Before we learn more about our friends on this particular evening, first we must know about how they arrived at this place. Grantaire and Enjolras, the focus of our tale, are the elder statesmen, although not the eldest of the group. They are the seasoned veterans ... the ones who fought under Lamarque just two years previously in order to put Louis-Philippe on the throne. At the time, they believed in their cause.
But now, that Louis has proved as dissolute as many others of the same name. The people of Paris are starving; there are no animals to be seen, as pets and zoo animals alike have been eaten. The same thing happened during the Reign of Terror; starvation kills ethics just as surely as it kills the hungry. Crime increases when people grow more desperate.
And Louis-Philippe does nothing to help the hungry.
Grantaire and Enjolras discussed these problems frequently during their visits to Marianne and Olympe ... to the disgust of the young women, who wanted their beaux’ attention to be undivided. Unlike the monarch, the two men could not look upon suffering and remain silent. And so, they began to talk of revolution.