The beauty of Victor Hugo (Pt.4)

In this portion of the story, Valjean is (almost) discovered, a nun dies, and Valjean and Cosette find a safe hiding place.


[A]nd we love them and call them up such as they are, such as they were, and hold onto them, unwilling to change a thing, for one clings to the form of the fatherland as to the face of the mother. (p. 447)

Hours of ecstasy are never more than a moment. (p.462)

In this world, there are two beings who shudder to their core: the mother finding her child, and the tiger finding his prey. (p. 474)

[T]he gaze of sinlessness does not disturb innocence. (p. 490)

It has become the fashion, a convenient and a strange one, to supress the relevations of history, to invaliade the comments of philosophy, and to elide all unpleasant facts and gloomy inquries. (p.512)

As for ourselves, we distribute our respect here and there, and spare the past entirely, provided it consents to be dead.  But, if it insists on being alive, we attack and try to kill it. (p. 514)

The characterisitic of truth is never to run to excess.  What need has she of exaggeration?  Some things must be destroyed, and some things must be merely cleared up and investigated. What power there is in courteous and serious examination!  Let us not carry a flame where light alone will suffice. (p. 514)

If the two infinites are intelligent, each one has a principle of will, and there is a “me” in the infinite above, as there is a “me” in the infinite below.  The “me” below is the soul; the “me” above is God.  To place, by process of thought, the infinite below in contact with the infinite above is called “prayer”. (p. 517)

A faith is a necessity to a man.  Woe to him who believes in nothing. (p. 521)

Those who pray always are a necessity to those who never pray. (p. 522)

Any audience whatever is sufficent for one who has been too long silent. (p. 538)

We live in times of terrible confusion.  People are ignorant of things they ought to know, and know things of which they ought to be ignorant.  They are crude and impious.  (p. 540)

Men, make as many laws as you like, but keep them for yoursleves.  The tribute to Caeser is never more than the remnant of the tribute to God.  A prince is nothing beside a principle.  (p. 551)

As we have noted, nothing accustoms children to silence like misfortune. (p. 566)

Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face. (p.569)

All the crimes of man begin with the vagrancy of childhood. (p. 582)


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