The beauty of Victor Hugo (pt. 9)

In this part of the story, the Friends of the ABC Cafè are killed, Marius is saved, and Javert commits suicide.

Tumblr_mg1is1KWWr1qkk5w8o1_500.jpgIt sometimes happens that, even against principles, even against liberty, equality, and fraternity, even against universal suffrage, even against the government of all by all, from the depths of its anguish, of its discouragements, its privations, its fevers, its distress, its miasmas, its ignorance, and its darkness, that great madman, the rabble, protests, and the populace gives battle to the people. (p. 1169)

It had the woeful aspect of all the works of hatred: Ruin. (p. 1171)

“The light of a torch is like the wisdom of a coward; it’s not clear because it trembles.” (p. 1179)

The dawn awakens minds as well as birds. (p. 1179)

Our hearts are so fluctuating, and human life is such a mystery that, even in a civic murder, even in a liberating murder, if there is such a thing, the remorse of having struck a man surpasses the joy of having served the human race. (p. 1179)

“You want to die, I want that too, I who am speaking to you, but I don’t want to feel the ghosts of women wringing their hands around me.  Die, so be it, but don’t make others die.  Suicides like those that will be carried out here are sublime; but suicide is restricted, and can have no extension; and as soon as it touches those next to you, the name of suicide is murder.” (p. 1183)

“When a man supports his relatives with his labor, he has no right to sacrifice himself.” (p. 1183)

“Young girls have no bread, that’s terrible.  Man begs, woman sells. (p. 1183)

“There’s a market for human flesh; and it’s not with your ghostly hands, fluttering about them, that you can prevent them from entering it.” (p. 1184)

“I know well that it takes courage to leave, it’s difficult; but the more difficult it is, the more praiseworthy.” (p. 1184)

Despair too has its ecstasy. (p. 1185)

These great revolutionary barricades were rendezvous of heroisms. (p. 1187)

“The real governed by the true, such is the aim.” (p. 1189)

“Just as fires light up the whole city, revolutions light up the whole human race.” (p. 1190)

“Where would the shout of love begin, if not from the summit of sacrifice?” (p. 1191)

Speech being breath, the rustling of intellects is like the rustling of leaves. (p. 1192)

Peril produces order. (p. 1195)

Youth is the smile of the future, before an unknown being, which is itself.  It is natural for it to be happy.  It seems to breathe hope. (p. 1203)

In extreme cases, we may introduce the reader into a nuptial chamber, but not into a virgin’s bedroom.  Verse would hardly dare, prose should not. (p. 1204)

An Eastern tale says that the rose was made white by God, but since Adam looked while it was half opened, it was ashamed and blushed.  We are among those who feel speechless in the presence of young maidens and flowers, finding them almost sacred. (p. 1204)

This time he fell face down on the pavement and did not stir again.  This great little soul had taken flight. (p. 1217)

Poor children cannot enter the public gardens; still, one would think that, as children, they had a right to the flowers. (p. 1219)

Nothing is beautiful as greenery washed by the rain and washed by the sunbeam; it is warm freshness.  The gardens and the meadows, having water at their roots and sunshine in their The_Sewersflowers, become vases of incense, and exhale all their perfumes at once.  Everything laughs, sings, and proffers itself.  We feel sweet intoxication.  Spring is a provisional paradise; sunshine helps to make man patient. (p. 1219)

He who does not weep does not see. (p. 1220)

Who knows that the sun is not blind? (p. 1221)

What is on high, at the top, at the summit, in the zenith, what sends over the earth so much light, may see little, may see badly, may see nothing! Is that not disheartening? No. Then what is there above the sun? The God. (p. 1221)

The abundance of light was inexpressible comforting.  Life, sap, warmth, odor, overflowed; beneath creation you felt the enormity of its source; in all these breezes saturated with love, in this coming and going of reflections and reverberations, in this prodigious expenditure of rays, in this indefinite outlay of fluid gold, you felt the prodigality of the inexhaustible; and behind this splendor, as behind a curtain of flame, you caught a glimpse of God, millionaire of the stars. (p. 1222)

[T]hey tried to hide, an instinct of the poor and feeble before magnificence. (p. 1222)

The father said to the son, ” The sage lives content with little.  Look at me, my son.  I do not love pomp.  I am never seen in coats decked out with gold and gems; I leave that false splendor to badly organized minds.” (p. 1223)

“Perhaps God is dead,” said Gérard de Nerval one day, to the writer of these lines, confusing progress with God, and mistaking the interruption of the movement for the death of the Being. (p. 1236)

Men are unjust towards these great pioneers of the future when they fail. (p. 1238)

But the salvation of society depends on itself; to its own will, we appeal.  No violent remedy is necessary.  Study evil lovingly, verify it, then cure it.  That is what we urge. (p. 1238)

The quantity of civilization is measured by the quantity of imagination. (p. 1240)

The acceptance of death in full youth and in full health makes a frenzy of courage. (p. 1243)

[T]here is no man more fearful in action than a dreamer. (p. 1243)

“There are people who observe the rules of honor as we observe the stars, from far off.” (p. 1244)

The besieged, alas, make a weapon of everything.  Greek did not dishonor Archimedes, boilingpitch did not dishonor Bayard.  All war is appalling, and there is nothing to choose in it. (p. 1249)

The audacity to die well always moves men. (p. 1250)

Noise does not waken a drunkard; silence wakes him. (p. 1251)

The nutrition of plants makes the nourishment of men. (p. 1257)

Philosophy is the microscope of thought. (p. 1263)

Besides, we should leave the things of the grave in the place they choose. (p. 1268)

When a man clad by the state pursues a man in rags, it is in order to make also a man clad by the state.  Except that the color is the whole question.  To be clad in blue is glorious; to be clad in red is the opposite. (p. 1285)

Death sometimes redeems its atrocity by a certain terrible dignity.  At the stake, in the shipwreck, man may be great; in the flame as in the foam, grace is possible; you are transfigured while falling into that abyss.  (p. 1294)

Nothing is so like a dream as despair. (p. 1300)

Everybody has accepted things automatically. (p. 1302)

It was the exquisite hour that says neither yes nor no.  There was already night enough for one to be lost in it a short distance, and still day enough for one to be recognized near at hand. (p.1306)

That good quarter, startled by the revolution, takes refugee in slumber, as children, when they hear goblins coming, hides their heads very quickly under the covers. (p. 1309)

The doctor seems to reflect sadly.  From time to time he shook his head, as if in some interior monologue.  A bad sign for a patient, these mysterious dialogues of the physician with himself. (p. 1314)

“We don’t get angry with a dead man; that would be stupid.” (p. 1316)

Destiny has certain extremities overhanging the impossible, beyond which life is no more than abyss. (p. 1321)

Javert felt something terrible was penetrating his soul, admiration for a convict. (p. 1322)

Javert3[A] mysterious justice according to God going counter to justice according to men. (p. 1323)

But how manage to send in his resignation to God? (p. 1325)

God, always the interior to man, and unyielding – he the true conscious – to the false. (p. 1326)

If facts did their duty, they would be content to be the proofs of the law; it is God who sends facts. (p. 1327)

He believed in the straight line; a respectable optical illusion, but one that ruins many men. (p. 1334)

When grace is joined to wrinkles, it is adorable.  There is something of the dawn in happy old age. (p. 1337)


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(P.S. For one of my classes this semester, I am required to conduct a research experiment/study.  My study is focused on the relationship between politics and religion.  I think it would be really cool to have you guys be a part of my research (but please do not feel obligated!).  If you are interested, the only stipulation is that you be an American citizen (sorry, but my topic is relevant to Americans).  So, if this is something you are interested in, you can find the survey here: Politics and Religion.  Thanks!! 🙂 )

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