A Civil Campaign Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12) A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
11,752 ratings, 4.43 average rating, 514 reviews
Open Preview
A Civil Campaign Quotes (showing 1-28 of 28)
“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“You don't pay back your parents. You can't. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn. It's a sort of entailment. Or if you don't have children of the body, it's left as a debt to your common humanity. Or to your God, if you possess or are possessed by one.

The family economy evades calculation in the gross planetary product. It's the only deal I know where, when you give more than you get, you aren't bankrupted - but rather, vastly enriched.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honor shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards. That's soul-destroying. The other way around is merely very, very irritating.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Too late, he recalled Miles's dictum that the reward for a job well done was usually a harder job.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Not that I haven't leaped up into the blinding light of competence now and then. It's sustaining the altitude that defeats me.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“[Koudelka] looked back, "You?! I know you! You trust beyond reason!"
[Cordelia] met his eyes steadily, "Yes, it's how I get results beyond hope, as you may recall.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“If power was an illusion, wasn't weakness necessarily one also?”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“My dinner party,' Miles grated. 'It's just breaking up.' And sinking. All souls feared lost.
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“There's something to that in both directions," said Ekaterin mildly. "Nothing is more guaranteed to make one start acting like a child than to be treated like one. It's so infuriating. It took me the longest time to figure out how to stop falling into that trap."
"Yes, exactly," said Kareen eagerly. "You understand! So—how did you make them stop?"
"You can't make them—whoever your particular them is—do anything, really," said Ekaterin slowly. "Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste . . . years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just . . . take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that, and walk away. But that's hard.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“…the trouble with oaths of the form, death before dishonor, is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into two sorts of people: the dead, and the forsworn.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry.
This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay.
You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either.
I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly.
Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed.
You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives.
I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want.
I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts.
But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision.
I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House.
Yours to command,
Miles Vorkosigan”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Pym!" The Countess spotted a new victim, and her voice went a little dangerous. "I seconded you to look after Miles. Would you care to explain this scene?"

There was a thoughtful pause. In a voice of simple honesty, Pym replied, "No, Milady.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“For a while, I thought I was going mad. At last, I became reconciled to my despair.

The medications helped, too, I thought, sir.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
tags: humor
“I miss it every minute, and I have no wish at all to go back.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Gardens were meant to be seen, smelled, walked through, grubbed in. A hundred objective measurements didn't sum the worth of a garden; only the delight of its users did that.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Vormurtos leaned on the frame with his arms crossed, and failed to move aside.

At Miles's polite, "Excuse us, please," Vormurtos pursed his lips in exaggerated irony.

"Why not? Everyone else has. It seems if you are Vorkosigan enough, you can even get away with murder."

Ekaterin stiffened unhappily. Miles hesitated a fractional moment, considering responses: explanation, outrage, protest? Argument in a hallway with a half-potted fool? No. I am Aral Vorkosigan's son, after all. Instead, he stared up unblinkingly, and breathed, "So if you truly believe that, why are you standing in my way?"

Vormurtos's inebriated sneer drained away, to be replaced by a belated wariness. With an effort at insouciance that he did not quite bring off, he unfolded himself, and opened his hand to wave the couple past. When Miles bared his teeth in an edged smile, he backed up an extra and involuntary step. Miles shifted Ekaterin to his other side and strode past without looking back.

Ekaterin glanced over her shoulder once, as they made their way down the corridor. In a tone of dispassionate observation, she murmured, "He's melted. You know, your sense of humor is going to get you into deep trouble someday."

"Belike," Miles sighed.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about
yourself... Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And
outlive the bastards.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“How had he rehearsed this vitally-important, utterly-critical meeting, again? "Mother, Father, let me introduce -- she's getting away!”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Pym looked at the bugs, glanced at the sleeve of his proud uniform, stared again at the deadly parody of his insignia the creatures now bore, and shot Miles a look of heartbreaking despair, a silent cry which Miles had no trouble interpreting as, Please, m'lord, please, can we take him out and kill him now?”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Honesty is the only way with anyone, when you’ll be so close as to be living inside each other’s skins.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“everyone has their folding-point, Miles. Their mortal vulnerability. Some just keep it in a nonstandard location.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Lately, I have come to believe that the principal difference between heaven and hell is the company you keep there.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.... The friction tends to arise when the two are not the same....There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honor shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards. That's soul destroying. The other way around is merely very, very irritating.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“You? I know you! You trust beyond reason."
She met his eyes steadily. "Yes. It's how I get results beyond hope. As you may recall.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
“He’s going to say it, I just know he is …
“Let’s see what happens.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
tags: humor

All Quotes
Quotes By Lois McMaster Bujold
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game