Victor Hugo – The Hunchback Of Notre Dame: Monsieur The Cardinal (3/61)



book first chapter three of The Hunchback of Notre Dom by Victor Hugo this LibriVox recording is in the public domain Chapter three masya the Cardinal poor Gringoire the din of all the great double petard z' of the seige on the discharge of twenty arquebus azan supports the detonation of that famous serpentine of the Tower of Billy which during the siege of Paris on Sunday the 26th of September 1465 killed seven Burgundians at one blow the explosion of all the powder stored at the gate of the temple would have rent his ears less rudely at that solemn and dramatic moment than these few words which fell from the lips of the usher His Eminence Monseigneur the cardinal Debra ball it is not that Pierre Gringoire either feared or disdained Monsieur the Cardinal he had neither the weakness nor the audacity for that a true eclectic as it would be expressed nowadays Gringoire was one of those firm and lofty moderate and calm spirits which always know how to bear themselves amid all circumstances starry Indymedia rear 'm and who are full of reason and of liberal philosophy while still setting store by Cardinals a rare precious and never interrupted race of philosophers to whom wisdom like another Ariadne seems to have given a clue of thread which they have been walking along unwinding since the beginning of the world through the labyrinth of human affairs one finds them in all ages ever the same that is to say always according to all times and without reckoning our Pierre Gringoire who may represent them in the fifteenth century if we succeed in bestowing upon him the distinction which he deserves it certainly was their spirit which animated father de Bruhl when he wrote in the six these naively sublime words worthy of all the centuries I am a Parisian by nation and a Parisian in language for Parisian in Greek signifies Liberty of speech of which I have made use even towards men sanur as the Cardinals uncle and brother to Monsur the Prince to Conte always with respect to their greatness and without offending anyone of their suite which is much to say there was then neither hatred for the Cardinal nor disdain for his presence in the disagreeable impression produced upon Pierre Gringoire quite the contrary our poet had too much good sense and too threadbare a coat not to attach particular importance to having the numerous allusions in his prologue and in particular the glorification of the Dolphin son of the Lion of France fall upon the most eminent ear but it is not interest which predominates in the noble nature of poets I suppose that the entity of the poet may be represented by the number-10 it is certain that a chemist on analyzing and farmer Kapil izing it as Rabelais says would find it composed of one part interest to nine parts of self-esteem now at the moment when the door had opened to admit the Cardinal the nine parts of self-esteem in Gringoire swollen and expanded by the breath of popular admiration were in a state of prodigious augmentation beneath which disappeared as though stifled that imperceptible molecule of which we have just remarked upon in the constitution of poets a precious ingredient by the way a ballast of reality and humanity without which they would not touch earth Gringoire enjoyed seeing feeling fingering so to speak an entire assembly of knaves it is true but what matters that stupefied petrified and as though asphyxiated in the presence of the incommensurable tirades which welled up every instant from all parts of his bridal song I affirm that he shared the general beatitude and that's quite the reverse of LaFontaine who at the presentation of his comedy of the florentine asked who is the ill-bred lout who made that rhapsody Gringoire would gladly have inquired of his neighbor whose masterpiece is this the reader can now judge of the effect produced upon him by the abrupt and unseasonable arrival of the Cardinal that which he had feared was only two fully realized the entrance of his eminence upset the audience all heads turned towards the gallery it was no longer possible to hear oneself the Cardinal the Cardinal repeated all mouths the unhappy prologue stopped short for the second time the Cardinal halted for a moment on the threshold of the estrade while he was sending a rather indifferent glance around the audience the tumult redoubled each person wished to get a better view of him each man vied with the other in thrusting his head over his neighbor's shoulder he was in fact an exalted personage the sight of whom was well worth any other comedy charles cardinal de Bourbon archbishop and compte of Lyon primate of the Gauls was allied both to louis xi through his brother Pierre senior dibujo who had married the King's eldest daughter and to Charles the bold through his mother Agnes of Burgundy now the dominating trait the peculiar and distinctive trait of the character of the primate of the Gauls was the spirit of the courtier and devotion to the powers that be the reader can form an idea of the numberless embarrassments which this double relationship had caused him and of all the temporal reefs among which his spiritual bark had been forced to tack in order not to suffer shipwreck on either Louie or Cheryl that sillim and that Charybdis which had devour the Duke de Nemours and the constable descent Paul thanks to Heaven's mercy he had made the voyage successfully and had reached home without hindrance but although he was in port and precisely because he was in port he never recalled without disquiet the varied HAP's of his political career so long uneasy and laborious thus he was in the habit of saying that the Year 1476 had been white and black for him meaning thereby that in the course of that year he had lost his mother the duchess de Labarre Binet and his cousin the Duke of Burgundy and that one grief had consoled him for the other nevertheless he was a fine man he had led a joyous Cardinals life like to enliven himself with the Royal vintage of shall you all did not hate Rashard Ella Gama and Tomas lessard bestowed arms on pretty girls rather than on old women and for all these reasons was very agreeable to the populace of Paris he never went about otherwise then surrounded by a small Court of Bishops and Abbey's of high lineage gallant jovial and given to carousing on occasion and more than once the good and devout women of San German doge air when passing at night beneath the brightly illuminated windows of bourbon had been scandalized to hear the same voices which had intoned Vespers for them during the day caroling to the clinking of glasses the back ik proverb of Benedict the 12th that Pope who had added a third crown to the tiara Biba Moose Papa liter it was this just the acquired popularity no doubt which preserved him on his entrance from any bad reception at the hands of the mob which had been so displeased but a moment before and very little disposed to respect a cardinal on the very day when it was to elect a pope but the Parisians cherish little rancor and then having forced the beginning of the play by their authority the good bushwa had got the upper hand of the Cardinal and this triumph was sufficient for them moreover the cardinal de Bourbon was a handsome man he wore a fine scarlet robe which he carried off very well that is to say he had all the women on his side and consequently the best half of the audience assuredly it would be injustice and bad taste – who – Cardinal for having come late to the spectacle when he is a handsome man and when he wears his scarlet robe well he entered then bow to those present with the hereditary smile of the great for the people and directed his course slowly towards his scarlet velvet armchair with the air of thinking of something quite different his cortege what we should nowadays call his staff of bishops and Abbey's invaded the estrade in his train not without causing redoubled tumult and curiosity among the audience each man vied with his neighbor in pointing them out and naming them in seeing who should recognise at least one of them this one the Bishop of Marseilles a low debts if my memory serves me right this one the primacy er of Santa knee this one ro-bear de lespinasse a Bey of sin German to pray that libertine brother of a mistress of louis xi all with many errors and absurdities as for the scholars they swore this was their day their Feast of Fools their Saturnalia the annual orgy of the corporation of law clerks and of the school there was no turpitude which was not sacred on that day and then there were gay gossips in the crowd C Mon Quatro livre Agnes lagaa Dean and Rabine PA de bois was it not the least that one could do to swear at ones ease and revile the name of God a little on so fine a day in such good company as dignitaries of the church and loose women so they did not abstain and in the midst of the uproar there was a frightful concert of blasphemies and enormities of all the unbridled tongues the tongues of clerks and students restrained during the rest of the year by the fear of the HUD iron of San Louie poor st. Louie how they set him at defiance in his own court of law each one of them selected from the newcomers on the platform a black gray white or violet cassock as his target Joanna's frollo de Melun Dean in his quality of brother to an Archdeacon boldly attacked the scarlet he sang in deafening tones with his impudent eyes fastened on the Cardinal coppa rep Plato Mero all these details which we hear lay bare for the edification of the reader were so covered by the general uproar that they were lost in it before reaching the reserved platforms moreover they would have moved the Cardinal but little so much a part of the customs were the liberties of that day moreover he had another cause for solicitude and his mien as wholly preoccupied with it which entered the estrade the same time as himself this was the embassy from Flanders not that he was a profound politician nor was he borrowing trouble about the possible consequences of the marriage of his cousin Marguerite de Burgoyne to his cousin Cheryl though fond of en norm as to how long the good understanding which had been patched up between the Duke of Austria and the King of France would last nor how the King of England would take this disdain of his daughter all that troubled him but little and he gave a warm reception every evening to the wine of the Royal vintage of shy Oh without a suspicion that several flasks of that same wine somewhat revised and corrected it is true by doctor qua ta cordially offered to Edward the fourth by louis xi would some fine morning rid louis xi of Edward the fourth the much honored Embassy of Monsieur the Duke of Austria brought the Cardinal none of these cares but it troubled him in another direction it was in fact somewhat hard and we have already hinted at it on the second page of this book for him Charlton burr bomb to be obliged to feast and receive cordially no one knows what bourgeois for him a cardinal to receive aldermen for him a Frenchman a jolly companion to receive Flemish beer drinkers and that in public this was certainly one of the most irksome grimaces that he had ever executed for the good pleasure of the king so he turned toward the door and with the best grace in the world so well had he trained himself to it when the usher announced in a sonorous voice monsieurs the unvoiced sure the duke of austria it is useless to add that the whole hall did the same then arrived two by two with a gravity which made a contrast in the midst of the frisky ecclesiastical escort of Charlotte of our bomb the eight and forty ambassadors of Maximilian of Austria having at their head the Reverend Father in God Jean Abbot of San Martin Chancellor of the Golden Fleece as Jacques de Gouw see adobe grand bailiff of god a deep silence settled over the assembly accompanied by stifled laughter at the preposterous names and all the bourgeois designations which each of these personages transmitted with imperturbable gravity to the usher who then tossed names and titles pell mell and mutilated to the crowd below there were Master Liou are aloof alderman of the city of lo van misiek lay to aim alderman of Brussels Monsieur Paul de burst seer Devore Moselle president of Flanders master jehan kala ganz burger master of the city of Antwerp mas'r George Delhomme we're first aldermen of the queer of the city of gaunt master Geldof vanderhaeghe first alderman of the purchase of the said town and the co2 beer Beck and Jahan Pinnock and Jahan Demers L etc etc etc bailiffs alderman burgomasters burgomasters aldermen bailiffs all stiff affectedly grieve formal dressed out in velvet and dem esc' hooded with caps of black velvet with great tufts of cyprus gold thread good Flemish heads after all severe and worthy faces of the family which Rembrandt makes to stand out so strong and grave from the black background of his night patrol personages all of whom bore written on their brows that maximilian of austria had done well in trusting implicitly as the manifest ran in their sense valor experience loyalty and good wisdom there was one exception however it was a subtle intelligent crafty looking face a sort of combined monkey and diplomat fizz before whom the Cardinal made three steps and a profound bow and whose name nevertheless was only gyeom rhyme counselor and pensioner of the city of Ghent few persons were then aware who gyeom rhyme was a rare genius who in a time of revolution would have made a brilliant appearance on the surface of events but who in the fifteenth century was reduced to cavernous intrigues and to living in minds as the duke de san simone expresses it nevertheless he was appreciated by the minor of europe he plotted familiarly with louis xi and often lent a hand to the king's secret jobs all which things were quite unknown to that throng who were amazed at the Cardinals politeness to that frail figure of a flemish bailiff end of chapter 3

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