Le 19 septembre 2016, 10:59 dans Humeurs • 0
So Quasimodo was the ringer
In the course of time there had been formed a certain peculiarly intimate bond which united the ringer to the church. Separated forever from the world, by the double fatality of his unknown birth and his natural deformity, imprisoned from his infancy in that impassable double circle, the poor wretch had grown used to seeing nothing in this world beyond the religious walls which had received him under their shadow. Notre-Dame had been to him successively, as he grew up and developed, the egg, the nest, the house, the country, the universe.
There was certainly a sort of mysterious and pre-existing harmony between this creature and this church.When, still a little fellow, he had dragged himself tortuously and by jerks beneath the shadows of its vaults, he seemed Jingling the change in his hand he shook his head , with his human face and his bestial limbs, the natural reptile of that humid and sombre pavement, upon which the shadow of the Romanesque capitals cast so many strange forms.
Later on, the first time that he caught hold, mechanically, of the ropes to the towers, and hung suspended from them, and set the bell to clanging, it produced upon his adopted father, Claude, the effect of a child whose tongue is unloosed and who begins to speak.
It is thus that, little by little, developing always in sympathy with the cathedral, living there, sleeping there, hardly ever leaving it, subject every hour to the mysterious impress, he came to resemble it, he incrusted himself in it, so to speak, and became an integral part of it.His salient angles fitted into the retreating angles of the cathedral (if we may be allowed this figure of speech), and he seemed not only its inhabitant but more than that, its natural tenant.One might almost say that he had assumed its form, as the snail takes on the form of its shell.It was his dwelling, his hole, his envelope. There existed between him and the old church so profound an instinctive sympathy, so many magnetic affinities, so many material affinities, that he adhered to it somewhat as a tortoise adheres to its shell.The rough and wrinkled cathedral was his shell.
It is useless to warn the reader not to take literally all the similes which we are obliged to employ here to express the singular, symmetrical, direct, almost consubstantial union of a man and an edifice.It is equally unnecessary to state to what a degree that whole cathedral was familiar to him, after so long and so intimate a cohabitation.That dwelling was peculiar to him.It had no depths to which Quasimodo had not penetrated, no height which he had not scaled.He often climbed many stones up the front, aided solely by the uneven points of the carving.The towers, on whose exterior surface he was frequently seen clambering, like a lizard gliding along a perpendicular wall, those two gigantic twins, so lofty, so menacing, so formidable, possessed for him neither vertigo, nor terror, nor shocks of amazement.