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Les MisÚrables - The Solitude of Monseigneur Welcome

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







A bishop is almost always surrounded by a full squadron of
little abbes, just as a general is by a covey of young officers.
This is what that charming Saint Francois de Sales calls somewhere "les
pretres blancs-becs," callow priests. Every career has its aspirants,
who form a train for those who have attained eminence in it.
There is no power which has not its dependents. There is no fortune
which has not its court. The seekers of the future eddy around
the splendid present. Every metropolis has its staff of officials.
Every bishop who possesses the least influence has about him
his patrol of cherubim from the seminary, which goes the round,
and maintains good order in the episcopal palace, and mounts guard
over monseigneur's smile. To please a bishop is equivalent to getting
one's foot in the stirrup for a sub-diaconate. It is necessary to walk
one's path discreetly; the apostleship does not disdain the canonship.

Just as there are bigwigs elsewhere, there are big mitres in the Church.
These are the bishops who stand well at Court, who are rich,
well endowed, skilful, accepted by the world, who know how to pray,
no doubt, but who know also how to beg, who feel little scruple
at making a whole diocese dance attendance in their person,
who are connecting links between the sacristy and diplomacy,
who are abbes rather than priests, prelates rather than bishops.
Happy those who approach them! Being persons of influence,
they create a shower about them, upon the assiduous and the favored,
and upon all the young men who understand the art of pleasing,
of large parishes, prebends, archidiaconates, chaplaincies,
and cathedral posts, while awaiting episcopal honors. As they
advance themselves, they cause their satellites to progress also;
it is a whole solar system on the march. Their radiance casts a gleam
of purple over their suite. Their prosperity is crumbled up behind
the scenes, into nice little promotions. The larger the diocese
of the patron, the fatter the curacy for the favorite. And then,
there is Rome. A bishop who understands how to become an archbishop,
an archbishop who knows how to become a cardinal, carries you
with him as conclavist; you enter a court of papal jurisdiction,
you receive the pallium, and behold! you are an auditor, then a
papal chamberlain, then monsignor, and from a Grace to an Eminence
is only a step, and between the Eminence and the Holiness there is
but the smoke of a ballot. Every skull-cap may dream of the tiara.
The priest is nowadays the only man who can become a king in a
regular manner; and what a king! the supreme king. Then what a
nursery of aspirations is a seminary! How many blushing choristers,
how many youthful abbes bear on their heads Perrette's pot of milk!
Who knows how easy it is for ambition to call itself vocation?
in good faith, perchance, and deceiving itself, devotee that
it is.

Monseigneur Bienvenu, poor, humble, retiring, was not accounted
among the big mitres. This was plain from the complete absence
of young priests about him. We have seen that he "did not take"
in Paris. Not a single future dreamed of engrafting itself on
this solitary old man. Not a single sprouting ambition committed
the folly of putting forth its foliage in his shadow. His canons
and grand-vicars were good old men, rather vulgar like himself,
walled up like him in this diocese, without exit to a cardinalship,
and who resembled their bishop, with this difference, that they
were finished and he was completed. The impossibility of growing
great under Monseigneur Bienvenu was so well understood, that no
sooner had the young men whom he ordained left the seminary than they
got themselves recommended to the archbishops of Aix or of Auch,
and went off in a great hurry. For, in short, we repeat it,
men wish to be pushed. A saint who dwells in a paroxysm of abnegation
is a dangerous neighbor; he might communicate to you, by contagion,
an incurable poverty, an anchylosis of the joints, which are useful
in advancement, and in short, more renunciation than you desire;
and this infectious virtue is avoided. Hence the isolation of
Monseigneur Bienvenu. We live in the midst of a gloomy society.
Success; that is the lesson which falls drop by drop from the slope
of corruption.

Be it said in passing, that success is a very hideous thing. Its false
resemblance to merit deceives men. For the masses, success has almost
the same profile as supremacy. Success, that Menaechmus of talent,
has one dupe,--history. Juvenal and Tacitus alone grumble at it.
In our day, a philosophy which is almost official has entered into
its service, wears the livery of success, and performs the service
of its antechamber. Succeed: theory. Prosperity argues capacity.
Win in the lottery, and behold! you are a clever man. He who
triumphs is venerated. Be born with a silver spoon in your mouth!
everything lies in that. Be lucky, and you will have all the rest;
be happy, and people will think you great. Outside of five or six
immense exceptions, which compose the splendor of a century,
contemporary admiration is nothing but short-sightedness. Gilding
is gold. It does no harm to be the first arrival by pure chance,
so long as you do arrive. The common herd is an old Narcissus who
adores himself, and who applauds the vulgar herd. That enormous ability
by virtue of which one is Moses, Aeschylus, Dante, Michael Angelo,
or Napoleon, the multitude awards on the spot, and by acclamation,
to whomsoever attains his object, in whatsoever it may consist.
Let a notary transfigure himself into a deputy: let a false
Corneille compose Tiridate; let a eunuch come to possess a harem;
let a military Prudhomme accidentally win the decisive battle of
an epoch; let an apothecary invent cardboard shoe-soles for the army
of the Sambre-and-Meuse, and construct for himself, out of this
cardboard, sold as leather, four hundred thousand francs of income;
let a pork-packer espouse usury, and cause it to bring forth seven
or eight millions, of which he is the father and of which it is
the mother; let a preacher become a bishop by force of his nasal drawl;
let the steward of a fine family be so rich on retiring from service
that he is made minister of finances,--and men call that Genius,
just as they call the face of Mousqueton Beauty, and the mien
of Claude Majesty. With the constellations of space they confound
the stars of the abyss which are made in the soft mire of the puddle
by the feet of ducks.




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