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Home -> Victor Hugo -> Les MisÚrables -> To Wit, the Plan of Paris in 1727

Les MisÚrables - To Wit, the Plan of Paris in 1727

1. M. Myriel

2. M. Myriel becomes M. Welcome

3. A Hard Bishopric for a Good Bishop

4. Works corresponding to Words

5. Monseigneur Bienvenu made his Cassocks last too long

6. Who guarded his House for him

7. Cravatte

8. Philosophy after Drinking

9. The Brother as depicted by the Sister

10. The Bishop in the Presence of an Unknown Light

11. A Restriction

12. The Solitude of Monseigneur Welcome

13. What he believed

14. What he thought

15. The Evening of a Day of Walking

16. Prudence counselled to Wisdom

17. The Heroism of Passive Obedience

18. Details concerning the Cheese-Dairies of Pontarlier

19. Tranquillity

20. Jean Valjean

21. The Interior of Despair

22. Billows and Shadows

23. New Troubles

24. The Man aroused

25. What he does

26. The Bishop works

27. Little Gervais

28. The Year 1817

29. A Double Quartette

30. Four and Four

31. Tholomyes is so Merry that he sings a Spanish Ditty

32. At Bombardas

33. A Chapter in which they adore Each Other

34. The Wisdom of Tholomyes

35. The Death of a Horse

36. A Merry End to Mirth

37. One Mother meets Another Mother

38. First Sketch of Two Unprepossessing Figures

39. The Lark

40. The History of a Progress in Black Glass Trinkets

41. Madeleine

42. Sums deposited with Laffitte

43. M. Madeleine in Mourning

44. Vague Flashes on the Horizon

45. Father Fauchelevent

46. Fauchelevent becomes a Gardener in Paris

47. Madame Victurnien expends Thirty Francs on Morality

48. Madame Victurnien's Success

49. Result of the Success

50. Christus nos Liberavit

51. M. Bamatabois's Inactivity

52. The Solution of Some Questions connected with the Municipal Police

53. The Beginning of Repose

54. How Jean may become Champ

55. Sister Simplice

56. The Perspicacity of Master Scaufflaire

57. A Tempest in a Skull

58. Forms assumed by Suffering during Sleep

59. Hindrances

60. Sister Simplice put to the Proof

61. The Traveller on his Arrival takes Precautions for Departure

62. An Entrance by Favor

63. A Place where Convictions are in Process of Formation

64. The System of Denials

65. Champmathieu more and more Astonished

66. In what Mirror M. Madeleine contemplates his Hair

67. Fantine Happy

68. Javert Satisfied

69. Authority reasserts its Rights

70. A Suitable Tomb

71. What is met with on the Way from Nivelles

72. Hougomont

73. The Eighteenth of June, 1815

74. A

75. The Quid Obscurum of Battles

76. Four o'clock in the Afternoon

77. Napoleon in a Good Humor

78. The Emperor puts a Question to the Guide Lacoste

79. The Unexpected

80. The Plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean

81. A Bad Guide to Napoleon; a Good Guide to Bulow

82. The Guard

83. The Catastrophe

84. The Last Square

85. Cambronne

86. Quot Libras in Duce?

87. Is Waterloo to be considered Good?

88. A Recrudescence of Divine Right

89. The Battle-Field at Night

90. Number 24,601 becomes Number 9,430

91. In which the reader will peruse Two Verses which are of the Devil's Composition possibly

92. The Ankle-Chain must have undergone a Certain Preparatory Manipulation to be thus broken with a Blow from a Hammer

93. The Water Question at Montfermeil

94. Two Complete Portraits

95. Men must have Wine, and Horses must have Water

96. Entrance on the Scene of a Doll

97. The Little One All Alone

98. Which possibly proves Boulatruelle's Intelligence

99. Cosette Side by Side with the Stranger in the Dark

100. The Unpleasantness of receiving into One's House a Poor Man who may be a Rich Man

101. Thenardier at his Manoeuvres

102. He who seeks to better himself may render his Situation Worse

103. Number 9,430 reappears, and Cosette wins it in the Lottery

104. Master Gorbeau

105. A Nest for Owl and a Warbler

106. Two Misfortunes Make One Piece of Good Fortune

107. The Remarks of the Principal Tenant

108. A Five-Franc Piece Falls on the Ground and Produces a Tumult

109. The Zigzags of Strategy

110. It Is Lucky That the Pont D'Austerlitz Bears Carriages

111. To Wit, the Plan of Paris in 1727

112. The Gropings of Flight

113. Which Would be Impossible With Gas Lanterns

114. The Beginning of an Enigma

115. Continuation of the Enigma

116. The Enigma Becomes Doubly Mysterious

117. The Man with the Bell

118. Which Explains How Javert Got on the Scent

119. Number 62 Rue Petit-Picpus

120. The Obedience of Martin Verga

121. Austerities

122. Gayeties

123. Distractions

124. The Little Convent

125. Some Silhouettes of this Darkness

126. Post Corda Lapides

127. A Century under a Guimpe

128. Origin of the Perpetual Adoration

129. End of the Petit-Picpus

130. The Convent as an Abstract Idea

131. The Convent as an Historical Fact

132. On What Conditions One can respect the Past

133. The Convent from the Point of View of Principles

134. Prayer

135. The Absolute Goodness of Prayer

136. Precautions to be observed in Blame

137. Faith, Law

138. Which treats of the Manner of entering a Convent

139. Fauchelevent in the Presence of a Difficulty

140. Mother Innocente

141. In which Jean Valjean has quite the Air of having read Austin Castillejo

142. It is not Necessary to be Drunk in order to be Immortal

143. Between Four Planks

144. In which will be found the Origin of the Saying: Don't lose the Card

145. A Successful Interrogatory

146. Cloistered







Three hundred paces further on, he arrived at a point where
the street forked. It separated into two streets, which ran
in a slanting line, one to the right, and the other to the left.

Jean Valjean had before him what resembled the two branches
of a Y. Which should he choose? He did not hesitate, but took
the one on the right.

Why?

Because that to the left ran towards a suburb, that is to say,
towards inhabited regions, and the right branch towards the open country,
that is to say, towards deserted regions.

However, they no longer walked very fast. Cosette's pace retarded
Jean Valjean's.

He took her up and carried her again. Cosette laid her head
on the shoulder of the good man and said not a word.

He turned round from time to time and looked behind him.
He took care to keep always on the dark side of the street.
The street was straight in his rear. The first two or three times
that he turned round he saw nothing; the silence was profound,
and he continued his march somewhat reassured. All at once,
on turning round, he thought he perceived in the portion of the
street which he had just passed through, far off in the obscurity,
something which was moving.

He rushed forward precipitately rather than walked, hoping to find
some side-street, to make his escape through it, and thus to break
his scent once more.

He arrived at a wall.

This wall, however, did not absolutely prevent further progress;
it was a wall which bordered a transverse street, in which the one he
had taken ended.

Here again, he was obliged to come to a decision; should he go
to the right or to the left.

He glanced to the right. The fragmentary lane was prolonged
between buildings which were either sheds or barns, then ended at a
blind alley. The extremity of the cul-de-sac was distinctly visible,--
a lofty white wall.

He glanced to the left. On that side the lane was open,
and about two hundred paces further on, ran into a street
of which it was the affluent. On that side lay safety.

At the moment when Jean Valjean was meditating a turn to the left,
in an effort to reach the street which he saw at the end of the lane,
he perceived a sort of motionless, black statue at the corner of the
lane and the street towards which he was on the point of directing
his steps.

It was some one, a man, who had evidently just been posted there,
and who was barring the passage and waiting.

Jean Valjean recoiled.

The point of Paris where Jean Valjean found himself, situated
between the Faubourg Saint-Antoine and la Rapee, is one of those
which recent improvements have transformed from top to bottom,--
resulting in disfigurement according to some, and in a transfiguration
according to others. The market-gardens, the timber-yards, and
the old buildings have been effaced. To-day, there are brand-new,
wide streets, arenas, circuses, hippodromes, railway stations, and
a prison, Mazas, there; progress, as the reader sees, with its antidote.

Half a century ago, in that ordinary, popular tongue, which is all
compounded of traditions, which persists in calling the Institut
les Quatre-Nations, and the Opera-Comique Feydeau, the precise
spot whither Jean Valjean had arrived was called le Petit Picpus.
The Porte Saint-Jacques, the Porte Paris, the Barriere des Sergents,
the Porcherons, la Galiote, les Celestins, les Capucins, le Mail,
la Bourbe, l'Arbre de Cracovie, la Petite-Pologne--these are the names
of old Paris which survive amid the new. The memory of the populace
hovers over these relics of the past.

Le Petit-Picpus, which, moreover, hardly ever had any existence,
and never was more than the outline of a quarter, had nearly the
monkish aspect of a Spanish town. The roads were not much paved;
the streets were not much built up. With the exception of the two
or three streets, of which we shall presently speak, all was wall
and solitude there. Not a shop, not a vehicle, hardly a candle
lighted here and there in the windows; all lights extinguished
after ten o'clock. Gardens, convents, timber-yards, marshes;
occasional lowly dwellings and great walls as high as the houses.

Such was this quarter in the last century. The Revolution snubbed
it soundly. The republican government demolished and cut through it.
Rubbish shoots were established there. Thirty years ago, this quarter
was disappearing under the erasing process of new buildings.
To-day, it has been utterly blotted out. The Petit-Picpus,
of which no existing plan has preserved a trace, is indicated
with sufficient clearness in the plan of 1727, published at Paris
by Denis Thierry, Rue Saint-Jacques, opposite the Rue du Platre;
and at Lyons, by Jean Girin, Rue Merciere, at the sign of Prudence.
Petit-Picpus had, as we have just mentioned, a Y of streets,
formed by the Rue du Chemin-Vert-Saint-Antoine, which spread
out in two branches, taking on the left the name of Little
Picpus Street, and on the right the name of the Rue Polonceau.
The two limbs of the Y were connected at the apex as by a bar;
this bar was called Rue Droit-Mur. The Rue Polonceau ended there;
Rue Petit-Picpus passed on, and ascended towards the Lenoir market.
A person coming from the Seine reached the extremity of the
Rue Polonceau, and had on his right the Rue Droit-Mur, turning
abruptly at a right angle, in front of him the wall of that street,
and on his right a truncated prolongation of the Rue Droit-Mur, which
had no issue and was called the Cul-de-Sac Genrot.

It was here that Jean Valjean stood.

As we have just said, on catching sight of that black silhouette
standing on guard at the angle of the Rue Droit-Mur and the Rue
Petit-Picpus, he recoiled. There could be no doubt of it.
That phantom was lying in wait for him.

What was he to do?

The time for retreating was passed. That which he had perceived
in movement an instant before, in the distant darkness, was Javert
and his squad without a doubt. Javert was probably already at
the commencement of the street at whose end Jean Valjean stood.
Javert, to all appearances, was acquainted with this little labyrinth,
and had taken his precautions by sending one of his men to guard
the exit. These surmises, which so closely resembled proofs,
whirled suddenly, like a handful of dust caught up by an
unexpected gust of wind, through Jean Valjean's mournful brain.
He examined the Cul-de-Sac Genrot; there he was cut off.
He examined the Rue Petit-Picpus; there stood a sentinel. He saw
that black form standing out in relief against the white pavement,
illuminated by the moon; to advance was to fall into this man's hands;
to retreat was to fling himself into Javert's arms. Jean Valjean
felt himself caught, as in a net, which was slowly contracting;
he gazed heavenward in despair.




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