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Les MisÚrables - Faith, Law

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 VIII

FAITH, LAW


A few words more.

We blame the church when she is saturated with intrigues,
we despise the spiritual which is harsh toward the temporal;
but we everywhere honor the thoughtful man.

We salute the man who kneels.

A faith; this is a necessity for man. Woe to him who believes nothing.

One is not unoccupied because one is absorbed. There is visible
labor and invisible labor.

To contemplate is to labor, to think is to act.

Folded arms toil, clasped hands work. A gaze fixed on heaven
is a work.

Thales remained motionless for four years. He founded philosophy.

In our opinion, cenobites are not lazy men, and recluses are not idlers.

To meditate on the Shadow is a serious thing.

Without invalidating anything that we have just said, we believe
that a perpetual memory of the tomb is proper for the living.
On this point, the priest and the philosopher agree. We must die.
The Abbe de la Trappe replies to Horace.

To mingle with one's life a certain presence of the sepulchre,--
this is the law of the sage; and it is the law of the ascetic.
In this respect, the ascetic and the sage converge. There is a
material growth; we admit it. There is a moral grandeur; we hold
to that. Thoughtless and vivacious spirits say:--

"What is the good of those motionless figures on the side of mystery?
What purpose do they serve? What do they do?"

Alas! In the presence of the darkness which environs us,
and which awaits us, in our ignorance of what the immense
dispersion will make of us, we reply: "There is probably no work
more divine than that performed by these souls." And we add:
"There is probably no work which is more useful."

There certainly must be some who pray constantly for those who
never pray at all.

In our opinion the whole question lies in the amount of thought
that is mingled with prayer.

Leibnitz praying is grand, Voltaire adoring is fine. Deo erexit Voltaire.

We are for religion as against religions.

We are of the number who believe in the wretchedness of orisons,
and the sublimity of prayer.

Moreover, at this minute which we are now traversing,--a minute which
will not, fortunately, leave its impress on the nineteenth century,--
at this hour, when so many men have low brows and souls but little
elevated, among so many mortals whose morality consists in enjoyment,
and who are busied with the brief and misshapen things of matter,
whoever exiles himself seems worthy of veneration to us.

The monastery is a renunciation. Sacrifice wrongly directed is
still sacrifice. To mistake a grave error for a duty has a grandeur
of its own.

Taken by itself, and ideally, and in order to examine the truth
on all sides until all aspects have been impartially exhausted,
the monastery, the female convent in particular,--for in our
century it is woman who suffers the most, and in this exile
of the cloister there is something of protestation,--the female
convent has incontestably a certain majesty.

This cloistered existence which is so austere, so depressing,
a few of whose features we have just traced, is not life, for it
is not liberty; it is not the tomb, for it is not plenitude;
it is the strange place whence one beholds, as from the crest of a
lofty mountain, on one side the abyss where we are, on the other,
the abyss whither we shall go; it is the narrow and misty frontier
separating two worlds, illuminated and obscured by both at the
same time, where the ray of life which has become enfeebled is mingled
with the vague ray of death; it is the half obscurity of the tomb.

We, who do not believe what these women believe, but who, like them,
live by faith,--we have never been able to think without a sort
of tender and religious terror, without a sort of pity, that is
full of envy, of those devoted, trembling and trusting creatures,
of these humble and august souls, who dare to dwell on the very brink
of the mystery, waiting between the world which is closed and heaven
which is not yet open, turned towards the light which one cannot see,
possessing the sole happiness of thinking that they know where it is,
aspiring towards the gulf, and the unknown, their eyes fixed motionless
on the darkness, kneeling, bewildered, stupefied, shuddering,
half lifted, at times, by the deep breaths of eternity.




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