Victor Hugo


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

Author Quotes

The book is vaster yet than that grand scene, the world; for to the fact it adds the idea.

The elimination of war — warfare in the streets or warfare across frontiers — is the fruit of progress.

The habit of reading... produces dignity of manners... custom... is more despotic than law.

The learned man knows that he is ignorant.

The Parisian is to Frenchmen what the Athenian was to Greeks: Nobody sleeps better than he, nobody is more frivolous and idle than he, nobody seems to forget things more easily than he; but best not trust him nonetheless; he has adapted to all sorts of indolence, but when there is glory to be gained, he is wondrous at every kind of fury.

The sight was appalling and fascinating. Gavroche under fire, was mocking the firing. He seemed to be very much amused. It was the sparrow pecking at the hunters.

The voices of those children, that is the voice of the immense future.

There are obstinate and unknown braves who defend themselves inch by inch in the shadows against the fatal invasion of want and turpitude. There are noble and mysterious triumphs which no eye sees. No renown rewards, and no flourish of trumpets salutes. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, and poverty and battlefields which have their heroes.

There is no interruption in creation; no broken arch, no lapse; an action and its consequences embrace all nature; the chain may be longer or shorter, but never breaks. (II.3.iii)

These two halves of God, the Pope and the emperor.

The book which the reader now holds in his hands, from one end to the other, as a whole and in its details, whatever gaps, exceptions, or weaknesses it may contain, treats of the advance from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsity to truth, from darkness to daylight, from blind appetite to conscience, from decay to life, from bestiality to duty, from Hell to Heaven, from limbo to God. Matter itself is the starting-point, and the point of arrival is the soul. Hydra at the beginning, an angel at the end.

The exaggeration of fright deprives facts of their true proportions.

The harsh blows of fate have this especial quality, that however self-perfected we may be, however disciplined, they draw from us the true essence of ourselves.

The life devoid of passion is not the movement of dry stark torn

The peculiarity of prudery is to multiply sentinels, in proportion as the fortress is less threatened.

The sixth of January, 1482, is not, however, a day of which history has preserved the memory. There was nothing notable in the event which thus set the bells and the bourgeois of Paris in a ferment from early morning. It was neither an assault by the Picards nor the Burgundians, nor a hunt led along in procession, nor a revolt of scholars in the town of Laas, nor an entry of our much dread lord, monsieur the king, nor even a pretty hanging of male and female thieves by the courts of Paris. Neither was it the arrival, so frequent in the fifteenth century, of some plumed and bedizened embassy. It was barely two days since the last cavalcade of that nature, that of the Flemish ambassadors charged with concluding the marriage between the dauphin and Marguerite of Flanders, had made its entry into Paris, to the great annoyance of M. lé Cardinal de Bourbon, who, for the sake of pleasing the king, had been obliged to assume an amiable mien towards this whole rustic rabble of Flemish burgomasters, and to regale them at his Hôtel de Bourbon, with a very pretty morality, allegorical satire, and farce, while a driving rain drenched the magnificent tapestries at his door.

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

There are only two or three things really worth having in life, and friendship is one of them.

There is no judge so searching as conscience conducting its own trial.

They are illustrious because they think.

The book will kill the building!

The eye was in the tomb and stared at Cain.

The hatred of luxury is not a sensible hatred. It implies a hatred of the arts.

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.

The people cannot be free until the tyrant is dead.

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