Clopin Trouillefou, who had been a candidate [for Pope of Fools] — and God knows what intensity of ugliness his features could attain — confessed himself conquered. We shall do the same: we shall not attempt to give the reader any idea of that tetrahedron nose, of that horse-shoe mouth, of that little left eye, stubbled up with an eye-brow of carotty bristles, while the right was completely overwhelmed and buried by an enormous wen; of those irregular teeth, jagged here and there like the battlements of a fortress; of that horny lip, over which one of those teeth protruded, like the tusk of an elephant; of that forked chin; and above all, of the expression, that mixture of spite, wonder, and melancholy, spread over these exquisite features. Imagine such an object, if you can.
The acclamation was unanimous: the crowd rushed to the chapel. The lucky Pope of Fools was brought out in triumph, and it was not till then that surprise and admiration were at their height: what had been mistaken for a grimace was his natural visage; indeed, it might be said that his whole person was but one grimace. His prodigious head was covered with red bristles; between his shoulders rose an enormous hump, which was counterbalanced by a protuberance in front; his thighs and legs were so strangely put together, that they touched at no one point but the knees, and, seen in front, resembled two sickles jointed at the handles; his feet were immense, his hands monstrous; but, with all this deformity, there was a formidable air of strength, agility, and courage, constituting a singular exception to the eternal rule, which ordains that force, as well as beauty, shall result from harmony. He looked like a giant who had been broken in pieces and ill soldered together.
When this sort of Cyclop appeared on the threshold of the chapel, motionless, squat, almost as broad as high, “the square of his base,” as a great man expresses it, the populace instantly recognized him by his coat, half red and half purple, sprinkled with silver bells, and, more especially, by the perfection of his ugliness, and cried out with one voice: “It is Quasimodo, the bell-ringer! it is Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre-Dame! Quasimodo, the one-eyed! Quasimodo the bandy-legged! Hurrah! hurrah!” The poor devil, it seems, had plenty of surnames to choose among. (43-44)
He held the damsel, palpitating all over, hanging from his horny hands like a white drapery; but he carried her with as much care as if he was fearful of bruising or disturbing her. He felt, you would have thought, that a thing so delicate, so exquisite, so precious, was not made for such hands as his. At times he looked as though he dared not touch her even with his breath. Then, all at once, he would clasp her closely in his arms, against his angular bosom, as his treasure, as his all, as the mother of that girl would herself have done. His cyclop eye bent down upon her, shed over her a flood of tenderness, of pity, of grief, and was suddenly raised flashing lightning. At this sight the women laughed and cried; the crowd stamped with enthusiasm, for at that moment Quasimodo was really beautiful. Yes, he was beautiful — he, that orphan, that foundling, that outcast; he felt himself august and strong; he looked in the face that society from which he was banished, and from which he had made so signal a conquest; that human justice from which he had snatched its victim; those judges, those executioners, all that force of the King’s, which he, the meanest of the mean, had foiled with the force of God! (311)