24 August 2011

Quote of the Day

Umegat rubbed his neck and pulled gently on his queue. “Do you understand what it means to be a saint?”

Cazaril cleared his throat uncomfortably. “You must be very virtuous, I suppose.”
“No, in fact. One need not be good. Or even nice.” Umegat looked wry of a sudden. “Grant you, once one experiences . . . what one experiences, one’s tastes change. Material ambition seems immaterial. Greed, pride, vanity, wrath, just grow too dull to bother with...personally, I think it is not so much the growth of virtue, as simply the replacement of prior vices with an addiction to one’s god.” Umegat emptied his cup. “The gods love their great-souled men and women as an artist loves fine marble, but the issue isn’t virtue. It is will. Which is chisel and hammer.

-Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion

And from the same book:

“The gods do not grant miracles for our purposes, but for theirs. If you are become their tool, it is for a greater reason, an urgent reason. But you are the tool. You are not the work. Expect to be valued accordingly.”

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