Gene Wolfe Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Gene Wolfe Quotes

#1. It was a cruel and lawless place without him, and it seems to me that it's better with him, if anything. A bad horse needs a big whip, as the saying goes. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#2. Online publication is fine with me, in part because I hope to collect those stories later. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#3. You seem to think that the only genuine existence evil can have is conscious existence - that no one is evil unless he admits it to himself. I disagree. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#4. I get a lot of people complaining about my ambiguity, often in cases which there is nothing ambigous at all. As far as I can see, people read it when they were half stoned and listening to the TV. Then they come back and say gee, it's impossible to figure out what's going on in a story. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#5. Year followed struggling year for me, and all that time I read
I suppose few have ever read so. I began, as most young people do, by reading the books I enjoyed. But I found that narrowed my pleasure ... - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#6. Among you Medes, I'm told, there are many men so honorable that everyone trusts them. We're not like that at all - we never trust one another. So what we do instead is make sure that each side's represented, so that every rascal's got two worse looking over his shoulder. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#7. Rain symbolizes mercy and sunlight charity, but rain and sunlight are better than mercy and charity. Otherwise they would degrade the things they symbolize. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#8. I nodded and grasped the woman by the arm; the cataphracts released her and turned away like silver automata. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#9. There is something in all of us that has always been dead," I said. "If only because we know that eventually we will die. All of us except the smallest children. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#10. What a many-sided thing is the telling of any tale. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#11. I was trapped in admiration for what I had once admired, as a fly in amber remains the captive of some long-vanished pine. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#12. For an instant she hesitated. Baldanders said, 'You may trust him. The doctor has his own way of looking at the world, but he lies less than people believe. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#13. I was young, so that I desired high things only. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#14. If you have a machine with three or four parts, you can shake them up in a box and it's still pretty clear what's there. If you have a machine with 10,000 parts and you shake them up in a box, what you have is a box of junk. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#15. Dorcas's skin was flecked with little golden freckles, and she was so slender that I was always aware of her bones; yet she was more desirable in her imperfections than Jolenta had ever been in the lushness of her flesh. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#16. Men are said to desire women, Severian. Why do they despise the women they obtain? - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#17. He wandered in the high, hot lands where men have few laws and many slaves. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#18. I take his gold. I'm hated for that by men who would grovel for it, were it offered to them. Myt-ser - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#19. all the things people have said were The Secret after they had talked to mystagogues on far worlds or studied the popul vuh of the magicians, or fasted in the trunks of holy trees. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#20. One of the easiest ways to dominate a man is to demand something he cannot supply. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#21. The chief thing is to begin, after all - after which the chief thing is to finish. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#22. He imagined himself a mouse descending a clear stream in half an eggshell, the master of a comet enfolding a hollow world. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#23. Ambiguity is necessary in some of my stories, not in all. In those, it certainly contributes to the richness of the story. I doubt that thematic closure is never attainable. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#24. You do not characterize by telling the reader about the character. You do it by showing the character thinking, speaking and acting in a characteristic way. You simply show it and shut up. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#25. Why should the Increate protect us from ourselves? We might protect ourselves from ourselves. It may be that he will help us only when we come to regret what we have done. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#26. And then I saw it - not below, where I had looked, but over my head, a vast and noble curve stretching away to either side, with white cloud flying between ourselves and it, a world all speckled over with blue and green like the egg of a wild bird. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#27. If a man bullies a woman, all the women turn against him. Then the other men mock him because he sleeps alone. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#28. I waded out of the sea while loving it still, even as I had earlier dropped from the stars while loving them; and in truth there is no place in Briah that is not lovely when it no longer holds the threat of death, save for the places men have made so. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#29. If you know anything of science, madame, you must know that water is but ice given energy. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#30. You think whatever is wrong with you is contagious, then?'
She laughed again. 'Yes, but you have it already. You caught it from your mother. Death. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#31. Magic," Martha whispered breathlessly, "is diplomacy. It isn't just saying the words. It's who says them, how he says them, and when he says them. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#32. I was miserable before I knew I was no longer happy - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#33. That's something I didn't understand until recently: you don't get that degree; it gets you. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#34. You're a materialist, like all ignorant people. But your materialism doesn't make materialism true. Don't you know that? In the final summing up, it is spirit and dream, thought and love and act that matter. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#35. We call for night to hide our acts, But Night, a god, gives God the facts. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#36. The progress of science depends much less upon either theoretical considerations or systematic investigation than is commonly believed, but rather on the transmittal of reliable information, gained by chance or insight, from one set of men to their successors. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#37. We have treatments for disturbed persons, Nicholas. But, at least for the time being, we have no treatment for disturbing persons. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#38. He said I had been touched by a god, and that I am a holy man. I said, "If I have been touched by a god, it was only to curse me." He nodded. "All who are touched by gods are holy. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#39. Do not start a story unless you have an ending in mind. You can change the story's ending if you wish, but you should always have a destination. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#40. Catch Catodon ... cast out his conation. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#41. That was when I found out that the best way in the world to make yourself feel better when you have hit bottom is to try to get somebody else to feel better. There are certain things in life that are truly worth knowing, and that is one of the big ones. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#42. I could speculate, but it would be just speculation and the kind of thing that you would get in with a science fiction story. And if I was doing a science fiction story then I would come up with what can go wrong with this system. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#43. Imagine a man who stands before a mirror; a stone strikes it, and it falls to ruin all in an instant. And the man learns that he is himself, and not the mirrored man he had believed himself to be. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#44. . . .Consciousness came and went.

Consciousness went and came like the errant winds of spring, and I, who so often have had difficulty in falling asleep among the besieging shades of memory, now fought to stay awake as a child struggles to lift a faltering kite by the string. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#45. All the history of the stage is a struggle, the gasping of a beautiful child born at the point of death. The moralists, censorship and oppression, technology, and now poverty have all tried to destroy her. Only we, the actors and audiences, have kept her alive. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#46. Things opposite unite and appear to disappear. The potential for both remains. That is one of the greatest principles of the causes of things. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#47. It is evil," the Old Wise One said. "For very long we have walked carefree in the only paradise. It would be better if all here were to die." The last Shadow child said firmly, "Nothing is worse than that I should die," and something that had wrapped the world was gone. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#48. There is no category of human activity in which the dead do not outnumber the living many times over. Most beautiful children are dead. Most soldiers, most cowards. The fairest women and the most learned men - all are dead. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#49. He shook his head. Everyone fears me, except you, Latro. When a man is respected, no one wants to plant a dagger in his back. When he is feared, everyone thinks upon it, and tests the point. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#50. A child, not knowing what is extraordinary and what commonplace, usually lights midway between the two, finds interest in incidents adults consider beneath notice, and calmly accepts the most improbable occurrences. My - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#51. The past stood at my shoulder, naked and defenseless as all dead things, as though it were time itself that had been laid open by the fall of the mountain. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#52. Men to whom wine had brought death long before lay by springs of wine and drank still, too stupefied to know their lives were past. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#53. his body close to the ground, he turned and - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#54. A crowd is not the sum of the individuals who compose it. Rather it is a species of animal, without language or real consciousness, born when they gather, dying when they depart. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#55. I said he had called them because it was from his mind that we drew them, seeking those who hated him, or at least had reason to. The giant you saw might have mastered the Commonwealth, had Severian not defeated him. The blond woman could not forgive him for bringing her back from death. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#56. And yet I loved her still, or would have loved her if I could. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#57. Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night, Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to. Flight. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#58. Science has so accustomed us to devising and accepting theories to account for the facts we observe, however fantastic, that our minds must begin their manufacture before we are aware of it. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#59. We can think only of creatures, of things He's made. Creatures are all we know, and can be all we know until we know Him. When we think of Him like that, we find we can't believe. He can't be like a creature any more than a carpenter is like a table. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#60. We think that we know a man or a woman, when so much of what we know is actually that man's or that woman's situation, his or her place on the board of life. Move the pawn to the last row and see her rise in armor, sword in hand. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#61. Don't nobody ever want it to rain," the nearest of the sellers of beasts remarked philosophically, "but everybody wants to go on eatin'. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#62. What a man knows hardly matters. It is what he does. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#63. He is the oldest of our sons, and although I loved him, I did not like him. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#64. Whether the medium is ready for consumers is better judged by those consumers. I sometimes read online - but not often. The stigma is attached to pay scales. Much online publication is no pay or small pay. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#65. Something like that." "You - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#66. Though trodden beneath the shepherd's heel, the wild hyacinth blooms on the ground. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#67. In ancient Greece, skeptics were those who thought, not those who scoffed. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#68. Of all the good things in the world, the only ones humanity can claim for itself are stories and music; - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#69. We talked of love, and all we said would fill a book thicker than this. Yet all we said was only this: that I loved her and she loved me, and we had waited long and long, would be parted no longer. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#70. To be cursed by a god is to be touched by a god. To be touched by any god is to share divinity in some small measure. When the high priest leaves the sanctuary he strips off his clothing and bathes. Did you know that? His clothing is burned. I - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#71. If I had seen one miracle fail, I had witnessed another; and even a seemingly purposeless miracle is an inexhaustible source of hope, because it proves to us that since we do not understand everything, our defeats - so much more numerous than our few and empty victories - may be equally specious. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#72. It was earliest morning, when even small trees cast long shadows and scarlet foxes trot denward through the dew like flecks of fire. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#73. One can't found a novel theology on Nothing, and nothing is so secure a foundation as a contradiction. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#74. It is well, I think, for us to learn to tell evil from good; but it has its price, as everything does. We leave our evil friend behind. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#75. Powerful is the charm of words, which for us reduces to manageable entities all the passions that would otherwise madden and destroy us. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#76. Once or twice I saw evidence that rats had been nesting among the books, rearranging them to make snug two and three-level homes for themselves and smearing dung on the covers to form the rude characters of their speech. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#77. Have a short story feature two situations, and then let them solve each other. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#78. People don't want other people to be people. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#79. A young man seeks a woman and finds her and is great and dies to the world. Afterward he is never as great again, but the woman is a comfort to him, reminding him of the time that was, and he is a little again with her what once he was wholly. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#80. I am filthy. So is Doris, but we'll bathe and change clothes and be clean. Your filth is within you. If it were gone, you'd collapse. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#81. My whole life experience feeds into my writing. I think that must be true for every writer. Clearly the Army and combat were major influences; just the same, you need to understand that many of the writers we have now couldn't load a revolver. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#82. Weak people believe what is forced on them. Strong people what they wish to believe, forcing that to be real. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#83. We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#84. There comes a time when a sorcerer must triumph on his own or die. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#85. I have seldom found a lot to love about my fellow human beings, even when I liked them; - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#86. I felt that pressure of time that is perhaps the surest indication we have left childhood behind. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#87. Some writers say they cannot write in front of a window; many say they cannot function without almost perfect quiet. A writer with only two hours a day can write in the back of an open truck on the Interstate. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#88. You can't order the waves to be silent, madame," Baldanders told her. "They are coming, and they are bitter with salt. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#89. I have read only the first 'Harry Potter' book. I thought it excellent, perhaps the best thing written for older children since The Hobbit. I wish the books had been around when my kids were the right age for them. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#90. You have heard tales of necromancers,' she said, 'who fish for the spirits of the dead. Do you know there are vivimancers among the dead, who call to them those who can make them live again? - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#91. It is beyond value, which means it is worthless. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#92. I rejoiced in the flaws that made her more real to me - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#93. We have books here bound in the hides of echidnes, krakens, and beasts so long extinct that those whose studies they are, are for the most part of the opinion that no trace of them survives unfossilized. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#94. That was a fine story," I told her, "one of the best that I've ever heard." "I had to live it," she replied, "and it is far better to hear such stories than to live them, I promise you, though it ended so happily. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#95. Then I could not help wondering what the watching gods thought of us, with our clever masks and our jokes. What we think of crickets, perhaps, whose singing we hear with pleasure, though some of us smash them with our heels when they venture into sight. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#96. Possibly I was mistaken, but it seemed to me that he went pale. At last he muttered, It isn't much of a ghost story, I'm afraid, but then I didn't make it up. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#97. Religion and science have always been matters of faith in something. It is the same something. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#98. Evolution teaches us the original purpose of language was to ritualize men's threats and curses, his spells to compel the gods; communication came later. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#99. This is what mankind has always wanted... that the environment should respond to human thought. That is the core of magic and the oldest dream of mankind, and, here on me, it is fact. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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#100. If they are too quarrelsome to unite against him, and so violent that they'll willingly pay his taxes to be protected from one another, they have no reason to complain. - Author: Gene Wolfe
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