Claude threw himself into caring for little Jehan. He was more than a brother to the baby—he was the child’s mother and father! He had been taking care of Jehan for about a year when he heard the old women talking about the deformed orphan. When he looked at the unlucky creature, he was moved by deep compassion. He vowed in his heart to rear the child for the love of his brother. What if Jehan might prove to have some faults in the future? Perhaps this charity done in his name might be placed to his credit.

The first part of the cited sentence is more clear to me, Dose it mean: what if Jehan won't be a good person.

But I have not got any idea about the second part. meaning of" Perhaps this charity done in his name might be placed to his credit"

  • 1
    It is not clear to me either, as a native speaker. The relationship of the two sentences is unclear. And it is not perfectly clear who the second his refers to. Jan 10, 2019 at 12:19
  • I think it refer to Claud or maybe his brother, Jehan, because Claud adopted the deformed orphan for the love of his brother. Jan 10, 2019 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


The text is taken from the book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo.

From the story it becomes clear that Jehan is the younger brother of Claude himself, their parents having died in the plague that swept through Paris.

So what the text in bold is saying is this: If Jehan should prove to have faults in future, the good deed that Claude was doing in Jehan's name might help to balance those faults (possibly in God's eyes) - to act as a credit virtue against any vice in Jehan's nature.


  • Lots of thanks, Dose "to act as a credit virtue against any vice in Jehan's nature." mean: against any vice in Jehan's nature God treat him kindly? Jan 10, 2019 at 12:50
  • That's the idea. The metaphor is of a balance of good and bad, where good deeds help to reduce any punishment that might be due for bad deeds. Jan 10, 2019 at 12:54

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