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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Victor Hugo
 
        A queen devoid of beauty is not queen;
She needs the royalty of beauty’s mien.
  1
        And the dream that our mind had sketched in haste
  Shall others continue, but never complete.
For none upon earth can achieve his scheme;
  The best as the worst are futile here;
We wake at the self-same point of the dream—
  All is here begun, and finished elsewhere.
  2
        For sight is woman-like and shuns the old.
(Ah! he can see enough, when years are told,
Who backwards looks).
  3
        For, to make deserts, God, who rules mankind,
Begins with kings, and ends the work by wind.
  4
        God in his harmony has equal ends
For cedar that resists and reed that bends;
For good it is a woman sometimes rules,
Holds in her hand the power, and manners, schools,
And laws, and mind; succeeding master proud,
With gentle voice and smiles she leads the crowd,
The somber human troop.
  5
        God whose gifts in gracious flood
  Unto all who seek are sent,
Only asks you to be good
  And is content.
  6
        King of the peak and glacier,
  King of the cold, white scalps,
He lifts his head at that close tread,
  The eagle of the Alps.
  7
        Madame, bear in mind
That princes govern all things—save the wind.
  8
        Men are still men. The despot’s wickedness
Comes of ill teaching, and of power’s excess,—
Comes of the purple he from childhood wears,
Slaves would be tyrants if the chance were theirs.
  9
        Then press my lips, where plays a flame of bliss—
  A pure and holy love-light—and forsake
The angel for the woman in a kiss,
              At once I wis,
                My soul will wake!
  10
        When, like an Emir of tyrannic power,
Sirius appears, and on the horizon black
Bids countless stars pursue their mighty track.
  11
  A bird sings, a child prattles, but it is the same hymn; hymn indistinct, inarticulate, but full of profound meaning.  12
  A few feet under the ground reigns so profound a silence, and yet so much tumult on the surface!  13
  A fixed idea ends in madness or heroism.  14
  A soul only needs to see a smile in a white-crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.  15
  A stout heart may be ruined in fortune but not in spirit.  16
  A woman’s best qualities are harmful if undiluted with prudence.  17
  A wretched woman is more unfortunate than a wretched man.  18
  Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.  19
  Art needs no spur beyond itself.  20
 
 
  As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.  21
  Brahma once asked of Force, “Who is stronger than thou?” She replied, “Address.”  22
  Caution is the eldest child of wisdom.  23
  Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knee.  24
  Cheerfulness is like money well expended in charity; the more we dispense of it, the greater our possession.  25
  Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.  26
  Creation lives, grows, and multiplies; man is but a witness.  27
  Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.  28
  Dark error’s other hidden side is truth.  29
  Dirt has been shrewdly termed “misplaced material.”  30
  Earnestness is the salt of eloquence.  31
  Emotion is always new.  32
  Enthusiasm is the fever of reason.  33
  Every body drags its shadow, and every mind its doubt.  34
  Every idea must have a visible enfolding.  35
  Excitement is not enjoyment; in calmness lies true pleasure. The most precious wines are sipped, not bolted at a swallow.  36
  Foppery is the egotism of clothes.  37
  Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.  38
  God created the coquette as soon as He had made the fool.  39
  God put in man thought; society, action; nature, revery.  40
  Habit is the nursery of errors.  41
  He is the best gentleman who is the son of his own deserts.  42
  Heaven, on occasion, half opens its arms to us; and that is the great moment.  43
  History has its truth; Legend has hers.  44
  Hope is a delusion; no hand can grasp a wave or a shadow.  45
  Houses are like the human beings that inhabit them.  46
  Hypocrisy is nothing, in fact, but a horrible hopefulness.  47
  I believe in religion against the religious; in the pitifulness of orisons, and in the sublimity of prayer.  48
  I had rather be hissed for a good verse than applauded for a bad one.  49
  I like the laughter that opens the lips and the heart,—that shows at the same time pearls and the soul.  50
  I was always a lover of soft-winged things.  51
  If I were Jesus Christ, I would save Judas.  52
  Inanimate objects sometimes appear endowed with a strange power of sight. A statue notices, a tower watches, the face of an edifice contemplates.  53
  Inspiration and genius—one and the same.  54
  Is it not a thing divine to have a smile which, none know how, has the power to lighten the weight of that enormous chain which all the living in common drag behind them?  55
  It seems as though, at the approach of a certain dark hour, the light of heaven infills those who are leaving the light of earth.  56
  Kings are for nations in their swaddling clothes; France has attained her majority.  57
  Labor is life; thought is light.  58
  Let us fear the worst, but work with faith; the best will always take care of itself.  59
  Like our dawn, merely a sob of light.  60
  Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.  61
  Men hate those to whom they have to lie.  62
  My tastes are aristocratic; my actions democratic.  63
  Nature, like a kind and smiling mother, lends herself to our dreams and cherishes our fancies.  64
  No religion but blasphemes a little.  65
  O youth! thou often tearest thy wings against the thorns of voluptuousness.  66
  One only needs to see a smile in a white crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.  67
  Our acts make or mar us,—we are the children of our own deeds.  68
  People do not lack strength; they lack will.  69
  Poverty and wealth are comparative sins.  70
  Press on! a better fate awaits thee.  71
  Progress,—the stride of God!  72
  Remembrance of the dead soon fades. Alas! in their tombs they decay more slowly than in our hearts.  73
  Revery, which is thought in its nebulous state, borders closely upon the land of sleep, by which it is bounded as by a natural frontier.  74
  Revolution is the larva of civilization.  75
  Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.  76
  Solitude either develops the mental powers, or renders men dull and vicious.  77
  Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.  78
  Take all reasonable advantage of that which the present may offer you. It is the only time which is ours. Yesterday is buried forever, and to-morrow we may never see.  79
  The clouds, the only birds that never sleep.  80
  The enigma of the nineteenth century.  81
  The first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity, in a girl it is boldness. The two sexes have a tendency to approach, and each assumes the qualities of the other.  82
  The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves—say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.  83
  The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite’s dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.  84
  The man who fights against his own country is never a hero.  85
  The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which, at times, becomes almost insupportable.  86
  The nearer I approach the end, the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. It is marvelous, yet simple.  87
  The persistence of an all-absorbing idea is terrible.  88
  The poetic element lying hidden in most women is the source of their magnetic attraction.  89
  The production of souls is the secret of unfathomable depth.  90
  The repose of darkness is deeper on the water than on the land.  91
  The thirst for the infinite proves infinity.  92
  The true artist can only labor con amore.  93
  The world of sleep has an existence of its own.  94
  There are many lovely women, but no perfect ones.  95
  There are no rules for felicity.  96
  There is a secret drawer in every woman’s heart.  97
  There is no rapture in the love which is prompted by esteem; such affection is lasting, not passionate.  98
  There is such a thing as the pressure of darkness.  99
  To live a life which is a perpetual falsehood is to suffer unknown tortures.  100
  Toleration is the best religion.  101
  Was it possible that Napoleon should win the battle of Waterloo? We answer, No! Why? Because of Wellington? Because of Blucher? No! Because of God! For Bonaparte to conquer at Waterloo was not the law of the nineteenth century. It was time that this vast man should fall. He had been impeached before the Infinite! He had vexed God! Waterloo was not a battle. It was the change of front of the universe!  102
  We declare to you that the earth has exhausted its contingent of master spirits. Now for decadence and general closing. We must make up our minds to it. We shall have no more men of genius.  103
  Wisdom and eloquence are not always united.  104
  Wisdom is the health of the soul.  105
  Women are more credulous than men.  106
 
 
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