Friday, 2 November 2012

Weekend Quote #17

“What! I have been first, the most wretched of men, and then the most unhappy, and I have traversed sixty years of life on my knees, I have suffered everything that man can suffer, I have grown old without having been young, I have lived without a family, without relatives, without friends, without life, without children, I have left my blood on every stone, on every bramble, on every mile-post, along every wall, I have been gentle, though others have been hard to me, and kind, although others have been malicious, I have become an honest man once more, in spite of everything, I have repented of the evil that I have done and have forgiven the evil that has been done to me, and at the moment when I receive my recompense, at the moment when it is all over, at the moment when I am just touching the goal, at the moment when I have what I desire, it is well, it is good, I have paid, I have earned it, all this is to take flight, all this will vanish, and I shall lose Cosette, and I shall lose my life, my joy, my soul.”

Another long quote from Hugo's Les Miserables. The quote quite explains itself. It's (again) about the stormy feelings in Jean's heart when he feels something threatens his joyful life with Cosette. He has suffered much. He has sacrificed much. And now, he thinks, a guy will just come and take Cosette away from him. He cannot even stand the thought of it.

What's really touching about this quote, more than the fact that Jean is (as some dads are) a bit too possessive, is that it brings back all the memories of the earlier volumes. Jean being a convict, Jean coming to Bishop D's place, Jean promising Fantine that he would take care of Cosette, Jean becoming a convict once more, all those episodes flashing back in my mind. If I hadn't read it in public place, I would have cried.

Now that's my Weekend Quote. What's yours?


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  1. Oh, I must read Les Miserables some day! In one of my history classes, we just learned about the 19th century French revolutions, so I'd be especially interested to read Victor Hugo now. Also, that quote reminds me so much of George Elliot's Silas Marner.

    1. It's amazing. The book deals with political and social circumstances in its era, and also with a lot of mixed emotion and thoughts in human minds. Reading the book is a long, but incredible journey.

      By the way, I've never read Silas Marner. Perhaps I should.