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He speaks a great deal, rather fast, some times in low, at others in very loud, tones. He appears to see things only through a veil, and to hear only through a screen. One would imagine there was a wall, barely transparent, between the real world and himself. He looks fixedly, just as if he is seeking to make out things and distinguish faces from behind a barrier. He utters rambling words in a subdued manner. They have a meaning, however, for a thoughtful person.
In this trial, we see the depiction of a man clearly suffering from a mental disorder. We also see Hugo's interactions with other Peers of the Court.
July 29, 1846
Suzanne, the chambermaid, has just returned home.
She has been called to the fête to see the fireworks. On coming in--she was radiant--she said, "Oh! what a lucky thing, madame! It was my cousin who arrested the man who fired upon the king."
"What! Has anyone fired at the king?"
"Yes, and my cousin arrested the man. What a lucky thing! It was this evening, just now. The king was on the balcony. The man fired two pistol-shots together, and missed the king. Oh, how people applauded! The king was pleased. He pointed out himself where the smoke came from. But my cousin, who is a policeman in plain clothes, was there, close to the man. He only had to turn around. He took the man into custody."
"What is his name?"
"No, my cousin. He is a tall fellow. The man is little. I do not know his name. I have forgotten it. He looked sad; he pretended to be crying. When he was taken away he said, 'Oh dear! I must die then.' He is fifty years old. Some gold was found on him. I should think he will have a bad time of it tonight. My cousin is delighted, and the curé also is delighted." (This is a canon of Nôtre Dame who resides in the same building as the cousin in the police.) "What luck, eh! Madame, what luck!"
There is close to here, in the Rue de Limoges, a house with a carriage-way of solemn and gloomy appearance, some old court-house, with a little square yard. On the left-hand side of the door is a great black board, in the centre of which are the Arms of France. Upon this board is an inscription in wooden letters, formerly gilt, and running thus: --
Jospeh Henri is the assassin. He has a wife and three children.
On the right-hand side, in the courtyard there is a house-door, above which is seen: --
The whole house is of a fallen and dismal appearance.
The day before yesterday I went to inscribe my name at the palace of the king, who has gone to Eu. This is done upon a kind of register, with a green parchment back like a laundress's book. There are five registers, one for each member of the royal family. Every evening the registers are forwarded to the king, and the queen carefully reads them.
I do not suppose people inscribed their names at the residence of Louis XIV, or of Napoleon.
This reminds me of the first time I dined at the Tuilleries. A month afterwards I met M. de Rémusat, who was among the guests, and who says, "Have you paid your visit of digestion?"
Homely manners are charming and graceful, but they go rather too far sometimes. I thoroughly understand royalty living a homely life, but this granted, a prefer a patriarchal sytle to the home style. Patriarchal life is as simple as homely life, and as majestic as royal life.
M. Lebrun, who came to leave his name at the same time as I did, was telling me that a few years ago the King of the Belgians was at the Tuilleries. M. Lebrun goes to see him. He speaks to the hall poerter. "Can I see the King of the Belgians, please?" "The King of the Belgians? Oh! yes, Sir, in the second courtyard, through the little door. Go up to the third floor and turn to the left along the corridor. The King of the Belgians is No. 9."
The Prince de Joinville lives in a little attic at the Tuilleries. The Duke de Saxe-Coburg is lodged in the Louvre in a corridor. Like the King of the Belgians, he has his card nailed upon the door: "Duke of Saxe-Coburg."