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French author, lyric poet and dramatist
(1802 - 1885)
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God whose gifts in gracious flood
  Unto all who seek are sent,
    Only asks you to be good
      And is content.
      - God whose Gifts in Gracious Flood

I was always a lover of soft-winged things.
      - I Was Always a Lover [Birds]

Dark Error's other hidden side is truth.
      - La Legende des Siecles [Error]

Earth was the meadow, he the mower strong.
      - La Legende des Siecles [War]

Like our dawn, merely a sob of light.
      - La Legende des Siecles [Light]

Be it true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and especially on their destinies, as what they do.
      - Les Miserables [Deeds]

This stone is perfectly plain. In cutting it the only thought was the requirements of the tomb, and no other care was taken than to make the stone long enough and narrow enough to cover a man.
  No name is to be read there.
    Only, many years ago, a hand wrote upon it in pencil these four lines, which have become gradually illegible beneath the rain and the dust, and which are, to-day, probably effaced:
      Il dort. Quoique le sort fut pour lui bien etrange,
        Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n'eut plus son ange.
          La chose simplement d'elle-meme arriva,
            Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va.
              Note: He sleeps. Although his fate was very strange, he lived. He died when he had no longer his angel. The thing came to pass simply, of itself, as the night comes when day is gone.
      - Les Miserables [Books (Last Lines)]

In 1815, M. Charles Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D-----. He was a man of seventy-five, and had occupied the bishopric of D----- since 1806. Although it in no manner concerns, even in the remotest degree, what we have to relate, it may not be useless, were it only for the sake of exactness in all things, to notice here the reports and gossip which had arisen on his account from the time of his arrival in the diocese.
      - Les Miserables (Fantine, bk. 1, ch. 1),
        (Charles E. Wilbour translation)
        [Books (First Lines)]

The production of souls is the secret of unfathomable depth.
      - Shakespeare (bk. V, ch. 1) [Soul]

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.
      - Swiss Mercenaries [Eagles]

It is this day three hundred and forty-eight years six months and nineteen days that the good people of Paris were awakened by a grand pealing from all the bells in the three districts of the Cite, the Universite, and the Ville.
      - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (bk. 1, ch. 1)
        [Books (First Lines)]

Madame, bear in mind
  That princes govern all things--save the wind.
      - The Infanta's Rose [Wind]

Ursus and Home were fast firends. Ursus was a man, Homo a wolf. Their dispositions tallied.
      - The Man Who Laughs (pt. 1, ch. 1),
        (also titled l'Homme Qui Rit) (Joseph L. Blamire translation)
        [Books (First Lines)]

For, to make deserts, God, who rules mankind,
  Begins with kings, and ends the work by wind.
      - The Vanished City [Ruin]

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.
      - The Vanished City [Tyrants]

The clouds,--the only birds that never sleep.
      - The Vanished City [Clouds]

When, like an Emir of tyrannic power,
  Sirius appears, and on the horizon black
    Bids countless stars pursue their mighty track.
      - The Vanished City [Stars]

You'll see that, since our fate is ruled by chance,
  Each man, unknowing, great,
    Should frame life so that at some future hour
      Fact and his dreamings meet.
      - To His Orphan Grandchildren [Future]

Christmas day in the year 182- was somewhat remarkable in the island of Guernsey. Snow fell on that day. In the Channel Islands, a frosty winter is remarkable, and a fall of snow is an event.
      - Toilers of the Sea (first part, book I)
        [Books (First Lines)]

Genius is a promontory jutting out into the infinite.
      - Wm. Shakespeare [Genius]

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.
      - Wm. Shakespeare (bk. V, ch. I) [Genius]

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