I don't mind what Congress does, as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses.
Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.
Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.
One of the hardest tasks is to extract continually from one's soul an almost inexhaustible ill will.
There have been in this century only one great man and one great thing: Napoleon and liberty. For want of the great man, let us have the great thing.
A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity, and can command it.
Well, for us, in history where goodness is a rare pearl, he who was good almost takes precedence over he who was great.
The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human race has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
In the French language, there is a great gulf between prose and poetry; in English, there is hardly any difference. It is a splendid privilege of the great literary languages Greek, Latin, and French that they possess a prose. English has not this privilege. There is no prose in English.
One sometimes says: 'He killed himself because he was bored with life.' One ought rather to say: 'He killed himself because he was bored by lack of life.'
Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
The three great problems of this century; the degradation of man in the proletariat, the subjection of women through hunger, the atrophy of the child by darkness.
The ideal and the beautiful are identical; the ideal corresponds to the idea, and beauty to form; hence idea and substance are cognate.
Mankind is not a circle with a single center but an ellipse with two focal points of which facts are one and ideas the other.
Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.
Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.
As a means of contrast with the sublime, the grotesque is, in our view, the richest source that nature can offer.
I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes, -- and the stars through his soul.
It is often necessary to know how to obey a woman in order sometimes to have the right to command her.
Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.
How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.
Society is a republic. When an individual tries to lift themselves above others, they are dragged down by the mass, either by ridicule or slander.
We see past time in a telescope and present time in a microscope. Hence the apparent enormities of the present.
Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.
There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.
A society that admits misery, a humanity that admits war, seem to me an inferior society and a debased humanity; it is a higher society and a more elevated humanity at which I am aiming -- a society without kings, a humanity without barriers.
Nature has made a pebble and a female. The lapidary makes the diamond, and the lover makes the woman.
Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.
Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.
Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.
Sublime upon sublime scarcely presents a contrast, and we need a little rest from everything, even the beautiful.
When God desires to destroy a thing, he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide.
Blessed be Providence which has given to each his toy: the doll to the child, the child to the woman, the woman to the man, the man to the devil!
Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. and great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. and even loved in spite of ourselves.
Quotes by Victor Hugo are featured in:
Common Sense Quotes