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Les MisÚrables - The Beginning of Repose

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







M. Madeleine had Fantine removed to that infirmary which he had
established in his own house. He confided her to the sisters,
who put her to bed. A burning fever had come on. She passed a part
of the night in delirium and raving. At length, however, she fell asleep.

On the morrow, towards midday, Fantine awoke. She heard some one
breathing close to her bed; she drew aside the curtain and saw
M. Madeleine standing there and looking at something over her head.
His gaze was full of pity, anguish, and supplication. She followed
its direction, and saw that it was fixed on a crucifix which was
nailed to the wall.

Thenceforth, M. Madeleine was transfigured in Fantine's eyes. He seemed
to her to be clothed in light. He was absorbed in a sort of prayer.
She gazed at him for a long time without daring to interrupt him.
At last she said timidly:--

"What are you doing?"

M. Madeleine had been there for an hour. He had been waiting
for Fantine to awake. He took her hand, felt of her pulse,
and replied:--

"How do you feel?"

"Well, I have slept," she replied; "I think that I am better,
It is nothing."

He answered, responding to the first question which she had put
to him as though he had just heard it:--

"I was praying to the martyr there on high."

And he added in his own mind, "For the martyr here below."

M. Madeleine had passed the night and the
morning in making inquiries. He knew all now.
He knew Fantine's history in all its heart-rending details. He went on:--

"You have suffered much, poor mother. Oh! do not complain; you now
have the dowry of the elect. It is thus that men are transformed
into angels. It is not their fault they do not know how to go to
work otherwise. You see this hell from which you have just emerged
is the first form of heaven. It was necessary to begin there."

He sighed deeply. But she smiled on him with that sublime smile
in which two teeth were lacking.

That same night, Javert wrote a letter. The next morning be posted
it himself at the office of M. sur M. It was addressed to Paris,
and the superscription ran: To Monsieur Chabouillet, Secretary of
Monsieur le Prefet of Police. As the affair in the station-house
had been bruited about, the post-mistress and some other persons
who saw the letter before it was sent off, and who recognized
Javert's handwriting on the cover, thought that he was sending
in his resignation.

M.Madeleine made haste to write to the Thenardiers. Fantine owed them
one hundred and twenty francs. He sent them three hundred francs,
telling them to pay themselves from that sum, and to fetch the child
instantly to M. sur M., where her sick mother required her presence.

This dazzled Thenardier. "The devil!" said the man to his wife;
"don't let's allow the child to go. This lark is going to turn
into a milch cow. I see through it. Some ninny has taken a fancy
to the mother."

He replied with a very well drawn-up bill for five hundred and some
odd francs. In this memorandum two indisputable items figured up
over three hundred francs,--one for the doctor, the other for the
apothecary who had attended and physicked Eponine and Azelma through two
long illnesses. Cosette, as we have already said, had not been ill.
It was only a question of a trifling substitution of names.
At the foot of the memorandum Thenardier wrote, Received on account,
three hundred francs.

M. Madeleine immediately sent three hundred francs more, and wrote,
"Make haste to bring Cosette."

"Christi!" said Thenardier, "let's not give up the child."

In the meantime, Fantine did not recover. She still remained
in the infirmary.

The sisters had at first only received and nursed "that woman"
with repugnance. Those who have seen the bas-reliefs of Rheims
will recall the inflation of the lower lip of the wise virgins
as they survey the foolish virgins. The ancient scorn of the
vestals for the ambubajae is one of the most profound instincts
of feminine dignity; the sisters felt it with the double force
contributed by religion. But in a few days Fantine disarmed them.
She said all kinds of humble and gentle things, and the mother
in her provoked tenderness. One day the sisters heard her say
amid her fever: "I have been a sinner; but when I have my
child beside me, it will be a sign that God has pardoned me.
While I was leading a bad life, I should not have liked to have my
Cosette with me; I could not have borne her sad, astonished eyes.
It was for her sake that I did evil, and that is why God pardons me.
I shall feel the benediction of the good God when Cosette is here.
I shall gaze at her; it will do me good to see that innocent creature.
She knows nothing at all. She is an angel, you see, my sisters.
At that age the wings have not fallen off."

M. Madeleine went to see her twice a day, and each time she asked him:--

"Shall I see my Cosette soon?"

He answered:--

"To-morrow, perhaps. She may arrive at any moment. I am expecting her."

And the mother's pale face grew radiant.

"Oh!" she said, "how happy I am going to be!"

We have just said that she did not recover her health. On the contrary,
her condition seemed to become more grave from week to week.
That handful of snow applied to her bare skin between her
shoulder-blades had brought about a sudden suppression of perspiration,
as a consequence of which the malady which had been smouldering
within her for many years was violently developed at last.
At that time people were beginning to follow the fine Laennec's
fine suggestions in the study and treatment of chest maladies.
The doctor sounded Fantine's chest and shook his head.

M. Madeleine said to the doctor:--

"Well?"

"Has she not a child which she desires to see?" said the doctor.

"Yes."

"Well! Make haste and get it here!"

M. Madeleine shuddered.

Fantine inquired:--

"What did the doctor say?"

M. Madeleine forced himself to smile.

"He said that your child was to be brought speedily. That that
would restore your health."

"Oh!" she rejoined, "he is right! But what do those Thenardiers
mean by keeping my Cosette from me! Oh! she is coming. At last I
behold happiness close beside me!"

In the meantime Thenardier did not "let go of the child," and gave
a hundred insufficient reasons for it. Cosette was not quite well
enough to take a journey in the winter. And then, there still
remained some petty but pressing debts in the neighborhood,
and they were collecting the bills for them, etc., etc.

"I shall send some one to fetch Cosette!" said Father Madeleine.
"If necessary, I will go myself."

He wrote the following letter to Fantine's dictation, and made
her sign it:--


"MONSIEUR THENARDIER:--
You will deliver Cosette to this person.
You will be paid for all the little things.
I have the honor to salute you with respect.
"FANTINE."


In the meantime a serious incident occurred. Carve as we will
the mysterious block of which our life is made, the black vein
of destiny constantly reappears in it.




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