Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him--he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.
Desiring always to be in mourning, he clothed himself with night.
Great griefs exhaust. They discourage us with life. The man into whom they enter feels something taken from him. In youth, their visit is sad; later on, it is ominous.
He was at his own request and through his own complicity driven out of all his happinesses one after the other; and he had this sorrow, that after having lost Cosette wholly in one day, he was afterwards obliged to lose her again in detail.
In all Thénardier's outpourings, the words and gestures, the fury blazing in his eyes, this explosion of an evil nature brazenly exposed, the mixture of bravado and abjectness, arrogance, pettiness, rage, absurdity; the hodgepodge of genuine distress, and lying sentiment, the shamelessness of a vicious man rejoicing in viciousness, the bare crudity of an ugly soul -- in this eruption of all suffering and hatred there was something which was hideous as evil itself and still as poignant as truth.
In fact, he who has only beheld the misery of man has seen nothing; the misery of woman is what he must see; he who has seen only the misery of woman has seen nothing; he must see the misery of the child.
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.
Sorrow is a fruit. God does not make it grow on limbs too weak to bear it.
Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.
In each age men of genius undertake the ascent. From below, the world follows them with their eyes. These men go up the mountain, enter the clouds, disappear, reappear, People watch them, mark them. They walk by the side of precipices. They daringly pursue their road. See them aloft, see them in the distance they are but black specks. On they go. The road is uneven, its difficulties constant. At each step a wall, at each step a trap. As they rise the cold increases. They must make their ladder, cut the ice and walk on it., hewing the steps in haste. A storm is raging. Nevertheless they go forward in their madness. The air becomes difficult to breath. The abyss yawns below them. Some fall. Others stop and retrace their steps there is a sad weariness. The bold ones continue. They are eyed by the eagles the lightning plays about them the hurricane is furious. No matter, they persevere.
Such is the remorseless progression of human society, shedding lives and souls as it goes on its way. It is an ocean into which men sink who have been cast out by the law and consigned, with help most cruelly withheld, to moral death. The sea is the pitiless social darkness into which the penal system casts those it has condemned, an unfathomable waste of misery. The human soul, lost in those depths, may become a corpse. Who shall revive it
More Victor Hugo Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Life - Love - God - Soul - Mind - Woman - Nature - Light - Society & Civilization - Happiness - Fate & Destiny - Night - Sadness - Thought & Thinking - Facts - Progress - Future - Infinity - View All Victor Hugo Quotations
More Victor Hugo Quotations (By Book Titles)
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- The Huntchback of Notre Dame
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