Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER III WHILE COSETTE AND TOUSSAINT ARE ASLEEP


Author: Victor Hugo

Format: online reading

Category: Novel


Posted on 2007-05-14, updated at 2007-05-27. By anonymous.

Description

  • Author: Victor Hugo

Jean Valjean went into the house with Marius' letter.

He groped his way up the stairs, as pleased with the darkness as an owl who grips his prey, opened and shut his door softly, listened to see whether he could hear any noise,--made sure that, to all appearances, Cosette and Toussaint were asleep, and plunged three or four matches into the bottle of the Fumade lighter before he could evoke a spark, so greatly did his hand tremble. What he had just done smacked of theft. At last the candle was lighted; he leaned his elbows on the table, unfolded the paper, and read.

In violent emotions, one does not read, one flings to the earth, so to speak, the paper which one holds, one clutches it like a victim, one crushes it, one digs into it the nails of one's wrath, or of one's joy; one hastens to the end, one leaps to the beginning; attention is at fever heat; it takes up in the gross, as it were, the essential points; it seizes on one point, and the rest disappears. In Marius' note to Cosette, Jean Valjean saw only these words:--

"I die. When thou readest this, my soul will be near thee."

In the presence of these two lines, he was horribly dazzled; he remained for a moment, crushed, as it were, by the change of emotion which was taking place within him, he stared at Marius' note with a sort of intoxicated amazement, he had before his eyes that splendor, the death of a hated individual.

He uttered a frightful cry of inward joy. So it was all over. The catastrophe had arrived sooner than he had dared to hope. The being who obstructed his destiny was disappearing. That man had taken himself off of his own accord, freely, willingly. This man was going to his death, and he, Jean Valjean, had had no hand in the matter, and it was through no fault of his. Perhaps, even, he is already dead. Here his fever entered into calculations. No, he is not dead yet. The letter had evidently been intended for Cosette to read on the following morning; after the two discharges that were heard between eleven o'clock and midnight, nothing more has taken place; the barricade will not be attacked seriously until daybreak; but that makes no difference, from the moment when "that man" is concerned in this war, he is lost; he is caught in the gearing. Jean Valjean felt himself delivered. So he was about to find himself alone with Cosette once more. The rivalry would cease; the future was beginning again. He had but to keep this note in his pocket. Cosette would never know what had become of that man. All that there requires to be done is to let things take their own course. This man cannot escape. If he is not already dead, it is certain that he is about to die. What good fortune!

Having said all this to himself, he became gloomy.

Then he went down stairs and woke up the porter.

About an hour later, Jean Valjean went out in the complete costume of a National Guard, and with his arms. The porter had easily found in the neighborhood the wherewithal to complete his equipment. He had a loaded gun and a cartridge-box filled with cartridges.

He strode off in the direction of the markets.


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More on This Book:
  1. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK TWELFTH.--CORINTHE CHAPTER II PRELIMINARY GAYETIES
  2. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK TWELFTH.--CORINTHE CHAPTER I HISTORY OF CORINTHE FROM ITS FOUNDATION
  3. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK THIRTEENTH.--MARIUS ENTERS THE SHADOW CHAPTER III THE EXTREME EDGE
  4. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK THIRTEENTH.--MARIUS ENTERS THE SHADOW CHAPTER II AN OWL'S VIEW OF PARIS
  5. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK THIRTEENTH.--MARIUS ENTERS THE SHADOW CHAPTER I FROM THE RUE PLUMET TO THE QUARTIER SAINT-DENIS
  6. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER VII GAVROCHE AS A PROFOUND CALCULATOR OF DISTANCES
  7. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER VI THE AGONY OF DEATH AFTER THE AGONY OF LIFE
  8. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER V END OF THE VERSES OF JEAN PROUVAIRE
  9. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER IV THE BARREL OF POWDER
  10. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER III GAVROCHE WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER TO ACCEPT ENJOLRAS' CARBINE
  11. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER II THE FLAG: ACT SECOND
  12. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER I THE FLAG: ACT FIRST
  13. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER IV GAVROCHE'S EXCESS OF ZEAL
  14. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER II THE STREET URCHIN AN ENEMY OF LIGHT
  15. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER I A DRINKER IS A BABBLER
  16. Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTH.--THE END OF WHICH DOES NOT RESEMBLE THE BEGINNING CHAPTER V COSETTE AFTER THE LETTER

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  2. 2007-05-14Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER I A DRINKER IS A BABBLER - Removed
  3. 2007-05-14Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FIFTEENTH.--THE RUE DE L'HOMME ARME CHAPTER II THE STREET URCHIN AN ENEMY OF LIGHT
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  6. 2007-05-14Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER I THE FLAG: ACT FIRST - Removed
  7. 2007-05-14Les Miserables Volume 4 Marius, BOOK FOURTEENTH.--THE GRANDEURS OF DESPAIR CHAPTER II THE FLAG: ACT SECOND - Removed
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