Saturday Excerpt: Marius and Cosette’s Wedding (Les misérables)

Cosette and Marius Pontmercy married 16 February 1833 in the Eglise St-Paul-St-Louis in the Marais, coincidentally where Victor Hugo’s favorite daughter, Léopoldine married Charles Vacquerie at the age of nineteen (Cosette was seventeen when she married Marius). So in honor of the occassion, here is an excerpt from their wedding night:

Si, à cette heure suprême, les époux éblouis de volupté, et qui se croient seuls, écoutaient, ils entendraient dans leur chambre un bruissement d’ailes confuses. Le bonheur parfait implique la solidarité des anges. Cette petite alcôve obscure a pour plafond tout le ciel. Quand deux bouches, devenues sacrées par l’amour, se rapprochent pour créer, il est impossible qu’au-dessus de ce baiser ineffable il n’y ait pas un tressaillement dans l’immense mystère des étoiles.

Ces félicités sont les vraies. Pas de joie hors de ces joies-là. L’amour, c’est là l’unique extase. Tout le reste pleure.Aimer ou avoir aimé, cela suffit. Ne demandez rien ensuite. On n’a pas d’autre perle à trouver dans les plis ténébreux de la vie. Aimer est un accomplissement.

(If, at this supreme hour, the spouses dazzled by sensuousness, and believing themselves alone, hear, hear in their chamber the sound of confused wings. Perfect happiness implies the solidarity of angels. This small, obscure alcove has for its ceiling all of the heavens. When two mouths, made sacred by love, come together to create, it is impossible that above this ineffable kiss, there isn’t a thrill among the immense mystery of the stars

These felicities are real. No joys apart from these joys. Love is the only extasy. Everything else weeps.To love or to have loved, that is enough. Don’t ask for anything else after. There is no other pearl to find in the dark folds of love. To love is an accomplishment.

-Victor Hugo, Les misérables V, VI, ii


The following two tabs change content below.


A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge