Tag Archives: Victor Hugo

Surveying my pithy army.

I’ve been meaning for years to create a Quotes page on my blog, and I did it today, in the course of helping a friend with her own blog pages. Then it was easy to start randomly loading content from my vast treasure store of worthy lines.

I always think of good succinct quotes as miniature philosophy exercises that beg me to muse on the statement as to its possible meanings and truthfulness and ramifications. The following is a good example of a pithy thought, and it also illustrates why I appreciate the quotes I collect:


A man is not necessarily intelligent because he has plenty of ideas, anymore than he is a good general because he has plenty of soldiers.  ~Sebastien Chamfort

I am not a good general in this sense, but I think I know a capable soldier when I see one. Eventually I hope to put some order into the ranks of my army of quotes, of which only a small company have been assembled so far. In the meantime, anytime you want to mill about and look them over, you can click on the Quotes tab above.

If it’s evening where you are, you might especially like this one I just rediscovered and will close with:

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.  ~Victor Hugo

Sleeping Beauty by César Gemayel



painting: Sleeping Beauty by César Gemayel

Not Grumbling or Visible

Sandra posted a stimulating group of quotes today for her Sabbath Keeping, with the theme of Work. I usually have to-do lists in many categories stacked on my desk, with some of the entries also boxed in on weekly calendars, so Work is an entity, an idea, a reality that I spend a lot of time on — I’m human, after all, made in the image of God, and in John 5:17, “… Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”

I have a pretty good collection of quotes on this subject myself, and one anonymous maxim from The Salt Cellar collection of Charles Spurgeon is a favorite: “They never wrought a good day’s work who went grumbling about it.”

I also love this one by Teresa of Avila: “It is only mercenaries who expect to be paid by the day.” Those two might just about sum up, my apophatic theology of work.

But today I was comforted by Victor Hugo’s reminder that Sandra passed on:
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.
There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.  –Victor Hugo

Reading all these quotes about work and thinking about many things, I was fortified by drinking a new herbal tea that Soldier gave me a while back. It is my latest favorite. I made a potful to keep me going for a couple of hours of my favorite kind of work.