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Les MisÚrables - Fauchelevent in the Presence of a Difficulty

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



It is the peculiarity of certain persons and certain professions,
notably priests and nuns, to wear a grave and agitated air on
critical occasions. At the moment when Fauchelevent entered,
this double form of preoccupation was imprinted on the countenance
of the prioress, who was that wise and charming Mademoiselle de Blemeur,
Mother Innocente, who was ordinarily cheerful.

The gardener made a timid bow, and remained at the door of the cell.
The prioress, who was telling her beads, raised her eyes and said:--

"Ah! it is you, Father Fauvent."

This abbreviation had been adopted in the convent.

Fauchelevent bowed again.

"Father Fauvent, I have sent for you."

"Here I am, reverend Mother."

"I have something to say to you."

"And so have I," said Fauchelevent with a boldness which caused him
inward terror, "I have something to say to the very reverend Mother."

The prioress stared at him.

"Ah! you have a communication to make to me."

"A request."

"Very well, speak."

Goodman Fauchelevent, the ex-notary, belonged to the category of
peasants who have assurance. A certain clever ignorance constitutes
a force; you do not distrust it, and you are caught by it.
Fauchelevent had been a success during the something more than two
years which he had passed in the convent. Always solitary and busied
about his gardening, he had nothing else to do than to indulge
his curiosity. As he was at a distance from all those veiled women
passing to and fro, he saw before him only an agitation of shadows.
By dint of attention and sharpness he had succeeded in clothing all
those phantoms with flesh, and those corpses were alive for him.
He was like a deaf man whose sight grows keener, and like a blind man
whose hearing becomes more acute. He had applied himself to riddling
out the significance of the different peals, and he had succeeded,
so that this taciturn and enigmatical cloister possessed no
secrets for him; the sphinx babbled all her secrets in his ear.
Fauchelevent knew all and concealed all; that constituted his art.
The whole convent thought him stupid. A great merit in religion.
The vocal mothers made much of Fauchelevent. He was a curious mute.
He inspired confidence. Moreover, he was regular, and never went
out except for well-demonstrated requirements of the orchard and
vegetable garden. This discretion of conduct had inured to his credit.
None the less, he had set two men to chattering: the porter,
in the convent, and he knew the singularities of their parlor,
and the grave-digger, at the cemetery, and he was acquainted with
the peculiarities of their sepulture; in this way, he possessed
a double light on the subject of these nuns, one as to their life,
the other as to their death. But he did not abuse his knowledge.
The congregation thought a great deal of him. Old, lame, blind to
everything, probably a little deaf into the bargain,--what qualities!
They would have found it difficult to replace him.

The goodman, with the assurance of a person who feels that he
is appreciated, entered into a rather diffuse and very deep
rustic harangue to the reverend prioress. He talked a long time
about his age, his infirmities, the surcharge of years counting
double for him henceforth, of the increasing demands of his work,
of the great size of the garden, of nights which must be passed,
like the last, for instance, when he had been obliged to put straw mats
over the melon beds, because of the moon, and he wound up as follows:
"That he had a brother"--(the prioress made a movement),--"a brother
no longer young"--(a second movement on the part of the prioress,
but one expressive of reassurance),--"that, if he might be permitted,
this brother would come and live with him and help him, that he
was an excellent gardener, that the community would receive from him
good service, better than his own; that, otherwise, if his brother
were not admitted, as he, the elder, felt that his health was broken
and that he was insufficient for the work, he should be obliged,
greatly to his regret, to go away; and that his brother had a little
daughter whom he would bring with him, who might be reared for God
in the house, and who might, who knows, become a nun some day."

When he had finished speaking, the prioress stayed the slipping
of her rosary between her fingers, and said to him:--

"Could you procure a stout iron bar between now and this evening?"

"For what purpose?"

"To serve as a lever."

"Yes, reverend Mother," replied Fauchelevent.

The prioress, without adding a word, rose and entered the adjoining room,
which was the hall of the chapter, and where the vocal mothers
were probably assembled. Fauchelevent was left alone.

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