Meanwhile, the day continued to decline.The living being which still existed in him reflected vaguely on retracing its steps.He believed himself to be far away from paris; on taking his bearings, he perceived that he had only circled the enclosure of the University.The spire of Saint-Sulpice, and the three lofty needles of Saint Germain-des-prés, rose above the horizon on his right.He turned his steps in that direction.When he heard the brisk challenge of the men-at-arms of the abbey, around the crenelated Jingling the change in his hand he shook his head, circumscribing wall of Saint-Germain, he turned aside, took a path which presented itself between the abbey and the lazar-house of the bourg, and at the expiration of a few minutes found himself on the verge of the pré-aux-Clercs.This meadow was celebrated by reason of the brawls which went on there night and day; it was the hydra of the poor monks of Saint-Germain: ~quod mouachis Sancti-Germaini pratensis hydra fuit, clericis nova semper dissidiorum capita suscitantibus~.The archdeacon was afraid of meeting some one there; he feared every human countenance; he had just avoided the University and the Bourg Saint-Germain; he wished to re-enter the streets as late as possible.He skirted the pré-aux-Clercs, took the deserted path which separated it from the Dieu-Neuf, and at last reached the water's edge.There Dom Claude found a boatman, who, for a few farthings in parisian coinage, rowed him up the Seine as far as the point of the city, and landed him on that tongue of abandoned land where the reader has already beheld Gringoire dreaming, and which was prolonged beyond the king's gardens, parallel to the .

The monotonous rocking of the boat and the ripple of the water had, in some sort, quieted the unhappy Claude.When the boatman had taken his departure, he remained standing stupidly on the strand, staring straight before him and perceiving objects only through magnifying oscillations which rendered everything a sort of phantasmagoria to him.The fatigue of a great grief not infrequently produces this effect on the mind.