What is more melancholy and more profound than to see a thousand objects for the first and the last time? To travel is to be born and to die at every instant.
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.
The boughs, without becoming detached from the trunk grow away from it.
Those who do not weep, do not see.
It is not easy to keep silent when silence is a lie.
Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.
There are no weeds, and no worthless men. There are only bad farmers.
Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.
What makes night within us may leave stars.
You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love, is to live by it.
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.
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself.
Never laugh at those who suffer; suffer sometimes those who laugh.
One believes others will do what he will do to himself.
When liberty returns, I will return.
The drama is complete poetry. The ode and the epic contain it only in germ; it contains both of them in a state of high development, and epitomizes both.
When a man is out of sight, it is not too long before he is out of mind.
Rhyme, that enslaved queen, that supreme charm of our poetry, that creator of our meter.
The learned man knows that he is ignorant.
Do not let it be your aim to be something, but to be someone.
People do not lack strength; they lack will.
Toleration is the best religion.
Wisdom is a sacred communion.
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.
Because one doesn't like the way things are is no reason to be unjust towards God.
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.
Idleness is the heaviest of all oppressions.
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.
The flesh is the surface of the unknown.
Style is the substance of the subject called unceasingly to the surface.
Well, for us, in history where goodness is a rare pearl, he who was good almost takes precedence over he who was great.
Smallness in a great man seems smaller by its disproportion with all the rest.
Those who live are those who fight.
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.
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.'
Many great actions are committed in small struggles.
Conscience is God present in man.
To contemplate is to look at shadows.
The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable.
What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!
I love all men who think, even those who think otherwise than myself.
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.
What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty in a mountain.
A great artist is a great man in a great child.
All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Fashions have done more harm than revolutions.
Liberation is not deliverance.
Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.
Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.
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.
Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.
Our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds.
Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.
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.
The last resort of kings, the cannonball. The last resort of the people, the paving stone.
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.
Love is jealous, and ingenious in self-torture in proportion as it is pure and intense.
As a means of contrast with the sublime, the grotesque is, in our view, the richest source that nature can offer.
A library implies an act of faith.
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.
The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.
It is by suffering that human beings become angels.
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
It is often necessary to know how to obey a woman in order sometimes to have the right to command her.
The animal is ignorant of the fact that he knows. The man is aware of the fact that he is ignorant.
Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.
Love that is not jealous is neither true nor pure.
A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.
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.
What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.
When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.
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.
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.
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
Taste is the common sense of genius.
Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.
To love another person is to see the face of God.
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.
To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful.
Men become accustomed to poison by degrees.
Sublime upon sublime scarcely presents a contrast, and we need a little rest from everything, even the beautiful.
Despotism is a long crime.
Quotes by Victor Hugo are featured in:
Common Sense Quotes