"There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination there is no horror." Holmes, 34
"My dear Watson, I canno...more"There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination there is no horror." Holmes, 34
"My dear Watson, I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one's self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one's own powers." Holmes, p. 518
"We are coming now rather into the region of guesswork," said Dr. Mortimer. "Say, rather, into the region where we balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination, but we have always some material basis on which to start our speculation." Holmes, p. 598
"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." Scout p. 18
"You are too young to understand it, but sometimes th...more"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." Scout p. 18
"You are too young to understand it, but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of - oh, of your father." Miss Maudie p. 45
"There are just some kinds of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one" Miss Maudie p. 45
"Atticus, you must be wrong..." "How's that?" "Well most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong..." "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions," said Atticus, "but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rules is a person's conscience." Scout and Atticus, p. 104-15
"I never understood her preoccupations with heredity. Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could do with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the long a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was." Scout p. 13012(less)
"Obviously, this is wrong. There are 26 of you in five or six small rooms; there are three of us in space enough for sixty. That is wrong, I assure yo...more"Obviously, this is wrong. There are 26 of you in five or six small rooms; there are three of us in space enough for sixty. That is wrong, I assure you. You have my house and I am in yours. Give me back mine and this will be yours." M. Myriel p.5
"What a broad back death has! what a marvelous load of titles will he cheerfully carry, and what stamina must men have who use the tomb to feed their vanity!" M. Myriel (henceforth M. Bienvenu) p. 11
"He condemned nothing hastily or without taking account of circumstances." Author on M. Bienvenu p. 13
"And where is the kings's prosecutor to be tried?" Bienvenu, p. 14
"The beautiful is as useful as the useful." Bienvenu, p. 23
"Sacrificing earth to paradise is like leaving your fortune to a corpse." Comte de ---- p. 30
"In passing, we might say that success is a hideous thing. Its false similarity to merit deceives men. To the masses, success has almost the same appearance as supremacy. Success, that pretender to talent, has a dupe - history...Success: that is the theory. Prosperity supposes capacity...Beyond the five or six great exceptions, the wonders of their age, contemporary admiration is nothing but shortsightedness. Gild is gold...They confuse heaven's radiant stars with a duck's footprint left in the mud." Author, p.51-52
"And he did shut himself up in it, he lived in it, he was absolutely satisfied with it, leaving the mysterious questions that attract and discourage the unfathomable depths of abstraction, the precipices of metaphysics - all those profundities, - to the apostle converging upon God, to the atheist upon annihilation: destiny, good and evil, the war of being against being, the conscience of man, the thought-like dreams of the animal, the transformation of death, the recapitulation of existences contained in the tomb the incomprehensible grafting of successive affections upon the enduring me, the essence, the substance, the Nothing and the Being, sinister depths, toward which are drawn the gigantic archangels of the human race; fearful abyss that Lucretius, Manou, St. Paul, and Dante contemplate with that flaming eye that seems, looking steadfastly into the infinite, to kindle the very stars." Author, p. 57-58
"He feels buried by the two infinities together, the ocean and the sky, the one a tomb, the other a shroud." Author on a man overboard, p. 95
"A convict may leave prison behind but not his sentence." Author, p. 97
"He loved books; books are cold but sure friends." Author p. 163 about Father/Monsieur/Mayor Madaleine
"Such was the confused mass of the now-forgotten events that floated like flotsam on the surface of the year 1817. History ignores almost all the minutiae: it cannot do otherwise; it is under the dominion of infinity. Nonetheless, these details, which are incorrectly termed little - there being neither little facts in humanity nor little leaves in vegetation- are useful. It is the features of the years that makes up the face of the century." Author, p. 119
"Fantine was beautiful and remained pure as long as she could. She was a pretty blonde with fine teeth (FORESHADOW). For dowry, she had gold and pearls; but the gold was on her head and the pearls were in her mouth." Author, p. 122
"HIs digestion was poor, and he had a weeping eye. But as his youth died out, his gaiety increased; he replaced his teeth with jests, his hair with joy, his health with irony, and his weeping eye was always laughing. He was dilapidated, but bedecked with flowers. His youth, exiting long before its time, was retreating in good form, bursting with laughter but showing no loss of fire. He had had a play refused at the Vaudeville; he wrote poetry now and then on any subject; beyond that, he doubted everything with an air of superiority - a great power in the eyes of the weak. So, being bald and ironic, he was the leader. Could the word iron be the root from which irony is derived?" Author, p. 123 on Thomolyes (Fantine's 'lover')
"My friends, remember this: There are no bad herbs, and no bad men; there are only bad cultivators." Madaleine p. 165
"[Javert] noticed that society irrevocably closes its doors on two classes of men, those who attack it and those who guard it." Author, p. 170
"For prying into other people's affairs, none are equal to those of whom it is no concern." Author, p. 178
"Though we chisel away as best we can at the mysterious block from which our life is made, the black vein of destiny continually appears." Author, p. 203
"In the gloom he distinctly saw an unknown man, a stranger, whom fate had mistaken for him and was shoving into the gulf in his place. For the gulf to be closed, someone had to fall in, he or the other." Author about Madaleine and Champmathieu, p.224
"One can no more keep the mind from returning to an idea than the sea from returning to a shore. For the sailor, this is called the tide; in the case of the guilty, it is called remorse." Author, p. 225
"And whatever he did, he always fell back onto this paradox at the core of his thought, to remain in paradise and become a demon! To re-enter hell and become an angel!" Author, p. 235
"The prison makes the convict." Jean Valjean, p. 279
"Bauduin killed, Foy wounded, fire, slaughter, carnage, a creek of English blood, German and French blood, mingled in fury; a well filled with corpses, the Nassau regiment and the Brunswick regiment destroyed, Duplat killed, Blackman killed, the English Guards crippled, twenty French Battalions out of the forty of Reille's Corps decimated, three thousand men, in this one ruin of Hougomont, sabered, slashed, slaughtered, shot, burned; and all so that today a peasant can say to a traveler, "Monsieur, give me three francs and I'll describe the Battle of Waterloo!" Author, p. 309
"This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance; out of the same man it makes two different phantoms, and the one attacks and punishes the other, the darkness of the despot struggles with the splendor of the captain. Hence a truer measure in the final judgement of the nations. Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form." Author, p. 313
"Geometry deceives; the hurricane alone is true." Author on battle plans, p. 315
"It may almost be said that from the shake of this peasant's head came Napoleon's downfall. (Napoleon asked if there were any physical obstructions in the battlefield. There was the old, unseen sunken road to Ohain that the 3,000 French Cuirassiers fell into)
Other strokes of fate were still to come.
Might it have been possible for Napoleon to win this battle? We answer no. Why? Because of Wellington? Because of Blucher? No. Because of God.
For Bonaparte to become conquerer at Waterloo was no longer within the law of the nineteenth century. Another series of acts was under way in which Napoleon had no place. The ill-will of events had long been coming.
It was time for this titan to fall.
The excessive weight of this man in human destiny disturbed the equilibrium. This individual alone counted for more than the whole of mankind. This plethora of all human vitality concentrated within a single head, the world rising to the brain of one man, would be fatal to civilization if it endured. The moment had come for incorruptible supreme equity to look into it. Probably the principles and elements on which regular gravitation in the moral and material orders depend had begun to mutter. Reeking blood, overcrowded cemeteries, weeping mothers- these are formidable plaintiffs. When the earth is suffering from a surcharge, there are mysterious moanings from the deeps that the heavens hear.
Napoleon had been impeached before the Infinite, his fall was decreed.
He annoyed God.
Waterloo is not a battle; it the changing face of the universe." Author, p. 329-330. Holy crap what a description of Napoleon and Waterloo. Overly dramatized, of course, and that drivel about moanings from the deeps audible to the heavens is a bit superfluous, but what a description.
"Thank heavens, nations are great aside from the dismal ventures of the sword. Neither Germany nor England nor France is held in a scabbard. Nowadays when Waterloo is merely a click of sabers, above Blucher Germany has Goethe, and above Wellington England has Byron...It is only barbarous nations that sudden growth after a victory. It is the fleeting vanity of the streamlet swelled by the storm...Often a battle lost is progress attained. Less glory, more liberty. The drum is stilled, reason speaks. It is the game in which he who loses gains. So let us speak calmly of Waterloo on both sides. Let us render unto Fortune the things that are Fortune's, and unto God the things that are God's. What is Waterloo? A victory? No. A winning lottery ticket.
Won by Europe, paid by France." Author, p. 344-345.
"The people, however, that cannon fodder so fond of the cannoneer, looked for him." Author, p. 351. Still not sure what to make of this sentence's context. This sentence is clear enough, but I don't know how Victor wanted me to take it in regards to Napoleon, which only this little part seems to relate to, or the return of the Ancien Regime/Divine Right ("The altar and the throne fraternized majestically."), which this whole chapter seems to be describing. Either way, interesting thought.
"They fell into the tremendous error of mistaking the obedience of the soldier for the acquiescence of the nation. That fond delusion destroys thrones. No one can afford to fall asleep either in the shade of a poisonous tree or in the shade of an army." Author on post-Napoleon France, p. 369
"However, on certain points and in certain places, in spite of philosophy and progress, the monastic spirit persists in the middle of the nineteenth century, and at this very moment, a strange revival of asceticism amazes the civilized world. The persistence of superannuated institution in striving to perpetuate themselves is like the obstinacy of a rancid perfume clinging to the hair, to the pretension of spoiled fish that insists on being eaten, the tenacious folly of a child's garment trying to clothe a man, or the tenderness of a corpse returning to embrace the living." Author, p. 513
Book VII A Parentheses - I'm not really sure how this is relating to the rest of the story... Very pro- theism but also anti-monasticism (he might be being sarcastic??), and anti-atheism - "A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes in nothing." Author, p. 521. Also talks about how not having faith leads to nihilism...What are you talking about Victor!? Also, as a side not, he talks about Voltaire a lot (not just in this part of the book), and I don't think he's likes him very much.
"As for us, if we were compelled go choose between the barbarians of civilization and the civil advocates of barbarism, we would choose the barbarians." Author, p. 854. I'm assuming the barbarians of civilization were the revolutionists and the civil advocates of barbarism were the loyalists. I'd make the same choice in this well-phrased dilemma. Not that it is actually a dilemma in the classical sense of the word, aka a choice between 2 equally weighty options, but like when Odysseus had to choose between losing 6 men or his entire boat by navigating past a 6-headed monster or a whirlpool. Obviously, you take the barbarians of civilization just as you'd take the lose of 6 men as opposed to all men, including yourself.
"Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie its pleasure." Author, p. 861
"Women, unfortunate women, we're not used to giving them much thought. We boast that women have not received the education of men, we prevent them from reading, we prevent them from thinking, we prevent them from interesting themselves in politics; will you prevent them from going to the morgue tonight and identifying your corpses?" Combeferre, 1184, trying to dissuade the younger insurgents of the barricade with families to take up one of the four National Guard uniforms they have captured and use it to escape their imminent deaths.
"Everyone knows that drunkards and lovers have a protecting deity." Author, p. 251
"While reading this letter, D'Artagnon felt his heart dilated and co...more"Everyone knows that drunkards and lovers have a protecting deity." Author, p. 251
"While reading this letter, D'Artagnon felt his heart dilated and compressed by that delicious spasm which tortures and caresses the hearts of lovers." Author, p. 251
"My ideas are never so clear as when I have had plenty of wine." Athos, p. 324
"There were only chimeras and illusions; but for real love, for true jealousy, is there any reality except illusions and chimeras?" Author, p. 346
"I do not know a woman that is worth the trouble of being sought for when she is once lost. Madame Bonacieux is lost; so much the worse for her if she is found." Athos, p. 353
"He whose game is the eagle takes no heed of the sparrow." Author, p. 381
"People in general only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it." Athos, p. 388
"And al four set forward; Athos upon a horse he owed to a woman, Aramis on a horse he owed to his mistress, Porthos on a horse he owed to his procurator's wife, and D'Artagnan on a horse he owed to his good fortune - the best mistress possible." Author, p. 433
"It resulted from thi that the real stake in this game, which two most powerful kingdoms played for the good pleasure of two amorous men, was simply a kind look from Anne of Austria." Author, p. 448
"D'Artagnan was not one of those foolhardy men who seek a ridiculous death in order that it may be said of them that did not retreat a single step." Author, p. 451-2
"Life is a chaplet of little miseries which the philosopher counts with a smile. Be philosophers, as I am, gentlemen; sit down at the table and let us drink. Nothing makes the future look so bright as surveying it through a glass of chambertin." Athos (who else?) p. 526
"There are hours which last a year." Author, p. 614
OVERALL IMPRESSION (SPOILER ALERT): Glad to have read it, but pretty disappointed in TTM after reading The Count of Monte Christo. Lots of similarities between the two, but TCOMC was way more exciting and absorbing. Plus, Dantes is a way better protagonist than D'Artagnon (who is way too much of hothead) and the three Musketeers themselves were way too jock-ish at times. Indeed, there were multiple times when I thought that if this story took place in a modern high school, Treville would be the football coach/principal and the musketeers would be the beloved and arrogant members of the football team who could get away with anything they wanted because their coach was also the principal. They were not sycophantic, however, and sometimes even deserved the impunity which was happily bestowed upon them so this element was not a huge setback but rather a tiny annoyance. But I was not ever wholly interested in this story until about 500 pages in when Milady became the central figure. She was a fantastic antagonist whose presence made story. She irked me uncontrollably and was the most evil, manipulative BITCH of all time, but still, I felt bad that she had to die like she did. I know there are sequels that I probably won't ever get around to reading, but I really want to know what happens to Kitty. I felt awful for her and was really curious how she would end up, but she kinda disappears and never comes back. Not Dumas at his best, but entertaining enough and a rewarding trove of vocabulary.(less)
"This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden...more"This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden which one can always throw down? to detest existence and yet cling to one's existence? in brief, to caress the serpent which devours us, till he has eaten our very heart? p. 32, the Old Woman
"But is there not a pleasure in criticizing everything, pointing out faults where others see nothing but beauties?" p. 81, Candide
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Like Gulliver's Travels, you really gotta be in the satirical spirit to not only enjoy this book, but to understand the allegorical layers going on. And yes, these two things are actually very closely linked. If you don't understand the satire, then you probably won't enjoy the tale. That's kinda where I'm at with this book after just finishing it. I'm sure I missed a lot of references and contextual supports that hindered my ability to get everything I could out of this book, and thus I did not enjoy it as well as I might have if I had read this in a class where a teacher could serve as a useful guide in excavating this book. But there were some funny parts and it was short so it definitely was not a waste of time. Perhaps in the future I'll give this another go and try to get more out of it.