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Synopsis

 La Esmeralda was sleeping at the moment when the outcasts assailed the church.

  Soon the ever-increasing uproar around the edifice, and the uneasy bleating of her goat which had been awakened, had roused her from her slumbers. She had sat up, she had listened, she had looked; then, terrified by the light and noise, she had rushed from her cell to see. The aspect of the Place, the vision which was moving in it, the disorder of that nocturnal assault, that hideous crowd, leaping like a cloud of frogs, half seen in the gloom, the croaking of that hoarse multitude, those few red torches running and crossing each other in the darkness like the meteors which streak the misty surfaces of marshes, this whole scene produced upon her the effect of a mysterious battle between the phantoms of the witches' sabbath and the stone monsters of the church. Imbued from her very infancy with the superstitions of the Bohemian tribe, her first thought was that she had caught the strange beings peculiar to the night, in their deeds of witchcraft. Then she ran in terror to cower in her cell, asking of her pallet some less terrible nightmare.

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