Arthurian Legend Quotes

Quotes tagged as "arthurian-legend" Showing 1-30 of 66
Michael Palin
“Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”
Michael Palin

T.H. White
“He felt in his heart cruelty and cowardice, the things which made him brave and kind.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Marion Zimmer Bradley
“And so, perhaps, the truth winds somewhere between the road to Glastonbury, Isle of the Priests, and the road to Avalon, lost forever in the mists of the Summer Sea.”
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon

Mary  Stewart
“I am nothing, yes; I am air and darkness, a word, a promise. I watch in the crystal and I wait in the hollow hills. But out there in the light I have a young king and a bright sword to do my work for me, and build what will stand when my name is only a word for forgotten songs and outworn wisdom, and when your name, Morgause, is only a hissing in the dark.”
Mary Stewart, The Hollow Hills

Stephen R. Lawhead
“The Queen of Air and Darkness tilted back her head and laughed. A more ghastly sound I hope never to hear. ‘Do you think I care about these trifles?’
‘Murder is no trifle, woman,’ Arthur said.
‘No? How many men have you killed, Great King? How many have you slain without cause? How many did you cut down that you might have spared? How many died because you in your battle-rage would not heed their pleas for mercy?’
The High King opened his mouth to speak, but could make no answer.”
Stephen R. Lawhead, Arthur

Marion Zimmer Bradley
“I have neither talent or taste for kingship, cousin. I am a warrior, and to dwell always in one place and live at court would weary me to death!”
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon

Rosemary Sutcliff
“No, don't draw away from me. Whatever else I am, I am your son - your most wretched son. If you do not hate me, try to love me a little, Father; it is lonely never to have been loved, only devoured.”
Rosemary Sutcliff - Sword at Sunset

M.K. Hume
“At least Morgan is honest! Artor thought as he forced his tired lips to smile. She refuses to eat at my table because she is my enemy. How many of my guests pretend?”
M K Hume, Dragon's Child

Marion Zimmer Bradley
“A priestess of Avalon does not lie. But I am cast out of Avalon, and for this, and unless it is all to be for nothing, I must lie, and lie well and quickly”
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon

M.K. Hume
“You hate him worse than me, you viper,’ he whispered as the stimulant cleared his brain.
‘Aye, lord, but here’s the oddity of it - I love him too.’ Morgan replied, her eyes void of all emotion.”
M K Hume, Dragon's Child

Stephen R. Lawhead
“Stop, Morgian. Your wiles cannot avail you now.’ He turned to the High King and said, ‘The hurt this woman has done me, I readily forgive. It is for the harm that she has caused others that she is to be judged.”
Stephen R. Lawhead, Arthur

“The Lady smiled, close-mouthed. "You magicked for Arthur himself, Merlin. The Human part of you has always loved Arthur.”
Anne Eliot Crompton, Merlin's Harp

“How are we to account for the vast interest to be found in Arthurian literature today, an interest embracing both the academic and the common person?
The answer may lie in the possibility that there is more of interest to the human being than his own circumscribed range of personal experience and the limited collective experience of the society in which he finds himself. Man has a sense of wonder and he seeks to look beyond the confines of the everyday. Marvel-filled literature enables him to do this and provides him with the stimulus which his imagination craves.”
Ronan Coghlan, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends

Mary  Stewart
“Arthur thought it better to make sure that the scattered Saxon forces could not re-form, at least while he came south for his father's burial."
"He is young,"she said, "for such a charge."
I smiled. "But ready for it, and more than able. Believe me, it was like seeing a young falcon take to the air, or a swan to the water.”
Mary Stewart, The Last Enchantment

“A great ruler, a great court, a great kingdom, these texts suggest never exist unto themselves, as stable, fully actualized entities, and, therefore, are never experienced in their plenitude in the present. Instead, they are always remembered as something that occured in the past or anticipated as something will reoccur in the future. Insofar as they are experienced in the current time, it is only for a brief and evanescent moment, overshadowed by the knowledge that it will soon vanish.
For a realist, the fact that the excellence of a person, a place, or a time is not appreciated in its own time proves that it was never actually as excellent as it seemed.
For a Romantic, however, there exist a people, places, and times whose excellence can only be appreciated Arthur always has to be - to quote the Alliterative Morte Arthure (ca.1400) - "the once and future king”
Karen Sullivan, The Danger of Romance: Truth, Fantasy, and Arthurian Fictions

Warwick Deeping
“From that day on they lived together as equals, united by their great love for each other.”
Warwick Deeping, Uther and Igraine / Love Among the Ruins / The Slanderers

Kiersten White
“Mordred ever seemed to burn.”
Kiersten White, The Guinevere Deception

Kiersten White
“Ready to burst, she spoke first. "You cannot be angry with me for saving him."
Arthur sighed. "I can, and I am. And I am not. I am glad Sir Tristan is alive. He is very precious to me. But I cannot risk you.”
Kiersten White, The Guinevere Deception

T.H. White
“The slow discovery of the seventh sense, by which both men and women contrive to ride the waves of a world in which there is war, adultery, compromise, fear, stultification and hypocrisy—this discovery is not a matter for triumph... And at this stage we begin to forget that there ever was a time when we lacked the seventh sense. We begin to forget, as we go stolidly balancing along, that there could have been a time when we were young bodies flaming with the impetus of life. It is hardly consoling to remember such a feeling, and so it deadens in our minds.

But there was a time when each of us stood naked before the world, confronting life as a serious problem with which we were intimately and passionately concerned. There was a time when it was of vital interest to us to find out whether there was a God or not... Further back, there were times when we wondered with all our souls what the world was, what love was, what we were ourselves.

All these problems and feelings fade away when we get the seventh sense. Middle-aged people can balance between believing in God and breaking all the commandments, without difficulty. The seventh sense, indeed, slowly kills all the other ones, so that at last there is no trouble about the commandments. We cannot see any more, or feel, or hear about them. The bodies which we loved, the truths which we sought, the Gods whom we questioned: we are deaf and blind to them now, safely and automatically
balancing along toward the inevitable grave, under the protection of our last sense.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Scott Davis Howard
“Whatever small power of guilt Elaine once held over Lancelot, she’d used up long ago. Oh, self-reproach certainly stung him, but it is one of the most ironic paradoxes of the male temperament that the more shame a man feels, the less likely he is to be persuaded to repent by the person whom he has wronged, especially when she uses guilt as a motive. Like most men, Lancelot lashed out in anger when his shame was too much to bear, thus amplifying his guilt, rather than ameliorating it. It is an all too common downward spiral with men who cherish their honor but act dishonorably.”
Scott Davis Howard, Three Days and Two Knights

Scott Davis Howard
“I suppose he never gets blisters, then,” Scot murmured, then looked up and said, “And in truth, one of the reasons that I’d rather retain my code and my religion is that my gods are flawed and hypocritical. They get blisters—metaphorically. Thor wrangles with rage and Loki with jealousy. The only perfect god, Baldr, was killed for his perfection, which of course proves that pure perfection is an imperfection, or . . .” Scot hesitated, “something like that.” Even he felt that he could have summed that up better.
“There’s pagan wisdom for you,” Gawain scoffed in derision. “Perfection is imperfect and imperfection is preferable. It’s circular logic.”
Scot rolled his eyes, rubbing his ankle. “Paganism (as you condescendingly call my faith) is circular. Your Christianity tries to make everything into a straight line… in order for your world to make sense, everything must have a start and an end. In any case, your king is cut from the same cloth as your Christ—both are like Baldr, too good to last for long—either you are blind or he is a liar. Real people and gods struggle to be their best and fail.”
Scott Davis Howard, Three Days and Two Knights

Scott Davis Howard
“I don’t know,” Scot offered. “Being a hero feels fair and fine to me.”
Mordred turned to him and looked him up and down under his dark brows. “That’s because you’re young, inexperienced, and living in the sunrise glow of a moment of glory. Enjoy it, fellow, while it lasts. You’ve accomplished something that you’ve longed to achieve and felt was an impossible dream since childhood. You’ll have the best half-year of your life (if you’re lucky) and then the glory of this moment will set beyond your horizon. You’ll be left empty, questioning everything, and wishing for a challenge to equal the old. It is the central cycle of every ambitious man’s life—it is the reason he seeks and achieves glory, and the reason that one day his own glory grows too heavy and crushes him, especially as he gets too old to bear its weight.”
Scott Davis Howard, Three Days and Two Knights

Thomas Pride
“[P]ray thee Pilgrim for the noble souls of Artur and Gwenhwyfawr, united once more here in peace. First King of all Great Britain. First faithful servant of the Vicar of Christ and Universal Church. Let all men who seek rule, be measured according to thy virtue.”
Thomas Pride, Mercia

“Uther était jeune enfant encore, lorsque la nouvelle du sac de Rome par les Goths parvint en Bretagne. Pour certains, et même pour la plupart de ses compatriotes, la Ville n’était qu’un maître lointain, surtout pourvoyeur d’impôts et de corvées. Pour d’autres par contre, Rome représentait la présence vivante d’une grandeur touchant au cosmique, une source jaillissante de civilisation qui soudain s’était tarie.Dans les vertes campagnes de l’île, bien entendu, cela ne changea rien de prime abord à la vie quotidienne, ou si peu. Certes, les quelques légions s’en étaient allées sur le continent défendre ce qu’il restait de la cité impériale, mais l’alternance des saisons ne s’en trouvait pas perturbée pour autant, pas plus que celle des moissons. Dans les villes, les vieilles familles tentaient de grappiller le pouvoir abandonné par ceux qui gouvernaient jusqu’alors au nom des distants et faibles césars, et se livraient à d’insidieuses luttes d’influence.”
Alex Nikolavitch, Trois coracles cinglaient vers le couchant

“Peut-être la civilisation était-elle destinée à crouler ? Rome comptait plus de mille années sur son calendrier et, dévorée par la sénilité, elle s’effondrait peu à peu sous son propre poids. Tenter de la sauver ne faisait, semblait-il, qu’ajouter au chaos. Tenter de la relever n’était qu’une farce bouffonne à laquelle seuls des fous comme lui se prêtaient encore sans se rendre compte de leur ridicule. Uther se vit comme un homme qui essayait de contenir le débordement d’un fleuve à mains nues. Mais si futile que puisse sembler sa tentative, elle valait mieux que l’inaction, que rester à l’écart en assistant au saccage. Cela, oui, demeurait au-dessus de ses forces.”
Alex Nikolavitch, Trois coracles cinglaient vers le couchant

“Ambrosius arrêta son interlocuteur d’un geste agacé.« As-tu déjà contemplé Rome de tes propres yeux ? L’un d’entre vous a-t-il même jamais approché la Ville ? D’ici, à vous entendre, vous l’imaginez comme une cité céleste toute de marbre, mais en réalité il n’y a plus que des ruines là-bas, tenant tout juste debout. Si par habitude l’on y entretient encore quelques palais, tant bien que mal, et qu’on les empêche de s’effondrer une fois pour toutes, les grands édifices du temps de sa splendeur blanchissent peu à peu tels des os laissés au soleil. Les maisons où l’on vit encore sont comme les vôtres, bâties de chaux et de torchis, ou de brique pour les plus luxueuses. Tout au plus plaque-t-on parfois un stuc sur leurs façades et leurs murs en espérant vainement faire illusion. Il ne subsiste de Rome qu’un fantôme s’accrochant aux marais des miasmes desquels elle avait jailli plus d’un millénaire auparavant.”
Alex Nikolavitch, Trois coracles cinglaient vers le couchant

Warwick Deeping
“...a good soldier should ride into Paradise bearing the soul of the woman he loved.”
Warwick Deeping, Uther and Igraine

Kiersten White
“How peaceful to be a tree! Trees had only to grow. Trees had no hearts to confuse and complicate things. Trees could not love kings and still disobey them.”
Kiersten White

“Wait for me." It was the same farewell as always. "Wait for me. I shall come back."
And as ever, I made the same reply.
"What else have I to do but wait for you? I shall be here, when you come again.”
Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave

“...and then the threw the sword as far into the water as he might; and there came an arm and a hand above the water and met it, and caught it, and so shook it thrice and brandished, and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the water.”
Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur

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