Wednesday, 20/11/2019 - 16:40

Victor Hugo

Book I. The forest of la saudraie.

    During the last days of May, 1793, one of the Parisian battalions introduced into Brittany by Santerre was reconnoitring the formidable La Saudraie Woods in Astillé. Decimated by this cruel war, the battalion was reduced to about three hundred men. This was at the time when, after Argonne,...

Chapter I. England and france united

In the spring of 1793, when France, attacked at one and the same time on all her frontiers, experienced the pathetic diversion of the downfall of the Girondists, the following events were taking place in the Channel Islands. In Jersey, one evening on the first of June, about an hour before sunset,...

Chapter II. Night with the ship and the passenger

The corvette, instead of sailing south, in the direction of St. Catherine, headed to the north, then, veering towards the west, had boldly entered that arm of the sea between Sark and Jersey called the Passage of the Déroute. There was then no lighthouse, at any point on either coast. It had been...

Chapter III. Patrician and plebeian united

The commander and the first officer returned on deck, and began to pace up and down side by side, talking as they walked. The theme was evidently their passenger; and this was the substance of the conversation which the wind wafted through the darkness. Boisberthelot grumbled half audibly to La...

Chapter IV. Tormentum belli

One of the carronades of the battery, a twenty-four pound cannon, had become loose. This is perhaps the most dreadful thing that can take place at sea. Nothing more terrible can happen to a man-of-war under full sail. A cannon that breaks loose from its fastenings is suddenly transformed into a...

Chapter V. Vis et vir

The cannon was rolling to and fro on the deck. It might have been called the living chariot of the Apocalypse. A dim wavering of lights and shadows was added to this spectacle by the marine lantern, swinging under the deck. The outlines of the cannon were indistinguishable, by reason of the...

Chapter VI. The two ends of the scale

The man had conquered; but it might be affirmed that the cannon also had gained a victory. Immediate shipwreck was averted; but the corvette was still in danger. The injuries the ship had sustained seemed irreparable. There were five breaches in the sides, one of them – a very large one...

Chapter VII. He who sets sail invests in a lottery

But what was to become of the corvette? The clouds that had mingled all night with the waves had now fallen so low that they overspread the sea like a mantle, and completely shut out the horizon. Nothing but fog, – always a dangerous situation, even for a seaworthy vessel. A heavy swell was...

Chapter VIII. 9 : 380

The corvette was little better than a wreck. A sepulchral solemnity pervaded the dim twilight, the darkness of the clouds, the confused changes of the horizon, and the mysterious sullenness of the waves. There was no sound except the hostile blasts of the wind. The catastrophe rose majestic from...

Chapter IX. Some one escapes

The passenger had not left the deck; he watched all that was going on with his customary impassibility. Boisberthelot went up to him. “Sir,” he said, “the preparations are completed. We are now clinging to our grave; we shall not relax our hold. We must succumb either to the...