Misérables Vol. 5 | Victor Hugo | Literary Fiction, Romance | Talking Book | English | 3/8

Misérables Vol. 5 | Victor Hugo | Literary Fiction, Romance | Talking Book | English | 3/8



chapters 23 through 24 of book 1 Blaine Missouri volume 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by musical heart one name is Ola volume 5 by Victor Hugo translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood book 1 the war between four walls chapter 23 verse t's fasting and pill ADIZ drunk at length by dint of mounting on each other's backs aiming themselves with the skeleton of the staircase climbing up the walls clinging to the ceiling slashing away at the very brink of the trapdoor the last one who offered resistance a score of assailants soldiers National Guardsmen municipal guardsmen and utter confusion the majority disfigured by wounds in the face during that redoubtable ascent blinded by blood furious rendered savage made an eruption into the apartment on the first floor there they found only one man still on his feet Enjolras without cartridges without sword he had nothing in his hand now but the barrel of his gun whose stock he had broken over the head of those who were entering he'd placed the billiard table between his assailants and himself he had retreated into the corner of the room and there with haughty eye and had borne high with the stump of a weapon in his hand he was still so alarming as to speedily create an empty space around him a cry arose he is the leader it was he who slew the artillery men it is well that he has placed himself there let him remain there let us shoot him down on the spot shoot me said Enjolras then flinging away his bit of gun barrel and folding his arms he looks like his brother the audacity of the find death always affects men as soon as Enjolras folded his arms and accepted his end the den of strife ceased in the room and this chaos suddenly stilled into a sort of separable solemnity the menacing majesty of Enjolras disarmed and motionless appeared to oppress this tumult man – bloody and charming who was as indifferent as an invulnerable beam seemed by the authority of his tranquil glance to constrain this sinister rabble to kill him respectfully his beauty at that moment augmented by his pride was resplendent and she was fresh and rosy after the fearful four and twenty hours which had just elapsed as though he could no more be fatigued than wounded it was of him possibly that a witness spoke afterwards for the council of war there was an insurgent whom I heard called Apollo the National Guardsmen who had taken aim at Enjolras lowered his gun saying seems to me that I am about to shoot a flower twelve men formed into a squad in the corner opposite Enjolras and silently made ready their guns then a sergeant shouted take aim an officer intervened wait and addressing Enjolras do you wish to have your eyes bandaged no was it you who killed by artillery sergeant yes Ron Terre had waked up a few moments before Grantaire it will be remembered had been asleep ever since the preceding evening in the upper room of the wine-shop seated on a chair and leaning on the table he realized in its fullest sense the old metaphor of dead drunk the hideous potion of absinthe Porter and alcohol had thrown him into a lethargy his table be small and not suitable for the barricade he had been left in possession of it he was still in the same posture with his breast bent over the table his head lying flat on his arms surrounded by glasses beer jugs and bottles his was the overwhelming slumber of the torpid bear and the satiated leech nothing had had any effect upon it neither the fusillade nor the cannonballs nor the grapeshot which had made its way through the window into the room where he was nor the tremendous uproar of the assault he merely replied to the cannonade now and then by a snore he seemed to be waiting there for a bullet which should spare him the trouble of waking many corpses were strewn around him and at the first glance there was nothing to distinguish him from those profound sleepers of death lies does not rouse a drunken man silence awakens him the fall of everything around him only argumented grin tears prostration the crumbling of all things was his lullaby the sort of halt which the tumult underwent in the presence of Enjolras was a shock to this heavy slumber had the effect of a carriage going at full speed which suddenly comes to a dead stop the persons dozing within it wake up grant a arose to his feet with a start stretched out his arms rubbed his eyes stared yawned and understood a fit of drunkenness reaching its end resembles a curtain which is torn away one beholds at a single glance and as a whole all that it has concealed all suddenly presents itself to the memory and the drunkard who has know nothing of what has been taking place during the last 24 hours has no sooner opened his eyes then he is perfectly informed ideas recurred to him with abrupt lucidity the obliteration of intoxication a sort of steam which has obscured the brain is dissipated and makes way for the clear and sharply outlined in portunity of realities relegated as he was to one corner and shelter behind the billiard table the soldiers whose eyes were fixed on Enjolras had not even noticed front air and the sergeant was preparing to repeat his order take aim when all at once they heard a strong voice shout beside them long live the Republic I'm one of them Grantaire had risen the immense Kleem of the whole combat which he had missed and in which he had had no part appeared in the brilliant glance of this transfigured drunken man he repeated long live the Republic crossed the room with a firm stride and placed himself in front of the guns beside Enjolras finish both of us at one blow said he and turning gently to Enjolras he said to him do you permit it he pressed his hand with a smile the smile was not ended when the report was sounded Enjolras pierced by eight bullets remained leaning against the wall as though the balls had nailed him there only his head was bowed Bonterra fell at his feet as though struck by a thunderbolt a few moments later the soldiers dislodged the last remaining insurgents who had taken refuge at the top of the house they fired into the Attic through a wooden lattice they fought under the very roof they flung bodies some of them still alive out through the windows to light infantryman who tried to lift the shattered omnibus were slain by two shots fired from the Attic a man in a blouse was flung down from it with a bayonet wound in the abdomen breathed his last on the ground a soldier in an insurgent slipped together on the sloping slates of the roof and as they would not release each other they fell clasped in a ferocious embrace a similar conflict went on in the cellar shouts shots a fierce trampling then silence the barricade was captured the soldiers began to search the house roundabout and to pursue the fugitives chapter 24 prisoner Marius was in fact a prisoner the hand which had seized him from behind and whose grasp he had felt at the moment of his fall and his loss of consciousness was that of Jean Valjean Jean Valjean had taken no other part in the combat than to expose himself in it had it not been for him no one in that supreme phase of agony would have thought of the wounded thanks to him everywhere present in the carnage like a Providence those who fell were picked up transported to the tack room and cared for an intervals he reappeared on barricade but nothing which could resemble a blow an attack or even personal defense proceeded from his hands he held his peace and lent succor moreover he had received only a few scratches the bullets would have none of him if suicide formed part of what he had meditated on coming to this step Luca to that spot he had not succeeded but we doubt whether he had thought of suicide and a religious act Jean Valjean in the thick cloud of the combat did not appear to see Marius the truth is that he never took his eyes from the latter when a shop laid Mary slow Jean Valjean left forward with the agility of a tiger fell upon him as on his prey and bore him off the whirlwind if the attack was at that moment so violently concentrated upon all John Ross and upon the door of the wine shop that no one saw Jean Valjean sustaining the fainting Marius in his arms traversed the unpaved field of the barricade and disappear behind the angle of the Corinth the reader will recall this angle which formed a sort of cape on the street it afforded shelter from the bullets the grapeshot and all eyes and a few square feet of space there was sometimes a chamber which does not burn in the midst of a conflagration and in the midst of raging seas beyond a promontory or at the extremity of a blind alley of shoals the tranquil look it was in this sort of fold in the interior trapezium of the barricade that Eponine had breathed her last there which on foshan halted let Marius slide to the ground placed his back against the wall and cast his eyes about him the situation was alarming for an instant for two or three perhaps this bit of wall was his shelter but how old was he to escape from this Massacre he recalled the anguish which he had suffered in the room I miss you eight years before and in what manner he had contrived to make his escape it was difficult then today it was impossible he had before him that death an implacable house six storeys in height which appeared to be inhabited only by a dead man leaning out of his window he had on his right the rather low barricade which shut off though glue de la petite quand le to pass this obstacle seemed easy but beyond the crest of the barrier a line of bayonets was visible the troops of the line were posted on the watch behind the barricade it was evident that to pass the barricade was to go in quest of the fire of the platoon and that any head which should run the risk of lifting itself above the top of that wall of stones would serve as a target for sixty shots on his left he had the field of battle death worked round the corner of that wall what was to be done only a bird could have extricated itself from this predicament and it was necessary to decide on the instant to devise some expedient to come to some decision fighting was going on a few paces away fortunately all were raging around a single point the door of the wine shop but if it should occur to one soldier to one single soldier to turn the corner of the house or to attack him on the flank all was over Jean Valjean gazed at the house facing him he gazed at the barricade at one side of him and he looked at the ground with the violence of the last extremity bewildered and as though he would have liked to pierce a hole there with his eyes by dint of staring something vaguely striking in such an agony began to assume form and outline at his feet as though it had been a power of glance which made the thing desired unfold a few paces distant he perceived at the base of the small barrier so pitilessly guarded and watched on the exterior beneath the disordered mass of paving stones which partly concealed it an iron grating placed flat and on a level with the soil this grading made of stout transverse bars was about two feet square the frame of paving stones which supported it had been torn up and it was as it were unfastened through the bars of you could be had of the dark aperture something like the flue of a chimney or the pipe of the cistern jean valjean darted forward his old art of escape rose to his brain like an illumination to thrust aside the stones to raise the grating to lift Marius who was as inert as a dead body upon his shoulders to descend with this burden on his loins and with the aid of his elbows and knees into that sort of well fortunately not very deep to let the heavy trap upon which loosened stones rolled down a fresh fall into its place behind him to gain his footing on a flag surfaced three metres below the surface all this was ex like that which one dozen dreams with the strength of a giant and the rapidity of an eagle this took only a few minutes Jean Valjean found himself with Marius who was still unconscious in a sort of long subterranean corridor there reigned profound peace absolute silence night the impression which he had formerly experienced when falling from the wall into the convent recurred to him only what he was carrying today was not Cosette it was Marius he could barely hear the formidable tumult in the wine-shop taken by assault like a vague murmur overhead and book one chapters 23 through 24 recording by musical heart one chapters one and two of book two of limas Arabella vol 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by bruce pirie Lamesa habla vol 5 by victor hugo translated by isabel florence Hapgood book – the intestine of the leviathan chapter 1 the land impoverished by the sea Paris casts 25 millions yearly into the water and this without metaphor how and in what manner day and night with what object with no object with what intention with no intention why for no reason by means of what organ by means of its intestine what is its intestine the sewer 25 millions is the most moderate approximate a figure which the valuations of special science have set upon it science after having long grouped about now knows that the most fecund dating and the most efficacious of fertilizers is human manure the Chinese let us confess it to our shame knew it before us not a Chinese peasant it is expert who says this goes to town without bringing back with him at the two extremities of his bamboo pole two full buckets of what we designate as filth thanks to human dung the earth in China is still as young as in the days of Abraham Chinese wheat yields a hundredfold of the seed there is no guano comparable in fertility with the detritus of a capital a great city is the most mighty of dung makers certain success would attend the experiment of employing the city to manure the plain if our gold is manure our manure on the other hand is gold what is done with this golden manure it is swept into the abyss fleets of vessels are dispatched at great expense to collect the dung of petrels and penguins at the South Pole and the incalculable element of opulence which we have on hand we send to the sea all the human and animal manure which the world wastes restored to the land instead of being cast into the water would suffice to nourish the world those heaps of Filth at the gate posts those tumbrils of mud which jolt through the street by night those terrible casks of the street department those fetid drippings of subterranean mire which the pavements hide from you do you know what they are they are the meadow in flower the green grass wild thyme thyme and sage they are game they are cattle they are the satisfied bellows of great oxen in the evening they are perfumed hay they are golden wheat they are the bread on your table they are the warm blood in your veins they are health they are joy they are life this is the will of that mysterious creation which is transformation on earth and Transfiguration in heaven restore this to the great crucible your abundance will flow forth from it the nutrition of the plains furnishes the nourishment of men you have it in your power to lose this wealth and to consider me ridiculous to boot this will form the masterpiece of your ignorance statisticians have calculated that France alone makes a deposit of half a million every year in the Atlantic through the mouths of her rivers note this with 500 millions we could pay one quarter of the expenses of our budget the cleverness of man is such that he prefers to get rid of these 500 millions in the gutter it is the very substance of the people that is carried off here drop by drop there wave after wave the wretched outpour of our sewers into the rivers and the gigantic collection of our rivers into the ocean every hiccup of our sewers costs us a thousand francs from this spring to results the land impoverished and the water tainted hunger arising from the furrow and disease from the stream it is notorious for example that at the present hour the thames is poisoning london Surfaris paris is concerned it has become indispensable of late to transport the mouths of the sewers downstream below the last bridge a double tubular apparatus provided with valves and sluices sucking up and driving back a system of elementary drainage simple as the lungs of a man and which is already in full working order in many communities in england would suffice to conduct the pure water of the fields into our cities and to send back to the fields the rich water of the cities and this easy exchange the simplest in the world would retain among us the 500 millions now thrown away people are thinking of other things the process actually in use does evil with the intention of doing good the intention is good the result is melancholy thinking to purge the city the population is blanched like plants raised in cellars a sewer is a mistake when drainage everywhere with its double function restoring what it takes shall have replaced the sewer which is a simple impoverishing washing then this being combined with the data of a now social economy the product of the earth will be increased tenfold and the problem of misery will be singularly lightened add the suppression of parasitism and it will be solved in the meanwhile the public wealth flows away to the river and leakage takes place leakage is the word Europe is being ruined in this manner by exhaustion as for France we have just cited its figures now Paris contains one twenty-fifth of the total population of France and Parisian guano being the richest of all we understate the truth when we value the loss on the part of Paris at 25 millions in the half million which France annually rejects those 25 million employed in assistance and enjoyment would double the splendor of Paris the city spends them in sewers so that we may say that Paris's great product ality it's wonderful festival it's bozo folly it's orgy its stream of gold from full hands its pomp its luxury its magnificence is its sewer system it is in this manner that in the blindness of a poor political economy we drown and allow to float downstream and to be lost in the Gulf's the well-being of all there should be nets ATS include for the public fortune economically considered the matter can be summed up with us Paris is a spendthrift Paris that model city that patron of well arranged capitals of which every nation strives to possess a copy that metropolis of the ideal that a gust country of the initiative of impulse and of effort that center and that dwelling of minds that nation city that hive of the future that marvelous combination of Babylon and Corinth would make a peasant of the Foggia and shrug his shoulders from the point of view which we have just indicated imitate Paris and you will ruin yourselves moreover and particularly in this immemorial and senseless waste Paris is itself an imitator these surprising exhibitions of stupidity are not novel this is no young folly the ancients did like the moderns the sewers of Rome says Liebig have absorbed all the well-being of the Roman peasant when the companion of Rome was ruined by the Roman sewer Rome exhausted Italy and when she had put Italy in her sewer she poured in Sicily then Sardinia then Africa the sewer of Rome has engulfed the world this cesspool offered its engulfment to the city and the universe burr be at or be eternal city and fat honorable sewer Rome sets the example for these things as well as for others Paris follows this example with all the stupidity peculiar to intelligent towns for the requirements of the operation upon the subject of which we have just explained our views Paris has beneath it another Paris a Paris of sewers which has its streets its crossroads its squares it's blind alleys its arteries and its circulation which is of mire and – the human form for nothing must be flattered not even a great people where there is everything there is also ignominy by the side of sublimity and if paris contains athens the city of light tyre the city of might sparta the city of virtue Nineveh the city of Marvel's it also contains Letitia the city of mud however the stamp of its power is there also and the Titanic think of Paris realizes among monuments that strange ideal realized in humanity by some men like Machiavelli bacon and Mirabeau grandiose vileness the subsoil of Paris if the I could penetrate his surface would present the aspect of a colossal mad rapport a sponge has no more partitions and ducts than the mound of Earth for a circuit of six leagues roundabouts on which rests the great and ancient city not to mention its catacombs which are a separate cellar not to mention the inextricable trellis work of gas pipes without reckoning the vast tubular system for the distribution of fresh water which ends in the pillar fountains the sewers alone for a tremendous shadowy Network under the two banks a labyrinth which has its slope for its guiding thread there appears in the human missed the rat which seems the product to which Paris has given birth chapter 2 ancient history of the sewer let the reader imagine Paris lifted off like a cover the subterranean network of sewers from a bird's-eye view will outline on the banks a species of large branch grafted on the river on the right bank the belt sewer will form the trunk of this branch the secondary ducts will form the branches and those without exit the twigs this figure is but a summary one and half exact the right angle which is the customary angle of this species of subterranean ramifications being very rare in vegetation a more accurate image of this strange geometrical plan can be formed by supposing that one is viewing some eccentric oriental alphabet as intricate as a thicket against a background of shadows and the misshapen letters should be welded one to another in apparent confusion and as at haphazard now by their angles again by their extremities sinks and sewers played a great part in the Middle Ages in the lower Empire and in the Orient of old the masses regarded these beds of decomposition these monstrous cradles of death with the fear that was almost religious the vermin ditch of Banaras is no less conducive to giddiness than the lions ditch of babylon Tecla phallus are according to the rabbinical books swore by the sink of Nineveh it was from the sewer of Muenster that john of Leyden produced his false moon and it was from the cesspool of ketchup that oriental minal KA Makana the veiled prophet of Khorasan caused his false son to emerge the history of men is reflected in the history of sewers the Germany hai narrated Rome the sewer of Paris has been an ancient and formidable thing it has been a Sepulchre it has served as an asylum crime intelligence social protest liberty of conscience thought theft all that human laws persecute or have persecuted is hidden in that hole the Mayans in the 14th century the tear lane of the 15th the Hugin house in the 16th morons illuminated in the 17th the show fairs brigands in the 18th a hundred years ago the nocturnal blow of the dagger emerged thence the pickpocket in danger slipped liver the forest had its cave paris had its sewer vagrancy that Gallic picker area accepted the sewer as the adjunct of the coup de mirepoix and at evening it returned thither fierce and sly through the mobo a outlet as into a bedchamber it was quite natural that those who had the blind alley vide goose a empty pocket or the Rue coupe gorosh cutthroat for the scene of their daily labor should have further domicile by night the culvert of the shamea vert or the catch basin of Europe wha hence a throng of souvenirs all sorts of phantoms haunt these long solitary corridors everywhere is putrescence and miasma here and there are breathing holes where V all within converses with Rabelais without the sewer in ancient Paris is the rendezvous of all exhaustion's and of all attempts political economy very inspired detritus social philosophy there B holds a residual the sewer is the conscience of the city everything there converges and confronts everything else in that livid spot there are shades but there are no longer any secrets each thing bares its true form or at least its definitive form the mass of Filth has this in its favor that it is not a liar ingenuous has taken refuge there the mask of Basel is to be found there but one be holds its cardboard and its strings and the inside as well as the outside and it is accentuated by honest mud scape hands false nose is its next-door neighbor all the uncleanness –is of civilization once past their use fall into this trench of truth where the immense social sliding ends they are there engulfed but they display themselves there this mixture is a confession there no more false appearances no plastering over is possible filth removes its shirt absolute denudation puts to the rout all illusions and mirages there is nothing more except what really exists presenting the sinister form of that which is coming to an end there the bottom of a bottle indicates drunkenness a basket handle tells a tale of domesticity there the core of an Apple which has entertained literary opinions becomes an apple core once more the effigy on the big sue becomes frankly covered with a ver degree Caiphas spittle meets Falstaff's puking the lui door which comes from the gaming house jostles the nail whence hangs the ropes end of the suicide a livid fetus rolls along enveloped in the spangles which danced at the Opera last Shrove Tuesday a cap which has pronounced judgment on men wallows beside a massive rottenness which was formerly margot paul's petticoat it is more than fraternization it is equivalent to addressing each other as thou all which was formerly ruched is washed free the last veil is torn away a sewer is a cynic it tells everything the sincerity of fallenness pleases us and rests the soul when one has past ones time in enduring upon earth the spectacle of the great airs which reasons of state the oath political sagacity human justice professional probity the austerities of situation incorruptible robes all assume its solace 'as one to enter a sewer and to behold the mire which befits it this is instructive at the same time we have just said that history passes through the sewer the saint bottle Amy's filter through there drop by drop between the paving stones great public assassinations political and religious butcheries traverse this underground passage of civilization and thrust their corpses there for the eye of the thinker all historic murderers are to be found there in that hideous penumbra on their knees with a scrap of their winding sheet for an apron dismal a sponging out their work louie xi is there with Tristan Francois the first with dupois Charles the ninth is there with his mother Richelieu is there with louis xiii Louvois is there Litella is there a bear and my yard are there scratching the stones and trying to make the traces of their actions disappear beneath these vaults one hears the brooms of spectres one there breathes the enormous Fitness of social catastrophes one bee holds reddish reflections in the corners there flows a terrible stream in which bloody hands have been washed the social observer should enter these shadows they form a part of his laboratory philosophy is the microscope of the thought everything desires to flee from it but nothing escapes it terr giver sation is useless what side of oneself does one display in evasions the shameful side philosophy pursues with its clans probes the evil and does not permit it to escape into nothingness in the obliteration of things which disappear in the watching of things which vanish it recognizes all it reconstructs the purple from the rag and the woman from the scrap of her dress from the cesspool it reconstitutes the city from mud it reconstructs manners from the potsherd it infers the amphora or the jug by the imprint of a fingernail on a piece of parchment it recognizes the difference which separates the jury of the udin Gaza from the jury of the ghetto it rediscovers in what remains that which has been good evil the true the blood-stained of the palace the inkblot of the cavern the drop of sweat from the brothel trials undergone temptations welcomed orgies cast forth the turn which characters have taken as they became abased the trace of prostitution in souls of which their gross nests rendered them capable and on the Wester of the porters of Rome the mark of mess Elena's elbowing end of book 2 chapters 1 & 2 chapter 3 chapter 4 of book 2 of limas aloud vol 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by Peter Kelly name is a table volume 5 by Victor Hugo translated by Isabel Florence hep good book to the intestine of the Leviathan chapter 3 Bruna Sal the sewer of Paris in the Middle Ages was legendary in the 16th century henry ii attempted a boar which failed not a hundred years ago the cesspool Murcia attests the fact was abandoned to itself and fared as best it might such was this Paris delivered over to quarrels too indecision and to gropings it was tolerably stupid for a long time later on 89 showed how understanding comes to cities but in the good old times the capital had not much had he did not know how to manage its own affairs either morally or materially it could not sweep out filth any better than it could abuses everything presented an obstacle everything raised a question the sewer for example was refractory to every itinerary one could no more find one's bearings in the sewer than one could understand one's position in the city above the unintelligible below the inextricable beneath the confusion of tongues there reigned the confusion of caverns Daedalus backed up by Babel sometimes the Paris sewer took a notion to overflow as though this misunderstood Nile was suddenly seized with a fit of rage there occurred infamous to relate inundations of the sewer at times that stomach of civilization digested badly the cesspool flowed back into the throat of the city and Paris got an aftertaste of her own filth these resemblances of the sewer to remorse had their good points they were warnings very badly accepted however the city waxed indignant at the audacity of its mire and did not admit that the fill should return drive it out better the inundation of 1802 is one of the actual memories of Parisians of the age of 80 the mud spread in cross form of the plastic Victoire where stands the statue of louis xiv it entered the ruse on anur by the two miles to the sewer initially say the roofs on Florent end through the sand Florentine sewer the ruse via a possum through the sewer de la so near the Rue poppin Corps through the sewer of the chemin via the Rue de La Roquette through the sewer de la la it covered the drain of the Rue de Chantilly say to the height of 35 centimeters and to the south through the vent of the sin performed its functions in inverse sense it penetrated the rue mazarine the rue de la show and the rue de maría where it stopped at a distance of 109 meters a few paces distance from the house in which were seen had lived respecting in the 17th century the poet more than the king it attained its maximum depth in the Rousseau Pierre where it rose to the height of 3 feet above the flagstones of the water spout and it's maximum length in the Rue San Saba where it spread out over a stretch of 238 meters in length at the beginning of the century the sewer of Paris was still a mysterious place mud can never enjoy a good fame but in this case it's evil renown reached the verge of the terrible Paris knew in a confused way that she had under her a terrible cavern people talked of it is of that monstrous bed of Thebes in which swarm centipedes 15 long feet in length and which might have served behemoth for a bathtub the great boots of the sewer men never ventured further than certain well-known points we were then very near the epoch when the scavengers carts from the summit of which Sanwa fraternized with marquis de rocky discharged their lowest directly into the sewer as for cleaning out that function was entrusted to the pouring rains which encumbered rather than swept away Rome left some poetry to her sewer and called it the gem on a Paris insulted Herzing entitled it the polyp asshole science and superstition were in accord in horror the palapa soul was no less repugnant to hygiene than to legend the Goblin was developed under the fetid covering of the Muffet art sewer the corpses of the mama-se had been cast into the sewer Delabar Leary Fagin attributed the redoubtable malignant fever of 1685 to the great hiatus of the sewer of the Marais which remained yawning until 1833 in the rue sala we almost asked at the sign of the gallant messenger the mouth of the sewer of the rue de la Mata Hari was celebrated for the pestilences which had their source there with its grating of iron with points simulating a row of teeth it was like a dragon's ma in that fatal street breathing forth hell upon men the popular imagination seasoned the Samba Parisian sink with some indescribable hideous intermixture of the infinite the sewer had no bottom the sewer was the lower world the idea of exploring these leprous regions did not even occur to the police to try that unknown thing to cast the plummet into that shadow to set out on a voyage of discovery in that abyss who would have dared it was alarming nevertheless someone did present himself the cesspool had its Christopher Columbus one day in 1805 during one of the rare apparitions which the emperor made in Paris the Minister of the Interior some of the clay or kratae or other came to the Masters intimate leve in the carousel that was the audible clanking of sorts of all those extraordinary soldiers of the great Republic and of the great Empire then Napoleon's door was blocked with heroes men from the Rhine from the escal from the Adige and from the Nile companions of Jubair of the say of Marcille of hawk of clay bear the heiress tears of Laurel the girl Anna dealers of Mayans the pontoon builders of Genoa hussars whom the pyramids had looked down upon a tiller is whom Juno's cannonball had spattered with mud chorus ears who had taken by assault the fleet lying at anchor in his eye dersy some had followed Bonaparte from the bridge of Lodi others had accompany Marat in the trenches of Mantua others had proceeded long in the Hollow Road of Montebello the whole army of that day was present there in the courtyard of the Taweel already represented by a squadron or a platoon and Gardena Polian in repose and that was the splendid epoch when the Grand Army had Marengo behind it and Austerlitz before it sire said the Minister of the Interior to Napoleon yesterday I saw the most intrepid man in your empire what man is that said the Emperor briskly and what has he done he wants to do something sire what is it to visit the sewers of Paris this man existed in his name was Bruna so chapter 4 Bruna saw the visit took place it was a formidable campaign a nocturnal battle against pestilence and suffocation it was at the same time a voyage of discovery one of the survivors of this expedition an intelligent working man who was very young at the time related curious details with regard to it several years ago which Bruna Salle thought himself obliged to admit in his report to the prefect of police as unworthy of official style the processes of disinfection were at that epoch extremely rudimentary hardly had Bruna saw crossed the first articulations of that subterranean network when eight laborers out of the twenty refused to go any further the operation was complicated the visit entailed the necessity of cleaning hence it was necessary to cleanse and at the same time to proceed to note the entrances of water to count the gratings and the vents to lay out in detail the branches to indicate the currents at the point where they parted to define the respective bounds of the divers basins to sound the small sewers grafted on the principal sewer to measure the height under the keystone of each drain and the width at the spring of the vaults as well as at the bottom in order to determine the arrangements with regard to the level of each water entrance either of the bottom of the arch or on the soil of the street they advanced with toil the lanterns pined away in the foul atmosphere from time to time a fainting sewer man was carried out at certain points there were precipices the soil had given away the pavement had crumbled the sewer had changed into a bottomless well they found nothing solid a man disappeared suddenly they had great difficulty getting him out again on the advice of for croix they alighted large cages filled with tow steeped in resin from time to time in spots which had been sufficiently disinfected in some places the wall was covered with miss shapen fungi one would have said tumors the very stone seemed diseased with this unbreathable atmosphere Bruna saw in his exploration proceeded downhill at the point of separation of the two water conduits of the Grande earlier he deciphered upon a projecting stone the date of 1550 this stone indicated the limits were fully bared the alarm charged by already the second with visiting the subterranean drains of Paris had halted the stone was the mark of the sixteenth century on the sewer Bruno saw found the handiwork of the 17th century once more in the apostle drain of the ruvie a de Tom vaulted between 1600 and 1650 and the handiwork of the 18th in the western section of the collecting canal walden vaulted in 1740 these two vaults especially the less ancient that of 1740 were more cracked and decrepit in the masonry of the bell sewer which dated from 1412 an epoch when the brook of fresh water of the many old Malta was elevated to the dignity of the Grand sewer of Paris an advancement analogous to that of a peasant who had become the first valet de chambre to the king something like gross saw transformed into labelled here and there particularly beneath the courthouse they thought they recognized the hollows of ancient dungeons excavated in a very sewer itself hideous in pace and iron neck collar was hanging in one of these cells they walled them all up some of their fines were singular among others the skeleton of an orangutan who had disappeared from lazada in deep LA in 1800 a disappearance probably connected with the famous and indisputable apparition of the devil in the Arruda beneden in the last year of the 18th century the poor devil had ended by drowning himself in the sewer beneath this long arched drain which terminated at the arch miriam a perfectly preserved ragpickers basket excited the admiration of all connoisseurs everywhere the mire which the sewer men came to handle with intrepidity abounded in precious objects jewels of gold and silver precious stones coins if a giant had filtered this cesspool he would have had the riches of centuries in his lair at the point where the two branches of the Rue de Tom and the Rue cent avoid separate they picked up a singular huija not metal in copper bearing on one side the peek hooded with a Cardinals hat and on the other a wolf with a tiara on his head the most surprising encounter was at the entrance to the Grand sewer this entrance had formerly been closed by a grating of which nothing but the hinges remained from one of these hinges hung a dirty and shapeless rag which arrested there in its passage no doubt had floated there in the darkness and finished its process of being torn apart Bruno saw held his lantern close to this rag and examined it it was a very fine batiste and in one of the corners less free than the rest they made out a herald at cornet and embroidered above these seven letters la vie de SP the crown was the Coronet of a marquis and the seven letters signifying lavas beam they recognized the fact that what they had before their eyes was a morsel of the Shroud of Marat Marat had in his youth had had amorous intrigues this was when he was a member of the household of the Comte d'Artois in the capacity of physician to the stables from these love affairs historically proved with a great lady he had retained this sheet as a way for a souvenir at his death as this was the only linen of any fineness which he in his house they buried him in it some old woman had shrouded him for the tomb in that swaddling band in which the tragic friend of the people had enjoyed Philip Jewess nests Bruna SEL passed on they left that rag where it hung they did not put the finishing touch to it did this arise from scorn or from respect Marat deserved both and then destiny was there sufficiently stamped to make them hesitate to touch it besides the things of the sepulchre must be left in the spot where they select in short the relic was a strange one a marquis had slept in it my wrath had rotted in it it had traversed the pantheon to the end with the rats of the sewer this chamber rag of which what Hall would formerly have joyfully sketched every fold had ended in becoming worthy of the fixed gaze of Dante the whole visit to the subterranean stream of Filth of Paris lasted seven years from 1805 to 1812 as he proceeded Bruno saw drew directed and completed considerable works in 1808 he lowered the arch of the paw sole and everywhere it created new lines he pushed the sewer in 1809 under the ruse on Denis as far as the fountain of the innocence in 1810 under the roof wom on toll and under the south at three air in 1811 under the roof deputy pea under the rue de mare under the rue de leche ah under the plaster all in 1812 under the rue de la paix and under the shall see Dante at the same time he had the whole network disinfected and rendered healthful in the second year of his work Bruno saw engaged the assistance of his son-in-law Narga it was thus that at the beginning of the century ancient society cleansed its double bottom and performed the toilet of its sewer there was that much clean at all events tortuous cracked unpaved full of fissures intersected by gullies jolted by eccentric elbows mounting and descending illogically fetid wild fierce submerged obscurity with the Contra seas on its pavements and scars on its walls terrible such was retrospectively viewed the antique sewer of Paris ramifications in every direction crossings of trenches branches goose feet stars as in military mines blind alleys vaults lined with saltpeter pestiferous pools scabby sweats on the walls drops dripping from the ceilings darkness nothing could equal the horror of this old waste crip the digestive apparatus of battle on a cavern ditch gulf pierced with streets a titanic mole burrow where the mine seems to behold the enormous blind mole the past prowling through the shadows in the filth which has been splendor this we repeat was the sewer of the past and a book 2 chapter 4 recording by Peter Kelly chapters 5 and 6 of book 2 of Lamesa habla vol 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by bruce pirie Lamesa habla vol 5 by victor hugo translated by isabel florence Hapgood book to the intestine of the leviathan chapter 5 present progress today the sewer is clean cold straight correct it almost realizes the ideal of what is understood in England by the word respectable it is proper and grayish laid out by rule and line one might almost say as though it came out of a bandbox it resembles a tradesman who has become a counsellor of state one can almost see distinctly there the mire there comports itself with decency at first one might readily mistake it for one of those subterranean corridors which were so common in former days and so useful in flights of monarchs and princes in those good old times when the people love their kings the present sewer is a beautiful sewer the pure style reigns there the classical rectilinear alexandrine which driven out of poetry appears to have taken refuge in architecture seems mingled with all the stones of that long dark and whitish vault each outlet is an arcade the Rue de Rivoli serves as pattern even in the sewer however if the geometrical line is in place anywhere it is certainly in the drainage trench of a great city there everything should be subordinated to the shortest road the sewer has nowadays assumed a certain official aspect the very police reports of which it sometimes forms the subject no longer are wanting in respect towards it the words which characterize it in administrative language are sonorous and dignified what used to be called a gut is now called a gallery what used to be called a hole is now called a surveying orifice the yawn would no longer meet with his ancient temporary provisional lodging this network of cellars has its immemorial population of prowlers rodents swarming in greater numbers than ever from time to time and aged and veteran rat risks his head at the window of the sewer and surveys the Parisians but even these vermin grow tame so satisfied are they with their subterranean Palace the cesspool no longer retains anything of its primitive ferocity the rain which in former days soiled the sewer now washes it nevertheless do not trust yourself too much to it my asthma's still inhabit it it is more hypocritical than irreproachable the prefecture of police and the commission of Health have done their best but in spite of all the processes of disinfection it exhales a vague suspicious odor like Tartuffe after confession let us confess that taking it all in all this sweeping is a homage which the sewer pays to civilization and as from this point of view tart Truths conscience is a progress over the Aegean stables it is certain that the sewers of Paris have been improved it is more than progress it is transmutation between the ancient and the present sewer there is a revolution what has affected this revolution the man whom all the world forgets and whom we have mentioned Bruna so chapter 6 future progress the excavation of the sewer of Paris has been no slight task the last 10 centuries have toiled at it without being able to bring it to a termination any more than they have been able to finish Paris the sewer in fact receives all the counter shocks of the growth of Paris within the bosom of the earth it is a sort of mysterious polyp with a thousand antennae which expands below as the city expands above every time that the city cuts a street the sewer stretches out an arm the old monarchy had constructed only twenty three thousand three hundred metres of sewers that was where Paris stood in this respect on the 1st of January 1806 beginning with this epoch of which we shall shortly speak the work was usefully and energetically resumed and prosecuted Napoleon built the figures are curious 4804 metres louis xviii 5709 charles the tenth ten thousand eight hundred and thirty six Louis Philippe eighty nine thousand and twenty the Republic of 1848 twenty-three thousand three hundred and eighty-one the present government seventy thousand five hundred in all at the present time two hundred and twenty six thousand six hundred and ten meters sixty leagues of sewers the enormous entrails of Paris an obscure ramification ever at work a construction which is immense and ignored as the reader sees the subterranean labyrinth of Paris is today more than ten times what it was at the beginning of the century it is difficult to form any idea of all the perseverance and the efforts which have been required to bring this cesspool to the point of relative perfection in which it now is it was with great difficulty that the ancient monarch akoa Provostship and during the last ten years of the 18th century the revolutionary mayorality had succeeded in perforating the five leagues of sewer which existed previous to 1806 all sorts of obstacles hindered this operation some peculiar to the soil of this inherent in the very prejudices of the laborious population of Paris Paris is built upon a soil which is singularly rebellious to the pic the hole the bore and to human manipulation there is nothing more difficult to pierce and to penetrate than the geological formation upon which is superposed to the marvelous historical formation called Paris as soon as work in any form whatsoever is begun and adventures upon this stretch of alluvium subterranean resistances abound there are liquid clays springs hard rocks and those soft and deep Quagmire's which special science calls moutarde the pic advances laborious ly through the calcareous layers alternating with very Flender threads of clay and schist toast beds in plates encrusted with oyster shells the contemporaries of the pre-adamite oceans sometimes a rivulet suddenly bursts through a vault that has been begun and inundates the laborers a layer of morale is laid bare and rules down with the fury of a cataract breaking the stoutest supporting beams like glass quite recently at Villette when it became necessary to pass the collecting sewer under the st. martin canal without interrupting navigation or emptying the canal a fissure appeared in the basin of the canal water suddenly became abundant in the subterranean tunnel which was beyond the power of the pumping engines it was necessary to send a diver to explore the fissure which had been made in the narrow entrance of the grand basin and it was not without great difficulty that it was stopped up elsewhere near the Sen and even at a considerable distance from the river as for instance at Belleville crawl Rue and Lumiere passage quicksands are encountered in which one sticks fast and in which a man thinks visibly edie suffocation by my asthma's burial by slides and sudden crumbling of the earth add the typhus with which the workmen become slowly impregnated in our own day after having excavated the gallery of Clichy with a banquette to receive the principal water conduit of work a piece of work which was executed in a trench 10 metres deep after having in the midst of landslides and with the aid of excavations often putrid and of shoring up vaulted the beaver from the boulevard de l'hôpital as far as the thin after having in order to deliver Paris from the floods of mole mantra and in order to provide an outlet for that River like pool 9 hectares in extent which crouched near the barrier de metier after having lettuce State constructed the line of sewers from the berry airbrush to the road of obey VA in four months working day and night at a depth of 11 metres after having a thing heretofore unseen made a subterranean sewer in the rhubarb Eck without a trench six meters below the surface the superintendent mono died after having vaulted three thousand meters of sewer in all quarters of the city from the route Ravel CIA sent Antoine to the Rue de deur scene after having freed the kara for salsa moved tarde from inundations of rain by means of the branch of the arbalet after having built the San Jorge sewer on rock and concrete in the fluid sands after having directed the formidable lowering of the flooring of the vault timber in the not redeemed the nazareth branch dulo the engineer died there are no bulletins for such acts of bravery as these which are more useful nevertheless than the brutal slaughter of the field of battle the sewers of Paris in 1832 were far from being what they are today Bruna so had given the impulse but the cholera was required to bring about the vast reconstruction which took place later on it is surprising to say for example that in 1821 a part of the belt sewer called the Grand Canal as in Venice still stood stagnating uncovered to the sky in the rue de GERD it was only in 1821 that the city of Paris found in its pocket the 260,000 80 francs and six Sun teams required for covering this mass of filth the three absorbing wells of the combi the Canet and SEM on with their discharging mouths their apparatus their cesspools and their dipper atari branches only date from 1836 the intestinal sewer of paris has been made over anew and as we have said it has been extended more than tenfold within the last quarter of a century thirty years ago at the epoch of the insurrection of the 5th and 6th of June it was still in many localities nearly the same ancient sewer a very great number of streets which are now convex were then sunken cosway's at the end of a slope where the tributaries of the street or crossroads ended there were often to be seen large square gratings with heavy bars whose iron polished by the footsteps of the throng gleamed dangerous and slippery for vehicles and caused horses to fall the official language of the roads and bridges gave to these greetings the expressive name of Cathy in 1832 in a number of streets in the Rue de l'etoile the roussanou II the Rue du Tompa the roof yadu tombola the Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth the ruefully Mary Kerr the key of Flair the rudabeh team use the Rue de Normandie the roof on Toby Sh the Rue de maría the Faubourg cemetery the unit redundant Victoire the Faubourg ma Matra the rue groans battle air in the Shahs Elysee the rusical the rue de tour know the ancient gothic sewer still cynically displayed its MA it consisted of enormous voids of stone catch basins sometimes surrounded by stone posts with monumental effrontery Paris in 1806 still had nearly the same sewers numerically as stated in 1663 5,300 fathoms after Bruna so on the 1st of January 1832 it had 40,000 300 metres between 1806 and 1831 there had been built on an average 750 metres annually afterwards 8 and even 10,000 metres of galleries were constructed every year in masonry of small stones with hydraulic mortar which hardens underwater on a cement foundation at 200 francs the metre the 60 leagues of Paris sewers of the present day represent 48 millions in addition to the economic progress which we have indicated at the beginning grave problems of public hygiene are connected with that immense question the sewers of Paris is the center of two sheets a sheet of water and a sheet of air the sheet of water lying at a tolerably great depth underground but already sounded by two bars is furnished by the layer of green clay situated between the chalk and the Jurassic limestone this layer may be represented by a disc five and twenty leagues in circumference a multitude of rivers and Brooks is there one drinks the thin the Marne the eon the Oise the n the share the VN and the Loire in a glass of water from the well of Grinnell the sheet of water is healthy it comes from heaven in the first place and next from the Earth the sheet of air is unhealthy it comes from the sewer all the my Azam's of the cesspool are mingled with the breath of the city hence this bad breath the air taken from above a dung heap as has been scientifically proved is purer than the air taken from above Paris in a given time with the aid of progress mechanisms become perfected and as light increases the sheet of water will be employed to purify the sheet of air that is to say to wash the sewer the reader knows that by washing the sewer we mean the restitution of the filth to the earth the return to the soil of dung and of manure to the fields through this simple act the entire social community will experience a diminution of misery and an augmentation of health at the present hour the radiation of diseases from Paris extends to 50 leagues around the Louvre taken as the hub of this pestilential wheel we might say that for ten centuries the cesspool has been the disease of Paris the sewer is the blemish which Paris has in her blood the popular instinct has never been deceived in it the occupation of sewer men was formerly almost as perilous and almost as repugnant to the people as the occupation of knacker which was so long held in horror and handed over to the executioner high wages were necessary to induce a Mason to disappear in that fetid mine the ladder of the cesspool cleaner hesitated to plunge into it it was said in proverbial farm to descend into the sewer is to enter the grave and all sorts of hideous legends as we have said covered this colossal sink with terror a dread sinkhole which bears the traces of the revolutions of the globe as of the revolutions of man and rare are to be found vestiges of all cataclysms from the shells of the deluge to the rag of morale end of book two chapters five and six chapter one of book 3 of lame habla vol 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by bruce pirie Leamy zaraba volume 5 by Victor Hugo translated by Isabelle Florence Hapgood book 3 mud but the soul chapter 1 the sewer and it's surprises it was in the sewers of Paris that Jean Valjean found himself still another resemblance between Paris and the sea as in the ocean the diver may disappear there the transition was an unheard-of one in the very heart of the city Jean Valjean had escaped from the city and in the twinkling of an eye in the time required to lift the cover and to replace it he had passed from broad daylight to complete obscurity from midday to midnight from tumult to silence from the whirlwind of thunders to the stagnation of the tomb and by a vicissitude far more tremendous even than that of the rupaul also from the most extreme peril to the most absolute obscurity an abrupt fall into a cavern a disappearance into the secret trapdoor of Paris to quit that street where death was on every side for that sort of Sepulcher where there was life was a strange instant he remained for several seconds as though bewildered listening stupefied the waste trap of safety had suddenly yond beneath him celestial goodness had in a manner captured him by treachery adorable ambuscade zuv Providence only the wounded men did not stir and Jean Valjean did not know whether that which he was carrying in that grave was a living being or a dead corpse his first sensation was one of blindness all of a sudden he could see now thing it seemed to him to that in one instant he had become deaf he no longer heard anything the frantic storm of murder which had been let loose a few feet above his head did not reach him thanks to the thickness of the earth which separated him from it as we have said otherwise then faintly and indistinctly and like a rumbling in the depths he felt that the ground was solid under his feet that was all but that was enough he extended one arm and then the other touched the walls on both sides and perceived that the passage was narrow he slipped and thus perceived that the pavement was wet he cautiously put forward one foot fearing a hole a sink some Gulf he discovered that the paving continued a gust of feted 'no sin formed him of the place in which he stood after the lapse of a few minutes he was no longer blind a little light fell through the manhole through which he had descended and his eyes became accustomed to this cavern he began to distinguish something the passage in which he had burrowed no other word can better express the situation was walled in behind him it was one of those blind alleys which the special jargon terms branches in front of him there was another wall a wall like Nate the light of the air hole died out ten or twelve paces from the point where Jean Valjean stood and barely cast a wan pallor on a few metres of the damp walls of the sewer beyond the opaqueness was massive to penetrate thither seemed horrible an entrance into it appeared like an engulfment a man could however plunge into that wall of fog and it was necessary so to do haste was even requisite it occurred to John Valjean that the greeting which he had caught sight of under the flagstones might also catch the eye of the soldiery and that everything hung upon this chance they also might descend into that well and search it there was not a minute to be lost he had deposited Marius on the ground he picked him up again that is the real word for it placed him on his shoulders once more and set out he plunged resolutely into the gloom the truth is that they were less safe than Joel Valjean fancied perils of another sort and no less serious were awaiting them perchance after the lightning charged whirlwind of the combat the cavern of my asthma's and traps after chaos the sewer jean valjean had fallen from one circle of hell into another when he had advanced fifty paces he was obliged to halt a problem presented itself the passage terminated in another gut which he encountered across his path there two ways presented themselves which should he take ought he to turn to the left or to the right how was he to find his bearings in that black labyrinth this labyrinth to which we have already called to the reader's attention has a clue which is its slope to follow to the slope is to arrive at the river this Jean Valjean instantly comprehended he said to himself that he was probably in the sewer desire that if he were to choose the path to the left and follow the slope he would arrive in less than a quarter of an hour at some mouth on the sin between the plant o Shah and the Pont Neuf that is to say he would make his appearance in broad daylight on the most densely peopled spot in Paris perhaps he would come out on some manhole at the intersection of streets amazement of the passers-by at beholding to bleeding men emerged from the earth at their feet a rival of the police a call to arms of the neighbouring post of guards thus they would be seized before they had even got out it would be better to plunge into that labyrinth to confide themselves to that black loom and to trust to Providence for the outcome he ascended the incline and turned to the right when he had turned to the angle of the gallery the distant glimmer of an air hole disappeared the curtain of obscurity fell upon him once more and he became blind again nevertheless he advanced as rapidly as possible Marius as to arms were passed round his neck and the farmer's feet dragged behind him he held both these arms with one hand and groped along the wall with the other Marius cheek touched his and clung there bleeding he felt a warm stream which came from Marius trickling down upon him and making its way under his clothes but a humid warmth near his ear which the mouth of the wounded man touched indicated respiration and consequently life the passage along which jean valjean was now proceeding was not so narrow as the first Jean Valjean walked through it with considerable difficulty the rain of the preceding day had not as yet entirely run off and it created a little torrent in the center of the bottom and he was forced to hug the wall in order not to have his feet in the water thus he proceeded in the gloom he resembled the beings of the night groping in the invisible and lost beneath the earth in veins of shadow still little by little whether it was that the distant air holes emitted a little wavering light in this opaque gloom or whether his eyes had become accustomed to the obscurity some vague vision returned to him and he began once more to gain a confused idea now of the wall which he touched now of the vault beneath which he was passing the pupil dilates in the dark and the soul dilates in misfortune and ends by finding God there it was not easy to direct his course the line of the sewer Ari echoes so to speak the line of the streets which lie above it there were then in Paris 2,200 streets let the reader imagine himself beneath that forest of gloomy branches which is called the sewer the system of sewer is existing at that epoch placed end to end would have given a length of 11 leagues we have said above that the actual network thanks to the special activity of the last 30 years was no less than 60 leagues in extent jean valjean began by committing a blunder he thought that he was beneath the ruse and an e and it was a pity that it was not so under the ruse st. Denis there is an old stone sewer which dates from louis xiii and which runs straight to the collecting sewer called the grande sewer with but a single elbow on the right on the elevation of the ancient cord america and a single branch the same art a sewer whose forearms described across but the gut of the petite tro and re the entrance to which was in the vicinity of the corinth wine shop has never communicated with the sewer of the ruse and any it ended at the MoMA true sewer and it was in this that Jean Valjean was entangled there opportunities of losing oneself abound the mammarra sewer is one of the most labyrinthine of the ancient network fortunately jean valjean had left behind him the sewer of the markets whose geometrical plan presents the appearance of a multitude of parrots roosts piled on top of each other but he had before him more than one embarrassing encounter and more than one street corner for they are streets presenting itself in the gloom like an interrogation point first on his left the vast sewer of the Platte we air a sort of Chinese puzzle thrusting out and entangling it's chaos of T's and Zed's under the post-office and under the rotunda of the wheat market as far as the Sen where it terminates in a why secondly on his right the curving corridor of the rue de cadre with its three teeth which are also blind courts thirdly on his left the branch of the mail complicated almost at its inception with a sort of fork and proceeding from zigzag to zigzag until it ends in the grand crypt of the outlet of the louvre truncated and ramified in every direction and lastly the blind alley of a passage of the Rhodesian air without counting little ducts here and there before reaching the belt sewer which alone could conduct him to some issue sufficiently distant to be safe had jean valjean had any idea of all that we have here pointed out he would speedily have perceived merely by feeling the wall that he was not in the subterranean gallery of the roofs and any instead of the ancient stone instead of the antique architecture haughty and royal even in the sewer with pavement and string courses of granite and mortar costing 800 levers the fathom he would have felt under his hand contemporary cheapness economical expedience porous stone filled with mortar on a concrete foundation which costs two hundred francs the metre and the bourgeois masonry known as petit material small stuff but of all this he knew nothing he advanced with anxiety but with calmness seeing nothing knowing nothing buried in chance that is to say engulfed in Providence by degrees we will admit a certain horror seized upon him the gloom which enveloped him penetrate his spirit he walked in an enigma this aqueduct of the sewer is formidable it interlaces in a dizzy fashion it is a melancholy thing to be caught in this Paris of shadows Jean Valjean was obliged to find and even to invent his route without seeing it in this unknown every step that he risked might be his last how was he to get out should he find an issue should he find it in time would that colossal subterranean sponge with its stone cavities allow itself to be penetrated and pierced should he their encounter some unexpected not in the darkness should he arrived at the inextricable and the impassable would Marius die there of hemorrhage and he of hunger should they end by both getting lost and by furnishing two skeletons in a nook of that night he did not know he put all these questions to himself without replying to them the intestines of Paris form a precipice like the Prophet he was in the belly of the monster all at once he had a surprise at the most unforeseen moment and without having ceased to walk in a straight line he perceived that he was no longer offending the water of the reveal it was beating against his heels instead of meeting him at his toes the sewer was now defending why was he about to arrive suddenly at the thin this danger was a great one but the peril of retreating was still greater he continued to advance it was not towards the sin that he was preceding the ridge which the soil of Paris forms on its right bank empties one of its watersheds into the sin and the other into the Grand sewer the crest of this ridge which determines the division of the waters describes a very capricious line the culminating point which is the point of separation of the Reince is in the scent of la sewer beyond the room is accompt in the sewer of the louvre near the boulevards and in the mamata sewer near the aahs it was this culminating point that Jean Valjean had reached he was directing his course towards the belt a sewer he was on the right path but he did not know it every time that he encountered a branch he felt of its angles and if he found that the opening which presented itself was smaller than the passage in which he was he did not enter but continued his route rightly judging that every narrower way must needs terminate in a blind alley and could only lead him further from his goal that is to say the outlet thus he avoided the quadruple trap which was set for him in the darkness by the four labyrinths which we have just enumerated at a certain moment he perceived that he was emerging from beneath the Paris which was petrified by the uprising where the barricades had suppressed circulation and that he was entering beneath the living and normal Paris overhead he suddenly heard a noise as of thunder distant but continuous it was the rumbling of vehicles he had been walking for about half an hour at least according to the calculation which he made in his own mind and he had not yet thought of rest he had merely changed the hand with which she was holding Marius the darkness was more profound than ever but its very depth reassured him all at once he saw his shadow in front of him it was outlined on a faint almost indistinct reddish glow which vaguely in purpled the flooring vault underfoot and the vault overhead and gilded to his right and to his left the to viscous walls of the passage stupefied he turned round behind him in the portion of the passage which he had just passed through at a distance which appeared to him immense piercing the dense obscurity lamed a sort of horrible star which had the air of surveying him it was the gloomy star of the police which was rising in the sewer in the rear of that star eight or ten forms were moving about in a confused way black upright indistinct horrible end of book 3 chapter 1 chapters two and three of book three miserable of vol.5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by bruce pirie le Miserables ax vol 5 by Victor Hugo translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood book 3 mud but the soul chapter 2 explanation on the day of the 6th of June a Batou of the sewers had been ordered it was feared that the vanquished might have taken to them for refuge and prefect Asia sky was to search occult Paris while general boo Jo swept public Paris a double and connected operation which eggs acted a double strategy on the part of the public force represented above by the army and below by the police three squads of agents and sewer men explored the subterranean drain of Paris the first on the right bank the second on the left bank the third in the city the agents of police were armed with Kara binds with bludgeons swords and point yards that which was directed at jean valjean at that moment was the lantern of the patrol of the right bank this patrol had just visited the curving gallery and the three blind alleys which lie beneath the Rood kadra while they were passing their Lantern through the depths of these blind alleys jean valjean had encountered on his path the entrance to the gallery had perceived that it was narrower than the principal passage and had not penetrated liver he had passed on the police on emerging from the gallery do cadra had fancied that they heard the sound of footsteps in the direction of the belt sewer they were in fact the steps of Jean Valjean the sergeant in command of the Patrol had raised his Lantern and the squad had begun to gaze into the mist in the direction whence the sound proceeded this was an indescribable moment for jean valjean happily if he saw the lantern well the lantern saw him but ill yet was light and he was shadow he was very far off and mingled with the darkness of the place he hugged the wall and halted moreover he did not understand what it was that was moving behind him the lack of sleep and food and his emotions had caused him also to pass into the state of a visionary he beheld a gleam and around that game forms what was it he did not comprehend is Jean Valjean having paused the sound ceased the men of the Patrol listened and heard nothing they looked and saw nothing they held a consultation there existed at that epoch at this point of the mall Matra sewer a sort of crossroads called de service which was afterwards suppressed on account of the little interior lake which formed there swallowing up the torrent of rain in heavy storms the patrol could form a cluster in this open space Jean Valjean saw these specters form a sort of circle these Bulldogs heads approached each other closely and whispered together the result of this council held by the watchdogs was that they had been mistaken that there had been no noise that it was useless to get entangled in the belt sewer that it would only be a waste of time but that they ought to hasten towards say Mary that if there was anything to do and any booths angle to track out it was in that quarter from time to time parties resole their old insults in 1832 the word boo sango formed the interim between the word jacoba which had become obsolete and the word demagogue which has since rendered such excellent service the sergeant gave orders to turn to the left towards the watershed of the sin if it had occurred to them to separate into two squads and to go in both directions Jean Valjean would have been captured all hung on that thread it is probable that the instructions of the prefecture foreseeing a possibility of combat and insurgents in force had forbidden the patrol to part company the patrol resumed its march leaving Jean Valjean behind it of all this movement Jean Valjean perceived nothing except the eclipse of the lantern which suddenly wheeled round before taking his departure the sergeant in order to acquit his policeman's conscience discharged his gun in the direction of Jean Valjean the detonation rolled from echo to echo in the crypt like the rumbling of that titanic and trail a bit of plaster which fell into the stream and splashed up the water a few paces away from Jean Valjean warned him that the ball had struck the arch over his head slow and measured steps resounded for some time on the timber work gradually dying away as they retreated to a greater distance the group of black forms vanished a glimmer of light oscillated and floated communicating to the vault a reddish glow which grew fainter then disappeared the silence became profound once more the obscurity became complete blindness and deafness resumed possession of the shadows and Jean Valjean not daring to stir as yet remained for a long time leaning with his back against the wall with straining ears and dilated pupils watching the disappearance of that phantom patrol chapter three the spun man this justice must be rendered to the police of that period that even in the most serious public junctures it imperturbably fulfilled its duties connected with the sewers and surveillance a revolt was in its eyes no pretext for allowing malefactors to take the bit in their own mouths and for neglecting society for the reason that the government was in peril the ordinary service was performed correctly in company with the extraordinary service and was not troubled by the latter in the midst of an incalculable political event already begun under the pressure of a possible revolution a police agent spun a thief without allowing himself to be distracted by insurrection and barricades it was something precisely parallel which took place on the afternoon of the 6th of June on the banks of the sinned on the slope of the right Shore a little beyond the Pont de Seine the lead there is no longer any bank there now the aspect of the locality has changed on that bank two men separated by a certain distance seemed to be watching each other while mutually avoiding each other the one who was in advance was trying to get away the one in the rear was trying to overtake the other it was like a game of checkers played at a distance and in silence neither seemed to be in any hurry and both walked slowly as though each of them feared by too much haste to make his partner we double his pace one would have said that it was an appetite following its prey and purposely without wearing the air of doing so the prey was crafty and on its guard the proper relations between the hunted polecat and the hunting dog were observed the one who was seeking to escape had an insignificant mean and not an impressive appearance the one who was seeking to seize him was rude of aspect and must have been rude to encounter the first conscious that he was the more feeble avoided the second but he avoided him in a manner which was deeply furious anyone who could have observed him would have discerned in his eyes the sombre hostility of flight and all the Menace that fear contains the shore was deserted there were no passers-by not even a boat man nor a lighter man was in the skiffs which were moored here and there it was not easy to see these two men except from the key opposite and to any person who had scrutinized them at that distance the man who was in advance would have appeared like a bristling tattered and equivocal being who was uneasy and trembling beneath a ragged blouse and the other like a classic and official personage wearing the frock coat of authority buttoned to the chin perchance the reader might recognize these two men if he were to see them closer at hand what was the object of the second man probably to succeed in clothing the first more warmly when a man clothed by the state pursues a man in rags it is in order to make of him a man who is also clothed by the state only the whole question lies in the colour to be dressed in blue is glorious to be dressed in red is disagreeable there is a purple from below it is probably some unpleasantness and some purple of this sort which the first man is desirous of shirking if the other allowed him to walk on and had not seized him as yet it was judging from all appearances in the hope of seeing him lead up to some significant meeting place and to some group worth catching this delicate operation is called spinning what renders this conjecture entirely probable is that the buttoned-up man on catching sight from the shore of a hackney-coach on the key as it was passing a long empty made a sign to the driver the driver understood evidently recognized the person with whom he had to deal turned about and began to follow the two men at the top of the key at a foot pace this was not observed by the sliding and tattered personage who was in advance the hackney-coach rolled along the trees of the shawls Elysees the bust of the driver whip in hand could be seen moving along above the parapet one of the secret instructions of the police authorities to their agents contains this article always have on hand a hackney-coach in case of emergency while these two men were maneuvering each on his own side with irreproachable strategy they approached an inclined plane on the key which descended to the shore and which permitted cab drivers arriving from pathy to come to the river and water their horses this inclined plane was suppressed later on for the sake of symmetry horses may die of thirst but the eye is gratified it is probable that the man in the blouse had intended to ascend this inclined plane with a view to making his escape into the shawls Elysees a place ornamented with trees but in return much infested with policemen and where the other could easily exercise violence this point on the key is not very far distant from the house brought to Paris from Moray in 1824 by Colonel Brack and designated as the house of Francoise the first a guard has a situated close at hand to the great surprise of his watcher the man who was being tracked did not mount by the inclined plane for watering he continued to advance along the key on the shore his position was visibly becoming critical what was he intending to do if not to throw himself into the sin henceforth there existed no means of ascending to the key there was no other inclined plane no staircase and they were near the spot marked by the bend in the sin towards the pond Ayana where the bank growing constantly narrower ended in a slender tongue and was lost in the water there he would inevitably find himself blocked between the perpendicular wall on his right the river on his left and in front of him and the authorities on his heels it is true that this termination of the shore was hidden from sight by a heap of rubbish six or seven feet in height produced by some demolition or other but did this man hope to conceal himself effectually behind that heap of rubbish which one need but skirt the expedient would have been pure hell he certainly was not dreaming of such a thing the innocence of thiis does not extend to that point the pile of rubbish formed a sort of projection at the water's edge which was prolonged in a promontory as far as the wall of the key the man who was being followed arrived at this little mound and went round it so that he ceased to be seen by the other the latter as he did not see could not be seen he took advantage of this fact to abandon all dissimulation and to walk very rapidly in a few moments he had reached the rubbish heap and passed round it there he halted in sheer amazement the man whom he had been pursuing was no longer there total eclipse of the man in the blouse the shore beginning with the rubbish heap was only about thirty paces long then it plunged into the water which beat against the wall of the key the fugitive could not have thrown himself into the sand without being seen by the man who was following him what had become of him the man in the buttoned up coat walked to the extremity of the shore and remained there in thought for a moment his fists clenched his eyes searching all at once he smote his brow he had just perceived at the point where the land came to an end and the water began a large iron grating low arched garnished with a heavy lock and with three massive hinges this grating a sort of door pierced at the base of the key opened on the river as well as on the shore a blackish stream passed under it this stream discharged into the sin beyond the heavy rusty iron bars a sort of dark and vaulted corridor could be described the man folded his arms and stared at the greeting with an air of reproach as this gaze did not suffice he tried to thrust it aside he shook it it resisted solidly it is probable that it had just been opened although no sound had been heard a singular circumstance in so rusty a grating but it is certain that it had been closed again this indicated that the man before whom that door had just opened had not a hook but a key this evidence suddenly burst upon the mind of the man who was trying to move the grating and evoked from him this indignant ejaculation that is too much a government key then immediately regaining his composure he expressed a whole world of interior ideas by this outburst of mono syllables accented almost ironically come come come come that said and in the hope of something or other either that he should see the man emerge or other men enter he posted himself on the watch behind a heap of rubbish with the patient rage of a pointer the hackney-coach which regulated all its movements on his had in its turn halted on the key above him close to the parapet the coachman foreseeing a prolonged weight encased his horses muzzles in the bag of oats which is damp at the bottom and which is so familiar to Parisians to whom be it said in parentheses the government sometimes applies it the rare passers-by on the Ponte llena turned their heads before they pursued their way to take a momentary glance at these two motionless items in the landscape the man on the shore the carriage on the key end of book three chapters two and three chapter four of book 3 of lemasurier vol 5 by Victor Hugo this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by joyce martin lamb is raw vol 5 by Victor Hugo translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood book 3 chapter 4 of volume 5 he also bears his cross Jean Valjean had resumed his march and had not again paused this March became more and more laborious the level of those vaults varies the average height is about five feet six inches and has been calculated for the stature of a man Jean Valjean was forced to bend over in order not to strike Marius against the vault at every step he had to bend than to rise and to feel incessantly of the wall the moisture of the stones and the viscous nature of the timber framework furnished but poor supports to which to cling either for hand or foot he stumbled along in the hideous dung heap of the city the intermittent gleams from the air holes only appeared at very long intervals and were so on that the full sunlight seemed like the light of the moon and all the rest was mist miasma opaqueness blackness John Valjean was both hungry and thirsty especially thirsty and this like the sea was a place full of water where a man cannot drink his strength which was prodigious as the reader knows and which had been but little decreased by age thanks to his chaste and sober life began to give way never less fatigue began to gain on him and as his strength decreased it made the weight of his burden increase Marius who was perhaps dead weighed him down as inert body's way John Valjean held him in such a manner that his chest was not oppressed and so that respiration could proceed as well as possible between his legs he felt the rapid gliding of the rats one of them was frightened to such a degree that he bit him from time to time a breath of fresh air reached him through the vent holes of the mouths of the sewer and reanimated him it might have been three hours past midday when he reached the belt sewer he was at first astonished at this sudden widening he found himself all at once in a gallery where his outstretched hands could not reach the two walls and beneath a vault which his head did not touch the grand sewer is in fact 8 feet wide and 7 feet high at the point where the Montmartre sewer joins the grand sewer to other subterranean galleries that of the Rue de Provence and that of the Abbot or form a square between these four ways a less sagacious man would have remained undecided Jean Valjean selected the broadest that is to say the belt sewer but here the question again came up should he descend or a send he thought that the situation required haste and that he must now gain the scene at any risk in other terms he must descend he turned to the left it was well that he did so for it is an error to suppose that the belt sewer has two outlets the one in the direction of Bercy the other toward Pasi and that it is as its name indicates the subterranean girdle of the Paris on the right bank the grand sewer which is it must be remembered nothing else than the old brook of montélimar terminates if one ascends it in a blind sack that is to say at its ancient point of departure which was its source at the foot of the knoll of Manila at all there is no direct communication with the branch which collects the waters of Paris beginning with a quarter Pope and Court which falls into the sand through the Almelo sewer above the ancient Isle of LaVere this branch which completes the collecting sewer is separated from it under the rule limit on itself by a pile which marks the dividing point of the waters between upstream and downstream if jean valjean had ascended the gallery he would have arrived after a thousand efforts and broken down with fatigue and in an expiring condition in the gloom at a wall he would have been lost in case of necessity by retracing his steps a little way and entering the passage of the filly toka bear on condition that he did not hesitate at the subterranean crossing of the carrot for a Boucherie and by taking the corridor st. Louis then the Saint Gill got on the left then turning to the right and avoiding the Saint Sebastian gallery he might have reached the amelotte sewer and that's provided that he did not go astray in the sort of F which lies under the best deal he might have attained the outlet on the scene near the Arsenal but in order to do this he must have been thoroughly familiar with the enormous mound report the sewer in all its ramifications and in all its openings now we must again insist that he knew nothing of that frightful drain which he was traversing and had anyone asked him and what he was he would have answered in the night his instinct served him well to descend was in fact possible safety he left on his right the two narrow passages which branch out in the form of a claw under the rule of feet and the Rue st. George a and the long bifurcated corridor of the show stayed on team a little beyond and affluent which was probably the madelung branch he halted he was extremely weary a passively large air hole probably the manhole in the rue d'Anjou furnished a light that was almost a vivid Jean Valjean with the gentleness of movement which a brother would exercise toward his wounded brother deposited Marius on the banquette of the sewer Marius his blood-stained faiths appeared under the one light of the air whole like the ashes at the bottom of a tomb his eyes were closed his hair was plastered down on his temples like a painters brushes dried and red washed his hands hung limp and dead a clot of blood collected in the knot of his cravat his limbs were cold and blood was clotted at the corners of his mouth his shirt had thrust itself into his wounds the cloth of his coat was chafing the yawning gashes in the living flesh Jean Valjean pushing aside the garments with the tips of his fingers laid his hand upon maurices breast his heart was still beating Jean Valjean tore up his shirt bandaged the young man's wounds as well as he was able and stopped the flowing blood then bending over Marius who still lay unconscious and almost without breathing in that half light he gazed to him with inexpressible hatred in disarranging maurices garments he had found two things in his pockets the row which had been forgotten there on the preceding evening and Mary's his pocketbook he ate the roll and opened the pocketbook on the first page he found the four lines written by Marius the reader will recall them my name is Marius Pontmercy carrying my body to my grandfather Monsieur Gulino Monde Rue de fille du Quebec number six in the morass Jean Valjean read these four lines by the light of the air ho and remained for a moment as though absorbed in thought repeating in a low tone brewed a fillet to carve a number six Monsieur Gilman Monde he replaced the pocketbook in Marius his pocket he had eaten his strength had returned to him he took Marius up once more upon his back and placed the ladders had carefully on his right shoulder and resumed his descent of the sewer the grand sewer directed according to the course of the valley of melon Mountain is about two leagues long it is paved throughout a notable portion of its extent this torch of the names of the streets of Paris with which we are illuminating for the reader jean valjean subterranean March Jean Valjean himself did not possess nothing told him what zone of the city he was traversing nor what way he had made only the growing power of the pools of life which he encountered from time to time indicated to him that the Sun was withdrawing from the pavement and that the day would soon be over and the rolling of vehicles overhead having become intermittent instead of continuous than having almost ceased he concluded that he was no longer under central Paris and that he was approaching some solitary region in the vicinity of the outer boulevards or the extreme outer quays where there are fewer houses and streets the sewer had fewer air holes the gloom deepened around jean valjean never less he continued to advance groping his way in the dark suddenly this darkness became terrible end of chapter 4 book 3 reading by Joyce Martin

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