“...the years have taught me not to wonder too much at the dark things men do. Strange how it is that men never act crueller than when they're fighting for the sake of an idea. We've been killing since Cain over who stands closer to god. It seems to me that cruelty is just in the way of things. You drive yourself mad if you take it all personal. Those who hurt you don't have the power over you they would like. That's why they do what they do. And I'm not going to give them the power now. But it was a cruel thing that they did, and when they had finished hurting me, a splinter of loneliness seemed to break off and stay inside me forever.”
“Strange how it is that men never act crueler than when they're fighting for the sake of an idea. We've been killing since Cain over who stands closer to god. It seems to me that cruelty is just in the way of things. You drive yourself mad if you take it all personal. Those who hurt you don't have the power over you they would like. That's why they do what they do.”
“He said it hit him travelling one time in the year or so before he met my mother. Whatever country of the world it was, the poor were starting to look alike, live alike, eat alike, and dress alike in the same kind of clothes all made in the same part of China. To him, it was a sign that the people had got severed from the land.”
“Time has a way of evening things out, the simple ways endure, and the fancy pants with his smart new way falls by the roadside. The best way to tell how long a thing will last is ask how long it's been around for. The newest things end soonest. And things that have been around for a good long while will last awhile to come.”
“Standing on the bridge, looking across at that empty city, everything in the compass of my gaze had been set there by a human hand. Somehow those pylons had been strung with wire, and those towers raised, and roofs tiled. There had been food and drink for millions of mouths. I don't cry easy, but my vision blurred as I stared on the ruins of what we had been, and I watched the small band of men in rags move toward it to pick at it like birds on the carcass of some giant.”
“I had always believed that right was like north to my father: a thing as real as sunlight, a place on the map, the arrow on a compass.”
“It's a kind of heresy to say so, but I think our race has made forms more beautiful than what was here before us. Sometimes god's handiwork is crude. There is no more ugly thing than a lobster. There's not much pretty about a caribou. It has an ungainly walk and its touchhole voids droppings when it strains in harness. Was there a straight line on earth before we drew one?”
“What arrogance made us think we were far enough to be safe?”
“We don't get much of a spring or fall to speak of. Up here, for ten months a year, the weather has teeth in it.”
“Was there a straight line on earth before we drew one?”
“Tolya answered their questions and he puffed up those men with the notion they were doing good, embroidering their task with a lot of long words like dedication and sacrifice that reminded me of those odd telegrams from the Almighty that would burst into our silent worship at home.
I don't trust those words or the people that use them. Maybe I'm simple, but they ring in my ears with the same dull thud you get when a stone bangs against an empty coffee can...where Tolya said he saw holy men preserving the lost jewels of human knowledge, all I saw was a team of burglars getting ready to shoot their accomplices.”
“I had always believed that right was like north to my father: a thing as real as sunlight, a place on the map, the arrow on a compass. It was the unalterable facts of duty, love, and conscience. But our world had gone so far north that the compass could make no sense of it, could only spin hopelessly in it binnacle. North had melted right off the map.”
“What I found in a city—when I finally saw a real one—was disquieting. Nothing matched. It was a weird assemblage of things, but there was beauty in the oddness of it, and the thought that it was all man’s doing. But”
“I had the feeling of something inside me that flipped like a fish in a net. It was hope. As much as I bad-mouth people in general and think the worst of them, I'm secretly waiting for them to surprise me. Try as I might, I haven't been able to give up on them wholly. Even though they are nine and nine-tenths dirt, now and again they are capable of something angelic. I can't say that it restores my faith, because I really had none in the first place, but when it happens it does confuse you.”
“As much as I bad-mouth people in general and think the worst of them, I’m secretly waiting for them to surprise me. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to give up on them wholly. Even though they are nine and nine-tenths dirt, now and again they are capable of something angelic. I can’t say that it restores my faith, because I really had none in the first place, but when it happens it does confuse you.”
“Human beings are rat-cunning and will happily kill you twice over for a hot meal. That’s what long observation has taught me. On the other hand, with a full belly, and a good harvest in the barn, and a fire in the hearth, there’s nothing so charming, so generous, no one more decent than a well-fed man. But”
“Non esiste in astratto un buon libro: un libro è buono soltanto quando appaga una fame umana, o confuta qualche umano errore.”
“Forse avete ragione, mademoiselle. Sapete, l'uomo che vi parla ha avuto modo di osservare il mondo in lungo e in largo, e così adesso so che due cose sono vere. Un uomo buono può essere rovinato dal suo amore per una donna cattiva...ma vale anche l'inverso. Un uomo cattivo può ugualmente essere rovinato dal suo amore per una donna buona."
Katherine si volse a guardarlo un pò incerta.
"Quando dite rovinato..."
"Intendo dal suo punto di vista. Uno deve mettere nel fare il male altrettanto trasporto che mette nel fare qualsiasi altra cosa.”
“Believe me, when my ‘personal endowments’ are being discussed, I always pay attention.” ~ Cam Rohan”
“Lassiter,” Ad and Colin said together. At the sound of the name, even Devina rolled her eyes. “Oh, Christ. Him again.”
“Wearing black leather trousers, short jacket, fitted corset and leather arm pads, Beck decided she looked exactly like the warrior princess she was meant to be. He always thought her an extraordinary blend of brute strength and subtle femininity and that belief was more in evidence today than ever. Her mastery in sword fighting, near blademaster rank, and her innate ability to anticipate the moves of much larger adversaries, made her a lethal fighter. She was also one of his best friends.”
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