Victor Hugo Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 Les Misérables: Le compliment, c’est quelque chose comme le baiser à travers le voile.
1. A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.
#2 Les Misérables: Vous aurez beau faire, vous n’anéantirez pas cet éternel reste du cœur de l’homme, l’amour.
2. The endeavor is vain, you cannot annihilate that eternal relic of the human heart, love.
#3-7 Les Misérables: Chapter IV. A Heart beneath a Stone
3. To love a being is to render that being transparent.
4. All of us, whoever we may be, have our respirable beings. We lack air and we stifle. Then we die. To die for lack of love is horrible. Suffocation of the soul.
5. What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love!
6. Nothing suffices for love. We have happiness, we desire paradise; we possess paradise, we desire heaven.
7. Ye who suffer because ye love, love yet more. To die of love, is to live in it.
#8 Les Miserables, Volume Two
8. 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.
9. And then, strange to say, the first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity; in a young girl it is boldness. This is surprising, and yet nothing is more simple. It is the two sexes tending to approach each other and assuming, each the other’s qualities.
#10 Les Misérables
10. Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Victor-Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France.
In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English also as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).
Sayings by Victor Hugo
#1. Les Misérables: Une foi; c’est là pour l’homme le nécessaire. Malheur à qui ne croit rien!
1. A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes nothing.
#2. Les Misérables: On n’est pas inoccupé parce qu’on est absorbé. Il y a le labeur visible et le labeur invisible.
2. A man is not idle, because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labour and there is an invisible labour.
#3 Les Misérables: Cette âme est pleine d’ombre, le péché s’y commet. Le coupable n’est pas celui qui y fait le péché, mais celui qui y a fait l’ombre.
3. 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.
#4 Les Misérables: Il y a beaucoup de bouches qui parlent et fort peu de têtes qui pensent.
4. There are many tongues to talk, and but few heads to think.
#5 Les Misérables: Vrai ou faux, ce qu’on dit des hommes tient souvent autant de place dans leur vie et souvent dans leur destinée que ce qu’ils font.
5. Be it true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do.
#6 Histoire d’un Crime (The History of a Crime) [written 1852, published 1877]: On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées.
6. One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.
#7 Les Misérables: Le rire, c’est le soleil; il chasse l’hiver du visage humain.
7. Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face.
#8 Victor Hugo’s Intellectual Autobiography, Funk and Wagnalls (1907), translated by Lorenzo O’Rourke
8. Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
#9 Les Misérables: Ce vil sable que vous foulez aux pieds, qu’on le jette dans la fournaise, qu’il y fonde et qu’il y bouillonne, il deviendra cristal splendide, et c’est grâce à lui que Galilée et Newton découvriront les astres.
9. This lowly sand which you trample beneath your feet, if you cast it into the furnace, and let it melt and seethe, shall become resplendent crystal, and by means of such as it a Galileo and a Newton shall discover stars.
#10 La raison, c’est l’intelligence en exercice; l’imagination c’est l’intelligence en érection, English translation from Robb, Victor Hugo p. 249 (Norton, 1997)
10. Reason is intelligence taking exercise; imagination is intelligence with an erection.
#11 Histoire d’un crime (The History of a Crime) [written 1852, published 1877]: Je n’entre qu’à moitié dans la guerre civile. Je veux bien y mourir, je ne veux pas y tuer.
11. I only take a half share in the civil war; I am willing to die, I am not willing to kill.
#12 Les Misérables
12. Let us never fear robbers nor murderers. Those are dangers from without, petty dangers. Let us fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices are the real murderers. The great dangers lie within ourselves. What matters it what threatens our head or our purse! Let us think only of that which threatens our soul.
#13 Letter To M. Daelli on Les Misérables, 1862
13. Social problems overstep frontiers. The sores of the human race, those great sores which cover the globe, do not halt at the red or blue lines traced upon the map.
#14-15 Post-Scriptum de ma Vie (A Post-Script to My Life, published 1901), §12, Thoughts
14. He who is not capable of enduring poverty is not capable of being free.
15. Do not let it be your aim to be something, but to be someone.
#16 Letter to Charles Augustine Saint-Beuve, 24 December 1830
16. There are only two or three things really worth having in life, and friendship is one of them.
#17 Hans of Iceland, Chapter 5
17. To assume a right to the obedience of certain beings is to give others a right to command you. Independence exists only in isolation.
18. Great buildings, like great mountains, are the work of centuries.
#19 The Man Who Laughs, Chapter IX
19. The mind, like Nature, abhors a vacuum.
#20-21 The Man Who Laughs (L’Homme qui rit)
20. To speak out aloud when alone is as it were to have a dialogue with the divinity which is within.
21. Destiny never opens one door without shutting another.
#22 Quoted in Delphi Complete Works of Victor Hugo
22. The beautiful has but one type, the ugly has a thousand.
#23-24 William Shakespeare, 1864
23. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. (Ce qu’on ne peut dire et ce qu’on ne peut taire, la musique l’exprime.)
24. It is man’s consolation that the future is to be a sunrise instead of a sunset. (Que l’avenir soit un orient au lieu d’être un couchant, c’est la consolation de l’homme.)
25. Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
26. Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars.
#27 Letter to Savinien Lapointe, March 1841, The letters of Victor Hugo. Ed. by Paul Meurice. … v.2 [S]
27. Courage, then, and patience! Courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And then when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.
Unsourced Victor Hugo Quotes
1. You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again and great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.
2. A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
3. Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.
4. Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.
5. People do not lack strength; they lack will.