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Les MisÚrables - Four and Four

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 hard nowadays to picture to one's self what a pleasure-trip of
students and grisettes to the country was like, forty-five years ago.
The suburbs of Paris are no longer the same; the physiognomy of what
may be called circumparisian life has changed completely in the
last half-century; where there was the cuckoo, there is the railway car;
where there was a tender-boat, there is now the steamboat; people speak
of Fecamp nowadays as they spoke of Saint-Cloud in those days.
The Paris of 1862 is a city which has France for its outskirts.

The four couples conscientiously went through with all the country
follies possible at that time. The vacation was beginning, and it
was a warm, bright, summer day. On the preceding day, Favourite,
the only one who knew how to write, had written the following
to Tholomyes in the name of the four: "It is a good hour to emerge
from happiness." That is why they rose at five o'clock in the morning.
Then they went to Saint-Cloud by the coach, looked at the dry cascade
and exclaimed, "This must be very beautiful when there is water!"
They breakfasted at the Tete-Noir, where Castaing had not yet been;
they treated themselves to a game of ring-throwing under the
quincunx of trees of the grand fountain; they ascended Diogenes'
lantern, they gambled for macaroons at the roulette establishment
of the Pont de Sevres, picked bouquets at Pateaux, bought reed-pipes
at Neuilly, ate apple tarts everywhere, and were perfectly happy.

The young girls rustled and chatted like warblers escaped from
their cage. It was a perfect delirium. From time to time they
bestowed little taps on the young men. Matutinal intoxication of life!
adorable years! the wings of the dragonfly quiver. Oh, whoever you
may be, do you not remember? Have you rambled through the brushwood,
holding aside the branches, on account of the charming head
which is coming on behind you? Have you slid, laughing, down a
slope all wet with rain, with a beloved woman holding your hand,
and crying, "Ah, my new boots! what a state they are in!"

Let us say at once that that merry obstacle, a shower, was lacking
in the case of this good-humored party, although Favourite had said
as they set out, with a magisterial and maternal tone, "The slugs
are crawling in the paths,--a sign of rain, children."

All four were madly pretty. A good old classic poet, then famous,
a good fellow who had an Eleonore, M. le Chevalier de Labouisse,
as he strolled that day beneath the chestnut-trees of Saint-Cloud,
saw them pass about ten o'clock in the morning, and exclaimed,
"There is one too many of them," as he thought of the Graces.
Favourite, Blachevelle's friend, the one aged three and twenty,
the old one, ran on in front under the great green boughs,
jumped the ditches, stalked distractedly over bushes, and presided
over this merry-making with the spirit of a young female faun.
Zephine and Dahlia, whom chance had made beautiful in such a way
that they set each off when they were together, and completed
each other, never left each other, more from an instinct of coquetry
than from friendship, and clinging to each other, they assumed
English poses; the first keepsakes had just made their appearance,
melancholy was dawning for women, as later on, Byronism dawned for men;
and the hair of the tender sex began to droop dolefully. Zephine and
Dahlia had their hair dressed in rolls. Listolier and Fameuil,
who were engaged in discussing their professors, explained to Fantine
the difference that existed between M. Delvincourt and M. Blondeau.

Blachevelle seemed to have been created expressly to carry Favourite's
single-bordered, imitation India shawl of Ternaux's manufacture,
on his arm on Sundays.

Tholomyes followed, dominating the group. He was very gay, but one felt
the force of government in him; there was dictation in his joviality;
his principal ornament was a pair of trousers of elephant-leg pattern
of nankeen, with straps of braided copper wire; he carried a stout
rattan worth two hundred francs in his hand, and, as he treated
himself to everything, a strange thing called a cigar in his mouth.
Nothing was sacred to him; he smoked.

"That Tholomyes is astounding!" said the others, with veneration.
"What trousers! What energy!"

As for Fantine, she was a joy to behold. Her splendid teeth had
evidently received an office from God,--laughter. She preferred
to carry her little hat of sewed straw, with its long white strings,
in her hand rather than on her head. Her thick blond hair,
which was inclined to wave, and which easily uncoiled, and which it
was necessary to fasten up incessantly, seemed made for the flight
of Galatea under the willows. Her rosy lips babbled enchantingly.
The corners of her mouth voluptuously turned up, as in the antique masks
of Erigone, had an air of encouraging the audacious; but her long,
shadowy lashes drooped discreetly over the jollity of the lower
part of the face as though to call a halt. There was something
indescribably harmonious and striking about her entire dress.
She wore a gown of mauve barege, little reddish brown buskins,
whose ribbons traced an X on her fine, white, open-worked stockings,
and that sort of muslin spencer, a Marseilles invention, whose name,
canezou, a corruption of the words quinze aout, pronounced after the
fashion of the Canebiere, signifies fine weather, heat, and midday.
The three others, less timid, as we have already said, wore low-necked
dresses without disguise, which in summer, beneath flower-adorned
hats, are very graceful and enticing; but by the side of these
audacious outfits, blond Fantine's canezou, with its transparencies,
its indiscretion, and its reticence, concealing and displaying
at one and the same time, seemed an alluring godsend of decency,
and the famous Court of Love, presided over by the Vicomtesse de Cette,
with the sea-green eyes, would, perhaps, have awarded the prize for
coquetry to this canezou, in the contest for the prize of modesty.
The most ingenious is, at times, the wisest. This does happen.

Brilliant of face, delicate of profile, with eyes of a deep blue,
heavy lids, feet arched and small, wrists and ankles admirably formed,
a white skin which, here and there allowed the azure branching
of the veins to be seen, joy, a cheek that was young and fresh,
the robust throat of the Juno of AEgina, a strong and supple nape
of the neck, shoulders modelled as though by Coustou, with a
voluptuous dimple in the middle, visible through the muslin; a gayety
cooled by dreaminess; sculptural and exquisite--such was Fantine;
and beneath these feminine adornments and these ribbons one could
divine a statue, and in that statue a soul.

Fantine was beautiful, without being too conscious of it.
Those rare dreamers, mysterious priests of the beautiful who silently
confront everything with perfection, would have caught a glimpse
in this little working-woman, through the transparency of her
Parisian grace, of the ancient sacred euphony. This daughter of
the shadows was thoroughbred. She was beautiful in the two ways--
style and rhythm. Style is the form of the ideal; rhythm is its movement.

We have said that Fantine was joy; she was also modesty.

To an observer who studied her attentively, that which breathed from
her athwart all the intoxication of her age, the season, and her
love affair, was an invincible expression of reserve and modesty.
She remained a little astonished. This chaste astonishment
is the shade of difference which separates Psyche from Venus.
Fantine had the long, white, fine fingers of the vestal virgin who
stirs the ashes of the sacred fire with a golden pin. Although she
would have refused nothing to Tholomyes, as we shall have more than
ample opportunity to see, her face in repose was supremely virginal;
a sort of serious and almost austere dignity suddenly overwhelmed
her at certain times, and there was nothing more singular and
disturbing than to see gayety become so suddenly extinct there,
and meditation succeed to cheerfulness without any transition state.
This sudden and sometimes severely accentuated gravity resembled the
disdain of a goddess. Her brow, her nose, her chin, presented that
equilibrium of outline which is quite distinct from equilibrium
of proportion, and from which harmony of countenance results;
in the very characteristic interval which separates the base of the nose
from the upper lip, she had that imperceptible and charming fold,
a mysterious sign of chastity, which makes Barberousse fall in love
with a Diana found in the treasures of Iconia.

Love is a fault; so be it. Fantine was innocence floating high
over fault.




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