“We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.”
“Honour, eh? What the hell is that anyway? Every man thinks it's something different. You can't drink it. You can't fuck it. The more of it you have the less good it does you, and if you've got none at all you don't miss it.”
“Anyone can face ease and success with confidence. It is the way we face trouble and misfortune that defines us.”
“Fearlessness is a fool's boast, to my mind. The only men with no fear in them are dead, or the soon to be dead, maybe. Fear teaches you caution, and respect for your enemy, and to avoid sharp edges used in anger. All good things in their place, believe me. Fear can bring you out alive, and that's the very best anyone can hope for from any fight. Every man who's worth a damn feels fear. It's the use you make of it that counts.”
“Those with the least always lose the most in war.”
“All an arsehole knows about is shit. ~ Dogman”
“An open mind is like to an open wound,' growled Glokta. 'Vulnerable to poison.”
“Strange, isn't it,' mused Glokta as he watched him struggle for air. 'Big men, small men, thin men, fat men, clever men, stupid men, they all respond the same to a fist in the guts. One minute you think you're the most powerful man in the world. The next you can't even breathe by yourself.”
“A man lost in the desert must take such water as he is offered, no matter who it comes from.”
“An open mind is like to an open wound. Vulnerable to poison. Liable to fester. Apt to give its owner only pain.”
“You don’t have to be ready. You just have to go.”
“One should learn the lessons of history. The mistakes of the past need only be made once. Unless there are no other choices. ~ Bayaz”
“A man who does't want opinions should keep his own mouth shut.”
“Friends? In my experience, a friend is merely an acquaintance who has yet to betray you. Is that what you are, Harker?”
“There was no such thing as luck. Luck was a word idiots used to explain the consequences of their own rashness, and selfishness, and stupidity. More often than not bad luck meant bad plans.”
“Say one thing for Logen Ninefingers, say he's a lover.”
“They have that most strange and dangerous of qualities,” said Cosca.
“They think they’re in the right.”
“The skies make no special dispensation for Magi, boy, they piss on everyone the same.”
“So we wait?” asked Severard.
“We wait, and we look to our defences. That and we try to find some money. Do you have any cash, Severard?”
“I did have some. I gave it to a girl, down in the slums.”
“Not really, she fucks like a madman. I’d thoroughly recommend her, if you’re interested.”
Glokta winced as his knee clicked. “What a thoroughly heartwarming tale, Severard, I never had you down for a romantic. I’d sing a ballad if I wasn’t so short of funds.”
“I could ask around. How much are we talking about?”
“Oh, not much. Say, half a million marks?”
One of the Practical’s eyebrows went up sharply. He reached into his pocket, dug around for a moment, pulled his hand out and opened it. A few copper coins shone in his palm.
“Twelve bits,” he said. “Twelve bits is all I can raise.”
“Very well, Practical Vitari, if you really can’t resist me. You’ll have to go on top, though, if you don’t mind.”
“As for being a good man,’ and Glokta curled his lip, ‘that ship sailed long ago, and I wasn’t even there to wave it off.”
“Don’t deceive yourself. Everyone is guilty of something, and even the innocent can be a threat. Perhaps it takes small crimes to prevent bigger ones, Colonel West, but it’s up to bigger men than us to decide.”
“I have a conscience, but it’s a feeble, withered shred of a thing. It couldn’t protect you or anyone else from a stiff breeze.’ Glokta sighed, long and hard. The room was too hot, too bright, his eyes were sore and twitchy and he rubbed at them slowly as he spoke. ‘You could not even guess at the things that I have done. Awful, evil, obscene, the telling of them alone could make you puke.’ He shrugged. ‘They nag at me from time to time, but I tell myself I had good reasons. The years pass, the unimaginable becomes everyday, the hideous becomes tedious, the unbearable becomes routine. I push it all into the dark corners of my mind, and it’s incredible the room back there. Amazing what one can live with.”
“Empathy? What’s that?” Glokta winced as he rubbed at his aching leg. “It’s a sad fact, but pain only makes you sorry for yourself.”
“A choice between killing and dying is no choice at all. You have to be realistic about these things. b”
“We are leaders. War is what happens when we fail. Or are pushed into failure by the rash and the foolish. Victory is better than defeat, but . . . not by much.”
“All the great heroes of old, you know - the great kings, the great generals - they all faced adversity from time to time.” Jezal looked up. He had almost forgotten that Bayaz was there. “Suffering is what gives a man strength, my boy, just as the steel most hammered turns out the hardest.”
“There can be a greater power in words than in all the steel within the Circle of the World.”
“I rather doubt he had the sense to see the truth: that there are wounds worse than fatal, which the law's little binary distinctions-guilty/innocent, criminal/victim-cannot fathom, let alone fix. The law is a hammer, not a scalpel.”
“We were walking toward the fountain, the epicenter of activity, when an older couple stopped and openly observed us. Robert enjoyed being noticed, and he affectionately squeezed my hand.
"oh, take their picture," said the woman to her bemused husband, "I think they're artists."
"Oh, go on," he shrugged. "They're just kids.”
“I've read Reverend Kirk, in fact. My uncle's library has quite a few books of your people. I have read Mr. Lang's fairy tales as well. (Katherine Rae O'Flaherty)
"Books are not the same as reality," Devlin stared at her. "My world is not always kind to mortals.”
“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only spend it wisely or foolishly. The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all, because he's too busy wasting it by trying to save it. And by trying to save it, he ends up wasting the whole thing.”
“Look, if you say that science will eventually prove there is no God, on that I must differ. No matter how small they take it back, to a tadpole, to an atom, there is always something they can’t explain, something that created it all at the end of the search.
“And no matter how far they try to go the other way – to extend life, play around with the genes, clone this, clone that, live to one hundred and fifty – at some point, life is over. And then what happens? When the life comes to an end?”
He leaned back. He smiled.
“When you come to the end, that’s where God begins.”
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