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Laigle de Meaux, as the reader knows, lived more with Joly than elsewhere. He had a lodging, as a bird has one on a branch. The two friends lived together, ate together, slept together. They had everything in common, even Musichetta, to some extent. They were, what the subordinate monks who accompany monks are called, bini. On the morning of the 5th of June, they went to Corinthe to breakfast. Joly, who was all stuffed up, had a catarrh which Laigle was beginning to share. Laigle's coat was threadbare, but Joly was well dressed.
It was about nine o'clock in the morning, when they opened the door of Corinthe.
They ascended to the first floor.
Matelote and Gibelotte received them.
"Oysters, cheese, and ham," said Laigle.
And they seated themselves at a table.
The wine-shop was empty; there was no one there but themselves.
Gibelotte, knowing Joly and Laigle, set a bottle of wine on the table.
While they were busy with their first oysters, a head appeared at the hatchway of the staircase, and a voice said:--
"I am passing by. I smell from the street a delicious odor of Brie cheese. I enter." It was Grantaire.
Grantaire took a stool and drew up to the table.
At the sight of Grantaire, Gibelotte placed two bottles of wine on the table.
That made three.
"Are you going to drink those two bottles?" Laigle inquired of Grantaire.
"All are ingenious, thou alone art ingenuous. Two bottles never yet astonished a man."
The others had begun by eating, Grantaire began by drinking. Half a bottle was rapidly gulped down.
"So you have a hole in your stomach?" began Laigle again.
"You have one in your elbow," said Grantaire.
And after having emptied his glass, he added:--
"Ah, by the way, Laigle of the funeral oration, your coat is old."
"I should hope so," retorted Laigle. "That's why we get on well together, my coat and I. It has acquired all my folds, it does not bind me anywhere, it is moulded on my deformities, it falls in with all my movements, I am only conscious of it because it keeps me warm. Old coats are just like old friends."
"That's true," ejaculated Joly, striking into the dialogue, "an old goat is an old abi" (ami, friend).
"Especially in the mouth of a man whose head is stuffed up," said Grantaire.
"Grantaire," demanded Laigle, "have you just come from the boulevard?"
"We have just seen the head of the procession pass, Joly and I."
"It's a marvellous sight," said Joly.
"How quiet this street is!" exclaimed Laigle. "Who would suspect that Paris was turned upside down? How plainly it is to be seen that in former days there were nothing but convents here! In this neighborhood! Du Breul and Sauval give a list of them, and so does the Abbe Lebeuf. They were all round here, they fairly swarmed, booted and barefooted, shaven, bearded, gray, black, white, Franciscans, Minims, Capuchins, Carmelites, Little Augustines, Great Augustines, old Augustines--there was no end of them."
"Don't let's talk of monks," interrupted Grantaire, "it makes one want to scratch one's self."
Then he exclaimed:--
"Bouh! I've just swallowed a bad oyster. Now hypochondria is taking possession of me again. The oysters are spoiled, the servants are ugly. I hate the human race. I just passed through the Rue Richelieu, in front of the big public library. That pile of oyster-shells which is called a library is disgusting even to think of. What paper! What ink! What scrawling! And all that has been written! What rascal was it who said that man was a featherless biped? And then, I met a pretty girl of my acquaintance, who is as beautiful as the spring, worthy to be called Floreal, and who is delighted, enraptured, as happy as the angels, because a wretch yesterday, a frightful banker all spotted with small-pox, deigned to take a fancy to her! Alas! woman keeps on the watch for a protector as much as for a lover; cats chase mice as well as birds. Two months ago that young woman was virtuous in an attic, she adjusted little brass rings in the eyelet-holes of corsets, what do you call it? She sewed, she had a camp bed, she dwelt beside a pot of flowers, she was contented. Now here she is a bankeress. This transformation took place last night. I met the victim this morning in high spirits. The hideous point about it is, that the jade is as pretty to-day as she was yesterday. Her financier did not show in her face. Roses have this advantage or disadvantage over women, that the traces left upon them by caterpillars are visible. Ah! there is no morality on earth. I call to witness the myrtle, the symbol of love, the laurel, the symbol of air, the olive, that ninny, the symbol of peace, the apple-tree which came nearest rangling Adam with its pips, and the fig-tree, the grandfather of petticoats. As for right, do you know what right is? The Gauls covet Clusium, Rome protects Clusium, and demands what wrong Clusium has done to them. Brennus answers: `The wrong that Alba did to you, the wrong that Fidenae did to you, the wrong that the Eques, the Volsci, and the Sabines have done to you. They were your neighbors. The Clusians are ours. We understand neighborliness just as you do. You have stolen Alba, we shall take Clusium.' Rome said: `You shall not take Clusium.' Brennus took Rome. Then he cried: `Vae victis!' That is what right is. Ah! what beasts of prey there are in this world! What eagles! It makes my flesh creep."
 Bipede sans plume: biped without feathers--pen.
He held out his glass to Joly, who filled it, then he drank and went on, having hardly been interrupted by this glass of wine, of which no one, not even himself, had taken any notice:--
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Les Miserables -by- Victor HugoBottom Content goes here. Wikipedia content requires these links..... Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.