“I'm sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what's on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on this inside would would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it already does.”
“I know what is going on," said Sir. "I am the Boss! Of course I know!”
“Optimist" is a word which here refers to a person, such as Phil, who thinks hopeful and pleasant thoughts about nearly everything. For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!”
“Sometime during your life—in fact, very soon—you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book’s first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains.”
“Just knowing that they could read made the Baudelaire orphans feel as if their wretched lives could be a little brighter.”
“If you have ever had a miserable experience, then you have probably had it said to you that you would feel better in the morning. This, of course, is utter nonsense, because a miserable experience remains a miserable experience even on the loveliest of morning.”
“Appearance matters a great deal because you can often tell a lot about people by looking at how they present themselves.”
My love flew like a butterfly
Until death swooped down like a bat
As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said:
'That's the end of that”
“Never mind what my name is,” the man said. “No one can pronounce it anyway. Just call me Sir.”
“This knowledge sits in my heart, heavy as a paperweight.”
“The expression 'quiet as mice' is a puzzling one, because mice can often be very noisy, so people who are being quite as mice may in fact be squeaking and scrambling around. The expression 'quiet as mimes' is more appropriate, because mimes are people who perform theatrical routines without making a sound. Mimes are annoying and embarrassing, but they are much quieter than mice, so 'quiet as mimes' is a more proper way to describe how Violet and Sunny got up from their bunk, tiptoed across the dormitory, and walked out into the night.”
“My chauffer once told me that I would feel better in the morning, but when I woke up the two of us were still on a tiny island surrounded by man-eating crocodiles, and, as I'm sure you can understand, I didn't feel any better about it.”
“As anyone who's ever been to a doctor knows, doctors are not necessarily your friends, any more than mail deliverers are you friends, or butchers are you friends, or refrigerator repair-people are you friends. A doctor is a man or woman whose job it is to make you feel better, that's all, and if you've ever had a shot you know that the statement 'Doctors can't hurt you' is simply absurd.”
“Klaus grinned. 'I'm sorry,' he said, 'but it was a very interesting book, and I'm so pleased that it's coming in handy.”
“The Baudelaire orphans looked worriedly out the window. They weren't very happy about just being dropped off in a strange place, as if they were a pizza being delivered instead of three children all alone in the world.”
“If someone had told me, that day at the beach, that before long I'd find myself using my four teeth to scrape the bark off trees, I would have said they were psychoneurotically disturbed.”
“In the vast majority of cases, however, getting into trouble has nothing to do with one's self-esteem. It usually has much more to do with whatever is causing the trouble - a monster, a bus driver, a banana peel, killer bees, the school principal - than what you think of yourself.”
“Raisins are healthy, and they are inexpensive, and some people may even find them delicious. But they are rarely considered helpful.”
“I'm sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what's on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on the inside would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it already does. Appearance matters a great deal, because you can often tell a lot about people by looking at how they present themselves.”
“It is much, much worse to receive bad news through the written word than by somebody simply telling you, and I’m sure you understand why. When somebody simply tells you bad news, you hear it once, and that’s the end of it. But when bad news is written down, whether in a letter or a newspaper or on your arm in felt tip pen, each time you read it, you feel as if you are receiving the news again and again. For instance, I once loved a woman, who for various reasons could not marry me. If she had simply told me in person, I would have been very sad, of course, but eventually it might have passed. However, she chose instead to write a two-hundred-page book, explaining every single detail of the bad news at great length, and instead my sadness has been of impossible depth. When the book was first brought to me, by a flock of carrier pigeons, I stayed up all night reading it, and I read it still, over and over, and it is as if my darling Beatrice is bringing me bad news every day and every night of my life. The Baudelaire orphans”
“It pain me to tell you that once again Count Olaf would appear with yet another disgusting scheme, and that Mr. Poe would once again fail to do anything even remotely helpful.”
“These brats know a lot of words,' Shirley said, in her ridiculously fake high voice. 'They're book addicts. But we can still create an accident and win the fortune!”
“The word "dreadful," even when used three times in a row, did not seem like a dreadful enough word to describe everything that had happened.”
“A fair deal, as everyone knows, is when both people give something of more or less equal value. If you were bored with laying with your chemistry set, and you gave it to your brother in exchange for his dollhouse, that would be a fair deal. If someone offered to smuggle me out of the country in her sailboat, in exchange for free tickets to an ice show, that would be a fair deal. But working for years in a lumbermill in exchange for the owner's trying to keep Count Olaf away is an enormously unfair deal, and the three youngsters knew it.”
“The Baudelaire children wolfed down the peach, and under normal circumstances, it would not have been polite to eat something so quickly and so noisily, particularly in front of someone they did not know very well. But these were not at all normal, so even a manners expert would excuse them for their gobbling.”
“Sunny did not eat the wood, of course, but she chewed on it and pretended it was a carrot, or an apple, or a beef and cheese enchilada, all of which she loved.”
“Time after time he[Count Olaf] had come very close to succeeding, and time after time the Baudelaire orphans had revealed his plan, and time after time he had escaped-and all Mr. Poe had ever done was cough.”
“Please excuse the torn edges of this note. I am writing to you from inside the shack the Baudelaire orphans were forced to live in while at Prufrock Preparatory School, and I am afraid that some of the crabs tried to snatch my stationery away from me. On Sunday night, please purchase a ticket for seat 10-J at the Erratic Opera Company’s performance of the opera Faute de Mieux. During Act Five, use a sharp knife to rip open the cushion of your seat. There you should find”
“No, no,' Phil Said. 'It's fine. I've never liked my left leg so much, anyways.”
“In your madness you said you loved me," she murmured shyly.
His humor fled, and the smile left her lips as she continued, "You said it before, too. When the storm struck, I asked you to love me, and you said you did." Her voice was the barest of whispers.
Ruark's gaze turned away from her, and he rubbed the bandage on his leg before he spoke. "Strange that madness should speak the truth, but truth it is." He met her questioning eyes directly. "Aye, I love you." The pain of longing marked his face with a momentary sadness. "And that is madness, in all truth."
Shanna raised herself form his side and sat on her heels, staring down at him. "Why do you love me?" Her tone was wondrous. "I beset you at every turn. I deny you as a fit mate. I have betrayed you into slavery and worse. There is no sanity in your plea at all. How can you love me?"
"Shanna! Shanna! Shanna!" he sighed, placing his fingers on her hand and gently tracing the lines of her finely boned fingers. "What man would boast the wisdom of his love? How many time has this world heard, 'I don't care, I love.' Do I count your faults and sins to tote them in a book?"
"I dream of unbelievable softness. I remember warmth at my side the likes of which can set my heart afire. I see in the dark before me softly glowing eyes of aqua, once tender in a moment of love, then flashing with defiance and anger, now dark and blue with some stirring I know I have caused, now green and gay with laughter spilling from them. There is a form within my arms that I tenderly held and touched. There is that one who has met my passion with her own and left me gasping."
Ruark caressed Shanna's arm and turned her face to him, making her look into his eyes and willing her to see the truth in them as he spoke.
"My beloved Shanna. I cannot think of betrayal when I think of love. I can count no denials when I hold you close. I only wait for that day when you will say, 'I love."
Shanna raised her hands as if to plead her case then let them fall dejectedly on her knees. Tears coursed down her cheeks, and she begged helplessly, "But I do not want to love you." She began to sob. "You are a colonial. You are untitled, a murderer condemned, a rogue, a slave. I want a name for my children. I want so much more of my husband." She rolled her eyes in sudden confusion. "And I do not want to hurt you more."
Ruark sighed and gave up for the moment. He reached out and gently wiped away the tears as they fell. "Shanna, love," he whispered tenderly, "I cannot bear to see you cry. I will not press the matter for a while. I only beg you remember the longest journey is taken a step at a time. My love can wait, but it will neither yield nor change.”
“Without darkness, nothing comes to birth, As without light, nothing flowers.”
“The most she knew about gardens was the Bakers’ own backyard, which contained one large mulberry tree and a rosebush, plus the window boxes where her mother grew runner beans. She knew there was earth under the plants and that the earth contained worms. She shuddered.”
“We're human, after all, and everybody's got something a little off somewhere.”
“I have had great enlightenment from the writings of St. John of the Cross. When I was between seventeen and eighteen, they were my only spiritual food. But as I grew older, religious writers left me quite unmoved. I’m still like that. If I glance at a book, no matter how good and moving it is, my heart at once contracts and I read without understanding or, if I understand, I cannot meditate on it. When I’m in this state, the Bible and The Imitation come to my rescue. In them I find hidden manna, a pure and substantial food. But, above all, the Gospels help me in my prayers. They are always showing me new ways of looking at things, and I am always finding hidden and mysterious meanings in them. I understand and, by experience, I know that the Kingdom of God is within us. Jesus has no need of books or doctors of the Church to guide souls. He, the Doctor of doctors, can teach without words. I have never heard Him speak, but I know that He is within me. He guides and inspires me every moment of the day. Just when I need it, a new light shines on my problems. This happens not so much during my hours of prayer as when I’m busy with my daily work.”
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