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Les MisÚrables - Gayeties

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







CHAPTER IV

GAYETIES


None the less, these young girls filled this grave house with
charming souvenirs.

At certain hours childhood sparkled in that cloister. The recreation
hour struck. A door swung on its hinges. The birds said,
"Good; here come the children!" An irruption of youth inundated
that garden intersected with a cross like a shroud. Radiant faces,
white foreheads, innocent eyes, full of merry light, all sorts of auroras,
were scattered about amid these shadows. After the psalmodies,
the bells, the peals, and knells and offices, the sound of these little
girls burst forth on a sudden more sweetly than the noise of bees.
The hive of joy was opened, and each one brought her honey.
They played, they called to each other, they formed into groups,
they ran about; pretty little white teeth chattered in the corners;
the veils superintended the laughs from a distance, shades kept watch
of the sunbeams, but what mattered it? Still they beamed and laughed.
Those four lugubrious walls had their moment of dazzling brilliancy.
They looked on, vaguely blanched with the reflection of so much
joy at this sweet swarming of the hives. It was like a shower
of roses falling athwart this house of mourning. The young girls
frolicked beneath the eyes of the nuns; the gaze of impeccability
does not embarrass innocence. Thanks to these children, there was,
among so many austere hours, one hour of ingenuousness. The little
ones skipped about; the elder ones danced. In this cloister play
was mingled with heaven. Nothing is so delightful and so august
as all these fresh, expanding young souls. Homer would have come
thither to laugh with Perrault; and there was in that black garden,
youth, health, noise, cries, giddiness, pleasure, happiness enough
to smooth out the wrinkles of all their ancestresses, those of the
epic as well as those of the fairy-tale, those of the throne as well
as those of the thatched cottage from Hecuba to la Mere-Grand.

In that house more than anywhere else, perhaps, arise those
children's sayings which are so graceful and which evoke a smile
that is full of thoughtfulness. It was between those four
gloomy walls that a child of five years exclaimed one day:
"Mother! one of the big girls has just told me that I have
only nine years and ten months longer to remain here. What happiness!"

It was here, too, that this memorable dialogue took place:--

A Vocal Mother. Why are you weeping, my child?

The child (aged six). I told Alix that I knew my French history.
She says that I do not know it, but I do.

Alix, the big girl (aged nine). No; she does not know it.

The Mother. How is that, my child?

Alix. She told me to open the book at random and to ask her any
question in the book, and she would answer it.

"Well?"

"She did not answer it."

"Let us see about it. What did you ask her?"

"I opened the book at random, as she proposed, and I put the first
question that I came across."

"And what was the question?"

"It was, `What happened after that?'"

It was there that that profound remark was made anent a rather
greedy paroquet which belonged to a lady boarder:--

"How well bred! it eats the top of the slice of bread and butter
just like a person!"

It was on one of the flagstones of this cloister that there was
once picked up a confession which had been written out in advance,
in order that she might not forget it, by a sinner of seven years:--

"Father, I accuse myself of having been avaricious.

"Father, I accuse myself of having been an adulteress.

"Father, I accuse myself of having raised my eyes to the gentlemen."

It was on one of the turf benches of this garden that a rosy mouth
six years of age improvised the following tale, which was listened
to by blue eyes aged four and five years:--

"There were three little cocks who owned a country where there
were a great many flowers. They plucked the flowers and put them
in their pockets. After that they plucked the leaves and put
them in their playthings. There was a wolf in that country;
there was a great deal of forest; and the wolf was in the forest;
and he ate the little cocks."

And this other poem:--

"There came a blow with a stick.

"It was Punchinello who bestowed it on the cat.

"It was not good for her; it hurt her.

"Then a lady put Punchinello in prison."

It was there that a little abandoned child, a foundling whom
the convent was bringing up out of charity, uttered this sweet and
heart-breaking saying. She heard the others talking of their mothers,
and she murmured in her corner:--

"As for me, my mother was not there when I was born!"

There was a stout portress who could always be seen hurrying
through the corridors with her bunch of keys, and whose name was
Sister Agatha. The big big girls--those over ten years of age--
called her Agathocles.

The refectory, a large apartment of an oblong square form, which received
no light except through a vaulted cloister on a level with the garden,
was dark and damp, and, as the children say, full of beasts.
All the places round about furnished their contingent of insects.

Each of its four corners had received, in the language of the pupils,
a special and expressive name. There was Spider corner,
Caterpillar corner, Wood-louse corner, and Cricket corner.

Cricket corner was near the kitchen and was highly esteemed.
It was not so cold there as elsewhere. From the refectory the names
had passed to the boarding-school, and there served as in the old
College Mazarin to distinguish four nations. Every pupil belonged
to one of these four nations according to the corner of the refectory
in which she sat at meals. One day Monseigneur the Archbishop
while making his pastoral visit saw a pretty little rosy girl
with beautiful golden hair enter the class-room through which he
was passing.

He inquired of another pupil, a charming brunette with rosy cheeks,
who stood near him:--

"Who is that?"

"She is a spider, Monseigneur."

"Bah! And that one yonder?"

"She is a cricket."

"And that one?"

"She is a caterpillar."

"Really! and yourself?"

"I am a wood-louse, Monseigneur."

Every house of this sort has its own peculiarities. At the beginning
of this century Ecouen was one of those strict and graceful places where
young girls pass their childhood in a shadow that is almost august.
At Ecouen, in order to take rank in the procession of the Holy
Sacrament, a distinction was made between virgins and florists.
There were also the "dais" and the "censors,"--the first who held
the cords of the dais, and the others who carried incense before
the Holy Sacrament. The flowers belonged by right to the florists.
Four "virgins" walked in advance. On the morning of that great day
it was no rare thing to hear the question put in the dormitory,
"Who is a virgin?"

Madame Campan used to quote this saying of a "little one" of seven years,
to a "big girl" of sixteen, who took the head of the procession,
while she, the little one, remained at the rear, "You are a virgin,
but I am not."




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