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!
As for methods of prayer, all are good, as long as they are sincere.
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.
Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.
Not seeing people permits us to imagine them with every perfection.
She worked in order to live, and presently fel in love, also in order to live, for the heart, too, has its hunger.
The earth is a great piece of stupidity.
The soul falls into contemplation before this sanctuary, where the celebration of love is held.
Those who do not weep, do not see.
What is called honors and dignities, and even honor and dignity, is generally fool's gold.
For dogs we kings should have lions, and for cats, tigers. The great benefits a crown.
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.
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.
He had not yet lived long enough to have discovered that nothing is more close at hand then the impossible, and that what must be looked for is always the unforeseen.
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.
Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances.
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.
Should we continue to look upwards? Is the light we can see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished? The ideal is terrifying to behold... brilliant but threatened on all sides by the dark forces that surround it: nevertheless, no more in danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds.
The first proof of charity in a priest, especially a bishop, is poverty.
The soul in the darkness sins, but the real sinner is he who caused the darkness.
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.
What is fright by night is curiosity by day.
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.
Marius was of the temperament that sinks into grief and remains there; Cosette was of the sort that plunges in and comes out again.
Be happy without picking flaws.
Every man who has in his soul a secret feeling of revolt against any act of the State, of life, or of destiny, is on the verge of riot; and so soon as it appears, he begins to quiver, and to feel himself borne away by the whirlwind.
He loved books; books are cold but safe friends.
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.
Life's great happiness is to be convinced we are loved.
Nothing is small, in fact; any one who is subject to the profound and penetrating influence of nature knows this.
Sire, you are looking at a plain man, and I am looking at a great man. Each of us may benefit.
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.
The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man.
To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.
When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.
He left her. She was dissatisfied with him. He had preferred to incur her anger rather than cause her pain. He had kept all the pain for himself.
Nothing is more imminent than the impossible . . . what we must always foresee is the unforeseen.
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.
Faith is necessary to men; woe to him who believes in nothing!
He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two.
Indeed, is not that all, and what more can be desired? A little garden to walk, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate upon: a few flowers on the earth, and all the stars in the sky.
Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.
Now, one cannot read nonsense with impunity.
Sleep comes more easily than it returns.
The hatred of luxury is not an intelligent hatred. It implies a hatred of arts.
The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved; loved for one's own sake -- let us say rather, loved in spite of one's self.
To die is nothing; but it is terrible not to live.
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 - Future - Infinity - Progress - View All Victor Hugo Quotations
More Victor Hugo Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Les Miserables
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- The Huntchback of Notre Dame
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