Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris), 1831. 

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Life is the flower for which love is the honey.

It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves or rather loved in spite of ourselves.

When God desires to destroy a thing he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide.

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

It is often necessary to know how to obey a woman in order sometimes to have the right to command her.

The first symptom of love in a young man is timidity, in a girl boldness.

Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.

Intelligence is the wife, imagination is the mistress, memory is the servant.

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.

The wicked envy and hate, it is their way of admiring.

Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.

A great artist is a great man in a great child.

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.

Conscience is God present in man.

A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.

Blessed be Providence which has given to each his toy: the doll to the child, the child to the woman, the woman to the man, the man to the devil!

Almost all our desires, when examined, contain something too shameful to reveal.

Evil. Mistrust those who rejoice at it even more than those who do it.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones, and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.

One sometimes says: 'He killed himself because he was bored with life.' One ought rather to say: 'He killed himself because he was bored by lack of life.'

It is by suffering that human beings become angels.

Stupidity talks vanity acts.

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.

Never laugh at those who suffer, suffer sometimes those who laugh.

No one can keep a secret better than a child.

Puns are the droppings of soaring wits.

Reaction - a boat which is going against the current but which does not prevent the river from flowing on.

By putting forward the hands of the clock you shall not advance the hour.

Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.

People do not lack strength, they lack will.

Fashions have done more harm than revolutions.

Without vanity without coquetry without curiosity in a word without the fall woman would not be woman. Much of her grace is in her frailty.

The mountains the forest and the sea render men savage, they develop the fierce but yet do not destroy the human.

To be perfectly happy it does not suffice to possess happiness it is necessary to have deserved it.

There is one spectacle grander than the sea that is the sky, there is one spectacle grander than the sky that is the interior of the soul.

Thought is the labor of the intellect reverie is its pleasure.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch, that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.

Freedom in art freedom in society this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.

I love all men who think even those who think otherwise than myself.

Habit is the nursery of errors.

Nature has made a pebble and a female. The lapidary makes the diamond and the lover makes the woman.

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.

Idleness is the heaviest of all oppressions.

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when whatever the posture of the body the soul is on its knees.

Joy's smile is much closer to tears than laughter.

Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal.

Because one doesn't like the way things are is no reason to be unjust towards God.

Short as life is we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.

Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.

He who is not capable of enduring poverty is not capable of being free.

Close by the Rights of Man at the least set beside them are the Rights of the Spirit.

He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.

One is not idle because one is absorbed. There is both visible and invisible labor. To contemplate is to toil to think is to do. The crossed arms work the clasped hands act. The eyes upturned to Heaven are an act of creation.

We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization but this is not true. Slavery still exists but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.

To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful.

Society is a republic. When an individual tries to lift themselves above others they are dragged down by the mass either by ridicule or slander.

We see past time in a telescope and present time in a microscope. Hence the apparent enormities of the present.

Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.

Forty is the old age of youth, fifty the youth of old age.

The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human race has been roughly handled but that it has advanced.

Those who live are those who fight.

Pain is as diverse as man. One suffers as one can.

The learned man knows that he is ignorant.

The flesh is the surface of the unknown.

My tastes are aristocratic my actions democratic.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves or rather in spite of ourselves.

Son brother father lover friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections as there is room in heaven for all the stars.

I'm religiously opposed to religion.

Despotism is a long crime.

Prayer is an august avowal of ignorance.

Liberation is not deliverance.

One believes others will do what he will do to himself.

The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time as come.

Genius is a promontory jutting out into the infinite.

When dictatorship is a fact revolution becomes a right.

The omnipotence of evil has never resulted in anything but fruitless efforts. Our thoughts always escape from whoever tries to smother them.

Try as you will you cannot annihilate that eternal relic of the human heart love.

To contemplate is to look at shadows.

The wise man does not grow old but ripens.

One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.

Our acts make or mar us we are the children of our own deeds.

What is history? An echo of the past in the future, a reflex from the future on the past.

The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable.

No one ever keeps a secret so well as a child.

What a grand thing to be loved! What a grander thing still to love!

When a man is out of sight it is not too long before he is out of mind.

A creditor is worse than a slave-owner, for the master owns only your person but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.

Style is the substance of the subject called unceasingly to the surface.

The word is the Verb and the Verb is God.

The man who does not know other languages unless he is a man of genius necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas.

What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty in a mountain.

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

Be like the bird who pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight feels them give way beneath her and yet sings knowing she hath wings.

A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.

An invasion of armies can be resisted but not an idea whose time has come.

Many great actions are committed in small struggles.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men between brothers?

I am a soul. I know well that what I shall render up to the grave is not myself. That which is myself will go elsewhere. Earth thou art not my abyss!

I don't mind what Congress does as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses.

As a means of contrast with the sublime the grotesque is in our view the richest source that nature can offer.

The ox suffers the cart complains.

Scepticism that dry caries of the intelligence.

Peace is the virtue of civilization. War is its crime.

As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.

I put a Phrygian cap on the old dictionary.

He who opens a school door closes a prison.

The drama is complete poetry. The ode and the epic contain it only in germ, it contains both of them in a state of high development and epitomizes both.

To love beauty is to see light.

Rhyme that enslaved queen that supreme charm of our poetry that creator of our meter.

The animal is ignorant of the fact that he knows. The man is aware of the fact that he is ignorant.

Nothing else in the world... not all the armies... is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

But when ill indeed Even dismissing the doctor don't always succeed.

Smallness in a great man seems smaller by its disproportion with all the rest.

To learn to read is to light a fire, every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.

Men like me are impossible until the day when they become necessary.

Dear God! how beauty varies in nature and art. In a woman the flesh must be like marble, in a statue the marble must be like flesh.

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.

When a woman is talking to you listen to what she says with her eyes.

I am an intelligent river which has reflected successively all the banks before which it has flowed, by meditating only on the images offered by those changing shores.

How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing that snow melts that the rose unfolds that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss and all was said.

Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.

Toleration is the best religion.

Mankind is not a circle with a single center but an ellipse with two focal points of which facts are one and ideas the other.

A war between Europeans is a civil war.

To love is to act.

Indigestion is charged by God with enforcing morality on the stomach.

Jesus wept, Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.

Do not let it be your aim to be something but to be someone.

Men become accustomed to poison by degrees.

There is no such thing as a little country. The greatness of a people is no more determined by their numbers than the greatness of a man is by his height.

A library implies an act of faith.

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when whatever be the attitude of the body the soul is on its knees.

There are fathers who do not love their children, there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson.

Virtue has a veil vice a mask.

There have been in this century only one great man and one great thing: Napoleon and liberty. For want of the great man let us have the great thing.

I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old his coat worn his cloak was out at the elbows the water passed through his shoes - and the stars through his soul.

Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.

To think of shadows is a serious thing.

To love another person is to see the face of God.

Concision in style precision in thought decision in life.

One of the hardest tasks is to extract continually from one's soul an almost inexhaustible ill will.

Adversity makes men and prosperity makes monsters.

Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.

Change your opinions keep to your principles, change your leaves keep intact your roots.

The three great problems of this century, the degradation of man in the proletariat the subjection of women through hunger the atrophy of the child by darkness.

The little people must be sacred to the big ones and it is from the rights of the weak that the duty of the strong is comprised.

Wisdom is a sacred communion.

Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol but every human thought has its page in that vast book.

Taste is the common sense of genius.

Genius: the superhuman in man.

Sorrow is a fruit. God does not make it grow on limbs too weak to bear it.

To think is of itself to be useful, it is always and in all cases a striving toward God.

Love is a portion of the soul itself and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.

Well for us in history where goodness is a rare pearl he who was good almost takes precedence over he who was great.

Strange to say the luminous world is the invisible world, the luminous world is that which we do not see. Our eyes of flesh see only night.

When liberty returns I will return.

No one knows like a woman how to say things which are at once gentle and deep.

When grace is joined with wrinkles it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.

It is the end. But of what? The end of France? No. The end of kings? Yes.

The ideal and the beautiful are identical, the ideal corresponds to the idea and beauty to form, hence idea and substance are cognate.

The beautiful has but one type the ugly has a thousand.

There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills, but whatever is too lofty a genius as well as a mountain an assembly as well as a masterpiece seen too near is appalling.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

Perseverance secret of all triumphs.

The last resort of kings the cannonball. The last resort of the people the paving stone.

Sublime upon sublime scarcely presents a contrast and we need a little rest from everything even the beautiful.

Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.

The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real. It is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live.

Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

Everything being a constant carnival there is no carnival left.

One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.

It is most pleasant to commit a just action which is disagreeable to someone whom one does not like.

The ode lives upon the ideal the epic upon the grandiose the drama upon the real.