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Peter S. Beagle quotes (showing 1-30 of 332)

“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“The true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things. The swineherd cannot already be wed to the princess when he embarks on his adventures, nor can the boy knock on the witch's door when she is already away on vacation. The wicked uncle cannot be found out and foiled before he does something wicked. Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a very long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. (...) You can strike your own time, and start the count anywhere. When you understand that — then any time at all will be the right time for you.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Your name is a golden bell hung in my heart. I would break my body to pieces to call you once by your name.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I am no king, and I am no lord,
And I am no soldier at-arms," said he.
"I'm none but a harper, and a very poor harper,
That am come hither to wed with ye."

"If you were a lord, you should be my lord,
And the same if you were a thief," said she.
"And if you are a harper, you shall be my harper,
For it makes no matter to me, to me,
For it makes no matter to me."

"But what if it prove that I am no harper?
That I lied for your love most monstrously?"

"Why, then I'll teach you to play and sing,
For I dearly love a good harp," said she.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I am what I am. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, for you have been kind to me. But I am a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
tags: cats
“It’s a rare man who is taken for what he truly is.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I am full of tears and hunger and the fear of death, although I cannot weep, and I want nothing, and I cannot die. I am not like the others now, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but I do. I regret.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“As for you and your heart and the things you said and didn't say, she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Marveling at his own boldness, he said softly, "I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
tags: love
“Take me with you. For laughs, for luck, for the unknown. Take me with you.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“The magician stood erect, menacing the attackers with demons, metamorphoses, paralyzing ailments, and secret judo holds. Molly picked up a rock.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“You were the one who taught me," he said. "I never looked at you without seeing the sweetness of the way the world goes together, or without sorrow for its spoiling. I became a hero to serve you, and all that is like you.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Whatever can die is beautiful — more beautiful than a unicorn, who lives forever, and who is the most beautiful creature in the world. Do you understand me?”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I think love is stronger than habits or circumstances. I think it is possible to keep yourself for someone for a long time and still remember why you were waiting when she comes at last.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“We are our own dragons and our own heroes. We must rescue ourselves from ourselves.”
Peter S. Beagle
“Her voice left a flavor of honey and gunpowder on the air.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“There are honest people in the world, but only because the devil considers their asking prices ridiculous.”
Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place
“Where have you been?" she cried. "Damn you, where have you been?" She took a few steps toward Schmendrick, but she was looking beyond him, at the unicorn.

When she tried to get by, the magician stood in her way. "You don't talk like that," he told her, still uncertain that Molly had recognized the unicorn. "Don't you know how to behave, woman? You don't curtsy, either."

But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. "Where have you been?" Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn's old dark eyes that looked down.

"I am here now," she said at last.

Molly laughed with her lips flat. "And what good is it to me that you're here now? Where where you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?" With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. "I wish you had never come. Why did you come now?" The tears began to slide down the sides of her nose.

The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, "She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world."

"She would be." Molly sniffed. "It would be the last unicorn in the world to come to Molly Grue." She reached up then to lay her hand on the unicorn's cheek; but both of them flinched a little, and the touch came to rest on on the swift, shivering place under the jaw. Molly said, "It's all right. I forgive you.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Then what is magic for?" Prince Lír demanded wildly. "What use is wizardry if it cannot save a unicorn?" He gripped the magician's shoulder hard, to keep from falling.

Schmedrick did not turn his head. With a touch of sad mockery in his voice, he said, "That's what heroes are for.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I love whom I love," Prince Lir repeated firmly. "You have no power over anything that matters.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Sparrows and cats will live in my shoe,
Sooner than I will live with you.
Fish will come walking out of the sea,
Sooner than you will come back to me.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“I think that love is stronger than habits or circumstances. I think it is possible to keep yourself for someone for a long time, and still remember why you were waiting when she comes at last.... I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“...no cat out of its first fur can ever be deceived by appearances. Unlike human beings, who enjoy them.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger,
And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

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