Quotes from Drums of Autumn

Diana Gabaldon ·  880 pages

Rating: (159.2K votes)


“You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered. "You are my heart---and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Forgiveness is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Your face is my heart Sassenach, and the love of you is my soul”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“This is our time. Until that time stops - for one of us, for both – it is our time. Now. Will you waste it, because you are afraid?”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours, Claire? I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you."
The wind stirred the leaves of the chestnut trees nearby, and the scents of late summer rose up rich around us; pine and grass and strawberries, sun-warmed stone and cool water, and the sharp, musky smell of his body next to mine.
"Nothing is lost, Sassenach; only changed."
"That's the first law of thermodynamics," I said, wiping my nose.
"No," he said. "That's faith.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



“An Englishman thinks a hundred miles is a long way; and American thinks a hundred years is a long time”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Look back, hold a torch to light the recesses of the dark. Listen to the footsteps that echo behind, when you walk alone.
All the time the ghosts flit past and through us, hiding in the future. We look in the mirror and see the shades of other faces looking back through the years; we see the shape of memory, standing solid in an empty doorway. By blood and by choice, we make our ghosts; we haunt ourselves.
Each ghost comes unbidden from the misty grounds of dream and silence.
Our rational minds say, "No, it isn't."
But another part, an older part, echoes always softly in the dark, "Yes, but it could be.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“I hated him for as long as I could. But then I realized that loving him...that was a part of me, and one of the best parts. It didn't matter that he couldn't love me, that had nothing to do with it. But if I couldn't forgive him, then I could not love him, and that part of me was gone. And I found eventually that I wanted it back."

({Lord John, Drums of Autumn}”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“But a man is not forgotten, as long as there are two people left under the sky. One, to tell the story; the other, to hear it.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“What's that you're doing, Sassenach?"

"Making out little Gizmo's birth certificate--so far as I can," I added.

"Gizmo?" he said doubtfully. "That will be a saint's name?"

"I shouldn't think so, though you never know, what with people named Pantaleon and Onuphrius. Or Ferreolus."

"Ferreolus? I dinna think I ken that one." He leaned back, hands linked over his knee.

"One of my favorites," I told him, carefully filling in the birthdate and time of birth--even that was an estimate, poor thing. There were precisely two bits of unequivocal information on this birth certificate--the date and the name of the doctor who's delivered him.

"Ferreolus," I went on with some new enjoyment, "is the patron saint of sick poultry. Christian martyr. He was a Roman tribune and a secret Christian. Having been found out, he was chained up in the prison cesspool to await trial--I suppose the cells must have been full. Sounds rather daredevil; he slipped his chains and escaped through the sewer. They caught up with him, though, dragged him back and beheaded him."

Jamie looked blank.

"What has that got to do wi' chickens?"

"I haven't the faintest idea. Take it up with the Vatican," I advised him.

"Mmphm. Aye, well, I've always been fond of Saint Guignole, myself." I could see the glint in his eye, but couldn't resist.

"And what's he the patron of?"

"He's involved against impotence." The glint got stronger. "I saw a statue of him in Brest once; they did say it had been there for a thousand years. 'Twas a miraculous statue--it had a cock like a gun muzzle, and--"

"A what?"

"Well, the size wasna the miraculous bit," he said, waving me to silence. "Or not quite. The townsfolk say that for a thousand years, folk have whittled away bits of it as holy relics, and yet the cock is still as big as ever." He grinned at me. "They do say that a man w' a bit of St. Guignole in his pocket can last a night and a day without tiring."

"Not with the same woman, I don't imagine," I said dryly. "It does rather make you wonder what he did to merit sainthood, though, doesn't it?"

He laughed.

"Any man who's had his prayer answered could tell yet that, Sassenach."
(PP. 841-842)”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



“At last I took one big, callused hand and slid forward so I knelt on the boards between his knees. I laid my head against his chest, and felt his breath stir my hair. I had no words, but I had made my choice.
"'Whither thou goest,'" I said. "'I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.' Be it Scottish hill or southern forest. You do what you have to; I'll be there.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours, Claire--- I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you. --Jamie”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“What possessed ye, woman, to hit me in the heid wi' a fish whilst I was fighting for my life?”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Then the room relaxed in cheers and babbling, and she turned in his arms to kiss him hard and cling to him, and he thought perhaps it didn't matter that they faced in opposite directions - so long as they faced each other.'

Roger Wakefield {Drums Of Autumn}”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“It was one of those strange moments that came to him rarely, but never left. A moment that stamped itself on heart and brain, instantly recallable in every detail, for all of his life. There was no telling what made these moments different from any other, though he knew them when they came. He had seen sights more gruesome and more beautiful by far, and been left with no more than a fleeting muddle of their memory. But these-- the still moments, as he called them to himself-- they came with no warning, to print a random image of the most common things inside his brain, indelible.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



“He blinked , and his eyes moved at last from her face, slowly taking in her appearance, and- with what seemed to her a new and horrified awareness- her height.

"My God," he croaked. "You're huge.
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“He turned his head to look full at me, his hair fire-struck with the setting sun, face dark in silhouette. "Twenty-four years ago today, I married ye, Sassenach," he said softly. "I hope ye willna have cause yet to regret it." -Jamie Fraser”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“You're the best man I ever met," I said. "I only meant...it's such a strain, to try and live for two people. To try to make them fit your ideas of what's right...You do it for a child, of course, you have to, but even then, it's dreadfully hard work. I couldn't do it for you - it would be wrong even to try."
I'd taken him back more than a little. He sat for some moments, his face turned half away.
Do ye really think me a good man?" he said at last. There was a queer note in his voice, that I couldn't quite decipher.
Yes," I said, with no hesitation. Then added, half jokingly, "Don't you?"
After a long pause, he said, quite seriously, "No, I shouldna think so."
I looked at him speechless, no doubt with my mouth hanging open.
I am a violent man, and I ken it well," he said quietly. He spread his hands out on his knees; big hands, which could wield a sword and dagger with ease, or choke the life from a man. " So do you - or ye should."
You've never done anything you weren't forced to do!"
No?"
I don't think so." I said, but even as I spoke, a shadow of doubt clouded my words. Even when done from the most urgent necessity, did such things not leave a mark on the soul?

{Claire Fraser & Jamie Fraser. Drums of Autumn}”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“What a mystery blood was -- how did a tiny gesture, a tome of voice, endure through generations like the harder verities of flesh? He had seen it again and again, watching his nieces and nephews grow, and accepted without thought the ehoes of parent and grandparent that appeared for brief moments. the shadow of a face looking back through the years -- that vanished again into the face that was now.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“I've never been afraid of ghosts. I live with them daily, after all. When I look in a mirror, my mother's eyes look back at me; my mouth curls with the smile that lured my great-grandfather to the fate that was me. No, how should I fear the touch of those vanished hands, laid on me in love unknowing? How could I be afraid of those that molded my flesh, leaving their remnants to live long past the grave?...All the time the ghosts flit past and through us, hiding in the future. We look in the mirror and see shades of other faces looking back through the years; we see the shape of memory, standing solid in an empty doorway. By blood and by choice, we make our own ghosts; we haunt ourselves.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



“He shook his head and squeezed my hand tight. "You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered, "You are my heart-- I am your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?" --Jamie”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Some enterprising rabbit had dug its way under the stakes of my garden again. One voracious rabbit could eat a cabbage down to the roots, and from the looks of things, he'd brought friends. I sighed and squatted to repair the damage, packing rocks and earth back into the hole. The loss of Ian was a constant ache; at such moments as this, I missed his horrible dog as well.

I had brought a large collection of cuttings and seeds from River Run, most of which had survived the journey. It was mid-June, still time--barely--to put in a fresh crop of carrots. The small patch of potato vines was all right, so were the peanut bushes; rabbits wouldn't touch those, and didn't care for the aromatic herbs either, except the fennel, which they gobbled like licorice.

I wanted cabbages, though, to preserve a sauerkraut; come winter, we would want food with some taste to it, as well as some vitamin C. I had enough seed left, and could raise a couple of decent crops before the weather turned cold, if I could keep the bloody rabbits off. I drummed my fingers on the handle of my basket, thinking. The Indians scattered clippings of their hair around the edges of the fields, but that was more protection against deer than rabbits.

Jamie was the best repellent, I decided. Nayawenne had told me that the scent of carnivore urine would keep rabbits away--and a man who ate meat was nearly as good as a mountain lion, to say nothing of being more biddable. Yes, that would do; he'd shot a deer only two days ago; it was still hanging. I should brew a fresh bucket of spruce beer to go with the roast venison, though . . . (Page 844)”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“If ye have to ask yourself if you’re in love, laddie—then ye aren’t,”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“I thought he said you weren’t drunk if you could find your arse with both hands.”

He eyed me appraisingly. “I hate to tell ye, Sassenach, but it’s not your arse ye’ve got hold of—it’s mine.”

“That’s all right,” I assured him. “We’re married. Share and share alike. One flesh; the priest said so.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“How shall I tell ye what it is, to feel the need of a place?" he said softly. "The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains, breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave breath to Adam. The scrape of rock under my hand, climbing, and the sight of the lichens on it, enduring in the sun and the wind."
 
     His breath was gone and he breathed again, taking mine. His hands were linked behind mv head, holding me, face-to-face.

"If I am to live as a man, I must have a mountain," he said simply.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



“We got half the doggone MIT college of engineering here, and nobody who can fix a doggone /television/?" Dr. Joseph Abernathy glared accusingly at the clusters of young people scattered around his living room.

That's /electrical/ engineering, Pop," his son told him loftily. "We're all mechanical engineers. Ask a mechanical engineer to fix your color TV, that's like asking an Ob-Gyn to look at the sore on your di-ow!"

Oh, sorry," said his father, peering blandly over gold-rimmed glasses. "That your foot, Lenny?”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“What is it about ye, Sassenach, I wonder?” he said conversationally, eyes still fixed on Myers.

“What is what about me?”

He turned then, and gave me a narrow eye. “What it is that makes every man ye meet want to take off his breeks within five minutes of meetin’ ye.”

“Well, if you don’t know, my dear,” I said, “no one does.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Claire knew the flavor of solitude. It was cold as spring water, and not all could drink it; for some it was not refreshment, but mortal chill.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“And suddenly it was all simple. He held out his arms to her. She stepped into them and found that she had been wrong; he was as big as she’d imagined—and his arms were as strong about her as she had ever dared to hope.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn


“Nothing is lost, Sassenach; only changed.” “That’s the first law of thermodynamics,” I said, wiping my nose. “No,” he said. “That’s faith.”
― Diana Gabaldon, quote from Drums of Autumn



About the author

Diana Gabaldon
Born place: in Arizona, The United States
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