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A Letter By Victor Hugo with Advice to a Young Poet

Hauteville house. - 3 November [1862]

I read your poem, Monsieur, you asked me for advice, I sense a noble heart in your ___ plea, I strive to answer you.

No, do not sacrifice your profession, do not hazard your peace; the priest lives on the altar, but the poet does not live on poetry.

That literature requires the literate, ___ without exception. Success is capricious. I add this: success sometimes avoids the talent and goes to the mediocrity; thus it is impossible to predict anything.

After having read a very beautiful poem, one must neither encourage nor discourage the poet.

That is my disposition, Monsieur.

Recieve my cordial sentiment of ___.

~ Victor Hugo

Actual handwritten letter from Victor Hugo:

A handwritten note from Victor Hugo was found in a French edition of his book "Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Victor Hugo's scrawl in antiquated spellings and letterforms kindly tells a young poet to keep his day job...

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