Quotes from Les Misérables

Victor Hugo ·  1563 pages

Rating: (592.7K votes)


“He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“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”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“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.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Not being heard is no reason for silence.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“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.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Those who do not weep, do not see.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Promise to give me a kiss on my brow when I am dead. --I shall feel it."

She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:--

"And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love, is to live by it.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. 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.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Life's great happiness is to be convinced we are loved.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“He was fond of books, for they are cool and sure friends”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“He fell to the seat, she by his side. There were no more words. The stars were beginning to shine. How was it that the birds sing, that the snow melts, that the rose opens, that May blooms, that the dawns whitens behind the black trees on the shivering summit of the hills?
One kiss, and that was all.

Both trembled, and they looked at each other in the darkness with brilliant eyes.

They felt neither the cool night, nor the cold stone, nor the damp ground, nor the wet grass; they looked at each other, and their hearts were full of thought. They had clasped hands, without knowing it.

She did not ask him; did not even think where and how he had managed to get into the garden. It seemed so natural to her that he should be there.

From time to time Marius’ knee touched Cosette’s. A touch that thrilled.
At times, Cosette faltered out a word. Her soul trembled on her lips like a drop of dew on a flower.

Gradually, they began to talk. Overflow succeeded to silence, which is fullness. The night was serene and glorious above their heads. These two beings, pure as spirits, told each other everything, their dreams, their frenzies, their ecstasies, their chimeras, their despondencies, how they had adored each other from afar, how they had longed for each other, their despair when they had ceased to see each other. They had confided to each other in an intimacy of the ideal, which already, nothing could have increased, all that was most hidden and most mysterious in themselves. They told each other, with a candid faith in their illusions, all that love, youth and the remnant of childhood that was theirs, brought to mind. These two hearts poured themselves out to each other, so that at the end of an hour, it was the young man who had the young girl’s soul and the young girl who had the soul of the young man. They interpenetrated, they enchanted, they dazzled each other.

When they had finished, when they had told each other everything, she laid her head on his shoulder, and asked him: "What is your name?"

My name is Marius," he said. "And yours?"
My name is Cosette.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering--a hell of boredom. ”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him--he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“...Nobody knows like a woman how to say things that are both sweet and profound. Sweetness and depth, this is all of woman; this is Heaven.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“I have been loving you a little more every minute since this morning.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


“To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.”
― Victor Hugo, quote from Les Misérables


About the author

Victor Hugo
Born place: in Besançon, Doubs, France
Born date February 26, 1802
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“Another example of how a metaphor can create new meaning for us came about by accident. An Iranian student, shortly after his arrival in Berkeley, took a seminar on metaphor from one of us. Among the wondrous things that he found in Berkeley was an expression that he heard over and over and understood as a beautifully sane metaphor. The expression was “the solution of my problems”—which he took to be a large volume of liquid, bubbling and smoking, containing all of your problems, either dissolved or in the form of precipitates, with catalysts constantly dissolving some problems (for the time being) and precipitating out others. He was terribly disillusioned to find that the residents of Berkeley had no such chemical metaphor in mind. And well he might be, for the chemical metaphor is both beautiful and insightful. It gives us a view of problems as things that never disappear utterly and that cannot be solved once and for all. All of your problems are always present, only they may be dissolved and in solution, or they may be in solid form. The best you can hope for is to find a catalyst that will make one problem dissolve without making another one precipitate out. And since you do not have complete control over what goes into the solution, you are constantly finding old and new problems precipitating out and present problems dissolving, partly because of your efforts and partly despite anything you do. The CHEMICAL metaphor gives us a new view of human problems. It is appropriate to the experience of finding that problems which we once thought were “solved” turn up again and again. The CHEMICAL metaphor says that problems are not the kind of things that can be made to disappear forever. To treat them as things that can be “solved” once and for all is pointless. To live by the CHEMICAL metaphor would be to accept it as a fact that no problem ever disappears forever. Rather than direct your energies toward solving your problems once and for all, you would direct your energies toward finding out what catalysts will dissolve your most pressing problems for the longest time without precipitating out worse ones. The reappearance of a problem is viewed as a natural occurrence rather than a failure on your part to find “the right way to solve it.” To live by the CHEMICAL metaphor would mean that your problems have a different kind of reality for you. A temporary solution would be an accomplishment rather than a failure. Problems would be part of the natural order of things rather than disorders to be “cured.” The way you would understand your everyday life and the way you would act in it would be different if you lived by the CHEMCAL metaphor. We see this as a clear case of the power of metaphor to create a reality rather than simply to give us a way of conceptualizing a preexisting reality.”
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