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The Game of Kings

Dorothy Dunnett

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I wish to God,” said Gideon with mild exasperation, “that you’d talk—just once—in prose like other people.”

“I despised men who accepted their fate. I shaped mine twenty times and had it broken twenty times in my hands.”

“Repressively, Lymond himself answered. “I dislike being discussed as if I were a disease. Nobody ‘got’ me,” he said.”

“To the men exposed to his rule Lymond never appeared ill: he was never tired; he was never worried, or pained, or disappointed, or passionately angry. If he rested, he did so alone; if he slept, he took good care to sleep apart. “—I sometimes doubt if he’s human,” said Will, speaking his thought aloud. “It’s probably all done with wheels.”

“If I can’t be personal, I don’t want to argue,” said his hostess categorically. “I may be missing your points, but you’re much too busy dodging mine.”

“Versatility is one of the few human traits which are universally intolerable. You may be good at Greek and good at painting and be popular. You may be good at Greek and good at sport, and be wildly popular. But try all three and you’re a mountebank. Nothing arouses suspicion quicker than genuine, all-round proficiency.” Kate thought. “It needs an extra gift for human relationships, of course; but that can be developed. It’s got to be, because stultified talent is surely the ultimate crime against mankind. Tell your paragons to develop it: with all those gifts it’s only right they should have one hurdle to cross.” “But that kind of thing needs co-operation from the other side,” said Lymond pleasantly. “No. Like Paris, they have three choices.” And he struck a gently derisive chord between each. “To be accomplished but ingratiating. To be accomplished but resented. Or to hide behind the more outré of their pursuits and be considered erratic but harmless.”

“And habits are hell's own substitute for good intentions. Habits are the ruin of ambition, of initiative, of imagination. They're the curse of marriage and the after-bane of death.”

“You choose to play God, and the Deity points out that the post is already adequately filled. During an outburst of besotted philanthropy he had redeemed Lymond, but Lymond quite simply was not prepared to be rescued; and least of all by his brother.”

“Kate viewed him suspiciously. “I don’t see why I should abandon my entertainment because of your conscience.” “It isn’t quite conscience so much as horrified admiration,” said Lymond.”

“Oh, well. Everyone else has suave, cosmopolitan sheep: why not us? The Millers at Hepple have a ewe that’s been to Kelso three times, and they’ve never been farther than Ford in their lives.” Kate peered absently into the farm pond, and clucked again. “Thoughtless creatures. They’ve forgotten the fish.”

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Book Keywords:

good-intentions, initiative, imagination, habits

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