Frances Hardinge Quotes About Wit

Browse 49 famous quotes of Frances Hardinge about Wit.

"Where is your sense of patriotism?"I keep it hid away safe, along with my sense of trust, Mr. Clent. I don't use 'em much in case they get scratched." ~ Frances Hardinge
"But in the name of all that is holy, Mosca, of all the people you could have taken up with, why Eponymous Clent?" murmured Kohlrabi.Because I'd been hording words for years, buying them from peddlers and carving them secretly on bits of bark so I wouldn't forget them, and then he turned up using words like "epiphany" and "amaranth." Because I heard him talking in the marketplace, laying out sentences like a merchant rolling out rich silks. Because he made words and ideas dance like flames and something that was damp and dying came alive in my mind, the way it hadn't since they burned my father's books. Because he walked into Chough with stories from exciting places tangled around him like maypole streamers..."Mosca shrugged."He's got a way with words." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Again Mosca felt she was up in the rafters, watching the mice. Little mouse, witless with fear. Running the wrong way. And here she was, just watching. Becoming a part of it by doing nothing." ~ Frances Hardinge
"We' was such a comforting word. ‘We' meant weathering things together. Camaraderie. Safety in numbers. All the things that Havoc and Jade and Perch had talked about. And yet Mosca had seen all these things collapse within an hour of the dusk bugle." ~ Frances Hardinge
"This is the young lady with the printed heart." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Mosca had never tasted power before. It was a little like the feeling the gin had given her, but without the bitterness and the numbness in her nose." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Mosca felt filled with panic. She was an arsonist, runaway, thief, spy and murderer's accomplice, and here she was of her own free will taking step after weak-kneed step towards the prison. She turned a final corner, and now she could see the prison waiting to pounce on her, crouched behind the watch house like a panther behind a mound. The prison – the ‘louse house', the ‘tribulation', the ‘stone jug', the ‘naskin'. It would put out a great paw to pin her, and she would never escape it again." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Mosca felt something enormous swell within the knotted stomach that she hid behind her fists. It seemed it must surge out of her like a wild, black wave, sweeping away stalls and strollers alike and biting the plaster from the walls." ~ Frances Hardinge
"If wits were pins, the man would be a veritable hedgehog." ~ Frances Hardinge
"I am content to be hated, and bloody, and outnumbered. For in this sickened world, it is better to believe in something too fiercely than to believe in nothing."Words, words, wonderful words. But lies too. "No, it isn't!" shouted Mosca the Housefly, Quillam Mye's daughter. "Not if what you're believin' isn't blinkin' well True! You shouldn't just go believin' things for no reason, pertickly if you got a sword in your hand! Sacred just means something you're not meant to think about properly, an' you should never stop thinking! Show me something I can kick, and hit with rocks, and set fire to, and leave out in the rain, and think about, and if it's still standing after all that then maybe, just maybe, I'll start to believe in it, but not till then. An' if all we're left with is muck and wickedness and no gods, then we'd better face it and get used to it because it's better than a lie." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Sometimes fear made you angry. Perhaps after years anger cooled, like a sword taken from a forge. Perhaps in the end you were left with something very cold and very sharp." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Brand a man as a thief and no one will ever hire him for honest labor - he will be a hardened robber within weeks. The brand does not reveal a person's nature, it shapes it." ~ Frances Hardinge
"My child, you have a flawed grasp of the nature of myth-making. I am a poet and storyteller, a creator of ballads and sagas. Pray do not confuse the exercise of the imagination with mere mendacity. I am a master of the mysteries of words, their meanings and music and mellifluous magic." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Mosca said nothing. The word ‘damsel' rankled with her. She suddenly thought of the clawed girl from the night before, jumping the filch on an icy street. Much the same age and build as Beamabeth, and far more beleaguered. What made a girl a ‘damsel in distress'? Were they not allowed claws? Mosca had a hunch that if all damsels had claws they would spend a lot less time ‘in distress'." ~ Frances Hardinge
"I generally find,' Clent murmured after a pause, 'that it is best to treat borrowed time the same way as borrowed money. Spend it with panache, and try to be somewhere else when it runs out.' 'And when we get found, Mr. Clent, when the creditors and bailiffs come after us and it's payment time...' '...then we borrow more, madam, at a higher interest. We embark on a wilder gamble, make a bigger promise, tell a braver story, devise a more intricate lie, sell the hides of imaginary dragons to desperate men, climb to even higher and more precarious ground...and later, of course, our fall and catastrophe will be all the worse, but later will be our watchword, Mosca. We have nothing else - but we can at least make later later." ~ Frances Hardinge
"It is terribly bad form to admit to being terrified for one's life, but nobody in their right mind would go to a Court banquet without making preparations. One must have the right costume, the right Faces, and at least eighty-two ways of avoiding assassination." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Gravelip, a young, slight footman with a pocked nose and large ears, obediently gave a smile like toothache. He seemed less than delighted to have outpaced his friends in the ugliness race." ~ Frances Hardinge
"And you may comfort yourself with the thought that you have been the caltrop under her satin shoe every step of the way. You misdirected the Romantic Facilitator she had hired, you turned up in her own house and reported her plans to her father and when she was on the brink of snatching the ransom you careered in from stage left dressed as a pantomime horse and threw everything into disorder. And then, just when she was probably working her way towards claiming a second ransom, you rescued her." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Don't sneeze, don't point at anybody with your little finger, don't scratch your left eyebrow, don't angle your knife so that it reflects light in somebody's eyes unless you're challenging them to a duel..." ~ Frances Hardinge
"She lay there with her eyes closed, as if sleep were a shy creature that might venture out if she played dead. But every time it seemed to be drawing closer, some loud thought would crash and blunder through the undergrowth, putting it to flight." ~ Frances Hardinge
"It draws you in. You twist your mind into new shapes. You start to understand Caverna . . . and you fall in love with her. Imagine the most beautiful woman in the world, but with tunnels as her long, tangled, snake-like hair. Her skin is dappled in trap-lantern gold and velvety black, like a tropical frog. Her eyes are cavern lagoons, bottomless and full of hunger. When she smiles, she has diamonds and sapphires for teeth, thousands of them, needle-thin.""But that sounds like a monster!" "She is. Caverna is terrifying. This is love, not liking. You fear her, but she is all you can think about." ~ Frances Hardinge
"The little pedlar, it seemed, fancied that he had the tools to fix the wheel. The footmen were glad to hear this, and agreed with him that he should be paid handsomely for such a service. There was some disagreement as to what constituted ‘handsome', however. The discussion of the attractiveness of various sums looked set to continue for some time." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Mosca had come armed with a rich pack of lies, ready to pick whichever seemed to suit Goshawk's mood best. Under the wintry draught of his gaze, however, she felt most of them wither away in her hands." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Until yesterday Mosca had been trapped between two rivers, desperate to get out before winter arrived. Toll had looked like her only means of escape. Now, however, she wondered if she had traded one prison for another, a smaller prison with high walls. If she was not out of it before her allotted time as a visitor ended, then the mysterious night town with its twilight cacophony would claim her." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Clent, however, suppressed any sense of pity without the slightest difficulty. His brain was busy with the icy clockwork of calculation. If only this young woman's fears were justified! Beamabeth Marlebourne would be unlikely to threaten anybody, locked away inside the Luck's cell for the rest of her life. Such a fate had a tempting poetry to it too, given that she really was the Luck of Toll, and had been all her life." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Kohlrabi's face had no expression at all, and suddenly Mosca could barely recognize him. His face had always seemed so honest, like an unshuttered window through which emotions shone without disguise. Perhaps his expressions had always been a magic-lantern display, a conjurer's trick." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Every inch of Neverfell seemed to be throbbing with life. Everything was new, and new was a drug." ~ Frances Hardinge
"She's got us, she's got us all. Caverna. She doesn't want to let us go. Do you know what she's like? A huge trap-lantern with us inside her, digesting us really, really slowly, and not wanting to let any of us go. Maybe that's the worst kind of prison – not knowing you're in a prison. Because then you don't fight to get out." ~ Frances Hardinge
"This was why he had become a master thief, to achieve this theft of thefts, this masterpiece of larceny. All the time, fascinating and terrible Caverna had been his goal. Whilst other Cartographers had sighed in vain after the beauty of her treacherous geography, he had decided to win her with cunning and threats. All along Caverna had been his opponent and his prize, and she had never suspected it for a moment. He had fooled her, fought her and defeated her. She would be furious, no doubt, would hate him, rail against him and look for ways to destroy him, but he had outmanoeuvred her and now she had no choice but to play things his way. Unlike her earlier favourites, he was her lord, not a plaything to be tossed aside when she was bored. And yet, for the first time in ten years, he found himself at something of a loss. I have succeeded. I have won. I rule the city. I wonder what I was planning to do with it?" ~ Frances Hardinge
"Cheesemaster, I know that it is almost a matter of principle with you, but you should actually be careful wearing the same Face day in and day out. It marks the countenance. Some day you may want to use one of your other Faces and suddenly realize that your face muscles can no longer remember them."Grandible stared at her, his face dour as a gibbet. "I find this one very suitable for most situations and people I encounter." ~ Frances Hardinge
"What a mind that woman must have!" he said with admiration. It was the hushed tone of a jeweller studying the largest and finest diamond he will ever see." ~ Frances Hardinge
"The ladies' fans opened with cracks like pistol shots, and were held up to block the stranger from view." ~ Frances Hardinge
"I no longer draw up maps – and maps are a Cartographer's love letters to Caverna, his way of serving and worshipping her. She is in my thoughts all the time, but I am no longer her slave.""Then you still . . . love her?" asked Neverfell, struggling with the notion. "More than ever," her companion answered softly." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Neverfell was tired, so very tired. Waiting in her room to learn of her fate, her mind kept dropping away into sleep for numb instants no longer than a blink. Next moment her thoughts would jar her awake again, thrashing and crashing and clattering like a monstrous waterwheel, turning and turning without end or purpose. She jerked and stared and barely knew where she was, dream pieces floating like iceberg shards across her half-waking mind." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Yes, ma'am, I like raspberry cake, only I like it better with no poison or scorpions in it." ~ Frances Hardinge
"She was not undamaged, however, and she knew it. No food or drink had passed her lips, but she had drunk deep of the Truth, and now it could not be flushed out of her system with bitter cordials, or washed from her skin, or picked out of her hair." ~ Frances Hardinge
"His persistence allowed us to play a game, and pretend that everything can stay as it is now forever. It cannot. The events of this day have shown us what happens when you try to keep things from changing. Sooner or later the sleeplessness catches up with you, the paranoia about threats devours you and your mind betrays you even if your body does not." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Through the bars he had laid eyes on a face like glass, somebody who could not lie without it being obvious. And he had seen a way of using that very fact to tell the greatest of lies." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Lies can be wrung out of a witness as easily as truth. Yes, after a few hours with the Enquiry's . . . instruments, I am sure she will be willing to swear that she had swallowed an antidote, or indeed that she had flown to the moon if that would make the pain stop. But, here and now, you can see she is telling the truth. There was no betrayal. There was no poison. There was no murder." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Even if it means I have to run off and live in the wild caves with a bag over my head, I still want to know what's going on. I need to know." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Suddenly he remembered Josh sitting on the motorbike and chatting with the bikers outside the pub—and he felt a throb of jealousy. It wasn't that he harbored any desire to sit on a motorbike, but...he wanted to be allowed to want to sit on a motorbike." ~ Frances Hardinge
"She felt like an amputee, reaching out reflexively with an arm she no longer had." ~ Frances Hardinge
"She realized now that she had been expecting old-fashioned instruments – pipes, fifes, fiddles and tinny drums. Instead there came the cocksure, brassy warble of a saxophone, the blare of a cornet and the squeak and trill of a clarinet being made to work for its living. Not-Triss had heard jazz with neatly wiped shoes and jazz with gritty soles and a grin. And this too was jazz, but barefoot on the grass and blank-eyed with bliss, its musical strands irregular as wind gusts and unending as ivy vines." ~ Frances Hardinge
"After the engine had faded away she did not dismount, but sat for a few minutes with her face in her hands, almost as if she was praying. If it was a prayer she was muttering, however, it was one full of all the swear words that Not-Triss had ever heard, and quite a few she had not." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Well, you will have to do. If you had died along with your mother, I would have taught the cat to read." ~ Frances Hardinge
"It was hopeless. She was flawless. She was a sunbeam. Mosca gave up and got on with hating her." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Making a wish is like saying, 'I can't deal with anything, I give up, somebody bigger come along and solve it all instead." ~ Frances Hardinge
"Clent sat up with impressive if graceless promptness, snatched his wig from a bedknob, and slammed it on his head back to front. Only then did he go about the business of actually waking." ~ Frances Hardinge
"What a world this is, he thought. Children put us to shame with their pluck, and are shot in the back for it." ~ Frances Hardinge
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Many people are caught up with the toys of contemporary society. Because of great advancements in our culture, some have cultivated an attitude of "comfortability." They may be going to hell, but it is going to be a comfortable ride for them."
Author: A.W. Tozer

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