- 1 City Watch
- 2 Lancre Witches
- 3 Wizards
- 4 Death And Company
- 5 Tiffany Aching and The Wee Free Men
- 6 Moist von Lipwig
- 7 Other
- 8 Games
"[...] a number of offences of murder by means of a blunt instrument, to whit, a dragon, and many further offences of generalized abetting [...]"
"Have another drink, not-Corporal Nobby?" said Sergeant Colon unsteadily."I do not mind if I do, not-Sgt Colon," said Nobby.
—The joys of working undercover
Fabricati diem, Pvnc.—The motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch
A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into the deserving and the undeserving, and put themselves on the appropriate side.
All dwarfs have beards and wear up to twelve layers of clothing. Gender is more or less optional.
All dwarfs are by nature dutiful, serious, literate, obedient and thoughtful people whose only minor failing is a tendency, after one drink, to rush at enemies screaming "Arrrrrrgh!" and axing their legs off at the knee.
People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, "Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else."
It was possibly the most circumspect advance in the history of military manoeuvres, right down at the bottom end of the scale that things like the Charge of the Light Brigade are at the top of.
Vetinari:You think there are the good people and the bad people. You are wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.
Lady Ramkin's bosom rose and fell like an empire.
Vimes: It's a metaphor of human bloody existence, a dragon. And if that wasn't bad enough, it's also a bloody great hot flying thing.
The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.
A number of religions in Ankh-Morpork still practiced human sacrifice, except that they didn't really need to practice any more because they had got so good at it.
Thunder rolled. It rolled a six.
"Right, you bastards, you're... you're geography!"
You have the effrontery to be squeamish. But we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless and terrible. But this much I can tell you, you ape -- we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality.
If the Creator had said, "Let there be light" in Ankh-Morpork, he'd have gotten no further because of all the people saying "What colour?"
From the back, Vetinari looked like a carnivorous flamingo.
Cuddy had only been a guard for a few days, but already he had absorbed one important and basic fact: it is almost impossible for anyone to be in a street without breaking the law.
The Battle of Koom Valley is the only one known to history where both sides ambushed each other.
Carrot was two metres tall but he'd been brought up as a dwarf, and then further up as a human.
"Young Edward thinks that there is no lake of blood too big to wade through to put a rightful king on a throne, no deed too base in defence of a crown. A romantic, in fact."
The Ramkins were more highly bred than a hilltop bakery, whereas Corporal Nobbs had been disqualified from the human race for shoving.
He was said to have the body of a twenty-five year old, although no one knew where he kept it.—On Nobby.
Gaspode the Wonder Dog: Pride is all very well, but a sausage is a sausage.
The river Ankh is probably the only river in the universe on which the investigators can chalk the outline of the corpse.
The Alchemist's Guild is opposite the Gambler's Guild. Usually. Sometimes it's above it, or below it, or falling in bits around it.
Sham Harga had run a successful eatery for many years by always smiling, never extending credit, and realizing that most of his customers wanted meals properly balanced between the four food groups: sugar, starch, grease and burnt crunchy bits.
Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
Being a werewolf meant having the dexterity and jaw power to instantly rip out a man's jugular. It was a trick of her father's that had always annoyed her mother, especially when he did it just before meals.
"It's got three keyboards and a hundred extra knobs, including twelve with '?' on them."—The Unseen University Organ, as designed by B. S. Johnson
The Librarian of Unseen University had unilaterally decided to aid comprehension by producing an Orang-utan/Human Dictionary. He'd been working on it for three months. It wasn't easy. He'd got as far as "Oook".
"It could be a torture chamber or a dungeon or a hideous pit or anything!"
"It's just a student's bedroom, sergeant."
The maze was so small that people got lost looking for it.—Bloody Stupid Johnson, for all your landscaping needs.
He was a good copper. That had got said at every guard funeral Vimes had ever attended. It'd probably be said even at Corporal Nobbs' funeral, although everyone would have their fingers crossed behind their backs. It was what you had to say.
"Bingeley bingeley beep!"
He hated the very idea of the world being divided into the shaved and the shavers. Or those who wore the shiny boots and those who cleaned the mud off them. Every time he saw Willikins the butler fold his, Vimes's, clothes, he suppressed a terrible urge to kick the butler's shiny backside as an affront to the dignity of man.
I am Death, not taxes. I turn up only once.
Slab: Jus' say "AarrghaarrghpleeassennononoUGH"—Detritus' war on drugs
And, while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions.
There were no public health laws in Ankh-Morpork. It would be like installing smoke detectors in Hell.
Vimes: Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk.
You never ever volunteered. Not even if a sergeant stood there and said, "We need someone to drink alcohol, bottles of, and make love, passionate, to women, for the use of." There was always a snag. If a choir of angels asked for volunteers for Paradise to step forward, Nobby knew enough to take one smart pace to the rear.
Today Is A Good Day For Someone Else To Die!
Rumour is information distilled so finely that it can filter through anything. It does not need doors and windows -- sometimes it does not need people. It can exist free and wild, running from ear to ear without ever touching lips.
Vetinari to Vimes: In all, I've had seventeen demands for your badge. Some want parts of your body attached. Why did you have to upset everybody?
It was Carrot who'd suggested to the Patrician that hardened criminals should be given the chance to "serve the community" by redecorating the homes of the elderly, lending a new terror to old age and, given Ankh-Morpork's crime rate, leading to at least one old lady having her front room wallpapered so many times in six months that now she could only get in sideways.
It was hard enough to kill a vampire. You could stake them down and turn them into dust and ten years later someone drops a drop of blood in the wrong place and guess who's back? They returned more times than raw broccoli.
Vimes's grin was as funny as the one that moves very fast towards drowning men. And has a fin on top.
"Taxation, gentlemen, is very much like dairy farming. The task is to extract the maximum amount of milk with the minimum of moo. And I am afraid to say that these days all I get is moo."
She sighed again. She was familiar with the syndrome. They said they wanted a soulmate and helpmeet but sooner or later the list would include a skin like silk and a chest fit for a herd of cows.
One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
'Look, sir, I know Angua. She's not the useless type. She doesn't stand there and scream helplessly. She makes other people do that.'
"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."
"Veni, vici... Vetinari."
And there was nothing finer than a wizard dressed up formally, until someone could find a way of inflating a Bird of Paradise, possibly by using an elastic band and some kind of gas.
"One o'clock pee em! Hello, Insert Name Here!"
He had the look of a lawn mower just after the grass had organised a workers' collective. There was a definite suggestion that, deep inside, he knew this was not really happening. It could not be happening because this sort of thing did not happen. Any contradictory evidence could be safely ignored.
It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
He hated being thought of as one of those people that wore stupid ornamental armour. It was gilt by association.
"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes."
"Do you mean that most of them will be human, or that each individual will be mostly human?" 
His glare ran from face to face, causing most of the squad to do an immediate impression of the Floorboard and Ceiling Inspectors Synchronized Observation Team.
We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.
Ninety per cent of most magic merely consists of knowing one extra fact.
"And for close-up fighting, as your senior sergeant I explicitly forbid you to investigate the range of coshes, blackjacks and brass knuckles sold by Mrs Goodbody at No. 8 Easy Street, at a range of prices and sizes to suit all pockets, and should any of you approach me privately I absolutely will not demonstrate a variety of specialist blows suitable for these useful yet tricky instruments."
As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up.
"Good grief, you don't just pile stuff up, for gods' sake! A barricade is something you construct! "
"What good would a statue be? It'd just inspire new fools to believe they're going to be heroes. They wouldn't want that. Just let them be. For ever."
Who really knew what evil lurked in the heart of men?
Who knew what sane men were capable of?
still me, i'm afraid.
Vimes glanced at the door of the last room. No, he wasn't going in there again. No wonder it stank in there.
You can't hear me, can you? Oh. I thought you might, said Death, and went back to waiting.
On this day in 1802, the painter Methodia Rascal woke up in the night because the sounds of warfare were coming from a drawer in his bedside table.
'All right. Who's going to be the first to tell me a huge whopper?'
You could barely understand the man, he was that posh. It was not so much speech as modulated yawning.
It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks round, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves.—Why Vimes doesn't play chess
Only Bloody Stupid Johnson could have invented the 13-inch foot and a triangle with three right angles in it. Only Bloody Stupid Johnson could have twisted common matter through dimensions it was not supposed to enter. And only Bloody Stupid Johnson could have done all this by accident.
Sally: 'Hold it! There's something we'd better sort before this goes any further!'
Sally: 'Yes. We're both wearing nothing, we're standing in what, you may have noticed, is increasingly turning into mud, and we're squaring up to fight. Okay. But there's something missing, yes?'
Angua: 'And that is ?'
Sally: 'A paying audience? We could make a fortune.'
Colon: 'I don't believe there's a dancer called Broccolee!'
Nobby: 'Well, she did use to be called Candi, sarge, but then she heard that broccoli is better for you-'
Vetinari: I'm sorry? Mr A. E. Pessimal attacked a troll?'
Vetinari: 'A. E. Pessimal?'
Vimes: 'That's the man, sir.'
Vetinari: 'A whole troll?'
Vimes: 'Yessir. With his teeth, sir.'
Vetinari: 'Mr A. E. Pessimal? You are sure? Small man? Very clean shoes?'
Vetinari: 'You wish me to believe, that Mr A. E. Pessimal single-handedly attacked a troll?'
Vimes: 'Both hands, sir. And feet, too. And tried to bite it, we think.'
'Sam Vimes once arrested me for treason. And Sam Vimes once arrested a dragon. Sam Vimes stopped a war between nations by arresting two high commands. He's an arresting fellow, Sam Vimes. Sam Vimes killed a werewolf with his bare hands, and carries law with him like a lamp. Watchmen across half the continent will say that Sam Vimes is as straight as an arrow, can't be corrupted, won't be turned, never took a bribe.'
Vetinari: 'Given, then, a contest between an invisible and very powerful quasi-demonic thing of pure vengeance on the one hand, and the commander on the other, where would you wager, say... one dollar?'
Drumknott: 'I wouldn't, sir. That looks like one that would go to the judges.'
There appeared to be hundreds of them. They all seemed to have names like Bunny or Bubbles, they kept in touch meticulously, they'd all married influential or powerful men, they all hugged one another when they met and went on about the good old days in Form 3b or whatever, and if they acted together, they could probably run the world or, it occurred to Vimes, might already be doing so.They were Ladies Who Organize.
—On the alumni of the Quirm College for Young Ladies
Vimes: 'Is this it? This time I die?'
death: could be.
Vimes: 'Could be? What sort of answer is that?'
death: a very accurate one. you see, you are having a near death experience, which inescapably means that i must undergo a near vimes experience. don't mind me. carry on with whatever you were doing. i have a book.
'He created me. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? Me. I watch him. Always. You will not force him to murder for you.'
'What kind of human creates his own policeman?'
'One who fears the dark.'
'And so he should.'
'Indeed. But I think you misunderstand. I am not here to keep darkness out. I'm here to keep it in. Call me the Guarding Dark. Imagine how strong I must be.'
Nobby's face was an open book, albeit the kind that got banned in some countries.
If broomsticks were cars, this one would be a split-window Morris Minor.
"While I'm still confused and uncertain, it's on a much higher plane, d'you see, and at least I know I'm bewildered about the really fundamental and important facts of the universe."Treatle nodded. "I hadn't looked at it like that," he said, "But you're absolutely right. He's really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance."
—Discworld scientists at work
They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things.—Discworld scientists at work
They may have been ugly. They may have been evil. But when it came to poetry in motion, the Things had all the grace and coordination of a deck-chair.
"They say there's dwarf mines under the Ramtops," she said inconsequentially. "My, but them little buggers is in for a surprise."—Granny reflects on Esk's methods of lighting a fire.
For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
As the cauldron bubbled, an eldritch voice shrieked, "When shall we three meet again?"
Another voice said, in far more ordinary tones, "Well, I can do next Tuesday."
The calender of the Theocracy of Muntab counts down, not up. No-one knows why, but it might not be a good idea to hang around and find out.
The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.
"'Tis not right, a woman going into such places by herself." Granny nodded. She thoroughly approved of such sentiments so long as there was, of course, no suggestion that they applied to her.
The Librarian looked out at the jolting scenery. He was sulking. This had a lot to do with the new bright collar around his neck with the word "PONGO" on it. Someone was going to suffer for this.
"Kneel and deliver!"—Casanunda, the world's smallest lover turns highwaydwarf
Nanny Ogg never did any housework herself, but she was the cause of housework in other people.
Verence would rather cut his own leg off than put a witch in prison, since it'd save trouble in the long run and probably be less painful.
I like to think I am a picker-up of unconsidered trifles. Death grinned hopefully.
Mustrum Ridcully did a lot for rare species. For one thing, he kept them rare.
Using a metaphor in front of a man as unimaginative as Ridcully was like a red flag to a bu-- was like putting something very annoying in front of someone who was annoyed by it.
The thing about iron is that you generally don't have to think fast in dealing with it.
Nanny Ogg looked under her bed in case there was a man there. Well, you never knew your luck.
The chieftain had been turned into a pumpkin although, in accordance with the rules of universal humour, he still had his hat on.
She was an incredibly comfortable person to be around, partly because she had a mind so broad it could accommodate three football fields and a bowling alley.—About Nanny Ogg
In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.
The shortest unit of time in the multiverse is the New York Second, defined as the period of time between the traffic lights turning green and the cab behind you honking.
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, especially simian ones. They are not all that subtle.
Magrat: Go ahead, bake my quiche.
In the Beginning there was nothing, which exploded.—Pterry explains the Big Bang
Remember, A Dragon is For Life, Not Just for Hogswatchnight—Motto of The Sunshine Home for Sick Dragons in Morphic Street, Please Leave Donations of Coal by Side Door.
There have, in the course of decadent history, been many large wigs, often with build-in gewgaws to stop people having to look at boring hair all the time. There had been ones big enough to contain pet mice or clockwork ornaments. Mme Cupidor, mistress of Mad King Soup II, had one with a bird cage in it, but on special state occasions wore one containing a perpetual calendar, a floral clock and a take-away linguini shop.
"This is a lovely party," said the Bursar to a chair, "I wish I was here."
No matter what she did with her hair it took about three minutes for it to tangle itself up again, like a garden hosepipe in a shed [Which, no matter how carefully coiled, will always uncoil overnight and tie the lawnmower to the bicycles].
And the child had a permanently runny nose and ought to be provided with a handkerchief or, failing that, a cork.
It was here that the thaum, hitherto believed to be the smallest possible particle of magic, was successfully demonstrated to be made up of /resons/ (Lit.: 'Thing-ies') or reality fragments. Currently research indicates that each reson is itself made up of a combination of at least five 'flavours', known as 'up', 'down', 'sideways', 'sex appeal' and 'peppermint'.
A heap of discarded garments by the bed suggested that Verence had mastered the art of hanging up clothes as practised by half the population of the world, and that he had equally had difficulty with the complex topological manoeuvres necessary to turn the socks the right way out.
Oh, gods. He'd always slept in front of the door of his master. And now he was king, he slept in front of the door to his kingdom.
Chain-mail isn't much defence against an arrow. It certainly isn't when the arrow is being aimed between your eyes.
It's not enough to be able to pick up a sword. You have to know which end to poke into the enemy.
The Monks of Cool, whose tiny and exclusive monastery is hidden in a really cool and laid-back valley in the lower Ramtops, have a passing-out test for a novice. He is taken into a room full of all types of clothing and asked: Yo, my son, which of these is the most stylish thing to wear? And the correct answer is: Hey, whatever I select.
The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a young woman. There was no possible way that she could have been mistaken for a young man in any language, especially Braille.
Ahahahahaha! Ahahahaha! Aahahaha!
The Opera Ghost
People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people.
He had a unique stride: it looked as though his body was being dragged forward and his legs had to flail around underneath it, landing wherever they could find room. It wasn't so much a walk as a collapse, indefinitely postponed.
She'd even given herself a middle initial - X - which stood for "someone who has a cool and exciting middle initial".
"What sort of person," said Salzella patiently, "sits down and writes a maniacal laugh? And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head. Opera can do that to a man."
Most people in Lancre, as the saying goes, went to bed with the chickens and got up with the cows.
"...my father is the Emperor of Klatch and my mother is a small tray of raspberry puddings."
Instead, people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.
A day ago the future had looked aching and desolate, and now it looked full of surprises and terror and bad things happening to people... If she had anything to do with it anyway.
It was done far more often than the audiences ever realized -- when singers had a sore throat, or had completely dried, or had turned up so drunk they could barely stand, or, in one notorious instance many years previously, had died in the interval and subsequently sung their famous aria by means of a broom-handle stuck up their back and their jaw operated with a piece of string.
After you'd known Christine for any length of time, you found yourself fighting a desire to look into her ear to see if you could spot daylight coming the other way.
"Well, basically there are two sorts of Opera,' said Nanny, who also had the true witch's ability to be confidently expert on the basis of no experience whatsoever. 'There's your heavy opera, where basically people sing foreign and it goes like "Oh oh oh, I am dyin', oh, I am dyin', oh, oh, oh, that's what I'm doin'", and there's your light opera, where they sing in foreign and it basically goes "Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!", although sometimes they drink champagne instead. That's basically all of opera, reely."
The pre-luncheon drinks were going quite well, Mr Bucket thought. Everyone was making polite conversation and absolutely no one had been killed up to the present moment.
Nanny could get a statue to cry on her shoulder and say what it really thought about pigeons.
Greebo could, in fact, commit sexual harrassment simply by sitting very quietly in the next room.
It is the fate of all banisters worth sliding down that there is something nasty waiting at the far end.
"It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of grey."
"There's no greys, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."
"It's a lot more complicated than that--"
"No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."
"Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes--"
"But they starts with thinking about people as things. . ."
"But you read a lot of books, I'm thinking. Hard to have faith, ain't it, when you've read too many books?"
"Nac mac Feegle wha hae!"
In Ghat they believe in vampire watermelons, although folklore is silent about what they believe about vampire watermelons. Possibly they suck back.
Perdita thought that not obeying rules was somehow cool. Agnes thought that rules like "Don't fall into this huge pit of spikes" were there for a purpose.
Lancre operated on the feudal system, which was to say, everyone feuded all the time and handed on the fight to their descendants.
"I name you ... Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre!"
There are many rhymes about magpies, but none of them is very reliable because they are not the ones the magpies know themselves.
One or two of the old barrows had been exposed over the years, their huge stones attracting their own folklore. If you left your unshod horse at one of them overnight and placed sixpence on the stone, in the morning the sixpence would be gone and you'd never see your horse again, either...
He was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, whose intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed What to Do If One Army Occupies a Well-fortified and Superior Ground and the Other Does Not, but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" he'd rather lost heart.
"Remember -- that which does not kill us can only make us stronger."
"And that which does kill us leaves us dead!"
No enemies had ever taken Ankh-Morpork. Well technically they had, quite often; the city welcomed free-spending barbarian invaders, but somehow the puzzled raiders found, after a few days, that they didn't own their horses any more, and within a couple of months they were just another minority group with its own graffiti and food shops.
Rincewind had been told that death was just like going into another room. The difference is, when you shout, "Where's my clean socks?", no-one answers.
It was true about the time measurement as well. The Tezumen had realized long ago that everything was steadily getting worse and, having a terrible little-mindedness, had developed a complex system to keep track of how much worse each succeeding day was.
"There's a door."
"Where does it go?"
"It stays where it is, I think."
The trouble is that things never get better, they just stay the same, only more so.
"So we're surrounded by absolutely nothing. There's a word for it. It's what you get when there's nothing left and everything's been used up."
"Yes. I think it's called the bill."
"What're quantum mechanics?"
"I don't know. People who repair quantums, I suppose."
The librarian was, ex officio, a member of the college council. No-one had been able to find any rule about orang-utans being barred, although they had surreptitiously looked very hard for one.
I hope we are not going to have any of this "Foul Fiend" business again.—Death gets summoned by the college council
There had been some desultory talk about putting up a statue to Rincewind but, by the curious alchemy that tends to apply in these sensitive issues, this quickly became a plaque, then a note on the Roll of Honour, and finally a motion of censure for being improperly dressed.—Unseen University politics at work
Any wizard bright enough to survive for five minutes was also bright enough to realise that if there was any power in demonology, then it lay with the demons. Using it for your own purposes would be like trying to beat mice to death with a rattlesnake.—Why summoning demons is a Bad Idea
The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that's where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won't do if they don't know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.
The consensus seemed to be that if really large numbers of men were sent to storm the mountain, then enough might survive the rocks to take the citadel. This is essentially the basis of all military thinking.
The sergeant put on the poker face which has been handed down from NCO to NCO ever since one protoamphibian told another, lower ranking protoamphibian to muster a squad of newts and Take That Beach.
Eric: "What shall I do?"Rincewind: "Well, if you see anything crawl out of the sea and try to breathe, you could try telling it not to bother."
—At the Beginning of Time
"Multiple exclamation marks," he went on, shaking his head, "are a sure sign of a diseased mind."
The Supreme Life President of Hell wrote: "What business are we in???" He thought for a bit, and then carefully wrote, underneath: "We are in the damnation business!!!"
Rincewind could scream for mercy in nineteen languages, and just scream in another forty-four.
Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.
++?????++ Out of Cheese Error. Redo From Start.
"Luck is my middle name," said Rincewind, indistinctly. "Mind you, my first name is Bad."
Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like "What is my purpose in life?" very quickly lacked both.
"Stercus, stercus, stercus, moriturus sum." 
The Emperor had all the qualifications for a corpse except, as it were, the most vital one.
Rincewind: I know about people who talk about suffering for the common good. It's never bloody them! When you hear a man shouting "Forward, brave comrades!" you'll see he's the one behind the bloody big rock and the one wearing the only really arrow-proof helmet!
Many an ancient lord's last words had been, "You can't kill me because I've got magic aaargh."
Inexperienced travellers might think that 'Aargh!' is universal, but in Betrobi it means 'highly enjoyable' and' in Howondaland it means, variously, 'I would like to eat your foot', 'Your wife is a big hippo' and 'Hello, Thinks Mr Purple Cat.' One particular tribe has a fearsome reputation for cruelty merely because prisoners appear, to them, to be shouting 'Quick! Extra boiling oil!
All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'.
They say the heat and the flies here can drive a man insane. But you don't have to believe that, and nor does that bright mauve elephant that just cycled past.
Wasn't it a basic principle never to let your employer know what it is you actually do all day?
Reading the invisible writings was a delicate and meticulous job, suited to the kind of temperament that follows Grand Prix Continental Drift and keeps bonsai mountains as a hobby or even drives a Volvo.
Don't go digging things up in case they won't let you bury them again.
In theory, because of the nature of L-space, absolutely everything was available to him, but that only meant that it was more or less impossible to find whatever it was you were looking for, which is the purpose of computers.
Any true wizard, faced with a sign like 'Do not open this door. Really. We mean it. We're not kidding. Opening this door will mean the end of the universe,' would automatically open the door in order to see what all the fuss was about.
Rincewind's hourglass looked like something created by a glassblower who'd had the hiccups in a time machine. According to the amount of actual sand it contained – and Death was pretty good at making this kind of estimate – he should have died long ago.
Creators aren't gods. They make places, which is quite hard. It's men that make gods. This explains a lot.
This isn't magic. It is a simple universal law. People always expect to use a holiday in the sun as an opportunity to read those books they've always meant to read, but an alchemical combination of sun, quartz crystals and coconut oil will somehow metamorphose any improving book into a rather thicker one with a name containing at least one Greek word or letter (The Gamma Imperative, The Delta Season, The Alpha Project and, in the more extreme cases,even The Mu Kau Pi Caper). Sometimes a hammer and sickle turn up on the cover. This is probably caused by sunspot activity, since they are invariably the wrong way round. It's just as well for the Librarian that he sneezed when he did, or he might have ended up a thousand pages thick and crammed with weapons specifications.
'All bastards are bastards, but some bastards is bastards.'
Discworld constellations changed frequently as the world moved through the void, which meant that astrology was cutting-edge research rather than, as elsewhere, a clever way of avoiding a proper job.
'Haven't you noticed that by running away you end up in more trouble?'
'Yes, but, you see, you can run away from that, too. That's the beauty of the system. Dead is only for once, but running away is for ever.'
'Ah, but it is said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, while a hero dies only one.'
'Yes, but it's the important one.'
Ponder had been that kind of child. He still had all the pieces for every game he'd ever been given. Ponder had been the kind of boy who carefully reads the label on every Hogswatch present before opening it, and notes down in a small book, who it is from, and has all the thank-you letters written by teatime. His parents had been impressed even then, realizing that they had given birth to a child who would achieve great things or, perhaps, be hunted down by a righteous citizenry by the time he was ten.
Even now, if he closed his eyes, he could still see the God of Evolution beaming so happily as the cockroach stirred.
Was it just possible that someone had invented a regional speciality you could eat?
'But my suspicions were first aroused when the Bursar developed planets.'
There were two of them, orbiting his head at a height of a few inches. As was so often the case with magical phenomena, they possessed virtual unreality and passed unscathed through him and one another. They were slightly transparent.
There are platonic burgers made of beef instead of cow lips and hooves. There are fish 'n' chips where the fish is more than just a white goo lurking at the bottom of a batter casing and you can't use the chips to shave with. There are hot dog fillings which have more in common with meat than mere pinkness, whose lucky consumers don't apply mustard because that would spoil the taste. It's just that people can be trained to prefer the other sort and seek it out. It's as if Machiavelli had written a cookery book.
Even so, there is no excuse for putting pineapple on pizza.
'Why did he have to go to prison?'
'We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they're elected. Don't you?'
'It saves time.'
It was obvious that some time after the brewery had been closed, but before people had got around to securely locking every entrance, the cellars had been employed by young people as such places are when you live with your parents, the house is too small, and no one has got around to inventing the motorcar.
They cancelled the regatta. A river full of water made a mockery of the whole idea.
No one was avoiding him, it was just that an apparent random Brownian motion was gently moving everyone away.
There is no hope but us. There is no mercy but us. There is no justice. There's just us.
People have believed for hundreds of years that newts in a well mean that the water's fresh and drinkable, and in all that time never asked themselves whether the newts got out to go to the lavatory.
He'd never realized that, deep down inside, what he really wanted to do was make things go splat.
Drop the scythe, and turn around slowly.
No crown. No crown. Only the harvest.
Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.
It is traditional, when loading wire trolleys, to put the most fragile items at the bottom.
What's the good of having mastery over cosmic balance and knowing the secrets of fate if you can't blow something up?
One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don’t want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people?
One said, Got a crush on them, sort of thing?
Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural and organic and in tune with mysterious cycles of the cosmos, which believes that there’s nothing like millions of years of really frustrating trial and error to give a species moral fibre and, in some cases, backbone.
Death had tried fiery steeds and skeletal horses in the past, and found them impractical, especially the fiery ones, which tended to set light to their own bedding and stand in the middle of it looking embarrassed.
it's a skeletal steed. impressive but impractical. i had one once but the head fell off.
"Windle!” he said. “We thought you were dead!”
He had to admit that it wasn’t a very good line. You didn’t put people on a slab with candles and lilies all round them because you think they’ve got a bit of a headache and want a nice lie down for half an hour.
It took him several minutes to understand any new idea put to him, and this is a very valuable trait in a leader, because anything anyone is still trying to explain to you after two minutes is probably important and anything they give up after a mere minute or so is almost certainly something they shouldn’t have been bothering you with in the first place.
The Chief Priest of Blind Io: “I haven’t felt like this since Mrs. Cake was one of my flock.”
Archchancellor Ridcully: “Mrs. Cake? What’s a Mrs. Cake?”
The Chief Priest of Blind Io: “You have . . . ghastly Things from the Dungeon Dimensions and things, yes? Terrible hazards of your ungodly profession?”
Archchancellor Ridcully: “Yes.”
The Chief Priest of Blind Io: “We have someone called Mrs. Cake.”
It was another day. Cyril the cockerel stirred on his perch.
The chalked words glowed in the half light. He concentrated.
He took a deep breath.
Now that the memory problem was solved, there was only the dyslexia to worry about.
It was amazing how many friends you could make by being bad at things, provided you were bad enough to be funny.
Bill Door made the mistake millions of people had tried before with small children in slightly similar circumstances. He resorted to reason.
i have received the badly-written note of the banshee.
No naked little men sat on the summit dispensing wisdom, because the first thing the truly-wise man works out is that sitting around on mountaintops gives you not only haemorrhoids but frostbitten haemorrhoids.
Traditionally, only two people ever went into the innermost sanctuary. They were the High Priest and the other priest who wasn’t High. They had been there for years, and took turns at being the high one.
No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
On the fabled hidden continent of Xxxx, somewhere near the rim, there is a lost colony of wizards who wear corks around their pointy hats and live on nothing but prawns.
"You know," said Windle, "it's a wonderful afterlife."
"Being needed is important.
Yes. But why?
"I don't know. How should I know? Because we're all in this together, I suppose. Because we don't leave our people in there. Because you're a long time dead. Because anything is better than being alone. Because humans are human."
Do you know why the prisoner in the tower watches the flight of birds?
What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the reaper man?
Words have always had the power to change the world.
Be Careful What You Wish For. You never know who will be listening.
Or what, for that matter.
Miss Eulalie Butts and her colleague Miss Delcross had founded the College on the astonishing idea that, since gels had nothing much to do until someone married them, they may as well occupy themselves by learning things.
Susan hated Literature. She’d much prefer to read a good book.
Glod knew a guitar when he saw one. They were supposed to be shaped like a woman, but this was only the case if you thought a woman had no legs, a long neck, and too many ears.
It didn’t have a name. Animals don’t normally bother with them. The wizard who thought he owned him called him Quoth, but that was only because he didn’t have a sense of humor and, like most people without a sense of humor, prided himself on the sense of humor he hadn’t, in fact, got.
There is a type of girl who, while incapable of cleaning her bedroom even at knife point, will fight for the privilege of being allowed to spend the day shoveling manure in a stable.
There was a brass plate screwed on the wall beside the door. It said: “C V Cheesewaller, DM (Unseen), B. Thau, B.F.”
It was the first time Susan had ever heard metal speak.
Colon: “What do you mean, what’s his first name?”
Nobby: “What’s his first name?”
Colon: “He’s Death. Death. That’s his whole name. I mean…what do you mean?…you mean like…Keith Death?”
The D’regs were at war with everyone, including one another, and having considerable fun because the D’reg word for “stranger” was the same as for “target”.
“He can’t stop us. We’re on a mission from Glod.”
They’d assumed that insulating her from the fluffy edges of the world was the safest thing to do. In the circumstances, this was like not telling people about self-defense so that no one would ever attack them.
The Reader had a theory that all the really good books in any building — at least, all the really funny ones — gravitate to a pile in the privy but no one ever has time to read all of them, or even knows how they came to be there. His research was causing extreme constipation and a queue outside the door every morning.
Glod:“In my experience, what every true artist wants, really wants, is to be paid.”
Buddy: “And famous."
Glod: “Famous I don’t know about. It’s hard to be famous and alive. I just want to play music every day and hear someone say, ‘Thanks, that was great, here is some money, same time tomorrow, okay?’”
Ponder looked absolutely crestfallen. There are some people born with the instinctive feeling that the universe is solvable.
Bee There Orr Bee A Rectangular Thyng
They Are Totallye Unable To Bee Seene! And A Longe Way Oute!
There is something very sad about an empty dressing room. It’s like a discarded pair of underpants, which it resembles in a number of respects. It’s seen a lot of activity. It may even have witnessed excitement and a whole gamut of human passions. And now there’s nothing much left but a faint smell.
“Well, we think it might be able to do quite complicated math. If we can get enough bugs in it.”
Wizards were rumored to be wise—in fact, that’s where the word came from*.—*From the Old wys-ars, lit: one who, at bottom, is very smart.
Going into the Mended Drum and calling yourself Vincent the Invulnerable was clearly suicide by Ankh-Morpork standards.
“Maybe dey don’t want der hotels redecorated. I said it was a mistake, orange curtains with yellow wallpaper.”
He didn’t have henchmen. Most trolls weren’t clever enough to hench.
Proper lawn maintenance could be a real problem when things from another dimension were allowed to slither over it.
She had a tall bearing and a tall voice and a tall manner, and was tall in every respect except height. Amazingly, she’d apparently been able to keep this a secret from people.
Real children don't go hoppity-skip unless they are on drugs.—Susan Sto Helit
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.
Er... Ho. Ho. Ho.
This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr. Clever Dick in these parts..."
"Did you check the list?"
Yes. Twice. Are you sure that's enough?
"That statement is either so deep it would take a lifetime to fully comprehend every particle of its meaning, or it is a load of absolute tosh. Which is it, I wonder?"
Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.
We took pity on him because he'd lost both parents at an early age. I think that, on reflection, we should have wondered a bit more about that.—Lord Downey reflects on Mister Teatime
It's a sad and terrible thing that high-born folk really have thought that the servants would be totally fooled if spirits were put into decanters that were cunningly labelled backwards. And also throughout history the more politically conscious butler has taken it on trust, and with rather more justification, that his employers will not notice if the whisky is topped up with eniru.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++
"Millennium hand and shrimp."
"Don't worry, I'm on your side. A violent death is the last thing that will happen to you."—Mister Teatime is very reassuring.
People say things like 'listen to your heart', but witches learn to listen to other things too. It's amazing what your kidneys can tell you.
Ordinary fortune-tellers tell you what you want to happen; witches tell you what's going to happen whether you want it to or not. Strangely enough, witches tend to be more accurate but less popular.
'I can see we're going to get along like a house on fire. There may be no survivors.'
'But sometimes it's so hard to find half a mind when you need one.'
Toad: 'Er . . . you want to bring them back, then?'
Toad: 'It's just that's something not many people have ever wanted to do. They're not like brownies. If you get Nac Mac Feegles in the house, it's usually best to move away.'
'Them as can do, has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.'—Granny Aching
That was how it worked. No magic at all. But that time it had been magic. And it didn't stop being magic just because you found out how it was done.
This Queen woman, whoever she was, had been stealing children but Roland had beaten her, oh yes, and helped these two young children to get back as well. ... Obviously the girl had been very brave (this was the Baron speaking) but, well, she was nine, wasn't she? And didn't even know how to use a sword! Whereas Roland had fencing lessons at his school. . .
Wishes needed thought. She was never likely to say, out loud, 'I wish that I could marry a handsome prince,' but knowing that if you did you'd probably open the door to find a stunned prince, a tied-up priest and a Nac Mac Feegle grinning cheerfully and ready to act as Best Man definitely made you watch what you said.
'Taint what a horse looks like. It's what a horse be.'
She was a witch and a teacher and that's a terrible combination. They want things to be right. They like things to be correct. If you want to upset a witch you don't have to mess around with charms and spells, you just have to put her in a room with a picture that's hung slightly crooked and watch her squirm.
The beef stew tasted, indeed, just like beef stew and not, just to take an example completely and totally at random, stew made out of the last poor girl who'd worked here.
There was a sliding noise and a tinkle exactly like the tinkle a spoon makes when it's put back amongst the other spoons, who have missed it and are anxious to hear its tales of life amongst the frighteningly pointy people.
'Oh no! Witches are all equal. We don't have things like head witches. That's quite against the spirit of witchcraft. Besides, Mistress Weatherwax would never allow that sort of thing.'
'Sorry aboot this,' it said. I talk to my knees, but they dinnae listen to me.'
That's the job of Third Thoughts: First and Second Thoughts might understand your current tragedy, but something has to remember that you haven't eaten since lunch time.
'It's pronouned Ah-Wij.'—Mrs. Letice Earwig
It's an unfair world, child. Be glad you have friends.
It was dreadful when your own thoughts tried to gang up on you.
She had a momentary picture of Petulia standing in front of some horrible raging thing, but it wasn't as funny as she'd first thought. Petulia would stand in front of it, shaking with terror, her useless amulets clattering, scared almost out of her mind . . . but not backing away. She'd thought there might be people facing something horrible here, and she'd come anyway.
It was followed by a long scream of rage mixed with a roar of complaint: 'AAaargwannawannaaaagongongonaargggaaaa BLOON!' which is the traditional sound of a very small child learning that with balloons, as with life itself, it is important to know when not to let go of the string. The whole point of balloons is to teach small children this.
We heard a song, it went 'Twinkle twinkle little star...' What power! What wondrous power! You can take a billion trillion tons of flaming matter, a furnace of unimaginable strength, and turn it into a little song for children! You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!
'I'm made up of the memories of my parents and grandparents, all my ancestors. They're in the way I look, in the colour of my hair. And I'm made up of everyone I've ever met who's changed the way I think. So who is "me"?'
There's no shame in pity.
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
They say that there can never be two snowflakes that are exactly alike, but has anyone checked lately?
They carried sticks and wore white clothes with bells on them, to stop them from creeping up on people. No one likes an unexpected Morris dancer.
It was in fact Miss Tick who had written Witch Hunting for Dumb People, and she made sure that copies of it found their way into those areas where people still believed that witches should be burned or drowned. Since the only witch ever likely to pass through these days was Miss Tick herself, it meant that if things did go wrong, she’d get a good night’s sleep and a decent meal before being thrown into the water.
Miss Treason: “This seems an honorable enterprise. Why start by lying?”
Rob Anybody: “Oh, the lie wuz goin’ tae be a lot more interestin’.”
Miss Treason: “The truth of the matter seems quite interesting to me.”
Rob Anybody: “Mebbe, but I wuz plannin’ on puttin’ in giants an’ pirates an’ magic weasels. Real value for the money!”
You had to deal every day with people who were foolish and lazy and untruthful and downright unpleasant, and you could certainly end up thinking that the world would be considerably improved if you gave them a slap. But you didn’t because, as Miss Tick had once explained: a) it would make the world a better place for only a very short time; b) it would then make the world a slightly worse place; and c) you’re not supposed to be as stupid as they are.
That’s Third Thoughts for you. When a huge rock is going to land on your head, they’re the thoughts that think: Is that an igneous rock, such as granite, or is it sandstone?
Miss Treason: "Oh, I know all about those stories. I made up most of them!”
Tiffany: “You made up stories about yourself?”
Miss Treason: “Oh, yes. Of course. Why not? I couldn’t leave something as important as that to amateurs.”
Rob turned the rustling pages and grinned. “Ach, she’s writ here: Oh, the dear Feegles ha’ turned up again,” he said.
This met with general applause.
“Ach, what a kind girl she is tae write that,” said Billy Bigchin. “Can I see?” He read: Oh dear, the Feegles have turned up again.
It was called You, as in “You! Stop that!” and “You! Get off there!” When it came to names, Granny Weatherwax didn’t do fancy.—On naming her kitten 'You'
It was as if the idea of there being no Miss Treason was the wrong shape to put in anyone’s head. She was 113 years old, and they argued that it was practically unheard of for anyone to die aged 113.
Some people think that “coven” is a word for a group of witches, and it’s true that’s what the dictionary says. But the real word for a group of witches is an “argument.”
It was wizard magic, showy and dangerous. Witches preferred to cut enemies dead with a look. There was no sense in killing your enemy. How would she know you’d won?
Petulia: “Then it’s all obvious. He’s a boy.”
Petulia: “A boy. You know what they are? Blush, grunt, mumble, wibble? They’re pretty much all the same.”
She’d always been so nervous about getting them wrong that the first time she’d had to go out to deal with someone who looked dead—a young man who’d been in a horrible sawmill accident—she’d done every single test, even though she’d had to go and find his head.
death: mustard is always tricky
Miss Treason:“No mustard? What about pickled onions?”
death: pickles of all sorts don't seen to make it. i'm sorry.
Miss Treason: “No relishes in the next world? That’s dreadful! What about chutneys?”
The Feegles didn’t know the meaning of the word “fear.” Sometimes Tiffany wished they’d read a dictionary.
Tiffany had looked up “strumpet” in the Unexpurgated Dictionary, and found it meant “a woman who is no better than she should be” and “a lady of easy virtue.” This, she decided after some working out, meant that Mrs. Gytha Ogg, known as Nanny, was a very respectable person. She found virtue easy, for one thing. And if she was no better than she should be, then she was just as good as she ought to be.
She had a feeling that Miss Treason hadn’t meant this, but you couldn’t argue with logic.
“When a bull coo meets a lady coo, he disna have tae say, ‘My heart goes bang-bang-bang when I see your wee face,’ ’cuz it’s kinda built intae their heads. People have it more difficult. Romancin’ is verra important, ye ken. Basically it’s a way the boy can get close to the girl wi’oot her attackin’ him and scratchin’ his eyes oot.”
The librarians were mysterious. It was said they could tell what book you needed just by looking at you, and they could take your voice away with a word.
Rob Anybody: Er…I dinna wanta be a knee aboot this, but why is ye all here freezin’ tae death?”
Head Librarian: “Our oxen wandered off, and alas, the snow’s too deep to walk through.”
Rob Anybody: “Aye. But youse got a stove an’ all them dry ol’ books.”
Head Librarian: “Yes, we know.”
There was the kind of wretched pause you get when two people aren’t going to understand each other’s point of view at all.
“They don’t think they’re poor, because everyone around here is poor! But they’re not so poor they can’t afford to do the right things! That would be poor!”
Sooner or later, every curse is a prayer.
“I warn you! I’ve got a Cornucopia and I’m not afraid to use it!”
Rob Anybody: “An’ hoo come ye ken whut name a cheese has?”
Daft Wullie: “He told me, Rob.”
Rob Anybody: “Aye? Oh, okay. I wouldna argue wi’ a cheese.”
Rob Anybody: “And ye know how tae fight?”
Roland: “I’ve read the Manual of Swordsmanship all the way through!”
Rob Anybody: “Ah, I think I’ve put ma finger on a wee flaw in this plan….”
"There be a lot o’ men who became heroes ’cuz they wuz too scared tae run!"
Rob Anybody: “An’ this one is a lot harder than Abker, right? That one was easy! An’ a very predictable plot. Whoever writted that book didna stretch himself, in ma opinion.”
Billy Bigchin: “You mean The ABC?”
Rob Anybody: “Aye.”
These Are the Things That Make a Man
Iron enough to make a nail,
Lime enough to paint a wall,
Water enough to drown a dog,
Sulfur enough to stop the fleas,
Poison enough to kill a cow,
Potash enough to wash a shirt,
Gold enough to buy a bean,
Silver enough to coat a pin,
Lead enough to ballast a bird,
Phosphor enough to light the town,
Strength enough to build a home,
Time enough to hold a child,
Love enough to break a heart.
The hare runs into the fire. The hare runs into the fire. The fire, it takes her, she is not burned. The fire, it loves her, she is not burned. The hare runs into the fire. The fire, it loves her, she is free.
'Poison goes where poison’s welcome. And there’s always an excuse, isn’t there, to throw a stone at the old lady who looks funny. It’s always easier to blame somebody. And once you’ve called someone a witch, then you’d be amazed how many things you can blame her for.’—Mrs. Proust
Wee Mad Arthur: ‘Whereas ye are a bunch of thieving drunken reprobates and scoff-laws with no respect for the law whatsoever!’
Rob Anybody: ‘Would you no’ mind adding the words drunk and disorderly? We wouldnae want to be sold short here.’
‘No, don’t say that it would be impossible for even a small witch to get inside an eggshell without crushing it, because that is what we in the craft would call a logical argument and therefore no one who wanted to believe that witches sank ships would pay any attention to it.—Eskarina Smith
It seemed to her, looking down the length of the hall, that you didn’t need to grind the faces of the poor if you taught them to do their own grinding.
‘I was unfortunately born clever, miss, and I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not such a good idea to be all that clever. Saves trouble.’—Preston
I got packed off to be an apprentice priest in the Church of Om. I quite liked that; I learned a lot of interesting words, but they threw me out for asking too many questions, such as, “Is this really true or what?”’—Preston
There is a lot of folklore about equestrian statues, especially the ones with riders on. There is said to be a code in the number and placement of the horse’s hooves: if one of the horse’s hooves is in the air, the rider was wounded in battle; two legs in the air means that the rider was killed in battle; three legs in the air indicates that the rider got lost on the way to the battle; and four legs in the air means that the sculptor was very, very clever. Five legs in the air means that there’s probably at least one other horse standing behind the horse you’re looking at; and the rider lying on the ground with his horse lying on top of him with all four legs in the air means that the rider was either a very incompetent horseman or owned a very bad-tempered horse.
‘It’s just for people who think that witchcraft is all about flowers and love potions and dancing around without your drawers on - something I can’t imagine any real witch doing … Well, maybe Nanny Ogg, when the mood takes her.’
'She wasn’t executed, by the way. I think she wants everybody to know that. It was simply a freak accident involving a flight of stairs, a cat, and a scythe.’—Letitia, about the headless ghost
It didn’t help very much at this point, as a small human skeleton walked out of the wall, through the library shelves as though they were smoke, and disappeared. It had been holding a teddy bear. It was one of those things that the brain files under ‘something I would rather not have seen’.
'You are, you know, an extremely unusual witch. As far as I can tell, you have a natural talent for making cheese, and as talents go, it is a pretty good talent to have. The world needs cheese-makers. A good cheese-maker is worth her weight in, well, cheese. So you were not born with a talent for witchcraft.’ ... 'People say you don’t find witchcraft; witchcraft finds you. But you’ve found it, even if at the time you didn’t know what it was you were finding, and you grabbed it by its scrawny neck and made it work for you.’—Eskarina Smith
We do right, we don’t do nice.—what Granny Weatherwax always says
‘Don’t meddle in the affairs of witches because they clout you around the ear.’—Preston’s granny
From Tiffany’s point of view, a good funeral was one where the main player was very old.
‘When I am old, I shall wear midnight. But not today.’
By the blinking of my eyes, something wicked this way dies.
'The cook has told me that you are a very religious woman, always on your knees, and that is fine by me, absolutely fine, but did it ever occur to you to take a mop and bucket down there with you?
I think Roland was very impressed with your wonderful white coat, but I am not Miss Spruce, because you never do anything that will get it dirty.
'I have never been so insulted before in my life'
' Really? I'm genuinely surprised.'
Steal five dollars and you were a petty thief. Steal thousands of dollars and you were either a government or a hero.
There is a saying ‘You can’t fool an honest man’ which is much quoted by people who make a profitable living by fooling honest men.
NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW NOR GLO M OF NI T CAN STAY THESE MES ENGERS ABO T THEIR DUTY
DONT ARSK US ABOUT:
troll's with sticks
All sorts of dragons
Huje green things with teeth
Any kinds of black dogs with orange eyebrows
Rains of spaniel's
Dimwell Arrhythmic Rhyming Slang: Various rhyming slangs are known, and have given the universe such terms as ‘apples and pears’ (stairs), ‘rubbity-dub’ (pub) and ‘busy bee’ (General Theory of Relativity). The Dimwell Street rhyming slang is probably unique in that it does not, in fact, rhyme. No one knows why, but theories so far advanced are 1) that it is quite complex and in fact follows hidden rules or 2) Dimwell is well named or 3) it’s made up to annoy strangers, which is the case with most such slangs.
What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
In the same way, the man climbing out of your window in a stripy jumper, a mask and a great hurry might merely be lost on the way to a fancy-dress party, and the man in the wig and robes at the focus of the courtroom might only be a transvestite who wandered in out of the rain. Snap judgements can be so unfair.
Gilt and Vetinari shared a look. It said: while I loathe you and every aspect of your personal philosophy to a depth unplumbable by any line, I’ll credit you at least with not being Crispin Horsefry.
Mr. Pump: 'I Worked It Out. You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People.'
Moist von Lipwig: 'I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr. Pump. I may be -- all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!'
Mr. Pump: 'No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And. Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game.’
‘Firstly, sir, I reasoned that if I destroyed the universe all in one go no one would know; secondly, when I walloped the thing the first time the wizards ran away, so I surmised that unless they had another universe to run to they weren’t really certain; and lastly, sir, the bloody thing was getting on my nerves.’—Why Chief Postal Inspector Rumbelow risked disabling the Letter Sorting Engine.
Anghammarad: 'Neither Deluge Nor Ice Storm Nor The Black Silence Of The Netherhells Shall Stay These Messengers About Their Sacred Business. Do Not Ask Us About Sabre-Tooth Tigers, Tar Pits, Big Green Things With Teeth Or The Goddess Czol.’
Tropes: 'You had big green things with teeth back then?’
Anghammarad: 'Bigger. Greener. More Teeth.’
Moist: 'And the goddess Czol?’
Anghammarad: ‘Do Not Ask.’
By general agreement Anghammarad was given the unique rank of Extremely Senior Postman. It seemed . . . fair.
People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as ‘Is this the laundry?’ ‘How do you spell surreptitious?’ and, on a regular basis: ‘Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.’
'In my experience Miss Cripslock tends to write down exactly what one says. It’s a terrible thing when journalists do that. It spoils the fun. One feels instinctively that it’s cheating, somehow.'
And he was employing an Igor, everyone knew, which of course was sensible when you had such a high veterinary overhead, but you heard stories ...
It’s a matter of style, okay? A proper brawl doesn’t just happen.
‘What is sticking in your foot is a Mitzy “Pretty Lucretia” four-inch heel, the most dangerous footwear in the world. Considered as pounds per square inch, it’s like being trodden on by a very pointy elephant. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, “Could she press it all the way through to the floor?” And, you know, I’m not sure about that myself. The sole of your boot might give me a bit of trouble, but nothing else will. But that’s not the worrying part. The worrying part is that I was forced practically at knifepoint to take ballet lessons as a child, which means I can kick like a mule; you are sitting in front of me; and I have another shoe.—Adora Belle Dearheart
If he’d been a hero, he would have taken the opportunity to say, ‘That’s what I call sorted!’ Since he wasn’t a hero, he threw up.
Anoia, a minor goddess of Things That Stick In Drawers.
Dr. Lawn: Yes, his trousers were the subject of a controlled detonation after one of his socks exploded. We’re not sure why.’
Moist: ‘He fills them with sulphur and charcoal to keep his feet fresh, and he soaks his trousers in saltpetre to prevent Gnats.’
It was garbage, but it had been cooked by an expert. Oh, yes. You had to admire the way perfectly innocent words were mugged, ravished, stripped of all true meaning and decency and then sent to walk the gutter for Reacher Gilt, although ‘synergistically’ had probably been a whore from the start.
Always remember that the crowd which applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.
There was a pregnant pause. It gave birth to a lot of little pauses, each one more deeply embarrassing than its parent.
Moist: 'So now you’re, what was it again . . . crackers?’
Mad Al: 'That’s right. Because we can crack the system.'
Moist: 'That sounds a bit over-dramatic when you’re just doing it with lamps, doesn’t it?’
Sane Alex: 'Yes, but "flashers" was already taken.’
All the way to Genua there were people who'd been duped, fooled, swindled and cheated by that face. The only thing he hadn't done was hornswoggle, and that was only because he hadn't found out how to.
What harm can it do to find out? It's a question that has left bruises down the centuries, even more than 'It can't hurt if I only take one' and 'It's all right if you only do it standing up'.
Moist: 'But I don't know anything about running a bank!'
Vetinari: 'Good. No preconceived ideas.'
Moist: 'I've robbed banks!'
Vetinari: 'Capital! Just reverse your thinking. The money should be on the inside!
What we have here, he told himself, is a Mk. 1 Feisty Old Lady: turkey neck, embarrassing sense of humour, a gleeful pleasure in mild cruelty, direct way of speaking that flirts with rudeness and, more importantly, also flirts with flirting. Likes to think she's no 'lady'. Game for anything that doesn't carry the risk of falling over and with a look in her eye that says 'I can do what I like, because I am old. And I have a soft spot for rascals.'—About Topsy Lavish
Whoever said you can't fool an honest man wasn't one.
The lady in the boardroom was certainly an attractive woman, but since she worked for the Times Moist felt unable to award her total ladylike status. Ladies didn't fiendishly quote exactly what you said but didn't exactly mean, or hit you around the ear with unexpectedly difficult questions. Well, come to think of it, they did, quite often, but she got paid for it.
But, he had to admit, Sacharissa Cripslock was fun.
It was more than likely that Mr Fusspot had never seen a real bone before. He circled it carefully, waiting for it to squeak.
He was not naturally at ease in the presence of skulls. Humans have been genetically programmed not to be ever since monkey times, because a) whatever turned that skull into a skull might still be around and you should head for a tree now, and b) skulls look like they're having a laugh at one's expense.
It contained herbs and all natural ingredients. But belladonna was a herb, and arsenic was natural.
As a member of the Ancient and Venerable Order of Greengrocers', Mr Parker was honour bound never to put his punctuation in the right place.
Quia Ego Sic Dico 
Vetinari: "I love democracy. I could listen to it all day."
A shouted order to do something of dubious morality with an unpredictable outcome? Thweet!
Let’s see, now ... arms out from the body as though holding a couple of bags of flour ... check. Shoulders swaying as though she was elbowing her way through a crowd ... check. Hands slightly bunched and making rhythmical circling motions as though turning two independent handles attached to the waist ... check. Legs moving forward loosely and apelike ... check ...
It worked fine for a few yards until she got something wrong and the resultant muscular confusion somersaulted her into a holly bush.
The place was one of those nowhere villages that existed only in order to avoid the embarrassment of having large empty spaces on the map.
Vimes: "Do you think it’s possible for an entire nation to be insane? Not the people, the nation. ... Look, you know what I mean. You take a bunch of people who don’t seem any different from you and me, but when you add them all together you get this sort of huge raving maniac with national borders and an anthem."
Vimes: "What’s abominable about the colour blue? It’s just a colour! The sky is blue!"
Chinny: "Yes, sir. Devout Nugganites try not to look at it these days."
Vimes: "So what we have here is a country that tries to run itself on the commandments of a god who, the people feel, may be wearing his underpants on his head. Has he Abominated underpants?"
Chinny: 'No, sir. But it’s probably only a matter of time."
"Whoms" were likely to be far more trouble than your common everyday "who".
Maladicta: “And one more thought for you, if you’ve got room. I’ve only taken a pledge not to drink human blood. It doesn’t mean I can’t kick you in the fork so hard you suddenly go deaf.”
It was very patriotic. That is, it talked about killing foreigners.
The four lesser apocalyptical horsemen of Panic, Bewilderment, Ignorance, and Shouting took control of the room.
"Look after your mates. And keep out of the way of officers, ’cos they ain’t healthy. That’s what you learn in the army. The enemy dun’t really want to fight you, ’cos the enemy is mostly blokes like you who want to go home with all their bits still on. But officers’ll get you killed.”
Polly had been soldiering for only a couple of days, but already an instinct had developed. In summary, it was this: lie to officers.
Maladicta: “Please pay attention. I am a reformed vampire, which is to say, I am a bundle of suppressed instincts held together with spit and coffee. It would be wrong to say that violent, tearing carnage does not come easily to me. It’s not tearing your throats out that doesn’t come easily to me. Please don’t make it any harder.”
It took a special kind of man, she reflected, to cut his sword hand with his own sword.
If you couldn’t trust the government, who could you trust?
Very nearly everyone, come to think of it…
A woman always has half an onion left over, no matter what the size of the onion, the dish, or the woman.
There was this about vampires; they could never look scruffy. Instead, they were…what was the word… dishabille. It meant untidy, but with bags and bags of style.
Blouse: “You can’t torture an unarmed man!”
Jackrum: “Well, I’m not waiting for him to arm himself, sir! "
It’s hard to be an ornithologist and walk through a wood when all around you the world is shouting: “Bugger off, this is my bush! Aargh, the nest thief! Have sex with me, I can make my chest big and red!”
“How many fingers am I holding up?”
“You know, that’s something an Igor should never say."
“Plogviehze!” It meant “The Sun Has Risen! Let’s Make War!” You needed a special kind of history to get all that in one word.
Igorina: “But…our countrywomen? Washing clothes for the enemy?”
Polly: “If it’s that or starve, yes. I saw a woman come out carrying a basket of loaves. They say the Keep is full of granaries. Anyway, you sewed up an enemy officer, didn’t you?”
Igorina: “That’s different. We are duty bound to thave our fellow ma—person. Nothing has ever been said about his—their underwear.”
Now that she had got over the surprise, there was something offensive about this lack of reaction. It was like someone opening a door just before your battering ram hit it; suddenly you were running through the building and not certain how to stop.
"Wheresoever men are gathered together, someone will find something to ferment in a rubber boot, distill in an old kettle, and flog to his mates. Made from rats, by the smell of it. Ferments well, does your average rat. Fancy a taste?”
Jackrum: “There’s a song. "Twas on a Monday morning, all in the month of May—"
Polly: “Then it is about sex. It’s a folk song, it starts with "twas," it takes place in May, QED, it’s about sex. Is a milkmaid involved? I bet she is.”
Jackrum: “There could be.”
Polly: “Going for to market? For to sell her wares?”
Jackrum: “Very likely.”
Polly: “O-kay. That gives us the cheese. And she meets, let’s see, a soldier, a sailor, a jolly ploughboy, or just possibly a man clothéd all in leather, I expect? No, since it’s about us, it’s a soldier, right? And since it’s one of the Ins-and-Outs…oh dear, I feel a humorous double-entendre coming on. Just one question: what item of her clothing fell down or came untied?”
Jackrum: “Her garter. You’ve heard it before, Perks!”
Polly: “No, but I just know how folk songs go. We had folk singers in the lower bar for six months back hom—where I worked. In the end we had to get a man in with a ferret. But you remember stuff…oh, no…”
“No, he stole the cheese, didn’t he? As the poor girl was lying there, waiting for her garter to be tied, hem hem, he damn well made off with her cheese, right?" "Fill yer hat with bread, fill yer boots with soup! And steal the cheese, eh, Sarge?”
Jackrum: “That’s right. We’ve always been a very practical regiment.”
Blouse: “You took a terrible risk. A battlefield is no place for women.”
Polly: “This war isn’t staying on battlefields. At a time like this, a pair of trousers is a girl’s best friend, sir.”
Polly: “The last man out stuck his thumb up and winked. Did you notice him? He wasn’t even wearing an officer’s uniform.”
Blouse: “In Ankh-Morpork that means ‘jolly good. In Klatch, I think, it means ‘I hope your donkey explodes.’ ”
Polly: “Why’d he want to say jolly good to us?”
Shufti: “Or hate our donkey so much?”
It is always upsetting to find that the enemy is as bright as you.
Jackrum: “How many did you spot, Mildred?”
General Froc: “That will be ‘General,’ Sergeant. I’m still a general, Sergeant. Or ‘sir’ will do. And your answer is: one or two. One or two.”
Jackrum: “And you promoted them, did you, if they was as good as men?”
Froc: “Indeed not, Sergeant. What do you take me for? I promoted them if they were better than men.”
Anyway, it was the stuff of legends, where accuracy is not required as a major ingredient.
Polly: “Let’s try again, shall we? I said, are you trying to be smart?”
Guard: “No, Sergeant!”
Polly: " Why not? "
Polly: "If you are not trying to be smart, mister, you’re happy to be stupid! And I’m up to here with stupid, understand?"
What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"
All assassins had a full-length mirror in their rooms, because it would be a terrible insult to anyone to kill them when you were badly dressed.
The Ephebians made wine out of anything they could put in a bucket, and ate anything that couldn't climb out of one.
Nature abhors dimensional abnormalities, and seals them neatly away so that they don't upset people. Nature, in fact, abhors a lot of things, including vacuums, ships called the "Marie Celeste", and the chuck keys for electric drills.
There was not a lot that could be done to make Morpork a worse place. A direct hit by a meteorite, for example, would count as gentrification.
The Librarian had seen many weird things in his time, but that had to be the 57th strangest.
"Woof bloody woof."—Gaspode the Wonder Dog
It was the sort of thing you expected in the Street of Alchemists. The neighbours * preferred* explosions, which were at least identifiable and soon over. They were better than the smells, which crept up on you.
The Archchancellor's most important job, as the Bursar saw it, was to sign things, preferably, from the Bursar's point of view, without reading them first.
By and large, the only skill the alchemists of Ankh-Morpork had discovered so far was the ability to turn gold into less gold.
"If you put butter and salt on it, it tastes like salty butter."—On popcorn
Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact.
And then you bit onto them, and learned once again that Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler could find a use for bits of an animal that the animal didn't know it had got. Dibbler had worked out that with enough fried onions and mustard people would eat anything.
"The thing is that Mr. Dibbler can even sell sausages to people who have bought them off him before."
"Why's it called Ming?" said the Archchancellor, on cue.
The Bursar tapped the pot. It went ming.
Azhural raised his staff. "It's fifteen hundred miles to Ankh-Morpork," he said. "We've got three hundred and sixty-three elephants, fifty carts of forage, the monsoon's about to break and we're wearing... we're wearing... sort of things, like glass, only dark... dark glass things on our eyes..."
People who used magic without knowing what they were doing usually came to a sticky end. All over the entire room, sometimes.
"It looks worse than you can imagine!"
"I can imagine some pretty bad things!"
"That's why I said worse!"
"Woof. In tones of low menace."
"There's nothin' wrong with bein' a son of a bitch."
"I can explain it in Dog, but you only listen in Human."
"Well, 'scuse me. I was jus' tryin' to save the world."
"If gharstely creatures from before the Dawna Time starts wavin' at you from under your bed, jus' you don't come complainin' to me."
"Messin' around with girls in thrall to Creatures from the Void never works out, take my word for it."
"Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little."
"Did I hear things, or can that little dog speak?" said Dibbler.
"He says he can't," said Victor. Dibbler hesitated.
"Well," he said, "I suppose he should know."
In retrospect, Victor was always a little unclear about those next few minutes. That's the way it goes. The moments that change your life are the ones that happen suddenly, like the one where you die.
"Chain letters," said the Tyrant. "The Chain Letter to the Ephebians. Forget Your Gods. Be Subjugated. Learn to Fear. Do not break the chain -- the last people who did woke up one morning to find fifty thousand armed men on their lawn."
"It's a god-eat-god world."
"You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look."
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, "You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."
One day, a tortoise will learn how to fly.
History, contrary to popular theories, is kings and dates and battles.
Brother Preptil, the master of the music, had described Brutha's voice as putting him in mind of a disappointed vulture arriving too late at the dead donkey.
Words are the litmus paper of the minds. If you find yourself in the power of someone who will use the word "commence" in cold blood, go somewhere else very quickly. But if they say "Enter", don't stop to pack.
"Not a man to mince words. People, yes. But not words."
Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.
Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off.
The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.
The people who really run organizations are usually found several levels down, where it is still possible to get things done.
Guilt was the grease in which the wheels of the authority turned.
Most gods find it hard to walk and think at the same time.
When the least they could do to you was everything, then the most they could do to you suddenly held no terror.
"What's a philosopher ?" said Brutha.
"Someone who's bright enough to find a job with no heavy lifting."
"Slave is an Ephebian word. In Om we have no word for slave," said Vorbis.
"So I understand," said the Tyrant. "I imagine that fish have no word for water."
"He says gods like to see an atheist around. Gives them something to aim at."
"You're not one of us."
"I don't think I'm one of them, either," said Brutha. "I'm one of mine."
Simony's eyes gleamed with the gleam of a man who had seen the future and found it covered with armour plating.
"All holy piety in public, and all peeled grapes and self-indulgence in private."
When you can flatten entire cities at a whim, a tendency towards quiet reflection and seeing-things-from-the-other-fellow's-point-of-view is seldom necessary.
"Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place."
"Why do you bother with him? He's had thousands of people killed!"
"Yes, but perhaps he thought that you wanted it."
The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it's not murder if you do it for a god).
The trouble was that he was talking in philosophy, but they were listening in gibberish.
"He's muffed it," said Simony. "He could have done anything with them. And he just told them the facts. You can't inspire people with facts. They need a cause. They need a symbol."
"You can't find a hermit to teach you herming, because of course that rather spoils the whole thing."
Om began to feel the acute depression that steals over every realist in the presence of an optimist.
"All the other prophets came back with commandments!"
"Where'd they get them?"
"I ... suppose they made them up."
"You get them from the same place."
Brutha tried to nod, and thought: I'm on everyone's side. It'd be nice if, just for once, someone was on mine.
Probably the last man who knew how it worked had been tortured to death years before. Or as soon as it was installed. Killing the creator was a traditional method of patent protection.
Give anyone a lever long enough and they can change the world. It's unreliable levers that are the problem.
"We died for lies, for centuries we died for lies. Now we've got a truth to die for!"
"No. Men should die for lies. But the truth is too precious to die for."
You have perhaps heard the phrase that hell is other people?
"Yes. Yes, of course."
Death nodded. In time, he said, you will learn that it is wrong.
"I used to think that I was stupid, and then I met philosophers."
"I like the idea of democracy. You have to have someone everyone distrusts," said Brutha. "That way, everyone's happy."
"That's why it's always worth having a few philosophers around the place. One minute it's all Is Truth Beauty and Is Beauty Truth, and Does A Falling Tree in the Forest Make A Sound if There's No one There to Hear It, and then just when you think they're going to start dribbling one of 'em says, 'Incidentally, putting a thirty-foot parabolic reflector on a high place to shoot the rays of the sun at an enemy's ships would be a very interesting demonstration of optical principles.'"
"He remembered Didactylos saying the world was a funny place. And, he thought distantly, it really was. Here people were about to roast someone to death, but they'd left his loin-cloth on, out of respectability. You had to laugh. Otherwise you'd go mad."
"As far as leaders go, the only reason I'd follow him into battle, is out of curiosity."
"A swamp dragon if i'm not mistaken. I though these things were filled with explosive gas, (the carcass explodes) oh right!
Rincewind Excuse me sir. Could you get me a tome called 'featherwinkle's concise compedium of dragons' lairs'?
Librarian ook ook eek ook.
(both engage in a conversation of ape talk)
Rincewind Well nevermind I'll come back later.
Librarian ook eek ook?
Rincewind Yes i've gibbon up. no monkey, ape ... oh damn! (the librarian hits him over the head)
"Ugh It's horrible... hang on it's me! rather chap ain't he?
- Back to Discworld
- After a while in Ankh-Morpork, you learned how to phrase that kind of question.
- Cool, but not necessarily up to date.
- Er. That is to say, they went to bed at the same time as the chickens went to bed, and got up at the same time as the cows got up. Loosely worded sayings can really cause misunderstandings.
- Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I'm gonna die.
- speak to them, raise an arm, check the pulses including the one behind the ear, check for breath with a mirror
- That, for example, stolen horses got dismantled at dead of night and might well turn up with a dye job and two different legs. And it was said that there was one horse in Ankh-Morpork that had a longitudinal seam from head to tail, being sewn together from what was left of two horses that had been involved in a particularly nasty accident.
- Often, but not uniquely, a ladle, but sometimes a metal spatula or, rarely, a mechanical egg-whisk that nobody in the house admits to ever buying. The desperate mad rattling and cries of ‘How can it close on the damn thing but not open with it? Who bought this? Do we ever use it?’ is as praise unto Anoia. She also eats corkscrews.
- Because I say so
- /shouty/bluffing/gentleman/lying/disobeying orders/gossiping/swearing
- He had a tidy mind.