A is the roof, the gable with its crossbeam, the arch; or it is two friends greeting, who embrace and shake hands;D is the human back;B is the back on the back, the hump;C is the crescent, the moon;E is the foundations, the pillar, the console and the architrave, all architecture in a single letter;F is the gibbet;G is the french horn;H is a facade with two towers;I is the was machine launching its projectile;J is the plowshare and the horn of plenty;K is the angle of reflection equal to the angle of incidence, a key to geometry;L is the leg and foot;M is a mountain or camp with tents pitched in pairs;N is a a gate with a diagonal bar;O is the sun;P is a porter with a load on his back;Q is a rump with a tail; R is the porter resting on his staff;S is a serpent;T is a hammer;U is the urn, V the vase, which are easily confused(Y is a tree, a fork, the confluence of two rivers, a stemmed glass, a man with arms up-stretched);X is crossed swords, a battle: who will win we do not know, so the mystics made it the sign of destiny and the algebraists the sign of the unknown;Z is lightning, the sign of God: That is what the alphabet contains.

-from an essay by Victor Hugo, date unknown