He endeavored to collect his thoughts, but did not succeed. At those hours especially when we have sorest need of grasping the sharp realities of life do the threads of though snap off in the brain.
His universal compassion was due less to natural instinct, than to a profound conviction, a sum of thoughts that in the course of living had filtered through to his heart: for in the nature of man, as in rock, there may be channels hollowed by the dropping of water, and these can never be destroyed.
One can no more keep the mind from returning to an idea than the sea from returning to a shore. For a sailor, this is called the tide; in the case of the guilty it is called remorse. God stirs up the soul as well as the ocean.
Profound hearts, wise minds, take life as God makes it; it is a long trial, and unintelligible preparation for the unknown destiny.
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.
There are, as we know, powerful and illustrious atheists. At bottom, led back to the truth by their very force, they are not absolutely sure that they are atheists; it is with them only a question of definition, and in any case, if they do not believe in God, being great minds, they prove God.
There is will in the thought, there is none in the dream. The dream, which is completely spontaneous, takes and keeps, even in the gigantic and the ideal, the form of our mind. Nothing springs more directly and more sincerely from the very bottom of our souls than our unreflected and indefinite aspirations towards the splendours of destiny.
Win a lottery-prize and you are a cleaver man. Winners are adulated. To be born with a caul is everything; luck is what matters. Be fortunate and you will be thought great.
Diamonds are to be found only in the darkness of the earth, and truth in the darkness of the mind.
Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.
Nothing can be more depressing than to expose, naked to the light of thought, the hideous growth of argot. Indeed it is like a sort of repellent animal intended to dwell in darkness which has been dragged out of its cloaca. One seems to see a horned and living creature viciously struggling to be restored to the place where it belongs. One word is like a claw, another like a sightless and bleeding eye and there are phrases which clutch like the pincers of a crab. And all of it is alive with the hideous vitality of things that have organized themselves amid disorganization.
When a man is out of sight, it is not too long before he is out of mind.
Despots play their part in the works of thinkers. Fettered words are terrible words. The writer doubles and trebles the power of his writing when a ruler imposes silence on the people. Something emerges from that enforced silence, a mysterious fullness which filters through and becomes steely in the thought. Repression in history leads to conciseness in the historian, and the rocklike hardness of much celebrated prose is due to the tempering of the tyrant.
From the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at the time. Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls. God displays them to us to give us food for thought.
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
One cannot be a good historian of the outward, visible world without giving some thought to the hidden, private life of ordinary people and on the other hand one cannot be a good historian of this inner life without taking into account outward events where these are relevant. They are two orders of fact which reflect each other, which are always linked and which sometimes provoke each other.
Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.
A day will come when markets, open to trade, and minds, open to ideas, will become the sole battlefield.
More Victor Hugo Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Life - Love - God - Soul - Mind - Woman - Nature - Light - Happiness - Society & Civilization - Fate & Destiny - Sadness - Night - Thought & Thinking - Facts - Infinity - Future - Progress - View All Victor Hugo Quotations
More Victor Hugo Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Les Miserables
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- The Huntchback of Notre Dame
Marcel Proust - C. S. Lewis - Tertullian - Richard Carlson - Ken Follett - Joseph Campbell - Jane Roberts - Ian Fleming - Horatio Alger - Charles Bukowski