denounce you!"

He gave vent to a horrible smile: "You will not be believed.
You will only add a scandal to a crime. Reply quickly! Will

you have me?"

What have you done with my Phoebus?

He is dead!said the priest.

At that moment the wretched archdeacon raised his head
mechanically and beheld at the other end of the Placein the
balcony of the Gondelaurier mansionthe captain standing
beside Fleur-de-Lys. He staggeredpassed his hand across
his eyeslooked againmuttered a curseand all his features
were violently contorted.

Well, die then!he hissed between his teeth. "No one
shall have you." Thenraising his hand over the gypsyhe
exclaimed in a funereal voice:--"~I nuncanima ancepset
sit tibi Deus misenicors~!"*

* "Go nowsoultrembling in the balanceand God have mercy
upon thee."
This was the dread formula with which it was the custom
to conclude these gloomy ceremonies. It was the signal
agreed upon between the priest and the executioner.

The crowd knelt.

~Kyrie eleison~,* said the priestswho had remained beneath
the arch of the portal.

* "Lord have mercy upon us."
~Kyrie eleison~,repeated the throng in that murmur which
runs over all headslike the waves of a troubled sea.

Amen,said the archdeacon.

He turned his back on the condemned girlhis head sank
upon his breast once morehe crossed his hands and rejoined
his escort of priestsand a moment later he was seen to
disappearwith the crossthe candlesand the copesbeneath
the misty arches of the cathedraland his sonorous voice was
extinguished by degrees in the choiras he chanted this verse
of despair-

~Omnes gurgites tui et fluctus tui super me transierunt.*

* "All thy waves and thy billows have gone over me."
At the same timethe intermittent clash of the iron butts
of the beadles' halberdsgradually dying away among the
columns of the naveproduced the effect of a clock hammer
striking the last hour of the condemned.

The doors of Notre-Dame remained openallowing a view
of the empty desolate churchdraped in mourningwithout
candlesand without voices.

The condemned girl remained motionless in her placewaiting

to be disposed of. One of the sergeants of police was
obliged to notify Master Charmolue of the factas the latter
during this entire scenehad been engaged in studying the
bas-relief of the grand portal which representsaccording to
somethe sacrifice of Abraham; according to othersthe
philosopher's alchemical operation: the sun being figured forth
by the angel; the fireby the fagot; the artisanby Abraham.

There was considerable difficulty in drawing him away from
that contemplationbut at length he turned round; andat a
signal which he gavetwo men clad in yellowthe executioner's
assistantsapproached the gypsy to bind her hands once more.

The unhappy creatureat the moment of mounting once
again the fatal cartand proceeding to her last halting-place
was seizedpossiblywith some poignant clinging to life.
She raised her dryred eyes to heavento the sunto the
silvery cloudscut here and there by a blue trapezium or
triangle; then she lowered them to objects around herto the
earththe throngthe houses; all at oncewhile the yellow
man was binding her elbowsshe uttered a terrible crya cry
of joy. Yonderon that balconyat the corner of the Place
she had just caught sight of himof her friendher lord
Phoebusthe other apparition of her life!

The judge had lied! the priest had lied! it was certainly he
she could not doubt it; he was therehandsomealivedressed
in his brilliant uniformhis plume on his headhis sword by
his side!

Phoebus!she criedmy Phoebus!

And she tried to stretch towards him arms trembling with
love and rapturebut they were bound.

Then she saw the captain frowna beautiful young girl who
was leaning against him gazed at him with disdainful lips and
irritated eyes; then Phoebus uttered some words which did
not reach herand both disappeared precipitately behind the
window opening upon the balconywhich closed after them.

Phoebus!she cried wildlycan it be you believe it?
A monstrous thought had just presented itself to her. She
remembered that she had been condemned to death for murder
committed on the person of Phoebus de Châteaupers.

She had borne up until that moment. But this last blow
was too harsh. She fell lifeless on the pavement.

Come,said Charmoluecarry her to the cart, and make
an end of it.

No one had yet observed in the gallery of the statues of the
kingscarved directly above the arches of the portala strange
spectatorwho hadup to that timeobserved everything with
such impassivenesswith a neck so straineda visage so
hideous thatin his motley accoutrement of red and violet
he might have been taken for one of those stone monsters
through whose mouths the long gutters of the cathedral have
discharged their waters for six hundred years. This spectator
had missed nothing that had taken place since midday in
front of the portal of Notre-Dame. And at the very beginning
he had securely fastened to one of the small columns a
large knotted ropeone end of which trailed on the flight of

steps below. This being donehe began to look on tranquilly
whistling from time to time when a blackbird flitted past.
Suddenlyat the moment when the superintendent's assistants
were preparing to execute Charmolue's phlegmatic order
he threw his leg over the balustrade of the galleryseized the
rope with his feethis knees and his hands; then he was seen
to glide down the façadeas a drop of rain slips down a windowpane
rush to the two executioners with the swiftness of a
cat which has fallen from a roofknock them down with two
enormous fistspick up the gypsy with one handas a child
would her dolland dash back into the church with a single
boundlifting the young girl above his head and crying in a
formidable voice-


This was done with such rapiditythat had it taken place at
nightthe whole of it could have been seen in the space of a
single flash of lightning.

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!repeated the crowd; and the
clapping of ten thousand hands made Quasimodo's single eye
sparkle with joy and pride.

This shock restored the condemned girl to her senses. She
raised her eyelidslooked at Quasimodothen closed them
again suddenlyas though terrified by her deliverer.

Charmolue was stupefiedas well as the executioners and the
entire escort. In factwithin the bounds of Notre-Damethe
condemned girl could not be touched. The cathedral was a
place of refuge. All temporal jurisdiction expired upon
its threshold.

Quasimodo had halted beneath the great portalhis huge
feet seemed as solid on the pavement of the church as the
heavy Roman pillars. His greatbushy head sat low between
his shoulderslike the heads of lionswho also have a mane
and no neck. He held the young girlwho was quivering all
oversuspended from his horny hands like a white drapery;
but he carried her with as much care as though he feared
to break her or blight her. One would have said that he felt
that she was a delicateexquisiteprecious thingmade for
other hands than his. There were moments when he looked as if
not daring to touch hereven with his breath. Thenall at
oncehe would press her forcibly in his armsagainst his angular
bosomlike his own possessionhis treasureas the mother of
that child would have done. His gnome's eyefastened upon
herinundated her with tendernesssadnessand pityand was
suddenly raised filled with lightnings. Then the women
laughed and weptthe crowd stamped with enthusiasmfor
at that moment Quasimodo had a beauty of his own. He was
handsome; hethat orphanthat foundlingthat outcasthe
felt himself august and stronghe gazed in the face of that
society from which he was banishedand in which he had so
powerfully intervenedof that human justice from which he
had wrenched its preyof all those tigers whose jaws were
forced to remain emptyof those policementhose judges
those executionersof all that force of the king which he
the meanest of creatureshad just brokenwith the force
of God.

And thenit was touching to behold this protection which
had fallen from a being so hideous upon a being so unhappy

a creature condemned to death saved by Quasimodo. They
were two extremes of natural and social wretchednesscoming
into contact and aiding each other.

Meanwhileafter several moments of triumphQuasimodo
had plunged abruptly into the church with his burden. The
populacefond of all prowesssought him with their eyes
beneath the gloomy naveregretting that he had so speedily
disappeared from their acclamations. All at oncehe was
seen to re-appear at one of the extremities of the gallery of
the kings of France; he traversed itrunning like a madman
raising his conquest high in his arms and shouting: "Sanctuary!"
The crowd broke forth into fresh applause. The gallery
passedhe plunged once more into the interior of the
church. A moment laterhe re-appeared upon the upper
platformwith the gypsy still in his armsstill running
madlystill cryingSanctuary!and the throng applauded.
Finallyhe made his appearance for the third time upon the
summit of the tower where hung the great bell; from that
point he seemed to be showing to the entire city the girl
whom he had savedand his voice of thunderthat voice
which was so rarely heardand which he never heard himself
repeated thrice with frenzyeven to the clouds: "Sanctuary!
Sanctuary! Sanctuary!"

Noel! Noel!shouted the populace in its turn; and that
immense acclamation flew to astonish the crowd assembled
at the Grève on the other bankand the recluse who was
still waiting with her eyes riveted on the gibbet.




Claude Frollo was no longer in Notre-Dame when his
adopted son so abruptly cut the fatal web in which the
archdeacon and the gypsy were entangled. On returning to the
sacristy he had torn off his albcopeand stolehad flung all
into the hands of the stupefied beadlehad made his escape
through the private door of the cloisterhad ordered a boatman
of the Terrain to transport him to the left bank of the
Seineand had plunged into the hilly streets of the
Universitynot knowing whither he was goingencountering
at every step groups of men and women who were hurrying
joyously towards the Pont Saint-Michelin the hope of still
arriving in time to see the witch hung there--palewild
more troubledmore blind and more fierce than a night bird
let loose and pursued by a troop of children in broad
daylight. He no longer knew where he waswhat he thought
or whether he were dreaming. He went forwardwalking
runningtaking any street at haphazardmaking no choice

only urged ever onward away from the Grèvethe horrible
Grèvewhich he felt confusedlyto be behind him.

In this manner he skirted Mount Sainte-Genevièveand
finally emerged from the town by the Porte Saint-Victor.
He continued his flight as long as he could seewhen he
turned roundthe turreted enclosure of the Universityand
the rare houses of the suburb; butwhenat lengtha rise of
ground had completely concealed from him that odious Paris
when he could believe himself to be a hundred leagues distant
from itin the fieldsin the deserthe haltedand it
seemed to him that he breathed more freely.

Then frightful ideas thronged his mind. Once more he
could see clearly into his souland he shuddered. He
thought of that unhappy girl who had destroyed himand
whom he had destroyed. He cast a haggard eye over the
doubletortuous way which fate had caused their two destinies
to pursue up to their point of intersectionwhere it had
dashed them against each other without mercy. He meditated
on the folly of eternal vowson the vanity of chastity
of scienceof religionof virtueon the uselessness of God.
He plunged to his heart's content in evil thoughtsand in
proportion as he sank deeperhe felt a Satanic laugh burst
forth within him.

And as he thus sifted his soul to the bottomwhen he
perceived how large a space nature had prepared there for the
passionshe sneered still more bitterly. He stirred up in the
depths of his heart all his hatredall his malevolence; and
with the cold glance of a physician who examines a patient
he recognized the fact that this malevolence was nothing but
vitiated love; that lovethat source of every virtue in man
turned to horrible things in the heart of a priestand that
a man constituted like himselfin making himself a priest
made himself a demon. Then he laughed frightfullyand
suddenly became pale againwhen he considered the most
sinister side of his fatal passionof that corrosive
venomous malignantimplacable lovewhich had ended only
in the gibbet for one of them and in hell for the other;
condemnation for herdamnation for him.

And then his laughter came againwhen he reflected that
Phoebus was alive; that after allthe captain livedwas gay
and happyhad handsomer doublets than everand a new
mistress whom he was conducting to see the old one hanged.
His sneer redoubled its bitterness when he reflected that out
of the living beings whose death he had desiredthe gypsy
the only creature whom he did not hatewas the only one who
had not escaped him.

Then from the captainhis thought passed to the people
and there came to him a jealousy of an unprecedented sort.
He reflected that the people alsothe entire populace
had had before their eyes the woman whom he loved exposed
almost naked. He writhed his arms with agony as he thought
that the woman whose formcaught by him alone in the
darkness would have been supreme happinesshad been delivered
up in broad daylight at full noondayto a whole peopleclad
as for a night of voluptuousness. He wept with rage over all
these mysteries of loveprofanedsoiledlaid barewithered
forever. He wept with rage as he pictured to himself how
many impure looks had been gratified at the sight of that
badly fastened shiftand that this beautiful girlthis virgin

lilythis cup of modesty and delightto which he would have
dared to place his lips only tremblinghad just been transformed
into a sort of public bowlwhereat the vilest populace
of Paristhievesbeggarslackeyshad come to quaff in
common an audaciousimpureand depraved pleasure.

And when he sought to picture to himself the happiness
which he might have found upon earthif she had not been a
gypsyand if he had not been a priestif Phoebus had not
existed and if she had loved him; when he pictured to himself
that a life of serenity and love would have been possible
to him alsoeven to him; that there were at that very moment
here and there upon the earthhappy couples spending the
hours in sweet converse beneath orange treeson the banks of
brooksin the presence of a setting sunof a starry night;
and that if God had so willedhe might have formed with her
one of those blessed couples--his heart melted in tenderness
and despair.

Oh! she! still she! It was this fixed idea which returned
incessantlywhich tortured himwhich ate into his brainand
rent his vitals. He did not regrethe did not repent; all that
he had done he was ready to do again; he preferred to behold
her in the hands of the executioner rather than in the arms of
the captain. But he suffered; he suffered so that at intervals
he tore out handfuls of his hair to see whether it were not
turning white.

Among other moments there came onewhen it occurred to
him that it was perhaps the very minute when the hideous
chain which he had seen that morningwas pressing its iron
noose closer about that frail and graceful neck. This thought
caused the perspiration to start from every pore.

There was another moment whenwhile laughing diabolically
at himselfhe represented to himself la Esmeralda as he
had seen her on that first daylivelycarelessjoyousgayly
attireddancingwingedharmoniousand la Esmeralda of the
last dayin her scanty shiftwith a rope about her neck
mounting slowly with her bare feetthe angular ladder of the
gallows; he figured to himself this double picture in such a
manner .that he gave vent to a terrible cry.

While this hurricane of despair overturnedbroketore up
bentuprooted everything in his soulhe gazed at nature
around him. At his feetsome chickens were searching the
thickets and peckingenamelled beetles ran about in the sun;
overheadsome groups of dappled gray clouds were floating
across the blue sky; on the horizonthe spire of the Abbey
Saint-Victor pierced the ridge of the hill with its slate
obelisk; and the miller of the Copeaue hillock was whistling as
he watched the laborious wings of his mill turning. All this
activeorganizedtranquil liferecurring around him under
a thousand formshurt him. He resumed his flight.

He sped thus across the fields until evening. This flight
from naturelifehimselfmanGodeverythinglasted all day
long. Sometimes he flung himself face downward on the
earthand tore up the young blades of wheat with his nails.
Sometimes he halted in the deserted street of a villageand
his thoughts were so intolerable that he grasped his head in
both hands and tried to tear it from his shoulders in order
to dash it upon the pavement.

Towards the hour of sunsethe examined himself again
and found himself nearly mad. The tempest which had raged
within him ever since the instant when he had lost the hope
and the will to save the gypsy--that tempest had not left in
his conscience a single healthy ideaa single thought which
maintained its upright position. His reason lay there almost
entirely destroyed. There remained but two distinct images
in his mindla Esmeralda and the gallows; all the rest was
blank. Those two images unitedpresented to him a frightful
group; and the more he concentrated what attention and
thought was left to himthe more he beheld them growin
accordance with a fantastic progressionthe one in gracein
charmin beautyin lightthe other in deformity and horror;
so that at last la Esmeralda appeared to him like a starthe
gibbet like an enormousfleshless arm.

One remarkable fact isthat during the whole of this torture
the idea of dying did not seriously occur to him. The
wretch was made so. He clung to life. Perhaps he really
saw hell beyond it.

Meanwhilethe day continued to decline. The living being
which still existed in him reflected vaguely on retracing its
steps. He believed himself to be far away from Paris; on
taking his bearingshe perceived that he had only circled the
enclosure of the University. The spire of Saint-Sulpiceand
the three lofty needles of Saint Germain-des-Présrose above
the horizon on his right. He turned his steps in that
direction. When he heard the brisk challenge of the men-at-arms
of the abbeyaround the crenelatedcircumscribing wall of
Saint-Germainhe turned asidetook a path which presented
itself between the abbey and the lazar-house of the bourgand
at the expiration of a few minutes found himself on the
verge of the Pré-aux-Clercs. This meadow was celebrated by
reason of the brawls which went on there night and day; it
was the hydra of the poor monks of Saint-Germain: ~quod
mouachis Sancti-Germaini pratensis hydra fuitclericis nova
semper dissidiorum capita suscitantibus~. The archdeacon was
afraid of meeting some one there; he feared every human
countenance; he had just avoided the University and the Bourg
Saint-Germain; he wished to re-enter the streets as late as
possible. He skirted the Pré-aux-Clercstook the deserted path
which separated it from the Dieu-Neufand at last reached the
water's edge. There Dom Claude found a boatmanwhofor
a few farthings in Parisian coinagerowed him up the Seine as
far as the point of the cityand landed him on that tongue
of abandoned land where the reader has already beheld
Gringoire dreamingand which was prolonged beyond the
king's gardensparallel to the Ile du Passeur-aux-Vaches.

The monotonous rocking of the boat and the ripple of the
water hadin some sortquieted the unhappy Claude. When
the boatman had taken his departurehe remained standing
stupidly on the strandstaring straight before him and
perceiving objects only through magnifying oscillations which
rendered everything a sort of phantasmagoria to him. The
fatigue of a great grief not infrequently produces this effect
on the mind.

The sun had set behind the lofty Tour-de-Nesle. It was the
twilight hour. The sky was whitethe water of the river was
white. Between these two white expansesthe left bank of
the Seineon which his eyes were fixedprojected its gloomy
mass andrendered ever thinner and thinner by perspectiveit

plunged into the gloom of the horizon like a black spire. It
was loaded with housesof which only the obscure outline
could be distinguishedsharply brought out in shadows against
the light background of the sky and the water. Here and
there windows began to gleamlike the holes in a brazier.
That immense black obelisk thus isolated between the two
white expanses of the sky and the riverwhich was very broad
at this pointproduced upon Dom Claude a singular effect
comparable to that which would be experienced by a man
whoreclining on his back at the foot of the tower of
Strasburgshould gaze at the enormous spire plunging into the
shadows of the twilight above his head. Onlyin this case
it was Claude who was erect and the obelisk which was lying
down; butas the riverreflecting the skyprolonged the abyss
below himthe immense promontory seemed to be as boldly
launched into space as any cathedral spire; and the impression
was the same. This impression had even one stronger and
more profound point about itthat it was indeed the tower
of Strasbourgbut the tower of Strasbourg two leagues in
height; something unheard ofgiganticimmeasurable; an
edifice such as no human eye has ever seen; a tower of Babel.
The chimneys of the housesthe battlements of the wallsthe
faceted gables of the roofsthe spire of the Augustinesthe
tower of Nesleall these projections which broke the profile
of the colossal obelisk added to the illusion by displaying in
eccentric fashion to the eye the indentations of a luxuriant
and fantastic sculpture.

Claudein the state of hallucination in which he found
himselfbelieved that he sawthat he saw with his actual
eyesthe bell tower of hell; the thousand lights scattered
over the whole height of the terrible tower seemed to him so
many porches of the immense interior furnace; the voices and
noises which escaped from it seemed so many shrieksso
many death groans. Then he became alarmedhe put his
hands on his ears that he might no longer hearturned his
back that he might no longer seeand fled from the frightful
vision with hasty strides.

But the vision was in himself.

When he re-entered the streetsthe passers-by elbowing each
other by the light of the shop-frontsproduced upon him the
effect of a constant going and coming of spectres about him.
There were strange noises in his ears; extraordinary fancies
disturbed his brain. He saw neither housesnor pavements
nor chariotsnor men and womenbut a chaos of indeterminate
objects whose edges melted into each other. At the corner
of the Rue de la Barilleriethere was a grocer's shop whose
porch was garnished all aboutaccording to immemorial
customwith hoops of tin from which hung a circle of wooden
candleswhich came in contact with each other in the wind
and rattled like castanets. He thought he heard a cluster of
skeletons at Montfauçon clashing together in the gloom.

Oh!he mutteredthe night breeze dashes them against
each other, and mingles the noise of their chains with the
rattle of their bones! Perhaps she is there among them!

In his state of frenzyhe knew not whither he was going.
After a few strides he found himself on the Pont Saint-
Michel. There was a light in the window of a ground-floor
room; he approached. Through a cracked window he beheld
a mean chamber which recalled some confused memory to his

mind. In that roombadly lighted by a meagre lampthere
was a freshlight-haired young manwith a merry facewho
amid loud bursts of laughter was embracing a very audaciously
attired young girl; and near the lamp sat an old crone spinning
and singing in a quavering voice. As the young man did
not laugh constantlyfragments of the old woman's ditty
reached the priest; it was something unintelligible yet

~Grève, aboie, Grève, grouille!
File, file, ma quenouille,
File sa corde au bourreau,
Qui siffle dans le pre(au,
Grève, aboie, Grève, grouille~!

~La belle corde de chanvre!
Semez d'Issy jusqu'á Vanvre
Du chanvre et non pas du ble(.
Le voleur n'a pas vole(
La belle corde de chanvre~.

~Grève, grouille, Grève, aboie!
Pour voir la fille de joie,
Prendre au gibet chassieux,
Les fenêtres sont des yeux.
Grève, grouille, Grève, aboie!*

* BarkGrèvegrumbleGrève! Spinspinmy distaffspin
her rope for the hangmanwho is whistling in the meadow. What
a beautiful hempen rope! Sow hempnot wheatfrom Issy to
Vanvre. The thief hath not stolen the beautiful hempen rope.
GrumbleGrèvebarkGrève! To see the dissolute wench hang
on the blear-eyed gibbetwindows are eyes.
Thereupon the young man laughed and caressed the wench.
The crone was la Falourdel; the girl was a courtesan; the
young man was his brother Jehan.

He continued to gaze. That spectacle was as good as any other.

He saw Jehan go to a window at the end of the roomopen
itcast a glance on the quaywhere in the distance blazed a
thousand lighted casementsand he heard him say as he
closed the sash-

'Pon my soul! How dark it is; the people are lighting
their candles, and the good God his stars.

Then Jehan came back to the hagsmashed a bottle standing
on the tableexclaiming-

Already empty, ~cor-boeuf~! and I have no more money!
Isabeau, my dear, I shall not be satisfied with Jupiter until
he has changed your two white nipples into two black bottles,
where I may suck wine of Beaune day and night.

This fine pleasantry made the courtesan laughand Jehan
left the room.

Dom Claude had barely time to fling himself on the ground
in order that he might not be metstared in the face and

recognized by his brother. Luckilythe street was darkand
the scholar was tipsy. Neverthelesshe caught sight of the
archdeacon prone upon the earth in the mud.

Oh! oh!said he; "here's a fellow who has been leading
a jolly lifeto-day."

He stirred up Dom Claude with his footand the latter held
his breath.

Dead drunk,resumed Jehan. "Comehe's full. A
regular leech detached from a hogshead. He's bald he
added, bending down, 'tis an old man! ~Fortunate senex~!"

Then Dom Claude heard him retreatsaying-

'Tis all the same, reason is a fine thing, and my brother
the archdeacon is very happy in that he is wise and has money.

Then the archdeacon rose to his feetand ran without halting
towards Notre-Damewhose enormous towers he beheld rising above
the houses through the gloom.

At the instant when he arrivedpantingon the Place du
Parvishe shrank back and dared not raise his eyes to the
fatal edifice.

Oh!he saidin a low voiceis it really true that such
a thing took place here, to-day, this very morning?

Stillhe ventured to glance at the church. The front was
sombre; the sky behind was glittering with stars. The
crescent of the moonin her flight upward from the horizon
had paused at the momenton the summit of the light hand
towerand seemed to have perched itselflike a luminous
birdon the edge of the balustradecut out in black trefoils.

The cloister door was shut; but the archdeacon always
carried with him the key of the tower in which his laboratory
was situated. He made use of it to enter the church.

In the church he found the gloom and silence of a cavern.
By the deep shadows which fell in broad sheets from all
directionshe recognized the fact that the hangings for
the ceremony of the morning had not yet been removed. The
great silver cross shone from the depths of the gloom
powdered with some sparkling pointslike the milky way of
that sepulchral night. The long windows of the choir showed
the upper extremities of their arches above the black draperies
and their painted panestraversed by a ray of moonlight
had no longer any hues but the doubtful colors of nighta
sort of violetwhite and bluewhose tint is found only on
the faces of the dead. The archdeaconon perceiving these
wan spots all around the choirthought he beheld the mitres
of damned bishops. He shut his eyesand when he opened
them againhe thought they were a circle of pale visages
gazing at him.

He started to flee across the church. Then it seemed to
him that the church also was shakingmovingbecoming
endued with animationthat it was alive; that each of the
great columns was turning into an enormous pawwhich was
beating the earth with its big stone spatulaand that the
gigantic cathedral was no longer anything but a sort of

prodigious elephantwhich was breathing and marching with
its pillars for feetits two towers for trunks and the
immense black cloth for its housings.

This fever or madness had reached such a degree of intensity
that the external world was no longer anything more for
the unhappy man than a sort of Apocalypse- visiblepalpable

For one momenthe was relieved. As he plunged into the
side aisleshe perceived a reddish light behind a cluster of
pillars. He ran towards it as to a star. It was the poor lamp
which lighted the public breviary of Notre-Dame night and
daybeneath its iron grating. He flung himself eagerly upon
the holy book in the hope of finding some consolationor some
encouragement there. The hook lay open at this passage of
Jobover which his staring eye glanced-

And a spirit passed before my face, and I heard a small
voice, and the hair of my flesh stood up.

On reading these gloomy wordshe felt that which a blind
man feels when he feels himself pricked by the staff which he
has picked up. His knees gave way beneath himand he sank
upon the pavementthinking of her who had died that day.
He felt so many monstrous vapors pass and discharge themselves
in his brainthat it seemed to him that his head had
become one of the chimneys of hell.

It would appear that he remained a long time in this
attitudeno longer thinkingoverwhelmed and passive beneath
the hand of the demon. At length some strength returned to
him; it occurred to him to take refuge in his tower beside
his faithful Quasimodo. He rose; andas he was afraidhe
took the lamp from the breviary to light his way. It was
a sacrilege; but he had got beyond heeding such a trifle now.

He slowly climbed the stairs of the towersfilled with a
secret fright which must have been communicated to the rare
passers-by in the Place du Parvis by the mysterious light of
his lampmounting so late from loophole to loophole of the
bell tower.

All at oncehe felt a freshness on his faceand found himself
at the door of the highest gallery. The air was cold; the
sky was filled with hurrying cloudswhose largewhite
flakes drifted one upon another like the breaking up of river
ice after the winter. The crescent of the moonstranded in
the midst of the cloudsseemed a celestial vessel caught in
the ice-cakes of the air.

He lowered his gazeand contemplated for a moment
through the railing of slender columns which unites the two
towersfar awaythrough a gauze of mists and smokethe
silent throng of the roofs of Parispointedinnumerable
crowded and small like the waves of a tranquil sea on a summer

The moon cast a feeble raywhich imparted to earth and
heaven an ashy hue.

At that moment the clock raised its shrillcracked voice.
Midnight rang out. The priest thought of midday; twelve
o'clock had come back again.

Oh!he said in a very low toneshe must be cold now.

All at oncea gust of wind extinguished his lampand
almost at the same instanthe beheld a shadea whitenessa
forma womanappear from the opposite angle of the tower.
He started. Beside this woman was a little goatwhich mingled
its bleat with the last bleat of the clock.

He had strength enough to look. It was she.

She was paleshe was gloomy. Her hair fell over her
shoulders as in the morning; but there was no longer a rope
on her neckher hands were no longer bound; she was free
she was dead.

She was dressed in white and had a white veil on her head.

She came towards himslowlywith her gaze fixed on the
sky. The supernatural goat followed her. He felt as though
made of stone and too heavy to flee. At every step which
she took in advancehe took one backwardsand that was all.
In this way he retreated once more beneath the gloomy arch
of the stairway. He was chilled by the thought that she
might enter there also; had she done sohe would have died
of terror.

She did arrivein factin front of the door to the stairway
and paused there for several minutesstared intently into the
darknessbut without appearing to see the priestand passed
on. She seemed taller to him than when she had been alive;
he saw the moon through her white robe; he heard her

When she had passed onhe began to descend the staircase
againwith the slowness which he had observed in the spectre
believing himself to be a spectre toohaggardwith hair on
endhis extinguished lamp still in his hand; and as he descended
the spiral stepshe distinctly heard in his ear a voice
laughing and repeating--

A spirit passed before my face, and I heard a small voice,
and the hair of my flesh stood up.



Every city during the Middle Agesand every city in France
down to the time of Louis XII. had its places of asylum.
These sanctuariesin the midst of the deluge of penal and
barbarous jurisdictions which inundated the citywere a
species of islands which rose above the level of human justice.
Every criminal who landed there was safe. There were in
every suburb almost as many places of asylum as gallows.
It was the abuse of impunity by the side of the abuse of
punishment; two bad things which strove to correct each
other. The palaces of the kingthe hotels of the princesand

especially churchespossessed the right of asylum. Sometimes
a whole city which stood in need of being repeopled was
temporarily created a place of refuge. Louis XI. made
all Paris a refuge in 1467.

His foot once within the asylumthe criminal was sacred;
but he must beware of leaving it; one step outside the sanctuary
and he fell back into the flood. The wheelthe gibbet
the strappadokept good guard around the place of refugeand
lay in watch incessantly for their preylike sharks around a
vessel. Hencecondemned men were to be seen whose hair
had grown white in a cloisteron the steps of a palacein the
enclosure of an abbeybeneath the porch of a church; in this
manner the asylum was a prison as much as any other. It
sometimes happened that a solemn decree of parliament
violated the asylum and restored the condemned man to the
executioner; but this was of rare occurrence. Parliaments
were afraid of the bishopsand when there was friction
between these two robesthe gown had but a poor chance
against the cassock. Sometimeshoweveras in the affair of
the assassins of Petit-Jeanthe headsman of Parisand in
that of Emery Rousseauthe murderer of Jean Valleretjustice
overleaped the church and passed on to the execution of
its sentences; but unless by virtue of a decree of Parliament
woe to him who violated a place of asylum with armed force!
The reader knows the manner of death of Robert de Clermont
Marshal of Franceand of Jean de ChâlonsMarshal of
Champagne; and yet the question was only of a certain Perrin
Marcthe clerk of a money-changera miserable assassin;
but the two marshals had broken the doors of St. Méry.
Therein lay the enormity.

Such respect was cherished for places of refuge thataccording
to traditionanimals even felt it at times. Aymoire
relates that a stagbeing chased by Dagoberthaving taken
refuge near the tomb of Saint-Denisthe pack of hounds
stopped short and barked.

Churches generally had a small apartment prepared for the
reception of supplicants. In 1407Nicolas Flamel caused to
be built on the vaults of Saint-Jacques de la Boucheriea
chamber which cost him four livres six soussixteen farthings

At Notre-Dame it was a tiny cell situated on the roof of the
side aislebeneath the flying buttressesprecisely at the spot
where the wife of the present janitor of the towers has made
for herself a gardenwhich is to the hanging gardens of Babylon
what a lettuce is to a palm-treewhat a porter's wife is
to a Semiramis.

It was here that Quasimodo had deposited la Esmeralda
after his wild and triumphant course. As long as that course
lastedthe young girl had been unable to recover her senses
half unconscioushalf awakeno longer feeling anything
except that she was mounting through the airfloating in it
flying in itthat something was raising her above the earth.
From time to time she heard the loud laughterthe noisy voice
of Quasimodo in her ear; she half opened her eyes; then
below her she confusedly beheld Paris checkered with its
thousand roofs of slate and tileslike a red and blue mosaic
above her head the frightful and joyous face of Quasimodo.
Then her eyelids drooped again; she thought that all was
overthat they had executed her during her swoonand that

the misshapen spirit which had presided over her destiny
had laid hold of her and was bearing her away. She dared
not look at himand she surrendered herself to her fate.
But when the bellringerdishevelled and pantinghad deposited
her in the cell of refugewhen she felt his huge hands
gently detaching the cord which bruised her armsshe felt
that sort of shock which awakens with a start the passengers
of a vessel which runs aground in the middle of a dark
night. Her thoughts awoke alsoand returned to her one by
one. She saw that she was in Notre-Dame; she remembered
having been torn from the hands of the executioner; that
Phoebus was alivethat Phoebus loved her no longer; and
as these two ideasone of which shed so much bitterness over
the otherpresented themselves simultaneously to the poor
condemned girl; she turned to Quasimodowho was standing
in front of herand who terrified her; she said to him--"Why
have you saved me?"

He gazed at her with anxietyas though seeking to divine
what she was saying to him. She repeated her question.
Then he gave her a profoundly sorrowful glance and fled.
She was astonished.

A few moments later he returnedbearing a package which
he cast at her feet. It was clothing which some charitable
women had left on the threshold of the church for her.

Then she dropped her eyes upon herself and saw that she
was almost nakedand blushed. Life had returned.

Quasimodo appeared to experience something of this modesty.
He covered his eyes with his large hand and retired
once morebut slowly.

She made haste to dress herself. The robe was a white
one with a white veil--the garb of a novice of the Hôtel-Dien.

She had barely finished when she beheld Quasimodo returning.
He carried a basket under one arm and a mattress under
the other. In the basket there was a bottlebreadand some
provisions. He set the basket on the floor and saidEat!
He spread the mattress on the flagging and saidSleep.

It was his own repastit was his own bedwhich the bellringer
had gone in search of.

The gypsy raised her eyes to thank himbut she could not
articulate a word. She dropped her head with a quiver of terror.

Then he said to her.

I frighten you. I am very ugly, am I not? Do not look
at me; only listen to me. During the day you will remain
here; at night you can walk all over the church. But do not
leave the church either by day or by night. You would be
lost. They would kill you, and I should die.

She was touched and raised her head to answer him. He
had disappeared. She found herself alone once moremeditating
upon the singular words of this almost monstrous being
and struck by the sound of his voicewhich was so hoarse yet
so gentle.

Then she examined her cell. It was a chamber about six

feet squarewith a small window and a door on the slightly
sloping plane of the roof formed of flat stones. Many gutters
with the figures of animals seemed to be bending down around
herand stretching their necks in order to stare at her through
the window. Over the edge of her roof she perceived the tops
of thousands of chimneys which caused the smoke of all the
fires in Paris to rise beneath her eyes. A sad sight for the
poor gypsya foundlingcondemned to deathan unhappy
creaturewithout countrywithout familywithout a hearthstone.

At the moment when the thought of her isolation thus appeared
to her more poignant than evershe felt a bearded and
hairy head glide between her handsupon her knees. She
started (everything alarmed her now) and looked. It was the
poor goatthe agile Djaliwhich had made its escape after
herat the moment when Quasimodo had put to flight Charmolue's
brigadeand which had been lavishing caresses on her
feet for nearly an hour pastwithout being able to win a
glance. The gypsy covered him with kisses.

Oh! Djali!she saidhow I have forgotten thee! And
so thou still thinkest of me! Oh! thou art not an ingrate!

At the same timeas though an invisible hand had lifted
the weight which had repressed her tears in her heart for so
longshe began to weepandin proportion as her tears flowed
she felt all that was most acrid and bitter in her grief depart
with them.

Evening cameshe thought the night so beautiful that she
made the circuit of the elevated gallery which surrounds the
church. It afforded her some reliefso calm did the earth
appear when viewed from that height.



On the following morningshe perceived on awakingthat
she had been asleep. This singular thing astonished her.
She had been so long unaccustomed to sleep! A joyous ray
of the rising sun entered through her window and touched
her face. At the same time with the sunshe beheld at that
window an object which frightened herthe unfortunate face
of Quasimodo. She involuntarily closed her eyes againbut
in vain; she fancied that she still saw through the rosy lids
that gnome's maskone-eyed and gap-toothed. Thenwhile
she still kept her eyes closedshe heard a rough voice saying
very gently-

Be not afraid. I am your friend. I came to watch you
sleep. It does not hurt you if I come to see you sleep, does
it? What difference does it make to you if I am here when
your eyes are closed! Now I am going. Stay, I have placed
myself behind the wall. You can open your eyes again.

There was something more plaintive than these wordsand
that was the accent in which they were uttered. The gypsy
much touchedopened her eyes. He wasin factno longer

at the window. She approached the openingand beheld the
poor hunchback crouching in an angle of the wallin a sad
and resigned attitude. She made an effort to surmount the
repugnance with which he inspired her. "Come she said
to him gently. From the movement of the gypsy's lips,
Quasimodo thought that she was driving him away; then he
rose and retired limping, slowly, with drooping head, without
even daring to raise to the young girl his gaze full of despair.
Do come she cried, but he continued to retreat. Then
she darted from her cell, ran to him, and grasped his arm.
On feeling her touch him, Quasimodo trembled in every limb.
He raised his suppliant eye, and seeing that she was leading
him back to her quarters, his whole face beamed with joy and
tenderness. She tried to make him enter the cell; but he
persisted in remaining on the threshold. Nono said he;
the owl enters not the nest of the lark."

Then she crouched down gracefully on her couchwith her
goat asleep at her feet. Both remained motionless for several
momentsconsidering in silenceshe so much gracehe so
much ugliness. Every moment she discovered some fresh
deformity in Quasimodo. Her glance travelled from his
knock knees to his humped backfrom his humped back to
his only eye. She could not comprehend the existence of a
being so awkwardly fashioned. Yet there was so much sadness
and so much gentleness spread over all thisthat she
began to become reconciled to it.

He was the first to break the silence. "So you were telling
me to return?"

She made an affirmative sign of the headand saidYes.

He understood the motion of the head. "Alas!" he said
as though hesitating whether to finishI am--I am deaf.

Poor man!exclaimed the Bohemianwith an expression
of kindly pity.

He began to smile sadly.

You think that that was all that I lacked, do you not?
Yes, I am deaf, that is the way I am made. 'Tis horrible, is
it not? You are so beautiful!

There lay in the accents of the wretched man so profound a
consciousness of his miserythat she had not the strength to
say a word. Besideshe would not have heard her. He
went on--

Never have I seen my ugliness as at the present moment.
When I compare myself to you, I feel a very great pity for
myself, poor unhappy monster that I am! Tell me, I must
look to you like a beast. You, you are a ray of sunshine, a
drop of dew, the song of a bird! I am something frightful,
neither man nor animal, I know not what, harder, more
trampled under foot, and more unshapely than a pebble

Then he began to laughand that laugh was the most
heartbreaking thing in the world. He continued--

Yes, I am deaf; but you shall talk to me by gestures, by
signs. I have a master who talks with me in that way.

And then, I shall very soon know your wish from the movement
of your lips, from your look.

Well!she interposed with a smiletell me why you
saved me.

He watched her attentively while she was speaking.

I understand,he replied. "You ask me why I saved
you. You have forgotten a wretch who tried to abduct you
one nighta wretch to whom you rendered succor on the
following day on their infamous pillory. A drop of water
and a little pity--that is more than I can repay with my life.
You have forgotten that wretch; but he remembers it."

She listened to him with profound tenderness. A tear
swam in the eye of the bellringerbut did not fall. He
seemed to make it a sort of point of honor to retain it.

Listen,he resumedwhen he was no longer afraid that
the tear would escape; "our towers here are very high
a man who should fall from them would be dead before
touching the pavement; when it shall please you to have
me fallyou will not have to utter even a worda glance
will suffice."

Then he rose. Unhappy as was the Bohemianthis eccentric
being still aroused some compassion in her. She made
him a sign to remain.

No, no,said he; "I must not remain too long. I am not
at my ease. It is out of pity that you do not turn away your
eyes. I shall go to some place where I can see you without
your seeing me: it will be better so."

He drew from his pocket a little metal whistle.

Here,said hewhen you have need of me, when you
wish me to come, when you will not feel too ranch horror at
the sight of me, use this whistle. I can hear this sound.

He laid the whistle on the floor and fled.



Day followed day. Calm gradually returned to the soul of
la Esmeralda. Excess of grieflike excess of joy is a violent
thing which lasts but a short time. The heart of man cannot
remain long in one extremity. The gypsy had suffered so
muchthat nothing was left her but astonishment. With
securityhope had returned to her. She was outside the pale
of societyoutside the pale of lifebut she had a vague feeling
that it might not be impossible to return to it. She was like
a dead personwho should hold in reserve the key to her tomb.

She felt the terrible images which had so long persecuted
hergradually departing. All the hideous phantomsPierrat

TorterueJacques Charmoluewere effaced from her mind
alleven the priest.

And thenPhoebus was alive; she was sure of itshe had
seen him. To her the fact of Phoebus being alive was everything.
After the series of fatal shocks which had overturned
everything within hershe had found but one thing intact in
her soulone sentiment--her love for the captain. Love is
like a tree; it sprouts forth of itselfsends its roots out
deeply through our whole beingand often continues to flourish
greenly over a heart in ruins.

And the inexplicable point about it is that the more blind
is this passionthe more tenacious it is. It is never more
solid than when it has no reason in it.

La Esmeralda did not think of the captain without bitterness
no doubt. No doubt it was terrible that he also should
have been deceived; that he should have believed that
impossible thingthat he could have conceived of a stab dealt
by her who would have given a thousand lives for him. But
after allshe must not be too angry with him for it; had she
not confessed her crime? had she not yieldedweak woman
that she wasto torture? The fault was entirely hers. She
should have allowed her finger nails to be torn out rather
than such a word to be wrenched from her. In shortif she
could but see Phoebus once morefor a single minuteonly
one word would be requiredone lookin order to undeceive
himto bring him back. She did not doubt it. She was
astonished also at many singular thingsat the accident of
Phoebus's presence on the day of the penanceat the young
girl with whom he had been. She was his sisterno doubt.
An unreasonable explanationbut she contented herself with
itbecause she needed to believe that Phoebus still loved
herand loved her alone. Had he not sworn it to her? What
more was neededsimple and credulous as she was? And
thenin this matterwere not appearances much more against
her than against him? Accordinglyshe waited. She hoped.

Let us add that the churchthat vast churchwhich
surrounded her on every sidewhich guarded herwhich saved
herwas itself a sovereign tranquillizer. The solemn lines
of that architecturethe religious attitude of all the
objects which surrounded the young girlthe serene and pious
thoughts which emanatedso to speakfrom all the pores
of that stoneacted upon her without her being aware of it.
The edifice had also sounds fraught with such benediction and
such majestythat they soothed this ailing soul. The monotonous
chanting of the celebrantsthe responses of the people
to the priestsometimes inarticulatesometimes thunderous
the harmonious trembling of the painted windowsthe organ
bursting forth like a hundred trumpetsthe three belfries
humming like hives of huge beesthat whole orchestra on
which bounded a gigantic scaleascendingdescending incessantly
from the voice of a throng to that of one belldulled
her memoryher imaginationher grief. The bellsin particular
lulled her. It was something like a powerful magnetism
which those vast instruments shed over her in great waves.

Thus every sunrise found her more calmbreathing better
less pale. In proportion as her inward wounds closedher
grace and beauty blossomed once more on her countenance
but more thoughtfulmore reposeful. Her former character
also returned to hersomewhat even of her gayetyher pretty

pouther love for her goather love for singingher modesty.
She took care to dress herself in the morning in the corner of
her cell for fear some inhabitants of the neighboring attics
might see her through the window.

When the thought of Phoebus left her timethe gypsy sometimes
thought of Quasimodo. He was the sole bondthe sole
connectionthe sole communication which remained to her
with menwith the living. Unfortunate girl! she was more
outside the world than Quasimodo. She understood not
in the least the strange friend whom chance had given her.
She often reproached herself for not feeling a gratitude which
should close her eyesbut decidedlyshe could not accustom
herself to the poor bellringer. He was too ugly.

She had left the whistle which he had given her lying on
the ground. This did not prevent Quasimodo from making his
appearance from time to time during the first few days. She
did her best not to turn aside with too much repugnance when
he came to bring her her basket of provisions or her jug of
waterbut he always perceived the slightest movement of
this sortand then he withdrew sadly.

Once he came at the moment when she was caressing
Djali. He stood pensively for several minutes before this
graceful group of the goat and the gypsy; at last he said
shaking his heavy and ill-formed head-

My misfortune is that I still resemble a man too much. I
should like to be wholly a beast like that goat.

She gazed at him in amazement.

He replied to the glance-

Oh! I well know why,and he went away.

On another occasion he presented himself at the door of the
cell (which he never entered) at the moment when la Esmeralda
was singing an old Spanish balladthe words of which
she did not understandbut which had lingered in her ear
because the gypsy women had lulled her to sleep with it
when she was a little child. At the sight of that villanous
form which made its appearance so abruptly in the middle of
her songthe young girl paused with an involuntary gesture
of alarm. The unhappy bellringer fell upon his knees on the
thresholdand clasped his largemisshapen hands with a
suppliant air. "Oh!" he saidsorrowfullycontinue, I
implore you, and do not drive me away.She did not wish to
pain himand resumed her laytrembling all over. By degrees
howeverher terror disappearedand she yielded herself
wholly to the slow and melancholy air which she was singing.
He remained on his knees with hands claspedas in prayer
attentivehardly breathinghis gaze riveted upon the gypsy's
brilliant eyes.

On another occasionhe came to her with an awkward and
timid air. "Listen he said, with an effort; I have
something to say to you." She made him a sign that she was
listening. Then he began to sighhalf opened his lips
appeared for a moment to be on the point of speakingthen
he looked at her againshook his headand withdrew slowly
with his brow in his handleaving the gypsy stupefied.
Among the grotesque personages sculptured on the wall

there was one to whom he was particularly attachedand
with which he often seemed to exchange fraternal glances.
Once the gypsy heard him saying to it-

Oh! why am not I of stone, like you!

At lastone morningla Esmeralda had advanced to the
edge of the roofand was looking into the Place over the
pointed roof of Saint-Jean le Rond. Quasimodo was standing
behind her. He had placed himself in that position in
order to spare the young girlas far as possiblethe
displeasure of seeing him. All at once the gypsy started
a tear and a flash of joy gleamed simultaneously in her eyes
she knelt on the brink of the roof and extended her arms towards
the Place with anguishexclaiming: "Phoebus! come! come!
a worda single word in the name of heaven! Phoebus!
Phoebus!" Her voiceher faceher gestureher whole person
bore the heartrending expression of a shipwrecked man who
is making a signal of distress to the joyous vessel which is
passing afar off in a ray of sunlight on the horizon.

Quasimodo leaned over the Placeand saw that the object
of this tender and agonizing prayer was a young mana captain
a handsome cavalier all glittering with arms and decorations
prancing across the end of the Placeand saluting with
his plume a beautiful lady who was smiling at him from her
balcony. Howeverthe officer did not hear the unhappy girl
calling him; he was too far away.

But the poor deaf man heard. A profound sigh heaved his
breast; he turned round; his heart was swollen with all the
tears which he was swallowing; his convulsively-clenched fists
struck against his headand when he withdrew them there
was a bunch of red hair in each hand.

The gypsy paid no heed to him. He said in a low voice as
he gnashed his teeth-

Damnation! That is what one should be like! 'Tis only
necessary to be handsome on the outside!

Meanwhileshe remained kneelingand cried with extraordinary
Oh! there he is alighting from his horse! He is about to
enter that house!--Phoebus!--He does not hear me! Phoebus!--How
wicked that woman is to speak to him at the same time with
me! Phoebus! Phoebus!"

The deaf man gazed at her. He understood this pantomime.
The poor bellringer's eye filled with tearsbut he let none
fall. All at once he pulled her gently by the border of her
sleeve. She turned round. He had assumed a tranquil air;
he said to her-

Would you like to have me bring him to you?

She uttered a cry of joy.

Oh! go! hasten! run! quick! that captain! that captain!
bring him to me! I will love you for it!

She clasped his knees. He could not refrain from shaking
his head sadly.

I will bring him to you,he saidin a weak voice. Then
he turned his head and plunged down the staircase with great
stridesstifling with sobs.

When he reached the Placehe no longer saw anything except
the handsome horse hitched at the door of the Gondelaurier
house; the captain had just entered there.

He raised his eyes to the roof of the church. La Esmeralda
was there in the same spotin the same attitude. He made
her a sad sign with his head; then he planted his back against
one of the stone posts of the Gondelaurier porchdetermined
to wait until the captain should come forth.

In the Gondelaurier house it was one of those gala days
which precede a wedding. Quasimodo beheld many people
enterbut no one come out. He cast a glance towards the
roof from time to time; the gypsy did not stir any more than
himself. A groom came and unhitched the horse and led it to
the stable of the house.

The entire day passed thusQuasimodo at his postla
Esmeralda on the roofPhoebusno doubtat the feet of

At length night camea moonless nighta dark night.
Quasimodo fixed his gaze in vain upon la Esmeralda; soon
she was no more than a whiteness amid the twilight; then
nothing. All was effacedall was black.

Quasimodo beheld the front windows from top to bottom of
the Gondelaurier mansion illuminated; he saw the other
casements in the Place lighted one by onehe also saw them
extinguished to the very lastfor he remained the whole
evening at his post. The officer did not come forth. When
the last passers-by had returned homewhen the windows of all
the other houses were extinguishedQuasimodo was left
entirely aloneentirely in the dark. There were at that
time no lamps in the square before Notre-Dame.

Meanwhilethe windows of the Gondelaurier mansion remained
lightedeven after midnight. Quasimodomotionless
and attentivebeheld a throng of livelydancing shadows
pass athwart the many-colored painted panes. Had he not
been deafhe would have heard more and more distinctly
in proportion as the noise of sleeping Paris died awaya
sound of feastinglaughterand music in the Gondelaurier

Towards one o'clock in the morningthe guests began to
take their leave. Quasimodoshrouded in darkness watched
them all pass out through the porch illuminated with torches.
None of them was the captain.

He was filled with sad thoughts; at times he looked upwards
into the airlike a person who is weary of waiting. Great
black cloudsheavytornsplithung like crape hammocks
beneath the starry dome of night. One would have pronounced
them spiders' webs of the vault of heaven.

In one of these moments he suddenly beheld the long window
on the balconywhose stone balustrade projected above
his headopen mysteriously. The frail glass door gave
passage to two personsand closed noiselessly behind them;

it was a man and a woman.

It was not without difficulty that Quasimodo succeeded in
recognizing in the man the handsome captainin the woman
the young lady whom he had seen welcome the officer in the
morning from that very balcony. The place was perfectly
darkand a double crimson curtain which had fallen across
the door the very moment it closed againallowed no light to
reach the balcony from the apartment.

The young man and the young girlso far as our deaf man
could judgewithout hearing a single one of their words
appeared to abandon themselves to a very tender tête-a-tête.
The young girl seemed to have allowed the officer to make a
girdle for her of his armand gently repulsed a kiss.

Quasimodo looked on from below at this scene which was
all the more pleasing to witness because it was not meant to be
seen. He contemplated with bitterness that beautythat
happiness. After allnature was not dumb in the poor fellow
and his human sensibilityall maliciously contorted as it
wasquivered no less than any other. He thought of the
miserable portion which Providence had allotted to him; that
woman and the pleasure of lovewould pass forever before his
eyesand that he should never do anything but behold the
felicity of others. But that which rent his heart most in this
sightthat which mingled indignation with his angerwas the
thought of what the gypsy would suffer could she behold it.
It is true that the night was very darkthat la Esmeraldaif
she had remained at her post (and he had no doubt of this)
was very far awayand that it was all that he himself could
do to distinguish the lovers on the balcony. This consoled him.

Meanwhiletheir conversation grew more and more animated.
The young lady appeared to be entreating the officer
to ask nothing more of her. Of all this Quasimodo could
distinguish only the beautiful clasped handsthe smiles
mingled with tearsthe young girl's glances directed to
the starsthe eyes of the captain lowered ardently upon her.

Fortunatelyfor the young girl was beginning to resist but
feeblythe door of the balcony suddenly opened once more
and an old dame appeared; the beauty seemed confusedthe
officer assumed an air of displeasureand all three withdrew.

A moment latera horse was champing his bit under the
porchand the brilliant officerenveloped in his night cloak
passed rapidly before Quasimodo.

The bellringer allowed him to turn the corner of the street
then he ran after him with his ape-like agilityshouting:
Hey there! captain!

The captain halted.

What wants this knave with me?he saidcatching sight
through the gloom of that hipshot form which ran limping
after him.

MeanwhileQuasimodo had caught up with himand had
boldly grasped his horse's bridle: "Follow mecaptain; there
is one here who desires to speak with you!

~Cornemahom~!grumbled Phoebushere's a villanous;

ruffled bird which I fancy I have seen somewhere. Holà
master, will you let my horse's bridle alone?

Captain,replied the deaf mando you not ask me who it is?

I tell you to release my horse,retorted Phoebusimpatiently.
What means the knave by clinging to the bridle of my steed?
Do you take my horse for a gallows?

Quasimodofar from releasing the bridleprepared to force
him to retrace his steps. Unable to comprehend the captain's
resistancehe hastened to say to him--

Come, captain, 'tis a woman who is waiting for you.He
added with an effort: "A woman who loves you."

A rare rascal!said the captainwho thinks me obliged
to go to all the women who love me! or who say they do.
And what if, by chance, she should resemble you, you face of
a screech-owl? Tell the woman who has sent you that I am
about to marry, and that she may go to the devil!

Listen,exclaimed Quasimodothinking to overcome his
hesitation with a wordcome, monseigneur! 'tis the gypsy
whom you know!

This word didindeedproduce a great effect on Phoebus
but not of the kind which the deaf man expected. It will be
remembered that our gallant officer had retired with Fleur-
de-Lys several moments before Quasimodo had rescued the
condemned girl from the hands of Charmolue. Afterwardsin
all his visits to the Gondelaurier mansion he had taken care
not to mention that womanthe memory of whom wasafter
allpainful to him; and on her sideFleur-de-Lys had not
deemed it politic to tell him that the gypsy was alive.
Hence Phoebus believed poor "Similar" to be deadand that
a month or two had elapsed since her death. Let us add that
for the last few moments the captain had been reflecting on
the profound darkness of the nightthe supernatural ugliness
the sepulchral voice of the strange messenger; that it was past
midnight; that the street was desertedas on the evening when
the surly monk had accosted him; and that his horse snorted
as it looked at Quasimodo.

The gypsy!he exclaimedalmost frightened. "Look heredo you
come from the other world?"

And he laid his hand on the hilt of his dagger.

Quick, quick,said the deaf manendeavoring to drag the
horse along; "this way!"

Phoebus dealt him a vigorous kick in the breast.

Quasimodo's eye flashed. He made a motion to fling himself
on the captain. Then he drew himself up stiffly and said--

Oh! how happy you are to have some one who loves you!

He emphasized the words "some one and loosing the
horse's bridle,--


Phoebus spurred on in all hasteswearing. Quasimodo watched
him disappear in the shades of the street.

Oh!said the poor deaf manin a very low voice; "to
refuse that!"

He re-entered Notre-Damelighted his lamp and climbed to
the tower again. The gypsy was still in the same placeas
he had supposed.

She flew to meet him as far off as she could see him.
Alone!she criedclasping her beautiful hands sorrowfully.

I could not find him,said Quasimodo coldly.

You should have waited all night,she said angrily.

He saw her gesture of wrathand understood the reproach.

I will lie in wait for him better another time,he said
dropping his head.

Begone!she said to him.

He left her. She was displeased with him. He preferred
to have her abuse him rather than to have afflicted her. He
had kept all the pain to himself.

From that day forththe gypsy no longer saw him. He
ceased to come to her cell. At the most she occasionally
caught a glimpse at the summit of the towersof the
bellringer's face turned sadly to her. But as soon as she
perceived himhe disappeared.

We must admit that she was not much grieved by this
voluntary absence on the part of the poor hunchback. At
the bottom of her heart she was grateful to him for it.
MoreoverQuasimodo did not deceive himself on this point.

She no longer saw himbut she felt the presence of a good
genius about her. Her provisions were replenished by an
invisible hand during her slumbers. One morning she found
a cage of birds on her window. There was a piece of
sculpture above her window which frightened her. She had
shown this more than once in Quasimodo's presence. One
morningfor all these things happened at nightshe no longer
saw itit had been broken. The person who had climbed up
to that carving must have risked his life.

Sometimesin the eveningshe heard a voiceconcealed
beneath the wind screen of the bell towersinging a sad
strange songas though to lull her to sleep. The lines were
unrhymedsuch as a deaf person can make.

~Ne regarde pas la figure
Jeune filleregarde le coeur.
Le coeur d'un beau jeune homme est souvent difforme.
Il y a des coeurs ou l'amour ne se conserve pas~.

~Jeune fillele sapin n'est pas beau
N'est pas beau comme le peuplier
Mais il garde son feuillage l'hiver~.

~Hélas! a quoi bon dire cela?

Ce qui n'est pas beau a tort d'être;
La beauté n'aime que la beauté
Avril tourne le dos a Janvier~.

~La beauté est parfaite
La beauté peut tout
La beauté est la seule chose qui n'existe pàs a demi~.

~Le corbeau ne vole que le jour
Le hibou ne vole que la nuit
Le cygne vole la nuit et le jour~.*

* Look not at the faceyoung girllook at the heart. The
heart of a handsome young man is often deformed. There are
hearts in which love does not keep. Young girlthe pine is
not beautiful; it is not beautiful like the poplarbut it keeps
its foliage in winter. Alas! What is the use of saying that?
That which is not beautiful has no right to exist; beauty loves
only beauty; April turns her back on January. Beauty is perfect
beauty can do all thingsbeauty is the only thing which does not
exist by halves. The raven flies only by daythe owl flies only
by nightthe swan flies by day and by night.
One morningon awakingshe saw on her window two vases filled
with flowers. One was a very beautiful and very brilliant but
cracked vase of glass. It had allowed the water with which it
had been filled to escapeand the flowers which it contained were
withered. The other was an earthenware potcoarse and commonbut
which had preserved all its waterand its flowers remained fresh
and crimson.

I know not whether it was done intentionallybut La
Esmeralda took the faded nosegay and wore it all day long
upon her breast.

That day she did not hear the voice singing in the tower.

She troubled herself very little about it. She passed
her days in caressing Djaliin watching the door of the
Gondelaurier housein talking to herself about Phoebus
and in crumbling up her bread for the swallows.

She had entirely ceased to see or hear Quasimodo. The
poor bellringer seemed to have disappeared from the church.
One nightneverthelesswhen she was not asleepbut was
thinking of her handsome captainshe heard something
breathing near her cell. She rose in alarmand saw by the
light of the moona shapeless mass lying across her door on
the outside. It was Quasimodo asleep there upon the stones.



In the meantimepublic minor had informed the archdeacon
of the miraculous manner in which the gypsy had been
saved. When he learned ithe knew not what his sensations

were. He had reconciled himself to la Esmeralda's death.
In that matter he was tranquil; he had reached the bottom of
personal suffering. The human heart (Dora Claude had meditated
upon these matters) can contain only a certain quantity
of despair. When the sponge is saturatedthe sea may pass
over it without causing a single drop more to enter it.

Nowwith la Esmeralda deadthe sponge was soakedall
was at an end on this earth for Dom Claude. But to feel
that she was aliveand Phoebus alsomeant that tortures
shocksalternativeslifewere beginning again. And Claude
was weary of all this.

When he heard this newshe shut himself in his cell in the
cloister. He appeared neither at the meetings of the chapter
nor at the services. He closed his door against alleven
against the bishop. He remained thus immured for several
weeks. He was believed to be ill. And so he wasin fact.

What did he do while thus shut up? With what thoughts
was the unfortunate man contending? Was he giving final
battle to his formidable passion? Was he concocting a final
plan of death for her and of perdition for himself?

His Jehanhis cherished brotherhis spoiled childcame
once to his doorknockedsworeentreatedgave his name
half a score of times. Claude did not open.

He passed whole days with his face close to the panes of
his window. From that windowsituated in the cloisterhe
could see la Esmeralda's chamber. He often saw herself
with her goatsometimes with Quasimodo. He remarked the
little attentions of the ugly deaf manhis obediencehis
delicate and submissive ways with the gypsy. He recalled
for he had a good memoryand memory is the tormentor of the
jealoushe recalled the singular look of the bellringer
bent on the dancer upon a certain evening. He asked himself
what motive could have impelled Quasimodo to save her.
He was the witness of a thousand little scenes between the
gypsy and the deaf manthe pantomime of whichviewed
from afar and commented on by his passionappeared very
tender to him. He distrusted the capriciousness of women.
Then he felt a jealousy which be could never have believed
possible awakening within hima jealousy which made him
redden with shame and indignation: "One might condone the
captainbut this one!" This thought upset him.

His nights were frightful. As soon as he learned that the
gypsy was alivethe cold ideas of spectre and tomb which
had persecuted him for a whole day vanishedand the flesh
returned to goad him. He turned and twisted on his couch
at the thought that the dark-skinned maiden was so near him.

Every night his delirious imagination represented la Esmeralda
to him in all the attitudes which had caused his blood to
boil most. He beheld her outstretched upon the poniarded
captainher eyes closedher beautiful bare throat covered
with Phoebus's bloodat that moment of bliss when the archdeacon
had imprinted on her pale lips that kiss whose burn the
unhappy girlthough half deadhad felt. He beheld her
againstripped by the savage hands of the torturersallowing
them to bare and to enclose in the boot with its iron screwher
tiny foother delicate rounded legher white and supple knee.
Again he beheld that ivory knee which alone remained outside

of Torterue's horrible apparatus. Lastlyhe pictured the
young girl in her shiftwith the rope about her neck
shoulders barefeet barealmost nudeas he had seen her
on that last day. These images of voluptuousness made him
clench his fistsand a shiver run along his spine.

One nightamong othersthey heated so cruelly his virgin
and priestly bloodthat he bit his pillowleaped from his
bedflung on a surplice over his shirtand left his cell
lamp in handhalf nakedwildhis eyes aflame.

He knew where to find the key to the red doorwhich connected
the cloister with the churchand he always had about
himas the reader knowsthe key of the staircase leading
to the towers.



That nightla Esmeralda had fallen asleep in her cellfull
of oblivionof hopeand of sweet thoughts. She had already
been asleep for some timedreaming as alwaysof Phoebus
when it seemed to her that she heard a noise near her. She
slept lightly and uneasilythe sleep of a bird; a mere nothing
waked her. She opened her eyes. The night was very dark.
Neverthelessshe saw a figure gazing at her through the
window; a lamp lighted up this apparition. The moment that
the figure saw that la Esmeralda had perceived itit blew out
the lamp. But the young girl had had time to catch a glimpse
of it; her eyes closed again with terror.

Oh!she said in a faint voicethe priest!

All her past unhappiness came back to her like a flash of
lightning. She fell back on her bedchilled.

A moment later she felt a touch along her body which made
her shudder so that she straightened herself up in a sitting
posturewide awake and furious.

The priest had just slipped in beside her. He encircled
her with both arms.

She tried to scream and could not.

Begone, monster! begone assassin!she saidin a voice
which was low and trembling with wrath and terror.

Mercy! mercy!murmured the priestpressing his lips
to her shoulder.

She seized his bald head by its remnant of hair and tried to
thrust aside his kisses as though they had been bites.

Mercy!repeated the unfortunate man. "If you but knew what
my love for you is! 'Tis firemelted leada thousand daggers
in my heart."

She stopped his two arms with superhuman force.

Let me go,she saidor I will spit in your face!

He released her. "Vilify mestrike mebe malicious! Do
what you will! But have mercy! love me!"

Then she struck him with the fury of a child. She made
her beautiful hands stiff to bruise his face. "Begonedemon!"

Love me! love mepity!cried the poor priest returning
her blows with caresses.

All at once she felt him stronger than herself.

There must be an end to this!he saidgnashing his teeth.

She was conqueredpalpitating in his armsand in his
power. She felt a wanton hand straying over her. She made
a last effortand began to cry: "Help! Help! A vampire!
a vampire!"

Nothing came. Djali alone was awake and bleating with anguish.

Hush!said the panting priest.

All at onceas she struggled and crawled on the floorthe
gypsy's hand came in contact with something cold and metallic-
it was Quasimodo's whistle. She seized it with a convulsive
hoperaised it to her lips and blew with all the strength
that she had left. The whistle gave a clearpiercing sound.

What is that?said the priest.

Almost at the same instant he felt himself raised by a
vigorous arm. The cell was dark; he could not distinguish
clearly who it was that held him thus; but he heard teeth
chattering with rageand there was just sufficient light
scattered among the gloom to allow him to see above his head
the blade of a large knife.

The priest fancied that he perceived the form of Quasimodo.
He assumed that it could be no one but he. He remembered
to have stumbledas he enteredover a bundle which was
stretched across the door on the outside. Butas the
newcomer did not utter a wordhe knew not what to think. He
flung himself on the arm which held the knifecrying:
Quasimodo!He forgotat that moment of distressthat
Quasimodo was deaf.

In a twinklingthe priest was overthrown and a leaden
knee rested on his breast.

From the angular imprint of that knee he recognized
Quasimodo; but what was to be done? how could he make the
other recognize him? the darkness rendered the deaf man blind.

He was lost. The young girlpitiless as an enraged tigress
did not intervene to save him. The knife was approaching
his head; the moment was critical. All at oncehis adversary
seemed stricken with hesitation.

No blood on her!he said in a dull voice.

It wasin factQuasimodo's voice.

Then the priest felt a large hand dragging him feet first out
of the cell; it was there that he was to die. Fortunately for
himthe moon had risen a few moments before.

When they had passed through the door of the cellits pale
rays fell upon the priest's countenance. Quasimodo looked
him full in the facea trembling seized himand he released
the priest and shrank back.

The gypsywho had advanced to the threshold of her cell
beheld with surprise their roles abruptly changed. It was
now the priest who menacedQuasimodo who was the suppliant.

The priestwho was overwhelming the deaf man with gestures
of wrath and reproachmade the latter a violent sign to retire.

The deaf man dropped his headthen he came and knelt at
the gypsy's door--"Monseigneur he said, in a grave and
resigned voice, you shall do all that you please afterwards
but kill me first."

So sayinghe presented his knife to the priest. The priest
beside himselfwas about to seize it. But the young girl was
quicker than be; she wrenched the knife from Quasimodo's
hands and burst into a frantic laugh--"Approach she said
to the priest.

She held the blade high. The priest remained undecided.

She would certainly have struck him.

Then she added with a pitiless expression, well aware that
she was about to pierce the priest's heart with thousands of
red-hot irons,-

Ah! I know that Phoebus is not dead!

The priest overturned Quasimodo on the floor with a kick
andquivering with ragedarted back under the vault of the

When he was goneQuasimodo picked up the whistle which
had just saved the gypsy.

It was getting rusty,he saidas he handed it back to her;
then he left her alone.

The young girldeeply agitated by this violent scenefell
back exhausted on her bedand began to sob and weep. Her
horizon was becoming gloomy once more.

The priest had groped his way back to his cell.

It was settled. Dom Claude was jealous of Quasimodo!

He repeated with a thoughtful air his fatal words: "No
one shall have her."




As soon as Pierre Gringoire had seen how this whole affair
was turningand that there would decidedly be the rope
hangingand other disagreeable things for the principal
personages in this comedyhe had not cared to identify
himself with the matter further. The outcasts with whom he had
remainedreflecting thatafter allit was the best company
in Paris--the outcasts had continued to interest themselves in
behalf of the gypsy. He had thought it very simple on the
part of people who hadlike herselfnothing else in prospect
but Charmolue and Torterueand whounlike himselfdid not
gallop through the regions of imagination between the wings
of Pegasus. From their remarkshe had learned that his wife
of the broken crock had taken refuge in Notre-Dameand he
was very glad of it. But he felt no temptation to go and see
her there. He meditated occasionally on the little goatand
that was all. Moreoverhe was busy executing feats of strength
during the day for his livingand at night he was engaged
in composing a memorial against the Bishop of Parisfor he
remembered having been drenched by the wheels of his mills
and he cherished a grudge against him for it. He also
occupied himself with annotating the fine work of Baudry-le-
RougeBishop of Noyon and Tournay_De Cupa Petrarum_
which had given him a violent passion for architecturean
inclination which had replaced in his heart his passion for
hermeticismof which it wasmoreoveronly a natural corollary
since there is an intimate relation between hermeticism
and masonry. Gringoire had passed from the love of an idea
to the love of the form of that idea.

One day he had halted near Saint Germain-l'Auxerroisat
the corner of a mansion called "For-l'Evêque " (the Bishop's
Tribunal)which stood opposite another called "For-le-Roi"
(the King's Tribunal). At this For-l'Evêquethere was a
charming chapel of the fourteenth centurywhose apse was on
the street. Gringoire was devoutly examining its exterior
sculptures. He was in one of those moments of egotistical
exclusivesupremeenjoyment when the artist beholds nothing
in the world but artand the world in art. All at once he
feels a hand laid gravely on his shoulder. He turns round.
It was his old friendhis former mastermonsieur the archdeacon.

He was stupefied. It was a long time since he had seen the
archdeaconand Dom Claude was one of those solemn and
impassioned mena meeting with whom always upsets the
equilibrium of a sceptical philosopher.

The archdeacon maintained silence for several minutesduring
which Gringoire had time to observe him. He found Dom
Claude greatly changed; pale as a winter's morningwith hollow
eyesand hair almost white. The priest broke the silence at
lengthby sayingin a tranquil but glacial tone-

How do you do, Master Pierre?

My health?replied Gringoire. "Eh! eh! one can say both one
thing and another on that score. Stillit is goodon the
whole. I take not too much of anything. You knowmasterthat
the secret of keeping wellaccording to Hippocrates; ~id est:
cibipotussomnivenusomnia moderata sint~."

So you have no care, Master Pierre?resumed the archdeacon
gazing intently at Gringoire.

None, i' faith!

And what are you doing now?

You see, master. I am examining the chiselling of these
stones, and the manner in which yonder bas-relief is
thrown out.

The priest began to smile with that bitter smile which raises
only one corner of the mouth.

And that amuses you?

'Tis paradise!exclaimed Gringoire. And leaning over
the sculptures with the fascinated air of a demonstrator of
living phenomena: "Do you not thinkfor instancethat yon
metamorphosis in bas-relief is executed with much adroitness
delicacy and patience? Observe that slender column. Around
what capital have you seen foliage more tender and better
caressed by the chisel. Here are three raised bosses of Jean
Maillevin. They are not the finest works of this great master.
Neverthelessthe naivetethe sweetness of the facesthe gayety
of the attitudes and draperiesand that inexplicable charm
which is mingled with all the defectsrender the little figures
very diverting and delicateperchanceeven too much so. You
think that it is not diverting?"

Yes, certainly!said the priest.

And if you were to see the interior of the chapel!resumed
the poetwith his garrulous enthusiasm. "Carvings everywhere.
'Tis as thickly clustered as the head of a cabbage! The apse is
of a very devoutand so peculiar a fashion that I have never
beheld anything like it elsewhere!"

Dom Claude interrupted him-

You are happy, then?

Gringoire replied warmly;-

On my honor, yes! First I loved women, then animals.
Now I love stones. They are quite as amusing as women and
animals, and less treacherous.

The priest laid his hand on his brow. It was his habitual


Stay!said Gringoireone has one's pleasures!He
took the arm of the priestwho let him have his wayand

made him enter the staircase turret of For-l'Evêque. "Here
is a staircase! every time that I see it I am happy. It is of
the simplest and rarest manner of steps in Paris. All the
steps are bevelled underneath. Its beauty and simplicity
consist in the interspacing of bothbeing a foot or more wide
which are interlacedinterlockedfitted togetherenchained
enchasedinterlined one upon anotherand bite into each
other in a manner that is truly firm and graceful."

And you desire nothing?


And you regret nothing?

Neither regret nor desire. I have arranged my mode of life.

What men arrange,said Claudethings disarrange.

I am a Pyrrhonian philosopher,replied Gringoireand I
hold all things in equilibrium.

And how do you earn your living?

I still make epics and tragedies now and then; but that
which brings me in most is the industry with which you are
acquainted, master; carrying pyramids of chairs in my teeth.

The trade is but a rough one for a philosopher.

'Tis still equilibrium,said Gringoire. "When one has
an ideaone encounters it in everything."

I know that,replied the archdeacon.

After a silencethe priest resumed-

You are, nevertheless, tolerably poor?

Poor, yes; unhappy, no.

At that momenta trampling of horses was heardand our
two interlocutors beheld defiling at the end of the streeta
company of the king's unattached archerstheir lances borne
highan officer at their head. The cavalcade was brilliant
and its march resounded on the pavement.

How you gaze at that officer!said Gringoireto the

Because I think I recognize him.

What do you call him?

I think,said Claudethat his name is Phoebus de

Phoebus! A curious name! There is also a Phoebus,
Comte de Foix. I remember having known a wench who
swore only by the name of Phoebus.

Come away from here,said the priest. "I have something
to say to you."

From the moment of that troop's passingsome agitation
had pierced through the archdeacon's glacial envelope. He
walked on. Gringoire followed himbeing accustomed to
obey himlike all who had once approached that man so full
of ascendency. They reached in silence the Rue des Bernardins
which was nearly deserted. Here Dom Claude paused.

What have you to say to me, master?Gringoire asked him.

Do you not think that the dress of those cavaliers whom
we have just seen is far handsomer than yours and mine?

Gringoire tossed his head.

I' faith! I love better my red and yellow jerkin, than
those scales of iron and steel. A fine pleasure to produce,
when you walk, the same noise as the Quay of Old Iron, in an

So, Gringoire, you have never cherished envy for those
handsome fellows in their military doublets?

Envy for what, monsieur the archdeacon? their strength,
their armor, their discipline? Better philosophy and
independence in rags. I prefer to be the head of a fly
rather than the tail of a lion.

That is singular,said the priest dreamily. "Yet a handsome
uniform is a beautiful thing."

Gringoireperceiving that he was in a pensive moodquitted
him to go and admire the porch of a neighboring house. He
came back clapping his hands.

If you were less engrossed with the fine clothes of men of
war, monsieur the archdeacon, I would entreat you to come
and see this door. I have always said that the house of the
Sieur Aubry had the most superb entrance in the world.

Pierre Gringoire,said the archdeaconWhat have you
done with that little gypsy dancer?

La Esmeralda? You change the conversation very abruptly.

Was she not your wife?

Yes, by virtue of a broken crock. We were to have four
years of it. By the way,added Gringoirelooking at the
archdeacon in a half bantering wayare you still thinking
of her?

And you think of her no longer?

Very little. I have so many things. Good heavens, how
pretty that little goat was!

Had she not saved your life?

'Tis true, pardieu!

Well, what has become of her? What have you done with her?

I cannot tell you. I believe that they have hanged her.

You believe so?

I am not sure. When I saw that they wanted to hang
people, I retired from the game.

That is all you know of it?

Wait a bit. I was told that she had taken refuge in
Notre-Dame, and that she was safe there, and I am delighted
to hear it, and I have not been able to discover whether the
goat was saved with her, and that is all I know.

I will tell you more,cried Dom Claude; and his voice
hitherto lowslowand almost indistinctturned to thunder.
She has in fact, taken refuge in Notre-Dame. But in three
days justice will reclaim her, and she will be hanged on the
Grève. There is a decree of parliament.

That's annoying,said Gringoire.

The priestin an instantbecame cold and calm again.

And who the devil,resumed the poethas amused himself
with soliciting a decree of reintegration? Why couldn't
they leave parliament in peace? What harm does it do if a
poor girl takes shelter under the flying buttresses of Notre-
Dame, beside the swallows' nests?

There are satans in this world,remarked the archdeacon.

'Tis devilish badly done,observed Gringoire.

The archdeacon resumed after a silence-

So, she saved your life?

Among my good friends the outcasts. A little more or a
little less and I should have been hanged. They would have
been sorry for it to-day.

Would not you like to do something for her?

I ask nothing better, Dom Claude; but what if I entangle
myself in some villanous affair?

What matters it?

Bah! what matters it? You are good, master, that you
are! I have two great works already begun.

The priest smote his brow. In spite of the calm which he
affecteda violent gesture betrayed his internal convulsions
from time to time.

How is she to be saved?

Gringoire said to him; "MasterI will reply to you; ~Il
padelt~which means in Turkish'God is our hope.'"

How is she to be saved?repeated Claude dreamily.

Gringoire smote his brow in his turn.

Listen, master. I have imagination; I will devise expedients

for you. What if one were to ask her pardon from the king?

Of Louis XI.! A pardon!

Why not?

To take the tiger's bone from him!

Gringoire began to seek fresh expedients.

Well, stay! Shall I address to the midwives a request
accompanied by the declaration that the girl is with child!

This made the priest's hollow eye flash.

With child! knave! do you know anything of this?

Gringoire was alarmed by his air. He hastened to say
Oh, no, not I! Our marriage was a real ~forismaritagium~. I
stayed outside. But one might obtain a respite, all the same.

Madness! Infamy! Hold your tongue!

You do wrong to get angry,muttered Gringoire. "One
obtains a respite; that does no harm to any oneand allows
the midwiveswho are poor womento earn forty deniers

The priest was not listening to him!

But she must leave that place, nevertheless!he murmured
the decree is to be executed within three days. Moreover,
there will be no decree; that Quasimodo! Women have very
depraved tastes!He raised his voice: "Master PierreI have
reflected well; there is but one means of safety for her."

What? I see none myself.

Listen, Master Pierre, remember that you owe your life
to her. I will tell you my idea frankly. The church is
watched night and day; only those are allowed to come out,
who have been seen to enter. Hence you can enter. You
will come. I will lead you to her. You will change clothes
with her. She will take your doublet; you will take her

So far, it goes well,remarked the philosopherand then?

And then? she will go forth in your garments; you will
remain with hers. You will be hanged, perhaps, but she will
be saved.

Gringoire scratched his earwith a very serious air.
Stay!said hethat is an idea which would never have
occurred to me unaided.

At Dom Claude's propositionthe open and benign face of
the poet had abruptly clouded overlike a smiling Italian
landscapewhen an unlucky squall comes up and dashes a
cloud across the sun.

Well! Gringoire, what say you to the means?

I say, master, that I shall not be hanged, perchance, but

that I shall be hanged indubitably.

That concerns us not."

The deuce!said Gringoire.

She has saved your life. 'Tis a debt that you are discharging.

There are a great many others which I do not discharge.

Master Pierre, it is absolutely necessary.

The archdeacon spoke imperiously."

Listen, Dom Claude,replied the poet in utter consternation.
You cling to that ideaand you are wrong. I do not see why
I should get myself hanged in some one else's place."

What have you, then, which attaches you so strongly to life?

Oh! a thousand reasons!

What reasons, if you please?

What? The air, the sky, the morning, the evening, the
moonlight, my good friends the thieves, our jeers with the
old hags of go-betweens, the fine architecture of Paris to
study, three great books to make, one of them being against
the bishops and his mills; and how can I tell all? Anaxagoras
said that he was in the world to admire the sun. And
then, from morning till night, I have the happiness of
passing all my days with a man of genius, who is myself,
which is very agreeable.

A head fit for a mule bell!muttered the archdeacon.
Oh! tell me who preserved for you that life which you
render so charming to yourself? To whom do you owe it
that you breathe that air, behold that sky, and can still
amuse your lark's mind with your whimsical nonsense and
madness? Where would you be, had it not been for her?
Do you then desire that she through whom you are alive,
should die? that she should die, that beautiful, sweet,
adorable creature, who is necessary to the light of the world
and more divine than God, while you, half wise, and half fool,
a vain sketch of something, a sort of vegetable, which thinks
that it walks, and thinks that it thinks, you will continue to
live with the life which you have stolen from her, as useless
as a candle in broad daylight? Come, have a little pity,
Gringoire; be generous in your turn; it was she who set
the example.

The priest was vehement. Gringoire listened to him at first
with an undecided airthen he became touchedand wound up
with a grimace which made his pallid face resemble that of a
new-born infant with an attack of the colic.

You are pathetic!said hewiping away a tear. "Well!
I will think about it. That's a queer idea of yours.--After
all he continued after a pause, who knows? perhaps they
will not hang me. He who becomes betrothed does not always
marry. When they find me in that little lodging so grotesquely
muffled in petticoat and coifperchance they will burst with
laughter. And thenif they do hang me--well! the halter
is as good a death as any. 'Tis a death worthy of a sage who

has wavered all his life; a death which is neither flesh nor
fishlike the mind of a veritable sceptic; a death all
stamped with Pyrrhonism and hesitationwhich holds the
middle station betwixt heaven and earthwhich leaves you
in suspense. 'Tis a philosopher's deathand I was destined
theretoperchance. It is magnificent to die as one has lived."

The priest interrupted him: "Is it agreed."

What is death, after all?pursued Gringoire with exaltation.
A disagreeable moment, a toll-gate, the passage of little
to nothingness. Some one having asked Cercidas, the
Megalopolitan, if he were willing to die: 'Why not?' he
replied; 'for after my death I shall see those great men,
Pythagoras among the philosophers, Hecataeus among historians,
Homer among poets, Olympus among musicians.'

The archdeacon gave him his hand: "It is settledthen?
You will come to-morrow?"

This gesture recalled Gringoire to reality.

Ah! i' faith no!he said in the tone of a man just waking
up. "Be hanged! 'tis too absurd. I will not."

Farewell, then!and the archdeacon added between his
teeth: "I'll find you again!"

I do not want that devil of a man to find me,thought
Gringoire; and he ran after Dom Claude. "Staymonsieur
the archdeaconno ill-feeling between old friends! You take
an interest in that girlmy wifeI meanand 'tis well. You
have devised a scheme to get her out of Notre-Damebut your
way is extremely disagreeable to meGringoire. If I had
only another one myself! I beg to say that a luminous
inspiration has just occurred to me. If I possessed an
expedient for extricating her from a dilemmawithout
compromising my own neck to the extent of a single running
knotwhat would you say to it? Will not that suffice you? Is
it absolutely necessary that I should be hangedin order that
you may be content?"

The priest tore out the buttons of his cassock with
impatience: "Stream of words! What is your plan?"

Yes,resumed Gringoiretalking to himself and touching
his nose with his forefinger in sign of meditation--"that's
it!--The thieves are brave fellows!--The tribe of Egypt
love her!--They will rise at the first word!--Nothing
easier!--A sudden stroke.--Under cover of the disorder
they will easily carry her off!--Beginning to-morrow evening.
They will ask nothing better.

The plan! speak,cried the archdeacon shaking him.

Gringoire turned majestically towards him: "Leave me!
You see that I am composing." He meditated for a few
moments morethen began to clap his hands over his thought
crying: "Admirable! success is sure!"

The plan!repeated Claude in wrath.

Gringoire was radiant.

Come, that I may tell you that very softly. 'Tis a truly
gallant counter-plot, which will extricate us all from the matter.
Pardieu, it must be admitted that I am no fool.

He broke off.

Oh, by the way! is the little goat with the wench?

Yes. The devil take you!

They would have hanged it also, would they not?

What is that to me?

Yes, they would have hanged it. They hanged a sow last
month. The headsman loveth that; he eats the beast afterwards.
Take my pretty Djali! Poor little lamb!

Malediction!exclaimed Dom Claude. "You are the
executioner. What means of safety have you foundknave?
Must your idea be extracted with the forceps?"

Very fine, master, this is it.

Gringoire bent his head to the archdeacon's head and spoke
to him in a very low voicecasting an uneasy glance the while
from one end to the other of the streetthough no one was
passing. When he had finishedDom Claude took his hand
and said coldly : "'Tis well. Farewell until to-morrow."

Until to-morrow,repeated Gringoire. Andwhile the
archdeacon was disappearing in one directionhe set off in
the othersaying to himself in a low voice: "Here's a
grand affairMonsieur Pierre Gringoire. Never mind! 'Tis
not written that because one is of small account one should
take fright at a great enterprise. Bitou carried a great bull
on his shoulders; the water-wagtailsthe warblersand the
buntings traverse the ocean."



On re-entering the cloisterthe archdeacon found at the door
of his cell his brother Jehan du Moulinwho was waiting for
himand who had beguiled the tedium of waiting by drawing
on the wall with a bit of charcoala profile of his elder
brotherenriched with a monstrous nose.

Dom Claude hardly looked at his brother; his thoughts
were elsewhere. That merry scamp's face whose beaming had
so often restored serenity to the priest's sombre physiognomy
was now powerless to melt the gloom which grew more dense
every day over that corruptedmephiticand stagnant soul.

Brother,said Jehan timidlyI am come to see you.

The archdeacon did not even raise his eyes.

What then?

Brother,resumed the hypocriteyou are so good to me,
and you give me such wise counsels that I always return to you.

What next?

Alas! brother, you were perfectly right when you said to
me,--Jehan! Jehan! ~cessat doctorum doctrinadiscipulorum
disciplina~. Jehanbe wiseJehanbe learnedJehanpass
not the night outside of the college without lawful occasion
and due leave of the master. Cudgel not the Picards: ~noli
Joannesverberare Picardos~. Rot not like an unlettered ass
~quasi asinus illitteratus~on the straw seats of the school.
Jehanallow yourself to be punished at the discretion of the
master. Jehan go every evening to chapeland sing there an
anthem with verse and orison to Madame the glorious Virgin
Mary.--Alas! what excellent advice was that!"

And then?

Brother, you behold a culprit, a criminal, a wretch, a
libertine, a man of enormities! My dear brother, Jehan hath
made of your counsels straw and dung to trample under foot.
I have been well chastised for it, and God is extraordinarily
just. As long as I had money, I feasted, I lead a mad and joyous
life. Oh! how ugly and crabbed behind is debauch which is
so charming in front! Now I have no longer a blank; I have
sold my napery, my shirt and my towels; no more merry life!
The beautiful candle is extinguished and I have henceforth,
only a wretched tallow dip which smokes in my nose. The
wenches jeer at me. I drink water.--I am overwhelmed with
remorse and with creditors.

The rest?" said the archdeacon.

Alas! my very dear brother, I should like to settle down
to a better life. I come to you full of contrition, I am
penitent. I make my confession. I beat my breast violently.
You are quite right in wishing that I should some day become
a licentiate and sub-monitor in the college of Torchi. At
the present moment I feel a magnificent vocation for that
profession. But I have no more ink and I must buy some; I
have no more paper, I have no more books, and I must buy some.
For this purpose, I am greatly in need of a little money, and
I come to you, brother, with my heart full of contrition.

Is that all?

Yes,said the scholar. "A little money."

I have none.

Then the scholar saidwith an air which was both grave and
resolute: "WellbrotherI am sorry to be obliged to tell you
that very fine offers and propositions are being made to me in
another quarter. You will not give me any money? No. In
that case I shall become a professional vagabond."

As he uttered these monstrous wordshe assumed the mien
of Ajaxexpecting to see the lightnings descend upon his head.

The archdeacon said coldly to him

Become a vagabond.

Jehan made him a deep bowand descended the cloister

At the moment when he was passing through the courtyard
of the cloisterbeneath his brother's windowhe heard that
window openraised his eyes and beheld the archdeacon's
severe head emerge.

Go to the devil!said Dom Claude; "here is the last
money which you will get from me?"

At the same timethe priest flung Jehan a pursewhich
gave the scholar a big bump on the foreheadand with which
Jehan retreatedboth vexed and contentlike a dog who had
been stoned with marrow bones.



The reader has probably not forgotten that a part of the
Cour de Miracles was enclosed by the ancient wall which
surrounded the citya goodly number of whose towers had begun
even at that epochto fall to ruin. One of these towers had
been converted into a pleasure resort by the vagabonds. There
was a drain-shop in the underground storyand the rest in the
upper stories. This was the most livelyand consequently
the most hideouspoint of the whole outcast den. It was a
sort of monstrous hivewhich buzzed there night and day.
At nightwhen the remainder of the beggar horde sleptwhen
there was no longer a window lighted in the dingy façades of
the Placewhen not a cry was any longer to be heard proceeding
from those innumerable familiesthose ant-hills of thieves
of wenchesand stolen or bastard childrenthe merry tower
was still recognizable by the noise which it madeby the scarlet
light whichflashing simultaneously from the air-holesthe
windowsthe fissures in the cracked wallsescapedso to
speakfrom its every pore.

The cellar thenwas the dram-shop. The descent to it was
through a low door and by a staircase as steep as a classic
Alexandrine. Over the doorby way of a sign there hung a
marvellous daubrepresenting new sons and dead chickens*
with thispun below: ~Aux sonneurs pour les trépassés~--The
wringers for the dead.

* ~Sols neufs: poulets tués~.
One evening when the curfew was sounding from all the
belfries in Paristhe sergeants of the watch might have
observedhad it been granted to them to enter the formidable
Court of Miraclesthat more tumult than usual was in progress
in the vagabonds' tavernthat more drinking was being
doneand louder swearing. Outside in the Placethere
were many groups conversing in low tonesas when some great
plan is being framedand here and there a knave crouching

down engaged in sharpening a villanous iron blade on a

Meanwhilein the tavern itselfwine and gaming offered
such a powerful diversion to the ideas which occupied the
vagabonds' lair that eveningthat it would have been difficult
to divine from the remarks of the drinkerswhat was the
matter in hand. They merely wore a gayer air than was their
wontand some weapon could be seen glittering between the
legs of each of them--a sicklean axea big two-edged sword
or the hook of an old hackbut.

The roomcircular in formwas very spacious; but the
tables were so thickly set and the drinkers so numerousthat
all that the tavern containedmenwomenbenchesbeer-jugs
all that were drinkingall that were sleepingall that were
playingthe wellthe lameseemed piled up pell-mellwith as
much order and harmony as a heap of oyster shells. There
were a few tallow dips lighted on the tables; but the real
luminary of this tavernthat which played the part in this
dram-shop of the chandelier of an opera housewas the fire.
This cellar was so damp that the fire was never allowed to go
outeven in midsummer; an immense chimney with a sculptured
mantelall bristling with heavy iron andirons and cooking
utensilswith one of those huge fires of mixed wood and peat
which at nightin village streets make the reflection of forge
windows stand out so red on the opposite walls. A big dog
gravely seated in the ashes was turning a spit loaded with
meat before the coals.

Great as was the confusionafter the first glance one could
distinguish in that multitudethree principal groups which
thronged around three personages already known to the reader.
One of these personagesfantastically accoutred in many an
oriental ragwas Mathias Hungadi SpicaliDuke of Egypt
and Bohemia. The knave was seated on a table with his
legs crossedand in a loud voice was bestowing his knowledge
of magicboth black and whiteon many a gaping face which
surrounded him. Another rabble pressed close around our old
friendthe valiant King of Thunesarmed to the teeth.
Clopin Trouillefouwith a very serious air and in a low voice
was regulating the distribution of an enormous cask of arms
which stood wide open in front of him and from whence
poured out in profusionaxesswordsbassinetscoats of mail
broadswordslance-headsarrowsand viretons* like apples
and grapes from a horn of plenty. Every one took something
from the caskone a morionanother a longstraight sword
another a dagger with a cross--shaped hilt. The very children
were arming themselvesand there were even cripples in
bowls whoin armor and cuirassmade their way between the
legs of the drinkerslike great beetles.

* An arrow with a pyramidal head of iron and copper spiral
wingsby which a rotatory motion was communicated.
Finallya third audiencethe most noisythe most jovial
and the most numerousencumbered benches and tablesin the
midst of which harangued and swore a flute-like voicewhich
escaped from beneath a heavy armorcomplete from casque to
spurs. The individual who had thus screwed a whole outfit
upon his bodywas so hidden by his warlike accoutrements
that nothing was to be seen of his person save an impertinent

redsnub nosea rosy mouthand bold eyes. His belt was
full of daggers and poniardsa huge sword on his hipa rusted
cross-bow at his leftand a vast jug of wine in front of him
without reckoning on his righta fat wench with her bosom
uncovered. All mouths around him were laughingcursing
and drinking.

Add twenty secondary groupsthe waitersmale and female
running with jugs on their headsgamblers squatting over
tawsmerelles* dicevachettesthe ardent game of tringlet
quarrels in one cornerkisses in anotherand the reader will
have some idea of this whole pictureover which flickered the
light of a greatflaming firewhich made a thousand huge and
grotesque shadows dance over the walls of the drinking shop.

* A game played on a checker-board containing three concentric
sets of squareswith small stones. The game consisted in
getting three stones in a row.
As for the noiseit was like the inside of a bell at full peal.

The dripping-panwhere crackled a rain of greasefilled
with its continual sputtering the intervals of these thousand
dialogueswhich intermingled from one end of the apartment
to the other.

In the midst of this uproarat the extremity of the tavern
on the bench inside the chimneysat a philosopher meditating
with his feet in the ashes and his eyes on the brands. It was
Pierre Gringoire.

Be quick! make haste, arm yourselves! we set out on
the march in an hour!said Clopin Trouillefou to his thieves.

A wench was humming-

~Bonsoir mon père et ma mere,
Les derniers couvrent le feu~.*

* Good nightfather and motherthe last cover up the fire.
Two card players were disputing-

Knave!cried the reddest faced of the twoshaking his
fist at the other; "I'll mark you with the club. You can
take the place of Mistigri in the pack of cards of monseigneur
the king."

Ugh!roared a Normanrecognizable by his nasal accent;
we are packed in here like the saints of Caillouville!

My sons,the Duke of Egypt was saying to his audience
in a falsetto voicesorceresses in France go to the witches'
sabbath without broomsticks, or grease, or steed, merely by
means of some magic words. The witches of Italy always
have a buck waiting for them at their door. All are bound
to go out through the chimney.

The voice of the young scamp armed from head to foot
dominated the uproar.

Hurrah! hurrah!he was shouting. "My first day in
armor! Outcast! I am an outcast. Give me something to
drink. My friendsmy name is Jehan Frollo du Moulinand
I am a gentleman. My opinion is that if God were a ~gendarme~
he would turn robber. Brotherswe are about to set out on a
fine expedition. Lay siege to the churchburst in
the doorsdrag out the beautiful girlsave her from the
judgessave her from the priestsdismantle the cloister
burn the bishop in his palace--all this we will do in less
time than it takes for a burgomaster to eat a spoonful of
soup. Our cause is justwe will plunder Notre-Dame and that
will be the end of it. We will hang Quasimodo. Do you know
Quasimodoladies? Have you seen him make himself breathless
on the big bell on a grand Pentecost festival! ~Corne du
Père~! 'tis very fine! One would say he was a devil mounted
on a man. Listen to memy friends; I am a vagabond to the
bottom of my heartI am a member of the slang thief gang
in my soulI was born an independent thief. I have been
richand I have devoured all my property. My mother wanted
to make an officer of me; my fathera sub-deacon; my aunt
a councillor of inquests; my grandmotherprothonotary to
the king; my great aunta treasurer of the short robe--and
I have made myself an outcast. I said this to my fatherwho
spit his curse in my face; to my motherwho set to weeping
and chatteringpoor old ladylike yonder fagot on the
and-irons. Long live mirth! I am a real Bicêtre. Waitress
my dearmore wine. I have still the wherewithal to pay. I
want no more Surène wine. It distresses my throat. I'd as
lief~corboeuf~! gargle my throat with a basket."

Meanwhilethe rabble applauded with shouts of laughter;
and seeing that the tumult was increasing around himthe
scholar cried--.

Oh! what a fine noise! ~Populi debacchantis populosa
debacchatio~!Then he began to singhis eye swimming in
ecstasyin the tone of a canon intoning vespers~Quoe
cantica! quoe organa! quoe cantilenoe! quoe meloclioe hic
sine fine decantantur! Sonant melliflua hymnorum organa
suavissima angelorum melodiacantica canticorum mira~!

He broke off: "Tavern-keeper of the devilgive me
some supper!"

There was a moment of partial silenceduring which the
sharp voice of the Duke of Egypt roseas he gave instructions
to his Bohemians.

The weasel is called Adrune; the fox, Blue-foot, or the
Racer of the Woods; the wolf, Gray-foot, or Gold-foot; the
bear the Old Man, or Grandfather. The cap of a gnome confers
invisibility, and causes one to behold invisible things.
Every toad that is baptized must be clad in red or black
velvet, a bell on its neck, a bell on its feet. The godfather
holds its head, the godmother its hinder parts. 'Tis the
demon Sidragasum who hath the power to make wenches
dance stark naked.

By the mass!interrupted JehanI should like to be
the demon Sidragasum.

Meanwhilethe vagabonds continued to arm themselves and
whisper at the other end of the dram-shop.

That poor Esmeralda!said a Bohemian. "She is our
sister. She must be taken away from there."

Is she still at Notre-Dame?went on a merchant with
the appearance of a Jew.

Yes, pardieu!

Well! comrades!exclaimed the merchantto Notre-Dame!
So much the better, since there are in the chapel of Saints
Féréol and Ferrution two statues, the one of John the
Baptist, the other of Saint-Antoine, of solid gold, weighing
together seven marks of gold and fifteen estellins; and the
pedestals are of silver-gilt, of seventeen marks, five ounces.
I know that; I am a goldsmith.

Here they served Jehan with his supper. As he threw
himself back on the bosom of the wench beside him
he exclaimed-

By Saint Voult-de-Lucques, whom people call Saint
Goguelu, I am perfectly happy. I have before me a fool
who gazes at me with the smooth face of an archduke. Here
is one on my left whose teeth are so long that they hide his

chin. And then, I am like the Marshal de Gié at the siege
of Pontoise, I have my right resting on a hillock. ~Ventre-
Mahom~! Comrade! you have the air of a merchant of tennisballs;
and you come and sit yourself beside me! I am a
nobleman, my friend! Trade is incompatible with nobility.
Get out of that! Hola hé! You others, don't fight! What,
Baptiste Croque-Oison, you who have such a fine nose are
going to risk it against the big fists of that lout! Fool!
~Non cuiquam datum est habere nasum~--not every one is
favored with a nose. You are really divine, Jacqueline
Ronge-Oreille! 'tis a pity that you have no hair! Holà!
my name is Jehan Frollo, and my brother is an archdeacon.
May the devil fly off with him! All that I tell you is the
truth. In turning vagabond, I have gladly renounced the half
of a house situated in paradise, which my brother had promised
me. ~Dimidiam domum in paradiso~. I quote the text. I
have a fief in the Rue Tirechappe, and all the women are in
love with me, as true as Saint Eloy was an excellent goldsmith,
and that the five trades of the good city of Paris are
the tanners, the tawers, the makers of cross-belts, the
purse-makers, and the sweaters, and that Saint Laurent was
burnt with eggshells. I swear to you, comrades.

~Que je ne beuvrai de piment
Devant un ansi je cy ment~.*

* That I will drink no spiced and honeyed wine for a year
if I am lying now.
'Tis moonlight, my charmer; see yonder through the window
how the wind is tearing the clouds to tatters! Even thus
will I do to your gorget.--Wenches, wipe the children's noses
and snuff the candles.--Christ and Mahom! What am I eating
here, Jupiter? Ohé! innkeeper! the hair which is not
on the heads of your hussies one finds in your omelettes. Old
woman! I like bald omelettes. May the devil confound you!--A

fine hostelry of Beelzebub, where the hussies comb their heads
with the forks!

~Et je n'ai moi
Par la sang-Dieu!
Ni foini loi
Ni feuni lieu
Ni roi
Ni Dieu."*

* And by the blood of GodI have neither faith nor lawnor
fire nor dwelling-placenor king nor God.
In the meantimeClopin Trouillefou had finished the
distribution of arms. He approached Gringoirewho appeared
to be plunged in a profound reverywith his feet on an andiron.

Friend Pierre,said the King of Thuneswhat the devil
are you thinking about?

Gringoire turned to him with a melancholy smile.

I love the fire, my dear lord. Not for the trivial reason
that fire warms the feet or cooks our soup, but because it has
sparks. Sometimes I pass whole hours in watching the sparks.
I discover a thousand things in those stars which are sprinkled
over the black background of the hearth. Those stars are also

Thunder, if I understand you!said the outcast. "Do you know
what o'clock it is?"

I do not know,replied Gringoire.

Clopin approached the Duke of Egypt.

Comrade Mathias, the time we have chosen is not a good
one. King Louis XI. is said to be in Paris.

Another reason for snatching our sister from his claws,
replied the old Bohemian.

You speak like a man, Mathias,said the King of Thunes.
Moreover, we will act promptly. No resistance is to be
feared in the church. The canons are hares, and we are in
force. The people of the parliament will be well balked
to-morrow when they come to seek her! Guts of the pope I
don't want them to hang the pretty girl!

Chopin quitted the dram-shop.

MeanwhileJehan was shouting in a hoarse voice:

I eat, I drink, I am drunk, I am Jupiter! Eh! Pierre,
the Slaughterer, if you look at me like that again, I'll fillip
the dust off your nose for you.

Gringoiretorn from his meditationsbegan to watch the
wild and noisy scene which surrounded himmuttering between
his teeth: "~Luxuriosa res vinum et tumultuosa ebrietas~.
Alas! what good reason I have not to drinkand how excellently

spoke Saint-Benoit: '~Vinum apostatare facit etiam sapientes!'"

At that momentClopin returned and shouted in a voice of
thunder: "Midnight!"

At this wordwhich produced the effect of the call to boot
and saddle on a regiment at a haltall the outcastsmen
womenchildrenrushed in a mass from the tavernwith great
noise of arms and old iron implements.

The moon was obscured.

The Cour des Miracles was entirely dark. There was not a
single light. One could make out there a throng of men and
women conversing in low tones. They could be heard buzzing
and a gleam of all sorts of weapons was visible in the
darkness. Clopin mounted a large stone.

To your ranks, Argot!* he cried. "Fall into lineEgypt!
Form ranksGalilee!"

* Men of the brotherhood of slang: thieves.
A movement began in the darkness. The immense multitude
appeared to form in a column. After a few minutesthe
King of Thunes raised his voice once more-

Now, silence to march through Paris! The password is,
'Little sword in pocket!' The torches will not be lighted till
we reach Notre-Dame! Forward, march!

Ten minutes laterthe cavaliers of the watch fled in terror
before a long procession of black and silent men which was
descending towards the Pont an Changethrough the tortuous
streets which pierce the close-built neighborhood of the markets
in every direction.



That nightQuasimodo did not sleep. He had just made
his last round of the church. He had not noticedthat at the
moment when he was closing the doorsthe archdeacon had
passed close to him and betrayed some displeasure on seeing
him bolting and barring with care the enormous iron locks
which gave to their large leaves the solidity of a wall. Dom
Claude's air was even more preoccupied than usual. Moreover
since the nocturnal adventure in the cellhe had constantly
abused Quasimodobut in vain did he ill treatand even beat
him occasionallynothing disturbed the submissionpatience
the devoted resignation of the faithful bellringer. He
endured everything on the part of the archdeaconinsults
threatsblowswithout murmuring a complaint. At the most
he gazed uneasily after Dom Claude when the latter ascended
the staircase of the tower; but the archdeacon had abstained
from presenting himself again before the gypsy's eyes.

On that nightaccordinglyQuasimodoafter having
cast a glance at his poor bells which he so neglected
nowJacquelineMarieand Thibauldmounted to the summit
of the Northern towerand there setting his dark lanturn
well closedupon the leadshe began to gaze at Paris. The
nightas we have already saidwas very dark. Paris which
so to speak was not lighted at that epochpresented to the eye
a confused collection of black massescut here and there by
the whitish curve of the Seine. Quasimodo no longer saw
any light with the exception of one window in a distant
edificewhose vague and sombre profile was outlined well
above the roofsin the direction of the Porte Sainte-Antoine.
There alsothere was some one awake.

As the only eye of the bellringer peered into that horizon
of mist and nighthe felt within him an inexpressible
uneasiness. For several days he had been upon his guard. He
had perceived men of sinister mienwho never took their eyes
from the young girl's asylumprowling constantly about the
church. He fancied that some plot might be in process of
formation against the unhappy refugee. He imagined that
there existed a popular hatred against heras against himself
and that it was very possible that something might happen
soon. Hence he remained upon his tower on the watch
dreaming in his dream-place,as Rabelais sayswith his eye
directed alternately on the cell and on Pariskeeping faithful
guardlike a good dogwith a thousand suspicions in his mind.

All at oncewhile he was scrutinizing the great city with
that eye which natureby a sort of compensationhad made
so piercing that it could almost supply the other organs which
Quasimodo lackedit seemed to him that there was something
singular about the Quay de la Vieille-Pelleteriethat there
was a movement at that pointthat the line of the parapet
standing out blackly against the whiteness of the water was
not straight and tranquillike that of the other quaysbut
that it undulated to the eyelike the waves of a riveror like
the heads of a crowd in motion.

This struck him as strange. He redoubled his attention.
The movement seemed to be advancing towards the City.
There was no light. It lasted for some time on the quay;
then it gradually ceasedas though that which was passing
were entering the interior of the island; then it stopped
altogetherand the line of the quay became straight and
motionless again.

At the moment when Quasimodo was lost in conjecturesit
seemed to him that the movement had re-appeared in the Rue
du Parviswhich is prolonged into the city perpendicularly
to the façade of Notre-Dame. At lengthdense as was the
darknesshe beheld the head of a column debouch from that
streetand in an instant a crowd--of which nothing could be
distinguished in the gloom except that it was a crowd--spread
over the Place.

This spectacle had a terror of its own. It is probable
that this singular processionwhich seemed so desirous of
concealing itself under profound darknessmaintained a silence
no less profound. Neverthelesssome noise must have escaped
itwere it only a trampling. But this noise did not even
reach our deaf manand this great multitudeof which he
saw hardly anythingand of which he heard nothingthough

it was marching and moving so near himproduced upon
him the effect of a rabble of dead menmuteimpalpable
lost in a smoke. It seemed to himthat he beheld advancing
towards him a fog of menand that he saw shadows moving
in the shadow.

Then his fears returned to himthe idea of an attempt
against the gypsy presented itself once more to his mind.
He was consciousin a confused waythat a violent crisis
was approaching. At that critical moment he took counsel
with himselfwith better and prompter reasoning than one
would have expected from so badly organized a brain. Ought
he to awaken the gypsy? to make her escape? Whither? The
streets were investedthe church backed on the river. No
boatno issue!--There was but one thing to be done; to allow
himself to be killed on the threshold of Notre-Dameto resist
at least until succor arrivedif it should arriveand not to
trouble la Esmeralda's sleep. This resolution once takenhe
set to examining the enemy with more tranquillity.

The throng seemed to increase every moment in the church
square. Onlyhe presumed that it must be making very
little noisesince the windows on the Place remained closed.
All at oncea flame flashed upand in an instant seven or
eight lighted torches passed over the heads of the crowd
shaking their tufts of flame in the deep shade. Quasimodo
then beheld distinctly surging in the Parvis a frightful herd
of men and women in ragsarmed with scythespikesbillhooks
and partisanswhose thousand points glittered. Here
and there black pitchforks formed horns to the hideous faces.
He vaguely recalled this populaceand thought that he
recognized all the heads who had saluted him as Pope of the Fools
some months previously. One man who held a torch in one
hand and a club in the othermounted a stone post and
seemed to be haranguing them. At the same time the strange
army executed several evolutionsas though it were taking
up its post around the church. Quasimodo picked up his
lantern and descended to the platform between the towersin
order to get a nearer viewand to spy out a means of defence.

Clopin Trouillefouon arriving in front of the lofty portal
of Notre-Dame hadin factranged his troops in order of
battle. Although he expected no resistancehe wishedlike
a prudent generalto preserve an order which would permit
him to faceat needa sudden attack of the watch or the
police. He had accordingly stationed his brigade in such a
manner thatviewed from above and from a distanceone
would have pronounced it the Roman triangle of the battle of
Ecnomusthe boar's head of Alexander or the famous wedge
of Gustavus Adolphus. The base of this triangle rested on
the back of the Place in such a manner as to bar the entrance
of the Rue du Parvis; one of its sides faced Hôtel-Dieuthe
other the Rue Saint-Pierre-aux-Boeufs. Clopin Trouillefou
had placed himself at the apex with the Duke of Egyptour
friend Jehanand the most daring of the scavengers.

An enterprise like that which the vagabonds were now
undertaking against Notre-Dame was not a very rare thing
in the cities of the Middle Ages. What we now call the
policedid not exist then. In populous citiesespecially
in capitalsthere existed no singlecentralregulating
power. Feudalism had constructed these great communities
in a singular manner. A city was an assembly of a thousand
seigneurieswhich divided it into compartments of all shapes

and sizes. Hencea thousand conflicting establishments of
police; that is to sayno police at all. In Parisfor example
independently of the hundred and forty-one lords who laid
claim to a manorthere were five and twenty who laid claim
to a manor and to administering justicefrom the Bishop of
Pariswho had five hundred streetsto the Prior of Notre-
Dame des Champswho had four. All these feudal justices
recognized the suzerain authority of the king only in name.
All possessed the right of control over the roads. All were
at home. Louis XI.that indefatigable workerwho so largely
began the demolition of the feudal edificecontinued by
Richelieu and Louis XIV. for the profit of royaltyand finished
by Mirabeau for the benefit of the people--Louis XI. had
certainly made an effort to break this network of seignories
which covered Parisby throwing violently across them all
two or three troops of general police. Thusin 1465an
order to the inhabitants to light candles in their windows at
nightfalland to shut up their dogs under penalty of death;
in the same yearan order to close the streets in the evening
with iron chainsand a prohibition to wear daggers or weapons
of offence in the streets at night. But in a very short time
all these efforts at communal legislation fell into abeyance.
The bourgeois permitted the wind to blow out their candles in
the windowsand their dogs to stray; the iron chains were
stretched only in a state of siege; the prohibition to wear
daggers wrought no other changes than from the name of the
Rue Coupe-Gueule to the name of the Rue-Coupe-Gorge*
which is an evident progress. The old scaffolding of feudal
jurisdictions remained standing; an immense aggregation of
bailiwicks and seignories crossing each other all over the city
interfering with each otherentangled in one anotherenmeshing
each othertrespassing on each other; a useless thicket
of watchessub-watches and counter-watchesover whichwith
armed forcepassed brigandagerapineand sedition. Hence
in this disorderdeeds of violence on the part of the populace
directed against a palacea hotelor house in the most thickly
populated quarterswere not unheard-of occurrences. In the
majority of such casesthe neighbors did not meddle with
the matter unless the pillaging extended to themselves.
They stopped up their ears to the musket shotsclosed their
shuttersbarricaded their doorsallowed the matter to be
concluded with or without the watchand the next day it was
said in ParisEtienne Barbette was broken open last night.
The Marshal de Clermont was seized last night, etc.Hence
not only the royal habitationsthe Louvrethe Palacethe
Bastillethe Tournellesbut simply seignorial residences
the Petit-Bourbonthe Hôtel de Sensthe Hôtel d' Angoulême
etc.had battlements on their wallsand machicolations over
their doors. Churches were guarded by their sanctity. Some
among the number Notre-Damewere fortified. The Abbey
of Saint-German-des-Pres was castellated like a baronial
mansionand more brass expended about it in bombards than in
bells. Its fortress was still to be seen in 1610. To-day
barely its church remains.

* Cut-throat. Coupe-gueule being the vulgar word for cut-weazand.
Let us return to Notre-Dame.

When the first arrangements were completedand we must
sayto the honor of vagabond disciplinethat Clopin's
orders were executed in silenceand with admirable precision

the worthy chief of the bandmounted on the parapet of the
church squareand raised his hoarse and surly voiceturning
towards Notre-Dameand brandishing his torch whose light
tossed by the windand veiled every moment by its own
smokemade the reddish façade of the church appear and
disappear before the eye.

To you, Louis de Beaumont, bishop of Paris, counsellor in
the Court of Parliament, I, Clopin Trouillefou, king of Thunes,
grand Coësre, prince of Argot, bishop of fools, I say: Our
sister, falsely condemned for magic, hath taken refuge in
your church, you owe her asylum and safety. Now the Court
of Parliament wishes to seize her once more there, and you
consent to it; so that she would be hanged to-morrow in the
Grève, if God and the outcasts were not here. If your church
is sacred, so is our sister; if our sister is not sacred, neither
is your church. That is why we call upon you to return the
girl if you wish to save your church, or we will take possession
of the girl again and pillage the church, which will be a good
thing. In token of which I here plant my banner, and may
God preserve you, bishop of Paris,

Quasimodo could notunfortunatelyhear these words
uttered with a sort of sombre and savage majesty. A vagabond
presented his banner to Clopinwho planted it solemnly
between two paving-stones. It was a pitchfork from whose
points hung a bleeding quarter of carrion meat.

That donethe King of Thunes turned round and cast
his eyes over his armya fierce multitude whose glances
flashed almost equally with their pikes. After a momentary
pause--"Forwardmy Sons!" he cried; "to worklocksmiths!"

Thirty bold mensquare shoulderedand with pick-lock faces
stepped from the rankswith hammerspincersand bars of
iron on their shoulders. They betook themselves to the
principal door of the churchascended the stepsand were
soon to be seen squatting under the archworking at the door
with pincers and levers; a throng of vagabonds followed them
to help or look on. The eleven steps before the portal were
covered with them.

But the door stood firm. "The devil! 'tis hard and
obstinate!" said one. "It is oldand its gristles have become
bony said another. Couragecomrades!" resumed Clopin.
I wager my head against a dipper that you will have
opened the door, rescued the girl, and despoiled the chief
altar before a single beadle is awake. Stay! I think I
hear the lock breaking up.

Clopin was interrupted by a frightful uproar which resounded
behind him at that moment. He wheeled round.
An enormous beam had just fallen from above; it had crushed
a dozen vagabonds on the pavement with the sound of a
cannonbreaking in additionlegs here and there in the
crowd of beggarswho sprang aside with cries of terror. In
a twinklingthe narrow precincts of the church parvis were
cleared. The locksmithsalthough protected by the deep
vaults of the portalabandoned the door and Clopin himself
retired to a respectful distance from the church.

I had a narrow escape!cried Jehan. "I felt the wind
of it~tête-de-boeuf~! but Pierre the Slaughterer is slaughtered!"

It is impossible to describe the astonishment mingled with
fright which fell upon the ruffians in company with this beam.

They remained for several minutes with their eyes in the
airmore dismayed by that piece of wood than by the king's
twenty thousand archers.

Satan!muttered the Duke of Egyptthis smacks of magic!

'Tis the moon which threw this log at us,said Andry the Red.

Call the moon the friend of the Virgin, after that!went on
Francois Chanteprune.

A thousand popes!exclaimed Clopinyou are all fools!But
he did not know how to explain the fall of the beam.

Meanwhilenothing could be distinguished on the façadeto
whose summit the light of the torches did not reach. The
heavy beam lay in the middle of the enclosureand groans
were heard from the poor wretches who had received its first
shockand who had been almost cut in twainon the angle of
the stone steps.

The King of Thuneshis first amazement passedfinally
found an explanation which appeared plausible to his companions.

Throat of God! are the canons defending themselves? To the sack,
then! to the sack!

To the sack!repeated the rabblewith a furious hurrah.
A discharge of crossbows and hackbuts against the front of the
church followed.

At this detonationthe peaceable inhabitants of the
surrounding houses woke up; many windows were seen to open
and nightcaps and hands holding candles appeared at the casements.

Fire at the windows,shouted Clopin. The windows
were immediately closedand the poor bourgeoiswho had
hardly had time to cast a frightened glance on this scene of
gleams and tumultreturnedperspiring with fear to their
wivesasking themselves whether the witches' sabbath was
now being held in the parvis of Notre-Dameor whether there
was an assault of Burgundiansas in '64. Then the husbands
thought of theft; the wivesof rape; and all trembled.

To the sack!repeated the thieves' crew; but they dared
not approach. They stared at the beamthey stared at the
church. The beam did not stirthe edifice preserved its calm
and deserted air; but something chilled the outcasts.

To work, locksmiths!shouted Trouillefou. "Let the door
be forced!"

No one took a step.

Beard and belly!said Clopinhere be men afraid of a beam.

An old locksmith addressed him--

Captain, 'tis not the beam which bothers us, 'tis the door,
which is all covered with iron bars. Our pincers are powerless
against it.

What more do you want to break it in?demanded Clopin.

Ah! we ought to have a battering ram.

The King of Thunes ran boldly to the formidable beamand
placed his foot upon it: "Here is one!" he exclaimed; "'tis
the canons who send it to you." Andmaking a mocking
salute in the direction of the churchThanks, canons!

This piece of bravado produced its effects--the spell of
the beam was broken. The vagabonds recovered their courage;
soon the heavy joistraised like a feather by two hundred
vigorous armswas flung with fury against the great door
which they had tried to batter down. At the sight of that
long beamin the half-light which the infrequent torches
of the brigands spread over the Placethus borne by that
crowd of men who dashed it at a run against the churchone
would have thought that he beheld a monstrous beast with a
thousand feet attacking with lowered head the giant of stone.

At the shock of the beamthe half metallic door sounded
like an immense drum; it was not burst inbut the whole
cathedral trembledand the deepest cavities of the edifice
were heard to echo.

At the same momenta shower of large stones began to fall
from the top of the façade on the assailants.

The devil!cried Jehanare the towers shaking their
balustrades down on our heads?

But the impulse had been giventhe King of Thunes had
set the example. Evidentlythe bishop was defending himself
and they only battered the door with the more ragein
spite of the stones which cracked skulls right and left.

It was remarkable that all these stones fell one by one; but
they followed each other closely. The thieves always felt two
at a timeone on their legs and one on their heads. There
were few which did not deal their blowand a large layer of
dead and wounded lay bleeding and panting beneath the feet
of the assailants whonow grown furiousreplaced each other
without intermission. The long beam continued to belabor
the doorat regular intervalslike the clapper of a bellthe
stones to rain downthe door to groan.

The reader has no doubt divined that this unexpected resistance
which had exasperated the outcasts came from Quasimodo.

Chance hadunfortunatelyfavored the brave deaf man.

When he had descended to the platform between the towers
his ideas were all in confusion. He had run up and down
along the gallery for several minutes like a madman
surveying from abovethe compact mass of vagabonds ready to
hurl itself on the churchdemanding the safety of the gypsy
from the devil or from God. The thought had occurred to
him of ascending to the southern belfry and sounding the
alarmbut before he could have set the bell in motionbefore
Marie's voice could have uttered a single clamorwas there
not time to burst in the door of the church ten times over?
It was precisely the moment when the locksmiths were advancing
upon it with their tools. What was to be done?

All at oncehe remembered that some masons had been at
work all day repairing the wallthe timber-workand the roof
of the south tower. This was a flash of light. The wall was
of stonethe roof of leadthe timber-work of wood. (That
prodigious timber-workso dense that it was called "the forest.")

Quasimodo hastened to that tower. The lower chambers
werein factfull of materials. There were piles of rough
blocks of stonesheets of lead in rollsbundles of lathsheavy
beams already notched with the sawheaps of plaster.

Time was pressingThe pikes and hammers were at work
below. With a strength which the sense of danger increased
tenfoldhe seized one of the beams--the longest and heaviest;
he pushed it out through a loopholethengrasping it
again outside of the towerhe made it slide along the angle
of the balustrade which surrounds the platformand let it
fly into the abyss. The enormous timberduring that fall
of a hundred and sixty feetscraping the wallbreaking the
carvingsturned many times on its centrelike the arm of a
windmill flying off alone through space. At last it reached
the groundthe horrible cry aroseand the black beamas it
rebounded from the pavementresembled a serpent leaping.

Quasimodo beheld the outcasts scatter at the fall of the
beamlike ashes at the breath of a child. He took advantage
of their frightand while they were fixing a superstitious
glance on the club which had fallen from heavenand while
they were putting out the eyes of the stone saints on the
front with a discharge of arrows and buckshotQuasimodo
was silently piling up plasterstonesand rough blocks
of stoneeven the sacks of tools belonging to the masons
on the edge of the balustrade from which the beam had
already been hurled.

Thusas soon as they began to batter the grand doorthe
shower of rough blocks of stone began to falland it seemed
to them that the church itself was being demolished over
their heads.

Any one who could have beheld Quasimodo at that moment
would have been frightened. Independently of the projectiles
which he had piled upon the balustradehe had collected a
heap of stones on the platform itself. As fast as the blocks
on the exterior edge were exhaustedhe drew on the heap.
Then he stooped and rosestooped and rose again with incredible
activity. His huge gnome's head bent over the balustrade
then an enormous stone fellthen anotherthen another.
From time to timehe followed a fine stone with his eyeand
when it did good executionhe saidHum!

Meanwhilethe beggars did not grow discouraged. The
thick door on which they were venting their fury had already
trembled more than twenty times beneath the weight of their
oaken battering-rammultiplied by the strength of a hundred
men. The panels crackedthe carved work flew into splinters
the hingesat every blowleaped from their pinsthe
planks yawnedthe wood crumbled to powderground between
the iron sheathing. Fortunately for Quasimodothere was
more iron than wood.

Neverthelesshe felt that the great door was yielding.
Although he did not hear itevery blow of the ram reverberated

simultaneously in the vaults of the church and within it.
From above he beheld the vagabondsfilled with triumph and
rageshaking their fists at the gloomy façade; and both on
the gypsy's account and his own he envied the wings of the
owls which flitted away above his head in flocks.

His shower of stone blocks was not sufficient to repel
the assailants.

At this moment of anguishhe noticeda little lower down
than the balustrade whence he was crushing the thievestwo
long stone gutters which discharged immediately over the
great door; the internal orifice of these gutters terminated
on the pavement of the platform. An idea occurred to him; he
ran in search of a fagot in his bellringer's denplaced on this
fagot a great many bundles of lathsand many rolls of lead
munitions which he had not employed so farand having
arranged this pile in front of the hole to the two guttershe
set it on fire with his lantern.

During this timesince the stones no longer fellthe outcasts
ceased to gaze into the air. The banditspanting like a
pack of hounds who are forcing a boar into his lairpressed
tumultuously round the great doorall disfigured by the
battering rambut still standing. They were waiting with a
quiver for the great blow which should split it open. They
vied with each other in pressing as close as possiblein order
to dash among the firstwhen it should openinto that opulent
cathedrala vast reservoir where the wealth of three centuries
had been piled up. They reminded each other with roars of
exultation and greedy lustof the beautiful silver crossesthe
fine copes of brocadethe beautiful tombs of silver giltthe
great magnificences of the choirthe dazzling festivalsthe
Christmasses sparkling with torchesthe Easters sparkling
with sunshine--all those splendid solemneties wherein
chandeliersciboriumstabernaclesand reliquariesstudded
the altars with a crust of gold and diamonds. Certainlyat that
fine momentthieves and pseudo sufferersdoctors in stealing
and vagabondswere thinking much less of delivering the
gypsy than of pillaging Notre-Dame. We could even easily
believe that for a goodly number among them la Esmeralda
was only a pretextif thieves needed pretexts.

All at onceat the moment when they were grouping themselves
round the ram for a last efforteach one holding his
breath and stiffening his muscles in order to communicate all
his force to the decisive blowa howl more frightful still than
that which had burst forth and expired beneath the beamrose
among them. Those who did not cry outthose who were
still alivelooked. Two streams of melted lead were falling
from the summit of the edifice into the thickest of the rabble.
That sea of men had just sunk down beneath the boiling metal
which had madeat the two points where it felltwo black and
smoking holes in the crowdsuch as hot water would make in
snow. Dying menhalf consumed and groaning with anguish
could be seen writhing there. Around these two principal
streams there were drops of that horrible rainwhich scattered
over the assailants and entered their skulls like gimlets of
fire. It was a heavy fire which overwhelmed these wretches
with a thousand hailstones.

The outcry was heartrending. They fled pell-mellhurling
the beam upon the bodiesthe boldest as well as the most
timidand the parvis was cleared a second time.

All eyes were raised to the top of the church. They
beheld there an extraordinary sight. On the crest of the
highest galleryhigher than the central rose windowthere
was a great flame rising between the two towers with whirlwinds
of sparksa vastdisorderedand furious flamea tongue
of which was borne into the smoke by the windfrom time
to time. Below that firebelow the gloomy balustrade with
its trefoils showing darkly against its glaretwo spouts with
monster throats were vomiting forth unceasingly that burning
rainwhose silvery stream stood out against the shadows of
the lower façade. As they approached the earththese two
jets of liquid lead spread out in sheaveslike water springing
from the thousand holes of a watering-pot. Above the flame
the enormous towerstwo sides of each of which were visible
in sharp outlinethe one wholly blackthe other wholly red
seemed still more vast with all the immensity of the shadow
which they cast even to the sky.

Their innumerable sculptures of demons and dragons assumed
a lugubrious aspect. The restless light of the flame
made them move to the eye. There were griffins which had
the air of laughinggargoyles which one fancied one heard
yelpingsalamanders which puffed at the firetarasques*
which sneezed in the smoke. And among the monsters thus
roused from their sleep of stone by this flameby this
noisethere was one who walked aboutand who was seen
from time to timeto pass across the glowing face of the
pilelike a bat in front of a candle.

* The representation of a monstrous animal solemnly drawn about
in Tarascon and other French towns.
Without doubtthis strange beacon light would awaken far
awaythe woodcutter of the hills of Bicêtreterrified to
behold the gigantic shadow of the towers of Notre-Dame
quivering over his heaths.

A terrified silence ensued among the outcastsduring which
nothing was heardbut the cries of alarm of the canons shut
up in their cloisterand more uneasy than horses in a burning
stablethe furtive sound of windows hastily opened and still
more hastily closedthe internal hurly-burly of the houses and
of the Hôtel-Dieuthe wind in the flamethe last death-rattle
of the dyingand the continued crackling of the rain of lead
upon the pavement.

In the meanwhilethe principal vagabonds had retired beneath
the porch of the Gondelaurier mansionand were holding
a council of war.

The Duke of Egyptseated on a stone postcontemplated
the phantasmagorical bonfireglowing at a height of two
hundred feet in the airwith religious terror. Clopin
Trouillefou bit his huge fists with rage.

Impossible to get in!he muttered between his teeth.

An old, enchanted church!grumbled the aged Bohemian
Mathias Hungadi Spicali.

By the Pope's whiskers!went on a sham soldierwho had

once been in servicehere are church gutters spitting melted
lead at you better than the machicolations of Lectoure.

Do you see that demon passing and repassing in front of
the fire?exclaimed the Duke of Egypt.

Pardieu, 'tis that damned bellringer, 'tis Quasimodo,
said Clopin.

The Bohemian tossed his head. "I tell youthat 'tis the
spirit Sabnacthe grand marquisthe demon of fortifications.
He has the form of an armed soldierthe head of a lion.
Sometimes he rides a hideous horse. He changes men into
stonesof which he builds towers. He commands fifty legions
'Tis he indeed; I recognize him. Sometimes he is clad in a
handsome golden robefigured after the Turkish fashion."

Where is Bellevigne de l'Etoile?demanded Clopin.

He is dead.

Andry the Red laughed in an idiotic way: "Notre-Dame
is making work for the hospital said he.

Is therethenno way of forcing this door exclaimed the
King of Thunes, stamping his foot.

The Duke of Egypt pointed sadly to the two streams of
boiling lead which did not cease to streak the black facade,
like two long distaffs of phosphorus.

Churches have been known to defend themselves thus all
by themselves he remarked with a sigh. Saint-Sophia at
Constantinopleforty years agohurled to the earth three
times in successionthe crescent of Mahomby shaking her
domeswhich are her heads. Guillaume de Pariswho built
this one was a magician."

Must we then retreat in pitiful fashion, like highwaymen?
said Clopin. "Must we leave our sister herewhom those
hooded wolves will hang to-morrow."

And the sacristy, where there are wagon-loads of gold!
added a vagabondwhose namewe regret to saywe do not know.

Beard of Mahom!cried Trouillefou.

Let us make another trial,resumed the vagabond.

Mathias Hungadi shook his head.

We shall never get in by the door. We must find the
defect in the armor of the old fairy; a hole, a false postern,
some joint or other.

Who will go with me?said Clopin. "I shall go at it
again. By the waywhere is the little scholar Jehanwho
is so encased in iron?"

He is dead, no doubt,some one replied; "we no longer
hear his laugh."

The King of Thunes frowned: "So much the worse. There was a
brave heart under that ironmongery. And Master Pierre Gringoire?"

Captain Clopin,said Andry the Redhe slipped away
before we reached the Pont-aux-Changeurs,

Clopin stamped his foot. "Gueule-Dieu! 'twas he who
pushed us on hitherand he has deserted us in the very middle
of the job! Cowardly chattererwith a slipper for a helmet!"

Captain Clopin,said Andry the Redwho was gazing
down Rue du Parvisyonder is the little scholar.

Praised be Pluto!said Clopin. "But what the devil is
he dragging after him?"

It wasin factJehanwho was running as fast as his heavy
outfit of a Paladinand a long ladder which trailed on the
pavementwould permitmore breathless than an ant harnessed
to a blade of grass twenty times longer than itself.

Victory! ~Te Deum~!cried the scholar. "Here is the
ladder of the longshoremen of Port Saint-Landry."

Clopin approached him.

Child, what do you mean to do, ~corne-dieu~! with this ladder?

I have it,replied Jehanpanting. "I knew where it was
under the shed of the lieutenant's house. There's a wench
there whom I knowwho thinks me as handsome as Cupido.
I made use of her to get the ladderand I have the ladder
~Pasque-Mahom~! The poor girl came to open the door to me
in her shift."

Yes,said Clopinbut what are you going to do with
that ladder?

Jehan gazed at him with a maliciousknowing lookand
cracked his fingers like castanets. At that moment he
was sublime. On his head he wore one of those overloaded
helmets of the fifteenth centurywhich frightened the enemy
with their fanciful crests. His bristled with ten iron beaks
so that Jehan could have disputed with Nestor's Homeric
vessel the redoubtable title of ~dexeubolos~.

What do I mean to do with it, august king of Thunes?
Do you see that row of statues which have such idiotic
expressions, yonder, above the three portals?

Yes. Well?

'Tis the gallery of the kings of France.

What is that to me?said Clopin.

Wait! At the end of that gallery there is a door which is
never fastened otherwise than with a latch, and with this
ladder I ascend, and I am in the church.

Child let me be the first to ascend.

No, comrade, the ladder is mine. Come, you shall be the

May Beelzebub strangle you!said surly ClopinI won't be

second to anybody.

Then find a ladder, Clopin!

Jehan set out on a run across the Placedragging his ladder
and shouting: "Follow melads!"

In an instant the ladder was raisedand propped against
the balustrade of the lower galleryabove one of the lateral
doors. The throng of vagabondsuttering loud acclamations
crowded to its foot to ascend. But Jehan maintained his
rightand was the first to set foot on the rungs. The
passage was tolerably long. The gallery of the kings of France
is to-day about sixty feet above the pavement. The eleven
steps of the flight before the doormade it still higher.
Jehan mounted slowlya good deal incommoded by his
heavy armorholding his crossbow in one handand clinging
to a rung with the other. When he reached the middle of
the ladderhe cast a melancholy glance at the poor dead
outcastswith which the steps were strewn. "Alas!" said he
here is a heap of bodies worthy of the fifth book of the
Iliad!Then he continued his ascent. The vagabonds
followed him. There was one on every rung. At the sight of
this line of cuirassed backsundulating as they rose through
the gloomone would have pronounced it a serpent with steel
scaleswhich was raising itself erect in front of the church.
Jehan who formed the headand who was whistlingcompleted
the illusion.

The scholar finally reached the balcony of the galleryand
climbed over it nimblyto the applause of the whole vagabond
tribe. Thus master of the citadelhe uttered a shout of joy
and suddenly haltedpetrified. He had just caught sight of
Quasimodo concealed in the darkwith flashing eyebehind
one of the statues of the kings.

Before a second assailant could gain a foothold on the
gallerythe formidable hunchback leaped to the head of the
ladderwithout uttering a wordseized the ends of the two
uprights with his powerful handsraised thempushed them
out from the wallbalanced the long and pliant ladderloaded
with vagabonds from top to bottom for a momentin the
midst of shrieks of anguishthen suddenlywith superhuman
forcehurled this cluster of men backward into the Place.
There was a moment when even the most resolute trembled.
The ladderlaunched backwardsremained erect and standing
for an instantand seemed to hesitatethen waveredthen
suddenlydescribing a frightful arc of a circle eighty feet in
radiuscrashed upon the pavement with its load of ruffians
more rapidly than a drawbridge when its chains break.
There arose an immense imprecationthen all was still
and a few mutilated wretches were seencrawling over the
heap of dead.

A sound of wrath and grief followed the first cries of
triumph among the besiegers. Quasimodoimpassivewith
both elbows propped on the balustradelooked on. He had
the air of an oldbushy-headed king at his window.

As for Jehan Frollohe was in a critical position. He
found himself in the gallery with the formidable bellringer
aloneseparated from his companions by a vertical wall
eighty feet high. While Quasimodo was dealing with the
ladderthe scholar had run to the postern which he believed

to be open. It was not. The deaf man had closed it behind
him when he entered the gallery. Jehan had then concealed
himself behind a stone kingnot daring to breatheand fixing
upon the monstrous hunchback a frightened gazelike the
manwhowhen courting the wife of the guardian of a
menageriewent one evening to a love rendezvousmistook
the wall which he was to climband suddenly found himself
face to face with a white bear.

For the first few momentsthe deaf man paid no heed to
him; but at last he turned his headand suddenly straightened
up. He had just caught sight of the scholar.

Jehan prepared himself for a rough shockbut the deaf
man remained motionless; only he had turned towards the
scholar and was looking at him.

Ho ho!said Jehanwhat do you mean by staring at me with
that solitary and melancholy eye?

As he spoke thusthe young scamp stealthily adjusted his

Quasimodo!he criedI am going to change your surname:
you shall be called the blind man.

The shot sped. The feathered vireton* whizzed and entered
the hunchback's left arm. Quasimodo appeared no more
moved by it than by a scratch to King Pharamond. He laid his
hand on the arrowtore it from his armand tranquilly broke it
across his big knee; then he let the two pieces drop on the floor
rather than threw them down. But Jehan had no opportunity
to fire a second time. The arrow brokenQuasimodo breathing
heavilybounded like a grasshopperand he fell upon the
scholarwhose armor was flattened against the wall by the blow.

* An arrow with a pyramidal head of iron and copper spiral wings by
which a rotatory motion was communicated
Then in that gloomwherein wavered the light of the torchesa
terrible thing was seen.

Quasimodo had grasped with his left hand the two arms of
Jehanwho did not offer any resistanceso thoroughly did he
feel that he was lost. With his right handthe deaf man
detached one by onein silencewith sinister slownessall the
pieces of his armorthe swordthe daggersthe helmetthe
cuirassthe leg pieces. One would have said that it was a
monkey taking the shell from a nut. Quasimodo flung the
scholar's iron shell at his feetpiece by piece.
When the scholar beheld himself disarmedstrippedweak
and naked in those terrible handshe made no attempt to
speak to the deaf manbut began to laugh audaciously in his
faceand to sing with his intrepid heedlessness of a child of
sixteenthe then popular ditty:

~Elle est bien habillée,
La ville de Cambrai;
Marafin l'a pillée~...*

* The city of Cambrai is well dressed. Marafin plundered it.
He did not finish. Quasimodo was seen on the parapet of
the galleryholding the scholar by the feet with one hand
and whirling him over the abyss like a sling; then a sound
like that of a bony structure in contact with a wall was
heardand something was seen to fall which halted a third
of the way down in its fallon a projection in the
architecture. It was a dead body which remained hanging
therebent doubleits loins brokenits skull empty.

A cry of horror rose among the vagabonds.

Vengeance!shouted Clopin. "To the sack!" replied the
multitude. "Assault! assault!"

There came a tremendous howlin which were mingled
all tonguesall dialectsall accents. The death of the poor
scholar imparted a furious ardor to that crowd. It was seized
with shameand the wrath of having been held so long in
check before a church by a hunchback. Rage found ladders
multiplied the torchesandat the expiration of a few minutes
Quasimodoin despairbeheld that terrible ant heap mount on
all sides to the assault of Notre-Dame. Those who had no
ladders had knotted ropes; those who had no ropes climbed
by the projections of the carvings. They hung from each
other's rags. There were no means of resisting that rising
tide of frightful faces; rage made these fierce countenances
ruddy; their clayey brows were dripping with sweat; their
eyes darted lightnings; all these grimacesall these horrors
laid siege to Quasimodo. One would have said that some
other church had despatched to the assault of Notre-Dame its
gorgonsits dogsits dréesits demonsits most fantastic
sculptures. It was like a layer of living monsters on the
stone monsters of the façade.

Meanwhilethe Place was studded with a thousand torches.
This scene of confusiontill now hid in darknesswas
suddenly flooded with light. The parvis was resplendentand
cast a radiance on the sky; the bonfire lighted on the lofty
platform was still burningand illuminated the city far away.
The enormous silhouette of the two towersprojected afar on
the roofs of Parisand formed a large notch of black in this
light. The city seemed to be aroused. Alarm bells wailed in
the distance. The vagabonds howledpantedsworeclimbed;
and Quasimodopowerless against so many enemiesshuddering
for the gypsybeholding the furious faces approaching
ever nearer and nearer to his galleryentreated heaven
for a miracleand wrung his arms in despair.



The reader has notperhapsforgotten that one moment
before catching sight of the nocturnal band of vagabonds
Quasimodoas he inspected Paris from the heights of his bell
towerperceived only one light burningwhich gleamed like a

star from a window on the topmost story of a lofty edifice
beside the Porte Saint-Antoine. This edifice was the Bastille.
That star was the candle of Louis XI.

King Louis XI. hadin factbeen two days in Paris. He
was to take his departure on the next day but one for his
citadel of Montilz-les-Tours. He made but seldom and brief
appearance in his good city of Parissince there he did not
feel about him enough pitfallsgibbetsand Scotch archers.

He had comethat dayto sleep at the Bastille. The great
chamber five toises* squarewhich he had at the Louvrewith
its huge chimney-piece loaded with twelve great beasts and
thirteen great prophetsand his grand bedeleven feet by
twelvepleased him but little. He felt himself lost amid
all this grandeur. This good bourgeois king preferred the
Bastille with a tiny chamber and couch. And thenthe
Bastille was stronger than the Louvre.

* An ancient long measure in Francecontaining six feet
and nearly five inches English measure.
This little chamberwhich the king reserved for himself in
the famous state prisonwas also tolerably spacious and
occupied the topmost story of a turret rising from the donjon
keep. It was circular in formcarpeted with mats of shining
strawceiled with beamsenriched with fleurs-de-lis of gilded
metal with interjoists in color; wainscoated with rich woods
sown with rosettes of white metaland with others painted a
finebright greenmade of orpiment and fine indigo.

There was only one windowa long pointed casementlatticed
with brass wire and bars of ironfurther darkened by fine
colored panes with the arms of the king and of the queen
each pane being worth two and twenty sols.

There was but one entrancea modern doorwith a fiat arch
garnished with a piece of tapestry on the insideand on the
outside by one of those porches of Irish woodfrail edifices
of cabinet-work curiously wroughtnumbers of which were
still to be seen in old houses a hundred and fifty years
ago. "Although they disfigure and embarrass the places
says Sauvel in despair, our old people are still unwilling
to get rid of themand keep them in spite of everybody."

In this chambernothing was to be found of what furnishes
ordinary apartmentsneither benchesnor trestlesnor forms
nor common stools in the form of a chestnor fine stools
sustained by pillars and counter-pillarsat four sols a piece.
Only one easy arm-chairvery magnificentwas to be seen; the
wood was painted with roses on a red groundthe seat was of
ruby Cordovan leatherornamented with long silken fringes
and studded with a thousand golden nails. The loneliness of
this chair made it apparent that only one person had a right
to sit down in this apartment. Beside the chairand quite
close to the windowthere was a table covered with a cloth
with a pattern of birds. On this table stood an inkhorn
spotted with inksome parchmentsseveral pensand a large
goblet of chased silver. A little further on was a brazier
a praying stool in crimson velvetrelieved with small bosses
of gold. Finallyat the extreme end of the rooma simple
bed of scarlet and yellow damaskwithout either tinsel or

lace; having only an ordinary fringe. This bedfamous for
having borne the sleep or the sleeplessness of Louis XI.was
still to be seen two hundred years agoat the house of a
councillor of statewhere it was seen by old Madame Pilou
celebrated in _Cyrus_ under the name "Arricidie" and of "la
Morale Vivante".

Such was the chamber which was called "the retreat where
Monsieur Louis de France says his prayers."

At the moment when we have introduced the reader into it
this retreat was very dark. The curfew bell had sounded an
hour before; night was comeand there was only one flickering
wax candle set on the table to light five persons variously
grouped in the chamber.

The first on which the light fell was a seigneur superbly
clad in breeches and jerkin of scarlet striped with silver
and a loose coat with half sleeves of cloth of gold with black
figures. This splendid costumeon which the light played
seemed glazed with flame on every fold. The man who wore
it had his armorial bearings embroidered on his breast in vivid
colors; a chevron accompanied by a deer passant. The shield
was flankedon the right by an olive branchon the left by a
deer's antlers. This man wore in his girdle a rich dagger
whose hiltof silver giltwas chased in the form of a helmet
and surmounted by a count's coronet. He had a forbidding
aira proud mienand a head held high. At the first glance
one read arrogance on his visage; at the secondcraft.

He was standing bareheadeda long roll of parchment in
his handbehind the arm-chair in which was seatedhis body
ungracefully doubled uphis knees crossedhis elbow on the
tablea very badly accoutred personage. Let the reader
imagine in facton the rich seat of Cordova leathertwo
crooked kneestwo thin thighspoorly clad in black worsted
tricota body enveloped in a cloak of fustianwith fur trimming
of which more leather than hair was visible; lastlyto crown
alla greasy old hat of the worst sort of black clothbordered
with a circular string of leaden figures. Thisin company with
a dirty skull-capwhich hardly allowed a hair to escapewas
all that distinguished the seated personage. He held his head
so bent upon his breastthat nothing was to be seen of his
face thus thrown into shadowexcept the tip of his noseupon
which fell a ray of lightand which must have been long.
From the thinness of his wrinkled handone divined that he
was an old man. It was Louis XI.

At some distance behind themtwo men dressed in garments
of Flemish style were conversingwho were not sufficiently
lost in the shadow to prevent any one who had been present
at the performance of Gringoire's mystery from recognizing in
them two of the principal Flemish envoysGuillaume Rym
the sagacious pensioner of Ghentand Jacques Coppenolethe
popular hosier. The reader will remember that these men
were mixed up in the secret politics of Louis XI.

Finallyquite at the end of the roomnear the doorin
the darkstoodmotionless as a statuea vigorous man with
thickset limbsa military harnesswith a surcoat of armorial
bearingswhose square face pierced with staring eyesslit
with an immense mouthhis ears concealed by two large screens of
flat hairhad something about it both of the dog and the tiger.

All were uncovered except the king.

The gentleman who stood near the king was reading him a
sort of long memorial to which his majesty seemed to be
listening attentively. The two Flemings were whispering together.

Cross of God!grumbled CoppenoleI am tired of standing; is
there no chair here?

Rym replied by a negative gestureaccompanied by a discreet smile.

Croix-Dieu!resumed Coppenolethoroughly unhappy at
being obliged to lower his voice thusI should like to sit
down on the floor, with my legs crossed, like a hosier, as I do
in my shop.

Take good care that you do not, Master Jacques.

Ouais! Master Guillaume! can one only remain here on his feet?

Or on his knees,said Rym.

At that moment the king's voice was uplifted. They held their peace.

Fifty sols for the robes of our valets, and twelve livres for
the mantles of the clerks of our crown! That's it! Pour out
gold by the ton! Are you mad, Olivier?

As he spoke thusthe old man raised his head. The golden
shells of the collar of Saint-Michael could be seen gleaming on
his neck. The candle fully illuminated his gaunt and morose
profile. He tore the papers from the other's hand.

You are ruining us!he criedcasting his hollow eyes
over the scroll. "What is all this? What need have we of so
prodigious a household? Two chaplains at ten livres a month
eachanda chapel clerk at one hundred sols! A valet-dechambre
at ninety livres a year. Four head cooks at six score
livres a year each! A spit-cookan herb-cooka sauce-cook
a butlertwo sumpter-horse lackeysat ten livres a month
each! Two scullions at eight livres! A groom of the stables
and his two aids at four and twenty livres a month! A porter
a pastry-cooka bakertwo carterseach sixty livres a year!
And the farrier six score livres! And the master of the
chamber of our fundstwelve hundred livres! And the
comptroller five hundred. And how do I know what else?
'Tis ruinous. The wages of our servants are putting France
to the pillage! All the ingots of the Louvre will melt before
such a fire of expenses! We shall have to sell our plate!
And next yearif God and our Lady (here he raised his hat)
lend us lifewe shall drink our potions from a pewter pot!"

So sayinghe cast a glance at the silver goblet which
gleamed upon the table. He coughed and continued-

Master Olivier, the princes who reign over great lordships,
like kings and emperors, should not allow sumptuousness in
their houses; for the fire spreads thence through the province.
Hence, Master Olivier, consider this said once for all. Our
expenditure increases every year. The thing displease us.
How, ~pasque-Dieu~! when in '79 it did not exceed six and
thirty thousand livres, did it attain in '80, forty-three
thousand six hundred and nineteen livres? I have the figures
in my head. In '81, sixty-six thousand six hundred and eighty

livres, and this year, by the faith of my body, it will reach
eighty thousand livres! Doubled in four years! Monstrous!

He paused breathlessthen resumed energetically--

I behold around me only people who fatten on my leanness! you
suck crowns from me at every pore.

All remained silent. This was one of those fits of wrath
which are allowed to take their course. He continued--

'Tis like that request in Latin from the gentlemen of
France, that we should re-establish what they call the grand
charges of the Crown! Charges in very deed! Charges which
crush! Ah! gentlemen! you say that we are not a king to
reign ~dapifero nullo, buticulario nullo~! We will let you see,
~pasque-Dieu~! whether we are not a king!

Here he smiledin the consciousness of his power; this
softened his bad humorand he turned towards the Flemings--

Do you see, Gossip Guillaume? the grand warden of the
keys, the grand butler, the grand chamberlain, the grand
seneschal are not worth the smallest valet. Remember this,
Gossip Coppenole. They serve no purpose, as they stand thus
useless round the king; they produce upon me the effect of the
four Evangelists who surround the face of the big clock of the
palace, and which Philippe Brille has just set in order afresh.
They are gilt, but they do not indicate the hour; and the
hands can get on without them.

He remained in thought for a momentthen addedshaking
his aged head--

Ho! ho! by our Lady, I am not Philippe Brille, and I
shall not gild the great vassals anew. Continue, Olivier.

The person whom he designated by this nametook the
papers into his hands againand began to read aloud--

To Adam Tenon, clerk of the warden of the seals of the
provostship of Paris; for the silver, making, and engraving
of said seals, which have been made new because the others
preceding, by reason of their antiquity and their worn condition,
could no longer be successfully used, twelve livres parisis.

To Guillaume Frèrethe sum of four livresfour sols parisis
for his trouble and salaryfor having nourished and fed
the doves in the two dove-cots of the Hôtel des Tournelles
during the months of JanuaryFebruaryand March of this
year; and for this he hath given seven sextiers of barley.

To a gray friar for confessing a criminal, four sols parisis.

The king listened in silence. From time to time be
coughed; then he raised the goblet to his lips and drank a
draught with a grimace.

During this year there have been made by the ordinance
of justice, to the sound of the trumpet, through the squares of
Paris, fifty-six proclamations. Account to be regulated.

For having searched and ransacked in certain placesin
Paris as well as elsewherefor money said to be there concealed;

but nothing hath been found: forty-five livres parisis."

Bury a crown to unearth a sou!said the king.

For having set in the Hôtel des Tournelles six panes
of white glass in the place where the iron cage is, thirteen
sols; for having made and delivered by command of the king,
on the day of the musters, four shields with the escutcheons of
the said seigneur, encircled with garlands of roses all about,
six livres; for two new sleeves to the king's old doublet,
twenty sols; for a box of grease to grease the boots of the
king, fifteen deniers; a stable newly made to lodge the king's
black pigs, thirty livres parisis; many partitions, planks, and
trap-doors, for the safekeeping of the lions at Saint-Paul,
twenty-two livres.

These be dear beasts,said Louis XI. "It matters not; it
is a fine magnificence in a king. There is a great red lion
whom I love for his pleasant ways. Have you seen himMaster
Guillaume? Princes must have these terrific animals; for
we kings must have lions for our dogs and tigers for our cats.
The great befits a crown. In the days of the pagans of Jupiter
when the people offered the temples a hundred oxen and a
hundred sheepthe emperors gave a hundred lions and a
hundred eagles. This was wild and very fine. The kings of
France have always had roarings round their throne. Nevertheless
people must do me this justicethat I spend still less
money on it than they didand that I possess a greater modesty
of lionsbearselephantsand leopards.--Go onMaster
Olivier. We wished to say thus much to our Flemish friends."

Guillaume Rym bowed lowwhile Coppenolewith his surly
mienhad the air of one of the bears of which his majesty was
speaking. The king paid no heed. He had just dipped his
lips into the gobletand he spat out the beveragesaying:
Foh! what a disagreeable potion!The man who was reading

For feeding a rascally footpad, locked up these six months
in the little cell of the flayer, until it should be determined
what to do with him, six livres, four sols.

What's that?interrupted the king; "feed what ought to
be hanged! ~Pasque-Dieu~! I will give not a sou more for
that nourishment. Oliviercome to an understanding about
the matter with Monsieur d'Estoutevilleand prepare me this
very evening the wedding of the gallant and the gallows. Resume."

Olivier made a mark with his thumb against the article of
the "rascally foot soldier and passed on.

To Henriet Cousinmaster executor of the high works of
justice in Paristhe sum of sixty sols parisisto him assessed
and ordained by monseigneur the provost of Parisfor having
boughtby order of the said sieur the provosta great broad
swordserving to execute and decapitate persons who are by
justice condemned for their demeritsand he hath caused the
same to be garnished with a sheath and with all things thereto
appertaining; and hath likewise caused to be repointed and
set in order the old swordwhich had become broken and
notched in executing justice on Messire Louis de Luxembourg
as will more fully appear .

The king interrupted: "That suffices. I allow the sum

with great good will. Those are expenses which I do not
begrudge. I have never regretted that money. Continue."

For having made over a great cage...

Ah!said the kinggrasping the arms of his chair in
both handsI knew well that I came hither to this Bastille
for some purpose. Hold, Master Olivier; I desire to see
that cage myself. You shall read me the cost while I am
examining it. Messieurs Flemings, come and see this; 'tis

Then he roseleaned on the arm of his interlocutormade a
sign to the sort of mute who stood before the door to precede
himto the two Flemings to follow himand quitted the room.

The royal company was recruitedat the door of the retreat
by men of armsall loaded down with ironand by slender
pages bearing flambeaux. It marched for some time through
the interior of the gloomy donjonpierced with staircases and
corridors even in the very thickness of the walls. The
captain of the Bastille marched at their headand caused
the wickets to be opened before the bent and aged kingwho
coughed as he walked.

At each wicketall heads were obliged to stoopexcept that
of the old man bent double with age. "Hum said he between
his gums, for he had no longer any teeth, we are already
quite prepared for the door of the sepulchre. For a low door
a bent passer."

At lengthafter having passed a final wicketso loaded
with locks that a quarter of an hour was required to open it
they entered a vast and lofty vaulted hallin the centre of
which they could distinguish by the light of the torchesa
huge cubic mass of masonryironand wood. The interior
was hollow. It was one of those famous cages of prisoners
of statewhich were called "the little daughters of the king."
In its walls there were two or three little windows so closely
trellised with stout iron bars; that the glass was not visible.
The door was a large flat slab of stoneas on tombs; the sort
of door which serves for entrance only. Only herethe occupant
was alive.

The king began to walk slowly round the little edifice
examining it carefullywhile Master Olivierwho followed
himread aloud the note.

For having made a great cage of wood of solid beams,
timbers and wall-plates, measuring nine feet in length by
eight in breadth, and of the height of seven feet between
the partitions, smoothed and clamped with great bolts of iron,
which has been placed in a chamber situated in one of the
towers of the Bastille Saint-Antoine, in which cage is placed
and detained, by command of the king our lord, a prisoner
who formerly inhabited an old, decrepit, and ruined cage.
There have been employed in making the said new cage,
ninety-six horizontal beams, and fifty-two upright joists,
ten wall plates three toises long; there have been occupied
nineteen carpenters to hew, work, and fit all the said wood
in the courtyard of the Bastille during twenty days.

Very fine heart of oak,said the kingstriking the woodwork
with his fist.

There have been used in this cage,continued the other
two hundred and twenty great bolts of iron, of nine feet,
and of eight, the rest of medium length, with the rowels,
caps and counterbands appertaining to the said bolts;
weighing, the said iron in all, three thousand, seven hundred
and thirty-five pounds; beside eight great squares of iron,
serving to attach the said cage in place with clamps and
nails weighing in all two hundred and eighteen pounds, not
reckoning the iron of the trellises for the windows of the
chamber wherein the cage hath been placed, the bars of iron
for the door of the cage and other things.

'Tis a great deal of iron,said the kingto contain the
light of a spirit.

The whole amounts to three hundred and seventeen livres,
five sols, seven deniers.

~Pasque-Dieu~!exclaimed the king.

At this oathwhich was the favorite of Louis XI.some one
seemed to awaken in the interior of the cage; the sound of
chains was heardgrating on the floorand a feeble voice
which seemed to issue from the tomb was uplifted. "Sire!
sire! mercy!" The one who spoke thus could not be seen.

Three hundred and seventeen livres, five sols, seven deniers,
repeated Louis XI.

The lamentable voice which had proceeded from the cage
had frozen all presenteven Master Olivier himself. The
king alone wore the air of not having heard. At his order
Master Olivier resumed his readingand his majesty coldly
continued his inspection of the cage.

In addition to this there hath been paid to a mason who
hath made the holes wherein to place the gratings of the
windows, and the floor of the chamber where the cage is,
because that floor could not support this cage by reason
of its weight, twenty-seven livres fourteen sols parisis.

The voice began to moan again.

Mercy, sire! I swear to you that 'twas Monsieur the Cardinal
d'Angers and not I, who was guilty of treason.

The mason is bold!said the king. "ContinueOlivier."
Olivier continued-

To a joiner for window frames, bedstead, hollow stool, and
other things, twenty livres, two sols parisis.

The voice also continued.

Alas, sire! will you not listen to me? I protest to you
that 'twas not I who wrote the matter to Monseigneur do
Guyenne, but Monsieur le Cardinal Balue.

The joiner is dear,quoth the king. "Is that all?"

No, sire. To a glazier, for the windows of the said chamber,
forty-six sols, eight deniers parisis.

Have mercy, sire! Is it not enough to have given all my
goods to my judges, my plate to Monsieur de Torcy, my
library to Master Pierre Doriolle, my tapestry to the governor
of the Roussillon? I am innocent. I have been shivering
in an iron cage for fourteen years. Have mercy, sire!
You will find your reward in heaven.

Master Olivier,said the kingthe total?

Three hundred sixty-seven livres, eight sols, three deniers

Notre-Dame!" cried the king. "This is an outrageous cage!"

He tore the book from Master Olivier's handsand set to
reckoning it himself upon his fingersexamining the paper
and the cage alternately. Meanwhilethe prisoner could be
heard sobbing. This was lugubrious in the darknessand
their faces turned pale as they looked at each other.

Fourteen years, sire! Fourteen years now! since the
month of April, 1469. In the name of the Holy Mother of
God, sire, listen to me! During all this time you have
enjoyed the heat of the sun. Shall I, frail creature, never
more behold the day? Mercy, sire! Be pitiful! Clemency is
a fine, royal virtue, which turns aside the currents of wrath.
Does your majesty believe that in the hour of death it will
be a great cause of content for a king never to have left
any offence unpunished? Besides, sire, I did not betray your
majesty, 'twas Monsieur d'Angers; and I have on my foot a very
heavy chain, and a great ball of iron at the end, much heavier
than it should be in reason. Eh! sire! Have pity on me!

Olivier,cried the kingthrowing back his headI observe
that they charge me twenty sols a hogshead for plaster, while
it is worth but twelve. You will refer back this account.

He turned his back on the cageand set out to leave the
room. The miserable prisoner divined from the removal
of the torches and the noisethat the king was taking his

Sire! sire!be cried in despair.

The door closed again. He no longer saw anythingand
heard only the hoarse voice of the turnkeysinging in his ears
this ditty-

~Maître Jean Balue,
A perdu la vue
De ses évêchés.
Monsieur de Verdun.
N'en a plus pas un;
Tous sont dépêchés~.*

* Master Jean Balue has lost sight of his bishoprics.
Monsieur of Verdun has no longer one; all have been
killed off.
The king reascended in silence to his retreatand his suite
followed himterrified by the last groans of the condemned

man. All at once his majesty turned to the Governor of the

By the way,said hewas there not some one in that cage?

Pardieu, yes sire!replied the governorastounded by
the question.

And who was it?

Monsieur the Bishop of Verdun.

The king knew this better than any one else. But it was a
mania of his.

Ah!said hewith the innocent air of thinking of it for
the first timeGuillaume de Harancourt, the friend of
Monsieur the Cardinal Balue. A good devil of a bishop!

At the expiration of a few momentsthe door of the retreat
had opened againthen closed upon the five personages whom
the reader has seen at the beginning of this chapterand who
resumed their placestheir whispered conversationsand their

During the king's absenceseveral despatches had been
placed on his tableand he broke the seals himself. Then he
began to read them promptlyone after the othermade a sign
to Master Olivier who appeared to exercise the office of
ministerto take a penand without communicating to him
the contents of the despatcheshe began to dictate in a low
voicethe replies which the latter wroteon his kneesin an
inconvenient attitude before the table.

Guillaume Rym was on the watch.

The king spoke so low that the Flemings heard nothing of
his dictationexcept some isolated and rather unintelligible
scrapssuch as-

To maintain the fertile places by commerce, and the sterile
by manufactures....--To show the English lords our four
bombards, London, Brabant, Bourg-en-Bresse, Saint-
Omer....--Artillery is the cause of war being made more
judiciously now....--To Monsieur de Bressuire, our
friend....--Armies cannot be maintained without tribute, etc.

Once he raised his voice,-

~Pasque Dieu~! Monsieur the King of Sicily seals his
letters with yellow waxlike a king of France. Perhaps
we are in the wrong to permit him so to do. My fair cousin
of Burgundy granted no armorial bearings with a field of gules.
The grandeur of houses is assured by the integrity of
prerogatives. Note thisfriend Olivier."


Oh! oh!said heWhat a long message! What doth
our brother the emperor claim?And running his eye over
the missive and breaking his reading with interjection:
Surely! the Germans are so great and powerful, that it is
hardly credible--But let us not forget the old proverb: 'The
finest county is Flanders; the finest duchy, Milan; the finest

kingdom, France.' Is it not so, Messieurs Flemings?

This time Coppenole bowed in company with Guillaume Rym. The
hosier's patriotism was tickled.

The last despatch made Louis XI. frown.

What is this?be saidComplaints and fault finding
against our garrisons in Picardy! Olivier, write with diligence
to M. the Marshal de Rouault:--That discipline is relaxed.
That the gendarmes of the unattached troops, the feudal
nobles, the free archers, and the Swiss inflict infinite evils
on the rustics.--That the military, not content with what they
find in the houses of the rustics, constrain them with violent
blows of cudgel or of lash to go and get wine, spices, and
other unreasonable things in the town.--That monsieur the
king knows this. That we undertake to guard our people
against inconveniences, larcenies and pillage.--That such is
our will, by our Lady!--That in addition, it suits us not that
any fiddler, barber, or any soldier varlet should be clad like
a prince, in velvet, cloth of silk, and rings of gold.--That
these vanities are hateful to God.--That we, who are gentlemen,
content ourselves with a doublet of cloth at sixteen sols the
ell, of Paris.--That messieurs the camp-followers can very
well come down to that, also.--Command and ordain.--To
Monsieur de Rouault, our friend.--Good.

He dictated this letter aloudin a firm toneand in jerks.
At the moment when he finished itthe door opened and gave
passage to a new personagewho precipitated himself into the
chambercrying in affright--

Sire! sire! there is a sedition of the populace in Paris!
Louis XI.'s grave face contracted; but all that was visible
of his emotion passed away like a flash of lightning. He
controlled himself and said with tranquil severity--

Gossip Jacques, you enter very abruptly!

Sire! sire! there is a revolt!repeated Gossip Jacques

The kingwho had risengrasped him roughly by the arm
and said in his earin such a manner as to be heard by him
alonewith concentrated rage and a sidelong glance at the

Hold your tongue! or speak low!

The new comer understoodand began in a low tone to give
a very terrified accountto which the king listened calmly
while Guillaume Rym called Coppenole's attention to the face
and dress of the new arrivalto his furred cowl(~caputia
fourrata~)his short cape(~epitogia curta~)his robe of black velvet
which bespoke a president of the court of accounts.

Hardly had this personage given the king some explanations
when Louis XI. exclaimedbursting into a laugh--

In truth? Speak aloud, Gossip Coictier! What call is
there for you to talk so low? Our Lady knoweth that we conceal
nothing from our good friends the Flemings.

But sire...

Speak loud!

Gossip Coictier was struck dumb with surprise.

So,resumed the king--"speak sir--there is a commotion
among the louts in our good city of Paris?"

Yes, sire.

And which is moving you say, against monsieur the bailiff of
the Palais-de-Justice?

So it appears,said the gossipwho still stammeredutterly
astounded by the abrupt and inexplicable change which had
just taken place in the king's thoughts.

Louis XI. continued: "Where did the watch meet the rabble?"

Marching from the Grand Truanderie, towards the Pont-aux-
Changeurs. I met it myself as I was on my way hither to
obey your majesty's commands. I heard some of them shouting:
'Down with the bailiff of the palace!'

And what complaints have they against the bailiff?

Ah!said Gossip Jacquesbecause he is their lord.


Yes, sire. They are knaves from the Cour-des-Miracles.
They have been complaining this long while, of the bailiff,
whose vassals they are. They do not wish to recognize him
either as judge or as voyer?*

* One in charge of the highways.
Yes, certainly!retorted the king with a smile of satisfaction
which he strove in vain to disguise.

In all their petitions to the Parliament, they claim to have
but two masters. Your majesty and their God, who is the
devil, I believe.

Eh! eh!said the king.

He rubbed his handshe laughed with that inward mirth
which makes the countenance beam; he was unable to dissimulate
his joyalthough he endeavored at moments to compose
himself. No one understood it in the leastnot even Master
Olivier. He remained silent for a momentwith a thoughtful
but contented air.

Are they in force?he suddenly inquired.

Yes, assuredly, sire,replied Gossip Jacques.

How many?

Six thousand at the least.

The king could not refrain from saying: "Good!" he went on-

Are they armed?

With scythes, pikes, hackbuts, pickaxes. All sorts of very
violent weapons.

The king did not appear in the least disturbed by this list.
Jacques considered it his duty to add-

If your majesty does not send prompt succor to the bailiff,
he is lost.

We will send,said the king with an air of false seriousness.
It is well. Assuredly we will send. Monsieur the bailiff
is our friend. Six thousand! They are desperate scamps!
Their audacity is marvellous, and we are greatly enraged at it.
But we have only a few people about us to-night. To-morrow
morning will be time enough.

Gossip Jacques exclaimedInstantly, sire! there will be
time to sack the bailiwick a score of times, to violate the
seignory, to hang the bailiff. For God's sake, sire! send
before to-morrow morning.

The king looked him full in the face. "I have told you
to-morrow morning."

It was one Of those looks to which one does not reply.
After a silenceLouis XI. raised his voice once more-

You should know that, Gossip Jacques. What was--

He corrected himself. "What is the bailiff's feudal jurisdiction?"

Sire, the bailiff of the palace has the Rue Calendre as far
as the Rue de l'Herberie, the Place Saint-Michel, and the
localities vulgarly known as the Mureaux, situated near the
church of Notre-Dame des Champs (here Louis XI. raised
the brim of his hat), which hotels number thirteen, plus the
Cour des Miracles, plus the Maladerie, called the Banlieue,
plus the whole highway which begins at that Maladerie and
ends at the Porte Sainte-Jacques. Of these divers places he
is voyer, high, middle, and low, justiciary, full seigneur.

Bless me!said the kingscratching his left ear with his
right handthat makes a goodly bit of my city! Ah! monsieur
the bailiff was king of all that.

This time he did not correct himself. He continued dreamily
and as though speaking to himself-

Very fine, monsieur the bailiff! You had there between
your teeth a pretty slice of our Paris.

All at once he broke out explosively~Pasque-Dieu~!
What people are those who claim to be voyersjusticiaries
lords and masters in our domains? who have their tollgates
at the end of every field? their gallows and their hangman
at every cross-road among our people? So that as the Greek
believed that he had as many gods as there were fountains
and the Persian as many as he beheld starsthe Frenchman
counts as many kings as he sees gibbets! Pardieu! 'tis an
evil thingand the confusion of it displeases me. I should
greatly like to know whether it be the mercy of God that

there should be in Paris any other lord than the kingany
other judge than our parliamentany other emperor than
ourselves in this empire! By the faith of my soul! the day
must certainly come when there shall exist in France but one
kingone lordone judgeone headsmanas there is in paradise
but one God!"

He lifted his cap againand continuedstill dreamilywith
the air and accent of a hunter who is cheering on his pack of
hounds: "Goodmy people! bravely done! break these false
lords! do your duty! at them! have at them! pillage them!
take them! sack them!....Ah! you want to be kingsmesseigneurs?
Onmy people on!"

Here he interrupted himself abruptlybit his lips as though
to take back his thought which had already half escaped
bent his piercing eyes in turn on each of the five persons
who surrounded himand suddenly grasping his hat with
both hands and staring full at ithe said to it: "Oh! I
would burn you if you knew what there was in my head."

Then casting about him once more the cautious and uneasy
glance of the fox re-entering his hole--

No matter! we will succor monsieur the bailiff.
Unfortunately, we have but few troops here at the present moment,
against so great a populace. We must wait until to-morrow.
The order will be transmitted to the City and every one who
is caught will be immediately hung.

By the way, sire,said Gossip CoictierI had forgotten
that in the first agitation, the watch have seized two laggards
of the band. If your majesty desires to see these men, they
are here.

If I desire to see them!cried the king. "What! ~Pasque-
Dieu~! You forget a thing like that! Run quickyouOlivier!
Goseek them!"

Master Olivier quitted the room and returned a moment
later with the two prisonerssurrounded by archers of the
guard. The first had a coarseidioticdrunken and
astonished face. He was clothed in ragsand walked with
one knee bent and dragging his leg. The second had a pallid
and smiling countenancewith which the reader is already

The king surveyed them for a moment without uttering a
wordthen addressing the first one abruptly--

What's your name?

Gieffroy Pincebourde.

Your trade.


What were you going to do in this damnable sedition?
The outcast stared at the kingand swung his arms with a
stupid air.

He had one of those awkwardly shaped heads where intelligence
is about as much at its ease as a light beneath an extinguisher.

I know not,said he. "They wentI went."

Were you not going to outrageously attack and pillage your lord,
the bailiff of the palace?

I know that they were going to take something from some one.
That is all.

A soldier pointed out to the king a billhook which he had seized
on the person of the vagabond.

Do you recognize this weapon?demanded the king.

Yes; 'tis my billhook; I am a vine-dresser.

And do you recognize this man as your companion?
added Louis XI.pointing to the other prisoner.

No, I do not know him.

That will do,said the kingmaking a sign with his finger
to the silent personage who stood motionless beside the door
to whom we have already called the reader's attention.

Gossip Tristan, here is a man for you.

Tristan l'Hermite bowed. He gave an order in a low voice
to two archerswho led away the poor vagabond.

In the meantimethe king had approached the second prisoner
who was perspiring in great drops: "Your name?"

Sire, Pierre Gringoire.

Your trade?

Philosopher, sire.

How do you permit yourself, knave, to go and besiege our
friend, monsieur the bailiff of the palace, and what have you
to say concerning this popular agitation?

Sire, I had nothing to do with it.

Come, now! you wanton wretch, were not you apprehended
by the watch in that bad company?

No, sire, there is a mistake. 'Tis a fatality. I make
tragedies. Sire, I entreat your majesty to listen to me. I
am a poet. 'Tis the melancholy way of men of my profession
to roam the streets by night. I was passing there. It was
mere chance. I was unjustly arrested; I am innocent of this
civil tempest. Your majesty sees that the vagabond did
not recognize me. I conjure your majesty--

Hold your tongue!said the kingbetween two swallows
of his ptisan. "You split our head!"

Tristan l'Hermite advanced and pointing to Gringoire-

Sire, can this one be hanged also?

This was the first word that he had uttered.

Phew!replied the kingI see no objection.

I see a great many!said Gringoire.

At that momentour philosopher was greener than an olive.
He perceived from the king's cold and indifferent mien that
there was no other resource than something very pathetic
and he flung himself at the feet of Louis XI.exclaiming
with gestures of despair:-

Sire! will your majesty deign to hear me. Sire! break
not in thunder over so small a thing as myself. God's great
lightning doth not bombard a lettuce. Sire, you are an
august and, very puissant monarch; have pity on a poor man
who is honest, and who would find it more difficult to stir up
a revolt than a cake of ice would to give out a spark! Very
gracious sire, kindness is the virtue of a lion and a king.
Alas! rigor only frightens minds; the impetuous gusts of
the north wind do not make the traveller lay aside his cloak;
the sun, bestowing his rays little by little, warms him in such
ways that it will make him strip to his shirt. Sire, you are
the sun. I protest to you, my sovereign lord and master, that
I am not an outcast, thief, and disorderly fellow. Revolt and
brigandage belong not to the outfit of Apollo. I am not the
man to fling myself into those clouds which break out into
seditious clamor. I am your majesty's faithful vassal. That
same jealousy which a husband cherisheth for the honor of
his wife, the resentment which the son hath for the love of
his father, a good vassal should feel for the glory of his king;
he should pine away for the zeal of this house, for the
aggrandizement of his service. Every other passion which
should transport him would be but madness. These, sire, are my
maxims of state: then do not judge me to be a seditious and
thieving rascal because my garment is worn at the elbows. If
you will grant me mercy, sire, I will wear it out on the knees
in praying to God for you night and morning! Alas! I am
not extremely rich, 'tis true. I am even rather poor. But
not vicious on that account. It is not my fault. Every one
knoweth that great wealth is not to be drawn from literature,
and that those who are best posted in good books do not
always have a great fire in winter. The advocate's trade
taketh all the grain, and leaveth only straw to the other
scientific professions. There are forty very excellent proverbs
anent the hole-ridden cloak of the philosopher. Oh, sire!
clemency is the only light which can enlighten the interior of
so great a soul. Clemency beareth the torch before all the other
virtues. Without it they are but blind men groping after
God in the dark. Compassion, which is the same thing as
clemency, causeth the love of subjects, which is the most
powerful bodyguard to a prince. What matters it to your
majesty, who dazzles all faces, if there is one poor man more
on earth, a poor innocent philosopher spluttering amid the
shadows of calamity, with an empty pocket which resounds
against his hollow belly? Moreover, sire, I am a man of
letters. Great kings make a pearl for their crowns by protecting
letters. Hercules did not disdain the title of Musagetes.
Mathias Corvin favored Jean de Monroyal, the ornament of
mathematics. Now, 'tis an ill way to protect letters to hang
men of letters. What a stain on Alexander if he had hung
Aristoteles! This act would not be a little patch on the face
of his reputation to embellish it, but a very malignant ulcer
to disfigure it. Sire! I made a very proper epithalamium for
Mademoiselle of Flanders and Monseigneur the very august

Dauphin. That is not a firebrand of rebellion. Your majesty
sees that I am not a scribbler of no reputation, that I have
studied excellently well, and that I possess much natural
eloquence. Have mercy upon me, sire! In so doing you will
perform a gallant deed to our Lady, and I swear to you that
I am greatly terrified at the idea of being hanged!

So sayingthe unhappy Gringoire kissed the king's slippers
and Guillaume Rym said to Coppenole in a low tone: "He
doth well to drag himself on the earth. Kings are like the
Jupiter of Cretethey have ears only in their feet." And
without troubling himself about the Jupiter of Cretethe
hosier replied with a heavy smileand his eyes fixed on
Gringoire: "Oh! that's it exactly! I seem to hear Chancellor
Hugonet craving mercy of me."

When Gringoire paused at lastquite out of breathhe
raised his head tremblingly towards the kingwho was engaged
in scratching a spot on the knee of his breeches with his fingernail;
then his majesty began to drink from the goblet of
ptisan. But he uttered not a wordand this silence tortured
Gringoire. At last the king looked at him. "Here is a terrible
bawler!" saidhe. Thenturning to Tristan l'Hermite
Bali! let him go!

Gringoire fell backwardsquite thunderstruck with joy.

At liberty!growled Tristan "Doth not your majesty
wish to have him detained a little while in a cage?"

Gossip,retorted Louis XI.think you that 'tis for birds
of this feather that we cause to be made cages at three hundred
and sixty-seven livres, eight sous, three deniers apiece?
Release him at once, the wanton (Louis XI. was fond of this
word which formed, with ~Pasque-Dieu~, the foundation of his
joviality), and put him out with a buffet.

Ugh!cried Gringoirewhat a great king is here!

And for fear of a counter orderhe rushed towards the door
which Tristan opened for him with a very bad grace. The
soldiers left the room with himpushing him before them
with stout thwackswhich Gringoire bore like a true stoical

The king's good humor since the revolt against the bailiff
had been announced to himmade itself apparent in every
way. This unwonted clemency was no small sign of it. Tristan
l'Hermite in his corner wore the surly look of a dog who
has had a bone snatched away from him.

Meanwhilethe king thrummed gayly with his fingers on the
arm of his chairthe March of Pont-Audemer. He was a
dissembling princebut one who understood far better how to
hide his troubles than his joys. These external manifestations
of joy at any good news sometimes proceeded to very
great lengths thuson the deathof Charles the Boldto the
point of vowing silver balustrades to Saint Martin of Tours;
on his advent to the throneso far as forgetting to order his
father's obsequies.

Hé! sire!suddenly exclaimed Jacques Coictierwhat
has become of the acute attack of illness for which your
majesty had me summoned?

Oh!said the kingI really suffer greatly, my gossip.
There is a hissing in my ear and fiery rakes rack my chest.

Coictier took the king's handand begun to feel of his pulse
with a knowing air.

Look, Coppenole,said Rymin a low voice. "Behold
him between Coictier and Tristan. They are his whole court.
A physician for himselfa headsman for others."

As he felt the king's pulseCoictier assumed an air of
greater and greater alarm. Louis XI. watched him with some
anxiety. Coictier grew visibly more gloomy. The brave man
had no other farm than the king's bad health. He speculated
on it to the best of his ability.

Oh! oh!he murmured at lengththis is serious indeed.

Is it not?said the kinguneasily.

~Pulsus creber, anhelans, crepitans, irregularis~,continued
the leech.


This may carry off its man in less than three days.

Our Lady!exclaimed the king. "And the remedygossip?"

I am meditating upon that, sire.

He made Louis XI. put out his tongueshook his head
made a grimaceand in the very midst of these affectations-

Pardieu, sire,he suddenly saidI must tell you that
there is a receivership of the royal prerogatives vacant, and
that I have a nephew.

I give the receivership to your nephew, Gossip Jacques,
replied the king; "but draw this fire from my breast."

Since your majesty is so clement,replied the leechyou
will not refuse to aid me a little in building my house, Rue

Heugh!said the king.

I am at the end of my finances,pursued the doctor;
and it would really be a pity that the house should not have a
roof; not on account of the housewhich is simple and thoroughly
bourgeoisbut because of the paintings of Jehan Fourbault
which adorn its wainscoating. There is a Diana flying
in the airbut so excellentso tenderso delicateof so
ingenuous an actionher hair so well coiffed and adorned with
a crescenther flesh so whitethat she leads into temptation
those who regard her too curiously. There is also a Ceres.
She is another very fair divinity. She is seated on sheaves
of wheat and crowned with a gallant garland of wheat ears
interlaced with salsify and other flowers. Never were seen
more amorous eyesmore rounded limbsa nobler airor a more
gracefully flowing skirt. She is one of the most innocent
and most perfect beauties whom the brush has ever produced."

Executioner!grumbled Louis XI.what are you driving at?

I must have a roof for these paintings, sire, and, although
'tis but a small matter, I have no more money.

How much doth your roof cost?

Why a roof of copper, embellished and gilt, two thousand
livres at the most.

Ah, assassin!cried the kingHe never draws out one
of my teeth which is not a diamond.

Am I to have my roof?said Coictier.

Yes; and go to the devil, but cure me.

Jacques Coictier bowed low and said-

Sire, it is a repellent which will save you. We will
apply to your loins the great defensive composed of cerate,
Armenian bole, white of egg, oil, and vinegar. You will
continue your ptisan and we will answer for your majesty.

A burning candle does not attract one gnat alone. Master
Olivierperceiving the king to be in a liberal moodand judging
the moment to be propitiousapproached in his turn.


What is it now?said Louis XI.

Sire, your majesty knoweth that Simon Radin is dead?


He was councillor to the king in the matter of the courts
of the treasury.


Sire, his place is vacant.

As he spoke thusMaster Olivier's haughty face quitted its
arrogant expression for a lowly one. It is the only change
which ever takes place in a courtier's visage. The king
looked him well in the face and said in a dry tone--"I

He resumed

Master Olivier, the Marshal de Boucicaut was wont to say,
'There's no master save the king, there are no fishes save
in the sea.' I see that you agree with Monsieur de Boucicaut.
Now listen to this; we have a good memory. In '68
we made you valet of our chamber: in '69, guardian of the
fortress of the bridge of Saint-Cloud, at a hundred livres
of Tournay in wages (you wanted them of Paris). In November,
'73, by letters given to Gergeole, we instituted you
keeper of the Wood of Vincennes, in the place of Gilbert
Acle, equerry; in '75, gruyer* of the forest of Rouvray-lez-
Saint-Cloud, in the place of Jacques le Maire; in '78, we
graciously settled on you, by letters patent sealed doubly
with green wax, an income of ten livres parisis, for you and

your wife, on the Place of the Merchants, situated at the
School Saint-Germain; in '79, we made you gruyer of the
forest of Senart, in place of that poor Jehan Daiz; then
captain of the Château of Loches; then governor of Saint-
Quentin; then captain of the bridge of Meulan, of which
you cause yourself to be called comte. Out of the five sols
fine paid by every barber who shaves on a festival day, there
are three sols for you and we have the rest. We have been
good enough to change your name of Le Mauvais (The Evil),
which resembled your face too closely. In '76, we granted
you, to the great displeasure of our nobility, armorial
bearings of a thousand colors, which give you the breast of
a peacock. ~Pasque-Dieu~! Are not you surfeited? Is not the
draught of fishes sufficiently fine and miraculous? Are you
not afraid that one salmon more will make your boat sink?
Pride will be your ruin, gossip. Ruin and disgrace always
press hard on the heels of pride. Consider this and hold
your tongue.

* A lord having a right on the woods of his vassals.
These wordsuttered with severitymade Master Olivier's
face revert to its insolence.

Good!he mutteredalmost aloud'tis easy to see that
the king is ill to-day; he giveth all to the leech.

Louis XI. far from being irritated by this petulant insult
resumed with some gentlenessStay, I was forgetting that I
made you my ambassador to Madame Marie, at Ghent. Yes,
gentlemen,added the king turning to the Flemingsthis
man hath been an ambassador. There, my gossip,he pursued
addressing Master Olivierlet us not get angry; we
are old friends. 'Tis very late. We have terminated
our labors. Shave me.

Our readers have notwithout doubtwaited until the
present moment to recognize in Master Olivier that terrible
Figaro whom Providencethe great maker of dramasmingled
so artistically in the long and bloody comedy of the reign of
Louis XI. We will not here undertake to develop that singular
figure. This barber of the king had three names. At
court he was politely called Olivier le Daim (the Deer);
among the people Olivier the Devil. His real name was
Olivier le Mauvais.

AccordinglyOlivier le Mauvais remained motionlesssulking
at the kingand glancing askance at Jacques Coictier.

Yes, yes, the physician!he said between his teeth.

Ah, yes, the physician!retorted Louis XI.with singular
good humor; "the physician has more credit than you.
'Tis very simple; he has taken hold upon us by the whole
bodyand you hold us only by the chin. Comemy poor
barberall will come right. What would you say and what
would become of your office if I were a king like Chilperic
whose gesture consisted in holding his beard in one hand?
Comegossip minefulfil your officeshave me. Go get what
you need therefor."

Olivier perceiving that the king had made up his mind to

laughand that there was no way of even annoying himwent
off grumbling to execute his orders.

The king roseapproached the windowand suddenly opening
it with extraordinary agitation-

Oh! yes!he exclaimedclapping his handsyonder is
a redness in the sky over the City. 'Tis the bailiff burning.
It can be nothing else but that. Ah! my good people! here
you are aiding me at last in tearing down the rights of

Then turning towards the Flemings: "Comelook at this
gentlemen. Is it not a fire which gloweth yonder?"

The two men of Ghent drew near.

A great fire,said Guillaume Rym.

Oh!exclaimed Coppenolewhose eyes suddenly flashed
that reminds me of the burning of the house of the Seigneur
d'Hymbercourt. There must be a goodly revolt yonder.

You think so, Master Coppenole?And Louis XI.'s
glance was almost as joyous as that of the hosier. "Will it
not be difficult to resist?"

Cross of God! Sire! Your majesty will damage many companies
of men of war thereon.

Ah! I! 'tis different,returned the king. "If I willed."
The hosier replied hardily-

If this revolt be what I suppose, sire, you might will in vain.

Gossip,said Louis XI.with the two companies of my
unattached troops and one discharge of a serpentine, short
work is made of a populace of louts.

The hosierin spite of the signs made to him by Guillaume
Rymappeared determined to hold his own against the king.

Sire, the Swiss were also louts. Monsieur the Duke of
Burgundy was a great gentleman, and he turned up his nose
at that rabble rout. At the battle of Grandson, sire, he
cried: 'Men of the cannon! Fire on the villains!' and he
swore by Saint-George. But Advoyer Scharnachtal hurled himself
on the handsome duke with his battle-club and his people, and
when the glittering Burgundian army came in contact with
these peasants in bull hides, it flew in pieces like a pane
of glass at the blow of a pebble. Many lords were then
slain by low-born knaves; and Monsieur de Château-Guyon,
the greatest seigneur in Burgundy, was found dead, with his
gray horse, in a little marsh meadow.

Friend,returned the kingyou are speaking of a battle.
The question here is of a mutiny. And I will gain the upper
hand of it as soon as it shall please me to frown.

The other replied indifferently-

That may be, sire; in that case, 'tis because the people's
hour hath not yet come.

Guillaume Rym considered it incumbent on him to intervene-

Master Coppenole, you are speaking to a puissant king.

I know it,replied the hosiergravely.

Let him speak, Monsieur Rym, my friend,said the king;
I love this frankness of speech. My father, Charles the
Seventh, was accustomed to say that the truth was ailing; I
thought her dead, and that she had found no confessor. Master
Coppenole undeceiveth me.

Thenlaying his hand familiarly on Coppenole's shoulder-

You were saying, Master Jacques?

I say, sire, that you may possibly be in the right, that the
hour of the people may not yet have come with you.

Louis XI. gazed at him with his penetrating eye-

And when will that hour come, master?

You will hear it strike.

On what clock, if you please?

Coppenolewith his tranquil and rustic countenancemade
the king approach the window.

Listen, sire! There is here a donjon keep, a belfry,
cannons, bourgeois, soldiers; when the belfry shall hum, when
the cannons shall roar, when the donjon shall fall in ruins
amid great noise, when bourgeois and soldiers shall howl and
slay each other, the hour will strike.

Louis's face grew sombre and dreamy. He remained
silent for a momentthen he gently patted with his hand
the thick wall of the donjonas one strokes the haunches of
a steed.

Oh! no!said he. "You will not crumble so easilywill
youmy good Bastille?"

And turning with an abrupt gesture towards the sturdy Fleming-

Have you never seen a revolt, Master Jacques?

I have made them,said the hosier.

How do you set to work to make a revolt?said the king.

Ah!replied Coppenole'tis not very difficult. There
are a hundred ways. In the first place, there must be
discontent in the city. The thing is not uncommon. And then,
the character of the inhabitants. Those of Ghent are easy to
stir into revolt. They always love the prince's son; the prince,
never. Well! One morning, I will suppose, some one enters
my shop, and says to me: 'Father Coppenole, there is this
and there is that, the Demoiselle of Flanders wishes to save
her ministers, the grand bailiff is doubling the impost on
shagreen, or something else,'--what you will. I leave my
work as it stands, I come out of my hosier's stall, and I shout:
'To the sack?' There is always some smashed cask at hand.

I mount it, and I say aloud, in the first words that occur to
me, what I have on my heart; and when one is of the people,
sire, one always has something on the heart: Then people
troop up, they shout, they ring the alarm bell, they arm the
louts with what they take from the soldiers, the market people
join in, and they set out. And it will always be thus, so long
as there are lords in the seignories, bourgeois in the bourgs,
and peasants in the country.

And against whom do you thus rebel?inquired the king;
against your bailiffs? against your lords?

Sometimes; that depends. Against the duke, also, sometimes.

Louis XI. returned and seated himselfsayingwith a smile-

Ah! here they have only got as far as the bailiffs.

At that instant Olivier le Daim returned. He was followed
by two pageswho bore the king's toilet articles; but what
struck Louis XI. was that he was also accompanied by the
provost of Paris and the chevalier of the watchwho appeared
to be in consternation. The spiteful barber also wore an air
of consternationwhich was one of contentment beneathhowever.
It was he who spoke first.

Sire, I ask your majesty's pardon for the calamitous news
which I bring.

The king turned quickly and grazed the mat on the floor
with the feet of his chair-

What does this mean?

Sire,resumed Olivier le Daimwith the malicious air of
a man who rejoices that he is about to deal a violent blow
'tis not against the bailiff of the courts that this popular
sedition is directed.

Against whom, then?

Against you, sire?'

The aged king rose erect and straight as a young man,-

Explain yourselfOlivier! And guard your head well
gossip; for I swear to you by the cross of Saint-Lô thatif
you lie to us at this hourthe sword which severed the head
of Monsieur de Luxembourg is not so notched that it cannot
yet sever yours!"

The oath was formidable; Louis XI. had only sworn twice
in the course of his life by the cross of Saint-Lô.

Olivier opened his mouth to reply.


On your knees!interrupted the king violently. "Tristan
have an eye to this man."

Olivier knelt down and said coldly-

Sire, a sorceress was condemned to death by your court of

parliament. She took refuge in Notre-Dame. The people are
trying to take her from thence by main force. Monsieur the
provost and monsieur the chevalier of the watch, who have
just come from the riot, are here to give me the lie if this is
not the truth. The populace is besieging Notre-Dame.

Yes, indeed!said the king in a low voiceall pale and
trembling with wrath. "Notre-Dame! They lay siege to our
Ladymy good mistress in her cathedral!--RiseOlivier.
You are right. I give you Simon Radin's charge. You are
right. 'Tis I whom they are attacking. The witch is under
the protection of this churchthe church is under my protection.
And I thought that they were acting against the bailiff!
'Tis against myself!"

Thenrendered young by furyhe began to walk up and
down with long strides. He no longer laughedhe was
terriblehe went and came; the fox was changed into a hyaena.
He seemed suffocated to such a degree that he could not
speak; his lips movedand his fleshless fists were clenched.
All at once he raised his headhis hollow eye appeared full
of lightand his voice burst forth like a clarion: "Down with
themTristan! A heavy hand for these rascals! GoTristan
my friend! slay! slay!"

This eruption having passedhe returned to his seatand
said with cold and concentrated wrath--

Here, Tristan! There are here with us in the Bastille
the fifty lances of the Vicomte de Gif, which makes three
hundred horse: you will take them. There is also the company
of our unattached archers of Monsieur de Châteaupers: you
will take it. You are provost of the marshals; you have the
men of your provostship: you will take them. At the Hôtel
Saint-Pol you will find forty archers of monsieur the
dauphin's new guard: you will take them. And, with all
these, you will hasten to Notre-Dame. Ah! messieurs, louts
of Paris, do you fling yourselves thus against the crown of
France, the sanctity of Notre-Dame, and the peace of this
commonwealth! Exterminate, Tristan! exterminate! and let
not a single one escape, except it be for Montfauçon.

Tristan bowed. "'Tis wellsire."

He addedafter a silenceAnd what shall I do with the

This question caused the king to meditate.

Ah!said hethe sorceress! Monsieur d'Estouteville,
what did the people wish to do with her?

Sire,replied the provost of ParisI imagine that since
the populace has come to tear her from her asylum in Notre-
Dame, 'tis because that impunity wounds them, and they
desire to hang her.

The king appeared to reflect deeply: thenaddressing Tristan
l'HermiteWell! gossip, exterminate the people and hang
the sorceress.

That's it,said Rym in a low tone to Coppenolepunish
the people for willing a thing, and then do what they wish.

Enough, sire,replied Tristan. "If the sorceress is
still in Notre-Damemust she be seized in spite of the

~Pasque-Dieu~! the sanctuary!said the kingscratching
his ear. "But the woman must be hungnevertheless."

Hereas though seized with a sudden ideahe flung himself
on his knees before his chairtook off his hatplaced it on the
seatand gazing devoutly at one of the leaden amulets which
loaded it downOh!said hewith clasped handsour
Lady of Paris, my gracious patroness, pardon me. I will only
do it this once. This criminal must be punished. I assure
you, madame the virgin, my good mistress, that she is a
sorceress who is not worthy of your amiable protection.
You know, madame, that many very pious princes have
overstepped the privileges of the churches for the glory
of God and the necessities of the State. Saint Hugues, bishop
of England, permitted King Edward to hang a witch in his
church. Saint-Louis of France, my master, transgressed, with
the same object, the church of Monsieur Saint-Paul; and
Monsieur Alphonse, son of the king of Jerusalem, the very
church of the Holy Sepulchre. Pardon me, then, for this
once. Our Lady of Paris, I will never do so again, and I will
give you a fine statue of silver, like the one which I gave last
year to Our Lady of Ecouys. So be it.

He made the sign of the crossrosedonned his hat once
moreand said to Tristan-

Be diligent, gossip. Take Monsieur Châteaupers with
you. You will cause the tocsin to be sounded. You will
crush the populace. You will seize the witch. 'Tis said.
And I mean the business of the execution to be done by you.
You will render me an account of it. Come, Olivier, I shall
not go to bed this night. Shave me.

Tristan l'Hermite bowed and departed. Then the king
dismissing Rym and Coppenole with a gesture-

God guard you, messieurs, my good friends the Flemings.
Go, take a little repose. The night advances, and we are
nearer the morning than the evening.

Both retired and gained their apartments under the guidance
of the captain of the Bastille. Coppenole said to Guillaume Rym-

Hum! I have had enough of that coughing king! I have
seen Charles of Burgundy drunk, and he was less malignant
than Louis XI. when ailing.

Master Jacques,replied Rym'tis because wine renders
kings less cruel than does barley water.



On emerging from the BastilleGringoire descended the Rue

Saint-Antoine with the swiftness of a runaway horse. On
arriving at the Baudoyer gatehe walked straight to the stone
cross which rose in the middle of that placeas though he
were able to distinguish in the darkness the figure of a man
clad and cloaked in blackwho was seated on the steps of
the cross.

Is it you, master?said Gringoire.

The personage in black rose.

Death and passion! You make me boil, Gringoire. The
man on the tower of Saint-Gervais has just cried half-past
one o'clock in the morning.

Oh,retorted Gringoire'tis no fault of mine, but of the
watch and the king. I have just had a narrow escape. I
always just miss being hung. 'Tis my predestination.

You lack everything,said the other. "But come quickly.
Have you the password?"

Fancy, master, I have seen the king. I come from him.
He wears fustian breeches. 'Tis an adventure.

Oh! distaff of words! what is your adventure to me!
Have you the password of the outcasts?

I have it. Be at ease. 'Little sword in pocket.'

Good. Otherwise, we could not make our way as far as
the church. The outcasts bar the streets. Fortunately, it
appears that they have encountered resistance. We may still
arrive in time.

Yes, master, but how are we to get into Notre-Dame?

I have the key to the tower.

And how are we to get out again?

Behind the cloister there is a little door which opens on
the Terrain and the water. I have taken the key to it, and I
moored a boat there this morning.

I have had a beautiful escape from being hung!Gringoire repeated.

Eh, quick! come!said the other.

Both descended towards the city with long strides.



The reader willperhapsrecall the critical situation in
which we left Quasimodo. The brave deaf manassailed on
all sideshad lostif not all courageat least all hope
of savingnot himself (he was not thinking of himself)but

the gypsy. He ran distractedly along the gallery. Notre-Dame
was on the point of being taken by storm by the outcasts.
All at oncea great galloping of horses filled the neighboring
streetsandwith a long file of torches and a thick column of
cavalierswith free reins and lances in restthese furious
sounds debouched on the Place like a hurricane-

France! France! cut down the louts! Châteaupers to
the rescue! Provostship! Provostship!

The frightened vagabonds wheeled round.

Quasimodo who did not hearsaw the naked swordsthe
torchesthe irons of the pikesall that cavalryat the head
of which he recognized Captain Phoebus; he beheld the confusion
of the outcaststhe terror of somethe disturbance among the
bravest of themand from this unexpected succor he recovered
so much strengththat he hurled from the church the first
assailants who were already climbing into the gallery.

It wasin factthe king's troops who had arrived.
The vagabonds behaved bravely. They defended themselves
like desperate men. Caught on the flankby the Rue Saint-
Pierre-aux-Boeufsand in the rear through the Rue du Parvis
driven to bay against Notre-Damewhich they still assailed
and Quasimodo defendedat the same time besiegers and
besiegedthey were in the singular situation in which Comte
Henri Harcourt~Taurinum obsessor idem et obsessus~as his
epitaph saysfound himself later onat the famous siege of
Turinin 1640between Prince Thomas of Savoywhom he
was besiegingand the Marquis de Leganezwho was blockading

The battle was frightful. There was a dog's tooth for wolf's
fleshas P. Mathieu says. The king's cavaliersin whose
midst Phoebus de Châteaupers bore himself valiantlygave no
quarterand the slash of the sword disposed of those who
escaped the thrust of the lance. The outcastsbadly armed
foamed and bit with rage. Menwomenchildrenhurled
themselves on the cruppers and the breasts of the horsesand
hung there like catswith teethfinger nails and toe nails.
Others struck the archers' in the face with their torches.
Others thrust iron hooks into the necks of the cavaliers and
dragged them down. They slashed in pieces those who fell.

One was noticed who had a largeglittering scytheand
whofor a long timemowed the legs of the horses. He was
frightful. He was singing a dittywith a nasal intonation
he swung and drew back his scythe incessantly. At every blow
he traced around him a great circle of severed limbs. He
advanced thus into the very thickest of the cavalrywith the
tranquil slownessthe lolling of the head and the regular
breathing of a harvester attacking a field of wheat. It was
Chopin Trouillefou. A shot from an arquebus laid him low.

In the meantimewindows had been opened again. The
neighbors hearing the war cries of the king's troopshad
mingled in the affrayand bullets rained upon the outcasts
from every story. The Parvis was filled with a thick smoke
which the musketry streaked with flame. Through it one could
confusedly distinguish the front of Notre-Dameand the decrepit
Hôtel-Dieu with some wan invalids gazing down from the
heights of its roof all checkered with dormer windows.

At length the vagabonds gave way. Wearinessthe lack of
good weaponsthe fright of this surprisethe musketry from
the windowsthe valiant attack of the king's troopsall
overwhelmed them. They forced the line of assailantsand fled
in every directionleaving the Parvis encumbered with dead.

When Quasimodowho had not ceased to fight for a moment
beheld this routhe fell on his knees and raised his
hands to heaven; thenintoxicated with joyhe ranhe
ascended with the swiftness of a bird to that cellthe
approaches to which he had so intrepidly defended. He had
but one thought now; it was to kneel before her whom he
had just saved for the second time.

When he entered the cellhe found it empty.




La Esmeralda was sleeping at the moment when the outcasts
assailed the church.

Soon the ever-increasing uproar around the edificeand
the uneasy bleating of her goat which had been awakened
had roused her from her slumbers. She had sat upshe had
listenedshe had looked; thenterrified by the light and
noiseshe had rushed from her cell to see. The aspect of the
Placethe vision which was moving in itthe disorder of that
nocturnal assaultthat hideous crowdleaping like a cloud of
frogshalf seen in the gloomthe croaking of that hoarse
multitudethose few red torches running and crossing each
other in the darkness like the meteors which streak the
misty surfaces of marshesthis whole scene produced upon
her the effect of a mysterious battle between the phantoms
of the witches' sabbath and the stone monsters of the church.
Imbued from her very infancy with the superstitions of the
Bohemian tribeher first thought was that she had caught
the strange beings peculiar to the nightin their deeds of
witchcraft. Then she ran in terror to cower in her cellasking
of her pallet some less terrible nightmare.

But little by little the first vapors of terror had been
dissipated; from the constantly increasing noiseand from
many other signs of realityshe felt herself besieged not
by spectresbut by human beings. Then her fearthough it
did not increasechanged its character. She had dreamed of
the possibility of a popular mutiny to tear her from her asylum.
The idea of once more recovering lifehopePhoebuswho was
ever present in her futurethe extreme helplessness of her
conditionflight cut offno supporther abandonmenther

isolation--these thoughts and a thousand others overwhelmed
her. She fell upon her kneeswith her head on her bedher
hands clasped over her headfull of anxiety and tremors
andalthough a gypsyan idolaterand a paganshe began
to entreat with sobsmercy from the good Christian Godand
to pray to our Ladyher hostess. For even if one believes
in nothingthere are moments in life when one is always of
the religion of the temple which is nearest at hand.

She remained thus prostrate for a very long timetrembling
in truthmore than prayingchilled by the ever-closer breath
of that furious multitudeunderstanding nothing of this
outburstignorant of what was being plottedwhat was being
donewhat they wantedbut foreseeing a terrible issue.

In the midst of this anguishshe heard some one walking
near her. She turned round. Two menone of whom carried
a lanternhad just entered her cell. She uttered a feeble cry.

Fear nothing,said a voice which was not unknown to her
it is I.

Who are you?she asked.

Pierre Gringoire.

This name reassured her. She raised her eyes once more
and recognized the poet in very fact. But there stood beside
him a black figure veiled from head to footwhich struck her
by its silence.

Oh!continued Gringoire in a tone of reproachDjali recognized
me before you!

The little goat had notin factwaited for Gringoire to
announce his name. No sooner had he entered than it rubbed
itself gently against his kneescovering the poet with caresses
and with white hairsfor it was shedding its hair. Gringoire
returned the caresses.

Who is this with you?said the gypsyin a low voice.

Be at ease,replied Gringoire. "'Tis one of my friends."
Then the philosopher setting his lantern on the ground
crouched upon the stonesand exclaimed enthusiasticallyas
he pressed Djali in his arms-

Oh! 'tis a graceful beast, more considerable no doubt, for
it's neatness than for its size, but ingenious, subtle, and
lettered as a grammarian! Let us see, my Djali, hast thou
forgotten any of thy pretty tricks? How does Master Jacques

The man in black did not allow him to finish. He approached
Gringoire and shook him roughly by the shoulder.

Gringoire rose.

'Tis true,said he: "I forgot that we are in haste. But
that is no reason masterfor getting furious with people in
this manner. My dear and lovely childyour life is in danger
and Djali's also. They want to hang you again. We are
your friendsand we have come to save you. Follow us."

Is it true?she exclaimed in dismay.

Yes, perfectly true. Come quickly!

I am willing,she stammered. "But why does not your
friend speak?"

Ah!said Gringoire'tis because his father and mother
were fantastic people who made him of a taciturn temperament.

She was obliged to content herself with this explanation.
Gringoire took her by the hand; his companion picked up the
lantern and walked on in front. Fear stunned the young girl.
She allowed herself to be led away. The goat followed them
friskingso joyous at seeing Gringoire again that it made him
stumble every moment by thrusting its horns between his legs.

Such is life,said the philosopherevery time that he
came near falling down; "'tis often our best friends who
cause us to be overthrown."

They rapidly descended the staircase of the towers
crossed the churchfull of shadows and solitudeand all
reverberating with uproarwhich formed a frightful contrast
and emerged into the courtyard of the cloister by the red door.
The cloister was deserted; the canons had fled to the bishop's
palace in order to pray together; the courtyard was emptya
few frightened lackeys were crouching in dark corners. They
directed their steps towards the door which opened from this
court upon the Terrain. The man in black opened it with a
key which he had about him. Our readers are aware that the
Terrain was a tongue of land enclosed by walls on the side of
the City and belonging to the chapter of Notre-Damewhich
terminated the island on the eastbehind the church. They
found this enclosure perfectly deserted. There was here less
tumult in the air. The roar of the outcasts' assault reached
them more confusedly and less clamorously. The fresh breeze
which follows the current of a streamrustled the leaves of
the only tree planted on the point of the Terrainwith a noise
that was already perceptible. But they were still very close
to danger. The nearest edifices to them were the bishop's
palace and the church. It was plainly evident that there was
great internal commotion in the bishop's palace. Its shadowy
mass was all furrowed with lights which flitted from window
to window; aswhen one has just burned paperthere remains
a sombre edifice of ashes in which bright sparks run a thousand
eccentric courses. Beside themthe enormous towers of
Notre-Damethus viewed from behindwith the long nave
above which they rise cut out in black against the red and
vast light which filled the Parvisresembled two gigantic
andirons of some cyclopean fire-grate.

What was to be seen of Paris on all sides wavered before
the eye in a gloom mingled with light. Rembrandt has such
backgrounds to his pictures.

The man with the lantern walked straight to the point of
the Terrain. Thereat the very brink of the waterstood the
wormeaten remains of a fence of posts latticed with laths
whereon a low vine spread out a few thin branches like the
fingers of an outspread hand. Behindin the shadow cast by
this trellisa little boat lay concealed. The man made a sign
to Gringoire and his companion to enter. The goat followed
them. The man was the last to step in. Then he cut the

boat's mooringspushed it from the shore with a long boathook
andseizing two oarsseated himself in the bowrowing
with all his might towards midstream. The Seine is very
rapid at this pointand he had a good deal of trouble in
leaving the point of the island.

Gringoire's first care on entering the boat was to place the
goat on his knees. He took a position in the stern; and the
young girlwhom the stranger inspired with an indefinable
uneasinessseated herself close to the poet.

When our philosopher felt the boat swayhe clapped his
hands and kissed Djali between the horns.

Oh!said henow we are safe, all four of us.

He added with the air of a profound thinkerOne is
indebted sometimes to fortune, sometimes to ruse, for the
happy issue of great enterprises.

The boat made its way slowly towards the right shore. The
young girl watched the unknown man with secret terror. He
had carefully turned off the light of his dark lantern. A
glimpse could be caught of him in the obscurityin the bow
of the boatlike a spectre. His cowlwhich was still lowered
formed a sort of mask; and every time that he spread his
armsupon which hung large black sleevesas he rowedone
would have said they were two huge bat's wings. Moreover
he had not yet uttered a word or breathed a syllable. No
other noise was heard in the boat than the splashing of the
oarsmingled with the rippling of the water along her sides.

On my soul!exclaimed Gringoire suddenlywe are as
cheerful and joyous as young owls! We preserve the silence
of Pythagoreans or fishes! ~Pasque-Dieu~! my friends, I
should greatly like to have some one speak to me. The human
voice is music to the human ear. 'Tis not I who say that,
but Didymus of Alexandria, and they are illustrious words.
Assuredly, Didymus of Alexandria is no mediocre philosopher.--One
word, my lovely child! say but one word to me, I entreat
you. By the way, you had a droll and peculiar little
pout; do you still make it? Do you know, my dear, that
parliament hath full jurisdiction over all places of
asylum, and that you were running a great risk in your
little chamber at Notre-Dame? Alas! the little bird trochylus
maketh its nest in the jaws of the crocodile.--Master, here
is the moon re-appearing. If only they do not perceive us.
We are doing a laudable thing in saving mademoiselle, and
yet we should be hung by order of the king if we were caught.
Alas! human actions are taken by two handles. That is
branded with disgrace in one which is crowned in another.
He admires Cicero who blames Catiline. Is it not so, master?
What say you to this philosophy? I possess philosophy by
instinct, by nature, ~ut apes geometriam~.--Come! no one
answers me. What unpleasant moods you two are in! I
must do all the talking alone. That is what we call a
monologue in tragedy.--~Pasque-Dieu~! I must inform you that
I have just seen the king, Louis XI., and that I have caught
this oath from him,--~Pasque-Dieu~! They are still making a
hearty howl in the city.--'Tis a villanous, malicious old king.
He is all swathed in furs. He still owes me the money for
my epithalamium, and he came within a nick of hanging me
this evening, which would have been very inconvenient to
me.--He is niggardly towards men of merit. He ought to

read the four books of Salvien of Cologne, _Adversits
Avaritiam_. In truth! 'Tis a paltry king in his ways with
men of letters, and one who commits very barbarous cruelties.
He is a sponge, to soak money raised from the people. His
saving is like the spleen which swelleth with the leanness of
all the other members. Hence complaints against the hardness
of the times become murmurs against the prince. Under this
gentle and pious sire, the gallows crack with the hung, the
blocks rot with blood, the prisons burst like over full bellies.
This king hath one hand which grasps, and one which hangs.
He is the procurator of Dame Tax and Monsieur Gibbet.
The great are despoiled of their dignities, and the little
incessantly overwhelmed with fresh oppressions. He is an
exorbitant prince. I love not this monarch. And you,

The man in black let the garrulous poet chatter on. He
continued to struggle against the violent and narrow current
which separates the prow of the City and the stem of the
island of Notre-Damewhich we call to-day the Isle St. Louis.

By the way, master!continued Gringoire suddenly.
At the moment when we arrived on the Parvis, through the
enraged outcasts, did your reverence observe that poor little
devil whose skull your deaf man was just cracking on the
railing of the gallery of the kings? I am near sighted and I
could not recognize him. Do you know who he could be?

The stranger answered not a word. But he suddenly ceased
rowinghis arms fell as though brokenhis head sank on his
breastand la Esmeralda heard him sigh convulsively. She
shuddered. She had heard such sighs before.

The boatabandoned to itselffloated for several minutes
with the stream. But the man in black finally recovered
himselfseized the oars once more and began to row against
the current. He doubled the point of the Isle of Notre
Dameand made for the landing-place of the Port an Foin.

Ah!said Gringoireyonder is the Barbeau mansion.--Stay,
master, look: that group of black roofs which make such
singular angles yonder, above that heap of black, fibrous
grimy, dirty clouds, where the moon is completely crushed
and spread out like the yolk of an egg whose shell is
broken.--'Tis a fine mansion. There is a chapel crowned with
a small vault full of very well carved enrichments. Above, you
can see the bell tower, very delicately pierced. There is also
a pleasant garden, which consists of a pond, an aviary, an echo,
a mall, a labyrinth, a house for wild beasts, and a quantity of
leafy alleys very agreeable to Venus. There is also a rascal
of a tree which is called 'the lewd,' because it favored the
pleasures of a famous princess and a constable of France, who
was a gallant and a wit.--Alas! we poor philosophers are to
a constable as a plot of cabbages or a radish bed to the garden
of the Louvre. What matters it, after all? human life, for
the great as well as for us, is a mixture of good and evil. Pain
is always by the side of joy, the spondee by the dactyl.--Master,
I must relate to you the history of the Barbeau mansion. It
ends in tragic fashion. It was in 1319, in the reign
of Philippe V., the longest reign of the kings of France. The
moral of the story is that the temptations of the flesh are
pernicious and malignant. Let us not rest our glance too long
on our neighbor's wife, however gratified our senses may be
by her beauty. Fornication is a very libertine thought.

Adultery is a prying into the pleasures of others--Ohé! the
noise yonder is redoubling!

The tumult around Notre-Dame wasin factincreasing.
They listened. Cries of victory were heard with tolerable
distinctness. All at oncea hundred torchesthe light of
which glittered upon the helmets of men at armsspread over
the church at all heightson the towerson the gallerieson
the flying buttresses. These torches seemed to be in search
of something; and soon distant clamors reached the fugitives
distinctly :--"The gypsy! the sorceress! death to the gypsy!"

The unhappy girl dropped her head upon her handsand
the unknown began to row furiously towards the shore.
Meanwhile our philosopher reflected. He clasped the goat
in his armsand gently drew away from the gypsywho pressed
closer and closer to himas though to the only asylum which
remained to her.

It is certain that Gringoire was enduring cruel perplexity.
He was thinking that the goat alsoaccording to existing
law,would be hung if recaptured; which would be a great
pitypoor Djali! that he had thus two condemned creatures
attached to him; that his companion asked no better than to
take charge of the gypsy. A violent combat began between
his thoughtsin whichlike the Jupiter of the Iliadhe weighed
in turn the gypsy and the goat; and he looked at them alternately
with eyes moist with tearssaying between his teeth:

But I cannot save you both!

A shock informed them that the boat had reached the land
at last. The uproar still filled the city. The unknown
roseapproached the gypsyand endeavored to take her arm to
assist her to alight. She repulsed him and clung to the sleeve
of Gringoirewhoin his turnabsorbed in the goatalmost
repulsed her. Then she sprang alone from the boat. She
was so troubled that she did not know what she did or whither
she was going. Thus she remained for a momentstunned
watching the water flow past; when she gradually returned to
her sensesshe found herself alone on the wharf with the
unknown. It appears that Gringoire had taken advantage of
the moment of debarcation to slip away with the goat into the
block of houses of the Rue Grenier-sur-l'Eau.

The poor gypsy shivered when she beheld herself alone
with this man. She tried to speakto cry outto call
Gringoire; her tongue was dumb in her mouthand no sound left
her lips. All at once she felt the stranger's hand on hers.
It was a strongcold hand. Her teeth chatteredshe turned
paler than the ray of moonlight which illuminated her. The
man spoke not a word. He began to ascend towards the Place
de Grèveholding her by the hand.

At that momentshe had a vague feeling that destiny is an
irresistible force. She had no more resistance left in her
she allowed herself to be dragged alongrunning while he
walked. At this spot the quay ascended. But it seemed to
her as though she were descending a slope.

She gazed about her on all sides. Not a single passer-by.
The quay was absolutely deserted. She heard no soundshe
felt no people moving save in the tumultuous and glowing
cityfrom which she was separated only by an arm of the

Seineand whence her name reached hermingled with cries
of "Death!" The rest of Paris was spread around her in
great blocks of shadows.

Meanwhilethe stranger continued to drag her along with
the same silence and the same rapidity. She had no
recollection of any of the places where she was walking.
As she passed before a lighted windowshe made an effort
drew up suddenlyand cried outHelp!

The bourgeois who was standing at the window opened it
appeared there in his shirt with his lampstared at the
quay with a stupid airuttered some words which she did
not understandand closed his shutter again. It was her
last gleam of hope extinguished.

The man in black did not utter a syllable; he held her firmly
and set out again at a quicker pace. She no longer resisted
but followed himcompletely broken.

From time to time she called together a little strengthand
saidin a voice broken by the unevenness of the pavement
and the breathlessness of their flightWho are you? Who
are you?He made no reply.

They arrived thusstill keeping along the quayat a tolerably
spacious square. It was the Grève. In the middlea sort of
blackerect cross was visible; it was the gallows. She
recognized all thisand saw where she was.

The man haltedturned towards her and raised his cowl.

Oh!she stammeredalmost petrifiedI knew well that
it was he again!

It was the priest. He looked like the ghost of himself;
that is an effect of the moonlightit seems as though one
beheld only the spectres of things in that light.

Listen!he said to her; and she shuddered at the sound
of that fatal voice which she had not heard for a long time.
He continued speaking with those brief and panting jerks
which betoken deep internal convulsions. "Listen! we are
here. I am going to speak to you. This is the Grève. This
is an extreme point. Destiny gives us to one another. I am
going to decide as to your life; you will decide as to my soul.
Here is a placehere is a night beyond which one sees nothing.
Then listen to me. I am going to tell you...In the first place
speak not to me of your Phoebus. (As he spoke thus he paced to
and frolike a man who cannot remain in one placeand dragged
her after him.) Do not speak to me of him. Do you see? If you
utter that nameI know not what I shall dobut it will
be terrible."

Thenlike a body which recovers its centre of gravity
he became motionless once morebut his words betrayed no
less agitation. His voice grew lower and lower.

Do not turn your head aside thus. Listen to me. It is
a serious matter. In the first place, here is what has
happened.--All this will not be laughed at. I swear it to
you.--What was I saying? Remind me! Oh!--There is a decree
of Parliament which gives you back to the scaffold. I have just
rescued you from their hands. But they are pursuing you.


He extended his arm toward the City. The search seemed
in factto be still in progress there. The uproar drew nearer;
the tower of the lieutenant's housesituated opposite the
Grèvewas full of clamors and lightand soldiers could be
seen running on the opposite quay with torches and these
criesThe gypsy! Where is the gypsy! Death! Death!

You see that they are in pursuit of you, and that I am
not lying to you. I love you.--Do not open your mouth;
refrain from speaking to me rather, if it be only to tell me
that you hate me. I have made up my mind not to hear that
again.--I have just saved you.--Let me finish first. I can
save you wholly. I have prepared everything. It is yours at
will. If you wish, I can do it.

He broke off violently. "Nothat is not what I should say!"

As he went with hurried step and made her hurry alsofor
he did not release herhe walked straight to the gallowsand
pointed to it with his finger-

Choose between us two,he saidcoldly.

She tore herself from his hands and fell at the foot of the
gibbetembracing that funereal supportthen she half turned
her beautiful headand looked at the priest over her shoulder.
One would have said that she was a Holy Virgin at the foot of
the cross. The priest remained motionlesshis finger still
raised toward the gibbetpreserving his attitude like a statue.
At length the gypsy said to him-

It causes me less horror than you do.

Then he allowed his arm to sink slowlyand gazed at the
pavement in profound dejection.

If these stones could speak,he murmuredyes, they
would say that a very unhappy man stands here.

He went on. The young girl, kneeling before the gallows,
enveloped in her long flowing hair, let him speak on without
interruption. He now had a gentle and plaintive accent which
contrasted sadly with the haughty harshness of his features.

I love you. Oh! how true that is! So nothing comes of
that fire which burns my heart! Alas! young girlnight and
day--yesnight and day I tell you--it is torture. Oh! I
suffer too muchmy poor child. 'Tis a thing deserving of
compassionI assure you. You see that I speak gently to
you. I really wish that you should no longer cherish this
horror of me.--After allif a man loves a woman'tis not his
fault!--Ohmy God!--What! So you will never pardon me?
You will always hate me? All is over then. It is that which
renders me evildo you see? and horrible to myself.--You
will not even look at me! You are thinking of something
elseperchancewhile I stand here and talk to you
shuddering on the brink of eternity for both of us! Above
all thingsdo not speak to me of the officer!--I would cast
myself at your kneesI would kiss not your feetbut the earth
which is under your feet; I would sob like a childI would
tear from my breast not wordsbut my very heart and vitals
to tell you that I love you;--all would be uselessall!--And

yet you have nothing in your heart but what is tender and
merciful. You are radiant with the most beautiful mildness;
you are wholly sweetgoodpitifuland charming. Alas!
You cherish no ill will for any one but me alone! Oh! what
a fatality!"

He hid his face in his hands. The young girl heard him
weeping. It was for the first time. Thus erect and shaken
by sobshe was more miserable and more suppliant than when
on his knees. He wept thus for a considerable time.

Come!he saidthese first tears passedI have no more
words. I had, however, thought well as to what you would
say. Now I tremble and shiver and break down at the decisive
moment, I feel conscious of something supreme enveloping
us, and I stammer. Oh! I shall fall upon the pavement
if you do not take pity on me, pity on yourself. Do not
condemn us both. If you only knew how much I love you!
What a heart is mine! Oh! what desertion of all virtue!
What desperate abandonment of myself! A doctor, I mock at
science; a gentleman, I tarnish my own name; a priest, I
make of the missal a pillow of sensuality, I spit in the
face of my God! all this for thee, enchantress! to be
more worthy of thy hell! And you will not have the
apostate! Oh! let me tell you all! more still, something
more horrible, oh! Yet more horrible!....

As he uttered these last wordshis air became utterly
distracted. He was silent for a momentand resumed
as though speaking to himselfand in a strong voice-

Cain, what hast thou done with thy brother?

There was another silenceand he went on-

What have I done with him, Lord? I received him, I
reared him, I nourished him, I loved him, I idolized him,
and I have slain him! Yes, Lord, they have just dashed his
head before my eyes on the stone of thine house, and it is
because of me, because of this woman, because of her.

His eye was wild. His voice grew ever weaker; he repeated
many timesyetmechanicallyat tolerably long intervals
like a bell prolonging its last vibration: "Because of
her.--Because of her."

Then his tongue no longer articulated any perceptible
sound; but his lips still moved. All at once he sank
togetherlike something crumblingand lay motionless
on the earthwith his head on his knees.

A touch from the young girlas she drew her foot from
under himbrought him to himself. He passed his hand
slowly over his hollow cheeksand gazed for several
moments at his fingerswhich were wetWhat!he murmured
I h