Terry Pratchett

Feet of Clay


"'Religion is all very well, but what do prophets know about profits, eh?'"

"People look down on stuff like geography and meteorology, and not only because theyīre standing on one and being soaked by the other. They donīt look quite like real science.(*) But geography is only physics slowed down and with a few trees stuck on it, and meteorology is full of excitingly fashionable chaos and complexity.
---
* That is to say, the sort you can use to give something three extra legs and then blow it up."

"'Oh, no. I canīt possibly be dead. Not at the moment. Itīs simply not convenient. I havenīt even catalogued the combat muffins.'"
- Mr Hopkinson, the (late) curator of the Dwarf Bread Museum

"I AM DEATH, NOT TAXES. I TURN UP ONLY ONCE."

"I FIND THE BEST APPROACH IS TO TAKE LIFE AS IT COMES.
'That seems very irresponsible ...'
IT'S ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME."
- Death and Mr Hopkinson

"'Youīre an alchemist. Acid stains on your hands and no eyebrows.'"
- Commander Vimes

"Automatically, they fell into step - the energy-saving policemanīs walk, where the pendulum weight of the leg is used to propel the walker along with the minimum effort."

"'Breadīs his life. He wrote the definitive work on offensive baking.'"
- Captain Carrot about Mr Hopkinson

"Most of them where the classic cowpat-like shape, an echo of their taste, but there were also buns, close-combat crumpets, deadly throwing toasts and a huge dusty array of other shapes devised by a race that went in for food-fighting in a big and above all terminal way."
- exhibits at the Dwarf Bread Museum

"'Itīs ... are you ready for this? ... itīs ... the Battle Bread of Bīhrian Bloodaxe!' [...] 'Itīs only going to be here a couple of weeks on loan. Itīs the actual bread he personally wielded at the Battle of Koom Valley, killing fifty-seven trolls although' - and here Carrotīs tone changed down from enthusiasm to civic respectability - 'that was a long time ago and we shouldnīt let ancient history blind us to the realities of a multi-ethnic society in the Century of the Fruitbat.'"

"It was easy to be a vegetarian by day. It was preventing yourself from becoming a humanitarian at night that took the real effort."
- problems of a werewolf

"When there was just him, and the stones glistened around 3am, it all seemed to make sense somehow -
He stopped.
Around him, the world became a crystal of horror, the special horror that has nothing to do with fangs or ichor or ghosts but has everything to do with the familiar becoming unfamiliar."
- Commander Vimes on patrol

"Colon in particular had great difficulty with the idea that you went on investigating after someone had confessed. It outraged his training and experience. You got a confession and there it ended. You didnīt go around disbelieving people. You disbelieved people only when they said they were innocent. Only guilty people were trustworthy. Anything else struck at the whole basis of policing."

"As her tutors had said, there were two signs of a good alchemist: the Athletic and the Intellectual. A good alchemist of the first sort was someone who could leap over the bench and be on the far side of a savely thick wall in three seconds, and a good alchemist of the second sort was someone who knew exactly when to do this.
The equipment didnīt help. She scrounged what she could from the guild, but a real alchemical laboratory should be full of the kind of glassware that looked as if it were produced during the Guild of Glassblowers All-Comers Hiccuping Contest. A proper alchemist did not have to run tests using as her beaker a mug with a picture of a teddy-bear on it, which Corporal Nobbs was probably going to be very upset about when he found it missing."
- Cheery Littlebottomīs "lab"

"'You can be any sex you like provided you act male. Thereīs no men and women in the Watch, just a bunch of lads. Youīll soon learn the language. Basically itīs how much beer you supped last night, how strong the curry was you had afterwards, and where you were sick."
- Constable Angua

"'All right,' said Carrot. 'Whatīs all this about poison? Mr Gimlet first.'
'Itīs a diabolic lie!' shouted Gimlet, from somewhere under the heap. 'I run a wholesome restaurant! My tables are so clean you could eat your dinner off them!'
Carrot raised his hands to stop the outburst this caused. 'Someone said something about rats,' he said.
'I told them, I use only the very best rats!' shouted Gimlet. 'Good plump rats from the best locations! None of your latrine rubbish! And theyīre hard to come by, let me tell you!'
'And when you canīt get them, Mr Gimlet?' said Carrot.
Gimlet paused. Carrot was hard to lie to. 'All right,' he mumbled. 'Maybe when thereīs not enough I might sort of plump out the stock with some chicken, maybe just a bit of beef -'
'Hah! A bit?' More voices were raised.
'Thatīs right, you should see his cold room, Mr Carrot!'
'Yeah, he uses steak and cuts little legs in it and covers it with rat sauce!'
'I donīt know, you try to do your best at very reasonable prices and this is the thanks you get?' said Gimlet hotly. 'Itīs hard enough to make ends meet as it is!'
'You donīt even make'em of the right meat!'
Carrot sighed. There were no public health laws in Ankh-Morpork. It would be like installing smoke detectors in Hell.
'All right,' he said. 'But you canīt get poisoned by steak. No, honestly. No. No, shut up, all of you. No, I donīt care what your mothers told you. Now, I want to know about this poisoning, Gimlet.'
Gimlet struggled to his feet.
'We did Rat Surprise last night for the Sons of Bloodaxe annual dinner,' he said. There was a general groan. 'And it was rat.' He raised his voice against the complaining. 'You canīt use anything else - listen - youīve got to have the noses poking through the pastry, all right? Some of the best rat weīve had in for a long time, let me tell you!'
'And you were all ill afterwards?' said Carrot, taking out his notebook.
'Sweating all night!'
'Couldnīt see straight!'
'I reckon I know every knothole on the back of the privy door!'
'Iīll write that down as a "definitely",' said Carrot. 'Was there anything else on the dinner menue?'
'Vole-au-vents and Cream of the Rat,' said Gimlet. 'All hygienically prepared.'
'How do you mean, "hygienically prepared"?' said Carrot.
'The chef is under strict orders to wash his hands afterwards.'
The assembled dwarfs nodded. This was certainly pretty hygienic. You didnīt want people going around with ratty hands."
- at Gimletīs Hole Food Delicatessen, a famous dwarf restaurant

"It is traditionally the belief of policemen that they can tell what a substance is by sniffing it and then gingerly tasting it, but this practice had ceased in the Watch ever since Constable Flint had dipped his finger into a blackmarket consignment of ammonium chloride cut with radium, said 'Yes, this is definitely slab wurble wurble sclup', and had to spend three days tied to his bed until the spiders went away."

"He blinked. The glittering stars of exhaustion were causing his mind to think oddly. Well, thinking rationally hadnīt worked."
- Commander Vimes, shortly before he sees the light

"It was such a relieve to be right, even though you knew youīd only got there by trying every possible way to be wrong."
- ... and afterwards

"'Itīs the most menacing dwarf battle cry there is! Once itīs been shouted someone has to be killed!'
'Whatīs it mean?'
'Today Is A Good Day For Someone Else To Die!'"
- Carrot and Angua

"He focused on the report heīd half written. His notebook was beside it, page after page of laborious scrawl to remind him that he was trying to understand a complex world by means of his simple mind."
- Commander Vimes

"'Is It Frightening To Be Free?'
'You said it.'
'You Say To People "Trow Off Your Chains" And They Make New Chains For Themselves?'
'Seems to be a major human activity, yes.'"
- Dorfl the golem tries to understand human nature

"'This comes under the heading of gross profanity and the worship of idols -'
'I donīt worship him. Iīm just emloying him,' said Vimes, beginning to enjoy himself. 'And heīs far from idle.'"