Judith Merkle Riley · 609 pages
Rating: (3.5K votes)
“I could feel something cold stalking my heart. It was fear. They all begin this way, I thought, with pledges of love.”
“When faced with the illogical, one must expand the sphere of logic to include rules of logic for that which is not logic. This is the only possibility in a world that works according to the rules of rationality.”
“Oaths, in my opinion, infernal or not, ought to be short.”
“After all, he meant well. Foreigners never seem to understand how little attraction an island of damp fogs, cut off from civilization, and a provincial little court has for us Parisians, who inhabit the most cultivated, powerful monarchy in the world.”
“Daughter, your presence is a stay and consolation to me. Begin again in the Tenth Book; tell me, how does Aristotle define true happiness?” “Father, he tells us that true happiness is found in contemplation, whereas the common idea of happiness as pleasant amusements is fostered by the courts of tyrants.”
“Why the Romans, Father?” I asked him one afternoon. “Because, my child, they teach us how to bear suffering in a world of injustice where all faith is dead,” he answered.”
“Are you aware of the penalties reserved for freethinkers? I could send you to the block. Good.”
“I mistrust mountebanks—especially of the female variety.”
“Recent studies and discoveries increasingly point out that we heal primarily in and through the body, not just through the rational brain. We can all create more room, and more opportunities for growth, in our nervous systems. But we do this primarily through what our bodies experience and do—not through what we think or realize or cognitively figure out.”
“There is nothing so mortifying as to fall in love with someone who does not share one's sentiments.”
“I can tell the time, though, by speak-ing, and as I nev-er sleep I can wak-en you at an-y hour you wish to get up in the morn-ing.'
'That's nice,' said the little girl; 'only I never wish to get up in the morning.”
“What about you, Ellen?' he asked. 'What does music mean to you?'
It was a while before she answered. 'When I was at school... quite little still... there was a girl there who had perfect pitch and a lovely voice and she played the piano. I used to hear people talking about her.' She paused, lacing her fingers together. '"She's musical," they used to say, "Deirdre's musical," and it was as if they'd said: "She's angelic." That's how it seemed to me to be musical: to be angelic.'
Isaac turned to her. 'My God, Ellen,' he said huskily, 'it is you who are angelic. If there's anyone in the world who is angelic it is you.”
“He came down from the North to Paris with a mind like Aristotle's and a form like mortal sin. We shattered the Commandments on the spot.”
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