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Quotes From
Les Miserables Notre Dame de Paris '93 Other

Notre Dame de Paris - Quotations

For most of the good people of Paris are quite content with the spectacle of spectators--indeed, even a wall behind which something is happening is to us an object of interest (p.11)

"Master Andry," said Jehan, still hanging to the capital, "hold your tongue or I'll drop on your head!"
Master Andry looked up, and appeared to calculate for a moment the height of the pillar and the weight of the rogue, multiplied in his mind the weight by the square of the velocity, and held his peace. (p. 18)

"I tell you sir, it's the end of the world. Never has there been loose such an unruly mob of students! It's the accursed inventions of the age that are ruining everything--the artillery, the muskets, the cannons, and above all the printing press, that scourge brought from Germany. No more manuscripts, no more books. Printing is ruining bookselling. The end of the world is upon us." (p. 21)

An evidence of that everlasting truth, still demonstrated daily in our theaters, that the best means of making the audience wait patiently is to assure them that the performance will commence immediately. (p. 28)

Supposing the entity of a poet to be represented by the number ten, it is certain that a chemist, on analyzing and "pharmacopolizing" it, as Rabelais say, would find it to be composed of one part self-interest and nine parts vanity. (pp. 33-34)

He entered, then saluted the company with that usual smile which the great always reserve for the people. (p. 36)

If he had had all Peru in his pocket, he would certainly have given it to this dancer; but Gringoire had not Peru in his pocket; and besides, Americaa was not yet discovered. (p. 66)

Gringoire, a practical philosopher familiar with the streets of Paris, had observed that nothing is more conducive to reverie than following a pretty woman without knowing where she is going. (p. 71)

Moreover, there is nothing that better disposes a man to follow pedestrians through the streets (and especially female ones), which Gringoire readily did, than not knowing where to sleep. (p. 72)

A group of children--little ragamuffin savages, called gamins, that have in all times roamed the streets of Paris, and who, when we were boys, threw stones at us as we were leaving school in the evening, because our trousers were not torn as theirs were--swarmed toward the intersection whre Gringoire was lying. (p. 76)

"If I exist, can this be? If this be so, do I exist?" (p. 83)
So, from time to time, he would glance around to see whether the fiery chariot drawn by two winged griffins, which alone could have transported him so rapidly from Tartarus to Paradies, was still there. (p. 96)

I perceived, at the end of a certain time, that I was, for one reason or another, fit for nothing. So I decided to become a poet and rhymester. It's a profession one can always take up, if one's a vagabond. (p. 103)

Fashion has done more harm than Revolutions. (p. 109)

This is the old oak which, having begun to wither at the top, is stung, gnawed, and cut to pieces by caterpillars. (p. 110)

Bellringer of Notre Dame at fourteen, yet a new infirmity came to complete his apartness. The bells had broken his tympanum, so he had become deaf. (p. 150)

As he grew up he found around him only hatred. He adopted it. He contracted the general malginancy. He armed himself with the weapons that had wounded him. (p. 151)

Printing will destroy architecture. (p. 175)

To destroy the written word, you need only a torch and a Turk. To demolish the constructed word, you need a social revolution or an earthquake. Barbarism swept over the Colosseum; a deluge, perhaps, over the pyramids.
In the fifteenth century everything changed.
Human intelligence discovered a way of perpetuating itself, one not only more durable and more resistant than architecture, but also simpler and easier. Architecture was dethroned. The stone letters of Orpheus gave way to the lead letters of Gutenberg. (p. 182)

Take away the press, and heresy is paralyzed. Be it fatal or providential, Gutenberg is the precursor of Luther (p. 184)

The press, that giant engine, incessantly gorging all the intellectual sap of society, incessantly vomits new material for its work. The entire human race is its scaffolding. Every mind its mason. Even the humblest may block a hole or lay a stone....It is the second Tower of Babel of the human race. (p.188)

The first two walked with an air peculiar to women of Paris who are showing their city to someone from the country. The third held one hand of a big chubby boy, who was clutching a cake.
We regret to add that with his hands so occupied and owing to the severity of the season, he was using his tongue as a handkerchief. (p. 205)

One drop of wine is enough to redden a whole glass of water. To tinge a whole company of pretty women with a certain amount of ill-humor, it is enough for just one prettier woman to arrive on the scene--especially when there is but one man present. (p. 242)