en-fr  A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT
Un logement pour la nuit de Robert Louis Stevenson (1877) — Partie I.


C'était la fin du mois de novembre 1456. La neige tombait sur Paris avec une persistance rigoureuse et incessante ; parfois le vent soufflait une rafale et la faisait voltiger ; d'autres fois il y avait une accalmie, et flocons après flocons elle tombait sinueusement, interminablement de l'air noir de la nuit, silencieuse.

Les pauvres gens, regardant sous des sourcils humides, semblaient se demander d'où tout cela provenait.

Maître François Villon avait lancé un débat, cet après-midi-là, à la fenêtre d'une taverne : n'y avait-il que le païen Jupiter qui plumait des oies sur l'Olympe ? ou étaient-ce les saints anges en train de muer ?

Il n'était qu'un pauvre maître de lettres, avait-il poursuivi ; et comme la question touchait quelque peu à la divinité, il n'osait pas conclure.

Un vieux bonhomme de prêtre originaire de Montargis, qui était de la compagnie, régala le jeune coquin avec une bouteille de vin en l'honneur de la plaisanterie et des grimaces qui l'avaient accompagnée, et il jura sur sa propre barbe blanche qu'il avait été lui aussi un chien irrévérencieux à l'âge de Villon.


L'air était froid et piquant, mais à peine au-dessous de zéro, et les flocons étaient larges, humides et collants.

Toute la ville était recouverte d'un drap blanc.

Une armée aurait pu la traverser d'un bout à l'autre qu'aucun bruit de pas n'aurait donné l'alarme.

Si des oiseaux s'étaient attardés dans le ciel, ils auraient vu l'île telle une grande tache blanche, et les ponts tels de minces espars blancs sur le fond noir de la rivière.

Tout là-haut, la neige s'insinuait dans les entrelacs des tours de la cathédrale.

Dans bien des niches, la neige s'amoncelait et bien des statues portaient un long bonnet blanc sur leur tête grotesque ou sainte.

Les gargouilles avaient été transformées en grands faux nez dont la pointe s'infléchissait. Les crochets étaient comme des oreillers droits debout et tout gonflés d'un seul côté.

Quand parfois le vent s'interrompait, on entendait un bruit sourd dans l'enceinte de l'église.

Le cimetière Saint-Jean avait pris sa part de la neige

Toutes les tombes étaient abondamment recouvertes. De grands toits blancs se dressaient dans une rangée de tombes. Les dignes bourgeois étaient au lit depuis longtemps, coiffés de leur bonnet de nuit comme leur domicile l'était par la neige. Il n'y avait aucune lumière dans tout le voisinage, sauf le petit scintillement d'une lampe qui pendait dans le chœur de l'église et qui projetait des ombres au rythme de ses oscillations.

L'horloge marquait bien dix heures quand les hommes de la patrouille passèrent avec hallebardes et lanterne tout en se frappant les mains. Ils ne virent rien de suspect au cimetière Saint-Jean.


Pourtant, une petite maison, adossée au mur du cimetière, était encore éveillée, et éveillée pour un mauvais motif, dans ce quartier endormi.

Pas grand chose ne la trahissait du dehors, seuls une colonne de vapeur chaude sortant par le conduit de la cheminée, un endroit sur le toit où la neige fondait, et quelques traces de pas à demi effacées devant la porte.

À l'intérieur, derrière les fenêtres aux volets fermés, Maître François Villon le poète, et une partie de l'équipe de bandits qu'il fréquentait, prolongeait la soirée animée et faisait tourner la bouteille.


De la cheminée voûtée, un grand tas de charbons ardents diffusait une forte et rougeâtre lueur. Devant celui-ci, se tenant à califourchon, Dom Nicolas le moine de Picardie, sa robe de bure retroussée, expose ses grosses jambes dénudées à l'agréable chaleur.

Son ombre dilatée coupait la pièce en deux ; la lueur du feu s'échappait seulement de chaque côté de sa large personne et d'un petit creux entre ses pieds écartés.

Son visage avait l'apparence imbibée et meurtrie du buveur chronique ; il était couvert d'un réseau veineux congestionné, violet dans les circonstances ordinaires, mais maintenant violet pâle, car même avec son dos près du feu le froid le pincait de l'autre.
Son capuchon était à moitié retombé, et formait une étrange excroissance de chaque côté de son cou de taureau.
Alors il se mit à califourchon, grommelant, et coupant la pièce en deux avec l'ombre de son image corpulente.

À droite, Villon et Guy Tabary étaient penchés conjointement sur un bout de parchemin ; Villon faisait une ballade qu'il allait appeller la « Ballade du poisson rôti », Tabary bafouillant d'admiration sur son épaule.

Le poète n'était qu'une loque humaine, sombre, petit et maigrichon, avec des joues creuses et de fines boucles noires.

Il portait ses vingt-quatre ans avec une animation fiévreuse.

La cupidité avait ridé ses yeux, les sourires malfaisants avaient plissé sa bouche.

La cruauté et la grossièreté combattaient de concert sur son visage. Il révélait une figure expressive, acérée, laide, charnelle.

Ses mains étaient petites et préhensiles, les doigts noueux comme une corde ; elles papillonnaient continuellement devant lui exécutant une violente et expressive pantomime.

Quant à Tabary, une large, suffisante, admirative stupidité s'exhalait de son nez de courge et de ses lèvres baveuses : il était devenu bandit comme il aurait pu devenir le plus honnête des bourgeois, par l'impérieux hasard qui régit les vies des oies humaines et des ânes humains.


De l'autre côté du moine, Montigny et Thévenin Pensete jouaient à un jeu de hasard.

Du premier émanait un certain parfum de bonne naissance et de bonne éducation, comme d'un ange déchu, quelque chose de lointain, une certaine souplesse et une personne courtoise, quelque chose de fin et d'obscur sur les traits du visage.

Thévenin pauvre diable, était en veine ; il avait fait un bon coup cet après-midi au Faubourg St Jacques et toute la nuit il avait gagné contre Montigny.

Un sourire plat illumina son visage. La peau rosée de son crâne chauve, ceinte d'une guirlande de boucles rousses, était luisante ; des gloussements silencieux faisaient tressauter sa bedaine proéminente tandis qu'il ramassait ses gains.


— Quitte ou double ? dit Thévenin.

Montigny hocha la tête d'un air sombre.

« Certains peuvent préférer dîner en grand gala » écrivit Villon, « avec du pain et du fromage sur un plat en argent. »

Ou... ou... aide-moi, Guido ! ".

Tabary eut un petit rire bête. « Ou du persil sur un plat d'or », crayonna le poète.

Dehors, le vent se rafraîchissait, il poussait la neige devant lui, et quelquefois il élevait sa voix dans un cri de victoire, et il poussait des grondements sépulcraux dans la cheminée.

Le froid devenait plus vif à mesure que la nuit avançait.

Villon, avançant les lèvres, imita la rafale, quelque chose entre un sifflement et un gémissement.

C'était un sinistre et désagréable talent du poète que le moine picard détestait cordialement.

— Ne l'entendez-vous pas vibrer dans le gibet ? dit Villon.

— Là-haut, ils dansent tous la gigue du diable, les pieds battant l'air.

Vous pouvez bien danser, mes galants, vous n'en aurez pas plus chaud ! Ouf ! quelle rafale ! En voilà un qui vient de tomber à l'instant ! Une nèfle de moins sur le néflier à trois pattes. — Dites donc, Dom Nicolas, fera-t-il froid ce soir sur la route de Saint-Denis ? demanda-t-il.


Dom Nicolas cligna ses deux grands yeux et sembla s'étrangler avec sa pomme d'Adam

Montfaucon, le grand gibet parisien macabre, se tenait fort près de la route de Saint-Denis, et la plaisanterie le touchait au vif.
Quant à Tabary, il riait immodérément sur les nèfles; il n'avait jamais rien entendu de plus léger; et il se tint les côtes et chanta comme un corbeau.

Villon lui donna une pichenette sur le nez, ce qui mua sa gaieté en une crise de toux.

— Oh, arrête ce raffut, dit Villon, et cherche des rimes pour « poisson » !

— Quitte ou double ? dit Montigny, avec acharnement.

— De tout mon cœur, dit Thévenin.

— Y-a-t-il encore quelque chose dans cette bouteille ? demanda le moine.

— Débouches-en une autre, dit Villon.

— Comment espères-tu jamais remplir ton gros tonneau de corps de choses aussi petites que des bouteilles. Et comment peux-tu espérer aller au Paradis ? Combien crois-tu qu'il faille d'anges pour y transporter un seul moine de Picardie ? Ou te prends-tu pour un nouvel Élie... et qu'on t'enverra un chariot ? .

— Hominibus impossibile, répliqua le moine en remplissant son verre.

Tabary était en extase.

Villon lui donna une nouvelle chiquenaude sur le nez.

— Ris de mes blagues, si tu veux, dit-il.

Villon lui fit une grimace.

— Cherche des rimes pour « poisson », dit-il.

Qu'as-tu à te soucier du latin ? Tu seras bien heureux de ne pas en savoir un mot, lors du jugement dernier, quand le diable appellera Guitounet Tabary, clericus, le diable bossu et aux ongles incandescents.

À propos du diable, ajouta-t-il à voix basse, regarde Montigny ! ".


Tous les trois scrutèrent le joueur à la dérobée.
Il ne semblait pas savourer sa chance.
Sa bouche était légèrement de travers, une de ses narines pratiquement fermée et l'autre très enflée.

Le chien noir était sur son dos, comme dit la comptine avec sa terrifiante métaphore, et il respirait difficilement sous l'épouvantable fardeau.


— Il a l'air de vouloir le poignarder, murmura Tabary, les yeux ronds.

Le moine frissonna, tourna la tête et étendit ses mains ouvertes vers les braises rouges. C'était le froid qui affectait ainsi Dom Nicolas, et non un excès de sensibilité morale.

— Eh bien, dit Villon, parlons de cette ballade.

Où en sommes-nous arrivés ? Et battant la mesure de la main, il la lut à haute voix à Tabary.

Ils furent interrompus à la quatrième rime par un mouvement bref et fatal entre les joueurs.

La partie était terminée, et Thevenin ouvrait la bouche pour proclamer une nouvelle victoire, quand Montigny se dressa, rapide comme une vipère, et le poignarda au cœur.

Le coup fut fatal, avant qu'il ait eu le temps de pousser un cri, d'esquisser le moindre mouvement.

Un tremblement ou deux lui convulsèrent le corps, ses mains s'ouvrirent et se refermèrent, ses talons s'agitèrent sur le sol, puis sa tête partit en arrière sur une épaule, les yeux grands ouverts, et l'esprit de Thévenin Pensete s'en retourna vers son Créateur.

Chacun se leva d'un bond, mais l'affaire s'était déroulée en moins de deux.

Les quatre vivants se regardaient d'un air proche de l'épouvante, le mort contemplait un coin du plafond, une singulière lueur d'horreur au fond de l'œil..


— Mon Dieu ! dit Tabary, et il commença à prier en latin.

Villon éclata d'un rire hystérique.

Il fit un pas en avant ; baissant rapidement la tête, il adressa une révérence ridicule à Thévenin et il rit encore plus fort

Puis il s'assit tout à coup sur un tabouret et continua à rire amèrement, pris de tremblements comme si ses membres allaient se désarticuler.


Montigny recouvra son sang-froid le premier.


— Voyons ce qu'il a sur lui, remarqua-t-il; et il et il s'empara du contenu des poches du mort d'une main habile, et il divisa l'argent en quatre parts égales sur la table.

— Voilà c'est pour toi, dit-il.


Le moine reçut sa part avec un profond soupir, et il jeta un seul coup d'œil furtif sur le cadavre de Thévenin, qui commençait à s'affaisser et à glisser de la côté de la chaise.


— Nous voilà bien, s'écria Villon en ravalant sa joie.

— Nous, qui sommes ici, sommes tous bons pour la pendaison—pour ne pas parler de ceux qui n'y sont pas. Il fit un geste choquant dans les airs avec la main droite levée, et tira la langue et jeta la tête d'un côté, de manière à contrefaire l'apparence d'un pendu.

Puis il empocha sa part de butin et exécuta un battement de pieds comme pour y réactiver la circulation.

Tabary fut le dernier à se servir ; il se rua sur l'argent et se retira à l'autre extrémité de l'appartement.

Montigny coinça Thévenin droit sur la chaise, quand il retira le couteau un jet de sang s'ensuivit.

— Les amis, on a intérêt à bouger, dit-il, en essuyant la lame sur le pourpoint de la victime.

— Je crois que nous devrions, rétorqua Villon d'un trait. Que sa grosse caboche soit maudite ! fulmina-t-il.

— Elle me reste en travers du gosier comme la glaire. De quel droit un homme a-t-il les cheveux rouges quand il est mort ? ".

Il retomba lourdement sur le tabouret et se couvrit le visage de ses mains.

Montigny et Dom Nicolas s'esclaffèrent, même Tabary, faiblement, suivit le mouvement.
— Pleurnichard ! dit le moine.

— J'ai toujours dit qu'il était une femme, ajouta Montigny en ricanant.

— Redresse-toi, veux-tu ? continua-t-il, donnant une nouvelle secousse au cadavre.

— Eteins le feu, Nick ! ".


Mais Nick avait mieux à faire, il escamotait tranquillement la bourse de Villon, alors que le poète était assis, avachi et tremblant, sur le tabouret où il avait composé une ballade à peine trois minutes auparavant.

Montigny et Tabary revendiquèrent silencieusement une part du butin que le moine promit, tandis que, sans bruit, il transférait le petit sac sur sa poitrine à l'intérieur de sa robe.

À bien des égards, la nature artistique d'un homme le rend inapte à la vie pratique.


Aussitôt que le larcin fut accompli, Villon se secoua, sauta sur ses pieds et commença à aider à disperser et éteindre les braises.

Pendant ce temps, Montigny ouvrit la porte et scruta attentivement la rue.

La voie était libre ; il n'y avait pas de patrouille fouineuse en vue.


Cependant il fut jugé plus sage de s'éclipser séparément ; et comme Villon lui-même était pressé d'échapper au voisinage du mort Thévenin, et que les autres n'étaient pas moins pressés de se débarrasser de lui avant qu'il ne découvrir la perte de son argent, il fut le premier, d'un commun accord, à se rendre dans la rue.


Le vent avait triomphé et balayé tous les nuages ​​du ciel.

Seules quelques vapeurs, aussi fines que la lumière de la lune, fuyaient rapidement à travers les étoiles.

Il faisait très froid. et, par un effet d'optique commun, les choses semblaient presque plus concrètes qu'en plein jour.

La ville endormie était parfaitement calme ; une compagnie de coiffes blanches, un champ plein de petites buttes, au-dessous des étoiles scintillantes.

Villon maudit son destin. je voudrais qu'il neige encore ! Maintenant, partout où il irait, il laisserait une trace indélébile derrière lui sur les rues étincelantes, partout où il irait, il serait encore lié à la maison par le cimetière St Jean ; partout où il irait, il devrait tisser de sa propre démarche pesante, la corde qui le liait au crime et le lierait à la potence.

Le regard en coin du cadavre lui revint en mémoire et prit une nouvelle signification. Il claqua des doigts comme pour reprendre ses esprits et choisissant une rue au hasard, s'avança hardiment dans la neige.
unit 1
A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1877) - Partie I.
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It was late in November 1456.
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To poor people, looking up under moist eyebrows, it seemed a wonder where it all came from.
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or were the holy angels moulting?.
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The whole city was sheeted up.
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An army might have marched from end to end and not a footfall given the alarm.
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High up overhead the snow settled among the tracery of the cathedral towers.
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The gargoyles had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the point.
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The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side.
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In the intervals of the wind there was a dull sound dripping about the precincts of the church.
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The cemetery of St John had taken its own share of the snow.
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A great pile of living embers diffused a strong and ruddy glow from the arched chimney.
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His cowl had half fallen back, and made a strange excrescence on either side of his bull neck.
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So he straddled, grumbling, and cut the room in half with the shadow of his portly frame.
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The poet was a rag of a man, dark, little, and lean, with hollow cheeks and thin black locks.
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He carried his four and twenty years with feverish animation.
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Greed had made folds about his eyes, evil smiles had puckered his mouth.
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The wolf and pig struggled together in his face.
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It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance.
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At the monk's other hand, Montigny and Thevenin Pensete played a game of chance.
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"Doubles or quits?"
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said Thevenin.
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Montigny nodded grimly.
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« Some may prefer to dine in state," wrote Villon, "on bread and cheese on silver plate.
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Or -- or -— help me out, Guido!
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».
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Tabary giggled. "
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Or parsley on a golden dish," scribbled the poet.
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The cold was growing sharper as the night went on.
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Villon, protruding his lips, imitated the gust with something between a whistle and a groan.
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It was an eerie, uncomfortable talent of the poet's, much detested by the Picardy monk.
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"Can't you hear it rattle in the gibbet?"
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said Villon.
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"They are all dancing the devil's jig on nothing, up there.
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You may dance, my gallants, you'll be none the warmer!
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Whew!
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what a gust!
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Down went somebody just now!
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A medlar the fewer on the three-legged medlar-tree!
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— I say, Dom Nicolas, it'll be cold to-night on the St Denis Road?"
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he asked.
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Dom Nicholas winked both his big eyes, and seemed to choke upon his Adam's apple.
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Villon fetched him a fillip on the nose, which turned his mirth into an attack of coughing.
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"Oh, stop that row," said Villon, "and think of rhymes to ‘fish’!".
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"Doubles or quits?
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Said Montigny, doggedly.
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"With all my heart," quoth Thevenin.
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"Is there any more in that bottle?"
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asked the monk.
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"Open another," said Villon.
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"How do you ever hope to fill that big hogshead, your body, with little things like bottles?
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And how do you expect to get to heaven?
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How many angels, do you fancy, can be spared to carry up a single monk from Picardy?
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Or do you think yourself another Elias -— and they'll send the coach for you?
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».
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"Hominibus impossible," replied the monk, as he filled his glass.
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Tabary was in ecstasies.
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Villon filliped his nose again.
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"Laugh at my jokes, if you like," he said.
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Villon made a face at him.
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"Think of rhymes to 'fish,'" he said.
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"What have you to do with Latin?
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Talking of the devil," he added, in a whisper, "look at Montigny!
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».
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All three peered covertly at the gamester.
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He did not seem to be enjoying his luck.
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His mouth was a little to a side; one nostril nearly shut, and the other much inflated.
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"He looks as if he could knife him," whispered Tabary, with round eyes.
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The monk shuddered, and turned his face and spread his open hands to the red embers.
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It was the cold that thus affected Dom Nicolas, and not any excess of moral sensibility.
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"Come now," said Villon — "about this ballade.
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How does it run so far?"
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And beating time with his hand, he read it aloud to Tabary.
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The blow took effect before he had time to utter a cry, before he had time to move.
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Every one sprang to his feet; but the business was over in two twos.
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"My God!"
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unit 107
said Tabary, and he began to pray in Latin.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 108
Villon broke out into hysterical laughter.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 109
He came a step forward and ducked a ridiculous bow at Thevenin, and laughed still louder.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 111
Montigny recovered his composure first.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 113
"There's for you," he said.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 115
"We're all in for it," cried Villon, swallowing his mirth.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 116
"It's a hanging job for every man Jack of us that's here—not to speak of those who aren’t. "
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 121
"You fellows had better be moving," he said, as he wiped the blade on his victim's doublet.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 122
"I think we had," returned Villon, with a gulp. "
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 123
Damn his fat head!"
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 124
he broke out.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 125
"It sticks in my throat like phlegm.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 126
What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 127
».
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 128
And he fell all of a heap again upon the stool, and fairly covered his face with his hands.
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 129
Montigny and Dom Nicolas laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 130
"Cry-baby!"
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 131
said the monk.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 132
"I always said he was a woman," added Montigny, with a sneer.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 133
"Sit up, can't you?"
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 134
he went on, giving another shake to the murdered body.
3 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 135
"Tread out that fire, Nick!
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 136
».
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 139
In many ways an artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 141
Meanwhile Montigny opened the door and cautiously peered into the street.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 142
The coast was clear; there was no meddlesome patrol in sight.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 144
The wind had triumphed and swept all the clouds from heaven.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 145
Only a few vapours, as thin as moonlight, fleeted rapidly across the stars.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 148
Villon cursed his fortune.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 149
Would it were still snowing!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
unit 151
The leer of the dead man came back to him with new significance.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13930  commented on  unit 146  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 138  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 139  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 75  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  translated  unit 136  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  translated  unit 127  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  translated  unit 89  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 77  11 months, 1 week ago
markvanroode • 6594  translated  unit 79  11 months, 1 week ago
"."
Oplusse • 13924  commented on  unit 98  11 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14085  commented on  unit 101  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 60  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  translated  unit 47  11 months, 1 week ago
Oplusse • 13924  translated  unit 58  11 months, 1 week ago
Oplusse • 13924  translated  unit 55  11 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13930  commented on  unit 5  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented  11 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13930  commented on  unit 7  11 months, 1 week ago
Bouchka • 3709  translated  unit 25  11 months, 1 week ago
"A"
Bouchka • 3709  commented  11 months, 1 week ago

After notice, we keep the name Francis Villon in this text

Après avis, nous conservons le prénom Françis Villon dans ce texte

by Bouchka 11 months, 1 week ago

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/François_Villon
In this text is referred to Francis Villon, the official name is François Villon.
See the link above.

Dans ce texte est fait allusion à Francis Villon, le nom officiel est François Villon.
Voir le lien ci-dessus.

by Bouchka 11 months, 1 week ago

Robert Louis Stevenson, born November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh and died December 3, 1894 in Vailima, is a Scottish writer and a great traveler, famous for his novel Treasure Island, for his new Doctor Jekyll's The Strange Case and from Wikipedia.
------------
Summary

A night of winter, 1456 in Paris. The poet François Villon shares the heat of a small house leaning against St Jean's cemetery with some members of the team of thieves including him. Two hooligans make a commitment in a game of chance when suddenly one of the two players stab inevitably the other one. Everybody runs away then in the streets of Paris. Villon roams in the frosty streets, haunted by the idea to finish on a gallows or succumb of cold. He eventually benefits from the hospitality of a knight with whom a lively discussion makes a commitment as soon as Villon appears as a thief.

by Bouchka 11 months, 1 week ago

A LODGING FOR THE NIGHT
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1877) - Partie I.


It was late in November 1456. The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence; sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air, silent, circuitous, interminable.

To poor people, looking up under moist eyebrows, it seemed a wonder where it all came from.

Master Francis Villon had propounded an alternative that afternoon, at a tavern window: was it only pagan Jupiter plucking geese upon Olympus? or were the holy angels moulting?.

He was only a poor Master of Arts, he went on; and as the question somewhat touched upon divinity, he durst not venture to conclude.

A silly old priest from Montargis, who was among the company, treated the young rascal to a bottle of wine in honor of the jest and grimaces with which it was accompanied, and swore on his own white beard that he had been just such another irreverent dog when he was Villon's age.

The air was raw and pointed, but not far below freezing; and the flakes were large, damp, and adhesive.

The whole city was sheeted up.

An army might have marched from end to end and not a footfall given the alarm.

If there were any belated birds in heaven, they saw the island like a large white patch, and the bridges like slim white spars, on the black ground of the river.

High up overhead the snow settled among the tracery of the cathedral towers.

Many a niche was drifted full; many a statue wore a long white bonnet on its grotesque or sainted head.

The gargoyles had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the point. The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side.

In the intervals of the wind there was a dull sound dripping about the precincts of the church.

The cemetery of St John had taken its own share of the snow.

All the graves were decently covered; tall white housetops stood around in grave array; worthy burghers were long ago in bed, benighted capped like their domiciles; there was no light in all the neighborhood but a little peep from a lamp that hung swinging in the church choir, and tossed the shadows to and fro in time to its oscillations.

The clock was hard on ten when the patrol went by with halberds and a lantern, beating their hands; and they saw nothing suspicious about the cemetery of St John.

Yet there was a small house, backed up against the cemetery wall, which was still awake, and awake to evil purpose, in that snoring district.

There was not much to betray it from without; only a stream of warm vapour from the chimney-top, a patch where the snow melted on the roof, and a few half-obliterated footprints at the door.

But within, behind the shuttered windows, Master Francis Villon the poet, and some of the thievish crew with whom he consorted, were keeping the night alive and passing round the bottle.

A great pile of living embers diffused a strong and ruddy glow from the arched chimney. Before this straddled Dom Nicolas, the Picardy monk, with his skirts picked up and his fat legs bared to the comfortable warmth.

His dilated shadow cut the room in half; and the firelight only escaped on either side of his broad person, and in a little pool between his outspread feet.

His face had the beery, bruised appearance of the continual drinker's; it was covered with a network of congested veins, purple in ordinary circumstances, but now pale violet, for even with his back to the fire the cold pinched him on the other side.
His cowl had half fallen back, and made a strange excrescence on either side of his bull neck.
So he straddled, grumbling, and cut the room in half with the shadow of his portly frame.

On the right, Villon and Guy Tabary were huddled together over a scrap of parchment; Villon making a ballade which he was to call the "Ballade of Roast Fish," and Tabary sputtering admiration at his shoulder.

The poet was a rag of a man, dark, little, and lean, with hollow cheeks and thin black locks.

He carried his four and twenty years with feverish animation.

Greed had made folds about his eyes, evil smiles had puckered his mouth.

The wolf and pig struggled together in his face. It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance.

His hands were small and prehensile, with fingers knotted like a cord; and they were continually flickering in front of him in violent and expressive pantomime.

As for Tabary, a broad, complacent, admiring imbecility breathed from his squash nose and slobbering lips: he had become a thief, just as he might have become the most decent of burgesses, by the imperious chance that rules the lives of human geese and human donkeys.

At the monk's other hand, Montigny and Thevenin Pensete played a game of chance.

About the first there clung some flavour of good birth and training, as about a fallen angel; something long, lithe, and courtly in the person; something aquiline and darkling in the face.

Thevenin, poor soul, was in great feather: he had done a good stroke of knavery that afternoon in the Faubourg St Jacques, and all night he had been gaining from Montigny.

A flat smile illuminated his face; his bald head shone rosily in a garland of red curls; his little protuberant stomach shook with silent chucklings as he swept in his gains.

"Doubles or quits?" said Thevenin.

Montigny nodded grimly.

« Some may prefer to dine in state," wrote Villon, "on bread and cheese on silver plate.

Or -- or -— help me out, Guido! ».

Tabary giggled.

" Or parsley on a golden dish," scribbled the poet.

The wind was freshening without; it drove the snow before it, and sometimes raised its voice in a victorious whoop, and made sepulchral grumblings in the chimney.

The cold was growing sharper as the night went on.

Villon, protruding his lips, imitated the gust with something between a whistle and a groan.

It was an eerie, uncomfortable talent of the poet's, much detested by the Picardy monk.

"Can't you hear it rattle in the gibbet?" said Villon.

"They are all dancing the devil's jig on nothing, up there.

You may dance, my gallants, you'll be none the warmer! Whew! what a gust! Down went somebody just now! A medlar the fewer on the three-legged medlar-tree! — I say, Dom Nicolas, it'll be cold to-night on the St Denis Road?" he asked.

Dom Nicholas winked both his big eyes, and seemed to choke upon his Adam's apple.

Montfaucon, the great grisly Paris gibbet, stood hard by the St. Denis Road, and the pleasantry touched him on the raw.
As for Tabary, he laughed immoderately over the medlars; he had never heard anything more light-hearted; and he held his sides and crowed.

Villon fetched him a fillip on the nose, which turned his mirth into an attack of coughing.

"Oh, stop that row," said Villon, "and think of rhymes to ‘fish’!".

"Doubles or quits? Said Montigny, doggedly.

"With all my heart," quoth Thevenin.

"Is there any more in that bottle?" asked the monk.

"Open another," said Villon.

"How do you ever hope to fill that big hogshead, your body, with little things like bottles? And how do you expect to get to heaven? How many angels, do you fancy, can be spared to carry up a single monk from Picardy? Or do you think yourself another Elias -— and they'll send the coach for you? ».

"Hominibus impossible," replied the monk, as he filled his glass.

Tabary was in ecstasies.

Villon filliped his nose again.

"Laugh at my jokes, if you like," he said.

Villon made a face at him.

"Think of rhymes to 'fish,'" he said.

"What have you to do with Latin? You'll wish you knew none of it at the great assizes, when the devil calls for Guido Tabary, clericus —- the devil with the humpback and red-hot fingernails.

Talking of the devil," he added, in a whisper, "look at Montigny! ».

All three peered covertly at the gamester.
He did not seem to be enjoying his luck.
His mouth was a little to a side; one nostril nearly shut, and the other much inflated.

The black dog was on his back, as people say, in terrifying nursery metaphor; and he breathed hard under the gruesome burden.

"He looks as if he could knife him," whispered Tabary, with round eyes.

The monk shuddered, and turned his face and spread his open hands to the red embers. It was the cold that thus affected Dom Nicolas, and not any excess of moral sensibility.

"Come now," said Villon — "about this ballade.

How does it run so far?" And beating time with his hand, he read it aloud to Tabary.

They were interrupted at the fourth rhyme by a brief and fatal movement among the gamesters.

The round was completed, and Thevenin was just opening his mouth to claim another victory, when Montigny leaped up, swift as an adder, and stabbed him to the heart.

The blow took effect before he had time to utter a cry, before he had time to move.

A tremor or two convulsed his frame; his hands opened and shut, his heels rattled on the floor; then his head rolled backward over one shoulder, with eyes wide open; and Thevenin Pensete's spirit had returned to Him who made it.

Every one sprang to his feet; but the business was over in two twos.

The four living fellows looked at each other in rather a ghastly fashion, the dead man contemplating a corner of the roof with a singular and ugly leer.

"My God!" said Tabary, and he began to pray in Latin.

Villon broke out into hysterical laughter.

He came a step forward and ducked a ridiculous bow at Thevenin, and laughed still louder.

Then he sat down suddenly, all of a heap, upon a stool, and continued laughing bitterly, as though he would shake himself to pieces.

Montigny recovered his composure first.

"Let's see what he has about him," he remarked; and he picked the dead man's pockets with a practised hand, and divided the money into four equal portions on the table.

"There's for you," he said.

The monk received his share with a deep sigh, and a single stealthy glance at the dead Thevenin, who was beginning to sink into himself and topple sideways off the chair.

"We're all in for it," cried Villon, swallowing his mirth.

"It's a hanging job for every man Jack of us that's here—not to speak of those who aren’t.

" He made a shocking gesture in the air with his raised right hand, and put out his tongue and threw his head on one side, so as to counterfeit the appearance of one who has been hanged.

Then he pocketed his share of the spoil, and executed a shuffle with his feet as if to restore the circulation.

Tabary was the last to help himself; he made a dash at the money, and retired to the other end of the apartment.

Montigny stuck Thevenin upright in the chair, and drew out the dagger, which was followed by a jet of blood.

"You fellows had better be moving," he said, as he wiped the blade on his victim's doublet.

"I think we had," returned Villon, with a gulp.

" Damn his fat head!" he broke out.

"It sticks in my throat like phlegm. What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead? ».

And he fell all of a heap again upon the stool, and fairly covered his face with his hands.

Montigny and Dom Nicolas laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
"Cry-baby!" said the monk.

"I always said he was a woman," added Montigny, with a sneer.

"Sit up, can't you?" he went on, giving another shake to the murdered body.

"Tread out that fire, Nick! ».

But Nick was better employed; he was quietly taking Villon's purse, as the poet sat, limp and trembling, on the stool where he had been making a ballade not three minutes before.

Montigny and Tabary dumbly demanded a share of the booty, which the monk silently promised as he passed the little bag into the bosom of his gown.

In many ways an artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.

No sooner had the theft been accomplished than Villon shook himself, jumped to his feet, and began helping to scatter and extinguish the embers.

Meanwhile Montigny opened the door and cautiously peered into the street.

The coast was clear; there was no meddlesome patrol in sight.

Still it was judged wiser to slip out severally; and as Villon was himself in a hurry to escape from the neighborhood of the dead Thevenin, and the rest were in a still greater hurry to get rid of him before he should discover the loss of his money, he was the first by general consent to issue forth into the street.

The wind had triumphed and swept all the clouds from heaven.

Only a few vapours, as thin as moonlight, fleeted rapidly across the stars.

It was bitter cold; and, by a common optical effect, things seemed almost more definite than in the broadest daylight.

The sleeping city was absolutely still; a company of white hoods, a field full of little alps, below the twinkling stars.

Villon cursed his fortune. Would it were still snowing! Now, wherever he went, he left an indelible trail behind him on the glittering streets; wherever he went, he was still tethered to the house by the cemetery of St John; wherever he went, he must weave, with his own plodding feet, the rope that bound him to the crime and would bind him to the gallows.

The leer of the dead man came back to him with new significance. He snapped his fingers as if to pluck up his own spirits, and, choosing a street at random, stepped boldly forward in the snow.