Quotes by Victor Hugo

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

Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.
Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.
He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
When a woman is speaking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes.
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather in spite of ourselves.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
Forty is the old age of youth, fifty is the youth of old age.
Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.
Separated lovers cheat absence by a thousand fancies which have their own reality. They are prevented from seeing one another and they cannot write; nevertheless they find countless mysterious ways of corresponding, by sending each other the song of birds, the scent of flowers, the laughter of children, the light of the sun, the sighing of the wind, and the gleam of the stars --all the beauties of creation.
To love another person is to see the face of God. [Les Miserables]
Our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds.
He does not weep who does not see.
A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.
God created the flirt as soon as he made the fool.
Life is a flower of which love is the honey.
Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.
To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
People do not lack strength; they lack will.
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.
There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.
Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.
Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.
Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. When you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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.
Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.
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.
Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.
There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
It is not enough for us to prostrate ourselves under the tree which is Creation, and to contemplate its tremendous branches filled with stars. We have a duty to perform, to work upon the human soul, to defend the mystery against the miracle, to worship the incomprehensible while rejecting the absurd; to accept, in the inexplicable, only what is necessary; to dispel the superstitions that surround religion --to rid God of His Maggots.
Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.
Those who live are those who fight.
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent
Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?
Do not ask the name of the person who seeks a bed for the night. He who is reluctant to give his name is the one who most needs shelter.
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.
One cannot be a good historian of the outward, visible world without giving some thought to the hidden, private life of ordinary people; and on the other hand one cannot be a good historian of this inner life without taking into account outward events where these are relevant. They are two orders of fact which reflect each other, which are always linked and which sometimes provoke each other.
There are fathers who do not love their children, but there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson.
In this world, which is so plainly the antechamber of another, there are no happy men. The true division of humanity is between those who live in light and those who live in darkness. Our aim must be to diminish the number of the latter and increase the number of the former. That is why we demand education and knowledge.
We may remark in passing that to be blind and beloved may, in this world where nothing is perfect, be among the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness. The supreme happiness in life is the assurance of being loved; of being loved for oneself, even in spite of oneself; and this assurance the blind man possesses. In his affliction, to be served is to be caressed. Does he lack anything? no. Possessing love he is not deprived of light. A love, moreover, that is wholly pure. There can be no blindness where there is this certainty.
Loving is half of believing.
From the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at the time. Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls. God displays them to us to give us food for thought.
Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.
He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.
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?
We are on the side of religion as opposed to religions, and we are among those who believe in the wretched inadequacy of sermons and the sublimity of prayer.
My tastes are aristocratic, my actions democratic.
A library implies an act of faith.
Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.
Genius is a promontory jutting out into the infinite.
It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive. Why should it exaggerate? There is that which should be destroyed and that which should be simply illuminated and studied. How great is the force of benevolent and searching examination! We must not resort to the flame where only light is required.
Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.
It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.
be as a bird perched on a frail branch
The greatest blunders, like the thickest ropes, are often compounded of a multitude of strands. Take the rope apart, separate it into the small threads that compose it, and you can break them one by one. You think, That is all there was! But twist them all together and you have something tremendous.
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.