The great Alexander Bussar d’Esparvieu, vice-president of the state council under the July government, left his heirs a three-story mansion and a rich library. René d’Esparvieux, a worthy grandson of the famous grandfather, added the precious collection to the extent of his strength. In 1895, he appointed Julien Sariette as the curator of the library, simultaneously making him the mentor of his eldest son, Maurice. Mr. Sariette imbued the library with a quivering, but jealous love. Anyone who carried with him the most insignificant little book, tore the archivist’s soul. He was ready to take down any insult and even dishonor, just to preserve inviolable invaluable volumes. And thanks to his zeal, the library of d’Esparvieux for sixteen years has not lost a single leaflet.
But on September 9, 1912, destiny struck a terrible blow to the guard: on the table an unformed pile lay books, taken from the shelves by someone’s sacrilegious hand. The mysterious force ravaged the sanctuary for several months. Mr. Sariette lost sleep and appetite, trying to track down intruders. Apparently, these were Freemasons – a family friend Abbot Patuil claimed that they, along with the Jews, were plotting the complete destruction of the Christian world. The unfortunate archivist was afraid of the insidious sons of Hiram, but his love for the library was stronger, and he decided to arrange the criminals an ambush. At night, a mysterious plunderer hit him on the head with a thick folio, and from that day things went even worse – the books began to disappear with frightening speed. At last they were discovered in the wing, where the young d’Esparvie lived.
Maurice could not be suspected of excessive craving for knowledge. From an early age he was able to avoid any mental effort, and the abbot Patuil said that this young man received the blessings of Christian upbringing from above. Keeping the gallant traditions of his nation, Maurice uncomplainingly demolished the frank debauchery of the maids and the tearful adoration of society ladies. But the enigmatic power intervened in the most inconsistent manner in his life: when he indulged in an innocent passion in the arms of the adorable Gilberte des’Obel, a ghostly shadow of a naked man appeared in the room. The stranger introduced himself as the guardian angel of Maurice and said that in the sky his name was Abdiel, and “in the world” – Arkady. He
went to say goodbye, because I lost the beru, having studied the treasures of human thought in the library of d’Eparviv. It was in vain that Maurice begged the angel to be disembodied and again to become a pure spirit.
The rebellious angel got a job at the printing house. He was eager to embark on the realization of the great plan, and he would look for his comrades. Some of them could not resist the worldly temptations: thus, the archangel Mirar, who became a musician Teofil Belé, fell in love with the coveted bassist Bushoshtu and turned into a despicable pacifist. On the contrary, the archangel Iturijid, known as the Russian nihilist Zita, became even more hateful to the heavenly kingdom, riven by class contradictions. Cherub Istar, passionately fond of humanity, began to produce elegant portable bombs with the goal of erecting a bright hail of joy and happiness on the wreckage of the vile old world. The participants in the plot usually met at Theophilus, and Buscott, with unconcealed disgust, gave them tea. In moments of despondency and sorrow, Arkady visited together with Zita the gardener Nektariya. This still strong, ruddy old man was the closest associate of Lucifer and willingly told the young about the first uprising of the angels. When he was holding the flute in his hands, birds flocked to him and wild animals fled. Zita and Arkady listened to divine music, and it seemed to them that they listened immediately to the muses, to all nature, and to man.
Maurice d’Esparvess, having lost his guardian angel, lost his former gaiety, and even carnal pleasures did not please him. Parents were alarmed, and the abbot Patuil said that the boy is experiencing a spiritual crisis. Indeed, Maurice placed an advertisement in the newspaper, urging Arkady to return, but the angel, absorbed in the revolutionary struggle, did not respond. Fortune-tellers and soothsayers were also powerless to help Maurice. Then the young man began to bypass the doss-houses and zucchini, where every rabble gathered, mostly nihilists and anarchists. During these wanderings, Maurice made a pleasant acquaintance with a boutique named Buscott, who met his beloved angel. Since Arkady flatly refused to perform his heavenly duties, Maurice decided to return the lost friend to the true path and for the start he took him to the restaurant eating oysters. Upon learning of the suspicious knowledge of his son’s son, Rene d’Esparvieu expelled an unworthy offspring from home. Maurice had to move to a bachelor apartment. By his negligence, a volume of Lucretius with Voltaire’s notes was in the hands of the avid and cunning antiquary of Ginardon.
Arkady settled with Maurice, whom Gilbert was still courting. On the memorable night of his departure, the angel made an indelible impression on her. Arkady, becoming a man, learned human habits – in other words, he desired his neighbor’s wife. Offended by such perfidy, Maurice broke with Gilberto and summoned Arcadia to a duel, although the angel tried to convince him that he had preserved the heavenly invulnerability. As a result, Maurice was wounded in his hand, and Arkady and Gilberto surrounded him with touching care. All three again regained their innocence, and Arkady had completely forgotten about the old tyrant in heaven, but then Zita appeared with the news that the rebellious angels were about to attack the porphyry palace of Ialdavaoth.
The chairman of the Council of Ministers dreamed of uncovering some eerie conspiracy to please the people, full of love for firm authority. For the fallen angels, an unspoken observation was established. Drinking hard at the next meeting, Arkady, Istar and Maurice got into a fight with the police. Istar abandoned his famous bomb, from which the earth shook, gas lamps were extinguished and several houses collapsed. The next day all the newspapers were shouting about the unheard of crime of anarchists, freemasons and syndicalists. Soon were arrested Maurice d’Esparvieu and the singer Bushtott. Paris froze in painful perplexity. Everyone knew that the young Maurice had broken with his liberal father because of his royalist convictions. Undoubtedly, the courageous young man was tried to compromise. Abbot Patouille vouched for him, as for himself. People informed said that this is the revenge of the Jews, because Maurice was a recognized anti-Semite. Catholic youth staged a demonstration of protest. The victim of the conspiracy was immediately released, and Rene d’Esparvie personally took his son home. The triumphant return of Maurice was somewhat overshadowed by the sad incident: Mr. Sariette, strangled in a frenzy of Ginardon’s fury, fell into violent insanity and began to throw books out of the window, and a volume of Lucretius with Voltaire’s notes tore into small pieces.
The rebellious angels considered all that had happened to be a signal for the beginning of the uprising. Nectarius, Istar, Zita and Arkady departed to the ether area to ask the great archangel to lead the battle. Above the steep banks of the Ganges, they found the one they were looking for. Satan’s beautiful face was filled with sorrow, for the wisest of the angels saw beyond his followers. He promised to give an answer in the morning. At night, he dreamed that the fortress of Ialdavaoth had fallen. Three times a holy city broke rebel army, and the fearless Michael lowered his fiery sword to the feet of the triumphant. Then Satan declared himself to be God, and the Almighty was cast into hell. The new ruler of the sky began to revel in praise and worship, while the proud unbroken Ialdavaoth languished in hell fire. The face of the exile lit up with the light of wisdom, and its great shadow enveloped the planet with the gentle twilight of love. Lucifer woke up in a cold sweat. Calling on his faithful companions, he announced that the defeated god would turn to Satan, and the victorious Satan would become a god. It is necessary to destroy Ialdavaoth in your own hearts, overcoming ignorance and fear.