Les Miserables

Author: Victor Hugo  | Date: 1862



TABLE talk and lovers’ talk equally elude the grasp; lovers’ talk is clouds, table talk is smoke.

Fameuil and Dahlia hummed airs; Tholomyes drank, Zephine laughed, Fantine smiled. Listolier blew a wooden trumpet that he had bought at Saint Cloud. Favourite looked tenderly at Blacheville, and said:

"Blacheville, I adore you."

This brought forth a question from Blacheville:

"What would you do, Favourite, if I should leave you?"

"Me!" cried Favourite. "Oh! do not say that, even in sport! If you should leave me, I would run after you, I would scratch you, I would pull your hair, I would throw water on you, I would have you arrested."

Blacheville smiled with the effeminate foppery of a man whose self-love is tickled. Favourite continued:

"Yes! I would cry watch! No! I would scream, for example: rascal!"

Blacheville, in ecstasy, leaned back in his chair, and closed both eyes with a satisfied air.

Dahlia, still eating, whispered to Favourite in the hubbub:

"Are you really so fond of your Blacheville, then?"

"I detest him," answered Favourite, in the same tone, taking up her fork. "He is stingy; I am in love with the little fellow over the way from where I live. He is a nice young man; do you know him? Anybody can see that he was born to be an actor! I love actors. As soon as he comes into the house, his mother cries out: ’Oh, dear! my peace is all gone. There, he is going to hallo! You will split my head;’ just because he goes into the garret among the rats, into the dark corners, as high as he can go, and sings and declaims- and how do I know that they can hear him below! He gets twenty sous a day already by writing for a pettifogger. He is the son of an old chorister of Saint-Jacques du Haut-Pas! Oh, he is a nice young man! He is so fond of me that he said one day, when he saw me making dough for pancakes: ’Mamselle, make your gloves into fritters and I will eat them.’ Nobody but artists can say things like these; I am on the high road to go crazy about this little fellow. It is all the same, I tell Blacheville that I adore him. How I lie! Oh, how I lie!"

Favourite paused, then continued:

"Dahlia, you see I am melancholy. It has done nothing but rain all summer; the wind makes me nervous and freckles me. Blacheville is very mean; there are hardly any green peas in the market yet, people care for nothing but eating; I have the spleen, as the English say; butter is so dear! and then, just think of it- it is horrible! We are dining in a room with a bed in it. I am disgusted with life."


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Chicago: Victor Hugo, "VI," Les Miserables, trans. Charles E. Wilbour Original Sources, accessed December 10, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3U7HZ79UTJFM23X.

MLA: Hugo, Victor. "VI." Les Miserables, translted by Charles E. Wilbour, Original Sources. 10 Dec. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3U7HZ79UTJFM23X.

Harvard: Hugo, V, 'VI' in Les Miserables, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 10 December 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3U7HZ79UTJFM23X.