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Les MisÚrables - Madame Victurnien expends Thirty Francs on Morality

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







When Fantine saw that she was making her living, she felt joyful
for a moment. To live honestly by her own labor, what mercy
from heaven! The taste for work had really returned to her.
She bought a looking-glass, took pleasure in surveying in it her youth,
her beautiful hair, her fine teeth; she forgot many things; she thought
only of Cosette and of the possible future, and was almost happy.
She hired a little room and furnished on credit on the strength
of her future work--a lingering trace of her improvident ways.
As she was not able to say that she was married she took good care,
as we have seen, not to mention her little girl.

At first, as the reader has seen, she paid the Thenardiers promptly.
As she only knew how to sign her name, she was obliged to write
through a public letter-writer.

She wrote often, and this was noticed. It began to be said in
an undertone, in the women's workroom, that Fantine "wrote letters"
and that "she had ways about her."

There is no one for spying on people's actions like those who are
not concerned in them. Why does that gentleman never come except
at nightfall? Why does Mr. So-and-So never hang his key on its
nail on Tuesday? Why does he always take the narrow streets?
Why does Madame always descend from her hackney-coach before
reaching her house? Why does she send out to purchase six sheets
of note paper, when she has a "whole stationer's shop full of it?"
etc. There exist beings who, for the sake of obtaining the key
to these enigmas, which are, moreover, of no consequence whatever
to them, spend more money, waste more time, take more trouble,
than would be required for ten good actions, and that gratuitously,
for their own pleasure, without receiving any other payment
for their curiosity than curiosity. They will follow up such
and such a man or woman for whole days; they will do sentry duty
for hours at a time on the corners of the streets, under alley-way
doors at night, in cold and rain; they will bribe errand-porters,
they will make the drivers of hackney-coaches and lackeys tipsy,
buy a waiting-maid, suborn a porter. Why? For no reason.
A pure passion for seeing, knowing, and penetrating into things.
A pure itch for talking. And often these secrets once known,
these mysteries made public, these enigmas illuminated by the
light of day, bring on catastrophies, duels, failures, the ruin
of families, and broken lives, to the great joy of those who have
"found out everything," without any interest in the matter,
and by pure instinct. A sad thing.

Certain persons are malicious solely through a necessity for talking.
Their conversation, the chat of the drawing-room, gossip of
the anteroom, is like those chimneys which consume wood rapidly;
they need a great amount of combustibles; and their combustibles
are furnished by their neighbors.

So Fantine was watched.

In addition, many a one was jealous of her golden hair and of her
white teeth.

It was remarked that in the workroom she often turned aside,
in the midst of the rest, to wipe away a tear. These were the
moments when she was thinking of her child; perhaps, also, of the
man whom she had loved.

Breaking the gloomy bonds of the past is a mournful task.

It was observed that she wrote twice a month at least, and that she
paid the carriage on the letter. They managed to obtain the address:
Monsieur, Monsieur Thenardier, inn-keeper at Montfermeil.
The public writer, a good old man who could not fill his stomach
with red wine without emptying his pocket of secrets, was made to talk
in the wine-shop. In short, it was discovered that Fantine had a child.
"She must be a pretty sort of a woman." An old gossip was found,
who made the trip to Montfermeil, talked to the Thenardiers, and said
on her return: "For my five and thirty francs I have freed my mind.
I have seen the child."

The gossip who did this thing was a gorgon named Madame Victurnien,
the guardian and door-keeper of every one's virtue.
Madame Victurnien was fifty-six, and re-enforced the mask of ugliness
with the mask of age. A quavering voice, a whimsical mind.
This old dame had once been young--astonishing fact! In her youth,
in '93, she had married a monk who had fled from his cloister
in a red cap, and passed from the Bernardines to the Jacobins.
She was dry, rough, peevish, sharp, captious, almost venomous;
all this in memory of her monk, whose widow she was, and who
had ruled over her masterfully and bent her to his will.
She was a nettle in which the rustle of the cassock was visible.
At the Restoration she had turned bigot, and that with so much energy
that the priests had forgiven her her monk. She had a small property,
which she bequeathed with much ostentation to a religious community.
She was in high favor at the episcopal palace of Arras. So this
Madame Victurnien went to Montfermeil, and returned with the remark,
"I have seen the child."

All this took time. Fantine had been at the factory for more than
a year, when, one morning, the superintendent of the workroom handed
her fifty francs from the mayor, told her that she was no longer
employed in the shop, and requested her, in the mayor's name,
to leave the neighborhood.

This was the very month when the Thenardiers, after having demanded
twelve francs instead of six, had just exacted fifteen francs
instead of twelve.

Fantine was overwhelmed. She could not leave the neighborhood;
she was in debt for her rent and furniture. Fifty francs was not
sufficient to cancel this debt. She stammered a few supplicating words.
The superintendent ordered her to leave the shop on the instant.
Besides, Fantine was only a moderately good workwoman.
Overcome with shame, even more than with despair, she quitted the shop,
and returned to her room. So her fault was now known to every one.

She no longer felt strong enough to say a word. She was advised to see
the mayor; she did not dare. The mayor had given her fifty francs
because he was good, and had dismissed her because he was just.
She bowed before the decision.




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