“No one ever fell in love gracefully.”
“I want you cool and regal, earthy and impertinent, spoiling for a fight and abashed at your own temper. I want you flushed with exertion and rosy with sleep. I want you teasing and provocative, somber and thoughtful. I want every emotion, every mood, every year in a lifetime to come. I want you beside me, to encourage and argue with me, to help me and let me help you. I want to be your champion and lover, your mentor and student.”
“You can figure out what the villain fears by his choice of weapons.”
“And enigmatic smile is worth ten pages of dialog.”
“Find out what people want to do, then tell them to do it. They'll think you're a genius.”
“Give me a strong back, over a soft heart.”
“Charm is getting people to say "yes" without ever having to ask them a question.”
“She'd stood by that creed. No softness, because the world wasn't soft; lots of laughter, because if you were in on the joke, the joke couldn't be on you; And no wanting what you couldn't take, because the world never gave.
Or so she'd thought.”
“If you forget your lines, you had better mumble with conviction.”
“The toughest role is real life.”
“Conscience is like a pet: If you spoil it by too much attention it'll start yipping at the most inopportune times.”
“How can you love me?” she asked, forcing herself to say the words that would kill the tenderness in his eyes. “You don’t even know me. You know ‘Lady Agatha,’ a composite, a character, a role I played.”
He shook his head, his negation gentle but certain. “I didn’t fall in love with a character, a title, or an occupation. I didn’t fall in love with you because of your past or despite it.
“I love you because of your intensity and passion, because you make me want to be better than I am, because seeing my reflection in your eyes makes me better than I am. I love you because you laugh easily and honestly. I love you because you carried an ugly mutt into a drawing room as though it were a prince and because you gave an old soldier a strawberry trifle. I love you, Letty.”
“The lower your decolletage, the less the need for conversation.”
“There are moments on stage when everything comes together. Then the kid in the front row coughs.”
“Who of us would have ended up where we are if someone hadn't had the good sense to interfere with us?”
“She clutched the train ticket tighter and waited for the sense of escape to come over her as it had a dozen times before, that heady sensation of having just scooted through the clanging gate, of eluding the thrown net. It didn't come. She was running again, but she wasn't escaping. She'd been chased to ground a long, long time ago.”
“He wanted her. Her. Nothing could take that away from her. Ever. He wanted her, not the status he thought her purloined name could bring him”
“"Do you know,” his gaze speared her where she stood, “that since I have loved you, I have not regretted one word, one glance, one touch? And I am so certain in loving you, so sure of it, of us, that I cannot conceive that you regret any of these things, either.”
He gave a humorless laugh. “Loving you has made me a monster of egotism, my dear. But there it is. I am fearless of misstep, unable to conceive that I could err so gravely that you would turn from me.” His voice strained with his need to convince her. But she needed no convincing. She knew he loved her.
“I could never turn from you” she breathed.”
“Resist demonstrating that your worldliness was more fiction than fact,” he whispered. “You, Lady Agatha, in the common parlance with which you are so fascinatingly familiar, ‘ain’t so tough.”
“Nothing seduces vanity like the word "help".”
“I opened the curtain and entered the confessional, a dark wooden booth built into the side wall of the church. As I knelt on the small worn bench, I could hear a boy's halting confession through the wall, his prescribed penance inaudible as the panel slid open on my side and the priest directed his attention to me.
"Yes, my child," he inquired softly.
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my First Confession."
"Yes, my child, and what sins have you committed?"
"I talked in church twenty times, I disobeyed my mother five times, I wished harm to others several times, I told a fib three times, I talked back to my teacher twice." I held my breath.
"And to whom did you wish harm?"
My scheme had failed. He had picked out the one group of sins that most troubled me. Speaking as softly as I could, I made my admission.
"I wished harm to Allie Reynolds."
"The Yankee pitcher?" he asked, surprise and concern in his voice. "And how did you wish to harm him?"
"I wanted him to break his arm."
"And how often did you make this wish?"
"Every night," I admitted, "before going to bed, in my prayers."
"And were there others?"
"Oh, yes," I admitted. "I wished that Robin Roberts of the Phillies would fall down the steps of his stoop, and that Richie Ashburn would break his hand."
"Is there anything else?"
"Yes, I wished that Enos Slaughter of the Cards would break his ankle, that Phil Rizzuto of the Yanks would fracture a rib, and that Alvin Dark of the Giants would hurt his knee." But, I hastened to add, "I wished that all these injuries would go away once the baseball season ended."
"Are there any other sins, my child?"
"For your penance, say two Hail Mary's, three Our Fathers, and," he added with a chuckle, "say a special prayer for the Dodgers. ...”
“I'm a moldy moldy man
I'm moldy thru and thru
I'm a moldy moldy man
You would not think it true
I'm moldy til my eyeballs
I'm moldy til my toe
I will not dance I shyballs
I'm such a humble Joe.”
“You want to be bad, angel? I can teach you every position it comes in”
“Most Christians have lost the life of their heart and with it, their romance with God.”
“But yes, exactly that. Think! With thought, all problems can be solved.”
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