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modo's hump, his camel breast, his horny, hairy shoulders, were bared to view. During this burst of merriment, a man in the city livery, short of stature, and strong, mounted the platform and took his place by the prisoner's side. His name was soon circulated among the spectators. It was Master Pierrat Torterue, sworn torturer of the Châtelet.
He began by placing on one corner of the pillory a black hourglass, the upper part of which was full of red sand, which dropped slowly into the lower half; then he took off his partycolored coat, and there was seen hanging from his right hand a slim, slender whip with long white thongs, shining, knotted, braided, armed with metal tips. With his left hand he carelessly rolled his right shirt sleeve up to his armpit.
Meanwhile Jehan Frollo shouted, lifting his fair curly head high above the crowd (he had climbed Robin Poussepain's shoulders for the express purpose), “ Come and see, gentlemen and ladies! They are going straightway to flog Master Quasimodo, the bell ringer of my brother the archdeacon of Josas, a strange specimen of Oriental architecture, with a dome for his back and twisted columns for legs."
All the people laughed, especially the children and the young girls.
At last the executioner stamped his foot. The wheel began to turn. Quasimodo reeled in spite of his bonds. The astonishment suddenly depicted upon his misshapen face redoubled the bursts of laughter around him.
Suddenly, just as the wheel in its revolution presented to Master Pierrat Quasimodo's mountainous back, Master Pierrat raised his arm : the thin lashes hissed through the air like a brood of vipers, and fell furiously upon the wretched man's shoulders.
Quasimodo started as if roused abruptly from a dream. He began to understand. He writhed in his bonds; surprise and pain distorted the muscles of his face, but he did not heave a sigh. He merely bent his head back, to the right, then to the left, shaking it like a bull stung in the flank by a gadfly.
A second blow followed the first, then a third, and another, and another, and so on and on. The wheel did not cease from turning, or the blows from raining down.
Soon the blood spurted; it streamed in countless rivu. lets over the hunchback's swarthy shoulders; and the slender
thongs, as they rent the air, sprinkled it in drops among the crowd.
Quasimodo had resumed, apparently at least, his former impassivity. He had tried at first, secretly and without great visible effort, to burst his bonds. His eye kindled, his muscles stiffened, his limbs gathered all their force, and the straps and chains stretched. The struggle was mighty, prodigious, desperate ; but the tried and tested fetters of the provosty held firm. They cracked ; and that was all. Quasimodo fell back exhausted. Surprise gave way, upon his features, to a look of bitter and profound dejection.
He closed his single eye, dropped his head upon his breast, and feigned death.
Thenceforth he did not budge. Nothing could wring a movement from him, — neither his blood, which still flowed, nor the blows, which increased in fury, nor the rage of the executioner, who became excited and intoxicated by his work, nor the noise of the horrid lashes, keener and sharper than the stings of wasps.
At last an usher from the Châtelet, dressed in black, mounted on a black horse, who had been posted beside the ladder from the beginning of the execution of the sentence, extended his ebony wand towards the hourglass. The executioner paused. The wheel stopped. Quasimodo's eye reopened slowly.
The flagellation was ended. Two attendants of the executioner washed the victim's bleeding shoulders, rubbed them with some salve which at once closed all the wounds, and threw over his back a piece of yellow cotton cloth cut after the pattern of a priest's cope. Meanwhile Pierrat Torterue let his red lashes soaked with blood drip upon the pavement.
But all was not over for Quasimodo. He had still to spend in the pillory that hour so judiciously added by Master Florian Barbedienne to the sentence of Master Robert d'Estouteville, all to the greater glory of Jean de Cumène's old physiological and psychological pun : “ Surdus absurdus."
The hourglass was therefore turned, and the hunchback was left bound to the plank as before, in order that justice might be executed to the utmost.
The people, particularly in the Middle Ages, were to society what the child is to a family. So long as they remain in their primitive condition of ignorance, of moral and intellectual nonage, it may be said of them as of a child :
That age is without pity.
We have already shown that Quasimodo was the object of universal hatred, — for more than one good reason, it is true. There was hardly a single spectator in the crowd who had not - or did not think he had – grounds for complaint against the malicious hunchback of Notre Dame. Every one was delighted to see him in the pillory ; and the severe punishment which he had just received, and the piteous state in which it had left him, far from softening the hearts of the populace, had made their hatred keener by adding to it a spice of merriment.
Thus, “public vengeance,” as the legal jargon still styles it, once satisfied, a thousand private spites took their turn at revenge. Here, as in the Great Hall, the women made them selves especially conspicuous. All bore him a grudge, — some for his mischief, others for his ugliness. The latter were the more furious.
“Oh, you image of Antichrist!” said one. “ Broomstick rider !" cried another.
“What a fine tragic face!” yelled a third. “It would surely make you Lord of Misrule, if to-day were only yesterday.” “ That's right,” added an old woman.
“This is the pillory face. When shall we have the gallows face?”
“When shall we see you buried a hundred feet below ground, with your big bell upon your head, you cursed bell ringer?”
" And to think that it's this demon that rings the Angelus!”
“Ok, you deaf man! you blind man! you hunchback! you monster !
And the two students, Jehan du Moulin and Robin Poussepain, sang at the top of their voices the old popular refrain:
“A halter for the gallows bird !
Countless other insults rained upon him, mingled with hoots, curses, laughter, and occasional stones.
Quasimodo was deaf, but his sight was capital, and the fury of the mob was no less forcibly painted on their faces than in their words. Besides, the stones which struck him explained the peals of laughter.
He bore it for a time; but little by little his patience, which
had resisted the torturer's whip, gave way and rebelled against all these insect stings. The Asturian bull, which pays but little heed to the attacks of the picador, is maddened by the dogs and the banderillero".
At first he glanced slowly and threateningly around the crowd; but, bound fast as he was, his glance was impotent to drive away those flies which galled his wounds. Then he struggled in his fetters, and his frantic efforts made the old pillory wheel creak upon its timbers. All this only increased the shouts and derision of the crowd.
Then the wretched man, unable to break the collar which held him chained like a wild beast, became quiet again; only at intervals a sigh of rage heaved his breast. His face showed no trace of mortification or shame. He was too far removed from the existing state of society, and too nearly allied to a state of nature, to know what shame was. Besides, it is doubtful if infamy be a thing which can be felt by one afflicted with that degree of deformity. But rage, hate, despair, slowly veiled the hideous face with a cloud which grew darker and darker, more and more heavily charged with an electricity revealed by countless flashes from the eye of the Cyclop.
However, this cloud was lightened for a moment as a mule passed through the crowd, bearing a priest on his back. As soon as he saw that mule and that priest, the poor sufferer's face softened. The fury which convulsed it gave way to a strange smile, full of ineffable sweetness, affection, and ten
As the priest approached, this smile became more pronounced, more distinct, more radiant. It was as if the unhappy man hailed the coming of a Savior. Yet, when the mule was near enough to the pillory for his rider to recognize the prisoner, the priest cast down his eyes, turned back abruptly, spurred his animal on either side as if in haste to avoid humiliating appeals, and very far from anxious to be greeted and recognized by a poor devil in such a plight.
The priest was the archdeacon Don Claude Frollo.
The cloud grew darker than ever upon the face of Quasimodo. The smile lingered for some time, although it became bitter, dejected, profoundly sad.
Time passed. He had been there at least an hour and a half, wounded, illtreated, incessantly mocked, and almost stoned to death.
Suddenly he again struggled in his chains with renewed despair, which made all the timbers that held him quiver; and breaking the silence which he had hitherto obstinately kept, he cried in a hoarse and furious voice more like the bark of a dog than a human cry, and which drowned the sound of the hooting, “Water!”
This exclamation of distress, far from exciting compassion, only increased the amusement of the good Parisian populace who surrounded the ladder, and who, it must be confessed, taken in the mass and as a multitude, were at this time scarcely less cruel and brutish than that horrible tribe of Vagrant Vagabonds to whom we have already introduced the reader, and who were simply the lowest stratum of the people. Not a voice was raised around the wretched sufferer, except to mock at his thirst. Certainly he was at this moment more grotesque and repulsive than he was pitiable, with his livid and streaming face, his wild eye, his mouth foaming with rage and suffering, and his tongue protruding. It must also be acknowledged that, even had there been in the throng any charitable soul tempted to give a cup of cold water to the miserable creature in his agony, so strong an idea of shame and ignominy was attached to the infamous steps of the pillory, that this alone would have sufficed to repel the Good Samaritan.
In a few minutes Quasimodo cast a despairing look upon the crowd, and repeated in a still more heartrending voice, 6 Water!”
Every one laughed.
“ Drink that !” shouted Robin Poussepain, ilinging in his face a sponge which had been dragged through the gutter. " There, you deaf monster! I owe you something.'
A woman aimed a stone at his head :
“ That will teach you to wake us at night with your cursed chimes !”
“Well, my boy!” howled a cripple, striving to reach him with his crutch, “ will you cast spells on us again from the top of the towers of Notre Dame?"
“Here's a porringer to drink out of !” added a man, letting fly a broken jug at his breast. “ 'Twas you who made my wife give birth to a double-headed child, just by walking
“ And my cat have a kitten with six feet! old woman, hurling a tile at him.