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Les MisÚrables - Philosophy after Drinking

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







The senator above mentioned was a clever man, who had made
his own way, heedless of those things which present obstacles,
and which are called conscience, sworn faith, justice, duty: he had
marched straight to his goal, without once flinching in the line
of his advancement and his interest. He was an old attorney,
softened by success; not a bad man by any means, who rendered
all the small services in his power to his sons, his sons-in-law,
his relations, and even to his friends, having wisely seized upon,
in life, good sides, good opportunities, good windfalls.
Everything else seemed to him very stupid. He was intelligent,
and just sufficiently educated to think himself a disciple of Epicurus;
while he was, in reality, only a product of Pigault-Lebrun. He
laughed willingly and pleasantly over infinite and eternal things,
and at the "Crotchets of that good old fellow the Bishop."
He even sometimes laughed at him with an amiable authority in the
presence of M. Myriel himself, who listened to him.

On some semi-official occasion or other, I do not recollect what,
Count*** [this senator] and M. Myriel were to dine with the prefect.
At dessert, the senator, who was slightly exhilarated, though still
perfectly dignified, exclaimed:--

"Egad, Bishop, let's have a discussion. It is hard for a senator and
a bishop to look at each other without winking. We are two augurs.
I am going to make a confession to you. I have a philosophy of my own."

"And you are right," replied the Bishop. "As one makes one's philosophy,
so one lies on it. You are on the bed of purple, senator."

The senator was encouraged, and went on:--

"Let us be good fellows."

"Good devils even," said the Bishop.

"I declare to you," continued the senator, "that the Marquis
d'Argens, Pyrrhon, Hobbes, and M. Naigeon are no rascals.
I have all the philosophers in my library gilded on the edges."

"Like yourself, Count," interposed the Bishop.

The senator resumed:--

"I hate Diderot; he is an ideologist, a declaimer, and a revolutionist,
a believer in God at bottom, and more bigoted than Voltaire.
Voltaire made sport of Needham, and he was wrong, for Needham's
eels prove that God is useless. A drop of vinegar in a spoonful
of flour paste supplies the fiat lux. Suppose the drop to be larger
and the spoonful bigger; you have the world. Man is the eel.
Then what is the good of the Eternal Father? The Jehovah hypothesis
tires me, Bishop. It is good for nothing but to produce shallow people,
whose reasoning is hollow. Down with that great All, which torments me!
Hurrah for Zero which leaves me in peace! Between you and me,
and in order to empty my sack, and make confession to my pastor,
as it behooves me to do, I will admit to you that I have good sense.
I am not enthusiastic over your Jesus, who preaches renunciation and
sacrifice to the last extremity. 'Tis the counsel of an avaricious
man to beggars. Renunciation; why? Sacrifice; to what end?
I do not see one wolf immolating himself for the happiness of
another wolf. Let us stick to nature, then. We are at the top;
let us have a superior philosophy. What is the advantage of
being at the top, if one sees no further than the end of other
people's noses? Let us live merrily. Life is all. That man has
another future elsewhere, on high, below, anywhere, I don't believe;
not one single word of it. Ah! sacrifice and renunciation are
recommended to me; I must take heed to everything I do; I must
cudgel my brains over good and evil, over the just and the unjust,
over the fas and the nefas. Why? Because I shall have to render
an account of my actions. When? After death. What a fine dream!
After my death it will be a very clever person who can catch me.
Have a handful of dust seized by a shadow-hand, if you can.
Let us tell the truth, we who are initiated, and who have raised
the veil of Isis: there is no such thing as either good or evil;
there is vegetation. Let us seek the real. Let us get to the bottom
of it. Let us go into it thoroughly. What the deuce! let us go
to the bottom of it! We must scent out the truth; dig in the
earth for it, and seize it. Then it gives you exquisite joys.
Then you grow strong, and you laugh. I am square on the bottom,
I am. Immortality, Bishop, is a chance, a waiting for dead
men's shoes. Ah! what a charming promise! trust to it, if you like!
What a fine lot Adam has! We are souls, and we shall be angels,
with blue wings on our shoulder-blades. Do come to my assistance:
is it not Tertullian who says that the blessed shall travel from star
to star? Very well. We shall be the grasshoppers of the stars.
And then, besides, we shall see God. Ta, ta, ta! What twaddle all
these paradises are! God is a nonsensical monster. I would not say
that in the Moniteur, egad! but I may whisper it among friends.
Inter pocula. To sacrifice the world to paradise is to let
slip the prey for the shadow. Be the dupe of the infinite!
I'm not such a fool. I am a nought. I call myself Monsieur le
Comte Nought, senator. Did I exist before my birth? No. Shall I exist
after death? No. What am I? A little dust collected in an organism.
What am I to do on this earth? The choice rests with me:
suffer or enjoy. Whither will suffering lead me? To nothingness;
but I shall have suffered. Whither will enjoyment lead me?
To nothingness; but I shall have enjoyed myself. My choice is made.
One must eat or be eaten. I shall eat. It is better to be the tooth
than the grass. Such is my wisdom. After which, go whither I
push thee, the grave-digger is there; the Pantheon for some of us:
all falls into the great hole. End. Finis. Total liquidation.
This is the vanishing-point. Death is death, believe me.
I laugh at the idea of there being any one who has anything to tell
me on that subject. Fables of nurses; bugaboo for children;
Jehovah for men. No; our to-morrow is the night. Beyond the tomb
there is nothing but equal nothingness. You have been Sardanapalus,
you have been Vincent de Paul--it makes no difference. That is
the truth. Then live your life, above all things. Make use of
your _I_ while you have it. In truth, Bishop, I tell you that I
have a philosophy of my own, and I have my philosophers. I don't
let myself be taken in with that nonsense. Of course, there must
be something for those who are down,--for the barefooted beggars,
knife-grinders, and miserable wretches. Legends, chimeras, the soul,
immortality, paradise, the stars, are provided for them to swallow.
They gobble it down. They spread it on their dry bread.
He who has nothing else has the good. God. That is the least
he can have. I oppose no objection to that; but I reserve
Monsieur Naigeon for myself. The good God is good for the
populace."

The Bishop clapped his hands.

"That's talking!" he exclaimed. "What an excellent and really
marvellous thing is this materialism! Not every one who wants it
can have it. Ah! when one does have it, one is no longer a dupe,
one does not stupidly allow one's self to be exiled like Cato,
nor stoned like Stephen, nor burned alive like Jeanne d'Arc. Those
who have succeeded in procuring this admirable materialism have the joy
of feeling themselves irresponsible, and of thinking that they can devour
everything without uneasiness,--places, sinecures, dignities, power,
whether well or ill acquired, lucrative recantations, useful treacheries,
savory capitulations of conscience,--and that they shall enter
the tomb with their digestion accomplished. How agreeable that is!
I do not say that with reference to you, senator. Nevertheless, it is
impossible for me to refrain from congratulating you. You great
lords have, so you say, a philosophy of your own, and for yourselves,
which is exquisite, refined, accessible to the rich alone,
good for all sauces, and which seasons the voluptuousness of
life admirably. This philosophy has been extracted from the depths,
and unearthed by special seekers. But you are good-natured princes,
and you do not think it a bad thing that belief in the good
God should constitute the philosophy of the people, very much
as the goose stuffed with chestnuts is the truffled turkey of the poor."




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