My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Translator: Frederic Charles Lascelles Wraxall
Release Date: April 18, 2015 [EBook #48732]
Produced by Laura Natal, Ingrid González Reyes & Marc D’Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org (Images generously made available by the Hathi Trust.)
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
I made the proofreading the 1st edition of this book in English through Free Literature, published by Little, Brown and Company, in 1887.
Vol 2: Cosette
The original file was provided by Internet Arquive.
“If you like to give me three francs, sir, I will tell you all about the battle of Waterloo.”
If it had not rained on the night between the 17th and 18th June, 1815, the future of Europe would have been changed; a few drops of rain more or less made Napoleon oscillate.
Other fatalities were yet to arise. Was it possible for Napoleon to win the battle? We answer in the negative. Why? On account of Wellington, on account of Blücher? No; on account of God. Buonaparte, victor at Waterloo, did not harmonize with the law of the 19th century.
When the earth is suffering from an excessive burden, there are mysterious groans from the shadow, which the abyss hears. Napoleon had been denounced in infinitude, and his fall was decided. He had angered God. Waterloo is not a battle, but a transformation of the Universe.
The man who won the battle of Waterloo was not Napoleon routed; it was not Wellington giving ground at four o’clock, driven to despair at five; it was not Blücher, who had not fought at all: the man who won the battle of Waterloo was Cambronne.
If you wish to understand what revolution is, call it progress; and if you wish to understand what progress is, call it to-morrow.
Cosette measured with the simple and sad sagacity of childhood the abyss which separated her from this doll. She said to herself that a person must be a queen or a princess to have a “thing” like that. She looked at the fine dress, the long smooth hair, and thought, “How happy that doll must be!” She could not take her eyes off this fantastic shop, and the more she looked the more dazzled she became, and she fancied she saw Paradise.