“You were a hero round these parts. That's what they call you when you kill so many people the word murderer falls short.”
“You should laugh every moment you live, for you'll find it decidedly difficult afterwards.”
“I've made peace with myself.
Good for you. That's the hardest war of all to win.
Didn't say I won. Just stopped fighting.”
“That was the difference between a hero and a villain, a soldier and a murderer, a victory and a crime. Which side of a river you called home.”
“My name is Nicomo Cosca, famed solider of fortune, and I am here for dinner.”
“Have a smile for breakfast, you'll be shitting joy by lunch.”
“Sometimes men change for the better. Sometimes men change for the worse. And often, very often, given time and opportunity . . .’ He waved his flask around for a moment, then shrugged. ‘They change back.”
“Things aren't what they used to be' is the rallying cry of small minds. When men say things used to be better, they invariably mean they were better for them, because they were young, and had all their hopes intact. The world is bound to look a darker place as you slide into the grave.”
“Shivers heaved out a sigh. “Just trying to make tomorrow that bit better than today is all. I’m one of those … you’ve got a word for it, don’t you?”
He looked sideways at her. “It was a different one I had in mind.”
“That’s the one. I’m an optimist.”
“How’s it working out for you?”
“Not great, but I keep hoping.”
“That’s optimists. You bastards never learn.”
“What do the dice say?"
Dice say nothing. They are dice."
Why roll'em, then?"
They are dice. What else would I do with them?”
“Love is a fine cushion to rest upon, but only hate can make you a better person.”
“One cannot grow without pain. One cannot improve without it. Suffering drives us to achieve great things.”
“Good steel bends, but never breaks. Good steel stays always sharp and ready. Good steel feels no pain, no pity, and above all, no remorse”
“You ever have the feeling you were in the wrong place? That if you could just get over the next hill, cross the next river, look down into the next valley, it'd all...fit. Be right."
"All my life, more of less"
“All your life spent getting ready for the next thing. I climbed a lot of hills now. I crossed a lot of rivers. Crossed the sea even, left everything I knew and came to Styria. But there I was, waiting for me at the docks when I got off the boat, same man, same life. Next valley ain’t no different from this one. No better anyway. Reckon I’ve learned … just to stick in the place I’m at. Just to be the man I am.”
“They've strengthened the walls since last year. I wouldn't fancy trying to storm the place."
"Don't pretend you'd have the guts to storm the place"
"I wouldn't fancy telling someone else to storm the place"
"Don't pretend you'd have the guts to give the orders"
"I wouldn't fancy watching you tell someone else to storm the place."
“The dead can forgive. The dead can be forgiven. The rest of us have better things to do. (Monza Murcatto)”
“The sunrise was the colour of bad blood. It leaked out of the east and stained the dark sky red, marked the scraps of the cloud with stolen gold. Underneath it the road twisted up the mountainside towards the fortress of Fontezarmo - a cluster of sharp towers, ash-black again the wounded heavens. The sunrise was red, black and gold.
The colours of their profession.”
“A man can forgive all manner of faults in beautiful women that in ugly men he find entirely beyond sufferance”
“You are Shenkt? I expected more.”
“Pray to whatever god you believe in that you never see more.”
“I do not pray.”
Shenkt leaned close, and whispered in his ear. “I advise you to start.”
“Still, it was better to swear an oath and never follow through than not even to bother with the oath. Wasn't it?”
“One last chance. That’s all I’m asking.” He had lost count of the number of last chances he had wasted. “Just one more. God!” He had never believed in God for an instant. “Fates!” He had never believed in Fates either. “Anyone!” He had never believed in anything much beyond the next drink. “Just one… more… chance.”
“Alright. One more.”
Cosca blinked. “God? Is that… you?”
Someone chuckled. A woman’s voice, and a sharp, mocking, most ungodlike sort of a chuckle. “You can kneel if you like, Cosca.”
“I've been on jobs like that before, everyone stuck on the money not the work, watching their backs every minute. Bad for your health and your business. We'll do this civilised, or not at all. What do you say?
"I say civilised," said Shenkt. "For pity's sake, let's kill like honest men.”
“When God means to punish a man He sends him stupid friends and clever enemies.”
“I have seen hell, it is a great city under siege.”
“To have a good enemy, choose a friend: he knows where to strike.”
“A man without discipline is no better than a dog. A soldier without discipline is no better than a corpse. Worse, in fact. A corpse is no threat to his comrades.”
“Are you entirely sure of that knot?' asked Morveer. 'There is no place in the plan for a lengthy drop'.
'Twenty-eight strides', said Friendly.
A brief pause, 'That is not helpful'.”
“It was what you gave out that made a man, not what you got back.”
“To the starving man, bread is beautiful. To the homeless man, a roof is beautiful. To the drunkard, wine is beautiful. Only those who want for nothing else need find beauty in a lump of rock. “Stolicus”
“You keep your guard too low, I am afraid. You are full of passion, but passion without discipline is no more than a child’s tantrum.”
“all living things are manipulated as long as there is a will, it is bent and twisted constantly. Only the dead are allowed the luxury of freedom, and then only because they want nothing, and therefore can't be thwarted.”
“His life rushes onward in such torrential rhythm that...only angels and devils can catch the tempo of it.”
“I stand up, trying to shake myself mentally. Get over him, Maggie, I instruct myself. I need to stop. I really do. I want to. I’m going to. I sound like a drug addict. Perhaps there’s a twelve-step program for me. Priest Lovers Anonymous.”
“Love sees ten million fathoms down, till dazzled by the floor of pearls. The eye is Love's own magic glass, where all things that are not of earth, glide in supernatural light. There are not so many fishes in the sea, as there are sweet images in lovers' eyes. In those miraculous translucencies swim the strange eye-fish with wings, that sometimes leap out, instinct with joy; moist fish-wings wet the lover's cheek. Love's eyes are holy things; therein the mysteries of life are lodged; looking in each other's eyes, lovers see the ultimate secret of the worlds; and with thrills eternally untranslatable, feel that Love is god of all. Man or woman who has never loved, nor once looked deep down into their own lover's eyes, they know not the sweetest and the loftiest religion of this earth. Love is both Creator's and Saviour's gospel to mankind; a volume bound in rose-leaves, clasped with violets, and by the beaks of humming-birds printed with peach-juice on the leaves of lilies.”
“Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.”
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