Lovely Books - Quotes

It's time for the last of Tracey Dyck's wonderful linkup, Lovely Books! This edition, glorious thing, is all about quotes.
It's an excruciatingly fun edition. Excruciatingly. Because how, how on earth, how in the universe, is one to include even a decent sprinkling of all the wonderful passages of so many hundreds of books into one measly blog post???
Oh well. Here goes.
The child hesitated for a moment.

"Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.

"Call you Cordelia! Is that your name?"

"No-o-o, it's not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name."

"I don't know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn't your name, what is?"

"Anne Shirley," reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that name, "but oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can't matter much to you what you call me if I'm only going to be here a little while, can it? And Anne is such an unromantic name."
- Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Laurie went by in the afternoon, and, seeing Meg at the window, seemed suddenly possessed by a melodramatic fit, for he fell down upon one knee in the snow, beat his breast, tore his hair, and clasped his hands imploringly, as if begging some boon; and when Meg told him to behave himself, and go away, he wrung imaginary tears out of his handkerchief, and staggered round the corner as if in utter despair.

"What does the goose mean?" said Meg, laughing, and trying to look unconscious.

"He's showing you how your John will go on by and by. Touching, isn't it?" answered Jo, scornfully.

"Don't say my John, it isn't proper or true;" but Meg's voice lingered over the words as if they sounded pleasant to her.
- Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
“The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”  
- The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
  “Why should your Majesty expect it? My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.”  
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis
 “One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.”  
- The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis
"It is not the trappings that make the prince, nor, indeed, the sword that makes the warrior."
 - The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander

"My dear boy, this is a bit of metal hammered into a rather unattractive shape; it could better have been a pruning hook or a plow iron. Its powers? Like all weapons, only those held by him who wields it."
 - The Black Cauldron, by Lloyd Alexander

"If you want truth, you should begin by giving it."
 - Taran Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander
You have let a soul slip through your fingers. The howl of sharpened famine for that loss reechoes at this moment through all the levels of the Kingdom of Noise down to the very Throne itself. It makes me mad to think of it. How well I know what happened at the instant when they snatched him from you! There was a sudden clearing of his eyes (was there not?) as he saw you for the first time, and recognized the part you had had in him and knew that you had it no longer. Just think (and let it be the beginning of your agony) what he felt at that moment; as if a scab had fallen from an old sore, as if he were emerging from a hideous, shell-like tetter, as if he shuffled off for good and all a defiled, wet, clinging garment. By Hell, it is misery enough to see them in their mortal days taking off dirtied and uncomfortable clothes and splashing in hot water and giving little grunts of pleasure - stretching their eased limbs! What, then, of this final stripping, this complete cleansing?
- The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
Fra Bartolomeo de'Domenici mopped his forehead. "I've never dared pray to be allowed a vision", he muttered. "Praying is such a dangerous thing. Before you know where you are, you're heard."
 - Lay Siege to Heaven, by Louis de Wohl
The Pope must know by now that she was a saint. And saints were uncomfortable people. They had a way of inspiring fear in those who had not yet reached perfection...
- Lay Siege to Heaven, by Louis de Wohl
"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?" cried Flambeau.

The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.

"Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose," he said. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but here men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."

"What?" asked the thief, almost gaping.

"You attacked reason," said Father Brown. "It's bad theology."
- The Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
There was so much to read, for one thing, and so much fine health to be pulled down out of the young breath-giving air.
- The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a - of a rose, an absolute rose. Doesn't he?" She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: "An absolute rose?"
This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose.
- The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pearl, that wild and flighty little elf, stole softly towards him, and taking his hand in the grasp of both her own, laid her cheek against it; a caress so tender, and withal so unobtrusive, that her mother, who was looking on, asked herself - "Is that my Pearl?" Yet she knew that there was love in the child's heart, although it mostly revealed itself in passion, and hardly twice in her lifetime had been softened by such gentleness as now. The minister - for, save the long-sought regards of woman, nothing is sweeter than these marks of childish preference, accorded spontaneously by a spiritual instinct, and therefore seeming to imply in us something truly worthy to be loved - the minister looked round, laid his hand on the child's head, hesitated an instant, and then kissed her brow.
- The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
"You'll live to regret it, young fellow! Why didn't you go too? You don't belong here; you're no Baggins - you - you're a Brandybuck!"
"Did you hear that, Merry? That was an insult, if you like," said Frodo as he shut the door on her.
"It was a compliment," said Merry Brandybuck, "and so, of course, not true."
- The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sam fell on his knees, trembling. "Get up, Sam!" said Gandalf. "I have thought of something better than that. Something to shut your mouth, and punish you properly for listening. You shall go away with Mr. Frodo!"

"Me, sir!" cried Sam, springing up like a dog invited for a walk. "Me go and see Elves and all! Hooray!" he shouted, and then burst into tears.
- The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

They had been going for a long while - Pippin had tried to keep count of the 'ent-strides' but had failed, getting lost at about three thousand - when Treebeard began to slacken his pace.
- The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

She should not die, so fair, so desperate! At least she should not die alone, unaided.
- The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Ah! Monsieur," sighed the Comtesse, "it all sounds like a romance, and I cannot understand it all."
"Why should you try, Madame?"
- The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy
"I say, Aunt Jane," he said, speaking with as much distinctness as the crowded state of his mouth would allow, "you're a real genuine, old fairy-grandmother, you are."

He intended this for a magnificent compliment, but Aunt Jane did not look particularly gratified. To a Miss of thirty the epithets "old" and "grandmother" were rather suggestive.
- Tom Playfair, by Fr. Francis J. Finn 


  1. Father Brown!!! I love those stories - they're so FASCINATING to read. Chesterton was an amazing author, wasn't he?

    I just was reading Ella Enchanted, for a book club, and my favorite quote was this:

    'I hummed a stanza of Areida's favorite song, a sad one, about a farmer whose family is starving. Char joined me, singing softly. Near us, heads turned. I saw Hattie frown with her smile still frozen in place.

    When we finished, he bowed again. "Would you favor me with a dance?"

    Over all the others I was his choice! I curtsied, and he took my hand.

    Our hands knew each other. Char looked at me, startled. "Have we met before, Lady?"'

    Have you read Ella Enchanted? I really enjoyed it!

    1. Oh my goodness, you read Father Brown, too?? Chesterton is like my favorite author ever!! *fangirl squeal*

      And, ooh, Ella Enchanted! I love that book! It's so sweet and good and fun! I really need to read it again. That's a great quote!

    2. YES I'VE READ FATHER BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love those stories, like, SO MUCH. Chesterton was an AMAZING writer. His descriptions alone could knock you over with a feather! Have you read The Ball And The Cross by him? I know some people don't like it - I think it's one of those books where you either love it or hate it. But I loved it. TO BITS :D

      Yes, Ella Enchanted!! It's a really clever take on the traditional Cinderella story, where Cinderella is good and obedient by CHOICE - in Ella Enchanted, she's FORCED to be obedient, which turns the whole story up-side-down :D

    3. His DESCRIPTIONS! Oh, yes, they're lovely! I love how much he uses color. And, oh, his common sense is delightful. :) I've not read The Ball and the Cross or even heard of it, actually - but I really should. :) I need to read more of his fiction. So far I've only read a bunch of the Father Brown mysteries, Orthodoxy, Heretics, and some poetry. And oh, his poem The Battle of Lepanto is sooo beautiful.... Haha, I'll stop now. :)

      It is really clever! A curse to be obedient - what an interesting and creative source of conflict. And I loved Char. :)

    4. Yes all da color!! You definitely should read the Ball and the Cross - it's awesome. I've not read the Battle of Lepanto, but I bet it's great! Oh, and have you read The Ballad Of The White Horse?! I had to read that for school this year and - WOW. Just WOW. It was SO BEAUTIFUL.

    5. I'll go seek out The Ball and the Cross quite eagerly! And The Ballad of the White Horse, too - I've heard that's very good. The Battle of Lepanto has to be just about my favorite poem ever. :)

    6. Wonderful :) I'll keep my eyes out for The Battle of Lepanto as well!

  2. I'd like to echo everything my sister, Rosie McCann, said above--I LOVE G.K. Chesterton, and I'm soooooooooooo happy to meet another fan!!! :-)

    Father Brown is quite possibly my favorite literary character of all time. I relate to him SO MUCH. And the stories themselves are just brilliant. I haven't read them for several years (being really busy with college and all) but I remember vividly how much fun I had reading them as a teenager. I'm going to try and revisit them just as soon as I can.

    Do you have a favorite story, by any chance? I think mine is "The Insoluble Problem." That ending is just . . . PERFECTION.

    1. Chesterton fans unite! Lovely to meet you, Jessica! :)

      Oh, yes, Father Brown is a lovable character, and the stories are DAZZLING. I really have to reread them, too - actually, there's quite a few I haven't read yet, so I'll have to read those before rereading the others. :)

      A favorite story - hmm. They're all so good! Well, the one I will NEVER forget is "The Secret Garden." The ending left absolute shock. And another one that I really liked was "The Arrow From Heaven." But they're all so good! I don't think I've read "The Insoluble Problem" yet - I'll have to get on it!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Jessica!

    2. I love "The Arrow From Heaven"--great plot and atmosphere :-) I'm pretty sure "The Insoluble Problem" is the last Father Brown story, at the very end of "The Scandal of Father Brown," but it's been a while so I'm not 100% sure.

      No problem! :-)

    3. Ah, that could be why I haven't read it yet. :) I'll have to hurry up and read the rest of those wonderful stories!

  3. I AM SO SORRY, LUCY. Look how late I am! Weeks! I sincerely apologize. D:

    Anne of Green Gables is wonderful. That Cordelia quote reminded me why I want to reread it one of these days. :)

    "The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you often succeed." XDDD LOVE that line! And oh, how I love Reepicheep.

    I've never read Lay Siege to Heaven, but that "before you know where you are, you're heard" line sounds quite good.

    I must say, after having watched The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, that comparison of Sam to a dog is most accurate. ^_^

    That Tom Playfair one--ha, that's great. XD (And yet another I haven't read.)

    Wonderful collection of quotes! I read it shortly after you posted it, but have taken an atrociously long while to get around to commenting. >.> Thanks again for your participation!

    1. Haha! Don't worry about it, Tracey! Seriously. It's fine. :D

      Oh, Anne of Green Gables is delightful, isn't it? And Anne is so...well, Anne. :)

      Reep is one of my favorite characters ever. :) So belligerent and spunky and fearless and...cute...(not that he would appreciate that).

      Lay Siege to Heaven is a good one. :) That line in particular struck me as funny, in a wise, religious sort of way.

      Sam IS like a dog, isn't he?? I never noticed the fittingness of that comparison before, but it really is true - he's as unfailingly loyal as "man's best friend." :)

      Oh, Tom is funny. :)

      Thanks, Tracey! I'm glad you liked it. :) And don't worry about the late comment - do you know how many of your wonderful posts I've meant to comment on, but never gotten around to?? Practically all of them. :) Thanks for hosting this linkup! It was really tons of fun. :)


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