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Toilers of the Sea

by Victor Hugo

The Toilers of the Sea should have been a chapter in Les Miserables--an episode in the life of Jean Valjean, a few strokes of the pen would have made the necessary alterations, since the similarity between the characters of the two men, the convict and the fisherman, is so marked that the one immediately suggests the other. The same herculean strength, the same melancholy amounting to misanthropy, the same manner of life so far as circumstances would permit, the same singleness of purpose thwarted by no self-sacrifice however great, the same kindness of heart, whether exhibited in the princely benevolence of the wealthy manufacturer or in the humble endeavors of the Guernsey fisherman to rescue from the cruel boys the nest homes of the birds of the cliff".

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