Inspector Javert
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Quotes for
Inspector Javert (Character)
from Les Misérables (2012)

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Les Misérables (1998)
Javert: Reform is a discarded fantasy.

Javert: What did you say? Speak up, people don't mumble when they speak to me.

Javert: It's a pity the law doesn't allow me to be merciful.

Javert: I've tried to live my life without breaking a single rule...
[takes Valjean's shackles off, pushes him to the ground and puts them on himself]
Javert: You're free.

Javert: [reading proof that Monsieur le Maire is Jean Valjean] I knew it... I knew it. I KNEW IT!

Javert: Monsieur, a serious... a grave violation of the public trust has been committed. An inferior has shown a complete lack of respect for the law. He must be exposed and punished.
Jean Valjean: Who is the offender?
Javert: I am. I slandered you Monsieur le maire, I'm here to ask that you demand my dismissal.

Javert: [about Valjean] He lies so well, doesn't he? He's had a lot of practice. A lifetime of lies.

Javert: [Valjean slams Javert against the wall, starts to put his own handcuffs on him] Where will you go, Valjean? You don't have papers.
Javert: [Valjean slams Javert's head against the wall once more] I'll find you...
[another hit against the wall, Javert loses conciousness]

Javert: This week was the same as last, every night?
Informer: Inspector, they're in love. It's perfectly nauseating. She sneaks out the door, and they're together till dawn. They even stay out there when it rains.
[sneezes]
Informer: I haven't caught the gun supply, Inspector, I've caught pneumonia.

Javert: Jean Valjean. I *knew* it!

Javert: Reform is a discredited fantasy. Modern science tells us that people are by nature, law breakers or law abiders. A wolf could wear sheep's clothing but he's still a wolf.

Jean Valjean: You might be making a mistake.
Javert: Mistake? What kind of mistake is that?
Jean Valjean: Sometimes, people move into town to start a new slate, you might be doing more harm than good by prying into their private lives.


Les Misérables (2012)
Javert: Now Prisoner 24601, your time is up and your parole's begun. You know what that means?
Jean Valjean: Yes, it means I'm free.
Javert: No.
[hands him a yellow paper]
Javert: Follow to the letter your itinerary, this badge of shame you wear until you die. It warns that you're a dangerous man.
Jean Valjean: I stole a loaf of bread. My sisters child was close to death, and we were starving...
Javert: And you will starve again unless you learn the meaning of the law!
Jean Valjean: I've learnt the meaning of those nineteen years; a slave of the law.
Javert: Five years for what you did. The rest because you tried to run, yes 24601...
Jean Valjean: My name is Jean Valjean!
Javert: And I'm Javert! Do not forget my name. Do not forget me, 24601.

Javert: I am reaching but I fall, and the stars are black and cold, as I stare into the void, of a world that cannot hold. I'll escape now from that world; from the world of Jean Valjean. There is nowhere I can turn. There is no way to go on!
[Jumps from the bridge to his death, upon the weir/river beneath]

Javert: One day more 'til revolution, we will nip it in the bud. We'll be ready for these school boys, they will wet themselves with blood!

Javert: Listen, my friends, I have done as I said. I have been to their lines, I have counted each man. I will tell what I can. Better beware, they have armies to spare. And our danger is real, we will need all our cunning to bring them to heel.
Enjolras: Have faith! If you know what their movements are, we'll spoil their game. There are ways that a people can fight. We shall overcome their power!
Javert: I have overheard their plans, there will be no attack tonight. They intend to starve you out, before they start a proper fight. Concentrate their force, hit us when it's light.
Gavroche: Liar! Good evening, dear inspector! Lovely evening, my dear! I know this man, my friends, his name's Inspector Javert! So don't believe a word he says, because none of it's true. This only goes to show what little people can do.
Courfeyrac: Bravo, little Gavroche, you're the top of the class.
Combeferre: So what are we going to do with this snake in the grass?
Enjolras: Take this man and throw him in the tavern in there. The people will decide your fate, Inspector Javert.
Javert: Shoot me now or shoot me later, every schoolboy to his sport! Death to each and every traitor, I renounce your people's court!

Javert: He will pay, and so must I - press charges against me sir.
Jean Valjean: You have only done your duty; it's a minor sin at most, all of us have made misjudgements, you'll return sir to your post.

Javert: Valjean, at last, we see each other plain. Monsieur le Mayor, you'll wear a different chain.
Jean Valjean: Before you say another word, Javert, before you chain me up like a slave again, listen to me. There is something I must do. This woman leaves behind a suffering child. There is none but me who can intercede. In mercy's name, three days are all I need. Then I'll return. I pledge my word. Then I'll return...
Javert: You must think me mad! I've hunted you across the years. Men like you can never change, a man such as you...

Javert: My heart is stone, and still it trembles.

Fantine: There's a child who sorely needs me, Please M'sieur, she's but that high. Holy God, is there no mercy? If I go to jail she'll die!
Javert: I have heard such protestations, every day for twenty years. Let's have no more explanations. Save your breath, and save your tears.

Javert: There... out in the darkness. A fugitive running, fallen from God. Fallen from grace. God be my witness, I never shall yield, 'til we come face to face. 'Til we come face to face. He knows his way in the dark, mine is the way of the Lord. Those who follow the path of the righteous shall have their reward. And if they fall as Lucifer fell, the flames, the sword... Stars, in your multitudes, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness with order and light. You are the sentinels, silent and sure, keeping watch in the night. Keeping watch in the night. You know your place in the sky, you hold your course and your aim. And each in your season returns and returns, and is always the same. And if you fall as Lucifer fell, you fall in flames. And so it must be, for so it is written, on the doorway to paradise, that those who falter and those who fall must pay the price. Lord let me find him, that I may see him safe behind bars. I will never rest, 'til then! This I swear! This I swear by the stars!

Javert: Another brawl in the square, another stink in the air. Was there a witness to this? Well, let him speak to Javert. Monsieur, these streets are not safe. We'll let these vermin beware, we'll see that justice is done. Look upon this fine collection, grown from underneath a stone. This swarm of worms and maggots would have picked you to the bone. I know this man over here, I know his name and his trade and on your witness, monsieur, I'll see him suitably paid. But where's the gentleman gone, and why on earth would he run?
Thénardier: You'll have a job to find him. He's not all he seems to be. And that girl he trails behind him is the child he stole from me.
Madame Thénardier: Yeah, and me.
Thénardier: Yeah, both of us.
Javert: Could it be he's that old jailbird, that the tide now washes in? Heard my name and started running, all the omens point to him.
Thénardier: In the... absence of a victim, dear inspector, may I go? And remember when you've knicked him, it was me what told you so.
Javert: Let the old man keep on running, I will run him off his feet. Everyone about your business, clear this garbage off the street.


"Great Performances: Les Misérables in Concert (#24.10)" (1995)
Javert: Who is this man? What sort of devil is he, to have me caught in a trap and choose to let me go free? It was his hour at last to put the seal on my fate, wipe out the past and wash me clean off the slate! All it would take was a flick of his knife. Vengeance was his and he gave me back my life! Damned if I'll live in the debt of a thief! Damned if I'll yield at the end of the chase! I am the Law and the Law is not mocked. I'll spit his pity right back in his face! There is nothing on Earth that we share! It is either Valjean or Javert!
[pause]
Javert: How can I now allow this man to hold dominion over me? This desperate man whom I have hunted... He gave me my life. He gave me freedom. I should have perished by his hand. It was his right. It was my right to die as well. Instead I live... but live in Hell! And my thoughts fly apart. Can this man be believed? Shall his sins be forgiven? Shall his crimes be reprieved? And must I now begin to doubt, who never doubted all these years? My heart is stone, and still it trembles! The world I have known is lost in shadow. Is he from heaven or from hell? And does he know... that, granting me my life today, this man has killed me, even so? I am reaching... but I fall. And the stars are black and cold, as I stare into the void of a world that cannot hold. I'll escape now from that world, from the world of Jean Valjean. There is nowhere I can turn, there is no way to go on!

Enjolras: For your presence of mind, for the deed you have done, I will thank you Monsieur when our battle is won.
Jean Valjean: Give me no thanks Monsieur, there's something you can do.
Enjolras: If it is in my power.
Jean Valjean: Give me the spy Javert, let me take care of him!
Javert: The law is inside out, the world is upside down!
Enjolras: Do what you have to do, the man belongs to you!
[to the others]
Enjolras: The enemy may be regrouping. Hold yourselves in readiness! Come on my friends, back to your positions, the night is falling fast!
Jean Valjean: [to Javert] We meet again.
Javert: You've hungered for this all your life! Take your revenge... How right you should kill with a knife!
Jean Valjean: You talk too much. Your life is safe in my hands!
Javert: Don't understand.
Jean Valjean: Get out of here.
Javert: Valjean, take care, I'm warning you...
Jean Valjean: Clear out of here!
Javert: Once a thief, forever a thief. What you want you always steal. You would trade your life for mine? Yes, Valjean, you want a deal. Shoot me now for all I care. If you let me go beware, you'll still answer to Javert!
Jean Valjean: You are wrong, and always have been wrong. I'm a man, no worse than any man. You are free! And there are no conditions, no bargains or petitions; there's nothing that I blame you for. You've done your duty, nothing more. If I come out of this alive, you'll find me at number fifty-five Rue Plumet. No doubt our paths will cross again. Go.

Javert: Now bring me prisoner 24601! Your time is up and your parole's begun. You know what that means?
Jean Valjean: Yes, it means I'm free.
Javert: No! It means you get your yellow ticket of leave. You are a thief!
Jean Valjean: I stole a loaf of bread.
Javert: You robbed a house!
Jean Valjean: I broke a windowpane. My sister's child was close to death, and we were starving!
Javert: You will starve again, unless you learn the meaning of the law!
Jean Valjean: I know the meaning of those nineteen years, a slave of the law!
Javert: Five years for what you did, the rest because you tried to run; yes, 24601!
Jean Valjean: My name is Jean Valjean!
Javert: And I'm Javert. Do not forget my name! Do not forget me, 24601!

Jean Valjean: It's you Javert! I knew you wouldn't wait too long. The faithful servant at his post once more! This man's done no wrong, and he needs a doctor's care!
Javert: I warned you I would not give in. I won't be swayed!
Jean Valjean: Another hour yet, and then I'm yours, and all our debts are paid!
Javert: The man of mercy comes again, and talks of justice!
Jean Valjean: Come, time is running short. Look down, Javert, he's standing in his grave! Give way, Javert! There is a life to save!
Javert: Take him, Valjean, before I change my mind! I will be waiting, 24601.

Javert: Honest work, just reward, that's the way to please the Lord.

Javert: One day more till revolution, we will nip it in the bud, we'll be ready for these schoolboys- they will wet themselves with blood.

Jean Valjean: One day more. Another day, another destiny, this never-ending road to Calvary. These men who seem to know my crime will surely come a second time. One day more.
Marius: I did not live until today. How can I live when we are parted?
Jean Valjean: One day more.
Marius, Cosette: Tomorrow, you'll be worlds away, and yet with you, my world has started.
Eponine: One more day all on my own.
Marius, Cosette: Will we ever meet again?
Eponine: One more day of him not caring.
Marius, Cosette: I was born to be with you.
Eponine: What a life I might have known.
Marius, Cosette: And I swear, I will be true.
Eponine: But he never saw me there.
Enjolras: One more day before the storm.
Marius: Do I follow where she goes?
Enjolras: At the barricade of freedom.
Marius: Do I join my brothers there?
Enjolras: As our ranks begin to form.
Marius: Do I stay, and do I care?
Enjolras: Will you take your place with me?
[Chorus joins in]
Enjolras: The time is now, the day is here!
Jean Valjean: One day more!
Javert: One more day to revolution. We will nip it in the bud. I will join these little schoolboys. They will wet themselves with blood!
Jean Valjean: One day more!
Thenardier, Madame Thenardier: Watch 'em run amok. Catch 'em as they fall. Never know your luck when there's a free-for-all. Here, a little dip. There, a little touch. Most of 'em are goners, so they won't miss much!
[Chorus joins in]
Thenardier, Madame Thenardier: One day to a new beginning, raise the flag of freedom high. Every man will be a king, every man will be a king. There's a new world for the winning, there's a new world to be won. Do you hear the people sing?
Marius: My place is here. I'll fight with you!
Jean Valjean: One day more!
[everyone sings their previous verses simultaneously]
Jean Valjean: One day more!
[Verses continue]
Jean Valjean: Tomorrow, we'll be far away. Tomorrow is the judgment day.
Ensemble: Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in Heaven has in store. One more dawn, one more day, one day more!


Les Misérables (1935)
Inspector Javert: You know what is going to happen, don't you? I will take you in the end!

Jean Valjean: You never temper justice with mercy?
Inspector Javert: No, we might as well understand each other, Monsieur Madeliene. I administer the law - good, bad, or indifferent - it's no business of mine, but the law to the letter!

Enjolras: [seeing an apparent stranger in the midst of the broiling student rebeels] Who are you?
Inspector Javert: [absentmindedly as he looks in the crowd for Valjean] What'd ya say?
Enjolras: Spy? Police!
Inspector Javert: I might be a spy, and I'm certainly the police.
[the students rush Javert and subdue him]

Jean Valjean: I'm ready. All I ask is a few minutes to say good-bye.
Inspector Javert: The law allows you nothing.

Inspector Javert: Right or wrong, the law is the law and it must be obeyed to the letter.


Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (2010) (TV)
Javert: Let the old man keep on running, I will run him off his feet- everyone about your business, clear this garbage off the street!

Enjolras: Tie this man and take him To the tavern in there. The people will decide your fate, Inspector Javert!
Courfeyrac: Shoot the bastard!
Javert: Shoot me now or shoot me later Every schoolboy to his sport! Death to each and every traitor, I renounce your people's court!
Enjolras: Take this man and bring him through, there is work we have to do!

Javert: I will join these people's heroes, I will follow where they go, I will learn their little secrets, I will know the things they know!

Javert: Now, bring me prisoner 24601/Your time is up and your parole's begun/You know what that means.
Jean Valjean: Yes, it means I'm free.
Javert: No! It means you get your yellow ticket of leave/You are a thief.
Jean Valjean: I stole a loaf of bread.
Javert: You robbed a house!
Jean Valjean: I broke a window pane/My sister's child was close to death/And we were starving.
Javert: And you still starve again/Unless you learn the meaning of the law.
Jean Valjean: I know the meaning of these nineteen years/A slave of the law.
Javert: Five years for what you did/The rest because you tried to run/Yes, 24601.
Jean Valjean: My name is Jean Valjean!


Les Miserables (1952)
Etienne Javert: I pride myself on being a good officer.
Jean Valjean: That's very good. Only I'm afraid you'll get little practice here, Inspector Javert. We're a quiet town.
Etienne Javert: I have heard this, yet there is crime everywhere, monsieur.
Jean Valjean: And filth also if one looks hard enough.

Etienne Javert: For the police it is never too late. If he's escaped us tonight then what of tomorrow? Or next week or next year? We are patient men, Robert, and there is no escape.

Jean Valjean: But this is common humanity! Are you a machine?
Etienne Javert: I am an officer of the law doing my duty. I have no choice in the matter. It makes no difference what I think or feel or want. It has nothing to do with me - nothing! Can't you see that?


Les Miserables (1978) (TV)
Javert: I should have known. The scoundrel joins up with the fools.

Javert: There is no God. There is only the law. Good and evil do not exist outside the law.