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Home -> Victor Hugo -> Les MisÚrables -> Fantine Happy

Les MisÚrables - Fantine Happy

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

She made no movement of either surprise or of joy; she was joy itself.
That simple question, "And Cosette?" was put with so profound
a faith, with so much certainty, with such a complete absence
of disquiet and of doubt, that he found not a word of reply.
She continued:--

"I knew that you were there. I was asleep, but I saw you.
I have seen you for a long, long time. I have been following you
with my eyes all night long. You were in a glory, and you had around
you all sorts of celestial forms."

He raised his glance to the crucifix.

"But," she resumed, "tell me where Cosette is. Why did not you
place her on my bed against the moment of my waking?"

He made some mechanical reply which he was never afterwards able
to recall.

Fortunately, the doctor had been warned, and he now made his appearance.
He came to the aid of M. Madeleine.

"Calm yourself, my child," said the doctor; "your child is here."

Fantine's eyes beamed and filled her whole face with light.
She clasped her hands with an expression which contained all that is
possible to prayer in the way of violence and tenderness.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, "bring her to me!"

Touching illusion of a mother! Cosette was, for her, still the
little child who is carried.

"Not yet," said the doctor, "not just now. You still have some fever.
The sight of your child would agitate you and do you harm.
You must be cured first."

She interrupted him impetuously:--

"But I am cured! Oh, I tell you that I am cured! What an ass
that doctor is! The idea! I want to see my child!"

"You see," said the doctor, "how excited you become. So long as you
are in this state I shall oppose your having your child. It is not
enough to see her; it is necessary that you should live for her.
When you are reasonable, I will bring her to you myself."

The poor mother bowed her head.

"I beg your pardon, doctor, I really beg your pardon. Formerly I
should never have spoken as I have just done; so many misfortunes
have happened to me, that I sometimes do not know what I am saying.
I understand you; you fear the emotion. I will wait as long
as you like, but I swear to you that it would not have harmed
me to see my daughter. I have been seeing her; I have not
taken my eyes from her since yesterday evening. Do you know?
If she were brought to me now, I should talk to her very gently.
That is all. Is it not quite natural that I should desire to see
my daughter, who has been brought to me expressly from Montfermeil?
I am not angry. I know well that I am about to be happy. All night
long I have seen white things, and persons who smiled at me.
When Monsieur le Docteur pleases, he shall bring me Cosette.
I have no longer any fever; I am well. I am perfectly conscious that
there is nothing the matter with me any more; but I am going to behave
as though I were ill, and not stir, to please these ladies here.
When it is seen that I am very calm, they will say, `She must have
her child.'"

M. Madeleine was sitting on a chair beside the bed. She turned
towards him; she was making a visible effort to be calm and "very good,"
as she expressed it in the feebleness of illness which resembles
infancy, in order that, seeing her so peaceable, they might make
no difficulty about bringing Cosette to her. But while she
controlled herself she could not refrain from questioning M. Madeleine.

"Did you have a pleasant trip, Monsieur le Maire? Oh! how good
you were to go and get her for me! Only tell me how she is.
Did she stand the journey well? Alas! she will not recognize me.
She must have forgotten me by this time, poor darling! Children have
no memories. They are like birds. A child sees one thing to-day
and another thing to-morrow, and thinks of nothing any longer.
And did she have white linen? Did those Thenardiers keep her clean?
How have they fed her? Oh! if you only knew how I have suffered,
putting such questions as that to myself during all the time of
my wretchedness. Now, it is all past. I am happy. Oh, how I should
like to see her! Do you think her pretty, Monsieur le Maire? Is not my
daughter beautiful? You must have been very cold in that diligence!
Could she not be brought for just one little instant? She might
be taken away directly afterwards. Tell me; you are the master;
it could be so if you chose!"

He took her hand. "Cosette is beautiful," he said, "Cosette is well.
You shall see her soon; but calm yourself; you are talking with
too much vivacity, and you are throwing your arms out from under
the clothes, and that makes you cough."

In fact, fits of coughing interrupted Fantine at nearly every word.

Fantine did not murmur; she feared that she had injured by her
too passionate lamentations the confidence which she was desirous
of inspiring, and she began to talk of indifferent things.

"Montfermeil is quite pretty, is it not? People go there on
pleasure parties in summer. Are the Thenardiers prosperous?
There are not many travellers in their parts. That inn of theirs
is a sort of a cook-shop."

M. Madeleine was still holding her hand, and gazing at her
with anxiety; it was evident that he had come to tell her things
before which his mind now hesitated. The doctor, having finished
his visit, retired. Sister Simplice remained alone with them.

But in the midst of this pause Fantine exclaimed:--

"I hear her! mon Dieu, I hear her!"

She stretched out her arm to enjoin silence about her, held her breath,
and began to listen with rapture.

There was a child playing in the yard--the child of the portress
or of some work-woman. It was one of those accidents which are
always occurring, and which seem to form a part of the mysterious
stage-setting of mournful scenes. The child--a little girl--
was going and coming, running to warm herself, laughing, singing at
the top of her voice. Alas! in what are the plays of children
not intermingled. It was this little girl whom Fantine heard singing.

"Oh!" she resumed, "it is my Cosette! I recognize her voice."

The child retreated as it had come; the voice died away.
Fantine listened for a while longer, then her face clouded over,
and M. Madeleine heard her say, in a low voice: "How wicked
that doctor is not to allow me to see my daughter! That man has
an evil countenance, that he has."

But the smiling background of her thoughts came to the front again.
She continued to talk to herself, with her head resting on the pillow:
"How happy we are going to be! We shall have a little garden the
very first thing; M. Madeleine has promised it to me. My daughter
will play in the garden. She must know her letters by this time.
I will make her spell. She will run over the grass after butterflies.
I will watch her. Then she will take her first communion. Ah! when
will she take her first communion?"

She began to reckon on her fingers.

"One, two, three, four--she is seven years old. In five years
she will have a white veil, and openwork stockings; she will look
like a little woman. O my good sister, you do not know how foolish
I become when I think of my daughter's first communion!"

She began to laugh.

He had released Fantine's hand. He listened to her words as one
listens to the sighing of the breeze, with his eyes on the ground,
his mind absorbed in reflection which had no bottom. All at once she
ceased speaking, and this caused him to raise his head mechanically.
Fantine had become terrible.

She no longer spoke, she no longer breathed; she had raised herself
to a sitting posture, her thin shoulder emerged from her chemise;
her face, which had been radiant but a moment before, was ghastly,
and she seemed to have fixed her eyes, rendered large with terror,
on something alarming at the other extremity of the room.

"Good God!" he exclaimed; "what ails you, Fantine?"

She made no reply; she did not remove her eyes from the object
which she seemed to see. She removed one hand from his arm,
and with the other made him a sign to look behind him.

He turned, and beheld Javert.

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