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


    Argot is nothing more nor less than a wardrobe in which language, having some bad deed to do, disguises itself. It puts on word-masks and metaphoric rags.


    Die, very good, but do not make others die. Suicides like the one which is about to take place here are sublime, but suicide is restricted, and does not allow of extension; and so soon as it affects your neighbors, suicide becomes murder.

    He caught her, she fell, he caught her in his arms, he held her tightly unconscious of what he was doing. He held her up, though tottering himself. He felt as if his head were filled with smoke; flashes of light slipped through his eyelids; his thoughts vanished; it seemed to him that he was performing a religious act, and that he was committing a profanation. Moreover, he did not feel one passionate desire for this ravishing woman, whose form he felt against his heart. He was lost in love.



    Let us admit, without bitterness, that the individual has his distinct interests and can, without felony, stipulate for those interests and defend them. The present has its pardonable amount of egotism; momentary life has its claims, and cannot be expected to sacrifice itself incessantly to the future. The generation which is in its turn passing over the earth is not forced to abridge its life for the sake of the generations, its equals after all, whose turn shall come later on.



    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.



    What a great thing, to be loved! What a greater thing still, to love! The heart becomes heroic though passion…if no one loved, the sun would go out.


    And, moreover, when it happens that both are sincere and good, nothing will mix and amalgamate more easily than an old priest and an old soldier. In reality, they are the same kind of man. One has devoted himself to country upon earth, the other to his country in heaven; there is no other difference.

    Do not economize on the hymeneal rites; do not prune them of their splendor, nor split farthings on the day when you are radiant. A wedding is not house-keeping.



    Let us fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices are the real murderers. The great dangers lie within ourselves.



    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.


    This first glance of a soul which does not yet know itself is like dawn in the heavens; it is the awakening of something radiant and unknown.

    What a transfiguration it is to love! And the little shrieks, the pursuits in the grass, the waists encircled by stealth, the jargon that is melody, the adoration that breaks through in the way a syllable is said, those cherries snatched form one pair of lips by another - It all catches fire and turns into celestial glories.

    If we wish to be happy, monsieur, we must never comprehend duty; for, as soon as we comprehend it, it is implacable. One would say that it punishes you for comprehending it; but no, it rewards you for it; for it puts you into a hell where you feel God at your side.


    Equality, citizens, is not the whole of society on a level, a society of tall blades of grass and small oaks, or a number of entangled jealousies. It is, legally speaking, every aptitude having the same opportunity for a career; politically all consciences having the same right. Equality has an organ, gratuitous and compulsory education. We must begin with the right to the alphabet.

    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.

    If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progress is, call it Tomorrow.



    She loved with so much passion as she loved with ignorance. She did not know whether it were good or evil, beneficent or dangerous, necessary or accidental, eternal or transitory, permitted or prohibited: she loved.

    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.


    This is the shade of meaning: the door of a physician should never be closed; the door of a priest should always be open.


    It is a terrible thing to be happy! How pleased we are with it! How all-sufficient we think it! How, being in possession of the false aim of life, happiness, we forget the true aim, duty!


    Every day has its great grief or its small anxiety. ... One cloud is dispelled, another forms. There is hardly one day in a hundred of real joy and bright sunshine.

    He had not lived long enough to have discovered that nothing is more close at hand than the impossible, and what must be looked for is the unforeseen.

    In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D-- He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D-- since 1806.



    She worked in order to live, and presently fel in love, also in order to live, for the heart, too, has its hunger.





    Love has no middle term; either it destroys, or it saves. All human destiny is this dilemma. This dilemma, destruction or salvation, no fate proposes more inexorably than love. Love is life, if it is not death. Cradle; coffin, too. The same sentiment says yes and no in the human heart. Of all the things God has made, the human heart is the one that sheds most light, and alas! most night.

    At that moment of love, a moment when passion is absolutely silent under omnipotence of ecstasy, Marius, pure seraphic Marius, would have been more capable of visiting a woman of the streets than of raising Cosette's dress above the ankle. Once on a moonlit night, Cosette stopped to pick up something from the ground, her dress loosened and revealed the swelling of her breasts. Marius averted his eyes.


    More Victor Hugo Quotations (Based on Topics)


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