Bernard Cornwell Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 54 quotes)
The first sound was the bowstrings, the snap of five thousand hemp cords being tightened by stressed yew, and that sound was like the devi?s harpstrings being plucked. Then there was the arrow sound, the sigh of air over feathers, but multiplied, so that it was like the rushing of a wind. That sound diminished as two clouds of arrows, thick as any flock of starlings, climbed into the gray sky. Hook, reaching for another broadhead, marveled at the sight of five thousand arrows in two sky-shadowing groups. The two storms seemed to hover for a hear?s beat at the height of their trajectory, and then the missiles fell. It was Saint Crispi?s Day in Picardy. For an instant there was silence. Then the arrows struck. It was the sound of steel on steel. A clatter, like Sata?s hailstorm.
But when you have order, you don't need Gods. When everything is well ordered and disciplined then nothing is unexpected. If you understand everything,' I said carefully, 'then there's no room left for magic. It's only when you're lost and frightened and in the dark that you call on the Gods, and they like us to call on them. It makes them feel powerful, and that's why they like us to live in chaos.
You're giving up the hunt for de Taillebourg?' Thomas asked. He had learned the priest's name from Robbie. 'No.' Robbie still had his head back as he stared at the magnificence of the transept's ceiling. 'I'll find him and then I'll gralloch the bastard.' Thomas did not know what gralloch meant, but decided the word was bad news for de Taillebourg.
Poor Uther. He believed that virtues are handed down through a man's loins! What nonsense! A child is like a calf; if the thing is born crippled you knock it smartly on the skull and serve the cow again. That's why the Gods made it such a pleasure to engender children, because so many of the little brutes have to be replaced. There's not much pleasure in the process for women, of course, but someone has to suffer andthank the Gods it's them and not us.
I do understand that you can look into someone’s eyes,” I heard myself saying, “and suddenly know that life will be impossible without them. Know that their voice can make your heart miss a beat and that their company is all your happiness can ever desire and that their absence will leave your soul alone, bereft and lost.
You'll call me a damned Jew, a Christ murderer, a secret worshipper of pigs and a kidnapper of christian children.' This was all said cheerfully. 'How absurd! Who would want to kidnap children, Christian or otherwise? Vile things. The only mercy of children is that they grow up, as my son has but then, tragically, they beget more children. We do not learn life's lessons.
To hear the tales told at night-time hearths you would think we had made a whole new country in Britain, named it Camelot and peopled it with shining heroes, but the truth is that we simply ruled Dumnonia as best we could, we ruled it justly and we never called it Camelot. Camelot exists only in the poets' dreams, while in our Dumnonia, even in those good years, the harvests still failed, the plagues still ravaged us and wars were still fought.
It was while he was on the tower that Robbie came to the rampart beneath. 'I want you to look at this,' Robbie called up to him, and flourished a newly painted shield. 'You like it?' Thomas peered down and, in the moonlight, saw something red. 'What is it?' he asked. 'A blood smear?' 'You blind English bastard,' Robbie said, 'it's the red heart of Douglas!' 'Ah. From up here it looks like something died on the shield.