Dorothy Dunnett Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 146 quotes)
It was a piece of advice only, and aimed at myself as much, I suppose, as at you?For those of easy tongues, she said. Remember, some live all their lives without discovering this truth; that the noblest and most terrible power we possess is the power we have, each of us, over the chance-met, the stranger, the passer-by outside your life and your kin. Speak, she said, as you would write: as if your words were letters of lead, graven there for all time, for which you must take the consequences. And take the consequences.
His leaf-gold tresses on end, his eyes in baskets from the long night without sleep, Phelim ?LiamRoe smacked his two fists together and cursed. The Queen Dowager, hardly aware of him, had turned her erect body to the window, followed by Margaret Erskin?s wide eyes. But Michel Hrisson, who had arrived so unexpectedly on the Irishma?s heels, ran his hacked and gouty hands through the wild white hair and said through his teeth,?Liam aboo, son, Liam aboo! My Gaeli?s all out in holes, the way my arse is ridden out through my breeches; but if you are saying what I hope you are saying, Liam aboo, my son, Liam aboo!
Two mornings later, entering her daughter’s room, Kate was struck by the flatness of the bed, and then by the sight of a folded paper laid dead centre of the untenanted pillow. Unfolded, it proved to be a witty and delightfully-written apology from her daughter for upsetting the household, coupled with the information that, having some business of vital importance to transact north of the Border in the immediate future, she had taken the liberty of leaving for a few days without permission, as she just knew that Kate would make a fuss and stop her. She would be back directly with some heather, and Kate was not to worry and not to speak to any strange men. She had, Philippa concluded, taken Cheese-wame Henderson with her: thus becoming the only known fugitive to persuade her bodyguard to run away, too. It was a typical Somerville letter, and in other circumstances Kate no doubt would have been charmed by the spelling alone. As it was, she roused the neighbourhood for ten miles around, and there was no able-bodied Englishman within reach of Flaw Valleys who slept in his own bed that night or the next.
They’re talking about Marthe, Matre Gaultier’s assistant. What’s she like? Pretty?’ ‘She’s pretty,’ said the man. Philippa studied the taciturn face. ‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘Mr Blyth wants her all to himself?’ For a moment, she thought it hadn’t worked. Then the man gave a snort. ‘Mr Blyth want her? He held us up at Avignon for two days refusing to go on until she was sent back home, but Gaultier wouldn’t do it, and he had to give in. Mr Blyth and Gaultier haven’t spoken since. Aye,’ said Jerott’s man morosely. ‘It’s going to be a grand, sociable trip.
Lymond said softly, ‘That is the only thing you may not say to me. . . . Kate, superb Kate: I will not be mothered.’ ‘Mothered!’ Kate’s small, undistinguished face was black with annoyance. ‘I would sooner mother a vampire. I am merely trying to point out what your browbeaten theorists at St Mary’s ought surely to have mentioned in passing. Health is a weapon of war. Unless you obtain adequate rest, first your judgement will go, and then every other qualification you may have to command, and either way, the forces of light will have a field-day in the end.
I was a slave in the corsair Dragut’s own palace. I saw his women—Spanish, French, Italian, Irish. I was at the branding of all his poor children. To some women, degradation like that is the worst sort of torture.’ There was a small silence, in which Philippa’s epiglottis popped like a cork. Beside her, Jerott’s breathing faltered in the same moment and resumed, shallowly, as he went on straining to hear.
There’s some of them’ll be nursing a guid scratch or two on their hinder-ends this night.… Man, it was a rout.’ ‘I imagine,’ said Piero Strozzi, his dark face impassive, ‘that my lord Grey’s army would not relish their defeat either.’ ‘Oh, aye, the English,’ said Buccleuch absently. ‘We are, after all, at war with them and not with the Kerrs,’ the Marshal said mildly.
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.
Jerott’s eyes and Philippa’s met. ‘When I meet my friend,’ said Jerott Blyth carefully, ‘there is likely to be a detonation which will take the snow off Mont Blanc. I advise you to seek other auspices. Philippa, I think we should go down below.’ ‘To swim?’ said that unprepossessing child guilelessly. ‘I can stand on my head.’ ‘Oh, Christ,’ said Jerott morosely. ‘Why in hell did you come?’ The brown eyes within the damp, dun-coloured hair inspected him narrowly. ‘Because you need a woman,’ said Philippa finally. ‘And I’m the nearest thing to it that you’re likely to get. It was very short notice.
What a hell of a welcome. I’m sorry. But there’s so much still to do outside before the weather closes, and we have to tackle all the dreary minuti on weapons and theory where all your knightly warriors start losing their tempers and you have to go through a deadly routine of light relief with competitions and war jokes and community singing, and long, long stories of rape and battle and Generals I have Known.
He’d heard of this woman. The Dame de Doubtance, they called her: a madwoman and a caster of horoscopes. Gaultier gave her house-room and men and women came to her from all the known world and had their futures foretold—if she felt like it. She had given some help once to Lymond, on her own severe terms, because of a distant link, it was said, with his family. Plainly, a crazy old harridan. But if she was going to tell Lymond he ought to find a nice girl and marry her, Jerott wanted very much to be there.