Quotes Choices

January 29th to February 4th


‘So we went into the moonlight, where they were cleaning the ground after the Games.

We saw great Roma Dea atop of the Wall, the frost on her helmet, and her spear pointed towards the North Star. We saw the twinkle of night-fires all along the guard towers, and the line of the black catapults growing smaller and smaller in the distance. All these things we knew till we were weary; but that night they seemed very strange to us, because the next day we knew we were to be their masters.


This is from “THe Winged Hats” in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1905).

Parnesius and Pertinax have been made Captains of the Wall by Maximus, who sseks to make himslef Emperor of Rome. They defend it doughtily with depleted forces against invaders from the North. Maximus is defeated by Theodosius. and executed. but they hold out – lo0yal to Rome – until new legiins from Theodosius come to their re;ief. They are offered high command by the new Emperor, but they refuse it.

‘“We bear no ill-will against Theodosius, but in War——” I began. ‘“In War it is as it is in Love,” said Pertinax. “Whether she be good or bad, one gives one’s best once, to one only. That given, there remains no second worth giving or taking.”

‘“But think of public opinion,” another one starts up. “The feeling in Philadelphia alone is at fever heat.”

‘He held up one of his big hands. “Gentlemen,” he says—slow he spoke, but his voice carried far—“I have to think of our country. Let me assure you that the treaty with Great Britain will be made though every city in the Union burn me in effigy.”

‘“At any price?” the actor-like chap keeps on croaking.

‘“The treaty must be made on Great Britain’s own terms. What else can I do?”


This is from “Broher Square Toes” in Rewards and Fairies (1910).

Napo;eon is Emperor of France, and at war with the United Kingdom.  The French are urging President Wasington to declare war on the British. and opnion in America is bot for war.

But Washington (‘Big Hand’) knows America is not in s state to fight, and insists that there will be no war., however unpopular this may be.

‘D’you think they did right to go?’ she asked.

‘I don’t see what else they could have done,’ Dan replied, after thinking it over.

‘D’you think she did right to send ’em?’ The lady’s voice rose a little.

‘Well,’ said Dan, ‘I don’t see what else she could have done, either—do you? How did they stop King Philip from getting Virginia?’


This is from “Gloriana” in Rewards and Fairies ((1910)

With Puck the choldren have met Gloriana, Queen Elizabeth I.

She has told of the threar to England from Spain, the greatest European power. and of Philip of S[ain’s plans for supp;anting the English in the colony of Virginia. She had sent out a small fleet to the Spanish Main to discover his intentions, knowing this yo be a highly dangerous mission. The yoing Eblish sailors, willining to die for her, never came back.

Here she is asking Dan whether she should have sent them. He thinks that she has to do it, risk or no risk.