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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, trans. Isabel F. Hapgood

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The Revolution of July instantly had friends and enemies throughout
the entire world. The first rushed toward her with joy and enthusiasm,
the others turned away, each according to his nature. At the first blush,
the princes of Europe, the owls of this dawn, shut their eyes,
wounded and stupefied, and only opened them to threaten.
A fright which can be comprehended, a wrath which can be pardoned.
This strange revolution had hardly produced a shock; it had not even
paid to vanquished royalty the honor of treating it as an enemy,
and of shedding its blood. In the eyes of despotic governments,
who are always interested in having liberty calumniate itself,
the Revolution of July committed the fault of being formidable
and of remaining gentle. Nothing, however, was attempted or
plotted against it. The most discontented, the most irritated,
the most trembling, saluted it; whatever our egotism and our rancor
may be, a mysterious respect springs from events in which we are
sensible of the collaboration of some one who is working above man.

The Revolution of July is the triumph of right overthrowing the fact.
A thing which is full of splendor.

Right overthrowing the fact. Hence the brilliancy of the Revolution
of 1830, hence, also, its mildness. Right triumphant has no need
of being violent.

Right is the just and the true.

The property of right is to remain eternally beautiful and pure.
The fact, even when most necessary to all appearances, even when most
thoroughly accepted by contemporaries, if it exist only as a fact,
and if it contain only too little of right, or none at all,
is infallibly destined to become, in the course of time, deformed,
impure, perhaps, even monstrous. If one desires to learn at one blow,
to what degree of hideousness the fact can attain, viewed at the
distance of centuries, let him look at Machiavelli. Machiavelli is
not an evil genius, nor a demon, nor a miserable and cowardly writer;
he is nothing but the fact. And he is not only the Italian fact;
he is the European fact, the fact of the sixteenth century.
He seems hideous, and so he is, in the presence of the moral idea
of the nineteenth.

This conflict of right and fact has been going on ever since the origin
of society. To terminate this duel, to amalgamate the pure idea
with the humane reality, to cause right to penetrate pacifically
into the fact and the fact into right, that is the task of sages.



But the task of sages is one thing, the task of clever men is another.
The Revolution of 1830 came to a sudden halt.

As soon as a revolution has made the coast, the skilful make haste
to prepare the shipwreck.

The skilful in our century have conferred on themselves the title
of Statesmen; so that this word, statesmen, has ended by becoming
somewhat of a slang word. It must be borne in mind, in fact,
that wherever there is nothing but skill, there is necessarily pettiness.
To say "the skilful" amounts to saying "the mediocre."

In the same way, to say "statesmen" is sometimes equivalent
to saying "traitors." If, then, we are to believe the skilful,
revolutions like the Revolution of July are severed arteries; a prompt
ligature is indispensable. The right, too grandly proclaimed, is shaken.
Also, right once firmly fixed, the state must be strengthened.
Liberty once assured, attention must be directed to power.

Here the sages are not, as yet, separated from the skilful,
but they begin to be distrustful. Power, very good. But, in the
first place, what is power? In the second, whence comes it?
The skilful do not seem to hear the murmured objection, and they
continue their manoeuvres.

According to the politicians, who are ingenious in putting the
mask of necessity on profitable fictions, the first requirement
of a people after a revolution, when this people forms part
of a monarchical continent, is to procure for itself a dynasty.
In this way, say they, peace, that is to say, time to dress
our wounds, and to repair the house, can be had after a revolution.
The dynasty conceals the scaffolding and covers the ambulance.
Now, it is not always easy to procure a dynasty.

If it is absolutely necessary, the first man of genius or even the first
man of fortune who comes to hand suffices for the manufacturing of
a king. You have, in the first case, Napoleon; in the second, Iturbide.

But the first family that comes to hand does not suffice to make
a dynasty. There is necessarily required a certain modicum of antiquity
in a race, and the wrinkle of the centuries cannot be improvised.

If we place ourselves at the point of view of the "statesmen," after
making all allowances, of course, after a revolution, what are the
qualities of the king which result from it? He may be and it is useful
for him to be a revolutionary; that is to say, a participant in his
own person in that revolution, that he should have lent a hand to it,
that he should have either compromised or distinguished himself therein,
that he should have touched the axe or wielded the sword in it.

What are the qualities of a dynasty? It should be national; that is
to say, revolutionary at a distance, not through acts committed,
but by reason of ideas accepted. It should be composed of past
and be historic; be composed of future and be sympathetic.

All this explains why the early revolutions contented themselves
with finding a man, Cromwell or Napoleon; and why the second
absolutely insisted on finding a family, the House of Brunswick
or the House of Orleans.

Royal houses resemble those Indian fig-trees, each branch of which,
bending over to the earth, takes root and becomes a fig-tree itself.
Each branch may become a dynasty. On the sole condition that it shall
bend down to the people.

Such is the theory of the skilful.

Here, then, lies the great art: to make a little render to success
the sound of a catastrophe in order that those who profit by it may
tremble from it also, to season with fear every step that is taken,
to augment the curve of the transition to the point of retarding progress,
to dull that aurora, to denounce and retrench the harshness of enthusiasm,
to cut all angles and nails, to wad triumph, to muffle up right,
to envelop the giant-people in flannel, and to put it to bed
very speedily, to impose a diet on that excess of health, to put
Hercules on the treatment of a convalescent, to dilute the event
with the expedient, to offer to spirits thirsting for the ideal
that nectar thinned out with a potion, to take one's precautions
against too much success, to garnish the revolution with a shade.

1830 practised this theory, already applied to England by 1688.

1830 is a revolution arrested midway. Half of progress, quasi-right. Now,
logic knows not the "almost," absolutely as the sun knows not the candle.

Who arrests revolutions half-way? The bourgeoisie?


Because the bourgeoisie is interest which has reached satisfaction.
Yesterday it was appetite, to-day it is plenitude, to-morrow it will
be satiety.

The phenomenon of 1814 after Napoleon was reproduced in 1830 after
Charles X.

The attempt has been made, and wrongly, to make a class of
the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is simply the contented portion
of the people. The bourgeois is the man who now has time to sit down.
A chair is not a caste.

But through a desire to sit down too soon, one may arrest the very march
of the human race. This has often been the fault of the bourgeoisie.

One is not a class because one has committed a fault. Selfishness is
not one of the divisions of the social order.

Moreover, we must be just to selfishness. The state to which
that part of the nation which is called the bourgeoisie aspired
after the shock of 1830 was not the inertia which is complicated
with indifference and laziness, and which contains a little shame;
it was not the slumber which presupposes a momentary forgetfulness
accessible to dreams; it was the halt.

The halt is a word formed of a singular double
and almost contradictory sense: a troop
on the march, that is to say, movement; a stand, that is to say, repose.

The halt is the restoration of forces; it is repose armed and on
the alert; it is the accomplished fact which posts sentinels
and holds itself on its guard.

The halt presupposes the combat of yesterday and the combat of to-morrow.

It is the partition between 1830 and 1848.

What we here call combat may also be designated as progress.

The bourgeoisie then, as well as the statesmen, required a man
who should express this word Halt. An Although-Because.
A composite individuality, signifying revolution and
signifying stability, in other terms, strengthening
the present by the evident compatibility of the past with the future.

This man was "already found." His name was Louis Philippe d'Orleans.

The 221 made Louis Philippe King. Lafayette undertook the coronation.

He called it the best of republics. The town-hall of Paris took
the place of the Cathedral of Rheims.

This substitution of a half-throne for a whole throne was "the work
of 1830."

When the skilful had finished, the immense vice of their
solution became apparent. All this had been accomplished
outside the bounds of absolute right. Absolute right cried:
"I protest!" then, terrible to say, it retired into the darkness.



Revolutions have a terrible arm and a happy hand, they strike firmly
and choose well. Even incomplete, even debased and abused and reduced
to the state of a junior revolution like the Revolution of 1830,
they nearly always retain sufficient providential lucidity to prevent
them from falling amiss. Their eclipse is never an abdication.

Nevertheless, let us not boast too loudly; revolutions also may
be deceived, and grave errors have been seen.

Let us return to 1830. 1830, in its deviation, had good luck.
In the establishment which entitled itself order after the revolution
had been cut short, the King amounted to more than royalty.
Louis Philippe was a rare man.

The son of a father to whom history will accord certain attenuating
circumstances, but also as worthy of esteem as that father had been
of blame; possessing all private virtues and many public virtues;
careful of his health, of his fortune, of his person, of his affairs,
knowing the value of a minute and not always the value of a year;
sober, serene, peaceable, patient; a good man and a good prince;
sleeping with his wife, and having in his palace lackeys charged
with the duty of showing the conjugal bed to the bourgeois,
an ostentation of the regular sleeping-apartment which had become
useful after the former illegitimate displays of the elder branch;
knowing all the languages of Europe, and, what is more rare,
all the languages of all interests, and speaking them; an admirable
representative of the "middle class," but outstripping it, and in every
way greater than it; possessing excellent sense, while appreciating
the blood from which he had sprung, counting most of all on his
intrinsic worth, and, on the question of his race, very particular,
declaring himself Orleans and not Bourbon; thoroughly the first
Prince of the Blood Royal while he was still only a Serene Highness,
but a frank bourgeois from the day he became king; diffuse in public,
concise in private; reputed, but not proved to be a miser;
at bottom, one of those economists who are readily prodigal at their
own fancy or duty; lettered, but not very sensitive to letters;
a gentleman, but not a chevalier; simple, calm, and strong;
adored by his family and his household; a fascinating talker,
an undeceived statesman, inwardly cold, dominated by immediate interest,
always governing at the shortest range, incapable of rancor and
of gratitude, making use without mercy of superiority on mediocrity,
clever in getting parliamentary majorities to put in the wrong
those mysterious unanimities which mutter dully under thrones;
unreserved, sometimes imprudent in his lack of reserve, but with
marvellous address in that imprudence; fertile in expedients,
in countenances, in masks; making France fear Europe and Europe France!
Incontestably fond of his country, but preferring his family;
assuming more domination than authority and more authority than dignity,
a disposition which has this unfortunate property, that as it turns
everything to success, it admits of ruse and does not absolutely
repudiate baseness, but which has this valuable side, that it
preserves politics from violent shocks, the state from fractures,
and society from catastrophes; minute, correct, vigilant, attentive,
sagacious, indefatigable; contradicting himself at times and giving
himself the lie; bold against Austria at Ancona, obstinate against
England in Spain, bombarding Antwerp, and paying off Pritchard;
singing the Marseillaise with conviction, inaccessible to despondency,
to lassitude, to the taste for the beautiful and the ideal,
to daring generosity, to Utopia, to chimeras, to wrath, to vanity,
to fear; possessing all the forms of personal intrepidity; a general
at Valmy; a soldier at Jemappes; attacked eight times by regicides
and always smiling. brave as a grenadier, courageous as a thinker;
uneasy only in the face of the chances of a European shaking up,
and unfitted for great political adventures; always ready to risk
his life, never his work; disguising his will in influence, in order
that he might be obeyed as an intelligence rather than as a king;
endowed with observation and not with divination; not very attentive
to minds, but knowing men, that is to say requiring to see in order
to judge; prompt and penetrating good sense, practical wisdom,
easy speech, prodigious memory; drawing incessantly on this memory,
his only point of resemblance with Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon;
knowing deeds, facts, details, dates, proper names, ignorant
of tendencies, passions, the diverse geniuses of the crowd,
the interior aspirations, the hidden and obscure uprisings of souls,
in a word, all that can be designated as the invisible currents
of consciences; accepted by the surface, but little in accord
with France lower down; extricating himself by dint of tact;
governing too much and not enough; his own first minister;
excellent at creating out of the pettiness of realities an obstacle
to the immensity of ideas; mingling a genuine creative faculty
of civilization, of order and organization, an indescribable spirit
of proceedings and chicanery, the founder and lawyer of a dynasty;
having something of Charlemagne and something of an attorney; in short,
a lofty and original figure, a prince who understood how to create
authority in spite of the uneasiness of France, and power in spite
of the jealousy of Europe. Louis Philippe will be classed among
the eminent men of his century, and would be ranked among the most
illustrious governors of history had he loved glory but a little,
and if he had had the sentiment of what is great to the same degree
as the feeling for what is useful.

Louis Philippe had been handsome, and in his old age he remained graceful;
not always approved by the nation, he always was so by the masses;
he pleased. He had that gift of charming. He lacked majesty; he wore
no crown, although a king, and no white hair, although an old man;
his manners belonged to the old regime and his habits to the new;
a mixture of the noble and the bourgeois which suited 1830;
Louis Philippe was transition reigning; he had preserved the
ancient pronunciation and the ancient orthography which he placed
at the service of opinions modern; he loved Poland and Hungary,
but he wrote les Polonois, and he pronounced les Hongrais. He wore
the uniform of the national guard, like Charles X., and the ribbon
of the Legion of Honor, like Napoleon.

He went a little to chapel, not at all to the chase, never to the opera.
Incorruptible by sacristans, by whippers-in, by ballet-dancers;
this made a part of his bourgeois popularity. He had no heart.
He went out with his umbrella under his arm, and this umbrella
long formed a part of his aureole. He was a bit of a mason, a bit
of a gardener, something of a doctor; he bled a postilion who had
tumbled from his horse; Louis Philippe no more went about without
his lancet, than did Henri IV. without his poniard. The Royalists
jeered at this ridiculous king, the first who had ever shed blood
with the object of healing.

For the grievances against Louis Philippe, there is one deduction
to be made; there is that which accuses royalty, that which
accuses the reign, that which accuses the King; three columns
which all give different totals. Democratic right confiscated,
progress becomes a matter of secondary interest, the protests of the
street violently repressed, military execution of insurrections,
the rising passed over by arms, the Rue Transnonain, the counsels
of war, the absorption of the real country by the legal country,
on half shares with three hundred thousand privileged persons,--
these are the deeds of royalty; Belgium refused, Algeria too
harshly conquered, and, as in the case of India by the English,
with more barbarism than civilization, the breach of faith,
to Abd-el-Kader, Blaye, Deutz bought, Pritchard paid,--these are
the doings of the reign; the policy which was more domestic than
national was the doing of the King.

As will be seen, the proper deduction having been made, the King's
charge is decreased.

This is his great fault; he was modest in the name of France.

Whence arises this fault?

We will state it.

Louis Philippe was rather too much of a paternal king; that incubation
of a family with the object of founding a dynasty is afraid
of everything and does not like to be disturbed; hence excessive
timidity, which is displeasing to the people, who have the
14th of July in their civil and Austerlitz in their military tradition.

Moreover, if we deduct the public duties which require to be fulfilled
first of all, that deep tenderness of Louis Philippe towards his
family was deserved by the family. That domestic group was worthy
of admiration. Virtues there dwelt side by side with talents.
One of Louis Philippe's daughters, Marie d'Orleans, placed the name
of her race among artists, as Charles d'Orleans had placed it
among poets. She made of her soul a marble which she named Jeanne
d'Arc. Two of Louis Philippe's daughters elicited from Metternich
this eulogium: "They are young people such as are rarely seen,
and princes such as are never seen."

This, without any dissimulation, and also without any exaggeration,
is the truth about Louis Philippe.

To be Prince Equality, to bear in his own person the contradiction
of the Restoration and the Revolution, to have that disquieting
side of the revolutionary which becomes reassuring in governing
power, therein lay the fortune of Louis Philippe in 1830;
never was there a more complete adaptation of a man to an event;
the one entered into the other, and the incarnation took place.
Louis Philippe is 1830 made man. Moreover, he had in his favor that
great recommendation to the throne, exile. He had been proscribed,
a wanderer, poor. He had lived by his own labor. In Switzerland,
this heir to the richest princely domains in France had sold an old
horse in order to obtain bread. At Reichenau, he gave lessons
in mathematics, while his sister Adelaide did wool work and sewed.
These souvenirs connected with a king rendered the bourgeoisie
enthusiastic. He had, with his own hands, demolished the iron cage
of Mont-Saint-Michel, built by Louis XI, and used by Louis XV.
He was the companion of Dumouriez, he was the friend of Lafayette;
he had belonged to the Jacobins' club; Mirabeau had slapped
him on the shoulder; Danton had said to him: "Young man!"
At the age of four and twenty, in '93, being then M. de Chartres,
he had witnessed, from the depth of a box, the trial of Louis
XVI., so well named that poor tyrant. The blind clairvoyance
of the Revolution, breaking royalty in the King and the King
with royalty, did so almost without noticing the man in the fierce
crushing of the idea, the vast storm of the Assembly-Tribunal,
the public wrath interrogating, Capet not knowing what to reply,
the alarming, stupefied vacillation by that royal head beneath that
sombre breath, the relative innocence of all in that catastrophe,
of those who condemned as well as of the man condemned,--he had looked
on those things, he had contemplated that giddiness; he had seen
the centuries appear before the bar of the Assembly-Convention;
he had beheld, behind Louis XVI., that unfortunate passer-by
who was made responsible, the terrible culprit, the monarchy,
rise through the shadows; and there had lingered in his soul
the respectful fear of these immense justices of the populace,
which are almost as impersonal as the justice of God.

The trace left in him by the Revolution was prodigious. Its memory
was like a living imprint of those great years, minute by minute.
One day, in the presence of a witness whom we are not permitted
to doubt, he rectified from memory the whole of the letter A in the
alphabetical list of the Constituent Assembly.

Louis Philippe was a king of the broad daylight. While he
reigned the press was free, the tribune was free, conscience and
speech were free. The laws of September are open to sight.
Although fully aware of the gnawing power of light on privileges,
he left his throne exposed to the light. History will do justice
to him for this loyalty.

Louis Philippe, like all historical men who have passed from the scene,
is to-day put on his trial by the human conscience. His case is,
as yet, only in the lower court.

The hour when history speaks with its free and venerable accent,
has not yet sounded for him; the moment has not come to pronounce
a definite judgment on this king; the austere and illustrious
historian Louis Blanc has himself recently softened his first verdict;
Louis Philippe was elected by those two almosts which are called
the 221 and 1830, that is to say, by a half-Parliament, and
a half-revolution; and in any case, from the superior point of view
where philosophy must place itself, we cannot judge him here, as the
reader has seen above, except with certain reservations in the name
of the absolute democratic principle; in the eyes of the absolute,
outside these two rights, the right of man in the first place,
the right of the people in the second, all is usurpation; but what we
can say, even at the present day, that after making these reserves is,
that to sum up the whole, and in whatever manner he is considered,
Louis Philippe, taken in himself, and from the point of view
of human goodness, will remain, to use the antique language
of ancient history, one of the best princes who ever sat on a throne.

What is there against him? That throne. Take away Louis Philippe
the king, there remains the man. And the man is good. He is good at
times even to the point of being admirable. Often, in the midst of his
gravest souvenirs, after a day of conflict with the whole diplomacy
of the continent, he returned at night to his apartments, and there,
exhausted with fatigue, overwhelmed with sleep, what did he do?
He took a death sentence and passed the night in revising a criminal suit,
considering it something to hold his own against Europe, but that it
was a still greater matter to rescue a man from the executioner.
He obstinately maintained his opinion against his keeper of the seals;
he disputed the ground with the guillotine foot by foot against the
crown attorneys, those chatterers of the law, as he called them.
Sometimes the pile of sentences covered his table; he examined them all;
it was anguish to him to abandon these miserable, condemned heads.
One day, he said to the same witness to whom we have recently referred:
"I won seven last night." During the early years of his reign,
the death penalty was as good as abolished, and the erection of a
scaffold was a violence committed against the King. The Greve having
disappeared with the elder branch, a bourgeois place of execution
was instituted under the name of the Barriere-Saint-Jacques;
"practical men" felt the necessity of a quasi-legitimate guillotine;
and this was one of the victories of Casimir Perier, who represented
the narrow sides of the bourgeoisie, over Louis Philippe,
who represented its liberal sides. Louis Philippe annotated Beccaria
with his own hand. After the Fieschi machine, he exclaimed:
"What a pity that I was not wounded! Then I might have pardoned!"
On another occasion, alluding to the resistance offered by his ministry,
he wrote in connection with a political criminal, who is one of the most
generous figures of our day: "His pardon is granted; it only remains
for me to obtain it." Louis Philippe was as gentle as Louis IX.
and as kindly as Henri IV.

Now, to our mind, in history, where kindness is the rarest of pearls,
the man who is kindly almost takes precedence of the man who is great.

Louis Philippe having been severely judged by some, harshly, perhaps,
by others, it is quite natural that a man, himself a phantom at
the present day, who knew that king, should come and testify in his
favor before history; this deposition, whatever else it may be,
is evidently and above all things, entirely disinterested; an epitaph
penned by a dead man is sincere; one shade may console another shade;
the sharing of the same shadows confers the right to praise it;
it is not greatly to be feared that it will ever be said of two
tombs in exile: "This one flattered the other."



At the moment when the drama which we are narrating is on the point
of penetrating into the depths of one of the tragic clouds which
envelop the beginning of Louis Philippe's reign, it was necessary
that there should be no equivoque, and it became requisite that
this book should offer some explanation with regard to this king.

Louis Philippe had entered into possession of his royal authority
without violence, without any direct action on his part, by virtue
of a revolutionary change, evidently quite distinct from the real
aim of the Revolution, but in which he, the Duc d'Orleans,
exercised no personal initiative. He had been born a Prince,
and he believed himself to have been elected King. He had not served
this mandate on himself; he had not taken it; it had been offered
to him, and he had accepted it; convinced, wrongly, to be sure,
but convinced nevertheless, that the offer was in accordance with
right and that the acceptance of it was in accordance with duty.
Hence his possession was in good faith. Now, we say it in
good conscience, Louis Philippe being in possession in perfect
good faith, and the democracy being in good faith in its attack,
the amount of terror discharged by the social conflicts weighs neither
on the King nor on the democracy. A clash of principles resembles
a clash of elements. The ocean defends the water, the hurricane
defends the air, the King defends Royalty, the democracy defends
the people; the relative, which is the monarchy, resists the absolute,
which is the republic; society bleeds in this conflict, but that
which constitutes its suffering to-day will constitute its safety
later on; and, in any case, those who combat are not to be blamed;
one of the two parties is evidently mistaken; the right is not,
like the Colossus of Rhodes, on two shores at once, with one
foot on the republic, and one in Royalty; it is indivisible,
and all on one side; but those who are in error are so sincerely;
a blind man is no more a criminal than a Vendean is a ruffian.
Let us, then, impute to the fatality of things alone these
formidable collisions. Whatever the nature of these tempests may be,
human irresponsibility is mingled with them.

Let us complete this exposition.

The government of 1840 led a hard life immediately. Born yesterday,
it was obliged to fight to-day.

Hardly installed, it was already everywhere conscious of vague
movements of traction on the apparatus of July so recently laid,
and so lacking in solidity.

Resistance was born on the morrow; perhaps even, it was born on
the preceding evening. From month to month the hostility increased,
and from being concealed it became patent.

The Revolution of July, which gained but little acceptance outside
of France by kings, had been diversely interpreted in France,
as we have said.

God delivers over to men his visible will in events, an obscure text
written in a mysterious tongue. Men immediately make translations
of it; translations hasty, incorrect, full of errors, of gaps,
and of nonsense. Very few minds comprehend the divine language.
The most sagacious, the calmest, the most profound, decipher slowly,
and when they arrive with their text, the task has long been completed;
there are already twenty translations on the public place.
From each remaining springs a party, and from each misinterpretation
a faction; and each party thinks that it alone has the true text,
and each faction thinks that it possesses the light.

Power itself is often a faction.

There are, in revolutions, swimmers who go against the current;
they are the old parties.

For the old parties who clung to heredity by the grace of God,
think that revolutions, having sprung from the right to revolt,
one has the right to revolt against them. Error. For in these
revolutions, the one who revolts is not the people; it is the king.
Revolution is precisely the contrary of revolt. Every revolution,
being a normal outcome, contains within itself its legitimacy,
which false revolutionists sometimes dishonor, but which remains even
when soiled, which survives even when stained with blood.

Revolutions spring not from an accident, but from necessity.
A revolution is a return from the fictitious to the real. It is
because it must be that it is.

None the less did the old legitimist parties assail the Revolution
of 1830 with all the vehemence which arises from false reasoning.
Errors make excellent projectiles. They strike it cleverly in its
vulnerable spot, in default of a cuirass, in its lack of logic;
they attacked this revolution in its royalty. They shouted to it:
"Revolution, why this king?" Factions are blind men who aim correctly.

This cry was uttered equally by the republicans. But coming from them,
this cry was logical. What was blindness in the legitimists was
clearness of vision in the democrats. 1830 had bankrupted the people.
The enraged democracy reproached it with this.

Between the attack of the past and the attack of the future,
the establishment of July struggled. It represented the minute
at loggerheads on the one hand with the monarchical centuries,
on the other hand with eternal right.

In addition, and beside all this, as it was no longer revolution and had
become a monarchy, 1830 was obliged to take precedence of all Europe.
To keep the peace, was an increase of complication. A harmony
established contrary to sense is often more onerous than a war.
From this secret conflict, always muzzled, but always growling,
was born armed peace, that ruinous expedient of civilization which
in the harness of the European cabinets is suspicious in itself.
The Royalty of July reared up, in spite of the fact that it caught
it in the harness of European cabinets. Metternich would gladly
have put it in kicking-straps. Pushed on in France by progress,
it pushed on the monarchies, those loiterers in Europe. After having
been towed, it undertook to tow.

Meanwhile, within her, pauperism, the proletariat, salary,
education, penal servitude, prostitution, the fate of the woman,
wealth, misery, production, consumption, division, exchange,
coin, credit, the rights of capital, the rights of labor,--
all these questions were multiplied above society, a terrible slope.

Outside of political parties properly so called, another movement
became manifest. Philosophical fermentation replied to democratic
fermentation. The elect felt troubled as well as the masses;
in another manner, but quite as much.

Thinkers meditated, while the soil, that is to say, the people,
traversed by revolutionary currents, trembled under them with
indescribably vague epileptic shocks. These dreamers, some isolated,
others united in families and almost in communion, turned over
social questions in a pacific but profound manner; impassive miners,
who tranquilly pushed their galleries into the depths of a volcano,
hardly disturbed by the dull commotion and the furnaces of which they
caught glimpses.

This tranquillity was not the least beautiful spectacle of this
agitated epoch.

These men left to political parties the question of rights,
they occupied themselves with the question of happiness.

The well-being of man, that was what they wanted to extract
from society.

They raised material questions, questions of agriculture, of industry,
of commerce, almost to the dignity of a religion. In civilization,
such as it has formed itself, a little by the command of God, a great
deal by the agency of man, interests combine, unite, and amalgamate in a
manner to form a veritable hard rock, in accordance with a dynamic law,
patiently studied by economists, those geologists of politics.
These men who grouped themselves under different appellations,
but who may all be designated by the generic title of socialists,
endeavored to pierce that rock and to cause it to spout forth the
living waters of human felicity.

From the question of the scaffold to the question of war, their works
embraced everything. To the rights of man, as proclaimed by the French
Revolution, they added the rights of woman and the rights of the child.

The reader will not be surprised if, for various reasons, we do
not here treat in a thorough manner, from the theoretical point
of view, the questions raised by socialism. We confine ourselves
to indicating them.

All the problems that the socialists proposed to themselves,
cosmogonic visions, revery and mysticism being cast aside, can be
reduced to two principal problems.

First problem: To produce wealth.

Second problem: To share it.

The first problem contains the question of work.

The second contains the question of salary.

In the first problem the employment of forces is in question.

In the second, the distribution of enjoyment.

From the proper employment of forces results public power.

From a good distribution of enjoyments results individual happiness.

By a good distribution, not an equal but an equitable distribution
must be understood.

From these two things combined, the public power without,
individual happiness within, results social prosperity.

Social prosperity means the man happy, the citizen free, the nation great.

England solves the first of these two problems. She creates
wealth admirably, she divides it badly. This solution which is
complete on one side only leads her fatally to two extremes:
monstrous opulence, monstrous wretchedness. All enjoyments for some,
all privations for the rest, that is to say, for the people;
privilege, exception, monopoly, feudalism, born from toil itself.
A false and dangerous situation, which sates public power or
private misery, which sets the roots of the State in the sufferings
of the individual. A badly constituted grandeur in which are combined
all the material elements and into which no moral element enters.

Communism and agrarian law think that they solve the second problem.
They are mistaken. Their division kills production. Equal partition
abolishes emulation; and consequently labor. It is a partition
made by the butcher, which kills that which it divides. It is
therefore impossible to pause over these pretended solutions.
Slaying wealth is not the same thing as dividing it.

The two problems require to be solved together, to be well solved.
The two problems must be combined and made but one.

Solve only the first of the two problems; you will be Venice,
you will be England. You will have, like Venice, an artificial
power, or, like England, a material power; you will be the wicked
rich man. You will die by an act of violence, as Venice died,
or by bankruptcy, as England will fall. And the world will allow
to die and fall all that is merely selfishness, all that does
not represent for the human race either a virtue or an idea.

It is well understood here, that by the words Venice, England,
we designate not the peoples, but social structures; the oligarchies
superposed on nations, and not the nations themselves. The nations
always have our respect and our sympathy. Venice, as a people,
will live again; England, the aristocracy, will fall, but England,
the nation, is immortal. That said, we continue.

Solve the two problems, encourage the wealthy, and protect the poor,
suppress misery, put an end to the unjust farming out of the
feeble by the strong, put a bridle on the iniquitous jealousy
of the man who is making his way against the man who has reached
the goal, adjust, mathematically and fraternally, salary to labor,
mingle gratuitous and compulsory education with the growth of childhood,
and make of science the base of manliness, develop minds while keeping
arms busy, be at one and the same time a powerful people and a family
of happy men, render property democratic, not by abolishing it,
but by making it universal, so that every citizen, without exception,
may be a proprietor, an easier matter than is generally supposed;
in two words, learn how to produce wealth and how to distribute it,
and you will have at once moral and material greatness; and you will
be worthy to call yourself France.

This is what socialism said outside and above a few sects
which have gone astray; that is what it sought in facts,
that is what it sketched out in minds.

Efforts worthy of admiration! Sacred attempts!

These doctrines, these theories, these resistances, the unforeseen
necessity for the statesman to take philosophers into account,
confused evidences of which we catch a glimpse, a new system
of politics to be created, which shall be in accord with the old
world without too much disaccord with the new revolutionary ideal,
a situation in which it became necessary to use Lafayette to
defend Polignac, the intuition of progress transparent beneath
the revolt, the chambers and streets, the competitions to be
brought into equilibrium around him, his faith in the Revolution,
perhaps an eventual indefinable resignation born of the vague
acceptance of a superior definitive right, his desire to remain
of his race, his domestic spirit, his sincere respect for the people,
his own honesty, preoccupied Louis Philippe almost painfully,
and there were moments when strong and courageous as he was,
he was overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a king.

He felt under his feet a formidable disaggregation, which was not,
nevertheless, a reduction to dust, France being more France than ever.

Piles of shadows covered the horizon. A strange shade,
gradually drawing nearer, extended little by little over men,
over things, over ideas; a shade which came from wraths and systems.
Everything which had been hastily stifled was moving and fermenting.
At times the conscience of the honest man resumed its breathing,
so great was the discomfort of that air in which sophisms were
intermingled with truths. Spirits trembled in the social anxiety
like leaves at the approach of a storm. The electric tension
was such that at certain instants, the first comer, a stranger,
brought light. Then the twilight obscurity closed in again.
At intervals, deep and dull mutterings allowed a judgment to be formed
as to the quantity of thunder contained by the cloud.

Twenty months had barely elapsed since the Revolution of July,
the year 1832 had opened with an aspect of something impending
and threatening.

The distress of the people, the laborers without bread, the last Prince
de Conde engulfed in the shadows, Brussels expelling the Nassaus
as Paris did the Bourbons, Belgium offering herself to a French
Prince and giving herself to an English Prince, the Russian hatred
of Nicolas, behind us the demons of the South, Ferdinand in Spain,
Miguel in Portugal, the earth quaking in Italy, Metternich extending
his hand over Bologna, France treating Austria sharply at Ancona,
at the North no one knew what sinister sound of the hammer nailing up
Poland in her coffin, irritated glances watching France narrowly all
over Europe, England, a suspected ally, ready to give a push to that
which was tottering and to hurl herself on that which should fall,
the peerage sheltering itself behind Beccaria to refuse four heads
to the law, the fleurs-de-lys erased from the King's carriage,
the cross torn from Notre Dame, Lafayette lessened, Laffitte ruined,
Benjamin Constant dead in indigence, Casimir Perier dead in the
exhaustion of his power; political and social malady breaking
out simultaneously in the two capitals of the kingdom, the one
in the city of thought, the other in the city of toil; at Paris
civil war, at Lyons servile war; in the two cities, the same glare
of the furnace; a crater-like crimson on the brow of the people;
the South rendered fanatic, the West troubled, the Duchesse
de Berry in la Vendee, plots, conspiracies, risings, cholera,
added the sombre roar of tumult of events to the sombre roar of ideas.



Towards the end of April, everything had become aggravated.
The fermentation entered the boiling state. Ever since 1830,
petty partial revolts had been going on here and there,
which were quickly suppressed, but ever bursting forth afresh,
the sign of a vast underlying conflagration. Something terrible
was in preparation. Glimpses could be caught of the features still
indistinct and imperfectly lighted, of a possible revolution.
France kept an eye on Paris; Paris kept an eye on the Faubourg

The Faubourg Saint-Antoine, which was in a dull glow, was beginning
its ebullition.

The wine-shops of the Rue de Charonne were, although the union
of the two epithets seems singular when applied to wine-shops,
grave and stormy.

The government was there purely and simply called in question.
There people publicly discussed the question of fighting or of
keeping quiet. There were back shops where workingmen were made to
swear that they would hasten into the street at the first cry of alarm,
and "that they would fight without counting the number of the enemy."
This engagement once entered into, a man seated in the corner of the
wine-shop "assumed a sonorous tone," and said, "You understand!
You have sworn!"

Sometimes they went up stairs, to a private room on the first floor,
and there scenes that were almost masonic were enacted. They made
the initiated take oaths to render service to himself as well as
to the fathers of families. That was the formula.

In the tap-rooms, "subversive" pamphlets were read. They treated
the government with contempt, says a secret report of that time.

Words like the following could be heard there:--

"I don't know the names of the leaders. We folks shall not
know the day until two hours beforehand." One workman said:
"There are three hundred of us, let each contribute ten sous,
that will make one hundred and fifty francs with which to procure
powder and shot."

Another said: "I don't ask for six months, I don't ask for even two.
In less than a fortnight we shall be parallel with the government.
With twenty-five thousand men we can face them." Another said:
"I don't sleep at night, because I make cartridges all night."
From time to time, men "of bourgeois appearance, and in good coats"
came and "caused embarrassment," and with the air of "command,"
shook hands with the most important, and then went away. They never
stayed more than ten minutes. Significant remarks were exchanged
in a low tone: "The plot is ripe, the matter is arranged." "It was
murmured by all who were there," to borrow the very expression of one
of those who were present. The exaltation was such that one day,
a workingman exclaimed, efore the whole wine-shop: "We have no arms!"
One of his comrades replied: "The soldiers have!" thus parodying
without being aware of the fact, Bonaparte's proclamation to the army
in Italy: "When they had anything of a more secret nature on hand,"
adds one report, "they did not communicate it to each other."
It is not easy to understand what they could conceal after what they

These reunions were sometimes periodical. At certain ones of them,
there were never more than eight or ten persons present, and they
were always the same. In others, any one entered who wished,
and the room was so full that they were forced to stand.
Some went thither through enthusiasm and passion; others because
it was on their way to their work. As during the Revolution,
there were patriotic women in some of these wine-shops who embraced

Other expressive facts came to light.

A man would enter a shop, drink, and go his way with the remark:
"Wine-merchant, the revolution will pay what is due to you."

Revolutionary agents were appointed in a wine-shop facing the Rue
de Charonne. The balloting was carried on in their caps.

Workingmen met at the house of a fencing-master who gave lessons
in the Rue de Cotte. There there was a trophy of arms formed of
wooden broadswords, canes, clubs, and foils. One day, the buttons
were removed from the foils.

A workman said: "There are twenty-five of us, but they don't
count on me, because I am looked upon as a machine." Later on,
that machine became Quenisset.

The indefinite things which were brewing gradually acquired a strange
and indescribable notoriety. A woman sweeping off her doorsteps said
to another woman: "For a long time, there has been a strong force
busy making cartridges." In the open street, proclamation could
be seen addressed to the National Guard in the departments.
One of these proclamations was signed: Burtot, wine-merchant.

One day a man with his beard worn like a collar and with an Italian
accent mounted a stone post at the door of a liquor-seller in the
Marche Lenoir, and read aloud a singular document, which seemed
to emanate from an occult power. Groups formed around him,
and applauded.

The passages which touched the crowd most deeply were collected and
noted down. "--Our doctrines are trammelled, our proclamations torn,
our bill-stickers are spied upon and thrown into prison."--"The
breakdown which has recently taken place in cottons has converted
to us many mediums."--"The future of nations is being worked out in
our obscure ranks."--" Here are the fixed terms: action or reaction,
revolution or counter-revolution. For, at our epoch, we no longer
believe either in inertia or in immobility. For the people
against the people, that is the question. There is no other."--"On
the day when we cease to suit you, break us, but up to that day,
help us to march on." All this in broad daylight.

Other deeds, more audacious still, were suspicious in the eyes of the
people by reason of their very audacity. On the 4th of April, 1832,
a passer-by mounted the post on the corner which forms the angle
of the Rue Sainte-Marguerite and shouted: "I am a Babouvist!"
But beneath Babeuf, the people scented Gisquet.

Among other things, this man said:--

"Down with property! The opposition of the left is cowardly
and treacherous. When it wants to be on the right side,
it preaches revolution, it is democratic in order to escape
being beaten, and royalist so that it may not have to fight.
The republicans are beasts with feathers. Distrust the republicans,
citizens of the laboring classes."

"Silence, citizen spy!" cried an artisan.

This shout put an end to the discourse.

Mysterious incidents occurred.

At nightfall, a workingman encountered near the canal a "very
well dressed man," who said to him: "Whither are you bound,
citizen?" "Sir," replied the workingman, "I have not the honor
of your acquaintance." "I know you very well, however." And the
man added: "Don't be alarmed, I am an agent of the committee.
You are suspected of not being quite faithful. You know that if you
reveal anything, there is an eye fixed on you." Then he shook hands
with the workingman and went away, saying: "We shall meet again soon."

The police, who were on the alert, collected singular dialogues,
not only in the wine-shops, but in the street.

"Get yourself received very soon," said a weaver to a cabinet-maker.


"There is going to be a shot to fire."

Two ragged pedestrians exchanged these remarkable replies,
fraught with evident Jacquerie:--

"Who governs us?"

"M. Philippe."

"No, it is the bourgeoisie."

The reader is mistaken if he thinks that we take the word Jacquerie
in a bad sense. The Jacques were the poor.

On another occasion two men were heard to say to each other as they
passed by: "We have a good plan of attack."

Only the following was caught of a private conversation between four
men who were crouching in a ditch of the circle of the Barriere
du Trone:--

"Everything possible will be done to prevent his walking about Paris
any more."

Who was the he? Menacing obscurity.

"The principal leaders," as they said in the faubourg, held themselves
apart. It was supposed that they met for consultation in a wine-shop
near the point Saint-Eustache. A certain Aug--, chief of the Society
aid for tailors, Rue Mondetour, had the reputation of serving
as intermediary central between the leaders and the Faubourg Saint-Antoine.

Nevertheless, there was always a great deal of mystery about
these leaders, and no certain fact can invalidate the singular
arrogance of this reply made later on by a man accused before
the Court of Peers:--

"Who was your leader?"

"I knew of none and I recognized none."

There was nothing but words, transparent but vague; sometimes
idle reports, rumors, hearsay. Other indications cropped up.

A carpenter, occupied in nailing boards to a fence around
the ground on which a house was in process of construction,
in the Rue de Reuilly found on that plot the torn fragment
of a letter on which were still legible the following lines:--

The committee must take measures to prevent recruiting in the
sections for the different societies.

And, as a postscript:--

We have learned that there are guns in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonniere,
No. 5 [bis], to the number of five or six thousand, in the house
of a gunsmith in that court. The section owns no arms.

What excited the carpenter and caused him to show this thing to his
neighbors was the fact, that a few paces further on he picked up
another paper, torn like the first, and still more significant,
of which we reproduce a facsimile, because of the historical interest
attaching to these strange documents:--

+------------------------------------------------------------+ | Q
| C | D | E | Learn this list by heart. After so doing | | | | |
| you will tear it up. The men admitted | | | | | | will do the
same when you have transmitted | | | | | | their orders to them.
| | | | | | Health and Fraternity, | | | | | | u og a fe L. |

It was only later on that the persons who were in the secret
of this find at the time, learned the significance of those four
capital letters: quinturions, centurions, decurions, eclaireurs
[scouts], and the sense of the letters: u og a fe, which was a date,
and meant April 15th, 1832. Under each capital letter were inscribed
names followed by very characteristic notes. Thus: Q. Bannerel.
8 guns, 83 cartridges. A safe man.--C. Boubiere. 1 pistol,
40 cartridges.--D. Rollet. 1 foil, 1 pistol, 1 pound of powder.--
E. Tessier. 1 sword, 1 cartridge-box. Exact.--Terreur. 8 guns.
Brave, etc.

Finally, this carpenter found, still in the same enclosure,
a third paper on which was written in pencil, but very legibly,
this sort of enigmatical list:--

Unite: Blanchard: Arbre-Sec. 6.
Barra. Soize. Salle-au-Comte.
Kosciusko. Aubry the Butcher?
J. J. R.
Caius Gracchus.
Right of revision. Dufond. Four.
Fall of the Girondists. Derbac. Maubuee.
Washington. Pinson. 1 pistol, 86 cartridges.
Sovereignty of the people. Michel. Quincampoix. Sword.
Marceau. Plato. Arbre-Sec.
Warsaw. Tilly, crier of the Populaire.

The honest bourgeois into whose hands this list fell knew
its significance. It appears that this list was the complete nomenclature
of the sections of the fourth arondissement of the Society of the Rights
of Man, with the names and dwellings of the chiefs of sections.
To-day, when all these facts which were obscure are nothing more than
history, we may publish them. It should be added, that the foundation
of the Society of the Rights of Man seems to have been posterior to
the date when this paper was found. Perhaps this was only a rough draft.

Still, according to all the remarks and the words, according to
written notes, material facts begin to make their appearance.

In the Rue Popincourt, in the house of a dealer in bric-abrac, there
were seized seven sheets of gray paper, all folded alike lengthwise
and in four; these sheets enclosed twenty-six squares of this
same gray paper folded in the form of a cartridge, and a card,
on which was written the following:--

Saltpetre . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ounces.
Sulphur . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ounces.
Charcoal . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ounces and a half.
Water . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ounces.

The report of the seizure stated that the drawer exhaled a strong
smell of powder.

A mason returning from his day's work, left behind him a little
package on a bench near the bridge of Austerlitz. This package
was taken to the police station. It was opened, and in it were
found two printed dialogues, signed Lahautiere, a song entitled:
"Workmen, band together," and a tin box full of cartridges.

One artisan drinking with a comrade made the latter feel him to see
how warm he was; the other man felt a pistol under his waistcoat.

In a ditch on the boulevard, between Pere-Lachaise and the Barriere
du Trone, at the most deserted spot, some children, while playing,
discovered beneath a mass of shavings and refuse bits of wood,
a bag containing a bullet-mould, a wooden punch for the preparation
of cartridges, a wooden bowl, in which there were grains of
hunting-powder, and a little cast-iron pot whose interior presented
evident traces of melted lead.

Police agents, making their way suddenly and unexpectedly at five
o'clock in the morning, into the dwelling of a certain Pardon,
who was afterwards a member of the Barricade-Merry section and got
himself killed in the insurrection of April, 1834, found him standing
near his bed, and holding in his hand some cartridges which he
was in the act of preparing.

Towards the hour when workingmen repose, two men were seen to meet
between the Barriere Picpus and the Barriere Charenton in a little
lane between two walls, near a wine-shop, in front of which there
was a "Jeu de Siam."[33] One drew a pistol from beneath his blouse
and handed it to the other. As he was handing it to him, he noticed
that the perspiration of his chest had made the powder damp.
He primed the pistol and added more powder to what was already
in the pan. Then the two men parted.

[33] A game of ninepins, in which one side of the ball is smaller
than the other, so that it does not roll straight, but describes
a curve on the ground.

A certain Gallais, afterwards killed in the Rue Beaubourg in the
affair of April, boasted of having in his house seven hundred
cartridges and twenty-four flints.

The government one day received a warning that arms and two hundred
thousand cartridges had just been distributed in the faubourg.
On the following week thirty thousand cartridges were distributed.
The remarkable point about it was, that the police were not able to
seize a single one.

An intercepted letter read: "The day is not far distant when,
within four hours by the clock, eighty thousand patriots will be
under arms."

All this fermentation was public, one might almost say tranquil.
The approaching insurrection was preparing its storm calmly in the
face of the government. No singularity was lacking to this still
subterranean crisis, which was already perceptible. The bourgeois
talked peaceably to the working-classes of what was in preparation.
They said: "How is the rising coming along?" in the same tone in
which they would have said: "How is your wife?"

A furniture-dealer, of the Rue Moreau, inquired: "Well, when are
you going to make the attack?"

Another shop-keeper said:--

"The attack will be made soon."

"I know it. A month ago, there were fifteen thousand of you,
now there are twenty-five thousand." He offered his gun,
and a neighbor offered a small pistol which he was willing to sell
for seven francs.

Moreover, the revolutionary fever was growing. Not a point in Paris
nor in France was exempt from it. The artery was beating everywhere.
Like those membranes which arise from certain inflammations and form
in the human body, the network of secret societies began to spread
all over the country. From the associations of the Friends
of the People, which was at the same time public and secret,
sprang the Society of the Rights of Man, which also dated from one
of the orders of the day: Pluviose, Year 40 of the republican era,
which was destined to survive even the mandate of the Court of
Assizes which pronounced its dissolution, and which did not hesitate
to bestow on its sections significant names like the following:--

Signal cannon.
Phrygian cap.
January 21.
The beggars.
The vagabonds.
Forward march.
Ca Ira.

The Society of the Rights of Man engendered the Society of Action.
These were impatient individuals who broke away and hastened ahead.
Other associations sought to recruit themselves from the great
mother societies. The members of sections complained that they
were torn asunder. Thus, the Gallic Society, and the committee
of organization of the Municipalities. Thus the associations for the
liberty of the press, for individual liberty, for the instruction
of the people against indirect taxes. Then the Society of Equal
Workingmen which was divided into three fractions, the levellers,
the communists, the reformers. Then the Army of the Bastilles,
a sort of cohort organized on a military footing, four men commanded
by a corporal, ten by a sergeant, twenty by a sub-lieutenant, forty by
a lieutenant; there were never more than five men who knew each other.
Creation where precaution is combined with audacity and which seemed
stamped with the genius of Venice.

The central committee, which was at the head, had two arms,
the Society of Action, and the Army of the Bastilles.

A legitimist association, the Chevaliers of Fidelity, stirred about
among these the republican affiliations. It was denounced
and repudiated there.

The Parisian societies had ramifications in the principal cities,
Lyons, Nantes, Lille, Marseilles, and each had its Society
of the Rights of Man, the Charbonniere, and The Free Men.
All had a revolutionary society which was called the Cougourde.
We have already mentioned this word.

In Paris, the Faubourg Saint-Marceau kept up an equal buzzing with
the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and the schools were no less moved than
the faubourgs. A cafe in the Rue Saint-Hyacinthe and the wine-shop
of the Seven Billiards, Rue des Mathurins-Saint-Jacques, served
as rallying points for the students. The Society of the Friends
of the A B C affiliated to the Mutualists of Angers, and to the
Cougourde of Aix, met, as we have seen, in the Cafe Musain.
These same young men assembled also, as we have stated already, in a
restaurant wine-shop of the Rue Mondetour which was called Corinthe.
These meetings were secret. Others were as public as possible,
and the reader can judge of their boldness from these fragments
of an interrogatory undergone in one of the ulterior prosecutions:
"Where was this meeting held?" "In the Rue de la Paix."
"At whose house?" "In the street." "What sections were there?"
"Only one." "Which?" "The Manuel section." "Who was its leader?"
"I." "You are too young to have decided alone upon the bold course
of attacking the government. Where did your instructions come from?"
"From the central committee."

The army was mined at the same time as the population, as was proved
subsequently by the operations of Beford, Luneville, and Epinard.
They counted on the fifty-second regiment, on the fifth, on the eighth,
on the thirty-seventh, and on the twentieth light cavalry.
In Burgundy and in the southern towns they planted the liberty tree;
that is to say, a pole surmounted by a red cap.

Such was the situation.

The Faubourg Saint-Antoine, more than any other group of the population,
as we stated in the beginning, accentuated this situation and made
it felt. That was the sore point. This old faubourg, peopled like
an ant-hill, laborious, courageous, and angry as a hive of bees,
was quivering with expectation and with the desire for a tumult.
Everything was in a state of agitation there, without any interruption,
however, of the regular work. It is impossible to convey an idea
of this lively yet sombre physiognomy. In this faubourg exists
poignant distress hidden under attic roofs; there also exist rare
and ardent minds. It is particularly in the matter of distress
and intelligence that it is dangerous to have extremes meet.

The Faubourg Saint-Antoine had also other causes to tremble;
for it received the counter-shock of commercial crises, of failures,
strikes, slack seasons, all inherent to great political disturbances.
In times of revolution misery is both cause and effect. The blow
which it deals rebounds upon it. This population full of proud virtue,
capable to the highest degree of latent heat, always ready to fly
to arms, prompt to explode, irritated, deep, undermined, seemed to
be only awaiting the fall of a spark. Whenever certain sparks
float on the horizon chased by the wind of events, it is impossible
not to think of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine and of the formidable
chance which has placed at the very gates of Paris that powder-house
of suffering and ideas.

The wine-shops of the Faubourg Antoine, which have been more than
once drawn in the sketches which the reader has just perused,
possess historical notoriety. In troublous times people grow
intoxicated there more on words than on wine. A sort of prophetic
spirit and an afflatus of the future circulates there, swelling hearts
and enlarging souls. The cabarets of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine
resemble those taverns of Mont Aventine erected on the cave of
the Sibyl and communicating with the profound and sacred breath;
taverns where the tables were almost tripods, and where was drunk
what Ennius calls the sibylline wine.

The Faubourg Saint-Antoine is a reservoir of people.
Revolutionary agitations create fissures there, through which
trickles the popular sovereignty. This sovereignty may do evil;
it can be mistaken like any other; but, even when led astray,
it remains great. We may say of it as of the blind cyclops, Ingens.

In '93, according as the idea which was floating about was good
or evil, according as it was the day of fanaticism or of enthusiasm,
there leaped forth from the Faubourg Saint-Antoine now savage legions,
now heroic bands.

Savage. Let us explain this word. When these bristling men,
who in the early days of the revolutionary chaos, tattered, howling,
wild, with uplifted bludgeon, pike on high, hurled themselves
upon ancient Paris in an uproar, what did they want? They wanted
an end to oppression, an end to tyranny, an end to the sword,
work for men, instruction for the child, social sweetness for
the woman, liberty, equality, fraternity, bread for all, the idea
for all, the Edenizing of the world. Progress; and that holy,
sweet, and good thing, progress, they claimed in terrible wise,
driven to extremities as they were, half naked, club in fist, a roar
in their mouths. They were savages, yes; but the savages of civilization.

They proclaimed right furiously; they were desirous, if only
with fear and trembling, to force the human race to paradise.
They seemed barbarians, and they were saviours. They demanded
light with the mask of night.

Facing these men, who were ferocious, we admit, and terrifying,
but ferocious and terrifying for good ends, there are other men,
smiling, embroidered, gilded, beribboned, starred, in silk stockings,
in white plumes, in yellow gloves, in varnished shoes, who, with their
elbows on a velvet table, beside a marble chimney-piece, insist gently
on demeanor and the preservation of the past, of the Middle Ages,
of divine right, of fanaticism, of innocence, of slavery, of the
death penalty, of war, glorifying in low tones and with politeness,
the sword, the stake, and the scaffold. For our part, if we were
forced to make a choice between the barbarians of civilization
and the civilized men of barbarism, we should choose the barbarians.

But, thank Heaven, still another choice is possible. No perpendicular
fall is necessary, in front any more than in the rear.

Neither despotism nor terrorism. We desire progress with a gentle slope.

God takes care of that. God's whole policy consists in rendering
slopes less steep.



It was about this epoch that Enjolras, in view of a possible catastrophe,
instituted a kind of mysterious census.

All were present at a secret meeting at the Cafe Musain.

Enjolras said, mixing his words with a few half-enigmatical
but significant metaphors:--

"It is proper that we should know where we stand and on whom we
may count. If combatants are required, they must be provided.
It can do no harm to have something with which to strike.
Passers-by always have more chance of being gored when there are
bulls on the road than when there are none. Let us, therefore,
reckon a little on the herd. How many of us are there?
There is no question of postponing this task until to-morrow.
Revolutionists should always be hurried; progress has no time to lose.
Let us mistrust the unexpected. Let us not be caught unprepared.
We must go over all the seams that we have made and see whether they
hold fast. This business ought to be concluded to-day. Courfeyrac,
you will see the polytechnic students. It is their day to go out.
To-day is Wednesday. Feuilly, you will see those of the Glaciere,
will you not? Combeferre has promised me to go to Picpus.
There is a perfect swarm and an excellent one there. Bahorel will
visit the Estrapade. Prouvaire, the masons are growing lukewarm;
you will bring us news from the lodge of the Rue de Grenelle-Saint-Honore.
Joly will go to Dupuytren's clinical lecture, and feel the pulse
of the medical school. Bossuet will take a little turn in the court
and talk with the young law licentiates. I will take charge of the
Cougourde myself."

"That arranges everything," said Courfeyrac.


"What else is there?"

"A very important thing."

"What is that?" asked Courfeyrac.

"The Barriere du Maine," replied Enjolras.

Enjolras remained for a moment as though absorbed in reflection,
then he resumed:--

"At the Barriere du Maine there are marble-workers, painters,
and journeymen in the studios of sculptors. They are an enthusiastic
family, but liable to cool off. I don't know what has been the matter
with them for some time past. They are thinking of something else.
They are becoming extinguished. They pass their time playing dominoes.
There is urgent need that some one should go and talk with them a little,
but with firmness. They meet at Richefeu's. They are to be found
there between twelve and one o'clock. Those ashes must be fanned into
a glow. For that errand I had counted on that abstracted Marius,
who is a good fellow on the whole, but he no longer comes to us.
I need some one for the Barriere du Maine. I have no one."

"What about me?" said Grantaire. "Here am I."



"You indoctrinate republicans! you warm up hearts that have grown
cold in the name of principle!"

"Why not?"

"Are you good for anything?"

"I have a vague ambition in that direction," said Grantaire.

"You do not believe in everything."

"I believe in you."

"Grantaire will you do me a service?"

"Anything. I'll black your boots."

"Well, don't meddle with our affairs. Sleep yourself sober from
your absinthe."

"You are an ingrate, Enjolras."

"You the man to go to the Barriere du Maine! You capable of it!"

"I am capable of descending the Rue de Gres, of crossing the Place
Saint-Michel, of sloping through the Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, of taking
the Rue de Vaugirard, of passing the Carmelites, of turning into the
Rue d'Assas, of reaching the Rue du Cherche-Midi, of leaving behind
me the Conseil de Guerre, of pacing the Rue des Vielles Tuileries,
of striding across the boulevard, of following the Chaussee du Maine,
of passing the barrier, and entering Richefeu's. I am capable of that.
My shoes are capable of that."

"Do you know anything of those comrades who meet at Richefeu's?"

"Not much. We only address each other as thou."

"What will you say to them?"

"I will speak to them of Robespierre, pardi! Of Danton.
Of principles."


"I. But I don't receive justice. When I set about it, I am terrible.
I have read Prudhomme, I know the Social Contract, I know my
constitution of the year Two by heart. `The liberty of one citizen
ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.' Do you take me
for a brute? I have an old bank-bill of the Republic in my drawer.
The Rights of Man, the sovereignty of the people, sapristi! I am
even a bit of a Hebertist. I can talk the most superb twaddle
for six hours by the clock, watch in hand."

"Be serious," said Enjolras.

"I am wild," replied Grantaire.

Enjolras meditated for a few moments, and made the gesture of a man
who has taken a resolution.

"Grantaire," he said gravely, "I consent to try you. You shall go
to the Barriere du Maine."

Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very near the Cafe Musain.
He went out, and five minutes later he returned. He had gone home
to put on a Robespierre waistcoat.

"Red," said he as he entered, and he looked intently at Enjolras.
Then, with the palm of his energetic hand, he laid the two scarlet
points of the waistcoat across his breast.

And stepping up to Enjolras, he whispered in his ear:--

"Be easy."

He jammed his hat on resolutely and departed.

A quarter of an hour later, the back room of the Cafe Musain
was deserted. All the friends of the A B C were gone, each in his
own direction, each to his own task. Enjolras, who had reserved
the Cougourde of Aix for himself, was the last to leave.

Those members of the Cougourde of Aix who were in Paris then met
on the plain of Issy, in one of the abandoned quarries which are
so numerous in that side of Paris.

As Enjolras walked towards this place, he passed the whole situation
in review in his own mind. The gravity of events was self-evident.
When facts, the premonitory symptoms of latent social malady,
move heavily, the slightest complication stops and entangles them.
A phenomenon whence arises ruin and new births. Enjolras descried
a luminous uplifting beneath the gloomy skirts of the future.
Who knows? Perhaps the moment was at hand. The people were
again taking possession of right, and what a fine spectacle!
The revolution was again majestically taking possession of France and
saying to the world: "The sequel to-morrow!" Enjolras was content.
The furnace was being heated. He had at that moment a powder train
of friends scattered all over Paris. He composed, in his own mind,
with Combeferre's philosophical and penetrating eloquence,
Feuilly's cosmopolitan enthusiasm, Courfeyrac's dash, Bahorel's smile,
Jean Prouvaire's melancholy, Joly's science, Bossuet's sarcasms,
a sort of electric spark which took fire nearly everywhere at once.
All hands to work. Surely, the result would answer to the effort.
This was well. This made him think of Grantaire.

"Hold," said he to himself, "the Barriere du Maine will not take me
far out of my way. What if I were to go on as far as Richefeu's?
Let us have a look at what Grantaire is about, and see how he
is getting on."

One o'clock was striking from the Vaugirard steeple when Enjolras
reached the Richefeu smoking-room.

He pushed open the door, entered, folded his arms, letting the door
fall to and strike his shoulders, and gazed at that room filled
with tables, men, and smoke.

A voice broke forth from the mist of smoke, interrupted by another voice.
It was Grantaire holding a dialogue with an adversary.

Grantaire was sitting opposite another figure, at a marble Saint-Anne
table, strewn with grains of bran and dotted with dominos. He was
hammering the table with his fist, and this is what Enjolras heard:--



"The pig! I have no more."

"You are dead. A two."




"It's my move."

"Four points."

"Not much."

"It's your turn."

"I have made an enormous mistake."

"You are doing well."


"Seven more."

"That makes me twenty-two." [Thoughtfully, "Twenty-two!"]

"You weren't expecting that double-six. If I had placed it
at the beginning, the whole play would have been changed."

"A two again."


"One! Well, five."

"I haven't any."

"It was your play, I believe?"



"What luck he has! Ah! You are lucky! [Long revery.] Two."


"Neither five nor one. That's bad for you."


"Plague take it!"




Marius had witnessed the unexpected termination of the ambush upon
whose track he had set Javert; but Javert had no sooner quitted
the building, bearing off his prisoners in three hackney-coaches,
than Marius also glided out of the house. It was only nine
o'clock in the evening. Marius betook himself to Courfeyrac.
Courfeyrac was no longer the imperturbable inhabitant of the
Latin Quarter, he had gone to live in the Rue de la Verrerie "for
political reasons"; this quarter was one where, at that epoch,
insurrection liked to install itself. Marius said to Courfeyrac:
"I have come to sleep with you." Courfeyrac dragged a mattress off
his bed, which was furnished with two, spread it out on the floor,
and said: "There."

At seven o'clock on the following morning, Marius returned to
the hovel, paid the quarter's rent which he owed to Ma'am Bougon,
had his books, his bed, his table, his commode, and his two chairs
loaded on a hand-cart and went off without leaving his address,
so that when Javert returned in the course of the morning,
for the purpose of questioning Marius as to the events of the
preceding evening, he found only Ma'am Bougon, who answered:
"Moved away!"

Ma'am Bougon was convinced that Marius was to some extent an
accomplice of the robbers who had been seized the night before.
"Who would ever have said it?" she exclaimed to the portresses
of the quarter, "a young man like that, who had the air of a girl!"

Marius had two reasons for this prompt change of residence.
The first was, that he now had a horror of that house, where he
had beheld, so close at hand, and in its most repulsive and most
ferocious development, a social deformity which is, perhaps,
even more terrible than the wicked rich man, the wicked poor man.
The second was, that he did not wish to figure in the lawsuit
which would insue in all probability, and be brought in to testify
against Thenardier.

Javert thought that the young man, whose name he had forgotten,
was afraid, and had fled, or perhaps, had not even returned home
at the time of the ambush; he made some efforts to find him,
however, but without success.

A month passed, then another. Marius was still with Courfeyrac.
He had learned from a young licentiate in law, an habitual frequenter
of the courts, that Thenardier was in close confinement. Every Monday,
Marius had five francs handed in to the clerk's office of La Force
for Thenardier.

As Marius had no longer any money, he borrowed the five francs
from Courfeyrac. It was the first time in his life that he had ever
borrowed money. These periodical five francs were a double riddle
to Courfeyrac who lent and to Thenardier who received them. "To whom
can they go?" thought Courfeyrac. "Whence can this come to me?"
Thenardier asked himself.

Moreover, Marius was heart-broken. Everything had plunged through
a trap-door once more. He no longer saw anything before him;
his life was again buried in mystery where he wandered fumblingly.
He had for a moment beheld very close at hand, in that obscurity,
the young girl whom he loved, the old man who seemed to be her father,
those unknown beings, who were his only interest and his only hope
in this world; and, at the very moment when he thought himself on
the point of grasping them, a gust had swept all these shadows away.
Not a spark of certainty and truth had been emitted even in the
most terrible of collisions. No conjecture was possible. He no
longer knew even the name that he thought he knew. It certainly
was not Ursule. And the Lark was a nickname. And what was he to
think of the old man? Was he actually in hiding from the police?
The white-haired workman whom Marius had encountered in the vicinity
of the Invalides recurred to his mind. It now seemed probable that
that workingman and M. Leblanc were one and the same person. So he
disguised himself? That man had his heroic and his equivocal sides.
Why had he not called for help? Why had he fled? Was he,
or was he not, the father of the young girl? Was he, in short,
the man whom Thenardier thought that he recognized? Thenardier might
have been mistaken. These formed so many insoluble problems.
All this, it is true, detracted nothing from the angelic charms
of the young girl of the Luxembourg. Heart-rending distress;
Marius bore a passion in his heart, and night over his eyes.
He was thrust onward, he was drawn, and he could not stir.
All had vanished, save love. Of love itself he had lost the instincts
and the sudden illuminations. Ordinarily, this flame which burns
us lights us also a little, and casts some useful gleams without.
But Marius no longer even heard these mute counsels of passion.
He never said to himself: "What if I were to go to such a place?
What if I were to try such and such a thing?" The girl whom he could
no longer call Ursule was evidently somewhere; nothing warned Marius
in what direction he should seek her. His whole life was now summed
up in two words; absolute uncertainty within an impenetrable fog.
To see her once again; he still aspired to this, but he no longer
expected it.

To crown all, his poverty had returned. He felt that icy breath
close to him, on his heels. In the midst of his torments, and long
before this, he had discontinued his work, and nothing is more
dangerous than discontinued work; it is a habit which vanishes.
A habit which is easy to get rid of, and difficult to take up again.

A certain amount of dreaming is good, like a narcotic in discreet doses.
It lulls to sleep the fevers of the mind at labor, which are
sometimes severe, and produces in the spirit a soft and fresh
vapor which corrects the over-harsh contours of pure thought,
fills in gaps here and there, binds together and rounds off the
angles of the ideas. But too much dreaming sinks and drowns.
Woe to the brain-worker who allows himself to fall entirely from
thought into revery! He thinks that he can re-ascend with equal ease,
and he tells himself that, after all, it is the same thing. Error!

Thought is the toil of the intelligence, revery its voluptuousness.
To replace thought with revery is to confound a poison with a food.

Marius had begun in that way, as the reader will remember.
Passion had supervened and had finished the work of precipitating
him into chimaeras without object or bottom. One no longer emerges
from one's self except for the purpose of going off to dream.
Idle production. Tumultuous and stagnant gulf. And, in proportion
as labor diminishes, needs increase. This is a law. Man, in a state
of revery, is generally prodigal and slack; the unstrung mind cannot
hold life within close bounds.

There is, in that mode of life, good mingled with evil,
for if enervation is baleful, generosity is good and healthful.
But the poor man who is generous and noble, and who does not work,
is lost. Resources are exhausted, needs crop up.

Fatal declivity down which the most honest and the firmest as well
as the most feeble and most vicious are drawn, and which ends
in one of two holds, suicide or crime.

By dint of going outdoors to think, the day comes when one goes
out to throw one's self in the water.

Excess of revery breeds men like Escousse and Lebras.

Marius was descending this declivity at a slow pace, with his eyes
fixed on the girl whom he no longer saw. What we have just written
seems strange, and yet it is true. The memory of an absent being
kindles in the darkness of the heart; the more it has disappeared,
the more it beams; the gloomy and despairing soul sees this light
on its horizon; the star of the inner night. She--that was Marius'
whole thought. He meditated of nothing else; he was confusedly
conscious that his old coat was becoming an impossible coat, and that
his new coat was growing old, that his shirts were wearing out,
that his hat was wearing out, that his boots were giving out,
and he said to himself: "If I could but see her once again before
I die!"

One sweet idea alone was left to him, that she had loved him,
that her glance had told him so, that she did not know his name,
but that she did know his soul, and that, wherever she was,
however mysterious the place, she still loved him perhaps.
Who knows whether she were not thinking of him as he was thinking
of her? Sometimes, in those inexplicable hours such as are experienced
by every heart that loves, though he had no reasons for anything but
sadness and yet felt an obscure quiver of joy, he said to himself:
"It is her thoughts that are coming to me!" Then he added:
"Perhaps my thoughts reach her also."

This illusion, at which he shook his head a moment later,
was sufficient, nevertheless, to throw beams, which at times
resembled hope, into his soul. From time to time, especially at
that evening hour which is the most depressing to even the dreamy,
he allowed the purest, the most impersonal, the most ideal
of the reveries which filled his brain, to fall upon a notebook
which contained nothing else. He called this "writing to her."

It must not be supposed that his reason was deranged.
Quite the contrary. He had lost the faculty of working and of
moving firmly towards any fixed goal, but he was endowed with
more clear-sightedness and rectitude than ever. Marius surveyed
by a calm and real, although peculiar light, what passed before
his eyes, even the most indifferent deeds and men; he pronounced
a just criticism on everything with a sort of honest dejection
and candid disinterestedness. His judgment, which was almost
wholly disassociated from hope, held itself aloof and soared on high.

In this state of mind nothing escaped him, nothing deceived him,
and every moment he was discovering the foundation of life,
of humanity, and of destiny. Happy, even in the midst of anguish,
is he to whom God has given a soul worthy of love and of unhappiness!
He who has not viewed the things of this world and the heart of man
under this double light has seen nothing and knows nothing of
the true.

The soul which loves and suffers is in a state of sublimity.

However, day followed day, and nothing new presented itself.
It merely seemed to him, that the sombre space which still remained
to be traversed by him was growing shorter with every instant.
He thought that he already distinctly perceived the brink of the
bottomless abyss.

"What!" he repeated to himself, "shall I not see her again before then!"

When you have ascended the Rue Saint-Jacques, left the barrier on
one side and followed the old inner boulevard for some distance,
you reach the Rue de la Sante, then the Glaciere, and, a little
while before arriving at the little river of the Gobelins, you come
to a sort of field which is the only spot in the long and monotonous
chain of the boulevards of Paris, where Ruysdeel would be tempted
to sit down.

There is something indescribable there which exhales grace, a green
meadow traversed by tightly stretched lines, from which flutter
rags drying in the wind, and an old market-gardener's house,
built in the time of Louis XIII., with its great roof oddly
pierced with dormer windows, dilapidated palisades, a little
water amid poplar-trees, women, voices, laughter; on the horizon
the Pantheon, the pole of the Deaf-Mutes, the Val-de-Grace, black,
squat, fantastic, amusing, magnificent, and in the background,
the severe square crests of the towers of Notre Dame.

As the place is worth looking at, no one goes thither. Hardly one
cart or wagoner passes in a quarter of an hour.

It chanced that Marius' solitary strolls led him to this plot of ground,
near the water. That day, there was a rarity on the boulevard,
a passer-by. Marius, vaguely impressed with the almost savage beauty
of the place, asked this passer-by:--"What is the name of this spot?"

The person replied: "It is the Lark's meadow."

And he added: "It was here that Ulbach killed the shepherdess
of Ivry."

But after the word "Lark" Marius heard nothing more. These sudden
congealments in the state of revery, which a single word suffices
to evoke, do occur. The entire thought is abruptly condensed around
an idea, and it is no longer capable of perceiving anything else.

The Lark was the appellation which had replaced Ursule in the depths
of Marius' melancholy.--"Stop," said he with a sort of unreasoning
stupor peculiar to these mysterious asides, "this is her meadow.
I shall know where she lives now."

It was absurd, but irresistible.

And every day he returned to that meadow of the Lark.



Javert's triumph in the Gorbeau hovel seemed complete, but had
not been so.

In the first place, and this constituted the principal anxiety,
Javert had not taken the prisoner prisoner. The assassinated man
who flees is more suspicious than the assassin, and it is probable that
this personage, who had been so precious a capture for the ruffians,
would be no less fine a prize for the authorities.

And then, Montparnasse had escaped Javert.

Another opportunity of laying hands on that "devil's dandy"
must be waited for. Montparnasse had, in fact, encountered Eponine
as she stood on the watch under the trees of the boulevard, and had
led her off, preferring to play Nemorin with the daughter rather
than Schinderhannes with the father. It was well that he did so.
He was free. As for Eponine, Javert had caused her to be seized;
a mediocre consolation. Eponine had joined Azelma at Les Madelonettes.

And finally, on the way from the Gorbeau house to La Force, one of
the principal prisoners, Claquesous, had been lost. It was not known
how this had been effected, the police agents and the sergeants "could
not understand it at all." He had converted himself into vapor,
he had slipped through the handcuffs, he had trickled through the
crevices of the carriage, the fiacre was cracked, and he had fled;
all that they were able to say was, that on arriving at the prison,
there was no Claquesous. Either the fairies or the police had had a
hand in it. Had Claquesous melted into the shadows like a snow-flake
in water? Had there been unavowed connivance of the police agents?
Did this man belong to the double enigma of order and disorder?
Was he concentric with infraction and repression? Had this
sphinx his fore paws in crime and his hind paws in authority?
Javert did not accept such comminations, and would have bristled up
against such compromises; but his squad included other inspectors
besides himself, who were more initiated than he, perhaps, although they
were his subordinates in the secrets of the Prefecture, and Claquesous
had been such a villain that he might make a very good agent.
It is an excellent thing for ruffianism and an admirable thing for
the police to be on such intimate juggling terms with the night.
These double-edged rascals do exist. However that may be,
Claquesous had gone astray and was not found again. Javert appeared
to be more irritated than amazed at this.

As for Marius, "that booby of a lawyer," who had probably become
frightened, and whose name Javert had forgotten, Javert attached
very little importance to him. Moreover, a lawyer can be hunted
up at any time. But was he a lawyer after all?

The investigation had begun.

The magistrate had thought it advisable not to put one of these men
of the band of Patron Minette in close confinement, in the hope that he
would chatter. This man was Brujon, the long-haired man of the Rue du
Petit-Banquier. He had been let loose in the Charlemagne courtyard,
and the eyes of the watchers were fixed on him.

This name of Brujon is one of the souvenirs of La Force.
In that hideous courtyard, called the court of the Batiment-Neuf (New
Building), which the administration called the court Saint-Bernard,
and which the robbers called the Fosseaux-Lions (The Lion's Ditch),
on that wall covered with scales and leprosy, which rose on the
left to a level with the roofs, near an old door of rusty iron
which led to the ancient chapel of the ducal residence of La Force,
then turned in a dormitory for ruffians, there could still be seen,
twelve years ago, a sort of fortress roughly carved in the stone
with a nail, and beneath it this signature:--

BRUJON, 1811.

The Brujon of 1811 was the father of the Brujon of 1832.

The latter, of whom the reader caught but a glimpse at the
Gorbeau house, was a very cunning and very adroit young spark,
with a bewildered and plaintive air. It was in consequence of this
plaintive air that the magistrate had released him, thinking him
more useful in the Charlemagne yard than in close confinement.

Robbers do not interrupt their profession because they are in the hands
of justice. They do not let themselves be put out by such a trifle
as that. To be in prison for one crime is no reason for not beginning
on another crime. They are artists, who have one picture in the salon,
and who toil, none the less, on a new work in their studios.

Brujon seemed to be stupefied by prison. He could sometimes
be seen standing by the hour together in front of the sutler's
window in the Charlemagne yard, staring like an idiot at the
sordid list of prices which began with: garlic, 62 centimes,
and ended with: cigar, 5 centimes. Or he passed his time in trembling,
chattering his teeth, saying that he had a fever, and inquiring
whether one of the eight and twenty beds in the fever ward was vacant.

All at once, towards the end of February, 1832, it was discovered
that Brujon, that somnolent fellow, had had three different
commissions executed by the errand-men of the establishment,
not under his own name, but in the name of three of his comrades;
and they had cost him in all fifty sous, an exorbitant outlay
which attracted the attention of the prison corporal.

Inquiries were instituted, and on consulting the tariff of
commissions posted in the convict's parlor, it was learned that
the fifty sous could be analyzed as follows: three commissions;
one to the Pantheon, ten sous; one to Val-de-Grace, fifteen sous;
and one to the Barriere de Grenelle, twenty-five sous. This last
was the dearest of the whole tariff. Now, at the Pantheon,
at the Val-de-Grace, and at the Barriere de Grenelle were situated
the domiciles of the three very redoubtable prowlers of the barriers,
Kruideniers, alias Bizarre, Glorieux, an ex-convict, and Barre-Carosse,
upon whom the attention of the police was directed by this incident.
It was thought that these men were members of Patron Minette;
two of those leaders, Babet and Gueulemer, had been captured.
It was supposed that the messages, which had been addressed,
not to houses, but to people who were waiting for them in the street,
must have contained information with regard to some crime that
had been plotted. They were in possession of other indications;
they laid hand on the three prowlers, and supposed that they had
circumvented some one or other of Brujon's machinations.

About a week after these measures had been taken, one night,
as the superintendent of the watch, who had been inspecting the lower
dormitory in the Batiment-Neuf, was about to drop his chestnut in
the box--this was the means adopted to make sure that the watchmen
performed their duties punctually; every hour a chestnut must be
dropped into all the boxes nailed to the doors of the dormitories--
a watchman looked through the peep-hole of the dormitory and beheld
Brujon sitting on his bed and writing something by the light of the
hall-lamp. The guardian entered, Brujon was put in a solitary cell
for a month, but they were not able to seize what he had written.
The police learned nothing further about it.

What is certain is, that on the following morning, a "postilion"
was flung from the Charlemagne yard into the Lions' Ditch, over the
five-story building which separated the two court-yards.

What prisoners call a "postilion" is a pallet of bread
artistically moulded, which is sent into Ireland, that is to say,
over the roofs of a prison, from one courtyard to another.
Etymology: over England; from one land to another; into Ireland.
This little pellet falls in the yard. The man who picks it up opens
it and finds in it a note addressed to some prisoner in that yard.
If it is a prisoner who finds the treasure, he forwards the note to
its destination; if it is a keeper, or one of the prisoners secretly
sold who are called sheep in prisons and foxes in the galleys,
the note is taken to the office and handed over to the police.

On this occasion, the postilion reached its address,
although the person to whom it was addressed was, at that moment,
in solitary confinement. This person was no other than Babet,
one of the four heads of Patron Minette.

The postilion contained a roll of paper on which only these two
lines were written:--

"Babet. There is an affair in the Rue Plumet. A gate on a garden."

This is what Brujon had written the night before.

In spite of male and female searchers, Babet managed to pass
the note on from La Force to the Salpetriere, to a "good friend"
whom he had and who was shut up there. This woman in turn transmitted
the note to another woman of her acquaintance, a certain Magnon,
who was strongly suspected by the police, though not yet arrested.
This Magnon, whose name the reader has already seen, had relations
with the Thenardier, which will be described in detail later on,
and she could, by going to see Eponine, serve as a bridge between the
Salpetriere and Les Madelonettes.

It happened, that at precisely that moment, as proofs were wanting

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