Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER II TREASURE TROVE


Author: Victor Hugo

Format: online reading

Category: Novel


Posted on 2007-05-13, updated at 2007-05-27. By anonymous.

Description

  • Author: Victor Hugo

Marius had not left the Gorbeau house. He paid no attention to any one there.

At that epoch, to tell the truth, there were no other inhabitants in the house, except himself and those Jondrettes whose rent he had once paid, without, moreover, ever having spoken to either father, mother, or daughters. The other lodgers had moved away or had died, or had been turned out in default of payment.  

One day during that winter, the sun had shown itself a little in the afternoon, but it was the 2d of February, that ancient Candlemas day whose treacherous sun, the precursor of a six weeks' cold spell, inspired Mathieu Laensberg with these two lines, which have with justice remained classic:--

Qu'il luise ou qu'il luiserne, L'ours rentre dans en sa caverne.[26]  

[26] Whether the sun shines brightly or dim, the bear returns to his cave.

Marius had just emerged from his: night was falling. It was the hour for his dinner; for he had been obliged to take to dining again, alas! oh, infirmities of ideal passions!

He had just crossed his threshold, where Ma'am Bougon was sweeping at the moment, as she uttered this memorable monologue:--  

"What is there that is cheap now? Everything is dear.  

There is nothing in the world that is cheap except trouble; you can get that for nothing, the trouble of the world!"  

Marius slowly ascended the boulevard towards the barrier, in order to reach the Rue Saint-Jacques. He was walking along with drooping head. 

All at once, he felt some one elbow him in the dusk; he wheeled round, and saw two young girls clad in rags, the one tall and slim, the other a little shorter, who were passing rapidly, all out of breath, in terror, and with the appearance of fleeing; they had been coming to meet him, had not seen him, and had jostled him as they passed. Through the twilight, Marius could distinguish their livid faces, their wild heads, their dishevelled hair, their hideous bonnets, their ragged petticoats, and their bare feet. They were talking as they ran. The taller said in a very low voice:-- 

"The bobbies have come. They came near nabbing me at the half-circle." The other answered: "I saw them. I bolted, bolted, bolted!" 

Through this repulsive slang, Marius understood that gendarmes or the police had come near apprehending these two children, and that the latter had escaped.

They plunged among the trees of the boulevard behind him, and there created, for a few minutes, in the gloom, a sort of vague white spot, then disappeared.  

Marius had halted for a moment. 

He was about to pursue his way, when his eye lighted on a little grayish package lying on the ground at his feet. He stooped and picked it up. It was a sort of envelope which appeared to contain papers.  

"Good," he said to himself, "those unhappy girls dropped it."

He retraced his steps, he called, he did not find them; he reflected that they must already be far away, put the package in his pocket, and went off to dine.

On the way, he saw in an alley of the Rue Mouffetard, a child's coffin, covered with a black cloth resting on three chairs, and illuminated by a candle. The two girls of the twilight recurred to his mind.  

"Poor mothers!" he thought. "There is one thing sadder than to see one's children die; it is to see them leading an evil life."  

Then those shadows which had varied his melancholy vanished from his thoughts, and he fell back once more into his habitual preoccupations. He fell to thinking once more of his six months of love and happiness in the open air and the broad daylight, beneath the beautiful trees of Luxembourg. 

"How gloomy my life has become!" he said to himself. "Young girls are always appearing to me, only formerly they were angels and now they are ghouls."


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More on This Book:
  1. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XVI IN WHICH WILL BE FOUND THE WORDS TO AN ENGLISH AIR WHICH WAS IN FASHION IN 1832
  2. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XV JONDRETTE MAKES HIS PURCHASES
  3. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XIV IN WHICH A POLICE AGENT BESTOWS TWO FISTFULS ON A LAWYER
  4. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XIII SOLUS CUM SOLO, IN LOCO REMOTO, NON COGITABUNTUR ORARE PATER NOSTER
  5. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XII THE USE MADE OF M. LEBLANC'S FIVE-FRANC PIECE
  6. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XI OFFERS OF SERVICE FROM MISERY TO WRETCHEDNESS
  7. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER X TARIFF OF LICENSED CABS: TWO FRANCS AN HOUR
  8. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER IX JONDRETTE COMES NEAR WEEPING
  9. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER VIII THE RAY OF LIGHT IN THE HOVEL
  10. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER VII STRATEGY AND TACTICS
  11. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER VI THE WILD MAN IN HIS LAIR
  12. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER V A PROVIDENTIAL PEEP-HOLE
  13. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER IV A ROSE IN MISERY
  14. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER III QUADRIFRONS
  15. Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER I MARIUS, WHILE SEEKING A GIRL IN A BONNET, ENCOUNTERS A MAN IN A CAP

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  2. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER I MARIUS, WHILE SEEKING A GIRL IN A BONNET, ENCOUNTERS A MAN IN A CAP
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  7. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER VII STRATEGY AND TACTICS
  8. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER VIII THE RAY OF LIGHT IN THE HOVEL
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  13. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XIII SOLUS CUM SOLO, IN LOCO REMOTO, NON COGITABUNTUR ORARE PATER NOSTER
  14. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XIV IN WHICH A POLICE AGENT BESTOWS TWO FISTFULS ON A LAWYER
  15. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XV JONDRETTE MAKES HIS PURCHASES
  16. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XVI IN WHICH WILL BE FOUND THE WORDS TO AN ENGLISH AIR WHICH WAS IN FASHION IN 1832
  17. 2007-05-13Les Miserables Volume 3 Marius, BOOK EIGHTH.--THE WICKED POOR MAN CHAPTER XVII THE USE MADE OF MARIUS' FIVE-FRANC PIECE
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