Quotes from Freddy and Fredericka

Mark Helprin ·  553 pages

Rating: (3.4K votes)


“A good river is nature's life work in song.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“It was a good speech, but the reaction was due to the fact that politics are madness, and even if one does not know it, a country in electoral season experiences flares of lunacy like the great storms that sometimes march across the golden surface of the sun.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“But you won’t abdicate."
Of course not. It’s my duty to go on, to maintain the line. I can’t possibly fail in that. It’s as if you and I were throwing a ball back and forth to establish a record, and had been doing so for a millennium. You cannot drop a ball that has remained airborne through good effort for most of a thousand years. You cannot stop an unlikely heart that has been beating for so long. I would rather die than betray continuity, for its own sake if for nothing else. And Britain needs a king, just as it needs motormen and cooks and a prime minister. Just as it needs soldiers who will die for it if they must. It’s my job, or it will be, but you should know that I’ve never wanted it. I was only born to it, as if with a deformity, to which I hope I can respond with grace."
Fredericka had been running her finger over the carpet, tracing a pattern in the way children do when they have learnt something overwhelming and are moved, but cannot say so. Freddy expected her to look up, with tears, and that in this moment she might have begun the long and arduous process of becoming a queen. She was so beautiful. To embrace her now, with high emotion flowing from her physical majesty, was all he wanted in the world. Her finger stopped moving, and she turned her eyes to him.
Freddy?"
Yes?" he answered.
What’s raw egg? I read a recipe in She that called for a cup of raw egg. What is that?"
After a long silence, Freddy asked, "Which part of the formulation escapes you? Egg? Raw? The link between the two?"
The two what?"
Fredericka?"
Yes, Freddy?"
Would you like to go dancing?"
Oh, yes Freddy!"
Come then. We will.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“All you need do is refrain from smoking, drinking and the use of drugs. Eat only wholesome,low-fat foods, with the emphasis on vegetables, grains and fish. Seek work. Work hard. Show up on time. Do more than is expected. Think of ways to make the job efficient. Don't complain. Shave, bathe and wear clean clothes. Be cheerful. Don't gamble. Live within your means. Save. And then, when you have all this in balance, study things of substance. Read to satisfy your curiosity. Don't father children out of wedlock or bear them as a single mother. Exercise. You will find that you will be promoted - perhaps not knighted, but promoted. Is that doesn't happen, look quietly for a better position. Find a husband or a wife whom you love and who has the same good habits. Invest. Assume a mortgage if you must. Teach your children the virtues. And then, having become the means of production, you will own your share of the means of production, and if you do those things, all of which are within your power, you will live your own lives."

They looked at him as if he were an armadillo that has just spoken to them in Chinese. Not having assimilated a single phrase, they all got up and went to the bus.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Just the two of us. We're in it together. The pleasure will be ours alone. For the rest of our lives.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka



“In America, Fredericka, they don't really have trains for people. The trains here are used mainly to transport pigs, television sets, and fruit.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Read what you find interesting, and then follow your interests. You'll find that in doing so you always generate enough to illuminate the next step.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“It is said that marriage is a long war between ancient families trapped in close proximity by lust.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“I read. The more you read, the more the world opens up to you... and the happier you are and more comforted you feel. It's up to you. No you is educated who cannot educate himself.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Potatoes have much more staying power than caviar.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka



“And I love you.' she said her heart buoyant. She really did love him, although each time she said it and he could not reply, she loved him perhaps a little less.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“If you don't have compassion you won't be compelled to help.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“People in my constituency are starving and born with sixteen fingers. Did you ever eat weasel shish-kebob? Freddy doesn’t walk by the side of the motorways to gather dandelions for his salad, but the people who sent me here do. Why are we supporting him? He doesn’t deserve it. The Tories won’t give milk to children who go to school hungry and come home to baked cat.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“When finally the sky grew ink-black, the trees were visible only as their swaying branches blotted out the stars that crossed in blazing showers, as sometimes they do. The language of the stars, seldom read and heeded less, told beautifully and in silence of all the victories that had ever been won and all the defeats ever suffered. In uncountable lines of light across the widest sphere, the stars spoke of everything notable even down to a leaf blowing rhythmically in the wind.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“I was brought up,' Freddy informed him, 'not to suffer anxiety about decisive initiative of all types.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka



“The last time the Right Honourable Gentleman raised the accusation about the policies of this government forcing his constituents to resort to inedible foods—in that case, as I remember, it was ants, earwigs, and glowworms—the National Health looked very seriously into the matter, and their inspectors. . . .” “Division! Division!” cried out some who had got the scent of blood, and Mallet Scuffs himself, successfully diverted, cried out, “Weevils, too! Weevils and grubs!” “Their inspectors. . . .” “Weevils, too, weevils and grubs! Weevils, too, weevils and grubs!” chanted a Marxist anti-missile faction.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“I knew it was easier to drill things in than to take them out.'
'It's like a screw!' Craig-Vyvyan shouted.... 'If you pull off it's head, you never get it out.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Disdain is only as intense as similarity.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“I've given myself to you. You may have my body, soul, everything. Time passes, and all I want is the intimacy that slows, defeats. and confounds it. Love, that's what it is. You've always made the mistake that men often make, and carried forward the great fault that mars civilisation, which is that you believe that your philosophy is deeper than love.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Nobody steals books except kleptomaniacs and university students. In most places you can leave a book on the street and come back for in the next day.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka



“What a place to put a city, right on the front line of absolute zero. No wonder a cow burned it down.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“We are like poor people, who have nothing but each other, and are happy.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Better a bird in hand than hell knows what in the bush.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Isn't it better to think nothing than to think something that is completely idiotic?”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka


“Don't worry about things that you simply cannot know. Let them fall back and recede like the foam pushed aside by the flanks of a ship. Leave them behind and let your heart power on.”
― Mark Helprin, quote from Freddy and Fredericka



About the author

Mark Helprin
Born place: in Ossining, New York, The United States
Born date June 28, 1947
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