Victor Hugo Quotes

Victor Hugo was a French poet and novelist known for his stirring words that continue to resonate through time. Most famous Victor Hugo’s quotes will inspire you, make you ponder, encourage you to dream, spark your curiosity, and make your intellect dance. Victor Hugo’s wise quotes help you navigate life’s challenges, lift your spirits, broaden your perspectives, and spark meaningful conversations.

Best Victor Hugo Quotes

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. Victor Hugo

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. Victor hugo

A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them. Victor Hugo

He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two. Victor Hugo

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

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right. Victor Hugo

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters. Victor Hugo

To love another person is to see the face of God. Victor Hugo

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

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better. Victor Hugo

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. Victor Hugo

The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only. Victor Hugo

To love beauty is to see light. Victor Hugo

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live. Victor Hugo

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

Love is like a tree it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable. Victor Hugo

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The first symptom of love in a young man is timidity; in a girl boldness. Victor Hugo

Not being heard is no reason for silence. Hugo

Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life. 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. God is awake. Victor Hugo

Peace is the virtue of civilization. War is its crime. Victor Hugo

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo

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

Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face. Victor Hugo

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

To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. Victor Hugo

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

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

He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life. Victor Hugo

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. Victor Hugo

Those who live are those who fight. Victor Hugo

You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love, is to live by it. Victor Hugo

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees. Victor Hugo

Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection. Victor Hugo

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise. Victor Hugo

Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness. Victor Hugo

It is by suffering that human beings become angels. Victor Hugo

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

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask. Victor Hugo

You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience. Victor Hug

The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable. Victor Hugo

He who opens a school door, closes a prison. 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

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. Victor Hugo

Sorrow is a fruit. God does not make it grow on limbs too weak to bear it. Victor Hugo

People do not lack strength, they lack will. Victor Hugo

Habit is the nursery of errors. Victor Hugo

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A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor. Victor Hugo

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

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Victor Hugo

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. Victor Hugo

Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket. Victor Hugo

A great artist is a great man in a great child. Victor Hugo

Life’s great happiness is to be convinced we are loved. Victor Hugo

He was fond of books, for they are cool and sure friends. Victor Hugo

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. Victor Hugo

No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal. Victor Hugo

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 pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God. Victor Hugo

Initiative is doing the right thing without being told. Victor Hugo

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher. Victor Hugo

Perseverance, secret of all triumphs. Victor Hugo

When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar. Victor Hugo

Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God. Victor Hugo

The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring. Victor Hugo

Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory. Victor Hugo

As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled. Victor Hugo

What makes night within us may leave stars. Victor Hugo

When a woman is talking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes. Victor Hugo

I have been loving you a little more every minute since this morning. Victor Hugo

Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time. Victor Hugo

There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering a hell of boredom. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

Nobody knows like a woman how to say things that are both sweet and profound. Sweetness and depth, this is all of woman; this is Heaven. Victor Hugo

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

Love has no middle term; either it destroys, or it saves. All human destiny is this dilemma. This dilemma, destruction or salvation, no fate proposes more inexorably than love. Love is life, if it is not death. Cradle; coffin, too. The same sentiment says yes and no in the human heart. Of all the things God has made, the human heart is the one that sheds most light, and alas! most night. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul. Victor Hugo

To contemplate is to look at shadows. Victor Hugo

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 great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves even loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo

It is not easy to keep silent when silence is a lie. Victor Hugo

When God desires to destroy a thing, he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil. Victor Hugo

The soul helps the body, and at certain moments raises it. It is the only bird that sustains its cage. Victor Hugo

One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas. Victor Hugo

If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring. Victor Hugo

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human. Victor Hugo

Not seeing people permits us to imagine them with every perfection. Victor Hugo

Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive. Victor Hugo

So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labour, the ruin of women by starvation and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this. Victor Hugo

What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. Victor Hugo

If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progress is, call it Tomorrow. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful. Victor Hugo

What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love! Victor Hugo

What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty in a mountain. Victor Hugo

Let us sacrifice one day to gain perhaps a whole life. 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. Victor Hugo

There are no weeds, and no worthless men. There are only bad farmers. Victor Hugo

Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved. Victor Hugo

Diamonds are found only in the dark bowels of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought. It seemed to him that after descending into those depths after long groping in the blackest of this darkness, he had at last found one of these diamonds, one of these truths, and that he held it in his hand; and it blinded him to look at it.  Victor Hugo

Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery. Victor Hugo

When you get an idea into your head you find it in everything. Victor Hugo

Fashions have done more harm than revolutions. Victor Hugo

Nobody loves the light like the blind man. Victor Hugo

Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

But listen, there will be more joy in heaven over the tears of a repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred just men. Victor Hugo

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

Diamonds are to be found only in the darkness of the earth, and truth in the darkness of the mind. Victor Hugo

The first symptom of true love in a man is timidity, in a young woman, boldness. This is surprising, and yet nothing is more simple. It is the two sexes tending to approach each other and assuming each the other’s qualities. Victor Hugo

Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education. Victor Hugo

Strange to say, the luminous world is the invisible world; the luminous world is that which we do not see. Our eyes of flesh see only night. Victor Hugo

What is said about men often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do. Victor Hugo

A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing. Victor Hugo

We pray together, we are afraid together, and then we go to sleep. Even if Satan came into the house, no one would interfere. After all, what is there to fear in this house? There is always one with us who is the strongest. Satan may visit our house, but the good Lord lives here. Victor Hugo

Death has its revelations the great sorrows which open the heart open the mind as well; light comes to us with our grief. As for me, I have faith; I believe in a future life. How could I do otherwise? My daughter was a soul; I saw this soul. I touched it, so to speak. Victor Hugo

To love is to act. Victor Hugo

The beautiful is as useful as the useful. He added after a moment’s silence, Perhaps more so. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

For there are many great deeds done in the small struggles of life. Victor Hugo

People do not lack strength; they lack will. Victor Hugo

Have no fear of robbers or murderers. They are external dangers, petty dangers. We should fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices the real murderers. The great dangers are within us. Why worry about what threatens our heads or our purses? Let us think instead of what threatens our souls. Victor Hugo

Joy’s smile is much closer to tears than laughter. Victor Hugo

He did not study God; he was dazzled by him. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

I’d like a drink. I desire to forget life. Life is a hideous invention by somebody I don’t know. It doesn’t last, and it’s good for nothing. You break your neck simply living. Victor Hugo

Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization. Victor Hugo

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings. Victor Hugo

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. Victor Hugo

Nothing discernible to the eye of the spirit is more brilliant or obscure than man; nothing is more formidable, complex, mysterious, and infinite. There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul. Victor Hugo

Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure. Victor Hugo

Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

The poor man shuddered, overflowed with an angelic joy; he declared in his transport that this would last through life; he said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education. Victor Hugo

One believes others will do what he will do to himself. Victor Hugo

Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Victor Hugo

We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution. Victor Hugo

A one eyed man is much more incomplete than a blind man, for he knows what it is that’s lacking. Victor Hugo

The word is the Verb, and the Verb is God. Victor Hugo

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

Style is the substance of the subject called unceasingly to the surface. Victor Hugo

And do you know Monsieur Marius? I believe I was a little in love with you. Victor Hugo

The soul has illusions as the bird has wings it is supported by them. Victor Hugo

Nothing is more imminent than the impossible what we must always foresee is the unforeseen. Victor Hugo

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers. Victor Hugo

Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances. Victor Hugo

Verse in itself does not constitute poetry. Verse is only an elegant vestment for a beautiful form. Poetry can express itself in prose, but it does so more perfectly under the grace and majesty of verse. It is poetry of soul that inspires noble sentiments and noble actions as well as noble writings. Victor Hugo

The realities of life do not allow themselves to be forgotten. Victor Hugo

God will reward you, he said. You must be an angel since you care for flowers. Victor Hugo

A poet who is a bad man is a degraded being, baser and more culpable than a bad man who is not a poet. Victor Hugo

This first glance of a soul which does not yet know itself is like dawn in the heavens; it is the awakening of something radiant and unknown. Victor Hugo

One is not idle because one is absorbed. There is both visible and invisible labor. To contemplate is to toil, to think is to do. The crossed arms work, the clasped hands act. The eyes upturned to Heaven are an act of creation. Victor Hugo

Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet. Victor Hugo

What Shakespeare was able to do in English he would certainly not have done in French. Victor Hugo

What happened between those two beings? Nothing. They were adoring one another. Victor Hugo

Indigestion is charged by God with enforcing morality on the stomach. Victor Hugo

Success is an ugly thing. Men are deceived by its false resemblances to merit. They confound the brilliance of the firmament with the star shaped footprints of a duck in the mud. Victor Hugo

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. Victor Hugo

A man without a woman is like a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman who makes the man go off. Victor Hugo

England has two books, the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare,but the Bible made England. Victor Hugo

The wise man does not grow old, but ripens. Victor Hugo