Summary of Retribution

Summary of Retribution

V. M. Hugo
Vengeance
On December 2, 1851, President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, made a coup d’etat by dissolving the National Assembly and arresting the figures of the parliamentary opposition. On December 4, the army suppressed the uprising that had begun in Paris, and many unarmed townspeople, including women and children, were killed. Victor Hugo was one of a small group of deputies – passionate opponents of the new monarchical system. The December shootings made the further struggle impossible. The writer had to flee the country – he returned from emigration only after the infamous fall of the Second Empire, in 1870. A collection of poems “Retribution” was written hot on the heels of the events. In the headlines of books

ironically solemn assurances of Napoleon III, prologue and epilogue are preceded by the symbolic names “Nox” and “
The pitiful pygmy, the insignificant nephew of the great uncle, attacked the defenseless Republic in the darkness with a knife. The homeland is flooded with blood and mud: a despicable clique is feasting in the palace, and under the cover of night, the corpses of innocently murdered people are dumped in a common grave. When the numb people wake up, the holy moment of retribution will come. And while there is no rest for the poet alone: ‚Äč‚Äčeven though the elements call him to humility, he will not bow his head-let his angry muse become the worthy successor of Juvenal and erect shameful pillars for the villains.
France has fallen, a tyrant’s heel is hammered into her brow. This geek will end his days in Toulon – where the glory of Napoleon began. The gangster-nephew is eagerly awaited by convicts in scarlet jackets and shackles – soon and he will sweep the core on his leg. For a crime, retribution inevitably follows – thieves, sharperies and murderers, who have betrayed a traitorous blow to the fatherland, will be damned. But while they are smoked incense by the corrupt saints – their cross serves Satan, and in the chalices does not rinse wine, but blood. They intended
to destroy progress, to swaddle the spirit, to deal with reason. In vain do martyrs perish for faith-in France Christ is traded, crucifying him again with greed and hypocrisy. There is nowhere to look: courtiers vying with each other flatter Caesar, the bandits-stockboys get fat on folk bones, the soldiers are drinking, trying to forget their shame, and the working people obediently substitutes the neck for the collar. France is now no different from China, and in all of the rest of Europe scaffolds have been erected for the best of her sons. But we already hear the iron step of the coming days, when the kings will flee and the trumpet of the archangel in heaven. A joyful song is flowing – the Senate, the State Council, the Legislative Corps, the Town Hall, the Army, the Court, the Bishops were born with a hymn. In response, they hear the sorrowful thousand-year “Miserere” (Lord, have mercy) – but the madmen do not heed. Wake up, people, stand up, like a buried Lazarus, for the Lilliputians are torturing you. Remember how on December 4, a drunken soldier blew on defenseless people – see how grandmother sobbing over her dead grandson. When the rot has penetrated all souls, it is better to be an exile on the island and to enjoy the free flight of seagulls from a cliff in the ocean. The Holy Republic of the Fathers is devoted, and this is the work of the army – the same army whose glory rattled in the centuries. The ragged soldiers marched under the banner of Freedom, and old Europe shuddered under their victorious trot. Now all these warriors are forgotten – they were replaced by heroes who play with women and children playfully. They go to the attack of the Motherland, storm laws – and the despicable thief generously rewards his Praetorians. It remains only to avenge this shame – to smash with a severe verse a new empire and a beast in the golden crown.
Once upon a time there was an impoverished prince, who took on the famous Julia by deceit. And now he arranged a conspiracy, made “a beautiful villainy,” entered the Louvre in Napoleon’s makeup… The ancient leaders, the great dictators of past centuries, are milling: on the pediment of the temple there is a fraudster in holes in trousers – no, this is not Caesar, but only Robert Macker (the character of the play “The Inn of Adre” is a type of cynically boasting robber and murderer). He looks like a monkey, who pulled a tiger’s skin on himself and engaged in robbery, until the hunter squeezed it. Toward the foundling scaffold stretched those who are all gazhe and podley – an honest man can only squeamishly recoil from them. They are furiously working elbows, trying to get close to the throne, and each upstart is supported by a party: for one mountain are footmen, for another – corrupt girls. And the peaceful bourgeois grumbling discontentedly, barely they get a free article: of course, Bonaparte is a mazurik, but why shout about it to the whole world? Cowardly baseness always was the backbone of crime. It’s time to settle in slavery – who spreads on his belly, he will succeed. All the rogues and bandits will find a place near the money, and the rest awaits a grave, hopeless poverty. But Brutus should not be called to the shadow: Bonaparte’s dagger is not worthy-there’s a shameful pillar waiting for him.
The people do not need to kill a ferocious tyrant – let him live, marked by the Cain seal. His assistants in judicial robes refer to the true death of the innocent: the wife who brought her husband to the barricade, an old man who gave shelter to the exiles, goes to penal servitude. And corrupt journalists are singing hosanna, hiding behind the Gospel – they climb into the soul to turn out their pockets. Fetid leaves, delighting the holy and hypocritical with tales of miracles, trade the Eucharist and make their buffet out of the temple of God. But the living fight, they carry in the future great love or sacred work, and only their ardor remains the ark of the covenant. On the invisible road in darkness the Future is hurrying with an order inscribed with eternal letters – the Judgment of the Lord is approaching the despicable gang of robbers and murderers.
Robert Macker pulled the crown on himself, causing a stir in the ancient cemetery: all the bandits of old times are eager to get to the coronation of a fellow. And from Paris begins a general flight: go into exile Reason, Right, Honor, Poetry, Thought – there is only contempt. Tyrant is waiting for the payment for suffering and tears, for the death of the martyr Polina Roland – this beautiful woman, the apostle of truth and good, faded in exile. And the great shadow of Napoleon is bitterly tormented: neither the death of the army in the snow-covered fields of Russia, nor the terrible defeat at Waterloo, nor the lonely death on the island of St. Helena – nothing can compare with the disgrace of the Second Empire. Dwarfs and clowns at their feet dragged the emperor from the powerful column to give him the role of a king in his booth. The retribution for the revolution of the eighteenth Brumaire was completed – the clowns are taking the example from the titanium.
A miserable scum is now called Napoleon III – Marengo and Austerlitz are harnessed to the torn fiacre. Europe is shaking with laughter, the States are laughing, the cliffs are wiping away a tear: on the throne is seated the hooded man in embrace with the crime, and the empire has turned into one huge hangout. The French people, who once dispelled the granite of the Bastille and forged the rights of the peoples, now tremble like a leaf. Dignity is preserved only by women – they execute scoundrels with a contemptuous smile. And the thunderous voice of the poet is heard: caution – this pathetic virtue of cowards is not for him. He hears the call of a wounded homeland – she begs for help. The darkest dawn portends the dawn: France, harnessed to the drunk satrap’s carriage, will be reborn and will find wings. The bent people will straighten up and, shaking off the sticky mud of the current garbage dump, will appear in all its splendor before the delighted world. The strongholds of Jericho will fall to the sound of Joshua’s pipes. Thinkers, replacing each other, lead a human caravan: after Jan Hus follows Luther, for Luther Voltaire, for Voltaire Mirabeau – and with every step forward the haze is thinning. But sometimes Evil comes out of ambush with his vile offspring – jackals, rats and hyenas. To disperse these creatures can only a lion – a severe lord of the desert. The people are like a lion; hearing his roar, a gang of petty crooks will scatter in all directions and disappear forever. It is necessary to survive shameful years, without tarnishing yourself: a wanderer-son will not return to his mother France, while in her reigns self-styled Caesar. Let there remain a thousand, a hundred, a dozen stubborn – the poet will be among them; And if all the voices of protest are silent, one will continue the struggle. for Voltaire Mirabeau – and with every step forward the haze is thinning. But sometimes Evil comes out of ambush with his vile offspring – jackals, rats and hyenas. To disperse these creatures can only a lion – a severe lord of the desert. The people are like a lion; hearing his roar, a gang of petty crooks will scatter in all directions and disappear forever. It is necessary to survive shameful years, without tarnishing yourself: a wanderer-son will not return to his mother France, while in her reigns self-styled Caesar. Let there remain a thousand, a hundred, a dozen stubborn – the poet will be among them; And if all the voices of protest are silent, one will continue the struggle. for Voltaire Mirabeau – and with every step forward the haze is thinning. But sometimes Evil comes out of ambush with his vile offspring – jackals, rats and hyenas. To disperse these creatures can only a lion – a severe lord of the desert. The people are like a lion; hearing his roar, a gang of petty crooks will scatter in all directions and disappear forever. It is necessary to survive shameful years, without tarnishing yourself: a wanderer-son will not return to his mother France, while in her reigns self-styled Caesar. Let there remain a thousand, a hundred, a dozen stubborn – the poet will be among them; And if all the voices of protest are silent, one will continue the struggle. A gang of petty crooks will rush in all directions and disappear forever. It is necessary to survive shameful years, without tarnishing yourself: a wanderer-son will not return to his mother France, while in her reigns self-styled Caesar. Let there remain a thousand, a hundred, a dozen stubborn – the poet will be among them; And if all the voices of protest are silent, one will continue the struggle. A gang of petty crooks will rush in all directions and disappear forever. It is necessary to survive shameful years, without tarnishing yourself: a wanderer-son will not return to his mother France, while in her reigns self-styled Caesar. Let there remain a thousand, a hundred, a dozen stubborn – the poet will be among them; And if all the voices of protest are silent, one will continue the struggle.
The holy dream shines in the distance – you need to clear the way to it. In the darkness a crimson ray is sparkling – the star of the world Republic. Free humanity will become one family, and the whole earth will flourish. This will happen unavoidably: freedom and peace will return, the slave and beggar will disappear, love will descend from heaven, the holy cedar of Progress will fall to America and Europe. Perhaps, today’s people will not live to such happiness: but they, for a moment awakening in their graves, kiss the holy roots of the tree.


Summary of Retribution