home | authors | books | about

Home -> Victor Hugo -> Les MisÚrables -> The Gropings of Flight

Les MisÚrables - The Gropings of Flight

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







In order to understand what follows, it is requisite to form an
exact idea of the Droit-Mur lane, and, in particular, of the angle
which one leaves on the left when one emerges from the Rue Polonceau
into this lane. Droit-Mur lane was almost entirely bordered on
the right, as far as the Rue Petit-Picpus, by houses of mean aspect;
on the left by a solitary building of severe outlines, composed of
numerous parts which grew gradually higher by a story or two as
they approached the Rue Petit-Picpus side; so that this building,
which was very lofty on the Rue Petit-Picpus side, was tolerably low
on the side adjoining the Rue Polonceau. There, at the angle of
which we have spoken, it descended to such a degree that it consisted
of merely a wall. This wall did not abut directly on the Street;
it formed a deeply retreating niche, concealed by its two corners
from two observers who might have been, one in the Rue Polonceau,
the other in the Rue Droit-Mur.

Beginning with these angles of the niche, the wall extended along
the Rue Polonceau as far as a house which bore the number 49,
and along the Rue Droit-Mur, where the fragment was much shorter,
as far as the gloomy building which we have mentioned and whose gable
it intersected, thus forming another retreating angle in the street.
This gable was sombre of aspect; only one window was visible, or,
to speak more correctly, two shutters covered with a sheet of zinc
and kept constantly closed.

The state of the places of which we are here giving a description
is rigorously exact, and will certainly awaken a very precise
memory in the mind of old inhabitants of the quarter.

The niche was entirely filled by a thing which resembled a
colossal and wretched door; it was a vast, formless assemblage
of perpendicular planks, the upper ones being broader than
the lower, bound together by long transverse strips of iron.
At one side there was a carriage gate of the ordinary dimensions,
and which had evidently not been cut more than fifty years previously.

A linden-tree showed its crest above the niche, and the wall was
covered with ivy on the side of the Rue Polonceau.

In the imminent peril in which Jean Valjean found himself,
this sombre building had about it a solitary and uninhabited look
which tempted him. He ran his eyes rapidly over it; he said to himself,
that if he could contrive to get inside it, he might save himself.
First he conceived an idea, then a hope.

In the central portion of the front of this building, on the Rue
Droit-Mur side, there were at all the windows of the different
stories ancient cistern pipes of lead. The various branches of the
pipes which led from one central pipe to all these little basins
sketched out a sort of tree on the front. These ramifications
of pipes with their hundred elbows imitated those old leafless
vine-stocks which writhe over the fronts of old farm-houses.

This odd espalier, with its branches of lead and iron, was the
first thing that struck Jean Valjean. He seated Cosette with
her back against a stone post, with an injunction to be silent,
and ran to the spot where the conduit touched the pavement.
Perhaps there was some way of climbing up by it and entering the house.
But the pipe was dilapidated and past service, and hardly hung to
its fastenings. Moreover, all the windows of this silent dwelling
were grated with heavy iron bars, even the attic windows in the roof.
And then, the moon fell full upon that facade, and the man who was
watching at the corner of the street would have seen Jean Valjean in
the act of climbing. And finally, what was to be done with Cosette?
How was she to be drawn up to the top of a three-story house?

He gave up all idea of climbing by means of the drain-pipe,
and crawled along the wall to get back into the Rue Polonceau.

When he reached the slant of the wall where he had left Cosette,
he noticed that no one could see him there. As we have just explained,
he was concealed from all eyes, no matter from which direction
they were approaching; besides this, he was in the shadow.
Finally, there were two doors; perhaps they might be forced.
The wall above which he saw the linden-tree and the ivy evidently
abutted on a garden where he could, at least, hide himself,
although there were as yet no leaves on the trees, and spend
the remainder of the night.

Time was passing; he must act quickly.

He felt over the carriage door, and immediately recognized the fact
that it was impracticable outside and in.

He approached the other door with more hope; it was frightfully decrepit;
its very immensity rendered it less solid; the planks were rotten;
the iron bands--there were only three of them--were rusted. It seemed
as though it might be possible to pierce this worm-eaten barrier.

On examining it he found that the door was not a door; it had
neither hinges, cross-bars, lock, nor fissure in the middle;
the iron bands traversed it from side to side without any break.
Through the crevices in the planks he caught a view of unhewn slabs
and blocks of stone roughly cemented together, which passers-by
might still have seen there ten years ago. He was forced to
acknowledge with consternation that this apparent door was simply
the wooden decoration of a building against which it was placed.
It was easy to tear off a plank; but then, one found one's self face
to face with a wall.




© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary