“Words are not the only way we communicate, you and I. They never were.”
“In love my temperament found a new taste for life: it found a cure for the pain, and a pain without cure.'" –Ghalib”
“Yours if you want it."
- Julian to Emma.”
“Some people were like that; they could not escape criticism, because they never quite managed to convince themselves of the role everyone believed they should fill.”
“She did not feel anything so boring as beautiful. She felt fierce.”
“I'm here," he said into her ear, as the tears came faster. "Emma, I'm here with you now. Listen to me: I will always be here."Always, she thought. He said "always," but he had forgotten to say finally. Finally you are here. Thank God, finally at last.”
“When he entered after her, she saw that he meant to come straight to her, and she raised a hand. "No," she said. "Wait."
His footsteps halted. He had always listened to her, hadn't he? Had always heard her."
-Emma and Julian”
“On a breath, he leaned forward. It was such a small space to close. Such an infinite distance to cross.”
“It is not proper, you being closeted up here with him --"
"Delphinia, don't be absurd. I am so firmly on the shelf that the maids are tempted to dust me.”
“She had always loved him, after all. And perhaps he knew it. Perhaps he saw more than she had suspected. And despite it, he did not look away.”
“The hand of a woman may be soft, but her reach is long. And its subtlety does not make it any less effective!”
“After a long moment, the Countess sat back down. "So," she said. "You … do love her. I must say, you look peculiarly resigned to it."
He shrugged. "It is not fresh news for me."
"And for Emma?"
"Neither welcomed nor openly acknowledged."
"But acknowledged all the same, you believe."
"Perhaps," he said. "I cannot know. Not anymore."
-Delphinia, Lady Chad and Julian”
“English was so heavy, so desiccated and hardened by meaning, by pain and anger and even the jests and the petty quibbles, everything under the sun that obscured the basic truth. But the sound of his voice as he spoke to her now, she heard the wind in it, the stillness of the night. Stars above. The things that had kept her going. Always in her memory they had been there.”
“we simply can't drop everything and run away, can we?'
A warm wind kicked up, ruffling through his thick, dark hair. Very softly, he said, 'I see. Is this where you preach to me of how English civilization will save the savages?'
She hated this, *hated* the way he was suddenly looking at her - as though she were some unfamiliar specimen whose novelty was rapidly losing interest. 'Be fair, sir! All I meant was that we've created a society here. Laws, a justice system, a - postal service ...' The argument sounded weak even to her own ears. 'I simply mean that to leave those things behind would hardly be simple.”
“You do not strike me as a Lothario. You're far too serious for the part.'
'Oh? I did give it a small try, if you recall. And your mouth tasted quite sweet. But perhaps I was too subtle?'
From an airy exchange of quips, he had suddenly moved onto solid ground ... 'You're a skillful flirt,' she managed. 'I will give you that.'
'And you're no flirt at all. Come, give it a try. Tell me how a rogue charms a woman, if not through sober, industrious application.'
Her lips twitched. 'That sounds like the factory brand of roguery. But all you need do is attend to a woman's vanity, I suppose.'
'Ah, yes. Of course. It comes back to me now; I've been going about it all wrong. THe first thing I should have said is that you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.'
She laughed despite herself. 'That's a clever sort of compliment, seeing as it reserves you the right to change your mind with the next woman you meet.”
“After a moment, he murmured, "Emmaline. I am sorry. I am...overwrought." His laughter was unsteady. "And there's a phrase I've never used before. At least not in reference to myself." An unwilling smile curved her mouth. "I hope you won't swoon. I don't carry smelling salts." "No," he said. "I wouldn't have imagined you did.”
“And now I should kiss you again, I think. Isn’t that how it’s done?” Startled, she put her hand to her lips. But their rough, cracked surfaces made the very prospect seem ludicrous. “Yes, I suppose—in a gothic romance. But if you kissed me now, no doubt my lip would split open, and I’d bleed on you.” His shout of laughter was quickly restrained. “Well, all right. Since you put it so romantically. Someplace else. Shall I be adventurous?”
“Boneless with relief, she let him pull her forward, into the open air, into his lap. And in this wild darkness, in the middle of an empty earth, she grieved for both of them—indeed, for every human in this wretched world, who must face the trials life offered, negotiate the changes wrought by time. There was so little joy to cling to, so few certainties. Yet humans continued to endure. Continued to hope. The undeniable compulsion to survive powered them onward, like Sisyphus on his mountain.”
“It is an awful thing to look on such sad circumstance and not be able to shed a tear. It is not because I do not feel for these folks, but maybe I feel too much. Part of me is glad, in a low down, mean way, that it is not Albert's or Mama's graves we are digging. Glad that it is some soldiers I don't know and neighbors and friends but not family. Lord, I must be the cussedest woman there is to think that. Finally, I felt so guilty for thinking those things that I cried. Then I began to feel the heartaches of our friends and neighbors and I cried for them, too, as we said prayers over each and every grave.”
“When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?”
“Without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace. Unless everything can get worse, it won't get any better.”
“My staff is made up of politicians, Rachel, not scientists. You’ve met Dr. Marlinson. I think he’s terrific, but if I let an astrophysicist loose on my team of left-brain, think-inside-the-box intellectuals, I’ll end up with a herd of deer in the headlights.”
“I could always give you a teaser. You bookish people love teasers, don't you?”
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