Victor Hugo Quotes (468 Quotes)


    All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.


    Jean Prouvaire was timid only in repose. Once excited, he burst forth, a sort of mirth accentuated his enthusiasm, and he was at once both laughing and lyric.




    Well, listen a moment, Monsieur Mayor; I have often been severe in my life towards others. It was just. I did right. Now if I were not severe towards myself, all I have justly done would become injustice. Should I spare myself more than others? No. What! if I should be prompt only to punish others and not myself, I should be a wretched indeed! - Javert to M. Madeleine


    Can human nature ever be wholly and radically transformed? Can the man whom God made good be made wicked by man? Can the soul be reshaped in its entirety by destiny and made evil because destiny is evil? Can the heart become misshapen and afflicted with ugly, incurable deformities under disproportionate misfortune, like a spinal column bent beneath a too low roof?


    M. Mabeuf's political opinion was a passionate fondness for plants, and a still greater one for books. He had, like everybody else, his termination in ist, without which nobody could have lived in those times, but he was neither a royalist, nor a Bonapartist, nor a chartist, nor an Orleanist, nor an anarchist; he was an old-bookist.


    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.

    Without knowing it, Javert in his awful happiness was deserving of pity, like every ignorant man who triumphs. Nothing could have been more poignant or more heartrending than that countenance on which was inscribed all the evil in what is good.

    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.

    Every good quality runs into a defect; economy borders on avarice, the generous are not far from the prodigal, the brave man is close to the bully; he who is very pious is slightly sanctimonious; there are just as many vices to virtue as there are holes in the mantle of Diogenes.

    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.

    Nothing discernible to the eye of the spirit is more brilliant or obscure than man; nothing is more formidable, complex, mysterious, and infinite. There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul.


    To be a saint is the exception; to be a just person is the rule. Err, stumble, commit sin, but be one of the just.

    He had, they said, tasted in succession all the apples of the tree of knowledge, and, whether from hunger or disgust, had ended by tasting the forbidden fruit.

    Am I not as much a doctor as they? I too have my patients; in the first place, theirs, whom they call sick; and then my own, whom I call unfortunate.

    He believed that faith gives health. He sought to counsel and calm the despairing by pointing out the Man of Resignation, and to transform the grief that contemplates the grave by showing it the grief that looks up to the stars.


    Revolutions spring not from accident, but from necessity. A revolution is a return from the factitious to the real. It takes place because it must.

    The reader will pardon us another little digression; foreign to the object of this book but characteristic and useful . . . .

    What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion.

    Love is like a tree: it shoots of itself; it strikes it's roots deeply into our whole being, and frequently continues to put forth green leaves over a heart in ruins. And there is this unaccountable circumstance attending it, that the blinder the passion the more tenacious it is. Never is it stronger than when it is most unreasonable.

    Children at once accept joy and happiness with quick familiarity, being themselves naturally all happiness and joy.


    M. Myriel had to undergo the fate of every newcomer in a little town, where there are many mouths which talk, and very few heads which think.


    More Victor Hugo Quotations (Based on Topics)


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