Nevertheless, as be harangued them, the satisfaction and admiration unanimously excited by his costume were dissipated by his words;

Hugo, Victor. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (AmazonClassics Edition) (p. 29). AmazonClassics. Kindle Edition.

Is the above sentence a typo? In every version of the book I look at, oddly enough including my physical copy, they have this same text.

  • 2
    Nice question! I'm now reading Notre Dame de Paris, the original book in French.
    – Charo
    Apr 15, 2023 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is an obvious typo, be for he. The original has:

Cependant, tandis qu’il haranguait, la satisfaction, l’admiration unanimement excitées par son costume, se dissipaient à ses paroles;

il haranguait translates to he was haranguing. Why every edition you've seen of the 1888 Isabel Florence Hapgood translation has this typo, I don't know. Presumably all of them derive from a typo in either one of the printed editions of this text, or (more likely) an uncorrected scanning error while digitizing the text. Digitized texts are often very poorly proofread.

Other editions translate this sentence differently. From a couple of anonymous translations:

While he was speaking, however, the universal satisfaction, nay, admiration, excited by his costume, was dispelled by his words. (Chapman and Hall edition, 1877)

Unfortunately, the admiration and satisfaction so universally excited by his costume died out during his harangue. (Harvard Classics edition, 1917)

  • 11
    The typo originated in the Project Gutenberg edition of the novel. Project Gutenberg editions start with OCR, the output of which is then corrected by volunteer proof-readers. It is easy to submit errata following the process here. Apr 15, 2023 at 8:06
  • 7
    @RussellMcMahon: The version in the question starts “As be harangued them…” The typo is so blatant that my brain silently autocorrected it, and I had to re-read several times to find it — I guess you missed it for the same reason… Apr 15, 2023 at 9:19
  • 13
    I submitted an erratum and the typo is now fixed in the Project Gutenberg edition. Apr 15, 2023 at 16:24
  • 3
    @GarethRees Excellent efficiency! Apr 15, 2023 at 18:00
  • 5
    @verbose Both things - my comment was similarly efficient ;) Apr 16, 2023 at 8:40

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