To think is of itself to be useful; it is always and in all cases a striving toward God.
You say, "Where goest Thou?" I cannot tell, And still go on. But if the way be straight I cannot go amiss: before me lies Dawn and the day: the night behind me: that Suffices me: I break the bounds: I see, And nothing more; believe and nothing less. My future is not one of my concerns.
The day that a woman who is passing before you sheds a light upon you as she goes, you are lost, you love. You have then but one thing to do: to think of her so earnestly that she will be compelled to think of you.
Thought is the work of the intellect, reverie is its self-indulgence. To substitute day-dreaming for thought is to confuse a poison with a source of nourishment.
Are you afraid of the good you might do?
Joy is the reflex of terror.
The soul does not give itself up to despair until it has exhausted all illusions.
The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.
Everything bows to success, even grammar.
All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word 'no.' To 'no' there is only one answer and that is 'yes.
It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life. Victor
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
Men become accustomed to poison by degrees. Victor
One of the hardest labours of the just man is to expunge from his soul a malevolence which it is difficult to efface.
I believe that pity is a law like justice, and that kindness is a duty like uprightness. That which is weak has a right to the kindness and pity of that which is strong. In the relations of man with the animals...there is a great ethic, scarcely perceived as yet, which will at length break through i
I was always a lover of soft-winged things.
The guillotine is the ultimate expression of Law, and its name is vengeance; it is not neutral, nor does it allow us to remain neutral.
Ma vie est une Ã©nigme dont ton nom est le mot. (My life is an enigma, of which your name is the word.)
He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.
The earlier works of a man of genius are always preferred to the newer ones, in order to prove that he is going down instead of up.
People generally will soon understand that writers should be judged, not according to rules and species, which are contrary to nature and art, but according to the immutable principles of the art of composition, and the special laws of their individual temperaments.
A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them. 1
There is no supernatural, there is only nature. Nature alone exists and contains all. All is. There is the part of nature that we perceive, and the part of nature that we do not perceive. ... If you abandon these facts, beware; charlatans will light upon them, also the imbecile. There is no mean: sc
There are people who observe the rules of honor as one observes the stars, from a great distance.
Marius and Cosette were in the dark in regard to each other. They did not speak, they did not bow, they were not acquainted; they saw each other; and, like the stars in the sky separated by millions of leagues, they lived by gazing upon each other.
God has bestowed two gifts on man: hope and ignorance. Ignorance is the better of the two.
Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.
And do you know Monsieur Marius? I believe I was a little in love with you.
Popularity? It's glory's small change.
The truth of an upright man must be accepted on his own terms. Moreover, since natures vary, we must agree that all the beauties of human excellence may be fostered by faiths that we do not share.