Les Misérables, Quotes from Part Four, Rue Plumet

Politics, work, love, sexual appetites and revolt: these all have some great quotes in this lengthy section. My favorite involves collywobbles. Even though I steadfastly discarded some great quotes from this post, it is long. Which phrase jumps out at you?

Two questions arise.
In the first place, what is power?
And secondly, where does it come from?

Of King Louis-Phillipe
He was careful of his health, his fortune,
his person and his personal affairs,
conscious of the cost of a minute,
but not always of the price of a year.

Harmony enforced for the wrong reasons may be more burdensome than war.

Nothing is more dangerous that to stop working.
It is a habit that can soon be lost,
one that is easily neglected and hard to resume.

Every bird that flies carries a shred of the infinite in its claws.

In the forming of a young girl’s soul
not all the nuns in the world can take the place of a mother.

Work is the law of life, and to reject it as boredom
is to submit to it as torment.

Sloth is a bad counselor.
Crime is the hardest of all work.
Take my advice, don’t be led into the
drudgery of idleness.

I encountered in the street a penniless young man who was in love.
His hat was old and his jacket worn, with holes at the elbows;
water soaked through his shoes,
but starlight flooded through his soul.

It’s bad to go without sleep.
It gives you the collywobbles.

Among the most great-hearted qualities of women is that of yielding.
Love, when it holds absolute sway, afflicts modesty with a kind of blindness.
The risks they run, those generous spirits!
Often they give their hearts where we take only their bodies.

To Marius, the purity of Cosette was a barrier,
and to Cosette his steadfast self-restraint was a safeguard.

The happiness of quarreling simply for the fun of making up…

At the end of life death is a departure;
but at life’s beginning, a departure is death.

He remarked now and then, ‘After all, I’m eighty’ —
perhaps with a lingering thought that he would come to
the end of his days before he came to the end of his books.

[A waterfall of words describing the elements of revolt]
Outraged convictions,
embittered enthusiasms,
hot indignation,
suppressed instincts of aggression;
gallant exaltation,
blind warmth of heart,
a taste for change,
a hankering after the unexpected;
[snip] vague dislikes,
[snip] discomforts,
idle dreams,
ambition hedged with obstacles…

Quotes from Part 1, Fantine

Quotes from Part 2, Cosette

Quotes from Part 3, Marius


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