The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book II Chapter 7
Wonderstruck at his change in fortunes, Gringoire goes with Esmeralda to her quarters, a small but warm chamber sparsely but comfortably furnished and with food in the pantry. Gringoire realizes that he is now Esmeralda's husband and he attempts to seduce her. She reacts by drawing a dagger and Djali joins her in a defensive posture. Gringoire assures the girl that he will not attempt to approach her and she laughs and puts away her dagger. Esmeralda provides Gringoire with food and then seems lost in a reverie. She only stirs when Djali nudges her for some food and Gringoire uses the opportunity to question her. He learns that she only married him to save him from the gallows and she has no intention of making him her lover. She suggests that perhaps they will be friends and Gringoire is surprised when she waxes rhapsodic on the subject of love. She explains that a man, according to her view, has a helmet and a sword and gilt spurs. She admits that there is one whom she may love and that she will learn the truth soon. She insists that the man who will be her lover will be able to protect her. He asks her how she escaped from Quasimodo and she asks why he was following her and he admits that he doesn't know. She is silent for awhile and then begins to sing but stops to caress her goat. Upon questioning she explains that she got her name possibly because of an amulet she wears but that she won't explain nor let him touch. She does not know where she was born or who her parents are. She came to Paris a year prior. She asks Gringoire his name and he provides some history of himself. He explains that he is the son of a farmer who was hanged by the Burgundians and the Picards killed his mother during the siege of Paris twenty years before. He was six when his parents died and grew up as an orphan on the streets and tried many professions from soldier to monk without success. He resolved to turn poet, though he could not read, but Dom Claude Frollo of Notre Dame took an interest in him and taught him to read and write as well as Latin. He relates that he is the author of a play and has written a book about the comet of 1465 that, if published, would occupy 600 pages. He offers his services to Esmeralda. She asks him the meaning of the word "Phoebus" and he, not understanding why she should ask that particular question, explains that it signifies the sun and an archer who was a god. She repeats the word "god" in amazement. Some bracelets fall off her wrist and Gringoire stoops to pick them up. When he looks up she and the goat have gone. He hears the sound of an adjoining chamber being bolted. He makes his bed on top of a large wooden chest and falls asleep.