Do I exist for my own personal happiness? No, my whole existence is devoted to her, even in spite of her. And by what right should I have dared to aspire to her love? What does it matter, so that it does no injure her happiness? My duty is to keep close to her steps, to surround her existence with mine, to serve her as a barrier against all danger; to offer my head as a stepping-stone, to place myself unceasingly between her and all sorrows, without claiming reward, without expecting recompense. . . Alas! If she only allow me to give my life to anticipating her every desire, all her caprices; if she but permit me to kiss with respect her adored footprints; if she but consent to lean upon me at times amidst the difficulties of life.
~ Victor Hugo about Adele Foucher