terça-feira, 11 de agosto de 2015

He might have been standing at the edge of infinity.

"He could see two ways ahead of him, and this appalled him, because hitherto he had never seen more than one straight line.

To owe his life to a man wanted by the law and to pay the debt in equal terms; to have accepted the words, 'You may go', and now to say, 'Go free', this was to sacrifice duty to personal motive. And now what was he to do?

Only one proper course lay open to him - to hurry back to the Rue de l'Homme-Arme and seize Valjean. Something prevented him. What was it? All the principles on which his estimate of man had been based were overthrown. Behind Valjean loomed the figure of Monsieur Madeleine, and they merged into one, into a figure of deserving veneration. Something dreadful was forcing its way into Javert's consciousness - admiration for a convicted felon. He did not for a moment deny that the law was the law. What more simple than to enforce it? But when he sought to raise his hand to lay it on Valjean's shoulder an inner voice restrained him: 'You will deliver up your deliver? Then go and find Pontius Pilates' bowl and wash your hands!' He felt himself diminished beside Jean Valjean.

But his greatest anguish was the loss of certainty. He was forced to admit that infallibility in not always infallible, that there may be error in dogma, that judges are men and even the lay may do wrong. All was chaos; and he, Javert, was in utter disarray. There were only two ways out. To go determinedly to Jean Valjean and return him to prison; or else...

The place where Javert stood was where the river flows in a dangerous rapid. He looked down. There was a sound of running water, but the river itself was not to be seen. What lay below him was a void, so that he might have been standing at the edge of infinity. He stayed motionless for some minutes, staring into nothingness, Abruptly he took of his hat and laid it on the parapet. A moment later a tall, dark figure, which a passer-by might have taken for a ghost, stood upright on the parapet. It leaned forward and dropped into the darkness.

There was a splash, and that was all."

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