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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
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BOOK FIRST--A JUST MAN

CHAPTER I

M. MYRIEL

In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D----
He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied
the see of D---- since 1806.

Although this detail has no connection whatever with the real
substance of what we are about to relate, it will not be superfluous,
if merely for the sake of exactness in all points, to mention here
the various rumors and remarks which had been in circulation about him
from the very moment when he arrived in the diocese. True or false,
that which is said of men often occupies as important a place in
their lives, and above all in their destinies, as that which they do.
M. Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Parliament of Aix;
hence he belonged to the nobility of the bar. It was said that
his father, destining him to be the heir of his own post, had married
him at a very early age, eighteen or twenty, in accordance with a
custom which is rather widely prevalent in parliamentary families.
In spite of this marriage, however, it was said that Charles Myriel
created a great deal of talk. He was well formed, though rather short
in stature, elegant, graceful, intelligent; the whole of the first
portion of his life had been devoted to the world and to gallantry.

The Revolution came; events succeeded each other with precipitation;