Toilers of the Sea, by Victor Hugo

Preface

Religion, Society, and Nature! these are the three struggles of man. They constitute at the same time his three needs. He has need of a faith; hence the temple. He must create; hence the city. He must live; hence the plough and the ship. But these three solutions comprise three perpetual conflicts. The mysterious difficulty of life results from all three. Man strives with obstacles under the form of superstition, under the form of prejudice, and under the form of the elements. A triple [Greek: anagkê] weighs upon us. There is the fatality of dogmas, the oppression of human laws, the inexorability of nature. In Notre Dame de Paris the author denounced the first; in the Misérables he exemplified the second; in this book he indicates the third. With these three fatalities mingles that inward fatality — the supreme [Greek: anagkê], the human heart.

Hauteville House,
March, 1866.

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK
TO THE
ROCK OF HOSPITALITY AND LIBERTY
TO THAT PORTION OF OLD NORMAN GROUND
INHABITED BY
THE NOBLE LITTLE NATION OF THE SEA
TO THE ISLAND OF GUERNSEY
SEVERE YET KIND, MY PRESENT ASYLUM
PERHAPS MY TOMB

V.H.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:27