Les Miserables HTML version
M. MYRIEL BECOMES M. WELCOME
The episcopal palace of D---- adjoins the hospital.
The episcopal palace was a huge and beautiful house, built of stone at the beginning of
the last century by M. Henri Puget, Doctor of Theology of the Faculty of Paris, Abbe of
Simore, who had been Bishop of D---- in 1712. This palace was a genuine seignorial
residence. Everything about it had a grand air,--the apartments of the Bishop, the
drawing-rooms, the chambers, the principal courtyard, which was very large, with walks
encircling it under arcades in the old Florentine fashion, and gardens planted with
magnificent trees. In the dining-room, a long and superb gallery which was situated on
the ground-floor and opened on the gardens, M. Henri Puget had entertained in state,
on July 29, 1714, My Lords Charles Brulart de Genlis, archbishop; Prince d'Embrun;
Antoine de Mesgrigny, the capuchin, Bishop of Grasse; Philippe de Vendome, Grand
Prior of France, Abbe of Saint Honore de Lerins; Francois de Berton de Crillon, bishop,
Baron de Vence; Cesar de Sabran de Forcalquier, bishop, Seignor of Glandeve; and
Jean Soanen, Priest of the Oratory, preacher in ordinary to the king, bishop, Seignor of
Senez. The portraits of these seven reverend personages decorated this apartment;
and this memorable date, the 29th of July, 1714, was there engraved in letters of gold
on a table of white marble.
The hospital was a low and narrow building of a single story, with a small garden.
Three days after his arrival, the Bishop visited the hospital. The visit ended, he had the
director requested to be so good as to come to his house.
"Monsieur the director of the hospital," said he to him, "how many sick people have you
at the present moment?"
"That was the number which I counted," said the Bishop.
"The beds," pursued the director, "are very much crowded against each other."
"That is what I observed."
"The halls are nothing but rooms, and it is with difficulty that the air can be changed in
"So it seems to me."