chapter vi. the broken jug. after having run for some time at the topof his speed, without knowing whither, knocking his head against many astreet corner, leaping many a gutter, traversing many an alley, many a court,many a square, seeking flight and passage through all the meanderingsof the ancient passages of the halles, exploring in his panic terrorwhat the fine latin of the maps calls _tota via, cheminum et viaria_,our poet suddenly halted for lack of breath in the first place, and inthe second, because he had
been collared, after a fashion, by a dilemmawhich had just occurred to his mind. "it strikes me, master pierre gringoire,"he said to himself, placing his finger to his brow, "that youare running like a madman. the little scamps are no less afraid of you thanyou are of them. it strikes me, i say, that you heard the clatter of theirwooden shoes fleeing southward, while you were fleeing northward.now, one of two things, either they have taken flight, and the pallet,which they must have forgotten in their terror, is precisely thathospitable bed in search of which you have been running ever sincemorning, and which madame the
virgin miraculously sends you, in order torecompense you for having made a morality in her honor, accompaniedby triumphs and mummeries; or the children have not taken flight, and inthat case they have put the brand to the pallet, and that is preciselythe good fire which you need to cheer, dry, and warm you. in either case,good fire or good bed, that straw pallet is a gift from heaven. the blessedvirgin marie who stands at the corner of the rue mauconseil, couldonly have made eustache moubon die for that express purpose; and itis folly on your part to flee thus zigzag, like a picard before a frenchman,leaving behind you
what you seek before you; and you are a fool!" then he retraced his steps, and feeling hisway and searching, with his nose to the wind and his ears on the alert,he tried to find the blessed pallet again, but in vain. there wasnothing to be found but intersections of houses, closed courts, andcrossings of streets, in the midst of which he hesitated and doubtedincessantly, being more perplexed and entangled in this medley ofstreets than he would have been even in the labyrinth of the hã´tel destournelles. at length he lost patience, and exclaimed solemnly: "cursedbe cross roads! 'tis the
devil who has made them in the shape of hispitchfork!" this exclamation afforded him a little solace,and a sort of reddish reflection which he caught sight of at thatmoment, at the extremity of a long and narrow lane, completed the elevationof his moral tone. "god be praised!" said he, "there it is yonder!there is my pallet burning." and comparing himself to the pilot who suffersshipwreck by night, "_salve_," he added piously, "_salve, marisstella_!" did he address this fragment of litany tothe holy virgin, or to the pallet? we are utterly unable to say.
he had taken but a few steps in the long street,which sloped downwards, was unpaved, and more and more muddy and steep,when he noticed a very singular thing. it was not deserted; hereand there along its extent crawled certain vague and formless masses,all directing their course towards the light which flickered at the endof the street, like those heavy insects which drag along by night, fromblade to blade of grass, towards the shepherd's fire. nothing renders one so adventurous as notbeing able to feel the place where one's pocket is situated. gringoirecontinued to advance, and had
soon joined that one of the forms which draggedalong most indolently, behind the others. on drawing near, he perceivedthat it was nothing else than a wretched legless cripple in abowl, who was hopping along on his two hands like a wounded field-spiderwhich has but two legs left. at the moment when he passed close to thisspecies of spider with a human countenance, it raised towards him alamentable voice: "_la buona mancia, signor! la buona mancia_!"* * alms. "deuce take you," said gringoire, "and mewith you, if i know what you
mean!" and he passed on. he overtook another of these itinerant masses,and examined it. it was an impotent man, both halt and crippled, andhalt and crippled to such a degree that the complicated system of crutchesand wooden legs which sustained him, gave him the air of a mason'sscaffolding on the march. gringoire, who liked noble and classical comparisons,compared him in thought to the living tripod of vulcan. this living tripod saluted him as he passed,but stopping his hat on a
level with gringoire's chin, like a shavingdish, while he shouted in the latter's ears: "_senor cabellero, paracomprar un pedaso de pan_!"* * give me the means to buy a bit of bread,sir. "it appears," said gringoire, "that this onecan also talk; but 'tis a rude language, and he is more fortunate thani if he understands it." then, smiting his brow, in a sudden transitionof ideas: "by the way, what the deuce did they mean this morningwith their esmeralda?" he was minded to augment his pace, but forthe third time something barred his way. this something or, rather,some one was a blind man, a
little blind fellow with a bearded, jewishface, who, rowing away in the space about him with a stick, and towed bya large dog, droned through his nose with a hungarian accent: "_facitotecaritatem_!" "well, now," said gringoire, "here's one atlast who speaks a christian tongue. i must have a very charitable aspect,since they ask alms of me in the present lean condition of my purse.my friend," and he turned towards the blind man, "i sold my last shirtlast week; that is to say, since you understand only the language ofcicero: _vendidi hebdomade nuper transita meam ultimam chemisan_."
that said, he turned his back upon the blindman, and pursued his way. but the blind man began to increase his strideat the same time; and, behold! the cripple and the legless man, inhis bowl, came up on their side in great haste, and with great clamorof bowl and crutches, upon the pavement. then all three, jostling eachother at poor gringoire's heels, began to sing their song to him,-- "_caritatem_!" chanted the blind man. "_la buona mancia_!" chanted the cripple inthe bowl. and the lame man took up the musical phraseby repeating: "_un pedaso de
pan_!" gringoire stopped up his ears. "oh, towerof babel!" he exclaimed. he set out to run. the blind man ran! thelame man ran! the cripple in the bowl ran! and then, in proportion as he plunged deeperinto the street, cripples in bowls, blind men and lame men, swarmedabout him, and men with one arm, and with one eye, and the leprous withtheir sores, some emerging from little streets adjacent, some from theair-holes of cellars, howling, bellowing, yelping, all limping andhalting, all flinging
themselves towards the light, and humped upin the mire, like snails after a shower. gringoire, still followed by his three persecutors,and not knowing very well what was to become of him, marchedalong in terror among them, turning out for the lame, stepping over thecripples in bowls, with his feet imbedded in that ant-hill of lame men,like the english captain who got caught in the quicksand of a swarm ofcrabs. the idea occurred to him of making an effortto retrace his steps. but it was too late. this whole legion had closedin behind him, and his
three beggars held him fast. so he proceeded,impelled both by this irresistible flood, by fear, and by a vertigowhich converted all this into a sort of horrible dream. at last he reached the end of the street.it opened upon an immense place, where a thousand scattered lights flickeredin the confused mists of night. gringoire flew thither, hoping toescape, by the swiftness of his legs, from the three infirm spectres whohad clutched him. "_onde vas, hombre_?" (where are you going,my man?) cried the cripple, flinging away his crutches, and running afterhim with the best legs
that ever traced a geometrical step upon thepavements of paris. in the meantime the legless man, erect uponhis feet, crowned gringoire with his heavy iron bowl, and the blind manglared in his face with flaming eyes! "where am i?" said the terrified poet. "in the court of miracles," replied a fourthspectre, who had accosted them. "upon my soul," resumed gringoire, "i certainlydo behold the blind who see, and the lame who walk, but where is thesaviour?"
they replied by a burst of sinister laughter. the poor poet cast his eyes about him. itwas, in truth, that redoubtable cour des miracles, whither anhonest man had never penetrated at such an hour; the magic circlewhere the officers of the chã¢telet and the sergeants of the provostship,who ventured thither, disappeared in morsels; a city of thieves,a hideous wart on the face of paris; a sewer, from which escaped every morning,and whither returned every night to crouch, that stream of vices,of mendicancy and vagabondage which always overflows in thestreets of capitals; a
monstrous hive, to which returned at nightfall,with their booty, all the drones of the social order; a lying hospitalwhere the bohemian, the disfrocked monk, the ruined scholar, the ne'er-do-wellsof all nations, spaniards, italians, germans,--of all religions,jews, christians, mahometans, idolaters, covered with paintedsores, beggars by day, were transformed by night into brigands; an immensedressing-room, in a word, where, at that epoch, the actors of that eternalcomedy, which theft, prostitution, and murder play upon the pavementsof paris, dressed and undressed.
it was a vast place, irregular and badly paved,like all the squares of paris at that date. fires, around which swarmedstrange groups, blazed here and there. every one was going, coming,and shouting. shrill laughter was to be heard, the wailing of children,the voices of women. the hands and heads of this throng,black against the luminous background, outlined against it a thousandeccentric gestures. at times, upon the ground, where trembled the lightof the fires, mingled with large, indefinite shadows, one could beholda dog passing, which resembled a man, a man who resembled a dog.the limits of races and
species seemed effaced in this city, as ina pandemonium. men, women, beasts, age, sex, health, maladies, all seemedto be in common among these people; all went together, they mingled,confounded, superposed; each one there participated in all. the poor and flickering flames of the firepermitted gringoire to distinguish, amid his trouble, all aroundthe immense place, a hideous frame of ancient houses, whose wormeaten,shrivelled, stunted faã§ades, each pierced with one or two lighted atticwindows, seemed to him, in the darkness, like enormous heads of old women,ranged in a circle,
monstrous and crabbed, winking as they lookedon at the witches' sabbath. it was like a new world, unknown, unheardof, misshapen, creeping, swarming, fantastic. gringoire, more and more terrified, clutchedby the three beggars as by three pairs of tongs, dazed by a throng ofother faces which frothed and yelped around him, unhappy gringoire endeavoredto summon his presence of mind, in order to recall whether it wasa saturday. but his efforts were vain; the thread of his memory and ofhis thought was broken; and,
doubting everything, wavering between whathe saw and what he felt, he put to himself this unanswerable question,-- "if i exist, does this exist? if this exists,do i exist?" at that moment, a distinct cry arose in thebuzzing throng which surrounded him, "let's take him to the king!let's take him to the king!" "holy virgin!" murmured gringoire, "the kinghere must be a ram." "to the king! to the king!" repeated all voices. they dragged him off. each vied with the otherin laying his claws upon
him. but the three beggars did not loose theirhold and tore him from the rest, howling, "he belongs to us!" the poet's already sickly doublet yieldedits last sigh in this struggle. while traversing the horrible place, his vertigovanished. after taking a few steps, the sentiment of reality returnedto him. he began to become accustomed to the atmosphere of theplace. at the first moment there had arisen from his poet's head, or,simply and prosaically, from his empty stomach, a mist, a vapor, soto speak, which, spreading
between objects and himself, permitted himto catch a glimpse of them only in the incoherent fog of nightmare,--inthose shadows of dreams which distort every outline, agglomeratingobjects into unwieldy groups, dilating things into chimeras, and men intophantoms. little by little, this hallucination was succeeded by a lessbewildered and exaggerating view. reality made its way to the light aroundhim, struck his eyes, struck his feet, and demolished, bit by bit,all that frightful poetry with which he had, at first, believed himselfto be surrounded. he was forced to perceive that he was not walkingin the styx, but in mud, that
he was elbowed not by demons, but by thieves;that it was not his soul which was in question, but his life (sincehe lacked that precious conciliator, which places itself so effectuallybetween the bandit and the honest man--a purse). in short, on examiningthe orgy more closely, and with more coolness, he fell from the witches'sabbath to the dram-shop. the cour des miracles was, in fact, merelya dram-shop; but a brigand's dram-shop, reddened quite as much with bloodas with wine. the spectacle which presented itself to hiseyes, when his ragged escort
finally deposited him at the end of his trip,was not fitted to bear him back to poetry, even to the poetry of hell.it was more than ever the prosaic and brutal reality of the tavern.were we not in the fifteenth century, we would say that gringoire had descendedfrom michael angelo to callot. around a great fire which burned on a large,circular flagstone, the flames of which had heated red-hot the legsof a tripod, which was empty for the moment, some wormeaten tableswere placed, here and there, haphazard, no lackey of a geometrical turnhaving deigned to adjust
their parallelism, or to see to it that theydid not make too unusual angles. upon these tables gleamed severaldripping pots of wine and beer, and round these pots were grouped manybacchic visages, purple with the fire and the wine. there was a manwith a huge belly and a jovial face, noisily kissing a woman of thetown, thickset and brawny. there was a sort of sham soldier, a "naquois,"as the slang expression runs, who was whistling as he undid the bandagesfrom his fictitious wound, and removing the numbness from hissound and vigorous knee, which had been swathed since morning in a thousandligatures. on the other
hand, there was a wretched fellow, preparingwith celandine and beef's blood, his "leg of god," for the next day.two tables further on, a palmer, with his pilgrim's costume complete,was practising the lament of the holy queen, not forgetting the droneand the nasal drawl. further on, a young scamp was taking a lesson in epilepsyfrom an old pretender, who was instructing him in the art of foamingat the mouth, by chewing a morsel of soap. beside him, a man with thedropsy was getting rid of his swelling, and making four or five female thieves,who were disputing at the same table, over a child who had beenstolen that evening, hold
their noses. all circumstances which, twocenturies later, "seemed so ridiculous to the court," as sauval says,"that they served as a pastime to the king, and as an introduction to theroyal ballet of night, divided into four parts and danced on thetheatre of the petit-bourbon." "never," adds an eye witness of 1653, "havethe sudden metamorphoses of the court of miracles been more happily presented.benserade prepared us for it by some very gallant verses." loud laughter everywhere, and obscene songs.each one held his own course, carping and swearing, without listeningto his neighbor. pots
clinked, and quarrels sprang up at the shockof the pots, and the broken pots made rents in the rags. a big dog, seated on his tail, gazed at thefire. some children were mingled in this orgy. the stolen child weptand cried. another, a big boy four years of age, seated with legs dangling,upon a bench that was too high for him, before a table that reachedto his chin, and uttering not a word. a third, gravely spreading outupon the table with his finger, the melted tallow which dripped froma candle. last of all, a little fellow crouching in the mud, almostlost in a cauldron, which
he was scraping with a tile, and from whichhe was evoking a sound that would have made stradivarius swoon. near the fire was a hogshead, and on the hogsheada beggar. this was the king on his throne. the three who had gringoire in their clutchesled him in front of this hogshead, and the entire bacchanal rout fellsilent for a moment, with the exception of the cauldron inhabited bythe child. gringoire dared neither breathe nor raisehis eyes. "_hombre, quita tu sombrero_!" said one ofthe three knaves, in whose
grasp he was, and, before he had comprehendedthe meaning, the other had snatched his hat--a wretched headgear, itis true, but still good on a sunny day or when there was but little rain.gringoire sighed. meanwhile the king addressed him, from thesummit of his cask,-- "who is this rogue?" gringoire shuddered. that voice, althoughaccentuated by menace, recalled to him another voice, which, thatvery morning, had dealt the deathblow to his mystery, by drawling, nasally,in the midst of the audience, "charity, please!" he raised hishead. it was indeed clopin
trouillefou. clopin trouillefou, arrayed in his royal insignia,wore neither one rag more nor one rag less. the sore upon his armhad already disappeared. he held in his hand one of those whips madeof thongs of white leather, which police sergeants then used to repressthe crowd, and which were called _boullayes_. on his head he wore asort of headgear, bound round and closed at the top. but it was difficultto make out whether it was a child's cap or a king's crown, the two thingsbore so strong a resemblance to each other.
meanwhile gringoire, without knowing why,had regained some hope, on recognizing in the king of the cour des miracleshis accursed mendicant of the grand hall. "master," stammered he; "monseigneur--sire--howought i to address you?" he said at length, having reached theculminating point of his crescendo, and knowing neither how to mounthigher, nor to descend again. "monseigneur, his majesty, or comrade, callme what you please. but make haste. what have you to say in your own defence?"
"in your own defence?" thought gringoire,"that displeases me." he resumed, stuttering, "i am he, who this morning--" "by the devil's claws!" interrupted clopin,"your name, knave, and nothing more. listen. you are in the presenceof three powerful sovereigns: myself, clopin trouillefou, kingof thunes, successor to the grand coã«sre, supreme suzerain of the realmof argot; mathias hunyadi spicali, duke of egypt and of bohemia, theold yellow fellow whom you see yonder, with a dish clout round hishead; guillaume rousseau, emperor of galilee, that fat fellow who isnot listening to us but
caressing a wench. we are your judges. youhave entered the kingdom of argot, without being an _argotier_; you haveviolated the privileges of our city. you must be punished unless youare a _capon_, a _franc-mitou_ or a _rifodã©_; that is to say, in the slangof honest folks,--a thief, a beggar, or a vagabond. are you anything ofthat sort? justify yourself; announce your titles." "alas!" said gringoire, "i have not that honor.i am the author--" "that is sufficient," resumed trouillefou,without permitting him to finish. "you are going to be hanged. 'tisa very simple matter,
gentlemen and honest bourgeois! as you treatour people in your abode, so we treat you in ours! the law which youapply to vagabonds, vagabonds apply to you. 'tis your fault if it is harsh.one really must behold the grimace of an honest man above the hempencollar now and then; that renders the thing honorable. come, friend,divide your rags gayly among these damsels. i am going to have you hangedto amuse the vagabonds, and you are to give them your purse to drink yourhealth. if you have any mummery to go through with, there's a verygood god the father in that mortar yonder, in stone, which we stole fromsaint-pierre aux boeufs.
you have four minutes in which to fling yoursoul at his head." the harangue was formidable. "well said, upon my soul! clopin trouillefoupreaches like the holy father the pope!" exclaimed the emperor ofgalilee, smashing his pot in order to prop up his table. "messeigneurs, emperors, and kings," saidgringoire coolly (for i know not how, firmness had returned to him, andhe spoke with resolution), "don't think of such a thing; my name is pierregringoire. i am the poet whose morality was presented this morningin the grand hall of the
courts." "ah! so it was you, master!" said clopin."i was there, _xãªte dieu_! well! comrade, is that any reason, becauseyou bored us to death this morning, that you should not be hung thisevening?" "i shall find difficulty in getting out ofit," said gringoire to himself. nevertheless, he made one more effort:"i don't see why poets are not classed with vagabonds," said he."vagabond, aesopus certainly was; homerus was a beggar; mercurius was athief--" clopin interrupted him: "i believe that youare trying to blarney us
with your jargon. zounds! let yourself behung, and don't kick up such a row over it!" "pardon me, monseigneur, the king of thunes,"replied gringoire, disputing the ground foot by foot. "it isworth trouble--one moment!--listen to me--you are not going tocondemn me without having heard me"-- his unlucky voice was, in fact, drowned inthe uproar which rose around him. the little boy scraped away at his cauldronwith more spirit than ever; and, to crown all, an old woman hadjust placed on the tripod a
frying-pan of grease, which hissed away onthe fire with a noise similar to the cry of a troop of children in pursuitof a masker. in the meantime, clopin trouillefou appearedto hold a momentary conference with the duke of egypt, and theemperor of galilee, who was completely drunk. then he shouted shrilly:"silence!" and, as the cauldron and the frying-pan did not heed him,and continued their duet, he jumped down from his hogshead, gave a kickto the boiler, which rolled ten paces away bearing the child withit, a kick to the frying-pan, which upset in the fire with allits grease, and gravely
remounted his throne, without troubling himselfabout the stifled tears of the child, or the grumbling of theold woman, whose supper was wasting away in a fine white flame. trouillefou made a sign, and the duke, theemperor, and the passed masters of pickpockets, and the isolated robbers,came and ranged themselves around him in a horseshoe, of whichgringoire, still roughly held by the body, formed the centre. it wasa semicircle of rags, tatters, tinsel, pitchforks, axes, legs staggeringwith intoxication, huge, bare arms, faces sordid, dull, and stupid.in the midst of this
round table of beggary, clopin trouillefou,--asthe doge of this senate, as the king of this peerage, as the pope ofthis conclave,--dominated; first by virtue of the height of his hogshead,and next by virtue of an indescribable, haughty, fierce, and formidableair, which caused his eyes to flash, and corrected in his savageprofile the bestial type of the race of vagabonds. one would have pronouncedhim a boar amid a herd of swine. "listen," said he to gringoire, fondling hismisshapen chin with his horny hand; "i don't see why you should notbe hung. it is true that
it appears to be repugnant to you; and itis very natural, for you bourgeois are not accustomed to it. you formfor yourselves a great idea of the thing. after all, we don't wish youany harm. here is a means of extricating yourself from your predicamentfor the moment. will you become one of us?" the reader can judge of the effect which thisproposition produced upon gringoire, who beheld life slipping away fromhim, and who was beginning to lose his hold upon it. he clutched at itagain with energy. "certainly i will, and right heartily," saidhe.
"do you consent," resumed clopin, "to enrollyourself among the people of the knife?" "of the knife, precisely," responded gringoire. "you recognize yourself as a member of thefree bourgeoisie?"* added the king of thunes. * a high-toned sharper. "of the free bourgeoisie." "subject of the kingdom of argot?" "of the kingdom of argot*."
* thieves. "a vagabond?" "a vagabond." "in your soul?" "in my soul." "i must call your attention to the fact,"continued the king, "that you will be hung all the same." "the devil!" said the poet. "only," continued clopin imperturbably, "youwill be hung later on, with
more ceremony, at the expense of the goodcity of paris, on a handsome stone gibbet, and by honest men. that is aconsolation." "just so," responded gringoire. "there are other advantages. in your qualityof a high-toned sharper, you will not have to pay the taxes on mud,or the poor, or lanterns, to which the bourgeois of paris are subject." "so be it," said the poet. "i agree. i ama vagabond, a thief, a sharper, a man of the knife, anything youplease; and i am all that already, monsieur, king of thunes, for i ama philosopher; _et omnia in
philosophia, omnes in philosopho continentur_,--allthings are contained in philosophy, all men in the philosopher,as you know." the king of thunes scowled. "what do you take me for, my friend? whathungarian jew patter are you jabbering at us? i don't know hebrew. oneisn't a jew because one is a bandit. i don't even steal any longer. i'mabove that; i kill. cut-throat, yes; cutpurse, no." gringoire tried to slip in some excuse betweenthese curt words, which wrath rendered more and more jerky.
"i ask your pardon, monseigneur. it is nothebrew; 'tis latin." "i tell you," resumed clopin angrily, "thati'm not a jew, and that i'll have you hung, belly of the synagogue, likethat little shopkeeper of judea, who is by your side, and whom i entertainstrong hopes of seeing nailed to a counter one of these days, likethe counterfeit coin that he is!" so saying, he pointed his finger at the little,bearded hungarian jew who had accosted gringoire with his _facitotecaritatem_, and who, understanding no other language beheld withsurprise the king of
thunes's ill-humor overflow upon him. at length monsieur clopin calmed down. "so you will be a vagabond, you knave?" hesaid to our poet. "of course," replied the poet. "willing is not all," said the surly clopin;"good will doesn't put one onion the more into the soup, and 'tis goodfor nothing except to go to paradise with; now, paradise and the thieves'band are two different things. in order to be received among thethieves,* you must prove that you are good for something, and for that purpose,you must search the
manikin." * l'argot. "i'll search anything you like," said gringoire. clopin made a sign. several thieves detachedthemselves from the circle, and returned a moment later. they broughttwo thick posts, terminated at their lower extremities in spreading timbersupports, which made them stand readily upon the ground; to the upperextremity of the two posts they fitted a cross-beam, and the whole constituteda very pretty portable gibbet, which gringoire had the satisfactionof beholding rise
before him, in a twinkling. nothing was lacking,not even the rope, which swung gracefully over the cross-beam. "what are they going to do?" gringoire askedhimself with some uneasiness. a sound of bells, which he heardat that moment, put an end to his anxiety; it was a stuffed manikin,which the vagabonds were suspending by the neck from the rope, a sortof scarecrow dressed in red, and so hung with mule-bells and largerbells, that one might have tricked out thirty castilian mules with them.these thousand tiny bells quivered for some time with the vibrationof the rope, then gradually
died away, and finally became silent whenthe manikin had been brought into a state of immobility by that law ofthe pendulum which has dethroned the water clock and the hour-glass.then clopin, pointing out to gringoire a rickety old stool placed beneaththe manikin,--"climb up there." "death of the devil!" objected gringoire;"i shall break my neck. your stool limps like one of martial's distiches;it has one hexameter leg and one pentameter leg." "climb!" repeated clopin.
gringoire mounted the stool, and succeeded,not without some oscillations of head and arms, in regaininghis centre of gravity. "now," went on the king of thunes, "twistyour right foot round your left leg, and rise on the tip of your leftfoot." "monseigneur," said gringoire, "so you absolutelyinsist on my breaking some one of my limbs?" clopin tossed his head. "hark ye, my friend, you talk too much. here'sthe gist of the matter in two words: you are to rise on tiptoe, asi tell you; in that way you
will be able to reach the pocket of the manikin,you will rummage it, you will pull out the purse that is there,--andif you do all this without our hearing the sound of a bell, allis well: you shall be a vagabond. all we shall then have to do, willbe to thrash you soundly for the space of a week." "_ventre-dieu_! i will be careful," said gringoire."and suppose i do make the bells sound?" "then you will be hanged. do you understand?" "i don't understand at all," replied gringoire.
"listen, once more. you are to search themanikin, and take away its purse; if a single bell stirs during the operation,you will be hung. do you understand that?" "good," said gringoire; "i understand that.and then?" "if you succeed in removing the purse withoutour hearing the bells, you are a vagabond, and you will be thrashed foreight consecutive days. you understand now, no doubt?" "no, monseigneur; i no longer understand.where is the advantage to me? hanged in one case, cudgelled in the other?"
"and a vagabond," resumed clopin, "and a vagabond;is that nothing? it is for your interest that we should beat you,in order to harden you to blows." "many thanks," replied the poet. "come, make haste," said the king, stampingupon his cask, which resounded like a huge drum! "search the manikin,and let there be an end to this! i warn you for the last time, thatif i hear a single bell, you will take the place of the manikin." the band of thieves applauded clopin's words,and arranged themselves
in a circle round the gibbet, with a laughso pitiless that gringoire perceived that he amused them too much notto have everything to fear from them. no hope was left for him, accordingly,unless it were the slight chance of succeeding in the formidableoperation which was imposed upon him; he decided to risk it, butit was not without first having addressed a fervent prayer to the manikinhe was about to plunder, and who would have been easier tomove to pity than the vagabonds. these myriad bells, with theirlittle copper tongues, seemed to him like the mouths of so many asps, openand ready to sting and to
hiss. "oh!" he said, in a very low voice, "is itpossible that my life depends on the slightest vibration of the least ofthese bells? oh!" he added, with clasped hands, "bells, do not ring, hand-bellsdo not clang, mule-bells do not quiver!" he made one more attempt upon trouillefou. "and if there should come a gust of wind?" "you will be hanged," replied the other, withouthesitation. perceiving that no respite, nor reprieve,nor subterfuge was possible,
he bravely decided upon his course of action;he wound his right foot round his left leg, raised himself on hisleft foot, and stretched out his arm: but at the moment when his hand touchedthe manikin, his body, which was now supported upon one leg only,wavered on the stool which had but three; he made an involuntary effortto support himself by the manikin, lost his balance, and fell heavilyto the ground, deafened by the fatal vibration of the thousand bellsof the manikin, which, yielding to the impulse imparted by his hand,described first a rotary motion, and then swayed majestically betweenthe two posts.
"malediction!" he cried as he fell, and remainedas though dead, with his face to the earth. meanwhile, he heard the dreadful peal abovehis head, the diabolical laughter of the vagabonds, and the voice oftrouillefou saying,-- "pick me up that knave, and hang him withoutceremony." he rose. they had already detached the manikin to make roomfor him. the thieves made him mount the stool, clopincame to him, passed the rope about his neck, and, tapping him on theshoulder,-- "adieu, my friend. you can't escape now, evenif you digested with the
pope's guts." the word "mercy!" died away upon gringoire'slips. he cast his eyes about him; but there was no hope: all werelaughing. "bellevigne de l'etoile," said the king ofthunes to an enormous vagabond, who stepped out from the ranks,"climb upon the cross beam." bellevigne de l'etoile nimbly mounted thetransverse beam, and in another minute, gringoire, on raising hiseyes, beheld him, with terror, seated upon the beam above his head. "now," resumed clopin trouillefou, "as soonas i clap my hands, you,
andry the red, will fling the stool to theground with a blow of your knee; you, franã§ois chante-prune, will clingto the feet of the rascal; and you, bellevigne, will fling yourself onhis shoulders; and all three at once, do you hear?" gringoire shuddered. "are you ready?" said clopin trouillefou tothe three thieves, who held themselves in readiness to fall upon gringoire.a moment of horrible suspense ensued for the poor victim, duringwhich clopin tranquilly thrust into the fire with the tip of his foot,some bits of vine shoots
which the flame had not caught. "are you ready?"he repeated, and opened his hands to clap. one second more and allwould have been over. but he paused, as though struck by a suddenthought. "one moment!" said he; "i forgot! it is ourcustom not to hang a man without inquiring whether there is any womanwho wants him. comrade, this is your last resource. you must wed eithera female vagabond or the noose." this law of the vagabonds, singular as itmay strike the reader, remains to-day written out at length, in ancient englishlegislation. (see
_burington's observations_.) gringoire breathed again. this was the secondtime that he had returned to life within an hour. so he didnot dare to trust to it too implicitly. "holã !" cried clopin, mounted once more uponhis cask, "holã ! women, females, is there among you, from the sorceressto her cat, a wench who wants this rascal? holã , colette la charonne!elisabeth trouvain! simone jodouyne! marie piã©debou! thonne la longue!bã©rarde fanouel! michelle genaille! claude ronge-oreille! mathurinegirorou!--holã !
isabeau-la-thierrye! come and see! a man fornothing! who wants him?" gringoire, no doubt, was not very appetizingin this miserable condition. the female vagabonds did not seemto be much affected by the proposition. the unhappy wretch heard themanswer: "no! no! hang him; there'll be the more fun for us all!" nevertheless, three emerged from the throngand came to smell of him. the first was a big wench, with a squareface. she examined the philosopher's deplorable doublet attentively.his garment was worn, and more full of holes than a stove for roastingchestnuts. the girl made a
wry face. "old rag!" she muttered, and addressinggringoire, "let's see your cloak!" "i have lost it," replied gringoire."your hat?" "they took it away from me." "your shoes?" "they havehardly any soles left." "your purse?" "alas!" stammered gringoire, "i havenot even a sou." "let them hang you, then, and say 'thank you!'"retorted the vagabond wench, turning her back on him. the second,--old, black, wrinkled, hideous,with an ugliness conspicuous even in the cour des miracles, trotted roundgringoire. he almost trembled lest she should want him. but shemumbled between her teeth,
"he's too thin," and went off. the third was a young girl, quite fresh, andnot too ugly. "save me!" said the poor fellow to her, in a low tone.she gazed at him for a moment with an air of pity, then dropped hereyes, made a plait in her petticoat, and remained in indecision. hefollowed all these movements with his eyes; it was the last gleam of hope."no," said the young girl, at length, "no! guillaume longuejoue wouldbeat me." she retreated into the crowd. "you are unlucky, comrade," said clopin.
then rising to his feet, upon his hogshead."no one wants him," he exclaimed, imitating the accent of an auctioneer,to the great delight of all; "no one wants him? once, twice, threetimes!" and, turning towards the gibbet with a sign of his hand,"gone!" bellevigne de l'etoile, andry the red, franã§oischante-prune, stepped up to gringoire. at that moment a cry arose among the thieves:"la esmeralda! la esmeralda!" gringoire shuddered, and turned towards theside whence the clamor
proceeded. the crowd opened, and gave passage to a pureand dazzling form. it was the gypsy. "la esmeralda!" said gringoire, stupefiedin the midst of his emotions, by the abrupt manner in which that magic wordknotted together all his reminiscences of the day. this rare creature seemed, even in the courdes miracles, to exercise her sway of charm and beauty. the vagabonds,male and female, ranged themselves gently along her path, and theirbrutal faces beamed beneath
her glance. she approached the victim with her light step.her pretty djali followed her. gringoire was more dead than alive. sheexamined him for a moment in silence. "you are going to hang this man?" she saidgravely, to clopin. "yes, sister," replied the king of thunes,"unless you will take him for your husband." she made her pretty little pout with her underlip. "i'll take him," said she.
gringoire firmly believed that he had beenin a dream ever since morning, and that this was the continuationof it. the change was, in fact, violent, though agratifying one. they undid the noose, and made the poet step down fromthe stool. his emotion was so lively that he was obliged to sit down. the duke of egypt brought an earthenware crock,without uttering a word. the gypsy offered it to gringoire: "flingit on the ground," said she. the crock broke into four pieces. "brother," then said the duke of egypt, layinghis hands upon their
foreheads, "she is your wife; sister, he isyour husband for four years. go." chapter vii. a bridal night. a few moments later our poet found himselfin a tiny arched chamber, very cosy, very warm, seated at a table whichappeared to ask nothing better than to make some loans from a larderhanging near by, having a good bed in prospect, and alone with a prettygirl. the adventure smacked of enchantment. he began seriouslyto take himself for a personage in a fairy tale; he cast his eyesabout him from time to
time to time, as though to see if the chariotof fire, harnessed to two-winged chimeras, which alone could haveso rapidly transported him from tartarus to paradise, were still there.at times, also, he fixed his eyes obstinately upon the holes in hisdoublet, in order to cling to reality, and not lose the ground from underhis feet completely. his reason, tossed about in imaginary space, nowhung only by this thread. the young girl did not appear to pay any attentionto him; she went and came, displaced a stool, talked to her goat,and indulged in a pout now and then. at last she came and seatedherself near the table, and
gringoire was able to scrutinize her at hisease. you have been a child, reader, and you would,perhaps, be very happy to be one still. it is quite certain that youhave not, more than once (and for my part, i have passed whole days, thebest employed of my life, at it) followed from thicket to thicket, by theside of running water, on a sunny day, a beautiful green or blue dragon-fly,breaking its flight in abrupt angles, and kissing the tips of allthe branches. you recollect with what amorous curiosity your thought andyour gaze were riveted upon this little whirlwind, hissing and hummingwith wings of purple and
azure, in the midst of which floated an imperceptiblebody, veiled by the very rapidity of its movement. the aerialbeing which was dimly outlined amid this quivering of wings, appearedto you chimerical, imaginary, impossible to touch, impossibleto see. but when, at length, the dragon-fly alighted on the tip of a reed,and, holding your breath the while, you were able to examine the long,gauze wings, the long enamel robe, the two globes of crystal, whatastonishment you felt, and what fear lest you should again behold theform disappear into a shade, and the creature into a chimera! recall theseimpressions, and you will
readily appreciate what gringoire felt oncontemplating, beneath her visible and palpable form, that esmeraldaof whom, up to that time, he had only caught a glimpse, amidst a whirlwindof dance, song, and tumult. sinking deeper and deeper into his revery:"so this," he said to himself, following her vaguely with his eyes,"is la esmeralda! a celestial creature! a street dancer! so much,and so little! 'twas she who dealt the death-blow to my mystery thismorning, 'tis she who saves my life this evening! my evil genius! my goodangel! a pretty woman,
on my word! and who must needs love me madlyto have taken me in that fashion. by the way," said he, rising suddenly,with that sentiment of the true which formed the foundation ofhis character and his philosophy, "i don't know very well how ithappens, but i am her husband!" with this idea in his head and in his eyes,he stepped up to the young girl in a manner so military and so gallantthat she drew back. "what do you want of me?" said she. "can you ask me, adorable esmeralda?" repliedgringoire, with so
passionate an accent that he was himself astonishedat it on hearing himself speak. the gypsy opened her great eyes. "i don'tknow what you mean." "what!" resumed gringoire, growing warmerand warmer, and supposing that, after all, he had to deal merely witha virtue of the cour des miracles; "am i not thine, sweet friend, artthou not mine?" and, quite ingenuously, he clasped her waist. the gypsy's corsage slipped through his handslike the skin of an eel. she bounded from one end of the tiny roomto the other, stooped down,
and raised herself again, with a little poniardin her hand, before gringoire had even had time to see whencethe poniard came; proud and angry, with swelling lips and inflated nostrils,her cheeks as red as an api apple,* and her eyes darting lightnings.at the same time, the white goat placed itself in front of her, and presentedto gringoire a hostile front, bristling with two pretty horns, gildedand very sharp. all this took place in the twinkling of an eye. * a small dessert apple, bright red on oneside and greenish-white on the other.
the dragon-fly had turned into a wasp, andasked nothing better than to sting. our philosopher was speechless, and turnedhis astonished eyes from the goat to the young girl. "holy virgin!" hesaid at last, when surprise permitted him to speak, "here are two heartydames!" the gypsy broke the silence on her side. "you must be a very bold knave!" "pardon, mademoiselle," said gringoire, witha smile. "but why did you take me for your husband?"
"should i have allowed you to be hanged?" "so," said the poet, somewhat disappointedin his amorous hopes. "you had no other idea in marrying me than to saveme from the gibbet?" "and what other idea did you suppose thati had?" gringoire bit his lips. "come," said he, "iam not yet so triumphant in cupido, as i thought. but then, what was thegood of breaking that poor jug?" meanwhile esmeralda's dagger and the goat'shorns were still upon the defensive.
"mademoiselle esmeralda," said the poet, "letus come to terms. i am not a clerk of the court, and i shall notgo to law with you for thus carrying a dagger in paris, in the teethof the ordinances and prohibitions of m. the provost. nevertheless,you are not ignorant of the fact that noel lescrivain was condemned,a week ago, to pay ten parisian sous, for having carried a cutlass.but this is no affair of mine, and i will come to the point. i swearto you, upon my share of paradise, not to approach you without yourleave and permission, but do give me some supper."
the truth is, gringoire was, like m. despreaux,"not very voluptuous." he did not belong to that chevalier and musketeerspecies, who take young girls by assault. in the matter of love,as in all other affairs, he willingly assented to temporizing and adjustingterms; and a good supper, and an amiable tãªte-a-tãªte appearedto him, especially when he was hungry, an excellent interlude betweenthe prologue and the catastrophe of a love adventure. the gypsy did not reply. she made her disdainfullittle grimace, drew up her head like a bird, then burst out laughing,and the tiny poniard
disappeared as it had come, without gringoirebeing able to see where the wasp concealed its sting. a moment later, there stood upon the tablea loaf of rye bread, a slice of bacon, some wrinkled apples and a jug ofbeer. gringoire began to eat eagerly. one would have said, to hear thefurious clashing of his iron fork and his earthenware plate, thatall his love had turned to appetite. the young girl seated opposite him, watchedhim in silence, visibly preoccupied with another thought, at whichshe smiled from time to time,
while her soft hand caressed the intelligenthead of the goat, gently pressed between her knees. a candle of yellow wax illuminated this sceneof voracity and revery. meanwhile, the first cravings of his stomachhaving been stilled, gringoire felt some false shame at perceivingthat nothing remained but one apple. "you do not eat, mademoiselle esmeralda?" she replied by a negative sign of the head,and her pensive glance fixed itself upon the vault of the ceiling.
"what the deuce is she thinking of?" thoughtgringoire, staring at what she was gazing at; "'tis impossible that itcan be that stone dwarf carved in the keystone of that arch, whichthus absorbs her attention. what the deuce! i can bear the comparison!" he raised his voice, "mademoiselle!" she seemed not to hear him. he repeated, still more loudly, "mademoiselleesmeralda!" trouble wasted. the young girl's mind waselsewhere, and gringoire's voice had not the power to recall it. fortunately,the goat interfered.
she began to pull her mistress gently by thesleeve. "what dost thou want, djali?" said the gypsy,hastily, as though suddenly awakened. "she is hungry," said gringoire, charmed toenter into conversation. esmeralda began to crumble some bread, whichdjali ate gracefully from the hollow of her hand. moreover, gringoire did not give her timeto resume her revery. he hazarded a delicate question. "so you don't want me for your husband?"
the young girl looked at him intently, andsaid, "no." "for your lover?" went on gringoire. she pouted, and replied, "no." "for your friend?" pursued gringoire. she gazed fixedly at him again, and said,after a momentary reflection, "perhaps." this "perhaps," so dear to philosophers, emboldenedgringoire. "do you know what friendship is?" he asked. "yes," replied the gypsy; "it is to be brotherand sister; two souls
which touch without mingling, two fingerson one hand." "and love?" pursued gringoire. "oh! love!" said she, and her voice trembled,and her eye beamed. "that is to be two and to be but one. a man anda woman mingled into one angel. it is heaven." the street dancer had a beauty as she spokethus, that struck gringoire singularly, and seemed to him in perfect keepingwith the almost oriental exaltation of her words. her pure,red lips half smiled; her serene and candid brow became troubled,at intervals, under her
thoughts, like a mirror under the breath;and from beneath her long, drooping, black eyelashes, there escaped asort of ineffable light, which gave to her profile that ideal serenitywhich raphael found at the mystic point of intersection of virginity,maternity, and divinity. nevertheless, gringoire continued,-- "what must one be then, in order to pleaseyou?" "a man." "and i--" said he, "what, then, am i?" "a man has a hemlet on his head, a sword inhis hand, and golden spurs
on his heels." "good," said gringoire, "without a horse,no man. do you love any one?" "as a lover?--" "yes." she remained thoughtful for a moment, thensaid with a peculiar expression: "that i shall know soon." "why not this evening?" resumed the poet tenderly."why not me?" she cast a grave glance upon him and said,-- "i can never love a man who cannot protectme."
gringoire colored, and took the hint. it wasevident that the young girl was alluding to the slight assistance whichhe had rendered her in the critical situation in which she had foundherself two hours previously. this memory, effaced by his own adventuresof the evening, now recurred to him. he smote his brow. "by the way, mademoiselle, i ought to havebegun there. pardon my foolish absence of mind. how did you contriveto escape from the claws of quasimodo?" this question made the gypsy shudder.
"oh! the horrible hunchback," said she, hidingher face in her hands. and she shuddered as though with violent cold. "horrible, in truth," said gringoire, whoclung to his idea; "but how did you manage to escape him?" la esmeralda smiled, sighed, and remainedsilent. "do you know why he followed you?" began gringoireagain, seeking to return to his question by a circuitous route. "i don't know," said the young girl, and sheadded hastily, "but you were following me also, why were you followingme?"
"in good faith," responded gringoire, "i don'tknow either." silence ensued. gringoire slashed the tablewith his knife. the young girl smiled and seemed to be gazing throughthe wall at something. all at once she began to sing in a barely articulatevoice,-- _quando las pintadas aves,mudas estan, y la tierra_--* * when the gay-plumaged birds grow weary,and the earth-- she broke off abruptly, and began to caressdjali. "that's a pretty animal of yours," said gringoire. "she is my sister," she answered.
"why are you called 'la esmeralda?'" askedthe poet. "i do not know." "but why?" she drew from her bosom a sort of little oblongbag, suspended from her neck by a string of adrã©zarach beads. thisbag exhaled a strong odor of camphor. it was covered with green silk, andbore in its centre a large piece of green glass, in imitation of an emerald. "perhaps it is because of this," said she. gringoire was on the point of taking the bagin his hand. she drew back.
"don't touch it! it is an amulet. you wouldinjure the charm or the charm would injure you." the poet's curiosity was more and more aroused. "who gave it to you?" she laid one finger on her mouth and concealedthe amulet in her bosom. he tried a few more questions, but she hardlyreplied. "what is the meaning of the words, 'la esmeralda?'" "i don't know," said she. "to what language do they belong?"
"they are egyptian, i think." "i suspected as much," said gringoire, "youare not a native of france?" "i don't know." "are your parents alive?" she began to sing, to an ancient air,-- _mon pã¨re est oiseau,ma mã¨re est oiselle. je passe l'eau sans nacelle,je passe l'eau sans bateau, ma mã¨re est oiselle,mon pã¨re est oiseau_.* * my father is a bird, my mother is a bird.i cross the
water without a barque, i cross the waterwithout a boat. my mother is a bird, my father is a bird. "good," said gringoire. "at what age did youcome to france?" "when i was very young." "and when to paris?" "last year. at the moment when we were enteringthe papal gate i saw a reed warbler flit through the air, thatwas at the end of august; i said, it will be a hard winter." "so it was," said gringoire, delighted atthis beginning of a
conversation. "i passed it in blowing my fingers.so you have the gift of prophecy?" she retired into her laconics again. "is that man whom you call the duke of egypt,the chief of your tribe?" "but it was he who married us," remarked thepoet timidly. she made her customary pretty grimace. "i don't even know your name." "my name? if you want it, here it is,--pierregringoire." "i know a prettier one," said she.
"naughty girl!" retorted the poet. "nevermind, you shall not provoke me. wait, perhaps you will love me more whenyou know me better; and then, you have told me your story with somuch confidence, that i owe you a little of mine. you must know, then,that my name is pierre gringoire, and that i am a son of the farmerof the notary's office of gonesse. my father was hung by the burgundians,and my mother disembowelled by the picards, at the siegeof paris, twenty years ago. at six years of age, therefore, i was an orphan,without a sole to my foot except the pavements of paris. i donot know how i passed the
interval from six to sixteen. a fruit dealergave me a plum here, a baker flung me a crust there; in the eveningi got myself taken up by the watch, who threw me into prison, andthere i found a bundle of straw. all this did not prevent my growingup and growing thin, as you see. in the winter i warmed myself in thesun, under the porch of the hã´tel de sens, and i thought it very ridiculousthat the fire on saint john's day was reserved for the dog days.at sixteen, i wished to choose a calling. i tried all in succession. i becamea soldier; but i was not brave enough. i became a monk; but i was notsufficiently devout; and
then i'm a bad hand at drinking. in despair,i became an apprentice of the woodcutters, but i was not strong enough;i had more of an inclination to become a schoolmaster; 'tistrue that i did not know how to read, but that's no reason. i perceivedat the end of a certain time, that i lacked something in every direction;and seeing that i was good for nothing, of my own free will i becamea poet and rhymester. that is a trade which one can always adopt whenone is a vagabond, and it's better than stealing, as some young brigandsof my acquaintance advised me to do. one day i met by luck, dom claudefrollo, the reverend
archdeacon of notre-dame. he took an interestin me, and it is to him that i to-day owe it that i am a veritableman of letters, who knows latin from the _de officiis_ of cicero tothe mortuology of the celestine fathers, and a barbarian neitherin scholastics, nor in politics, nor in rhythmics, that sophism ofsophisms. i am the author of the mystery which was presented to-daywith great triumph and a great concourse of populace, in the grand hall ofthe palais de justice. i have also made a book which will containsix hundred pages, on the wonderful comet of 1465, which sent one manmad. i have enjoyed still
other successes. being somewhat of an artillerycarpenter, i lent a hand to jean mangue's great bombard, which burst,as you know, on the day when it was tested, on the pont de charenton,and killed four and twenty curious spectators. you see that i am nota bad match in marriage. i know a great many sorts of very engaging tricks,which i will teach your goat; for example, to mimic the bishop ofparis, that cursed pharisee whose mill wheels splash passers-by the wholelength of the pont aux meuniers. and then my mystery will bring mein a great deal of coined money, if they will only pay me. and finally,i am at your orders, i and
my wits, and my science and my letters, readyto live with you, damsel, as it shall please you, chastely or joyously;husband and wife, if you see fit; brother and sister, if you thinkthat better." gringoire ceased, awaiting the effect of hisharangue on the young girl. her eyes were fixed on the ground. "'phoebus,'" she said in a low voice. then,turning towards the poet, "'phoebus',--what does that mean?" gringoire, without exactly understanding whatthe connection could be between his address and this question, wasnot sorry to display his
erudition. assuming an air of importance,he replied,-- "it is a latin word which means 'sun.'" "sun!" she repeated. "it is the name of a handsome archer, whowas a god," added gringoire. "a god!" repeated the gypsy, and there wassomething pensive and passionate in her tone. at that moment, one of her bracelets becameunfastened and fell. gringoire stooped quickly to pick it up; whenhe straightened up, the young girl and the goat had disappeared. heheard the sound of a bolt.
it was a little door, communicating, no doubt,with a neighboring cell, which was being fastened on the outside. "has she left me a bed, at least?" said ourphilosopher. he made the tour of his cell. there was nopiece of furniture adapted to sleeping purposes, except a tolerably longwooden coffer; and its cover was carved, to boot; which afforded gringoire,when he stretched himself out upon it, a sensation somewhat similarto that which micromã©gas would feel if he were to lie down on the alps. "come!" said he, adjusting himself as wellas possible, "i must resign
myself. but here's a strange nuptial night.'tis a pity. there was something innocent and antediluvian aboutthat broken crock, which quite pleased me." book third. chapter i. notre-dame. the church of notre-dame de paris is stillno doubt, a majestic and sublime edifice. but, beautiful as it hasbeen preserved in growing old, it is difficult not to sigh, not to wax indignant,before the numberless degradations and mutilations which time andmen have both caused the
venerable monument to suffer, without respectfor charlemagne, who laid its first stone, or for philip augustus, wholaid the last. on the face of this aged queen of our cathedrals,by the side of a wrinkle, one always finds a scar. _tempusedax, homo edacior*_; which i should be glad to translate thus: time isblind, man is stupid. * time is a devourer; man, more so. if we had leisure to examine with the reader,one by one, the diverse traces of destruction imprinted upon the oldchurch, time's share would be the least, the share of men the most, especiallythe men of art,
since there have been individuals who assumedthe title of architects during the last two centuries. and, in the first place, to cite only a fewleading examples, there certainly are few finer architectural pagesthan this faã§ade, where, successively and at once, the three portalshollowed out in an arch; the broidered and dentated cordon of the eightand twenty royal niches; the immense central rose window, flanked by itstwo lateral windows, like a priest by his deacon and subdeacon; thefrail and lofty gallery of trefoil arcades, which supports a heavy platformabove its fine, slender
columns; and lastly, the two black and massivetowers with their slate penthouses, harmonious parts of a magnificentwhole, superposed in five gigantic stories;--develop themselves beforethe eye, in a mass and without confusion, with their innumerabledetails of statuary, carving, and sculpture, joined powerfully to the tranquilgrandeur of the whole; a vast symphony in stone, so to speak; thecolossal work of one man and one people, all together one and complex,like the iliads and the romanceros, whose sister it is; prodigiousproduct of the grouping together of all the forces of an epoch, where,upon each stone, one sees
the fancy of the workman disciplined by thegenius of the artist start forth in a hundred fashions; a sort of humancreation, in a word, powerful and fecund as the divine creationof which it seems to have stolen the double character,--variety, eternity. and what we here say of the faã§ade must besaid of the entire church; and what we say of the cathedral church ofparis, must be said of all the churches of christendom in the middleages. all things are in place in that art, self-created, logical, and wellproportioned. to measure the great toe of the foot is to measure thegiant.
let us return to the faã§ade of notre-dame,as it still appears to us, when we go piously to admire the grave andpuissant cathedral, which inspires terror, so its chronicles assert:_quã¦ mole sua terrorem incutit spectantibus_. three important things are to-day lackingin that faã§ade: in the first place, the staircase of eleven steps whichformerly raised it above the soil; next, the lower series of statues whichoccupied the niches of the three portals; and lastly the upper series,of the twenty-eight most ancient kings of france, which garnished thegallery of the first story,
beginning with childebert, and ending withphillip augustus, holding in his hand "the imperial apple." time has caused the staircase to disappear,by raising the soil of the city with a slow and irresistible progress;but, while thus causing the eleven steps which added to the majestic heightof the edifice, to be devoured, one by one, by the rising tideof the pavements of paris,--time has bestowed upon the churchperhaps more than it has taken away, for it is time which has spread overthe faã§ade that sombre hue of the centuries which makes the old age of monumentsthe period of their
beauty. but who has thrown down the two rows of statues?who has left the niches empty? who has cut, in the very middle ofthe central portal, that new and bastard arch? who has dared to frame thereinthat commonplace and heavy door of carved wood, ã la louis xv.,beside the arabesques of biscornette? the men, the architects, theartists of our day. and if we enter the interior of the edifice,who has overthrown that colossus of saint christopher, proverbialfor magnitude among statues, as the grand hall of the palais de justicewas among halls, as the spire
of strasbourg among spires? and those myriadsof statues, which peopled all the spaces between the columns of thenave and the choir, kneeling, standing, equestrian, men, women, children,kings, bishops, gendarmes, in stone, in marble, in gold, in silver, incopper, in wax even,--who has brutally swept them away? it is not time. and who substituted for the ancient gothicaltar, splendidly encumbered with shrines and reliquaries, that heavy marblesarcophagus, with angels' heads and clouds, which seems a specimenpillaged from the val-de-grã¢ce or the invalides? who stupidlysealed that heavy
anachronism of stone in the carlovingian pavementof hercandus? was it not louis xiv., fulfilling the request oflouis xiii.? and who put the cold, white panes in the placeof those windows, "high in color," which caused the astonished eyesof our fathers to hesitate between the rose of the grand portal and thearches of the apse? and what would a sub-chanter of the sixteenthcentury say, on beholding the beautiful yellow wash, with which ourarchiepiscopal vandals have desmeared their cathedral? he would rememberthat it was the color with which the hangman smeared "accursed" edifices;he would recall the
hã´tel du petit-bourbon, all smeared thus,on account of the constable's treason. "yellow, after all, of so good aquality," said sauval, "and so well recommended, that more than a centuryhas not yet caused it to lose its color." he would think that the sacredplace had become infamous, and would flee. and if we ascend the cathedral, without mentioninga thousand barbarisms of every sort,--what has become of that charminglittle bell tower, which rested upon the point of intersectionof the cross-roofs, and which, no less frail and no less boldthan its neighbor (also
destroyed), the spire of the sainte-chapelle,buried itself in the sky, farther forward than the towers, slender,pointed, sonorous, carved in open work. an architect of good taste amputatedit (1787), and considered it sufficient to mask the woundwith that large, leaden plaster, which resembles a pot cover. 'tis thus that the marvellous art of the middleages has been treated in nearly every country, especially in france.one can distinguish on its ruins three sorts of lesions, all threeof which cut into it at different depths; first, time, which has insensiblynotched its surface
here and there, and gnawed it everywhere;next, political and religious revolution, which, blind and wrathful by nature,have flung themselves tumultuously upon it, torn its rich garmentof carving and sculpture, burst its rose windows, broken its necklaceof arabesques and tiny figures, torn out its statues, sometimes becauseof their mitres, sometimes because of their crowns; lastly,fashions, even more grotesque and foolish, which, since the anarchical andsplendid deviations of the renaissance, have followed each otherin the necessary decadence of architecture. fashions have wrought moreharm than revolutions. they
have cut to the quick; they have attackedthe very bone and framework of art; they have cut, slashed, disorganized,killed the edifice, in form as in the symbol, in its consistency as wellas in its beauty. and then they have made it over; a presumptionof which neither time nor revolutions at least have been guilty. theyhave audaciously adjusted, in the name of "good taste," upon the woundsof gothic architecture, their miserable gewgaws of a day, their ribbonsof marble, their pompons of metal, a veritable leprosy of egg-shapedornaments, volutes, whorls, draperies, garlands, fringes, stone flames,bronze clouds, pudgy cupids,
chubby-cheeked cherubim, which begin to devourthe face of art in the oratory of catherine de medicis, and causeit to expire, two centuries later, tortured and grimacing, in the boudoirof the dubarry. thus, to sum up the points which we have justindicated, three sorts of ravages to-day disfigure gothic architecture.wrinkles and warts on the epidermis; this is the work of time. deedsof violence, brutalities, contusions, fractures; this is the work ofthe revolutions from luther to mirabeau. mutilations, amputations, dislocationof the joints, "restorations"; this is the greek, roman,and barbarian work of
professors according to vitruvius and vignole.this magnificent art produced by the vandals has been slain bythe academies. the centuries, the revolutions, which at least devastatewith impartiality and grandeur, have been joined by a cloud of schoolarchitects, licensed, sworn, and bound by oath; defacing with thediscernment and choice of bad taste, substituting the _chicorã©es_ oflouis xv. for the gothic lace, for the greater glory of the parthenon.it is the kick of the ass at the dying lion. it is the old oak crowningitself, and which, to heap the measure full, is stung, bitten, and gnawedby caterpillars.
how far it is from the epoch when robert cenalis,comparing notre-dame de paris to the famous temple of diana atephesus, *so much lauded by the ancient pagans*, which erostatus *has*immortalized, found the gallic temple "more excellent in length,breadth, height, and structure."* * _histoire gallicane_, liv. ii. periode iii.fo. 130, p. 1. notre-dame is not, moreover, what can be calleda complete, definite, classified monument. it is no longer a romanesquechurch; nor is it a gothic church. this edifice is not a type.notre-dame de paris has not,
like the abbey of tournus, the grave and massiveframe, the large and round vault, the glacial bareness, themajestic simplicity of the edifices which have the rounded arch for theirprogenitor. it is not, like the cathedral of bourges, the magnificent,light, multiform, tufted, bristling efflorescent product ofthe pointed arch. impossible to class it in that ancient family of sombre,mysterious churches, low and crushed as it were by the round arch,almost egyptian, with the exception of the ceiling; all hieroglyphics,all sacerdotal, all symbolical, more loaded in their ornaments,with lozenges and zigzags,
than with flowers, with flowers than withanimals, with animals than with men; the work of the architect less thanof the bishop; first transformation of art, all impressed withtheocratic and military discipline, taking root in the lower empire,and stopping with the time of william the conqueror. impossible to placeour cathedral in that other family of lofty, aerial churches, richin painted windows and sculpture; pointed in form, bold in attitude;communal and bourgeois as political symbols; free, capricious, lawless,as a work of art; second transformation of architecture, no longerhieroglyphic, immovable and
sacerdotal, but artistic, progressive, andpopular, which begins at the return from the crusades, and ends with louisix. notre-dame de paris is not of pure romanesque, like the first; norof pure arabian race, like the second. it is an edifice of the transition period.the saxon architect completed the erection of the first pillars of the nave,when the pointed arch, which dates from the crusade, arrived andplaced itself as a conqueror upon the large romanesque capitals which shouldsupport only round arches. the pointed arch, mistress since thattime, constructed the rest
of the church. nevertheless, timid and inexperiencedat the start, it sweeps out, grows larger, restrains itself,and dares no longer dart upwards in spires and lancet windows, as itdid later on, in so many marvellous cathedrals. one would say thatit were conscious of the vicinity of the heavy romanesque pillars. however, these edifices of the transitionfrom the romanesque to the gothic, are no less precious for study thanthe pure types. they express a shade of the art which would be lost withoutthem. it is the graft of the pointed upon the round arch.
notre-dame de paris is, in particular, a curiousspecimen of this variety. each face, each stone of the venerablemonument, is a page not only of the history of the country, but ofthe history of science and art as well. thus, in order to indicate hereonly the principal details, while the little red door almost attains tothe limits of the gothic delicacy of the fifteenth century, the pillarsof the nave, by their size and weight, go back to the carlovingianabbey of saint-germain des prã©s. one would suppose that six centuriesseparated these pillars from that door. there is no one, not even the hermetics,who does not find
in the symbols of the grand portal a satisfactorycompendium of their science, of which the church of saint-jacquesde la boucherie was so complete a hieroglyph. thus, the roman abbey,the philosophers' church, the gothic art, saxon art, the heavy, roundpillar, which recalls gregory vii., the hermetic symbolism, withwhich nicolas flamel played the prelude to luther, papal unity, schism,saint-germain des prã©s, saint-jacques de la boucherie,--all are mingled,combined, amalgamated in notre-dame. this central mother churchis, among the ancient churches of paris, a sort of chimera; it has the headof one, the limbs of
another, the haunches of another, somethingof all. we repeat it, these hybrid constructions arenot the least interesting for the artist, for the antiquarian, for thehistorian. they make one feel to what a degree architecture isa primitive thing, by demonstrating (what is also demonstrated bythe cyclopean vestiges, the pyramids of egypt, the gigantic hindoopagodas) that the greatest products of architecture are less the worksof individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation'seffort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius; the deposit leftby a whole people; the heaps
accumulated by centuries; the residue of successiveevaporations of human society,--in a word, species of formations.each wave of time contributes its alluvium, each race depositsits layer on the monument, each individual brings his stone. thus dothe beavers, thus do the bees, thus do men. the great symbol of architecture,babel, is a hive. great edifices, like great mountains, arethe work of centuries. art often undergoes a transformation while theyare pending, _pendent opera interrupta_; they proceed quietly in accordancewith the transformed art. the new art takes the monument whereit finds it, incrusts itself
there, assimilates it to itself, developsit according to its fancy, and finishes it if it can. the thing is accomplishedwithout trouble, without effort, without reaction,--followinga natural and tranquil law. it is a graft which shoots up, a sapwhich circulates, a vegetation which starts forth anew. certainly there ismatter here for many large volumes, and often the universal history ofhumanity in the successive engrafting of many arts at many levels, uponthe same monument. the man, the artist, the individual, is effaced inthese great masses, which lack the name of their author; human intelligenceis there summed up and
totalized. time is the architect, the nationis the builder. not to consider here anything except the christianarchitecture of europe, that younger sister of the great masonriesof the orient, it appears to the eyes as an immense formationdivided into three well-defined zones, which are superposed,the one upon the other: the romanesque zone*, the gothic zone, the zoneof the renaissance, which we would gladly call the greco-roman zone.the roman layer, which is the most ancient and deepest, is occupiedby the round arch, which reappears, supported by the greek column,in the modern and upper layer
of the renaissance. the pointed arch is foundbetween the two. the edifices which belong exclusively to any oneof these three layers are perfectly distinct, uniform, and complete.there is the abbey of jumiã©ges, there is the cathedral of reims,there is the sainte-croix of orleans. but the three zones mingle and amalgamatealong the edges, like the colors in the solar spectrum. hence, complexmonuments, edifices of gradation and transition. one is romanat the base, gothic in the middle, greco-roman at the top. it is becauseit was six hundred years in building. this variety is rare. the donjonkeep of d'etampes is a
specimen of it. but monuments of two formationsare more frequent. there is notre-dame de paris, a pointed-arch edifice,which is imbedded by its pillars in that roman zone, in which areplunged the portal of saint-denis, and the nave of saint-germaindes prã©s. there is the charming, half-gothic chapter-house of bocherville,where the roman layer extends half way up. there is the cathedralof rouen, which would be entirely gothic if it did not bathe thetip of its central spire in the zone of the renaissance.** * this is the same which is called, accordingto locality,
climate, and races, lombard, saxon, or byzantine.there are four sister and parallel architectures, each having itsspecial character, but derived from the same origin, the round arch. _facies non omnibus una,no diversa tamen, qualem_, etc. their faces not all alike, nor yet different,but such as the faces of sisters ought to be. ** this portion of the spire, which was ofwoodwork, is precisely that which was consumed by lightning, in 1823. however, all these shades, all these differences,do not affect the
surfaces of edifices only. it is art whichhas changed its skin. the very constitution of the christian churchis not attacked by it. there is always the same internal woodwork, thesame logical arrangement of parts. whatever may be the carved and embroideredenvelope of a cathedral, one always finds beneath it--inthe state of a germ, and of a rudiment at the least--the roman basilica.it is eternally developed upon the soil according to the same law. thereare, invariably, two naves, which intersect in a cross, and whoseupper portion, rounded into an apse, forms the choir; there are alwaysthe side aisles, for interior
processions, for chapels,--a sort of lateralwalks or promenades where the principal nave discharges itself throughthe spaces between the pillars. that settled, the number of chapels,doors, bell towers, and pinnacles are modified to infinity, accordingto the fancy of the century, the people, and art. the serviceof religion once assured and provided for, architecture does what shepleases. statues, stained glass, rose windows, arabesques, denticulations,capitals, bas-reliefs,--she combines all these imaginingsaccording to the arrangement which best suits her. hence, theprodigious exterior variety
of these edifices, at whose foundation dwellsso much order and unity. the trunk of a tree is immovable; the foliageis capricious. chapter ii. a bird's-eye view of paris. we have just attempted to restore, for thereader's benefit, that admirable church of notre-dame de paris. wehave briefly pointed out the greater part of the beauties which itpossessed in the fifteenth century, and which it lacks to-day; but wehave omitted the principal thing,--the view of paris which was then tobe obtained from the summits of its towers.
that was, in fact,--when, after having longgroped one's way up the dark spiral which perpendicularly pierces the thickwall of the belfries, one emerged, at last abruptly, upon one ofthe lofty platforms inundated with light and air,--that was, in fact, afine picture which spread out, on all sides at once, before the eye;a spectacle _sui generis_, of which those of our readers who have had thegood fortune to see a gothic city entire, complete, homogeneous,--afew of which still remain, nuremberg in bavaria and vittoria in spain,--canreadily form an idea; or even smaller specimens, provided that theyare well preserved,--vitrã©
in brittany, nordhausen in prussia. the paris of three hundred and fifty yearsago--the paris of the fifteenth century--was already a giganticcity. we parisians generally make a mistake as to the ground which we thinkthat we have gained, since paris has not increased much over one-thirdsince the time of louis xi. it has certainly lost more in beautythan it has gained in size. paris had its birth, as the reader knows,in that old island of the city which has the form of a cradle. the strandof that island was its
first boundary wall, the seine its first moat.paris remained for many centuries in its island state, with two bridges,one on the north, the other on the south; and two bridge heads,which were at the same time its gates and its fortresses,--the grand-chã¢teleton the right bank, the petit-chã¢telet on the left. then, fromthe date of the kings of the first race, paris, being too cribbed and confinedin its island, and unable to return thither, crossed the water.then, beyond the grand, beyond the petit-chã¢telet, a first circleof walls and towers began to infringe upon the country on the two sidesof the seine. some vestiges
of this ancient enclosure still remained inthe last century; to-day, only the memory of it is left, and here andthere a tradition, the baudets or baudoyer gate, "porte bagauda". little by little, the tide of houses, alwaysthrust from the heart of the city outwards, overflows, devours, wearsaway, and effaces this wall. philip augustus makes a new dike forit. he imprisons paris in a circular chain of great towers, both loftyand solid. for the period of more than a century, the houses press uponeach other, accumulate, and raise their level in this basin, like waterin a reservoir. they begin
to deepen; they pile story upon story; theymount upon each other; they gush forth at the top, like all laterallycompressed growth, and there is a rivalry as to which shall thrust itshead above its neighbors, for the sake of getting a little air. the streetglows narrower and deeper, every space is overwhelmed and disappears.the houses finally leap the wall of philip augustus, and scatter joyfullyover the plain, without order, and all askew, like runaways. therethey plant themselves squarely, cut themselves gardens from thefields, and take their ease. beginning with 1367, the city spreadsto such an extent into the
suburbs, that a new wall becomes necessary,particularly on the right bank; charles v. builds it. but a city likeparis is perpetually growing. it is only such cities that becomecapitals. they are funnels, into which all the geographical, political,moral, and intellectual water-sheds of a country, all the naturalslopes of a people, pour; wells of civilization, so to speak, and alsosewers, where commerce, industry, intelligence, population,--all thatis sap, all that is life, all that is the soul of a nation, filtersand amasses unceasingly, drop by drop, century by century.
so charles v.'s wall suffered the fate ofthat of philip augustus. at the end of the fifteenth century, the faubourgstrides across it, passes beyond it, and runs farther. in the sixteenth,it seems to retreat visibly, and to bury itself deeper and deeperin the old city, so thick had the new city already become outside ofit. thus, beginning with the fifteenth century, where our story finds us,paris had already outgrown the three concentric circles of walls which,from the time of julian the apostate, existed, so to speak, in germ inthe grand-chã¢telet and the petit-chã¢telet. the mighty city had cracked,in succession, its four
enclosures of walls, like a child grown toolarge for his garments of last year. under louis xi., this sea of houseswas seen to be pierced at intervals by several groups of ruined towers,from the ancient wall, like the summits of hills in an inundation,--likearchipelagos of the old paris submerged beneath the new. sincethat time paris has undergone yet another transformation, unfortunatelyfor our eyes; but it has passed only one more wall, that of louis xv.,that miserable wall of mud and spittle, worthy of the king who builtit, worthy of the poet who sung it,--
_le mur murant paris rend paris murmurant_.* * the wall walling paris makes paris murmur. in the fifteenth century, paris was stilldivided into three wholly distinct and separate towns, each having itsown physiognomy, its own specialty, its manners, customs, privileges,and history: the city, the university, the town. the city, which occupiedthe island, was the most ancient, the smallest, and the motherof the other two, crowded in between them like (may we be pardoned thecomparison) a little old woman between two large and handsome maidens. theuniversity covered the left
bank of the seine, from the tournelle to thetour de nesle, points which correspond in the paris of to-day, the oneto the wine market, the other to the mint. its wall included a large partof that plain where julian had built his hot baths. the hill of sainte-geneviã¨vewas enclosed in it. the culminating point of this sweep ofwalls was the papal gate, that is to say, near the present site of thepantheon. the town, which was the largest of the three fragments ofparis, held the right bank. its quay, broken or interrupted in many places,ran along the seine, from the tour de billy to the tour du bois;that is to say, from the
place where the granary stands to-day, tothe present site of the tuileries. these four points, where the seineintersected the wall of the capital, the tournelle and the tour denesle on the right, the tour de billy and the tour du bois on the left,were called pre-eminently, "the four towers of paris." the town encroachedstill more extensively upon the fields than the university. the culminatingpoint of the town wall (that of charles v.) was at thegates of saint-denis and saint-martin, whose situation has not beenchanged. as we have just said, each of these threegreat divisions of paris was a
town, but too special a town to be complete,a city which could not get along without the other two. hence threeentirely distinct aspects: churches abounded in the city; palaces, inthe town; and colleges, in the university. neglecting here the originalities,of secondary importance in old paris, and the capriciousregulations regarding the public highways, we will say, from a generalpoint of view, taking only masses and the whole group, in this chaosof communal jurisdictions, that the island belonged to the bishop, theright bank to the provost of the merchants, the left bank to the rector;over all ruled the provost
of paris, a royal not a municipal official.the city had notre-dame; the town, the louvre and the hã´tel de ville;the university, the sorbonne. the town had the markets (halles); the city,the hospital; the university, the prã©-aux-clercs. offencescommitted by the scholars on the left bank were tried in the law courtson the island, and were punished on the right bank at montfauã§on;unless the rector, feeling the university to be strong and the king weak,intervened; for it was the students' privilege to be hanged on theirown grounds. the greater part of these privileges, it maybe noted in passing, and
there were some even better than the above,had been extorted from the kings by revolts and mutinies. it is the courseof things from time immemorial; the king only lets go when thepeople tear away. there is an old charter which puts the matter naively:apropos of fidelity: _civibus fidelitas in reges, quã¦ tamen aliquotiesseditionibus interrypta, multa peperit privileyia_. in the fifteenth century, the seine bathedfive islands within the walls of paris: louviers island, where there werethen trees, and where there is no longer anything but wood; l'ile auxvaches, and l'ile notre-dame,
both deserted, with the exception of one house,both fiefs of the bishop--in the seventeenth century, a singleisland was formed out of these two, which was built upon and namedl'ile saint-louis--, lastly the city, and at its point, the little isletof the cow tender, which was afterwards engulfed beneath the platformof the pont-neuf. the city then had five bridges: three on the right,the pont notre-dame, and the pont au change, of stone, the pont aux meuniers,of wood; two on the left, the petit pont, of stone, the pont saint-michel,of wood; all loaded with houses.
the university had six gates, built by philipaugustus; there were, beginning with la tournelle, the porte saint-victor,the porte bordelle, the porte papale, the porte saint-jacques,the porte saint-michel, the porte saint-germain. the town had sixgates, built by charles v.; beginning with the tour de billy they were:the porte saint-antoine, the porte du temple, the porte saint-martin,the porte saint-denis, the porte montmartre, the porte saint-honorã©.all these gates were strong, and also handsome, which does not detractfrom strength. a large, deep moat, with a brisk current during the highwater of winter, bathed the
base of the wall round paris; the seine furnishedthe water. at night, the gates were shut, the river was barredat both ends of the city with huge iron chains, and paris slept tranquilly. from a bird's-eye view, these three burgs,the city, the town, and the university, each presented to the eyean inextricable skein of eccentrically tangled streets. nevertheless,at first sight, one recognized the fact that these three fragmentsformed but one body. one immediately perceived three long parallelstreets, unbroken, undisturbed, traversing, almost in a straightline, all three cities,
from one end to the other; from north to south,perpendicularly, to the seine, which bound them together, mingledthem, infused them in each other, poured and transfused the people incessantly,from one to the other, and made one out of the three. thefirst of these streets ran from the porte saint-martin: it was calledthe rue saint-jacques in the university, rue de la juiverie in thecity, rue saint-martin in the town; it crossed the water twice, under thename of the petit pont and the pont notre-dame. the second, which wascalled the rue de la harpe on the left bank, rue de la barilleriã© inthe island, rue saint-denis
on the right bank, pont saint-michel on onearm of the seine, pont au change on the other, ran from the porte saint-michelin the university, to the porte saint-denis in the town. however,under all these names, there were but two streets, parent streets,generating streets,--the two arteries of paris. all the other veins ofthe triple city either derived their supply from them or emptied into them. independently of these two principal streets,piercing paris diametrically in its whole breadth, from sideto side, common to the entire capital, the city and the universityhad also each its own great
special street, which ran lengthwise by them,parallel to the seine, cutting, as it passed, at right angles, thetwo arterial thoroughfares. thus, in the town, one descended in a straightline from the porte saint-antoine to the porte saint-honorã©;in the university from the porte saint-victor to the porte saint-germain.these two great thoroughfares intersected by the two first,formed the canvas upon which reposed, knotted and crowded together on everyhand, the labyrinthine network of the streets of paris. in the incomprehensibleplan of these streets, one distinguished likewise,on looking attentively, two
clusters of great streets, like magnifiedsheaves of grain, one in the university, the other in the town, which spreadout gradually from the bridges to the gates. some traces of this geometrical plan stillexist to-day. now, what aspect did this whole present, when,as viewed from the summit of the towers of notre-dame, in 1482? thatwe shall try to describe. for the spectator who arrived, panting, uponthat pinnacle, it was first a dazzling confusing view of roofs, chimneys,streets, bridges, places, spires, bell towers. everything struck youreye at once: the carved
gable, the pointed roof, the turrets suspendedat the angles of the walls; the stone pyramids of the eleventhcentury, the slate obelisks of the fifteenth; the round, bare tower of thedonjon keep; the square and fretted tower of the church; the great andthe little, the massive and the aerial. the eye was, for a long time,wholly lost in this labyrinth, where there was nothing which did not possessits originality, its reason, its genius, its beauty,--nothing whichdid not proceed from art; beginning with the smallest house, with itspainted and carved front, with external beams, elliptical door, withprojecting stories, to the
royal louvre, which then had a colonnade oftowers. but these are the principal masses which were then to be distinguishedwhen the eye began to accustom itself to this tumult of edifices. in the first place, the city.--"the islandof the city," as sauval says, who, in spite of his confused medley, sometimeshas such happy turns of expression,--"the island of the city is madelike a great ship, stuck in the mud and run aground in the current, nearthe centre of the seine." we have just explained that, in the fifteenthcentury, this ship was anchored to the two banks of the river byfive bridges. this form of a
ship had also struck the heraldic scribes;for it is from that, and not from the siege by the normans, that theship which blazons the old shield of paris, comes, according to favynand pasquier. for him who understands how to decipher them, armorialbearings are algebra, armorial bearings have a tongue. the wholehistory of the second half of the middle ages is written in armorial bearings,--thefirst half is in the symbolism of the roman churches. theyare the hieroglyphics of feudalism, succeeding those of theocracy. thus the city first presented itself to theeye, with its stern to the
east, and its prow to the west. turning towardsthe prow, one had before one an innumerable flock of ancient roofs,over which arched broadly the lead-covered apse of the sainte-chapelle,like an elephant's haunches loaded with its tower. only here, this towerwas the most audacious, the most open, the most ornamented spire of cabinet-maker'swork that ever let the sky peep through its cone of lace.in front of notre-dame, and very near at hand, three streets opened intothe cathedral square,--a fine square, lined with ancient houses. overthe south side of this place bent the wrinkled and sullen faã§adeof the hã´tel dieu, and its
roof, which seemed covered with warts andpustules. then, on the right and the left, to east and west, within thatwall of the city, which was yet so contracted, rose the bell towers ofits one and twenty churches, of every date, of every form, of every size,from the low and wormeaten belfry of saint-denis du pas (_carcer glaueini_)to the slender needles of saint-pierre aux boeufs and saint-landry. behind notre-dame, the cloister and its gothicgalleries spread out towards the north; on the south, the half-romanpalace of the bishop; on the east, the desert point of the terrain.in this throng of houses the
eye also distinguished, by the lofty open-workmitres of stone which then crowned the roof itself, even the mostelevated windows of the palace, the hã´tel given by the city, undercharles vi., to juvã©nal des ursins; a little farther on, the pitch-coveredsheds of the palus market; in still another quarter the new apseof saint-germain le vieux, lengthened in 1458, with a bit of the rueaux febves; and then, in places, a square crowded with people; a pillory,erected at the corner of a street; a fine fragment of the pavementof philip augustus, a magnificent flagging, grooved for the horses'feet, in the middle of the
road, and so badly replaced in the sixteenthcentury by the miserable cobblestones, called the "pavement of theleague;" a deserted back courtyard, with one of those diaphanous staircaseturrets, such as were erected in the fifteenth century, one of whichis still to be seen in the rue des bourdonnais. lastly, at the rightof the sainte-chapelle, towards the west, the palais de justice restedits group of towers at the edge of the water. the thickets of theking's gardens, which covered the western point of the city, masked theisland du passeur. as for the water, from the summit of the towers of notre-dameone hardly saw it, on
either side of the city; the seine was hiddenby bridges, the bridges by houses. and when the glance passed these bridges,whose roofs were visibly green, rendered mouldy before their time bythe vapors from the water, if it was directed to the left, towards theuniversity, the first edifice which struck it was a large, low sheafof towers, the petit-chã telet, whose yawning gate devouredthe end of the petit-pont. then, if your view ran along the bank, fromeast to west, from the tournelle to the tour de nesle, there wasa long cordon of houses, with
carved beams, stained-glass windows, eachstory projecting over that beneath it, an interminable zigzag of bourgeoisgables, frequently interrupted by the mouth of a street, andfrom time to time also by the front or angle of a huge stone mansion, plantedat its ease, with courts and gardens, wings and detached buildings,amid this populace of crowded and narrow houses, like a grand gentlemanamong a throng of rustics. there were five or six of these mansions onthe quay, from the house of lorraine, which shared with the bernardinsthe grand enclosure adjoining the tournelle, to the hã´tel de nesle, whoseprincipal tower ended paris,
and whose pointed roofs were in a position,during three months of the year, to encroach, with their black triangles,upon the scarlet disk of the setting sun. this side of the seine was, however, the leastmercantile of the two. students furnished more of a crowd and morenoise there than artisans, and there was not, properly speaking, anyquay, except from the pont saint-michel to the tour de nesle. the restof the bank of the seine was now a naked strand, the same as beyond thebernardins; again, a throng of houses, standing with their feet in thewater, as between the two
bridges. there was a great uproar of laundresses; theyscreamed, and talked, and sang from morning till night along the beach,and beat a great deal of linen there, just as in our day. this is notthe least of the gayeties of paris. the university presented a dense mass to theeye. from one end to the other, it was homogeneous and compact.the thousand roofs, dense, angular, clinging to each other, composed,nearly all, of the same geometrical element, offered, when viewedfrom above, the aspect of a
crystallization of the same substance. the capricious ravine of streets did not cutthis block of houses into too disproportionate slices. the forty-twocolleges were scattered about in a fairly equal manner, and there were someeverywhere. the amusingly varied crests of these beautiful edificeswere the product of the same art as the simple roofs which they overshot,and were, actually, only a multiplication of the square or the cube ofthe same geometrical figure. hence they complicated the whole effect,without disturbing it; completed, without overloading it. geometryis harmony. some
fine mansions here and there made magnificentoutlines against the picturesque attics of the left bank. the houseof nevers, the house of rome, the house of reims, which have disappeared;the hã´tel de cluny, which still exists, for the consolation ofthe artist, and whose tower was so stupidly deprived of its crown a fewyears ago. close to cluny, that roman palace, with fine round arches,were once the hot baths of julian. there were a great many abbeys, ofa beauty more devout, of a grandeur more solemn than the mansions, butnot less beautiful, not less grand. those which first caught the eye werethe bernardins, with their
three bell towers; sainte-geneviã¨ve, whosesquare tower, which still exists, makes us regret the rest; the sorbonne,half college, half monastery, of which so admirable a nave survives;the fine quadrilateral cloister of the mathurins; its neighbor, thecloister of saint-benoit, within whose walls they have had time to cobbleup a theatre, between the seventh and eighth editions of this book;the cordeliers, with their three enormous adjacent gables; the augustins,whose graceful spire formed, after the tour de nesle, the seconddenticulation on this side of paris, starting from the west. the colleges,which are, in fact, the
intermediate ring between the cloister andthe world, hold the middle position in the monumental series betweenthe hã´tels and the abbeys, with a severity full of elegance, sculptureless giddy than the palaces, an architecture less severe than the convents.unfortunately, hardly anything remains of these monuments, wheregothic art combined with so just a balance, richness and economy. thechurches (and they were numerous and splendid in the university, andthey were graded there also in all the ages of architecture, from theround arches of saint-julian to the pointed arches of saint-sã©verin),the churches dominated the
whole; and, like one harmony more in thismass of harmonies, they pierced in quick succession the multiple openwork of the gables with slashed spires, with open-work bell towers,with slender pinnacles, whose line was also only a magnificent exaggerationof the acute angle of the roofs. the ground of the university was hilly; mountsainte-geneviã¨ve formed an enormous mound to the south; and it was asight to see from the summit of notre-dame how that throng of narrow andtortuous streets (to-day the latin quarter), those bunches of houseswhich, spread out in every
direction from the top of this eminence, precipitatedthemselves in disorder, and almost perpendicularly downits flanks, nearly to the water's edge, having the air, some of falling,others of clambering up again, and all of holding to one another.a continual flux of a thousand black points which passed each other on thepavements made everything move before the eyes; it was the populaceseen thus from aloft and afar. lastly, in the intervals of these roofs, ofthese spires, of these accidents of numberless edifices, which bentand writhed, and jagged in so eccentric a manner the extreme line ofthe university, one caught a
glimpse, here and there, of a great expanseof moss-grown wall, a thick, round tower, a crenellated city gate, shadowingforth the fortress; it was the wall of philip augustus. beyond,the fields gleamed green; beyond, fled the roads, along which were scattereda few more suburban houses, which became more infrequent as theybecame more distant. some of these faubourgs were important: there were,first, starting from la tournelle, the bourg saint-victor, with itsone arch bridge over the biã¨vre, its abbey where one could read theepitaph of louis le gros, _epitaphium ludovici grossi_, and its churchwith an octagonal spire,
flanked with four little bell towers of theeleventh century (a similar one can be seen at etampes; it is not yetdestroyed); next, the bourg saint-marceau, which already had three churchesand one convent; then, leaving the mill of the gobelins and its fourwhite walls on the left, there was the faubourg saint-jacques withthe beautiful carved cross in its square; the church of saint-jacquesdu haut-pas, which was then gothic, pointed, charming; saint-magloire,a fine nave of the fourteenth century, which napoleon turned into a hayloft;notre-dame des champs, where there were byzantine mosaics; lastly,after having left behind,
full in the country, the monastery des chartreux,a rich edifice contemporary with the palais de justice, withits little garden divided into compartments, and the haunted ruins ofvauvert, the eye fell, to the west, upon the three roman spires of saint-germaindes prã©s. the bourg saint-germain, already a large community,formed fifteen or twenty streets in the rear; the pointed bell towerof saint-sulpice marked one corner of the town. close beside it onedescried the quadrilateral enclosure of the fair of saint-germain, wherethe market is situated to-day; then the abbot's pillory, a prettylittle round tower, well
capped with a leaden cone; the brickyard wasfurther on, and the rue du four, which led to the common bakehouse, andthe mill on its hillock, and the lazar house, a tiny house, isolatedand half seen. but that which attracted the eye most of all,and fixed it for a long time on that point, was the abbey itself.it is certain that this monastery, which had a grand air, both asa church and as a seignory; that abbatial palace, where the bishops ofparis counted themselves happy if they could pass the night; that refectory,upon which the architect had bestowed the air, the beauty,and the rose window of a
cathedral; that elegant chapel of the virgin;that monumental dormitory; those vast gardens; that portcullis; thatdrawbridge; that envelope of battlements which notched to the eye theverdure of the surrounding meadows; those courtyards, where gleamed menat arms, intermingled with golden copes;--the whole grouped and clusteredabout three lofty spires, with round arches, well planted upon a gothicapse, made a magnificent figure against the horizon. when, at length, after having contemplatedthe university for a long time, you turned towards the right bank, towardsthe town, the character
of the spectacle was abruptly altered. thetown, in fact much larger than the university, was also less of a unit.at the first glance, one saw that it was divided into many masses,singularly distinct. first, to the eastward, in that part of the town whichstill takes its name from the marsh where camulogã¨nes entangled caesar,was a pile of palaces. the block extended to the very water's edge. fouralmost contiguous hã´tels, jouy, sens, barbeau, the house of the queen,mirrored their slate peaks, broken with slender turrets, in the seine. these four edifices filled the space fromthe rue des nonaindiã¨res, to
the abbey of the celestins, whose spire gracefullyrelieved their line of gables and battlements. a few miserable,greenish hovels, hanging over the water in front of these sumptuoushã´tels, did not prevent one from seeing the fine angles of their faã§ades,their large, square windows with stone mullions, their pointedporches overloaded with statues, the vivid outlines of their walls,always clear cut, and all those charming accidents of architecture,which cause gothic art to have the air of beginning its combinations afreshwith every monument. behind these palaces, extended in all directions,now broken, fenced in,
battlemented like a citadel, now veiled bygreat trees like a carthusian convent, the immense and multiform enclosureof that miraculous hã´tel de saint-pol, where the king of france possessedthe means of lodging superbly two and twenty princes of the rankof the dauphin and the duke of burgundy, with their domestics and theirsuites, without counting the great lords, and the emperor when he cameto view paris, and the lions, who had their separate hã´tel at the royalhã´tel. let us say here that a prince's apartment was then composed ofnever less than eleven large rooms, from the chamber of state to the oratory,not to mention the
galleries, baths, vapor-baths, and other "superfluousplaces," with which each apartment was provided; not tomention the private gardens for each of the king's guests; not to mentionthe kitchens, the cellars, the domestic offices, the generalrefectories of the house, the poultry-yards, where there were twenty-twogeneral laboratories, from the bakehouses to the wine-cellars; gamesof a thousand sorts, malls, tennis, and riding at the ring; aviaries,fishponds, menageries, stables, barns, libraries, arsenals and foundries.this was what a king's palace, a louvre, a hã´tel de saint-polwas then. a city within a
city. from the tower where we are placed, the hã´telsaint-pol, almost half hidden by the four great houses of which wehave just spoken, was still very considerable and very marvellousto see. one could there distinguish, very well, though cleverly unitedwith the principal building by long galleries, decked with paintedglass and slender columns, the three hã´tels which charles v.had amalgamated with his palace: the hã´tel du petit-muce, with theairy balustrade, which formed a graceful border to its roof; the hã´telof the abbe de saint-maur,
having the vanity of a stronghold, a greattower, machicolations, loopholes, iron gratings, and over the largesaxon door, the armorial bearings of the abbã©, between the two mortisesof the drawbridge; the hã´tel of the comte d' etampes, whose donjonkeep, ruined at its summit, was rounded and notched like a cock's comb;here and there, three or four ancient oaks, forming a tuft togetherlike enormous cauliflowers; gambols of swans, in the clear water of thefishponds, all in folds of light and shade; many courtyards of whichone beheld picturesque bits; the hã´tel of the lions, with its low, pointedarches on short, saxon
pillars, its iron gratings and its perpetualroar; shooting up above the whole, the scale-ornamented spire of theave-maria; on the left, the house of the provost of paris, flanked byfour small towers, delicately grooved, in the middle; at the extremity,the hã´tel saint-pol, properly speaking, with its multiplied faã§ades, itssuccessive enrichments from the time of charles v., the hybrid excrescences,with which the fancy of the architects had loaded it during the lasttwo centuries, with all the apses of its chapels, all the gables ofits galleries, a thousand weathercocks for the four winds, and its twolofty contiguous towers,
whose conical roof, surrounded by battlementsat its base, looked like those pointed caps which have their edgesturned up. continuing to mount the stories of this amphitheatreof palaces spread out afar upon the ground, after crossing adeep ravine hollowed out of the roofs in the town, which marked thepassage of the rue saint-antoine, the eye reached the house ofangoulãªme, a vast construction of many epochs, where there wereperfectly new and very white parts, which melted no better into thewhole than a red patch on a blue doublet. nevertheless, the remarkablypointed and lofty roof of the
modern palace, bristling with carved eaves,covered with sheets of lead, where coiled a thousand fantastic arabesquesof sparkling incrustations of gilded bronze, that roof, so curiouslydamascened, darted upwards gracefully from the midst of the brown ruinsof the ancient edifice; whose huge and ancient towers, rounded byage like casks, sinking together with old age, and rending themselvesfrom top to bottom, resembled great bellies unbuttoned. behindrose the forest of spires of the palais des tournelles. not a view in theworld, either at chambord or at the alhambra, is more magic, more aerial,more enchanting, than
that thicket of spires, tiny bell towers,chimneys, weather-vanes, winding staircases, lanterns through whichthe daylight makes its way, which seem cut out at a blow, pavilions, spindle-shapedturrets, or, as they were then called, "tournelles," all differingin form, in height, and attitude. one would have pronounced ita gigantic stone chess-board. to the right of the tournelles, that trussof enormous towers, black as ink, running into each other and tied, asit were, by a circular moat; that donjon keep, much more pierced with loopholesthan with windows; that drawbridge, always raised; that portcullis,always lowered,--is
the bastille. those sorts of black beaks whichproject from between the battlements, and which you take from a distanceto be cave spouts, are cannons. beneath them, at the foot of the formidableedifice, behold the porte sainte-antoine, buried between its two towers. beyond the tournelles, as far as the wallof charles v., spread out, with rich compartments of verdure and of flowers,a velvet carpet of cultivated land and royal parks, in the midstof which one recognized, by its labyrinth of trees and alleys, thefamous daedalus garden which
louis xi. had given to coictier. the doctor'sobservatory rose above the labyrinth like a great isolated column, witha tiny house for a capital. terrible astrologies took place in that laboratory. there to-day is the place royale. as we have just said, the quarter of the palace,of which we have just endeavored to give the reader some idea byindicating only the chief points, filled the angle which charles v.'swall made with the seine on the east. the centre of the town was occupiedby a pile of houses for the populace. it was there, in fact, thatthe three bridges disgorged
upon the right bank, and bridges lead to thebuilding of houses rather than palaces. that congregation of bourgeoishabitations, pressed together like the cells in a hive, had a beautyof its own. it is with the roofs of a capital as with the waves ofthe sea,--they are grand. first the streets, crossed and entangled,forming a hundred amusing figures in the block; around the market-place,it was like a star with a thousand rays. the rues saint-denis and saint-martin, withtheir innumerable ramifications, rose one after the other, liketrees intertwining their
branches; and then the tortuous lines, therues de la plã¢trerie, de la verrerie, de la tixeranderie, etc., meanderedover all. there were also fine edifices which pierced the petrifiedundulations of that sea of gables. at the head of the pont aux changeurs,behind which one beheld the seine foaming beneath the wheels of thepont aux meuniers, there was the chalelet, no longer a roman tower, asunder julian the apostate, but a feudal tower of the thirteenth century,and of a stone so hard that the pickaxe could not break away so much asthe thickness of the fist in a space of three hours; there was the richsquare bell tower of
saint-jacques de la boucherie, with its anglesall frothing with carvings, already admirable, although it wasnot finished in the fifteenth century. (it lacked, in particular,the four monsters, which, still perched to-day on the corners of itsroof, have the air of so many sphinxes who are propounding to new paristhe riddle of the ancient paris. rault, the sculptor, only placed themin position in 1526, and received twenty francs for his pains.) therewas the maison-aux-piliers, the pillar house, opening upon that placede grã¨ve of which we have given the reader some idea; there was saint-gervais,which a front "in
good taste" has since spoiled; saint-mã©ry,whose ancient pointed arches were still almost round arches; saint-jean,whose magnificent spire was proverbial; there were twenty other monuments,which did not disdain to bury their wonders in that chaos of black,deep, narrow streets. add the crosses of carved stone, more lavishlyscattered through the squares than even the gibbets; the cemeteryof the innocents, whose architectural wall could be seen in the distanceabove the roofs; the pillory of the markets, whose top was visiblebetween two chimneys of the rue de la cossonnerie; the ladder of thecroix-du-trahoir, in its
square always black with people; the circularbuildings of the wheat mart; the fragments of philip augustus's ancientwall, which could be made out here and there, drowned among thehouses, its towers gnawed by ivy, its gates in ruins, with crumbling anddeformed stretches of wall; the quay with its thousand shops, and itsbloody knacker's yards; the seine encumbered with boats, from the portau foin to port-l'evãªque, and you will have a confused picture of what thecentral trapezium of the town was like in 1482. with these two quarters, one of hã´tels, theother of houses, the third
feature of aspect presented by the city wasa long zone of abbeys, which bordered it in nearly the whole of its circumference,from the rising to the setting sun, and, behind the circle offortifications which hemmed in paris, formed a second interior enclosureof convents and chapels. thus, immediately adjoining the park des tournelles,between the rue saint-antoine and the vielle rue du temple,there stood sainte-catherine, with its immense cultivatedlands, which were terminated only by the wall of paris. betweenthe old and the new rue du temple, there was the temple, a sinister groupof towers, lofty, erect,
and isolated in the middle of a vast, battlementedenclosure. between the rue neuve-du-temple and the rue saint-martin,there was the abbey of saint-martin, in the midst of its gardens,a superb fortified church, whose girdle of towers, whose diadem of belltowers, yielded in force and splendor only to saint-germain desprã©s. between the rue saint-martin and the rue saint-denis, spreadthe enclosure of the trinitã©. lastly, between the rue saint-denis, and therue montorgueil, stood the filles-dieu. on one side, the rotting roofsand unpaved enclosure of the
cour des miracles could be descried. it wasthe sole profane ring which was linked to that devout chain of convents. finally, the fourth compartment, which stretcheditself out in the agglomeration of the roofs on the right bank,and which occupied the western angle of the enclosure, and the banksof the river down stream, was a fresh cluster of palaces and hã´telspressed close about the base of the louvre. the old louvre of philip augustus,that immense edifice whose great tower rallied about it three andtwenty chief towers, not to reckon the lesser towers, seemed from a distanceto be enshrined in the
gothic roofs of the hã´tel d'alenã§on, andthe petit-bourbon. this hydra of towers, giant guardian of paris, with itsfour and twenty heads, always erect, with its monstrous haunches,loaded or scaled with slates, and all streaming with metallic reflections,terminated with wonderful effect the configuration of the town towardsthe west. thus an immense block, which the romans called_iusula_, or island, of bourgeois houses, flanked on the right andthe left by two blocks of palaces, crowned, the one by the louvre, theother by the tournelles, bordered on the north by a long girdle ofabbeys and cultivated
enclosures, all amalgamated and melted togetherin one view; upon these thousands of edifices, whose tiled and slatedroofs outlined upon each other so many fantastic chains, the bell towers,tattooed, fluted, and ornamented with twisted bands, of the fourand forty churches on the right bank; myriads of cross streets; forboundary on one side, an enclosure of lofty walls with square towers(that of the university had round towers); on the other, the seine, cutby bridges, and bearing on its bosom a multitude of boats; beholdthe town of paris in the fifteenth century.
beyond the walls, several suburban villagespressed close about the gates, but less numerous and more scatteredthan those of the university. behind the bastille there weretwenty hovels clustered round the curious sculptures of the croix-faubinand the flying buttresses of the abbey of saint-antoine des champs; thenpopincourt, lost amid wheat fields; then la courtille, a merry villageof wine-shops; the hamlet of saint-laurent with its church whose bell tower,from afar, seemed to add itself to the pointed towers of the portesaint-martin; the faubourg saint-denis, with the vast enclosureof saint-ladre; beyond
the montmartre gate, the grange-bateliã¨re,encircled with white walls; behind it, with its chalky slopes, montmartre,which had then almost as many churches as windmills, and which haskept only the windmills, for society no longer demands anything butbread for the body. lastly, beyond the louvre, the faubourg saint-honorã©,already considerable at that time, could be seen stretching awayinto the fields, and petit-bretagne gleaming green, and the marchã©aux pourceaux spreading abroad, in whose centre swelled the horribleapparatus used for boiling counterfeiters. between la courtille and saint-laurent,your eye had
already noticed, on the summit of an eminencecrouching amid desert plains, a sort of edifice which resembledfrom a distance a ruined colonnade, mounted upon a basement with itsfoundation laid bare. this was neither a parthenon, nor a temple of theolympian jupiter. it was montfauã§on. now, if the enumeration of so many edifices,summary as we have endeavored to make it, has not shattered inthe reader's mind the general image of old paris, as we have constructedit, we will recapitulate it in a few words. in the centre,the island of the city,
resembling as to form an enormous tortoise,and throwing out its bridges with tiles for scales; like legs from beneathits gray shell of roofs. on the left, the monolithic trapezium, firm,dense, bristling, of the university; on the right, the vast semicircleof the town, much more intermixed with gardens and monuments.the three blocks, city, university, and town, marbled with innumerablestreets. across all, the seine, "foster-mother seine," as saysfather du breul, blocked with islands, bridges, and boats. all about animmense plain, patched with a thousand sorts of cultivated plots, sownwith fine villages. on the
left, issy, vanvres, vaugirarde, montrouge,gentilly, with its round tower and its square tower, etc.; on the right,twenty others, from conflans to ville-l'evãªque. on the horizon,a border of hills arranged in a circle like the rim of the basin. finally,far away to the east, vincennes, and its seven quadrangular towersto the south, bicãªtre and its pointed turrets; to the north, saint-denisand its spire; to the west, saint cloud and its donjon keep. suchwas the paris which the ravens, who lived in 1482, beheld from thesummits of the towers of notre-dame.
nevertheless, voltaire said of this city,that "before louis xiv., it possessed but four fine monuments": thedome of the sorbonne, the val-de-grã¢ce, the modern louvre, and i knownot what the fourth was--the luxembourg, perhaps. fortunately, voltairewas the author of "candide" in spite of this, and in spite of this, heis, among all the men who have followed each other in the long seriesof humanity, the one who has best possessed the diabolical laugh. moreover,this proves that one can be a fine genius, and yet understand nothingof an art to which one does not belong. did not moliere imagine thathe was doing raphael and
michael-angelo a very great honor, by callingthem "those mignards of their age?" let us return to paris and to the fifteenthcentury. it was not then merely a handsome city; itwas a homogeneous city, an architectural and historical product of themiddle ages, a chronicle in stone. it was a city formed of two layersonly; the romanesque layer and the gothic layer; for the roman layer haddisappeared long before, with the exception of the hot baths of julian,where it still pierced through the thick crust of the middle ages.as for the celtic layer, no
specimens were any longer to be found, evenwhen sinking wells. fifty years later, when the renaissance beganto mingle with this unity which was so severe and yet so varied,the dazzling luxury of its fantasies and systems, its debasementsof roman round arches, greek columns, and gothic bases, its sculpture whichwas so tender and so ideal, its peculiar taste for arabesques andacanthus leaves, its architectural paganism, contemporary withluther, paris, was perhaps, still more beautiful, although less harmoniousto the eye, and to the thought.
but this splendid moment lasted only for ashort time; the renaissance was not impartial; it did not content itselfwith building, it wished to destroy; it is true that it required theroom. thus gothic paris was complete only for a moment. saint-jacquesde la boucherie had barely been completed when the demolition of theold louvre was begun. after that, the great city became more disfiguredevery day. gothic paris, beneath which roman paris was effaced,was effaced in its turn; but can any one say what paris has replacedit? there is the paris of catherine de medicisat the tuileries;*--the
paris of henri ii., at the hã´tel de ville,two edifices still in fine taste;--the paris of henri iv., at the placeroyale: faã§ades of brick with stone corners, and slated roofs, tri-coloredhouses;--the paris of louis xiii., at the val-de-grace: a crushedand squat architecture, with vaults like basket-handles, and somethingindescribably pot-bellied in the column, and thickset in the dome;--theparis of louis xiv., in the invalides: grand, rich, gilded, cold;--theparis of louis xv., in saint-sulpice: volutes, knots of ribbon, clouds,vermicelli and chiccory leaves, all in stone;--the paris of louisxvi., in the pantheon: saint
peter of rome, badly copied (the edifice isawkwardly heaped together, which has not amended its lines);--the parisof the republic, in the school of medicine: a poor greek and romantaste, which resembles the coliseum or the parthenon as the constitutionof the year iii., resembles the laws of minos,--it is calledin architecture, "the messidor"** taste;--the paris of napoleonin the place vendome: this one is sublime, a column of bronze made ofcannons;--the paris of the restoration, at the bourse: a very white colonnadesupporting a very smooth frieze; the whole is square and costtwenty millions.
* we have seen with sorrow mingled with indignation,that it is the intention to increase, to recast, tomake over, that is to say, to destroy this admirable palace. the architectsof our day have too heavy a hand to touch these delicate worksof the renaissance. we still cherish a hope that they will not dare. moreover,this demolition of the tuileries now, would be not only a brutaldeed of violence, which would make a drunken vandal blush--it wouldbe an act of treason. the tuileries is not simply a masterpieceof the art of the sixteenth century, it is a page of the history of thenineteenth. this palace no
longer belongs to the king, but to the people.let us leave it as it is. our revolution has twice set its seal uponits front. on one of its two faã§ades, there are the cannon-balls of the10th of august; on the other, the balls of the 29th of july. it is sacred.paris, april 1, 1831. (note to the fifth edition.) ** the tenth month of the french republicancalendar, from the 19th of june to the 18th of july. to each of these characteristic monumentsthere is attached by a similarity of taste, fashion, and attitude,a certain number of
houses scattered about in different quartersand which the eyes of the connoisseur easily distinguishes and furnisheswith a date. when one knows how to look, one finds the spiritof a century, and the physiognomy of a king, even in the knockeron a door. the paris of the present day has then, nogeneral physiognomy. it is a collection of specimens of many centuries,and the finest have disappeared. the capital grows only in houses,and what houses! at the rate at which paris is now proceeding, itwill renew itself every fifty years.
thus the historical significance of its architectureis being effaced every day. monuments are becoming rarer andrarer, and one seems to see them gradually engulfed, by the flood of houses.our fathers had a paris of stone; our sons will have one of plaster. so far as the modern monuments of new parisare concerned, we would gladly be excused from mentioning them. itis not that we do not admire them as they deserve. the sainte-geneviã¨veof m. soufflot is certainly the finest savoy cake that has ever been madein stone. the palace of the legion of honor is also a very distinguishedbit of pastry. the
dome of the wheat market is an english jockeycap, on a grand scale. the towers of saint-sulpice are two huge clarinets,and the form is as good as any other; the telegraph, contorted andgrimacing, forms an admirable accident upon their roofs. saint-rochhas a door which, for magnificence, is comparable only to that ofsaint-thomas d'aquin. it has, also, a crucifixion in high relief, ina cellar, with a sun of gilded wood. these things are fairly marvellous.the lantern of the labyrinth of the jardin des plantes is alsovery ingenious. as for the palace of the bourse, which isgreek as to its colonnade,
roman in the round arches of its doors andwindows, of the renaissance by virtue of its flattened vault, it is indubitablya very correct and very pure monument; the proof is that it iscrowned with an attic, such as was never seen in athens, a beautiful,straight line, gracefully broken here and there by stovepipes. let usadd that if it is according to rule that the architecture of a buildingshould be adapted to its purpose in such a manner that this purposeshall be immediately apparent from the mere aspect of the building, onecannot be too much amazed at a structure which might be indifferently--thepalace of a king, a chamber
of communes, a town-hall, a college, a riding-school,an academy, a warehouse, a court-house, a museum, a barracks,a sepulchre, a temple, or a theatre. however, it is an exchange.an edifice ought to be, moreover, suitable to the climate. this oneis evidently constructed expressly for our cold and rainy skies. ithas a roof almost as flat as roofs in the east, which involves sweepingthe roof in winter, when it snows; and of course roofs are made to beswept. as for its purpose, of which we just spoke, it fulfils it to a marvel;it is a bourse in france as it would have been a temple in greece.it is true that the architect
was at a good deal of trouble to conceal theclock face, which would have destroyed the purity of the fine linesof the faã§ade; but, on the other hand, we have that colonnade which circlesround the edifice and under which, on days of high religious ceremony,the theories of the stock-brokers and the courtiers of commercecan be developed so majestically. these are very superb structures. let us adda quantity of fine, amusing, and varied streets, like the ruede rivoli, and i do not despair of paris presenting to the eye, whenviewed from a balloon, that
richness of line, that opulence of detail,that diversity of aspect, that grandiose something in the simple, andunexpected in the beautiful, which characterizes a checker-board. however, admirable as the paris of to-daymay seem to you, reconstruct the paris of the fifteenth century, call itup before you in thought; look at the sky athwart that surprising forestof spires, towers, and belfries; spread out in the centre of thecity, tear away at the point of the islands, fold at the arches of thebridges, the seine, with its broad green and yellow expanses, morevariable than the skin of a
serpent; project clearly against an azurehorizon the gothic profile of this ancient paris. make its contour floatin a winter's mist which clings to its numerous chimneys; drown itin profound night and watch the odd play of lights and shadows in thatsombre labyrinth of edifices; cast upon it a ray of light which shall vaguelyoutline it and cause to emerge from the fog the great heads of thetowers; or take that black silhouette again, enliven with shadow thethousand acute angles of the spires and gables, and make it start out moretoothed than a shark's jaw against a copper-colored western sky,--andthen compare.
and if you wish to receive of the ancientcity an impression with which the modern one can no longer furnish you,climb--on the morning of some grand festival, beneath the rising sun ofeaster or of pentecost--climb upon some elevated point, whence you commandthe entire capital; and be present at the wakening of the chimes. behold,at a signal given from heaven, for it is the sun which gives it,all those churches quiver simultaneously. first come scattered strokes,running from one church to another, as when musicians give warningthat they are about to begin. then, all at once, behold!--for it seems attimes, as though the ear
also possessed a sight of its own,--behold,rising from each bell tower, something like a column of sound, acloud of harmony. first, the vibration of each bell mounts straight upwards,pure and, so to speak, isolated from the others, into the splendidmorning sky; then, little by little, as they swell they melt together,mingle, are lost in each other, and amalgamate in a magnificent concert.it is no longer anything but a mass of sonorous vibrations incessantlysent forth from the numerous belfries; floats, undulates, bounds,whirls over the city, and prolongs far beyond the horizon the deafeningcircle of its
oscillations. nevertheless, this sea of harmony is not achaos; great and profound as it is, it has not lost its transparency; youbehold the windings of each group of notes which escapes from thebelfries. you can follow the dialogue, by turns grave and shrill, of thetreble and the bass; you can see the octaves leap from one tower to another;you watch them spring forth, winged, light, and whistling, fromthe silver bell, to fall, broken and limping from the bell of wood;you admire in their midst the rich gamut which incessantly ascends and re-ascendsthe seven bells
of saint-eustache; you see light and rapidnotes running across it, executing three or four luminous zigzags,and vanishing like flashes of lightning. yonder is the abbey of saint-martin,a shrill, cracked singer; here the gruff and gloomy voice ofthe bastille; at the other end, the great tower of the louvre, with itsbass. the royal chime of the palace scatters on all sides, and withoutrelaxation, resplendent trills, upon which fall, at regular intervals,the heavy strokes from the belfry of notre-dame, which makes themsparkle like the anvil under the hammer. at intervals you behold the passageof sounds of all forms
which come from the triple peal of saint-germainedes prã©s. then, again, from time to time, this mass of sublime noisesopens and gives passage to the beats of the ave maria, which burstsforth and sparkles like an aigrette of stars. below, in the very depthsof the concert, you confusedly distinguish the interior chantingof the churches, which exhales through the vibrating pores of theirvaulted roofs. assuredly, this is an opera which it is worththe trouble of listening to. ordinarily, the noise which escapes fromparis by day is the city speaking; by night, it is the city breathing;in this case, it is the
city singing. lend an ear, then, to this concertof bell towers; spread over all the murmur of half a million men,the eternal plaint of the river, the infinite breathings of the wind,the grave and distant quartette of the four forests arranged uponthe hills, on the horizon, like immense stacks of organ pipes; extinguish,as in a half shade, all that is too hoarse and too shrill aboutthe central chime, and say whether you know anything in the worldmore rich and joyful, more golden, more dazzling, than this tumult ofbells and chimes;--than this furnace of music,--than these ten thousandbrazen voices chanting
simultaneously in the flutes of stone, threehundred feet high,--than this city which is no longer anything butan orchestra,--than this symphony which produces the noise of a tempest. book fourth. chapter i. good souls. sixteen years previous to the epoch when thisstory takes place, one fine morning, on quasimodo sunday, a livingcreature had been deposited, after mass, in the church of notre-dame, onthe wooden bed securely fixed in the vestibule on the left, oppositethat great image of saint
christopher, which the figure of messire antoinedes essarts, chevalier, carved in stone, had been gazing at on hisknees since 1413, when they took it into their heads to overthrowthe saint and the faithful follower. upon this bed of wood it was customaryto expose foundlings for public charity. whoever cared to takethem did so. in front of the wooden bed was a copper basin for alms. the sort of living being which lay upon thatplank on the morning of quasimodo, in the year of the lord, 1467,appeared to excite to a high degree, the curiosity of the numerous groupwhich had congregated about
the wooden bed. the group was formed for themost part of the fair sex. hardly any one was there except old women. in the first row, and among those who weremost bent over the bed, four were noticeable, who, from their gray _cagoule_,a sort of cassock, were recognizable as attached to some devout sisterhood.i do not see why history has not transmitted to posteritythe names of these four discreet and venerable damsels. they wereagnes la herme, jehanne de la tarme, henriette la gaultiã¨re, gauchã¨rela violette, all four widows, all four dames of the chapel etienne haudry,who had quitted their
house with the permission of their mistress,and in conformity with the statutes of pierre d'ailly, in order to comeand hear the sermon. however, if these good haudriettes were, forthe moment, complying with the statutes of pierre d'ailly, they certainlyviolated with joy those of michel de brache, and the cardinal of pisa,which so inhumanly enjoined silence upon them. "what is this, sister?" said agnes to gauchã¨re,gazing at the little creature exposed, which was screaming andwrithing on the wooden bed, terrified by so many glances.
"what is to become of us," said jehanne, "ifthat is the way children are made now?" "i'm not learned in the matter of children,"resumed agnes, "but it must be a sin to look at this one." "'tis not a child, agnes." "'tis an abortion of a monkey," remarked gauchã¨re. "'tis a miracle," interposed henriette lagaultiã¨re. "then," remarked agnes, "it is the third sincethe sunday of the _loetare_: for, in less than a week, we hadthe miracle of the mocker of
pilgrims divinely punished by notre-dame d'aubervilliers,and that was the second miracle within a month." "this pretended foundling is a real monsterof abomination," resumed jehanne. "he yells loud enough to deafen a chanter,"continued gauchã¨re. "hold your tongue, you little howler!" "to think that monsieur of reims sent thisenormity to monsieur of paris," added la gaultiã¨re, clasping herhands. "i imagine," said agnes la herme, "that itis a beast, an animal,--the
fruit of--a jew and a sow; something not christian,in short, which ought to be thrown into the fire or into thewater." "i really hope," resumed la gaultiã¨re, "thatnobody will apply for it." "ah, good heavens!" exclaimed agnes; "thosepoor nurses yonder in the foundling asylum, which forms the lower endof the lane as you go to the river, just beside monseigneur the bishop!what if this little monster were to be carried to them to suckle? i'drather give suck to a vampire." "how innocent that poor la herme is!" resumedjehanne; "don't you see,
sister, that this little monster is at leastfour years old, and that he would have less appetite for your breast thanfor a turnspit." the "little monster" we should find it difficultourselves to describe him otherwise, was, in fact, not a new-bornchild. it was a very angular and very lively little mass, imprisoned inits linen sack, stamped with the cipher of messire guillaume chartier,then bishop of paris, with a head projecting. that head was deformed enough;one beheld only a forest of red hair, one eye, a mouth, and teeth.the eye wept, the mouth cried, and the teeth seemed to ask only tobe allowed to bite. the whole
struggled in the sack, to the great consternationof the crowd, which increased and was renewed incessantly aroundit. dame aloise de gondelaurier, a rich and noblewoman, who held by the hand a pretty girl about five or six yearsof age, and dragged a long veil about, suspended to the golden horn ofher headdress, halted as she passed the wooden bed, and gazed for a momentat the wretched creature, while her charming little daughter, fleur-de-lysde gondelaurier, spelled out with her tiny, pretty finger,the permanent inscription attached to the wooden bed: "foundlings."
"really," said the dame, turning away in disgust,"i thought that they only exposed children here." she turned her back, throwing into the basina silver florin, which rang among the liards, and made the poor goodwivesof the chapel of etienne haudry open their eyes. a moment later, the grave and learned robertmistricolle, the king's protonotary, passed, with an enormous missalunder one arm and his wife on the other (damoiselle guillemette la mairesse),having thus by his side his two regulators,--spiritual and temporal.
"foundling!" he said, after examining theobject; "found, apparently, on the banks of the river phlegethon." "one can only see one eye," observed damoiselleguillemette; "there is a wart on the other." "it's not a wart," returned master robertmistricolle, "it is an egg which contains another demon exactly similar,who bears another little egg which contains another devil, and so on." "how do you know that?" asked guillemettela mairesse. "i know it pertinently," replied the protonotary.
"monsieur le protonotare," asked gauchã¨re,"what do you prognosticate of this pretended foundling?" "the greatest misfortunes," replied mistricolle. "ah! good heavens!" said an old woman amongthe spectators, "and that besides our having had a considerable pestilencelast year, and that they say that the english are going to disembarkin a company at harfleur." "perhaps that will prevent the queen fromcoming to paris in the month of september," interposed another; "tradeis so bad already."
"my opinion is," exclaimed jehanne de la tarme,"that it would be better for the louts of paris, if this little magicianwere put to bed on a fagot than on a plank." "a fine, flaming fagot," added the old woman. "it would be more prudent," said mistricolle. for several minutes, a young priest had beenlistening to the reasoning of the haudriettes and the sentences of thenotary. he had a severe face, with a large brow, a profound glance.he thrust the crowd silently aside, scrutinized the "little magician,"and stretched out his hand
upon him. it was high time, for all the devoteeswere already licking their chops over the "fine, flaming fagot." "i adopt this child," said the priest. he took it in his cassock and carried it off.the spectators followed him with frightened glances. a moment later,he had disappeared through the "red door," which then led from the churchto the cloister. when the first surprise was over, jehannede la tarme bent down to the ear of la gaultiã¨re,-- "i told you so, sister,--that young clerk,monsieur claude frollo, is a
sorcerer." chapter ii. claude frollo. in fact, claude frollo was no common person. he belonged to one of those middle-class familieswhich were called indifferently, in the impertinent languageof the last century, the high _bourgeoise_ or the petty nobility. this familyhad inherited from the brothers paclet the fief of tirechappe, whichwas dependent upon the bishop of paris, and whose twenty-one houseshad been in the thirteenth century the object of so many suits beforethe official. as possessor of
this fief, claude frollo was one of the twenty-sevenseigneurs keeping claim to a manor in fee in paris and its suburbs;and for a long time, his name was to be seen inscribed in thisquality, between the hã´tel de tancarville, belonging to master franã§oisle rez, and the college of tours, in the records deposited at saint martindes champs. claude frollo had been destined from infancy,by his parents, to the ecclesiastical profession. he had been taughtto read in latin; he had been trained to keep his eyes on the groundand to speak low. while still a child, his father had cloistered himin the college of torchi in
the university. there it was that he had grownup, on the missal and the lexicon. moreover, he was a sad, grave, serious child,who studied ardently, and learned quickly; he never uttered a loud cryin recreation hour, mixed but little in the bacchanals of the rue dufouarre, did not know what it was to _dare alapas et capillos laniare_,and had cut no figure in that revolt of 1463, which the annalists registergravely, under the title of "the sixth trouble of the university."he seldom rallied the poor students of montaigu on the _cappettes_ fromwhich they derived their
name, or the bursars of the college of dormanson their shaved tonsure, and their surtout parti-colored of bluish-green,blue, and violet cloth, _azurini coloris et bruni_, as says the charterof the cardinal des quatre-couronnes. on the other hand, he was assiduous at thegreat and the small schools of the rue saint jean de beauvais. the firstpupil whom the abbã© de saint pierre de val, at the moment of beginninghis reading on canon law, always perceived, glued to a pillarof the school saint-vendregesile, opposite his rostrum,was claude frollo, armed with
his horn ink-bottle, biting his pen, scribblingon his threadbare knee, and, in winter, blowing on his fingers. thefirst auditor whom messire miles d'isliers, doctor in decretals, sawarrive every monday morning, all breathless, at the opening of the gatesof the school of the chef-saint-denis, was claude frollo. thus,at sixteen years of age, the young clerk might have held his own, in mysticaltheology, against a father of the church; in canonical theology,against a father of the councils; in scholastic theology, againsta doctor of sorbonne. theology conquered, he had plunged into decretals.from the "master of
sentences," he had passed to the "capitulariesof charlemagne;" and he had devoured in succession, in his appetitefor science, decretals upon decretals, those of theodore, bishop of hispalus;those of bouchard, bishop of worms; those of yves, bishop ofchartres; next the decretal of gratian, which succeeded the capitulariesof charlemagne; then the collection of gregory ix.; then the epistleof _superspecula_, of honorius iii. he rendered clear and familiarto himself that vast and tumultuous period of civil law and canon lawin conflict and at strife with each other, in the chaos of the middleages,--a period which bishop
theodore opens in 618, and which pope gregorycloses in 1227. decretals digested, he flung himself uponmedicine, on the liberal arts. he studied the science of herbs, the scienceof unguents; he became an expert in fevers and in contusions, in sprainsand abcesses. jacques d' espars would have received him as a physician;richard hellain, as a surgeon. he also passed through all the degreesof licentiate, master, and doctor of arts. he studied the languages,latin, greek, hebrew, a triple sanctuary then very little frequented.his was a veritable fever for acquiring and hoarding, in the matterof science. at the age of
eighteen, he had made his way through thefour faculties; it seemed to the young man that life had but one sole object:learning. it was towards this epoch, that the excessiveheat of the summer of 1466 caused that grand outburst of the plague whichcarried off more than forty thousand souls in the vicomty of paris,and among others, as jean de troyes states, "master arnoul, astrologerto the king, who was a very fine man, both wise and pleasant." the rumorspread in the university that the rue tirechappe was especially devastatedby the malady. it was there that claude's parents resided, in themidst of their fief. the
young scholar rushed in great alarm to thepaternal mansion. when he entered it, he found that both father andmother had died on the preceding day. a very young brother of his,who was in swaddling clothes, was still alive and crying abandonedin his cradle. this was all that remained to claude of his family;the young man took the child under his arm and went off in a pensive mood.up to that moment, he had lived only in science; he now began to livein life. this catastrophe was a crisis in claude'sexistence. orphaned, the eldest, head of the family at the age of nineteen,he felt himself
rudely recalled from the reveries of schoolto the realities of this world. then, moved with pity, he was seizedwith passion and devotion towards that child, his brother; a sweet andstrange thing was a human affection to him, who had hitherto loved hisbooks alone. this affection developed to a singular point;in a soul so new, it was like a first love. separated since infancyfrom his parents, whom he had hardly known; cloistered and immured, as itwere, in his books; eager above all things to study and to learn; exclusivelyattentive up to that time, to his intelligence which broadenedin science, to his
imagination, which expanded in letters,--thepoor scholar had not yet had time to feel the place of his heart. this young brother, without mother or father,this little child which had fallen abruptly from heaven into his arms,made a new man of him. he perceived that there was something elsein the world besides the speculations of the sorbonne, and the versesof homer; that man needed affections; that life without tenderness andwithout love was only a set of dry, shrieking, and rending wheels. only,he imagined, for he was at the age when illusions are as yet replacedonly by illusions, that the
affections of blood and family were the soleones necessary, and that a little brother to love sufficed to fill anentire existence. he threw himself, therefore, into the lovefor his little jehan with the passion of a character already profound, ardent,concentrated; that poor frail creature, pretty, fair-haired, rosy,and curly,--that orphan with another orphan for his only support, touchedhim to the bottom of his heart; and grave thinker as he was, he setto meditating upon jehan with an infinite compassion. he kept watchand ward over him as over something very fragile, and very worthy ofcare. he was more than a
brother to the child; he became a mother tohim. little jehan had lost his mother while hewas still at the breast; claude gave him to a nurse. besides the fiefof tirechappe, he had inherited from his father the fief of moulin,which was a dependency of the square tower of gentilly; it was a millon a hill, near the chã¢teau of winchestre (bicãªtre). there was a miller'swife there who was nursing a fine child; it was not far from the university,and claude carried the little jehan to her in his own arms. from that time forth, feeling that he hada burden to bear, he took life
very seriously. the thought of his littlebrother became not only his recreation, but the object of his studies.he resolved to consecrate himself entirely to a future for which hewas responsible in the sight of god, and never to have any other wife,any other child than the happiness and fortune of his brother. therefore,he attached himself more closely than ever to the clerical profession.his merits, his learning, his quality of immediate vassalof the bishop of paris, threw the doors of the church wide open to him.at the age of twenty, by special dispensation of the holy see, he wasa priest, and served as
the youngest of the chaplains of notre-damethe altar which is called, because of the late mass which is said there,_altare pigrorum_. there, plunged more deeply than ever in hisdear books, which he quitted only to run for an hour to the fief of moulin,this mixture of learning and austerity, so rare at his age, had promptlyacquired for him the respect and admiration of the monastery.from the cloister, his reputation as a learned man had passed tothe people, among whom it had changed a little, a frequent occurrence atthat time, into reputation as a sorcerer.
it was at the moment when he was returning,on quasimodo day, from saying his mass at the altar of the lazy,which was by the side of the door leading to the nave on the right, nearthe image of the virgin, that his attention had been attracted by thegroup of old women chattering around the bed for foundlings. then it was that he approached the unhappylittle creature, which was so hated and so menaced. that distress, thatdeformity, that abandonment, the thought of his young brother, the ideawhich suddenly occurred to him, that if he were to die, his dear littlejehan might also be flung
miserably on the plank for foundlings,--allthis had gone to his heart simultaneously; a great pity had moved inhim, and he had carried off the child. when he removed the child from the sack, hefound it greatly deformed, in very sooth. the poor little wretch hada wart on his left eye, his head placed directly on his shoulders, hisspinal column was crooked, his breast bone prominent, and his legs bowed;but he appeared to be lively; and although it was impossibleto say in what language he lisped, his cry indicated considerableforce and health. claude's
compassion increased at the sight of thisugliness; and he made a vow in his heart to rear the child for the love ofhis brother, in order that, whatever might be the future faults of thelittle jehan, he should have beside him that charity done for his sake.it was a sort of investment of good works, which he was effecting in thename of his young brother; it was a stock of good works which he wishedto amass in advance for him, in case the little rogue should someday find himself short of that coin, the only sort which is received at thetoll-bar of paradise. he baptized his adopted child, and gave himthe name of quasimodo,
either because he desired thereby to markthe day, when he had found him, or because he wished to designate bythat name to what a degree the poor little creature was incomplete, and hardlysketched out. in fact, quasimodo, blind, hunchbacked, knock-kneed,was only an "almost." chapter iii. _immanis pecoris custos, immanioripse_. now, in 1482, quasimodo had grown up. he hadbecome a few years previously the bellringer of notre-dame, thanksto his father by adoption, claude frollo,--who had become archdeaconof josas, thanks to his suzerain, messire louis de beaumont,--whohad become bishop of
paris, at the death of guillaume chartierin 1472, thanks to his patron, olivier le daim, barber to louis xi., kingby the grace of god. so quasimodo was the ringer of the chimesof notre-dame. in the course of time there had been formeda certain peculiarly intimate bond which united the ringer to thechurch. separated forever from the world, by the double fatality ofhis unknown birth and his natural deformity, imprisoned from his infancyin that impassable double circle, the poor wretch had grown used toseeing nothing in this world beyond the religious walls which had receivedhim under their shadow.
notre-dame had been to him successively, ashe grew up and developed, the egg, the nest, the house, the country,the universe. there was certainly a sort of mysterious andpre-existing harmony between this creature and this church. when,still a little fellow, he had dragged himself tortuously and by jerksbeneath the shadows of its vaults, he seemed, with his human faceand his bestial limbs, the natural reptile of that humid and sombre pavement,upon which the shadow of the romanesque capitals cast so many strangeforms. later on, the first time that he caught hold,mechanically, of the
ropes to the towers, and hung suspended fromthem, and set the bell to clanging, it produced upon his adopted father,claude, the effect of a child whose tongue is unloosed and who beginsto speak. it is thus that, little by little, developingalways in sympathy with the cathedral, living there, sleeping there,hardly ever leaving it, subject every hour to the mysterious impress,he came to resemble it, he incrusted himself in it, so to speak, andbecame an integral part of it. his salient angles fitted into the retreatingangles of the cathedral (if we may be allowed this figure of speech),and he seemed not only its
inhabitant but more than that, its naturaltenant. one might almost say that he had assumed its form, as the snailtakes on the form of its shell. it was his dwelling, his hole,his envelope. there existed between him and the old church so profoundan instinctive sympathy, so many magnetic affinities, so many materialaffinities, that he adhered to it somewhat as a tortoise adheres to itsshell. the rough and wrinkled cathedral was his shell. it is useless to warn the reader not to takeliterally all the similes which we are obliged to employ hereto express the singular,
symmetrical, direct, almost consubstantialunion of a man and an edifice. it is equally unnecessary to stateto what a degree that whole cathedral was familiar to him, afterso long and so intimate a cohabitation. that dwelling was peculiar tohim. it had no depths to which quasimodo had not penetrated, no heightwhich he had not scaled. he often climbed many stones up the front,aided solely by the uneven points of the carving. the towers, on whoseexterior surface he was frequently seen clambering, like a lizardgliding along a perpendicular wall, those two gigantic twins, so lofty,so menacing, so formidable,
possessed for him neither vertigo, nor terror,nor shocks of amazement. to see them so gentle under his hand, so easyto scale, one would have said that he had tamed them. by dint of leaping,climbing, gambolling amid the abysses of the gigantic cathedralhe had become, in some sort, a monkey and a goat, like the calabrian childwho swims before he walks, and plays with the sea while still a babe. moreover, it was not his body alone whichseemed fashioned after the cathedral, but his mind also. in what conditionwas that mind? what bent had it contracted, what form had it assumedbeneath that knotted
envelope, in that savage life? this it wouldbe hard to determine. quasimodo had been born one-eyed, hunchbacked,lame. it was with great difficulty, and by dint of great patiencethat claude frollo had succeeded in teaching him to talk. but a fatalitywas attached to the poor foundling. bellringer of notre-dame atthe age of fourteen, a new infirmity had come to complete his misfortunes:the bells had broken the drums of his ears; he had become deaf. theonly gate which nature had left wide open for him had been abruptly closed,and forever. in closing, it had cut off the only ray ofjoy and of light which still
made its way into the soul of quasimodo. hissoul fell into profound night. the wretched being's misery becameas incurable and as complete as his deformity. let us add that his deafnessrendered him to some extent dumb. for, in order not to make otherslaugh, the very moment that he found himself to be deaf, he resolvedupon a silence which he only broke when he was alone. he voluntarilytied that tongue which claude frollo had taken so much pains to unloose.hence, it came about, that when necessity constrained him to speak,his tongue was torpid, awkward, and like a door whose hinges havegrown rusty.
if now we were to try to penetrate to thesoul of quasimodo through that thick, hard rind; if we could sound the depthsof that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us to lookwith a torch behind those non-transparent organs to explore the shadowyinterior of that opaque creature, to elucidate his obscure corners,his absurd no-thoroughfares, and suddenly to cast a vivid light upon thesoul enchained at the extremity of that cave, we should, no doubt,find the unhappy psyche in some poor, cramped, and ricketty attitude,like those prisoners beneath the leads of venice, who grew old bent doublein a stone box which was
both too low and too short for them. it is certain that the mind becomes atrophiedin a defective body. quasimodo was barely conscious of a soul castin his own image, moving blindly within him. the impressions of objectsunderwent a considerable refraction before reaching his mind. his brainwas a peculiar medium; the ideas which passed through it issued forthcompletely distorted. the reflection which resulted from this refractionwas, necessarily, divergent and perverted. hence a thousand optical illusions, a thousandaberrations of judgment,
a thousand deviations, in which his thoughtstrayed, now mad, now idiotic. the first effect of this fatal organizationwas to trouble the glance which he cast upon things. he received hardlyany immediate perception of them. the external world seemed much fartheraway to him than it does to us. the second effect of his misfortune was torender him malicious. he was malicious, in fact, because he wassavage; he was savage because he was ugly. there was logic in his nature,as there is in ours.
his strength, so extraordinarily developed,was a cause of still greater malevolence: "_malus puer robustus_," sayshobbes. this justice must, however be rendered tohim. malevolence was not, perhaps, innate in him. from his very firststeps among men, he had felt himself, later on he had seen himself, spewedout, blasted, rejected. human words were, for him, always a railleryor a malediction. as he grew up, he had found nothing but hatred aroundhim. he had caught the general malevolence. he had picked up theweapon with which he had been wounded.
after all, he turned his face towards menonly with reluctance; his cathedral was sufficient for him. it waspeopled with marble figures,--kings, saints, bishops,--who atleast did not burst out laughing in his face, and who gazed upon himonly with tranquillity and kindliness. the other statues, those ofthe monsters and demons, cherished no hatred for him, quasimodo. heresembled them too much for that. they seemed rather, to be scoffing atother men. the saints were his friends, and blessed him; the monsterswere his friends and guarded him. so he held long communion with them.he sometimes passed whole
hours crouching before one of these statues,in solitary conversation with it. if any one came, he fled like a loversurprised in his serenade. and the cathedral was not only society forhim, but the universe, and all nature beside. he dreamed of no otherhedgerows than the painted windows, always in flower; no other shadethan that of the foliage of stone which spread out, loaded with birds,in the tufts of the saxon capitals; of no other mountains than the colossaltowers of the church; of no other ocean than paris, roaring at theirbases.
what he loved above all else in the maternaledifice, that which aroused his soul, and made it open its poor wings,which it kept so miserably folded in its cavern, that which sometimesrendered him even happy, was the bells. he loved them, fondled them, talkedto them, understood them. from the chime in the spire, over the intersectionof the aisles and nave, to the great bell of the front, he cherisheda tenderness for them all. the central spire and the two towerswere to him as three great cages, whose birds, reared by himself, sangfor him alone. yet it was these very bells which had made him deaf;but mothers often love best
that child which has caused them the mostsuffering. it is true that their voice was the only onewhich he could still hear. on this score, the big bell was hisbeloved. it was she whom he preferred out of all that family of noisygirls which bustled above him, on festival days. this bell was namedmarie. she was alone in the southern tower, with her sister jacqueline,a bell of lesser size, shut up in a smaller cage beside hers. this jacquelinewas so called from the name of the wife of jean montagu, who hadgiven it to the church, which had not prevented his going and figuring withouthis head at montfauã§on.
in the second tower there were six other bells,and, finally, six smaller ones inhabited the belfry over thecrossing, with the wooden bell, which rang only between after dinneron good friday and the morning of the day before easter. so quasimodohad fifteen bells in his seraglio; but big marie was his favorite. no idea can be formed of his delight on dayswhen the grand peal was sounded. at the moment when the archdeacondismissed him, and said, "go!" he mounted the spiral staircase of theclock tower faster than any one else could have descended it. he enteredperfectly breathless into
the aerial chamber of the great bell; he gazedat her a moment, devoutly and lovingly; then he gently addressed herand patted her with his hand, like a good horse, which is about toset out on a long journey. he pitied her for the trouble that she wasabout to suffer. after these first caresses, he shouted to his assistants,placed in the lower story of the tower, to begin. they grasped the ropes,the wheel creaked, the enormous capsule of metal started slowly intomotion. quasimodo followed it with his glance and trembled. the firstshock of the clapper and the brazen wall made the framework upon whichit was mounted quiver.
quasimodo vibrated with the bell. "vah!" he cried, with a senseless burst oflaughter. however, the movement of the bass was accelerated, and,in proportion as it described a wider angle, quasimodo's eye opened alsomore and more widely, phosphoric and flaming. at length the grandpeal began; the whole tower trembled; woodwork, leads, cut stones, allgroaned at once, from the piles of the foundation to the trefoils ofits summit. then quasimodo boiled and frothed; he went and came; he trembledfrom head to foot with the tower. the bell, furious, running riot,presented to the two
walls of the tower alternately its brazenthroat, whence escaped that tempestuous breath, which is audible leaguesaway. quasimodo stationed himself in front of this open throat; he crouchedand rose with the oscillations of the bell, breathed in thisoverwhelming breath, gazed by turns at the deep place, which swarmedwith people, two hundred feet below him, and at that enormous, brazen tonguewhich came, second after second, to howl in his ear. it was the only speech which he understood,the only sound which broke for him the universal silence. he swelledout in it as a bird does in
the sun. all of a sudden, the frenzy of thebell seized upon him; his look became extraordinary; he lay in waitfor the great bell as it passed, as a spider lies in wait for a fly,and flung himself abruptly upon it, with might and main. then, suspendedabove the abyss, borne to and fro by the formidable swinging of thebell, he seized the brazen monster by the ear-laps, pressed it betweenboth knees, spurred it on with his heels, and redoubled the fury ofthe peal with the whole shock and weight of his body. meanwhile, the towertrembled; he shrieked and gnashed his teeth, his red hair rose erect,his breast heaving like a
bellows, his eye flashed flames, the monstrousbell neighed, panting, beneath him; and then it was no longer thegreat bell of notre-dame nor quasimodo: it was a dream, a whirlwind, atempest, dizziness mounted astride of noise; a spirit clinging to a flyingcrupper, a strange centaur, half man, half bell; a sort of horribleastolphus, borne away upon a prodigious hippogriff of living bronze. the presence of this extraordinary being caused,as it were, a breath of life to circulate throughout the entire cathedral.it seemed as though there escaped from him, at least accordingto the growing superstitions
of the crowd, a mysterious emanation whichanimated all the stones of notre-dame, and made the deep bowels of theancient church to palpitate. it sufficed for people to know that he wasthere, to make them believe that they beheld the thousand statues of thegalleries and the fronts in motion. and the cathedral did indeed seema docile and obedient creature beneath his hand; it waited on his will toraise its great voice; it was possessed and filled with quasimodo, aswith a familiar spirit. one would have said that he made the immenseedifice breathe. he was everywhere about it; in fact, he multipliedhimself on all points of the
structure. now one perceived with affrightat the very top of one of the towers, a fantastic dwarf climbing, writhing,crawling on all fours, descending outside above the abyss,leaping from projection to projection, and going to ransack the bellyof some sculptured gorgon; it was quasimodo dislodging the crows. again,in some obscure corner of the church one came in contact with a sort ofliving chimera, crouching and scowling; it was quasimodo engaged inthought. sometimes one caught sight, upon a bell tower, of an enormous headand a bundle of disordered limbs swinging furiously at the end of a rope;it was quasimodo ringing
vespers or the angelus. often at night a hideousform was seen wandering along the frail balustrade of carved lacework,which crowns the towers and borders the circumference of the apse;again it was the hunchback of notre-dame. then, said the women of the neighborhood,the whole church took on something fantastic, supernatural,horrible; eyes and mouths were opened, here and there; one heard thedogs, the monsters, and the gargoyles of stone, which keep watch nightand day, with outstretched neck and open jaws, around the monstrous cathedral,barking. and, if it was a christmas eve, while the great bell,which seemed to emit the
death rattle, summoned the faithful to themidnight mass, such an air was spread over the sombre faã§ade that onewould have declared that the grand portal was devouring the throng,and that the rose window was watching it. and all this came from quasimodo.egypt would have taken him for the god of this temple; the middleages believed him to be its demon: he was in fact its soul. to such an extent was this disease that forthose who know that quasimodo has existed, notre-dame is to-daydeserted, inanimate, dead. one feels that something has disappeared fromit. that immense body is
empty; it is a skeleton; the spirit has quittedit, one sees its place and that is all. it is like a skull whichstill has holes for the eyes, but no longer sight. chapter iv. the dog and his master. nevertheless, there was one human creaturewhom quasimodo excepted from his malice and from his hatred for others,and whom he loved even more, perhaps, than his cathedral: this was claudefrollo. the matter was simple; claude frollo had takenhim in, had adopted him, had nourished him, had reared him. when alittle lad, it was between
claude frollo's legs that he was accustomedto seek refuge, when the dogs and the children barked after him. claudefrollo had taught him to talk, to read, to write. claude frollohad finally made him the bellringer. now, to give the big bell in marriageto quasimodo was to give juliet to romeo. hence quasimodo's gratitude was profound,passionate, boundless; and although the visage of his adopted fatherwas often clouded or severe, although his speech was habitually curt, harsh,imperious, that gratitude never wavered for a single moment.the archdeacon had in
quasimodo the most submissive slave, the mostdocile lackey, the most vigilant of dogs. when the poor bellringerbecame deaf, there had been established between him and claude frollo,a language of signs, mysterious and understood by themselves alone.in this manner the archdeacon was the sole human being with whomquasimodo had preserved communication. he was in sympathy with buttwo things in this world: notre-dame and claude frollo. there is nothing which can be compared withthe empire of the archdeacon over the bellringer; with the attachment ofthe bellringer for the
archdeacon. a sign from claude and the ideaof giving him pleasure would have sufficed to make quasimodo hurl himselfheadlong from the summit of notre-dame. it was a remarkable thing--allthat physical strength which had reached in quasimodo such an extraordinarydevelopment, and which was placed by him blindly at the dispositionof another. there was in it, no doubt, filial devotion, domestic attachment;there was also the fascination of one spirit by another spirit.it was a poor, awkward, and clumsy organization, which stood with loweredhead and supplicating eyes before a lofty and profound, a powerful andsuperior intellect. lastly,
and above all, it was gratitude. gratitudeso pushed to its extremest limit, that we do not know to what to compareit. this virtue is not one of those of which the finest examples areto be met with among men. we will say then, that quasimodo loved the archdeaconas never a dog, never a horse, never an elephant loved his master.Winnie The Pooh Coloring Book Free Download