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Les MisÚrables - End of the Petit-Picpus

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



At the beginning of the Restoration, the convent of the Petit-Picpus
was in its decay; this forms a part of the general death of the order,
which, after the eighteenth century, has been disappearing like
all the religious orders. Contemplation is, like prayer, one of
humanity's needs; but, like everything which the Revolution touched,
it will be transformed, and from being hostile to social progress,
it will become favorable to it.

The house of the Petit-Picpus was becoming rapidly depopulated.
In 1840, the Little Convent had disappeared, the school had disappeared.
There were no longer any old women, nor young girls; the first
were dead, the latter had taken their departure. Volaverunt.

The rule of the Perpetual Adoration is so rigid in its nature
that it alarms, vocations recoil before it, the order receives
no recruits. In 1845, it still obtained lay-sisters here and there.
But of professed nuns, none at all. Forty years ago, the nuns
numbered nearly a hundred; fifteen years ago there were not more
than twenty-eight of them. How many are there to-day? In 1847,
the prioress was young, a sign that the circle of choice was restricted.
She was not forty years old. In proportion as the number diminishes,
the fatigue increases, the service of each becomes more painful;
the moment could then be seen drawing near when there would be
but a dozen bent and aching shoulders to bear the heavy rule of
Saint-Benoit. The burden is implacable, and remains the same for the
few as for the many. It weighs down, it crushes. Thus they die.
At the period when the author of this book still lived in Paris,
two died. One was twenty-five years old, the other twenty-three.
This latter can say, like Julia Alpinula: "Hic jaceo. Vixi annos
viginti et tres." It is in consequence of this decay that the convent
gave up the education of girls.

We have not felt able to pass before this extraordinary house
without entering it, and without introducing the minds which
accompany us, and which are listening to our tale, to the profit
of some, perchance, of the melancholy history of Jean Valjean.
We have penetrated into this community, full of those old practices
which seem so novel to-day. It is the closed garden, hortus conclusus.
We have spoken of this singular place in detail, but with respect,
in so far, at least, as detail and respect are compatible.
We do not understand all, but we insult nothing. We are equally
far removed from the hosanna of Joseph de Maistre, who wound up
by anointing the executioner, and from the sneer of Voltaire,
who even goes so far as to ridicule the cross.

An illogical act on Voltaire's part, we may remark, by the way;
for Voltaire would have defended Jesus as he defended Calas;
and even for those who deny superhuman incarnations, what does the
crucifix represent? The assassinated sage.

In this nineteenth century, the religious idea is undergoing
a crisis. People are unlearning certain things, and they do well,
provided that, while unlearning them they learn this: There is
no vacuum in the human heart. Certain demolitions take place,
and it is well that they do, but on condition that they are followed
by reconstructions.

In the meantime, let us study things which are no more. It is necessary
to know them, if only for the purpose of avoiding them. The counterfeits
of the past assume false names, and gladly call themselves the future.
This spectre, this past, is given to falsifying its own passport.
Let us inform ourselves of the trap. Let us be on our guard.
The past has a visage, superstition, and a mask, hypocrisy. Let us
denounce the visage and let us tear off the mask.

As for convents, they present a complex problem,--a question
of civilization, which condemns them; a question of liberty,
which protects them.

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