shaggy head rubbing against her hands and her knees. She
shuddered every thing now alarmed her and looked.
It was the poor goat, the nimble Djali, which had escaped
along with her at the moment when Quasimodo dispersed
Charmolue's brigade, and had been at her feet nearly an
hour, lavishing caresses on her mistress, without obtaining
a single glance. The Egyptian covered the fond animal
with kisses. u O Djali ! " said she, " how I have for-
gotten thee ! And yet thou thinkest of me. Thou, for
thy part, at least, art not ungrateful." At the same time,
as if an invisible hand had removed the obstruction which
had so long repressed her tears, she began to weep, and, as
the big drops trickled down her cheeks, she felt the keen-
est and bitterest portion of her sorrows leaving her along
Evening came on. The night was so beautiful, the
moonlight so soft, that she ventured to take a turn in the
high gallery which runs round the church. She felt some-
what refreshed by her walk, so calm did the earth appear to
her, beheld from that elevation.
328 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DA3IE-
A HUMAN HEART IN A FORM SCARCELY HUMAN.
Next morning, she perceived on awaking that she had
slept. This singular circumstance surprised her it was
so long that she had been unaccustomed to sleep ! The
sun, peeping in at her window, threw his cheering rays
upon her face. But besides the sun she saw at this aper-
ture an object that affrighted her the unlucky face of
Quasimodo. She involuntarily closed her eyes, but in
vain ; she still fancied that she saw through her rosy lids
that visage so like an ugly mask. She kept her eyes shut.
Presently she heard a hoarse voice saying very kindly :
fC Don't be afraid. I am your friend. I came to see
you sleep. What harm can it do you, if I come to look
at you when your eyes are shut ? Well, well, I am going.
There, now, I am behind the wall. Now you can open
There was something still more plaintive than these
words in the accent with which they were uttered. The
Egyptian, affected by them, opened her eyes. He was
actually no longer at the window. She went to it, looked
out, and saw the poor hunchback cowering under the
wall, in an attitude of grief and resignation. She made
an effort to overcome the aversion which he excited.
" Come!" said she kindly to him. Observing the mo-
tion of her lips, Quasimodo imagined that she was bid-
ding him to go away. He then rose and retired, with
slow and halting step and drooping head, without so
much as daring to raise his eyes, filled with despair,
to the damsel. " Come then !" she cried; but he con-
tinued to move off. She then darted out of the cell,
ran to him, and took hold of his arm. On feeling her
touch, Quasimodo trembled in every limb. He lifted his
supplicating eye, and, finding that she drew him towards
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-D.1ME. 329
her, his whole face shone with joy and tenderness. She
would have made him go into her cell, but he insisted on
staying at her threshold. u . No, no/' said he, f< the owl
never enters the nest of the lark."
She then seated herself gracefully on her bed, with her
goat at her feet. Both remained for some minutes
motionless, contemplating in silence, he so much beauty,
she so much ugliness. Every moment she discovered in
Quasimodo some new deformity. Her look wandered
from his knock-knees to his hunchback, from his hunch-
back to his only eye. She could not conceive how a
creature so awkwardly put together could exist. At the
same time an air of such sadness and gentleness pervaded
his whole figure, that she began to be reconciled with it.
He was the first to break silence. (t Did you not call
me back ? " said he.
" Yes ! " replied she, with a nod of affirmation.
He understood the sign. " Alas!'' said he, as if he-
sitating to finish, " you must know, I am deaf."
" Poor fellow !" exclaimed the Bohemian, with an ex-
pression of pity.
He smiled sadly. " You think nothing else was want-
ing, don't you? Yes, I am deaf. That is the way in
which I am served. It is terrible, is it not ? while you
you are so beautiful ! "
The tone of the poor fellow conveyed such a profound
feeling of his wretchedness that she had not the heart to
utter a word. Besides, he would not have heard her. He
then resumed : " Never till now was I aware how hideous
I am. When I compare myself with you, I cannot help
pitying myself, poor unhappy monster that I am ! I must
appear to you like a beast. You, you are a sunbeam, a
drop of dew, a bird's song ! I, I am something fright-
ful, neither man nor brute, something harder, more shape-
less, and more trampled upon, than a flint."
He then laughed, and scarcely could there be aught in
the world more cutting than this laugh. He continued :
i( Yes, I am deaf: but you will speak to me by gestures,
by signs. I have a master who talks to me in that way.
S30 THE HUNCHBACK OP NOTRE-DAME.
And then, I shall soon know your meaning from the mo-
tion of your lips, from your look."
(( Well then/' replied she smiling, w tell me why you
have saved me?"
He looked stedfastly at her while she spoke.
" I understand," rejoined he : " you ask me why I saved
you. You have forgotten a wretch who attempted one
night to carry you off, a wretch to whom, the very next
day, you brought relief on the ignominious pillory. A
draught of water and a look of pity are more than I could
repay with my life. You have forgotten that wretch
but he has not forgotten."
She listened to him with deep emotion. A tear started
into the eye of the bell-ringer, but it did not fall. He
appeared to make a point of repressing it. " Look you,"
he again began, when he no longer feared lest that tear
should escape him, " we have very high towers here ;
a man falling from one of them would be dead almost be-
fore he reached the pavement. When you wish to be
rid of me, tell me to throw myself from the top you
have but to say the word ; nay, a look will be sufficient."
He then rose. Unhappy as was the Bohemian, this
grotesque being awakened compassion even in her. She
made him a sign to stay.
" No, no," said he, " I must not stay too long. I do
not feel comfortable. It is out of pity that you do not
turn your eyes from me. I will seek some place where
I can look at you without your seeing me : that will be
He drew from his pocket a small metal whistle. " Take
this," said he : " when you want me, when you wish me
to come, when you have the courage to see me, whistle
with this. 1 shall hear that sound."
He laid the whistle on the floor, and retired.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME. 331
EARTHENWARE AND CRYSTAL.
Time passed on. Tranquillity returned by degrees to the
soul of La Esmeralda. Excessive grief, like excessive joy,
is too violent to last. The human heart cannot continue
long in either extremity. The Bohemian had suffered so
much, that, of the feelings she had lately experienced, asto-
nishment alone was left.
Along with security hope began to revive within her.
She was out of society, out of life, but she had a vague
feeling that it might not be impossible for her to return to
them. She was like one dead, keeping in reserve a key to
The terrible images which had so long haunted her
were leaving her by degrees. All the hideous phantoms,
Pierrat Torterue, Jacques Charmolue, had faded from her
mind all of them, even the priest himself. And then,
Phcebus was yet living : she was sure of it ; she had seen
him. To her the life of Phcebus was every thing. After
the series of fatal shocks which had laid waste all her
affections, she had found but one sentiment in her soul
which they had not overthrown her love for the captain.
Love is like a tree : it shoots of itself ; it strikes its roots
deeply into our whole being, and frequently continues to
be green over a heart in ruins. And there is this unac-
countable circumstance attending it, that the blinder that
passion the more tenacious it is. Never is it stronger than
when it is most unreasonable.
No doubt La Esmeralda did not think of the captain
without pain. No doubt it was terrible that he too should
have made such a mistake, that he too should have thought
the thing possible, that he too should have believed the
wound to be inflicted by one who would have given a
thousand lives for his sake. Still there was no great reason
THE nUNGHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME.
to be angry with him : had she not confessed the crime ?
had she not, frail creature as she was, yielded to the tor-
ture ? All the fault was hers. She ought to have suf-
fered them to tear her in pieces rather than make such an
admission. After all, could she see Phoebus but once
more, for a single minute ; a word, a look, would suffice
to undeceive him and to bring back the truant. This she
had not the least doubt of. There were, at the same time,
several singular circumstances about which she puzzled
herself the accident of Phoebus's presence at the penance;
the young female in whose company he was. She was, no
doubt, his sister. An improbable explanation, but she was
satisfied with it, because she must needs believe that Phoebus
still loved her, and loved but her. Had he not sworn it ?
What more could she require, simple and credulous as she
was ? And then, in this affair, were not appearances much
more against her than against him ? She waited there-
fore she hoped.
We may add too that the church, that vast church,
which saved her, which enveloped her on all sides, which
guarded her, was itself a sovereign anodyne. The solemn
lines of that architecture, the religious attitude of all the
objects around her, the serene and pious thoughts which
transpired, as it were, through all the pores of that pile, acted
upon her unknown to herself. The edifice moreover had
sounds of such majesty and such blessing, that they soothed
her broken spirit. The monotonous chant of the officiating
priests ; the responses of the congregation, sometimes in-
articulate, sometimes thundering ; the harmonious shiver
of the windows ; the organ bursting forth like a hundred
trumpets ; the three belfries buzzing like hives of immense
bees ; all that orchestra, with its gigantic gamut incessantly
ascending and descending from a crowd below to a bell-
tower above, lulled her memory, her imagination, her
sorrows. The bells more especially had this soothing
effect. It was like a mighty magnetism which those vast
engines poured over her in broad waves. Accordingly
each successive sunrise found her more serene, more com-
fortable, and less pale. In proportion as her inward
wounds healed, her face recovered its grace and beauty,
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME. 333
but chastened with more sedateness, more repose. Her
former character returned also even somewhat of her
cheerfulness, her pretty pout, her fondness for her goat
and for singing, and her modesty. In the morning she
shrunk into a corner of her cell to dress herself, lest any
inmate of the neighbouring garrets should espy her through
When the thoughts of Phoebus allowed her time, the
Egyptian would sometimes think of Quasimodo. He was
the only bond, the only link, the only communication,
that was left her with mankind, with the living. The un-
fortunate girl was more completely cut off from the world
than Quasimodo. As for the strange friend whom chance
had given her, she knew not what to make of him. She
would frequently reproach herself for not feeling sufficient
gratitude to blind her to his imperfections ; but decidedly
she could not accustom herself to the poor bell-ringer. He
was too hideous.
She had left on the floor the whistle that he had given
her. Quasimodo, nevertheless, looked in from time to
time, on the succeeding days. She strove as much as she
could to conceal her aversion, when he brought her the
basket of provisions or the pitcher of water ; but he was
sure to perceive the slightest movement of that kind, and
then he went sorrowfully away.
One day. he came just at the moment when she was
fondling Djali. For a while he stood full of thought be-
fore the graceful group of the goat and the Egyptian. At
length, shaking his huge misshapen head: " My misfortune/'
said he, " is that I am too much like a human creature.
Would to God that I had been a downright beast, like that
goat ! "
She east on him a look of astonishment. " Oh ! " he
replied to that look " well do I know why," and imme-
Another time, when he came to the door of the cell,
which he never entered, La Esmeralda was singing an old
Spanish ballad : she knew not the meaning of the words,
but it dwelt upon her ear because the Bohemian women had
lulled her with it when quite a child. At the abrupt ap-
334 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME.
pearance of that ugly face the damsel stopped short, with
an involuntary start, in the middle of her song. The un-
happy bell-ringer dropped upon his knees at the threshold
of the door, and with a beseeching look clasped his clumsy
shapeless hands. " Oh ! " said he, sorrowfully, ' e go on,
I pray you, and drive me not away." Not wishing to vex
him, the trembling girl continued the ballad. By degrees
her alarm subsided, and she gave herself up entirely to the
impression of the melancholy tune which she was singing :
while he remained upon his knees, with his hands joined
as in prayer, scarcely breathing, his look intently fixed on
the sparkling orbs of the Bohemian. You would have said
that he was listening to her song with his eyes.
On another occasion, he came to her with an awkward
and bashful air. " Hearken to me," said he, with effort ;
<c I have something to say to you." She made a sign to
him that she was listening. He then began to sigh, half
opened his lips, appeared for a moment ready to speak,
looked at her, shook his head, and slowly retired, pressing
his hand to his brow, and leaving the Egyptian in amaze-
Among the grotesque heads sculptured in the wall there
was one for which he showed a particular predilection, and
with which he seemed to exchange brotherly looks. The
Egyptian once heard him address it in these words : ' c Oh !
why am I not of stone, like thee ? "
At length, one morning, La Esmeralda, having advanced
to the parapet of the roof, was looking at the Place, over
the sharp roof of St. Jean le Rond. Quasimodo was be-
hind her. He stationed himself there on purpose to spare
the damsel the disagreeable spectacle of his ungainly per-
son. On a sudden the Bohemian shuddered : a tear and a
flash of joy sparkled at once in her eyes : she fell on her
knees, and extended her arms in anguish towards the Place,
crying, " Phoebus ! come ! come ! one word, a single word,
for God's sake! Phoebus! Phoebus!" Her voice, her
face, her attitude, her whole figure, had the agonising ex-
pression of a shipwrecked person who is making signals of
distress to a distant vessel sailing gaily along in the sun-
THE HUNCHBACK OP NOTRE-DAME. 335
Quasimodo, bending forward, perceived that the object
of this wild and tender appeal was a young and handsome
horseman, a captain, glistening with arms and accoutre-
ments, who passed caracoling through the Place, and bow-
ing to a fair lady smiling in her balcony. The officer was
too far off to hear the call of the unhappy girl.
But the poor deaf bell-ringer understood it. A deep
sigh heaved his breast; he turned round; his heart was
swollen with the tears which he repressed ; he dashed his
convulsive fists against his head; and when he removed
them there was in each of them a handful of red hair.
The Egyptian paid no attention to him. Gnashing his
teeth, he said, in a low tone, " Perdition ! That is how
one ought to look, then ! One need but have a handsome
outside ! "
She continued meanwhile upon her knees, and cried,
with vehement agitation, " Oh ! there he alights ! He is
going into that house ! Phoebus ! Phoebus ! He does
not hear me ! Phoebus ! Oh ! the spiteful woman to
talk to him at the same time that I do! Phoebus !
Phoebus !" ^
The deaf bell-ringer watched her. He comprehended
this pantomime. The poor fellow's eye filled with tears,
but he suffered none of them to escape. All at once he
gently pulled her sleeve. She turned round. He had
assumed a look of composure, and said to her, " Shall I
go and fetch him ? "
She gave a cry of joy. " Oh ! go, go ! run ! quick !
that captain ! that captain ! bring him to me ! I will
love thee ! " She clasped his knees. He could not help
shaking his head sorrowfully. " I will go and bring him
to you," said he, in a faint voice. He then retired and
hurried down the staircase, stifled with sobs.
VThen he reached the Place, nothing was to be seen but
the fine horse fastened to the gate of the Gondalaurier
mansion. The captain had just entered. He looked up
to the roof of the church. La Esmeralda was still at the
same place, in the same posture. He made her a sad sign
with his head, and leaned with his back against one of the
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME.
pillars of the porch, detertnined to await the captain's de-
In that house it was one of those festive days which
precede a wedding. Quasimodo saw many persons enter,
but nobody came out. Every now and then, he looked up
at the roof; the Egyptian did not stir any more than he.
A groom came and untied the horse, and led him to the
stable. The whole day passed in this manner, Quasimodo
at the pillar, La Esmeralda on the roof, and Phoebus no
doubt at the feet of Fleur-de-Lys.
At length night arrived ; a night without a moon, a
dark night. To no purpose did Quasimodo keep his eye
fixed on La Esmeralda ; she soon appeared to be but a
white spot in the twilight, which became more and more
indistinct, till it was no longer discernible amid the dark-
Quasimodo saw the front windows of the Gondalaurier
mansion lighted up from top to bottom ; he saw the other
windows of the Place lighted up one after another ; ht
saw them darkened again to the very last of them, for he
remained the whole evening at his post. Still the officer
came not forth. When all the passengers had retired to
their homes, and not a light was to be seen in any of the
windows, Quasimodo was left quite alone, in absolute
The windows of the Gondalaurier mansion, however,
continued lighted, even after midnight. Quasimodo, mo-
tionless and attentive, saw a multitude of living and dan-
cing shadows passing over the many-coloured panes. Had
he not been deaf, in proportion as the noises of Paris sub-
sided, he would have heard more and more distinctly
sounds of festivity, mirth, and music, within the mansion.
About one in the morning the company began to break
up. Quasimodo, enveloped in darkness, watched all the
guests as they came out under the porch lighted with
torches. The captain was not among them.
He was filled with sad thoughts. Ever and anon he
looked up at the sky, as if tired of waiting. Large, heavy,
ragged, black clouds hung like crape hammocks beneath
THE HUNCHBACK OP NOTRE-DAME. 337
the starry cope of night. You would have said that they
were the cobwebs of the firmament. In one of those mo-
ments he all at once saw the glazed door of the balcony
mysteriously open. Two persons came forth, and shut it
after them without noise. It was a man and a woman.
It was with some difficulty that Quasimodo recognised in
the one the handsome captain, in the other the young lady
whom he had seen in the morning welcoming the officer
from the window. The Place was quite dark ; and a
double crimson curtain, which had collapsed again behind
the door at the moment of its shutting, scarcely suffered a
gleam of light from the apartment to reach the balcony.
The young captain and the lady, as far as our deaf
watchman could judge for he could not hear a word
they said appeared to indulge in a very tender tete-a-tete.
The young lady seemed to have permitted the officer to
throw his arm around her waist, and feebly withstood a
Quasimodo witnessed from below this scene, which it
was the more delightful to see, inasmuch as it was not in-
tended to be witnessed. He, however, contemplated that
happiness, that beauty, with bitterness of soul. After all,
Nature was not silent in the poor fellow, and, deformed
as he was, his heart nevertheless had affections. He
thought of the miserable portion which Providence had al-
lotted to him ; that woman, love, and its pleasures, would
be for ever passing before his eyes, but that he should never
do more than witness the felicity of others. But what af-
flicted him most in this sight, and mingled anger with his
vexation, was, to think what the Egyptian must suffer if
she beheld it. To be sure, the night was very dask ;
La Esmeralda, if she had staid in the same place and
he had no doubt of that was at a considerable distance ;
and it was quite as much as he could do himself to distin-
guish the lovers in the balcony. This was some conso-
Meanwhile their conversation became more and more
animated. The young lady appeared to address the officer
in a beseeching attitude. Quasimodo could discern her
fair hands clasped, her smiles mingled with tear? her
338 THE HUNCHBACK OP NOTRE-DAME.
looks uplifted to heaven, and the eager eyes of the captain
bent down upon her.
The door of the balcony suddenly opened ; an aged lady
appeared ; the fair one looked confused, the officer vexed,
and all three went in.
A moment afterwards, a horse was prancing beneath the
porch, and the brilliant officer, wrapped in his cloak, passed
swiftly before Quasimodo. The bell-ringer suffered him
to turn the corner of the street, and then ran after him
with the agility of a monkey, crying : " Ho ! captain ! "
The captain pulled up. " What would the varlet with
me ?'" said he, on spying in the dark the uncouth figure
limping towards him.
Quasimodo, on coming up to him, boldly laid hold of
the horse's bridle. " Follow me, captain," said he;
" there is one who would speak with you."
<e By Mahound's horns ! " muttered Phcebus ; " me-
thinks I have seen this rascally scarecrow somewhere or
other. Halloo ! fellow ! let go the bridle."
" Captain," replied the deaf bell-ringer ; " ask me not
who it is."
" Loose my horse, I tell you," cried Phoebus, angrily.
' What means the rogue, hanging thus from my bridle-
rein. Dost thou take my horse for a gallows, knave ? "
Quasimodo, so far from relaxing his hold of the bridle,
was preparing to turn the horse's head the contrary way.
Unable to account for the opposition of the captain, he
hastened to give him this explanation. " Come, captain ;
'tis a female who is waiting for you a female who loves
" A rare varlet ! " said the captain ; " to suppose that
I am obliged to go to all the women who love me, or say
they do. After all, perhaps, she is like thyself with that
owl's face Tell her who sent thee that I am going to be
married, and that she may go to the devil."
" Hark ye, Monseigneur," cried Quasimodo, thinking
with a word to overcome his hesitation I " 'tis the Egyptian
whom you are acquainted with."
This intimation made a strong impression upon Phcebus,
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME, 33Q
out not of the kind that the speaker anticipated. It will
be recollected that our gallant officer had retired with
Fleur-de-Lys a few moments before Quasimodo rescued
the condemned girl from the clutches of Charmolue, In all
his subsequent visits to the logis Gondalaurier, he had
carefully abstained from mentioning that female, the recol-
lection of whom was, besides, painful to him ; and Fleur-
de-Lys, on her part, had not deemed it politic to tell him
that the Egyptian was alive. Phoebus believed, therefore,
that poor Similar was dead, and that she must have been
so for a month or two. Add to this that for some mo-
ments the captain had been pondering on the extreme
darkness of the night, on the supernatural ugliness and
sepulchral voice of the strange messenger: it was past
midnight ; the street was as lonely as on the evening that
the spectre-monk had accosted him, and his horse snorted
at the sight of Quasimodo.
n The Egyptian ! " he exclaimed with almost a feeling
of terror. u What, then, art thou from the other world ? "
At the same time he clapped his hand to the hilt of his
" Quick ! quick ! " said the dwarf, striving to lead the
horse ; '* this way ! "
Phcebus dealt him a smart stroke with his whip across
the arm. Quasimodo's eye flashed. He made a movement,
as if to rush upon the captain ; but, instantly restraining