But they had reached a moment when each man has not the time to meditate on his own death. Enjolras fixed the bar across the door, and bolted it, and double-locked it with key and chain, while those outside were battering furiously at it, the soldiers with the butts of their muskets, the sappers with their axes. The assailants were grouped about that door.
Let him remain there. Let us shoot him down on the spot." "Shoot me," said Enjolras. And flinging away his bit of gun-barrel, and folding his arms, he offered his breast. The audacity of a fine death always affects men. As soon as Enjolras folded his arms and accepted his end, the din of strife ceased in the room, and this chaos suddenly stilled into a sort of sepulchral solemnity.
The twelve strokes had not finished striking when Enjolras sprang to his feet, and from the summit of the barricade hurled this thundering shout: "Carry stones up into the houses; line the windowsills and the roofs with them. Half the men to their guns, the other half to the paving-stones. There is not a minute to be lost."
Brothers, he who dies here dies in the radiance of the future, and we are entering a tomb all flooded with the dawn." Enjolras paused rather than became silent; his lips continued to move silently, as though he were talking to himself, which caused them all to gaze attentively at him, in the endeavor to hear more. There was no applause; but they whispered together for a long time.
He desired to pour into all minds the extensive principles of general ideas: he said: "Revolution, but civilization"; and around the mountain peak he opened out a vast view of the blue sky. The Revolution was more adapted for breathing with Combeferre than with Enjolras. Enjolras expressed its divine right, and Combeferre its natural right.
In the meantime, in the Marche Saint-Jean, where the post had already been disarmed, Gavroche had just "effected a junction" with a band led by Enjolras, Courfeyrac, Combeferre, and Feuilly. They were armed after a fashion. Bahorel and Jean Prouvaire had found them and swelled the group.
En capote bleue, La poule au shako, Voici la banlieue! Co-cocorico! They pressed each other's hands. "That is Gavroche," said Enjolras. "He is warning us," said Combeferre. A hasty rush troubled the deserted street; they beheld a being more agile than a clown climb over the omnibus, and Gavroche bounded into the barricade, all breathless, saying: "My gun! Here they are!"
An electric quiver shot through the whole barricade, and the sound of hands seeking their guns became audible. "Would you like my carbine?" said Enjolras to the lad. "I want a big gun," replied Gavroche. And he seized Javert's gun. Two sentinels had fallen back, and had come in almost at the same moment as Gavroche.
Forty-three insurgents, among whom were Enjolras, Combeferre, Courfeyrac, Bossuet, Joly, Bahorel, and Gavroche, were kneeling inside the large barricade, with their heads on a level with the crest of the barrier, the barrels of their guns and carbines aimed on the stones as though at loop-holes, attentive, mute, ready to fire.
Roland gets himself killed for Angelique; all our heroism comes from our women. A man without a woman is a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman that sets the man off. Well, Enjolras has no woman. He is not in love, and yet he manages to be intrepid. It is a thing unheard of that a man should be as cold as ice and as bold as fire."