“I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.”
“That’s right. He is Charls. I am Charls. We are cousins,’ said Charls, gamely, ‘named after our grandfather. Charls.”
“I miss you," said Laurent. "I miss our conversations.”
“You’ve spent a morning with him and you’re warning me off. Just wait,’ said Damen, ‘until you’ve spent a full day with him.’
‘You mean that he improves with time?’
‘Not exactly,’ said Damen.”
“Don't", said Laurent, "toy with me. I - have not the means to defend against this.”
“I would court you, with all the grace and courtesy that you deserve,”
“How can you trust me, after what your own brother did to you?"
"Because he was false", said Damen, "and you are true. I have never known a truer man.”
“I know who you are, Damianos,’ said Laurent.”
“You see?” said Laurent. “He has forgiven me for the small matter of the whip. I have forgiven him for the small matter of killing my brother. All hail the alliance.”
“I miss you too,’ he said. ‘I’m jealous of Isander.’ ‘Isander’s a slave.’ ‘I was a slave.’ The moment ached. Laurent met his gaze, his eyes too clear. ‘You were never a slave, Damianos. You were born to rule, as I was.”
“Laurent entered, an edge to his grace, like a leopard with a headache.”
“The ache of loss didn't make sense, because Laurent had never been his.”
“There was a man I was supposed to meet. He’s got all these ideas about honour and fair play, and he tries to keep me from doing the wrong thing. But he’s not here right now. Unfortunately for you.”
“That is the man you face. He has more honour and integrity than any man I have ever met. He is dedicated to his people and his country. And I am proud to have been his lover.”
“To gain everything and lose everything in the space of a moment. That is the fate of all princes destined for the throne.”
“Makedon was explaining the virtues of iron tea to Laurent, and when Laurent massaged his own temple with finely bred fingers, Makedon remarked, rising, ‘You should have your slave fetch you some.’
‘Fetch me some,’ Laurent said.
Damen rose. And stopped.
Laurent had gone very still. Damen stood there, awkwardly. He could think of no other reason why he had stood up.
He looked up and his eyes met those of Nikandros, who was staring at him. Nikandros was with a small group to one side of the table, the last of the men in the hall. He was the only one to have seen and heard. Damen just stood there.
‘This meeting is over,’ Nikandros announced to the men around him, too loudly. ‘The King is ready to ride.”
“I'm glad you're here,' said Laurent. 'I always thought that I'd have to face my uncle alone.'
He turned to look at Damen, and their eyes met.
'You're not alone,' said Damen.
Laurent didn't answer, but he did give a smile, and reached out to touch Damen, wordlessly.”
“Laurent said, ‘No. I’m not here to—’ He said, ‘I’m just here.”
“Don't think, he'd said, because it was easier than saying, Take me for who I am.
He couldn't bear that suddenly. He wanted it without pretences, without excuses, his fingers curling hard into Laurent's hair.
'It's me,' said Damen. 'It's me, here with you. Say my name.'
“There was a warmth in his chest whenever he looked at Laurent. He didn't look often for that reason.”
“Is today the first time you’ve been beaten in an okton?’
‘Technically, it was a draw,’ said Damen.
‘Technically. I told you I was quite good at riding. I used to beat Auguste all the time when we raced at Chastillon. It took me until I was nine to realise he was letting me win. I just thought I had a very fast pony. You’re smiling.”
“After a moment, Laurent said, ‘He would have liked you.’
‘Even after I started courting his little brother?’ said Damen carefully.
He watched Laurent stop, the way that he did when he was taken by surprise, and then lift his eyes to meet Damen’s.
‘Yes,’ said Laurent softly, his cheeks reddened slightly.”
“Did you learn the rotation of the border patrols?’ said Laurent.
‘Yes, our scouts found—’
Laurent was standing in the doorway wearing a chiton of unadorned white cotton.
Damen dropped the pitcher.
It shattered, shards flying outward as it slipped from his fingers and hit the stone floor.
Laurent’s arms were bare. His throat was bare. His collarbone was bare, and most of his thighs, his long legs, and all of his left shoulder. Damen stared at him.
‘You’re wearing Akielon clothing,’ said Damen.
‘Everyone’s wearing Akielon clothing,’ said Laurent.
Damen thought that the pitcher had shattered and he could not now take a deep draught of the wine. Laurent came forward, navigating the broken ceramic in his short cotton and sandalled feet, until he reached the seat beside Damen, where the map was laid out on the wooden table.
‘Once we know the rotation of the patrols, we’ll know when to approach,’ said Laurent.
Laurent sat down.
‘We need to approach at the beginning of their rotation in order to give us the most time before they report back to the fort.’
It was even shorter sitting down.
‘Yes. Sorry,’ said Damen. And then: ‘What were you saying?”
“Now, Laurent was beside him. Aloof, untouchable Laurent was beside him, kneeling on the wet marble hundreds of miles from home, with nothing in his eyes but Damen.”
“A ludicrous boyish hope flared that someone would come to help him, and, carefully, he extinguished it.”
“You're still wearing it."
He couldn't help but say it. Laurent's wrist was heavy with gold, like the colour of his hair in the firelight.
"So are you."
"Tell me why."
"You know why," said Laurent.”
“You spent the night in the Prince of Vere’s rooms.’ ‘I spent ten minutes in his rooms. If you think I fucked him in that time you underrate me.’ Nikandros didn’t move his horse out of the way.”
“It took me until I was nine to realise he was letting me win. I just thought I had a very fast pony.”
“Get up at once, you lazy little beast!”
“Go to bed, you fool," Calcifer said sleepily. "You're drunk."
"Who, me?" said Howl. "I assure you, my friends, I am cone sold stober." He got up and stalked upstairs, feeling for the wall as if he thought it might escape him unless he kept in touch with it. His bedroom door did escape him.”
“Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow.
The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately:
I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us."
And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real.
Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.”
“They could laugh at him but they couldn't ignore him”
“If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good help to you nevertheless
And filter and fiber your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.