home | authors | books | about

Home -> Victor Hugo -> Les MisÚrables -> The Catastrophe

Les MisÚrables - The Catastrophe

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 rout behind the Guard was melancholy.

The army yielded suddenly on all sides at once,--Hougomont, La
Haie-Sainte, Papelotte, Plancenoit. The cry "Treachery!" was
followed by a cry of "Save yourselves who can!" An army which is
disbanding is like a thaw. All yields, splits, cracks, floats,
rolls, falls, jostles, hastens, is precipitated. The disintegration
is unprecedented. Ney borrows a horse, leaps upon it, and without
hat, cravat, or sword, places himself across the Brussels road,
stopping both English and French. He strives to detain the army,
he recalls it to its duty, he insults it, he clings to the rout.
He is overwhelmed. The soldiers fly from him, shouting, "Long live
Marshal Ney!" Two of Durutte's regiments go and come in affright
as though tossed back and forth between the swords of the Uhlans
and the fusillade of the brigades of Kempt, Best, Pack, and Rylandt;
the worst of hand-to-hand conflicts is the defeat; friends kill each
other in order to escape; squadrons and battalions break and disperse
against each other, like the tremendous foam of battle. Lobau at
one extremity, and Reille at the other, are drawn into the tide.
In vain does Napoleon erect walls from what is left to him of his Guard;
in vain does he expend in a last effort his last serviceable squadrons.
Quiot retreats before Vivian, Kellermann before Vandeleur,
Lobau before Bulow, Morand before Pirch, Domon and Subervic before
Prince William of Prussia; Guyot, who led the Emperor's squadrons
to the charge, falls beneath the feet of the English dragoons.
Napoleon gallops past the line of fugitives, harangues, urges, threatens,
entreats them. All the mouths which in the morning had shouted,
"Long live the Emperor!" remain gaping; they hardly recognize him.
The Prussian cavalry, newly arrived, dashes forwards, flies, hews,
slashes, kills, exterminates. Horses lash out, the cannons flee;
the soldiers of the artillery-train unharness the caissons and use
the horses to make their escape; transports overturned, with all
four wheels in the air, clog the road and occasion massacres.
Men are crushed, trampled down, others walk over the dead and
the living. Arms are lost. A dizzy multitude fills the roads,
the paths, the bridges, the plains, the hills, the valleys,
the woods, encumbered by this invasion of forty thousand men.
Shouts despair, knapsacks and guns flung among the rye, passages forced
at the point of the sword, no more comrades, no more officers,
no more generals, an inexpressible terror. Zieten putting France to the
sword at its leisure. Lions converted into goats. Such was the flight.

At Genappe, an effort was made to wheel about, to present a
battle front, to draw up in line. Lobau rallied three hundred men.
The entrance to the village was barricaded, but at the first volley
of Prussian canister, all took to flight again, and Lobau was taken.
That volley of grape-shot can be seen to-day imprinted on the
ancient gable of a brick building on the right of the road at
a few minutes' distance before you enter Genappe. The Prussians
threw themselves into Genappe, furious, no doubt, that they were
not more entirely the conquerors. The pursuit was stupendous.
Blucher ordered extermination. Roguet had set the lugubrious example
of threatening with death any French grenadier who should bring him
a Prussian prisoner. Blucher outdid Roguet. Duhesme, the general
of the Young Guard, hemmed in at the doorway of an inn at Genappe,
surrendered his sword to a huzzar of death, who took the sword and
slew the prisoner. The victory was completed by the assassination
of the vanquished. Let us inflict punishment, since we are history:
old Blucher disgraced himself. This ferocity put the finishing
touch to the disaster. The desperate route traversed Genappe,
traversed Quatre-Bras, traversed Gosselies, traversed Frasnes,
traversed Charleroi, traversed Thuin, and only halted at the frontier.
Alas! and who, then, was fleeing in that manner? The Grand Army.

This vertigo, this terror, this downfall into ruin of the loftiest
bravery which ever astounded history,--is that causeless?
No. The shadow of an enormous right is projected athwart Waterloo.
It is the day of destiny. The force which is mightier than man
produced that day. Hence the terrified wrinkle of those brows;
hence all those great souls surrendering their swords. Those who had
conquered Europe have fallen prone on the earth, with nothing left
to say nor to do, feeling the present shadow of a terrible presence.
Hoc erat in fatis. That day the perspective of the human race
underwent a change. Waterloo is the hinge of the nineteenth century.
The disappearance of the great man was necessary to the advent of the
great century. Some one, a person to whom one replies not, took the
responsibility on himself. The panic of heroes can be explained.
In the battle of Waterloo there is something more than a cloud,
there is something of the meteor. God has passed by.

At nightfall, in a meadow near Genappe, Bernard and Bertrand
seized by the skirt of his coat and detained a man, haggard,
pensive, sinister, gloomy, who, dragged to that point by the
current of the rout, had just dismounted, had passed the bridle
of his horse over his arm, and with wild eye was returning
alone to Waterloo. It was Napoleon, the immense somnambulist
of this dream which had crumbled, essaying once more to advance.




© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary