"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into teaching?"
Only one creature could have duplicated the expressions on their faces, and that would be a pigeon who has heard not only that Lord Nelson has got down off his column but has also been seen buying a 12-bore repeater and a box of cartridges.
"My granny says that dying is like going to sleep," Mort added, a shade hopefully.
I wouldn't know. I have done neither.
"Pardon me for living, I'm sure."
No-one gets pardoned for living.
Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome.
The only things known to go faster than ordinary light is monarchy, according to the philosopher Ly Tin Weedle. He reasoned like this: you can't have more than one king, and tradition demands that there is no gap between kings, so when a king dies the succession must therefore pass to the heir instantaneously. Presumably, he said, there must be some elementary particles -- kingons, or possibly queons -- that do this job, but of course succession sometimes fails if, in mid-flight, they strike an anti-particle, or republicon. His ambitious plans to use his discovery to send messages, involving the careful torturing of a small king in order to modulate the signal, were never fully expanded because, at that point, the bar closed.
I don't know about you, he said, But I could murder a curry.
Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it's the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it's just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder.
It is a fact that although the Death of the Discworld is, in his own words, an Anthropomorphic Personification, he long ago gave up using the traditional skeletal horses, because of the bother of having to stop all the time to wire bits back on.
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
I ushered souls into the next world. I was the grave of all hope. I was the ultimate reality. I was the assassin against whom no lock would hold.
"Yes, point taken, but do you have any particular skills?"
"Sodomy non sapiens."
"You won't get away with this," said Cutwell. He thought for a bit and added, "Well, you will probably get away with it, but you'll feel bad about it on your deathbed and you'll wish -- "
He stopped talking.
"You like it?" he said to Mort, in pretty much the same tone of voice people used when they said to St George, "You killed a what?"—On scumble
"He remembered the knowledge. He remembered his mind feeling as cold as ice and limitless as the night sky. He remembered being summoned into reluctant existence at the moment the first creature lived, in the certain knowledge that he would outlive life until the last being in the universe passed to its reward, when it would then be his job, figuratively speaking, to put the chairs on the tables and turn the lights off.He remembered the loneliness."