Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters

"On nights such as this, witches are abroad. Well, not actually abroad. They don't like the food and you can't trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs."

"Unlike wizards, who like nothing better than a complicated hierarchy, witches don't go in much for the structured approach to career progression. It's up to each individual witch to take on a girl to hand the area over to when she dies. Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders.
Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have."

" `Something comes,' she said.
`Can you tell by the pricking of your thumbs ?' said Magrat earnestly. Magrat had learned a lot about witchcraft from books.
`The pricking of my ears,' said Granny."

"It has already been mentioned that Duke Felmet was one step away from the throne. The step in question was at the top of the flight leading to the Great Hall, down which King Verence had tumbled in the dark only to land, against all the laws of probability, on his own dagger.
It had, however, been declared by his own physician to be a case of natural causes. Bentzen had gone to see the man and explained that falling down a flight of steps with a dagger in your back was a disease caused by unwise opening of the mouth.
In fact it had already been caught by several members of the king's own body gard who had been a little bit hard of hearing. There had been a minor epidemic."

"Lancre Castle was built on an outcrop of rock by an architect who had heard about Gormenghast but hadn't got the budget. He'd done his best, though, with a tiny confection of cut-price turrets, bargain basements, buttresses, crenellations, gargoyles, towers, courtyards, keeps and dungeons; in fact, just about everything a castle needs except maybe reasonable foundations and the kind of mortar that doesn't wash away in a light shower.
The castle leaned vertiginously over the racing white water of the Lancre river, which boomed darkly a thousand feet below. Every now and again a few bits fell in."

"`There is a knocking without,' he said.
`Without what ?' said the Fool.
`Without the door, idiot.'
The Fool gave him a worried look. `A knocking without a door ?' he said suspiciously. `This isn't some kind of Zen, is it ?'"
- the castle porter and the Fool

" `Your whole family have been Fools ?'
`Family tradition, sir,' said the Fool."
- Lord Felmet and the Fool

"Particles of raw inspiration sleet through the universe all the time. Every once in a while one of them hits a receptive mind, which then invents DNA or the flute sonata form or a way of making light bulbs wear out in half the time. But most of them miss. Most people go through their lives without being hit by even one."

"Hogswatchnight came around, marking the start of another year. And, with alarming suddenness, nothing happened."

"Demons were like genies or philosophy professors - if you didn't word things exactly right, they delighted in giving you absolutely accurate and completely misleading answers."

"No, things like crowns had a troublesome effect on clever folk; it was best to leave all the reigning to the kind of people whose eyebrows met in the middle when they tried to think. In a funny sort of way they were much better at it."

"Magrat had used a lot of powder to make her face pale and interesting. It combined with the lavishly applied mascara to give the guard the impression that he was looking at two flies that had crashed into a sugar bowl. He found his fingers wanted to make a sign to ward off the evil eyeshadow."

"There are thousands of good reasons why magic doesn't rule the world. They're called witches and wizards. [...]
It was probably some wonderful organisation on the part of Nature to protect itself. It saw to it that everyone with any magical talent was about as ready to cooperate as a she-bear with toothache, so all that dangerous power was safely dissipated as random bickering and rivalry."

"`Moons are very important.' [...]
`I'm blowed if I'll let a ball of shiny rock tell me what to do.'"
- Magrat and Granny Weatherwax

"The corridor became slightly darker as the more intense darkness inside the room spilled out and mingled with the rather lighter darkness already there."

"Hour gongs were being struck all across the city and nightwatchmen were proclaiming that it was indeed midnight and also that, in the face of all the evidence, all was well. Many of them got as far as the end of the sentence before being mugged."
- night life in Ankh-Morpork

"Unexplained happenings were always more or less expected in the Ramtops because of the high magical potential, but several years disappearing overnight was a bit of a first."

"`Witches just aren't like that,' said Magrat. `We live in harmony with the great cycles of Nature, and do no harm to anyone, and it's wicked of them to say we don't. We ought to fill their bones with hot lead.'"