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"The Bargain/The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery"

Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer


Little Cosette

Song Order

"The Well Scene"


"Suddenly" (movie)
"Look Down" (musical)

"The Bargain" or "The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery" are two intertwined songs. Much of the number is often cut from recordings. The latter part of "The Waltz of Treachery" is largely instrumental.


[Valjean arrives at the inn with Little Cosette]

Valjean: I found her wandering in the wood
This little child, I found her trembling in the shadows
And I am here to help Cosette
And I will settle any debt you may think proper
I will pay what I must pay
To take Cosette away.
There is a duty I must heed
There is a promise I have made
For I was blind to one in need
I did not see what stood before me
Now her mother is with God
Fantine's suffering is over
And I speak here with her voice
And I stand here in her place

[Bends down and looks at Little Cosette, smiling]

And from this day and evermore

Mme. Thénardier: Let me take your coat, M'sieur...

Valjean: Cosette shall live in my protection

Thénardier: You are very welcome here.

Valjean: I shall not forget my vow

Thénardier: Take a glass.

Mme. Thénardier: Take a chair.

Valjean: Cosette shall have a father now

Thénardier: [grabbing Little Cosette and dragging her over] What to do? What to say?
Shall you carry our treasure away?
What a gem! What a pearl!
Beyond rubies is our little girl!
How can we speak of debt?
Let's not haggle for darling Cosette!
Dear Fantine, gone to rest...
Have we done for her child what is best?
Shared our bread. Shared each bone.
Treated her like she's one of our own!
Like our own, M'sieur!

Valjean: Your feelings do you credit, sir
And I will ease the parting blow
[He pays them.]
Let us not talk of bargains or bones or greed
Now, may I say, we are agreed?

Mme. Thénardier: That would quite fit the bill
If she hadn't so often been ill
Little dear, cost us dear
Medicines are expensive, M'sieur
Not that we begrudged a sou
It's no more than we Christians must do!

Both Thénardiers: One thing more, one small doubt
There are treacherous people about
No offence. Please reflect.
Your intentions may not be correct?

Valjean: No more words. Here's your price.
Fifteen hundred for your sacrifice.
Come, Cosette, say goodbye
Let us seek out some friendlier sky.
Thank you both for Cosette
It won't take you too long to forget.

[Mme. Thénardier shoves Little Cosette over to Valjean. Valjean and Little Cosette leave the inn, and Valjean gives Little Cosette a new cloak and hat to wear.]

Come, Cosette, come, my dear
From now on I will always be here
Where I go, you will be.

Little Cosette: Will there be children and castles to see?

Valjean: Yes, Cosette, yes, it's true.
There's a castle just waiting for you.

[Valjean gives Little Cosette a doll. She throws her arms around Valjean and he picks her up, spinning her in a circle. After setting her down again, they turn and leave for Paris.]



  • In 2012 Movie the lyrics are little changed at the beginning end of song:
    • "I shall not forget my vow" is changed to "I will not forget my vow" Shall is changed in the film to forget
    • Jean Valjean: Where I go, you will be. Cosette: Will you be like a papa to me? Jean Valjean: Yes Cosette. This is true. I'll be father and mother to you.
    • The line "take a glass" is also changed to "take a drink."
  • The song is known as "Valjean chez les Thénardier" (Valjean at the Thénardiers') and "La valse de la fourberie" (The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery) in the original French production, "La transaction" (The Dealing) in the 1991 Paris revival, "El Vals de los Thenardier" in the Spanish production, "Der Handel" in the German production and "De Thénardierwals" in the Dutch production
  • The line: "Now her mother is with God/Fantine's suffering is over," is changed to "Your mother is with God/Her suffering is over," in the movie version.


Les Miserables - 14 - The Bargain The Thenardier Waltz of Treachery

Les Miserables - 14 - The Bargain The Thenardier Waltz of Treachery

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Les Misérables 12- The Thenardier Waltz Of Treachery