Then his former fears returned; the idea of an attempt against the gipsy girl presented itself once more to his mind. He had a vague premonition of some violent situation approaching. At this critical moment he held counsel with himself, reasoning with greater acumen and promptness than would have been expected from so ill-organized a brain. Should he awaken the gipsy girl?—help her to escape? Which way? The streets were blocked, the church was backed by the river—no boat—no egress. There remained but one thing therefore—to face death on the threshold of Notre-Dame; to hold them off at least until assistance came, supposing there were any to come, and not to disturb the slumbers of Esmeralda. The unhappy girl would always be awakened early enough to die. This resolution once taken, he proceeded to observe “the enemy” with greater calmness.

The crowd in the Parvis appeared to be increasing momentarily; though, seeing that the windows of the streets and the Place remained closed, he concluded that they could not be making much noise. Suddenly a light shone out, and in an instant seven or eight torches were waving above the heads, tossing their plumes of flame through the darkness. By their light Quasimodo had a clear vision of an appalling band of tatterdemalions—men and women—flocking into the Parvis, armed with scythes, pikes, pruning- forks, partisans—their thousand blades glittering as they caught the fitful light— and here and there black pitchforks furnishing horns to these hideous visages. He had a confused remembrance of that populace, and thought to recognise in them the crowd which but a few months before had acclaimed him Pope of Fools. A man holding a torch in one hand and a birch rod in the other was mounted on a corner post and apparently haranguing the multitude, and at the same time the ghostly army performed some evolutions as if taking up a position round the church. Quasimodo picked up his lantern and descended to the platform between the towers to observe more closely and deliberate on the means of defence.

Arrived in front of the great door of Notre-Dame, Clopin Trouillefou had in fact drawn up his troops in battle array. Though anticipating no resistance, yet, like a prudent general, he determined to preserve so much order as would, in case of need, enable him to face a sudden attack of the watch or the city guard. Accordingly, he had so disposed his brigade that, seen from above and at a distance, it might have been taken for the Roman triangle at the battle of Ecnoma, the boar’s head of Alexander, or the famous wedge of Gustavus Adolphus. The base of this triangle ran along the back of the Place in such a manner as to bar the Rue du Parvis, one side looked towards the Hôtel-Dieu, the other towards the Rue Saint-Pierre aux Bœufs. Clopin Trouillefou had posted himself at the point with the Duke of Egypt, our friend Jehan, and the boldest of the beggar tribe.

An enterprise such as the truands were now attempting against Notre-Dame was by no means an uncommon occurrence in the Middle Ages. What we now call “police” did not then exist. In the populous cities, particularly in the capitals, there was no united central power regulating the whole. Feudalism had shaped these great municipalities after an absurd fashion. A city was a collection of innumerable seigneuries, cutting it up into divisions of all shapes and sizes; hence its crowd of contradictory police establishments, or rather no police at all. In Paris, for instance, independently of the hundred and forty-one feudal lords claiming manorial dues, there were twenty-five claiming justiciary and manorial rights, from the Bishop of Paris, who possessed a hundred and five streets, to the Prior of Notre-Dame des Champs, who had only four. All these feudal justiciaries recognised only nominally the paramount authority of the King. All exercised right of highway, all were their own masters. Louis XI —that indefatigable workman, who commenced on so large a scale the demolition of the feudal edifice, continued by Richelieu and Louis XIV to the advantage of royalty, and completed by Mirabeau to the people—Louis XI had done his utmost to break up this network of seigneuries which covered Paris, by casting violently athwart it two or three ordinances of general police. Thus, in 1465, we find the inhabitants ordered to put lighted candles in their windows at nightfall, and to shut up their dogs on pain of the halter; in the same year, the order to bar the streets at night with iron chains, and the prohibition against their carrying daggers or any other offensive weapon in the streets at night. But in a short time all these attempts at municipal legislation fell into disuse; the citizens let the candles at their windows be extinguished by the wind and their dogs roam at large; the iron chains were only stretched across the street in case of siege, and the prohibition against carrying weapons brought about no other changes than converting the Rue Coupe-Gueule into Coupe-Gorge; which, to be sure, is a clear evidence of progress. The old framework of the feudal jurisdictions

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