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worn, and more full of holes than a furnace for roasting chestnuts. The girl made a wry face. 66 An old clout! she
grumbled, and, addressing Gringoire, “Let's look at your cloak ?”
“I have lost it," said Gringoire.
“Be hanged to you then, and be thankful !” replied the tramp, turning her back on him.
The second, old, weather-beaten, wrinkled, and ugly, hideous enough to be conspicuous even in the Court of Miracles, walked round and round Gringoire. He almost trembled lest she should accept him. But she muttered, “ He's too thin," and took her leave.
The third was a young girl, quite rosy and not very ugly. “ Save me !” whispered the poor devil.
She looked at him a moment with a compassionate air, then looked down, began to plait up her skirt, and seemed uncertain. He watched her every motion ; this was his last ray of hope. "No," said the young woman at last; “no! Guillaume Longue. joue would lick me;” and she went back to the crowd.
“Comrade,” said Clopin Trouillefou, “ you 're down on your luck."
Then, standing erect upon his cask, he cried, “ Will no one take this lot ?” mimicking the tone of an auctioneer, to the great cntertainment of all; “ will no one take it ? Going, going, going !” and turning to the gallows with a nod, “ Gone!”
Bellevigne de l'Étoile, Andry le Rouge, and François ChantePrune approached Gringoire.
At this instant a shout rose from the thieves : “ Esmeralda! Esmeralda!"
Gringoire trembled, and turned in the direction of the cry. The crowd opened and made way for a pure and radiant figure.
It was the gypsy girl.
“ Esmeralda!” said Gringoire, astounded, amidst his contending emotions, at the suddenness with which that magic word connected all the various recollections of his day.
This rare creature seemed to exercise sovereign sway through her beauty and her charm even in the Court of Miracles. Thieves, beggars, and harlots stood meekly aside to let her pass, and their brutal faces brightened at her glance.
She approached the victim with her light step. Her pretty Djali followed her. Gringoire was more dead than alive. She gazed at him an instant in silence.
“ Are you going to hang this man ?" she gravely asked Clopin.
“Yes, sister,” replied the King of Tunis,“ unless you 'll take him for your husband.”
She pouted her pretty lower lip. “I'll take him," said she.
Gringoire here firmly believed that he had been dreaming ever since morning, and that this was the end of the dream.
In fact the sudden change of fortune, though charming, was violent.
The slip-noose was unfastened, the poet was helped from his stool. He was obliged to seat himself, so great was his agitation.
The Duke of Egypt, without uttering a word, brought forward an earthen jug. The gypsy girl offered it to Gringoire. “ Throw it down," she said to him.
The jug was broken into four pieces.
“ Brother,” then said the Duke of Egypt, laying his hands on their heads, “she is your wife; sister, he is your husband. For four years. Go!”
THE BISHOP AND THE FELON.
(From "Les Misérables.") On this evening, the bishop remained after his walk in the town shut up in his rooms till rather late. He was busy with an important work on “ Our Duties,” which was unfortunately left unfinished.
He was engaged till eight, writing, incommoded by a large book on his knees, upon slips of paper, when Housekeeper Magloire came in according to habit to take the silver plate from its cupboard in the wall near the bed.
Of his family plate remained six sets and a soup ladle which the woman liked to see shine on the tablecloth daily. are painting the prelate as he is, we have to add that he had more than once to own that “With difficulty would I resign myself not to eating off silver.” Besides these pieces was a pair of
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massive candelabra, inherited from a grand-aunt. Holding two tapers, they usually stood on his mantelpiece, but they were put on the table when there was company. The cupboard key, by the way, was never used.
Soon after the plate was removed, knowing that the table was ready and that his sister was probably waiting, the bishop shut his book, rose and went down into the dining-room.
It was an oblong one, with a fireplace, a window on the garden and a door on the street.
Mistress Magloire was attending to the table while prating to her mistress. A lamp was on the table and the latter near the fire; a good one had been lighted.
As the bishop walked in, the housekeeper was speaking with some liveliness on a familiar subject to which the master was accustomed, to wit, the want of fastenings on the house door.
It appears that, while marketing for supper, she had heard things in several places. A bad character was spoken of; a suspicious prowler somewhere about town, whom it would be unpleasant for anybody to run up against who might be out after dark. The police were no good, as the chief and the mayor were at loggerheads and neutralized one another rather than looked after criminals. It was therefore the house-dwellers' duty to be their own guard and fasten up the doors. She emphasized this sentence, but the bishop was bent on getting up to the fire where he sat, from having felt cold in his room, and he was thinking of other matters. He did not reply to the remark. Madam Magloire repeated it, which caused her mistress, wishful to satisfy the woman without vexing her brother, to venture timidly:
“Do you hear what housekeeper says, brother ?”
“I did hear something vaguely," was the reply. Turning half round with his chair, folding his hands on his knee, and lifting his cordial and readily merry face to the serrant, he added : “ Come! What is the matter ? are we running some great danger ?”
Whereupon the gossip related her tale, exaggerating a trifle without suspecting it. It was clear that a tramp, a dangerous barefooted beggar, had tried to get a lodging at Labarre's, who had rejected him. He was seen to come into town at dusk and prowl around. He was a ruffian with a frightful face.
“Really?" said the bishop. This acquiescence in questioning her emboldened the woman, as it indicated that the hearer might be frightened; so she triumphantly proceeded :
“ Yes, my lord. This is the way of it. Something dreadful will befall the town to-night. Everybody says so. And the police is no good. (Useless repetition.) The idea of living in a town where the robbers can come down from the mountains, and not even have lights in the streets! When we go out it is like stepping up the sooty chimney. And I say, my lord, and the mistress says the same as me — ”
“ Nay, I say nothing,” corrected Malle. Myriel ; " whatever my brother does is the best thing."
As though there were no objection raised the housekeeper kept on:
6 We concluded that the house is not safe. If your lordship will approve, I will tell the locksmith Paulin Musebois to put the old bolts on once more; they are handy and it would not be a minute's work; and I say that they ought to be put right on, if for this very night only; as nothing is more dreadful than to have merely a latch which anybody coming along could lift up; to say nothing of your lordship saying. Come right in!' to Tom, Dick, and Harry; and then, again, in the middle of the night, the Lord be our guard ! they would not dally for any permission — "
At this nick, a rather heavy knock came at the door.
The door flew open, and widely, with swiftness as though the opening hand were energetic and resolute.
A man entered, the one of our knowledge, the wayfarer seeking a night's lodging.
He stopped after entering one step, leaving the door open behind him. His sack was on his back and his staff in his grip, while his eyes wore an expression rude, bold, weary, and violent. The firelight showed him up as hideous: a sinister figure.
Madam Magloire had not the power to utter a scream, but stood gaping and shuddering.
The lady of the honse, turning, perceived the man and half rose in alarm, but gradually wheeling towards her brother, she looked at him and her features again became profoundly calm and serene.
The bishop fixed a tranquil eye on the new-arrival. As he was opening his lips, no doubt to ask him what he wanted, t) other rested both hands on his stick, surveyed the woman wit the man, and said in a loud voice without waiting for the prelate to speak :
“I am going to give you this straight. My name is Jean Valjean. I am a released convict, having spent nineteen years in the hulks. Let out four days ago, I am working my way to Pontarlier, which is my destination. These four days I have been footing it from Toulon. I have done twelve leagues this day afoot.
“ This evening, in striking this county, I went into a tavern where they kicked me out because I had to show my yellow passport, my ticket-of-leave, you understand, at the mayor's office. I had to show it, see? I went to another pnblic house, but they said: “Be off!' in the same style. No one will harbor me any. where. I rapped at the jail and the warder would not open to me. I crept into a dog kennel and the beast snapped at me and worried me out, same as a man
see? It looked as if he knew what I was.
“I went into the fields to sleep under the stars. But there were none, and thinking that it would come on to rain, and there being no good, kind God to stop it from raining on me, I returned into town to find some doorway to snooze in. 6 Across the
square, I laid on a stone, when a good woman pointed to your house and said : “Knock at that door. I have knocked. What is this house anyhow ? a kind of hotel? I carry money. My savings. One hundred and nine francs, fifteen sous, earned in the convict prison by my labor in nineteen years. I will pay fair. What else would you do with me? I have money; I am dead beat — twelve leagues of Shanks' mare, see ! I am very hungry. Will you let me stay ?”
“ Madam Magloire, bring another plate," said the bishop. With three strides the man neared the lamp on the table.
“Stop, you have n't got this right," said he as though he had not been understood. “ Did you not hear? I am a jail-bird, a galley-slave, fresh from the prison.”
He pulled a large sheet of buff paper from his pocket and unfolded it.
“ This is my leave to travel. Yellow, as you see, the pest color. It leads to my being kicked out wherever I show myself. Will you read it? I know how. I learnt in the stone-jug. There is school for those who like it. Hark ye! this is what is put on the brief :' 'JEAN VALJEAN, released convict, born at'-oh, you don't care for that? “Nineteen years Five for