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Chapter V. The Old Man

Let us recount what had taken place.

Enjolras and his friends had been on the Boulevard Bourdon, near the public storehouses, at the moment when the dragoons had made their charge. Enjolras, Courfeyrac, and Combeferre were among those who had taken to the Rue Bassompierre, shouting: "To the barricades!" In the Rue Lesdiguieres they had met an old man walking along. What had attracted their attention was that the goodman was walking in a zig-zag, as though he were intoxicated. Moreover, he had his hat in his hand, although it had been raining all the morning, and was raining pretty briskly at the very time. Courfeyrac had recognized Father Mabeuf. He knew him through having many times accompanied Marius as far as his door. As he was acquainted with the peaceful and more than timid habits of the old beadle-book-collector, and was amazed at the sight of him in the midst of that uproar, a couple of paces from the cavalry charges, almost in the midst of a fusillade, hatless in the rain, and strolling about among the bullets, he had accosted him, and the following dialogue had been exchanged between the rioter of fire and the octogenarian:--

"M. Mabeuf, go to your home."

"Why?"

"There's going to be a row."

"That's well."

"Thrusts with the sword and firing, M. Mabeuf."

"That is well."

"Firing from cannon."

"That is good. Where are the rest of you going?"

"We are going to fling the government to the earth."

"That is good."

And he had set out to follow them. From that moment forth he had not uttered a word. His step had suddenly become firm; artisans had offered him their arms; he had refused with a sign of the head. He advanced nearly to the front rank of the column, with the movement of a man who is marching and the countenance of a man who is sleeping.

"What a fierce old fellow!" muttered the students. The rumor spread through the troop that he was a former member of the Convention,-- an old regicide. The mob had turned in through the Rue de la Verrerie.

Little Gavroche marched in front with that deafening song which made of him a sort of trumpet.

He sang:

       "Voici la lune qui paratt,
        Quand irons-nous dans la foret?
        Demandait Charlot a Charlotte.

             Tou tou tou
             Pour Chatou.
        Je n'ai qu'un Dieu, qu'un roi, qu'un liard, et qu'une botte.

        "Pour avoir bu de grand matin
         La rosee a meme le thym,
         Deux moineaux etaient en ribotte.

             Zi zi zi
             Pour Passy.
        Je n'ai qu'un Dieu, qu'un roi, qu'un liard, et qu'une botte.

       "Et ces deux pauvres petits loups,
        Comme deux grives estaient souls;
        Une tigre en riait dans sa grotte.

             Don don don
             Pour Meudon.
        Je n'ai qu'un Dieu, qu'un roi, qu'un liard, et qu'une botte.

       "L'un jurait et l'autre sacrait. 
        Quand irons nous dans la foret?
        Demandait Charlot a Charlotte.

             Tin tin tin
             Pour Pantin.
         Je n'ai qu'un Dieu, qu'un roi, qu'un liard, et qu'une botte."[46]

They directed their course towards Saint-Merry.

[46] Here is the morn appearing. When shall we go to the forest, Charlot asked Charlotte. Tou, tou, tou, for Chatou, I have but one God, one King, one half-farthing, and one boot. And these two poor little wolves were as tipsy as sparrows from having drunk dew and thyme very early in the morning. And these two poor little things were as drunk as thrushes in a vineyard; a tiger laughed at them in his cave. The one cursed, the other swore. When shall we go to the forest? Charlot asked Charlotte.

Victor Hugo

    Volume I - Book First--A Just Man

    Volume I - Book Second.--The Fall

    Volume I - Book Third.--In the Year 1817

    Volume I - Book Fourth.--To Confide is Sometimes to De

    Volume I - Book Fifth.-- The Descent

    Volume I - Book Sixth.--Javert

    Volume I - Book Seventh.--The Champmathieu Affair

    Volume I - Book Eighth.--A Counter-blow

    Volume II - Book First.--Waterloo

    Volume II - Book Second.--The Ship Orion

    Volume II - Book Third.--Accomplishment of the Promise

    Volume II - Book Fourth.--The Gorbeau Hovel

    Volume II - Book Fifth.--For A Black Hunt, A Mute Pack

    Volume II - Book Sixth.--Le Petit-Picpus

    Volume II - Book Seventh.--Parenthesis

    Volume II - Book Eighth.--Cemeteries Take That Which i

    Volume III - Book First.--Paris Studied in its Atom

    Volume III - Book Second.--The Great Bourgeois

    Volume III - Book Third.--The Grandfather and the Gran

    Volume III - Book Fourth.--The Friends of the ABC

    Volume III - Book Fifth.--The Excellence of Misfortune

    Volume III - Book Sixth.--The Conjunction of Two Stars

    Volume III - Book Seventh.--Patron Minette

    Volume III - Book Eighth.--The Wicked Poor Man

    Volume IV - Book First.--A Few Pages of History

    Volume IV - Book Second.--Eponine

    Volume IV - Book Third.--The House in the Rue Plumet

    Volume IV - Book Fourth.--Succor From Below May Turn O

    Volume IV - Book Fifth.--The End of Which Does Not Res

    Volume IV - Book Sixth.--Little Gavroche

    Volume IV - Book Seventh.--Slang

    Volume IV - Book Eighth.--Enchantments and Desolations

    Volume IV - Book Ninth.--Whither are they Going?

    Volume IV - Book Tenth.--The 5th of June, 1832

    Volume IV - Book Eleventh.--The Atom Fraternizes with

    Volume IV - Book Twelfth.--Corinthe

    Volume IV - Book Thirteenth.--Marius Enters the Shadow

    Volume IV - Book Fourteenth.--The Grandeurs of Despair

    Volume IV - Book Fifteenth.--The Rue de L'Homme Arme

    Volume V - Book First.--The War Between Four Walls

    Volume V - Book Second.--The Intestine of the Leviatha

    Volume V - Book Third.--Mud but the Soul

    Volume V - Book Fourth.--Javert Derailed

    Volume V - Book Fifth.--Grandson and Grandfather

    Volume V - Book Sixth.--The Sleepless Night

    Volume V - Book Seventh.--The Last Draught from the Cu

    Volume V - Book Eighth.--Fading Away of the Twilight

    Volume V - Book Ninth.--Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn

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