“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
“It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.”
“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
“Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut at the right times.”
“Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
“Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find.”
“I've waited a long time to show these flowers how pretty you are.”
“I thought of all the others who had tried to tie her to the ground and failed. So I resisted showing her the songs and poems I had written, knowing that too much truth can ruin a thing. And if that meant she wasn't entirely mine, what of it? I would be the one she could always return to without fear of recrimination or question. So I did not try to win her and contented myself with playing a beautiful game. But there was always a part of me that hoped for more, and so there was a part of me that was always a fool.”
“I have an apple that thinks its a pear. And a bun that thinks it’s a cat. And a lettuce that thinks its a lettuce."
"It’s a clever lettuce, then."
"Hardly," she said with a delicate snort. "Why would anything clever think it’s a lettuce?"
"Even if it is a lettuce?" I asked.
"Especially then," she said. "Bad enough to be a lettuce. How awful to think you are a lettuce too.”
“You can divide infinity an infinite number of times, and the resulting pieces will still be infinitely large,” Uresh said in his odd Lenatti accent. “But if you divide a non-infinite number an infinite number of times the resulting pieces are non-infinitely small. Since they are non-infinitely small, but there are an infinite number of them, if you add them back together, their sum is infinite. This implies any number is, in fact, infinite.”
“Wow,” Elodin said after a long pause. He leveled a serious finger at the Lenatti man. “Uresh. Your next assignment is to have sex. If you do not know how to do this, see me after class.”
“Knowing your own ignorance is the first step to enlightenment.”
“All the truth in the world is held in stories.”
“How about this?' Simmon asked me. "Which is worse, stealing a pie or killing Ambrose?"
I gave it a moment's hard thought. "A meat pie, or a fruit pie?”
“You never do things the easy way, do you?" she said.
"There's an easy way?" I asked.”
“There are so many men, all endlessly attempting to sweep me off my feet. And there is one of you, trying just the opposite. Making sure my feet are firm beneath me, lest I fall.”
“Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
“I know," she said. "You have a stone in your heart, and some days it's so heavy there is nothing to be done. But you don't have to be alone for it. You should have come to me. I understand.”
“Re'lar Kvothe," he said seriously. "I am trying to wake your sleeping mind to the subtle language the world is whispering. I am trying to seduce you into understanding. I am trying to teach you." He leaned forward until his face was almost touching mine. "Quit grabbing at my tits.”
“I swear I've never met a man who has your knack for lack of social grace. If you weren't naturally charming, someone would have stabbed you by now.”
“It’s not over if you’re still here,” Chronicler said. “It’s not a tragedy if you’re still alive.”
“It was only then I realized I didn't know the name of Elodin's class. I leafed through the ledger until I spotted Elodin's name, then ran my finger back to where the title of the class was listed in fresh dark ink: "Introduction to Not Being a Stupid Jackass."
I sighed and penned my name in the single blank space beneath.”
“Death was like an unpleasant neighbor. You didn’t talk about him for fear he might hear you and decide to pay a visit.”
“Sought we the Scrivani word-work of Surthur
Long-lost in ledger all hope forgotten.
Yet fast-found for friendship fair the book-bringer
Hot comes the huntress Fela, flushed with finding
Breathless her breast her high blood rising
To ripen the red-cheek rouge-bloom of beauty.
“That sort of thing,” Simmon said absently, his eyes still scanning the pages in front of him.
I saw Fela turn her head to look at Simmon, almost as if she were surprised to see him sitting there.
No, it was almost as if up until that point, he’d just been occupying space around her, like a piece of furniture. But this time when she looked at him, she took all of him in. His sandy hair, the line of his jaw, the span of his shoulders beneath his shirt. This time when she looked, she actually saw him.
Let me say this. It was worth the whole awful, irritating time spent searching the Archives just to watch that moment happen. It was worth blood and the fear of death to see her fall in love with him. Just a little. Just the first faint breath of love, so light she probably didn’t notice it herself. It wasn’t dramatic, like some bolt of lightning with a crack of thunder following. It was more like when flint strikes steel and the spark fades almost too fast for you to see. But still, you know it’s there, down where you can’t see, kindling.”
“Vashet: “I will admit, I’ve never had a studen offer himself up for a vicious beating in order to prove he’s worth my time.”
Kvothe: “That was nothing. Once I jumped off a roof.”
“Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out.
“Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either.
“That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it.
“He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it.
“He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer.
“Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything.
“Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver.
“The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.”
I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the
high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.”
There was a moment of stunned silence.
“What?” Hespe asked incredulously.
“His ass fell off.”
“That is how heavy a secret can become. It can make blood flow easier than ink.”
“I’d heard you were dead.”
"I heard you wear a red lace corset,” I said matter-of-factly. “But I don’t believe every bit of nonsense that gets rumored about.”
“Only a fool worries over what he can’t control.”
“When you love something, you have to make sure it loves you back, or you'll bring about no end of trouble chasing it.”
“...it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart.”
“Time and again the people still in the camp, realizing they were now trapped, called to God in a hundred different dialects. He laughed and cried at once. He had so many names, yet could not answer to any of them.”
“It was clear to me that it wouldn't matter what I did - they would never truly appreciate me or learn what I had to offer. They were far beyond fickle - they were insensible, like kittens,predatory little things, distracted by the first bit of string or shiny bauble that rolled across the floor, and nothing I could ever say or do could possibly make any kind of dent in their willful ignorance.”
“For all those landscapes, those flowers and those plowed fields, the oldest of lands, show you every spring that there are things you cannot choke in blood.”
“Every person in therapy has a love disorder.”
“Superfast beings shouldn't piss off the comics geek-girl.”
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