It seemed as though he had just awakened from some strange sleep and found himself sliding down a slope in the middle of the night, on his feet, shivering, recoiling in vail, on the very brink of an abyss.
In the gloom he distinctly saw an unknown man, a stranger, whom fate had mistaken for him and was shoving into the gulf in his place.
For the gulf to be closed, someone had to fall in, he or the other.
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
[this is about Madeleine’s decision to flee or condemn himself in place of Champmathieu, but go ahead and tell me that last line couldn’t be applied to Valjean and Javert]