Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/27

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26
THE JUGGLER OF NOTRE DAME.

their talents. Barnabas of Compiègne had a great deal of trouble to live.

Earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, he carried more than his share of the miseries attached to the sin of Adam, our father.

Moreover, he could not work as much as he wished. To display his fine learning, as for the trees to give flowers and fruits, he needed the warmth of the sun and the light of day. In winter he was only a tree despoiled of its leaves and almost dead. The congealed earth was hard for the juggler. And, like the cicada whereof Marie of France writes, he suffered from cold and hunger in the bad season. But, as his heart was simple, he suffered his ills in patience.

He had never reflected on the origin of riches nor on the inequality of human conditions. He believed firmly that, if this world is bad, the other world cannot fail to be good, and this hope supported him. He did not imitate the miscreants who have sold their souls to the devil. He never took the name of God in vain; he lived honestly, and, although he had no wife, he did not covet his neighbor's, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as appears by the history of Samson which is related in the Scriptures.

In truth, his mind was not inclined toward material desires, and it would have cost him more to renounce mugs than women. For, although he never failed in sobriety, he liked to drink