Quotes from His Majesty's Dragon

Naomi Novik ·  353 pages

Rating: (59.2K votes)


“I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Temeraire said, 'It is very nice how many books there are, indeed. And on so many subjects!”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“It seems to me that if you wish to apply laws to us, it were only reasonable to consult us on them, and from what you have read to me about Parliament, I do not think any dragons are invited to go there”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Well, I would have struck him, but I would have had to get up. You have no notion how difficult it is to arrange skirts when sitting down; it took me five minutes together the first time.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“I do not think you are in any danger of starving," Maximus said. "The surgeon said only two weeks ago that you are too fat."

"The devil!" Berkley said indignantly, sitting up; and Maximus snorted in amusement at having provoked him.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon



“Next you will cry about taxation without representation, and throw a basket of tea into the harbor. You are indeed a very Jacobin at heart, and I think I must give up trying to cure you of it; I can but wash my hands and deny responsibility”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“I am beginning to feel the need of a glass of wine to fortify myself against this conversation.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“And we must still try or we would be leaving our friends to fight without us. I think this is what you have meant by duty, all along; I do understand, at least this much of it.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Rankin put down his glass and stared at him coldly. “I beg your pardon?” he said. “I gather this is some more of your officious—”

Laurence paid no attention, but seized the back of his chair and heaved. Rankin fell forward, scrabbling to catch himself on the floor. Laurence took him by the scruff of his coat and dragged him up to his feet, ignoring his gasp of pain.

“Laurence, what in God’s name—” Lenton said in astonishment, rising to his feet.

“Levitas is dying; Captain Rankin wishes to make his farewells,” Laurence said, looking Lenton squarely in the eye and holding Rankin up by the collar and the arm. “He begs to be excused.”

The other captains stared, half out of their chairs. Lenton looked at Rankin, then very deliberately sat back down. “Very good,” he said, and reached for the bottle; the other captains slowly sank back down as well.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“I will tell you what we shall do: if ever you need to rescue Catherine, or you Berkley, Maximus, I will help you, and you will do as much for me. Then we do not need to worry, I do not suppose anyone could stop all three of us, at least not before we can escape”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon



“Enough of that, you damned conspirators, you will have us hanged a great deal sooner than we will.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“He slept once again in the small tent by his side, even though he thought Temeraire was well over his distress, and was rewarded in the morning by being woken early, Temeraire peering into the tent with one great eye and inquiring if perhaps Laurence would like to go to Dover and arrange for the concert today.

“I would like to sleep until a civilized hour, but as that is evidently not to be, perhaps I will ask leave of Lenton to go,” Laurence said, yawning as he crawled from the tent. “May I have my breakfast first?”

“Oh, certainly,” Temeraire said, with an air of generosity.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Oh dear," Laurence said; he felt rather awkward explaining that the main attraction was the abundance of harbor prostitutes and cheap liquor. "Well, a city has a great many people in it, and thus various entertainments provided in close proximity," he tried.
"Do you mean such as more books?" Temeraire said.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“The cows were all running around their pen in manic terror.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Laurence felt his face going red; she was sitting there in breeches that showed every inch of her leg, with a shirt held closed only by a neckcloth; he shifted his gaze to the unalarming top of her head and managed to say, “Your servant, Miss Harcourt.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon



“Once down by the shore, only Temeraire went directly into the deep water and began to swim. Maximus came tentatively into the shallows, but went no further than he could stand, and Lily stood on the shore watching, nosing at the water but not going in. Levitas, as was his habit, first wavered on the shore, and then dashed out all at once, splashing and flapping wildly with his eyes tightly shut until he got out to the deeper water and began to paddle enthusiastically.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“I will never let Berkley commit treason, ever," Maximus said, "but if he did, I would step on anyone who tried to hang him.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Hollin was still sitting with Levitas’s head in his lap, a bucket now beside him; he was squeezing water from a clean cloth into the dragon’s open mouth. He looked at Rankin without bothering to hide his contempt, but then he bent over and said, “Levitas, come along now; look who’s come.”
Levitas’s eyes opened, but they were milky and blind. “My captain?” he said uncertainly.

Laurence thrust Rankin forward and down onto his knees, none too gently; Rankin gasped and clutched at his thigh, but he said, “Yes, I am here.” He looked up at Laurence and swallowed, then added awkwardly, “You have been very brave.” There was nothing natural or sincere in the tone; it was as ungraceful as could be imagined.

But Levitas only said, very softly, “You came.” He licked at a few drops of water at the corner of his mouth. The blood was still welling sluggishly from beneath the dressing, thick enough to slightly part the bandages one from the other, glistening and black. Rankin shifted uneasily; his breeches and stockings were being soaked through, but he looked up at Laurence and did not try to move away.

Levitas gave a low sigh, and then the shallow movement of his sides ceased. Hollin closed his eyes with one rough hand.

Laurence’s hand was still heavy on the back of Rankin’s neck; now he lifted it away, rage gone, and only tight-lipped disgust left. “Go,” he said. “We who valued him will make the arrangements, not you.” He did not even look at the man as Rankin left the clearing.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“And yet Praecursoris is not punished the same way, only because it is not practical, and he is needed for breeding?”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“However, I must disagree with you very strongly that providing ordinary and reasonable care in any way constitutes coddling, and I have always found that deprivation and hardship, when necessary, can be better endured by men who have not been subjected to them previously for no cause.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon



“No, it is just pyrite, but it is very pretty, is it not? I suppose you are one of those hoarding creatures,” Laurence said, looking affectionately up at Temeraire; many dragons had an inborn fascination with jewels or precious metals. “I am afraid I am not rich enough a partner for you; I will not be able to give you a heap of gold to sleep on.” “I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on,” Temeraire said. “I do not mind the deck.” He”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“. . . though if Fanshawe had not spoken in so unbecoming a way, Laurence would have liked to keep Carver out of it, as he knew the boy had a poor head for heights, which struck him as a grave impediment for an aviator.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“after supper Laurence would go to sit outside and read to him by the light of a lantern. He had never been a great reader himself, but Temeraire’s pleasure in books was so great as to be infectious, and Laurence could not but think with satisfaction of the dragon’s likely delight in the new book, which spoke in great detail about gemstones and their mining, despite his own complete lack of interest in the subject.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“Dragon intelligence was a mystery to men who made a study of the subject; he had no idea how much the dragon would hear or understand, but thought it better to avoid the risk of giving offense.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“he thought how little the rest of the world should matter to him, when he was secure in the good opinion of those he valued most, and in the knowledge that he was doing his duty.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon



“Do you think I will be able to breathe fire or spit poison?” Temeraire asked. “I am not sure how I could tell; I tried, but I only blew air.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“he would not neglect what he considered his duty for the sake of being liked.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


“and if they were both outcast for the same reason, they might at least have the pleasure of each other’s society for compensation.”
― Naomi Novik, quote from His Majesty's Dragon


About the author

Naomi Novik
Born place: New York, The United States
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