Victor Hugo


French Author, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, one of the best-known French Romantic Writers

Author Quotes

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

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

We have tamed the hydra, and he is called the steamship; we have tamed the dragon, and he is called the locomotive; we are on the point of taming the griffin, we already have him, and he is called the balloon. The day when this promethean work will be finished, and man will have definitely harnessed to his will the triple chimera of the ancients, the hydra, the dragon, and the griffin, he will be the master of water, fire, and air, and he will be to the rest of living creation what the ancient gods formerly were to him.

What greater flood can there be than the flood of ideas? How quickly they submerge all that they set out to destroy, how rapidly do they create terrifying depths!

When events, which are variable, ask us a question, justice, which is immutable, calls on us to answer.

Wherever the Turkish hoof trods, no grass grows.

Woe to the intellectual who lets himself fall completely from thought into reverie! He thinks he will rise again easily, and he says that, after all, it is the same thing. An error! Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie its pleasure. To replace thought with reverie is to confound poison with nourishment.

You'll see that, since our fate is ruled by chance, Each man, unknowing, great, Should frame life so that at some future hour Fact and his dreamings meet.

To contemplate is to look at shadows.

To recognize is something; to know is better.

Under Louis XV, children disappeared in Paris; the police carried them off--nobody knew for what mysterious use. With horror, people whispered monstrous conjectures about the king's crimson baths.

We may be indifferent to the death penalty and not declare ourselves either way so long as we have not seen a guillotine with our own eyes. But when we do, the shock is violent, and we are compelled to choose sides, for or against... Death belongs to God alone.

What I feel for you seems less of earth and more of a cloudless heaven.

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

Whether this young girl was a human being, a fairy, or an angel, is what Gringoire, sceptical philosopher and ironical poet that he was, could not decide at the first moment, so fascinated was he by this dazzling vision. She was not tall, though she seemed so, so boldly did her slender form dart about. She was swarthy of complexion, but one divined that, by day, her skin must possess that beautiful golden tone of the Andalusians and the Roman women. Her little foot, too, was Andalusian, for it was both pinched and at ease in its graceful shoe. She danced, she turned, she whirled rapidly about on an old Persian rug, spread negligently under her feet; and each time that her radiant face passed before you, as she whirled, her great black eyes darted a flash of lightning at you.

Work is the law of life, and to reject it as boredom is to submit to it as torment.

Youth is the future smiling at a stranger, which is itself. It is always at its risk that Utopia takes the form of Insurrection, substituting armed for reasoned protest, transforming Minerva into Pallas.

To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.

To reform a man you must begin with his grandmother.

Unity begetting complexity — that is the law of laws.

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.

What is done is but little by the side of what remains to be done. To destroy is the task: to build is the work. Progress demolishes with the left hand; it is with the right hand that it builds. The left hand of Progress is called Force; the right hand is called Mind.

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

Whether true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and particularly on their destinies, as what they do.

Work, which makes a man free, and thought, which makes him worthy of freedom.

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French Author, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, one of the best-known French Romantic Writers