The beauty of Victor Hugo (pt. 10)

In this final section of the book, the lovers are married, Marius discovered who saved his life, and a wonderful, good, gentle soul enters Heaven.

There are things we should not attempt to paint; the sun is among them. (p. 1343)

We are pitiless toward happy lovers; we stay there when they have the greatest desire to be alone. (p. 1343)

“Angel” is the only word in the language that cannot be worn out.  No other word would resist the pitiless use lovers make. (p. 1345)

“People would drive away the Graces for their low necklines.  Alas! They hide beauty as a deformity.” (p. 1354)

e9867c9527d5441959d467cb30fa0271“A marriage should be royal and fantastical; it ought to walk in procession from the cathedral of Rheims to the pagoda of Chanteloup.  I’m horrified at a cowardly wedding! Be in Olympus, at least for that day.  Be gods!” (p. 1355)

The head that does not turn toward past horizons contains neither thought nor love. (p. 1358)

Great fevers have great dreams. (p. 1358)

Then where were they all? Was it really true that all were dead? A fall into the darkness has carried off everything, except himself.  It all seemed to him to have disappeared as if behind a curtain at the theater.  There are such curtains that drop in life.  God is moving on to the next act. (p. 1358)

It rained that day, but there is always a little patch of blue in the sky of happiness, which lovers see, even though the rest of creation may be under an umbrella. (p. 1366)

To have suffered, how good it is! Their grief made a halo around their happiness. (p. 1375)

Happiness wishes everybody happy. (p. 1376)

Bright illumination is the necessary attendant of great joy.  Dusk and obscurity are not accepted by the happy.  They do not consent to be dark.  Night, yes; darkness, no.  If there is no sun, one must be made. (p. 1376)

“Be happy without quibbling.  Obey the sun blindly.  What is the sun?  It is love.  Who says love says woman.  Aha!  There is an omnipotence; it is woman.  Ask this demagogue of a Marius if he is not the slave of this little tyrant of a Cosette, and with his full consent, the coward.” (p. 1378)

“By Jove, to love, to be loved, the beautiful miracle when one is young!  Don’t imagine you have invented it.” (p. 1379)

“Love is a child six thousand years old.” (p. 1379)

“The devil, who is clever, took to hating man; man, who is more clever, took to loving woman.” (p. 1379)

“Good sense cannot lie.  Be a religion to each other.  Everyone has his own way of worshipping God.  The best way to worship God is to love your wife.” (p. 1380)

“If people did not love one another, I do not see what the use would be in having any spring; and, as for me, I would pray the good Lord to pack up all the pretty things he shows us, and take them away from us, and put the flowers, the birds, and the pretty girls, back into his box.” (p. 1380)

It is impossible that this sacred festival of destiny should not send a celestial radiation to the infinite. (P. 1381)

It was a good thing for Jean Valjean that he had been able to weep. (p. 1387)

The obedience of matter is limited by friction; is there no limit to the obedience of the soul?  If perpetual motion is impossible, can perpetual devotion be demanded? (p. 1387)

There is still a certain grace in a dead festival.  It had been happy. (p. 1390)

“It is not enough to be happy, we must be satisfied with ourselves.” (p. 1396)

“To keep silent is simple?  No, it is not simple.  There is a silence that lies.” (p. 1397)

“[A]nd when a man holds himself in check, he is well held.” (p. 1397)

“Monsieur Pontmercy, this is not common sense, but I am an honest man.  It is by degrading myself in your eyes that I raise myself in my own.” (p. 1397)

“Well, yes, to take a name, and to put yourself under it, is dishonest.  The letters of the alphabet can be stolen like a purse or a watch.” (p. 1398)

To condemned man a mask is not a mask, but a shelter. (p. 1407)

God has his instruments.  He uses what tools he pleases.  He is not responsible to man.  Do we know the ways of God? (p. 1410)

God performs His miracles as He sees fit.  He has constructed this enchanting Cosette, and he had employed Jean Valjean for the work.  It had pleased him to choose this strange collaborator.  What reckoning have we to ask of him? Is this the first time the dunghill has helped the spring make a rose? (p. 1410)

He had not yet come to distinguish between what is written by man and what is written byHugMis5_280 God, between law and right. (p. 1411)

Jean Valjean did not seem the man to shrink, and who knows whether Marius, after having urged him on, would not have  desired to restrain him?  At certain critical moments, have we not all, after asking a question, stopped our ears so as not to hear the response? (p. 1411)

“Grandfathers are made to scold fathers.” (p. 1415)

“So you don’t like it that I am happy?” Unconsciously, artlessness sometimes penetrates very deep.  This question, simple to Cosette, was profound to Jean Valjean.  Cosette wished to scratch; she tore. (p. 1418)

Probably she had one of those conversations with Marius, in which the beloved man says what he pleases, explains nothing, and satisfies the beloved woman.  The curiosity of lovers does not go very far beyond their love. (p. 1419)

Many men have a secret monster this way, a disease they fed, a dragon that gnaws at them, a despair that inhabits their night.  Such a man seems like others, quite normal. (p. 1420)

The limbs, without parting from the trunk, recede from it.  It is not their fault.  Youth goes where joy is, to festivals, to brilliant lights, to lives.  Old age goes to the end.  They do not lose sight of each other, but the ties are loosened.  The affection of the young is chilled by life; that of the old by the grave.  We must not blame these poor children. (p. 1430)

The cross is always good to look at. (p.1431)

“What is the matter with him?”  “Everything and nothing.  He is a man who, to all appearances, has lost some dear friend.  People die of that.” (p. 1432)

The touch of a wicked man is often enough to corrupt a good deed and to make an evil result spring from it.  With Marius’ money, Thénardier became a slave trader. (p. 1451)

“But we reckon without God.  God said: You think that you are going to be abandoned, idiot?  No.  No, it shall not come to pass like that.” (p. 1454)

“You save people’s lives, and you hide it from them!  You do more, under pretense of unmasking yourself, you slander yourself.” (p. 1455)

“You will live.  You are going to live.  I will have you live, do you hear!”. Jean Valjean raised his head toward hear with adoration.  “Oh, yes, forbid me to die.” (p. 1457)

“God knows better than we do what we need.” (p. 1457)

“Because things are unpleasant,” said Jean Valjean, “that is no reason for being unjust toward God.” (p.1458)

“It is nothing to die; it is horrible not to live.” (p. 1458)

The agony of death may be said to meander.  It comes and goes, moves on towards the grave, and turns back towards life.  There is a groping in the act of dying. (p. 1458)

When a being who is dear to us is about to die, we look at him with a look that clings to him, and which would like to hold him back. (p. 1459)

His breath died away, his gaze grew wider.  It was a corpse on which you could sense the wings. (p. 1460)

“My children, do not cry.  I am not going very far, I will see you from there.  You will only have to look at night, you will see me smile.” (p. 1461)

“Her name was Fantine.  Remember that name: Fantine.  Fall on your knees whenever you pronounce it.  She suffered a great deal.  And loved you very much.  Her measure of unhappiness was as full as yours of happiness.  Such as the distributions of God.  He is on high, He sees all, and He knows what He does in the midst of his great stars.” (p. 1461)

The night was starless and very dark.  Without any doubt, in the gloom, some mighty angel was standing with outstretched wings, waiting for the soul. (p. 1462)

He is asleep.  Though his mettle was sorely tried,/ He lived, and when he lost his angel, died./ It happened calmly, on its own,/ The way night comes when day is done. (p. 1463)



(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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