Well Said (Hugo)

The bishop clapped his hands. “That’s the idea,” he exclaimed. “Materialism is excellent, truly marvelous; reject it at your risk. Ah! Once you have it, you’re no one’s fool; you don’t stupidly allow yourself to be exiled like Cato or stoned like Stephen or burned alive like Joan of Arc. Those who have acquired this admirable materialism have all the joy of feeling irresponsible, of thinking they can calmly devour everything—high positions, sinecures, honors, power rightly or wrongly acquired, lucrative retractions, useful betrayals, delectable lapses of conscience—and that they will enter their graves with it all totally digested. How nice!”

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables (1862)

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