“The truth is like salt. Men want to taste a little, but too much makes everyone sick.”
“I'm a fucking coward."
"Maybe." Craw jerked his thumb over his shoulder at Whirrun's corpse. "There's a hero. Tell me who's better off.”
“Knives,’ muttered Calder, ‘and threats, and bribes, and war?’
Bayaz’ eyes shone with the lamplight. ‘Yes?’
‘What kind of a fucking wizard are you?’
‘The kind you obey.”
“Armour …’ mused Whirrun, licking a finger and scrubbing some speck of dirt from the pommel of his sword, ‘is part of a state of mind … in which you admit the possibility … of being hit.”
“Get what you can with words, because words are free, but the words of an armed man ring that much sweeter.”
“This is stupid."
"Look. You think how stupid people are most of the time. Old men drink. Women at a village fair. Boys throwing stones at birds. Life. The foolishness and the vanity, the selfishness and the waste. The pettiness, the silliness. You think in war it must be different. Must be better. With death around the corner, men united against hardship, the cunning of the enemy, people must think harder, faster, be...better. Be heroic.
Only it's just the same. In fact do you know, because of all that pressure, and worry, and fear, it's worse. There aren't many men who think clearest when the stakes are highest. So people are even stupider in war than the rest of the time. Thinking about how they'll dodge the blame, or grab the glory, or save their skins, rather than about what will actually work. There's no job that forgives stupidity more than soldiering. No job that encourages it more.”
“So you love war. I used to think you were a decent man. But I see now I was mistaken. You're a hero.”
“The smell of it. The feel of it." He rubbed one hand up and down the stained sheath of his sword, making a faint swishing sound. "War is honest. There's no lying to it. You don't have to say sorry here. Don't have to hide. You cannot. If you die? So what? You die among friends. Among worthy foes. You die looking the Great Leveller in the eye. If you live? Well, lad that's living, isn't it? A man isn't truly alive until he's facing death." Whirrun stamped his foot into the sod. "I love war!”
“Whirrun ignored ‘em. ‘Then, when I’ve got two cut,’ and he dropped a pale slab of cheese on one slice then slapped the other on top like he was catching a fly, ‘I trap the cheese between then, and there you have it!’
‘Bread and cheese.’ Yon weighed the half-loaf in one hand and the cheese in the other. ‘Just the same as I’ve got.’ And he bit off the cheese and tossed it to Scorry.
Whirrun sighed. ‘Have none of you no vision?’ He held up his masterpiece to such light as there was, which was almost none. ‘This is no more bread and cheese than a fine axe is wood and iron, or a live person is meat and har.’
‘What is it, then?’ asked Drfod, rocking back from his wet wood and tossing the flint aside in disgust.
‘A whole new thing. A forging of the humble part of bread and cheese into a greater whole. I call it … a cheese-trap.’ Whirrun took a dainty nibble from one corner. ‘Oh, yes, my friends. This tastes like … progress…”
“All you can do is take each day as it comes. Try and do the best you can with what you're given. You won't always do the right thing, but you can try. And you can try to do the right thing next time. That, and stay alive.”
“It is easy to forget how much you have, when your eyes are always fixed on what you have not.”
“Armour... is part of a state of mind... in which you admit the possibility... of being hit.”
“The man is a monster. The worst I have ever seen, in fact, since I last looked in the mirror. The truth? I am rotting too. I am buried alive, and already rotting. If I was not such a coward I would kill myself, but I am, and so I must content myself with killing others in the hope that one day, if I can only wade deep enough in blood, I will come out clean.”
“Ain't it God's sword, fell from the sky? I thought it had to be passed on. Is it cursed?"
Craw took up the reins and turned back to the north. "Every sword's a curse, boy.”
“And Cracknut Whirrun?’ asked Drofd.
‘Straightforward. An old man up near Ustred taught me the trick of cracking a walnut in my fist. What you do is—’
Wonderful snorted. ‘That ain’t why they call you Cracknut.’
‘No,’ said Yon. ‘It ain’t.’
‘They call you Cracknut for the same reason they gave Cracknut Leef the name,’ and Wonderful tapped at the side of her shaved head. ‘Because it’s widely assumed your nut’s cracked.’
‘They do?’ Whirrun frowned. ‘Oh, that’s less complimentary, the fuckers. I’ll have to have words next time I hear that. You’ve completely bloody spoiled it for me!”
“It's not easy is it? Being a great man's son. You'd thought that would come with all kinds of advantages - with borrowed admiration, and respect. But it's only as easy as it is for the seeds of a great tree, trying to grow in its choking shadow. Not many make it to the sunlight for themselves.”
“Tenways showed his rotten teeth. ‘Fucking make me.’
‘I’ll give it a try.’ A man came strolling out of the dark, just his sharp jaw showing in the shadows of his hood, boots crunching heedless through the corner of the fire and sending a flurry of sparks up around his legs. Very tall, very lean and he looked like he was carved out of wood. He was chewing meat from a chicken bone in one greasy hand and in the other, held loose under the crosspiece, he had the biggest sword Beck had ever seen, shoulder-high maybe from point to pommel, its sheath scuffed as a beggar’s boot but the wire on its hilt glinting with the colours of the fire-pit. He sucked the last shred of meat off his bone with a noisy slurp, and he poked at all the drawn steel with the pommel of his sword, long grip clattering against all those blades. ‘Tell me you lot weren’t working up to a fight without me. You know how much I love killing folk. I shouldn’t, but a man has to stick to what he’s good at. So how’s this for a recipe…’ He worked the bone around between finger and thumb, then flicked it at Tenways so it bounced off his chain mail coat. ‘You go back to fucking sheep and I’ll fill the graves.’
Tenways licked his bloody top lip. ‘My fight ain’t with you, Whirrun.’
And it all came together. Beck had heard songs enough about Whirrun of Bligh, and even hummed a few himself as he fought his way through the logpile. Cracknut Whirrun. How he’d been given the Father of Swords. How he’d killed his five brothers. How he’d hunted the Shimbul Wolf in the endless winter of the utmost North, held a pass against the countless Shanka with only two boys and a woman for company, bested the sorcerer Daroum-ap-Yaught in a battle of wits and bound him to a rock for the eagles. How he’d done all the tasks worthy of a hero in the valleys, and so come south to seek his destiny on the battlefield. Songs to make the blood run hot, and cold too. Might be his was the hardest name in the whole North these days, and standing right there in front of Beck, close enough to lay a hand on. Though that probably weren’t a good idea.
‘Your fight ain’t with me?’ Whirrun glanced about like he was looking for who it might be with. ‘You sure? Fights are twisty little bastards, you draw steel it’s always hard to say where they’ll lead you. You drew on Calder, but when you drew on Calder you drew on Curnden Craw, and when you drew on Craw you drew on me, and Jolly Yon Cumber, and Wonderful there, and Flood – though he’s gone for a wee, I think, and also this lad here whose name I’ve forgotten.’ Sticking his thumb over his shoulder at Beck. ‘You should’ve seen it coming. No excuse for it, a proper War Chief fumbling about in the dark like you’ve nothing in your head but shit. So my fight ain’t with you either, Brodd Tenways, but I’ll still kill you if it’s called for, and add your name to my songs, and I’ll still laugh afterwards. So?’
‘So shall I draw?”
“Savor the little moments, son, that's my advice. They're what life is. All the little things that happen while you're waiting for something else.”
“Any man can do what he likes. Right, Splitfoot?’
‘Just as long as it’s exactly what I fucking tell ’em to do.”
“What’s the difference? Fill a hundred pits with dead Northmen, congratulations, have a parade! Kill one man in the same uniform as you? A crime. A murder. Worse than despicable. Are we not all men? All blood and bone and dreams?”
“A whole new thing. A forging of the humble parts of bread and cheese into a greater whole. I call it...a cheese-trap.”
“An Army is an instrument of government. It must be used in such a way that it furthers the interests of government. Otherwise what use is it? Only an extremely costly machine for......minting medals.”
“loyalty’s a dangerous foundation. Tends to wash away in a storm. Self-interest stands in any weather.”
“He looked around at that one room, and the few things in it. He'd always thought retiring would be going back to his life after some nightmare pause. Some stretch of exile in the land of the dead. Now it came to him that all his life worth living had happened while he was holding a sword.
Standing alongside his dozen. Laughing with Whirrun, and Brack, and Wonderful. Clasping hands with his crew before the fight, knowing he'd die for them and they for him. The trust, the brotherhood, the love, the knit closer than family. Standing by Threetrees on the walls of Uffrith, roaring their defiance at Bethod's great army. The day he charged at the Cunmur. And at Dunbrec. And in the High Places, even though they lost. The day he earned his name. Even the day he got his brothers killed. Even when he'd stood at the top of the Heroes as the rain came down, watching the Union come, knowing every dragged out moment might be the last.
Like Whirrun said - you can't live more than that. Certainly not by fixing a chair.”
“Shoglig was talking shit. That old bitch didn’t know when I was going to die at all. If I’d known that I’d surely have worn more armour.’ Whirrun made a sound somewhere between a cough and a laugh, then winced, coughed, laughed again, winced again. ‘Fuck, it hurts. I mean, you know it will, but, fuck, it really does hurt. Guess you showed me my destiny anyway, eh, Craw?”
“Bury it with me. Time was I thought it was a blessing and a curse. But it’s only a curse, and I ain’t about to curse some other poor bastard with it. Time was I thought it was reward and punishment both. But this is the only reward for men like us.’ And Whirrun nodded down towards the bloody spear-shaft. ‘This or … just living long enough to become nothing worth talking of. Put it in the mud, Craw.’ And he winced as he heaved the grip into Craw’s limp hand and pressed his dirty fingers around it.
‘Least I won’t have to carry it no more. You see how bloody heavy it is?’
‘Every sword’s a weight to carry. Men don’t see that when they pick ’em up. But they get heavier with time.”
“Never be afraid of the future, for it brings wonderful things.” As”
“Gymnastes, Gargantua’ya düşmanın ardına düşmenin gerekli olup olmadığını sordu.
Gargantua şöyle karşılık verdi ona:
“Hiç gerekli değil, çünkü gerçek askerlik sanatı gereğince düşmanı umutsuzluğa düşürmemeliyiz; bıçak kemiğe dayandı mı, düşman yıpranıp tükenmekte olan gücünü ve yüreğini yeniden toparlayıverir. Hiçbir kurtuluş umudu kalmaması, bitmiş tükenmiş insanları diriltip kurtaracak olan ilaçların en iyisidir. Nice zaferler, yenenlerin elinden kaçıp yenilenlerin eline geçmiştir, çünkü yenenler hak ettikleri kadarıyla yetinmeyip her şeyi çiğneyip yok etmeye, düşmanlarını haber götürecek tek kişi bırakmamacasına öldürmeye kalkmışlardır! Düşmanlarınıza kapıları, yolları açın her zaman; hatta gümüşten bir köprü kurun onlara geçip gitmeleri için.”
“the deeper I went down the rabbit hole, the more muffled that voice got.”
“Unlike the rain-slicked streets of Oblakgrad, Dírorth was a stir of activity. The streets were lined with vendors selling greasy meat pies to passersby. The clogging crowd of Humans cramped together as they pushed past one another, rushing from one errand to the next. The shouting of a thousand voices melted together into a perpetual buzz, like a great swarm of bees hovering over the street.
And yet a strange silence hung over the city. It filled in the background, inhabiting dark corners where the din of the crowd could not squelch it. It had a strange omnipresence, like something that you are subconsciously aware of, but do not consciously see with your eyes.
It was a silence ignored, hidden by the façade of hectic traffic. You wouldn’t really notice it, not unless you were looking for it. Not unless you actually stopped to listen.
If the city folk had stopped, frozen, if they had stilled themselves for a moment, the silence would have gaped wide open like a dark, hungry maw. But they ignored it. For the past century, they had covered that silence with the commotion of everyday life, refusing to let it control them. To define them. They did not hear it. They would not hear it.
I myself did not hear it for years and years, not until the day that I actually stopped to listen.
Can you hear it, now? Can you hear it in the words your reading, the words I say to you? Listen. Hear its empty resonance across the cobbles. Feel it in the dust beneath Notak’s boot, damp with last night’s rain. Smell it on the ragged clothes of the peasants, hidden in the folds of dirty fabric. See it in their eyes, latent beneath the gloss of the everyday. Taste it in the clamor of the streets, clamor born out of a unconscious urge to fill the quiet with something, anything to drive it away, anything to stave off the silence that reeked with defeat.
It was the echo of a hundred years of slavery. It was the song of a people, waiting for God.”
“I love the smell of male urine and the reek of his groin on my bath towels after he’d had a shower”
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 2023, 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.