Quotes from Les Misérables III: ‘The beautiful is as useful as the useful.’

The wisest of comforters, he did not seek to banish sorrow in forgetfulness but to ennoble and dignify it with hope. ‘Take care how you view the dead,’ he said. ‘Do not think of that which rots. Look steadily and you will see the living light of your beloved in the bosom of Heaven.’

O Thou which art. Ecclesiastes names thee Almighty, the Maccabees name thee Creator, the Epistle to the Ephesians names thee Liberty, Baruch names thee Immensity, the Psalms name thee Wisdom and Truth, John names thee Light, the Book of Kings names thee Lord, Exodus names thee Providence, Leviticus Sanctity, Esdras Justice, creation names thee God, man names thee Father; but Solomon names thee Compassion, which is the most beautiful of all thy names.

‘Monseigneur, you believe in making use of everything, but this fourth plot is wasted. Salads are more useful than flowers.’ ‘You are wrong,’ replied the bishop. ‘The beautiful is as useful as the useful.’ Then, after a pause, he added: ‘More so, perhaps.’

 

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