Victor Hugo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame


          Ne regarde pas la figure,
          Jeune fille, regarde le coeur.
          Le coeur d'un beau jeune homme est souvent difforme.
          Il y a des coeurs ou l'amour ne se conserve pas.

          Jeune fille, le sapin n'est pas beau,
          N'est pas beau comme le peuplier,
          Mais il garde son feuillage l'hiver.

          Hélas! a quoi bon dire cela?
          Ce qui n'est pas beau a tort d'être;
          La beauté n'aime que la beauté,
          Avril tourne le dos a Janvier.

          La beauté est parfaite,
          La beauté peut tout,
          La beauté est la seule chose qui n'existe pàs a demi.

          Le corbeau ne vole que le jour,
          Le hibou ne vole que la nuit,
          Le cygne vole la nuit et le jour.*

* Look not at the face, young girl, look at the heart. The heart of a handsome young man is often deformed. There are hearts in which love does not keep. Young girl, the pine is not beautiful; it is not beautiful like the poplar, but it keeps its foliage in winter. Alas! What is the use of saying that? That which is not beautiful has no right to exist; beauty loves only beauty; April turns her back on January. Beauty is perfect, beauty can do all things, beauty is the only thing which does not exist by halves. The raven flies only by day, the owl flies only by night, the swan flies by day and by night.

One morning, on awaking, she saw on her window two vases filled with flowers. One was a very beautiful and very brilliant but cracked vase of glass. It had allowed the water with which it had been filled to escape, and the flowers which it contained were withered. The other was an earthenware pot, coarse and common, but which had preserved all its water, and its flowers remained fresh and crimson.

I know not whether it was done intentionally, but La Esmeralda took the faded nosegay and wore it all day long upon her breast.

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