Terry Pratchett

Maskerade


"There was no sound for a while but the roar of the wind and the sound of Nanny Ogg cutting bread, which she did with about as much efficiency as a man trying to chainsaw a mattress."

"Three was a natural number for witches. [...] When you had three, you had one to run around getting people to make up when there'd been a row."

"Nanny Ogg found herself embarrassed even to think about this, and this was unusual because embarrassment normally came as naturally to Nanny as altruism comes to a cat."

"As a witch, she naturally didn't believe in any occult nonsense of any sort."

"Of course, Granny Weatherwax made a great play of her independence and self-reliance. But the point about that kind of stuff was that you needed someone around to be proudly independent and self-reliant at. People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people.
It was like hermits. There was no point freezing your nadgers off on top of some mountain while communicating with the Infinite unless you could rely on a lot of impressionable young women to come along occasionally and say 'Gosh'."

"Not liking Christine would be like not liking small fluffy animals. And Christine was just like a small fluffy animal. A rabbit, perhaps. It was certainly impossible for her to get a whole idea into her head in one go. She had to nibble it into manageable bits."

"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."

" 'Can't have witches being done down, Gytha.'
'I don't feel done down. I felt fine until you told me I was done down,' said Nanny, putting her finger on a major sociological point.
'You've been exploited,' said Granny firmly.
'No I ain't.'
'Yes you have. You're a downtrodden mass.'
'No I ain't.'
'You've been swindled out of your life savings,' said Granny.
'Two dollars?'
'Well, it's all you'd actually saved,' said Granny, accurately.
'Only 'cos I spent everything else,' said Nanny. Other people salted away money for their old age, but Nanny preferred to accumulate memories.
'Well, there you are, then.'
'I was putting that by for some new piping for my still up at Copperhead,' said Nanny.* 'You know how that scumble eats away the metal - '
'You were putting a little something by for some security and peace of mind in your old age,' Granny translated.
'You don't get peace of mind with my scumble,' said Nanny happily. 'Pieces, yes, but not peace. It's made from the finest apples, you know,' she added. 'Well, mainly apples.'
---
* Distillation of alcohol was illegal in Lancre. On the other hand, King Verence had long ago given up any idea of stopping a witch doing something she wanted to do, so merely required Nanny Ogg to keep her still somewhere it wasn't obvious. She thoroughly approved of the prohibition, since this gave her an unchallenged market for her own product, known wherever men fell backwards into a ditch as 'suicider'."

"Movable type was known in Ankh-Morpork, but if wizards heard about it they moved it where no one could find it. They generally didn't interfere with the running of the city, but when it came to movable type the pointy foot was put down hard. They had never explained why, and people didn't press the issue because you didn't press the issue with wizards, not if you liked yourself the shape you were. They simply worked around the problem, and engraved everything. This took a long time and meant that Ankh-Morpork was, for example, denied the benefit of newspapers, leaving the population to fool themselves as best they could."

"The dress was black. At least, in theory it was black. It was black in the same way that a starling's wing is black. It was black silk, with jet beads and sequins. It was black on holiday."

"'It's only money.'
'Yes, but it's only my money, not only your money,' Nanny pointed out."
- Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg

"It was a mess. In fact, it was more than a mess. It was far too much of a mess to be a real mess, because a real mess has occasional bits of coherence, bits of what might be called random order. Rather, it was the kind of erratic mess that suggested that someone had set out to be messy."
- the account books of Ankh-Morpork's opera house