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Tempest-Tost (Salterton Trilogy, #1) Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies
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Tempest-Tost Quotes Showing 1-19 of 19
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, than most people suppose. Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Money, it is often said, does not bring happiness; it must be added, however, that it makes it possible to support unhappiness with exemplary fortitude.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-tost
“Oho, now I know what you are. You are an advocate of Useful Knowledge.... Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Nothing is more dangerous to maidenly delicacy of speech than the run of a good library.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Children, don’t speak so coarsely,’ said Mr. Webster, who had a vague notion that some supervision should be exercised over his daughters’ speech, and that a line should be drawn, but never knew quite when to draw it. He had allowed his daughters to use his library without restraint, and nothing is more fatal to maidenly delicacy of speech than the run of a good library.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“The only people who make any sense in the world are those who know that whatever happens to them has its roots in what they are.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Before she continued her search she sat in his revolving desk chair, and wept for the passing of time, and the necessary death of the well-loved, wise old man.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Geordie wrote a letter to Mr. Webster in which the shrieking figure of Apology was hounded through a labyrinth of agonized syntax.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“I wanted to get away,' said she; 'everybody wants to plague and worry me about nothing. They'll be all right tomorrow. What's worrying them?'

'They are sacrificing to our Canadian God,' said Solly. 'We all believe that if we fret and abuse ourselves sufficiently, Providence will take pity and smile upon anything we attempt. A light heart, or a consciousness of desert, attracts ill luck. You have been away from your native land too long. You have forgotten our folkways. Listen to that gang over there; they are scanning the heavens and hoping aloud that it won't rain tomorrow. That is to placate the Mean Old Man in the Sky, and persuade him to be kind to us.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“There he lay, in a pale frothing liquid which she had, for a dreadful moment, believed to be some eccentric vital fluid of his own, but which issued from a case of broken bottles which lay near him.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“I think I'd rather get a job."

"Why?"

"Why not?"

"Jobs are for people who need them. You don't need one. You'd be taking it from somebody else who did.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“They needed me, Mackilwraith; they needed me. And if there is one thing which utterly destroys a boy's character, it is to be needed. Boys are unendurable unless they are wholly expendable.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“I feel moved to sing. It is very wrong to resist an impulse to sing; to hold back a natural evacuation of joy is as injurious as to hold back any other natural issue. It makes a man spiritually costive, and plugs him up with hard, caked, thwarted merriment. This, in the course of time, poisons his whole system and is likely to turn him into that most detestable of beings, a Dry Wit. God grant that I may never be a Dry Wit. Let me ever be a Wet Wit! Let me pour forth what mirth I have until I am utterly empty -- a Nit Wit.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“one elderly teacher, who had seen generations of neophytes pass through these early tests, was known to have sobbed a little, in professional ecstasy of joy, when describing Hector's lesson on the Lowest Common Denominator.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“She had an ability, invaluable in a weak person, to persuade herself that whatever was inevitable had her full approval, and was in some measure her own doing.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Hector was sent to his office to wait, while Rat-face was restored to such limited consciousness as his heredity and his fate permitted him to enjoy.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“There is a touch of the fascist in most adolescents; they admire the strong man who stands no nonsense; they have no objection to seeing the weak trampled underfoot; mercy in its more subtle forms is outside their understanding and has no meaning for them.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost
“Success? It has the shortest half-life of any known substance.”
Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost