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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Hunchback Of Notre Dame (notre-dame De Paris) - Volume II - BOOK TENTH - Chapter 2 - Turn Vagabond
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The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (notre-dame De Paris) - Volume II - BOOK TENTH - Chapter 2 - Turn Vagabond Post by :andyfrain Category :Long Stories Author :Victor Hugo Date :December 2010 Read :2850

Click below to download : The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (notre-dame De Paris) - Volume II - BOOK TENTH - Chapter 2 - Turn Vagabond (Format : PDF)

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (notre-dame De Paris) - Volume II - BOOK TENTH - Chapter 2 - Turn Vagabond

On re-entering the cloister, the archdeacon found at the door
of his cell his brother Jehan du Moulin, who was waiting for
him, and who had beguiled the tedium of waiting by drawing
on the wall with a bit of charcoal, a profile of his elder
brother, enriched with a monstrous nose.

Dom Claude hardly looked at his brother; his thoughts
were elsewhere. That merry scamp's face whose beaming had
so often restored serenity to the priest's sombre physiognomy,
was now powerless to melt the gloom which grew more dense
every day over that corrupted, mephitic, and stagnant soul.

"Brother," said Jehan timidly, "I am come to see you."

The archdeacon did not even raise his eyes.

"What then?"

"Brother," resumed the hypocrite, "you are so good to me,
and you give me such wise counsels that I always return to you."

"What next?"

"Alas! brother, you were perfectly right when you said to
me,--"Jehan! Jehan! ~cessat doctorum doctrina, discipulorum
disciplina~. Jehan, be wise, Jehan, be learned, Jehan, pass
not the night outside of the college without lawful occasion
and due leave of the master. Cudgel not the Picards: ~noli,
Joannes, verberare Picardos~. Rot not like an unlettered ass,
~quasi asinus illitteratus~, on the straw seats of the school.
Jehan, allow yourself to be punished at the discretion of the
master. Jehan go every evening to chapel, and sing there an
anthem with verse and orison to Madame the glorious Virgin
Mary.--Alas! what excellent advice was that!"

"And then?"

"Brother, you behold a culprit, a criminal, a wretch, a
libertine, a man of enormities! My dear brother, Jehan hath
made of your counsels straw and dung to trample under foot.
I have been well chastised for it, and God is extraordinarily
just. As long as I had money, I feasted, I lead a mad and joyous
life. Oh! how ugly and crabbed behind is debauch which is
so charming in front! Now I have no longer a blank; I have
sold my napery, my shirt and my towels; no more merry life!
The beautiful candle is extinguished and I have henceforth,
only a wretched tallow dip which smokes in my nose. The
wenches jeer at me. I drink water.--I am overwhelmed with
remorse and with creditors.

"The rest?" said the archdeacon.

"Alas! my very dear brother, I should like to settle down
to a better life. I come to you full of contrition, I am
penitent. I make my confession. I beat my breast violently.
You are quite right in wishing that I should some day become
a licentiate and sub-monitor in the college of Torchi. At
the present moment I feel a magnificent vocation for that
profession. But I have no more ink and I must buy some; I
have no more paper, I have no more books, and I must buy some.
For this purpose, I am greatly in need of a little money, and
I come to you, brother, with my heart full of contrition."

"Is that all?"

"Yes," said the scholar. "A little money."

"I have none."

Then the scholar said, with an air which was both grave and
resolute: "Well, brother, I am sorry to be obliged to tell you
that very fine offers and propositions are being made to me in
another quarter. You will not give me any money? No. In
that case I shall become a professional vagabond."

As he uttered these monstrous words, he assumed the mien
of Ajax, expecting to see the lightnings descend upon his head.

The archdeacon said coldly to him,-

"Become a vagabond."

Jehan made him a deep bow, and descended the cloister
stairs, whistling.

At the moment when he was passing through the courtyard
of the cloister, beneath his brother's window, he heard that
window open, raised his eyes and beheld the archdeacon's
severe head emerge.

"Go to the devil!" said Dom Claude; "here is the last
money which you will get from me?"

At the same time, the priest flung Jehan a purse, which
gave the scholar a big bump on the forehead, and with which
Jehan retreated, both vexed and content, like a dog who had
been stoned with marrow bones.

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