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William Shakespeare

by Victor Hugo

Part I -- Book I: His Life
Chapter 2
There are men, oceans in reality.

These waves; this ebb and flow; this terrible go-and-come; this noise of every gust; these lights and shadows; these vegetations belonging to the gulf; this democracy of clouds in full hurricane; these eagles in the foam; these wonderful gatherings of stars reflected in one knows not what mysterious crowd by millions of luminous specks, heads confused with the innumerable; these grand errant lightnings which seem to watch; these huge sobs; these monsters glimpsed at; this roaring, disturbing these nights of darkness; these furies, these frenzies, these tempests, these rocks, these shipwrecks, these fleets crushing each other, these human thunders mixed with divine thunders, this blood in the abyss; then these graces, these sweetnesses, these fêtes, these gay white veils, these fishing boats, these songs in the uproar, these splendid ports, this smoke of the earth, these towns in the horizon, this ddep blue water and sky, this useful sharpness, this bitterness which renders the universe wholesome, this rough salt without which all would putrefy, these angers and assuagings, this whole in one, this unexpected in the immutable, this vast marvel of monotony, inexhaustibly varied, this level after that earthquake, these hells and these paradises of immensity eternally agitated, this infinite, this unfathomable,-- all this can exist in one spirit; and then this spirit is called genius, and you have Aeschylus, you have Isaiah, you have Juvenal, you have Dante, you have Michael Angelo, you have Shakespeare; and looking at these minds is the same thing as to look at the ocean.

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