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Les MisÚrables - What he thought

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







One last word.

Since this sort of details might, particularly at the present moment,
and to use an expression now in fashion, give to the Bishop of D----
a certain "pantheistical" physiognomy, and induce the belief,
either to his credit or discredit, that he entertained one of
those personal philosophies which are peculiar to our century,
which sometimes spring up in solitary spirits, and there take on a form
and grow until they usurp the place of religion, we insist upon it,
that not one of those persons who knew Monseigneur Welcome would
have thought himself authorized to think anything of the sort.
That which enlightened this man was his heart. His wisdom was made
of the light which comes from there.

No systems; many works. Abstruse speculations contain vertigo; no,
there is nothing to indicate that he risked his mind in apocalypses.
The apostle may be daring, but the bishop must be timid. He would
probably have felt a scruple at sounding too far in advance certain
problems which are, in a manner, reserved for terrible great minds.
There is a sacred horror beneath the porches of the enigma;
those gloomy openings stand yawning there, but something
tells you, you, a passer-by in life, that you must not enter.
Woe to him who penetrates thither!

Geniuses in the impenetrable depths of abstraction and pure
speculation, situated, so to speak, above all dogmas, propose their
ideas to God. Their prayer audaciously offers discussion.
Their adoration interrogates. This is direct religion, which is
full of anxiety and responsibility for him who attempts its steep cliffs.

Human meditation has no limits. At his own risk and peril, it analyzes
and digs deep into its own bedazzlement. One might almost say,
that by a sort of splendid reaction, it with it dazzles nature;
the mysterious world which surrounds us renders back what it
has received; it is probable that the contemplators are contemplated.
However that may be, there are on earth men who--are they men?--
perceive distinctly at the verge of the horizons of revery the
heights of the absolute, and who have the terrible vision of the
infinite mountain. Monseigneur Welcome was one of these men;
Monseigneur Welcome was not a genius. He would have feared those
sublimities whence some very great men even, like Swedenborg and Pascal,
have slipped into insanity. Certainly, these powerful reveries
have their moral utility, and by these arduous paths one approaches
to ideal perfection. As for him, he took the path which shortens,--
the Gospel's.

He did not attempt to impart to his chasuble the folds of Elijah's mantle;
he projected no ray of future upon the dark groundswell of events;
he did not see to condense in flame the light of things; he had
nothing of the prophet and nothing of the magician about him.
This humble soul loved, and that was all.

That he carried prayer to the pitch of a superhuman aspiration
is probable: but one can no more pray too much than one can
love too much; and if it is a heresy to pray beyond the texts,
Saint Theresa and Saint Jerome would be heretics.

He inclined towards all that groans and all that expiates.
The universe appeared to him like an immense malady; everywhere he
felt fever, everywhere he heard the sound of suffering, and,
without seeking to solve the enigma, he strove to dress the wound.
The terrible spectacle of created things developed tenderness in him;
he was occupied only in finding for himself, and in inspiring others
with the best way to compassionate and relieve. That which exists
was for this good and rare priest a permanent subject of sadness
which sought consolation.

There are men who toil at extracting gold; he toiled at the extraction
of pity. Universal misery was his mine. The sadness which reigned
everywhere was but an excuse for unfailing kindness. Love each other;
he declared this to be complete, desired nothing further, and that was
the whole of his doctrine. One day, that man who believed himself
to be a "philosopher," the senator who has already been alluded to,
said to the Bishop: "Just survey the spectacle of the world:
all war against all; the strongest has the most wit. Your love
each other is nonsense."--"Well," replied Monseigneur Welcome,
without contesting the point, "if it is nonsense, the soul should shut
itself up in it, as the pearl in the oyster." Thus he shut himself up,
he lived there, he was absolutely satisfied with it, leaving on one side
the prodigious questions which attract and terrify, the fathomless
perspectives of abstraction, the precipices of metaphysics--all those
profundities which converge, for the apostle in God, for the atheist
in nothingness; destiny, good and evil, the way of being against being,
the conscience of man, the thoughtful somnambulism of the animal,
the transformation in death, the recapitulation of existences
which the tomb contains, the incomprehensible grafting of successive
loves on the persistent _I_, the essence, the substance, the Nile,
and the Ens, the soul, nature, liberty, necessity; perpendicular problems,
sinister obscurities, where lean the gigantic archangels of the
human mind; formidable abysses, which Lucretius, Manou, Saint Paul,
Dante, contemplate with eyes flashing lightning, which seems
by its steady gaze on the infinite to cause stars to blaze forth there.

Monseigneur Bienvenu was simply a man who took note of the exterior
of mysterious questions without scrutinizing them, and without
troubling his own mind with them, and who cherished in his own
soul a grave respect for darkness.




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