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The Words of Victor Hugo

If you were looking for a French Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo would probably fit the bill. Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French Romantic poet, novelist, and dramatist and is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. His best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831 and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. Here are some of his insightful quotes:

‘A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labour and there is invisible labour.’

‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’

‘No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.’

‘What Is Love? I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed through his shoes and the stars through his soul.’

‘Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket.’

‘Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.’

‘He who opens a school door, closes a prison.’

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

‘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.’

‘Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.’

‘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.’

‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.’

‘To love another person is to see the face of God.’

‘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.’

‘Those who do not weep, do not see.’

‘Not being heard is no reason for silence.’

‘The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved -- loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.’

‘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.’

‘Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.’


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