The Aeronaut's Windlass Quotes

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The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1) The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
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“The heart of democracy is violence, Miss Tagwynn,” Esterbrook said. “In order to decide what to do, we take a count of everyone for and against it, and then do whatever the larger side wishes to do. We’re having a symbolic battle, its outcome decided by simple numbers. It saves us time and no end of trouble counting actual bodies—but don’t mistake it for anything but ritualized violence. And every few years, if the person we elected doesn’t do the job we wanted, we vote him out of office—we symbolically behead him and replace him with someone else. Again, without the actual pain and bloodshed, but acting out the ritual of violence nonetheless. It’s actually a very practical way of getting things done.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Each creature had something it excelled at, he supposed. Humans could manage knots easily, and cats could do everything else.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Bridget blinked once. “Books do not have souls, sir.” “Those who write them do,” Ferus said. “They leave bits and pieces behind them when they lay down the words, some scraps and smears of their essential nature.” He sniffed. “Most untidy, really—but assemble enough scraps and one might have something approaching a whole.” “You believe that the library has a soul,” Bridget said carefully. “I do not believe it, young lady,” Ferus said rather stiffly. “I know it.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“It's a tradition,” Grimm said. “Were traditions rational, they’d be procedures.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“I am cat,” Rowl said smugly, “which means I have made better use of my time.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“It was a well-known fact that humans became more addled than usual when running in herds.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“A more capable cat is never impressed by a less capable cat.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“One rather thick volume was titled Means of Execution Through the Ages, and was placed with an elegant balance of nonchalance and availability at the eye level of anyone entering the room. As threats went, it was nearly subliminal—and perhaps it was placed there for that very reason.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Now then Captain" He turned back to Grim "Your have questions, I answers, shall we see if they match?"

"Please" Grim said "I appear to be your guest, have I you to thank for caring for me?" Ferrus' shoulders sagged in evident disappointment "Oh.... apparently they do not match... I was going to say strawberries!”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“the worst madmen don’t seem odd at all,” Grimm said. “They appear to be quite calm and rational, in fact. Until the screaming starts.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“...if you go exploring, you might find something that could hurt you."

"If one doesn't , one is not truly exploring”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Rowl was not prepared to tolerate incompetence where his personal human was concerned. He had just gotten her properly trained.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“There are many things you have never done,” Rowl responded. “To be frightened of them is of no use to you.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“That you are young,” the cat said. “And less wise than one who is old. I am wiser than you, and I say you should go. It is obvious. You should trust a wiser head than your own.” “You aren’t any older than I am,” she countered. “I am cat,” Rowl said smugly, “which means I have made better use of my time.” “Oh, you’re impossible,” Bridget said. “Yes. Cat.” Rowl rose and flowed down onto the floor. He turned to face her, curling his tail around his paws. “Why do you wish to dishonor and humiliate Wordkeeper? Would you change his name?” “No, of course not,” Bridget said. “But I’m just . . . I’m not like him.” “No,” Rowl said. “That is what growing up is for.” “I am not a child,” she said. The cat looked around speculatively and then turned back to her. “Rather than do your duty, you are hiding in the darkest corner of the darkest room in your home. This is very wise. Very mature.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Let me be clear that I never offered House Astor an insult... Nor did I insult Reginald. I simply described him in accurate terms. If he finds himself insulted by the truth, it's hardly my concern.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“A human of significantly less clumsiness than most came aboard, a small male, and despite its diminutive stature, it moved with a warrior’s confidence and wore a very large and fine hat. Such hats often signified humans who considered themselves important, which was adorable for the first few moments and trying ever after.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Ah,” Bridget said, flushing slightly. As the glib-tongued lout in question, she was currently on the receiving end of this facet of the habble’s law. “I’m not sure everyone would agree with you. We’re a civilized society, are we not?” Esterbrook blinked. “Since when, miss? We’re a democracy.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Not even his father would assert that it was practical to manage five humans. It was a well-known fact that humans became more addled than usual when running in herds.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Money is a madness, a delusion-illusion. It’s not made of metal, really. It’s made of time. How much is one’s time worth? If one can convince enough people that one’s time is an invaluable resource, then one has lots and lots of money. That’s why one can spend time—only one can never get a refund.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“You can describe it to them as much as you want. You can write books about what you felt, what you experienced. You can compose poems and songs about what it was like. But until they’ve seen it for themselves, they can’t really know what it is you’re talking about. A few people will clearly see the effect it had on you, will understand that much, at least. But they won’t know.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“It is often very useful for others to think you less intelligent than you are, "Benedict said, his tone amused. "It works particularly well against those who aren't as intelligent as you in the first place.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“A wonderful place, the mind, but if it has any kind of disappointing failure, it’s that it always attempts to put new things into the context of things which are already familiar to it.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Those who write them do,” Ferus said. “They leave bits and pieces behind them when they lay down the words, some scraps and smears of their essential nature.” He sniffed. “Most untidy, really—but assemble enough scraps and one might have something approaching a whole.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Rowl reminded himself that cats were eternally patient, and that he would not simply explode if he did not fling himself from Littlemouse's arms and go exploring. Which was not to say that he could not do so if he wished, because cats were also their own masters. He decided that his patience was practically legendary- which was fortunate...”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Predator is not property,” Grimm said in a calm, level tone. “She is not my possession. She is my home. Her crew are not my employees. They are my family. And if you threaten to take my home and destroy the livelihood of my family again, Commodore, I will be inclined to kill you where you stand.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“After the way I left, I suddenly find myself wanting very much to go home. But . . . it won’t be the same when I get back. Will it?” “It will be the same,” Grimm said. “You’re the one who has changed.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Grimm frowned. “Ah. Um. Am I in any danger?” “You’re dead as a stone, man!” “I am?” “Yes. No, actually, not even remotely, but for purposes of this conversation, yes.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“What was the point in all the fighting with gauntlets if they were only going to stop fighting the moment the outnumbered fools decided the fight was over? Rowl flicked his tail in exasperation. Humans.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Truth does not become untruth simply because its existence upsets the scion of a High House.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass
“Those interest me. I will climb them."

"All the way up there?" Bridget asked. She felt slightly dizzy just thinking of the view from the mast tops. "It seems unnecessary."

Rowl turned his head and gave her a level look. Then he said, "I sometimes forget that you are just a human. " He flicked his ears dismissively and looked back up at the masts. "A cat would understand.”
Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass

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