Victor-Marie Hugo (born 26 February 1802, Besançon, France – died 22 May 1885, Paris, France) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Though regarded in France as one of that country’s greatest poets, he is best known outside of France for his novels Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. Life is the flower for which love is the honey. Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. People do not lack strength; they lack will. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal. To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better. Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering – a hell of boredom. To love beauty is to see light. To love another person is to see the face of God.
The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.
Victor Hugo You who suffer because you love, love still more! To die of love, is to live by it.
Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.
Victor Hugo Our mind is enriched by what we receive, our heart by what we give. 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. The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves. Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign. He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two. A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them. There is nothing like a dream to create the future. It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live. 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. Perseverance, secret of all triumphs. Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket. He who opens a school door, closes a prison. 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 love. Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. Not being heard is no reason for silence. 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. 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. 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. Initiative is doing the right thing without being told. 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. God is awake. When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right. To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face. Those who live are those who fight. A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil. I’d rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one. Our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds.
Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.
Victor Hugo Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection. To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. Those who do not weep, do not see. If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned! The wise man does not grow old, but ripens. You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience. 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. As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled. The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in – what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age. An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise. The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human. Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education. Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time. Liberation is not deliverance. Genius is a promontory jutting out into the infinite. What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. A library implies an act of faith which generations, still in darkness hid, sign in their night in witness of the dawn. For prying into any human affairs, non are equal to those whom it does not concern. 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. 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. My tastes are aristocratic, my actions democratic. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the truth in indignation God created the flirt as soon as he made the fool. Toleration is the best religion. Popularity? It’s glory’s small change.