Victor Hugo Quotes

Most popular Victor Hugo Quotes

Freedom is not deliverance.
— Victor Hugo
Loving is half of believing.
— Victor Hugo
Stupidity talks, vanity acts.

stupidity vanity

Genius: the superhuman in man.
— Victor Hugo

genius

Right is right only when entire.
— Victor Hugo
Conscience is God present in man.

conscience

Those who do not weep, do not see.
— Victor Hugo

crying

Taste is the common sense of genius.
— Victor Hugo

genius taste

Caution is the eldest child of wisdom.
— Victor Hugo

wisdom

Thought is the labor of the intellect.

thinking

Popularity? It is glory's small change.
— Victor Hugo
Philosophy is the microscope of thought.
— Victor Hugo
Popularity?  It is glory's small change.
Men hate those to whom they have to lie.
— Victor Hugo

lies human nature

Everything bows to success, even grammar.
— Victor Hugo
What makes night within us may leave stars.
— Victor Hugo
A genius is a promontory into the infinite.

genius

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
— Victor Hugo

education school

People do not lack strength; they lack will.
— Victor Hugo
To meditate is to labor; to think is to act.
— Victor Hugo
As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.
— Victor Hugo

charity

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
— Victor Hugo

love

To love another person is to see the face of god.
— Victor Hugo
Joy's smile is much closer to tears than laughter.
— Victor Hugo

joy

To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful.

truth error mistakes

It is nothing to die; it is frightful not to live.
— Victor Hugo
There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
— Victor Hugo

determination future

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.

praise compliments

If you would civilize a man, begin with his grandmother.
— Victor Hugo

society

Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.
— Victor Hugo
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.
— Victor Hugo

age 50

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
— Victor Hugo

laughter

Let us suffer if we must, but let us suffer on the heights.

suffering

Man lives more by affirmation [appreciation] than by bread.
— Victor Hugo

appreciation

Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.
— Victor Hugo
Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie its pleasure.

intellect

Laughter is the sun which drives winter from the human face.

laughter

Good actions are the invisible hinges on the doors of heaven.
— Victor Hugo
Our acts make or mar us; we are the children of our own deeds.

action

Youth, even in its sorrows, always has a brilliancy of its own.

youth

Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.
— Victor Hugo

hope

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
— Victor Hugo

happiness

For there are many great deeds done in the small struggles of life.
— Victor Hugo
A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.
— Victor Hugo

faith

To learn to read is to kindle a fire; every syllable spelled sparkles.

reading

Great blunders are often made, like large ropes, of a multitude of fibers.

blunders

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
— Victor Hugo

ideas

Solitude either develops the mental power, or renders men dull and vicious.

solitude

Intelligence is the wife, imagination is the mistress, memory is the servant.
— Victor Hugo

intelligence memory imagination

No one knows like a woman how to say things which are at once gentle and deep.
— Victor Hugo
One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.

ideas

It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive.  Why should it exaggerate?

exaggeration truth

There is in every village a torch—the teacher; and an extinguisher—the clergyman.
— Victor Hugo

clergy religion teaching

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

music

Have but luck, and you will have the rest; be fortunate, and you will be thought great.
— Victor Hugo
Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?
— Victor Hugo
The first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity; in a young girl it is boldness.

men and women love

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.

old age grace

A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.
— Victor Hugo

ideas

You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea.
— Victor Hugo

enemies

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come.
— Victor Hugo

ideas

Nothing else in the world . . . not all the armies . . . is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
— Victor Hugo
I like the laughter that opens the lips and the heart, that shows at the same time pearls and the soul.
— Victor Hugo
The soul aids the body, and at certain moments, raises it. It is the only bird which bears up its own cage.
— Victor Hugo
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
— Victor Hugo
Knowing exactly how much of the future can be introduced into the present is the secret of a great government.
— Victor Hugo

government

The man who does not know other languages, unless he is a man of genius, necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas.
— Victor Hugo

genius language

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
— Victor Hugo

prayer

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather in spite of ourselves.
— Victor Hugo
There are thoughts which are prayers.  There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.

prayer kneeling thoughts

Be like the bird, who
Halting in his flight
On limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he hath wings.

birds

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
— Victor Hugo
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.
— Victor Hugo
Be it true or false, what is said about people often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do.
— Victor Hugo

praise criticism influence

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.

architecture

There is no such thing as a little country. The greatness of a people is no more determined by their numbers than the greatness of a man is by his height.
— Victor Hugo

greatness

Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.

misfortune heroism

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
— Victor Hugo
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.
— Victor Hugo
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.

revolution progress

There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.
— Victor Hugo

genius greatness

From the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at a time.  Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls.  God displays them to us to give us food for thought.

animals

There is a determined though unseen bravery that defends itself foot by foot in the darkness against the fatal invasions of necessity and dishonesty. Noble and mysterious triumphs that no eye sees, and no fame rewards, and no flourish of triumph salutes. Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields that have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
— Victor Hugo

the human condition

To crush out fanaticism and revere the infinite, such is the law. Let us not confine ourselves to falling prostrate beneath the tree of creation and contemplating its vast ramifications full of stars. We have a duty to perform, to cultivate the human soul, to defend mystery against miracle, to adore the incomprehensible and to reject the absurd; to admit nothing that is inexplicable excepting what is necessary, to purify faith and obliterate superstition from the face of religion, to remove the vermin from the garden of God.
— Victor Hugo

religion