The Hunchback of Notre Dame HTML version

2. Claude Frollo
In fact, Claude Frollo was no common person.
He belonged to one of those middle-class families which were called indifferently,
in the impertinent language of the last century, the high bourgeoise or the petty
nobility. This family had inherited from the brothers Paclet the fief of Tirechappe,
which was dependent upon the Bishop of Paris, and whose twenty-one houses
had been in the thirteenth century the object of so many suits before the official.
As possessor of this fief, Claude Frollo was one of the twenty-seven seigneurs
keeping claim to a manor in fee in Paris and its suburbs; and for a long time, his
name was to be seen inscribed in this quality, between the Hôtel de Tancarville,
belonging to Master François Le Rez, and the college of Tours, in the records
deposited at Saint Martin des Champs.
Claude Frollo had been destined from infancy, by his parents, to the
ecclesiastical profession. He had been taught to read in Latin; he had been
trained to keep his eyes on the ground and to speak low. While still a child, his
father had cloistered him in the college of Torchi in the University. There it was
that he had grown up, on the missal and the lexicon.
Moreover, he was a sad, grave, serious child, who studied ardently, and learned
quickly; he never uttered a loud cry in recreation hour, mixed but little in the
bacchanals of the Rue du Fouarre, did not know what it was to dare alapas et
capillos laniare, and had cut no figure in that revolt of 1463, which the annalists
register gravely, under the title of "The sixth trouble of the University." He seldom
rallied the poor students of Montaigu on the cappettes from which they derived
their name, or the bursars of the college of Dormans on their shaved tonsure,
and their surtout parti-colored of bluish-green, blue, and violet cloth, azurini
coloris et bruni, as says the charter of the Cardinal des Quatre-Couronnes.
On the other hand, he was assiduous at the great and the small schools of the
Rue Saint Jean de Beauvais. The first pupil whom the Abbé de Saint Pierre de
Val, at the moment of beginning his reading on canon law, always perceived,
glued to a pillar of the school Saint-Vendregesile, opposite his rostrum, was
Claude Frollo, armed with his horn ink-bottle, biting his pen, scribbling on his
threadbare knee, and, in winter, blowing on his fingers. The first auditor whom
Messire Miles d'Isliers, doctor in decretals, saw arrive every Monday morning, all
breathless, at the opening of the gates of the school of the Chef-Saint-Denis, was
Claude Frollo. Thus, at sixteen years of age, the young clerk might have held his
own, in mystical theology, against a father of the church; in canonical theology,
against a father of the councils; in scholastic theology, against a doctor of
Theology conquered, he had plunged into decretals. From the "Master of
Sentences," he had passed to the "Capitularies of Charlemagne;" and he had
devoured in succession, in his appetite for science, decretals upon decretals,
those of Theodore, Bishop of Hispalus; those of Bouchard, Bishop of Worms;
those of Yves, Bishop of Chartres; next the decretal of Gratian, which succeeded
the capitularies of Charlemagne; then the collection of Gregory IX.; then the