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Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” Quotes (191 Quotes)


  • So long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Miserables cannot fail to be of use.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • So your desire is to do nothing? Well, you shall not have a week, a day, an hour, free from oppression. You shall not be able to lift anything without agony. Every passing minute will make your muscles crack. What is feather to others will be a rock to you. The simplest things will become difficult. Life will become monstrous about you. To come, to go, to breathe, will be so many terrible tasks for you. Your lungs will feel like a hundred-pound weight.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Success is a very hideous thing. Its false resemblance to merit deceives men.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Success is an ugly thing. Men are deceived by its false resemblances to merit.... They confound the brilliance of the firmament with the star-shaped footprints of a duck in the mud.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Suffering engenders passion; and while the prosperous blind themselves, or go to sleep, the hatred of the unfortunate classes kindles its torch at some sullen or ill-constituted mind, which is dreaming in a corner, and sets to work to examine society. The examination of hatred is a terrible thing.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")


  • That is the explanation of war, an outrage by humanity upon humanity in despite of humanity.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • That men saw his mask, but the bishop saw his face. That men saw his life, but the bishop saw his conscience.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The barber in his shop, warmed by a good stove, was shaving a customer and casting from time to time a look towards this enemy, this frozen and brazen gamin, who had both hands in his pockets, but his wits evidently out of their sheath.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The book the reader has now before his eyes - from one end to the other, in its whole and in its details, whatever the omissions, the exceptions, or the faults - is the march from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from the false to the true, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from rottenness to life, from brutality to duty, from Hell to Heaven, from nothingness to God. Starting point: matter; goal: the soul. Hydra at the beginning, angel at the end.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The counterfeits of the past take assumed names, and are fond of calling themselves the future. That eternally returning spector, the past, not infrequently falsifies its passport.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The crowd mistrusts the allurement of paladins. The masses, ponderous bodies that they are, and fragile on account of their very heaviness, fear adventure; and there is adventure in the ideal.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The delight we inspire in others has this enchanting peculiarity that, far from being diminished like every other reflection, it returns to us more radiant than ever.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The earth is a great piece of stupidity.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The first proof of charity in a priest, especially a bishop, is poverty.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The four walls of the living redoubt had fallen, hardly could a quivering be detected here and there among the corpses; and thus the French legions, grander than the Roman legions, expired at Mont-Saint-Jean on ground soaked in rain and blood, in the somber wheatfields, at the spot where today at four in the morning, whistling, and gaily whipping up his horse, Joseph drives by with the mail from Nivelles.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")


    More Victor Hugo Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Life - Love - Soul - God - Mind - Woman - Society & Civilization - Happiness - Nature - Light - Fate & Destiny - Sadness - Night - Facts - Thought & Thinking - Infinity - Future - Progress - World - View All Victor Hugo Quotations

    More Victor Hugo Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Les Miserables
    - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    - The Huntchback of Notre Dame

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