CHAPTER 4. ANArKH.
It chanced that upon a fine morning in this same month of
March, I think it was on Saturday the 29th, Saint Eustache's
day, our young friend the student, Jehan Frollo du Moulin,
perceived, as he was dressing himself, that his breeches, which
contained his purse, gave out no metallic ring. "Poor purse,"
he said, drawing it from his fob, "what! not the smallest
parisis! how cruelly the dice, beer-pots, and Venus have
depleted thee! How empty, wrinkled, limp, thou art! Thou
resemblest the throat of a fury! I ask you, Messer Cicero,
and Messer Seneca, copies of whom, all dog's-eared, I behold
scattered on the floor, what profits it me to know, better
than any governor of the mint, or any Jew on the Pont aux
Changeurs, that a golden crown stamped with a crown is worth
thirty-five unzains of twenty-five sous, and eight deniers
parisis apiece, and that a crown stamped with a crescent is
worth thirty-six unzains of twenty-six sous, six deniers
tournois apiece, if I have not a single wretched black liard
to risk on the double-six! Oh! Consul Cicero! this is no
calamity from which one extricates one's self with periphrases,
quemadmodum, and verum enim vero!"
He dressed himself sadly. An idea had occurred to him as
he laced his boots, but he rejected it at first; nevertheless,
it returned, and he put on his waistcoat wrong side out, an
evident sign of violent internal combat. At last he dashed his
cap roughly on the floor, and exclaimed: "So much the worse!
Let come of it what may. I am going to my brother! I
shall catch a sermon, but I shall catch a crown."
Then be hastily donned his long jacket with furred half-
sleeves, picked up his cap, and went out like a man driven
He descended the Rue de la Harpe toward the City. As he
passed the Rue de la Huchette, the odor of those admirable
spits, which were incessantly turning, tickled his olfactory
apparatus, and he bestowed a loving glance toward the
Cyclopean roast, which one day drew from the Franciscan friar,
Calatagirone, this pathetic exclamation: Veramente, queste
rotisserie sono cosa stupenda!* But Jehan had not the
wherewithal to buy a breakfast, and he plunged, with a
profound sigh, under the gateway of the Petit-Châtelet, that
enormous double trefoil of massive towers which guarded the
entrance to the City.