Victor Hugo


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

Author Quotes

To die is nothing, but it is terrible not to live.

To rescue from oblivion even a fragment of a language which men have used and which is in danger of being lost --that is to say, one of the elements, whether good or bad, which have shaped and complicated civilization --is to extend the scope of social observation and to serve civilization.

Vast horizons lead the soul to general ideas; circumscribed horizons engender one-sided ideas.... General ideas are hated by one-sided minds: such is the struggle for progress.

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.

What is grace? It is the inspiration from on high: it is love; it is liberty. Grace is the spirit of law. This discovery of the spirit of law belongs to Saint Paul; and what he calls "grace" from a heavenly point of view, we, from an earthly point, call "rigtheousness."

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.

You've got to dance like nobody's watching and love like it's never going to hurt.

Those men to whom their gray hairs are a constant warning, and whose time is growing short, have tasks to finish, testaments of the mind, so to speak. They may be suddenly interrupted by the coming of the end, and they have not a day to lose; hence arises the stern necessity of retirement and solitude. Man has duties to fulfill toward his thoughts.

To force an obstacle into service is a great stride towards triumph.

To rise at six, to sleep at ten, to sup at ten, to dine at six, make a man live for ten times ten. [Inscription in Hugo's dining room]

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.

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

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

When liberty returns, I will return.

Whether we be Italians or Frenchmen, misery concerns us all. Ever since history has been written, ever since philosophy has meditated, misery has been the garment of the human race; the moment has at length arrived for tearing off that rag, and for replacing, upon the naked limbs of the Man-People, the sinister fragment of the past with the grand purple robe of the dawn.

Yes, God made man first, but there's always a rough draft before the final copy.

Those who always pray are necessary to those who never pray.

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.

To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful.

Volcanoes cast forth stones, and revolutions cast forth men.

We see that like all new converts to a religion, his conversion intoxicated him.

What is said about men often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do.

When man has touched wood or stone, it is no longer wood or stone, but takes on something of man. An edifice is a dogma, a machine is an idea.

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